Profit-making idea: Manufacturing matches in Rwanda

Can you name one untapped business opportunity in Rwanda that investors can take advantage of?

This was the question How we made it in Africa posed to a panel of business leaders at the Afreximbank annual general meeting, held in the Rwandan capital Kigali last week.

Jean de Dieu Kagabo, managing director of Rwanda-based packaging company Soft Packaging, responded by identifying a simple but widely-used product: matches.

He said virtually every household – whether they are lower or upper class – use matches. Yet, the product is still imported instead of manufactured locally. “It is very easy to produce, but no-one has thought about doing it – it is a big opportunity.”

Kagabo added there is also potential to export matches to Rwanda’s neighbouring countries.