New PSF leader outlines priorities for next 3 years

Bafakulera was elected the new PSF chairman. / Richard Ruhimbana.

The new Private Sector Federation (PSF) national leadership has pledged to work on addressing the numerous challenges affecting the business community in the country.

Robert Bafakulera, the new PSF chairman, said they will promote programmes that will help build capacity of members as well as enable them to reduce cost of production. Bafakulera added that the committee will work to ease access to market information and facilitation of market linkages.

Bafakulera, who was elected yesterday by 137 PSF members out of 155, replaced Benjamin Gasamagera, whose term of office ended on February 7.

PSF district chairmen, executive committees from the provinces and the City of Kigali, as well as chairpersons of associations, executive members of the different chambers and the Golden Circle members participated in the election of the national executive committee. Gishoma Eric was elected the new first vice-chairman, while Eugenie Mushimiyimana, the chairperson of the Chamber of Women Entrepreneurs, scooped second vice-chair seat.

The new leader’s sole opponent, Jean Françoise Mubirigi, garnered only 18 votes during the polls held in Kigali yesterday. The polls ended the two-week exercise to elect new office bearers for the local private sector umbrella body. Elections for PSF cell leaders were on February 6 countrywide, while provincial polls were held on February 21.

“We shall work with government to help in the realisation of the country’s development programmes, including EDPRS and Vision 2020. Remember, the private sector is the engine of economic transformation and we shall work to ensure we live to this,” Bafakulera said after he was declared winner yesterday.

More about new PSF chief

Bafakulera owns Highland apartments in Nyarutarama and is also one of the Nyarugenge city market shareholders and has a stake in Ubumwe house and hotel.

Speaking at the event, the PSF outgoing chairman Gasamagera said his regime lobbied government and regional countries to scrap import duty on many products some used by manufacturers in production process as well as some equipment and commercial vehicles. Value added tax (VAT) on services was also removed, while taxes on some exports were waived. He said PSF budget went up by more than 67 per cent over the past five years.

Gasamagera urged the new leaders to focus on strengthening the Made-in-Rwanda initiative to increase consumption of locally-produced goods.

He also called on them to continue promoting quality among manufacturers and SMEs to make the country’s products more competitive on the local, regional, and global markets. The new leaders will serve a three-year term in office.