Rwanda has put in place sectoral strategies towards development and the country’s goals are no longer dreams, they are realities which give hope to the 2020 economic vision commonly known as the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategies (EDPRS).
In this case, the Rwanda International Trade Fair (RITF) means a lot for the country’s economy, apart from the short term revenues, participating countries keep multiplying.
Out of this multiplication many realize that there is security, stability, corruption free environment and market for their products. As a result many decide to invest in the country.
It was a festivity moment when the organizers the Private Sector Federation (PSF), joined by several government officials who included, the Minister of Commerce, Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda, Governor’s of the Eastern Province and Southern Provinces, among others.
Also present were Heads of Diplomatic missions in Rwanda, exhibitors, sponsors of the expo, as well as local and international media.
Exhibitors were excited with the changes made, recognizing the many improvements to this year’s exhibition, which was well facilitated compared to past ones. They appreciated the response towards their past requests such as the previously dusty ground which was now worked on.
This time round the exhibition attracted nine countries, with South-Africa, being represented for the first time. Other countries present were Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Ghana, Egypt, India and Zanzibar.
Although the improvements demanded a lot from the PSF such as high costs for the imported mega tents and the infrastructure; the PSF Secretary General, Emannuel Hategeka, says that they are happy because most of the costs were part of a long term investment.
This year’s 10 day trade expo ended with a total trade volume turnover of Frw112,055,600, Hategeka said in comparison with what was invested. He explains that an average daily trade volume turnover per company was Frw242,020.
“The exhibitors appreciated the improvements and through a survey made, they expressed their appreciation, but asked for further improvements for the next exhibition,” he said.
Hategeka also reveals that the Frw428 million which was used for infrastructure, importation of two mega tents and the installation, among others was a long term investment in the exhibition.
While Frw152 million was a budget for other expenditures which were still continuing at the moment.
A total number of 312 exhibitors participated, with 93 and 219 foreign and local companies exhibiting respectively. 621 stands were occupied. He added that the total number of visitors to the exhibition was 126,287, with the daily average number of (visitors) 126,287.
A foreign exhibitor of the company Rhino Walls and Floors Ltd, William Malonza representing his fellow foreign exhibitors appreciated the improvements made on the expo grounds, compared to the last one. Malonza is the company’s Special Products Director of Sales and Marketing.
“The events managers were prompt in responding to issues raised and were on call as and when needed. And in this case we also commend the open door policy in meeting various ministers and relevant authorities,” Malonza explained.
He requested, that in future, more tickets be provided to the exhibitors to enable them to invite some of their major clients/business associates.
He also asked for the increase of accommodation, saying that it seemed many events were taking place at the same time, hence there being limitation in accommodation.
For the first time Zhauns, a business opportunity and engineering group based in S.A participated in the RITF and for South-Africa to be represented in the Expo, the firm decided to open up a show-room in Rwanda after exploring the local market.
In appreciation of the Rwandan market for manufacturing machines, used for small and medium enterprises, Zhauns Regional Representative, Nathan Rubangura, says that the show-room will be opened as soon as they get a space.
Zhauns sells machines that make: Bricks, blocks, pavers, slabs machines, toilet roll, roof sheet/tile, paper napkin/serviette/fagial tissue, among other hardware materials.
Rubangura says that they participated in the trade-fair to explore the market, and sell their machines, and they did realize their expectations.
“We anticipated people to buy the machines and ask questions about them as well as develop contacts from here, which was done,” points out Rubangura.
Adding: “We saw the need for the machines in the country. We are impressed by the turn up and the questions asked because it shows that they are interested, being the reason we are opening up a showroom as soon as we get a space.”
He also asserts that many people approached the firm and over 10,000 brochures were taken, out of which many people were calling and emailing asking for the prices and more information.
The success of this years business expo signals a good foundation in the future of the event hosting by Rwanda, of the business exposition, with more visitors expected to exhibit.