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EIB to provide EUR45m loan to improve sanitation infrastructure in Kigali, Rwanda

Published 21 February 2018

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide Rwanda with EUR45m loan to improve the sanitation infrastructure in its capital city Kigali.

Thousands of people living in the Rwandan capital Kigali will benefit from the country’s first wastewater treatment plant and public sewerage network supported by the largest ever European Investment Bank loan in the country.

At a ceremony at the Ministry of Finance in Kigali today the long-term lending institution of the European Union confirmed a new EUR45m loan to finance transformational improvement of sanitation infrastructure in the city. The 25-year European Investment Bank loan will finance the EUR96m sewage and wastewater project alongside the Government of Rwanda and African Development Bank.

The new loan was formally signed in Kigali by Claver Gatete, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of the Republic of Rwanda and Maria Shaw-Barragan, Director of the European Investment Bank, responsible for lending operations outside Europe.

The announcement of the new EIB investment was attended by senior government officials, representatives of the Water and Sanitation Corporation of Rwanda and Ambassador Nicola Bellomo, Head of the European Union Delegation to Rwanda.

Rwandan Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Claver Gatete said: “Kigali is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa and investment in water and sanitation is crucial to improve health and reduce pollution. The Government of Rwanda welcomes the backing for the European Investment Bank and other international partners for the Kigali Centralized Sewerage project.

"The EIB has played a key role supporting the technical, economic and environmental studies essential for the successful design of this scheme. Today I am pleased to sign the EUR48m loan agreement with the EIB that will support construction of the first public sewerage network in our capital city."

European Investment Bank director Maria Shaw-Barragan said: “Visionary new investment to transform wastewater here in Kigali will benefit Rwanda and Rwandans for the years ahead. Construction of Kigali’s first wastewater network and treatment plant will improve health, reduce pollution and carbon emissions, as well as make Kigali an even better place to live and work.

"The European Investment Bank recognises the crucial importance of this project for Rwanda’s capital and we are pleased to provide our largest ever loan in Rwanda to support the scheme. By ensuring that the project can cater for growing demand and a growing city this scheme sets a benchmark that other world cities are already following closely."

European Union Ambassador to Rwanda Nicola Bellomo said: “The European Union recognises the importance of new investment in wastewater to achieve sustainable development goals. Hard work by Rwandan and European colleagues over recent years has enabled the preparation and design of this truly life changing investment.

"The loan being signed today represents the largest ever engagement by the European Investment Bank, the Bank of the European Union, in Rwanda. This is a key project in the history of the city of Kigali that will benefit thousands of residents in the years ahead."

Largest ever EIB financing in Rwanda

The EIB’s support for wastewater investment in Kigali represents the largest ever financing by the European Investment Bank in Rwanda in 40 years of operations in the country and the first support for public sector investment since 2000. The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank and the largest lender for water investment worldwide.

Significant public health, pollution and economic benefits expected

Once operational the first sewage network and wastewater treatment plant in Kigali will significantly improve public health through a reduction of waterborne diseases and reduce pollution in the Nyabarongo and Akagera rivers and Lake Victoria. Improving wastewater infrastructure in the city will also enhance attractiveness of the city for companies.

Detailed technical and feasibility studies carried out by the EIB over the last three years will ensure that the scheme can be strengthened in the future. The wastewater treatment plant will be able to be expanded to cater for additional demand and the new sewage network planned to minimise disruption of existing road and urban infrastructure by future expansion.

Improving new water investment through shared technical experience

Experience gained from involvement in water projects across Africa and worldwide strengthen the EIB’s ongoing technical support for the scheme and wastewater projects currently planned elsewhere are following the Kigali project closely.

The European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR1.7bn for transformational water and waste water investment across Africa over the last decade. This has included improving water infrastructure in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Building on EIB engagement in Africa

Last year the European Investment Bank provided EUR2.6bn for new investment across Africa. Projects supported include improving agriculture, energy, telecom, transport and water infrastructure, as well as strengthening microfinance lending and private sector investment across the continent.

Source: Company Press Release