Plans by Madhvani Group to invest $75m (approx Rwf60bn) to scale up sugar production in the country from 15,000 to 55,0000 metric tonnes a year is good news for the country’s economy.
The venture will go a long way in addressing the shortage of locally made sugar, which has seen the country spend $35m (Rwf28bn) on sugar imports annually.
The high foreign exchange spent on sugar imports has only worsened the country’s trade deficit which continued to widen in the first half of this year.
With talks between Government and the company reported to be at an advanced stage, the country could finally be able to generate enough sugar locally to meet the local consumption demand estimated at about 80,000 metric tonnes annually.
The company which already owns the plant has submitted a proposal on the proposed expansion and modalities of cooperation with the Government. Madhvani Group, a Ugandan company, took over Kabuye Sugar works following a privatisation deal in 1997 but over the years has not produced to the desired capacity in light of the country’s sugar needs.
The expansion of the sugar plant will greatly help in cutting the trade deficit and Government should expedite the review of the proposal since the investor is ready to proceed with the planned expansion as soon as the Government gives a green light.
The expansion will also come with creation of more jobs for Rwandans and the proposed new factory will have a nucleus estate which will provide modern services for the community around the sugar factory.
The proposal is a vote of confidence in Rwanda as a preferred investment destination. Rwanda is ranked among the best places to do business in the world.