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Investing in Rwanda


Programming Sponsor: Rwanda Development Board

MEDIA Partner: African Business


  • Pre-COVID, Rwanda was sustaining a very high growth rate, with the country’s GDP increasing 9.4% in 2019. 
  • As a result of the pandemic, Rwanda is focusing its production on four key areas: food items, hygiene and sanitary items, consumer products, and household goods.
  • Utilizing its location and ease of accessibility, Rwanda will be focusing on four key projects to drive sustainability:
    • Made In Rwanda – focuses on the production of must-have items in the country, allowing for competitiveness. 
    • Kigali International Financial Center – invests growing capital in African projects, with Rwanda viewed as an African financial center. 
    • Visit Rwanda – promotes tourism in Rwanda over the long term, and includes a major flagship project to construct Bugesera International Airport, which is currently underway in collaboration with Qatar Airways.
    • Start in Rwanda – promotes Rwanda as a place for innovation and creativity. 
  • Led by Minister Ingabire, Rwanda is using tools to develop a knowledge-based, innovation-driven economy. With digital technology instrumental to acquiring, creating, and disseminating knowledge, Rwanda has prioritized ICT as a means to accelerate growth and reduce poverty. Over the past decade, the country has invested in building infrastructure, skills, and institutional frameworks that provide an environment conducive to creating a knowledge-based economy. Minister Ingabire remarked that in the age of big data, Rwanda is striving to build a culture of data-driven approaches that will improve the effectiveness of government policies. 

“Rwanda is right at the heart of Africa, so it’s a really accessible place, and we intend to service the whole continent […] We are one of the easiest places to do business in the entire world,” Clare Akamanzi

  • As highlighted by Israel Bimpe, it’s crucial to bring together stakeholders both from within and outside government. In four years, Zipline has operated in Ghana and the U.S., and has signed service agreements in both Africa and Asia. There has been continuous engagement with the Rwandan government, especially the Ministry of Health. 
  • Nick Barigye explained that the purpose of Rwanda Finance is to promote and develop the Kigali International Financial Center, which intends to attract investment into Rwanda and promote cross-border investments. Rwanda Finance’s approach is centered on three pillars: 1. A strong legal and regulatory framework; 2. A tax policy framework that is compliant to international standards; 3. Upscaling and capacity development for the financial services sector. 
  • Rwanda is improving its attractiveness to investors through both fiscal and non-fiscal components, according to Clare Akamanzi, which consist of the safety of investments, the resilience of infrastructure, the skillset of citizens, and macroeconomic and political stability.

“Rwanda has invested in building the right infrastructure, skills, and institutional framework […] We’re building an efficient innovation system that is geared towards creating the required skills of a knowledge-based community,”  Minister Paula Ingabire

Key takeaways & next steps:

  • Utilizing its location and ease of accessibility, Rwanda is focusing on four key initiatives to drive sustainability: Made In Rwanda; Kigali International Financial Center; Visit Rwanda; and, Start in Rwanda. 
  •  Rwanda is developing an ecosystem of innovation and a safe environment to do business. With government stability, an informed and skilled workforce, and an appetite to engage in cross-sector collaboration, business opportunities are flourishing across Rwanda—and, in turn, diversifying its market capital on a global scale.


Session Speakers