BY MOSES KIRUI
The Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) since inception 45 years ago has been committed to its clientele, values and nation building. This commitment and eventual success are a function of persistence and innovativeness replete with realistic objectives.
The bank’s enormous contribution towards national development is reflected in the wide spectrum of financing platforms from the small and medium enterprises, through cooperatives to long term and large scale financing including heavy plant and machinery. The permeation and multiplier effect of these interventions has been very encouraging.
BRD, the Government of Rwanda’s investment arm that finances the nation’s development objectives with a focus on the priority sectors of the economy, was established in 1967 and offers finances in form of credit or equity enhancing participation in all sectors of productive investment which generate an added value and create employment. In its credit policy, priority is given to the new technologies and export oriented projects.
For more than four decades, BRD has been the sole provider of long-term finance and has significantly facilitated the emergence of different productive enterprises in the private sector in Rwanda. The bank has an incredible record in honouring credit lines, in financing high risk sectors and a strong debut in microfinance.
According to the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Jack Kayonga, BRD takes pride in ensuring that Rwanda economically progresses to greater heights. “BRD offers unique services that all other banks don’t. We ensure that we seal the gap, be a catalyst and a partner of all times. In filling up the gap we ensure that we go an extra mile in meeting the needs of the Rwandan people. We are more concerned on developments and economic growth rather that the commercial aspects,” he asserts.
“We are here to fill up the gap left by the commercial banks who only offer financial services. We initiate projects, for instance Kinazi Cassava Plant, SORWATHE, among others, to stimulate interests and investments,” he adds
In 2011, the Development Bank of Rwanda officially acquired Banque de l’Habitat du Rwanda (BHR) giving the bank an asset base of over Rwf72 billion (Rwf58 billion of BRD and Rwf14 billion from BHR).
The objective of this acquisition was to achieve sustainable growth by making BRD a stronger and better positioned bank providing long-term loans, housing loans, mortgage re-financing and other financial services meant to improve access to finance in Rwanda.
With a share capital of Rwf 7,808, 931,000, the bank’s priority field of intervention covers key areas of the economy that are crucial and a prerequisite to the development agenda. The bank has and continues to offer unmatched services to various sectors including; Agriculture and Livestock, manufacturing industry, education and health care, Energy and Water, Hotel and Tourism, ICT, Transport and Related facilities, Exports, Real Estate and Microfinance. This makes BRD a reliable partner of all times; progressively transforming lives across the country.
As the Government of Rwanda’s investment arm, BRD aims at becoming the first stop-center for all long-term investments into Rwanda’s key sectors and to be the prime driver of viable private sector investments. BRD has long been and still is the main financier of medium and long term investments, with a market share of 40%.
The bank plans to inject Rwf 160 billion into the Rwanda’s economy over 2010-2014 through lending and growing its portfolio from Rwf 36.1 billion in 2009 to over 178 billion in 2014. The bulk of these resources will focus on stimulating economic growth, accelerating Rwanda’s development agenda and reducing poverty. This investment will create nearly 150, 000 jobs which will impact livelihoods of more than 1,000,000 people.
In celebrating 45 years of excellence in economic initiatives, BRD confirms its triple role of being “Financier, Advisor and Partner, by setting up two subsidiary companies which are BRD Advisory Services (BAS) and BRD Advisory Fund (BDF). Whereas BRD will continue to support development programmes in the country through direct investments, BAS and BDF will offer advisory services and Fund management services respectively for a sustained momentum of SME development.
The Bank will also diversify its portfolio by financing real estate and developing trade finance facilities.
BRD aspires to build a customer care culture by always owning the clients’ needs and expectations and bringing services closer to the customer. To ensure this, the bank has set up four branches; Kayonza (Eastern Province), Musanze (Northern Province), Karongi (Western Province) and Huye (Southern Province).
Living the dream
BRD was set up to take an active interest in the creation and development of enterprises that can contribute to the economic development of the country, by way of direct or indirect participation to the capital, subscription of bonds, cash vouchers or equivalent and granting of short, medium and long term credits. Other foundations on which the bank was built are; providing technical support in the assessment and study of problems and projects of interest to the country, searching for and study investment opportunities useful to the development of national economy; promoting key enterprises that arises from national development plans ; rendering technical assistance to existing enterprises and those being formed, with regard to searching for solutions to all sorts of problems relating to their organization, operation and management.The bank is also mandated with mobilizing both internal and external resources for investment and financing of all banking operations; receiving and managing all types of funds, whether special or not, public or private and making all the other operations those directly or indirectly facilitate the fulfillment of its purpose.
Development Bank of Rwanda can now look back and count its milestones, having survived all odds and thrived., Various projects initiated and funded by BRD have given Rwanda an international positioning among the fastest growing economies.
“The bank has actually attained its vision and, it has gone beyond the target and will continue to register more achievements now and in the years to come,” said Mr. Kayonga.
Having been in existence and served for a period of 45 years, the bank continues to reposition itself as a bank of choice offering new and innovative products and services including but not limited to; Loans, Trade Finance, Leasing, Equity, Mortgage Financing, Capacity Building and Advisory Services.
The bank recently introduced retail banking to better serve individuals and businesses looking for short and long-term credits.
Recently BRD-funded initiative—Kinazi Cassava Plant, a Rwf 6 billion factory, was inaugurated by his the president of the Republic in Ruhango district, Southern Province, a project that has seen the bank’s investment in agriculture sector rise from Rwf 4 billion in 2008 to 16 billion in 2012. With all such eloquent strides of success, BRD continues to position itself to abreast of emerging globalization challenges and make Rwanda a place to be, a better destination and a development hub.
“In the next five years, our goal is to create at least 30,000 to 50,000 affordable and decent homes. We aspire to have 30 regional and international companies and create at least 50,000 to 200,000 jobs’’ enthused the Chief Executive Officer.