The Government of Rwanda identified the wood industry as a key sector for sustainable employment and economic growth. Still, most wooden products are imported. In line with the Government’s ‘Made in Rwanda’ policy, Eco-Emploi strengthens the local wood sector’s competitiveness to increasingly substitute imported products with locally produced products. Therefore, MSMEs and cooperatives along the wood value chain are supported in improving their structures, processes and management capacities for more efficient production.

Some interventions

Management Model for Integrated Crafts Production Centers

Eco-Emploi supports MINICOM in developing and implementing a standard management model for Integrated Crafts Productions Centers (ICPCs) in Rwanda. A national pilot project aims at improving the management capacities, profitability and self-reliance of woodworking- related businesses.

Incubator and Accelerator Facility

To enhance the wood sectors innovation and production capacity, Eco-Emploi provides technical assistance to the National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA) to establish and run a twin Incubator and Accelerator Facility (I/AF). The main objective of the I/AF is to improve the competitiveness of start-ups and companies in the wood value chain. To that end, the I/AF offers a general and tailored set of services for start-ups, companies, and cooperatives from the wood sector, such as business advice, entrepreneurship and business management training and coaching and mentoring.

Standard development for wooden products

Eco-Emploi supports the Rwanda Standard Board (RSB) in raising awareness about the progressive standardisation of wood products for more rationalised chain production processes to increase the productivity and competitiveness of MSMEs and cooperatives. Specifically, the development of standards for structural timber and wooden fixtures is supported.

Wood Innovation Center

Eco-Emploi strengthens the institutional capacities of key-value chain actors, such as the Rwandan Wood Value Chain Association (RWVCA), to improve sustainability and quality at different stages of the value chain. Eco-Emploi specifically supports RWVCA and the Integrated Polytechnic Regional College Kitabi to set up a Wood Innovation Center that acts as a hub for high-quality industry-based training sessions for wood manufacturing private sector operators, preparing students for careers in forestry and woodworking industry and, at the same time, promote and strengthen the capacity of the RWVCA in providing different services to the members of the association.

The objective is to create an innovative cluster of units to promote the Made in Rwanda circular production processes with limited to no wastes throughout the entire wood value chain. This is expected to allow Rwanda to uphold a competitive wood industry ready to place itself at the forefront of the Made in Rwanda promotion momentum.

Carpenters inspecting a door frame
Carpenters inspecting a door frame
Carpenters at the Manumetal Ltd inspecting a door frame