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Monday, 29 December 2014

Urwego secures Rwf1b loan from BRD to fund SMEs

Urwego Opportunity Bank has secured a Rwf1 billion short-term loan from Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) to finance small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs).

The one year funding is hoped to ease access to affordable credit and ultimately boost economic growth, Alex Kanyankole, the BRD Chief Executive Officer, said.

“Our objective is to serve all the segments of the market… We are confident that this partnership will enable Urwego Bank finance SMEs that BRD has not been able to serve,” Kanyankole said during the signing ceremony of the credit refinancing agreement.

“Our ultimate objective is to ensure that people access affordable credit, while the lender also makes a profit. This is how we shall be able to boost financial inclusion.”

Though he did not disclose the interest rate, the BRD boss said the agreement answers the question of affordable finance.

Emmanuel Mawocha Tineyi, the Urwego Opportunity Bank chief executive officer, said they are targeting over 100,000 SME operators, especially farmers. He said the facility will make it possible for the bank to double the number of farmers it is serving to about 80,000 from the current 40,000 agribusiness operators.

It will also help complement the bank’s efforts to expand its outreach, he added. “We will be able to scale up products relevant to clients needs. We are yet to open more branches in Rubavu and Karongi districts, therefore this line of credit will complement the ongoing efforts to expand our reach,” Tineyi added.

Recently, BRD signed a Rwf8 billion long-term loan agreement with Rwanda Mountain Tea for the construction of a 4MW hydro-power plant (Giciye II) in Nyabihu District, Northern Province.

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