European Investment Bank leverages EUR 95 million to finance Rwandan businesses
New investments by companies across Rwanda most impacted by COVID-19 will be supported with EUR 95 million of new financing backed by the European Investment Bank (EIB). The funds will be managed by Bank of Kigali (BK) and KCB Bank Rwanda.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana welcomed EIB’s latest private sector engagement in Rwanda and the launch of its EUR 175 million East Africa COVID-19 Response Facility in the country. Rwanda is the first country in East Africa to benefit from the new streamlined financing programme that will provide long term financing in both Rwandan Francs and US Dollars.
“COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted Rwandan businesses which has led to a negative economic impact on our country. The European Investment Bank partnership with Bank of Kigali and KCB-Rwanda will ensure that businesses can continue to invest and more specifically, targeted support will also improve access to financing by companies that contribute to the economic empowerment of women and girls. I congratulate all those who have enabled Rwanda to be the first country to benefit from the EIB’s East Africa COVID-19 Response Facility. I also commend EIB’s support in the context of COVID-19 response through the support to National Health Referral Laboratory Project which will complement other investments that Government and European Investment Bank are jointly making in the sectors of Energy, Water and Sanitation” Minister Ndagijimana said.
“We are delighted to partner with the European Investment Bank in financing Rwandan businesses that were affected by the pandemic especially women-led businesses. The funds provided will enable our clients to stay afloat and continue progressing steadily even after the COVID-19 crisis. This facility clearly compliments the Government of Rwanda and Bank of Kigali’s efforts to stimulate the country’s economic recovery” said Dr. Diane Karusisi, Bank of Kigali Chief Executive Officer.
“It is our pleasure to be involved in this partnership with the European Investment Bank, said George Odhiambo, Managing Director, KCB Bank Rwanda. “We believe in enabling local businesses with multiple financing options, targeted to various sector growth initiatives. Over the past 2 years we have seen several companies and households overly affected by COVID-19. Therefore, this is a timely convergence of funds that will ultimately seek to benefit women entrepreneurs, many of whom are the backbone of our society”, he added.
In addition, as part of COVID-19 response, EIB signed a project agreement with Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) to complete the last milestone of the financing contract worth EUR 22 million signed between EIB and Government of Rwanda, through Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning for National Health Referral Laboratory Project. The Project will further be co-funded by European Union which will contribute EUR 5.1 million, with World Health Organization as one of implementing partners.
“Unlocking new investment by the Rwanda Biomedical Centre will transform diagnosis, surveillance and research at the National Health Laboratory. The EUR 27 million Team Europe support provided by the European Investment Bank’s streamlined African COVID-19 health resilience engagement and the European Union will better protect Rwandans from disease and future epidemics.” said Dr Daniel Ngamije Minister for Health.
“Since the COVID-19 outbreak the European Investment Bank has worked with leading banks and financial institutions across Africa to ensure that companies can continue to invest, protect jobs and harness new business opportunities. The EUR 95 million leveraged by EIB’s financing for the Bank of Kigali and KCB Bank Rwanda agreed today will help strengthen economic resilience in Rwanda and includes targeted financing for female entrepreneurs and firms that accelerate the economic empowerment of women.” said Thomas Östros, European Investment Bank Vice President.
“Team Europe is committed to supporting private sector investment in Rwanda and across Africa. The new credit lines managed by Bank of Kigali and KCB Bank Rwanda will ensure that the dynamism of Rwandan entrepreneurs can withstand COVID-19 challenges and contribute to delivering gender equality.” said Ambassador Nicola Bellomo, Head of the European Union Delegation to Rwanda.
Rwanda benefits from first financing under EIB regional economic resilience scheme
The financing agreements reached with Bank of Kigali and KCB Bank Rwanda will enable entrepreneurs and businesses across Rwanda to access a total of EUR 95 million of new financing available under the EIB East Africa COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility.
Under this arrangement, Bank of Kigali will receive EUR 40 Million, and contribute a matching EUR 40 Million to the program. KCB will receive EUR 15 Million bringing the total EIB-backed financing to EUR 95 Million. The streamlined financing programme will contribute to job creation and support firms in sectors most impacted by COVID-19 challenges.
30% of new financing to support female economic empowerment
Female led companies and firms that contribute to gender quality will benefit from improved access to finance up to 30% of the total financing under the two new credit lines. Allocation to companies that support female economic empowerment will be made under the EIB’s SheInvest criteria and global 2X Challenge Criteria.
The EIB has operated in Rwanda since 1977 and provided more than EUR 206 million for private and public investment across the country.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.