Global and regional traders are heading to Rwanda for the 18th International Trade Fair beginning from July 29 to August 12.
The two-week long event, popularly known as Expo, is organized by the Ministry of Trade and Industry in collaboration with Rwanda’s Private Sector Federation (PSF).
Seventeen countries from Asia, Caribbean and Africa have already booked space at Gikondo-based Expo grounds in the capital Kigali.
The space can accommodate a population of 270,000 visitors at an entry fee of Rwf 500 (US $ 0.7).
According to organizers, the trade fair is seen as a tool for widening Rwanda’s bilateral and multilateral trade cooperation.
Big and medium traders from as far as Asia, Europe, Africa and Caribbean are expected to exhibit various products and services.
Organizers told KT Press that main sponsors of the trade fair have offered Rwf 750 million (US $1 million based on current exchange rate) to ensure a successful trade fair.
“We have over 30 main sponsors who contributed Rwf 25 million each,” Anastase Rwabuneza, communications officer at PSF told KT Press.
Local telecom companies MTN-Rwanda, TIGO and Airtel are among the special sponsors. Rwanda’s major brewer, Bralirwa, a subsidiary of Heineken Group, is part of the sponsors.
Financial institutions also splashed in cash. These include BK, Rwanda’s largest bank, Banque Populaire as well as Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB).
Meanwhile, Rwabuneza told KT Press that booking spaces are categorized depending on the size of the exhibitor and space is already 80% occupied.
According to Rwabuneza, exhibitors pay Rwf 15 million (US$ 21,000) for ‘Gold’ space, while ‘Platinum’ space costs Rwf 5 million.
“We also have a section of tents where a foreigner pays US$1350 while locals pay Rwf 450,000 (US$ 625),” Rwabuneza told KT Press.
The cheapest space at this year’s trade fair costs Rwf 202,500. The trade fair is expected to create thousands of jobs for Rwandans during the 2-week Expo.
“We are expecting huge Indian tech companies that will exhibit their technologies in small and medium enterprises. This adds the number of jobs available during this trade show,” Rwabuneza said.
Lillian Mbabazi, a university student, told KT Press that, “With Expo, we settle accommodation and other necessities from revenues we get out of those temporary jobs.”