Kigali, Rwanda, June 23, 2011
—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $13 million in Market Shopping Center Limited (MSC Ltd) to help the Rwandan real estate company build and operate a multi-purpose, eleven-storey commercial centre in downtown Kigali that will help meet growing demand for modern office and retail space as Rwanda’s economy expands.
IFC’s investment, its largest non-financial-sector related investment in Rwanda to date, will be split into a $10 million loan and $3 million in equity in Rwanda francs equivalent. IFC will work closely with MSC Ltd. to implement international health and safety standards as well as green building components at the site, which will also create employment opportunities for small and medium enterprises.
Bertin Makuza, Chief Executive Officer and majority shareholder of MSC Ltd, said, “IFC’s support will help MSC Ltd. ensure the highest international environmental, social, health, and safety standards in our project. As an added benefit, IFC’s long-term financing in Rwanda francs is adapted to our needs and will help MSC Ltd partially address the shortage of good commercial properties in Kigali.”
The financing in Rwandan francs is made possible by a unique swap agreement between IFC and the National Bank of Rwanda. The facility enables access to long-term, local currency funding in the financial system to spur economic development. The commercial centre will also provide an urban foothold for small and medium enterprises that have trouble gaining access to commercial venues.
Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, said, “The commercial centre will help meet demand for high-quality business infrastructure in Kigali and catalyze local employment. As Rwanda becomes an increasingly important business destination in East Africa, IFC’s equity investment in Rwandan francs will help strengthen local capital markets, which give way to broad economic development.”
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit