President Paul Kagame on Tuesday made case for Africa’s business environment, saying the continent is ripe for investments from countries like Germany and others from the European Union (EU) area.
He was speaking at the ‘G20 Compact with Africa’ Investment Summit held in Berlin on Tuesday.
G20 Compact with Africa is an initiative launched in 2017 to promote private investments in Africa and currently, 12 African countries – including Rwanda have joined it.
Kagame commended Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel’s leadership in prioritizing investment from the German business community.
The Head of State highlighted an example of Rwanda’s partnership with Germany companies like Volkswagen (VW), Siemens and SAP, saying that it “demonstrates the competitiveness of our economies and the reforms that have been happening in the ease of doing business."
Participants at the G20 Compact with Africa’ Investment Summit held in Berlin on Tuesday. Village Urugwiro.
“This really showcases how Africa is ripe for business and investment, and how far we can go,” he told participants, where heads of state and business communities had gathered.
Kagame added that this was delivering the practicalities of what Africa wants to see from Germany, Europe and the G20.
Besides Rwanda, other African countries that are part of the partnership are Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Morocco, Senegal, Togo and Tunisia.
Thomas Schaefer, the Chairman and the Managing Director of Volkswagen South Africa told business executives present especially those from Germany that the continent was particularly ready for investments in the automotive industry where his group is already invested.
He pointed out that the continent was faced by challenges of dumping of used cars and extraordinary importation of fuel, saying businesses could tap into that to address challenges.
VW presently assembles cars in Rwanda, the journey which Schaefer said started back in 2016.
“In the next move, we are going into electric mobility because there is no way a country like Rwanda can continue to import fuel. We believe Rwanda can go carbon neutral,” he noted.
Last month, VW unveiled an electric mobility project in Rwanda which serves as a pilot for the company’s future decisions of electric mobility in the continent.
The company now uses electric-powered versions of its Golf hatchback cars for a ride-sharing service.
According to figures from Rwanda Development Board (RDB), German business interests in Rwanda have been expanding over the past few years.
From 2000 to September 2019, the RDB has registered 17 German investments (totaling above $257 million) with interests in a wide spectrum of sectors.
The investments are in energy, mining, services, construction, ICT, agro-processing and manufacturing.
While Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) Has decreased globally, Africa continues has seen an increase nearly 11 per cent valued at USD46 billion, according to available statistics of 2018.