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Rwanda says it Wants to be Africa’s “Proof of Concept Country”

Two of Africa’s biggest fintech players are expanding their operations in Rwanda, which is pushing to position itself as a strategically important hub for the fintech sector by revamping its business laws and tax code. Chipper Cash, the pan-African money transfer company, opened in Kigali last week with a launch party on the sidelines of a three-day government-organized fintech conference. Chipper’s opening came two months after Flutterwave, the online payments processor, said it received two new licenses to offer cross-border money transfers in Rwanda. Flutterwave first launched there in 2019. Among the smaller markets, Rwanda’s push to stand out appears to have less competition. By offering operational incentives through the Kigali International Financial Centre set up in 2020 to mirror similar initiatives in Dubai, Doha, and Hong Kong, it casts itself as a mainland Africa alternative to Mauritius, which serves company offshoring interests, and Casablanca, which is more a route into North Africa.