Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) have signed an agreement that aims to help build the capacity of Rwandan businesses to tap into international and regional markets.
The support, worth US$2.4 million, aims to link 40 local producers of non- traditional exports to new markets by 2023 by providing business advisory services for export-ready companies.
Furthermore, Rwandan university graduates will be placed in mentorship programmes to build their capacity in trade policy and export development.
This will ensure the long-term sustainability of the outcomes of the programme.
The support from TMEA is part of the USD $50 million Memorandum of Understanding signed between TMEA and the Government of Rwanda early this year.
The funding to RDB is being provided by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through TMEA.
Thrilled to sign a partner support agreement with @RDBrwanda today. The new programme will see @TradeMarkEastA contribute to GoR's plan to increase exports by 17% annually under the NST1 by supporting 40 firms to access markets outside #Rwanda in the first phase of implementation pic.twitter.com/beik7PrRz5
— Patience Mutesi Gatera 🇷🇼 (@Peshmutesi) November 7, 2018
Speaking during the signing ceremony, RDB Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer Emmanuel Hategeka said, “the partnership with TMEA couldn’t have come at a better time.
Hategeka added that supporting local exporters will increase employment opportunities for Rwandans while at the same time helping to reduce Rwanda’s trade deficit.
“It was also increase our capacity to attract investors into our special economic zones. I have no doubt that this partnership will be a success,” he said.
Explaining the new partnership, TMEA Country Director Ms. Patience Mutesi-Gatera said that growing Rwandan exports and getting Rwandan companies to compete at the international markets may seem complex.
“We believe it is possible with collaboration, and that is why we have renewed our partnership with RDB to especially support the Rwanda National Export Strategy,” she said.
Their research show that some of the constraints faced by potential Rwandan exporters include weak export networks, inadequate exporting skills and low productivity of labour.
This programme will resolve some of these challenges.
It will enable RDB build capacity of local industries in producing products that meet international standards, thereafter promoting exports and providing business development services including development of marketing strategies and provision of information and training to enhance knowledge of market requirements.
“Ultimately, our goal is to increase Rwanda’s export base as this will stimulate new jobs and improve incomes for the people of Rwanda,” she said.