Rwanda: Govt to Up Private-Sector Support Fund for COVID-19 Recovery

Members of the Rwandan business community whose operations have been affected or halted as a result of the novel coronavirus will soon access affordable capital from a special fund to be established by government.

According to the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana said that the ministry's technicians and partners were currently working on a fund to facilitate the recovery of the economy.

Like elsewhere across the world, the Rwandan economy has been affected due to the lockdown instituted to curb the transmission of the virus.

Among the sectors that have been most affected in tourism, hospitality and trade sectors.

The fund under development will come in handy to enable access to capital for business operators especially Small and Medium Enterprises who will need to restart their operations or start over.

With a number of supply chains and value chains so far halted during the containment period, liquidity levels of most small firms has been affected which will make it difficult to start over without access to capital.

The fund will come in handy for firms that will require capital to access supplies, rehire staff and seek alternative markets or adjust their business models.

Officials are still working out terms and conditions as well as eligibility requirements for the beneficiaries.

The Ndagijimana said that the fund coupled with other interventions such as fiscal interventions by the Central Bank to increase banks' liquidity will go a long way to support recovery.

As a result of the Central Bank's fiscal intervention to increase liquidity among lenders, local banks have said that they will be lenient to their clients on loan repayment.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday this week approved $109.4 million credit to Rwanda to facilitate post COVID19 recovery.

The emergency assistance is drawn under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF), which provides rapid concessional financial assistance with limited conditionality to low-income countries.

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