In Rwanda, Manufacturers Look to Quality Control for Success

It has been nearly two decades since political and social unrest nearly destroyed the fragile economy of the small African country of Rwanda. And now, all signs indicate that manufacturing is on the upswing—and executives are looking at quality control as an important way of ensuring that it moves in a positive direction.

It has been announced that the umbrella body which governs the many smaller groups of manufacturers has been reinstated. What was once the Association des Industries du Rwanda is now the Rwanda Association of Manufacturers. And its goal is to combat issues that have thus far been hindering production in Rwanda.According to the group’s President-Elect Robert Bayigamba, the association plans on working with local schools, as well as the government, for the purpose of reducing the lack of skills, which currently plagues the industry.

"We want to reduce the country's import bill and at the same time create a unique brand for Rwandan products," Bayigamba said.

While manufacturing dipped 11 percent towards the end of 2012, it had grown by about eight percent over the course of the previous year. Currently, the country sits at an annual industrial growth rate of about six percent. The hope is that by increasing product quality and the skill of the workers behind the operations, this figure can increase.

Rwanda is an excellent example of how manufacturing intelligence can be used to assist manufacturers in developing countries by providing the statistical evidence to produce quality products. Statistical process control software can reduce the amount of human oversight needed to control basic factory operations. Instead of having to train workers to monitor for production quality, they can be trained to focus on more productive skills in the workplace.

Statistical process control software is the tool that is needed to bring Rwandan products into the forefront of the African textile, plastic and agricultural market—areas where the country already excels.

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