President Paul Kagame and his Egyptian counterpart to boost bilateral economic ties by promoting investments in the two countries in several sectors including, agriculture, telecommunications, tourism among others. By News Agencies


Nine Egyptian firms have established a presence in Rwanda with an aim to serve the construction and housing sector, The New Times reported.
The firms, under the umbrella, Rwanda-Egypt Trading Association, commenced operations yesterday after about four months of due diligence, certification and market studies.
The launch of the firm’s operations comes two days after the official visit by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi this week.
The firms are bringing a range of housing and construction solutions including affordable housing materials, tiling materials, roofing materials, electrical installations, project designs, among others.
In the initial days, the firms will be shipping in products from Egypt as they move to set up manufacturing plants in the country.
Among the interventions they are bringing to the Rwandan housing sector is the reduction of costs and time incurred in putting up residential houses.
Abd Elrahman Katar, the Chief Executive of Rwanda-Egypt Trading Association told The New Times that they are also aiming at investing in government projects which could see some firms inject between $5m and $70m in projects.
Katar said that Rwanda’s clear growth plans enabled them to identify potential areas of investment.
Katar noted that they have since received necessary certification by the relevant authorities including the Rwanda Bureau of Standards and the Rwanda Housing Authority.
He said, the growing construction sector presents opportunities for growth and expansion in the coming years.
Most of the firms have about 20 years’ experience in the sector having entered markets in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Dr Namira Negm, the Ambassador of Egypt to Rwanda, told The New Times that the investments by the Egyptian firms are largely as a result of the efforts to promote Rwanda as a conducive destination for business.
She said that this is only the first batch of investments by Egyptian firms under the new umbrella body.
She noted that the recent resolve by President Paul Kagame and his Egyptian counterpart to boost bilateral economic ties is expected to see the promotion of investments in the two countries in several sectors including, agriculture, telecommunications, tourism among others.
“The two presidents said that that there should be efforts to promote investments in the two countries in sectors. We already have some in construction. We now want to have similar investments in other sectors such as food and beverage. We are also trying to attract Egyptian investors into agri-business,” Dr. Negm said.
Other than improving affordable and cost-effective technology and solutions in the local construction sector, the envoy said that the firms will also build capacities of Rwandans who will work in the firms to be set up.
She said there was room for growth of trade between the two countries.
Statistics show that in 2015, Rwanda earned about $30 million (Rwf22 billion) in exports to Egypt annually while Egypt made about $64 millon (Rwf46 billion) from exports to Rwanda.
She said that the trade imbalance can be addressed by capitalising on the COMESA bloc as well as continuously linking businesses from the two countries.
With Egyptian firms set to set up presence in the country, she said that it could reduce the import volumes as well as have Rwanda export more to regional countries.
The Rwandan envoy to the North African nation، Sheikh Saleh Habimana, said that from his interaction with Egyptian firms. many of them are currently accessing the Rwandan market with prospects of investing locally as well as using Rwanda as an entry point to the wider region.