A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between a Japanese business company, Ruise B and Kigali City Council (KCC), was on Thursday signed to create a centre to market the Rwandan traditional basket (Agaseke).
After the signing ceremony at Nyarugenge District headquarters, Yuri Mito, Ruise B’s representative in Rwanda, disclosed that the initiative is aimed at empowering local Rwandan women who are involved in the business of basket weaving.
"When our CEO saw the basket during an exhibition last May, he liked it and wished to set up a sales centre back in Japan," said Mito.
"This has come as a right opportunity which we must take on by signing this MoU."
She explained that after the business has picked up, most of the extra profits would be brought back to the women who make the baskets.
"Most of the proceeds will be used to equip the women with advanced skills and knowledge to improve on the products and those wishing to go back to school will also benefit," she said.
Last year 3,300, women were trained in the three districts of Kicukiro, Nyarugenge and Gasabo, all in Kigali City and have since been divided into 16 centres where they meet and weave together to increase production.
Kigali City Mayor Dr Aisa Kirabo Kacyira commended the development and promised even more support to economically empower the Rwandan women.
"The business has greatly benefited our women to become financially independent and we shall do everything possible to support them out of poverty," Mayor Kirabo said.
At the same occasion, contracts between KCC and various associations contracted to carry out general cleanliness activities throughout this year were renewed, with best performers for the past year being rewarded.
Associations of motorcycle riders Atamimorwa and Asetamorwa became first and third respectively, while ATRACO, the Public Transport Commuters’ Association, emerged second in the ratings of last year. Each was awarded with a trophy and a certificate of recognition for the outstanding performance.
Speaking on behalf of the associations ATRACO boss Col (rtd) Dodo Twahirwa thanked KCC and pledged more cooperation for the advancement of the city.