RWANDA – Rwanda Biomedical Centre has received a EUR 27 million backing from the European Investment Bank (IEB)to upgrade the National Health Laboratory by strengthening epidemic and pandemic preparedness by improving diagnosis surveillance and research.

The support is part of Government efforts to invest in the COVID-19 National Response Plan priority. Similarly, this is the first EIB health project in Rwanda and largest ever EIB health engagement in East Africa.

The largest ever EIB financing for health investment in East Africa will finance construction of a new medical diagnosis and research facility at Rwanda’s central health implementation agency in Kigali.

The new 20-year European Investment Bank loan is provided under the EIB dedicated Covid-19 Health and Economic Resilience approved by European finance ministers within weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic and enabling streamlined financing to be provided across Africa.

“Unlocking new investment by the Rwanda Biomedical Centre will transform diagnosis, surveillance and research at the National Health Laboratory. The support provided by the European Investment Bank’s streamlined African COVID-19 health resilience engagement and the European Union will better protect Rwandans from disease and future epidemics,” said Dr Daniel Ngamije Minister for Health.

The Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) conducts scientific research, provides diagnostics services, and implements innovative health interventions to protect the nation against diseases and other health threats.

RBC was established in 2011 to improve the health of the Rwandan population by providing high quality, affordable and sustainable health care services.

Accelerating public health investment is essential to tackle COVID-19 and better prepare for future health emergencies. The European Investment Bank is a key financing partner for Rwanda and the funds signed today signal the first ever direct EIB backing for health investment in our country,” said Dr Uzziel Ndagijimana, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic the European Investment Bank has worked with partners across Africa to unlock priority public health, vaccine and medical investment.

The investment by EIB tails a EUR 5 million from Team Europe and World Health Organization partners to further fund research at RBC as well as bolstering healthcare in Rwanda and East Africa as a whole.  

The EIB has operated in Rwanda since 1977 and provided more than EUR 206 million for private and public investment across the country.

“Upgrading medical diagnosis will enable Rwandans to benefit from high quality health care and ensure a quicker response to future pandemics,” said Thomas Östros, European Investment Bank Vice President.

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