Rwandan company has set up a gold refinery plant in Kigali to refine all their gold instead of exporting it as raw

The $5m gold refinery is located at the Kigali special economic zone and started operations in March 2019. The refinery is an initiative of Aldango, a local company that deals in minerals. The refinery has the capacity to process 6 tonnes of gold a month equivalent to 220Kg per day and will be expanded as demand increases.

According to the chairman of the company, the factory is built with the same standard as those found in Europe and Asia.  The company will buy raw gold from the country and around the continent and process it into high quality finished gold. The company already has access to the international market. The country hopes that the refinery will complement its efforts in achieving a revenue target of $1.5 billion from mineral exports by 2024.

Adding value to resources in Rwanda

Even though most African countries have abundant mineral resources, they are exported raw outside the continent. As a result, the African countries experience loss in potential revenues as well as jobs. Aldango is a Rwandan based company that specialises in the metal industry.

The company realised that even though Rwanda had deposits of precious metal resources, it had no refining capabilities. Hence, it grabbed this opportunity to set-up this refinery that will now process all the gold mined in the country as well as from the surrounding countries. The company will also expand its capacity as demand increases.

Benefits of the gold refinery to Rwanda

Instead of Rwanda exporting raw metals and earning less revenues, they will now export them in processed form consequently earning much higher revenues. The plant will also provide both direct and indirect employment to the Rwandan population. Similarly, the government will also earn more tax revenues from both the company and its employees. moreover, the company has intentions to expand to processing other precious metals and further contributing towards the socio-economic development of Rwanda.

What Africa governments need to do to follow in Rwanda’s footsteps?

Firstly, the Rwandan government realized that it is the private sector that will lead the economic growth of the country. As a result, through the visionary leadership of President Kagame, he created the enabling environment that will make businesses thrive in the country. For instance, Rwanda is now ranked among the top countries in the world in ease of doing business.

Secondly, transparency in the government as demonstrated by the e-procurement portal of the country which gives suppliers and buyers confidence and transparency in procuring goods and services.

Finally, President Kagame through his political-will made sure that all the policies with regards to ease of doing business and transparency in government transactions, are followed through and executed.

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Zimbabwean tech entrepreneur, Strive Masiyiwa, is connecting the entire African continent with fiber networks and data centers, to prepare the continent for the 4th industrial revolution

Strive Masiyiwa

Liquid Telecom is currently connecting the entire African continent with fibre networks and data centers. By building these networks, the company intends to benefit both businesses and the average man in the streets. The fibre optics cable linking Cape Town to Cairo was completed last year and it became Africa’s largest fiber network. The company has also recently finished the cable linking Daresalaam-Lubumbashi-Kinshasa-Luanda Port-Moanda Port (DRC Atlantic Ocean). They are currently working on the cable linking Sudan, Nigeria and Cameroon.

About liquid telecom

Liquid Telecom was founded in 1997 by Zimbabwean tech entrepreneur, Strive Masiyiwa. Africa’s largest mobile network operators, ISPs and businesses of all sizes get their supply of fibre optic, satellite and international carrier services from the company. Moreover, it provides data storage and communication solutions to businesses as well as payment solutions to financial institutions. The company is the leading provider of independent data, voice and IP services, in east, central and southern Africa.

It is time for African governments to allow the African private sector to lead infrastructural development in the continent.

Strive Masiyiwa is proof that African entrepreneurs can fill in the infrastructure deficits facing the continent if giving the opportunity. Since independence, the continent has struggled to fill the infrastructure gaps which runs to about $200 billion yearly.

Poor transport and erratic electricity supply continue to be the major infrastructure problems haunting the continent. If African governments are truly serious about building the infrastructure of the continent, then it is time for them to make way for African entrepreneurs to handle the problem. I have consistently argued that it is the African entrepreneurs who will develop the continent (as demonstrated here and here).

African governments need to provide the right policies and enabling business environment and the African entrepreneurs will take the initiative. Entrepreneurs such as Strive Masiyiwa, Aliko Dangote and others have the ability to solve the infrastructure issues facing the continent.

African governments need to create more Masiyiwas and Dangotes

These great Africans have built multibillion-dollars African companies providing employment for thousands of Africans as well as paying billions in taxes. Hence, African governments need to create more of these men in various sectors of the economy to lift the continent out of poverty. The following steps will help in achieving this goal.

Firstly, African governments need to understand that it is African entrepreneurs who will develop the continent. Borrowing funds which will then be paid to foreign contractors to build infrastructure will not develop the continent. This is a major reason why there are maintenance problems in Africa. If the companies building the infrastructure are foreign then how will the countries maintain the infrastructure built by these foreign companies?

Secondly, all foreign companies involved in infrastructure projects in the continent must collaborate with local African companies to work on these projects. This will enable the transfer of skills and technology to the local companies.

Thirdly, they should study the policies employed by China, Korea and other Asian countries which enabled these countries to emerge from the grips of poverty. The most important policies to study are the educational policies that enabled Asian entrepreneurs to emerge and create various multibillion-dollar companies such as Toyota, Samsung, Sony, Huawei, among others. These educational policies if implemented in the African continent will also result in the emergence of multibillion-dollar African firms.

Finally, the governments must have the political will and be ready to embrace change. To change the poverty narrative of Africa requires massive changes and it is doubtful if most of these African leaders are willing to embrace these changes. Most African countries have good policies but only a tiny percentage of these are implemented effectively. Hence, Africa needs bold leaders who are willing to embrace change as demonstrated by Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame who is currently bringing massive business and technology advancement in his country.

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