Rwanda moves to reap from bamboo trade

• Chinese experts train on bamboo use techniques The Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi, yesterday called upon Rwandans to utilize available resources such as bamboo to make products that will increase the country’s export base.
Chinese Economic expert, Wang Qin shows Hon. Stanislas Kamanzi some of the products.
Chinese Economic expert, Wang Qin shows Hon. Stanislas Kamanzi some of the products.

• Chinese experts train on bamboo use techniques

The Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi, yesterday called upon Rwandans to utilize available resources such as bamboo to make products that will increase the country’s export base.

Kamanzi made this call during a ceremony that was held in Kabuye to close a two-week Chinese-run training programme that equipped 15 people with technological skills in bamboo cultivation, processing and utilization.

“Current statistics from the commerce ministry show that Rwanda imports more than it exports and it is very vital that we close that gap by producing quality products that will go to the international market.

“We are therefore glad that China has helped kick start such a project that will enable us to utilize the available bamboo that covers about 4,000 hectares to make products that will bring revenue to our economy,” Kamanzi told The New Times.

With reference to the international market, the minister also highlighted that bamboo products earn producing countries over US$100 billion at the world market- a trade that Rwanda can join.

China’s Economic and Commercial Counsellor in the Rwandan based embassy, Wang Qin, also congratulated the 15 pioneer trainees advising that it is imperative that they pass on these skills to other Rwandans, especially women.

“Only one woman was part of this group of 15 and we all know that ladies are gifted with artisan skills as they do domestic artwork with various designs. They also take time to do such work perfectly so the next groups must be gender balanced.

“This project is also a clear manifestation of the good relationship between China and Rwanda and we pledge our support to this initiative by ensuring that tools are purchased from China at fair prices and others repaired if any problem occurs,” Qin assured.

Participants in the training will help train others at the workshop in Kabuye.

Kamanzi added that the government is ready to nurture this project citing China, Malaysia and India among the top nations whose economies have significantly benefited from exporting bamboo products.

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