Rwanda is hosting the first ever East African Community Investment Conference, even when it should be remembered that it has just recently been admitted in the regional bloc.
This is a great endorsement of confidence that the region has in Rwanda, and the wishes by many to see it put its past behind it, and push on with development.
The conference, organised as it has been by Rwanda Investment and Export Promotion Agency (RIEPA), has attracted a big number of participants, and expectations are high that the delegates will adequately address the challenges that still hinder carrying out smooth business in the partner states.
One of the biggest and outstanding problems that make it difficult to do business in East Africa is the poor infrastructure. The state of the roads is pitiful; a railway network is not there, and where it is found, is working fitfully.
The communication and technology infrastructure is yet to be fitted together to benefit all member states better. All these and more, should be treated with serious deliberation. Non-tariff barriers remain a big constraint, and would be better tackled.
It is not too late to urge local business entrepreneurs to attend this all-important conference, and not only air out their problems, but also network with other prospective business people from other regions.
Other than the two-day business that the delegates have brought to Rwanda, Rwandans should benefit more by linking up with people with whom they share common interests, and see the way forward of expanding and improving their businesses.
This is a call that has already been made by the RIEPA boss, Mr Francis Gatare, which every business-minded person should take seriously.
East Africa is welcome to Rwanda, and we hope that the visit will leave a permanent imprint on our country and people.