Since 2015, the term “Made in Rwanda” has become familiar to Rwandans. But since its launch, the expression has mainly been linked to textiles, crafts and food products.
In 2019, “Made in Rwanda” became more than arts and crafts and the food industry, thus adding other departments to its section: e-mobility and smartphones.
Rwanda’s green shift in the transport sector has been one of the headlines this year. The e-Mobility sector has seen the launch of an e-Vehicle and e-Motorcycles, which are still in the testing phase.
For the e-Vehicle, the project was launched on October 29 by Volkswagen with their first electric car in Africa called e-Golf. It is said that 50 cars will circulate on the roads of Kigali as well as 15 charging stations during the coming year.
It is not only 4-wheeled vehicles that have been introduced in electric mobility but also electric motorcycles.
In this sector, two companies have entered the Rwandan market. Ampersand which uses the battery exchange method and Safi Ltd which will use charging stations.
Some of these motorcycles, from Ampersand, are already operational in Kigali.
However, the management of Safi Ltd revealed that during the first quarter of 2020, it will also have the first fleet, fifty to one hundred electric motorcycles as well as the charging infrastructure which will start in Kigali.
Safi Ltd also said it has invested $ 13 million in the technology and plans to deploy at least 3,000 e-bikes, 2,500 smart bikes and 1,500 e-scooters.
These products will benefit not only the Rwandan market, but also the outside world with a Made in Rwanda label.
With many people worried about how households will share the same electric power with these electric vehicles, Rwanda Energy Group (REG), said that there is a surplus of energy, in the sense that there is more than supply than demand.
Therefore, electricity shouldn’t be a problem.
As part of its broader made in Rwanda initiative, Mara Phones launched its production plant on October 7 in the Kigali Special Economic Zone, in the Gasabo district.
It is the only factory on the African continent where smartphones are manufactured.
These phones cost between $ 100 and $ 200. However, the company has indicated that those that will be sold in the Rwandan market will be the only ones bearing the Made in Rwanda logo while others that will be sold outside Rwanda will carry the Made in Africa logo.
A boost to Rwanda’s foreign trade
These products will not only benefit the Made in Rwanda initiative, but will also boost Rwanda’s export sector.
According to the Foreign Trade Report of the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda for the second quarter of 2019, Rwanda’s total trade amounted to US $ 1,073.6 million, an increase of 13.31% from in the second quarter of 2018 and 13.81% compared to US $ 943.33 million in the previous quarter.