By David Himbara
President Paul Kagame is a showman. He is regularly on a global roadshow sharing his story on how he is transforming Rwanda into a knowledge-based economy. Part of his success, as he explains, is his ability to promote foreign and domestic investments.
To sustain this narrative, Kagame needs impressive statistics to prove that indeed Rwanda attracts huge amounts of investments.
Kagame’s investment promotion team invented a clever mechanism to give him the wonderful statistics he wants.
Kagame’s team invented a clever way of reporting investments in Rwanda. Instead of reporting the actual money that entered Rwanda to operationalize an enterprise, they report ”a registered investment.” Anyone who registers a company in Rwanda and indicates any amount of investment to be made at some point in future is counted as an investor. The projected future expenditure in Rwanda is reported by Kagame’s team as a foreign investment already made. In other words, even an expression of future investment intent is recorded as a ”registered” investment.
Here is part of Kagame’s deception team — mostly naive and ready to manipulate figures.
Here are latest deceptions from the Kagame team
”The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) in 2017 registered investments in Rwanda worth $USD 1.675 billion. This is an increase of $USD 515 million when compared to the investments registered by RDB in 2016.
USD $1.160 billion worth of investments were registered in 2016…
In terms of the origins of the investments Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) dominated, with investments worth USD$ 1.041billion or 62.26% of all investments registered by foreign investors. This was followed by local investments registered worth USD$ 470.98 million or 28.15% of all investments registered. Joint ventures (local and foreign investors) worth USD$ 160.47 million were registered; they were worth 9.59% of all total investments registered by RDB.
In comparison, in 2016, foreign investments worth USD$ 650.4 million, local investments worth USD$ 479 million.”
Here is the reality – look at comparative foreign investment in East Africa
From the World Bank data, we get the following comparative foreign investment in East Africa.
- 2016 — $1.3 billion
- 2015 — $1.6 billion
- 2014— $1.6 billion
- 2013— $2 billion
- 2012 — $1.7 billion
- 2011— $1.9 billion
- 2016 — $522 million
- 2015 — $538 million
- 2014 — $1 billion
- 2013 — $1 billion
- 2012 — $1 billion
- 2011 — $1.2 billion
- 2016 — $393 million
- 2015 — $619 million
- 2014 — $820 million
- 2013 — $1.1 billion
- 2012 — $1.3 billion
- 2011 — $1.4 billion
- 2016 — $254 million
- 2015 — $223 million
- 2014 — $314 million
- 2013 — $257 million
- 2012 — $254 million
- 2011 — $119 million
From the above comparative data, we see that foreign investment in Rwanda does not come even close to a half billion dollars annually. Far from it.
Kagame’s investment promotion team is evidently impressive but for wrong reasons. The team feeds Kagame the diet he badly needs, namely, manipulated data and information designed to make the president seem an exceptional economic performer. Neither the gentleman nor his team is bothered by the fact that they are frauds of the worst kind — deceiving the people of Rwanda that they are building a real economy.