19-year-old Elsa Iradukunda was crowned Miss Rwanda 2017 on Saturday night in a colourful ceremony that took place at the Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village (former Camp Kigali).
Iradukunda beat 15 other girls to the crown. On top of winning the beauty crown, one of the things that stood out about the new beauty queen is her planned project to promote the Made-in-Rwanda campaign during her reign. At the event, when asked what she intends to achieve as Miss Rwanda, she eloquently explained that she will promote Made-in-Rwanda brands in order to enhance consumption of locally made products, a move that is key if the country’s trade deficit problem is to be addressed.
Indeed, this is a good cause for Miss Rwanda to spear head. Miss Rwanda as an institution is a good platform to promote this campaign. The concerned ministry and other key stake holders in the campaign should give Iradukunda all the support she needs to ensure that this target is realised during her one year term.
Cutting the country’s trade deficit is among the priorities of government, and encouraging more consumption of locally produced goods is a key strategy in achieving this goal.
The beauty queen commands a large following and should be utilised as the Made in Rwanda campaign ambassador.
Although the quality of locally made goods has lately improved, we still have a mindset issue as many people associate local products with poor quality and anything imported as classy.
Miss Rwanda will have to start with addressing the mindset challenge through sensitisation drives to re assure Rwandans that products produced in Rwanda are of good quality. This will also involve engaging manufacturers to ensure that they put quality and standards at the forefront of their operations.