The Rwanda's Capital Market Authority (CMA) has this Friday, 31st January 2020 kicked off the seventh edition of Capital Market University Challenge with an official launch held in Musanze IPRC.
Shortened for CMUC, the annual competition runs as flagship part of Rwanda's CMA program of public education and awareness aimed at inculcating the culture of saving and investment particularly through capital market among students.
The competition started in 2012 bringing together thousands of students in all universities and other higher learning institutions for a month-long quiz and essay competition about capital market know-how.
Theogene Kubahoniyesu, a CMUC 2017 winner, sharing the story of his journey, encouraged students in colleges across the country to participate in the contest, and also start saving and investing through the capital market.
With his then-college mates, Kubahoniyesu owns a training company, BSA Group started as a students’ saving group, and is now reaping profits. He stressed that “We won over Frw 1.1 million. We did not use the money but as CMA teaches us the culture of saving and investing, we bought shares in some of the listed companies, after one year we invested in other businesses and as of now we have over Frw 3 million on our bank account excluding the money in circulation.”
Noting the challenge reaches at least 4,000 thousand students every year, Magnifique Migisha, CMA's public relations officer encouraged them to take advantage of the available opportunities so that they can save and invest wisely in the capital market products.
"As you put something together," he said, "you can make something big out of it. By saving, we can be self-reliant, we can be able to create more jobs," said Migisha
Speaking about the importance of investment among young people, Migisha said: "You don't need millions of francs to start a business, to be a boss," adding "All you need is to think and have a vision."
He explained that capital market products such as bonds and shares can be used as collateral when seeking bank loans.
This year, according to CMA's data, all universities in Rwanda - that exceed 40 - will participate. The competition currently awards the top three in each category but plans to raise the bar in the near future.
The challenge, that also seeks to produce future professionals, seemingly comes at the right time, for the right population.
"Beyond the Rwf1.5 million prize, we learn what capital market is - that we can invest and earn profit only after six months without any other hustle colliding with your studies," said Serapie Tuyishime, a business and information technology student at the University of Kigali, Musanze Campus.
"Saving actually saves," noted Tuyishime sharing her experience on the importance of saving.
While contestants in quiz category receive topics on the main day, those in essay writing have 'The role of savings clubs in boosting the savings culture among the youth' as topic. The essay deadline is bound to the 15th of March, 2020.
The competition's grand final is slated 3rd April 2020 in Kigali Convention Centre where awards will also be presented to the best performers at the national level.
The top three clubs in quiz category will be awarded Rwf 1.5 million, Rwf 1.2 million and Rwf 1 million while the overall winners in the essay writing will scoop Rwf 700,000, Rwf 600,000 and Rwf 500,000 respectively.
All prizes are provided in forms of shares of companies listed at the Rwanda Stock Exchange – pragmatically exposing the winners to the industry.