Expo goers at Gikondo Expo grounds/ Sam Ngendahimana
Local producers and service providers have yet another opportunity to showcase their goods and services at the upcoming Made in Rwanda Brand Exhibition which is opening next week in Kigali.
The two-week exhibition of locally made products and services seeks 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 Sector Federation (PSF), the main organisers.
This is the fifth edition of the exhibition.
Close to 500 exhibitors from different sectors including construction, agriculture, and electronics, will showcase their products and services at the exhibition that will be held at the Gikondo Expo Grounds running from November 21 to December 4.
Show goers can choose from a wide range of Rwandan products being showcased, such as furniture, sanitary ware, foodstuffs, home and office decor, carpets, kitchenware and clothing among others, according to the organisers.
Ntagengerwa said that there is more variety compared to the expo held last year.
“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,” said Ntagengerwa .
The expo does not just aim 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 Telesphore Mugwiza, Director General of industry and entrepreneurship department in the ministry.
According to Ntagengerwa, s there are more than 500 exhibitors showcasing their products, including the recently-launched Mara Phones, the first smartphone to be made in any African 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 here,” 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 maximising sales but introducing exhibitors to the market,” he said.
PSF has subsidised stands to the exhibitors different from the annual International Expo where each stand costs Rwf600,000. 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.