During the event, BRD also briefed the media fraternity on different ongoing projects including IWANJYE platform (an affordable housing e-solution); MINUZA (a student loan management system); JYA MBERE (the Socio-Economic Inclusion of Refugees and Host Communities in Rwanda project), and HATANA (which is the newest project that supports the recovery of businesses significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic).
On May 18th, 2022, the Rwandan government launched phase two of the Economic Recovery Fund (ERF2), of around FRW257 billion to revive the economy. The project is being implemented by BRD and BDF. . The BRD part of the project is referred to as HATANA.
This fund will further support economic recovery through increased access to finance for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and enabling local investments for jobs creation and import substitution.The funding of the project was sourced by the Government of Rwanda, through MINECOFIN, via financing agreement signed with World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
The ERF2 was introduced following the successful completion of ERF1which was introduced on June 8th, 2020, with a value of 100 billion Rwandan Francs to be distributed across the economy to support business continue operations and safeguard employment during the pandemic.
It was also expected to facilitate domestic production of essential goods such as masks, gloves, sanitizers, disinfectants, and others that may be deemed necessary during and COVID-19 period.
ERF 2 was started to further strengthen the economy by providing long term solutions for investment funding to critical sectors manufacturing such as construction materials, agro-processing, textiles, and light manufacturing that champion innovation, create employment opportunities, and prioritize Made in Rwanda.
Additionally, the fund is expected to provide loans to businesses that demonstrate the negative impact of COVID-19 on their operations, proven by at least a 20% reduction in sales for the past 12 months compared to pre COVID (2019).
For the part managed by BDF, the fund will allocate working capital for micro businesses, provide credit guarantees to all businesses befitting the loans under ERF2 through banks, furthermore BRD allocated extra funds for coverage to businesses owned by Youth, Women, and people living with disabilities, Vulnerable Genocide Survivors and Veterans.
During the breakfast, the media had an opportunity to ask questions on HATANA and many other BRD’s projects, such as the student loan management system, the affordable housing and others. BothBRD and Media agreed to continue hosting these frequent meetings in a bid to educate the general population on various development projects and opportunities.
HATANA is a five-year strategic project that will help reduce the current trade deficit, enabling more investment for exports and import substitution made in Rwanda products. The primarily targeted sectors are construction materials, agro-processing, textiles, and manufacturing, other light manufacturing sub-sectors, and the respective value chains.
The Development Bank of Rwanda chose to call the second phase of the economic recovery fund “HATANA” to emphasize the spirit of resilience that the bank sees in Rwandans throughout our history till today. Rwandans are naturally resilient and hard-working people.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic caused financial fragility in many small businesses, mass layoffs, and closures, a lot had already occurred, and in general, this pandemic has caused a significant economic shock. HATANA, which translates to “relentless” in English, was selected as the brand name for this fund to encourage businesses not to give up and keep on rebuilding, it is here to support companies to keep pushing by remodelling their business strategy to face these challenges for a resilient economy.
The HATANA fund will have three components: an investment window, a working capital window, and a BDF guarantee.
Investment Window – Clients can get up to FRW500 Million, FRW2 Billion and or to Rwf5 billion based on their business turnover, with an interest rate of 8% per annum. The tenure can last up to 15 years, with a possible moratorium period of three years. New businesses are eligible, as well as existing ones with expansion plans. For these businesses to benefit from this window, they are requested to show the jobs to be created and the percentage of women to be hired.
Working Capital Window – Clients can get up to Rwf300 million with an interest rate of 8% per annum, for five years with a moratorium of one year. For businesses to benefit from this window, they must show a drop in sales of at least 20% in the latest sales compared to pre-COVID (2019).
BRD Guarantee – all the clients served by this project can access the credit guarantee irrespective of their size, up to 50% and75% for special groups, based on BDF discretion.
The lending under HATANA is done through BRD and commercial banks, and terms are the same.