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IFC Supports Rwandan Beverage Industry and Maize Farmers through Investment in Bralirwa

Kigali, Rwanda, August 26, 2015 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced a new financing transaction with Brasserie et Limonaderies du Rwanda to support plans for expanding production of soft drinks and sourcing of maize from local farmers. Known as Bralirwa, the subsidiary of Heineken N.V. is Rwanda’s leading manufacturer of beers and soft drinks, including the Primus and Coca-Cola brands.
The $25 million loan from IFC aims to promote local maize production and increase livelihoods of 5,000 smallholder farmers by training them in modern farming methods and helping cooperatives become more professional. IFC will provide advice to Bralirwa and the European Cooperative for Rural Development (EUCORD) to develop a program to support farmers.
The IFC financing will contribute to the expansion and upgrade of Bralirwa’s production capacity in Rwanda, including installation of a new bottling line at the soft drinks plant in Kigali, construction of a wastewater treatment plant and improvements in energy efficiency.
Bralirwa’s expansion plan has been in effect since 2012. The company has invested close to $160 million in its beverage operations in Kigali and Gisenyi and irrigated maize farm in Ndego, Kayonza.  
Boudewijn Haarsma, Chairman of Bralirwa, said “The financing from IFC is yet another milestone for Bralirwa, and a recognition of our efforts to support economic growth in Rwanda. Being a partner for growth for the Africa region is at the core of HEINEKEN’s business strategy. Bralirwa aims to increase our local sourcing of raw materials needed for our products, supporting inclusive growth, and providing farmers with a reliable source of income. It will make an important contribution to the HEINEKEN’s ‘Brewing a Better World’ ambition.’’
Oumar Seydi, IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, said, “The vast majority of Rwandans live in rural areas and depend on farming for their livelihood. The agribusiness sector is essential for reducing poverty and IFC’s investment in Bralirwa will connect Rwandan farmers to markets, securing better livelihoods for them.”
Improving productivity in agriculture, promoting inclusive growth in rural areas, and helping companies find business opportunities through adoption of environmental and social best practices are part of IFC’s strategy for improving food security and rural incomes.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit
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About Bralirwa
Bralirwa Ltd is a Rwandan company producing and selling beers and soft drinks. The Company’s beer brand portfolio includes Primus, Mützig, Legend, Amstel and Turbo King produced in the Gisenyi brewery and Heineken® which is imported from Holland. Primus, the Company’s largest selling beer brand has been available to consumers since 1959.  Since 1974, the Company has been producing and selling soft drink brands under a licensing agreement with The Coca-Cola Company. The Company was founded in 1957 with the construction of a brewery located in Gisenyi. Since 1971, BRALIRWA Ltd is a subsidiary of the HEINEKEN Group, which holds 75 percent of the shares of BRALIRWA with the remaining 25 percent listed on the Rwanda Stock Exchange. As a socially responsible company Bralirwa Ltd supports a variety of projects from Education to Health and Environment.
HEINEKEN is the world's most international brewer. It is the leading developer and marketer of premium beer and cider brands. Led by the Heineken® brand, the Group has a powerful portfolio of more than 250 international, regional, local and specialty beers and ciders. We are committed to innovation, long-term brand investment, disciplined sales execution and focused cost management. Through "Brewing a Better World", sustainability is embedded in the business and delivers value for all stakeholders. HEINEKEN has a well-balanced geographic footprint with leadership positions in both developed and developing markets.  We employ 81,000 people and operate more than 160 breweries in 70 countries.  Heineken N.V. and Heineken Holding N.V. shares trade on the Euronext in Amsterdam. Prices for the ordinary shares may be accessed on Bloomberg under the symbols HEIA NA and HEIO NA and on Reuters under HEIN.AS and HEIO.AS.  HEINEKEN has two sponsored level 1 American Depositary Receipt (ADR) programmes: Heineken N.V. (OTCQX: HEINY) and Heineken Holding N.V. (OTCQX: HKHHY). Most recent information is available on HEINEKEN's website: and follow us via @HEINEKENCorp.