By Grace Mugoya
In any developing economy, the private sector is highly considered as the engine of economic transformation and national development given its contribution towards growth in each sector.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM) has among others given priority towards the growth of the private sector through crafting various measures to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) get to the next level.
To address challenges that SMEs face, MINICOM last year came up with a biannual SME’s forum that brings together different key players in the SMEs from various sectors. The first SMEs forum held in December 2014 attracted representatives from 6 clusters that are; Information Communication Technology (ICT), honey production, dairy, wood and construction materials, fashion and tailoring and cross-cutting clusters.
The forum came up with an action plan to ensure that goals are set with a general objective of facilitating the support to SMEs. According to the action plan, the forum is expected to come up with measures that will enable SMEs to produce high quality products that meet set standards by the Rwanda Standards Board (RSB) for public consumption. This, officials say, will help in wining public and consumer confidence; thereby creating ready market for their produce.
Kanimba Francois, the Minister of Trade and Industry says that the government through his Ministry, among other stakeholders, considers supporting SMEs as one of the direct channels through which the unemployment problem can be tackled effectively.