In 2019, Made-in-Rwanda diversified from art-crafts and food industry

The diversification of Made in Rwanda products is helping to drive the country export revenues. Photo: E. Kwizera.

Since 2015, the term “Made in Rwanda” has become familiar in Rwandans’ ears. But ever since it was launched, the phrase has been linked mostly with textile, art-crafts and food products.

In 2019, “Made in Rwanda” became more than art-crafts and food industry, hence adding other shelves to its section: e-mobility and smartphones.

e-Mobility

Rwanda going green in the transport sector has been one of the major headlines this year. The e-Mobility sector has seen the launch of an e-Vehicle and e-Motorcycles, all of which are still in the trial phase.

For the e-Vehicle, the project was launched on October 29th by Volkswagen with their first electric car in Africa named e-Golf. It is said that 50 cars will hit Kigali roads together with 15 charging stations in the coming year.

It’s not only the 4-wheeled vehicles that were introduced into e-mobility but also e-motorcycles.

In this sector, two companies have penetrated the Rwandan market. Ampersand which uses the battery swap method and Safi Ltd that will be using charging stations.

Some of these motorcycles, from Ampersand, are already operational in Kigali.

However, the management of Safi Ltd revealed that within the first quarter of 2020, it will also avail the first fleet, fifty to a hundred electric motorcycles along with the charging infrastructure to begin in Kigali.

Safi Ltd also said that it has invested $13 million in the technology and plans to roll out at least 3,000 electronic bicycles, 2,500 smart bikes, and 1,500 electronic scooters.

These products will not only benefit the Rwandan market but also availed to the outside world with a Made in Rwanda tag.

With a lot of people worried how households will be sharing the same electric energy with these electric vehicles, Rwanda Energy Group (REG), said that there is a surplus of energy, in that there is more supply than demand. 

Therefore electricity shouldn’t be a problem.

Mara phones

On its broader made in Rwanda initiative, on October 7 Mara Phones launched its production plant at the Kigali Special Economic Zone in Gasabo District.

It is the only facility on the African continent where smartphones are manufactured.

These phones cost between $100 and $200. However, the company said that the ones to be sold on the Rwandan market will be the only ones bearing the Made in Rwanda logo whereas others that will be sold outside Rwanda will bear the Made in Africa logo.

A boost to Rwanda’s external trade

These commodities will not only benefit the Made in Rwanda initiative but also boost Rwanda’s exports sector.

According to the National Institute of Statistics Rwanda’s external trade report of 2019 second quarter, Rwanda’s total trade was US$ 1,073.6 million, an increase of 13.31 per cent over the second quarter of 2018 and of 13.81 per cent from US$ 943.33 million in the preceding quarter.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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