Rwanda has released figures for investments registered in the country last year, which shows local investors still have a long way to increase the pace in an economy that is steadily growing.
According to figures released by Rwanda Development Board (RDB) – the custodian of the country’s investments, $2.46 billion worth investments were registered last year up from $ 2.01 billion in 2018 – representing an increase of 22.6%.
RDB said local investors took 19% of the investments share, while foreign investors represented 37%. Joint ventures between foreign and local investors accounted for 44% of the investments.
Energy and manufacturing accounted for 75% of all investments registered (45% and 30% respectively), RDB said.
Other sectors that attracted significant investments, were construction, agriculture, and services including ICT as well as mining.
Rwanda Development Board said that through these investments, 35,715 jobs are expected to be created with manufacturing and construction sectors expected to create 22,935 and 3,053 new jobs respectively.
The top five projects registered in 2019 in terms of the size of investment were Rusizi III Energy ($ 613 Million), Gasmeth Energy ($ 442 Million), Ampersand ($152Million), Remote Estate ($ 145Million) and Nots Solar Lamps ($72Million).
Other key investment projects registered during the year included Great Lakes Cement Ltd (an expansion of a local cement manufacturing factory in Musanze, Northern Province), Kenyan owned Mataba Farms Ltd (a mixed farming project), Mountain Ceramics Co. (a local ceramic products manufacturing), Elrumalya Rwanda Ltd (a renewable energy project), MJ Minerals and Petrol Ltd (a jewellery manufacturer), Fantastic Investment Group (a real estate firm) and Cheza Rwanda Games (an online gaming service).
Commenting on the investment results, RDB Chief Executive Officer, Clare Akamanzi, said: “After surpassing $ 2 billion in investments registered for the first time in the country’s history in 2018, we continued our strong investment growth with over $ 2.4 billion in 2019, our highest investment registration to date,”
“This was up from about $ 400 million registered in 2010. This is a sign of continuous investor confidence in Rwanda by both local and foreign investors. The increased investment figures will help curb our balance of trade deficit by promoting the production of locally made goods for the local and regional market,” she said.
Rwanda’s economy grew by 11.9% in the third quarter of 2019 compared to the same quarter in 2018, but the country continues to deal with trade deficits.
Last year Rwanda exported goods worth $ 1.021 billion, up from $ 995 million in 2018.
The deficit in the balance of formal trade in goods was $ 225.70 million in October 2019 – representing an increase of 21.89 percent compared to the previous month of September, National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) figures say.
Year-over-year, says NISR, the formal trade in goods deficit increased by 24.11 percent compared to the deficit of October 2018.
In October 2019, total imports value increased by 19.46 percent compared to September 2019 and also by 13.96 percent compared to October 2018.
In October 2019, Rwanda imported goods worth $308.04 million up from $ 270.32 million in the same period in 2018.
Meanwhile, Rwanda remains the second easiest place to do business in Africa and 38th in the world.