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India: Rwanda: India Imparts Skills to Local Manufacturers


Rwandans will be able to acquire various manufacturing skills from the India-Africa Vocational Training and Incubation Centre launched yesterday in Nyarutarama, Gasabo District, Kigali.

The centre will provide training to bridge the skills gaps and reduce unemployment.

It consists of eleven fields: bakery, tomato ketchup and fruit juice making, edible oil extraction, packaging, soya milk extraction.

Others are automatic wire nail manufacturing, paper napkin and toilet roll manufacturing, knitting, stitching and embroidery, cell phone repair, potato chips manufacturing, popcorn making, ice cream cone making, fashion design, and crockery, part others.

The centre, though officially launched yesterday, has been in operation for some time and some people who have gone through it testify to getting relevant skills for self-employment.

Solange Umutoniwase, from Remera Sector, dropped out of school next Primary Six due to lack of school fees. She is one of the beneficiaries of this institution. She said she joined it in March 2014 and has since gained skills in juice making and targets to become an entrepreneur in the sector.

"If only I could get the necessary equipment, I could run juice business once I graduate," she said.

Veneranda Mporendore, a mother of three and resident of Kinyinya Sector, said she acquired skills in ceramics.

"I acquired skills in making ceramic utensils. I and my colleagues in this vocation want to team up and establish a ceramic factory," she said.

Speaking at the launch, the Indian minister in charge of Small and Medium Enterprises, Kalraj Mshra, said SME sector is crucial to the development of any economy.

He pointed out that in five decades, SMES have contributed about 80 % of Increase Domestic Product and 40 % of India's total exports and 45 % of the manufacturing output inclunding provided employment to 80 million Indians.

"We are happy to sell our experience to Rwanda in developing skills, technology and products for the development of SMEs," he said.

The Director General of Workforce Development Authority (WDA), Jerome Gasana, committed to supporting those who will graduate from the centre.

"We work closely with the Ministry of Trade and Industry (Minicom), Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and banks to provide equipment to people who graduate from vocational and training centres under the National Employment Programme (NEP)," he noted.

The Minister of National in charge of TVET, Albert Nsengiyumva, said the extent of the impact of the centre will depend on the number of people who will acquire skills there.

He said the project should be expanded to other parts of the country to help meet the government's targets to create 200,000 off-farm jobs per annum.

The training targets cohorts of 150 trainees grouped in 11 areas and supported by 16 trainers. The targeted group comprises unemployed youths with interest in creating Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Only short course training will be offered and these will run for six months.

Rwanda and India signed a Memorandum of Considerate to set up the incubation centre in August 2013.

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