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Wednesday, 05 February 2014

Rwandan small businesses to benefit from EUR 8m from European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank (EIB), Europe’s long-term lending institution, has agreed to provide EUR 8 million to support investment by small and medium sized private sector companies in Rwanda. This is the second new small business lending programme between the EIB and I&M Bank Rwanda in seven years.
The partnership with I&M Bank Rwanda was formally agreed in Kigali on Wednesday 29 January 2014 by Sanjeev Anand, Managing Director of I&M Bank Rwanda and Kurt Simonsen, Head of the European Investment Bank’s regional representation for East and Central Africa.
“Growth of the private sector is essential for economic development and reducing poverty in Rwanda.” said Pim van Ballekom, EIB Vice President responsible for sub-Saharan Africa. Mr. Sanjeev Anand, I&M Bank MD added “We believe that the long-term financing lines provided by EIB will go a long way in facilitating our efforts to provide investment support to SMEs.”
The EIB is working with leading banks across East Africa to support private sector investment. The new engagement is part of the European Investment Bank’s East and Central Africa Private Enterprise Finance Facility that will provide EUR 160 million to enhance access to finance for SMEs across seven countries in the region, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Djibouti.
More than 10 locally based banks are expected to participate and it is expected that 3,000 companies will benefit as final beneficiaries from the facility. Technical assistance will be provided alongside the scheme for both local banks and the final beneficiary companies. I&M Bank Rwanda Ltd. is the fourth bank to participate in the regional programme,s. Lending under the initiative will focus on sectors currently underserved by commercial banks, including agriculture, fishing, manufacturing, construction, transport, tourism, education and healthcare. The scheme will reinforce crucial long-term investment by Rwandan companies, most of which are small businesses, to support growth and job creation.

Source: European Investment Bank