Kigali International Financial Centre debuts on Global Financial Centres Index

The Kigali International Financial Centre has made its debut on the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), a renowned ranking on the competitiveness of financial centres across the world.

The index rates 116 financial centres across the world combining assessments from financial professionals with quantitative data which form instrumental factors.

The methodology considers over 77,000 financial centre assessments collected from 12,862 financial services professionals via questionnaires.

The ranking takes into context five broad areas of competitiveness: business environment, human capital, infrastructure, financial sector development, and reputation.

In the ranking, Kigali featured as 5th on the continent after Casablanca, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Mauritius and ahead of Nairobi and Lagos.

Despite being a new and emerging financial centre, Kigali was 9th in the Middle Eastern and African Centres

Kigali International Financial Centre was also mentioned among the top centres likely to become more significant going forward as well as among centres enjoying reputational advantage.

The quality of life and the intangible benefits of living and working in a city with excellent reputation is one of the attractions for highly skilled workers, especially the young and highly mobile skilled workers, with young children. They need schools, hospitals, and entertainment, all in a safe and secure city that is easy to reach from anywhere around the world,” one of the respondents interviewed commented on KIFC.

The GFCI is updated every March and September and receives considerable attention from the global financial community. The index serves as a valuable reference for policy and investment decisions.

It is generated by Z/Yen, a London based Commercial Think Tank and the China Development Institute (CDI), a think-tank that develops solutions to public policy challenges and is in a strategic partnership for research into financial centres.

Kigali International Financial Centre (KIFC), commenced operations around 2020 as an initiative that seeks to position Rwanda as a preferred jurisdiction for investments into Africa, as well as reform the domestic industry.

Rwanda Finance Limited is a government-owned company mandated to actualize the initiative and works with industry players within the services sector, understand their needs, challenges, and then cause dialogue with policy formulators to address them.

During its slightly over one year of operations, Kigali International Financial Centre has attracted a number of investors and members ranging from social impact investors, Angel Investors, investment companies, financial services providers, Corporate Services Providers among others.

Rwanda Finance Limited has also overseen major reforms in the laws to improve the attractiveness of the local system to local and international capital.

Among the laws and regulations amended include mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing law, partnership law and law relating to investment promotion and facilitation among others.