On July 7, Rwanda signed an agreement with ZEP-RE (PTA Reinsurance Company) allowing the regional reinsurer to set up an office in Kigali. The move could potentially open more business opportunities for the firm in which the government of Rwanda owns 6 per cent shares. Hope Murera, the Chief Executive of ZEP-RE told The New Times that the agreement is also set to increase the avenues of interaction with local businesses as well as investments in the country. In Rwanda, ZEP-RE provides re-reinsurance cover for major investment projects including Bugesera Airport, Kigali Convention Centre, Marriot Hotels, Kivu Power, Shema, among others. The reinsurer has also invested in the local financial sector including Bank of Kigali and the government Eurobond. “Being on the ground means closer and more quality interaction, we will be in position to respond better to claims, and we will also engage clients closely. With a physical presence we can grow the business faster,” Murera said. She added that with local presence, beyond providing solutions faster, the re-insurer will also be able to engage regulators such as the Central Bank for often to develop the sector further as well as increasing investments in the country. The firm enters Rwanda at a time when insurance penetration in the country is at less than 2 per cent, which demonstrates untapped potential. “We need to engage regulators and policymakers to find avenues to push insurance,” Murera said. The local office will be headed by a country manager reporting to the Chief Executive based in the Nairobi Headquarters. Commenting on the development, Denise Rwakayija, Managing Director at Rwanda Insurers Association welcomed the new entrant, noting that it will improve cooperation and input of the reinsurer in the local scene. Rwakayija said that the local insurance industry is set to benefit from the expertise and experience of the firm as well as increase opportunities for cooperation.