Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has awarded the best and emerging business at the seventh edition of the annual Rwanda Business Excellence Awards 2019.
The colorful ceremony, held in Kigali yesterday, and highlighted Rwanda’s private sector investment growth, did not recognize any winner in the customer care sector but growth made by local companies and women in business.
“This category didn’t meet the requirements of the competition and judges decided not to award this category,” said the RDB CEO, Clare Akamanzi. Eleven companies received medals and cash prizes which were scooped by local companies.
At the awards ceremony, Master Steel Rwanda emerged as the overall Investor of the Year, replacing the 6th edition winner-I&M Bank, from the previous year.
Volkswagen (VW) Mobility Solutions, which has an assembling plant in Kigali netted the Emerging investor of the Year award while Awesomity Labs-a Rwandan company of four youth who developed a mobility application for VW car (Move App) also snatched the Young entrepreneur of the Year award.
Young entrepreneur of the Year award was highly contested with equally promising youth-led companies like Carl group- which makes bread out of sweet potatoes from over 200 farmers, and MS computer Ltd- which had Rwf4 billion revenue turnover in 2019. From a single staff, the company’s employees grew to 40 employees.
Africa Improved Foods (AIF) retained its award of the Exporter of the Year, which they scooped from two serious competitor BGM Bakresa Azam who were beaten in volumes of locally made products exported out of Rwanda.
This category also saw a Rwandan company Multisector Investment Group (MIG) recognized as Emerging Exporter of the Year, who were recognized for exporting made in Rwanda products to the furthest corners of the world.
All the way from Musanze town in Northern Rwanda, EasyHatch Ltd, a poultry supply firm started by young Rwandan farmers, emerged as the SME of the Year.
Little known Epiphanie Mukashyaka who founded Bufcoffee Ltd, emerged as Woman entrepreneur of the Year, walking away with Rwf2 million and training opportunity for her staff courtesy of Trade Mark East Africa for encouraging other women to join the coffee business.
Rwanda’s sole cement producers-Cimerwa was knocked out in the Made in Rwanda Enterprise of the Year award by Agropy Ltd- a non- chemical pesticide company which has branches all over the country.
In the fashion industry, Moshions Rwanda, who dressed most of the guests at the award ceremony which had “strictly made in Rwanda’ dress code, was declared Emerging Made In Rwanda Enterprise of the Year- an announcement that sent participants into a loud applause.
MTN Rwanda undoubtedly walked away with the Innovator of the Year award for starting the #ConnectRwanda challenge which seeks to avail smart phones to all Rwandans by the end of 2020.
KCB Bank Rwanda, beat other foreign companies like Ignite Power to scoop the Skills Development Promoter of the year award for creating 500 jobs locally in staff and agents.
All the awards, according to RDB, indicated the growing Rwandan economy spurred by the private sector investments and joint investment ventures between local and foreign investors.
The Guest of Honor, Prime Minister Dr Édouard Ngirente, said more collaboration with the private sector is needed to attain sustainable development by 2024 and middle income status by 2035.
“I call upon the business community to engage more in joint ventures (local and foreign) and explore markets through various partnerships to expand their businesses. This will help us to reach the upper middle income and upper income status,” Ngirente said.