The Private Sector Federation’s Director of Trade and Regional Integration, John Bosco Kalisa, recently announced the organisation’s intention to start awarding outstanding investors and entrepreneurs on an annual basis.
This is a very welcome move, as it encourages a spirit of positive competition that will ultimately benefit all Rwandans, as services will improve and higher product output will be registered. Everywhere in the world such awards are given not only to recognize extremely good performance, but also to spur healthy competition, especially when the ultimate prize is big enough to be coveted by business competitors.
Quite recently, Kenya Airways won the highly coveted 7th annual PricewaterhouseCoopers’ East Africa ‘s Most Respected Companies Survey, to the envy of many equally respectable companies, like MTN Tanzania and Uganda which emerged second. It is anyone’s bet that MTN, or Mumias Sugar, will strive to raise their profiles.
In addition to other awards, there also Employer of the Year awards, and many others that are specific to industries or service providers. The Golden Pen Awards for example are a case in point. The fact that last year’s journalism awards ended up in a fiasco should never have made the organisers give up entirely. They should have picked themselves right up and, building from the mistakes of last year, sought ways of stamping their authority over this young industry that needs recognition and guidance like none else.
The Private Sector Foundation should carefully consider the benchmarks when they are starting this noble project, because these are the ones that lend the awards the respectability they need, when they have been deemed to be fair and objective.
This is also a wake-up call to the corporate bodies in this country, which we now have in abundance thanks to the burgeoning economy, to come to the aid of journalism and re-institute the Golden Pen Journalism awards that are such an inspiration to our reporters to go the extra mile to put in a very well written story.