Rwandans in the diaspora have established the Diaspora Business Incubator, a platform that will serve as a go-to support hub for all diaspora related investments and services to ease the country’s aims to fast-track investment back home to meet the Vision 2020 agenda.
“The remittances have been growing, last year the remittances from diaspora was more than what the coffee and tea [industry] brought into the country and this is what the National Bank gave out,” said Jabo Butera, Co-founder and CEO of the Diaspora Business Incubator (BDI).
“We are trying to find a way we can put out there so that people know the importance, once you understand how positively you have been contributing to your own country, you feel proud and you want to do more.”
According to Butera, the BDI portfolio is growing more and more through partnerships and relationships from the private sector to government institutions.
He explains using the National Bank of Rwanda and the bonds and T-bills they sell, if people abroad understand how it works and how many opportunities are out there for investment, and it doesn’t have to be a large amount and you can still make a return which is guaranteed.
All while making a contribution to the economic growth of the country - these are the ways the DBI help, by also informing the people, Butera says.
“It’s not only the financial side and money trading, we can talk about asset management,” for instance someone who has a house in Rwanda but lives abroad - DBI can help ensure that the owner has a backup plan for when it is depreciating and how to restore it back to value.
“We are a business of course, there has to be an interest, when we are not gaining anything, why will we be here - so it’s a win-win situation," he said in response to the question if the BDI makes a profit.
Butera says being a business makes DBI accountable and responsible because it makes it want to keep clients and remain competitive
The DBI has initiatives in place to promote Made-In-Rwanda products abroad, but the concern is that they have not had 100 per cent success locally, so how will they do internationally?
“It’s challenging but we love it, in a sense that when Rwandans are abroad you feel loving home more and when you have this product, you feel like you are showing your country - We want to push those products in every home owned by a Rwandan abroad."