Access Bank Secures Rwf4.6 Billion Loan to Support SMEs In Rwanda

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The African Development Bank Group has extended a $6 million (about Rwf4.6 billion) line of credit to Access Bank Rwanda to support small and medium entrepreneurs and women in business, writes Peterson Tumwebaze.

Negatu Makonnen, the AfDB country representative, said the money will be channeled through Access Bank Rwanda, adding that the funding will support initiatives geared at enhancing private sector investments and thus spark economic growth. He added that the money will help increase productivity and create jobs for Rwandans across various sectors of the economy, including agriculture, manufacturing and construction. The loan is under the AfDB SME programme that was launched in 2013. The four year programme is worth $125 million, and targets about 25 financial institutions across Africa.

“The AfDB has an active portfolio of 22 operations in Rwanda with a total commitment of $560.6 million, covering both the public and private. The bank commits to continue supporting programmes that will help propel the country to economic excellence,” Makonnen said after signing the seven-year funding deal in Kigali, yesterday.

 Jean Claunde Karayenzi, the Access Bank Rwanda Managing Director, said the money will help the bank scale up access to finance services by over 20 per cent.

He said the bank is currently availing loans to SMEs and women entrepreneurs to the tune of 45 per cent, and targets 60 per cent by the end of the year. “Therefore, the loan will help in the realisation of this objective, but also support government’s efforts of achieving at least 80 per cent financial inclusion by 2018,” he said.

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