Rwanda is slowly setting itself up as a premier investment hub with the upcoming Egypt and Middles East Expo that will be held in Kigali.
Speaking ahead of this year’s expo that opens on April 28-May 11 at Amahoro National Stadium, Ashraf Mahmoud, the Smart Egypt executive manager, said about 10 Egyptian businesses; mostly in general trade, and the health sector, have set up shop in Rwanda courtesy of the bi-annual tradeshow. He added that one of the companies is exploring the possibility of setting up a sugar factory in the country. “They are currently assessing the environment, especially source of raw materials and land. There is also a furniture firm that is planning to set up offices in Rwanda,” said Mahamoud on Friday. Moreover, these firms will facilitate knowledge transfer, noting that each firm that sets up shop in the country partners with a local firm. “This will, in the long-run, boost expertise of local people in the sectors where Egyptians invest,” he added. He added that the bi-annual expo supports the tourism and hospitality sectors, especially hotels and accommodation facilities used by exhibitors.
Natacha Haguma, a local entrepreneur and event organizer, said the expo provides an avenue for the local private sector to network and develop business linkages that they can exploit to enter new export markets. He added that the expo also provides employment opportunities for more than 200 Rwandans each time the event is held. “This money supports a lot of households and enables some youth to pay school fees. Therefore, one can say that Rwanda is benefiting significantly from the bi-annual trade fair,” she said.
According to organizers, this year’s show will attract participants from Egypt, Iran, Malaysia, India, Singapore, Pakistan, who will be exhibiting a range of products, including textiles, leather products, jewelry, and kitchenware, among others.
Launched in 2014, The Tradeshow is organized by Smart Egypt conjunction with local businesspeople and the Egyptian Embassy. The show happens in the month of April and October.