Madhvani Group targets Rwanda’s tea sector

After acquiring Kabuye Sugar Works (KSW) and confirming interests in Rwanda’s tourism, insurance and Information Communication Technology (ICT) sectors, Madhvani Group of companies has turned its sight on the tea sector.

After acquiring Kabuye Sugar Works (KSW) and confirming interests in Rwanda’s tourism, insurance and Information Communication Technology (ICT) sectors, Madhvani Group of companies has turned its sight on the tea sector.

The Group’s Director, Jim Mwine Kabeho told Business Times that the tea sector is another area they are looking at closely in terms of investment.

“We intend to procure a tea factory in Rwanda not far a way from now. We had considered bidding for the two tea factories on sale,” he said.

The government has sold off 65 percent stake in Kitabi tea factory and expects to complete the sale of 45 percent shares in Gisakura soon.

The two factories process about 20 percent of Rwanda’s tea and had been targeted by Dubai World in 2008 but the United Arab Emirates (UAE) consortium pulled out of the deals, saying that it was affected by the global financial crisis.

The investment will, increase Madhvani’s investment portfolio in Rwanda to above $20 million (Rwf11.3 billion). 

Madhvani also owns sugar manufacturer Kabuye Sugar Works—Rwanda’s sole sugar factory in which it committed $13 million (Rwf7.3 billion).

It also has track record in with business interests spreading across Africa, the Middle East, India and North America where it owns two tea estates (over 500 hectares) including a tea factory in Uganda.

Tea is one of Rwanda’s highest foreign exchange earners after tourism, remittances and coffee. Government expects to earn about $48 million from tea exports this year.

This slightly less than previous estimate of $54 million due to bad weather and a shortage of pluckers.

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