Thursday, June 8, 2023

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda presides over the launch of the Africa Recovery and Resilience Plan

President Paul Kagame yesterday presided over the launch of the Africa Recovery and Resilience Plan and the ground-breaking of one of the key transformational projects of the Plan. In Rwanda, flagship projects have already been delivered in the hospitality sector. Yesterday, the President toured a transformational project in the financial services sector that will serve as the hub for the regional financial services ecosystem: the Kigali International Financial Centre. Other flagship projects that Equity has supported include mining, infrastructure development, agro-processing ng, and regional trade, among others.

President Kagame lauded Equity Group for supporting investments in Rwanda through financial intermediation by Equity Bank. He expressed the Government’s appreciation to all investors in Rwanda and assured them of the Government’s continued support by creating a conducive environment for investment and business.

The Kigali Financial Square, under the Rwanda Finance Limited Corporation, seeks to position Rwanda as the preferred financial hub for investments in Africa and will play a key role in supporting the aspirations of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The initiative, which meets world-class infrastructure standards in being LEED-certified, is aligned to the national priorities of the Government by developing the financial ecosystem supported by, among other factors, fit-for-purpose technology.

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Speaking during the launch, Dr. James Mwangi, Equity Group Managing Director, and CEO said; “As the Eastern and Central Africa region recovers from the devastating health, social, humanitarian, and economic impacts of COVID-19, Equity Group is championing a private sector-focused stimulus package to accelerate recovery and resilience in the region. The Plan targets financing of in-country manufacturing and regional supply chains to replace broken global supply chains following COVID-19 disruptions and the impact of the Russia/Ukraine war. This will build regional strength and capacity against future shocks while contributing to economic recovery and growth and creating employment opportunities for young people and markets for local producers.

Clare Akamanzi, the Executive Director, and CEO of the Rwanda Development Board said, “Given that Rwanda envisions being an upper-middle-income country by 2035 and a high-income nation by 2050, it requires taking bold steps to achieve this ambitious target. One such target is to diversify the financial sector and in so doing ‘catapult’ Rwanda, and Kigali in particular into the regional financial hub of choice. Creating a financial hub will enable Rwanda to accelerate its economic growth and go a long way in mobilizing innovative ways of raising financing to spur growth and developing a skilled and diversified labor pool. Key steps have been taken to achieve this goal including the passing into law of a robust and transparent legal and regulatory framework to support this ambition.”

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The Plan strives to catalyze a social-economic transformation of the region in a socially ethical and environmentally sustainable manner by resetting a recovery that builds back better. Being a purpose-driven plan, inclusion is a centerpiece consideration to ensure nobody is left behind. The Plan is fully anchored on sustainability and governance.

The Equity Group Africa Recovery and Resilience Plan have won the support and participation of IFC, AfDB, European Development Banks (Team Europe), the Commonwealth Secretariat, the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat, the East Africa Community Secretariat, USAID, the United Nations, and the European Union, as well as alignment from the national governments of the six countries in which Equity Group operates. “We are grateful for the enthusiasm shown towards collaborating and partnering to jointly execute on the social and economic transformation of the Eastern and Central Africa region, particularly inmobilizingg USD 6 Billion in financing for the fund,” said Dr. Mwangi.

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