The Government has renewed its commitment to working closely with the private sector and other partners to boost industrial development. The target is to increase the sector’s annual contribution to national economy to 14% from the current 2%.
The move was announced as Rwanda joined the rest of the continent to mark Africa Industrialisation Day in an event that took place at the Kigali Special Economic Zone in Gasabo.
Officials and stakeholders participated in the ceremony led by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Vincent Munyeshyaka. It was preceded by tree planting in the industrial zone in the context of sustainable industrial development.
“Our industries' contribution to national economy is still low, only two% in 2016/17,” Munyeshyaka remarked. “We are targeting an annual industrial growth of 14% by 2020. The government aims to boost industrial sector’s contribution to GDP to 20% by 2020, from the current 17.1%. This requires a strong partnership between the government, the private sector, and development partners. We must all work towards our shared goal of transforming Rwanda into a modern and industrialised economy.”
He also urged Industrialists to regularly maintain and upgrade their industries to international standards to ensure competitiveness and to produce high quality, locally made products as the only way to promote the ‘Made in Rwanda’ brand.
Initiatives like the 'Made in Rwanda' campaign, launched in 2015, aim to help Rwandan products recapture the domestic market and lower the trade deficit. This is in line with the theme for the day, which was ‘African Industrial Development: A Pre-Condition for an Effective and Sustainable Continental Free Trade Area.’
The objective of this year’s Africa Industrialization Day was to raise awareness of the importance of African industrial development in implementing a successful Continental free trade area, to further growing Africa’s economy and supporting the eradication of poverty. The event takes into consideration the role of industrialization in enhancing market competitiveness, and elaborates on the necessary steps to be taken in order for African countries to realize their potential.