For the fifth time, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has awarded the best performing businesses of the year.
With its theme: ‘In pursuit of Business Excellence’, RDB seeks to promote private sector and the spirit of innovativeness.
The flashy red-carpet event held on Friday evening at the Kigali Convention Center, RDB CEO Clare Akamanzi said that compared to how winners performed in the previous years, businesses are doing better today.
However, she said, they have to keep doing better to boost the economy which is still far from where the country wants it to be.
“Businesses are investing, creating jobs and bringing new things in Rwanda. However, we are still far from where we want our economy to reach. So, that means that even if they have been doing well for years, investors have to do much more in order to reach where we want to, as a country,” she said.
In the next RDB Business Excellence Awards, she said, RDB expects to see more companies applying because this year only 111 companies applied to be evaluated.
They also expect newer investors with new ideas, such as Volkswagen that plans to build its first car assembly in the country by May 2018.
Meanwhile, UZURI K&Y, one of the companies that were awarded started making locally made shoes in 2013 with only one employee but today they have 30 employees. They say their goal is to make Rwanda a country of fashion, do things that people benefit from while protecting the environment.
Their goal is to make Rwanda known in fashion and do what is profitable for Rwandans by creating more jobs.
Norce Elysee Gatarayiha the Managing Director of Norelga Macadamia a company that produces ‘TWIHANGIRE Macadamia Nuts’ said they started in 2005 working with cooperatives and macadamia individual farmers. Today, they have 15 permanent employees. In 2017, they exported 75 tons of nuts and sold 25 tons locally.
“It is our pride that the original products we export and use locally originate and are processed here in our country,” Gatarayiha said.
Meanwhile the top nominee companies fell into 8 following categories:
Investor of the year: Africa Improved Foods Ltd (WINNER), Societe Petroliere, BPR Atlas Mara, Rwanda Mountain Tea, Bralirwa Limited and MTN Rwandacell.
Exporter of the year: Adfinance Rwanda Ltd, C&H Garments, Viva Products, Norelga Macadamia Rwanda Limited and Rwanda Mountain Tea (WINNER).
Woman Entrepreneur of the year: University of Tourism, Technology & Business Studies, Murukali Limited, Uzuri K&Y Designs (WINNER), Mount Meru Group of Companies and Pharmalab Limited.
Young Entrepreneur of the year: Murukali Limited, Teczium Solutions Ltd, Pikko Stores, Uburanga Products, Kalisimbi Brewery, and Sanit Wing Ltd (Winner).
Innovator of the year: Cimerwa Ltd, Africa Improved Foods, Soft Packaging Ltd, Ignite Solar (WINNER) and Inema Company Ltd.
Made In Rwanda Enterprise of the year: Norelga Macadamia Rwanda Limited, Sulfo Rwanda Industries Ltd, Master Beauty Products Ltd, Sanit Wing Ltd and Uzuri K&Y Designs.
Manufacturer of the year: Africa Improved Foods Ltd, Bakhresa Grain Milling (WINNER), Eri Rwanda, New Forest Rwanda Limited, Utexrwa Limited and NPD Cotraco.
Service Provider of the year: BPR Atlas Mara, Cogebanque, MTN Rwandacell, Soras Vie and I&M Bank (WINNER).
The awards were accompanied by freebies such as free air-tickets to winners’s favourite destinations and hotel accommodation among others.
A gala dinner and a band was part of the event.