KIGALI - Following the official opening in Kigali Saturday, of an exposition showcasing Egyptian products, hundreds of city dwellers yesterday visited and purchased a wide range of products at subsidized prices.
According to Abul Ela Abul Naga, one of the organizers of the expo, the exhibition didn’t receive many visitors on Sunday because the country was celebrating Liberation Day.
However, by yesterday morning, hundreds of people, including traders had flocked the Mini Stadium where the expo is being held.
“We are encouraged by people’s reception so far. In just one day, we have received several visitors from various sectors of Rwanda. This proves that Rwanda’s customer base is large enough to support businesses within COMESA,” Abul Naga said in an interview.
He added that, the main objective of the expo is not only to promote Egyptian products, but to also study Rwanda’s market behavior, which will provide the data needed for them to set up profitable companies in Rwanda.
“We have companies in Burundi and Zambia which are prosperous. On top of Rwanda being stable and business friendly, we have a good relationship with the government, which has encouraged us to set up businesses here,” Abul Naga said.
Mostafa Mahmood, an export specialist for El Masria, an Egyptian company showcasing household products like carpets and furniture, said that his company is preparing to open a store in Kigali to distribute their products.
“The fact that Rwanda and Egypt are both members of COMESA makes it simple for traders in both countries to deal with each other at very low costs,” Mahmood said.
Ruth Uwimana, a shopkeeper in Kimironko, Kigali, said she was delighted when she visited the Egyptian trade expo.
“Getting many quality products from Africa will enable us to reduce importing from America and Europe. Buying from our African brothers is cheaper in terms of tax and transportation,” Uwimana said.
The 11–day expo was officially opened by Monique Nsanzabaganwa, the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry. Twenty Egyptian companies are participating.