Rwanda has enough quality clay that can be used by the planned ceramic plant as a raw material to manufacture floor, walls and roofing tiles, a top official has said.
Dr. Michael Biryabarema, the Head of Rwanda Geology and Mines Authority told Business Times in an interview that the country has untapped potential for manufacturing high quality tiles.
“We have got some group of people who picked interest but we have not discussed in details so far,” Biryabarema said last week.
His remarks come amidst Umubano Tiles’ plans to construct a $2m (Rwf1.2 billion) ceramic tile-making plant in Rwanda.
The plant will be the first of its kind in East Africa and would cater for Rwanda’s booming construction sector and also reduce the importation of ceramic tiles in the region.
A business plan by Umubano Tiles shows that due to high tax charges imported ceramic tiles are expensive and also take more than two months to be accessed on the EA market, hence stalling some construction projects.
Statistics indicate that Rwanda’s tiles imports reached $136 m in 2008 as investment in the construction sector grew to $140m in the same year.