Signing of subsidiary financing agreement with Participating Financial Institutions in Socio-Economic Inclusion of Refugees and Host Communities in Rwanda Project

Kigali, 30 November 2020: The Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) in the presence of its  Partners the Ministry of Emergency Management (MINEMA) and the World Bank today signed a subsidiary financing agreement with Africa Entrepreneur Collective Rwanda Trustee Company Ltd. (AEC RT) who have been the first to express interest to work with BRD in implementation of the Socio-Economic Inclusion for Refugees and Host Communities in Rwanda (SEIRHCRP) Project also referred to as “Jya Mbere”. Banque Populaire (BPR) part of Atlas Mara, is also another financial institution that has expressed interest and is set to sign the agreement with BRD. The call to apply for this matching grant is open to all financial institutions including commercial Banks, Microfinance institutions and SACCOs.The World Bank funded project aims to improve access to basic services and economic opportunities for refugees and host communities, and support environmental management, in the target areas in Rwanda.

Today’s signing marks the starting of activities on the US$ 9,000,000 economic opportunity for refugees, a component implemented by BRD. This is expected to improve the Refugees’ self-reliance.

Under this agreement, BRD will provide matching grants through Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) to viable projects from entrepreneurs among the refugees or host communities as individuals, Micro-Small and Medium -sized Enterprises (MSMEs) or as Cooperatives.

“The Government is keen to ensure the sustained provision of long-term finance to support the inclusion of Refugees and Host Communities. In light of the massive socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic both on a global and domestic level in Rwanda, the government acknowledges that refugee and host communities have equally been impacted, therefore fast and substantive action is necessary to help preserve employment, and a continuation of life cycles in the camps and the communities they engage with in a daily basis,” said  Mr. Olivier Kayumba the Permanent Secretary, MINEMA.

The World Bank congratulates the Development Bank of Rwanda, AEC RT and BPR, on this important milestone, particularly in light of the potential for this partnership to promote entrepreneurship and income-generation among refugees and host communities who have been hard hit by COVID-19. We look forward to other participating financial institutions in target districts joining this grant scheme,” said Rolande Pryce, the World Bank Country Manager for Rwanda. “We also acknowledge the long-term development approach to forced displacement which is pioneering work of the Ministry in Charge of Emergency Management (MINEMA) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Tackling force displacement, one of the defining humanitarian/development challenges of this generation, is a global priority of the World Bank.”

Speaking after the signing ceremony, BRD’s CEO Ms. Kampeta Sayinzoga reiterated the Bank’s commitment to effectively implement and operationalize this project.

“We are excited for this quick off because it falls in line with our mandate to facilitate the emergence of a strong private sector that contributes to socio-economic development in Rwanda. Refugee and host communities in Rwanda are no exception and highly deserve of such initiatives. BRD is also embarking on reconnecting with our mandate as a typical Development Finance Institution as we appropriately align with the Rwanda National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We therefore thank the first financial institutions AEC and BPR that have become the first applicants to work with us in implementing this initiative and we encourage other financial players to approach us and apply in order to widen the pool as reach more potential beneficiaries.” 

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact the Project Manager Claire Karemera via email at c.karemera@brd.rw

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