IFC announced today a new investment in Rawbank, a leading bank in the DRC, to improve access to finance for the country’s micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), supporting growth and job creation in the country.
Under the partnership, signed on Monday in Kinshasa, IFC will provide a loan of up to $35 million to Rawbank to help the bank expand its lending to MSMEs. The investment will significantly increase the availability of longer tenor financing for smaller businesses in a market where the MSME financing gap is estimated at 26 percent of GDP.
This funding is part of Rawbank’s commitment to continuously support Congolese SMEs, a strategic priority for the bank.
IFC’s investment is drawn from its Base of the Pyramid Program, which was launched in 2021 to help financial services providers deliver funding to small businesses in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. IFC’s financing is supported by the International Development Association’s Private Sector Window.
IFC will also provide advisory services to strengthen Rawbank’s risk management approach. Rawbank places particular emphasis on implementing a robust and efficient risk management organization across all business lines, markets and regions in which it operates.
“IFC’s financial support is another great step forward for us to benefit from strong, secure and best practice financing to support the Congolese SMEs that are the heart of our economy. This partnership will allow us to benefit from best practices to support our portfolio diversification,” said Mustafa Rawji, General Manager of Rawbank.
“MSMEs are the backbone of the economy in the DRC. That’s why improving their access to finance is one of IFC’s top priorities in the country,” said Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC’s Regional Director for Eastern Africa. “Our partnership with Rawbank will help meet the financing needs of these businesses and support broader economic activity and job creation.”
IFC’s strategic priorities in the DRC focus on energy, telecom and ICT, access to finance for MSMEs, housing and agribusiness. As of December 2022, IFC had a portfolio of $220.6 million in the DRC.
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