17 August 2018

Rwanda: Govt Seals Deal With Private Firm to Manage State Forests

Under the terms of the agreement, Sawmill East Africa will have rights to exploit the forests, produce furniture and other products as well as replant the forests.

Government has entered an agreement with a private firm, Sawmill East Africa, allowing the latter to harvest and manage four state forests.

The concession agreement was signed this morning between the government through Rwanda Development Board, The Ministry of Land and Forestry and Sawmill East Africa.

The agreement was approved by cabinet in July this year.

Under the terms of the agreement, the firm will have rights to exploit the forests, produce furniture and other products as well as replant the forests.

The firm will have rights to manage, exploit and replant 4 forests in southern part of the country in Rusizi, Muhanga and Huye.

Rwanda Development Board Chief Operating Officer, Emmanuel Hategeka, told The New Times that the deal is set to see ideal use of forest resources in reducing imports of wood products and furniture into the country.

In addition to exploiting the forest, the firm will be tasked to replant trees.

Sawmill East Africa says it has specialty in processing and sale of various types of wood and wood products with prior experience from Europe.

The firm's Chief Executive Agnis Magelinskas said that their factory is currently under construction at Rwamagana Industrial Park and is scheduled for completion by end October 2018.

The firm is set to create about 400 jobs in the first year.

The initial investments of the firm and the projected output remain undisclosed.

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