Africa News Bulletin

Rwanda: Refugees in Rwanda to benefit from multi-billion business financing schemes

There are various sources to fund the business ideas that could be submitted by refugees living in Rwanda so as to ensure economic independence and improved welfare, the Ministry in charge of emergency management has assured.

Gonzague Karagire, the Refugee Program Manager at the Ministry told Doing Business that there are various small businesses that have been found viable and bankable for refugees living in Rwanda a

“Any refugee living in Rwanda who might have a business idea could get funding to implement it. We have launched an Rwf12 billion scheme to finance the business ideas until 2026,” he said.

He said that there are different partners who have been identified to boost financial inclusion for refugees.

“Some can get startups kits to create jobs after training on TVET. There are different viable businesses such as trading different products. They are allowed to carry out businesses in different sectors,” he said.

He said that refugees could get matching grants to implement their businesses ideas.

Matching grants are conditional awards that require an organization or individual to raise a specified portion of the grant through solicitation of new money.

“They will be able to access loans from financial institutions and the project will help them to pay back part of the loan. This will attract more refugees in business and help them create jobs,” he said.

Karagire said that the Rwf12 billion project is being implemented in districts where refugee camps are located and cities across the country.

The cities include Kigali city, Huye and Nyamata.

“Those with business projects worth not more than Rwf5 million get a matching grant to cover 50 percent of the needed investment. Those with business projects worth more than Rwf5 million and not more than Rwf25 million have to get a matching grant that covers 40 percent while those who need over Rwf25 million capital, get a matching grant that covers 30 percent,” he said.

8.6 million Euros for renewable energy

The scheme to provide matching grants to refugees is in addition to another one dubbed “Renewable Energy For Refugees” that has been under implementation at 8.6 million Euros which has enabled refugees to create different small businesses.

Denyse Umubyeyi, the Country Representative at Practical Action organization that has funded the project said that 50 percent of Refugees in Kigeme, Nyabiheke, and Gihembe refugee camps have benefitted from the project.

“It has helped to provide renewable energy and improved cookstoves and it supported some to start small businesses,” she said.

She said that 50 percent of the refugees have got solar energy while 703 new businesses have been created.

“At least 150 refugee businesses that were in existence were supported to grow by 50 percent in incomes. Business centers have been established in the refugees’ camps as an enabling environment for their economic independence,” she noted.

At least 50,000 refugees could benefit from the initiative.

Umubyeyi said that the businesses that the refugees are managing to create include hairdressers and salons, butchers, cybercafes, phone repair shops, tailoring, and shoe-repair shops, food production, egg incubation, carpentry, cafes, maize processing, milk collection centers, among others.

The recent report by the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security in parliament which assessed the implementation of the law of 2014 relating to refugees indicates that In line with financial inclusion, over 72,000 refugees now use banking services.

Rwanda hosts over 137,000 refugees grouped in over 37,000 families as of May 18, 2021.

Most of the refugees are Congolese accounting for 56.3 percent, and Burundians representing 43.5 percent.

Some 91 percent of refugees are accommodated in six camps while 9 percent are in towns, largely in Bugesera, Huye and Kigali.

In addition, 12,332 refugees received training in line with job creation.

The New Times

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top