BRD tops Agaciro donors with Frw155 million
Rwanda Development Bank (BRD) has won many hearts of nationals and earned respect from other players in the financial for it contribution of Frw 155 million to Agaciro Development Fund (AgDF).
President Paul Kagame launched the AgDF on Thursday last week during which occasion Frw 1.2 billion was immediately collected with corporate companies led by BRD leading the pack.
Rwanda Mountain Tea with Frw 150 million and Bank of Kigali that contributed Frw 100 were the other corporate bodies that immediately responded to this national cause.
A source in BRD revealed that the money was a combination of efforts by both the Bank and its employees explaining that it was important that local companies and citizens backed the government to pool resources for national development.
Although the proposal to set up the AgDF was made during last year’s national dialogue, its launch last week came at a time when the country is looking for domestic solutions to reduce dependency on foreign financing of the national budget, now at about 47%.
Some western donors may delay disbursement of $40 million (Frw24 billion) over allegations that Rwanda supports mutinous soldiers in the eastern DR Congo. The government vehemently denies the claims.
“The current saga is akin to that of 2003 when the World Bank withheld support at a time when Rwanda was [heading] for its first ever democratic election. Again we stood by our government and leaders,” said Stephen Kayonga, BRD’s human resource manager.
Kayonga said that the bank’s motivation to contribute generously is rooted in the fact that the government has established and maintains a reputation for proper and transparent utilization of public funds.
“For any society, whether in the developed or underdeveloped world to have a positive growth, needs leadership that is focused and accountable. It is upon this that Rwandans have always come together and supported their government whenever the international community turns their back on Rwanda,” he said.
Indeed, the finance minister John Rwangombwa promised that his ministry will oversee the management of the fund and then hand in an accountability report on its activities at the next National Dialogue.
More companies operating in Rwanda are expected to take BRD’s example.
In just half an hour the staff and management of BRD managed to contribute more than what the US government used to contribute in a year.
“For any society, to have a positive growth, needs leadership that is focused and accountable.”
Contributions can be made through bank accounts in BK, BNR and BPR while mobile phone users can send an SMS to 2020 to donate a minimum of Frw 500 while those who are abroad can visit www.agaciro.org to send their contributions.
Founded in 1967, BRD has since established itself as a leading long-term financier of projects especially in Agriculture geared towards national development.
For this Financial year, BRD has allocated Frw 16 billion for lending to agriculture projects, positioning itself as a leading source of funds for the sector that is so critical to the country’s economic growth but is perceived as highly risky by commercial banks.
The money is about half of the estimated total loan portfolio of Frw 33 billion that Rwanda Development Bank (BRD) plans to lend to various development projects in different sectors. The move underpins BRD’s mandate as the financing arm of the Government of Rwanda that is not only motivated by profit, but aims to fund sectors “with high growth potential and significant socioeconomic impact.”