The Private Sector Federation (PSF), an umbrella organisation of Rwanda’s private sector, is faced with the challenge of transforming the country’s economy into a private sector-led for sustainable economic growth and development — a one of the pillars of Vision 2020.
Prisca Mujawayezu, has been appointed the Deputy Secretary General Programmes to beef up the team. It is a new position though.
Our Reporter talked to her. Excerpts.
Q: May you please tell our readers briefly about yourself?
A: Thank you. Well, my name is Prisca Mujawayezu. I am a sociologist by profession. I also hold a Masters degree in Public Administration. Before 1994, I was a public servant. But shortly after the 1994 Genocide and war, I joined a civil society organisation called CCOAIB, which is the umbrella organisation of the Rwandan Development NGOs.
I have been the Executive Secretary of that organisation until my recent recruitment at PSF as the deputy Secretary General and the in charge of programmes. I have joined PSF to partner in spearheading the federation to achieve its mission, vision and objectives contained in the mid-term plan—strategic plan 2007-2010, and beyond.
Q: Where would you wish the Rwandan private sector to be in the near future?
A: I am longing to see an economy that is driven by private sector in Rwanda, for it is a sure way for sustainable economic growth and development.
However, talking of socioeconomic development, it must begin from the grassroots. This is a challenge of the federation. But, interesting to note; PSF is establishing a network of Business Development Service (BDS) centres across the country.
They only need to be reinforced to be able to take on all businesses concerns at the grassroots.
The federation is indeed better organised…from top to bottom, ready to take on private sector challenges and most importantly advocate for its members more efficiently.
Q: PSF has a developed a number of good programmes intended to spur private sector growth in the country. But it’s faced with a challenge finances to execute them. What input do you intend to add in this aspect?
A: I don’t think finding finances to execute such good programmes is going to a big problem.
First of all, as I said, PSF is now better organised, capable of coordinating, managing and evaluating its own programmes. Remember this is indeed critical in lobbying for funds.
Secondly, we share the same vision and commitment with the government of having an economy that is private-sector-led.
Thus, I expect all our development partners and most importantly PSF members to be playing the same ball game.
The achievements so far registered by the federation speak for themselves. This should be justification for funding the federation programmes.
Q: How best do you think PSF can woo business operators become members of the federation to reap the benefits of the programmes?
A: The issue of attracting more business operators to become members of the federation, I believe, is well catered for. PSF has established the department of advocacy and institution relations, department of member services and communications and is building a network of BDS centers among other initiatives. With time, of course more and more members will understand what the federation stands for. PSF is their voice to all challenges that affect them.
Q: As someone who has watched PSF grow from the out, what exactly inspired you about the federation to take up this new job?
A: I am inspired to work in an environment where people and things are dynamic. That is precisely what describes the federation and the private sector in general.
But also, the political will and donor partners’ readiness to support the private sector to spur economic growth and development in Rwanda inspired me.
Q: What does it mean for a lady to take up this big position?
A: (laughs) It certainly means that Rwandan women are now ready to actively participate in the economic development of their country.
You see, over half of the Rwandan population are women, but majority languish below the poverty line compared to men.
In fact, more efforts should be geared towards women entrepreneurship in Rwanda.
That is why the chamber of women entrepreneurs here at PSF means a lot to me.
Through, this chamber I am optimistic that PSF will encourage women entrepreneurship from the grassroots.
If men can produce and export, why not women? But to enhance women entrepreneurship, more emphasis has to be put in building their capacities in various domains.