Rwanda sets itself up as a centre for business
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CAPITAL MARKETS

Rwanda sets itself up as a centre for business

Rwanda is landlocked. And although the land is fertile, the country has little to offer on the oil and gas front, setting it sharply against the usual commodity story that characterizes many other countries in Africa.

Gilles Guerard, managing director at Ecobank Rwanda
Gilles Guerard, managing director at Ecobank Rwanda

Dwarfed by regional neighbours Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in size and GDP the country is at a disadvantage. "Focusing solely on Rwanda for business development will not be enough a make a difference to your company. It’s just too small. The only way to do it is to consider Rwanda within the entire east African region," says Gilles Guerard, managing director at Ecobank Rwanda. But Rwanda has set itself an ambitious goal, to carve out a niche as a regional business and transport hub. "Due to its size and location, Rwanda really has its work cut out," says Samir Gadio, emerging markets strategist at Standard Bank in London. "But it is making all the right noises."

Kigali is positioning itself as an important location for regional conferences. Barely a week goes by without one. The first dedicated convention centre in the country, the Kigali Convention Centre, is currently under construction and due for completion in May 2014 – just in time for next year’s African Development Bank Forum.

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