Rwanda Development Board (RDB) registered investments worth $1.2 billion (about Rwf800 billion) between January and June this year, which has seen them inch closer to this year’s target of $1.3 billion with six more months to go.
The investments represent 58 domestic projects, worth $ 509.1 million, 22 foreign projects, worth $406.9m, and nine joint ventures worth $338.1 million, according to RDB.
The figures in the first half of this year shot above the total investments registered in 2012 recorded at $1.1 billion by December, a landmark attributed to the impact created by business reforms implemented over the years.
“RDB has so far registered 89 projects and met 96.4 per cent of its annual target in the first semester alone. In comparison to what should have been achieved in the first six months, this represents an incredible achievement of 192 per cent,” Clare Akamanzi, RDB’s acting Chief Executive Officer, told a news conference yesterday.
“RDB will continue to ensure policies and reforms that are designed provide the private sector with the best environment to grow.”
She added that 88 per cent of the projects registered over the last three years have at least reached the implementation stage while 48 per cent are already operational.
“This is an important indicator of how commitments are turned into real projects, creating wealth and jobs in the country,” Akamanzi added.
According to RDB, top two registered investments in the first half of 2013 include Kasche (Korea Telecom), an ICT company from Korea whose investment is worth $353 million and Yumn Ltd (Hakan), an energy company from Turkey whose investment in Rwanda is valued at$265m.
The two projects account for almost 50 per cent of all investments registered in the first half of 2013.
Hakan Mining and Generation Industry wil produce 100 megawatts of power while Korea Telecom in partnership with the Rwanda government, plans to deploy 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) broadband network across the country.
The mining sector received the least investments in the first half of this year with only $0.5 million registered, while agriculture registered $40 million, tourism $32 million, services S$62 million and manufacturing $24 million.
According to RDB, all the investments created 4001 jobs by mid year.
However, Akamanzi stated that, as the country moves to implement the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS 2), more effort is needed to ensure the share of investments to GDP grow from present 10 per cent to 15 per cent by 2017.
“In the next five years, Rwanda has to make a breakthrough in exporting financial services and business process outsourcing in light manufacturing and assembly for Rwanda and regional markets as well promoting medical tourism and diversification of new products of tourism,” she noted.
Last week, the government signed a $371 million (approximately Rwf241 billion) agreement with the Indian multi-million firm, Punj Lloyd to generate 100 megawatts of peat energy.
Vivian Kayitesi, the head of Investment Promotion and Implementation at RDB, said Rwanda has managed to attract foreign direct investments with a bigger value.
“We have registered 19 foreign investments out of 89 projects. Rwandans have more projects than foreigners. Of the investments we register today, 20 per cent account for public investments but our target is to ensure that the private sector takes the lead in investment in the country,” she said.
RDB created online platforms to further ease doing business in the country, including the business registration online platform, property and mortgage registration as well as the construction permit application.
The public entity also pledged commitment towards attracting investment in other sectors such as in financial services, logistics, as well as in light weight manufacturing and assembling.