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Monday, April 15, 2024

Launch Partners

Rwandan and Emirati financial centers to collaborate on initiatives including Islamic finance

Rwanda’s Kigali International Financial Centre (KIFC) has signed an MoU with the UAE’s Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) to jointly work on initiatives within their financial systems. NESSREEN TAMANO has the story.

Under the agreement, both financial centers will be establishing a comprehensive framework for collaboration in the areas of promotion and international development, mutual recognition, capacity-building and skills development, sustainable finance and Islamic finance, among others.

The regulators of the two centers will also explore mutual recognition agreements for entities registered under their jurisdictions, with the aim of opening up opportunities in both markets. Regulated entities may take advantage of knowledge-sharing in terms of best practices and experiences and customized training programs, to be implemented under this initiative.

A key focus of the present and future collaborations of KIFC and ADGM is green and sustainable finance, as well as ESG, SRI and corporate social responsibility.

“Through this partnership, we anticipate substantial economic benefits within our respective financial ecosystems through job creation and increased investments, to cultivate new opportunities for business growth in both markets,” said Nick Barigye, CEO of Rwanda Finance, the agency that manages the development of KIFC.

Salem Mohammed Al Darei, CEO of the ADGM Authority, said: “ADGM and KIFC coming together through this MoU mark(s) a pivotal moment in ADGM’s ongoing efforts to develop robust partnerships with international financial centers worldwide and particularly on the African continent.”

This is KIFC’s second collaboration with a GCC financial center; in October 2023, it renewed an agreement originally signed in 2021 with the Qatar Financial Centre Authority, the legal and tax arm of the Qatar Financial Center, to foster development in Islamic finance and fintech in both countries.

At the moment, there are no Islamic finance and banking activities in Rwanda, whose Muslim community makes up around 12–15% of the population. The country has explored opportunities in Islamic banking as far back as 2016, when a Malaysian delegation visited Kigali to look into introducing Shariah finance from the capital.

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