VUP services to be extended to street vendors in Kigali

On 6 August 2022 at 01:06

Kigali City has announced a plan to extend Vision Umurenge Programme (VUP) services to street vendors in the near future.

VUP was introduced in 2008 as an Integrated Local Development Program to fast-track poverty eradication, rural growth, and social protection.

Providing loans to individuals with promising projects and paid employment for poor households are among kinds of support extended to beneficiaries.

Speaking to members of the press recently, Kigali City officials revealed that they are set to enable street vendors to benefit from such services.

Kigali City Vice Mayor in charge of Socio-Economic affairs, Martine Urujeni said that they will make possible efforts to ensure street vendors have access to financial services under VUP.

“Through collaboration with Local Administrative Entities Development Agency - LODA, street vendors settled in markets are set to receive financial support to expand their businesses,” she said.

Urujeni disclosed that the city is working with relevant partners to set out terms and conditions for disbursement of loans to street vendors under VUP program for their businesses to thrive.

Kigali City started relocating street vendors to modern markets in 2016. At the time, over 12,197 street vendors were registered in the city including 5,058 from Nyarugenge; 5,149 from Gasabo and 1990 from Kicukiro District.

However, lack of capital was reported to be among challenges facing relocated street vendors pushing them to return to streets.

To address this issue, Kigali City has unveiled a plan to provide them with financial support after settling them in markets.

“We are working with different partners, particularly the Ministry of Local Government, LODA and local leaders to see how we can make follow up lest they abandon the markets,” noted Urujeni.

Normally, street vendors settled in new markets like Nyabugogo Modern Market or Gisimenti among others do not pay rental fees. They are also exempted from taxes for one year.

Apart from loans, Urujeni said that street vendors might also benefit from employments provided under the VUP program.

In the fiscal year 2022/2023, Kigali City allocated Rwf727.5 million for activities meant to stamp out the chaos of street sellers including the construction of new markets.

Kigali City registers 3977 street vendors to be given spaces in markets under construction.

Kigali City has allocated a budget for construction of new markets for street vendors.