EABC boss sheds light on outcomes of participation in 24th Rwanda International Trade Fair

On 31 December 2021 at 01:19

Having started in 1998, the annual Rwanda International Trade Fair (RITF) is the largest event in the Country organized by Private Sector Federation (PSF) and attracts hundreds of local and foreign exhibitors from different continents including Africa, Asia, Europe and America.

RITF has grown by leaps and bounds becoming a strategic platform through which major businesses from around the world have penetrated the Rwandan market. This is made possible through organizing Business to Business meetings as well as Business to Government meetings.

The event mainly showcases products in various sectors such as ICT, banking and finance, agribusiness, arts and crafts, infrastructure, Automotive and general trading.

The recent trade fair which took place from 9th to 30th December 2021 at Gikondo Expo Ground in Kicukiro District of Kigali City, attracted new participants including the East African Business Council (EABC) headquartered in Tanzania.

Speaking to IGIHE; the Executive Director of the East African Business Council (EABC), John Bosco Kalisa has shed light on reasons that attracted the council’s participation and anticipated outcomes.

Kalisa revealed that he has had plans to promote the council’s visibility through participation in different exhibitions held in EAC, which he hopes are being attained gradually.

Kalisa was appointed the Executive Director in June this year. Following his appointment, the council has participated in three regional exhibitions including the ones held in Tanzania and Rwanda.

“The participation helps me to make a step further towards fulfilling my pledge for citizens of the East African community. We also plan to attend more exhibitions in other EAC member states,” he said.

Kalisa went on to explain that creating room for increased investments in one of EAC partner states EAC is part of the council’s mandate.

The participation in exhibitions is also considered an opportunity to lure investors where it has started yielding good results. For instance, Kalisa explained, it has received different businesspeople interested to become EABC members that some of them have started filling forms preceding their admissions.

“Many people miscomprehend EABC as the bloc for large businesses only which is not true. Small businesses are not excluded. Every willing trader is permitted to join. This is the kind of mobilization we have been carrying out at this expo,” he said.

Kalisa further disclosed that the campaign in partnership with host countries has been fruitful evidenced through attracted new countries.

“EABC has conducted mobilization in partnership with Rwanda’s Private Sector Federation. You have seen that this expo has attracted Mozambique, the democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Tanzania. Such sensitization is usually a result of joint efforts between EABC and the host country,” he underscored.

EABC was established in 1997 with the mandate of representing and promoting the interests of the EAC business community, provide value-added services that enhance trade and competitiveness, and to participate actively and positively influence legal and regulatory formulation to improve the business environment.

It also seeks to reduce trade barriers in the region.

Commenting on his projections, Kalisa said that he has very challenging projections to take the council to greater heights and expressed optimism to have them achieved within his five-year tenure.

“If God grants me more days of life, I intend to raise the intra trade within EAC from 15% to 40%. It is a hard task to achieve but I believe that God will give me strength to make it happen,” he stressed.

The Executive Director of the East African Business Council (EABC), John Bosco Kalisa.
The pavilion of DRC at the 24th RITF.
Mozambique also participated in the exhibition held in Rwanda through join sensitization between EABC and Rwanda's PSF.