The last time the world heard him hard was in March 2020 when, in a perceived racial move, he found himself high and dry from Credit Suisse in Switzerland after almost single handedly turning it around.
Seven months after that, he is in the news again. This time, however, it is news of his appointment as the Chairman of the Board of Directors Rwanda Finance Limited, the Rwandan State owned hub for promoting Kigali International Financial Centre, aka KIFC.
The centre is designed to function as a hub for financial best practices and global competitiveness of Rwandese and Africans as well as securing foreign investment on a high profile scale.
With experience spanning the British, Swiss and the African finance, specifically banking arena, Thiam is a case of no better material for the Rwanda job. It could also be inferred it is a case of choosing to work for Africa at this point.
It would take some time before his reputation for turning things around is demonstrated on this job but the appointment sends a signal: a Rwanda response to Africa’s crisis which many would now argue, is 70 % agency in nature and less than 30% structural or material. If that is correct, then bringing in someone who can be said to have seen it all globally in that realm is a major move, much, much beyond Rwanda.