Kinshasa, May 8 2014— IFC, a member
of the World Bank Group, today announced that it will provide a $ 15 million
loan to Rawbank to support lending to small and medium businesses and women
entrepreneurs in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The investment was arranged through Global SME Finance Facility will help
Rawbank offer a wider range of services to Congolese entrepreneurs. The
Global SME Finance Facility supports high-impact projects with higher risk
profiles, such as in conflict-affected areas, women-owned businesses, and
those engaged in sustainable-energy and climate-change activities. The
facility was established in 2012 following a call from the G-20 members
to close the trillion dollar finance gap faced by SMEs in developing countries.
The facility is implemented in partnership with UKaid from the Department
for International Development.
Thierry Taeymans, CEO of Rawbank said, “Today we are expanding our strategic
partnership with IFC. In addition to financing, IFC brings global
and technical experience that will strengthen our leading position in DRC’s
financial system, and enable us to reach more small and medium enterprises,
that are the backbone of the emerging economy in DRC. IFC’s partnership
is a recognition of the quality of management and services provided by
Oumar Seydi, IFC Director for East and Southern Africa said “IFC has found
that small and medium enterprises can be a main catalyst for an economy
of a fragile country, making it stronger and more resilient. As the DRC
recovers from decades of conflict, increasing access to finance for entrepreneurs
is critical to rebuild the private sector”.
World Bank studies show that the DRC has less than a million formal bank
accounts for a population of 70 million, which translates into banking
penetration rate of less than two percent.
Starting operations as a small, family-owned bank in 2002, Rawbank has
since expanded to become the largest bank in DRC in terms of total assets
and deposits. The bank has 36 branches across the country offering corporate,
retail, and private banking services
Rawbank will use IFC’s financing in part to expand its reach to women.
Women in the DRC have more
difficulty gaining access to finance than men.
With the support of IFC Advisory Services, Rawbank recently introduced
a ‘Lady’s First’ banking project, offering specialized services to women.
The project has already loaned over $3 million to Congolese women.
With the new loan agreement, IFC will continue to offer advisory
services to Rawbank on targeting women customers and risk management.
IFC’s strategy in the DRC involves working closely with the private sector
to support entrepreneurs, promote environmental and social best practices
and build financial markets.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private
enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise,
and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity.
In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion,
leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the
world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit