Clarification on Bakhresa story
Reference is made to the article that was published in The New Times on Thursday 3rd November, 2011 entitled RDB under scrutiny as investor seeks justice in which the writers gave a misrepresentation of the role of RDB in facilitating the Bakhresa project, and claims that the investor has side-stepped RDB by writing to the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
First of all, RDB facilitates investors on behalf of the Government of Rwanda. In doing so, RDB works very closely with the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM), the ministry with investments in its attributions. Therefore the impression that the writer makes is that the investor can pick which institution to work with, RDB or MINICOM. This is very misleading as it ignores the fact that there is only Government of Rwanda with institutions that serve its interests as one. These are complementary not competing institutions.
Secondly, it is true that in the said meeting, the Hon. Minister of Trade and Industry regretted the challenges Bakhresa faced, but also acknowledged the solutions which GoR found for the investor as well as those that are still being addressed. These include:
When Bakhresa first came to invest in Rwanda, they bought land through individual contacts to build a factory, and were later advised by Kigali City that this was not suitable for an industrial purpose. They then approached RDB for facilitation, which together with Kigali City Council found suitable land at the new Kigali Industrial Park in conformity with the Kigali Masterplan.
As was explained in the meeting quoted by the journalists that took place two weeks ago, and only reported on 2nd November 2011, it was unfortunate that the Kigali Industrial Park project could no longer proceed. RDB and MINICOM, mindful of the need to minimise losses to this important investor, Bakhresa, sought a solution by proposing the merger of KIP and the Kigali free Zone company, the latter a more advanced project, which was approved by all parties.
Meanwhile, as due diligence, financial audits and valuation were conducted to enable the merger, the Government agreed with Bakhresa that they install some of the infrastructure needed to kick-start the project and be compensated after the merger. As a result, Bakhresa to date is operating and selling their products.
Lastly, all the outstanding issues that Bakhresa raised before the meeting above, including compensation for costs incurred in establishing utilities and tax refunds were discussed, progress in resolving them acknowledged and the way forward agreed upon, between the investor and Government.
The establishment of the Special Economic Zone is a national project that has involved all relevant institutions including, MINICOM and RDB. Ensuring its success and that of the investors established there and elsewhere, remains a top priority for the entire Government of Rwanda.
For RDB, facilitating investors and coordinating Government’s investment promotion and aftercare is not a choice; it is our primary responsibility and commitment. We look forward to a continuous engagement and partnership with the media as we strive for excellence in serving esteemed investors.
For further queries or concerns regarding this issue, please contact
Linda Mutesi Vivian Nininahazawe
Communications Manager, RDB Public Relations Officer, MINICOM
Email:firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org