RE: “A growing middle-class will attract more investments” (The New Times, September 8).
It’s encouraging that the Government and private sector are working to develop industrial demand and capacity to soak up excess labourers from agriculture that will become available as the latter is rationalised/corporatised.
However, I suspect that there’s a cap on economic development that one can expect from light industrialisation.
Not only from a limit to the value of its output, but also to the spillover effects to related industries (inputs, substitutes/lateral and outputs) and broader capacity building. One has to start somewhere, though.
I suppose the Government hopes it can induce and signal enough change in thinking and environment that Rwandans, the private sector, and international investors pick up the slack (or run away with the train).
If the “Made in Rwanda” campaign is successful, coupled with a broader deployment of light manufacturing that pulls labour from agriculture, and the bringing on board of meaningful energy resources, perhaps the path towards a mid-middle income economy will become clear.
Growing further will probably require broader East African Community growth to secure cheap export routes, broader supply chain and industrial input/output capacity, and markets.