KIGALI - An Indian firm, Rajesh Export Limited (REL), is set to establish a gold and diamond processing refinery in the country. REL is a giant Indian jewellery manufacturer and exporter.
This was confirmed yesterday by Rajesh Mehta, the chairman of REL after a meeting with the outgoing forestry and mines minister, Christophe Bazivamo and Stanslas Kamanzi of Environment and Natural resources.
The two ministries were, on Friday, merged in a cabinet reshuffle that put Kamanzi in charge.
In an interview with The New Times, Rajesh noted that, the company took the decision to invest in Rwanda after realising the country’s unique and favourable investment climate in the region.
“We held discussions with Rwanda’s high commissioner in India and he briefed us about the encouraging investment atmosphere in Rwanda. That’s why we decided, as the board, that we should see Rwanda as our investment destination,” he said.
“We are planning to invest in different sectors like mining, housing and infrastructure. We have agreed with both ministers and I can assure you that within few weeks, we shall start. We will also set up a refinery to process gold and diamonds.”
He noted that Rwanda is the only country in Africa where they have expanded their operations. Rajesh added that the company will set up its continental headquarters in Rwanda.
This means that the minerals will be processed here before they are exported.
Kamanzi commended the delegation and highlighted that the country still needs investors.
“Rwanda needs more investors so that the economy develops. If we get more investments, nationals will get employment.”
“We have come up with a roadmap on how REL will start their operations here and they will begin immediately,” the minister said.
The new investors are coming in at a time Rwanda’s mining industry is booming. Recently, the industry registered impressive growth in the first quarter of 2011 with revenue increasing to US$35.5m.
The delegation will also meet the minister of infrastructure before departing.