EDITORIAL: Local goods need a clear marketing strategy

There is this widely circulated myth that local products are inferior to imported goods. A person will willingly dish out a fortune to purchase something foreign; even if there are better quality locally produced goods.

That kind of mindset is an indication of little self-appreciation and it should be the first battle to win if our own Made in Rwanda label will leave a mark. And, there are some unsung gems out there waiting to be discovered.

A visit to the ongoing Made in Rwanda exhibition at the Kigali Conference and Exhibition Centre will make one open their eyes widely in awe; in nearly every stall there lies Kigali’s best-kept secret; products that have not been treated unfairly in the communication department.

Some of the local manufacturers have also been bitten by the foreign-is-better bug and hardly do much to attract local consumption, but that is the wrong approach. Local fashion designers are the exception and they have made their products popular.

It is now a fashion statement to be seen wearing some of the local labels. All that has not escaped the keen eye of the Government; it has seen that there is potential in Made in Rwanda and has therefore put aside over 270 billion over the next seven years to develop that local blueprint.

Despite the Government’s belief in local products, there is so much that it can do. It is up to local entrepreneurs to take the driving seat in popularizing their products through aggressive marketing and branding, and then all the pieces will fall in place.

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