Kigali Special Economic Zone (KSEZ) is slowly but surely taking shape. From a concept paper in 2010, the hilly area of Nyandungu has transformed into an industrial park with many foreign and local firms taking root.
This is another example of the country’s policy of paving the way to attract investors. By putting in place all the necessary infrastructure, the government reasoned that it would be more attractive to investors. Now they are pouring in, attracted by the incentives in place.
It is no coincidence that foreign visitors put KSEZ on their must-see itinerary, a testament of how forward thinking policies can easily fuel economic growth. There is a high probability that had the government not traced tarmac roads, installed water, power and communication amenities, manufacturing firms would not have been quick to jump on the wagon.
The latest kid on the block is a Chinese garment firm that projects to become the biggest employer in the country when it fully rolls out its operations: It seeks to employ 30,000, a sizable chump by any measure.
The idea is to duplicate the zone in different parts of the country to stimulate export oriented manufacturing as the country stays on course to transform into a middle income economy and overturn the balance of trade anomalies.