Rwanda: City of Kigali Supports Women Cooperatives with Rwf30 million

City of Kigali has offered Rwf30 million financial support to 12 women cooperatives, four from each of the city’s three districts, to boost their businesses which have been struggling.

The grant beneficiaries are farming and tailoring cooperatives as well as smallholder businesses operating in the City of Kigali.

Each of the 12 cooperatives was given Rwf2.8 million at a public function on Tuesday.

Aurore Umuhoza, the National Women Council coordinator in the City of Kigali, said: “Most of the cooperatives need support but in each district we only chose four cooperatives. We considered the cooperatives that have all the requirements of Rwanda Cooperatives Agency, have at least spent one year operating as well as those with capital of at least Rwf50,000 of their own and ability to continue work so that this capital we added them is not wasted.”

“Many of the cooperatives were folding, which would lead their members to go back to street vending since most of them were previously street vendors. We hope that this support will propel them to self-reliance and reduce street children since most of these street children come from such families.”

Marie Chantal Musanabera, head of Gikondo-based bakery cooperative called ‘Twiyubake Twihesha Agaciro’, said their cooperative was started by young women who had dropped out of high school.

“We had an idea of running a bakery business but we didn’t have enough money. Now it’s a dream come true as this support is a great boost,” she told The New Times.

Languid Nyirabahire, Gasabo vice mayor in charge of social affairs, said the grant is part of efforts to solve the problem street vending.

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