Kigali: Rwanda Wood Value Chain Association to develop the sector


Rwanda Wood Value Chain Association (RWVCA) conducted a consultative meeting on Workplace Learning (WPL) in the private sector. The primary objectives of the meeting were to disseminate updates, policies, and best practices about workplace learning and training programs. It also aimed to gather input and feedback from employers in the wood sector regarding current learning programs, training needs, and suggestions for improvement.

The meeting also addressed the challenges faced by Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) schools in effectively implementing WPL.

Moreover, it provided a platform for sharing experiences on promoting WPL in the wood sector and engaging in discussions with relevant institutions to address the existing challenges hindering the successful implementation of WPL. Additionally, the meeting sought to explore future initiatives for the advancement of WPL implementation.

The meeting commenced with an opening address from RWVCA’s Chairman, Mr. Hadji Karemera, who emphasized RWVCA’s dedication as a representative of the wood value chain to contribute to the advancement of the wood sector while concurrently striving to manage its growth. One of the primary challenges highlighted was the scarcity of skilled employees in the labor market. The private sector has consistently highlighted the existing gap in available jobs that require workers, especially those who have recently completed their education.

Consequently, RWVCA is keen on participating in the Government's program aimed at enhancing “Students 39”; knowledge through the Workplace Learning Program initiated by MIFOTRA.

He informed the meeting participants that RWVCA has visited the schools that have the Forest and wood technology trades to identify and engage 30 Technical Secondary Schools (TSSs) that have wood technology and forest trades in the WPL program and know the challenges they met as these institutions play a pivotal role in preparing future workers and entrepreneurs within the wood sector.

He said that the information from schools will help to address the available challenges in the implementation of WLP and establish a framework that ensures the effective preparation of skilled workers required in the labor market.

The RWVCA has presented its findings including the challenges and opportunities in implementing Workplace Learning. Public institutions participated such as RSB, RFA, RTB, and MIFOTRA, have actively participated in addressing some of these challenges. Specifically, MIFOTRA committed to establishing a platform involving decision-makers to specifically tackle the challenges presented by the RWVCA.

The strategies used by the association to achieve its mission include improving the competitiveness of members through technical and managerial training, sharing information on available opportunities, conducting research on issues facing the wood value chain, and initiating dialogues with public institutions and organizations to resolve the challenges. Additionally, the association organizes networking events that help the members to exchange ideas and experiences and can encourage collective investment. These strategies result in having competent wood operators who promote the made-in-Rwanda products and create job opportunities.

To address some challenges faced by wood operators, the Rwanda Wood Value Chain Association (RWVCA) signed the local subsidy contract with the GIZ/SD4T Program aimed at enhancing the capacity of wood operators across the value chain in Rwanda.

One of the activities that RWVCA has to execute through this project, is to support wood operators and TVET;TSS schools to implement workplace learning programs both industry attachment placement and Industry Based Training. It is in this regard that the RWVCA has been conducting field visits in November 2023 to identify and engage Technical Secondary Schools (TSSs) that have wood technology and forest trades in this program.

The activity yielded success as the TSSs have shown willingness to collaborate with private companies, despite encountering challenges in the implementation of the Workplace Learning program, which they hope will be addressed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *