Over 250 Made-in-Rwanda products receive RSB approval

The initiative serves to enable Rwandan products access the regional and the world market at large.
Kiato Nzuri’s shoes are showcased in Made-in-Rwanda expo at Gikondo expo ground. Sam Ngendahimana.

Statistics from Rwanda Standards Board show that over 250 Made-in-Rwanda products have received approval from the standards body over the past 18 months.

The locally made products got standards approval under the nationwide campaign dubbed, ‘Zamukana Ubuziranenge’, which focuses on helping Made-in-Rwanda products to gain consumer confidence among the public and increase the export volume.

Launched in 2017, the five-year campaign targets more than 300 products and 93 small and medium enterprises across the country.

The standards body has been working with different stakeholders, including the Ministry of Youth, and Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion to make the campaign sustainable and successful, while the National Council for People with Disabilities was involved to ensure inclusiveness of people with disabilities.

The initiative serves to enable Rwandan products access the regional and the world market at large.

The majority of the products are in the agro-processing industries, as well as construction materials.

The 2017/18 fiscal year saw 144 new products certified and 78 recertified while 115 new products were certified during the past six months of the current fiscal year (2018/19).

Raymond Murenzi, the Director General of Rwanda Standards Board, told Business Times that the campaign is on the right track promising to meet the target.

“The figures show that we have already exceeded projections. We targeted to approve 110 new products but in just six months the number has soared up to 115 and this shows how effective the campaign has become,” Murenzi said.

Murenzi said that the ‘Standards Mark’ is as an opportunity for the business community to expand their market in the region as products with the mark have access to other East African member states due to the available trade agreements and partnerships.

“As the standards body for Rwanda, we have harmonised 286 (EAC) standards equivalent to 70 per cent of EAC standards to facilitate regional trade and this is why the S Mark certified products will find no difficulty to penetrate the East African market,” he said

Murenzi also believes that with the African Continental Free Trade Area close to becoming reality, it will be upon to local producers to make the most of available markets.

“As Rwanda is part of the ACFTA and with a provision that every country will be able to sell its locally certified products to another country with ease, Rwandan certified products are in position to have unlimited opportunities to shine,”he said.