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Donnish Journal of African Studies and Development

June 2015 Vol. 1(2), pp. 015-020

Copyright © 2015 Donnish Journals




Original Research Article


Handicraft Cooperatives Movement in Rwanda: The Boat Has to Stay Afloat before it Takes on any Passengers


Jeanne Shange

Department of Creative Design, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (SABE), University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda.

Corresponding Author E-mail: jeanshange@gmail.com

Accepted 2nd June, 2015.



Abstract


The title of this paper is based on Ignace Polletís phrase that the boat has to stay afloat before it can take on passengers. This paper aimed to establish the economic role and social impact of craft cooperatives movement in Rwanda, which is supported by the Government of Rwanda (GoA) as a tool to alleviate poverty and boost income generation for rural households in Rwanda. In many developing Sub-Saharan African countries, the craft sector appears to face similar challenges, such as illiteracy, low level(s) of education, lack of knowledge about product development, marketing, distribution and exportation of handicraft products in the global market. The data for this paper was collected through a project workshop with La Copabu Cooperative, located in the southern province called Huye (former Butare), in Rwanda. The conclusion made was that if attention is offered to individual cooperatives, yet expensive, but it could make it easier to monitor progress and growth of the cooperative movement within each country. Lessons learnt from the experience of including design students and the design ideas they shared, show that this is one way of decreasing the costs of intervention strategies because the inclusion of students makes it possible for such community and society related issues to be integrated into research projects in the fourth year level of tertiary study.

Keywords: Cooperative movement, handicraft product, artist, crafters, development.

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Cite This Article:

Jeanne Shange. Handicraft Cooperatives Movement in Rwanda: The Boat Has to Stay Afloat before it Takes on any Passengers. Donnish Journal of African Studies and Development 1(3) 2015 pp. 015-020.


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