Presenting the RWF 1,949.4 billion Budget in the Parliament last week, Rwanda’s Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete, announced that 27 per cent of the total money will be allocated to economic transformation with key focus on sectors textiles, garments and leather industry, agriculture export crops, trade and investment facilitation, etc.
While used shoes and clothes suffered a major blow in the new budget with a 12 per cent increase on taxes, the locally produced textile and leather products received a major boost, owing to the new tax and incentives regimes. Tax on used clothes have been increased from US $ 0.2 to US $ 2.5 per kilogramme, whereas taxes on second-hand shoes have been surged from US $ 0.2 to US $ 3 per kilogramme.
Sonia Mugabo, Chief Executive and Founder of SM House of Fashion is of the view that skilling of local tailors also plays a key role in the development of textile and leather sector of the country. With the skills, she said, local tailors would be able to produce high quality textile to fairly compete with imported textile and garments. “There has to be trained tailors, trained fabric makers, trained designers-the whole cycle of textile production should be focused on how to boost quality and quantity of textile,” she added.