The New Times (Kigali)

21 October 2008

Rwanda: English Key in Country Becoming Financial Hub - Minister

Kigali — If Rwanda is to become a financial hub, then all financial institutions' staff should learn English.

This was said yesterday by the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, James Musoni, while addressing financial institution representatives including Bankers, Insurers and the Social Security Fund at the Ministry's head office in Kigali.

"The financial sector will operate better with English because all the financial transactions in the region are done in English," Musoni underscored.

The call comes three weeks after the Government of Rwanda announced the new language policy, emphasizing the use of the English language in schools.

Without specifying when staff training will start, Musoni said that the English speaking policy will be effective soon.

He clarified the point that according to the Rwandan constitution all three languages English, French and Kinyarwanda are acceptable, but business operations will be conducted in English unlike some people's mentality that the country is shifting from Francophone to Anglophone.

The move will help Rwandan financiers to interact with others in neighbouring countries especially those in the East African Community.

The program to learn English will be one of the key determinants of Rwanda's initiative to become a regional financial and ICT hub, and also break barriers in trade within the region.

Regional integration being part of the six pillars of the country's Vision 2020.

Rwanda joined the EAC on 18 June 2007 and is in the process of fully connecting economically with the harmonisation of some policies like the Monetary Union, Customs Union, and Common Market.

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