The pre-selections were done by Deloitte and Touche, an audit firm. After the shortlist, the judging panel was joined by persons from the regional private and public sectors with international business experience
BRALIRWA the country’s sole brewer and beverage company, has beaten stiff competition from Commercial Bank of Rwanda (BCR) and MTN to emerge as the overall best investor of the year, in the country’s investor and exporter awards.
The accolades presented Thursday at Kigali Serena Hotel by the Rwanda Investment and Export Promotion Agency (Riepa), an institution which was recently merged with some other government agencies to form the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), also saw Gahaya links scoop the best exporter prize.
The objective of the awards according to the RDB was to recognize the private sector’s role towards Rwanda’s economic development.
“Indeed the private sector development is central to our national development vision and our Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS),” said James Musoni, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.
Musoni said that, “Our vision to reduce poverty and turn Rwanda into a middle income country can only be achieved with increased private investment, with new firms opening and existing ones thriving”.
The Finance Minister presided over the function, as the guest of honour at the country’s first ever investor and exporters’ awards. Under the investors’ category, MTN was runner-up while BCR was second runner-up, winning silver and bronze respectively.
While the runner-up and second runner-up in the exporters’ category were ETS urwibusto and Multisector Investment Group (MIG) respectively.
According to Krishna Govender, who headed the panelists, winners were selected basing on their level of investment, creation of forward and backward linkages with local Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and demonstration of innovation and technology transfer.
Govender is also the rector of the School of Finance and Banking (SFB). He said that they also considered how these companies demonstrate Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS), acting as a role models to other investors, reinvestment into the business to sustain growth rates and creation of employment opportunity in each subcategory.
BCR was recognized for being the best in demonstration of innovation and technology transfer while Bralirwa as the company that created most forward and backward linkages to SMEs.
In other categories, Gahaya links was recognized for being exemplary in CSR and Utexrwa was rewarded for leading in creation of job opportunities.
Claire Akamanzi, Deputy CEO of RDB, in charge of business operations and services said that the overall winners (Bralirwa and Gahaya links) shall be associated with RDB’s promotional activities as goodwill ambassadors.
She said that besides the general prizes, winners and the overall winner of exporter of the year award will be prioritized to access the export fund and promoters will get special assistance in terms of facilitation and advisory services.
Bralirwa beat other five finalists in the investor category including Kabuye sugar works, Ameki colour, MTN, BCR and ETS Urwibutso.
In the exporter category, Gahaya links faced competition from Sopyrwa, MIG ltd, ETS Mbazabugabo and ETS Sena Gerard (Urwibutso).