President Kagame addresses business leaders at Kigali Convention Centre last evening. (Village Urugwiro)
President Paul Kagame has told local businesses that the success of Rwandan products on both local and international markets will greatly depend on the quality of production.
Kagame was yesterday evening addressing about 2000 members of the local business community during the ‘Meet the President’ dialogue at the Kigali Convention Centre.
The meeting was held under the theme; “Fostering Strategic Investments in Rwanda”.
During his address, Kagame emphasised the importance of mindset and trust in transforming a society.
“Achieving success begins with our mindset, believing in ourselves and having the determination to achieve in the face of all odds,” Kagame said.
If we had felt sorry for ourselves and believed we are too small to achieve, we would not be where we are today, we wouldn’t be seated in this convention centre. ” Kagame added.
Pointing to the journey of transformation of Rwanda, Kagame attributed the progress to date to the willingness of Rwandans to trust each other and their leadership.
“The trust among citizens and the trust citizens chose to have in their leaders have been the key to transforming this country.”
The President also urged businesspersons to always aim at producing good quality products if they are to favourably compete both locally and internationally.
He added that the prices for the ‘Made in Rwanda’ products should be “competitive enough” to withstand the competition presented by imports.
“When it comes to competition, it is not about who you are, it is about the quality of your product,” added the Head of State.
According to Benjamin Gasamagera, the chairperson of the Private Sector Federation (PSF), the local industry committed to reduce imports, especially agriculture products.
He also said that the PSF seeks to increase exports by 28 per cent annually through 2018, to invest in new energy projects, create more jobs and actively engage in corporate social responsibility.
The federation also plans to construct Rwanda Trade and Exhibition Park, he said.
PSF presented to Kagame a cheque worth Rwf1.1 billion aimed at buying 4000 cows for vulnerable families under the One Cow per Poor Family scheme, best known as ‘Girinka’, one of the several flagship programmes initiated by the President in the country’s efforts to eradicate poverty.
Inauguration of CHIC, Kigali Heights
Meanwhile, earlier on Monday, President Kagame inaugurated Champion Investment Corporation Complex (CHIC), a new Rwf20bn commercial complex in downtown Kigali put up by a group of 56 investors; and Kigali Heights, a new $40 million landmark structure that will be used for both office and retail purposes.
Kagame hailed investors behind both projects for investing their resources, and thereby contributing to the continued efforts to transform the country.
With 1,500 rooms, CHIC complex is meant to provide business rentals, supermarkets, office space and entertainment spots, among others. The complex is expected to host traders from Quartier Matheus structures in the Central Business District.
“There is no aid that will build this kind of commercial complex for us,” Kagame said when thanking investors for investing their own resources in this project.
He added that government’s responsibility is to ensure everyone can do business fairly and have a chance to thrive.
“When you succeed, we succeed. That is why business is government’s business. Government will continue to be involved in business to ensure businesses thrive and people invest, feel that their investments are secure,” Kagame said.
Mohammed Mpazimpaka, an international transporter, lauded the President’s leadership, crediting it with inspiring trust and belief in the local business community and Rwandans in general.
He said it’s the public trust that President Kagame enjoys that has been the foundation of “good initiatives and successful businesses” in the country.