Kanimba urges banks to fund off-farm jobs creation projects

Despite credit to the private sector growing by more than 35 per cent last financial year, Hanga Umurimo, a government-supported project aimed at empowering Rwandans to create more off-farm jobs, is being starved of funding from commercial banks, the Minister for Trade and Industry, Francois Kanimba, has said.

Despite credit to the private sector growing by more than 35 per cent last financial year, Hanga Umurimo, a government-supported project aimed at empowering Rwandans to create more off-farm jobs, is being starved of funding from commercial banks, the Minister for Trade and Industry, Francois Kanimba, has said.

Kanimba said while some bank executives he has talked to support the programme in principle, branch managers turn down loan applications, saying they are not briefed by their superiors.

“This is a good project but some banks are not responding well,” he said.

The minister was speaking during the presentation of Monetary Policy and Financial Stability Statement for the first half of 2013 by central bank governor John Rwangombwa in Kigali yesterday.

 Kanimba said Hanga Umurimo (Create your own job) programme is a good innovation designed to accelerate economic development through job creation and income generation—the two pillars of economic growth.

“It is important that banks support this programme because it is the one that will drive economic growth in the future. I assure you that the risks [of loan default] are low,” he said.

Kanimba said by supporting the business projects under the programme to grow, the commercial banks would also be creating businesses for themselves.

Private businesspeople  claim that they waste time and money on paperwork but  their loan applications are turned down.

Rwangombwa, however, said while it is the business of banks to lend money, some loan applications might not be considered if the lender considers the borrower to be a risk, a suggestion the chairperson of Rwanda Bankers’ Association, Sanjev Anand, agreed with.

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