Ferit Şahenk, one of the richest people in Turkey, on Thursday, June 23, promised that his multinational’s operations in Rwanda will “do something very good for the country.” The Chairperson of the Doğuş Group was speaking during a panel discussion on investing in Rwanda at the Commonwealth Business Forum, in Kigali. His Doğuş Group is one of the largest private-sector conglomerates in Turkey. It has a portfolio of 250 companies in seven industries, including high-end car dealerships, retail stores, restaurants, cafes, construction companies, radio stations, media and tourism businesses. “We have 200 plus restaurants and more than 20 hotels around the world. And we want to grow in our new home country, which is Rwanda. We want to make Rwanda to be the seed of growth for us to all other brother African nations,” Şahenk said. “We have to do something very good for the country. We have to feel that when we are walking in the country, people look at us and say, ‘we like them to be in this country’. And, I can only promise you this, with our hospitality [Group], that is from Los Angeles to Hong Kong; with our construction Group, from Saudi Arabia to Romania, and Turkey; we are going to commit all our humanity, all our passion, to Africa, beginning from Rwanda.” It is very simple, Şahenk said. “You just have to commit and have the passion for the country.” Asked what compelled him to do what he is already doing in Rwanda, including building water treatment plants, infrastructure projects, and others, he noted: “What makes Rwanda are the people and the leadership.” “When I met President [Paul] Kagame I was immediately in love with this country. A great visionary. And he loves his country and his people. This is very important.” In many countries, Şahenk noted, there is bureaucracy but “you have to have the heart, you have to have the belief and, coming from an emerging market country like Turkey, you have to believe in yourself and your team has to believe in what you are doing.” “My team has a 100 per cent commitment beside me to be in Rwanda.” Why? “The entrepreneurship spirit, the positivity, and friendship will take this country [places] – with obviously the grand picture; the entrepreneurship style of the leadership of President Kagame.” In October 2021, officials from the Doğuş Construction Group were in Kigali where they met ministers including Uzziel Ndagijimana of Finance and Economic Planning, and agreed on the framework of a partnership to accelerate infrastructure development in Rwanda. Agreed areas of focus included development of water treatment plants and upgrading existing ones, roads, bridges, railway development, airport development and construction, ports management in addition to energy development projects ranging from access, distribution, transmission lines and sub-stations. Doğuş Construction committed to establishing a regional office in Rwanda and bringing on board the teams to assess all necessary technical aspects of the projects in the various sectors as a move to fast track the implementation process. Doğuş Construction is considered a world-class leader in the construction sector. It has completed more than 208 mega-infrastructure projects since 1951 with a total value of $20,6 billion.