As Rwanda envisages an annual two-digit growth, is targeting to be a middle income economy by 2035, and achieving a high-income status by 2050, the country is becoming more and more interesting for foreign investors.

Coming from far away, after a 3-year civil war, that destroyed existing economic and social infrastructure, Rwanda is now experiencing robust economic growth, a sharp reduction in poverty, and an improvement in infrastructure.

Rwanda’s economy expanded at 8.6 percent in 2018 and at 9.4 percent in 2019, driven largely by public investments. Strong growth was expected to continue in 2020 but the COVID-19 pandemic sharply curtailed economic activities. According to the World Bank, economic growth is expected to be in the range of 7.5 to 8 percent annually in the future. This growth will be “broad-based” and contributed by agriculture, services, construction, and manufacturing sectors resulting in a structural transformation in the country. This economic growth is attracting more and more foreign investors.

TRC in partnership with OLEA recently completed a project in Rwanda for a large German company in the field of Road Traffic Management. Marc Disselhoff, Account Manager at TRC provides his perspectives on the project in an interview.

Kiarash Behnood:  When we think of international insurance business, we don´t necessarily think directly of Rwanda. What were your thoughts?

Marc Disselhoff: You are absolutely right. Our team in Hamburg is servicing business around the world, in more than 170 countries. But as a matter of fact, this was my very first time dealing with the specifics of markets in Rwanda.

Kiarash Behnood: How did the project come about?

Marc Disselhoff: The project came about at the request of one of our German members. Their client had been cooperating with TRC partners in a number of countries for close to 15 years. As they are providing turn key solutions to public and private buyers around the globe, we have been able to support this client in tenders on numerous occasions.

This time they were participating in a tender for a major infrastructure project in Rwanda and the German broker got us involved.

Kiarash Behnood: What were the requirements of the project and what challenges did posses?

Marc Disselhoff: The client needed specified liability coverage to meet the contractual requirements set up by the government. Otherwise they might have been excluded from the tender. Of course time frame was crucial. In addition, all quotations had to provide at least a « good local standard » scope of coverage. Details of liability policies are always strongly influenced by individual national laws and Rwanda is a country whose local specifics are widely unfamiliar to our whole TRC account management team. Nonetheless, we had to adjust quickly – very quickly.

Kiarash Behnood: How did you kick off the project?

Marc Disselhoff: We knew there is a strong and reliable TRC partner in Rwanda. We had already worked successfully with OLEA for the African market in the past. After an initial requirements analysis, I called Rupert Weterings from OLEA and told him about our project.

We felt that if we wanted to successfully implement the project within the given time frame, making sure everybody involved is on the same page right from the beginning is essential, especially with all different laws and cultural aspects to be aware of.  So we initiated two video calls instantly – one with the German producer and one with OLEA. Luckily time difference did not present an extra challenge in this case. And well, we took it from there, step by step.

Fortunately, we were able to get the project off the ground relatively quickly, so that the client had been able to secure the business and construction work could begin.

About the Interviewee

Marc Disselhoff
Marc DisselhoffAccount Manager, Hamburg