RALGA initiates dialogue at local level for better Public Private Partnership (PPP)
> 25 January 2013
RALGA, in collaboration with the Private Sector Federation (PSF) and the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) through the Rwanda Public Private Dialogue (RPPD), launched the Local Business Lunches for Public Private Dialogue initiative on Friday, 25th January at Kigali Serena Hotel. The initiative is intended to encourage both business people and local authorities to hold regular informal gatherings to discuss pertinent issues in Local Economic Development. The launching ceremony was honored by the Right Honorable Pierre Damien HABUMUREMYI, Prime Minister as the Guest of Honor. Also present were Honorable James MUSONI Minister of Local Government, Honorable François KANIMBA Minister of Trade and Industry, the Mayor of the City of Kigali, Governors of Provinces and all District Mayors.
Parties involved expressed high interest for a strong PPP
Government officials as well as representatives of the private sector present at the ceremony strongly supported RALGA’s initiative to promote dialogue in form of business lunches between District authorities and local private sector, as a tool within the overall campaign for public private dialogue at the grassroots level.
In his speech, the Right Honorable Prime Minister commended the initiative. He recalled the responsibilities of the public and private sectors in economic development at large, and local in particular. He challenged the private sector to become the engine of Rwanda’s development. It is in this regard that, on the one hand, he encouraged them to be more professional by using qualified personnel, to maximize profit by working a maximum of hours a day and benefiting from the big market offered by the East African Region for example, and to improve service delivery among other things. On the other hand, the Prime Minister requested the local leaders to avoid anything that may hamper the investors’ efforts. He mentioned the delays in payment, the unnecessary delays in processing the request files from investors. He also noticed the fact that there is still a lot of unexploited land in many Districts.
On his side, Minister James Musoni stated that the dialogue with the private sector is now a government priority. He noted that there are still a lot of investment opportunities such as building hotels and guest houses, bus parks, etc. He however deplored the fact that investors still face challenges in accessing land and finances in some cases and encouraged District leaders to address the bureaucracy behind such challenges. He also encouraged the investors to use the opportunities offered by finance institutions such as SACCOs.
As one of the investors at local level, Mr. Alfred Nkubiri testified how good leadership, good policies such as land consolidation, and partnership from local leaders allowed him to develop his business and take it to regional level. He encouraged his colleagues to also invest at local level in activities such as agriculture and farming because there plenty lucrative business opportunities. As an example, he revealed that he was able to sell maize to the World Food Program at regional level for around $ 4 million in one year.
Participants at the National launch included Mayors of Districts and the City of Kigali, Governors of Provinces, private sector representatives from each District, representatives of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Local Government, Private Sector Federation, Rwanda Development Board, Association of Hotels and Restaurants in Rwanda, the Rwanda Local Development Support Fund, Rwanda Government Board, the Business Development Fund, as well as Development Partners.
It is expected that the initiative will be replicated at local level, whereby each District will organize similar business lunches to strengthen the public private partnership in a bid to boost local economic development.