SOURCE: The New Times

There has been a tremendous increase in female ownership of individual enterprises in the past five years, showcasing the growth of women entrepreneurship in the country, a new report by Rwanda Development Board (RDB) indicates. 

Over one billion investment

According to RDB’s annual report released last week, female ownership of businesses increased from 27 percent in 2017 to 34 percent in 2022, indicating a trend toward greater gender balance in the private sector.

For instance, the figures show, in 2022, 39 percent of companies had at least one female company director, “which highlights Rwanda’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity in corporate leadership.

Overall 93,764 businesses were registered in 2022, comprising 18,692 domestic companies, 74,779 individual enterprises, and 63 foreign companies.

“Female ownership of individual enterprises has risen significantly, from 38% in 2017 to 50% in 2022, underscoring the importance of women’s empowerment and gender equality in the business sector,” the report reads in part.

According to RDB, $1.6 billion worth of transformative investments in various sectors against a target of $2bn, was registered in 2022.

The investment, RDB said, is expected to generate 57,627 jobs. Total exports of goods and services recorded a significant increase in 2022, reaching $2.9bn, representing a growth of 40.5 percent from $2.1bn in 2021.

“Rwanda ranked first in sub-Saharan Africa in the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index, a testament to the country’s commitment to upholding justice and the rule of law, and generated a remarkable increase in tourism revenues with $445 million recorded in 2022 compared to $164 million in 2021, representing a 171.3 percent increase,” the report adds.

Major investment deals include BioNTech, ENI, Total, Mövenpick, and ARISE.

Rwanda also says it successfully expanded export markets to several destinations, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and India, further enhancing trade relations and boosting the economy.

Manufacturing, financial services, and insurance activities accounted for 45.6 percent of total registered investments in 2022, and are expected to create 38.5 percent of the total jobs to be generated from the investments

77.3 percent of all investments registered or $1.2bn flowed into Kigali City, followed by the Northern Province, which attracted 11.7 percent, or $192m.

China, India leading FDIs to Rwanda

China is the leading source of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) to Rwanda, followed by India, the latest statistics from Rwanda Development Board (RDB) indicate.

According to RDB, both countries invested $333.4 million, accounting for 44.3 percent of the total foreign investment in Rwanda within 85 projects. The five leading foreign investor countries registered 40.7 of all investment volume, worth $665 million. Other leading sources include the UK, South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria.

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