The Fintech Landscape in Rwanda

The UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is partnering with the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) and the fintech community to provide technical assistance to support innovative approaches for the regulation of the blossoming fintech ecosystem in Rwanda.

Information on fintech start-ups in Rwanda is scattered, and a mapping exercise of ecosystem players is yet to be completed. Addressing those gaps, UNCDF conducted a landscape analysis to (1) develop a centralized repository of information regarding fintech start-ups operating in Rwanda, (2) assess their capacity and needs and (3) identify appropriate areas for collaboration among UNCDF team members, regulatory bodies and fintech start-ups to promote innovation in Rwanda.

The UNCDF team completed the landscape analysis through a combination of desk research and semistructured interviews with fintech start-ups, ecosystem facilitators, policymakers and regulators. The team reviewed policy documents, regulations and frameworks guiding the development of the financial sector, the digital transformation and the innovation agendas as well.

Information gathered during the research and received from various stakeholders indicated that 44 fintech start-ups are currently operating in Rwanda. Since the fintech landscape in Rwanda is evolving, this number is subject to change as more information on companies that are not active members of various associations in the industry becomes available.

The UNCDF team leveraged the Ernst & Young fintech ecosystem framework,1 evaluating the current and projected trends in four core ecosystem attributes: (1) availability of talent, (2) demand for products and services, (3) availability of capital for start-ups and innovators, and (4) government policies and regulations regarding innovation.

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