Ignite Africa, an organization with a focus on venture capitalism and investment, has partnered with the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) to help boost economic development in Rwanda
The two organisations are set to run a series of intra-Africa trade missions across the region.
The initiative aims to capitalize on the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), which is the result of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement among all 55 members of the African Union (AU).
“The CFTA offers Africa new and diversified market,” Ignite Africa said in a statement released in mid-April, 2018.
Together with OWIT Nairobi, a non-profit professional organisation designed to promote women doing business in international trade, Ignite Africa plans to lead a Trade Mission to Rwanda from the 9th to the 11th of May, 2018.
They plan to help Rwanda realize its long-term development goals, which are defined in “Vision 2020,” a strategy that seeks to transform the country from a low-income, agriculture-based economy to a knowledge-based, service-oriented economy with middle-income country status by the year 2020.
According to Ignite Africa, Rwanda is rising high towards its Vision 2020 agenda to become the ‘Singapore of Africa’.
“What you invest now will make returns ten times in a few years to come,” the organization told potential investors in its statement.
The trade mission comes at a time when United States-Rwanda bilateral trade is growing. Rwandan exports to the United States more than doubled in value between 2010 and 2014. In 2016, it totaled to $99.02 million. This represents $74.6 million in exports to Rwanda, and $26.4 in imports from Rwanda.
Ignite Africa has argued that Rwanda continues to be one of the fastest growing African countries in Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
Rwanda plays a lead role in the Northern Corridor initiative, which includes Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, and Ethiopia as core members and the DRC, Burundi, and Tanzania as observers.
The Northern Corridor is the busiest and most important transport route in East and Central Africa, providing a gateway through Kenya to the landlocked economies of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Eastern DR Congo, as well as South Sudan.
Rwanda, which is known as ‘the land of a thousand hills’, is also at the forefront of the Central Corridor initiative, which includes Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda.
The East African nation is also known as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Rwanda saw its GDP record a growth of around 8% per year between 2001 and 2014, according to a report from the World Economic Forum, a Swiss nonprofit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva.
A similar and more recent World Bank report found that Rwanda’s growth slowed from mid-2016 to mid-2017, bottoming out at 3.4%, but is expected to recover and may accelerate in 2018 and 2019 as private and public investment pick up and agriculture becomes more productive.
“Targeting public investment to areas where there are high economic returns is important for maintaining the fiscal space, which has narrowed in recent years, as is addressing fiscal contingencies,” said Aghassi Mkrtchyan, World Bank Senior Country Economist for Rwanda.
The May trade mission is looking to woo investors by presenting Rwanda as a viable candidate for capital injection. The affair is expected to target business leaders, high profile investors, and players from both the public and the private sector