We arrived from Kampala after an 11-hour bus ride through the famous thousand hills of Rwanda. Rwanda is also known as “the land of a thousand hills.” Actually, I would have to say that this simply not true. It’s more like 1001. The beauty of this country in light of the genocide that smeared a dark permanent stain throughout much of the 1990s. Just a fifteen minute ride through town and you’d be hard-pressed to find any evidence of that turmoil. Everyday hustle and bustle
But the upbeat buzz and vibrant energy here in Kigali is attracting entrepreneurs and investors alike. The energy in Kigali is unmistakable. From the boda boda motorcycle taxi drivers to the policemen–an almost eargerness to be friendly and welcoming.
This is especially evidenced when you hop onto a boda boda to go almost anywhere here in Kigali. The first thing you are handed is a helmet. All the riders and passengers wear green helmets with identification numbers on the back of the helmet painted in yellow. A phone number is also painted on the helmet should you have any problems with your particular rider. This is an interesting adherence to the rule of law that is in stark difference to Kampala’s.
And I’d wager, that this simple adherence to the rule of law is the reason investors are coming back to Kigali in droves.
The 1st East African Investment Conference is being held at Kigali Serena Hotel. I attended the opening cocktail on Wednesday night and was able to meet a handful of potential investors, financiers, and social entrepreneurs.
Among the more notable delegates that I met was Yong Wang, Managing Director of The China-Africa Development Fund. So there’s real interest here from the far reaches of the globe. If the strict adherence to rule of law holds, there is no reason East Africa shouldn’t be the next Dubai.