On Monday, 7 September 2020, the European Union in Rwanda signed a contract to support the strengthening of the European Business Chamber of Rwanda (EBCR). EBCR seeks to promote and increase business between Rwanda and Europe.
“The European Union support to the consolidation and strengthening of the newly founded European Business Chamber of Rwanda (EBCR) will help the new Chamber grow into a self-sustaining, independent organisation. EBCR will play a crucial role to promote European business interests in Rwanda, hence enhancing trade and investment between Rwanda and the EU, for the mutual benefit of both Europeans and Rwandans”, said Ambassador Nicola Bellomo, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Rwanda.
“It goes beyond the achievement of inclusive and sustainable growth, it has a cultural exchange aspect as well between the people of Rwanda and Europeans” added Ambassador Bellomo.
“We are very grateful to have received this help from the European Union, which has allowed us to hire a part-time Executive Secretary, Ms Johanna Sandberg, Executive Secretary of the EBCR. This will ensure that we can offer a professional service to our members, ensure we liaise and interact properly with the Rwandan authorities, the European diplomatic missions in Rwanda, and the European trade delegations, when they will come”, said Giovanni Davite, President of the European Business Chamber of Rwanda.
“Our aim is to help European owned businesses in Rwanda, European businesses interested in investing and doing business in Rwanda and overall help Rwanda in attracting foreign investment and being the place to be for doing business in Africa”, added Mr Davite.
EBCR was officially registered with Rwanda Development Board at the beginning of 2020 and the newly signed agreement for 23 million RWF will support the consolidation and growth of the EBCR Chamber. Through this partnership with the EU, EBCR will be able to enhance its capacity to (i) promote trade and investment between Rwanda and the EU, (ii) represent the interest of EU businesses active in Rwanda and (iii) provide support and information to Europeans and European companies who want to invest in Rwanda. Currently, the chamber has more than 250 European owned registered businesses in Rwanda.
Since 2016 the European Union in Rwanda and EU Member States organised business mixers to bring together European businesses in Rwanda. The business mixers provided opportunities for networking between European and Rwandan businesses and featured presentations from invited speakers on various topics of interest to the business community. Through these events European businesses active in Rwanda have generated a sense of community and grown aware of their shared challenges and needs in their journey to invest and make business in Rwanda. This led to the birth of the European Business Chamber in Rwanda (EBCR) earlier this year. Businesses having a foot in Europe as well as a foot in Rwanda are welcome to become members of EBCR.
EBCR will provide a platform to collaborate with Rwandan businesses in coordination with the Private Sector Federation (PSF), encouraging partnerships and synergies between Rwandan companies and European based businesses and investors. The EBCR will increase the dissemination of information on different existing investment opportunities, as well as EU instruments available to support the private sector development in Rwanda such as the EU Investment plan, European Fund for Sustainable Development and others.