The sale of 56 enterprises has made at least Rwf 75 billion (US$131 million) for the Government of Rwanda. According to a report in the New Times newspaper (www.newtimes.co.rw) Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, John Rwangombwa, told members of the Senate in mid-March that initially the plan was to sell 94 of its companies.
He is reported as saying: “10 of them were later scrapped off the list, seven liquidated and 56 sold off. Right now, 19 institutions are up for sale.”
He said the proceeds of the sales are being used in development projects, including as part of the national budget. The sale of Terracom, currently renamed Rwandatel (www.rwandatel.rw) made possible investment in fibre optics.
Minister Rwangombwa said that the Government had removed some companies from the sale list because it had realised that some were “so bankrupt” that no-one would buy them and so they were liquidated, and Government repossessed others because they posed environmental hazards.
He added that Government had set up a department in the Rwanda Development Board to monitor and evaluate the performance of privatised companies, compared to previously when it only focused on selling, without follow up. He said Government had taken back some companies which were allegedly mismanaged: “You can tell from the companies we have repossessed and resold to other investors. They are doing so well, a good example being Rwandatel.”