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KIGALI, Rwanda, February 21, 2018/ — New investment and job creation by companies across Rwanda will benefit from EUR 24 million of new financing provided by the European Investment Bank in cooperation with local banks.

Details of the two new financing programmes, a EUR 14 million credit line with the Development Bank of Rwanda and a USD 10 million lending programme managed locally by I&M Bank Rwanda, and accompanying technical assistance, were announced in Kigali earlier today (February 20, 2018).

Finance contracts were signed in Kigali today by Maria Shaw-Barragan, EIB Director responsible for lending operations outside Europe and senior representatives of the Development Bank of Rwanda and I&M Bank Rwanda. The EU Ambassador to Rwanda, Nicola Bellomo, was also present.

Record EIB support for Rwandan private sector

The two new credit lines represent the represents the largest ever support for private sector investment in Rwanda by the long-term lending institution of the European Union in more than 40 years of operating in the country. Demonstrating the EIB’s continued commitment over the last six years alone, a total of EUR 87 million has been provided for the financing of small, medium and micro-enterprises across the country through dedicated lending programmes managed by local banks.

“The European Union recognises the crucial role of private sector investment to support sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty. This new initiative by the European Investment Bank, the EU Bank, builds on a proven track record of helping companies across East Africa to expand, including here in Rwanda. Technical assistance provided alongside the record new private sector lending will both strengthen financial services in Rwanda and financial skills within Rwandan businesses.” said Ambassador Nicola Bellomo, Head of the European Union Delegation to Rwanda.

“New investment by dynamic local firms is essential to harness business opportunities, create jobs and contribute to economic growth. The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting private sector investment across Africa and we are pleased to build on previous successful lending initiatives with two leading Rwandan financial institutions. Thousands of new jobs were created by growing companies across the country as a direct result of recent EIB-backed lending by the Development Bank of Rwanda and I&M Bank Rwanda. The two new credit lines, the EIB’s largest ever lending programmes in Rwanda, build on this proven success. We look forward to implementing them in the coming months in close cooperation with our local partners.” said Maria Shaw-Barragan, EIB Director responsible for lending operations outside Europe.

Multi-currency lending to reflect business needs

The two initiatives will enable Rwandan entrepreneurs and businesses seeking to expand activity to benefit from longer-term loans in Rwandan francs and US dollars. The EUR 24 million of new financing from the European Investment Bank will be matched by two local institutions and unlock EUR 48 million of new private sector investment in the country.

Building on success of previous initiatives

New investment by companies active in a broad range of sectors is expected to benefit from the new lending programmes. Previous credit lines with the Development Bank of Rwanda and I&M Bank Rwanda have supported new investment in agriculture, construction, education, manufacturing, tourism and transport sectors.

Both lending schemes will be supported by dedicated technical assistance programmes. These will strengthen specialist-banking expertise of staff at Development Bank of Rwanda and I&M Bank Rwanda, as well as reinforce business planning and financial skills of final beneficiaries.

Confirms EIB private sector support in East Africa

In East Africa, the EIB has successfully supported private sector investment in conjunction with leading local banks in Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda through the recently extended Private Enterprise Finance Facility and working with regionally active banking groups.

Over the last decade, the European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR 7.9 billion for private sector investment across Africa.

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