I have been following keenly how the private sector landscape has been unfolding in rural Rwanda. One thing that I can point out is Emmanuel Hategeka’s idea of rural folk joining forces for the purposes of incorporating and running investment companies all over the country.
It is a fantastic idea. Mr.Hategeka, CEO of the Private Sector Federation(PSF) was involved in the formation of the national investment company known as Rwanda Investment Group(RIG).
Within RIG’s roster of shareholders are captains of various industries. RIG’s intervention within corporate Rwanda needs no mentioning. In fact, RIG just three years after inception has turned a tidy profit for its shareholders despite challenges such as the global credit crunch.
RIG can be said to have in one way or another changed how start-ups are operated and run, not only in Rwanda but throughout East Africa.
This is because RIG’s ground breaking initiatives within corporate Rwanda are bound to be very good lessons for the region’s top business schools.
Immediately after, mini-RIGs sprouted like mushrooms in a newly ploughed plot. I came to be told about Bugesera Investment Group (BIG).Then there came into existence Huye Investment Group (HIG).Just the other day Gicumbi heavy weights could not be left out; Gicumbi Global Investment Group was born.
In fact, I have been reliably informed that there was supposed to be such vehicles incorporated at provincial levels throughout Rwanda. What is really my point?
I would say that the media has not heard much about these companies ever since they were inaugurated. I tend to think that they have marshalled capital resources but media has not been properly informed about what they are doing.
Out of curiosity, I asked my colleagues in Huye and Bugesera to find out so far what has been done but nothing came out until recently when Gicumbi’s new company was announced.
But going by what seems to have happened to the other local initiatives I tend to think that more work is needed here to get some of these mini-RIGS up and running. While RDB says that it will give some assistance, I believe a more proactive approach is needed. This brings me back to Hategeka.
I think that those mini ‘RIG’s’ already incorporated should be fished out of their underground bunkers. There is so much that can be done. If anything, PSF should practise what it preaches simply by going beyond advocacy.
Just the way RIG has succeeded we want to see HIG and BIG going big time. The New Times readers voted Hategeka as one of the CEOs to watch in 2010. Mr. Hategeka, I am sure you can do something about all those mini-RIGs by giving them some of your wise counsel.
Personally I tend to think that these mini-RIGs are stuck somewhere in the districts.
Fred Oluoch-Ojiwah is a journalist with The New Times