Rwanda: 2nd Annual Joint Youth Co-Ops Exhibition Closed in Musanze

National Youth Council (NYC) in partnership with the Global Communities through the Enabling Market Integration for Rural Group Empowerment (EMIRGE) program and Rwanda Cooperatives Agency (RCA) on Friday closed their ‘Joint Annual Exhibition for Youth Cooperatives’ (JAEC) which was with aim to showcase products or services made in Rwanda by Youth Cooperatives.

This exhibition which ran from Wednesday July 27th to Friday July 29th was officially opened by the vice Mayor in charge of social affairs for Musanze District, page Marie Claire Uwarimanya.

In her remarks, check Mrs. Uwamariya thanked the Global Communities/EMIRGE Program, information pills NYC and RCA for having chosen Musanze District to host this important event, as well as their crucial role in promoting youth and cooperatives in order to reduce the economic vulnerability of and thus enhance self-reliance.

“Musanze youth-coops here present, you should take advantage of this great opportunity to not only showcase your products/services but also link up with financial institutions and create a network between yourselves” noted Uwamariya.

The vice Mayor pledged the district full support in advocacy and capacity building for the promotion of youth cooperatives.

One of the exhibitors explaining the production process
One of the exhibitors explaining the production process

The JAEC took place in Musanze district geographically located in Northern Province of Rwanda from 27th to Friday 29 July 2016 and attracted more than 60 youth cooperatives as Musanze residents massively visited the stands.

For exhibitors this was the right place and right moment to showcase their made in Rwanda products or service, get their products sold and thus establish new relationship with new clients.

Unlike the previous one, this year`s (2016) Joint – Annual exhibition for youth coops was characterised by innovation and creativity.  The Youth in Musanze have understood the real meaning of made in Rwanda campaign and they are playing their part to make it happen, during day 1 and day 2 of the exhibition; visitors were amazed to see youth coops made products which can be used in everyday life and  satisfy needs in same way as the imported products do.


Catharine, a young girl entrepreneur took advantage of this rendezvous to show case one of the innovative market – based solution ever for owners whose vehicles` brake pads need to be replaced.

“I polish the old brake pads and reuse their components to fabricate the new brake pads using some stuffs and my small machine and I can produce up to 15 pieces of brake pads per day or even more, it depends on the availability of client’s orders” revealed Catharine, the young entrepreneur. Catharine was not the only one, another young boy entrepreneur attracted the attention of visitors with his locally made stoves that use the residue of engine oil as energy.

The 2016 Youth exhibition brought together more than 60 youth coops from all over 15 sectors of Musanze district and served as platform for experience sharing, market and financial linkages for youth cooperatives. Moreover, the exhibitors were invited to attend public lectures provided by the representatives of RCA, Global communities/EMIRGE, National Youth Council, Financial institutions.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 2016 JAEC, Mr. Mwesigwa Robert, the Executive Secretary of the National Youth Council said that this exhibition was organized to inspire and equip young people with relevant business skills related to cooperatives development and marketing. “I am glad that this exhibition took place over here in Musanze but this wasn`t a random, there is a reason why and that reason is nothing else than the creativity, innovation and willingness that were seen within Musanze youth a couple of months ago” added, the executive secretary of NYC. “As your District was chosen to host this event, you should use the opportunity and connect with other young entrepreneurs, and financial institutions.”

The Global Communities representative Mr. Manzi Ruffin expressed his gratitude to partners namely the Musanze district, NYC and RCA for their interest and partnership in improving the lives and livelihoods of those in need and pledged the Global Communities-USAID/EMIRGE Program a full support in uplifting youth cooperatives for bright future.

“Under the umbrella of EMIRGE program, Global Communities helps low income earners, small farmers and communities through the cooperative development approach, by bringing Rwandans together to pool resources and work together to generate more incomes so that they become self – reliant and thus contribute in the economic development of the country” noted, Manzi Ruffin the Global communities representative.

It is the second time that the JAEC is organized in Rwanda; last year’s exhibition hosted by Bugesera District. The action is also meant to raise the entrepreneurial mindset among youth and to celebrate the International Cooperative Day (ICD).

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