How the financial landscape of Africa is evolving, and the importance of lawyers involvement, is encapsulated in the first of a series of research reports published to mark the launch of the Kigali International Financial Centre (KIFC) in Rwanda in June 2021.
The centre has been developed to facilitate international investment and cross-border transactions.
The research report series, produced by the KIFC in partnership with global media platform Africa Legal, is aimed at uncovering the relevance of a new IFC in Africa and to encourage lawyers, irrespective of where they are, to “stay local” when doing business.
The first document analyses data from 100 responses given by lawyers in 19 jurisdictions with the overarching finding being that African businesses are underserved by financial centres with the establishment of an African International Financial Centre (IFC) long overdue.
The responses reflect how the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is front of mind for investors. Big money, and the lawyers that direct its flow, want robust regulatory and legal environments, a culture of compliance, political stability, good infrastructure and ease of business before considering opportunity.
Hortense Mudenge, COO of Rwanda Finance Limited said understanding the “massive impact” of lawyers in shaping the economic development of countries and providing them with the right support and input would change the way business is being done.
“Now, as we strive to open doors and work across borders, it is more important than ever that we do our business ‘at home’ working with people who understand the unique challenges and needs of Africa.”
Africa Legal Chief Executive Scott Cowan said the driving force behind Africa Legal was to build relationships, deepen insight and increase access to legal services.
“The ethos of the KIFC and Africa Legal is the same – and this is to bring together the people who are shaping finance and development to enable connections and share local knowledge. We are extremely proud to be working with the KIFC on this historic project.”
The next part in this series dives deeper into the role the new centre will play in attracting capital and funds to drive investment. The series will conclude with a look at the broader corporate and commercial opportunities the IFC can generate for businesses seeking to expand in Africa.
To download the full report, click HERE (please note you need an active LinkedIn account to view/download the report).
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