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COGEBANQUE, FAGACE sign guarantee agreement to finance digitization project of motorcycle-taxi industry

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Cogebanque has signed a guarantee agreement with African Guarantee and Economic Cooperation Fund (FAGACE) in favor of a loan that Cogebanque has extended to Yego Innovision Rwanda, the provider of Yego Moto and Yego Cabs technologies for the implementation of its project to digitize the transport sector in Rwanda.

FAGACE, which will provide 50% collateral, is an international financial institution specialized in the promotion of public and private investments.

The ceremony which is the second of its kind demonstrates the commitment of FAGACE and Cogebanque to support the private sector in the implementation of projects and excellent cooperation relationships that exist between both financial institutions. The latter follows similar agreement signed last year for the project of building and running a pharmaceutical plant in Kigali by Apex Biotech Ltd.

The project carried out by Yego Innovision aims at equipping moto-taxis with Intelligent Connected Fare Meter (ICFM) to ensure the management and control of the rides and displacements carried out by these means of transport.

The project will help streamline the motorcycle taxi industry and address the various challenges mainly: Following up motorcycle taxi drivers in real time, regulate travel fares, usage of electronic payment means, register owners and drivers of motorcycle taxi drivers through the use of telephone for booking reservations by means of 24-hour operation calls and build a relevant database of the taxi motorcycle transport industry for the collection of reliable statistics.

The signing ceremony that took place at Cogebanque headquarters was witnessed by Cogebanque CEO, Cherno Gaye ; the Founder and CEO of Yego Innovision , Karanvir Singh;  FAGACE Director General , Basile Tchakounte and other officials.

Speaking during the ceremony; Cogebanque CEO, Cherno Gaye observed that it is yet another sign of the bank’s unwavering commitment to finance a very important growing segment.

“There is a big drive from the Government to go cashless. This is really going to be in line with that direction. Transport is one of the priority sectors to be transformed. We are really glad and privileged to be part of this,” he said.

Cogebanque CEO further stressed: “SMEs are the engine of the economy. It is difficult to provide financing for them and quite challenging because they have own challenges. Providing an answer requires financial institutions to be very innovative. One of challenges SMEs face is access to collateral. For us as an innovative bank, we want to look for solutions that will help us to de-risk after identifying an SME that is really bankable and see how we can deal with the challenges to provide financing to them.”

FAGACE Director General, Basile Tchakounte explained that the project was qualified for the guarantee because it meets all requirements in a sense that it is promising to create more jobs and help the Government to streamline taxes collection.

“Yego Innovision has a very innovative project overhauling the transport sector and  promoting employment which qualifies it for FAGACE funding. We are committed to boost the financing of SMEs in Rwanda. This is the second agreement signed with Cogebanque and hope for more fruitful cooperation ahead,” he said.

Yego Innovision started off in 2016 introducing Yegomoto, an application helping management of motorcycle taxis in 2017. Early 2018, the company introduced ‘Ride-Tap-Pay’.

The platform uses a smart intelligent meter connected to GPS that identifies a route and calculates the distance travelled, after which the passenger is billed; he then taps the tag on the meter fixed on the bike to make the payment, although a USSD method is also still available.

To make the Yegomoto’s services even more efficient, details of the journey are recorded, including the pick-up and drop points, fare paid, the time taken and the payment made. The details are then electronically sent to the customer’s e-mail.

Two years after the launch of Yegomoto, Yego Innovision launched Yegocabs last year with an innovative solution for Africa called 9191 making it the first and only licensed Intelligent Connected Fare Meter (ICFM) provider for taxi cabs in Rwanda.

Yego Innovision has invested US$ 7 million but the entire project is expected to cost US$15 million.

The CEO of Yego Innovision, Karanvir Singh assured that the funds will be utilized to provide devices and the entire meter cater to all motorcyles taxis.

“Our platform has been running since September 2017 and I think now everybody has seen that when it comes to taxi cab industry that we started in September 2018 is now fine with no issues of the platform. We are playing a very significant role because when you look at the taxi industry, the average age of the taxi cab is 22 years old,” he said.

“We are trying to refresh the entire fleet, so long as these people who are driving these taxis can prove that they can make an income that will allow them to buy a new car and be able to pay in installments. Our platform and technology enables us to create credit scores, all the details and real time tracking for them to be able to access finance. This will enable us to complete Kigali and may be go to one or two larger towns out of Kigali,” noted Singh.

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