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IFC Vice President Visit Highlights Growing Support for Rwanda’s Private Sector

Kigali, Rwanda, April 1, 2010 — IFC Vice President and Treasurer Nina Shapiro today visited Rwanda, where she met with public and private sector officials to discuss ways for IFC to deepen its investment and advisory support for the country’s growing private sector. IFC is a member of the World Bank Group.
Shapiro discussed IFC’s activities in the country and the potential for future partnerships to help Rwanda achieve its development goals at meetings with private sector partners and senior government officials, including Minister of Finance and Economic Planning John Rwangombwa and Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda François Kanimba.
Shapiro said, “IFC will increase its investment and advisory programs in Rwanda to support the country’s impressive efforts in sustainable economic growth. Innovative financing structures like the swap agreement IFC recently signed with Rwanda’s central bank help IFC provide local currency to clients who don't need foreign exchange or find it too risky. Such efforts strengthen our partnership with Rwanda’s government and private sector.”
In December, IFC signed an agreement with Rwanda’s central bank enabling IFC to provide local currency loans to support growth of the country’s private sector. Since no banks in Rwanda can currently provide such long-term swaps, the National Bank of Rwanda will provide IFC with local currency through swaps, until a commercial swap market develops.
Shapiro’s visit comes after Rwanda was named the world’s top business reformer in the most recent Doing Business publication, a joint report of IFC and the World Bank that provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 183 economies.
The World Bank Group is supporting Rwanda’s efforts to reform business laws to make it easier for businesses to operate, including by reducing licensing requirements and easing trading procedures.
IFC’s strategy in Rwanda focuses on three pillars: working with the government to improve the country’s investment climate; helping build the capacity of micro, small, and medium enterprises; and supporting development of projects with high impact in the financial, tourism, agribusiness, and infrastructure sectors.  
IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries -- including by supporting private sector growth in Rwanda.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.4 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit .