As Rwandans prepare to review President Paul Kagame’s second term in office for the period 2010 to 2017, Bank of Kigali would like to reminisce over the seven years to take stock of major achievements which we regard as benefits of good governance and political stability.
In Part 3 of President Paul Kagame’s 2010 re-election manifesto, he discussed his plans for the economy during the seven-year period. He said;
“We believe that the Rwandan citizen is the nucleus of the country’s economic growth. That is why our primary objective is to promote the welfare of every Rwandan, as is evident in various programmes such as Vision 2020 and in the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS). These programmes focus especially on promoting agriculture and animal husbandry, infrastructure, science and technology. They will also focus on strengthening the private sector through trade, industry and crafts, tourism and investment. All these will be conducted on long-term basis while protecting the environment.”
Bank of Kigali regards itself as a core partner of the government in its efforts to achieve its aforementioned pledges to the Rwandan economy and deliver impactful development to ordinary Rwandans in line with the Bank’s tagline of ‘Financially transforming lives.’
As the Bank celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, since incorporation in 1966, it is crucial to note that the period between 2010 and 2017 is without a doubt a special epoch in our history.
Some of the Bank’s most important milestones have taken place during the last seven years a period during which the Bank underwent major corporate governance restructuring, became the first commercial bank to list on the Rwanda Stock Exchange, expanded its footprint exponentially and has been a principle financier of key projects core to national development.
Promoting Access to Finance
It is expected that in 2017, at least 80 percent of Rwandans will be financially included, with the ability to access formal financial services in their local precincts; that statistic is expected to reach 90 percent by 2020.
A FinScope Survey revealed that between 2008 and 2012 the percentage of Rwanda’s population accessing formal financial services had doubled from 21 percent to 42 percent and those completely excluded from the formal financial system had dropped by almost half from 52 percent to 28 percent.
Bank of Kigali is proud to note that, as the country’s largest commercial bank, it has played a central role in driving the financial inclusion statistic upwards by taking its facilities closer to the Rwandans through automated teller machines, branches, agents and mobile banking vans.
As of December 31, 2016, the Bank had close to 80 branches and sub-branches across the country including in some of the remotest and hard to reach areas.
In addition to the bank’s expansive branch network, Bank of Kigali also maintains a large number of agents, numbering over 1200 as of December 2016; these help to reduce the gap between customers and branches.
In September 2012, Bank of Kigali introduced Mobile Banking Vans for each of the country’s four provinces and Kigali in a bid to reach the country’s unbanked areas; the vans are part of the innovation that has helped boost access to finance for especially Rwandans in rural areas.
The US$300,000 vans have for the last five years helped provide banking services to BK clients ranging from individuals, to Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) as well as Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) to either deposit or get cash.
Bank of Kigali has the largest ATM footprint in Rwanda with over 90; close to half of them can accept deposits from customers, ensuring that they don’t have to queue in branches.
Financing Rwanda’s domestic investment
The last seven years have seen more investments in the hotel, manufacturing, ICT general trade; these activities have not only created jobs but are also indications of a fast growing economy and the confidence that private investors have in the country’s doing business environment.
Bank of Kigali is proud to note that it has been the financing muscle behind most of the country’s prestigious investments cutting across major economic sectors; below, we shall cite a few projects.
Kigali Convention Centre
Its construction might have delayed but once it was completed mid last year, the Kigali Convention Centre is currently, without a doubt, the apple of the city’s eye. The facility has a number of features including the 5-star Radisson Blue hotel with 292 rooms; a conference center with seating capacity of 2,600, an Information Technology Park with 32,200 square metres and thousands of rentable office and retail space. Bank of Kigali is proud to associate with this national investment.
Kigali Marriott Hotel
A renowned international brand, Marriott Kigali hotel is another landmark that Kigali has added in the last seven years; the 5-star hotel is a major boost to the country’s MICE strategy which promotes conference tourism in the process earning foreign currency. BK Financed its edifice.
In July last year, Cimerwa, Rwanda’s sole cement manufacturer unveiled Rwf126.7b modern cement plant which boosted its production capacity from 100,000 to 600, 000 tonnes of cement per year, well above the 450, 000 tonnage demanded on the local market annually. The improved capacity meant positioned CIMERWA in a position to reduce cement imports and save foreign currency outflow. Bank of Kigali is proud to be associated to the project.
Kanombe Airport Expansion
The number of visitors flying into Rwanda has increased in the last seven years as the MICE strategy yields more results; this coupled with RwandAir’s increased routes, there was an urgent need to expand the Kanombe International Airport to ably manage the traffic. Bank of Kigali is proud to be associated to this activity.
Powering Smart Transport in Rwanda
Apart from financing hotels, airports and manufacturing projects, Bank of Kigali is also a reliable partner of the government when it comes to promoting cashless and knowledge based economy through ICT innovation. In this regard, we are proud to be associated with AC Group, the company behind the Tap&Go project with Kigali Bus Services and Royal Express. The innovation enables travelers to pay with a card as opposed to carrying cash.
Other projects financed by BK in the last seven years include Irembo, Chic Building, Kigali Central Market, Musanze Modern Market, BPR building and Downtown building. In general, Bank of Kigali is proud to have been a core partner in RPF’s efforts of developing the country’s economy after the end of the liberation war in 1994. As the bank celebrates its 50th anniversary, it pledges to continue financing investment projects for national development and in the process help create jobs.Follow https://twitter.com/KenAgutamba