Rwanda Focus (Kigali)

8 August 2014

Rwanda: 2017 Expo to Be Held At Kagarama

Francois Kanimba, Minister of Trade and Industry, last week at the official launch of this year's ongoing International Trade Fair at Gikondo Expo Ground, said that the 2017 Expo will be held at Kagarama sector in Kicukiro district, where a standard Expo Ground would be built to attract a greater number of exhibitors.

The news comes at a year when some national and foreign exhibitors were turned away from exhibiting their products due to limited space at the current Expo grounds in Gikondo.

There are visibility studies underway and construction plans set to be finished by 2017, on the 18-hectare plot of land.

"The Rwanda International Trade Fair has become popular; this led to the increased demand of spaces. Both national and international exhibitors couldn't exhibit their products, we had to limit the number due to inadequate space," said Benjamin Gasamagera, the Private Sector Federation chairman.

"Both national and international exhibitors couldn't exhibit their products, we had to limit the number due to inadequate space."

Building of new expo grounds was first suggested six years ago.

"Increased interest from private sector and international exhibitors have caused the expo to expand, and the country has harmonized ways of doing business. In order to facilitate wealth creation and boosting employability, the ministry of trade and industry, together with government partners, have elaborated a comprehensive private sector development strategy that puts business at the center of developing initiatives," Kanimba said.

Kanimba added that the country's Vision 2020 is to facilitate trade through building infrastructures of seamless trade and transport across EAC boarders. Specifically, the Northern Corridor integration project initiative has sped up the implementation of key integration initiatives including the single customs territory, electronic cargo tracking system, use of national identity cards as travel documents, and a single tourist visa. These reforms have opened trade opportunities, expanding investments and increasing competitiveness in the region.

This year's expo has attracted over 330 exhibitors from 15 countries, with 78 foreign companies. Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Egypt, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Iran, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Poland are all represented at the Expo.

Officials from PSF noted that an expo is an avenue for showcasing and launching new and improved technologies in the market.

The Expo, which started July 23, will end on August 6. It has attracted vendors from a range of sectors, like telecommunications and IT, agricultural equipment, machinery, construction and housing, textile, clothing and garments, cultural and tourism items, handcrafts products, furniture, food, and beverages.

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