Rwanda is expected to benefit economically by reducing importation of second hand clothes through a tailoring factory—Kigali Garment Centre.
In collaboration of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Association of Professional Tailors the factory intended to be established would require Rwf2 billion as capital of which Rwf 20,000 is proposed share of grassroots members but one tailor would be allowed to buy more shares.
According to the Minister for trade and industry François Kanimba noted that Rwanda spends over 60 billion Rwandan Francs on second hand clothes annually.
Adding that wearing such clothes in not worth Rwandan value,’’ said Kanimba.
The minister for Trade and Industry said that in order to reduce the huge cost there is a need for concerted efforts to make locally knitted clothes to satisfy the Rwandan market.
“A recent study showed that, among the economic platforms, tailoring tops opportunities for increasing more locally made products. Of Rwf60 billion spent on imported clothes, half is for knitted clothes-why do you have to import knitted clothes like uniforms while we have tailors in Rwanda?” Kanimba added.
The Association of Professional of the Tailors of Rwanda (APT) has so far elected representatives in Kigali and it plans to extend to other district in the country.
Kanimba said that his ministry is planning to establish a tailoring institute in the country for skills training. He further said that the move to establish a tailoring factory will create more job.
Meanwhile, Rwanda has two textile factories— C and H garment and the Indian based UTEXIRWA.
Since 1984 Utexirwa runs at 40% percent capacity and produces about 12000 meter/ year and has a turnover of 3 $million; however the plant produces uniforms for students and other institution but does not produce for retail consumption.
In 2004, C and H garment, a Chinese textile company built a franchise in Kigali which produces also clothes for export market especially European stores with a capacity of 200 local workers at start up.
Kanimba noted that cutting down on second hand clothes is in line with government’s decision as well as EAC countries to ensure health, self-dignity as well as reduce unemployment among local youth.
‘’At least 15 per cent of off-farm jobs are create from tailoring and once the measures are implemented it will more than double,’’ said Kanimba.