Experts say there is a direct correlation between consumer purchasing behaviour and employment, local economic development and prosperity. When you buy Rwandan -made and grown products, you can be sure you are keeping your family members and friends employed
Francois Kanimba, minister of Trade and Industry while addressing the press in Kigali said that it comes down to all of us as consumers – the people and businesses that buy things every day – to consciously purchase Rwanda -made and grown products.
As part of the efforts to cut down import receipts that have kept the country’s trade deficit higher, the ministry of trade and industry together with private sector are now organising the made in Rwanda Exhibition.
The exhibition which is the first of its kind in the country is banked on to expose locally made goods and change the mind set of consumers who still believe that internationally made goods have superior quality.
“We want Rwandans to start consuming goods made from here and know they have quality,” said Francois Kanimba, minister of Trade and Industry while addressing the press in Kigali.
The minister said that the government is looking at how it can reduce import receipts that go on goods which can be produced locally while also improving the country’s export sector to balance trade receipts.
The private sector believes that the Expo is expected to attract over 250 local exhibitors to help consumers to have a hands-on experience on the quality of the locally made products.
“People think that locally-produced goods do not have the quality and standards compared to imported goods,” said Donatien Mungwarareba, the Private Sector Federation’s director of advocacy, communication and labour relations.
In a mini survey conducted by this website on key shopping centres around Kigali on Thursday indicated that Rwandan consumers prefer imported goods.
“Most processors don’t mind about getting quality marks and consumers are strict with product standards, so we are forced to stock imported goods,” said Solange Uwamahoro, a supermarket attendant in Remera.
But officials say the expo will help local industries to showcase their products share expertise in branding, packaging for their products which will improve their competitiveness both on local and international markets.
The made in Rwanda expo slated to take place from February 25, 2016 to March 2 at Gikondo expo grounds will be run under the theme, “Buy Made in Rwanda, Buy Quality” which is part of the government’s efforts to promote local products.