Exhibitors at the first edition of the Kigali Shopping Festival Expo, have expressed optimism that they can attract many festive season buyers, by lowering prices for products they need. According to the Private Sector Federation (PSF), the exhibition taking place at Gikondo expo grounds in Kigali, has attracted quite a number of quality and affordable products from different sectors, becoming a one stop centre for Christmas and New Year 2022 shoppers. It runs from December 8 through December 26. Products being exhibited include those in agro-processing such as foods and beverages, textile, construction and housing, handcrafts, telecommunication and ICT, electronic equipment, furniture, and Christmas trees. The event, officially opened on Friday, has attracted some 300 exhibitors from 10 countries, including Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, India, and Turkey, according to PSF. Jean Marie Vianney Ndatimana, a worker for BlueFlame, a company that engages in home equipment business, told The New Times that the shopping expo has helped to expose products to the buyers, taking into account the affordability aspect. We have reduced the price of a hybrid power cooker -- whose furnace is run by electricity, and four stoves run by cooking gas -- from Rwf300,000 to Rwf260,000, he said, indicating that the firm had sold eight cookers as of Friday. With the cooker's furnace, he said, you can bake foods such as bread, cake, and pizzas; and roast foods like fish, sweet potatoes, among others. By selling at lower prices, we do not incur losses, rather benefit from selling more products in a shorter period, he explained. Veronica Masau, an exhibitor from Kenya, told The New Times that the exhibition helps them to showcase her products and be able to sell to many people. She is displaying handcrafts including shopping bags, masai sandals, For instance, we sell masai sandals at Rwf6,000 while it would be Rwf8,000 in shops, she said, pointing out that she hopes to get wholesalers to buy her products. Faustin Karasira, the Chief Operations Officer at PSF said all the businesspeople from the 10 countries come to take part in the exhibition because they want to sell their products. He was on Friday, along with other officials, addressing members of the media, with a focus on how to make the expo vibrant and attract more visitors. There are [two] forces that influence the market. These include those of the buyers and the sellers, suggesting that a seller should consider lowering prices in order to be able to sell their products. As the private sector federation, we were able to talk with all the exhibitors, telling them that this [festive season] is the period when people want to have merry time, that they should create that reason to make people happy, ... and we hope that they understood our message, he said. He said that there are strategies to raise awareness about the exhibition through the media, so that they go shopping there. The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Richard Niwenshuti, said that though the exhibition takes place when the prices of products increased significantly as a result of the economic impact of Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, Rwanda made interventions including fuel subsidies with a view to bring them down. The fuel prices have a major impact on the product cost, such as through transport fees, among others. So, the fuel subsidies have an implication on product prices we have currently, he said. Meanwhile, he said that the exhibition helps address one of the problems in the supply chain -- easy access to products by bringing them closer to consumers. So, the exhibition ensures that products are accessed by the people in one place, he said, adding that sellers should avoid exploiting consumers through inflating prices.