Rwanda, through the ministry of emergency management has assured refugees of fund for their business idea. The ministry assured that those with good business ideas can benefit from a wide range of funds from the government of the country.
The move is aimed toward promoting economic independence as well as improving their standard of living. It was made known to the public by the Refugee Program Manager, Gonzague Karagire who insisted that they are many businesses with bright prospects and viability.
The manager also went on to assure that refugees can seize the opportunity with both hands as government are committed to ensure that their standards of living are improved.
Gonzague Karagire said:
“Any refugee living in Rwanda who might have a business idea could get funding to implement it. We have launched a Rwf12 billion scheme to finance the business ideas until 2026.”
The businesses are to be supported by prominent financial establishments who have pledged to see it through and make it a success together with efforts from the side of the government.
“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,” the manager continued.
The government personnel also sited the possibility of matching grants and assured that it may be available.
“Matching grants are conditional awards that require an organization or individual to raise a specified portion of the grant through solicitation of new money.”
Speaking on the matching grants, he said:
“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.”
However, the project is not available throughout the cities and districts in Rwanda. It is only available in cities and districts with refugees camp across the country – which include Huhe, Kigali city, and Nyamata.
The total estimate of the project is Rwf12 billion and is properly divided and segmented. Speaking on that, the manager said:
“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, they get a matching grant that covers 30 percent.”
Nonetheless, this is not the only program that is laughed by the Rwandan government to support refugees. Another one is the € 3.6M for renewable energy. It is called “Renewable Energy For Refugees” and is dubbed to make way for business opportunities.
Currently, the scheme is under implementation and is aimed to boost and support small-scale businesses. Representing Rwanda at Practical Action organization (funding body of the project), Denyse Umubyeyi said that “50% of Refugees in Kigeme, Nyabiheke and Gihembe refugee camps have benefitted from the project.”
Here is the statement made by Denyse Umubyeyi:
“It has helped to provide renewable energy and improved cook stoves and it supported some to start small businesses.”
The politician revealed that 50% of the total refugees in Rwanda has benefited from the project which has, in addition, created more than 700 new businesses. She continued:
“At least 150 refugee businesses that were in existence were supported to grow by 50 percent in incomes. Business centres have been established in the refugees’ camps as an enabling environment for their economic independence.”
Moreover, an estimated total of not less than 50,000 refugees are expected to be beneficiaries of the project.
Umubyeyi listed some businesses which the refugees are trying to establish and th include:
Milk Collection Centres
Phone repair Shops
Even so, according to data from the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security in parliament, more than 720,000 refugees have access to banking services which is by and large, a huge and highly welcomed development.
Rwanda which is situated in the Eastern part of Africa is home to more than
137,000 refugees categorized into more tham 37,000 households. This report was valid as of May 18, 2021.
Furthermore, Congolese accounts for the largest percentage of refugees in Rwanda – 56.3% closely followed by Burundians which accounts for 43.5%.
Besides, more than 12,300 refugees have received training which is destined to set them on the path of job creation. Even so, “91% of refugees are accommodated in six camps while 9 per cent are in towns, largely in Bugesera, Huye and Kigali.”
Additional, Rwanda is the 38th best country in the world to do business; being the only low income country on the top 40 list, and is the second best in Africa after Mauritius.