IFC, CRDB Bank Partner to Support Smaller Businesses, Job Creation in Burundi

Bujumbura, Burundi, November 3, 2022 — IFC and CRDB Bank Burundi S.A. have partnered to expand access to finance to smaller businesses, especially micro and small enterprises in the agribusiness sector, supporting economic growth and job creation in the country.

Under the partnership, IFC has loaned $5 million to CRDB Bank Burundi S.A. for on-lending to smaller businesses, many of which struggle to access financing for growth, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Bank estimates the small and medium enterprise (SME) finance gap in Burundi stands at roughly $491 million.

Photo: IFAD/Edward Echwalu

In addition to the financing, IFC will provide CRDB Bank Burundi S.A. with advisory support to help the bank better serve smaller businesses, including with tailored lending products for this market segment.

“SMEs face tremendous challenges accessing finance in Burundi. Therefore, IFC's financing will help us enhance the availability of long-term finance for households and MSMEs, boosting financial inclusion,” said Fredrick Siwale, Managing Director, CRDB Bank Burundi S.A.

“Our support to CRDB Bank Burundi S.A. marks IFC's first investment in Burundi since 2011, which is increasingly turning to the private sector for growth and development,” said Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC Regional Director for Eastern Africa. “SMEs are an underserved yet critical segment of the local economy and our investment and advisory support will help boost their growth.”

IFC's financing of CRDB Bank Burundi S.A. is also supported by the International Development Association's (IDA) Private Sector Window Blended Finance Facility. The facility provides co-investment funding to a select group of countries to help catalyze private sector investment.

This article was originally published by IFC.