The RPF Chairman, President Paul Kagame has said that the new assembling plant for German carmaker, Volkswagen, which was opened in Kigali on Wednesday, opens a new chapter in Rwanda’s journey of economic transformation.
The head of state was speaking at the official opening of the assembling plant located in the Special Economic Zone in Gasabo District.
The plant will have the capacity to assemble up to 5,000 cars annually.
He said that when the carmaker, through Volkswagen South Africa, made the announcement that they would start assembling cars in Rwanda just 18 months back, many thought it was impossible.
“Some found it hard to believe that German cars could really be built in Rwanda. Yet today, the
first vehicles are rolling off the assembly line,” he said, thanking everyone who
had a role in ensuring the project come to fruition.
From Rwanda, Volkswagen will be producing three models; the Hatchback Polo, the Passat and possibly the Teramont, a large sports utility vehicle.
The Chairman said that the development is not just good news for Rwanda, but for Africa as a whole.
“Africa is not merely positioning itself as a new low-cost hub to manufacture goods for export. African consumers will also be among the biggest contributors to growth in global demand in the years ahead,” he said.
Appreciating the fact that brand new vehicles will be assembled in Rwanda, the President said that Africa does not need to be a dumping ground for second-hand cars, or any other product, saying that in the long run, one ends up paying a higher price.