AMERICAN celebrated Hollywood movie star Ben Affleck is in Rwanda to explore investment opportunities for future business engagements.
The Oscar winning star has been in the country since Saturday and is set to leave tomorrow after holding a series of meetings with several Rwandan officials, Francis Gatare, the Director General of Rwanda Investment and Export Promotion Agency (Riepa) said yesterday.
“He has been here with his business partners as he plans to switch his model from humanitarian to business (activities). He has been identifying areas of investment,” Gatare said.
He added: “He has been a very keen follower of the progress taking place in Rwanda since 1994. Lately he has picked interest to do business in Rwanda, and we have been showing him the progress the country has made.”
Gatare quoted Affleck as saying: “When you are cheated in a place like Seattle in the US, it’s very easy to think that Rwanda you saw on CNN in 1994 is still the same. Seeing is believing, and I am happy to have come to Rwanda to witness how the peace and security in the country is real and should be communicated to the world.”
The Riepa boss said that the American actor had expressed interest in investing in entertainment, value addition in agriculture and education. “All this is still at preliminary stages.” “He is zeroing in on Rwanda as a place for business,” Gatare said of Affleck who is an actor, writer and movie director.
Ben Affleck, married to actress Jennifer Garner, hit the Hollywood radar in 1997 as the co-writer and co-star of “Good Will Hunting,” earning an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay along with childhood best friend Matt Damon.
Affleck, 35, who once dated international star actress and singer Jennifer Lopez, comes to Rwanda just five months after actress Natalie Portman joined other global celebrities to name baby mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park. A number of big international names including CEOs of Starbucks, Microsoft, Google and CISCO, as well as leading personalities in the entertainment industry have previously visited Rwanda on business missions.