KIGALI - The East African Development Bank has launched operations in Rwanda with the core objective of improving access to finances.
According to Prime Minister Bernard Makuza, who officially opened the Rwandan East African Development offices in Kigali yesterday, the presence of the bank will create closer and dynamic interaction with stakeholders in all member states of the East African Community (EAC).
Makuza said that EADB is able, not only to relate to the challenges that are unique to each economy, but also continuously explore ways of fostering further integration.
“Closer integration of the regional economy will promote sustained growth and ultimately development, with the attendant consequence of poverty alleviation,” the Premier said.
He noted that access to appropriate and affordable financing that has remained one of the key constraints to the thriving of not only to the Rwandan economy, but to other economies in the region as well.
“I hope that through partnerships with other financial market players, both local and international, EADB will contribute towards the improvement of access to financial services, especially to SMEs,” he added.
Vivienne Yeda Apopo, Director General of EADB, said that East Africans are resolved and united in the quest to build a prosperous and integrated East Africa. She assured that EADB is fully conscious of the challenges, and that its role in financial and technical assistance will leverage its regional presence to integrate the regional economy.
“In order to achieve the common market, we must facilitate intra-regional trade by dismantling trade barriers and actively promoting trade in East Africa,” Ayada said.
EADB recently provided a line of credit to Rwanda which is expected to catalyze adequate flow of finance to finance SMEs.
Alloys Mutabingwa, the deputy Secretary General of EAC, said that EADB is an opportunity to make significant gains while supporting Rwanda’s SMEs.
Mutabingwa highlighted some business areas that included sound financial sector governance that gives business safety nets, stability and predictability, rising investor appetite associated with Rwanda’s record of business climate reforms, and a very big market gap in trade and investment financing.