In not a lengthy space of years, remarkable achievements in Rwanda have been consigned down to a book of records. The most amazing thing is the pace at which this has happened, this time not as a human butchery, but a nascent economy.
Without considerable determination and enthusiasm on the part of the government, even a country endowed with a lot of minerals would hardly progress at such a rate.
While visiting South Africa last year, I had a brief chat with an American Businessman.
When I told him that I was coming from Rwanda, he said; “you have got a good President.” I felt very important.
He said he had attended several business forums where Rwanda has been mentioned as an emerging destination for doing business. He also added that he has attended several leadership sessions where President Kagame has been cited as an example of good leadership.
With such levels of acceptance and command of respect we have earned for our country, we should not have luxury to be complacent. We need to keep the momentum and dream bigger. I like it when the President urges everybody to double efforts in everything they do.
In the recent years, Rwanda has done incredibly well to make itself one of the best investment destinations in Africa by reforming its business environment.
This is reflected through the number of businesses and investment projects that have continued to rise significantly. Last year alone, Rwanda registered 105 investment projects and 6,207 companies. But we need to see these figures doubling or tripling.
This, however, will be achieved by taking a precaution on the approaches we employ to lure investors.
Governments, especially in Africa, spend hefty amounts of money in order to attract investments, especially Foreign Direct Investment. But who are the investors, what are they looking for and what sorts of factors influence their decisions?
There are two ways to target investors, one, the shotgun approach and two, the rifle approach. The shotgun approach works like a shotgun— you fire a multitude of pellets in the general direction and hope that one hits the target. The rifle approach is target-specific. You select the most promising investors for your country and you aim all your energies towards them.
The shotgun approach is hit or miss. African countries do spend vast amounts of money on the shotgun approach with little or no success.
The shotgun approach is easy. You prepare a country supplement showing your investment attractions and you place it in major foreign newspapers with the hope that someone will notice it and become interested.
The trouble is that readers throw away supplements unless they have a special interest in the subject. Another thing, your supplement is competing with several others that may appear in the same issue.
The rifle approach works because you only aim your campaign at people who are likely to, at least, consider investing in your country.
They may not have made up their minds or may not even know enough about your country— its political and economic make-up, its stability etcetera.
They are not likely to be persuaded through supplements in foreign papers and magazines. After all, if you want to invest in Australia, you do not read.