Volkswagen has opened its first car assembly plant in the Rwandan capital Kigali and launched a car-sharing service as an initiative to play a major role in the burgeoning African auto industry.
“Rwanda does not have to be a dumping ground for used cars or any used goods," stated President Paul Kagame.
According to the Times of India, in 2017, 300,000 people verified cars in Rwanda. Most of which were used cars imported from Japan. President Kagame says Rwanda should do better than pay high prices for used cars. The launch of the assembly plant is a way to show people that Rwandans do not want to accept the excesses of other countries and play an active role in building their automotive industry on the continent.
Thomas Schafer, managing director of Volkswagen South Africa, said Rwanda's relative safety and economic stability helped Volkswagen do business with a nation of 12 million. According to Schafer, the initial stage of development is to hire 1,000 employees. In addition, Volkswagen plans to build a training center and hire drivers for its mobility service.
“Rwanda has the potential to be a role model for other African and emerging countries," stated Schaeffer. Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Development, Dr. Gerd Muller, shares the same views as President Kagame and Schafter. Creating high-quality education and good jobs in Rwanda is necessary to improve Rwanda's future in the country, Muller said.
“For us, Rwanda and Africa is not just another market," Schafer said. We are a part of African society, and we want to play our role as a reliable partner for the citizens of Rwanda".