Sudanese business community keen to expand investments in Rwanda

By Wycliffe Nyamasege
On 5 May 2024 at 02:39

The Sudanese business community is keen to expand investments in Rwanda, citing the country’s immense opportunities and strong economic performance.

Sudanese investors led by Mohamed Ali Abuelgasim from the Silverback Investment Group praised Rwanda’s conducive environment and sound investment policies, which have enabled many businesses to thrive.

“The time for Africa has come. The time for Africa is here today. Before, people were investing in the United States, Europe, Canada, and slowly, slowly, the Gulf countries. But we all have brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends in those countries, and today they are suffering in those countries. It’s not easy. It’s really difficult.

“When I talk to somebody in the United States and I tell them about my life here, they think I am lying. I tell them we have fantastic weather, people are respectful, and things get done. Rwanda works; the system is wonderful. It is extremely safe. They think I am lying… It’s very easy to sell this country because it has value, and we immediately identified that value, and that is why we are all here today with our families and businesses,” stated Abuelgasim.

Abuelgasim was speaking in Kigali on Saturday evening during a dinner between the local and Sudanese investors hosted by Khalid Musa Dafalla Musa, the Sudan Chargé d’Affaires in Kigali.

During the event, Ambassador Dafalla also hailed the strong ties between Rwanda and Sudan, affirming that Rwanda had offered fertile ground for Sudanese investors, who have ventured into different sectors including construction, services, energy, renewable energy, education, healthcare, food, farming, export and import.

Khalid Musa Dafalla Musa, the Sudan Chargé d'Affaires makes his speech during the event.

The seasoned diplomat, who has only been in the country for about two months, emphasized that as the fastest-growing economy in the region, Rwanda remains a beacon of opportunity and potential.

“There are a lot of opportunities for investments in Rwanda. The economy has increased by two digits, inflation is going down and the exchange rate of foreign currency is stable. So there is a package of incentives for our private sector to invest in Rwanda,” the envoy stated, adding that Rwanda’s young, skilled and progressive population was an added advantage to investors.

At the same time, Ambassador Musa Dafalla noted that there were many areas of collaboration in Sudan where Rwandan investors can tap into.

However, he pointed out that some of these collaborations have been hampered by the ongoing war, which he expressed confidence would be over soon.

“Sudan, we are number six in the continent in terms of GDP. We are number three in terms of total area, measuring 1 million square kilometers. Before the war two years ago, our GDP was $ 52 billions. We have untapped natural resources. We have a big fertile agricultural land. We have a population of 45 million.

“We have very skilled labour. For example, we have almost 50 universities. Our graduates from the faculty of medicine produce 5000 graduates every year. So you can imagine the size of the economy and how active the private sector is. Unfortunately, the war disrupted the growth process. But very soon, it will be over,” said the ambassador.

He noted that once normalcy returns in Sudan, Rwandan investors could explore huge investments in the country.

“Sudan will come back to the right track. Right now, we are preparing the ground for the private sectors of each country to work together. When circumstances come back to normal, Sudan will have a big share of the economy and a big volume of trade exchange. I would like to emphasize that we have real potential to do business together,” added the ambassador.

“We have real incentives, we have real interest in joining hands to work together for the best interest of the private sectors as well as for both countries to work together.”

Abdoul Karim Icyihubuye, the First Secretary of the Rwandan Embassy in Sudan, also expressed his optimism that the power struggle in Sudan, pitting leaders of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF), will be resolved to create a conducive environment for business.

Abdoul Karim Icyihubuye, the First Secretary of the Rwandan Embassy in Sudan.

“We are sure this [conflict] is going to be resolved very soon so that we can continue to do business between Rwanda and Sudan. We have a lot of products to export to Sudan and there are many products we can import from Sudan,” said Icyihubuye.

On behalf of the Rwandan investors, Shyaka Michael Nyarwaya, the Commissioner of Political Integration International Relations at Pan African Movement Rwanda, welcomed collaborations with the Sudanese business community, saying there would be mutual benefit if the two sides worked together.

“We are going to have MoUs, we are going to have shareholders in our companies, or we can do shareholding in companies. We cannot take this for granted,” said Nyarwaya, who has interests in the logistics sector.

Shyaka Michael Nyarwaya, the Commissioner of Political Integration International Relations at Pan African Movement Rwanda.

According to the Central Bank, Rwanda’s economy is projected to remain strong and resilient with the country’s GDP expected to grow by 6.6 per cent in 2024 after recording a remarkable growth of 8.2 per cent to hit $35 billion last year.

Foreign investments registered in Rwanda last year grew by 50 per cent to hit $2.4 billion (RWF 3 trillion)

A recent report from the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) shows that the investments are expected to create more than 40,000 jobs in the next five years.

Sudanese business community representative Mohamed Ali Abuelgasim makes his remarks during the meeting on Saturday.
Invited guests networking during the Rwanda-Sudan investors meeting.
Bank of Kigali was represented in this event