A delegation of 15 top business executives majority of them representing major corporations based in France yesterday expressed interest in extending their companies’ footprint in Rwanda, with identified areas of investment including health, transport and logistics, energy, ICT and agriculture. The delegation, which is part of the delegation accompanying French President Emmanuel Macron on his two-day visit to Rwanda, was received on Thursday evening by Clare Akamanzi, the CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB) who presented to them available opportunities in the country. The delegation was made up with nine companies –, EUTELSAT, InnovATM, EGIS, M2i Lifesciences, TACTIS-INNOPOLIS, GFI-INETUM, Digital Skills Foundation, POMA, HYDRONEO, which are exploring opportunities to invest in, and three which are already in Rwanda – namely Sher Artelia, Bolloré Logistics, and Canall+. “We are looking very much at starting a new relationship with each and everyone of you and companies that are here today. I hope that we can grow the relationship that we have with France with the investment aspect,” Akamanzi said. Jérôme Baconin, France’s regional economic councilor for East Africa and Indian Ocean said that many French entreprises are getting interested in Rwanda, because of among others, the country’s reputation globally in the area of doing business. He said that the visit of President Emmanuel Macron is an encouragement for the French investors to come to Rwanda, and invest. He said that France and Rwanda signed a roadmap of the projects that they want to do together. “What we target in such roadmap is the projects which socio-economic aspect with a strong positive impact on the people in the field of sustainable development,” he said, citing modernisation of health system, and transport development. “I think soon you will get new French investment in Rwanda,” he said. Facilitation Talking about interventions that France will provide to French companies interested in investing in Rwanda, he said that it will provide grant – amounting to 1 million euros per project – to support activities such as feasibility studies as well as pilot phases of projects when there is need for small-scale trials to make sure that they work before they are fully undertaken. “The feasibility study grants is intended to assess, together with the authorities of Rwanda, the best type of projects to implement,” he said, adding that they will support public-private partnership financing model. Christian Le Roux, the Secretary-General of M2i Lifesciences, wanted to know how a company can establish a business in Rwanda. “We came with this delegation in order to share our innovation in protecting crops grown in the country from pests. How can we start partnership, carry out trials and be able to distribute our products in the country,” he asked. Akamanzi said that RDB facilitates doing businesses and links them with the institutions with technical knowledge in a product depending on its nature, pointing out that any agriculture-related matters are handled in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources. Adelin Kajangwe, in charge of investment promotion at RDB said that Rwanda performs well in terms of the rule of law – good governance, tackling corruption – and has conducive business environment. Talking about incentives, he gave an example that Rwanda offers a 7-year tax holiday to large investors of more than $50 million in important development projects. Profile of some of the companies Egis Egis is an engineering company active in the development, transport infrastructure, water and environmental sectors. It works in road and airport operations. In 2019, it had an annual turnover estimated at €1.22 billion. Eutelsat Eutelsat is a satellite operator. Providing coverage over the entire European continent, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas, it is the world’s third-largest satellite operator in terms of revenues. Eutelsat’s satellites are used for broadcasting nearly 7,000 television stations, of which 1,400 are in high-definition, and 1,100 radio stations to over 274 million cable and satellite homes. They also serve requirements for TV contribution services, corporate networks, and mobile communications. M2i Life Sciences This is a company specialising in sustainable technologies for agriculture and health. It offers biocontrol products. It specialises in particular in the supply of pheromones for eco-friendly pest management, which is an alternative to traditional insecticides. Inetum Inetum is a digital services company, with activities including IT systems and software consulting. At December 31, 2018, the group’s workforce amounts to 19,000 people, including 10,000 in France. It had a turnover of about € 1.6 billion in 2019. Poma It is a company which manufactures cable-driven lift systems, including fixed and detachable chairlifts, aerial tramways, people movers, and surface lifts. It has installed about 7,800 devices for 750 customers worldwide. Its only major competitor is the Doppelmayr Garaventa Group which is based in Austria and Switzerland. Hydroneo This is a firm that develops, finances, builds and operates small and medium-sized renewable energy plants. As a fully integrated company, it said, it is engaged in every step of the value chain of a project. It indicated that its expertise in the various phases of a project constantly adapts to local specificities: site identification, technical design, social and environmental responsibility, financing, construction, operation and maintenance. Tactis With over 25-year experience since 1995, Tactis has been carrying out projects in the deployment of digital infrastructures including broadband access, 4G, 5G mobile networks, Wifi, fiber optic backbones, submarine cables, space communications, datacenters, professional radios, indoor networks, sensor networks, video protection, among others.