By David Himbara
Kagame loves attention. And he will do anything to achieve it. The latest attention-grabbing is the Volkswagen automobile factory in Kigali.
On the surface, the project sounds impressive. Imagine Rwanda making cars. Who wouldn’t be impressed with that?
But on close examination, the whole thing sounds rather bizarre. Here is why:
- The cost of building the Kigali car factory is incredibly low — a mere US$20 million. By comparison, the ruling party’s Inyange Industries’ juice factory cost US$27 million. How can a juice factory cost more than a car factory?😂
- The timeframe for building the car factory in Kigali is incredibly short — the Rwanda-built cars will hit the road by May 2018. What kind of manufacturing plant can be built in 4 months, and immediately assemble and sell cars within 4 months?😂
- How can the workforce for building cars in Rwanda be trained in a matter of 4 months?😆
- How will the car components be shipped to Kigali from South Africa — by sea to Mombasa? And from Mombasa to Kigali by road?😂
- Rwanda has 200 Megawatts of electricity, 25% of which is lost due to dilapidated transmission infrastructure. Where will the VW factory get a reliable power supply?😭
- Who will buy the vehicles? VW Polo Vivo costs US$14,000 — equivalent to an annual turnover of a small business in Rwanda.
Let us wait and see how this Rwandan Comedy ends…😂