UN boosts Agaseke with equipment

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation has donated equipment worth Rwf45 million to women’s Handcrafts Making Project in Gatsata, Gasabo District, in Kigali.
The UN donation will boost production in Agaseke and see more handcrafts exported. The New Times/ John Mbanda.
The UN donation will boost production in Agaseke and see more handcrafts exported. The New Times/ John Mbanda.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation has donated equipment worth Rwf45 million to women’s Handcrafts Making Project in Gatsata, Gasabo District, in Kigali.

The equipment, which includes dyeing machines and dryers, is expected to enhance quality, quantity and efficiency in production of the women’s handcrafts, according to Lamin Momodou Manneh, the UN resident coordinator.

The donation follows consultations between UN and the City of Kigali on how best to address market challenges to expand the handcraft industry in the country.

“UN believes that the only way to address market challenges is through usage of a more efficient and modern technology, a reason Unido had to move in with this donation so as quality and efficiency can be enhanced at this centre,” Momodou said at the hand-over of the donation.

Fidele Ndayisaba, the City of Kigali mayor, challenged Agaseke women to exploit the new technology not only to increase on their productivity but also to favourably compete on the international market.

“You should not sit back and watch now that the technology is here, take advantage and improve on the quality of your products so that you can be able to compete favourably on the international market,” he said, adding that producing at a low cost will ultimately grow the women’s business.

More support

Ndayisaba added that the City of Kigali is ready to continue supporting the centre because it believes women have a big role to play toward the realisation of Vision 2020.

Olivier Mbera, the national expert at Rwanda Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production Centre said with the new machines, the unit will move from mixing eight colours per day to 64 colours, which will help the centre to deliver consignments on time. 

“The centre sends consignments to the US and European markets, having this technology means delivering on time,” Mbera said.

Agaseke is a crafts making project established in 2007 in Kigali, with support and partnership of Imbuto Foundation and Rwanda Investment and Export Promotion Agency.

The project provides an opportunity for vulnerable unemployed and landless women in Kigali City, by supporting them to create their own jobs and redeem themselves and their families, out of extreme poverty.

Since its launch in 2007, the project has attracted over 54 cooperatives and more than 2000 members across all the three districts of the City of Kigali (Gasabo, Kicukiro and Nyarugenge).

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