Botho Emerging Markets Group, in partnership with the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Consulate of the Republic of Rwanda hosted the Rwanda Investment Showcase on 23rd April 2019. This event introduced the GCC investors and private sector to exciting investment opportunities and prospects in Rwanda, one of the top 10 fastest growing economies in the world.
Yasmin Dalila Amri, Chargé d'affaires of the Rwandan Consulate, commented: “Rwanda is constantly expanding incentives for GCC businesses to invest across all economic sectors, including the recent introduction of a double taxation agreement.” Recent major investments in Rwanda include a $50 million commitment by UAE-based Sheikh Rakadh Group in the Rwanda Smart City Master Plan, a vision for tech-centred development that mirrors the values of the UAE’s own Vision 2030.
During the event, Botho Founder and Principal Isaac Kwaku Fokuo Jr. also highlighted the longstanding ties between East Africa and the UAE across cultural, historic, and economic lines. This legacy holds particular resonance for the Emirate of Sharjah, which first hosted the Arab-African symposium in 1976 in Africa Hall, known today as the Africa Institute.
Panellists, including Sanjeev Gupta from the Africa Finance Corporation, Stuart Fleming from Enviroserve UAE, and Uday Bhasin from Tradeways Investment, each spoke of their positive experiences working in Rwanda. Gupta noted, “Rwanda’s strategic position allows investors to manoeuvre throughout the African continent with ease. Rwanda’s landlockedness is not an impediment — if anything, it’s a big advantage.” The country is uniquely positioned as a member of two major regional economic blocs, the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which make Rwanda a gateway to a collective market of over 560 million people.
H.E. Abdallah Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, echoed these sentiments during his opening remarks when he lauded the UAE's efforts to establish strong and fruitful trade relations with African countries. “The volume of non-oil trade between the UAE and Africa hit AED 140.5 billion ($38.3 billion),” he said. “The UAE is the second largest Middle Eastern investor in Africa with a 12% share of total foreign direct investment, which is on the rise. Rwanda is carving a niche for itself in the COMESA community, and has repeated that it is open for business time and time again - it's time we listen.”
Today, Rwanda has attractive investment opportunities extending beyond agriculture, the country’s largest sector. The nation now has a thriving infrastructure and construction sector, with promising new opportunities in other dynamic sectors such as technology and education with considerable support from its government. Over 95% of the country is now covered by 4G, making it home to one of the fastest Internet speeds in Africa.
Learn more about these and other promising investment opportunities in Rwanda here and also follow Botho’s news and research for more insights on trade and investment between the Gulf region and Africa.