Editorial: There are more untapped business opportunities upcountry

It is not every day that one finds a foreign company setting up offices and factories upcountry. Most of them opt for the convenience of the Kigali Special Economic Zone.

That was not the case for Africeramics, a new company that intends to build a ceramic factory in Nyanza District in the Southern Province.

It has been claimed that the area has one of the best clay deposits that traditional ceramic makers have been using.

The entrance of the firm whose parent company also has significant investment in cement in the country should act as an incentive for other districts to go out there and attract foreign investors.

Most local business people have abandoned their hometowns in favour of Kigali where they think is key to successful businesses, maybe once they see foreigners setting camp in their former backyards, it will entice them back.

The country has made a lot of investments in trying to build secondary cities but it will not be an easy task if there are few or no investments. It should decentralise its dream of creating secondary cities to districts and the private sector.

Even though incentives for foreign investors are in place, something extra should be added for those who build factories in the interiors because they will be doing much more than just bringing a financial windfall to the districts; they will also create employment and pass down skills to the residents.

In about a year or two, the economic dividends that Nyanza District will display should be enough to push other districts in a mad rush to pull in foreign investors. But before they even contemplate doing that, they should first try to lure back their local business people who decamped to Kigali. After all, charity begins at home.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com