The New Times (Kigali)

24 January 2014

Rwanda: Luxembourg Firm to Invest Rwf3.2 Trillion in Rwanda

Erasmus Investment International, a Luxembourg-based investment company, has committed to injecting €3.5 billion (about Rwf3.2 trillion) in agriculture and construction sectors in the country.

According to the company's chief executive Stef Schreuder, the funds will be spent into various projects, including processing industries, irrigation, and horticulture, and other agricultural related projects.

In construction, they plan to build rental small and affordable housing unit in the City of Kigali that will range from $500 (about Rwf340,000) to $600 (about Rwf410,000) per month.

Apparently, government is still identifying some areas where the investments will be located.

The investments were announced yesterday, after the company signed a memorandum of understating with the Ministry of Agriculture and the City of Kigali.

"We have the money, but a lot needs to be done; for example, doing the feasibility study of the projects and then implementation," Schreuder told this paper after the signing ceremony in Kigali.

He said they hope the feasibility study would be done by the end of the year so implementation can commence.

The projects are envisaged to provide employment opportunities for many people.

Schreuder said they were eyeing both local and international markets.

Accelerating EDPRS2

Ernest Ruzindaza, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, said the investments will accelerate achievement of government goals as highlighted in second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2).

"One of our responsibilities is to mobilise private investors to invest in Rwanda. It's an opportunity for the agriculture sector that is the backbone of the country's economy," he said.

About 80 per cent of Rwandans depend on agriculturer.

EDPRS2, a five-year strategy unveiled last year growth, aims at driving Rwanda to middle income status by 2018.

The City of Kigali mayor Fidele Ndayisaba, who signed on behalf of the City, said there was still high demand for rental houses in the city, adding if well implemented Rwandans will benefit immensely.

"The demand for rental affordable housing is high and we welcome the plan; we think it will benefit our citizens," the mayor said after the signing.

Some areas that have been identified for irrigation and cultivation of land of about 10,600ha are in Ngoma, Gatsibo, Kirehe and Kayonza.

The projects will be reportedly implemented at all levels in partnership with local institutions.

A factory for sustainable production of paper and cardboard for packaging material, and fish farming in cages will also be put in place.

The government and the private sector will have to identify land for the projects.

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