The newly unveiled Made in Rwanda shop is a one stop outlet for high quality, locally made products. Set up at the BK Arena, the shop targets event goers boasting comfortable cushions in disposable income. Since its launch in 2019, the arena has hosted mega indoor sports tournaments and concerts, attracting numerous people from different countries the world over.
Made-in-Rwanda items appeal to tourists in need of souvenirs attached to the destination. Moreover, more and more Rwandans are embracing products made in their own country. This is an encouraging trend. The growth of tourism and new perceptions within the domestic market will undoubtedly boost the local manufacturing base and stimulate entrepreneurship.
In 2016, the Ministry of Trade and Industry conducted a consumer sentiment survey. 60% of respondents indicated a sense of obligation to support local businesses. However, this group expressed concerns over the quality of those products.
A different survey showed that local manufacturers were struggling to set competitive prices due to high cost of production. Some admitted compromising quality in order to avoid placing the burden of additional costs on the shoulders of their customers.
Improving quality is one of the five pillars of the Made in Rwanda policy. The policy is a holistic roadmap formulated to increase economic competitiveness by enhancing the domestic market through value chain development. Through targeted interventions, supply bottlenecks are also tackled.
Fast forward to 2022, the Made in Rwanda Campaign has successfully changed mindsets among domestic consumers and advocated for reforms needed to give locally made products a competitive edge. Most importantly, local manufacturers are taking continuous quality improvement seriously.
I usually avoid using the same word more than once in one post. However, I can’t stop mentioning quality while reviewing the aforementioned Made in Rwanda shop. That’s because the brand is synonymous with quality.