Parliament Monday paved the way for the country joining the East African Development Bank (EADB). During the afternoon plenary session, lawmakers unanimously accepted explanations by James Musoni, the Finance Minister, on why Rwanda should join the bank.
Musoni pointed out that Rwandans would benefit from the bank’s medium and short term loans, leasing services and loan guarantees, among others.
“We requested to join the bank and we were allowed,” Musoni told parliament, “what remained was for us to ratify.”
“They agreed that upon our ratification, they will open up a branch here,” he added. Accordingly, Rwanda will join the bank at the same level as other EAC countries.
The minister explained that the share capital required of Rwanda –US$36 million – will be paid in installments with US$2 million this year and the outstanding US$34 million in nine equal annual installments.
“The bank will invest at least US$30 million in Rwanda every year,” Musoni said, adding that some private projects were already in the pipeline and would start immediately after ratification. He applauded the Rwandan private sector’s alertness.
“Our private sector has been very vigilant,” he said, “it has already presented projects and these will take off after the bank sets foot here.”
Responding to MP Jean-Marie Vianney Gatabazi’s queries on how the bank is run, the minister said the governing body is a supreme council made up of ministers of finance from member states.
“Under that is the board of directors that has secretary generals [or permanent secretaries] of finance ministries, representatives of the private sector in the member states and other shareholders.”
Fidèle Mitsindo, another legislator, inquired about the bank’s priorities.
“Infrastructure, agriculture, health, trade and tourism, education and manufacturing are the key priorities,” Musoni responded. He added that EADB had already acquired land in the country.
“In eight months, we can start,” he declared.
According to sources from Rwanda Development Bank, once the legislative process of joining the bank is finalized, government will notify it and deposit the $ US 2 million initial payment.
And accordingly, the bank has committed to fast-track Rwandan operations before year end once there is already a ‘deal flow in the process.’