More investors commit to boosting exports

Eight more companies have signed agreements with government committing to increase production and scale up exports.
Product Development Manager East African Granite Industries Christian Mugisha (L) exchanges documents with minister Kanimba as Evode Imena looks on. (Timothy Kisambira)
Product Development Manager East African Granite Industries Christian Mugisha (L) exchanges documents with minister Kanimba as Evode Imena looks on. (Timothy Kisambira)

Eight more companies have signed agreements with government committing to increase production and scale up exports.

The companies are in the mining and manufacturing sectors and include Rwanda Plastic Industries, Rwanda Allied Partners, Minimex, Demikaru Ltd, East African Granite Industries and Development Mining Company Ltd.

 Under the agreements, companies committed to expanding the scope and mode of production along the value chain so as to boost exports and forex revenue.

The contracts, which will be subject to annual reviews, aim at enhancing economic growth, the Minister for Trade and Industry, Francois Kanimba, said.

Kanimba was addressing investors in Kigali on Wednesday. The government had entered  similar  agreements with 38 other companies.

“The objective is to facilitate these companies with the needed  infrastructure and link them to markets to boost productivity,” he said.

The infrastructure will include construction and rehabilitation of roads linking producers to markets, rural electrification that will help reduce the cost of production, and logistical infrastructure such as storage facilities for horticultural products. 

A monitoring committee put in place by the Ministry of Trade and Industry will ensure that progress is tracked every month.

Evode Imena, the State Minister in charge of minerals at the Ministry of Natural Resources, said the deals will help the sector realise its targets.

“For Rwanda to be able to fetch $400 million from mineral exports, it’s paramount for such deals to be struck. Such kind of arrangements are  also intended to complement the existing  legal and institutional  framework,” Imena said.

 We do not want to give miners excuse for not increasing production, we will continue to support the sector so that it can realise its objectives, he added.

 Emmanuel Kinyogote, Director, Development Mining Company, is optimistic that the agreements will help address the challenges in the sector. He cited limited access to credit, market information, skills and technology among their challenges.

 Therefore, we are hopeful that with these agreements, solutions will be provided, Kinyogote said.

 Latest GDP figures by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda indicated that the country’s Industrial sector grew by 4 per cent and contributed 0.7 percentage points to economic growth during the third quarter of 2014.

The mining industry, in particular, fetched Rwf26 billion reflecting 2 per cent contribution to the overall GPD.

However, growth in the manufacturing sector declined by 5 per cent due to increased cost in importation of raw materials as well as low production of cereals, a major raw material in local manufacturing.

Manufactures are, therefore, optimistic that with these agreements, the sector’s contribution to the national growth will increase in the near future.

 Last week, government signed similar agreements with 19 tea cooperatives and factories to boost tea exports.

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