A delegation of Japanese top business leaders is in Rwanda to explore trade and investment opportunities in the country.
The delegation is made up of 28 Japanese firms as well as officials from the public sector.
The mission is led by the country’s Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Manabu Horri.
Members of the mission include representatives of giant corporations involved in various sectors, including trade, manufacturing and finance, among others.
Firms represented include Toyota Tsusho, Hitachi High-Tech Group, Mitsubishi, Marubeni, Toshiba Africa, Shimizu, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, JETRO, and Fujita among others.
Among the government agencies they visited include Ministries of Infrastructure, Trade and Industry, Agriculture and Animal Resources, as well as Information Technology and Communication.
The Minister for Information Technology and Communication, Jean de Dieu Rurangirwa, presented Rwanda’s ICT agenda and opportunities, including creating a single African digital market.
Among the projects presented include Kigali Innovation City, which seeks to promote the country’s economic growth through digital transformation as well as propel the country into a knowledge-based economy.
Rurangirwa also showcased the country’s plan to produce high value electronics like micro-chips and, plans to develop ICT services for the local market as well as exports.
“We are also looking at how we can expand our incubation ecosystem. All these are areas that strongly require heavy investments,” the minister told the delegation.
Rwanda is also seeking prospective investors to invest in value addition of its dominant minerals like tantalum, tin, gemstones, and tungsten.
“Right now we are still a low-technology country and the mineral industry particularly needs investment in machinery to be able to add value on what we currently produce,” Francis Gatare of Rwanda Mines Board said.
The Minister for Infrastructure, Amb. Claver Gatete, said that Rwanda was looking at modernising the central sewerage systems, investment in off-grid energy and other infrastructure projects.
Manabu Horri, who heads the Japanese Public-Private commission on promoting trade and investment in Africa, said that there was a growing appetite from his country to invest in Africa.
In Rwanda, Japanese companies doing business increased from three to 19 in the last five years with the portfolio expected to grow further going forward.
“This mission is part of Japan’s efforts to meet this commitment,” Manabu said, adding that the visit will deepen economic ties in the public and private sectors.