INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NORTHERN PROVINCE

           Brief Profile of the Northern Province

The Northern Province was created by organic law NO 29/2005 of 31/12/2005 concerning the organization of the decentralized entities of the Republic of Rwanda.

-          The Northern Province is situated in the northern part of the Country;

-          It is bordered with the Republic of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

-          It has surface area of 3293.3 km2.

-          It has population density of 496 habitants per km2.

 The Northern Province is subdivided in 5 Districts, 89 Sectors, 414 Cells and 2744 Villages. The following table shows the denomination of Districts in the Northern Province, their surface area, the number of Sectors, Cells, Villages and the number of habitants.

 Population distribution by District:

Districts

Surface area (Km2)

Number of Sectors

Number of Cells

Number of Villages

House

holds  

Males  

Females

Total population

Burera

644.5

17

69

571

73,624

160,481

175,974

336,455

Gakenke

722.4

19

97

617

80,784

159,320

179,266

338,586

Gicumbi

867

21

109

630

89,406

189,312

208,559

397,871

Musanze

530.4

15

68

432

88,268

174,760

193,803

368,563

Rulindo

567

17

71

494

67,453

136,058

152,394

288,452

Total

3293.3

89

414

2744

399,535

819,931

909,996

1,729,927

 Potentials to attract investment in Northern Province

-          Active and hardworking population.

-          Cash crops like: Coffee, Tea, Pyrethrum, Wheat, Passion fruits and Pineapples.

-          Food crops like: Irish Potatoes, Maize, Beans, Sorghum, Peas, Cassava;

-          Favorable  climatic conditions and beautiful scenery;

-          Active market;

-          Reliable transport and communication infrastructures;

-          Fertile soils favorable for agriculture;

-          Numerous tourist attractions like Lakes BURERA, RUHONDO and MUHAZI, a large beautiful swamp called URUGEZI, Volcanic Mountains which is also a home for attractive Mountain Gorillas, gently sloping hills found throughout the Province and beautiful historical caves at MUSANZE;

-          Presence of tourism development master plan and;

-          Twin lakes development master plan.

1. TOURISM

There is need to increase modern tourist infrastructures like hotels to accommodate tourists because the existing ones are few and some of them lack modern equipments. But Northern Province has now One and Only Gorilla’s Nest which is joining two most luxurious resorts in the home to the rare mountain gorillas including; the Bisate lodge which was ranked five star, Singita Lodge and Kwitonda House, which was launched and expected to be ranked five start too, in the next ranking exercise.

1.1. Musanze and Burera tourism potential

In Musanze District on Lake Ruhondo, the development of a ‘Mixed Cultural Tourism Village’ resort would be most suitable to attract national and regional tourism for recreational activities, and has the potential to develop as an entertainment and vacation hotspot for international tourists; i.e. a Cultural Village set in a natural environment positioned for the mid to high end domestic and international markets. The lakeside resort should comprise local and artificial tourism products, anchored by a commercial area offering leisure and cultural attractions and facilities, and complemented by mid-sized eco-lodges and cultural accommodation. The development of a Marina would be suitable for the target market as well as being unique to the Twin Lakes destination.

1.1. Volcanoes National Park and Buhanga Eco– park

Volcanoes National Park is home to 5 dormant volcanoes with Karisimbi being the highest at 4,507 meters. Attractions such as hiking, Bisoke Crater Lake, golden monkey treks and Dian Fossey’s tomb could be better developed and marketed. Additional activities could be packaged to include Buhanga Eco-Park, a beautiful forest offering historical and cultural experiences of past Kingdoms of Rwanda. Buhanga forest covers 16.9 Ha and is considered a former sacred site; situated about 7 km south of Musanze District it is easily accessible on a tarmac road. The Kalisimbi Cable Car project will add another unique attraction to the region.

1.2. Rugezi Wetlands

Rugezi Wetland is a priority site due to its significant economic and conservation attributes; i.e. Hydro-power generation downstream of the wetland and bird conservation with 134 species in a declared Important Birding Area (IBA) for tourism promotion.

Sustainable tourism is all about minimizing the impact of tourism on landscapes and wildlife and about preserving the uniqueness of the site. This is usually achieved by limiting the number of visitors or the areas accessible to them within a wetland through zoning. These limits are based on a carrying capacity assessment of the wetland with the dual purposes of protecting its environment and fragile habitats and ensuring a high quality experience for visitors.

Local communities must be consulted and a valuation study should help determine optimum tourist strategies for all stakeholders. In this instance a revenue sharing arrangement between communities and REG, RDB and REMA is recommended to benefit communities technically and financially, and for the sustainable long-term conservation of the wetland. Rugezi Wetland tourism development will require the construction of moderate eco-friendly accommodation facilities of between 10 and maximum 30 beds, as well as the more formalized structuring of activities such as horse riding and bird watching. A number of sites are available for proposed development.

In summary the potential for private investment in accommodation and related services at Twin Lakes (Lakes Burera and Ruhondo) is estimated at US$ 25 Mio. Public investment requirements are estimated in the region of US$ 10 Mio for the two districts.

2. AGRICULTURE

In agriculture there is need to invest in Agro processing industries so as to add value of agricultural products. Agro- processing industries needed in the Northern Province are those to process:

–        Coffee

–        Irish potatoes

–        Passion fruits

–        Pineapples

–        Maize

–        Sorghum

3. FISHING

In the Northern Province there are Lakes which favor the growth of Fish; therefore, investing in fish project may be profitable. Those lakes include twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo, Muhazi.

4. MINING

In the Northern Province there are various mineral mines with different types of minerals:

-          Wolfram in Rulindo, and Burera

-          Colombo tantalite in Rulindo and Gakenke

-          Gold in Gicumbi and Burera

-          Zinc in Rulindo and Burera

5. HANDCRAFTS

-          Investment in handcrafts industry, such as uduseke making

-          Investment in brick making and tiles because there are various unexploited swamps with clay soils.

6. Investment opportunities in the Northern Province

Northern Province has several investment opportunities of which some are still virgin and some others started being exploited by both local and foreign investors. Those investment opportunities are found in different sectors of economy as shown in the table below:

Sectors

Investment opportunities

Investment Potentials

Socio- economic impact

Agriculture and livestock

Transformation of Irish potatoes

- Active and hardworking population.

- High production of good quality Irish potatoes

- Employment creation

- Family income increases

- Poverty reduces among the  

  population

 

Wheat plantation

-Favorable climate for wheat

-One wheat processing industries: PEMBE FLOUR MILLS at Gicumbi

- Sufficient raw materials hence      

  import substitution

- employment creation

- Family income increases

Transformation milk into butter

- High milk production

-Availability market for milk

-Employment creation

-Family income increases

 

Tourism

Construction of modern hotels

-Numerous tourist attraction in the Province

-Large number of tourists visiting the Province

-Employment creation

-Family income increases

Tourism

Construction of modern hotels

-Numerous tourist attraction in the Province

-Large number of tourists visiting the Province

-Employment creation

-Family income increases

Mining

Exploitation of mineral resources

Availability of minerals like:

-Wolfram in Rulindo, Gakenke and Burera Districts

-Coltan in Rulindo and Gakenke Districts

-Gold in Gicumbi District

-Employment creation

-Family income increases

Transformation of volcanic stones into cement

- Existence of volcanic volcanoes in Musanze and Burera Districts

-Production of cement increases

-Employment creation

-Family income  

  increases

Handcrafts

Building bricks and thatching tiles (amategura) making

-Availability of clay in different swamps of the region

-Availability of building  

  materials at affordable price

-Employment creation

-Family income increases

ICT

Establishing telecentres

-Existence of      Karisimbi antenna

-Easier access to internet

Banking

Investment in microfinance

-Active and hardworking population

-Easier access of the population to micro credit

 

Key priority investment projects:

1.      Extension of wheat plantation especially in Gicumbi, Rulindo and Burera Districts in order to solve the problem of insufficient raw materials to wheat factories existing in the Northern Province;

2.      Irish Potatoes processing plant in Musanze District to process the production from  all Districts rich in Irish Potatoes;

3.      Cement factory in Musanze District because there is a large quantity of volcanic stones which can produce quality cement. The local investment groups in the Northern Province are ready to invest in.

4.      Extension of Tea plantations in Gicumbi and Rulindo;

5.      Coffee processing plant in Gakenke and Rulindo; at present there are small coffee scale washing stations not sufficient for coffee growers in those Districts.

6.      Fresh fruits processing plant in Gakenke to process the large quantity of Marakuja and Pineapples produced in that area.  

–        Investment in our people

–        Favorable climate

–        Fertile soils

  1. Infrastructure facilities:

7.1. Telecommunication & Electricity

-  Leading mobile telephone providers are MTN Rwandacell, Tigo, Airtel

-  Fiber optic reach all Districts

- Network coverage is 99.7% of the Province

- Ongoing bigger programme of access network rollout (Including 4G LTE network)

-   Electricity Access Roll Out programme in all sectors of the Province