Demand for Made-in-Rwanda products growing – businesses

Eastern Province Governor Fred Mufulukye (2nd right) during a tour of the stands on Tuesday. Jean de Dieu Nsabimana.

Efforts to promote Made-in-Rwanda products have started to pay off as consumer demand for locally produced goods is increasing, entrepreneurs from Eastern Province said early this week, at the official closing ceremony of Eastern Province mini trade fair in Nyagatare District.

The expo took place from August 17 to 28. According to Jean Bosco Ndungutse, the chairman of Private Sector Federation in Eastern Province, this year’s edition attracted 184 exhibitors, up from 152 last year. He added that it attracted 27,000 visitors.

Laetitia Umuhoza, the Marketing Manager of Sogongera Ltd, a banana wine factory, said that their business made sufficient sales.

“After observing that our products were liked in Nyagatare District, we immediately opened a depot and make our products available here. Our market has expanded,” she added.

Benine Cyimitsinda, who runs a company that makes handcraft products, ornaments and carpets using threads, plans also plans to expand her business.

“I was happy because even foreigners, whose products we were accustomed to, came to buy from us. A Pakistani looked at my sweater, put it on and loved it and bought it. He recommended my business to his colleagues,” she said.

Cyimitsinda said her business gained exposure and called on the Government to ease access to raw materials.

Fred Mufulukye, the Governor of Eastern Province, said: “Our country’s vision is to have a solid economy that is based on the private sector”.

The fact that some exhibitors run out of products due to high demand, he said, demonstrates that consumers are increasingly interested in locally manufactured products.

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