Fishbowl Conversation

Rwanda’s Value Proposition to ESG Investors

Wednesday, October 4, 2023 From 17:00 to 18:30 (CET) Centre International de Conférences Genève - Room F
Emerging Markets & Impact Investing Innovative Finance

This conversation will bring together diverse actors from the finance industry, entrepreneurs, investors, development and government officials from Rwanda, in a dynamic and open discussion about the investment conditions and needs in Rwanda, and the priority SDGs.


Kali Taylor

Community Manager - Sustainable Finance Geneva

Kali Taylor is the Community Manager of Sustainable Finance Geneva (SFG) and works as Advisor to Building Bridges. In her role, she supports SFG’s community of professionals and advances sustainable finance impact themes in the Geneva ecosystem.  She also supports Building Bridges on governance and project management, having been involved in the initiative since its inception. Prior to joining SFG, Ms. Taylor was a policy advisor at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) focused on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) where she has led the Geneva 2030 Ecosystem and helped to create the SDG Lab at UN Geneva. Prior to coming to Geneva, she co-founded and led a global youth NGO, Student Energy, that engages young people in the energy transition and climate progress.  She has also worked in the energy industry on climate strategy, environmental management, and new ventures.

Marie Chantal Rwakazina

Ambassador of Rwanda to Switzerland & Permanent Representative to UNOG & WTO - Embassy of Rwanda

Marie Chantal Rwakazina is a Rwandan diplomat and politician who serves as the Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda to Switzerland, Austria, The Holy See, Liechtenstein & Slovenia. She also serves as the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Rwanda to the United Nations Office at Geneva and to the United Nations Office at Vienna. Prior to her appointment to Geneva, Ambassador Rwakazina had been serving as the Mayor of the City of Kigali, from 2018 to 2019. She has also served as a United Nations Coordination Analyst with the United Nations Development Programme in Kigali from 2013 to 2018.

Mohamed Cassim

Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer - Africa Climate Ventures

Mohamed leads fundraising and investing at Africa Climate Ventures. Prior to founding Africa Climate Ventures, Mohamed Founded and was the Managing Partner of Abacus Advisory and Abacus Financial Crime Advisory in South Africa. At Abacus, Mohamed facilitated the drafting of South Africa’s National Treasury strategy between 2006 and 2015. Mohamed has also long been an investor in early-stage businesses, most notably in the rapidly growing African Fintech MFS Africa, where he currently chairs the Board of Directors. He is also a recipient of the Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship (2010).

Hortense Mudenge

Chief Strategy Officer - Kigali International Financial Centre

Hortense Mudenge is the Chief Strategy Officer of Rwanda Finance Limited, the company promoting and developing Rwanda as a leading financial destination for international investment and cross-border transactions in Africa. Hortense is a seasoned management consultant, with over 10 years of experience in advising international development and private-sector clients on business and market development. Prior to joining Rwanda Finance, Hortense worked with Dexis Consulting Group and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, as a consultant, providing technical expertise in the delivery of donor-funded investment programs and grant facilities.

Lauren Nkuranga

Chief Advisor to Chairman and CEO of the Rwanda Development Board - Rwanda Development Board

Lauren Nkuranga currently serves as Chief Advisor to the Chairman & the CEO at the Rwanda Development Board. She also serves as the Chief Advisor to the Chairman of the Rwanda Mining Board, working to grow Rwanda’s market for green technology metals. She’s the current Board President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Rwanda, founding the AmCham’s Rwanda chapter in 2019. Lauren serves as Vice Chairman of the Board at Rwanda Farmers’ Coffee Company. Before her time in Rwanda, Lauren worked for Nike, Inc., including 2 years in Rwanda with the Nike project Girl Effect.

Batya Blankers

Co-founder & CEO - Chancen International

Batya Blankers is a South African native who experienced barriers to higher education, driving her dedication to equitable educational opportunities in Africa. With roots in arts management and diverse professional experiences, she pursued education in philosophy, politics, and economics, supported by an Income Share Agreement. In 2016, she conducted a feasibility study on implementing Income Share Agreements in Rwanda, leading to the founding of CHANCEN International in 2018. Under her leadership, Chancen has enabled over 2,500 youth to access quality education in Rwanda and South Africa and raising $17 million for a $21 million fund.

Stephen Nolan

Managing Director - Financial Centers 4 Sustainability (FC4S)

Stephen is Managing Director and Head of Secretariat for three networks. These include the Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) Network.FC4S also serves as the secretariat to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) Sustainable Finance Development Network (SFDN), which works to support the development of sustainable finance in the 21 APEC economies. Stephen also oversees the Sustainable Insurance Forum (SIF), which is a global network of 37 insurance supervisors and regulators working together to strengthen responses to sustainability and climate change challenges facing the insurance sector. Stephen is a member of several international sustainable finance Committees.

Teddy Mugabo

CEO - Rwanda Green Fund

Teddy Mugabo acclaimed career spanning over a decade in the Climate Change and Environmental Sector, began at the Ministry of Environment.

Prior to her appointment as CEO, Teddy Mugabo served as the Head of Business Development, now referred to as the Chief Strategy Officer, where she was responsible for Business Strategy & Development.

In addition, she served as the Fund’s Climate Change Sector Specialist and District Capacity Building Facilitator. She holds a MSc., in Climate Change and Development from the University of Sussex. She is an Eisenhower Fellow and a Three Cairns Fellow for Environment from Yale University.

Padmashree Gehl Sampath

CEO - Africa Pharmaceutical Foundation

admashree Gehl Sampath is currently the i.Chief Executive Officer of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation. She is also the Senior Advisor to the President of the African Development Bank on Pharmaceuticals and Health, a Senior Strategic Advisor to Africa CDC on market shaping; and the Chair Person of the Technical Advisory Group of the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (CTAP) of the World Health Organisation. A well-respected thought leader in the field of global health and development studies, Professor Gehl Sampath is working on some of the world’s most pressing challenges, predominantly from technology, trade, and industrialisation perspectives. She has worked for over two decades on these topics assessing competitiveness risks for governments, private sector actors at the global and regional levels, think tanks and academia, helping to designing policies and strategies for market shaping and market design, industrial performance and transformations, innovation support, and resilient growth. She also has an extensive background in policy management and policy reform. Since 2021, she has advised the German International Agency (GIZ) and Germany’s Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) on accelerating vaccine production in Africa. She currently also serves on the Advisory Council of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and leads a large regional programme focused on building regional centers of excellence for vaccine production in Africa. She is also part of the Global Access in Action Program at Harvard University; and is a Honorary Professor, University of Rwanda, Visiting Professor at the South African Research Chair in Industrial Development (SARChI ID), and a Professorial Fellow, United Nations University-MERIT, and teaches courses regularly on her areas of specialisation. She is on several boards and is the recipient of two awards (one from Rockefeller Foundation) for her work.