German investors have affirmed their willingness to invest in the country’s energy sector.
The investors were part of the German business delegation that was in the country, last week, to explore investment opportunities in mining, energy, infrastructure, construction, agro processing and ICT, among others.
The delegation was accompanied by Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German minister for foreign affairs.
Steinmeier met with President Paul Kagame and other government officials to discuss ways of strengthening both bilateral and economic partnerships between the two countries.
Dieter W. Haller, the German director-general for economic affairs and sustainable development, who headed the business delegation, said Rwanda’s energy incentives are the reason most investors are interested in the country.
“So far, we have two big investors who have expressed their interest in the hydro electricity; we are confident there are still enormous opportunities in this sector that investors are looking to take advantage of,” Haller said.
Other sectors we are looking at include construction and mining, Haller added during a field tour of the special economic zone.
Investing in the energy sector could help boost government’s efforts to generate 563 megawatts by 2017 and help reduce on the energy import bills, Alex Ruzibukira, the director-general for investments at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, said.
“We are talking about reducing the import bill by more than $ 450 million, and we can only achieve this by attracting foreign investors while supporting our local industries,” Ruzibukira said.
It will also help create more jobs for Rwandans along the value chain, he added.
Eckardt Dauck, group chair of Strawtec Ltd, a German company specialising in building materials in Rwanda, said the country’s ease of doing business is playing a critical role in attracting foreign direct investments including those from Germany.
The latest EY’s attractiveness Survey Africa report 2014, indicated that Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into Rwanda increased by 6.3 per cent in 2013, making the country one of the top 10 nations favoured by investors on the continent.
Recently, Rwanda and Germany signed a bilateral financing agreement worth Euros7 million (about Rwf5.5 billion) to support decentralisation programme and good governance.
The grant will be allocated under the Local Administrative Entities Development Agency, formerly known as Rwanda Local Development Support Fund.
The funds will also finance income generation and economic infrastructure including schools, feeder roads and markets