Rwanda last week participated in the Texas Africa Business Summit 2010 which was hosted on the 22nd – 24th of February by both Rice University and International Trade Center in Texas under the theme, ‘Developing Business Opportunities between Texas and Africa’.
In his presentation theme titled, ‘Doing Business in Rwanda’, Rwanda’s First Counselor in Washington DC, Michael Rukata called upon the Texas Investors to utilize Rwanda’s vast unexploited investment opportunities.
Rukata told the Representatives of the American key private sectors and government leaders in attendance that Rwanda being a top reformer in doing Business 2010 was not an overnight achievement but rather a number of positive factors.
One of the factors he pointed out included a strong political leadership committed to the private sector growth and development.
He however noted that more work lies ahead since being ranked 67th was still not satisfactory.
The Texas Africa Business Summit was to help Texas businesses people identify new markets in Africa, as well as providing comprehensive information on the latest trade and investment opportunities across Africa’s most promising sectors such as agribusiness, technology, extractive industries, health, infrastructure and energy.
Availed information shows that, more than 1,000 Houston area companies trade with African countries, trade between the Port of Houston and Africa totaled over $2.6 billion in 1999.
Texas is number one in the US in terms of the total value of goods exported to Africa since 2008.
Speaking at the Summit, Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis said that US companies investing in the African continent should not fall behind China’s lead.
In her address to the full parked McNair Hall at the Jones Graduate School of Business at the Rice University US Deputy Assistant Secretary Bureau of African Affairs Susan D. Page commended Rwanda for being the top reformer in 2010 “Doing Business” report and called upon other African countries to follow suit.
Ambassador Cynthia Perry, Honorary Consul General of Rwanda in Houston- Taxas praised Rwanda’s anticorruption zero tolerance policy and called upon taxes investor to maximize this investment opportunity in Rwanda.
After presentation both Michael Rukata and Rwanda Development Board Representative based in Quebec – Canada Emmanuel Muhawenimana who was in attendance held a television interview with 55.5 interventional television (55.5 itv) and expounded more on the available business opportunities in Rwanda.
During his address to the Gala Awards Dinner Guest Ambassador Andrew Young called upon the attendants to back away from many people’s negative ideological perceptions towards Africa such as backwardness, poverty and corruption but stressed for a need to focus on Africa – America market potential of 0ver 700 million population.