The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) says investments worth $1.3 Billion were registered in 2020, down from $2.46 billion the previous year, a decrease of 47.1%.
According to RDB, the decline in investments was attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic that affected the global economy.
Real estate, construction, and manufacturing accounted for 68% of all total investments, other sectors that attracted significant investments include agriculture, ICT, energy, mining, and financial services.
The established investments are expected to create a total of 24,703 jobs with the manufacturing and construction sectors expected to create 8,661 and 6,372 new jobs, respectively.
The investment efforts support the government target to create 214,000 new jobs annually from investments and other employment sources.
Last year, RDB says foreign direct investments contributed 51% of the total investments registered in 2020, while Joint ventures and local investments contributed 29%, and 20% of the investments, respectively.
Unlike last year, foreign direct investment represented 37% of the total investment registrations in 2019, while Joint ventures and local investment represented 44% and 19% respectively.
Among the largest investment projects registered in 2020 include; One Acre Fund worth $193 million, Phoenix Plaza worth $179 million, Duval Great Lakes Ltd $69 million, and Sinohydro Corporation Limited $66 million.
Other mega investments are Girinzu Developers worth $41 million, Petrocom Building, worth $35 million, and BBOXX Africa Management Ltd which invested $29 million.
Also, key investment projects registered in 2020 included $12 million by Norrsken Rwanda Ltd to build East Africa’s largest hub for entrepreneurship and innovation, $4.45 million from Nexus Academy to set up a professional aviation training academy and to offer licensed courses in flight training, aircraft maintenance, ground handling and $26.2 million by Bralirwa Ltd for the expansion of the brewery to meet the growing demand for their products in the country and for export.
“The year 2020 was challenging for investment and business in general. Despite the global economic slowdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Rwanda registered significant investments in key sectors of the economy. This is a sign of continuous investor confidence in Rwanda by both local and foreign investors,” Clare Akamanzi, RDB Chief Executive Officer said in the report released on Thursday 11.
“We are optimistic that these investments will further accelerate economic recovery by boosting local production and creating needed jobs for our people,”
“The Government of Rwanda is committed to supporting businesses to recover through initiatives like the Economic recovery fund- a Rwf100billion facility to support companies affected by the pandemic so that they can survive, restart work and production and safeguard employment and through the Manufacture and Build to recover program that seeks to incentivize investors in construction and manufacturing sectors.” Akamanzi said in the report.
According to the RDB press release, through the Manufacture and Build to Recover program, the government will incentivize qualifying manufacturing and construction projects in four areas including general construction, general manufacturing, factory construction, and project performance, with the Incentives including Value Added Tax (VAT) waivers on imported and domestically sourced construction materials, and VAT exemptions for domestically sourced raw materials and machinery.
Despite the physical restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, RDB continued to offer aftercare services to investors to ensure that business projects are implemented free of avoidable impediments. Investors continue to be engaged through different digital platforms and through physical site visits where necessary, according to the release.
To facilitate investors, RDB operates a One-Stop Centre for investors, which provides information and services to guide investors through the key steps of starting a business such as registration, licenses, immigration, land, utilities, environmental clearances, and tax and mortgage registration services.