Agriculture has emerged as the most appealing sector for investors this year, overtaking construction and hospitality sectors that previously dominated the investment scene, with projects worth over US$598 million having, so far, been registered at Rwanda Development Board (RDB).
The latest figures effectively mean that RDB has surpassed the seemingly high targets of US$550m. The provisional statistics availed exclusively to Business Times indicate that investments registered are now back to pre-2008 levels following a huge slump last year, in the wake of slow global economic activity.
Agriculture topped the list with US$116.3m closely followed by ICT with US$109.6m and tourism with US$108.8m. Infrastructure registered deals worth US$85.5m while construction brought in US$76m.
RDB Chief Executive Officer (CEO), John Gara, attributed the healthy recovery to better packaging of Rwanda’s investment opportunities to targeted investors as well as the resulting recovery of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) prospects to Rwanda.
“We are quite pleased with the figures registered so far, which show that we have surpassed the set targets, which we initially thought were quite ambitious at that time we set it,” Gara said.
Gara added that the target set early this year, was effectively meant to recover lost grounds suffered last year. Investments registered last year was US$398m, the lowest since 2006 compared to US$1.1b registered in 2009,the highest figures registered ever.
“This year has not been an easy one as the crisis is still continuing; having convinced investors that this is a good destination is something pleasing for us,” the RDB chief said, adding that; “When you package the opportunities well, you are more likely to sell them. So, besides merely targeting investors, RDB is improving the way it is showcasing the opportunities apart from the fact that FDI prospects are improving.”
In the provisional statistics, the recovery of FDI’s into Rwanda, a key aspect of the overall transformational agenda, stands at 62 percent of total investments bringing in over US$371 million, compared to less than 50 percent registered last year.
However, the number of registered local investments brings in over US$200 million, a figure that surpasses foreign investments.
In the RDB figures, 47 projects are classified as FDIs, while 73 are local investments with 13 projects designated as joint ventures, bringing to 133 the total number of registered investments.
The projects are expected to generate 8,688 jobs into the economy.
Editor: Business Times Magazine will carry out a detailed analysis on investments in 2011 in next Monday’s pullout.