Government hands over printery

As part of its strategy to divest from business, government has officially handed over Rwanda Printing and Publishing Company (RPPC) to a private investor.
The web printing machine that has been among the RBA assets.  The printery is now under private ownership. John Mbanda.
The web printing machine that has been among the RBA assets. The printery is now under private ownership. John Mbanda.

As part of its strategy to divest from business, government has officially handed over Rwanda Printing and Publishing Company (RPPC) to a private investor.

In September last year, the government sold 70 per cent shares in RPPC to Multi-Dimensional Print International Limited (MDPI), a private company.

This came after the government invested over Rwf1bn in a modern printing press as part of the restructuring process meant to make the business more competitive.

However, due to mismanagement, the business did not improve.

The printer was working below capacity and was characterised with delays delays in print orders and wanting quality of the final products.

The firm won the tender after agreeing to pay Rwf1.9bn to have a controlling stake in the publishing company.

The two parties exchanged papers of the official handover during a ceremony that took place yesterday at the printing facility in Gikondo, Kigali.

“The main reason behind this is adding value and improving service delivery which we expect MDPI to achieve,” said Naphtal Kazoora, acting head of assets and business management at the Rwanda Development Board.

Kazoora added that products and services under RPPC like La Nouvelle Relève, a French publication and Imvaho Nshya, a Rwandan daily in the local dialect will continue to be produced but with better quality and management standards.

Jay Shah, the Managing Director of MDPI, said the move was testament that the government is committed to seeing growth in the printing and publishing industry.

“We are looking forward to investing $6m (about Rwf 4bn) to increase the production capacity and improve the print quality so that in the long run, publishers will no longer have to outsource printery services from outside the country,” he said.

Shah said they were also looking at transferring skills and literacy to Rwandans, leveraging their 40-year experience in the printing field.

The government retains 30 per cent shares. 

Shah said for the past few months they have been working closely with  the government to manage the printer.

The government has, since 1995, put in place a series of economic mechanisms aimed at reviving the economy so as to address the deteriorating situation of public enterprises.

The programme is centered on the search for greater rationalisation of public expenditure while encouraging greater participation of the private sector in financing the country’s economic development. 

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