Rwanda: CHOGM – Rwanda to Use Business Forum to Promote Financial Centre

Rwanda will be hoping to use the upcoming Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) to promote the Kigali International Financial Centre (KIFC) to the world.

The forum is one of the events organized on the margins of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

Established in 2020, KIFC aims at positioning Rwanda into an international financial destination for investors seeking opportunities across the African continent.

Speaking during a Twitter space held on Thursday to discuss the expected outcomes of the forum which will attract over 1,000 business executives, Clare Akamanzi, the CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), said that KIFC will be one of Rwanda’s big discussions as the country looks to attract more international financial services.

“We’re working with Rwanda Finance Limited to make sure that the presence of Rwanda as an international financial center is clearly launched there,” she said.

Rwanda Finance Limited (RFL) is a corporation owned by the government whose responsibility is to develop and promote KIFC.

Akamanzi added that she expects members that will be coming for the business forum summit to get to know more about the KIFC, and this will be important in making the centre attractive for international financial services.

“And we expect that some of the funds that we are working with will be showcasing their work as part of the international financial center,” she noted.

Rwanda has ambitions to establish itself as a financial hub by 2024 as set out in the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1).

KIFC has already attracted a number of high proļ¬le companies, investors and service providers and is already a member of the World Alliance of International Financial Centres (WAIFC), as well as an Associate Centre in the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI).

In September last year, The KIFC made its debut on the Global Financial 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.

The ranking takes into context five broad areas of competitiveness: business environment, human capital, infrastructure, financial sector development, and reputation.

In the ranking, Kigali featured as 5th on the continent after Casablanca, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Mauritius and ahead of Nairobi and Lagos.

Meanwhile, Akamanzi also noted that Rwanda will be putting itself forward for partnerships with young people with ideas who are looking for places and partners to work with, “just like it has done in the past.”

Slated for June 20-25, the CHOGM summit is expected to see Rwanda host over 5000 delegates from the 54 member countries of the Commonwealth.

The meeting will also host over 30 heads-of-state who have confirmed their attendance, high-level government officials, business people and academicians among others.

Speaking at the same online event, Rosie Glazebrook, the CEO of Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, talked about the importance of establishing business connections at the forum in terms of trade and investment.

“The Commonwealth shares historical ties and also I would like to just draw on the similar legal and administrative systems. Obviously the common language, and what we call the Commonwealth advantage, which makes it 21 percent cheaper to do trade across the Commonwealth and this drives investment within Commonwealth countries by up to 27 percent,” she said.

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