Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has just released its annual report and it did not disappoint on all fronts.
RDB has been an important cog in the country’s development wheel and managed to attract investments worth $1.67 billion that created close to 40,000 jobs in 2017. Four years ago the investments were less than a third of the amount, an indication that RDB has been on a serious onslaught; putting in place a conducive investment climate that is already paying dividends.
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Some of the investors signed the deals with not much fanfare; one is an organization that plans to build a smelter so as to add value to coltan, an inland dry port in Kigali, new investors in the iconic King Faisal Hospital as well as several high-end players in the hospitality industry or a modern industrial tea estate.
The icing on the cake was when a Portuguese company penned a deal to inject a whopping $400 million into Bugesera International Airport whose works are well in advance.
It is important to point out that not all the investments were foreign sourced as nearly a third was local. RDB therefore needs to take notice; more and more Rwandans are willing to take the plunge in what has been historically a foreigners’ playground.
What Rwandans need to be encouraged is to stop working in isolation but pool resources together. It is very rare to see a private local company with multiple shareholdings or even listing on the stock exchange. Venture capitalists have begun to arrive and it would do good for local investors being taken through the ropes on how to work with the newcomers.
That will be a hard nut to crack but if RDB uses the same zeal it has exercised in the past, no stone would be too big to turn.