Rwanda’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Soraya Hakuziyaremye, said Rwanda is ready to export goods to the wider African market, adding that no one should worry about the fact that some economies on the African continent will underestimate the market.
Minister Hakuziyaremye made the remarks while answering questions from reporters at an event organized by the Ministry of Commerce on the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area on Friday, January 15, 2021.
Minister Hakuziyaremye said Rwanda is ready to compete in the market
Regarding the tax exemption for traders who will be importing goods to other African countries or importing them to Rwanda, Hakuziyaremye explained that “80% of goods made in Africa will be the first to be tax-exempt.”
“In our country, it is a process that will take about a decade because we are determined to keep deducting 10% of the tax until it becomes 0% of the tax,” she said.
He added that in Rwanda, agriculture, and textile products are among the products that the country is ready to take to the wider African market.
He encouraged ordinary people as well as the private sector to take part in making a profit in this large market.
“As Rwandans, we find that in the next 10 years, we will be three times as much as our trade with foreign countries,” she said.
He assured those concerned that major countries such as South Africa and Nigeria would disregard the market and said that there should be no concern because in general all countries are ready to enter the market.
“It’s not an easy journey because even during the negotiations it was clear that there was a lot to be done to establish this business area,” she explains.
“But again, these countries with the strongest economies have what they want to trade in this market,” Minister Hakuziyaremye added.
Regarding the movement of people freely, Minister Hakuziyaremye said that this will also be facilitated as people will be able to trade and travel more easily under the AfCFTA agreement.
The fact that Rwanda has entered a broad market means that access to the market is not for the Government as an institution but as a member of the broader business so that people can start thinking more about the broader performance beyond the borders of the country.
Victor Nkindi, one of the most experienced Rwandans in international business through Hooza Media Company, says this is a time for Rwandans to start thinking more.
“From the integration of the region, Tanzania, the DRC or Kenya are the countries where one should start a business,” said Victor Nkindi.
“Let’s be bold and look at the business opportunities on this continent,” he said.