TechInAfrica – TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) supports women entrepreneurship in Rwanda through its Private Sector Federation (PSF), providing a $2.26 million of funding. Apart from entrepreneurship in the country, the funding is also aimed at trade and investment program in the country. The support is part of its first phase of a grant agreement with two-years of duration.
In Rwanda, PSF is home to all businesses in the country. According to PSF, the Trade and Investment program will support the private sector to contribute to resolving local and regional issues, particularly for issues that affect Rwanda.
Stephen Ruzibiza, CEO of PSF explained, “We have identified priority issues like regional transport logistics which, if resolved can reduce transport costs and time in Rwanda.”
Ruzibiza went on, “We may have the disadvantage of having no port, therefore, our aim is to make the country land linked; and we will continue to work with the government of Rwanda to reform customs and adopt Information Communication Technology for Trade with the aim of further reducing time and costs; with a unified voice we expect to push for a reduction of tariffs, taxes, and levies that keep investors away.”
In terms of women entrepreneurship in the country, Rwanda Chamber of Women Entrepreneurs will enable women-own SMEs to have access to trade and market information, as well as training on selected value chains and formation of cooperatives and other groupings.
Patience Mutesi-Gater, TMEA’s Country Director commented: “Thanks to our donors and especially DFID and USAID, we are excited to be able to support these two programs that have the potential to deliver great economic gains to Rwanda.”
“The PPD for trade and investment program gives a voice to the Private sector, which is the engine of our economy and goes hand in hand with our interest in catalyzing a 10% annual increase in exports, 15,000 direct and indirect jobs through increased investment incentives. The targeted support to women entrepreneurs, on the other hand, will expand the opportunity to an extremely hard-working group of entrepreneurs that have historically faced societal and cultural hurdles to trade on an equal footing,” Mutesi-Getera concluded.