In what observers say is a move towards self-sufficiency in cement, Rwanda has launched a new 500,000 tons per year plant at Muganza, Rusizi. Owned by Cimerwa, Rwanda’s only cement producer in the country, the new investment is estimated at US$170 million and is expected to overshoot the country’s annual cement demand of 450,000.
This means that with the excess tonnage, Rwanda can now export her surplus to Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo, among others. It further means that cements manufacturers in Uganda and Kenya that hitherto exported cement to Rwanda and neighbouring Demoractic Republic of Congo will now have to brace with competition from Rwnada, as both DRC and Burundi will find it more cost effective to bring cement from Rwanda, than to important it from Uganda or Kenya. Rwanda’s existing production capacity has been only 100,000 tons per year. With an annual demand of 450,000 tones.
According Global Cement Magazines, “Increasing production capacity makes it possible for the plant to export up to 30 per cent of its total production to other countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi. This is expected to drive sustainable economic development and poverty reduction. Exporting cement to neighbouring countries means that Rwanda will be able to reduce its trade deficit gap with at least an additional US$92m/yr in foreign revenues, according to the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR).”
The magazine quoted Legodi Busisiwe, the CEO of Cimerwa, as saying, “The new plant would play a critical role in enhancing competitiveness of the local construction sector through reduced logistical costs. The new plant seeks to bring on board high quality products that will help boost capacity of the country's infrastructure."
The top 5 export destinations of Uganda cement has been Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Sudan