Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Rwanda are poised for higher growth this year at the back of Rwanda’s entry into regional networks like the East African Community (EAC) Common Market and the Commonwealth, according to GroFin Rwanda.
The General Manager of GroFin Rwanda, Eric Rwigamba, told Business Times that the growth in the SMEs segment will also be boosted by the recovery of the global economy.
“By joining the Commonwealth and becoming a member of the EAC Common Market, Rwanda is simultaneously exposed to wider market opportunity and increased competition,” he explained.
According to GroFin, greater exposure will allow Rwandan SMEs to market their products beyond the country’s confines, something that will stimulate growth, especially within the EAC market where stiff competition is expected to encourage innovation.
“The global financial crisis had a detrimental effect on Africa’s economic growth. However, projections for 2010 reveal this is set to stabilise,” Rwigamba said.
GroFin Rwanda’s forecasts come when the International Monetary Fund’ (IMF) assessment of the Rwandan economy shows that the country’s export revenues fell sharply in 2009 as a result of the global economic crisis that led to an overall slowdown in economic activity.
“New trade alliances open up the country to greater freedom of trade and mutually beneficial relationships with other African countries, which will have a positive influence on exports,” Rwigamba said.
GroFin, which specialises in providing funding and business support to SMEs, says that the recovery in the SMEs sector will stimulate employment and enhances economic growth in the medium and long-term.
Rwigamba said that GroFin, being an institution preoccupied with the development of economies, has available funds for viable SMEs looking to grow in Rwanda.
“Our availability of funds, combined with our international expertise, place GroFin Rwanda in an ideal position to partner with Rwandan SMEs exploit current opportunities, and face the challenges that comes with being exposed to an open market,” he said.