On behalf of the Board and Management of the Rwanda Development Bank (BRD), welcome and thank you for your contribution towards our journey so far. Esteemed stakeholders, 2015 was a challenging but exciting year BRD. The bank has repositioned and reorganized to appropriately align itself with Rwanda’s development agenda. The bank finalized the protracted process to sell off its commercial business (equivalent to 31% of its business) to Atlas Mara, who formed a new entity, BRD Commercial that has since merged with BPR. And this marked the first year of opportunity for BRD to refocus on its core mission as a development bank.
As a first step into this journey of change, the bank, with deep stakeholder consultations, elaborated a five-year strategic plan (2016-2020) that fully aligns with the priority sectors of the economy. The key sectors of focus include agriculture; export promotion; affordable housing; energy; and education. This strategy is underpinned by four strategic themes – focused investments and growth; creation of strong partnerships; maximization of the development impact; and strong resource mobilization. Over the next five years, the bank will mobilize and invest in these sectors about USD 712 million to trigger at least USD 1.6 billion into the economy.
We recognize that our role is catalytic and have set ourselves the goal that for every USD 1 the BRD invests; it should trigger an average USD 2.23 in additional investments through strong collaborative partnerships whilst catalyzing the creation of over 180,000 jobs.
During the year, the bank successfully completed a delicate process of share buy-back agreements to acquire 11% shares from willing minority shareholders. We are confident that the shareholders who exited in this process will continue to support the bank in other forms.
We are grateful to all shareholders, past and present, for their support and commitment to the bank’s continued success. We are equally grateful to the regulator for the ongoing conversations around a new regulatory framework appropriate for a development bank.
Our mandate has also been expanded to manage the students’ loans previously under the Rwanda Education Board (REB). We welcome this opportunity with open arms; well knowing the impact it can have on our people. We continue to count on the strong support and collaboration we have received from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN) and the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) as well as other stakeholders in the sector. With this collaboration, the bank intends to act innovatively around initial challenges, but most importantly, seek to expand the resource opportunity for our citizens to access education finance. We look forward to even stronger sector collaborations in order to attract new resources and innovations into the education service chain.
We recognized early on that the bank’s new focus demands a capability we need to rapidly establish. We are also mindful that this new focus brings different risks and opportunities. We acknowledge that what has brought us success so far might not be all we need in this new journey of transformation. To prepare for this, we have developed a new organization structure, defined new competencies across the bank and are embarking on other initiatives to strengthen our capability as a development bank. We know its going to be about how empowered our people are. Consequently, we are repositioning the bank to attract, nurture and retain the talent it needs to deliver the impact our stakeholders demand. We are asking our people to do more with less, to seek significant impact in the execution of our mandate and be accountable.
Amidst this intense transition, BRD continued to deliver good performance, with a net income of Rwf 3.75 billion, up from Rwf 3.52 billion in 2014. This was achieved mainly by growing the loan book from Rwf 93 billion in 2014 to Rwf 125 billion in 2015. The Bank’s total assets grew from Rwf 132.8 billion post-split to Rwf 185.6 billion in 2015 while maintaining its position as the leading long-term lender with approvals of Rwf 67.5 billion. The positive impact on the economy include the creation of new 2,146 permanent and 8,923 temporary jobs, upsurge in tax revenues and the addition of 10MW on the national grid.
These achievements, in an intense period of transition, would not have been possible without the efforts of staff, management and board of BRD. The board is grateful to BRD management and staff for responding with resilience and commitment to a different tomorrow.
We pay tribute to our fallen colleague, CPA Vianney Kagabo, a member of the board, who passed on during the year. His untimely death robbed the board of a member with a wealth of experience and oversight knowledge. May God grant his soul eternal rest.
Special thanks go to our stakeholders whose commitment facilitated BRD to play its role of supporting the national economic agenda. We are especially indebted to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN) as well as the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) for their counsel and unceasing support during this time.
As always, our commitment is unfazed but renewed for the coming years. We count on your continued support in the successful implementation of the renewed mandate.