Representatives of 30 women cooperatives across the country are this year exhibiting their products in the ongoing international expo at Gikondo grounds, with support from the National Women’s Council (NWC).
The cooperatives were selected in each district for being exemplary in providing employment to women through skills development.
“As we exhibit our products, we are also learning from others, not only the local exhibitors, but even international, especially those we share with the type of work,” said Angelique Uwineza, the head of ‘Nge nawe birashoboka’ Cooperative in Rusizi District, Western Province.
She added that it creates and gives chances to up-coming entrepreneurs to learn or adopt effective marketing strategies for their products.
“Apart from getting information that will help us take our business or cooperative to the next level, we are also making contacts through which we can sell our products even out of the country,” she said.
Other women who spoke to The Sunday Times said that the expo will also build on their cooperative’s creativity based on the type of products they have been exposed to.
“We shall be ambassadors in taking back or teaching other members of our cooperatives who have not got the chance to take part in the expo,” said Alice Uwimana, from Bugesera District.
The NWC Executive Secretary, Christine Tuyisenge, said that the council will continue supporting women, especially those who show interest, commitment and hard work.
“We want to encourage and inspire women so that many others can come up with similar projects and contribute to the development of their families in fighting poverty and for national development,” Tuyisenge said.
She explained that the government has put in place many other strategies aimed at supporting women to start income generating activities.
Tuyisenge added that among others, the women and youth empowerment strategy has a fund that will play a crucial role in enabling grass root women to work and earn.
“When a woman comes up with a project which is bankable, the fund will facilitate her to access a loan at the Umurenge Sacco by covering 75 percent of her security,” she said. Previously, the fund used to cover only 50 percent.