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Partnering for sustainable development in Rwanda: part three

World Cement,

A key partner: the local community of Bugarama

In order to extend these positive outcomes still further, a comprehensive CSI programme has been rolled out in partnership with the local community, a key stakeholder in the project.

One aspect of this programme is PPC’s support of local entrepreneurs. This has been achieved by providing organised networking opportunities, technical training and seed capital. The current enterprise development programme in place includes training and mentorship across sectors as diverse as poultry farming, carpentry and turf-block making, among others.

The approach is delivering – as seen by many of these micro-enterprises registering as cooperatives, thereby coming that much closer to achieving greater financial independence.

Additional bricks-and-mortar social development projects have been undertaken – and completed – in Bugarama itself. These include construction of a fully-equipped healthcare centre and a library. CIMERWA has also established a primary school onsite and funds the school’s full staff complement and facilities. It has additionally brought piped drinking water to the broader Bugarama community. These latter projects underscore PPC’s commitment to education and healthcare across the continent – with a specific view to building a tangible legacy of empowerment.

Equally notable, however, has been the upgrade of the road from the plant to the town of Bugarama. A total of US$4.2 million has been invested in these projects alone – making a significant difference in the lives of community members who travel these roads on their daily commute.

The way forward

When seen from a broader perspective, PPC’s investment in CIMERWA showcases the value – and potential – that a meaningful, mutually beneficial relationship between a corporate and community can enable. The new plant in Bugarama demonstrates how this type of partnership can assist in realising a country’s economic potential, whilst uplifting local communities, and stimulating greater collaboration, growth and sustainable development across the broader region. With CIMERWA well on track to achieving its growth targets both in terms of local demand and export capacity, the plant will additionally address the country’s dependence on cement imports.

In terms of the way forward, then, PPC is cognisant of the fact that its long-term contribution to the sustainable development of Rwanda is arguably just beginning. To this end, it views its partnership in CIMERWA as an invitation for other companies to follow suit and invest in the country and in the region. In this way they will be able to mirror and further amplify PPC’s ongoing commitment to social, economic and environmental sustainability – delivering on its brand promise: ‘Our strength. Your vision.’

This is part three of a three-part article written for World Cement’s December issue and abridged for the website. Subscribers can read the full issue by signing in, and can also catch up on-the-go via our new app for Apple and Android. Non-subscribers can access a preview of the December 2015 issue here.

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