GOODWILL:Government has pledged support
Nyagatare – A granite factory, East African Granite Industry, located in Rutaraka village of Nyagatare district, has started to manufacture of granite tiles.
It is expected to employ more than 200 people are.
According to the factory experts, Rwanda has abundant granite which can allow the factor to function at the top level for nearly half a century.
It will be processing granite as a low material which is nearby the industry and Rwanda has a variety of Granite in abundance which can allow the industry to function up to 40 years.
In an earlier interview, Nicky Barigye, the coordinator of the company, said they planned to produce 120,000 granite tiles per year with a provision to expand to 200,000 tiles depending on the market demand.
According to Barigye, the firm is expected to explore the tile market in the region with an ambitious target to supply the market of about $97.4m.
He added that EAGI is seeking a partnership with China’s Beijing Union Stones to provide the much needed expertise and technology.
According to Barigye, the regional market for finishing products like tiles is still big with only four companies from East Africa-two from Tanzania and two in Kenya.
“Our equipment and big reserves has the capacity to produce above 300,000 tile stones but it will be driven by demand on the market,” he added.
The depot covers 47 hectares of pure granite stones that will produce different shapes and colours of granite tiles, he said.
The machines will be operated by Chinese engineers.
The US$10million (approx: Rwf220m) granite factory, is jointly owned by Building Materials Investments (BMI), a joint venture by the National Social Security Fund of Rwanda (NSSFR), Horizon Group and Crystal Ventures.
The factory will extract granite rocks with porphyry-construction materials, which are normally imported to Africa from China and United Arab Emirates.
The factory’s products will are expected to be cheaper than the imported ones.
While visiting the plant recently, the Prime Minister, Dr Pierre Damien Habumuremye, promised government’s support, especially through extension of infrastructure such as water and electricity.
Stanley Muganwa, the Nyagatare Nyagatare district vice mayor in charge of economic affairs, hailed the decision to set up the factory in the area, saying it was expected to help address the issue of unemployment.
He said that the district’s revenue was also expected to increase, as the district looks forward to more industries.
“A large number of educated and uneducated people, who are capable and willing to work, roam here and there, without any job,” he told The Business Times.
He added that there were many youth who were either underemployed or unemployed.
“The lives of such people, as well as of their families will extremely improve if they get employed at the factory permanently. This is the basis of the population’s excitement”.
Patrick Musona, a resident of Nyagatare, said unemployment was a major challenge, as every year thousands of graduates pass out of schools and colleges.
“In our district, labour is available in abundance. We should provide avenues for employment for them through small-scale industries. The granite factory’s arrival was thus timely...we are now somehow optimistic that our children can get jobs in the future,” he said.