KIGALI - The Ministry of Trade and Industry in collaboration with the Japanese Embassy yesterday launched the One Village One Product (OVOP) programme.
Speaking at the event held in Kigali, Japanese Ambassador, Kunio Hatanaka said that OVOP is aimed at promoting job creation and income generation within local communities.
“I am glad, on behalf of the Embassy of Japan, to attend the launching of OVOP because this will promote self-reliance and human resource development among the local population” Hatanaka said.
He noted that in Rwanda, OVOP is embedded in the policy aimed at developing SMEs and aims at supporting development of innovative and sustainable business groups which contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.
The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) Division Manager, Trade and Manufacturing, Eusebe Muhikira, said that the programme will contribute to the private sector-led economy set as one of the pillars in the Vision 2020 through boosting locally-based businesses and increasing exports.
“OVOP is built on three key pillars which justify its suitability to the Rwandan context. They include focus on value addition for products and services, streamlining of business services and branding of certified and unique quality,” Muhikira said.
He added that the programme is designed as a practical, operational, sustainable and self-assessing scheme providing capitalisation and accumulation of economic advantages to empower communities through systematic nurturing of initiatives and services.
Muhikira disclosed that the programme will begin in the four target districts of Huye, Musanze, Nyagatare and Rubavu and would thereafter be rolled out to all the country’s 30 districts.
He stressed that about 5,000 business groups would be nurtured through the programme by 2014, impacting on poverty reduction through increased volume of export products and development of SMEs.
OVOP is a regional development programme that originated from Japan’s Oita Prefecture in the early 1980s. It is currently operational in eight African countries.