By Abdul Rahman Suagibu –
NEW AFRICA DAILY NEWS, Freetown, Sierra Leone- RWANDA, Fortnight exhibition of locally made products and services, have got another chances to promote local firms by offering them a platform to interact with local buyers and potential buyers and other partners across the country, according to Theoneste Ntagengerwa; the Spokesperson of Private Federation (PSF), the main organizers.
Closest to 500 exhibitors from diverse sectors including construction, agriculture, and electronics; will demonstrate their products and services at the exhibition that will be held at the Gikondo Expo Grounds starting from November 21 to December 4.
Potential buyers can choose from a wide range of Rwandan products being showcased such as furniture, sanitary ware, foodstuffs, home and office décor, carpets, kitchenware and clothing among others, according to the organizers private sector federation.
Ntagengerwa noted, there is more variety compared to the expo held in 2018.
“Last year we had mostly handicrafts but the range is going to be much bigger than that…we have phones, cars and several electrical appliances to be showcased;” Ntangengerwa.
The expo does not necessarily settle at introducing locally made brands to the market; it is also a networking platform where entrepreneurs can meet potential partners to be able to expand their operations, according to an official from the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
“Some of the local producers are not known on the market largely because of poor marketing and branding. So, this Expo will create a platform for them to widen and deepen market reach and hence grow their enterprises,” said Telephone Mugwiza-Director General of Industry and Entrepreneurship Department in the Ministry of Trade.
According to Ntagengerwa, there are more than 500 exhibitors demonstrating their products, including the recently-launched Mara Phones, the first smartphone to be made in any Africa country which is now being made in Rwanda.
“By last week, we had registered 467 exhibitors starting from 267 we received at the first expo. We expect a great and impressive turn up because the exhibitors and visitors will get a lot of lessons from her,” he said, adding that there are many innovations being showcased.
“We are glad that now, more businesses understand the role of showcasing homemade products. We have also asked them to make their prices affordable to the show-goers. The expo should not be about maximizing sales but introducing exhibitors to the market,” he said.
PSF has subsidized stands to the exhibitors different from the annual International Expo where each stands costs Rwf 600,000. For the Made in Rwanda Expo, exhibitors will only have to pay a registration fee.
The expo will be capped by a National Business Forum that will bring together investors, government officials and business experts on December 3.
For New Africa Daily News Abdul Rahman Suagibu Reports, Africa Correspondent