As part of efforts to promote consumption of made in Rwanda products, local cement manufacturer, CIMERWA, has launched a campaign in which lucky winners will walk away with cash prizes worth Rwf70 million.
Busisiwe Legodi, the company chief executive officer, said the “Buy, Build & Win” campaign is aimed at encouraging Rwandans to buy locally-produced cement to enhance competitiveness of the country’s sole cement producer.
According to Legodi, more than 112 lucky winners will win Rwf250,000 each among other prizes. She added that two brand new Toyota pickups will be won as grand prize at the end of the campaign.
“The idea is to get consumers understand better our product while we offer incentives to distributors and the retail market,” she said adding that encouraging the public to use locally manufactured cement will help reduce the country’s import bill.
The 3-month campaign according to Alex Ruzibukira, the director-general of industry and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, is a great step towards boosting consumption of made in Rwanda products.
This will greatly encourage local production and help the country narrow down its trade deficit gap.
Already, the central bank estimates indicate that the country’s formal imports grew by 3.3 per cent in value to $1,171.3 million, up from $1,134.1 million in the first half of the year.
Recently, John Rwangombwa, the central bank governor, said there is need to increase local production of products, like cement, which will help the country save up to $240 million in forex exchange.
The import bill in the construction industry is slowly reducing mainly due to the fall in importation of construction materials, which declined by 39.3 per cent and 40.2 per cent in volume and value, respectively.
In august last year, Cimerwa launched a state-of-art plant to boost cement production to serve local and regional markets.
The $170 million (about Rwf126.7 billion) plant in Muganza Sector, Rusizi District, is expected to increase the factory’s production capacity to 600,000 tonnes a year, up from 100,000 previously.
This is enough to satisfy local demand and have the rest exported to regional markets including DRC and Burundi.
Local consumption of cement currently stands at about 450,000 tons per year.