President Paul Kagame on Thursday, August 3, issued a rallying call to fellow African leaders saying that governments must step up and enact enabling investment policies, to be able to attract major impactful investments such as the just-inaugurated Anjia Prefabricated Construction Cement Factory in Muhanga district, Southern Province.
“That’s what we have been doing here in Rwanda for a number of years,” he pointed out.
The Head of State made the call shortly after launching and also touring the $100 million facility which targets an annual output of a million metric tonnes output in order to address the supply deficit in the market.
The development is part of the investments made by the West International Holding Ltd, a subsidiary of China West Cement Group.
Already the company’s initial injection of over $50 million has seen the setup of a high-performance cement grinding station system with two kinds of Cement; the CEM II/A-M 42.5 Ordinary Portland Cement as well as the CEM II/B-M 32.5 ordinary Portland cement.
Following a guided tour, President Kagame commended West China Cement Group’s commitment to the infrastructure development of “not just Rwanda but our continent.”
“Over the years, West China Cement, and West International Holding, the company have become key players in Africa’s efforts to reach self-sufficiency in cement production,” he added.
“Earlier I had the opportunity to tour the plant, you have set the bar high in terms of quality and we appreciate that.”
Prospects look promising
The African cement, concrete and construction business is growing at a rapid pace, and according to President Kagame the prospects for the industry look promising.
“This state of art plant will contribute to Rwanda’s transformation journey. We thank you and assure you that you have our country’s full support.”
He also highlighted that a rapidly growing and urbanizing population in Africa creates increased demand for housing and infrastructure investments.
“For manufacturers this means more opportunities to invest in new markets and create jobs in our communities. Challenges remain but they can be overcome through more cooperation.”
“To enhance the performance of the industry, it is essential to deliver higher quality products and shift to more sustainable manufacturing practices. Only then can we continue gaining ground to remove regulatory barriers, increase beneficial competition and reduce prices.”
Ultimately, Kagame asserted, the end goal is to build a more connected Africa where all Africans can benefit.
Meanwhile, Kagame also pointed out that the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a valuable tool for advancing the continent noting “but we must unleash its full potential.”
“Transformation takes time. We are united by a shared vision to close the infrastructure gap and improve the standards of living. Let us continue to build on this mind-set.”
“Anjia is undoubtedly a good addition to Rwanda’s manufacturing landscape. I only see success in our strong partnership,” he said.
Zhang Jimin, Chairman of China West Cement said the investment marks the group’s debut on the Rwandan market, with more investments in the pipeline.
“With our strong capital we are looking forward to further investment in the country especially in the construction and manufacturing industry.”
“This project is our first investment in Rwanda and it represents the beginning of our future cooperation,” he said.
Clare Akamanzi, Rwanda Development Board Chief Executive commended China for being one of Rwanda’s major sources of investments.
She said that over the past five years, Rwanda had registered nearly $1 billion in foreign direct investments by China, which collectively generates 25,000 jobs.
“There is a deep commitment for investing in Rwanda. We are grateful for being a great partner,” she added.
China’s Ambassador to Rwanda Wang Xuekun echoed similar sentiments citing that the launch of the plant “was long awaited.”
“This project will largely promote Rwanda’s cement industry; it will significantly boost the development of Muhanga Industrial park. More jobs will be created for local people, with the output of high quality cement, I believe we will see more standard infrastructure in the country and in particular in Muhanga.”
The plant, Ambassador Xuekun said, comes at a time when bilateral ties between China and Rwanda have been strengthened.
“Despite the geographical distance, Rwanda and China enjoy fruitful relations,” he said.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TradeMark Africa.