China and India remain leading investors in the Rwandan economy despite the country investing millions of dollars in investment and tourism promotion in Western Europe.
Figures by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), the country’s investment and tourism promotion agency, show that in 2022, the country attracted investments worth $1.6 billion. Of this, $182.4 million or 11.2 percent represented in 49 projects came from China.
India came second with $151 million in investment portfolio or 9.2 percent, with 36 projects.
In 2021, China still topped the number of registered investments at $357.7 million or 9.5 percent of the $3.74 billion total investments registered at the time.
The second investor was Kenya, which had invested $92.6 million or 2.5 percent.
In 2022, Kenya registered investments worth $35.8 million, just 2.2 percent of the entire investment value.
Manufacturing, financial services and insurance activities accounted for 45.6 percent of total registered investments in 2022, and are expected to create 38.5 percent of jobs generated from investments, the report says.
It also shows that for the first time, local investors are leading private investment in the country, accounting for approximately $504.8 million or 33.1 percent of the total investment, with 123 projects.
A multimillion-dollar private investment company owned by the ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), Crystal Ventures Ltd, is among leading local investors.
Report said that last year the company invested in machinery for the expansion of the construction firm Construct Ltd.
“We are pleased that our efforts to attract transformative investments in various sectors – such as manufacturing, real estate, finance and entertainment – were successful, and the diversity of these investments indicates a healthy and dynamic econom,” Clare Akamanzi, the RDB chief executive, said in the annual report.
In 2021, Crystal Ventures Ltd was also among the leading investors with a key project – setting up a milk powder plant with the capacity to process 500,000 litres per day, according to the RDB 2021 report.
Although Asia remains a top investor in Rwanda, Kigali is focused on attracting investment and tourists from Europe.
And despite criticism, Rwanda has maintained its deals with football clubs are paying off, without giving definite figures linked to the sponsorship.
Recently, President Paul Kagame reaffirmed that the deal with Arsenal Football Club, which plays in the English Premier League, is paying off.
“Imagine this season if we (Arsenal) become the champions, I will be rushing to the bank to collect some money. We are getting more, by a big factor,” he said responding to a question from a journalist during a press briefing on February 27.
This week, RDB announced it had renewed its ‘Visit Rwanda’ partnership with French football club Paris Saint-Germain after three years to showcase the country as a top tourism and investment destination.
“There is more to the partnership between Visit Rwanda and Paris Saint-Germain than just promoting Rwanda as a destination. It aims to create synergies in culture, fashion, the arts and football development, which is very important to us.
Paris Saint-Germain provides us with an amazing platform to present the very best of Rwanda to millions of fans around the world,” Michaella Rugwizangoga, RDB’s chief tourism officer, said in a statement announcing the renewal of the partnership on May 10.
The amount paid for the deal has not been disclosed.
The deal came after a similar multi-millionone, initially estimated at $41.4 million, signed in 2018 with English football club Arsenal, which was also renewed in 2021 to run until 2025 at a cost of approximately $13.8 million a year, according to soccer website Football.London.
RDB figures show tourism generated $445 million in revenue, up from $164 million in 2021, representing an increase of 171.3 percent.
By BERNA NAMATA