Despite the disruptions of Covid-19 on the national economy, the Made-in-Rwanda dream continued to gain momentum thanks to the major investments attracted.
The New Times has compiled eight investments that were unveiled in 2021 that could give local production a boost.
1. RWF 29 billion tile factory in Nyanza district
Construction work on the multibillion-tile manufacturing plant based in Nyanza district began in April.
The RWF 29 billion plant will be the first of its kind in the country to manufacture tiles from clay, a locally available raw material for construction.
Construction is expected to be completed within the next 18 months from April.
The move follows an agreement signed between the district of Nyanza and Africeramics – a subsidiary of Milbridge Holdings – which diversified its investments into construction.
The factory will manufacture 9,000 square meters of floor tiles per day in its first phase of operation, 18,000 square meters in the second phase and 36,000 square meters in the third phase, i.e. by three years.
Rwanda’s strategy to win back the domestic market indicates that local production of ceramic / granite tiles would save more than $ 4 million per year.
2. Electric cable factory of 5 billion Rwandan francs
Construction of the Rwf 5 billion power cable factory in Nyanza district, Southern Province was completed in 2021.
The plant was built by Mark Cables Company, but the district also owns shares in the plant.
The factory has the capacity to manufacture 5,000 kilometers of cables per year.
The plant is expected to employ between 1,000 and 1,500 people.
Rwanda spends $ 30 million on cable imports each year, according to available data.
3. Integrated artisanal production center of Rwf 1.2 billion
1.2 billion Rwandan francs integrated handicraft production center known as Agakiriro which has also been completed in Nyanza district.
The center will also host a clothing factory
4. $ 3.5 million hygiene products factory
Irene Basil, a Rwandan living in the United States, has launched a project to build a $ 3.5 million factory to manufacture hygiene products in Muhanga district, in the southern province, where he is native.
He said the investment idea emerged in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The first phase will employ 150 people and 300 in the second phase,
5. $ 5 million bamboo processing plant
The first phase of the investment to transform bamboo into different products was completed at the end of the year.
The first factory to produce marine panels, plywood and furniture is located in the Gasabo district, in the Rusororo sector.
It is expected to produce 10,000 pieces of marine cardboard per day.
$ 5 million has been earmarked for the added value of the bamboo plant in the country.
The second factory, proposed in Kicukiro district, will locally manufacture various bamboo products such as toilet paper and other sanitary products, toothbrushes, shoe brushes, for sale in local markets and for export.
It will have the capacity to produce 120 tonnes of pulp per day.
6. $ 10 million cooking oil manufacturing plant
Kayonza Distribution Company Ltd, a local retail company, has invested $ 10 million in a cooking oil manufacturing plant.
The investment will help reduce the import bill for cooking oil and improve the country’s trade balance.
The plant is expected to produce 100 tonnes of cooking oil per day.
With these new investments, Rwanda hopes to gradually reduce imports of cooking oil, which peaked at 126,002 metric tons last year, up from 121,981 metric tons in 2019.
In 2020, Rwanda spent 106 billion Rwandan francs on importing cooking oil, which is among the top 10 products shipped to the country.
Rwanda produces at least 80,000 metric tonnes annually and imports an average of 125,000 metric tonnes, making it a net importer of cooking oil.
7. The tannery park will be set up in Bugesera
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has unveiled its plan to create a modern tannery park in the district of Bugesera in order to reduce imports of tanned hides and skins and reduce the country’s trade deficit.
Local manufacturers of leather products such as shoes, belts, sandals, bags, among others, have relied on imported tanned hides and skins because there is not enough in quantity and quality in the local market.
MINICOM noted that studies have been carried out and that only one budget remains for infrastructure development.
Rwanda imported tanned hides and skins worth $ 15.6 million in 2019, an increase from $ 13 million in 2018, mainly from Kenya, China and Ethiopia, the Emirates Arab Emirates and Tanzania, and this could end once Tannery Park is established.
Meanwhile, the ministry said that establishing a finished leather and modern footwear factory will significantly reduce imports, saying imports of new footwear increased by $ 15 million in 2016 to reach $ 23 million in 2019.
8. Construction of vaccine factory announced
The Rwandan government has signed a memorandum of understanding with BioNTech to start construction of the advanced mRNA vaccine manufacturing plant scheduled for mid-2022.
The installation will be installed in the special economic zone of the district of Gasabo.
The plant’s capacity will start by producing 50 million vaccines initially, but production will increase according to demand.
9. Made in Rwanda production in 2021
In September, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives (MINICOM) announced that Rwanda’s GDP increase of 20.6% in the second quarter of 2021 compared to 14.4% in 2020 was due to the increase of the production of local industries.
Evalde Mulindankaka, director general of industry and entrepreneurship at MINICOM, said that the closure of borders due to the Covid-19 epidemic since 2020 has prompted Rwandan industries to seek solutions and ways to increase productivity.
There has been an improvement in the agro-food industries to close the gap caused by the import bill, especially rice, corn, milk, fruits, meat products and feed processing.
The production of building materials such as cement, iron and steel, tiles, electronics also played a role in the increase in GDP.
Industries played a key role in the 30% increase in GDP output due to home appliances which increased by 111%, medical equipment which increased by 39% and machinery and equipment which increased by 47%. %.
Louis Antoine Muhire, Coordinator of the Made in Rwanda Secretariat at MINICOM said the Made in Rwanda catalog has grown by saying: “So far we have 700 products certified as Made in Rwanda S-Mark products.
“Covid-19 has happened, of course, it has affected a lot of industries. We are investigating to see how many have died. However, what we have observed is that some have converted into new products instead of completely shutting down, ”he said. said adding that the stimulus fund has also played a role in ensuring that local industries recover from the effects.
Over the past five years, there has been an increase in exports thanks to Made in Rwanda products, he said.
Rwanda earned more than $ 1,487 million (over Rwf1,400 billion) from exports in fiscal year 2020-2021, compared to over $ 1,277 million in the previous year.
Exports Average annual growth over the past 5 years was 13 percent according to MINICOM.
Since 2015, imports of consumer goods have declined by 3% on average and are largely replaced by goods produced in the country
Rwanda has developed a five-year plan, since 2016, dubbed the “Strategy to win back the internal market”, to stimulate the Made-in-Rwanda campaign.
The study indicated that the total currency savings induced by the strategy could reach nearly $ 450 million per year.
These include building materials (cement, iron, steel, aluminum products, paints and varnishes) which represent $ 206 million, light industry (textiles and clothing, pharmaceuticals, soaps and detergents, reagents, materials packaging), which represents 124 million dollars, and agro-industry (sugar, fertilizers, edible oil, dried fish, corn, rice), which represents 112 million dollars.