How is Rwanda Bankers Association supporting its members in this time of crisis?

The SME Response Clinic spoke with Tony Francis Ntore, Executive Secretary of the Rwanda Bankers Association to understand how the institution is supporting its members in this time of crisis.

The SME Response Clinic is right on time. We are supporting SMEs to access one site where they can get information from different sources. And for us as RBA, it is our job to see how we can support our member banks in serving their customers. 

What kinds of solutions are your members implementing to support their SME customers through COVID-19?

Our members are following the instructions from the Ministry of Health in order not to spread COVID-19 and they are working to encourage the use of digital platforms. To avoid unnecessary bank visits and reduce the use of cash, our members have eliminated fees on cashless transactions other than cash out.

What government policies are most effective in supporting SMEs at this time?

Rwanda Bankers Association has been in discussion with other key stakeholders and partners to see how to support SMEs in this unexpected time. Together, we came up with an economic recovery fund that will be managed by the Central Bank. SMEs can request funds directly from banks or MFIs and these institutions can apply to BNR for the fund. ​

What advice do you have for SMEs during this crisis?

Although this pandemic is a big challenge, it provides an opportunity for SMEs to review their business plans. This is a time to think through your operations and imagine where you want to be in five years. Start planning.

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