Project Case study
Designing and implementing a privatisation programme for Rwanda’s tea sector
Restoring efficiency and profitability to Rwanda's tea plantations
The tea sector in Rwanda has historically been one of the largest employers and export sectors in the country, and Rwandan tea leaves are considered amongst the best in the world. However, the war of 1990-1994 did enormous damage to the tea factories, gardens, human resources and associated infrastructure.
In 1998-1999, we were invited by the Government of Rwanda to undertake a review of the tea sector and recommend options for securing the urgent private investment it needed.
The challenge of securing private investment was considerable, especially in the prevailing political climate in the region, but it was crucial to the successful rehabilitation of the sector and of thousands of jobs.
Our recommendations included reforming the OCIR-Thé (the tea board) and privatising the tea factories. We worked closely with the Privatisation Agency and the Ministry of Finance to develop the privatisation strategy and related sector reforms. We were subsequently engaged to implement the privatisation strategy that we had formulated, which resulted in the successful sale of one of the tea estates to a long established tea company from the UK.
The privatisation received considerable praise from the World Bank and the Rwandan Government, particularly for the manner in which local sensitivities had been handled and environmental concerns addressed. The then Minister of Finance, His Excellency Donald Kaberuka, personally complemented our efforts and the high level commitment to the project.