Rwanda: Nation Calls for Uganda Investors

Kampala — Rwanda's minister of Commerce and Industries Mr. Francois Kanimba has called upon investors from Uganda to go and invest in Rwanda where he says the business environment is conducive.

Kanimba said Rwanda is seeking for investors to construct hotels to boost the tourism sector, dam construction for energy, agriculture (large scale commercial farmers), and construction of clinics and medical centres to help the health sector.

Kanimba noted this during the first Rwanda- Uganda Business Forum that was held in Kampala recently.

"Ugandan Investors should exploit the existing business opportunities available in Rwanda which have not been exploited by the local investors," said Kanimba.

The minister told the Uganda Business Community who had converged at the Kampala Serena Hotel that Rwanda has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Uganda which aims at reducing the Non Tariff Barriers that affect the doing of business environment.

"Rwanda is still a younger country as industrial development is a concern," he noted.

Kanimba stressed that Rwanda depends on Ugandan products whose entry in the Rwanda market has shot up to 51.6%.

However, he noted that this affects Rwanda as the over dependence on imported goods does not create employment opportunities.

The Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board Ms. Claire Akamanzi while presenting a paper on "Advancing investment and Business opportunities in Rwanda" said Rwanda has a conducive environment for Doing Business after comprehensive reforms which the country has under taken.

Akamanzi echoed the opportunities available to Ugandan investors in Rwanda as the need to boost Tourism Agriculture, Health, and Information and Communication Technology among others.

"Although Rwanda is doing well in the production of coffee which is the largest agriculture export revenue earner in 2011 with U$74.6million, we need investors in the same crop sector particularly for large plantations of Tea, Rice and Horticulture among other crops that can lead the country to earn more revenue, " she said.

On Energy, Akamanzi said investors should invest in methane gas to produce 300MW, Hydro power with a potential of 232MW and to invest in solar, wind and bio-mass energy among other renewable sources of energy.

She stressed that if all projects are completed the country will be in position to extend power to other member states of East African Community.

"That's why we are encouraging investors from countries like Uganda to come and exploit the opportunities before other investors from developed countries take the opportunities" she stressed to East African Business Week (EABW) in an interview.

She told EABW that so far three regional hydro power projects have been identified in Resize III with a potential output of 145MW.

"Its feasibility study has been completed and the transaction advisor is in place. We're preparing tender documents for the recruitment of a preferred investor," added Akamanzi.

She said her country has also identified 333 potential sites with the capacity of producing (50KW-1MW) for micro hydro generation.

Uganda's minister of Trade Industry and Cooperatives Ms. America Kyambadde said if the two countries are to do trade together there's need to improve on infrastructure and also adoption of modern technologies especially in the production process.

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