By Susan Babijja
The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Rwanda’s National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) have held a roundtable on investment opportunities in floriculture in the country. Hosting the event was supported by the World Bank Group’s Rwanda Investment Climate Program.
The roundtable aimed at highlighting the investment opportunities in floriculture that exist in Rwanda and the incentives the government is offering in this regard. It is part of the continued efforts to attract more investors in the nascent horticulture sector to support its growth.
Rwanda has identified the horticulture sector as a high potential value chain for economic diversification, revenue generation and job-creation. This will help to promote the market opportunity for Kenyan investors interested in the sector, as well as the incentives offered by government to actual or potential investors.
The roundtable notably brought together actual and potential investors and operators in floriculture in Kenya.
“Attracting investors in the floriculture sector will allow Rwanda to position itself and compete favorably in this global value chain”, said Hamidou Sorgo, Program Lead, Rwanda Investment Climate Program, Trade & Competitiveness, World Bank Group.
The World Bank Group has been working with Rwanda to improve its business environment and more generally its attractiveness to investors in sectors that are critical to the country’s development.
Though it is still nascent, the floriculture sector is attracting interest from investors who are looking at Rwanda as a potential investment hub to export to regional and global markets.
The roundtable offered the opportunity to highlight the potential of the floriculture sector in Rwanda, but also to present the package offered by the government to potential investors.
Rwanda is notably banking on its geographical location, its natural assets, and its increasingly competitive business environment to attract investment in the sector.
George William Kayonga, CEO of the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) said promoting investment opportunities in Rwanda is one of the drivers in the country’s development strategy. He said, in this respect, Rwanda has put together an attractive package for investors in the floriculture sector and identified potential sites for growing flowers which we were happy to present today.
“The expansion of the floriculture sector in Rwanda will bring huge benefits to our country. It will also be an opportunity to market Rwanda as a destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as these investment opportunities will attract investors from different countries,” he said.
“Floriculture is identified as a high-potential sector for revenue generation and job creation in Rwanda’s development strategy. Rwanda has a clear vision for transforming agriculture through private investment, and has set itself ambitious investment and export targets for horticulture,” he added.
The Rwanda Investment Climate Program (RICP), funded by UKAid, looks to extend the benefits of regulatory improvements and investment efforts in the country.
The roundtable also allowed for extensive networking between participants. In this roundtable, the government presented to potential investors three sites ready for investments with more than 100 ha for companies that are planning expansion.
RICP notably supports reforms to improve government service delivery as well as the legal framework to encourage private participation in key sectors. It also supports efforts to attract inclusive private sector investment and enhance the overall competitiveness in agricultural input markets, horticulture and tourism.