Ex-Credit Suisse boss appointed Rwanda Finance Limited board chair

Tidjane Thiam, a renowned Ivorian banker who is the immediate former Chief Executive Officer of Swiss bank Credit Suisse, was on Wednesday, November 12, appointed by cabinet to head the Board of Rwanda Finance Limited. Rwanda Finance Limited (RFL) is a corporation owned by the government whose primary responsibility is to develop and promote what is known as Kigali International Financial Centre. Thiam was appointed along with six other members of the board of directors of the new body. The Ivorian banker is credited with turning around Credit Suisse’s fortunes, having led the famous Swiss bank to its strongest performance in a decade before his departure early this year. At RFL, he will bring vast experience and insights to an institution that has its work cut out: turning Rwanda into a financial hub. He has previously held several senior corporate and government positions in Côte d'Ivoire. The following are the other members of the board: Diko Jacob Mukete Diko Jacob Mukete is a Cameroonian expert in governance, economic and financial reforms. One of the lawyer’s high-profile jobs he’s held previously is serving as Country Representative of African Development Bank in Rwanda. In an interview with journalists after bidding farewell to President Paul Kagame following his completion of tour of duty at AfDB-Rwanda, Mukete praised the country’s resilience and economic strides. “Rwanda is a great country with great people. When you look at what they have been able to achieve over the last 17 years - from ashes of the Genocide...there are very few countries in the world which have been able to show the kind of resilience,” he said. He added: “Some of you may forget that in the 1980’s Rwanda’s average growth rate was two per cent, today, the average growth rate, at least in the period from 2000 to 2009, is over eight per cent.” Liban Soleman Abdi Liban Soleman Abdi is a Gabonese national who holds a BSc in Finance and Marketing from George Mason University and an Executive Education from HEC Paris. He’s worked extensively in financial management, entrepreneurship and government advisory. Abdi has also served as Chief of Cabinet to the President of Gabon, and Chairman, Gabon National Investment Promotion Agency. He also sits on the Board of Rwanda Development Board (RDB). Louise Kanyonga Louise Kanyonga, a Harvard Law graduate, is the Chief Strategy and Compliance Officer at RDB. Kanyonga is a lawyer by profession and has been involved in the formulation of key investment policies over the years. She once served as Rwanda’s Registrar General. Alice Ntamitondero Alice Ntamitondero is a professional accountant and member of the UK Association of Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA), and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda (ICPAR). She holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Heriot-Watt University-Edinburgh Business School, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Marketing) from University of Rwanda. Ntamitondero boasts over 10 years’ experience in different public financial management positions and consultancy. She previously worked as Secretary-General at the Auditor General’s Office and headed the Corporate services Division Manager of Rwanda Natural Resources Authority, among other roles. Umulinga Karangwa Umulinga Karangwa is the Chief Executive and Founder of Africa Nziza Investment Advisory, an investment advisory firm targeting institutional investors in Sub-Saharan Africa. Karangwa is a Chartered Financial Analyst. Julien Kavaruganda A renowned city lawyer, Julien Kavaruganda is the founder of K-Solutions & Partners, a private law firm. He is the sitting President of the Rwanda Bar Association and Board member of the East African Law Society. Kavaruganda also sits on the boards of Bank of Kigali and Kigali International Arbitration Centre.