Africa-Press – Rwanda. On May 18th, 2022, the Government of Rwanda launched the second phase of the Economic Recovery Fund (ERF2), following finance agreements signed in 2021, between the World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN) to support implementation of the Access to Finance for Recovery and Resilience (AFIRR) project to a tune of USD257.5 million.
ERF2 was introduced following the successful completion of ERF1 which was launched on 8th June 2020 with a value of 100 billion Rwandan Francs that was distributed across the various sectors that make up the economy.
The Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) Plc and the Business Development Fund (BDF) are the custodians of the ERF2 whose main purpose is to support economic recovery through increased access to finance for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; with BRD overseeing the lending part while BDF will be in charge of the credit guarantee part.
ERF 2, through BRD, will provide funding to critical sectors of manufacturing that champion innovation, create employment opportunities, and prioritize Made in Rwanda, such as construction materials, agro-processing, textiles, and light manufacturing. The fund is also expected to provide working capital loans to businesses that demonstrate a negative impact of COVID-19 on their operations, proven by at least a 20% reduction in sales for the past 12 months compared to pre-COVID-19.
Additionally, the fund will allocate working capital for micro businesses, guarantee schemes of a higher percentage for special categories such as youth, women, and people living with disabilities, and provide a refinancing window for eligible sectors.
HATANA, translated to “be relentless” in English, is the brand name for this fund at BRD to encourage businesses to keep thriving and reviving their businesses. It targets firms that have persisted and remained operational despite the numerous setbacks caused by the effects of Covid-19 pandemic.
As a custodian of HATANA (ERF 2) fund, BRD emphasizes the spirit of resilience that the Bank sees in Rwandans throughout Rwanda’s transformative history.
HATANA is a five-year strategic project that will help reduce the current trade deficit by enabling more investments for exports and import substitution in promotion of made in Rwanda products.
The lending is being done directly through BRD and through on-lending to participating financial institutions (PFIs). Terms conditions apply!
Performance to date
Since the launch, BRD has so far disbursed close to Rwf41 Billion to various commercial banks and companies which has been invested into the economy particularly in the manufacturing sector; and an additional Rwf75 Billion has been approved and currently fulfilling all documentation required.
The HATANA (ERF2) fund is currently accessible through the following banks: NCBA, BPR Bank, RIM, Bank of Kigali (BK), Equity Bank, GT Bank, and I&M Bank.