Rwanda: Investments produce high job returns

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Eleven thousand new jobs have been created in Rwanda as a consequence of the creative investment activities in the country, in 2009. The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) revealed that the central African country annexed investments worth about $1 billion, in 2009.

“Some 58 projects registered last year are already operational with an estimated level of investment worth Rwf564bn while 51 others that are not yet operational have an estimated value of Rwf80bn,” a part of the report reads.

Kivuwatt project by American-based company Contour Global, registered to extract Methane Gas from Lake Kivu and convert it to energy, Luxemburg’s Tigo in telecommunications, Germany’s SAG in electrical construction, South Africa’s Rutongo Mines and Tanzania’s Bakhresa Grain Milling where some of the major projects registered last year, to boost the Rwanda economy.

According to the RDB report, of the 39 registered investment projects 36 of them were undertaken by foreigners and three by members of the Rwandan Diaspora.

While the RDB recorded a 40.7% increase in value of registered projects between 2008 and 2009, it also recorded a slight decline of 6.8%- from 117 projects in 2008 to 109 projects in 2009.

Local investments were also appraised for the basis upon which the number of job creations were made. CIMERWA, Kitabi Tea Company and Banque Populaire du Rwanda were two of the local registered projects. In total, 59 local Projects accounted for the creation of 3,096 jobs, RDB reported.

Other major foreign deals included a USA Ecofuel’s biodiesel/ Jatropha project, the construction of the 5-Star Marriott/New Century Hotel and the Kigali Convention Centre and Hotel.

According to analysts this report bears little surprise given the fact that Rwanda was named the world’s number one business reformer by the World Bank Doing Business report, in 2009.

Experts say both local and foreign investors are gaining confidence in the country, as the RDB report reveals.

The government under President Paul Kagame has made wider efforts to promote Rwanda as a business and investment destination, including a foreign policy move to join the Commonwealth of nations.

Rwanda has been praised by the international community for its efforts to shake off its image associated with the 1994 state-sponsored genocide.

According to economic reports on Rwanda, economic growth has exceeded 5% in the five years since 2001, driven by coffee and tea exports and expanding tourism.

While poverty is widespread, the government is working to be less dependent on aid.

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