Rwanda has been described as an ideal investment destination for financial services by top global investors in the sector, including the co-founders of Atlas Mara Group, a sub-Saharan financial services group. The Atlas Mara co-founders, Ashish Thakkar and Bob Diamond, who last year acquired two Rwandan banks, said Rwanda fared well as a financial services destination due to its position in the East African Community and the government’s commitment to development.
Atlas Group acquired Banque Populaire du Rwanda and BRD Commercial Bank merging them to form a new entity, ‘BPR’, the second-largest bank in the country with assets worth $325 million. Bob Hammond, one of the co-founders of Atlas Mara, said, so far, having made eight acquisitions on the continent and two of them being in Rwanda, they can vouch for Rwanda as an ideal financial services investment destination.
“Rwanda is a condusive environment to carry out financial services. It is a key component of the East African Community which has about 250 million people,” Hammond said.
He added that the Rwandan government was committed to turn the country into a business hub in the region and to roll out financial services across the country. He said, they are using Rwanda as a hub for the development of their technology solutions for their sub-Saharan market, a choice informed by the availability of a reliable labor market in Rwanda.
Reacting to the comments, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete, said the entrance of the player had boosted the country’s ambition of building the country’s economy around a vibrant private sector. He said, the government was keen on involving financial market players to improve service delivery by investing more resources to help boost financial inclusion and drive the country towards a cashless based economy.