Posted by: APO | 15 June 2010

USADF Welcomes Rwandan Grantee to Washington Headquarters for Grant Signing Ceremony


USADF Welcomes Rwandan Grantee to Washington Headquarters for Grant Signing Ceremony


KIGALI, Rwanda, June 15, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United States African Development Foundation (USADF) welcomed USADF grantee Janet Nkubana from Rwanda during a special grant signing ceremony at its Washington, DC headquarters today. USADF awarded Gahaya Links a grant to support the community focused company.

Before signing the grant, USADF President Lloyd Pierson stated, “USADF is happy to welcome Ms. Nkubana to the Foundation. This grant is a testament to the successes this group has achieved and its dedication to supporting widows of genocide, grassroots development, and community engagement. ”


Gahaya Links was established in 2004 by two sisters who combined their experience in handicrafts design and marketing to organize rural women into cooperatives and associations that produce high quality crafts for export to Western consumers. The company works with more than 4,000 artisans from over 50 cooperatives and associations located in all the provinces of Rwanda. With their headquarters in Kigali, Gahaya Links provides a bridge between local artisans, cooperatives of weavers, and the international export market through sales of a variety of high-end sisal reed baskets including “cathedral” baskets, basket ornaments, and fruit baskets.


During the ceremony, Janet Nkubana, Managing Director, stated “I would thank to thank USADF for supporting the vision of empowering needy people in Rwanda. USADF has brought a lot to this company and to the women of Rwanda. ”


The Company’s strategy focuses on two core principles, extension and expansion. In both cases, Gahaya Links will differentiate itself through strong branding, which is rare for African producers, high quality products, and an emphasis on the social return for the artisans and their communities. This approach will allow the Company to charge a slightly higher premium for its products. By expanding into new product lines, including textiles and jewelry, Gahaya Links will complement their successful baskets business and create more employment possibilities for rural women.


The grant is the second grant the Foundation has awarded Gahaya Links. Funds through this grant will support training, working capital, constructing a facility for the additional home textile production line, and procurement of new sewing machines.


USADF re-established programming in Rwanda in 2006. Rwanda’s current portfolio stands at seventeen investment projects totaling $3 million. For more information about the portfolio, please visit the country’s quick source page at .


The United States African Development Foundation (USADF) is a United States Government agency dedicated to expanding access to economic opportunities to the most marginalized populations in Africa. Currently USADF operates in 20 African countries. Over the past 25 years, USADF has funded in excess of $200 million in African initiated and led development projects. For more information on USADF, its programs and application guidelines, visit



United States African Development Foundation (USADF)


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