Making money: There’s no business like second hand shoe business

Annet Wibabara poses at her stall as she waits for customers

Annet Wibabara poses at her stall as she waits for customers

The business of selling used shoes in Rwanda is becoming a lucrative one. Rwandans today especially youth have increasingly shown keen interest in used shoes.

Annet Wibabara, sells used shoes at Kimironko market, she says “I cannot take an office work especially now that I am enjoying profits from my business”.

In one year of selling used shoes, Wibabara has bought a plot of land and take care of the family without any difficulties.

“In one year in this kind of business, I managed to buy a plot of land, meeting my needs and the family. Basing on my experience, there’s no business like dealing in used shoe, I am making money” she said.

Apart from benefits, being your own boss is priceless as you can attend to any other issue with ease.

“Before coming to work, I take care of my family and do some chores. Even when it calls for time to relax or visit people, I always make time for it and still make sales,” she added.

Wibabara advises jobless people to start small and create jobs to achieve fast development.

Creating own job is under the government’s program (Hanga Umurimo) that aims at supporting youth to have an entrepreneurial mindset.

Han­ga Umurimo (HUP) was established to unlock the youth’s potentials to run competitive and innovative enterprises in order to generate more job opportu­nities.

As Rwanda’s Vision 2020 seeks to generate 3.2 million off-farm jobs by 2020, the Ministry of Trade and Indus­try that pilots HUP says it is guided by Vision 2020 and the National policy of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to contribute to promote rapid growth of such enterprises among the Rwan­dan Youths.

Finance Minister roots for Private sector participation

Finance Minister roots for Private sector participation

The  country  is  banking on  the  private  sector to be  the engine of the economy, a reason  the Minister of  Finance ,Amb. Claver Gatete says it’s participation in the development of the economy is vital.

Gatete says that   despite the growth of the sector coupled in the recent years, their participation in the growth of the economy mainly, an increase in experts and job creation is still low.

As government, the Minister notes “we have to use the resources to leverage private sector participation, he said during the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, Annual Meetings in Washington, USA.

The event  looked at ways  African policy makers   take on  to   increase the  pulse   at which their economies are growing, something seen as  a peer  advantage  to help  the policy  makers  to learn from   each other.

The International Monetary Fund-IMF says the continent’s real GDP is likely to continue growing   on an upward trend by the end of the year, an indication that the economies are doing well. It is estimated the growth is likely to grow to 5.1 percent by end of 2014 before growing to 5.8 percent in 2015.

Rwanda’s growth rate was at   6.8 percent in the forts half of 2014 and likely to   close at 6.0% by end 2014 by end of year as private sector seen to take a driving role mainly in service sector.

As member of the panel discussing the “Africa: Sharing Economic growth broadly” Gatete  said that the  backing the private sector  will help  the government   tackle some of the critical  areas  of growth such as increasing exports as well  as   bridging inequality.

“If we have private sector intervention in these areas, we are able to achieve our ambitious inclusive growth targets,” he said

Moreover, the recent interventions to bolster the private sector mainly in access to finance  through  establishment of the  Guarantee funds and  keeping the  economy  afloat  has seen  the sector’s   growth towards  increasing  off-farm jobs.

According to Ministry of Trade statistics, off farm jobs  rose to   1.4 million in 2011up from  408,000  in 2001  with   Non- agricultural  employment increasing  to 27.3%  of all jobs in  2012 from 12.1% in 2002.


Nyanza to emphasise on youth participation and social inclusion

Nyanza: Urubyiruko rwiyemeje kwishakamo ibisubizo byo kwihangira imirimo

Shima Innocent umuhuzabikorwa w’inama y’Igihugu y’urubyiruko mu karere ka Nyanza

Through the District Youth Committee, Nyanza district is creating a conducive environment that will expand youth’s opportunities to reach their full potential.

“Young people in Nyanza are full of ideas and are keen to contribute to the development of the society,” says Abdallah Murenzi, the mayor of Nyanza district. “This time as the district we are giving them avoice in the decision-making process.”

He added that “we must fulfil our obligations to youth. To consider the contributions of young persons on all policies affecting them.

“It is high time that we stopped viewing our young people as part of the problem and started cultivating their promise and potential. “Through these trimester meetings, we will recognize the youth capacities and their will to work harder and then be supported,” saysAbdallah Murenzi.

“Having the youth who are the majority of the population, stronger and knowledgeable is the opportunity Rwanda should make use of to develop,” said the mayor

The mayor encouraged youth not to disrespect any kind of work as long as it can pay their bills and help them secure their future.

 InnocentShima, the youthcoordinator in Nyanza district as well as the advisor in Nyanza Town Council; the youth have opportunities that cannot be accorded to other people especially in having the strength and knowledge they can use to achieve their goals.

Through these meetings, the youth will be sharing information and ideas that will help them in job creation and support each other to work towards a common goal.


High energy, transport costs could tilt growth rate pace

High energy, transport costs could tilt growth rate pace

The international  economic watch dog , International   monetary fund-IMF has warned that  high costs  of energy,  labor , transport coupled with  high  interest  rates could affect the  pace at which  the  economy  is growing.

The  country’s economic growth   is projected to  be at   6percnet by  the end  of December 2014 and 7.5 per cent 2015 despite  global  economic  hiccups , which means facilitating private sector productivity  to   push the growth  up   is  vital.

This according to   Paulo Drummond ,the  watchdog’s Mission chief for Rwanda will go along easing  doing business   and  facilitating  lower  borrowing  rates  for the private  sector to consolidate  their  productivity.

For the economy to  grow and for the  private  sector  to realize its leading role  on growth  of the economy,” Drummond said  it would be vital  to bring  down  the  costs of   doing  business.

Expert note that    maintaining the  current momentary stance as  well  as  keeping the economy  afloat   as well  as   ensuring the domestic interest  rates and  bank operation costs   are   down  will  help the country   maintain its economy  healthy.

“The government must, therefore, consider other non-concessional sources of financing while making some adjustments to be able to deliver on these investments,” he noted

This  implies that the Central Bank  will  have to strength  its  monetary  stance by maintaining    the traditional target  of four months  of  reserves  which    acts as  a shield for the economy in case of any   global  shocks.

According to IMF, the country’s inflation rate is expected to   expand to 3.2 per cent by end of December considering the Luke warm performance of the agriculture sector mainly in Season A and B 2014 but also the aid disbursement flow.

But there is optimism from World Bank that   given the    projected positive outlook on the continent, Rwanda’s projected growth would be achieved.

Francisco Ferreira, the World Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa says African economies continue  to  expand with  moderately rapid pace, despite the  global   economic changes  with its  GDP growth predictably to fortify to  up  to 5.2 percent year on year  between  2015-16 from 4.6 percent in 2014.

Monique Nsanzabaganwa, the deputy governor of the National Bank of Rwanda  conquers with   the watchdogs   economic diagnosis  and  says that there is need to increase  competitiveness within the financial  sector which would trigger  efficiency needed to  bolster lending to the private sector..

“There is need to support growth and preserve the level of foreign reserves requires a cautious fiscal stance,” she added

Moreover,  Amb. ClaverGatete, Minister  of Finance says that the government  is stepping up efforts to   increase  energy  production  through increased investment in  the sector , thus  reducing  the electricity  costs.

“The government has priotised the energy sector in its Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II),” He said

Moreover, the government    set up reforms policies for the creation of a supportive business environment which eases doing   business mainly from the registration process up to the   establishment.

This saw the country ranked 32nd place in the world in terms of overall ease of doing business in the World Bank Doing Business rankings this year, while it stood at 8thin the area of registering property, 13thin terms of getting credit.

Nyamagabe: The sky’s the limit for this local entrepreneur


 Nyamagabe: The sky's the limit for this local entrepreneur

Marie Claire Kabega, at her veterinary clinic waiting for clients

Rwanda is experiencing great changes and has been hailed by many as an international model in social and economic development mainly because of its significant progress in poverty reduction, especially among the rural population.

Social economic development is attained through numerous initiatives like Hanga Umurimo (create own job) among others. Such policies have seen many girls and women take up activities that were meant for men in ancient times.

Marie Claire Kabega, 25, a resident of Uwinkingi sector in Nyamagabe district is one of the young girls who risked to create her own job rather than hunt for one after her high school education.

“When I was in high school, I heard the term entrepreneur and associated it with a renegade—independence, crafting your own path,” says Kabega.

In her high school she majored in veterinary medicine. After completing her high school education, Kabega invested Rwf25, 0000 to start a veterinary clinic in Uwinkingi sector of Nyamagabe district.

Marie Claire Kabega

Narrating her journey as a young entrepreneur, Marie Claire Kabega asks “it’s a good thing when you get a job, but what happens when you are fired? She advises that we need to be creative and create our own jobs.

She says that many women depend on husbands for everything, to defy that practise Kabega started her own business to be able to meet her own needs.

When her business expanding, Marie Claire Kabega plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Veterinary medicine. She believes that when she gets her bachelor’s degree, the sky is the only limit.

UN boss calls for institutional capacity

UN boss calls for institutional capacity

The Government of Rwanda and the United Nations held a national dialogue to share experiences, opportunities and engagement of stakeholders in ownership of post -2015 processes.

The dialogues held on September 24, 2014 under the theme: “strengthening capacities and building effective institutions,” was aimed at engaging various stakeholders in the debate on post 2015 and sustainable development.

It also focused on implementation and localization of both internationally agreed as well as national development plans, beyond 2015, in order for Rwanda to achieve its development aspirations.

United Nations Residence coordinator Lamin Manneh said that it’s evident that effective institutional capacities are fundamental to the successful implementation and contextualization of the post 2015 agenda.

“The consultation on institutional capacity strengthening will therefore provide valuable inputs to Rwanda’s national policy, strategy and planning frameworks.

It permits sharing of best practices with the entire world, building on the much hailed strong and accountable institutions in Rwanda as recognized by global reports like this year’s Global Competitiveness Report,” Lamin Manneh said.

Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana Minister of State for Economic Planning said that identifying the institutional needs will enable the country to build capacities needed to deliver sustainable development for Rwanda

Rwanda is currently among a few countries that are still on course to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and among countries piloting thematic areas of Post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals.

Rwanda identified capacity strengthening and building effective institutions as well as good governance and rule of law as a key priorities for achieving sustainable development.


Musanze: Governor Bosenibamwetips private sector on business diversification

The governor of Northern Province, Aime Bosenibamwe urged the private sector in the province to fix the business climate and diversify their businesses.

He made the call this week during the official opening of Mini 5th trade fair in Northern Province. The 5th trade fair was attended by agriculture cooperatives, craft cooperatives, various companies and factories.

Musanze: Governor Bosenibamwetips private sector on business diversification

Bosenibamwe touring different exhibition stands advising entrepreneurs on improving business

After touring different stands, the governor commended the private sector for the step taken in expanding businesses.

“A lot has been achieved in last one year, new cooperatives and factories have been born like this one that processes Irish potatoes into durable food,” he said.

Aime Bosenibamwe commended potato growers to have mastered the art of multiplying quality seedlings and distribute to other farmers and many other activities.

“Exhibition is the time to show case and advertise your products so that people become aware of products in Northern Province. This province has a specialty especially in tourism and the only way to show it is through trade fairs,” Gerard Nkusi Mkubu, Chief executive officer of Private sector federationexplained

“I am hopeful to get many clients because many people are now aware of the product and buying it a lot,” Donathile Uwingabire, pepper seller said

Private sector federation in Northern Province said that out of 152 exhibitors that attended the mini trade fair, 13 come from Uganda, Kenya, Pakistan and India.

Improved management pushing Sacco’s profitability

Improved management pushing Sacco’s profitability

The savings and Credit cooperatives-(Saccos) for  fast tracking financial access and inclusion to the grassroots levels are on a positive improvement in the management   issues, leading to growth in their profit portfolio according to experts.

Damien Mugabo says that  an  enhancement in the management  systems has shown an  improvement  in their  operations mainly in  increasing  their profit level, a benchmark  that   paves  way for the  success of the  grassroots  credit channels.

“After   realizing the challenges that Saccos were facing, we tried to   address them through capacity building and we are happy that there is an improvement registered,” he said

Due to their nature and operating environment, most Saccos were   crippled with expertise in loan assessment criteria, management, skilled staff as well innovations in technology   such as ICT to fast rack operations.

Moreover, lack of enough credit to lend out to borrowers was also another   challenge which was facilitated by   low savings culture due to sensitization   of people to save with these credit cooperatives.

“of course they have a limit  in lending according  to  regulations  but also they(Saccos) could not  satisfy their clientele that fall  in their   lending limit and this is challenge because profits are derived from  lending,” Jessica Massi, expert in  Microfinance and savings  said

But Mugabo  notes that  with the recent efforts such as  equipping  Saccos with  computers, extending credit  to Saccos in form of guarantee funds  to help  solve the challenges of lack of collaterals by borrowers   with potential businesses to streamline  has seen  an increase in the financial   sector as well as the financial  sector in general.

For example, by the end of June, the finacnal secotr’s loans to the private sector increased by 7.2 percent from FRW 843.9 billion end December 2013 to FRW 904.5 billion while the entire sector registered a recorded a total profit of FRW 17.4 billion for the first six months of 2014 compared to FRW 14.0 billion in the same period 2013.

But experts say there is still a challenge of increasing the capacity  of  the entire  microfinance sector mainly in   increasing  sensitization and also crafting  products that are  suitable  to  the  clientele they are  serving.

“There is this challenge in the microfinance sector where they tend to copy from the banking sector. Products in the microfinance sector   tend to different from those in the banking sector,” said Fred Gatungye, am educationist said.

But there is optimism that with the growing competition within the sector and a push for performance by the regulators, the microfinance Sector, mainly Credit cooperatives will push for reforms thus delivers improved services.

Nyamasheke: Rwesero modern market complete

Traders pooled resources and constructed a modern market in Rwesero cell, this market once opened will be the best Nyamasheke places to shop from. The modern market is a joint venture Rwf300 million modern shopping market.

Innocent Rugamba, one of the traders in Rwesero cell, Kagano sector in Nyamasheke district says that after realizing the trading center was out of order and it would take long for the district to get money and build a modern market, traders in the area pooled money and contributed towards having a market of their own.

Rugamba says that the logic behind their success is simple, pooling financial resources together minimizes investment risks, and they also believe that one of the sure ways of raising higher equity capital, among other benefits.

“We joined hands and contributed towards the project and later we got the money, with the support of the district officials, Rwesero traders in Kagano sector started constructing the new market in January 2014”he said

Market is a representation of modern commerce in the area. “Long ago, we used to have only dirty shops in the lower parts of the city, pointing his finger to the shops in the nearby “like here”. But now because people are getting modern, we have to go into market so it makes the trading Centre look organised”he said.

“As traders we started a programme of encouraging local business people to form a group so they can pool financial resources to invest in sizeable ventures” Innocent Rugamba explained

This development comes after local traders visited Rubavu and Huye districts and learnt how they work together.

“The study tour prompted us to borrow their ideas and then we decided to build our own market and develop” explains Rugamba.

This move of constructing the market by traders will reduce trading in chaos and will bring our customers in one place. It will bring in taxes and develop traders in the long run.

“Traders have decided to work together, achieve personal development while developing the district   as the catalyst to economic development in the area,” explained Venuste Majyambere, the coordinator of Private Sector Federation in Nyamasheke district.

In a bid to support the local investors the district provided the plot and laid the foundation, the traders formed four groups of ten people each and each trader provided Rwf3m for the venture.

According to Charles Bahizi, the Vice mayor of Finance and Economic development having people who think and act without waiting for the government support is the only way Rwandans will develop their country.

It is expected this market will start operating by the end of September 2014. The venture is worth Rwf300m with the district investing about Rwf180m.



Public-Private partnerships the way to go –Kanimba

Public-Private partnerships the way to go –Kanimba

 Rwanda is considering public, private partnership ventures as a way of increasing investments in key sectors thus increasing exports in order to attract more investments in the long run reducing the trade deficit faced by the country. 

Minister Francois Kanimba said today at the World Export Forum taking place in Kigali

The trade and industry minister noted that that they have identified sectors such as mining, horticulture and manufacturing as the backbone of the government strategy to increase the exports.

Recently, the Central Bank of Rwanda released statistics showing that the country’s exports to the East African partners had increased by 38.6% – rising to $97.8million (Rwf 66.7billion) worth of goods in the first half of 2014, up from $70.7million (Rwf 48.2billion) a year earlier.

However, despite the positive export results, the biannual monetary policy and financial stability statement statistics showed that the trade deficit had widened by 3.7% as the imports rose from $239 million to $247.8 million in the same period last year.

He said that small investors were facing challenges of lack of enough capital caused by failure by financial institutions to provide loans, which Kanimba said was a challenge to the economic growth of the country.

“We are thinking about creating a possible way of working as public private partnership with private sectors. Our aim is to increase exports and reduce on the existing trade imbalance,” Kanimba said.

“There is still lack of support in the mining sector and I think banks need to understand the situation and provide support to small miners,” he added.

Kanimba further said that the country’s value of exports has been increasing by 15-20% per annum in the last six years though more is needed to double the exports.

Despite the good government policies, there are still some financial constraints to put up the industrial parks.

Economic experts argue that Rwandans need to move away from the ancient mindset and instead focus on aggressive business-oriented ideas to save the country from the escalating trade deficit that hinders economic growth.

Prof. Manasseh Nshuti, a renowned economist in Rwanda, said for the country to narrow on the trade imbalance there is need for the people to change their thinking and utilize the integration benefits by investing in cross border trade.

“We still have a long way to go,” he said. “Rwandans need to wake up and compete with other regional counterparts so we should do away with old mentality of thinking that business will be done by foreigners.”

He said there was a need to inculcate a culture of entrepreneurship because most university students in Rwanda are targeting a government job or getting a formal job unlike other countries where a student finishes school with plans to start up his or her own business.

A trade deficit has a negative impact since it represents an outflow of domestic currency to foreign markets, he added.

He said a government policy of setting up small industries, investing much in horticulture, and focusing on tourism sector could help in bridging the trade deficit gap.

“Banks have to be flexible and inject money in upcoming entrepreneurs as well as small cooperatives to sustain the economic growth and produce more products for exports,” he said.




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