In business, it is important to know what can work for you and what won’t.
Therefore, one has to look at what strategies are appropriate for the job at hand to ensure success.
That’s why the second phase of the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II) becomes as puzzle.
Though most people believe that the plan is essential to efforts aimed at fixing challenges in the country, it is advisable to learn from EDPRS I.
This will help us as individual, communities or institutions to know how far we can go and the impact it can create.
However, during EDPRS I there was low level of private sector involvement in some areas. This affected the implementation in many ways because the strategy is supposed to be private sector-led.
Now that EDPRS II is already underway, all stakeholders in the private sector should help in identifying bottlenecks and how they can be overcome to make sure the plan delivers its goals.
According to the strategy, government seeks to raise GDP per capita from $644 last year to $1,200, reduce poverty levels from 44 per cent to below 30 per cent and extreme poverty from 24 per cent to below 10 per cent.
These targets could seem ambitious, but it is possible to achieve all of them if we work with the government as the private sector.
Also, achieving an average of 11.5 per cent growth is possible with collective effort, especially from the private sector.
We should not forget that the government is banking on the business community to deliver this programme.
Besides, if one plans well, they can be able to partake of the Rwf10 trillion allocated for the programme in the next five years.
Though the private sector could have huge test as far as practical competence is concerned, this can be solved through joint ventures and partnerships.
Also, can start sponsoring our workers to undertake specialised training so that we are able to play our part as a vibrant private sector. We also have to start doing business in a ‘modern’ way, and take our services and products to the people, but not to wait for them to come looking for us. If you are an exporter, for example, have you ever invested money in marketing your products?
Yes, it may not be a priority, but it’s a necessity to have products on the market and compete.
So, it’s vital to know our products; list key points why someone should opt for that particular item and not your competitor’s. After this, you can package the information and see how to market the item.
It’s high time that exporters shifted from the traditional way of doing things to be competitive.
It is surprising that up to today, business people attend trade shows or promotions without any promotional materials like flyers, brochures or even business cards.
If we are still doing business in such a manner, how will we be able to deliver the country’s growth targets?
Of course the Private Sector Federation can try to help different members, but the onus is on businesses to improve their processes.
It’s a win-win situation. PSF will provide the necessary technical assistance and advocacy for the general good, but are you doing anything to improve your situation?
Remember, the success of EDPRS II means that all stakeholders have benefitted and/or expanded their enterprises. For instance, to achieve a 28 per cent annual export growth, there have be the right business environment and market, which should be by the government. But if industrialists, farmers and exporters do not do their part, everything crumbles.
So, let’s all do our part and set the right strategies to deliver this growth as the private sector.
The writer is the co-ordinator of Rwanda
Exporter’s Forum at the Private Sector Federation