Kigali financial hub enters deal with French public bank

Kigali financial hub enters deal with French public bank

Kigali International Finance Centre last week signed a pact with Bpifrance, the French public investment bank edging closer to realizing its ambitions of positioning Rwanda as a business and financial hub in Africa.

The cooperation agreement which was signed by Pascal Lagarde, Bpifrance’s Executive Director in charge of International, Strategy, Studies and Development, and Nick Barigye, Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Finance Limited, sets the path for the two public institutions to support and promote business exchanges and economic cooperation between the two countries.

Among the features of the agreement includes working together to contribute to the development of a vibrant financial and pro-business ecosystem in Rwanda.

The agreement also outlines areas of cooperation to include promoting the business development of French SMEs and midcaps operating or interested in Africa by structuring through the Kigali International Financial Center.

The two institutions also agreed to jointly develop projects, missions, and events in order to optimize the linkage between Bpifrance, Rwanda Finance Limited and other financial institutions in Rwanda in order to create business partnerships.

Kigali International Finance Centre’s new partner is France’s largest public investment bank dedicated to direct and indirect investments, including partnership with sovereign funds and major international institutional investors. This enables the financier to offer a wide range of international actions to foreign institutions

Bpifrance has experience in carrying out support operations with States and foreign institutions in Africa, Europe and Eurasia allowing them to create and develop their own tools for financing their economies.

This has been through ways such as supporting innovative companies in their development and their projects and structuring support and project financing instruments.

The bank also has experience in developing a job-creating entrepreneurial ecosystem that promotes access to bank credit for Small and Medium Enterprises such as the creation and optimization of a guarantee fund, thus generating a real leverage effect in the financing of company projects.

The bank is one of the main French investors with more than €2.5 billion invested directly or directly in the French ecosystem.

Pascal Lagarde (centre), Bpifrance’s Executive Director in charge of International, Strategy, Studies and Development signs the agreement in France. / Courtesy

Officials of the two institutions welcomed the development noting that it would enable the development of opportunities for companies in the two nations with regard to innovation, exports and investment.

Pascal Lagarde, Executive Director of Bpifrance said that it paves the way for productive exchange between the two entities.

“We welcome this agreement which paves the way for fruitful exchanges between our two institutions with the aim of developing opportunities for our companies on both sides in terms of innovation, exports and investment. Bpifrance has long been strongly involved in the development of a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem on the African continent,” he said.

Nick Barigye, Chief Executive of Rwanda Finance Limited said that from the partnership they seek to gain technical assistance to attract financial services.

“This partnership is an important step for our emerging international financial ecosystem. We are pleased to partner with BPI France who will provide technical assistance to attract financial services dealing with Africa, to structure their transactions through KIFC,” Barigye noted.