By David Himbara
The Volkswagen story in Rwanda is scandalous. You only have to visit Volkswagen Rwanda’s Website to see for yourself. The cut and paste pictures used on the website have nothing to do with Volkswagen Rwanda’s operations. The pictures include a European family and factory worker with the word “Rwanda” pasted on top. Worse still, it is questionable if Volkswagen Rwanda is a real automobile assembly plant. Back on June 27, 2018, Volkswagen claimed it was launching an automobile assembly plant in Rwanda.
At the time, General Paul Kagame famously stated that “we have Volkswagen back here in Rwanda, being assembled and in the near future being made here.” Kagame added: “I know some might find it hard to believe that German cars, as we are used to calling them, could really be built in Rwanda. Yet today, the first vehicles are rolling off the assembly line.” Fast forward to February 2019. Volkswagen has made a different kind of progress since June 2018. Volkswagen Rwanda is now one of 31 licensed rental car companies in Rwanda. As of September 2018, Volkswagen has a fleet of 21 cars on Kigali streets, according to Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA).