The African Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Rwanda unveiled a $7.9m (Rwf4.5b) project yesterday in a bid to promote competitiveness and enterprise development across the country.
The project, which will be financed through the ADB grant, will benefit the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and the Central Bank. It will be implemented within a period of three years by the Ministry of Trade.
The project seeks to enhance the business environment to attract strategic investments. It will also improve access to credit and financial information for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
“Developing the private sector mainly through establishing an enabling business climate and strengthening the financial sector are at the heart of our economy,” said John Rwangombwa, Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Finance who represented government at the ceremony.
Rwangombwa underscored that the project is line with government’s long term vision of making the private sector the engine of growth.
“Our ranking in this year’s “Doing Business Report” attests to this. But we recognize that despite that high achievement, there is still a lot to be done,” he said.
In his remarks Diko Jacob Mukete, ADB’s Resident Representative commended government for pursuing and deepening bold market oriented reforms.
“This project is in line with the government’s efforts to achieve better institutional reforms to foster an enabling environment that is conducive for promoting economic growth and reducing poverty,” he said.
Mukete also noted that the project will further address weaknesses in private sector development efforts to make the sector more competitive.
“It will also complement current initiatives to address the high cost of doing business, which has negatively affected Rwanda’s competitive position as a preferred destination for foreign investments in the region,”
Under the Central Bank, the project will facilitate access to credit and financial information and strengthen banking supervision.
“This facility is going to be extremely useful as we move forward to implement the new bank supervision framework,” said Francois Kanimba, the Central Bank Governor.
The project will also promote awareness on the proposed Credit Reference Bureau services in the country.
The facility is targeting 10 percent average annual growth in access to credit to SMEs.
This is the second phase of project after successful conclusion of phase one which was launched in 2001 and was financed by the World Bank.