EDITORIAL: VW’s entry a turning point in the manufacturing industry

At a time when the World Bank is reviewing its Doing Business report for the last four years– amidst a lot of controversies – Rwanda’s continuous very good performance has attracted quite a number of foreign investors.

At a time when the World Bank is reviewing its Doing Business report for the last four years– amidst a lot of controversies – Rwanda’s continuous very good performance has attracted quite a number of foreign investors.

The latest to come on board is the global car maker, Volkswagen (VW) who will begin to assemble cars mid this year.

VW’s entry marks a turning point in the manufacturing cycle; a vote of confidence for the investment climate and plugging a void in new affordable and environmentally friendly cars, a far cry from the mass of second hand cars past their prime that crowd our streets.

The VW in Rwanda story has really not been told the way it should be because it is BIG.  Apart from Audi, not only is the largest car maker the parent company of luxury brands such as Bentley, Porsche, Lamborghini and Bugatti, some of the heavy duty vehicles we see on our roads such as MAN and Scania are also part of the family.

Hopefully, this is the beginning of something even bigger where more global brands open shop in the country. Despite Rwanda being landlocked, its strategic positioning gives it access to a market of over 140 million people.

For the young, firms such as VW are a major opportunity for skills transfer and meaningful employment. The Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centres (IPRCs) will be able to train their students with particular focus on the skills needed to meet the growing specialized demands.

The last year was a window of what hard work, focus and determination is all about and there is no reason to think that this year will be any different; all that is needed in maintaining the stride.

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