Rwanda has identified the finance sector as one of the key pillars to become a middle-income country by the year 2020.
This strategy is paying off as during the African Bankers Awards 2014 ceremony that took place on the sidelines of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) Meetings in May, 2014, in Kigali, President Paul Kagame received a special recognition and the Bank of Kigali was awarded for being the best bank in East Africa.
He received the award in recognition of Rwanda’s achievements that include spearheading the economic growth and transformation the country has achieved over the last 20 years.
Addressing guests at the event, President Kagame thanked Rwandans who have sacrificed much to put Rwanda where it is today.
“Rwandans have made me the kind of leader that I am and they have given me the strength that has added up to taking our country forward,” he said.
President Kagame said that the award highlights those who have been instrumental in maintaining excellence and best practices along with the outstanding achievements of individuals and companies that have changed the perception of Africa’s potential in domestic and international markets.
He however called for continued efforts
“As we celebrate, we must think about doing more and sustaining what we have achieved,” said President Kagame.
Rwanda’s financial institutions have been awarded for the improved performance of the sector and its contribution to the national economy.
These awards are also recognition of reforms, rapid modernization and expansion of the banking and finance sectors in Africa.
Omar Ben Yedder, the Publisher of African Banker Magazine, said that President Kagame has set a powerful benchmark of excellence for future generations of leaders to follow.
The Publisher of African Banker Magazine, Mr Omar Ben Yedder, noted that the award was memorable because they took place in Kigali where all delegates have witnessed the transformation of a country.
“Since we launched the awards, we have witnessed the transformation of an industry. There is no room for complacency because there is much room for growth and development to achieve the transformation we all desire and work towards,” he added.
According to the organizers of the event, over the years the quantity and quality of entries has been increasing which attests to the readiness of African banks and financial institutions to showcase to the world the good work they have been doing.
Approximately, 42% of the total population of Rwanda is in the formal financial system, while banking dominates the financial market with 66.3%.
The sector remains liquid, well-capitalized and sustainable growth. Interests on loans are stable and ranges between 14% to 22%.
The National Bank of Rwanda, which will be celebrating its 50th years anniversary in August this year, regulates the financial system.
It also issues licences to commercial banks, insurers, pension schemes, micro finance institutions, forex bureau and credit reference bureau.
The three biggest banks in Rwanda are Bank of Kigali, Banque Populaire du Rwanda and I&M Bank.
Among the largest regional banks with a presence in Rwanda are Ecobank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Access Bank, Equity Bank and Kenya Commercial Bank.