Export & you : Rwanda

Mourad Chouiqa, Regional Manager for Eastern and Southern Africa at Bpifrance talks about Rwanda's potential and business opportunities for French entrepreneurs.

In recent years, Rwanda has been noticed for its prodigious economic development thanks to an ambitious policy carried by the local authorities. 

Rwanda shows a stable and resilient economy with a 10-year average growth rate of 8.6 percent. It was also ranked the number one country in Africa for government transparency according to Transparency International's 2019 report. 

We must admit that Rwanda offers a business-friendly environment, excellent infrastructure, cost competitiveness, and has strong leadership with the Government of Rwanda's Vision 2035 and 2050 guiding the way forward. Mourad Chouiqa, Regional Manager for Eastern and Southern Africa at Bpifrance based in Nairobi, shares his views on business opportunities in Rwanda. 

There are indeed many opportunities, such as in the energy, agriculture, infrastructure, and agri-food sectors. Health is also an important issue for the country, as the Covid-19 crisis has reminded us, and the country intends to strengthen its position in this area. The issue of transportation is also one of the priorities of the city of Kigali with a great reflection on the development of a new mode of transport, which will be resolutely turned towards the electric energy" says Chouiqa. En GB seuls les noms sont repris

Indeed, during our last visit to Rwanda, we met with public and private sector representatives looking for partnerships with French companies. Beyond the economic potential, according to Chouiqa. : "Rwanda enjoys above all an excellent business climate, the 2nd in Africa in the Doing Business ranking".  

Moreover, Rwanda offers an ideal framework for French companies by being both English and French-speaking, which facilitates exchanges. 

Finally, it is a showcase for innovation in Africa. A laboratory to test its offer before attacking larger markets in the region.  

Being supported by French and African players: 

Supporting French companies in exporting and in Rwanda starts first in France, through our 50 regional offices and our continuum of financing and guarantee solutions. With prospecting insurance to finance your prospecting expenses and insure them against the risk of commercial failure. Or with export credit, which finances the purchase of French equipment and services by foreign buyers.  

"From the Bpifrance office in Nairobi, we take over to connect the ecosystems between them and we facilitate the projection of French companies in East Africa and Rwanda." Recently we were in Rwanda where we were able to exchange with institutional and private sector applicants in investment and partnership with France. 

For this, Bpifrance is moving forward hand in hand with the French team composed of the Economic Service, Business France, Chambers of Commerce, and our private partners such as Medef International, the OSCI, and banks.  

 Moreover, Rwanda is doing its best to attract foreign investors. Therefore, it has set up very strong institutions at the heart of this strategy: Rwanda Finance and Rwanda Development Board. These two state operators are real business facilitators in Rwanda. It is a necessary step to succeed in Rwanda. Help with installation, networking, market opportunities. Everything is centralized in these two public agencies.  

"There is also a very dynamic European Chamber of Commerce, which provides a lot of information and offers networking opportunities with other European companies established in Rwanda. " Chouiqa.  emphasizes. 

How to start an entrepreneurial adventure in Rwanda: 

As for any export project, good preparation is necessary. This is an important step to adjust and challenge your strategy and improve your business model. "In this respect, the Rwandan market is an excellent laboratory for French companies wishing to test their offer before tackling other markets in the region". 

Besides, to succeed in Africa, as is often the case internationally, you need to be patient and surround yourself with the right people, especially with Team France Export.  

Finally, my last piece of advice is "Dare Africa". As our Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Attractiveness, Frank Riester, has put it accurately. As the number of hills in Rwanda, there are 1000 good reasons to succeed in this Rwandan adventure" concludes Chouiqa.