going out

Paul Kagame, Crystal Ventures, and Rwanda’s new economic diplomacy

in depth

This article is part of the dossier:

How Kagame does business in Africa

By Romain Gras

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Posted on May 10, 2023 09:41

Over the past two years, Rwanda has been aggressively expanding its businesses, including the commercial wing of President Paul Kagame’s party, Crystal Ventures, and its foreign-focused subsidiary, Macefield Ventures. These expansions have reached countries such as the Central African Republic, Mozambique (where the Rwandan army has intervened), Congo-Brazzaville, Zimbabwe, the DRC, and Zambia.

This is part 2 of a 3-part investigation
It’s a fairly ordinary-looking building. One of those large glass structures that have been springing up more often in recent years in Kigali’s Kiyovu district. Opposite the Ubumwe Hotel, the Grand Pension Plaza stretches over 17 floors. Not far from the top, on the 14th floor, are the offices of Crystal Ventures Limited (CVL).

CVL, which is neither a sovereign wealth fund nor a private equity fund, has always had a special status in Rwanda. Run by the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), the party in power since 1994 and led by President Paul Kagame, this holding company has gradually become a key player in Rwandan economic life, a powerful machine whose assets are estimated internally at half a billion dollars.

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