In a continued effort to promote and support the private sector in Rwanda, the Rwanda Development Board is organizing the ‘RDB Awards’ scheduled to take place today at the Serena Hotel in Kigali.
The main objective of the awards according to officials of RDB is to recognize and encourage the consistent and innovative performance of the business community in Rwanda in sustaining the growth of the Rwandan economy and also in a sense improve investor best practices.
Speaking at the press conference on Wednesday, John Gara, RDB’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “What we are doing here is creating a prize that every investor will aspire to get.”
“In turn, we expect the investor to be profitable, create forward and backward linkages with local SMEs, demonstrate innovation and technology transfer, carry out corporate social responsibility, act as a role model to other investors, reinvest into the business to sustain growth rates. In the long run, we are promoting investments,” he added.
Gara said that RDB had employed Deloitte and Touche, an audit firm to do the pre-selections.
“After the shortlist, the judging panel made up of persons from the regional private and public sectors with international business experience will carry out the task of choosing the winners,” Gara added.
The categories of the winning companies are 15, whereby 6 recognition awards will be handed out to companies that have excelled in different sectors, namely, tourism, general manufacturing, agro-processing, mining, finance and real estate.
Also, special mention will be given to a company that has demonstrated excellent customer service. According to RDB a top Woman Entrepreneur will also be awarded. In collaboration with the Private Sector Federation, an award will be presented to the friendliest district in doing business.
Rosemary Mbabazi, the Director General in Charge of Investment Promotion, stressed that it has been a gradual process that has taken four months.
“A number of companies were approached, over 100 responded, 48 companies were shortlisted. A further evaluation, including a site visit was done to determine the 20 best exporters and investors. From this list, a panel of judges will determine the overall winners, sector winners and special category winners and these will be announced on Friday 29th, January, 2010,” she said.
The first Investor Recognition Day was held in November 2007 and in 2008, an event was organized to recognize and award the efforts of the Rwandan business community in the development of the country.
The event was celebrated in the form of a gala dinner which provided a networking platform between government officials and the private sector and between business people to interact, learn from each other and exchange views on how all stakeholders can improve the business climate in Rwanda.