All roads lead to Gikondo today as the Rwanda International Trade Fair, Expo 2010, opens.
When The New Times visited the Private Sector Foundation (PSF) Expo grounds in Gikondo yesterday, human activity was at peak, with hundreds of exhibitors putting the final touches on their stalls.
Dozens of motorcycles escorted a big advertising truck blaring music which made rounds around the city reminding the public of the opening.
President Paul Kagame is expected to open the “bigger and better” 2010 Expo which has drawn over 129 foreign exhibitors compared to 110 last year, according to Molly Rwigamba, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PSF.
“For the last four months, we have been preparing for this Expo and I think all the preparatory work was done early and everything should be set”.
Rwigamba noted that she was optimistic that this year’s trade fair will be more fruitful and vibrant compared to last year where some companies and traders were still recovering from the global financial crisis.
“We have 129 foreign exhibitors from 70 countries. In total, we have 430 exhibitors, including locals,” Rwigamba said.
“When you look at the global economic crisis or financial crisis, there is an upward trend. Things are improving all over the world and you can see it from this exhibition,”
“Business is on track once again. People are ready to exhibit their products and it is also reflected in the number of exhibitors that has gone up,” Rwigamba who spend the day overseeing the final preparations said.
Some of the exhibitors The New Times spoke to expressed optimism that this year’s expo will draw a bigger crowd compared to last year’s.
“We are all set, our stall is ready. We are well prepared to use this opportunity to showcase how ‘East African’ our products are. Absolutely, it is a platform for us to show how our products transcend borders to reach all people in the East African Community.” Andrew Kulayigye, the East African Breweries Limited Country Manager said.
“Our stall is set. We are anticipating receiving a higher number of visitors to our stall compared to last year. Last year we got 600 visitors a day and we are seeing that number go up,” said Dan Kayonga Ruti, the head of communication at Social Security Fund of Rwanda (SSFR)
“We have new products such as online registration where people download forms and apply online as well as other ICT based products.
“The reason we participate is because working people frequent the trade fair and it will be an opportunity for them to learn how they can register for social security.