Rwanda, commonly referred to as the land of a million smiles—referring to hospitality of its people, is facing serious challenges in terms of competitiveness, both in private and public sector, a thing that poses equally serious concerns on her competitiveness in regional and international markets.
One of the underlying problems is that Rwandans do not extend this hospitality well enough to their businesses and offices. Some people say this could be a cultural problem, arguing that Rwandans are not enterprising people, whereas others relate it to the French colonial system that did not expose Rwandans to trade.
In her socio-economic agenda; Vision 2020, Rwanda envisages creating a private sector led economy of largely middle income class.
But not until Rwandans change their mindset on how to do business and become more competitive, it is not going to be easy.
To make matters worse, Rwanda has opened its doors to the EAC and COMESA by joining the economic blocs…meaning that clients will now have more alternatives on the market.
And, before the Rwandan entrepreneurs know it, the market might have been taken by more competitive counterparts.
To ensure that Rwanda’s private sector is not taken by surprise, the Private Sector Federation, in a bid to make local businesses more competitive, is taking a lead in organising a countrywide customer care campaign.
On Thursday April 3, the federation held a meeting at Prime Holdings, Kimihurura, with stakeholders from both public and private institutions, including business operators from a cross section of economic sectors, media practitioners, development partners, and government bodies.
The PSF Secretary General said poor customer care is in both private and public institutions, “so, it is a national issue—a reason why this campaign will ensure that all institutions are brought on board”.
This media campaign which runs for two years should ultimately bring a positive effect on attitude. Most Rwandans indeed show displeasure about poor customer service, though little is done about it.
Poor customer care is attributed to lack of professionalism and exposure. But the situation can be turned around because Rwandans are naturally hospitable, eager to learn and are largely young and dynamic. And the message will be easy to put across since the language is one.