The government is slated to offload 60 percent of its shares it holds in three tea companies in its bid to liberalise the economy according to Rwanda Development Board (RDB).
Being represented by OCIR THE’ the country’s tea authority, a statement from RDB says that government would be selling its stake in Mata tea company, Shagasha tea company and Gisakura tea company.
Claire Akamanzi the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of RDB says that the government has embarked on an institutional and economic reform program aimed at modernizing the Rwandan economy and expanding the role of the private sector.
“The primary aim of the government in privatizing the tea sector is to attract suitable buyers with adequate expertise and financial means to facilitate needed investment,” said Akamanzi.
She also stressed the need for the state to disengage from commercial activities in the tea sector and consequently removing the burden on the government to directly or indirectly provide resources to this sector.
Currently the government has been the majority shareholder in all the three companies.
In Mata tea company, the government owns 90 percent shares out of which it intends to sell 60 percent hence retaining 30 percent. Villageo is a private company which owns another 10 percent.
On the other hand for Shagasha, government controls a 70 percent stake and two private companies Coopthe’ and villageois own 20 percent and 10 percent respectively. Government seeks to give away 60 percent as well.
In Gisakura the third company in which the government is seeking private investors the government owns 75 percent while Coopthe’ holds 15 percent and the villageois owns 10 percent.
The government is seeking to attract both local and international tea operators, or a consortia that are reputable and competent in developing the tea sector.
“The sale will also ensure that local farmers benefit from the privatization process as well as ensuring fair and equitable treatment of employees in the privatization process,” explained Akamanzi.