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A joint cooperation between the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM) and the University of Columbia, USA which was initiated by the United Nations Industrial Organization (UNIDO) last year (2011) has now started to bear fruits. The cooperation is basically in the areas of Industrial research, value chain studies and Industrial Indicators Scoreboard among others.

The Columbia team was headed by Mr. Carl Ewni and is a follow up of bilateral cooperation initiated by Juergen Reinhardt (UNIDO) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The team comprising of students doing their graduate studies, researchers and academicians (Priya, Julia, Hari, Andreas, GeanCarlo, Eva and Yannick) came in March this year.

The Columbia team met the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Emanuel Hategeka, who welcomed them and explained to them of the MINICOM’s key expectations out of this collaboration which included joint studies in value chain studies, industrial indicators scoreboard for Rwanda, industrial research in selected priority areas and mentoring some of the staff in related fields. Others met were the Director Generals of Industry and the Director General of Planning and M&E

Together with the UNIDO expert in charge of the Industrial Observatory, Karuranga Canisius and the Head of Manufacturing and value chain studies, Mr. Telesphore, they carried out a whole value chain study on Essential oils in Rwanda. They also compiled and presented their preliminary findings necessary for the full design of the Industrial Indicator Scoreboard. The final reports are expected before the end of May 2012.

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary added that this marks the beginning of a series of missions for various agreed upon assignments in the collaboration framework between the Columbia University, UNIDO and MINICOM.

Some of the pictures showing the Columbia University Team visit to MINICOM and IRST (March 2012)

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