Rwanda Hopes to be the Fintech Capital of the Continent, While Kenya and Nigeria Look at Taxing Cryptocurrencies
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 in June on the side-lines of a 3-day government-organized fintech conference. Chipper’s opening came 2 months after Flutterwave, the online payments processor, announced that it had received 2 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 a route into North Africa and from North Africa into the EU.
Nigeria looks likely to implement a 10% tax on the capital gains from cryptocurrency trading; many traders and industry stakeholders believe the tax will not work. Kenya on the other hand is wants a 3% tax on the trading of cryptocurrency and NFT’s, a move that has been ridiculed by Binance and other exchanges.
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