KIGALI - The Prime Minister Bernard Makuza has encouraged members of the business community to embrace competition saying that it is one way of boosting their investments.
The Premier made the remarks on Friday evening after gracing the RDB Awards that recognized excellent performers, prosperous private enterprises and individual initiatives within the business community.
“This is an opportunity that encourages investors at all levels to engage in competition which boosts their investments and the economy of the country,” said Makuza.
He also praised President Paul Kagame for facilitating a favourable business climate in Rwanda saying that that was one of the main reasons the country was ranked by the World Bank Doing Business report as the best reformer.
‘We dedicate the achievement of this country’s economy to President Kagame who has called upon and encouraged both local and foreign investors to invest in Rwanda,” added Makuza.
The RDB Awards were initiated by RDB with an aim of recognizing those who excel in their business endeavours. The awards are aimed at encouraging enterprises and individuals to excel by not only being profitable but also contributing to society, innovating and growing their industries.
Those awarded were in 15 categories and the criteria used by a penal of internationally recognized experts to select them included Investor of the Year and Exporter of the Year together with first and second runners up respectively.
Specific sector winners came from tourism, ICT, General Manufacturing, Agro processing, Mining, Finance, Real Estate while in the special category there was Customer Care and then Woman Entrepreneur of the Year.
During the colourful ceremony, the RDB CEO, John Gara, said, “One of the intentions of these awards is to encourage the business community,to create a networking forum between business operators and to make Rwanda the best place for business.“
The RDB deputy CEO in charge of business operations and investments, Claire Akamanzi, said 62 companies applied to take part in the competitions and that RDB hired Deliotte &Touche to do the assessment and come up with the final nominees.
The chairman of the panel of judges, Robert Mathu, said that his team considered a number of things including profitability of the companies, productivity, employment, innovation and technology transfer and corporate social responsibility.
Under the tourism section, Serena hotel beat Laico Hotel to take top spot.
Bralirwa was awarded the best in the General Manufacturing sector beating Rwanda Foam and Utexrwa while MTN beat Dash Technologies to walk home with the ICT award.
Under the Agro-processing category, Coopac won the award defeating Pfunda Tea Company and Sorwathe while Tunsten took that of the mining sector.
Other winners were; Fina Bank (Finance), Real Contractors (Real Estate) and BCR (Customer care).
Woman Entrepreneur of the Year was Josephine Mukamasabo of Muhirwa hardware company.
Under the special category of best performing SMEs, KIAKA emerged winner and they even had more reason to smile when they were also given US$50,000 courtesy RDB.
Enterprise Urwibutso emerged the Best Exporter while SORWATHE was Best Investor.