Remarks at the signing of the loan agreement with Rwanda Development Bank (BRD) Kigali, Rwanda -Wed 26/06/2013
Mr. Jack Kayonga, the Chief Executive Officer, BRD, Ladies and gentlemen,
I am always delighted to be in Rwanda, one of the most beautiful nations in the region. If I was a filmmaker coming to this region, I bet Rwanda would be my first stop.
As a country, Rwanda has had a difficult past. But today the whole world is very proud of us because of what we have accomplished over the last two decades. We have indeed become one of the most promising nations on the continent. This is a reason to be proud.
Rwanda Development Bank stands out as one of the unique success stories of this country. Starting in 1967 when you began operations, you have left an indelible mark as a provider of long term financial services for development projects. I particularly commend you for the role you played in rebuilding the country following the unfortunate occurrences of 1994.
I am grateful for your focus on financing rural-based projects. The rural areas are where the majority of our people live. Equally, your support for SME and youth entrepreneurship has made you a natural go-to for EADB.
It is against this background that EADB in October 2009 approved a Line of credit of USD 5 million to BRD for on- lending to projects in various sectors of the economy. To date, the entire amount is fully committed and the total amount has been disbursed to three key projects namely, Steelrwa Industries Ltd, Doyelcy Sarl and Hotel Gorilla which are servicing their loans with good repayment records.
I think BRD deserves a pat on the back for being a very good client with remarkable performance over the last four years.
Today, therefore, is a very special day for our two institutions. It is an affirmation of a special partnership between us as Rwanda enters another crucial phase of its development.
I am pleased to announce that EADB has accepted to extend to BRD a Line of Credit of USD 10 Million for on-lending to long term projects in various economic sectors of Rwanda.
This is a vote of confidence in the way BRD is managed, your deep understanding of Rwanda’s competitive edge and interdependence of regional economies as well as selection of projects with the biggest social impact. It is notable that BRD expects to invest around USD 36 million in various projects every year.
The future of Rwanda depends on the capacity of SMEs to innovate and access new markets, a deliberate focus on women and youth and massive investments in rural areas where 90% of the population live. Other areas include disaster risk reduction; climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as information and communication technologies, which, thankfully, Rwanda has given special focus over the last two decades.
I must emphasize that these will best be achieved in a fully integrated economy, where citizens can move freely within the region and where the private sector is not limited in terms of markets they can access.
I thank the government of President Paul Kagame for its singular commitment to attracting investors by making it easier for businesses to register and operate.
Once again, I assure you of our commitment to continue to be reliable development partners and our dedication to the well-being of Rwanda’s citizens as they enjoy their hard worn peace and stability.
I thank you.