The annual exhibition that kicked off on Monday, December 16, at Gikondo Expo Grounds in Kigali will close Sunday 22nd December 2019.
IGIHE journalists have talked to different participants to share their experiences and appreciation of the East African Community Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs) trade fair.
Nsobora Margaret, a herbalist, and nutritionist from Uganda operating under MOHPANS explained that they have had a good experience in Rwanda as they exhibited and sold products made from different herbs.
Nsobora who arrived in Kigali on 16th December has commended Rwanda’s unreserved hospitality saying she was received utmost warmth.
“About hospitality, we were received warmly”, she said adding that the exhibition is going well though the number of people that are turning up is still low.
Nattabi Ruth from ENGO, presenting Tour and travel companies from EAC also operating in Uganda said that though people are coming to the exhibition, those that are coming are not buying much.
“I am thinking we should really support our own products as compared to western products; you will find that Italian people come and buy our soap and use it, and even say it is better than their own products. We should be more proud of our products,” she added.
On hospitality, Nattabi said Rwandans are very hospitable people.
“They are good at bargaining, I thought us Ugandans are the best but I have realized Rwandese are better. So we haven’t had a problem, it’s really welcoming, everything is good,” she said.
David G Gitonga, trading as Ng’arua Rural Millers from Kenya has appreciated the Government of Rwanda for the welcome given to the participants.
Gitonga says they have encountered some language barriers.
“Most people don’t speak English, the Government needs to improve on that but they are buying.”
When asked his thought on what should be done to improve the exhibition, Gitonga said that the organizers could invest more in advertisement to the local communities.
Elias Khamis Barnaba, who works for the Gum Entreprises CO Ltd from South Sudan, said that he loves Kigali; “The accommodation and food are good. We thank the government of Rwanda for the hospitality,” he said.
Khamis said that though it is their first time in this trade fair they had a good experience, and that the challenges faced are great lessons for the next show.