Value addition of natural resources; entrepreneur’s experience

The limestone stone is used in construction including decorating buildings. Courtesy photo.

While in senior 4 in high school, Alexis Ngabonziza studied construction A2 as his main combination.

After completing school in 2011, like any other high school graduate, Ngabonziza looked for something to keep him busy, and luckily enough, he landed on a mining job which dealt with stones mainly for construction purposes.

 

The job, he said was situated in Kamonyi District where he also hails from.

 

It didn’t take much time for a thirty-year-old to get used to what he was doing. .

 

He said because he was passionate about what he was doing, it was easier for him to put in all his effort to deliver in his duties.

“I would say that my experience and hard work exposed me to work with different quarry mining sites for the purposes of construction. And because of this, I would opt for companies that have higher income,” he said.

Taking things to another level

 After working for people for quite a while for years, in 2018, Ngabonziza had had enough.

He quit his current job and start working on openning his own company.

He said the highest amount he would get as a monthly salary after working with a variety of companies, was Rwf 300,000.

“I used to save as much as I could and in most cases, I would spend less and save more. I managed to save approximately Rwf 1, 000, 000,” he added.

This amount, he said, it’s the one he used to come up with his own company known as Alexis Badege Mining Company Ltd, located in Southern province, Kamonyi District, Rugalika sector.

Ngabonziza said that starting his own venture was inspired by challenges experienced working for employers whereby at times, months would pass without being paid.

He realized that most of the materials used for construction were being imported and this is where the inspiration came from.

“I looked around and noted that among construction materials, those that could be easily available were stones,” he noted.

With rural village is known to have plenty of quarry stones, he decided to add value to them to provide one of the construction materials needed for the community and a country at large.

The young entrepreneur uses limestone, commonly known as ‘Urugarika’ to make flooring tiles.

The stone, he said is available in Kamonyi District.

He uses Amagalika stone in making tiles and Terrazzo.

Amagalika tile stone is produced after measuring standard sizes depending on the quantity needed by customers.

He added that he uses a machine to cut the lime Stone in measurable sizes and smoothens it using file disc, it’s washed using clean water, brushed and dried before being packaged for sale.

“My products are often used in finishing construction work to ensure a good appearance, make structure durable, water-resistance, avoid sliding, fire resistance sound insulation as well as prevent freezing of the wall,” he noted.

 The tiles produced are waterproof.

He added that he was also motivated by the need to create jobs for women and youth within his community.

Positive changes

Currently, Ngabonziza has a total of 26 permanent workers including women and youth, with each earning a minimum of Rwf 60,000 a month.

He said he maintains Rwf 300,000 on a monthly basis as salary for himself after deducting all the expenses.

The main challenge, the young entrepreneur cited is lack of a strong machine required for processing which is expensive.

Through the Ministry of youth and Creature (MYC) Rwanda, Ngabonziza has won Youth Connekt awards for the two consecutive years 2018/2019.

In the near future, Ngabonziza hopes to enroll for his college studies to study civil engineering.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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