Twenty-five years after the Genocide against the Tutsi, Rwanda is a calm, stable and rapidly developing economy. According to a Gallup Report, Rwanda is now the second country in terms of living and investing in Africa.
It has stable credit ratings, the lowest debt ratio in the region and a high level of governance (1st place in Africa for the government regarding transparency and the fight against corruption).
Add to this the placement of Rwanda in the top ten safest countries in the world and we have a picture of a destination that attracts not only tourists, but also investors.
One of such investors is the European Luma Holding, who together with the Rwandan partner Ngali Holdings Ltd created a joint venture project - Luna Smelter Ltd.
In this duo in the Rwandan market, Ngali Holdings is responsible for the supply of raw materials (cassiterite) and Luma Holding - strategic investor - brings capital and know-how.
The European investor is headed by Dr Radosław Miśkiewicz and Dr Ivan Twagirashema leads the Rwandan partner. The Luna Smelter company, based in Karuruma (Gasabo, Kigali) is managed by Dr Krzysztof Zamasz.
The Luna Smelter's goal is to produce tin for export. Until now, Rwanda only exported raw mineral concentrates. Luna Smelter is becoming the first producer of tin and its exporter not only in Rwanda, but also in the whole region of central and eastern Africa.
This activity is in line with the government's 7-year program "National Strategy for Transformation" and contributes to the responsible, sustainable and environmentally friendly development of the mining sector.
Such a program is a big step in the development of the country, worthy of its aspirations. Ultimately, Luna Smelter will be able to offer 300 jobs. An additional value added on the labor market is the artisanal mining development supported by this company.
The positive balance is easy to see: Rwanda is becoming the tin exporter for the first time, there is a substantial development of the mining sector, which affects the expansion of Rwanda's trade balance, which in turn creates new jobs.
This ultimately raises the standard of living of thousands of citizens of the Land of Thousand Hills. Rwanda intends to increase exports to USD 800 million in 2020 and reach the level of one and a half billion dollars four years later. Luna Smelter wants to be an important link in this significant leap.
Last week, a months-long process of preparing a tin production plant was concluded. Soon, the first kilogrammes, transformed into tons of tin ingots, will put Rwanda on the map as the only tin manufacturer in this region of Africa.
This is the first step towards tin 'Made in Rwanda' being realised worldwide.
For this year's production, the smelter will need over 10 tons of cassiterite per day. In the future, after switching on the second furnace, this demand will double.
The Rwandan staff Luna Smelter is well selected and prepared. They are the people with good university preparation and some of them also have an extensive professional experience.
Some of them have completed relevant studies at Rwandan and African universities (South Africa, Uganda), others have studied in Europe (England, France, Belgium) or in the United States.
They have worked in the Rwandan mining and metallurgy sector and even for the European Atomic Energy Commission. The main metallurgist has worked in the metallurgical and steel industries in India, the United Arab Emirates, Ghana and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
"Ngali Holdings is engaged in this project - said Dr. Ivan Twagirashema - because it is significantly developing the exploration and mining sector, which is our prerogative.
It is a part of the government's development program for this sector and the entire economy of Rwanda.
Francis Gatare, CEO of Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board, in turn drew attention to the impact of this project on the development of professional mining projects and the injection of investments coming to the country together with the experience and know-how offered for the development of the local industry.
Asked for an opinion, the main investor, Dr Radosław Miśkiewicz shows that the Luma Holding Group sees and confirms the development of Rwanda and thus the entire economic area of East Africa and treats the smelter works project as a starting point for exploration and mining projects and sees Rwanda as a future metallurgical and mining leader and hub of raw material for this part of Africa.
To sum it up, we can say that this is another example of how Rwanda is betting on increasing the added value in production and industry and an example of supporting sectors that build its economy.
Due to the importance of the mining sector, and especially the Luna Smelter plant project, as the only one of its kind in this part of Africa, the Rwanda Mining Board and other institutions supporting it are involved in its success.