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#BNR60: PM Ngirente woos investors to tap into Rwanda’s financial and banking sectors

By Wycliffe Nyamasege
On 7 June 2024 at 12:55

Prime Minister Édouard Ngirente has invited investors to explore opportunities in Rwanda’s financial and banking sectors, citing the country’s conducive business environment.

Speaking during the 60th anniversary of the National Bank of Rwanda (NBR) on Friday, June 7, the PM said the central bank had accomplished “great work” over the last six decades, contributing significantly to the growth development of the economy.

“I would like to invite investors to take advantage of the conducive business environment in Rwanda and consider investing in our financial and banking sectors,” Ngirente stated at the event where he represented President Paul Kagame.

According to Ngirente, the central bank’s sound policies have helped the country achieve sustained and broad-based economic growth, leading to a slight increase in GDP per capita over the last thirty years and a halving of the poverty rate during the same period.

He noted that the inclusive economic development of the country has led to even more achievements in the social sectors, promoting the well-being of citizens as witnessed in the increase of life expectancy from 29 years in 1994 to 69.6 in 2022.

“We all recognize that this development would not have been possible without effective coordination of our monetary policies and regulation of our financial systems in general,” the PM noted.

“Indeed, this coordination is commendable and has played a key role in maintaining a stable and well-regulated macroeconomic environment. And we thank the Central Bank for that.”

In order to address emerging risks including uncontrolled use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), money laundering and cybercrimes in financial institutions, the Prime Minister challenged Central Banks and other financial institutions to constantly update their regulatory tools and stay alert to counter these threats.

He also emphasized the need for Central Banks to build their own capacity and understanding to address global geopolitical and climate change challenges, saying the emerging issues have made forecasting future economic variables more complex.

Speaking at the same event, Central Bank Governor John Rwangombwa affirmed that Rwanda’s financial landscape has witnessed tremendous growth over the last three decades, evolving from seven financial institutions before 1994, to a thriving sector today, with 11 banks, 461 microfinance institutions, 12 pension schemes, 18 insurers, 33 payment service providers, 78 foreign currency dealers,50 non-deposit-taking financial institutions, and a credit reference bureau.

“This growth is reflected in a twenty-one-fold increase in the financial assets of our financial institutions from 500 billion in 2006 to 10.5 trillion last year in 2023, and a twenty-two-fold increase in credit to the private sector from 177 billion to 4.2 trillion, over the same period,” he said, adding, “As our financial sector developed, we transitioned to a forward-looking, price-based monetary policy in 2019 to better achieve our inflation goals. Rwanda’s economic performance remained strong, maintaining an average inflation of 5.9% from 2006-2020.”

Prime Minister Édouard Ngirente has invited investors to explore opportunities in Rwanda’s financial and banking sectors, citing the country’s conducive business environment.

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