Siemens – a German global tech multinational company has expressed interest in investing in mobility technology during the construction of the proposed Isaka-Kigali railway.
“We have the right technology for the rail infrastructure and we are also aware that the rail project is looking for funding. This is one area we are looking at for possible investment,” said Andre Bouffioux, the Chief Executive Office of Siemens Belgium-Luxemburg, North-West- & Central Africa.
Rwanda and Tanzania have already signed an agreement for the construction (and co-finance) of the 400km Isaka – Kigali Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) phase which is to be launched in October this year.
A five-person team of Siemens officials is currently in the country to scout opportunities, after several years of working with local dealers to supply high tech equipment such as air conditioners.
The railway project drew their attention and they say, they have what it takes.
The company has invested heavily in Rail services, Automation, Electrification, complete rail solutions, components and systems.
For example With Siemens Digital Services, a system that processes wealth of transportation data, transport operators analyze trends and monitor the status of machinery and the flow of passengers and goods to offer a smooth mobility experience.
According to Bouffioux , by March this year Siemens intends to start negotiations with the government of Rwanda in three key areas of technology investment, infrastructure, health and sustainable energy.
Among the key surveyed opportunities, Siemens says that they are looking at striking a Building Technology deal with government and private sector to install energy saving equipment in multimillion structures, such as hotels and possibly the planned Bugesera international airport.
“Our plan is to work with the private sector first, we have already received several deals from the local companies but we would like to work with government in a long term which requires a structural plan,” Bouffioux said during a press briefing in Kigali on Thursday.
With 26 operations in Africa, Bouffioux says Rwanda has everything the German multinational company needs to invest in Rwanda as key Africa investment expansion point.
“We are choosing Rwanda because of its commitment, security and sustainability. In three months, we will meet with the president and government officials to decide on a proposed five year investment plan,” Bouffioux said during a press briefing today.
Rwanda Private Sector Federation CEO, Stephen Ruzibiza told KT Press that this investment will improve quality of doing business, cut on direct costs of importing technology equipment and reduce costs of production.
“This means smart business and innovation for us. We have business which use manual equipment in the energy sector and some still incur high costs importing road construction equipment, and lack of medical equipment has increased costs of medical tourism” Ruzibiza said.
Siemens entry plans into Rwanda comes at a time when another German automobile multinational –Volkswagen (VW) inked a deal with the government to start producing Volkswagen cars locally by May this year.
VW has set an initial budget of $20 million that was allocated to its Kigali assembling plant under construction in Kigali Special Economic Zone.