Gisagara: VUP beneficiaries commend cooperative over social development


Gisagara: VUP beneficiaries commend cooperative over social development

Commercial house built by Amizero Kansi cooperative for direct support beneficiaries in Kansi sector of Gisagara district

Beneficiaries of Direct support, à component of Vision Umurenge Programme (VUP) in Kansi sector in Gisagara district commended the co-operative over social and economic development.

This comes after 257 beneficiaries formed “Amizero Kansi” cooperative and used the contributions to set up a commercial house worth Rwf22 million in Kansi sector in Gisagara district.

Cooperatives are a potential vehicle through which the Cooperatives members could create employment and expand access to income-generating activities, develop their business potential, including entrepreneurial and managerial capacities through education and training among others.

Every member contributed Rwf7500 every month and the house was built without a bank loan.

The cooperatives’ commercial house is rented at Rwf205.000 every month

The president of the cooperative, Jeanne Francoise Nyirangezahayo, 64 and physically disabled revealed that the decision was taken after seeking advice from other people, saying its a way of achieving self-reliance incase support stops.

“We thought advice from others because we thought spending all the money without saving is not wise. We decided to construct a commercial house that generates income every month ” said Nyirangezahayo.

Jérôme Rutaburingoga, executive secretary of Kansi sector confirmed that money collected from renting the commercial building supports the cooperative members to meet their needs even without direct support.

” At first, it was the sector to take care in case one of the beneficiaries fell sick but now they are capable of paying for medical bills and develop socially ” said Rutaburingoga.

Cooperative members plan to expand and venture in other businesses like selling crops.

Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP) is an Integrated Local Development Program to Accelerate Poverty Eradication, Rural Growth, and Social Protection.

Government calls for more cooperatives


With the government’s plan of encouraging access to financial services, more so in the rural communities, Co-operatives have proved the perfect linkage to these previously desperately sought after services.

Since the turn of the millennium more than 5,000 co-operatives have been formed across the country as the government seeks to ensure all Rwandans are able to acquire financial services thus achieving its vision 2020 target.

In fact the success of these savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOS) can be underlined in the fact that some of these associations have now been formally classified as banks, a fact that states their vibrant growth.

Umurenge SACCOs is a Government initiative aimed at increasing the accessibility of financial services to Rwandan citizens. The concept of Umurenge Savings and Credit Cooperatives was based on an understanding that banks and other financial institutions were more concentrated in urban areas whilst the majority of the Rwandan populations live in rural areas.

Banks and other financial institutions were also not able to provide financial services that were ideal to serve the poor. Establishing a SACCO in every Umurenge was aimed at bridging this gap.

The objective was to encourage local citizens to use financial institutions to enable them to save and access loans and ultimately providing them with the opportunity to build financial security that would better enable them to manage financial shocks and to invest in business opportunities. This would, in turn, allow them to move out of chronic poverty and improve their livelihoods.

Francois Kanimba, the Minister of Trade and Industry said that majority of the people are now using financial   institutions following the introduction of Umurenge SACCO.

“Cooperatives are considered as one of the best tools to speed up achievements in various national programs towards our Vision 2020,” the Minister said, adding that; ““Since 2005, our Government is committed to deeply restructure the Sector of cooperative development.” The minister noted while speaking to this reporter.

In a bid to ensure that these cooperatives work at a set government standard; the national Bank of Rwanda (BNR) is responsible for regulating them and providing licenses to these SACCOS.

“You do not want a situation where people are cheated by a cooperative,” John Rwangobwa the governor of BNR noted while giving reason to why the bank regulates them.

Such has been the great impact of these cooperatives that more than 3.2 million (72 percent) adults have registered with these associations.

Some of these cooperatives such as Inkudamahoro cooperative and Adarwa cooperative have expanded into large scale multi complex business owners.

But all is not rosy for the cooperatives as Nyamirambo’s women center co-operative, a cooperative made of women dealing in handcrafts can testify, “it has not been easy getting financial support for our kind of business,” Rose Uweera a member of the cooperative testifies.

But despite such hiccups the number of people being uplifted almost two million people out of poverty since their inception and one would deem the project a success for now.

Youths receive startup kits to boost access to capital


The government moves to provide startup kits to youths in a bid to   increase access to capital, enabling youths to create own businesses; an initiative that will close the   lack of funds to kick start youth led businesses.

Although the country’s SMEs population constitutes around 80 percent of the private sector businesses, few are owned and started by youths.

Ibambasi Jean Claude, the In charge of good governancecivic information education and culture inMinistryof youth and ICT says that youths that  are trained in   business skills  will be facilitated to  access start  up  kits.

“We started with the cooperative of 12 youths that were trained in tailoring,” Ibambasi said

The youths are being trained   by Digital Opportunity-DOT Rwanda in collaboration with Youth, employment and productive center, a youth one stop center by Ministry of youth and ICT.

“We are equipping these youth with   business skills that will put into reality their ideas or   scale up the existing businesses,” said Emmanuel Nzeyimana, country program Manager for DOT Rwanda.

Accordingly, the cooperative   received a startup kit in form of rent for two years which is nonrefundable to help them set up business; a solution experts believe will solve the challenge of lack of capital among the youth.

Ibambasi says that another group of 40 youths that are soon completing their training will receive   sewing machines, to help them

Lack of access to capital by youths, according to Ibambasi has been a major challenge hindering the government’s efforts to increase   startups by youths as well as job creation.

To  close the  unemployment  gap, the government under its  long term development strategy  aims at  creating  over  200,000 off farm  jobs every  year  by 2020 with  one of the  approaches being  giving youth employable skills to the youth to start  their own businesses.

Youth lack knowledge on market trends

Youth lack knowledge on market trends 

Experts say that low participation   by youth in starting up development projects that would boost   income generation is due to lack of knowledge on what services and products are demanded on the market.

This, according to Emmanuel Nzeyimana, country   program Manager; DOT Rwanda results into youth failing to bring up convincing and profitable businesses that financial institutions can finance for their growth.

“The challenge is not  of  financial  institutions  which do not  provide loans to the  youth, the youth  themselves don’t  know what is on the market so that they  can  design  profitable businesses,”  he said

This comes at the time when youth that are trained in entrepreneurship complain   of lack of credit to put into action their dream business while others who have already established business close due to losses.

“So what we do at DOT Rwanda is to train thee youth intermsof startup and   financial  literacyand provide skills  to run businesses to  minimize  the risks that financial institutions always  complain about,”  Nzeyimana  noted

Digital Opportunity-DOT Rwanda  is a leading  international social   enterprise  headquartered in Canada with  current  operations  in  Seven  countries around the  World including  Rwanda.

Nzeyimana  says  that  startup  knowledge  based trainings as well  as financial literacywould  help  change  revert the current situation, something  that will translate into increased  employment for the  youth.

The government underits long term development strategy plansto create over 200,000   off farm jobs every year till 2020   especially for the youth to offsetthe unemployment gap.

Through its programStartup, DOT Rwanda equips youth with ability   to develop an effective business mode that will reduce the risk of having their own startups fail.

Recently, under the  Startup program, DOT Rwanda  awarded  certificates  to  116 youth  who successfully  completed  the program and are able to  start and manage  their own  businesses.

“Individuals who attended this 10 week comprehensive course are those who wanted to expand their businesses or recover as they were at-risk or failed business,” Nzeyimana noted

He adds, “All these have been equipped with business skills helping them to put into reality their business ideas or scale up the existing businesses.”

Participants  say  that   they  have acquired  solid   idea  on   how they can  run their businesses and also access credit from financial institutions  to  expand their  businesses.

“Now I have knowledge on what can sell on the market but also know how to present my business proposal to banks to provide me with   loan to expand my business,” Godance-Dukundimana, who trained in tailing, said

Startup is DOT entrepreneurship program that helps participants develop an effective business model that will reduce the risk of having their startup businesses fail.DOT is expecting to train over 7,500 disadvantaged   Rwandan youth into employment, self-employment or further education.

BDF targets more jobs for youths

BDF targets more jobs for youths

At least 23,700 off-farm jobs will be created for youths in Rwanda this year as part of the National Employment Programme (Nep) says the Business Development Fund (BDF).

Innocent Bulindi, the Chief executive of BDF says that at least Rwf5.6 billion as capitalisation grant to provide credit guarantees for over 1,000 projects this year.

The move comes at a time when Rwanda has set its focus on giving hands-on skills for small enterprises to entice banks to release funding for bankable projects that will see the country increase its production in locally made products.

In partnership with India, Rwanda has launched the first business incubation center in the country, a new programme to enable nurturing of business projects to enable young entrepreneurs to make sense of their businesses by helping young business owners to come up with better business plans and solicit funding from banks.

Through the Workforce Development Authority (WDA) Rwanda has developed a new model of business incubation centers where small business owners will be oriented in business planning, loan acquisition and implementation of the business from day one.

Rwanda targets about 200.000 off farm jobs annually in its national employment programmme. So far 365 Technical training schools (TVET) have been established in the country in the last four years.

The bid to create more jobs has seen some government programmes intended for job creation among youth, like Hanga Umurimo performing slowly due to some of the submitted projects being unbankable and some applicants defaulting bank loans.

EAC members should focus on more intra trade – Experts

EAC members should focus on more intra trade - Experts

More than 89 per cent of the East African Community trade takes place between EAC partner states and other countries outside the region.

The executive director of the East African Business Council (EABC), Andrew Luzze, made the remarks after the recent East Africa community summit held in Kigali last week.

Speaking during the same event, the executive secretary of the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), Prof Mayunga Nkunya, said that the move to bring the academia and the private sector together through a public forum was for the common good of both sectors.

“For a long time, both parties were moving in a parallel direction without realizing that they should move together,” said Nkunya. The academia contributes immensely to industrialisation while the private sector creates wealth that contributes to development, he said.

It was a beehive of activities at KICC as various participating academic institutions and private sector firms prepared their stands to showcase their products. Registration for the various participants was also on-going. More than 200 participants have confirmed attendance.

But even as the private sector complains about the lack of proper skills and poor attitude of university graduates, the students are optimistic that a solution to unemployment will be found. Law students from Rwanda who noted that the major challenge they face is unemployment. They have attended the event, they said, hoping to contribute to the search for a lasting solution to the problem of unemployment in the East African Community member states.

As preparations for the forum got underway, it was clear that a number of key issues will likely dominate the event. Efforts to improve skills, organisers feel, will help equip entrepreneurs with the right expertise needed to boost trade within the region. The move will also ensure innovations that will boost the local economies are adopted.

According to Mr. Luzze, there is a need to liberalise work permits to ensure young workers can freely move within the region. This, he says, will boost exchange of technologies and inventions. High work permit fees imposed by some member states and lengthy delays, taking even up to one year in some countries, are currently inhibiting free movement of labour in the region.

The ultimate goal of their efforts, the organisers of the forum say, is to improve the welfare of the citizens of the EAC partner states. This cannot be achieved by a single entity, hence the efforts to bring the academia and the private sector together.

“The academia and the private sector need to join hands to improve skills that are lacking in the graduates. That cannot be the role of any single entity,” said Nkunya.

Improved skills will automatically translate into higher productivity and lead to more employment opportunities for the EAC citizens, the organisers say.

Improving the value chain will also boost the EAC economies and lead to creation of employment; this can only be done through extensive research and adoption of new innovations. This has created an urgency to bridge the academia and the private sector through engagement with the public sector

Kirehe: An inspiring story of Ndyanabanzi who overcame his severe disabilities

When Jean Batiste Ndyanabazi faced with life-changing difficulties he got determined not to let disability dictate his life.

In an interview with this website, Ndyanabazi said that there was a moment in his life when it became hard for him to earn a living so he woke up one day and decided to have create a job for himself.


“Whenever I thought about my future, I became hopeless because I did not see where to start from. I had no close relatives to help and had no savings,” he said

In 2013, he ventured into the world of business—repairing shoes—after being inspired by friends who were already in that line of business.

“Now I do repair shoes at Nyakarambi market, this job has changed my life since it supports in meeting my family basic needs” he said.


His capital was Rwf30, 000 that he had saved. This money, he said, enabled him buy materials he needed to do the job.

As a self-employed person, Ndyanabanzi said he can now get money without having to depend on someone.

“I purchased livestock and built a residential house. Besides, I cannot fail to get money to take care of my needs,” he said.

For this reason, he feels empowered to live a life free of stress and manipulation because he is no longer count himself vulnerable.

“That is my routine activity and I am proud of it,” he said with a smile. A bad job leads to a good job. There is no need to despise jobs, one has to work aiming for success.”

“He lives by inspiring others not to sit idle,’’ his friend Munanura said. “He can’t change who he is, but he’s not going to stop living because of that, I really like his charisma.”

Burera: traders in need for training on taxation

Traders from Burera district are demanding from Rwanda Revenue authority (RRA) to offer them an extensive training on issues concerning taxation.

Traders in Burera district revealed this during the Rwanda Public Private Dialogue held on the 24th, at district conference hall.

 “It is key for us (traders) to be trained about taxation, we want the tax body categorize tax payers, the truth is as traders we don’t know a thing how it’s done, so for us to play our part but we have many unanswered questions and we believe such training could be a great help for us” Protais Ntamunsi, a shop owner lamented.


Many traders echo the same worry that Burera traders are still ignorant on issues concerning taxation.

Everest Nizeyimana, the chairperson of private sector in Burera district says it is required for traders given awareness seminars since new people join business on daily basis.

Musanze: WDA helping entrepreneurs achieve dreams

WDA helping entrepreneurs achieve dreams

Jean Damascene Habimana, 55 and founder of 2020 Vision Vocational Training Centre in Nyange sector, Musanze District commended Workforce Development Authority WDA for helping him achieve his dream.

This comes after Habimana, a tailor of 37 years’ experience planned to set up a vocational training centre to share his knowledge with youth and help them achieve sustainable development.

Talking to this website, Habimana revealed that there were no technical schools in the area yet many youth were willing to join such schools to acquire different skills.

However, like any other project, the beginning was not easy with no equipment and few students until Workforce Development Authority (WDA)supported me with materials worth Rwf14,he said.

WDA donated modern sewing machines, a computer and other materials in addition to contributing half of the trainers’ salaries.

Ever since the school was set up in 2009, up to 609 students have completed short courses in tailoring.

Some of the students revealed that they have started making small money while at school,saying it will be easy to achieve social economic development once they finish the course.

Millichance Bamporiki, a student highlighted that he decided to join tailoring because he could not manage farming, saying in 3 months he has learnt a lot to earn him little money so far.

Leonard Hitimana, a married man confirmed that after training in tailoring he earns money to take care of his family’s needs.

“I have made 3 sweaters and I make Rwf1000 profit from each. This small money helps me provide for my family since I have no other job because iam a student,” he said.

There are eight vocational schools in Musanze district with more than 600 students.

Workforce Development Authority (WDA) is an institution that provides a strategic response to the skills development challenges facing Rwanda across all sectors of the economy.

Kagame tells Kenyan Industrialists to get-Up for Rwanda Business

President Paul Kagame has triggered a new way of thinking about business in East Africa.

Kagame, who was in Nairobi sharing a state sponsored breakfast with the Kenyan business community, delivered a thought provoking message, saying it was time to ‘think big and beyond ourselves as leaders.”

In a soft tone, Kagame said, “Don’t sit at home and expect God to deliver food at your doorstep.That is why the government provides resources to its citizens,” he said.

Kagame, who is known for his business-friendly personality, the business community should start making investments as far and wide as they can.

However, he advised the business community to make right choices, but act on them as well.

President Kagame (R) greets his Kenyan Counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta.

President Kagame (R) greets his Kenyan Counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta.

Kagame has been attending the 16th Summit of EAC Heads of State in Nairobi, where he was later invited by his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta, to commission a 140MW at Olkaria 1 Geothermal plant in Naivasha, North West of Nairobi.

Rwanda signed with Kenya to import 30MW, worth $36.4M annually, to be connected to Rwanda’s national grid.

This is one of the many regional deals partner states are engaged in under the East Africa Community (EAC) integration mindset.

During the round-table breakfast, Kagame said, “Integration in the region should not be limited to markets; it should cut across all areas.”

With the integration, partner states are widening their economy and accessing bigger markets.

Rwanda’s exports to EAC increased by 7.0% last year, from $124.94M to $131.56M despite the landlocked country struggling with an acute trade deficit having increased by 5.5 % ( $415M) in 2014 compared to $393M in 2013.

Kagame has pushed for regional integration to connect land-locked Rwanda to East Africa’s port of Mombasa in Kenya.

President Kagame(C) with S.Sudan President Salva Kiir and Uganda President Yoweli Museveni launching a railway line project last year

President Kagame(C) with S.Sudan President Salva Kiir and Uganda President Yoweli Museveni launching a railway line project last year

Last year, he joined other EAC heads of states to launch the $13.8billion rail project, the largest local infrastructure deal set to link the port of Mombasa and extend to neighbouring Rwanda, Uganda, and South Sudan.

Rwanda believes the railway line could open up business for Rwandans to the region, and reduce transport costs.

The railway line is expected to boost trade and economic integration in EAC and beyond.

Rwanda and Kenya are strong economic partners. Kenya is Rwanda’s main export destination, accounting for 53.9%, exporting mainly tea and coffee worth US$96.6M annually, according to Rwanda Institute of Statistics.

Meanwhile, Rwanda remains Kenya’s investment hot-spot due to conducive business policies and good leadership.

According to Rwanda Development Board (RDB), more than 50 Kenyan investors have invested about $500M in Rwanda, facilitating the government to mobilise close to a billion dollar from external sources over the last 15 years.

Kagame Tells Kenyan Business Community Not to Wait for ‘Manna’

Source: KTpress


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