Kagame unveils model granite factory
President Paul Kagame yesterday officially opened East African Granite Industries (EAGI), currently the largest in the region.
Built on 72 hectares in Nyagatare district in the eastern province, the US$ 15 million factory was constructed through a joint venture between Crystal Ventures and Rwanda Social Security Board (NSSB).
Speaking after touring the factory, Kagame requested the investors to exploit the Rwandan market as they expand to supply the region.
He noted that the new factory contributes to national development and creates employment. The factory currently employs 230 directly and 1000 more indirectly. The President added that with the new factory, Rwandans will not need to import construction materials and requested the owners of the factory to come up with attractive prices to lure local, regional and international buyers.
Rwanda is rich with natural resources like marble, and according to the President, with the new factory, Rwandans will be able to tap most of the resources in the country. He added that what makes EAGI special, is that it is an investment by Rwandans and called on fellow citizens to support the initiative.
In his advice to employees of the factory, President Kagame said the factory to achieve its goals, there was need to keep it running 24 hours a day, adding that clients should not wait for the factory to supply them by instead ensure that products are available all the time.
EAGI produces natural granite that can’t be mistaken for artificial granite or ceramics and the factory is aggressive about expanding its granite colour offerings so that its quality and affordability can be
extended to all its customers. It is the only granite processing factory in the region that produces two colours, the rest produce only one.
The Chief Executive Officer of Crystal Ventures, John Bosco Birungi, noted that one of the expectations from the factory is that it is going reduce the importation of construction materials.
It took two and half years to construct the high-tech factory of which the technology and expertise was provided by Chinese experts.
“This factory has a capacity to produce about 200,000 square meters of processed granite annually and it is equipped with 20 modern machines. Geological studies conducted recently indicated that this
Nyagatare site can feed the factory for 75 years,” said Birungi.
He pointed out that the factory will benefit the local population, saying that during the set up of the factory, a road was constructed as well as a power line, and that the factory intends to build a water treatment plant that would supply the neighbourhood.
The chairman of the Board of Directors of EAGI, Afrique Ramba, said the factory has a competitive advantage against others in the region because it’s the biggest and has the ability of producing customized granite tiles in a short period.
“We did a market survey and discovered that our prices are almost 50% less than other granite producing factories in the region,” said Ramba.
Following the launch of the factory, President Kagame laid a foundation stone at a site where the Eastern Province Investment Corporation will construct a Four-Star hotel and thereafter met and
held talks with opinion leaders from Nyagatare.
President Kagame advised them to always have a positive attitude towards development, saying that with the will and upright attitude, a lot can be achieved.
He advised the local leaders to exploit all available opportunities and ensure that their citizens live a wealthy and good life.
Nyagatare District is known to be one of the areas that have developed remarkebly in the last ten years, and Kagame advised the leaders to maintain the pace of development.
He added that if Rwandans have to be proud, they need to have a firm ground as a basis for being proud, saying it was the doctrine of the Rwanda Patriotic Front – of which he is the chairperson.
Contact email: edwin.musoni[at]newtimes.co.rw