Cross-cutting transformation: Stretching from Agro-processing to providing faith-based Education
Written by: George Kalisa
Tuesday, July 9th, 2019, 9:30
Rwandan business tycoon SINA Gérard’s passion to partner with the government in the socio-economic transformation through provision of holistic education explains why he lately expanded the school infrastructures to include a chapel at a purely private and formerly secular school.
On June7 the Kigali Archdiocese Archbishop S.E Mgr. Antoine Kambanda celebrated the mass during the official opening of CHAPELLE St. GERARD at College Fondation SINA GERARD in Rulindo Catholic Parish, Rulindo District.
The imposing chapel that is erected almost at the peak of Mt. Tare will enhance the spiritual life of Rwandans who pursue their education from the school and hence leave as complete persons who are both intellectually and physically fit.
“Children, parents and all people should use this Chapel to search God,” Archbishop Kambanda told throngs of mostly Catholic Christians in a packed school compound that gathered for the first mass. They resisted several hours of rain and coldness before the weather became clear and friendly at around three in the afternoon.
Before the construction of the chapel, SINA Gérard, the proprietor of ENTREPRISE URWUBUTSO had massively in education. He’s the owner of SINA GERARD Nursery school and College Fondation SINA GERARD.
To help thousands of young people mostly from his home district of Rulindo who could not continue with education for various reasons he started a vocational and technical institute. The youth gain skills in carpentry, plumbing, catering, wielding et cetera. Some of them get employed by SINA Gérard. The vocational school is located about 800 metres before Nyirangarama trading centre along the Kigali- Musanze highway where the road that snakes to College SINA GERARD starts.
Over the time, the Rwandan investor has been expanding production and to date and employs hundreds of Rwandans in nine different production and services sub-sectors.
“Today we have about 550 permanent workers, 660 part timers and 5,000 families nation-wide earning a living in different sectors mostly agriculture,” SINA recently told The Light Magazine.
SINA Gérard leverages backward and forward linkages in agriculture
To ensure quality, steady production as well as minimizing costs related to transport of mostly the primary agricultural produce, Rwanda’s prominent producer controls the entire chain of production right from the farm through production to consumption.
He is engaged in the production of nearly all primary raw materials used in processing of beverages, wines and juices. When this reporter toured the farms, he saw plantations of grapevines and tomato fruits the raw materials for wines and juices. In addition, SINA as he is fondly called by many Rwandans grows oranges passion fruits et cetera.
Also, the agricultural produce, animal and poultry products used in the posh Nyirangarama restaurant are got from the SINA GERARD farms. He helps local small scale farmers get farm tools like seeds alongside arable land and guaranteed market for their produces which double as the raw materials for the Nyirangarama factory.
SINA Gérard who was among the 11 private winners of different categories is mostly known in the agro-processing industry where he dominates this sub-sector. He produces a variety of soft drinks, foods and beverages which include the Akandi natural mineral water, agashya, akabanga, akanoze, yoghurt, JAM, banana wine and akarushyo.
The survey did last year by The Light Magazine showed that Akandi natural mineral water whose production dates back to 2012 meets the demand for pure water and continues to meet consumers’ tastes and preferences in the young but booming beverage industry in the East African Community bloc.
The swift penetration and unequalled quality of Akandi natural mineral water have become a force to reckon with in Kigali city and the country.
There’s no need to mention, SINA Gérard employs a significant number of Rwandans in both professional and non-professional areas.