The plan of banning second hand garments and shoes in Rwanda has prompted discussions among people who said the decision was not well assessed as it will result into lacking quality garments and shoes forcing people to buy expensive Made in Rwanda products.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, François Kanimba, during a talk show Media Impact at Radio Isango Star, said that local products should be competitive and should be marketed first in their respective countries, a common decision among East Africa member states.
He said that decisions are taken among leaders after assessing the expected impact and benefits—cost-benefit analysis, to the development of the country and citizens in general.
He said this yesterday “Second-hand products are still on market for the period of three years before we ban them. I want to clarify that the leaders of the country are not blind. Our decisions and policy implementation are based on improving their welfare and anticipated role in the development of the country,” he said.
Kanimba said that taxes on second hand products are set to rise so that local manufacturers can boost production.
He said that the ban on second hand products can be extended after the deadline of three years if there are no local industries producing garments at the time.
“You can’t stand today and decide to ban second hand clothes without local textile plants to make clothes. Today, we have some industries which can’t satisfy a half of Rwandans. I hope that they will be available after three years,” said Kanimba.
Under the new plan, taxes on second hand clothes are set to be increased from USD 0.2 to USD 2.5 per kilo of garments.
The minister said that current plans are promising that the program will be implemented soon.
He explains that Made in Rwanda program will not increase unemployment as some people think, arguing that the program will be implemented into phases until dealers in second hand clothes are phased out.
East African Countries plan to completely ban the importation of second hand products in three years ahead.
More than USD 100 million was spent on second hand imports in 2015.