The Kigali International Financial Centre has announced the debut of a $50m fund that will focus on financial technology (FinTech) companies with proven technology operating in Africa. The new fund is backed by MyGrowthFund Venture Partners and is expected to support capitalization of on FinTech companies operating in Africa. The fund domiciled in KIFC will create proximity on the continent between investments and FinTech investment opportunities and will increase indigenous investment in African FinTech. This is especially at a time when less than 10 per cent of the private equity investment in 2021 came from the continent. The fund’s objective is to grow the capital to $120m, officials say. The development also comes at a time when private equity investments in Africa have been growing to double during the last decade with FinTech receiving close to 60 per cent of the capital. Total capital invested in African FinTech companies grew by $1.49bn in 2021 compared to the previous year, setting Africa’s highest FinTech funding year to date at $2.02bn. The development was announced at a forum on financial technology (FinTech) on Wednesday, February 2, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates as part of the different activities organized around the Rwanda National Day at the ongoing Dubai Expo. Nick Barigye, CEO of Rwanda Finance Limited (RFL) said that attracting fin-tech oriented investors and creating a thriving fin-tech ecosystem, would facilitate scaling up investment across the continent. “70 per cent of the investment deals go to tech-based products and/or services, so attracting fintech oriented investors and creating a thriving fintech ecosystem, which would facilitate scaling up investment across the continent, is of paramount importance to KIFC,” he said The discussions at the summit focused on the game-changing role that KIFC is playing in connecting global investors to FinTech opportunities across Africa. At the forum, panelists included Paula Ingabire, Minister of Information and Communications Technology and Innovation; Barigye; Oluwatosin Ajibade (Mr. Eazi) Founder of Empawa Africa; Vusi Thembekwayo, Chief Executive of MyGrowthFund Venture Partners and Angela Homsi, Founder and CEO of Angaza Capital. KIFC aims at providing a conducive environment for investment and resources needed to drive the levels of entrepreneurship and digital skills required to build an emerging FinTech ecosystem. Advancements in technology have seen the rise of African based unicorns, particularly in the financial technology space, offering payment or banking solutions. Several of these unicorns have sought out Kigali as a base to consolidate their regional operations. Across the country and the region, there are market opportunities for Fin-tech firms as the countries seek to drive financial inclusion. This includes financial inclusion, financial savings services among others. Among factors that have improved the country’s readiness for Fin-tech investments include ease of registering a business in 6hrs, innovation friendly regulatory ecosystem as well as access to world class accelerators, investors and Venture Capitalists. Further factors that make the eco-system ideal for FinTech firms entering Rwanda include having access to globally competitive skills at affordable rates.