UNCDF has been present in Rwanda since 1981, promoting community empowerment through infrastructure development and service delivery.
Today, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.
Through UNCDF's Inclusive Digital Economies practice, UNCDF partnered with Comic Relief and Jersey Overseas Aid to launch the ‘Rwanda: Expanding Financial Access & Digital and Financial Literacy’ (REFAD) programme in 2019 to expand access to finance and improve digital and financial capability for vulnerable populations. The REFAD Programme has made significant strides in catalyzing Rwanda's digital finance ecosystem to reach digitally and financially underserved target populations such as refugees, youth, and women, as indicated in a case study publication released in 2022. Additionally, UNCDF entered into a partnership with the Ministry of ICT and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to accelerate the development of the Rwandan fintech sector through the establishment of the FintecHub. Through a multi-stakeholder approach, UNCDF will facilitate the provision of technical assistance and capacity building to foster innovation and develop solutions to shape the future of the fintech landscape in Rwanda.