The Commonwealth Local Government Conference (CLGC2023) is a key event in the international local government calendar, normally held every two years. On 14 – 17 November 2023 it was held in Kigali, Rwanda and was delivered in partnership with the Government of Rwanda Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC) and the Rwanda Association of Local Government Authorities (RALGA).
To promote local economic development Rwanda has been addressing some of the domestic, and private sector constraints, such as the availability of industrial and commercial land. Since 2010, the Government has established the Special Economic Zone with nine industrial parks across the country, and Rwamagana Industrial Park is one of them. It was opened in 2014, and covers 80 hectares with 16 working industries, and 13 under construction. The development of the area will continue and 50 industries are expected through the public-private partnerships. The Park is building local resilience through employment opportunities, infrastructure development and market mobility. Rwamagana Industrial Park currently employs 1,350 people, significantly contributing to the well-being and resilience of the nearby population of Rwamagana, enabling them to access the market for their diversified agriculture products. Located 50 km from Kigali City, with the support of the National Industrial Research and Development Agency, this industrial park promotes the green industrial and circular economy policy.
Study visits are a key part of the Commonwealth Local Government Conference. They provide delegates with an opportunity to visit local places that showcase initiatives linked to the discussion themes or the Sustainable Development Goals, showcasing the host country’s assets and innovation. They are a more tangible element to the event and allow an informal way to interact with other delegates and local people. On the study visit to Masaka Creamery in the Rwamagana Industrial Park, Rwanda showcased its achievements in relation to peace and stability; environmental protection and the climate; and local economic development – with the theme of resilience running throughout.
Founded in 2015, Masaka Creamery operates under the Masaka Farms brand, with a clear mission: to consistently provide high-quality dairy products to our valued customers while steadfastly upholding our core values. From the inception of its journey, it has made a conscious commitment to actively recruit from the deaf community. At present, its daily milk production stands at over 5,000 litres, and its team has grown to include more than 70 employees, with a significant majority, exceeding 60%, being members of the deaf community. This commitment to diversity and inclusivity is integral to its corporate culture and underscores its dedication to excellence.
Aris speaks to Esther Muthee at Masaka Creamery in Rwanda, a high-quality creamery with a difference, on a study visit as part of the Commonwealth Local Government Conference in Kigali.