KIGALI - Visiting Saudi Prince, His Royal Highness Al-Waleed bin Talal, yesterday said he was interested in investing in Rwanda after being inspired by the “progress and visionary leadership.”
Shortly after paying a courtesy call on President Paul Kagame at Village Urugwiro, Prince Al-Waleed noted that Rwanda’s progress, has earned the country a positive image across the world and drawn the interest of investors.
“Today I met the President of Rwanda, a great leader that helped put Rwanda on radar screen around the world with respect and dignity,” Prince Al-Waleed, who was flanked by his wife, told reporters.
“We see all experts and world leaders coming here because Rwanda has come out of its quagmire and civil war under the leadership of President Kagame,” he added
The Philanthropic Prince noted that Rwanda’s current leadership has turned the country round, from an impoverished state to a more developed one, adding that it is the reason he visited, to show his support.
“We are here to assure him (President Kagame) of our support and have his vision materialize, either through the investment opportunities that we will work on or by identifying areas where we can offer our assistance and support,” he added.
The Saudi Prince noted that his office will be coordinating with the President’s office and the Ministry of Finance to identify projects which he can finance through his philanthropic fund.
“We are a holding company and we are very keen after our exploration visit. We have just began our engagement with the Government of Rwanda,” Prince Al-Waleed said
“Hopefully through some future visits by designated delegations from our investment committee and from a philanthropic fund that belongs to us, we will decide on certain projects that will be of help to the Rwandan people,” he added.
Prince Al-Waleed, a member of the Saudi Royal Family is a private entrepreneur and international investor.
One of the leading businessmen and richest people in the world, Prince Al-Waleed began building his investment portfolio in 1979, following the completion of his studies in the US.
He established a number of business ventures, initially focusing on construction and real estate. Over time, his investments grew rapidly and eventually led to the formation of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC).
He then ventured into banking, hospitality, telecommunications, broadcasting and media, entertainment, electronics, retail, tourism and agriculture as well as automotive manufacturing. His empire has since grown to make him one of the leading businessmen worldwide.
As of March 2010, his net worth was estimated at US$19.4 billion, up from $13.3 billion, according to Forbes, making him the 19th richest person in the world on their list published in March 2010.