[EDITORIAL] Local businesses should make the most of World Economic Forum meet

Over 1,200 delegates from around the world have started jetting into the country for next week’s 26th World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in the capital Kigali.

Over 1,200 delegates from around the world have started jetting into the country for next week’s 26th World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in the capital Kigali.

A good number of expected participants are seasoned business leaders and entrepreneurs from across Africa and beyond, with most country delegations dominated by industry captains and business executives.

This year’s World Economic Forum on Africa will be held under the theme, “Connecting Africa’s Resources through Digital Transformation”, a subject that should elicit the interest of every serious business as ICTs are a major driver of growth, for both companies and economies.

Considering the importance this government has attached to ICTs over the years, which has seen significant investments in backbone infrastructures such as a nationwide fibre optic network, promotion of ICT startups, among others, there could not have been a better venue to discuss this issue – that’s key to Africa’s future prospects.

With delegates to the WEF 2016 continuing to arrive, it’s very critical that local businesses and entrepreneurs position themselves to make the most of the forum, especially exploring possibilities for strategic partnerships with participating businesses, learning from more experienced players, initiating and sustaining contacts and networks for training and exchange purposes, marketing their brands, among others.

Today’s global market trends are such that businesses must constantly innovate and introduce products and services that will give them an edge over their competitors.

Only that way can they retain their existing clients and attract new consumers. Companies that do not embrace innovation will ultimately go under, while startups that hardly have anything unique to offer to an already competitive market will struggle to take off, let alone grow.

At a time when the Rwandan government is working hard to promote ‘Made-in-Rwanda’ products to help offset the country’s trade deficit, it’s imperative that local businesses take concrete steps to learn from those who have been there before.

Next week’s WEF on Africa offers that opportunity to our businesses.

 

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