At the Second Edition of African Business Connect Eastern and Southern Africa, the acting Head of Promotion, Investment and Facilitation Department at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Winifred Kabega Ngangure, said Morocco’s investment in Rwanda is worth $100 million, related to 23 agreements signed in October 2016.
Among others, the Moroccan OCP group, the largest producer of phosphates, will start manufacturing industrial fertilizers in June this year in Kigali; COPA Pharma will set up shop at the Kigali Special Economic Zone and Moroccan Construction Company will soon start an affordable housing project.
Ngangure also highlighted investment opportunities in Rwanda, and said that the Moroccan companies were welcome to explore the Rwandan Partners’ Village which was created out of the desire to bring together Rwandan institutional partners of Maroc Export and Bank of Africa Rwanda.
The Village provides an information desk to enable Moroccan companies to gain insights on the Rwandan business environment and sectors, among others.
Ngangure said that Rwanda’s priority sectors for investment include manufacturing, textiles and cotton, and affordable housing (real estate).
RDB’s Chief Operating Officer, Emmanuel Hategeka, specified that the cooperation between Morocco and Rwanda covers fields like the metal industry, banking, construction and real estate, pharmaceuticals and chemicals, and energy.
During the conference, it was noted that intra-African trade is still very low at 17%, yet the continent has the world’s highest average growth rate of between 5% and 6%.
“Trade between Africa and Europe is two times as high as the intra-African trade at 42%, while trade between Africa and Asia stands at 60%”, observed Zahra Maafiri, the general manager of Maroc Export.
She added, however, that there many opportunities for Africa to boost its continental trade given the right conditions.
Maafiri has told the over 400 delegates that branding of messages contributes 15% towards attracting investment into the continent, while more also needs to be done to increase the global confidence in African markets.
She said that Maroc Export has for instance adopted the “Made in Africa” slogan alongside several integrated strategies among companies.
Mohammed Benayad, the Secretary General at the Department of Foreign Trade in the Moroccan Ministry of Investment, Trade and Digital Economy said that the increased development cooperation between Rwanda and his country is driven by the Heads of State King Mohammed VI and President Paul Kagame.
“The mission of this edition of the African Business Connect is to give more prominence to Morocco and integrate the Moroccan economy into the African economy, and leverage the business opportunities which are abundant in Rwanda,” Benayad said.
On April 5 and April 7, similar conferences will be held at Dar es Salam (Tanzania) and Antananarivo (Madagascar).