Ant Group, a major financial services technology provider of China, together with the Government of Rwanda have launched a Rwanda to China instant remittance service, which enables senders in Rwanda to remit fund from their account with the Bank of Kigali to the recipient’s Alipay account in China and receive in yuan.
Alipay is a third-party mobile and online payment platform, established in Hangzhou, China in February 2004 by Alibaba Group and its founder Jack Ma.
Alipay is expected to facilitate trade and bring ‘more and better services’ in doing business between Rwanda and China.
The arrangement is under the MoU framework of the electronic World Trading Platform (eWTP) between Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Alibaba Group, Bank of Kigali and the Ant Group (a Chinese fintech).
RDB’s CEO, Clare Akamanzi presided over the launch on Thursday in Kigali and said that the eWTP has been a beneficial program for building business relationships with China.
She said that 60 Rwandans have obtained degrees in E-commerce through the program in addition to the export of coffee and chilli and the selling of tourism products.
Bank of Kigali CEO, Diane Karusisi, said that the new service will facilitate people to remit funds from Rwanda to China at a fraction of the usual cost.
Sending US$10,000 will cost as low as US$25 yet it normally costs US$100 via other platforms.
“This is only the beginning…we look forward to working more to facilitate trade and investment between Rwanda and China,” Karusisi said.
Wang Jiaxin, the Economic and Commercial Counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Rwanda said that China has a large digital economy worth US$6 trillion.
“We have great potential to launch digital cooperation between our two countries,” he said.
Akamanzi hailed the strong relations between Rwanda and the People’s Republic of China. She said the two countries enjoy a ‘cordial, fruitful and productive relationship.’