European firms have invested more than Rwf410 billion in Rwanda in last five years

By Wycliffe Nyamasege
On 28 March 2024 at 11:53

The European Business Chamber of Rwanda (EBCR) has revealed that investments made in Rwanda during the last five years amount to 302 million euros, which is more than RWF 410 billion.

The investments created 5,235 job opportunities, with 94% of the workforce coming from the local market. The annual revenue from the investment stands at 1.8 billion euros (Rwf2.5 trillion).

Further, in its latest report, EBCR forecasts that the investment will rise to 383 million euros in the next five years, which translates to about Rwf520 billion.

Speaking during EBCR Investment Conference 2024 on Thursday, Bélén Calvo Uyarra, EU Ambassador, affirmed EU’s commitment to invest and scale up the presence in Rwanda.

“The private sector is a key engine for growth. It’s a driver for transformation and we are committed to this. We are very keenly working with the government in reflecting the role of private sector in the next national strategy for transformation,” the ambassador stated.

The conference brought together more than 120 participants including investors, companies seeking investment or selling opportunities, government institutions and development partners.
Various stakeholders and experts also billed Rwanda as one of the best destinations for medium-sized companies seeking investment opportunities in the African market.

The experts drawn from various sectors praised the country for its sustained economic growth, access to credit and markets, and robust governance, which make it attractive to investors.

Zano Mataruka, the regional representative for the International Finance Corporation (IFC), said the private sector in Rwanda is among the beneficiaries of funding from the organization.

Mataruka said IFC, which is a member of the World Bank Group, is open to entering into partnerships with companies dealing in agribusiness, manufacturing, services and infrastructure.

He, however, pointed out that the funding is only accessible to established firms, although the small businesses can benefit through loans offered to banks such as I&M Bank Rwanda.

“We are open to business and we would like to do more. Unfortunately, we can’t do smaller businesses but we can help them through our partnerships with banks,” Mataruka stated.

Mataruka further highlighted that Rwanda’s peaceful environment, regulatory clarity, and investments in the education sector make it an ideal destination for investors, in addition to its access to neighboring countries.

“Peaceful environment is what investors want. Regulatory clarity and strong governance are also key in attracting investors,” he added.

Laurent Van Houcke, the co-founder and chief operations officer of Bboxx, also praised Rwanda’s business environment, saying his company had achieved tremendous growth since entering the local market in 2008.

“In 2019 Kenya was our best market by way far and Rwanda was the worst because we were waiting as the government was still putting things in place but today Rwanda is our best market,” he said.

The Belgian-born Electrical Engineer from Imperial College London said Bboxx pilots all its sustainable electrification solutions in Rwanda before taking them to its 14 markets.

On his part, Philippe Watrin, Chief Investment Officer at the Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB), indicated that the organization is continuously enhancing its investment activities in Rwanda to boost productivity and demonstrate investment potential.

Bélén Calvo Uyarra, the EU Ambassador.
Laurent Van Houcke, the Co-founder and Chief Operations Officer of BBOXX.
Christian Abijuru, Head of Business Banking at I&M Bank Rwanda Plc.
Zano Mataruka, the resident Representative of IFC.