Bank of Kigali has joined the IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP) as one of more than 240 issuing bank partners. This makes the Bank of Kigali the first active bank in Rwanda under IFC’s GTFP, which promotes trade finance development in the country.

This is also the first project under the MIGA IFC Trade Finance initiative, in which MIGA and IFC support designated public banks in emerging markets to facilitate cross-border trade flows.

The $20 million trade finance facility from IFC that will be issued as a guarantee for Bank of Kigali will bolster the Bank’s ability to provide trade finance solutions and aid in the development of new trade partnerships with foreign correspondent banks. IFC will support Bank of Kigali’s strategy to finance SME and women-owned enterprises in Rwanda through this initiative.

IFC’s Managing Director, Makhtar Diop, stated that trade finance is crucial for ensuring accessibility, which fosters economic development and sustainability. “Supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and women in business is a top priority for IFC, and we will work with Bank of Kigali to promote the trade finance needs of SMEs and women-owned businesses in Rwanda.”

“We are thrilled to join the GTFP Program’s network. By partnering with IFC through its Global Trade Finance Program, Bank of Kigali will have improved access to the GTFP network for its trade finance liquidity and limits needs, and will eventually be able to assist local businesses in expanding into new markets, according to Dr. Diane Karusisi, the bank’s chief executive officer.

Executive Vice President of MIGA Hiroshi Matano stated, “Supporting state-owned banks is central to MIGA’s mandate, and we are very pleased to be able to provide additional trade finance guarantee capacity to the IFC in support of the Rwandan economy.” “MIGA hopes to be able to collaborate with IFC in other markets as well.”

The GTFP augments the capacity of banks to provide trade financing by mitigating risk in new or challenging markets where trade lines may be constrained. IFC has issued more than $9 billion in guarantees under the program in fiscal year 2023, with close to 70 percent going to low-income and fragile nations.

Through the GTFP bank network, local financial institutions can establish working relationships with a large number of significant international banks participating in the program, which can increase access to financing and reduce cash collateral requirements. This facilitates the continued flow of trade credit into the market during times when imports may be crucial, and exports can generate much-needed foreign currency.

By total assets, Bank of Kigali Plc is the largest commercial bank in Rwanda. The bank has positioned itself strategically as the leading commercial financial institution in Rwanda, boasting a diversified portfolio of services that enables it to serve a broad range of clients, including individuals, SMEs, large corporations, and other financial institutions in the region.

Global Credit Ratings reaffirmed Bank of Kigali’s long-term and short-term national scale ratings of AA+(RW) and A1+(RW) with a stable outlook in 2022.The Bank has won several consecutive international and regional banking accolades from Euromoney, The Banker, and EMEA Finance, and was recently named “Best Bank in Rwanda 2023” by Global Finance, demonstrating its unwavering commitment to excellence in the banking industry.


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