Jean de Dieu Hakizimana Khan is the 2010 Expo Coordinator of The Rwanda International Trade Fare and works with the Private Sector Federation (PSF).
Born on July 12, 1975 in Muhanga District, he attended Ishogwe Muhanga Primary School, Croix APER-Coupe Kigali for both his O’ and A’ Level education before he specialised in Economics at the National University of Rwanda.
“I attained a Bachelors Degree in Economics while at the National University of Rwanda, Butare. After school, I worked as a consultant for Small and Medium Enterprises before I joined Rwanda Expo Investment Promotion Agency (REIPA) as a handicapped Coordinator for the whole country,” Hakizimana narrates.
“As the coordinator of the Exhibition, there were several aims and objectives set aside to make the Expo successful and so far we can get to see the fruits although there are some challenges,” Hakizimana explains.
According to Hakizimana, over 20 international companies had registered but seven pulled out in the last minute.
He also said that while international exhibitors applied for space at the EXPO grounds, local exhibitors simply paid a fee for the space per square meter. For instance a small company of general trading or foods and beverages, paid Rwf220,500 for nine square meters of space and the amount varied according to space.
Like any other project, there were several challenges met while organising the trade show: Besides soliciting funds from the sponsors to financing the trade fare, Hakizimana said they were stuck with several commodities of international exhibitors that were at the customs office.
“This was a big obstacle to the whole set up of opening the EXPO. This happened because the exhibitors decided at the last minute not to come because they were not yet sure of how the elections will turnout since most elections in Africa are engrossed with violence,” Hakizimana stressed.
“Despite of the different challenges I can say that at least we have achieved most of the things we expected: We hit the target funds expected in line with the budget and plan of the EXPO,” Hakizimana said.
Given the intelligent, innovative, open-minded and experienced nature of Hakizimana, it’s no surprise that the trade show is a success.
As the saying goes, ‘Behind every successful man there is a woman’, Hakizimana is married to Nathalie Mukayiranga and they are blessed with a one-year- old daughter, Benny Perlah Munara. He is also a devout Catholic who loves praying.
“If it wasn’t for work, I would go to church frequently during the day and also participate in charitable funding activities,” Hakizimana said.
After a hectic day at work, he enjoys watching soccer to relax or hangs out with the boys for a drink.
Artist: Celine Dion
Role Model: Nelson Mandela
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Quote: ‘Take life disappointment the way they come’