There was a steadily increasing demand of the roofing sheets in Rwanda which the hardware dealers and suppliers were failing to exploit exhaustively
Uganda Baati, a leading Ugandan steel products manufacturer has stepped its foot into Rwanda, investing at least $1 million.
The company’s entry on Rwandan turf becomes the fourth in East Africa with other operations in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
The new plant, Safintra Rwanda, is located in the Kigali suburb of Kicukiro, and it is intended to tap Rwanda’s growing market for roofing materials.
“There was a steadily increasing demand of the roofing sheets in Rwanda which the hardware dealers and suppliers were failing to exploit exhaustively,” said Sandeep Phadnis, the Resident Manager.
He added that the move will solve barriers to efficient deliveries the company has been experiencing in the process of supplying the Rwandan market.
According to management, the company was expanding to Rwanda because of its favourable investment environment and policies that allowed the growth of the steel sector. The plant has been operational for the past three weeks but imports raw materials from regional sister companies.
Uganda Baati manufactures a wide range of roofing products such as galvanised sheets, aluminium zinc base sheets, max-covers and versatile products.
Jean Claude Niyonzima, a Hardware Dealer in Kicukiro, is optimistic prices may reduce with the intervention of a new roofing plant in the country.
He said that there were times when roofing materials are scarce due to the massive constructions going on in the country.
Phadnis said the company has applied for land to expand from the rented premises in order to increase operations. It plans to increase its investments to about $2-$3 million.
“This will boost the production capacity thereby exporting to Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Phadnis explained.
The Uganda Baati and Safintra Rwanda are subsidiaries of the Safal group of companies, the largest manufacturer of metal roofing products in eastern and central Africa.
Safal is also believed to be the first organisation in Africa to have set up the Aluminium-Zinc coating technology
With the new plant, Safal group companies operate in nine countries within Africa.