The Kigali International Financial Centre (KIFC) held its first international event themed: the “Kigali International Financial Centre: The Home of Africa’s Fintechs” forum on Wednesday 2 February at the Conrad Hotel in Dubai. This event was organized on the sidelines of the Dubai Expo 2020 where Rwanda celebrated its National Day on 1 February.

The high-level expert-led discussions focused on the game-changing role that KIFC is playing in connecting global investors to fintech opportunities across Africa. Several senior industry experts spoke at the forum, including Hon Paula Ingabire, Minister of Information and Communications Technology and Innovation, Government of Rwanda; Nick Barigye, Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Finance Limited (RFL); Oluwatosin Ajibade (Mr. Eazi) Founder of Empawa Africa and Global Superstar; Vusi Thembekwayo, Chief Executive Officer, MyGrowthFund Venture Partners; Angela Homsi, Founder and CEO of Angaza Capital; Ntoudi Mouyelo, Chief Investments Officer (RFL).

During this event KIFC announced the launch of the first and only Fintech-focused Africa Fund. Backed by MyGrowthFund Venture Partners, the $50m fund will focus on fintech companies with proven technology, operating in Africa. The fund domiciled in KIFC will create proximity on the continent between investments and fintech investment opportunities and will increase African investment in African fintech especially since less than 10% of the private equity investment in 2021 came from the continent. The fund’s objective is to grow the capital to $120m.

KIFC provides 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.