How agile supply chains are helping Africa’s business flow

How agile supply chains are helping Africa’s business flow

Date: 04/01/2023

New roads, cutting-edge broadband and a state-of-the-art logistics platform. These are just three of the many investments helping Rwanda emerge as a trade hub for Africa.

The country has a predominantly agrarian economy. About 70% of its labour force work in agriculture, with tea and coffee its biggest exports. But developments such as our Kigali Logistics Platform are helping Rwanda with its plans to change that.

The trade flowing through the cargo hub is not just generating new opportunities for business and investment in the country, but also changing the lives of the people who live there.

Rwanda: An emerging trade hub

Why is Rwanda attracting the interest of investors? Because the country has serious aspirations to move towards a more knowledge-based economy – and it is acting on them.

Alongside government spending on infrastructure and communications projects, credit protection measures are in place to safeguard investors, traders and other businesses. 

State funding programmes aim to develop local talent and promote education, helping create a stable and efficient environment for business to thrive. 

This is why Rwanda has consistently achieved a high ranking on the The World Bank’s annual Ease of Doing Business index.  

Kigali’s logistics platform

It’s also a big part of why we decided to build a logistics centre in the country’s capital.

The Kigali Logistics Platform has been up and running since 2018, and can handle 350,000 tons of cargo a year – that’s equivalent to 50,000 six-metre containers.

The $35 million, high-tech terminal is all about efficiency and speedy cargo flows. It has already reduced truck turnaround times from 10-14 days to just three. This is good news for Rwandan businesses – it could cut a combined $50 million from their annual logistics costs. 

And there could be more savings on the way. We’re extending the site by 75,000m2, meaning it will be able to house three new warehouses for sorting and packing the growing number of cargoes passing through the terminal.

The facility is also developing local talent and empowering nearby communities. It has created more than 660 direct and indirect jobs, with 97% filled by Rwandans. This is helping to reduce poverty and increase education in the country. 

Global trade connections

Infrastructure projects such as this are opening up trade, development and investment opportunities not only for Rwanda, but across Africa.

Our platform is also encouraging new trade links. It gives users access to digital tools and enhanced rural logistics services to connect exporters of local products  – such as Rwanda’s tea and coffee – with buyers in Dubai

All of this creates more agile supply chains, ensuring a smoother flow of goods in and out of Africa.

It is why Rwanda is fast-becoming a gateway to the heart of Africa, better connecting nearby countries such as Burundi, Uganda and Kenya not just to each other, but to the rest of the world.