By Moses Kirui
Led by its constant quest to promote and represent the interests of the Rwandan business community, PSF continues to execute its role of providing timely and relevant business development services that lead to sustainable private sector-led economic growth and development.
This was well manifested on Friday, 9th March, 2012, when a PSF advocacy for the garage owners yielded long lasting fruits at Gatsata in Gasabo District. The garage owners experienced a new dawn when PSF brought together the Local Government Authorities, represented by the Gasabo Deputy Mayor in charge of Finance and Economic Development and the garage owners came up with new working mechanisms without one being antagonistic to the other. The garage owners had been exposed to various limitations in their operations such as lack of enough space to execute their chores after temporarily settling in their current place of operation (The Vision Cooperative).
Due to environmental concerns as a result of waste from garage being disposed of into the water catchment areas, the Local government authorities and the Rwanda Environment Management Authority relocated the garages from their initial place of operation to a location in the upper part of Gatsata that posed several setbacks and limitations to their business.
“We are facing sanitation problems from the current locale of operation; there is lack space resulting into overcrowding which decreases efficiency in our work not to mention lack of specialization and delayed investment environment due to continuous shifting,” says Chantal Ruranagire, the Secretary of the Rwanda Garage Association.
Chantal explains that they had been relocated without a replacement option and that has contributed to the crowding due to lack of space. The place they are currently operating from (the Vision Cooperative) also has no proper organization, most of the companies are not formally registered and the system of taxation and rent payment is not well defined. This has prompted the charging of clients an extra fee on their cars as a means to paying rent.
These and many other challenges prompted PSF to act swiftly, forging a way forward and encouraging favourable conditions for smooth running of the business. The PSF oversaw an unstable condition in business establishment due to the disruptions that left the garage owners unable to fully invest due to continuous shifting.
“Our role as an advocacy organ is to ensure that all the business entities in Rwanda have favourable conditions for investing and doing business. That is why we called for this meeting to ensure a long lasting solution for the garage owners,” asserted Nkusi Mukubu Gerald, the Deputy CEO and Chief Advocacy Officer PSF.
After an interactive session that saw various owners’ questions receive suitable and satisfactory answers from the Vice mayor, a conclusion on the amicable working relationship was finally reached. The garage owners agreed to settle at a new land of approximately 5 hectares in Nduba Sector Gasabo District approximately 7km from Nyabugogo.
The new location takes care of all the challenges posed; it has enough operating space, the plan and design allows for proper care of the environment and paves way for a better organization.
The owners of the new land, Igisubizo Motors Cooperative, have acquired all the relevant documents to enable them carry out construction in phases. The new site is expected not only to cater for the garage owners’ needs but to also stimulate developments owing to the fact that the establishment will attract a total number of 260 members and will provide more than 100 employment opportunities.
“The establishment of a garage in Nduba Sector will stimulate developments. When people finally come over to work here, restaurants will be set up, markets will emerge, and banks will be established,” says Karamuzi Godfrey, the Executive Secretary, Nduba Sector.
It was therefore agreed that the Cooperative’s Secretary General should call a meeting of all the garage owners and inform them of the newly reached and development-based decision.
The presiding Gasabo deputy mayor in charge of Finance and Economic Development too urged the cooperative to consistently follow all the relevant procedures and establish a modern and a well equipped garage that takes into account the specializations in the type and performance of a garage ranging from engine fixing to motor body spraying.
“I call upon the Igisubizo Motors Cooperative to ensure that this place is well developed to cater for all the garage owners’ needs and help them develop their businesses well,” urged Munara J. Claude, the Gasabo Deputy Mayor.
This, among other initiatives, are the success stories attributed to PSF’s tireless toil in ensuring that the interests of the entire private sector are put into consideration. The challenges facing the garage owners through the efforts put in place by PSF have now become a thing of the past.
It is worth noting that PSF is doing all it can to ensure that other garage owners countrywide get access to better working conditions thus boosting growth, stimulating development and eventual realization of the vision 2020 ideals.