Rwanda's economy has recovered fantastically since the mid-1990s, and the country has reinvented itself as one East Africa's most investor-friendly markets. Under President Paul Kagame, Rwanda has averaged real GDP growth of 8.2% since 2000. The country ' s population also has been growing, now standing at about 11mn. Although this is lower than a number of nearby countries, it does provide some good opportunities, in our view. Indeed, these factors are being reflected in beer, where Belgium's Unibra recently announced it would acquire the 49% stake it did not already own in its local subsidiary SKol. As part of the acquisition, Skol's output would be increased to 250,000 hectolitres per annum, which would represent a 150% increase on current capacity .
|Solid Outlook To Help Beer|
|Rwanda - Real GDP, % chg y-o-y (RHS) & Per Capita GDP, US$ (LHS)|
Skol, which has been present in Rwanda for about two and a half years, is still a long way off market leader Bralirwa , owned by Dutch brewer Heineken , in market share terms . It is believed that Bralirwa accounts for about 90% of the market , and per capita beer consumption in Rwanda is estimated at about 11 litres per annum.
Given the outstanding economic growth that has been taking place and the ongoing trade liberalisation in the East African Community region, it is not surprising that Rwanda has been attracting more interest in beer. As well as Bralirwa and Skol, East Africa Breweries is also expected to target Rwanda more aggressively over the coming years.