The National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA) has hosted the Access for Impact, Technology and Innovation event Bringing together participants from various industries in the country and experts from Belgium to discuss how to leverage technology and innovation to become more productive.
Held at the Kigali Convention Centre, the event was organized in partnership with Enabel, the Belgium Development Agency between 12th and 15th October 2021.
It aimed at bringing together industry actors to discuss how to leverage technology and innovations at firms’ respective industries to boost production both in quality and quantity as well as networking.
During the Access for Impact Forum that concluded on Friday with a two day field visit, participants got an opportunity to get first-hand information on modern farming, meat processing, and locally made construction materials among others.
As the event brought together firms in the Agriculture sector with focus on Poultry, piggery, animal feeds value chains, and on clay and stone value chains in the construction sector, participants were split into two teams given their respective value chains.
Firm owners in Agriculture visited Vision Agribusiness Farm that rears modern pigs, Abisol Ltd that ventures in chicken rearing and animal feeds production. They also had experience visiting Rugari meat processing that deals in meat processing and sells both fresh and processed meat and EBODICO farm that rears modern pigs and aspires to venture into pig processing in the future in Nzove.
In the Construction sector, concerned firm owners visited MASS. Located in Bugesera district, the company ventures into production of construction materials mainly from locally available raw materials such as earth, sand, stones among others.
Other visited places include EarthEnable that also deals in construction materials with headquarters in Bugesera district, PROECCO-SKAT whose construction site is in Mpazi, City of Kigali with 27 affordable houses under construction.
According to Dr. Christian Sekomo Birame, the Director General of NIRDA, such an event was a great opportunity for firms to acquire both theoretical and practical knowhow and see how they can leverage technology and innovation to boost productivity and competitiveness of their firms.
“We have thought of hosting “Access for Impact, Technology and Innovation event,” to bring together various industry players in the construction and agriculture sectors in order to share experience, knowledge and lessons learnt,” he said.
“The Access for Impact, Technology and Innovation Event will therefore serve as an opportunity for firms to share innovative technologies and practices and networking through workshops, exhibitions, Visit tours and B2B sessions all to boost performances and competitiveness,” he added.
He stressed that it is through leveraging advanced technology that local industries will only be competitive and productive to satisfy the local, regional and international market.
He thanked all participants for participating in the event urging them to put lessons learnt into practice while contacting each other for more partnership.
He said that NIRDA’s Open Calls aimed at supporting local industries to acquire upgraded equipment and that some of the participating companies will soon acquire those equipment.
“The beneficiaries also benefit from technical and business advisory services to be able to smoothly run their business. Firms have already started benefiting from Business advisory services,” he said.
“As NIRDA we believe that firms that acquire upgraded equipment and the other stated support will boost competitiveness and productivity both in quality and quantity of the locally made products hence reducing the imported products,” he added.
He said that firms that benefit from Open Calls also serve as role models for others in the same field and can duplicate the technology.
Participants expressed satisfaction for the event and were ready to learn from other companies to improve the performance of theirs.
Ambassador of Belgium to Rwanda Bert Versmessen said that with Belgian contribution in Urbanization and Agriculture sectors, Enabel will support the private sector around 3 main themes namely access to Technology, Access to Finance and with Business Development Services.
“I would like to encourage the private sector present here to embrace the opportunities provided to them through NIRDA but to also use this forum to use innovation as a key driver to help increase productivity, quality and to contribute to achieving the objectives of the Government of Rwanda in regard to MadeinRwanda products,” he said.