Japanese investors eye local ICT industry

More Japanese companies have expressed interest to invest in Rwanda’s information communication sector (ICT). The interested companies so far include; Ottowa Denki Engineering Company, the Digital Development management company, (DDMJapan), Revert technologies, Toyota Tsusho, Chatani co Japan and Kobe Institute of computing (KIC) among others
Hisashi Yamada (R) with Japanese investors in Kigali on Tuesday. The investors have shown interest in the ICT sector. (All photos by Nadege Imbabazi)
Hisashi Yamada (R) with Japanese investors in Kigali on Tuesday. The investors have shown interest in the ICT sector. (All photos by Nadege Imbabazi)

More Japanese companies have expressed interest to invest in Rwanda’s information communication sector (ICT).

The interested companies so far include; Ottowa Denki Engineering Company, the Digital Development management company, (DDMJapan), Revert technologies, Toyota Tsusho, Chatani co Japan and Kobe Institute of computing (KIC) among others

According to Hisashi Yamada, the Director General, Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) Kobe, the companies are currently seeking strong business ties with potential Rwandan investors as a mechanism to promote trade between the two countries.

Yamada and a group of Japanese investors on Tuesday paid a courtesy visit to Rwanda to explore investment opportunities in Rwanda after attending the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD-VI) in Nairobi, Kenya last week.

He told The New Times that JETRO’s commitment is to continue encouraging and facilitating private investors to come to Africa and Rwanda in particular under the regional industry tie programme.

“The idea is to provide varying levels of support and assistance to encourage business partnerships between Japan and Africa for at least a period of more than 3 years,” Yamada said adding that the programme seeks to promote industrial exchange and collaboration between Japan and participating countries like Rwanda.

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Yamada (L) chats with a Japanese investor after meeting local entrepreneurs in the ICT sector in Kigali. 

Early this year, the City of Kigali signed a partnership agreement with Japanese city of Kobe to promote ICT as a tool for economic development in both cities.

The two cities already had an outstanding cooperation and the latest deal will serve to strengthen their relations.

Kobe is the 6th largest city in Japan and the capital of Hyogo prefecture.

According to Robert Ford, the vice chairman chamber of ICT private sector federation (PSF), the deal is to ensure strong partnerships in three key areas, namely; business, academics and public sector.

They also hope to enhance trade and investment focusing on ICT among other sectors, he added.

“The deal also seeks to enhance business dialogue between Japan and Rwanda while promoting exchange programmes to develop technical talent in mutually identified priority areas, including developing ‘smart cities’, encouraging exchange of new innovative industries and research opportunities, and promoting tourism and cultural opportunities,” Ford said.

In Rwanda, companies like Wiredin, Vision Technologies, ASI-D Ltd and NCTA Company are already in the process of establishing business partnerships with their Japanese counterparts.

And according to Kenji Fukuoka, the director of Kobe Institute of Computing, investing in ICT will help fast track Rwanda’s economic development.

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A Japanese investor makes a point during the meeting. 

More efforts to boost ICT

Meanwhile, 10 Rwandan ICT experts were last month awarded scholarships to go to Japan and acquire hands-on skills in information and communication technology as part of efforts to strengthen economic ties between the private sectors in Rwanda and Japan.

They will join 16 Rwandan students already benefitting from the African Business Education Initiative for Youth (ABE) scholarships.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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