The German Cooperation recently opened a new Agaseke Centre worth Frw 19 million in Muhanga. The centre belongs to a cooperative society, Cooperative de Production D’artisanat d’Art du Rwanda (COPARWA), and it will mainly be used as a training centre for basket weavers, and as a central store where buyers will place their orders for supplies.
There are many local projects that are failing to take off because they lack the initial push to make any financial impact, especially when the local entrepreneurs decide to go it alone.
In one incident during a meeting of local residents after an Umuganda day dedicated to rehabilitating roads in Mbogo Sector, Rulindo District, the mayor of Rulindo, Justus Kangwagye, was shocked to find out that there were many people who claimed expertise in making roof tiles, yet they were languishing in poverty.
He immediately ordered them to form an association, then go to him for help in accessing financial help to get them started in a viable tile-making business.
The rationale here is that it is easier for an organised group to get help from financial institutions than an individual. Group objectives and action are more coordinated and serious than risking good money in an individual’s project that may suffer from ill-advised lone decisions. Except in rare charismatic cases, individual businesses often fail because it is easy to get discouraged, as it is easy for some little bit of success to get to our heads and we blow up our small scores.
There are many such small enterprises that may make the difference between poverty and an assured livelihood. Tomato growing, horticulture, brick making, and a host other small-scale but monumentally meaningful and lucrative concerns, approached in a serious group effort, are some of what can help our people to beat off poverty.
Umutwe umwe wibwiriza gusaba.