At the event of its 3rd annual dialogue and amity Dinner on July 8, the Rwanda Active Businessmen Association (RWABA) celebrated its achievements in facilitating investments between Rwanda and Turkey garnered to date since the association was founded three years ago.
RWABA was according to its Secretary General Mr. Adem Sanliturk founded in 2012 following President Paul Kagame’s official visit to Turkey on a business mission during which he was accompanied by some of Rwanda’s most affluent businesspersons.
Following the visit, the need for an institution that can offer support to either business communities looking to find opportunities in both countries and offer a link between the two nations was identified, leading to the foundation of RWABA.
Three years later, 14 businesses founded by Turkish nationals are already operational in Rwanda and several others are in the process of being founded. Also many Rwandans are scouting Turkey for opportunities and others are already benefiting from the European Nation’s already mature manufacturing sector.
To Sanliturk, this is a big achievement given that about four years ago, “most people in Turkey hardly knew where Rwanda is located on the world map” and now many are yearning to start businesses in the country.
The association among others brought together leaders, bank representatives, ambassadors and investment firms as well as government officials on the occasion of the 3rd annual dialogue and amity dinner to network and fine tune existing opportunities between both countries to exploit.
Also, the dinner offered a platform to discuss the need for dialogue between Rwandan and Turkish communities in the area of doing business, express appreciation to counterpart organizations such as Rwanda’s Trade and Industry Ministry and the Rwanda Development Board, plus launching a membership facility for Rwandan businesspeople.
“The idea of establishing RWABA in Rwanda was born after President Paul Kagame’s visit to Turkey on a business mission with group of business leaders from Rwanda,” Sanliturk emphasized, adding “With the main objective of connecting the two business communities and facilitating the flow of information critical to making investment decisions.”
He further revealed that, “The 14 Turkish companies operating in Rwanda are in several business sectors including Construction, Mining, Agriculture, Infrastructure, Education, Tourism, Textile, Food and Cleaning Products and Construction materials.”
More than business, RWABA is a think-tank of community solution
Beyond business interests however, RWABA is also a platform where members join efforts in support of community efforts to solve overarching challenges through charitable work and other initiatives.
“As a private non -profit and volunteer initiative, RWABA encourages its team and members to find solutions in the fight against common social ailments particularly poverty, ignorance, and disunity,” the Association’s Secretary General shared.
As part of these efforts, RWABA facilitated the establishment of Hope Academy Rwanda.
Several Rwandan children have been supported to take study trips to Turkey seen as vital opportunity to attaining global exposure and opening up the mindsets of Rwandan youngsters towards innovations happening elsewhere in the world.
Also the flow of people and ideas between Turkey and Rwanda through RWABA is said to have played a significant role in growing unity among the two communities and showcasing that humanity thrives best in diversity.