Hardly a year of full operation in the Rwanda’s financial market, Equity Bank Rwanda, a regional banking giant joined Rwandans and the rest of the world in the 18th Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis.
The Bank on Saturday 14, 2012 donated 10 cows worth Rwf3million of both local and exotic breeds to families of genocide survivors in Ruhuha sector, Bugesera district—in three categories; the widows, orphans heading households, and sick survivors. In addition, food (rice) worth Rwf1million was also distributed to the survivors.
Mr. Samuel Kirubi, Executive Director of Equity Bank Rwanda explained that these beneficiaries were selected with the help of local leaders in Bugesera.
In a related development, a night vigil at the bank headquarters was held by the Bank staff in honor of the 18th Genocide Commemoration against the Tutsis. In deep grief, Equity staff were joined by the Governor of the National Bank, Ambassador Claver Gatete, officials from IBUKA (the Umbrella Organization of Genocide Survivors’ Associations) and the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) among others.
In his address to the mourners, Amb. Gatete extended his appreciation to Equity—the partnership and closeness it has shown to the Government and people of Rwanda, especially the rural poor. While making remarks on the tremendous growth of the financial sector in Rwanda, the Governor said at the time of Genocide back in 1994, there were only 3 banks operating about 35, 000 counts.
At the recent launch of the financial literacy campaign, the Governor said that there are now 700 bank branches across the country, and total accounts in the banking system has increased to over 2million (bank accounts). And if you add accounts of Saccos and MFIs…the figure shoots up to 3million bank accounts in Rwanda’s financial system.
Also, Staff of Equity Bank Rwanda led by Mr. Kirubi visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Gisozi, Kigali on April 11 to pay tribute to innocent men and women who lost their lives during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis. The Bank donated Rwf1million towards the maintenance of the memorial site. The team also laid wreaths of flowers on the mass graves reported to be accommodating over 250, 000 bodies of the deceased killed during genocide.
In his condolence message at Gisozi, Kirubi also delivered a message of hope. He said that the bank looks forward focusing on this year’s theme of creating a bright future and positively participating in building a bright future for this country
“It has been said and it is true that a bright future can only be given, if you give people hope, dignity and strength to face the future.
Our vision as (Equity Bank) is about social economic transformation. It is about unveiling financial opportunities for people to exploit and you cannot give people hope and a bright if you do not empower them financially” Kirubi said.
One of the Bank staff, Alexia Uwinema, the Banks Credit Manager who is also a genocide survivor said that the involvement and commitment of Equity Bank in commemorating genocide against the Tutsi is a sign of hope for both the survivors and the community.
“This is hope for all of us, and it shows that the bank is gives value to the lives of victims of genocide and at the same time wants to support the survivors and the Rwandan community towards a bright future” Uwinema said.
Equity Bank is proudly a major regional player; East and Central Africa with its origins rooted in Nairobi Kenya. With its catchy slogan”Your Listening, Caring Partner” , the bank has positioned itself as a champion of socioeconomic prosperity of the people of the region, and Africa in general; by offering inclusive, customer-focused financial services that socially and economically empower its clients and other stakeholders.
With now strong presence in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Southern Sudan, Equity bank has become the engine or catalyst of economic integration.
With a clientele base of 7.5million, and total net worth of US$2.5billion, it is now the biggest bank in Africa. In East and central Africa, Equity is the biggest in terms of market capitalization.
Equity’s total investment in Rwanda stands at US Dollars 12million, and is eying constructing Equity group offices in Rwanda—to relocate disaster recovery component from Nairobi to Kigali, Rwanda. This will push the bank’s total investment further up in excess of US Dollars 10million.