German multinational, Siemens, is looking to enter Rwandan market in the coming months with investments in energy and infrastructure.
The firm this week completed their exploratory studies to ascertain the viability of the planned investments.
Official say that initial studies show viability of the local market in their sectors of interest and they have already received interests from private sector clients.
In an interview with The New Times yesterday, Andre Bouffioux, the Chief Executive of Siemens for Belgium, and West and Central Africa, confirmed that, in Rwanda, they are keen on the energy and infrastructure sectors.
He said that their interest in Rwanda has been generated by a set of factors, including political stability, growth potential, and readiness for technology advancements.
“Rwanda has a good growth rate, is stable and has a very good vision for the future and very good governance. We are looking at the country in a three-phased approach,” he said.
Following their exploration of the opportunities and viability of the market, the firm is looking to have deliberations with the government seeking a moral commitment on working together.
“We have a three-phased approach, we do exploration considering the size and availability of a market. We also look to establish if there is growth as well as the needs. We also look to see if there is an acceptable governance we can do business with.”
“The second one involves meeting with stakeholders, such as government officials and getting commitments and, finally, following up with concretisation,” he explained.
He said that, in their and talks with the government, they will seek to have a shared understanding of aspects such as the need to pursue quality as opposed to cost, technological synchronisation and commitment, among others.
The firm cautioned against alternatives in project implementation, claiming that, often, it leads to high cost during operations.
Among the technological advancements they are keen on introducing in Rwanda is innovation to avoid energy loss during transmission and distribution as well as energy efficient infrastructure.
Already the firm has a number of clients in the local mining, energy production and distribution, and climatisation.
Climatisation is the preparation or modification of buildings for use or comfort in a specific climate.
Their plans for Rwanda, among other things, include partnerships and collaborations with the local entities in project implementation as well as universities in training employees for the future and knowledge transfer.
“We always build together with local partners, who can do the service, and run our systems. We are also planning to do collaborations with universities to train trainers on the technology and create a body of knowledge so that we can train our employees for the future and knowledge transfer,” Bouffioux said.
The firm expressed willingness to consider multiple models for project implementation, including financing of projects if viability is assured.
According to Bouffioux, the partnership with Rwanda would also be ideal considering the technological readiness of the country and ability to test out new innovations, a principle shared by both parties.
During the implementation phase, he said, the firm would seek to work with locals with planned costs on training and technology transfer.
“We want the jobs we create to be for Rwandans and not for expatriates. Training will be part of the investments,” he said.
The firm’s intention to invest in Rwanda follows investments by several other multinationals, such as Volkswagen, and Mota Engil (in Bugesera International Airport) among others.