(Xinhua) -- Rwanda financial sector is
expected to remain sound and stable throughout 2018, the central
bank said on Wednesday.
Banks and microfinance
institutions of Rwanda hold sufficient capital and liquidity
buffers above prudential requirement and the solvency and
profits of private insurers continue to improve, said National
Bank of Rwanda in a statement, citing an assessment by the
bank’s Financial Stability Committee.
By the end of September 2018, the total capital adequacy
ratio for the banking and microfinance sectors stood at 22.6
percent and 34.8 percent respectively, compared to 15 percent
prudential requirement, said the bank.
The liquidity coverage ratio, the main indicator of liquidity
position of banks, stood at 306 percent against 100 percent
prudential requirement, it said.
On the other hand, the liquidity ratio in the microfinance
sector stood at 96.4 percent against the 30 percent prudential
requirement, it added.
The insurance sector held sufficient capital relative to
risks underwritten, it said.
The aggregate solvency levels of private insurers stood at
155 percent in September 2018 compared to 159 percent level of
September 2017, the bank said.
Rwanda launches Alibaba’s
Electronic World Trade Platform
KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) --
China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba and the
government of Rwanda Wednesday launched Alibaba’s Electronic
World Trade Platform (eWTP), which makes Rwanda the first
African country that launches this platform.
The eWTP initiative was proposed by Jack Ma, Executive
Chairman of Alibaba Group, in 2016.
It aims to promote public-private dialogue to foster a more
effective and efficient policy and business environment to
enable small and medium-sized enterprises to participate in
cross-border electronic trade.
Ma and Rwandan president Paul Kagame jointly unveiled the
plaque of the eWTP at its launching ceremony, which also
witnessed the signing of MOUs between the two sides in the areas
of e-commerce, tourism, e-payment and capacity building, under
the framework of eWTP.
Alibaba will work with Rwanda Development Board to help
Rwandan small and medium-sized enterprises sell their products,
including coffee and handicrafts, to Chinese consumers through
Alibaba’s online marketplaces.
Alibaba’s travel service platform and Rwanda Development
Board will also work together to promote Rwanda as a tourist
destination through a Rwanda Tourism Store for booking flights,
hotels and travel experiences and a Destination Pavilion, where
Chinese consumers can learn about Rwanda.
Alibaba’s affiliate Ant Financial will share expertise in
inclusive financial tools, such as mobile payments, to support
the Rwandan digital economy.
Alibaba is also committed to providing capacity building to
academics, policy makers and entrepreneurs on how to grow a
For policy makers, Alibaba will host a three-day workshop at
its Hangzhou headquarters to showcase the nature, capabilities
and promise of a new digital economy through first-hand
experience with digital finance, logistics, e-commerce and big
A delegation of ministers and government officials
responsible for the development of Rwanda’s digital economy will
attend a workshop in Hangzhou in January 2019.
Alibaba will also continue to support Rwandan entrepreneurs
through programs such as the eFounders Fellowship.
"I hope from today, the eWTP Rwanda can be able to support
small businesses, young people and women here in Africa and sell
their things to enable them to global buy, global sell, global
deliver, global pay and global travel," Ma said at the ceremony.
"If we can make 60 million small businesses in the world,
they can do business and change the world.
"We want to ensure eWTP makes 80 percent of small businesses
in Africa to be successful," he said.
"Let’s support young people and small businesses to
globalize," he added.
The eWTP opens up new frontiers in e-commerce and tourism for
Rwanda and will also boost the capacity and competitiveness of
Rwandan entrepreneurs and business people, said Kagame.
Rwanda greatly values its growing relationship with the
Chinese private sector and Alibaba Group in particular, he said,
adding that the launch is a tangible example of that and one
that Rwanda intends to build on for mutual benefits.
Wednesday’s launch is a "starting point" for eWTP in Rwanda
and Africa, Angel Zhao, President of Alibaba Global Business
Group, told a media briefing after the ceremony.
She expressed confidence on eWTP’s success in Africa.
"We are going to build a long-term strategy (for eWTP in
Africa)," she added.
Using eWTP is really key and comes at the right time as
Rwanda launches its Made-in-Rwanda policy, designed to help
boost local industrial contribution to the economic growth while
promoting the brand of the Rwandan locally made products at the
global stage, Rwandan Minister of Trade and Industry Soraya
Hakuziyaremye said at the briefing.
It will help Rwanda’s young entrepreneurs and also local
enterprise willing to export outside, she said.
"It (eWTP) is perfectly fit in our development agenda," said
Clare Akamanzi, CEO of Rwanda Development Board.
Rwanda’s development priorities, first of all, is to improve
the income level of its people and eWTP provides very good
opportunities for Rwandan people and entrepreneurs to be able to
maximize their incomes from trading and export, said Akamanzi.
The future of Rwanda’s economic development is digital and
data driven, CEO of the ICT Chamber of Private Sector Federation
of Rwanda Alex Ntare told Xinhua in an interview.
Next drivers of digital transformation of Rwanda is the
digital transformation of trade, particularly enabling small and
medium-sized enterprises both in formal and informal sectors to
boost their customer reach through e-commerce platforms and
marketplaces, said Ntare.
E-commerce will help in economic growth of Rwanda in many
ways including cross-border trading, time saving, costs
reducing, and enhancing convenience, he said.
China’s e-commerce giant
passes on experience to Africa, with potential benefits
by Xinhua writer Lyu Tianran KIGALI
Rwanda (Xinhua) -- A startup hub on
the 4th floor of a commercial building in Rwandan capital city
Kigali is where Dioscore Shikama incubates his agri-tech
The 26-year-old set up a target to serve global farmers after
participating in a training program for e-commerce business
founders provided by China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba in China
Founded in 2016, GO Ltd provides farmers with advisory
services via mobile and allow them keeping records of farming
costs through its electronic platform AgriGO.
AgriGO also plans to launch a marketplace service next year,
where farmers can post their harvests and buyer can select
Considering the fact that many farmers in Rwanda don’t have
smartphones but only have feature phones, AgriGO basically
operates based on SMS and USSD, or unstructured supplementary
service data, while AgriGO’s partner organizations and companies
use AgriGO’s smartphone application to provide information to
Alibaba’s training program eFounders Fellowship, created to
find and empower 1,000 platform builders who can leverage
Alibaba’s experience in China, opened his vision, Shikama told
The two-week course provides first-hand exposure to and
learning about e-commerce innovations from China and around the
world that enabled growth and a more inclusive development model
The program motivates him to "acting locally, but thinking
globally," Shikama said.
"When we develop our platform, we consider farmers in Brazil,
China and other areas in the world, who were not applied to
before I went to China," he added.
The course also helps the young entrepreneur know how to
develop a team from a startup to a bigger company and gives him
a better understanding of data.
For example, Alibaba’s online payment platform Alipay
inspires him to have an idea of a payment solution for farmers,
by which buyers can pay through two-dimensional barcodes, or QR
code, to farmers bank accounts, he said.
"Alibaba is bringing in experience and skills transfer," he
Alibaba not only provides training to business founders but
also e-commerce educators.
An e-commerce club to prepare students for online business
opportunities and to impact them the knowledge of starting
e-business and trade online has been set up at the University of
Tourism, Technology and Business Studies of Rwanda (UTB), after
its three teachers attended Alibaba’s training program for
Jean Baptiste Mbanzabugabo, dean of the Faculty of Business
and Information Technology of UTB, together with his two
colleagues in August attended Alibaba’s Global eCommerce Talent
Program, an intensive learning session for trainers and
professors who are looking to develop an e-commerce course in
their home country.
After completing the program held in Rwanda, Mbanzabugabo
proposed a UTB’s global e-commerce talent program to the
management of the university, which seeks to bridge the skills
gap of young professionals to meet employability and
entrepreneurship needs of Rwandan economies, business and
entrepreneurs, while shaping young digital talents and small and
medium enterprises to better understand the e-commerce model and
ecosystem, as well as operational, business analytical and
The educator plans to integrate this program into the
university’s curricula, as well as set up a standalone
certification program to all other entities willing to join the
"Alibaba’s training for educators comes at the right time as
the world is going high today when electronic (utilization)
comes as number one," said Mbanzabugabo.
Trained educators are able to instruct business founders who
are not able to afford premises to have an online platform, he
They can also impact students with business and IT skills to
have entrepreneurship skills of starting an online business, he
Both the young e-commerce founder and the educator hold a
positive view toward the impact of e-commerce on Rwanda’s
economy, a landlocked country located in the heart of Africa.
E-commerce is just getting started in Rwanda, but it will
create more jobs for young people, open the market for Rwandan
sellers and introduce Rwandan products to the world, said
"I’m hoping it will help export, so that it can bridge the
gap between import and export," he added.
E-commerce provides people who can’t afford setting up
premises and infrastructures for doing business with opportunity
to start an online business, said Mbanzabugabo.
It also enables business people to expand their business
boundaries and "meet potential customers from all over the
world," he said.