Rwanda: Covid-19 - Shortage of Raw Materials Puts Manufacturing in Jeopardy

(file photo).

As the country struggles to get back to business as usual, 78 per cent of all the industrialists continue to deal with a lack of raw materials as a result of the global restrictions posed by Covid-19, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Soraya Hakuziyaremye, has said.

She said this on Monday while responding to questions posed by journalists at a press conference organised to update Rwandans on Covid-19.

Hakuziyaremye said that while the country has felt the economic impact of Covid-19 in the tourism, transport, export and import sectors, industries have struggled to keep afloat as the world shut down, halting purchase of raw materials.

"In an analysis we did, 78 of the industrialists said that they had challenges getting raw materials, had been hit hard by the lack of clients and obviously their profits crashed," she said.

Hakuziyaremye said that agribusiness declined by 3 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 while exports dropped by 16 percent mostly due to the closure of borders and lockdown in both Rwanda and her business partners.

Measures in place

She reminded that although the lockdown has since been lifted, not every sector has been able to pick up yet.

However, she said that resources are being put into reviving businesses with immediate neighbours, while at the same time protecting citizens of the countries involved from contracting the virus.

The cross border trade was never stopped. What we really ensured of avoiding movement of people. We grouped the traders so that they can have consolidated consignments especially on the DRC side where most of the trade was happening," she said.

To further cement that, Hakuziyaremye said that she had held a bilateral meeting with her counterpart in the DRC to ensure that the movement of consignments continues as planned.

"We have put measures in place to protect the citizens of both our countries. One of the examples is that any trader that is allowed to cross on behalf of others must be automatically isolated upon return," she said.

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