Rwanda: Ministry of Trade Unveils New Strategy to Promote Made-in-Rwanda Products

Francois Kanimba, Rwanda's Minister of Trade and Industry.

Rwanda’s Ministry of Trade and Industry has unveiled a new strategy to promote ‘Made-in-Rwanda’ products, East African Busiweek reports.

“While we are targeting to change the mindset of our people towards consuming locally made products, it’s very critical to value the role of the media and manufacturers in reaching out to all categories of people,” Francois Kanimba, the Minister of Trade and Industry (MINICOM), said last week.

Dubbed the ‘Domestic Market Recapturing Strategy’, the plan involves collaborative efforts of the media to boost Made-in-Rwanda campaign.

Kanimba was speaking to more than 100 manufacturers, owners of media houses and journalists at MINICOM Headquarters, in Kigali.

“To change the mindset of our people and to boost the value chain of production, it’s vital to conduct and sustain the ‘Made in Rwanda’ campaign,” Kanimba said.

He said that, under the Second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS-2), the government is targeting to increase its exports to a tune of 28% per year by end of 2018.

Albert Rudatsimburwa, a media owner in Kigali, said branding, marketing, advertising, competitiveness, and supporting and reinforcing the brand building to the next stage, is crucial, but it should be spearheaded by the media.

To identify priority sectors that can quickly contribute to Rwanda domestic market recapturing, The Ministry of Trade and Industry trade ministry conducted a study titled ‘Domestic Market Recapturing Strategy’ (DMRS) that was validated in February 2015.

The study indicated that the total foreign exchange savings induced by the DMRS could reach almost $450 million per year. The total potential foreign exchange savings resulting from the DMRS account for 17.8% of the import bill. One-third of this would come from the cement sector. This would reduce Rwanda’s average annual import bill by almost 6%.

The DMRS has three key potential sectors to recapture the domestic market: construction materials ($206 million); light manufacturing ($124 million including textiles and garments, pharmaceuticals, soaps and detergent. Also agro-processing $112 million sugar which involes such items as fertilizer, edible oil, dried fish, maize and rice.

In February, the government organised a ‘Made in Rwanda’  expo to start off public awareness.

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