Rwanda unveiled its first locally built car at Volkswagen’s new factory in the capital, Kigali, on Wednesday.
The Polo is the first model being made at the site and the German automaker plans to reach annual production of 5,000 cars in the first phase, by also building its Passat, Tiguan, Amarok and Teramont models.
Volkswagen, which is Europe’s biggest carmaker, has made a $20m (£15m) investment in Rwanda and is expected to create up to 1,000 jobs.
The company plans to both sell vehicles and use them in an Uber-like car-sharing system that will allow people to book rides using their smartphones.
Car ownership is low in Rwanda. There are just over 200,000 private cars registered in a county of 12 million people, according to the country’s tax collection body.
The German company is expanding in Sub-Saharan Africa and opened a plant in Kenya in 2016.