This unswerving singleness of purpose and the trenchant zeal of its shareholders, management, employees and its clientele have seen the Rwanda Development Bank (BRD) walking a long journey of keeping Rwanda’s economy as vibrant through financing a number of sectors.
The impetus with which BRD contributes to the economic growth has been more significant in the recent five years whereof the bank got immersed in the poverty reduction programmes and, in the long-run, contributing to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Agriculture and its chain value added sectors like export of cash crops have been a major focus in that period.
Funds were also injected in others socio-economic sectors—industries and services such as hotels, social infrastructure like education, micro finance sector and in other human social activities. For the last five years about Rwf80 billion was invested in the economy with agriculture and the attendant value addition activities taking a big portion of slightly above 25billion, representing 32% of the loan folio, followed by Tourism and Hotels development that took about 14.05billion (18%).
In the agriculture sector, BRD has invested in coffee washing stations to add value and improve on the quality of coffee for export. The Abakundanwa ba Rushashi cooperative with a membership of 1,600 is one such project that has benefited from BRD financing.
In the not so distant future, BRD focus is to increase its investments to meet the $1,240 annual per capita income. The bank has also invested in the construction of milk collection centers across the country.
Other development sectors that attracted BRD financing were; industry (12.15b), real estate (11.33b), education (6.08b), human social infrastructure (5.07b), microfinance (2.66b) and other services (2.53b).
BRD has also supported the growth of UMWALIMU SACCO, especially through financing teachers’ cooperative and enable them build decent houses. BRD has given out a loan to the tune of RwfRwf1.5 billion to UMWALIMU SACCO so that about 600 teachers can build their own houses. This loan was given out under the Bank’s refinancing window and granted for a 15 year loan repayment period at a preferential interest rate of 10%. Loans to the teachers are in three categories designed to suit the different income brackets of the beneficiaries. They fall in; RwF10m, rwf6.5m and Rwf4.4m.
In the health sector, BRD has supported a number of projects, the most recent and prominent being the sponsorship of Kigali Medical Imaging and Supplies Center. The company has now acquired a CT-scan to perform multi-slice CT technology in modern medical imaging.
In tandem with meeting the development goals of the country and translating the Vision 2020 ideals, BRD is actively involved in the re-imaging and strengthening the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
BRD recently acquired 8 million Euros from the European Investment Bank to finance the SMEs in Rwanda. With the EIB credit line, BRD is able to provide loans to enterprises in sectors hitherto undeserved by the commercial banks, notably agriculture, services and tourism. The funding under the Rwanda Private Sector Support Initiative, which represents the EIB, will also include technical assistance program to enable BRD broaden lending activities, advise on electronic banking, improving risk and credit analysis and enhance the quality of the portfolio to match international practices.