The third ‘Made-in-Rwanda’ expo opened at Gikondo expo ground in Kigali on Thursday with a call on Rwandans to support local producers by buying locally-made goods.
The expo reserved for local producers and industries, to showcase their products and create confidence among consumers about their quality.
“The campaign is not only targeting consumers but also producers, especially small and medium enterprises, in terms of technology and innovation to boost production,” said the Minister for Trade and Industry, Vincent Munyeshyaka after officially opening the trade fair.
He remarked that the government will continue to support efforts to promote products made in Rwanda and called upon local producers support by buying local goods.
“I call upon all concerned government agencies, the Private Sector Federation and consumers in particular to ensure that made in Rwanda products are promoted,” he added.
The Chairman of the Private Sector Federation Rwanda (PSF), Benjamin Gasamagera, observed that the Made in Rwanda Exhibition is a great marketing opportunity, especially in the agro-processing sector, and called on the government to encourage entrepreneurship and manufacturing.
“People come here, take our raw materials to factories in other parts of the world, send back the products and then make profit at our expense. We end up creating jobs in other parts of the world, and buy finished products that could have been produced here,” Gasamagera pointed out.
“Rwandans need to consume what they produce and produce what they consume, and even go beyond that to export. We have the people to do it,” he added.
The expo, organized by PSF and Minicom, will run until the 5th December. It has attracted more than 420 exhibitors. It features a number of new and big exhibitors, including manufacturers of computers, motorcycles and innovative housing solutions.
The industrial sector in Rwanda currently contributes 19.2% of the GDP, but the government has developed an environment that promotes competitiveness and growth in a bid to boost exports and substitute imports.
Manufacturing has witnessed considerable growth especially in the production of construction materials, pharmaceuticals, beverages, packaging and paper products, textiles and agro-processing.
The government has established industrial parks that have seen industries getting cluster-anchored in the Kigali Special Economic Zone and giving due support to the development of other industrial parks across the country.
Minicom has also put a lot of emphasis on improving the quality of products and services to meet standards, implementing an appropriate trade information system that improves access to information on national and international trade markets, facilitate trade by removing barriers and fostering greater integration into regional and international trading networks.