Rwanda, Luxembourg pact to boost financial centre ambitions

Kigali International Financial Centre development ambitions received a boost this week as Rwanda and Luxembourg signed a bilateral cooperation agreement with the aim to support Rwanda in further developing the financial Centre (KIFC).

The pact was signed by Uzziel Ndagijimana, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Republic of Rwanda and Honorable Franz Fayot, Minister of Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, of Luxembourg on the sidelines of Africa Microfinance Week, underway in Kigali.

The pact will among other things see support to develop Kigali International Financial Centre and benefit from the expertise of Luxembourg’s financial ecosystem.

Strategic areas of cooperation defined in the agreement include; capacity building and talent development; development of sustainable finance in Rwanda; enabling a fintech ecosystem in Rwanda; and setting up a marketplace for impact investing in Rwanda.

Ndagijimana said that following the establishment of KIFC to increase the value addition of the financial services in the Rwandan economy it holds opportunities to expand investments from Rwanda to Africa and beyond.

“The partnership milestone that we’ve just signed will support our ambition of becoming a preferred Pan-African International Financial Centre which is in line with our aspiration of becoming a middle-income country by 2035 and a high-income country by 2050,” he said.

The Luxembourgish Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Franz Fayot said that Rwanda’s interest in sustainable finance and fintech is also a priority for the European Country.

“It is important that we build together and channel more finance in development cooperation, combating climate change and other areas that require financing,” he said.

The implementing agencies are Rwanda Finance Limited, the agency tasked with developing Kigali International Financial Centre and Lux-Development S.A., Luxembourg’s development cooperation agency.

Nick Barigye, the Chief Executive of Rwanda Finance Limited (RFL), the agency mandated to promote the KIFC noted said that becoming a preferred centre for international investments in Africa requires strategic partnerships

“Today we welcome the opportunity to draw on the expertise of Luxembourg’s financial ecosystem, to further develop Kigali International Financial Centre’s niche areas in sustainable finance and fintech. Upskilling financial sector professionals to efficiently serve global investors and financial institutions is a key feature of an attractive financial services hub and one of the pillars KIFC is looking to strengthen, through our cooperation with Luxembourg,” he said.

Kigali International Financial Centre in September made its debut on the GlobalFinancial Centres Index (GFCI), a renowned ranking on the competitiveness of financial centres across the world.

The index rates 116 financial centres across the world combining assessments from financial professionals with quantitative data which form instrumental factors.

Kigali International Financial Centre was also mentioned among the top centres likely to become more significant going forward as well as among centres enjoying reputational advantage.

During its slightly over one year of operations, Kigali International Financial Centre has attracted a number of investors and members ranging from social impact investors, Angel Investors, investment companies, financial services providers, Corporate Services Providers among others.

Rwanda Finance Limited has also overseen major reforms in the laws to improve the attractiveness of the local system to local and international capital.