With 250 members, each member contributed Rwf20,000 in the cooperative named ‘Ikoranabuhanga n’Iterambere bigera kuri buri wese’ loosely translated as Inclusive Technology and Development. The three month-old cooperative operates from Kigali downtown opposite M.Peace Plaza building.
Speaking to the media at the official opening of the shop on Wednesday, president of the cooperative, Isaie Hakizimana said that getting 250 vendors off the streets will close the market for stolen electronics.
“We will do this business legally and will improve transparency as all phones will be registered on the owners’ identity before they are sold,” he said.
Théogène Ngendahimana, a member of the cooperative said they are ready to jointly end street vending by selling recognized commodities with the main purpose of development.
He said they expect much profit from the new shop with security at the forefront.
“The first profit is security, most of us used to be suspicious of buying stolen products which could lead usto jail,” he said.
The Director of Good Governance in the City of Kigali, Damascène Kanamugire hailed former street vendors for the idea saying that no development can be attained unless people abide by laws and contribute to security sustainability.
“You are going to operate legally. A good Rwandan operates in transparency, truthfulness and abides by the laws,” he said.
Within the three months of operations, the cooperative members have recovered and handed to Police different electronics including 24 smartphones, 20 mobile phones and eight laptops, all worth Rwf3.6 million.