The Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC), Aranche Gonzalez was last week in Kigali. Supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and getting them involved in international trade and the global value chain is the ITC’s main role. East African Business Week’s Agnes Bateta interviewed her. Below are excerpts.
Qn: Rwanda is aiming for a middle-income country; do you think its current SMEs status could help meet this target?
Ans: Yes. This is because SMEs represent over 98% of the economic tissue of this country and they represent the bigger part of employment. It’s an essential ingredient to ensuring this country achieves its Vision 2020 which is becoming a middle-income country.
This will however require leveraging the SMEs towards this objective and also and fixing other elements that the government is working on, such as education which is key because at the end of the day, SMEs is about skills and infrastructure, especially in a landlocked country like Rwanda. Here I don’t just mean roads, but also energy, good cable to enable good E-communications among others.
In this case, education, infrastructure, and working on the competitiveness of the SMEs essentially quality which is a big issue here, not only in the agriculture sector, but also in the tourism sector, access to finance, packaging, and matching them with buyers in the region and beyond. Read more. Source | East African Business Week