Rwandan SMEs Innovate for Global Growth Under AfCFTA Initiative

The East African Business Council [EABC], in collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit [GIZ], organized a National Capacity Building Workshop in Kigali, Rwanda, on November 30th, 2023.

This initiative aimed to boost Rwanda’s involvement in the African Continental Free Trade Area [AfCFTA] by strengthening the export capabilities of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises [SMEs] and youth, particularly in overcoming challenges related to standards and Sanitary and Phytosanitary [SPS] measures.

Attended by 50 SMEs from various sectors, the workshop focused on businesses exporting fruits, vegetables, coffee, and chili products, which often face difficulties in meeting international standards and SPS requirements. The event provided a forum for learning and collaboration, where participants could engage with experts, exchange knowledge, and develop strategies to enhance their export readiness.

The workshop was inaugurated by Mr. Antoine Kajanwe, representing the Rwandan Minister of Trade and Industry. Notable speakers included Mr. Gatera Emmanuel from the Rwanda Standards Board, Mr. Reuben Gisore of the African Organisation for Standardisation [ARSO], and Mr. Moses Kanyesigye from EABC.

The expertise of trainers like Mama Keita of UNECA, Mr. Nathan Gasheija, and ARSO’s Reuben Gisore and Lilian Kamanzi was instrumental in equipping participants with essential skills for international trade.

This collaboration between EABC and GIZ reflects their commitment to fostering economic growth and sustainability. It also aligns with the broader goal of leveraging AfCFTA to transform Rwanda into a key player in global trade and commerce.

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