Once again the ladies of Loanhead have been knitting away to produce dozens of sets of baby clothes for Rwanda. These were duly delivered to Pastor Francis who manages the Embrace Rwanda project.
On our last visit to Rwanda three months ago there were clothes to bring but because of some uncertainty as to how the Rwandan authorities would apply their new import tariffs on clothing we decided not to bring any then. In 2018 Rwanda imposed the tariffs on second-hand clothes in an attempt to bolster local products. Having been told that there should be no problems at the airport we resumed our deliveries this visit.
Pastor Francis uses an office in the Anglican Church headquarters which sits in the shadow of Kigali's Amahoro Stadium, home to the international football team. The facade of the Anglican building is impressive but the interior gives the impression of a block of Westerhailes flats. On the ground floor. Francis' office is neat and functional. Fortunately he had a large and sturdy bag to take the rucksackful of clothes.
It is unlikely that our deliveries will have much impact on the Rwandan baby clothing industry. Second-hand clothes are still being sold in the market although much more expensive than before. There is an opportunity for women such as Mbabazi whom we are supporting to produce clothes to sell but persuading the Rwandans away from their t-shirts and football colours will not be easy.