The Rwandan private sector has been challenged to be more aggressive in taking advantage of the prevailing peace and stability in the country.
Addressing business leaders at a Private Sector Federation induction event that attracted recently elected leaders of the PSF, General James Kabarebe, Senior Presidential Adviser for Peace and Security, underscored the potential role of the private sector in leading the economic liberation of the country.
Yet, he observed, the local private sector is still not aggressive enough to maximize the benefits that flowed from the country’s liberation from the genocidal government 28 years ago.
Different senior leaders, including President Paul Kagame, have on different occasions expressed their frustration with the poor service offered by local businesses and the fact that Rwandans seem to have accepted it.
The hospitality industry is one of the sectors that has attracted attention, but criticism has also targeted almost all other sectors.
It is true that Rwanda has a history of a weak and small private sector; nevertheless, the change that the government has put in place to boost the sector over the years – including creating a conducive business environment, in addition to the current situation and security – should have ensured a drastic turnaround by now.
Although there has been relative progress in some aspects, including in the Made in Rwanda sub-sector, the overall situation leaves much to be desired.
In addition to lagging behind domestically, Rwandan businesses have not been able to take advantage of the opportunities presented by regional integration despite Rwanda’s active participation in the integration agenda.
Similarly, few local companies have sought to make the most of opportunities in many African countries with which Rwanda has excellent relations, including those where it has deployed security forces under bilateral agreements. or multilateral.
However, with PSF’s recent reforms coupled with its newly elected leadership, there is an opportunity to turn the tide and ensure that the private sector truly becomes the engine of the country’s economic development.