The Kigali International Financial Centre (KIFC) on Thursday launched the first and fintech-focused Africa Fund.

The $50 million fund, backed by MyGrowthFund Venture Partners, will focus on fintech companies with proven technology, operating in Africa, a statement from the Rwandan fund said.

The fund aims to bring together investments and fintech investment opportunities and “will increase African investment in African fintech specially since less than 10 percent of the private equity investment in 2021 came from the continent.” The fund’s objective is to grow the capital to $120 million.

Private equity investments in Africa have doubled during the last decade with fintech receiving close to 60 percent of the capital. Total capital invested in African fintech companies grew by $1.49 billion in 2021 compared to the previous year, setting Africa’s highest fintech funding year to date at $2.02 billion.

According to GSM Association across Africa, economic value add worth $155 billion will be generated by mobile technologies and services by 2025. In 2020, transactions on mobile money platforms reached $490 billion.

The announcement came at a KIFC event in Dubai. KIFC was started and promoted by Rwanda Finance Limited with the aim to develop the country as financial destination for investors seeking opportunities across Africa.

Several of the newly formed African unicorns, particularly those offering payment or banking solutions, have sought out Kigali as a base to consolidate their regional operations, KIFC said.

Nick Barigye, CEO of Rwanda Finance Limited said as 70 percent of the investment deals go to tech-based products and/or services, "attracting fintech oriented investors and creating a thriving fintech ecosystem, which would facilitate scaling up investment across the continent" was important.

(Reporting by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria )

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