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Rwandan president inaugurates Chinese-invested cement factory in Southern Province

Updated: August 4, 2023 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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KIGALI, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Thursday inaugurated a Chinese-invested cement company in Muhanga industrial park, Muhanga district of the Southern Province, commending China for being a long-term partner of Rwanda.

AnJia Prefabricated Construction Rwanda Company Ltd, a subsidiary of West International Holding, the Africa arm of West China Cement (WCC), which is a Chinese investment group listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, has built AnJia Cement Factory in the Muhanga industrial park.

"Over the years, West China Cement and West International Holding have become key players in Africa's efforts to reach self-sufficiency in cement production. I commend you for your commitment to infrastructure development on our continent," said Kagame at the event.

"I had the opportunity to tour the Anjia factory, and you have set the bar high in terms of quality. We appreciate that. This state-of-the-art factory will contribute to Rwanda's transformation journey. We thank you, and I assure you that you have our country's full support," he said.

He stated that today, the growth prospects for Africa's cement industry look very promising, whereby a rapidly growing and urbanizing population in Africa, especially, is creating increased demand for housing and infrastructure.

"For manufacturers, this means more opportunities to invest in new markets and create jobs in our communities. Challenges, of course, remain, but they can be overcome through more cooperation," Kagame said.

According to him, to enhance the performance of the industry, it is essential to deliver higher quality products and shift to more sustainable manufacturing practices.

"I thank the People's Republic of China, West China Cement, and West International Holding for this significant contribution to Rwanda's development and Africa as a whole. Anjia is undoubtedly a good addition to Rwanda's manufacturing landscape. I only see successes in this, our strong partnership," Kagame said.

Speaking at the event, Zhang Jimin, chairman of West China Cement Limited, said that AnJia marks the company's first investment and represents the initial cooperation between West China Cement and the Rwandan government at all levels.

"The successful groundbreaking ceremony of the cement factory not only signifies the beginning of the production and operation of the project but also serves as a historical milestone for West China Cement's investment and development in Rwanda," added Zhang. "We will continue to expand our investments in Rwanda, with a total investment of more than 100 million U.S. dollars, thereby expanding the entire supply chain. Our aim is to provide high-quality products at a competitive price to contribute to Rwanda's economic and social development."

West China Cement Limited invested 50 million U.S. dollars to construct a high-performance cement grinding plant with an annual output of 1 million tonnes in the Muhanga industrial park, said Wang Xuekun, Chinese ambassador to Rwanda, at the ceremony.

"The visionary project will not only promote the development of Rwanda's cement sector but also cater to the long-term demand for high-quality cement in reservoir projects and infrastructure construction. It will create over 1,000 local job opportunities, significantly enhancing the construction standards of Muhanga industrial park and contributing to Rwanda's economic growth," Wang explained.

He pointed out that the factory will pave the way for Rwanda's self-sufficiency in cement products, reducing reliance on foreign cement imports and expanding the cement market in the surrounding countries.

Speaking at the event, Clare Akamanzi, chief executive officer of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), said that China remains the top source of investments in Rwanda, beating other countries globally.

"Over the last five years alone, at RDB we have registered investments from China worth close to a billion U.S. dollars which will collectively generate up to 250,00 jobs for Rwandans. And that is a very good contribution," she said, adding that the factory stands as a testament to the immense potential of Rwanda's manufacturing and construction sectors and the viable investment destination that Rwanda offers.

Editor: Duan Jing