29 October 2013

Rwanda: Japanese Investors Eye Energy Sector

A delegation of Japanese investors who are in the country for the Transform Africa Summit, has expressed interest in the country's renewable energy and agriculture sectors.

Abe Rikiya, founder of Digital Grid Solutions Consortium, said yesterday that his company is willing to "invest millions of dollars" in Rwanda's energy sector which will help SMEs reduce on their production costs.

In an exclusive interview with The New Times, Rikiya said that Rwanda's accessibility to renewable energy can only be boosted through the involvement of the private sector and foreign investors in the business.

The consortium, founded in 2011, with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan was created with a mission to develop the next generation grid system, which enables a market driven energy economy.

Rikiya further noted that through the use of ICTs, Rwanda should be able to sell its investment opportunities to the rest of world.

According to him, Digital Grid Solutions Consortium intends to be part of Rwanda's investment success because of the vast opportunities the country offers as well as the business reforms the country has made to ease doing business.

"Rwanda has many investment opportunities, the gaps with in the energy sector and agro-business presents very huge investment opportunities not only for Rwanda's private sector but also to the Japanese investors who have a lot of expertise in these areas," Rikiya said.

"I have been following closely Rwanda's export industry, especially those from the agriculture sector, and I think a lot of opportunities still need to be exploited," he said.

Achieving 11.5% growth

Meanwhile, Edward Yin, Chairman Alink Investment Technologies, a Chinese construction company, said that Rwanda can only achieve an 11.5 per cent economic growth rate if more investments can be channelled to the ICT industry.

"Economies from the Asian pacific region have been able to achieve an impressive economic growth because of innovativeness and capacity building, especially in areas of ICTs".

Rwanda Development Board (RDB) registered investments worth $1.2 billion (about Rwf800 billion) between January and June this year, which has seen them inch closer to this year's target of $1.3 billion.

The country has also carried out enormous business reforms in a bid to attract foreign investors.

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