Just like many processes in the country, the procurement process does not give any consideration to the small and medium enterprises.
No matter how much facilitation they get in terms of financing and capacity building, they do not grow because of lack of market.
The system in the country is unfair to the new enterprises because they are supposed to battle it out with more established enterprises that have been around for longer.
How are they supposed to get places when they have no chance to build a record?
For long we have talked of building a private sector-led economy. A strong private sector-led economy is one where there are numerous active players from the private sector.
Through that they can create numerous job opportunities and put out many products and services on the market with some of them exporting their products.
For this to happen we must nurture and encourage the emerging enterprises by ensuring that the bidding process caters for these enterprises.
It is the only way they can get to grow; it is the only way they will gradually build their firm’s resumes to compete at an international level.
As the interviewee said there is also a great urgency to go beyond funding, banks and other financiers need to invest in building the capacities of the new players, this will see them pay back loans and grow their enterprises further.
Under the current model, financiers are only keen about getting their repayment and not on whether an enterprise grows.
ICT as the article says has been mentioned to be a potential sector but the financing model to be employed is tricky because of the volatility of the sector. The only way out is if the government agrees to intervene.
Sam Gakire, Rwanda
Reaction to the story, “SMEs need to be considered in public tenders, says BDF boss” (The New Times, February 17)