M a r k e t N e w s

Rwanda: Govt, Private Sector Move to Streamline Textile Industry

Posted on : Wednesday , 20th January 2016

The Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Association of Professional Tailors plan to set up a tailoring factory under a company to be named "Kigali Garment Centre" to reduce importation of second hand clothes, Minister Francois Kanimba said.

 
Speaking at a dialogue with the tailors, yesterday, in Kigali, the Trade and Industry minister said the factory would be set up by the end of the year.
 
The association was formed recently. It has since elected its representatives in Kigali districts with plans to extend to other districts of the country.
 
According to the president of the association, Alvera Mukantwari, their study shows that setting up a factory would require Rwf2 billion as capital of which Rwf20,000 is proposed share of grassroots members.
 
But one would be allowed to buy more shares.
 
With government and investors' support, each province could have a factory, she said.
 
The funds would first be used to buy 670 professional machines to knit all the types of clothes, training and innovation, according to Mukantwari.
 
Kanimba said last year the value of imported wear products, both new and second hand clothes, cost over $100 million out of which 80 per cent or $80 million (Rwf60 billion) were textile.
 
He said to reduce the huge cost there is need for concerted efforts to make locally knitted clothes to satisfy the Rwandan market.
 
"A recent study showed that ,among the economic platforms, tailoring tops opportunities for increasing more locally made products. Of Rwf60 billion spent on imported clothes, half is for knitted clothes-why do you have to import knitted clothes like uniforms while we have tailors in Rwanda?" Kanimba said.
 
Hassan Hategekimana, a tailor, explained that on some clothes they still use manual labour yet there are machines that can do that quickly.
 
"We do not have professional machines to produce quality garments due to capital constraints," Hategekimana said.
 
Jerome Ruzigamanzi, a tailor from Musanze District, noted that with concerted efforts they can be able to satisfy local market.
 
"Our efforts are scattered, besides not being professional, when a client needs many clothes like uniforms, we fail to produce them which finally makes customers consider outside market," he said.
 
Minister Kanimba said if tailors join their efforts in associations they will be able to meet the local demand.
 
"A factory with your shares, government and other partners will be capable of producing enough quantity. This will be possible after tailors get more quality machines and necessary training. District tailors' associations can support the main factory in case of huge demands for clothes by clients," he added.
 
Kanimba noted that cutting down on second hand clothes is in line with government's decision as well as EAC countries to ensure health, self dignity as well as reduce unemployment among local youth.
 
He said at least 15 per cent of off-farm jobs are from tailoring and once these measures are implemented it will more than double.
 
According to the minister, a decision was taken that no government institution will be allowed to import clothes anymore when local clothes are available.
 
UTEXRWA, he said, has also agreed to partner with the association to make quality tissues for tailors to make clothes by adding more standard machines worth$9 million.

Source : allafrica.com
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