Rwanda will soon be home to a hub for financial technology (Fintech), boosting start-ups in the sector.
As part of this effort, a French Fintechfirm is in the process of setting up shop in Rwanda, The New Times has learnt.
Joelle Durieux, the Chief Executive Officer of Finance Innovation, a French-based cluster for innovation in financial services, disclosed that they have already entered a partnership with the Government to set up the hub.
“The project of creating a finance technology hub in Rwanda has been approved. We entered a partnership with kLab as one of the partners. The hub will enable the creation of new business and identify the latest innovation trends for the financial sector,” she said.
The partnership, signed on the sidelines of the Transform African Summit between the firm and kLab, will see the two parties collaborate in areas of mutual interest, particularly on initiatives related to fintech industry.
kLab is a local hub that is currently promoting innovations from local start-ups.
Aphrodice Mutangana, the General Manager of kLab, confirmed that they entered a partnership with the firm.
He also said that the new hub would enable creation and development of new jobs as well as see the growth of emerging professions such as data scientists, technology developers, and advisors in finance.
This will be the first hub dedicated to promoting start-ups engaged entirely in financial technology services.
“Globally, we want to create the first Fintech Incubator in Kigali that will be transforming Rwanda into the largest Fintech Hub for Africa,” Durieux noted.
Fintech is one of the emerging technologies. Analysts say that there is a wave of transformation driven by technological innovation in financial services.
Innovative solutions provided by fintech businesses like mobile banking and electronic payments are increasing, enabling more underserved and unserved populations to be financially included.
A recent study by McKinsey and Company indicates that digital finance has the potential to reach over USD1.6 billion new retail customers in emerging economies and to increase the volume of loans extended to individuals and businesses by USD2.1 trillion.
According to Durieux, the hub will specifically promote the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises and innovation, and strengthen research and financial innovation.
“We want to create a creative community of individuals and entrepreneurs who will help Rwanda become the continental leader in financial technology,” she noted.
The hub will feature a co-working space for fintech businesses and acceleration programmes that support technology entrepreneurs in finance, among other things.