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German, Rwanda Sign € 8.666m to Support Exporters

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Rwandan exporters that had suspended their activities due to the grinding effects of covid-19 pandemic, now have reason to smile following a new financing opportunity that will revive their activities.

According to details German and Rwanda have today signed a financing deal worth 8.666million for the expansion of the long-term refinancing line for on-lending to export-oriented Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The signing involved the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) represented by Chief Financial Officer Vincent Ngirikiringo and Minister Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana of the Ministry of Economic Planning and Finance, Honorable Ambassador Dr. Thomas Kurz of the Federal Republic of Germany alongside Rwanda’s Minister of State, Richard Tusabe.

“The purpose of this financing is to support Rwandan Exporters who have postponed their planned exports investments due to the economic impact of COVID-19 by providing them with affordable long-term loans under the Export Growth Fund (EGF),” the presser reads in part.

This financing will empower exporting Small and Medium Enterprises to exploit the recent re-opening of foreign markets. Indeed, EGF replenishment will provide for BRD to provide affordable additional capital to a unique opportunity to enable local partner Financial Institutions (PFIs) to serve exporting SMEs’ thereby creating employment opportunities to more skilled workers.

Since the inception of the Export Growth Fund in 2016, BRD has operationalized the EGF by providing affordable loans directly to SMEs and through participating Commercial Banks.

With the support of the German Government through KFW, 34 projects have benefited from the fund through 5 partner Public Financial Institutions (PFIs), with total loans approved amounting to approximately EUR 12 million.

These approved loans are distributed in different sectors including textile, essential oils, horticulture, coffee, pharmaceuticals, tea, food products, and minerals.

Compared to 2020, loans extended to exporting SMEs as percentage of the total commercial loan portfolio increased by 8%; average revenue of these SMEs grew by 20% along with an average export revenue growth of 40%.

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Business

Flights From Dubai To Nairobi Resume

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Kenya government has lifted a ban on flights from Dubai entering its territory ending a weeks-long dispute with the United Arab Emirates.

The East African nation had imposed a ban on all inbound and transit passenger flights from the Middle East nation two weeks ago. The ban was lifted Monday midnight, offering a major relief to hundreds of travellers between the two destinations.

The ban did not however affect cargo flights that are normally flown by carriers such as Kenya Airways (KQ) and Emirates airline from UEA into Kenya.

“Kenya shall do a NOTAM lifting the suspension of flights to and from UAE from midnight tonight (Monday),’’ said Gilbert Kibe Director-General Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).

The ban came a few days after UAE extended the Kenya flight ban after it established that travellers from Nairobi were testing positive for Covid-19 after arrival in the Middle East nation, despite carrying negative test results.

Kibe said the scheme involved a racket of private medical testing centres that colluded with travellers to issue fake Covid-19 PCR results to aid their travel.

The Ministry of Health has however launched investigations into the matter with a view to bringing to book health officials who were involved in the shoddy deal that has now coasted Kenya millions of shillings in lost passenger revenues.

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Business

Bralirwa Shares Trading Badly On Rwanda Stock Exchange

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Since the just concluded festive season, Rwanda’s largest brewer has not been in good books with its clients as retailers repeatedly complain of lack of some products and  sometimes rationing of beers.

“It is very hard to get grand Primus beers. Every time I send someone to get them from the depot we are told that distributors  haven’t supplied,” says Christine Nyiramariza a bar owner in Gatsibo district.

Trending on twitter is a very confusing situation of Amstel beer filled in Mutzig bottles.

According to Rwanda Stock Exchange, as of Friday, the value of Bralirwa share had dropped to Rwf124.

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Business

Equity Bank Gets £37m From British Agency To Lend SMEs

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UK’s Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford MP (pictured above) said his government was extending a total of £37 million to Equity Bank Kenya for onward lending to small businesses.

“Our economic partnership is delivering impressive results, and we have some ambitious, exciting plans for the future. Plans that will deliver for Kenya, and for the UK, long into our shared future,” she said.

This money is being channeled through UK’s development finance institution British International Investment (BII) – formerly known as CDC Group. BII is a key part of the UK government’s wider plans to mobilise up to £8 billion a year of public and private sector investment in international projects by 2025.

This will include BII partnering with capital markets and sovereign wealth funds to scale up financing and help the private sector move in.

BII will prioritise sustainable infrastructure investment to provide clean, honest and reliable financing and avoid low and middle-income countries being left with bad and unsustainable debt.

Ford also stated that the UK will increase its support for green manufacturing in Kenya by providing an additional £400,000 to help Kenya build a green manufacturing industry, increasing its support to the Ministry of Trade and the wider Kenyan manufacturing sector in this area.

Green manufacturing was highlighted by President Kenyatta at COP26 as a key opportunity for Kenya to create new green jobs.

The funding through the UK’s Manufacturing Africa programme will provide expert analysis and advice on how government policy and the organised private sector can help build this industry and create new green jobs for Kenyans.

Kenya is already the third biggest portfolio for BII, with Sh42 billion investments across 83 companies. Those companies support 36,350 jobs and pay Sh2.6 billion in taxes.

“This is how we will deliver world-class projects, characterised by high standards and outstanding expertise, without forcing huge new debts onto countries such as Kenya,” she said.

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