KIGALI - The long awaited Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE) has been launched, ceasing the operations of the Rwanda-Over-The-Counter (OTC) market, to allow investors to raise capital and facilitate mobilisation of savings in the country.
The activation of RSE comes three years following a March 2007 decree by the Prime Minister that established the Capital Markets Advisory Council (CMAC) to help set up and regulate the transitional process to set up a fully fledged stock exchange.
While officiating at the launch of the RSE yesterday, Prime Minister Bernard Makuza, underscored the activation of RSE as a significant milestone to the country’s development agenda, specifically towards achieving the objectives of Vision 2020.
“Building a strong financial system is a key element of Vision 2020; the government will continue to facilitate the development of the capital market,” he said.
Makuza observed that establishing the RSE reinforces government commitment to deepening the financial sector as a catalyst for growth and development of other sectors of the economy.
“RSE will respond to investment needs of both private and public investors,”
The Premier urged profitable private companies to also consider floating shares not only to raise capital for expansion but to share their wealth with the majority of the population.
He also underscored the need to improve financial literacy, through increased public education to facilitate capital markets development.
Speaking at the ceremony, which also marked the beginning of public trading of Bralirwa shares, Finance Minister John Rwangombwa, noted that government has purposely sustained a stable macroeconomic environment over the years, laying the appropriate environment for attracting investments into the economy, both domestic and international.
The capital market has always been one of the channels through which long term capital could be mobilized. Access to long term capital will become a reality when the culture of widespread ownership of shares and other financial assets becomes a norm among the population,
he noted, saying that the legal framework for the development of a fair, orderly and transparent capital market in Rwanda has been put in place.
“This framework is in compliance with the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) standards.”
Government has lined up at least five companies in which it has shares for privatization through the capital markets –including Bank of Kigali, MTN Rwanda, BCR, Sonarwa and Cimerwa cement factory.