Real estate and manufacturing are the primary drivers of Rwanda’s post-COVID recovery: the board
As Rwanda strives to counteract the negative effects of the coronavirus epidemic, investments in the construction, real estate, and industrial sectors are leading the way to economic recovery.
In 2021, the nation reported $3.7 billion in investments, up from $1.3 billion in 2020.
According to Rwanda Development Board (RDB) figures released this week, the three sectors contributed up to 72 percent of all registered investments, with construction accounting for 31 percent, real estate accounting for 26 percent, and manufacturing (including agro-processing) accounting for 15 percent.
As the epidemic hit the nation in early 2020, many big and small investors poured money into development, with the majority of their money going to Kigali, leaving the city with a slew of new commercial buildings, real estate, and office buildings.
When the nation went into lockdown to halt the spread of COVID-19 and businesses were shut down, many commercial building owners took advantage of the downtime to rebuild, expand, or redesign their properties.
The majority utilized their savings, while some took out loans, to invest in these projects, which not only provided employment but also kept the economy afloat as money was traded in the purchase of building supplies, many of which were produced locally.
As the pandemic thawed and commercial supply chains started to recover, the development trend intensified in 2021.
The increase in investment in the three sectors may be linked to the Manufacture and Build to Recover program, which offers tax breaks to investors in addition to fiscal and non-fiscal incentives.
According to RDB, some of the largest investments registered in 2021 include $237.9 million by Ultimate Developers Ltd for the development of Vision City Phase Two; $145.9 million by Rwanda Ultimate Golf Course Ltd into the Kigali Golf Resort and Villa Project; $20.7 million for a powdered milk project; and $22.5 million by Global Electric Vehicle Ltd for the manufacture of Electric Vehicles.
Other sectors that attracted significant investment include financial and insurance services, agriculture, lodging and food services, energy, health, and information and communication technology (ICT), demonstrating how appealing the Rwandan economy remained to investors despite the virus-induced setbacks.
These new investment projects are estimated to generate 48,669 jobs, representing a 97 percent growth over 2020, in what is considered as the biggest investment registration to yet.
Every year, the government aims to create 214,000 new jobs via investments and other sources of employment.
Despite being one of the most hit industries in the previous two years, tourism seems to have profited to some degree from the Rwf100 billion ($97.6 million) Economic Recovery Fund.
Tourism income is expected to rise by 25% in 2021, from $131 million in 2020 to $164 million in 2021, with the MICE sector producing $12.5 million in 2021, up from $5.4 million in 2020.
Total tourist visits climbed by 2.8 percent, from 490,000 in 2020 to 512,000 in 2021, with sporting events improving visitor arrivals and income during this time period.