By Irene Ebrahimi Darsinouei
Rwanda’s ICT sector has been growing at an impressive pace over the past years. The government has prioritized the sector’s development and aims to create an ICT infrastructure comparable to any in the developing world.
Kevine Bajeneza is “embracing the possibilities,” as per her company’s slogan. Ms. Bajeneza is the owner of N@tcom Services Ltd, a fast growing consultancy firm that focuses on bridging the gap between unemployed educated youth and the market-driven IT demands and opportunities in Rwanda. The firm provides information technology training, accompanied by soft skills training.
Ms. Bajeneza was first introduced to the SITA project in May 2015, during a Rwandan BPO exhibition where ITC gave a presentation about the project.
A few months later, SITA sponsored Ms. Bajeneza’s participation in the Indo-Africa ICT Expo 2015, an exhibition that was organized by the Indian IT Association NASSCOM, and that brought more than 100 Indian ICT companies to Nairobi, Kenya. Ms. Bajeneza participated together with twenty other Rwandan and Ugandan companies. ‘My participation was a great opportunity. I met different companies from India and I had more than 15 B2B meetings with Indian companies facilitated by SITA.’
Following the workshop, Ms. Bajeneza signed an MoU with JD-Soft, an Indian IT company. The agreement provides a framework for the companies to work together on IT training and consultancy.
In March 2016, Ms. Bajeneza participated in the branding and sales workshop organized by SITA in Kigali, Rwanda. ‘This was very useful and productive. After the training, I was able to work on our marketing materials and I did a lot of changes to make them more professional and visible,’ Ms. Bajeneza said of the workshop. ‘I am still doing the knowledge transfer to my staff about how to position our company for better marketing and branding.’
Recently, Ms. Bajeneza travelled to Beijing with SITA’s support, to participate in the Services Buyer Mentor Group (BMG) exhibition. This exhibition was attended by over 200 companies, from China and other countries. Her company was part of the exhibitors, and she had the opportunity to meet with different IT companies in China during the B2B meetings. ‘I applied the knowledge gained from the branding and sales workshop, mostly in the B2B meetings and it worked very well.’ She is currently in partnership discussions with 7 companies she met in Beijing.
Resulting from the collaboration with SITA, Ms. Bajeneza’s business has changed a lot. Over the last year, Ms. Bajeneza employed two new staff members to manage sales and marketing, and the training of soft skills, respectively. Three interns were also hosted at her company for a six months’ period. ‘We are now able to market and brand a lot in our country and in the EAC region. We have extended our services: we now deliver in rural areas, and we are able to attract more customers from our neighboring countries, like Burundi, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Kenya.’