Small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) in Rwanda are set to benefit from skills and technology transfer from Indian businesses, Joseph Kabakeza, the First Consular at the Rwandan High Commission in Delhi, has said.
Kabakeza said Indian SMEs were ready to mentor their Rwandan counterparts to boost their capacity so that they can grow and become competitive.
He was speaking at the just -concluded Confederation of Indian Industries in the Export-Import Bank Conclave on India-Africa partnership in New Delhi, India on Monday.
During the event, companies from Africa showcased some of their export products.
“Trade between Rwanda and India has grown over the last few years, but our businesses have a lot to learn, especially harnessing technology to improve operations,” he said.
He noted that Indian SMEs produce high quality goods and services sustainably because they use cost-effective technologies. The main items India exports to Rwanda include pharmaceuticals, vehicles, plastics and machinery.
Over the last 12 years, Indians have registered 64 projects in Rwanda, worth $259m, according to the Rwanda Development Board (RDB).
Kabakeza is confident the $120m (Rwf79.5b) concession loan secured by the Government of Rwanda from the Export-Import (EX-IM) Bank of India in October last year, to provide irrigation systems, improve watershed management and agro-processing, would help address the issues in the SME sector.
Yaduvendar Mathur, chairman and managing director of EX-IM Bank, said capacity building and institutional reforms were essential to ensure sustainable growth of Rwanda’s economy.
Rwanda is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, according to the 2014 World Business report.
“We are looking at capacity building co-operation in the private sector, especially in manufacturing and infrastructure development,” Mathur said, observing that such large-scale capacity building programmes call for easy access to finance.
Mathur pledged EX-IM Bank’s support, especially by helping finance Rwanda’s development-oriented projects.