The government has signed agreements with two investors to establish new clothing and shoe factories at the newly-demarcated ‘Apparel Manufacturing Zone’ at the Kigali Special Economic Zone.
The first agreement was signed between the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Prime Economic Zones Ltd, for 5 hectares of land.
The second was signed between the ministry and two investors in the apparel manufacturing industry (Albert Supplies Ltd and Rwantan Ltd).
The Apparel Manufacturing Zone (AMZ) currently occupies 5 hectares in Kigali Special Economic Zone.
The Government land is to be given to investors engaged in apparel production, requiring them to pay for it over a period of 20 years as a way of encouraging them to invest in the country.
“We realised that one of the major challenges for the investors is that they find it hard to acquire land in the economic zone where a hectare of land costs up to Rwf430 million. This would make them spend a lot of money in buying land and the related processes. So we decided to help them so that their investment will remain in securing machinery and other needed capital,” said François Kanimba, the minister for trade and industry.
The minister said the move was one of the strategic interventions taken by the Government to develop and strengthen the capacity of production units engaged in textiles, and leather production and consequently limit consumption of imported used clothings.
Albert Nsengiyumva, the director of Albert Supplies Ltd, said the factory will produce different types of high quality clothes and employ up to 2,000 people.
He said the investment in the factory for the start is Rwf10 billion and by July next year, finished products will have been put on market.
Bede Bedetse, a Burundian who manages Rwantan, a leather products manufacturing company, said they will produce different types of affordable leather products, including belts and footwear.
Kanimba used the opportunity to also call on other investors to take advantage of the AMZ land opportunity while the land is still available.
Out of the 5 hectares of land, only two-and-a-half remain.
Other textile factories in the country include C&H Made in Rwanda and Utexrwa, one of the oldest companies in Rwanda.