Rwanda: Government places SMEs' access to finance as top priority in 2014

Jan 20, 2014

The government of Rwanda has announced its plan to focus on improving access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in 2014.

The government of Rwanda has announced its plan to focus on improving access to finance for
small and medium-sized enterprises
(SMEs) in 2014.

President Paul Kagame asked the relevant institutions overseeing SMEs to develop easier ways for small business people to access loans, East African Business Week reports.

Livingstone Nkusi, the Senior Development Officer in charge of SMEs at the Rwanda Development Board,
added that the government is putting new reforms in place to create a link between SMEs and financial institutions and establish incentives that will offer SMEs a quick and easy access to loans.

The government also plans on creating
partnerships
with private equity firms which will allow many SMEs to deal with the private sector.

Currently, Rwanda has about
100,000
SMEs. The sector makes up 98 per cent of all businesses in the country and
is
considered a vital segment of Rwanda's economic growth.

Many Rwandan SMEs are facing problems
accessing
finance and experts say that lack of access to business support services is slowing down efforts to boost the sector.

Consultant John Matovu told New Times that most SMEs cannot access formal sources of funds to finance their business due to
a
lack of necessary instruments to enable financial institutions to offer credit.

“Measures to increase access to finance should be coupled with interventions to expand access to business development services so as to ensure a holistic approach to SME growth and development,” he said.ADNFCR-2976-ID-801683777-ADNFCR