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RWANDA: Kigali exempts electric vehicles from import duties

TagsFinance and Investment, Renewable Energy

Following in the footsteps of Tunisia and Togo, Rwanda is now exempting electric vehicles from customs duties. This measure should encourage the mass adoption of low-pollution modes of transport in this East African country.

Good news for environmental activists in Rwanda. The Rwandan authorities have just announced the abolition of customs duties on imports of electric vehicles. The main aim of the incentive is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from internal combustion vehicles.

As such, it applies exclusively to two-wheelers, tricycles and all cars that do not run on fossil fuels (petrol or diesel). “The aim is to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles and contribute to a cleaner, greener future”, explains Uzziel Ndagijimana, Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning. He was speaking to parliamentarians on the sidelines of the presentation of the budget for the 2023-2024 financial year.

In Rwanda, which is one of the most polluted countries in the East African Community (EAC), road transport is the main cause of air pollution in urban areas, according to the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA). This is particularly the case in the capital Kigali, where the vehicle fleet consists mainly of combustion-powered vehicles. To reverse this situation, the Rwandan authorities have been encouraging the electrification of the vehicle fleet in recent years.


In this context, the Chinese company Tailing Electric Vehicle (TAILG) has announced that it will build a factory in the first half of 2022 to assemble and market bicycles, scooters and tricycles powered by electric motors. The facility, based at Gahanga in the Kicukiro district, is one of the first of its kind in Rwanda. It should help to reduce the carbon footprint of travel for some 13.2 million people.