20 June 2018

Rwanda: Eastern Province Entrepreneurs Pledge Rwf20 Billion in Infrastructure

Members of the Private Sector Federation (PSF) in Eastern Province have resolved to be agents of change and play their respective roles to ensure the province is developed and faster.

They made the commitment on Monday as 563 entrepreneurs from the province officially started a civic education programme - Itorero - in Nyagatare district, with at least 80 of them representing each district.

Provincial governor, Fred Mufulukye, said that they worked with the federation to collectively look at investment opportunities within the province and the Itorero will be a good opportunity to break these opportunities down and see how best they can be exploited.

He said that however much government can invest, without the role of the private sector, there is not much that can be achieved, urging the business leaders to take the exercise seriously because the decisions to be made there would impact the country's economy.

"Economic development of Eastern Province as well as that of the country is dependent on the private sector," he said calling for "aggressiveness" by the private sector members all across the province.

He said that Itorero should serve as a platform for the business leaders to openly talk about opportunities in the province and forge partnerships to be able to exploit them to bring positive change in the region.

"We want businesspersons of each district to set targets (Imihigo) to pledge what they are going to do from now, they will show us what they are committed to do in a given period of time," he added.

The Private Sector Federation national chairman, Robert Bapfakurera urged the members to develop the culture of working together, saying that they are better off and would have a bigger impact by working in synergies.

Bapfakurera also discouraged the notion that some business people in regions like Eastern Province work hard to increase their capital so they can relocate to Kigali to grow their business.

"The resources here and opportunities that come with sharing borders with Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi, would be more lucrative than in Kigali," he explained.

Jean Bosco Ndungutse, the chairman of the federation in the province said that they already made commitments, among them is massively roll out commercial complexes in all districts.

Their plan, he said, is to invest over Rwf20 billion by 2022, he said, and this Itorero will allow them to create the necessary partnerships that will allow them to realise such an ambitious target.

Ndungutse, as well as other officials, also said Made in Rwanda policy is on list of discussions for the entrepreneurs during the week-long Itorero.

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