Tue. Jun 28th, 2022

Tycoon SINA Gérard highlights Private Sector’s role in post COVID-19 economic recovery

By George Kalisa

Eminent Northern Province Agribusiness entrepreneur, SINA Gérard who claims a large share of the domestic market of especially foods and beverages has expanded his market to the West with growing demand in Europe and the United States where his flagship brands Akabanga and Akarusho wines are competitive.

Northern Province based millionaire and key player in the Rwandan Agribusiness sector and investor in Education, SINA Gérard has said that the Private Sector has a central role in fast tracking the post COVID-19 economic recovery roadmap of the landlocked East African Community (EAC) nation. Rwandan Agribusiness sector and economy at large was in the middle of economic boom before the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted it. Economic growth reached a record high of 10% (2019) and had averaged at 7.2% in the decade before 2019. 

SINA said that successful control of COVID-19 impact on the economy calls for resilience, innovativeness and increased vigilance among players in key sectors of the economy, like Agriculture, health, transport, trade, education and ICT.

“Our resilience and vigilance in cooperating with the government to achieve its economic recovery is not only a measure to fight COVID-19 impact but also cements private-public-partnership (PPP),” observed SINA. 

SINA is the Founder and Managing Director of SINA Gérard Urwibutso Entreprise, the Agribusiness firm that produces Akandi natural mineral water, Akanoze , Agashya juices and AKA mayonnaise.   

He recently revealed to The Light Magazine that he nurses a plan to launch new products on the foreign market as well as a book about his entrepreneurship journey. He is one of the entrepreneurs from the Northern Province into export trade after creating significant impact in the Rwanda, and his contribution to the social and economic progress of the Province is loud and clear after his innovations have improved livelihoods of tens of thousands.

Many have either got knowledge and skills from his schools or found useful employment in SINA’s processing plant, SINA Gérard Urwibutso Entreprise, as labourers, suppliers and technicians in different departments. SINA, the Made-in-Rwanda kingpin and winner of several accolades continues to take advantage of the enabling investment climate in Rwanda to revolutionize Agriculture that employs the largest proportion of Rwandan citizenry, and he’s widely known and recognized for his influence in promoting the change from subsistence to commercial modern farming in his communities.

Besides the demonstration purposes SINA’s vineyard farms have doubled as tourism attractions and laboratory for researchers. He also owns farms of macadamia, tamarillo (best known as a tree tomato), pepper, passion and pineapple fruits among others.

Rwandans particularly those living in his home area, Rulindo District and neighbouring districts especially in the Northern, Southern and Western Provinces have graduated from biting poverty through increased access to ready market for their produce at a good price.

Aside, SINA buys the produce from the local farmers to ensure a constant supply of raw material to the processing plant. SINA Gérard’s influence is so infectious that many Rwandans countrywide regard him an inspirational and successful entrepreneur and visit his model farms to learn how he employs modern farming methods to increase productivity per unit of land.  

Also, youth unemployment has greatly receded in the area since Agri-business firm started and it employs more than 1500 workers 500 of them are permanent staff. While parents that cannot afford to pay for their children’s scholastic materials work at the farms, and all children at Pre-Primary and Primary levels study for free.

SINA Gérard is Rwanda’s millionaire with a big name not only in the Agriculture sector but also in Education and Charity spheres who has for now two decades transformed lives of thousands of Rwandans by increasing access to affordable and universal education right from pre-Primary through high school to vocational and tertiary education level.

The aid programmes on his long list of social and economic innovations qualify to be called Charity organizations considering the level of investment in organizational structures and management of the Charity programmes. Children in Pre-Primary and Primary stages get education for free and the initiative helped mostly children from vulnerable rural household who would never access an education due to systemic problems and biting poverty in Rulindo District. And, a significant number pupils hail from neighbouring districts such as Gakenke, Ngororero, Gicumbi, Musaze and Kamonyi mostly from lower income smallholder farmers.

Rwandans in the vulnerable situation from other districts across the country have also transformed their livelihoods due to his home-grown solutions blended with modern technologies in Agriculture sector, driven by his strong desire to transform his fellow countrymen and countrywomen particularly those from his home district Rulindo.

Other groups that have improved their living and enhanced research skills and knowledge using the facilities and innovations of tycoon SINA Gérard either as researchers, students from tertiary institutions, policy-makers, high profile world leaders and key players mostly from the Agriculture. 

COVID-19 pandemic  

SINA pays tribute to the GoR and all the partners for the efforts they demonstrated to contain and manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I thank the Ministry of Health (MINISANTE) and the government of Rwanda at large, law enforcement forces particularly the Rwanda National Police (RNP), local leaders, friends of Rwanda and other stakeholders for the concerted efforts and cooperation demonstrated since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in the EAC region mid-March 2020,” said SINA.

“With the massive investment in the prevention of further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic since it was declared, Rwanda has finally contained the pandemic and I’m optimistic life will go back to normalcy sooner than later,” added SINA.

SINA said that the prolonged season of low business hugely caused by the pandemic is a challenge to the sector as most drivers of the economy, especially the market were affected.

He said that the business community has already devised new innovations to catch up with the impact social, economic impact of the pandemic, and partner with the Government to manage economic recovery. 

Early this year SINA revamped online shopping as a response to the COVID-19 impact on traditional trade patterns particularly international trade.

Rwandans are the source of my motivation

Rwandan exporter of Akarusho wines and Akabanga (Chili oils) says that he takes pride in the customers of Nyirangarama products because they variously support his firm to grow to greater heights by choosing his products and attributes rising popularity of the products to their reliability and ready market. SINA pledges to continue going an extra mile in whatever they do to give value to the money of their clients and also meet their expectations in terms of quality and standards.

“Rwandans are a great source of my motivation – we make the wines and other products from the bananas, pineapples, sweet potatoes et cetera that they grow on Rwandan soils. 

Before COVID-19 plagued the entire global economy, Rwanda had registered a steadfast economic growth with a record high real economic growth of 10% in 2019. Conservative estimates for 2020 indicated a sweeping economic growth fall by 7.2%, oscillating between 2 and 3.5% down from 10%.

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