Kayonza District has unveiled plans to become a logistics hub, connecting transportation networks and offering various logistics services. The district is known for its vibrant population and entrepreneurial spirit, particularly in areas like Mukarange and Kabarondo. Additionally, its large flat terrain is ideal for extensive agriculture. Kayonza is also home to the Big Five in Akagera National Park and boasts the stunning scenery of Lake Muhazi. These factors, along with other investment opportunities, were presented to showcase the district's potential. ALSO READ: Up-close with Kayonza women who make balls that got global attention This was revealed during the district’s first-ever investment forum held on October 31, which convened government officials, banks, local and international investors, and academia to discuss the potential of unlocking opportunities for inclusive economic growth and development in the district. The district’s strategic location and proximity to major transportation routes from the Rusumo and Kagitumba borders to the capital, Kigali, have made it an ideal location for a logistics hub, according to officials. “Logistics services such as warehousing, distribution, and transportation management will help businesses benefit from the efficient and cost-effective movement of goods, storage, and delivery. Kayonza District can be the midpoint for logistics before goods continue to Kigali or other areas. It’s all about establishing the right infrastructure and logistics management to support that,” said Bill Kayonga, PSF representative at the forum. ALSO READ: Eastern Province: Farmers call for more investment in agri-machinery Being the second largest district in the country with the most planted fruit trees in the country on over 2,000 hectares, investors were also called upon to establish small and medium factories to process and manage the post-harvest losses that may result from the abundance of fruit yields. According to officials, Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) start-ups should exploit available benefits, eliminate the phobia of establishing businesses, and play a role in the district’s vision towards achieving the National Strategic Transformation pillars (NST1). Philip Lucky, the acting chief investment officer at RDB, said: “In order to support SMEs, the initial capital that was required to start a business was exempted, whoever wants to start a business can register their projects with RDB to receive support instruments, including tax exemptions.” ALSO READ: Kayonza: Dairy Farmers vow to increase milk production Challenges Bureaucratic hurdles, poor infrastructure, mainly in some rural areas, and limited access to finance are some of the challenges that need to be addressed in order to fully realise the district’s vision towards achieving the National Strategic Transformation pillars, according to entrepreneurs. “To achieve all we are projecting, eliminating bureaucratic hurdles is important, but complicated and time-consuming procedures, such as obtaining permits and licenses, have deterred a number of potential investors,” said Rehema Nyinawumuntu, a Jibu staff member. Also, the lack of information on where to invest has hindered the progress of potential investors in the district, according to Chantal Kamashazi, an entrepreneur in Kayonza with a firm engaged in organic fertiliser production. She said: “Most investors engage in business they are used to; the lack of information on where to invest in the district has been a setback for unlocking those opportunities, but this forum has opened eyes to whoever wants to invest. I know colleagues who have capital but are reluctant to invest due to a lack of information on where to invest.” ALSO READ: Kayonza: Coffee growing boosts financial freedom for women Speaking to The New Times, Kayonza District Mayor, John Bosco Nyemazi, emphasised the district’s commitment to creating a more business-friendly environment while addressing any challenges that may arise in the course of unlocking opportunities aimed at the economic growth of the district. “Our goal is to make Kayonza an attractive destination for both local and foreign investors. We have a team to ensure that all necessary information is easily accessible. The reviewed master plan under progress will provide clear guidelines for development, and land will be utilised according to what it is reserved for,” the mayor said. Among the other opportunities presented for investment are the construction of Mukarage Mega Market, a golf field, a home for water sports along water bodies, mini-agro-processing factories, and boosted hospitality infrastructure in the district.