Rwandan tailors are raising Rwf 3 billion to start a clothing factory as the country seeks to phase out import of second hand clothes.
Kigali Garment Centre (KGC), a company with over 400 shareholders has already booked 1896 square meters at Umukindo House in Gisozi-Gasabo district, to start a-3 month training of 1200 maiden workers for the plant that will be fully operational by December this year.
The same building will host KGC for one year, before it shifts to Kigali Economic Zone in a-4.5 hectares land provided as incentives by government.
The factory is expected to produce; socks, underwear, bras, vests and all other garments made of wool, which “is preferred in Rwandan market compared to polythene and cotton material,” according to factory officials.
A minimum of 5 shares totaling Rwf20, 000 per individual tailor and Rwf 500,000 (25 shares) for a tailoring cooperative are the main requirement to be admitted in the first ever Rwandan clothing company.
“We are still sensitizing tailors to buy shares, but we already have all it takes to start; a sponsor has given us renting fee for one year before we build our own facility,” says Jerome Mugabo, the KGC Managing Director.
“The Business Development Fund (BDF) has approved our business plan and is ready to give us 30% guarantee fund, to purchase equipment.”
The equipment which includes 868 professional machines is being ordered from Japan, according to Mugabo.
Rwanda has two textile factories: Chinese based C and H garment operating in Rwanda since 2014 and the Indians’ owned UTEXRWA.
With a turnover of 3 $million the later runs at 40% percent capacity since 1984 and produces about 12000 meters of cloth per year.
Utexrwa produces uniforms for students and other institutions but not for retail consumption while C and H garment produces for export especially for European stores.
In 2014, the value of imported wear products, both new and second hand clothes cost over $100 million.
Cutting down on imported second hand clothes is in line with government’s decision as well as East African Community countries to ensure health, self-dignity as well as reduce unemployment among the youth, according to MINICOM. KGC expects to create over 2000 jobs.