Various global institutions in the service sector held a two-day session in Rwanda, where they interacted with local financial firms about available opportunities in the financial services sector, an industry which government has been keen to develop further.
Organised by Rwanda Development Board (RDB), the event, which was dubbed, ‘Diversifying financial services in Rwanda’, was held in Kigali, and ended Thursday.
It attracted over twenty global financial service institutions from Europe, US and the rest of Africa, with an aim of forging partnerships with local players to grow help the sector.
According to Hubert Ruzibiza, the head of Services Development at RDB, the meeting was organised with the aim of attracting different investors, fund managers and other key stakeholders in the financial services sector, to explore investment opportunities in Rwanda.
Financing big projects
“Our institutions are doing a great job in entrenching financial inclusion. However, we still face issues in financing big projects; We are, therefore, mobilising global institutions to come on board,” he said.
The financial sector has been growing in recent years, and its stability, structure and efficiency improved considerably due to strict enforcement 0f regulations by the central bank, stakeholders say.
However, Ruzibiza noted that there’s still a lot to be done, calling for a collective understanding between government, the private sector, and regional and international institutions.
“While we have done a lot in promoting the financial sector, we also need to think on how to close the existing loopholes on what’s missing in the financial sector. We need to be thinking on ensuring sustainability, establishment of long term investments in the financial sector,” Ruzibiza added.
Citibank; EFG International- a multinational, Swiss private banking group; AfrAsia Bank; and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC); are some of the international firms that were presented.
Meanwhile, Robert Mathu, the executive director of Capital Markets Authority, noted that Rwanda has reached a point where it needs to diversify its financial service sector, as a major contributor to the country’s GDP.
“The development of financial services is among the goals of the EDPRS2 (growth blueprint); it’s an area which should be able to be another growth area, another major employer, and of course a major foreign exchange earner. This is, therefore, a great way to mobilise various financial services firms. It’s also a way for them to know that Rwanda is a platform from where they can do their business,” he said.
Mikael Wallenberg, a senior vice president of EFG International, a global financial institution based in Zurich Switzerland, said he was pleased to witness Rwanda’s growth not only in the financial services sector but also other areas of development.
“From the African perspective, I can simply say the future belongs to Rwanda. From the developments in different areas, that I have seen one cannot doubt its future. I’m so impressed meeting and learning new things, it was really a great networking session. For the investment, it’s all about credibility and building relationships,” he said.