Press Releases

IFC Global Trade Finance Program Expands to Rwanda, Boosting International Trade Prospects for Local Businesses

In Kigali:
Rogers Kayihura
Phone: +250 591 303

In Johannesburg:
Houtan Bassiri
Phone: +27 11 731 3179

In Washington, DC:
Lotte Pang
Phone: +1 (202) 458-0952

Kigali, November 29, 2007 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced today that Banque Commerciale du Rwanda is the first bank in Rwanda to join IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program. IFC will issue guarantees of up to $2 million against the bank’s underlying trade transactions, covering payment risk and helping increase Rwanda’s global trade volumes.

The transaction is IFC’s third in Rwanda in less than a year, reflecting a commitment to increasing activities that support the country’s sustainable economic growth. IFC is focusing on mobilizing investments and providing advisory services in key sectors for maximum development impact, including financial markets, tourism, agribusiness, infrastructure, and construction.

“Working with IFC will greatly increase our capacity to facilitate trade between Rwanda and other countries, promoting the private sector and contributing more to economic development,” said David Kuwana, Managing Director of Banque Commerciale du Rwanda. “We see this as a first step in a collaborative partnership with IFC.”

The IFC Global Trade Finance Program was launched in 2005 to support trade with emerging markets worldwide and promote flows of goods and services between developing countries. IFC provides guarantee coverage of bank risk in emerging markets, allowing recipients to expand their trade finance transactions within an extensive network of countries and banks and to enhance their trade finance coverage.

“Trade finance is part of IFC’s strategy to help Africa become fully engaged in global trade,” said IFC Executive Vice President and CEO Lars Thunell, who signed the agreement during a two-day visit to Rwanda. “I look forward to working with Banque Commerciale du Rwanda which helps create opportunities for economic growth.”

To date, the IFC Global Trade Finance Program has provided about $1.5 billion worth of guarantees to issuing banks in developing countries.  More than half of transactions to date support trade in Africa. The program includes 29 issuing banks as participants in 15 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, including such conflict-affected countries as Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through loan participations and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit