In an effort to improve efficiency in business development in the country, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has privatised the services at all Business Development Centres (BDCs) they were offering, The Sunday Times has learnt.
The Business Development Centres under RDB aims to equip Rwandan entrepreneurs with the real-world skills they need to start and grow thriving businesses across the country.
The move to privatise the BDC services resulted from the failure of their managers to provide the expected services to their respective communities.
They are currently run by Government with management staff being employees who provide the service at no cost to the beneficiaries. The development will take effect on April 30 this year.
“The Government decided to transform the management of Business Development Centres (BDCs) in order to improve efficiency,” reads an email by Clare Akamanzi, the Chief Operating Officer of RDB sent to The Sunday Times.
Akamanzi disclosed that the partnership is set in such a way that Government provides all the infrastructure like space, equipment such as computers and will be providing scholarships to at least 30 per cent of beneficiaries who can’t afford to pay a fee. RDB believes that if people pay a fee that will be introduced, they will value and maximise the services.
According to sources at RDB, there has been an “I don’t care attitude” among the managers of BDCs because they are paid by the government and all they do is wait for salaries.
According to the Ministry of Public Service and Labour (MIFOTRA) that has been evaluating the services and impact of the BDCs, only four out of thirty are the ones that have tried to perform well their duties.
The National Public Service inspector, Javan Nkundabakura, said most of the managers failed to carry out their duties effectively.
“These BDCs were meant to train citizens to develop projects and help them have access to finance but we would find a manager of a certain BDC having no idea about the training of the area residents on project management and without having any running project in the community,” said Nkundabakura.
On whether the transition will affect business and company registration because BDCs have also been in charge of the service, Akamanzi said: “Government will remain providing the registration services as part of the Public Private Partnership framework and the development will ensure more efficiency and better results.”