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Diversification: Rwanda Dialogue
Linda Karimi speaks with Ben Murunga , CEO, Frederick Fyle, Rwanda. They discuss deal opportunities and how FF Rwanda can impact entrepreneurs, corporates and family businesses by connecting local businesses to global capital.
Linda Karimi:what is the current state of the investment space in Rwanda?
Ben Murunga: Rwandan culture has an embedded practice locally referred to as 'kwinegura', which essentially means evaluating failures and successes of an activity and leveraging these lessons to get better. The Rwandan leadership has been very intentional in attracting investors and creating a conducive business environment. To this effect, they have created the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), a world class team whose mandate is to make the business of doing business seamless. Despite a slowdown of investor activity this year, the country is confident in its ability to attract investors who will drive development and benefit from the country’s unique value offerings.
Linda Karimi:The world-over, most industrial sectors have suffered the ill-effects of the global outbreak of the pandemic. What sectors do you see making a strong come-back in what is perceived as the ‘new-normal’ post covid-19? Is there a ‘match-to-market’ in regards to these sectors and global capital interests?
Ben Murunga: In Rwanda, there are increased opportunities in the technology, health, education, agriculture and finance sectors. Initial shock to the outbreak of the pandemic resulted in escalated innovations in value chains that leveraged on remote access and social distancing measures. In addition, majority of the aforementioned sectors have been key contributors to easing some of the impact experienced during the pandemic. Most investors remain sector agnostic with their investment criteria more inclined to investments that offer opportunities for value addition, sustainable growth and return on investment. These sectors are also a source of interest for investors as they present opportunities for high growth and high return.
Linda Karimi: The world bank ranks Rwanda as one of the only two African countries in the top 50 ease of doing business index. Does your experience in the country hold this true? What opportunities exist in Rwanda for foreign players?
Ben Murunga: Rwanda’s FDI was on a steady increase and additional indicators showed that the country was on an upward trajectory. Over the last 10 years, GDP per capita has increased by over 30%. Like most countries Rwanda was impacted by the covid-19 pandemic. However, the country has had one of the most successful recoveries allowing them to open their economy quicker than most East African countries. In addition, as previously mentioned, Rwanda has put in place facilities and personnel mandated with the task of ensuring seamless business processes for entities and investors alike.
Linda Karimi:How well is Frederick Fyle placed to manage these opportunities for both clients and investors?
Ben Murunga: The Frederick Fyle team has decades of combined experience across different markets with concentrated interest in Sub-Saharan Africa. The team leverages on their longstanding relationships with global investors. It has a strong track record of excellence, having managed and successfully closed transactions in the energy, FMCG, agriculture, technology, real estate, finance and health spaces. We have recently expanded our geographical reach with offices in Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana and London. This affords us a depth of local knowledge in the locations we work in and close proximity to both investors and business entities, giving us a unique advantage and value for our clientele.
Linda Karimi: What is Frederick Fyle looking forward to with its recent launch in Rwanda?
Ben Murunga: Frederick Fyle is looking forward to playing a major role in the emerging opportunities coming from Rwanda by connecting businesses to capital. The country offers a promising growth trajectory and minimal jurisdiction risk, presenting an opportunity for investors to unlock impactful and consequential transactions. The promising Rwandese investment landscape partnered with Frederick Fyle’s broad advisory expertise both from an experience and geographic diversification perspective presents immense value both to our clients and longstanding investor partners.