The local stock market has moved to improve the capacity of financial market stakeholders to enhance efficiency and create awareness about the sector. Under a deal signed between the Rwanda Stock Exchange and CFA Society East Africa on Wednesday, sector players and the general public will be trained in different areas to improve their skills and understanding of financial markets by CFA Institute.
The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) programme is a professional credential offered internationally by the American-based CFA Institute to investment and financial professionals around the world.
According to Pierre Célestin Rwabukumba, the chief executive officer of Rwanda Stock Exchange, the partnership seeks to foster the development of the Rwandan capital markets.
Rwabukumba added that the agreement includes collaboration on capacity building initiatives for capital market players in areas, like governance and risk management in the financial sector, with an aim of improving professional excellence, ensuring accountability besides creating a pool of professionals to give the public investment advice.
For those intending to enroll for the programme, the RSE chief advised them to consider the move as "an investment into their business".
He said the institute will also involve investor education and public awareness initiatives to "ensure players understand the fundamentals of financial markets, basic investing principles and investor rights", among others
As part of the deal, the CFA Society East Africa will sensitise RSE members on the programme, provide research services and share market data on the Rwandan capital markets. Rwabukumba noted that the qualification will give market players the requisite skills to make sound investment decisions "while maintaining utmost professionalism".
Paul H. Smith, the president and chief executive of CFA Institute, said the agreement is part of the framework they have with the African Security Exchanges Association (ASEA). ASEA brings together all stock markets across Africa, including the Rwanda Stock Exchange. Smith said the institute supports stock exchanges through provision of scholarships to financial markets' staff to encourage them to study the CFA course. "This is part of the broader initiatives geared at continued professional education and skills development for sector players. So, this is a commitment to collaborate on the development of the local capital market," said Smith.
In the East African Community, CFA Institute has about 1,000 candidates including Rwandans.
Smith lauded the support given by different institutions like the Ministry of Finance, the central bank and the capital market body, saying there is "a sense of commitment toward developing Rwanda as a financial hub in the East African region."
Trainees speak out
Zephanie Niyonkuru, a CFA Level I candidate, said the course improves competency of learners, giving them the necessary skills to ably advise clients on financial and investment matters. "The CFA programme ensures academic and professional growth due to its rich curriculum that involves practical case studies. Besides its global respect and recognition, the course exposes candidates to different fields that significantly increase their investment analysis competencies," Niyonkuru explained.