Rwanda’s efforts to boost entrepreneurship and enhance private sector led economy is picking ground as private sector players pledged to set up a US$3m (Rwf 1.8b) regional entrepreneurship academy
Speaking during a CEOs breakfast at Serena Hotel on Wednesday, Nelson Tugume, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Inspire Africa said that the proposed academy would help the region to create a
strong private sector to drive the economy from Agrarian to service based.
“Developing our own skills without foreign dependence would be the best solution to grow our economies, especially at a time when we see East Africa as a common market,” he said.
Tugume, who recently won the Young Achievers Award hosted in Kampala, Uganda noted that Rwanda’s business environment and the country‘s efforts to let the private sector take a key role in the development of the economy has prompted the decision to have the academy hosted in Rwanda.
The CEOs meeting comes at a time when companies in the region struggle to exploit the bloc’s market of 33 million people, currently dominated by imported products and services from China, Europe and America.
Faustin Mbundu, the Chairman of Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF) noted that the initiative to develop the entrepreneurship will strengthen the private sector which is expected to drive the country’s economy.
Mbundu is optimistic that the entrepreneurship culture will drastically increase revenues, improve competiveness and also create employment hence translating into a strategy to fight poverty as enshrined in the country’s vision 2020.
Experts are hopeful that the East African region that is currently struggling to recover from economic crisis engineered by the Global crisis due to its foreign dependence needs local solutions to counter
Tugume also noted that Rwanda is to host the grand finale of the US$1.8m project Inspire Africa season one. A business challenge competition is a platform aimed at exposing young entrepreneurs into
the real business world.
“This reality TV show is engaging young entrepreneurs into thinking of multi million businesses in Africa as we strive to see another generation of African multi billionaires,” he noted
The grand final, which will see the lucky winner pocket over US$50,000, is scheduled for April 1, next year. It will be broadcast at all television stations across the region, with anticipation that viewers will also be exposed to hands-on skills on doing business.
The Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), John Gara, welcomed the idea, noting that that the project is in line with RDB’s initiatives to develop the culture of entrepreneurship in the country, which has been low.
Currently RDB is spearheading campaigns to promote entrepreneurship to help strengthen small medium enterprise development and also provide the required skills for the private sector.
Lack of skills hampers the development of the industrial sector in the country prompting the country to hire experts from Kenya and Uganda.
Rwanda’s Ministry of Trade and Industry in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) will facilitate to design a plan to help Rwanda turn into a regional logistics and services hub.
The plan will see the development of a strong aviation industry that will increase the country’s exports to neighbouring countries.