Crafts sector requires $4.7m for development

Government of Rwanda needs $4.7 million to implement its five year strategic plan for the nascent crafts industry, according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM).
Some of the products from Rwanda’s crafts industry. (File photo)
Some of the products from Rwanda’s crafts industry. (File photo)

Government of Rwanda needs $4.7 million to implement its five year strategic plan for the nascent crafts industry, according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM).

The strategic plan report from the ministry sates that the budget is expected to be secured primarily through the annual budget appropriations of MINICOM with support from development partners.

The strategic plan started in 2009 and will run up to 2013. It seeks to provide a systematic and action oriented framework for the purposeful development of the sector with particular emphasis on product and export market development.

“MINICOM recognizes the potential of the craft industry in generating employment and income to a greater percentage of rural population especially women, youth and people with disabilities,” the plan reads in part.

It adds that a big fraction of this investment will be committed into enhancement of production, capacity building and the coordination functions which will receive $1.96 million and $960,000 respectively.

Other priority areas in the strategic plan include trade facilitation, export marketing strategy and establishment of the craft industry secretariat.

Rwanda boasts of various crafts category which include basketry and mats, hand textiles and hand loomed products, ceramics and pottery and leather products among others.

MINICOM says that in the years preceding the financial crisis, revenues resulting from trade related to African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) stood at about $10 million.

However, this revenue fell by more than half in 2008 compared to 2007.

A case study that was carried out indicated that the AGOA revenues continued to fall in 2009. Total revenue earned by a local crafts exporter to US in 2008 amounted to $549,000.

But the report indicates that in the first quarter of 2009, her average sales had fallen to $120,000.

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