CRDB Bank picks new head for its Burundi unit

BURUNDI – CRDB Bank Plc of Tanzania has appointed Fredrick Siwale as the new managing director for its Burundi subsidiary. The 49-year old banker who has served as head of global markets in the department of treasury since December 2019  is replacing Bruce Mwile, who has been at the helm of the subsidiary since its establishment in 2012.  Mr Mwile currently leads the Bank’s groupwide operations in the capacity of chief operating officer.  CRDB Bank Plc’s group chief executive officer, Mr Abdulmajid Nsekela said he was confident that Mr Siwale had…

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Trade and Development Bank launches US$75m SME off-grid facility

BURUNDI – The Trade and Development Bank (TDB), formerly PTA Bank, has launched a US$75 million TDB Small and Medium Enterprise Off-Grid Facility which will facilitate access to debt financing for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Primarily targeted at renewable energy SMEs in the off-grid energy sector, the facility is also available to SMEs in the broader infrastructure value chain operating in the region served by TDB. The aim is to “preserve household economic activity in the short-term and support firm productivity in the medium-term by enhancing the liquidity of…

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OPEC Fund gives Burundi US$20m loan to strengthen food security

BURUNDI – The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has signed a US$20 million public sector loan agreement with Burundi to co-finance a project that will improve food security, expand access to marketplaces and social services, and strengthen the resilience of agricultural production systems. More than 700,000 people in the central plateau region in Burundi are expected to benefit. Burundi is ranked 185th out of 189 countries on the 2020 United Nations Development Programme’s human development index, and eight out of ten people in the country live below the poverty…

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Burundi to revive national carrier “Burundi Airlines” in 2021

BURUNDI – The government of Burundi has revealed plans to launch a national carrier dubbed Burundi Airlines. The government’s planned launch comes 11 years after the failure of Air Burundi, the previous national airline. The country cabinet says that Burundi Airlines will be a merger of the fallen predecessor, Air Burundi, and Société Burundaise de Gestion des Entrepôts et d’Assistance des Avions en Escale (SOBUGEA), a state agency that runs Burundi’s airports. The Burundi government will own 92% of the national airline. Consequently, the state insurer, Societe d’Assurances du Burundi (SOCABU), will…

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AfDB grants Burundi US$20m for climate resilience of farmers

BURUNDI – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has granted US$20.55 million to support farmers affected by climate change phenomenon. The project to support the sustainable development of agriculture and livestock value chains in Burundi (PADCAE-B) is expected to start soon after the initiative received funding of USD 20.55 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB). Part of the financing, US$12.83 million, comes from the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional window of the AfDB while the rest of the package, US$7.72 million, comes from Pillar 1 of the Transition Support…

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IMF grants US$7m to Burundi to help with the COVID-19 pandemic

BURUNDI – The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a grant of US$ 7.63 million under the IMF’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) over the next 3 months to cover Burundi’s debt service which is falling due to the pandemic. Additional relief covering the next 21 months will be granted subject to the availability of resources in the CCRT, potentially bringing total relief on debt service to the equivalent of US$24.97 million. The debt service relief will help free up resources for public sector health…

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Evolution II Fund closes project funding for solar plant in Burundi

BURUNDI – Evolution II Fund has closed an equity investment and construction bridge loan in Gigawatt Global’s 7.5MW solar PV project in Burundi. The ground-breaking financing structure brings together a consortium of funders committed to addressing Africa’s energy gap and finding innovative solutions in under-developed markets. The Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP) is providing a matching construction bridge loan and subsequent subordinated loan on refinancing. The project is the first to utilise the Regional Liquidity Support Facility from the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) and U.S. International Development Finance Corporation…

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Gigawatt Global to begin the development of 7.5 MW solar field in Burundi

BURUNDI – Gigawatt Global, a Dutch company with American investors and a founding partner of the U.S. Power Africa initiative is set to begin the development of a 7.5 MW solar field in Burundi. Gigawatt Global and its partners selected Voltalia, the French engineering, procurement and construction company, to build the solar field, which is located on the soft rolling hills on the outskirts of Mubuga village on 11.5 hecters of privately-owned land.   The field will be using 25,140 Suntech panels and 56 Kaco string inverters and is expected to…

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Burundi’s innovative solar-hydro hybrid project secures funding

Tunisia to join International Solar Alliance

BURUNDI – Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), a fund managed by The African Development Bank, has approved a US$990,000 grant to support the preparation of a 9-MW solar-hydro hybrid project in Burundi.  The project consists of two plants, each featuring a solar and a hydro component as well as a local distribution network and interconnection to the national power grid.  The innovative hybrid design is anticipated to regularize the power output during dry and wet season and mitigate power shortfalls caused by climate change. The SEFA grant, which is…

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Kenya to set up product warehouses in Rwanda, Burundi and Congo

KENYA – Kenya has announced plans to set up warehouses in Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo in an elaborate strategy to tighten its grip on the regional export market. The warehouses in Kigali, Bujumbura and Lumbubashi are expected to drive more exports and ward off competition from neighbouring countries that are threatening Kenya’s dominance of the key markets. The warehouses are expected to smoothen challenges that come with cross-border transportation of goods. “We intend to take up space at a free trade zone that the government has…

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