40 British companies to explore business opportunities in Rwanda

Rwanda will next week host representatives from about 40 British companies that have picked interest in investing in the country.
Delegates inspect some of the products from Rwanda's agriculture transformation during an agribusiness meeting in Kigali in 2010. (File)
Delegates inspect some of the products from Rwanda's agriculture transformation during an agribusiness meeting in Kigali in 2010. (File)

Rwanda will next week host representatives from about 40 British companies that have picked interest in investing in the country.

According to William Gelling, the British high Commissioner to Rwanda, the potential investors represent companies dealing in sectors including energy, construction, mining, agriculture, transport and financial services.

The trip is coordinated by the Eastern Africa Association, a private sector organisation comprising prominent, mainly British based companies with business interests in East Africa. The visit is scheduled for March 11-14.

Last year, a UK-Rwanda Investment Forum was held in London where President Paul Kagame urged the business communities of the two countries to make the most of the excellent relationship they share to drive fruitful and longstanding investment opportunities.

Rwanda’s ambition of becoming an ideal investment destination received a boost after Parliament, last week, passed a bill that will see investors in priority sectors benefit from generous incentives including tax holidays.

The Rwanda Development Board is expected to pitch investment opportunities that are available in the country.

According John Small, the CEO of Eastern Africa Association, beyond being ranked third on the continent for ease of doing business, Rwanda being an active member of the East African Community would make it possible to access the rest of the region.

“Rwanda’s economy has been growing by over 8 per cent over the last decade and the MO Ibrahim index ranks Rwanda as the most consistent country in Africa in form of good governance improvements over the last decade. Its economy is still virgin with numerous opportunities,” Small said ahead of the visit.

Speaking to The New Times yesterday, the Rwanda Development Board Chief Operations Officer (COO), Claire Akamanzi, said it was encouraging to see that there had been a follow up from last year’s UK-Rwanda Investment Forum which would make way for continued cooperation.

She said the British economy being diverse, her organisation would pitch several areas that will be of interest to the investors.

“Some of the areas include financial services mostly in insurance and private equity. Another area that might be of interest to them is agriculture especially tea and horticulture,” Akamanzi said by telephone.

The other area is real estate, and she said, UK investors already have a stake in the Kigali Heights commercial complex that is currently under construction in Kacyiru and according to Akamanzi, this sector is likely to attract more investors from the United Kingdom.

“Rwanda will also present opportunities in natural mineral resources exploration and energy among other viable investment areas,” she added.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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