Accelerating the restructuring process and initiation of Public Private Partnerships will ensure steady economic growth and drive the country’s plan of a private sector led economy by 2020, the Private Sector Federation (PSF) has been told.
Lat year, the federation embarked on a restructuring process of its operations to implement public private partnerships, increase advocacy for members and support government efforts to improve the economy.
“One of the challenges facing this organisation is its relevance to its members. Members ask how the organisation is helping them. At times, government asks how the organisation is helping it,” Minister of Trade and Industry, Francois Kanimba, noted.
The Minister said that restructuring of the federation would help address issues of the business community and also support implementation of investment projects.
“We want to ensure that the private sector and the government work together to promote investment projects, those planned by government and also the ones initiated by the private sector,” the Minister added.
As a result of the restructuring, PSF witnessed a shake-up in its leadership with new positions adding restructuring of some its functions is till ongoing.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PSF, Hannington Namara, said the federation still encounters challenges in terms of membership, institution relevancy and sustainability that need to be addressed.
“After the election of a new board and reorganisation of the PSF, we found that there are different problems we need to address.”
Namara noted that the federation is working on increasing the number of members by sensitising the public and carrying out capacity building activities through training and enhancing access to finance.
PSF has 4,000 members grouped into 72 different associations.
The number of members is still low, which limits the federation’s ability to reach all business operators across the country.
“We want to make our communication programme more efficient by the end of this year so that people will no longer ask questions like the location of PSF,” Faustin Mbundu, Chairman of the PSF noted.
“We want our advocacy to be cross cutting. We want to have a broad reach to those we give our service.”
Mbundu added that efforts to help the country’s private sector compete in the bigger East African Community market is under way through the single customs territory.
“We have to have some kind of harmony, we have to negotiate and advocate for a similar environment in other EAC countries so that Rwandan companies can operate from there.”
The World Bank recently stepped in to help the country’s Governance for Competitiveness Technical Assistance Project (G4C), aimed at enhancing competitiveness in the Tourism and Horticultural sectors.