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Indego Africa to set new standard for fair trade industry
Mar '09
It seems hard to believe that the 15-year anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda is nearly upon us. With the date fast approaching, you should know about a social enterprise focused on rebuilding Rwanda by setting a new standard for the fair trade industry.

By coupling a thriving handicraft retail business with long-term skills training programs, Indego Africa is empowering hundreds of women in Africa to lift themselves out of poverty and make changes in their community. Fittingly, "Indego" stands for INdependence, DEvelopment, and GOvernance.

Indego Africa first provides a fair wage to more than 250 women in its partner cooperatives in Rwanda (50% paid in advance) and sells their handicrafts in untapped export markets, including at prominent retailers and on its webstore. Indego Africa handicrafts are elegant, functional, and the engine behind an exciting social enterprise approach to sustainable economic development.

Indego Africa's exciting innovation is that it applies 100% of the profits from sales and donations to its long-term training programs. Administered by orphaned Rwandan university students, these programs help safeguard and diversify income-generating skills through classes in financial management, computer usage, and literacy. Indego Africa not only focuses on fair trade, but also places great emphasis on sustainability by protecting income from market shifts, encouraging entrepreneurship, and promoting self-confidence.

"Before Indego I was like an abandoned forgotten person but now I feel like I am useful to society because I can produce something. I am no longer a consumer, I can contribute." - Daphrose Mukamugema, a 56 year old Indego Africa weaver.

The Indego Africa product line - available at Indego Africa
• Wine Coasters! Made by hand with vibrant Dutch wax cloth, Indego Africa's wine coasters come in sets of four, are tied neatly by banana leaves, and feature a unique design: they fit snugly over the base of any fluted glass.
• Plateau Baskets! These ornate flat baskets require up to 7 days and unparalleled skill to complete. Featuring striking patterns and colors, the artisan crafts each one-of-a-kind basket by hand -- using needles & fine plant threads.
• Agaseke Baskets! The Agaseke style and shape is unique to Rwanda and renowned worldwide. The technique requires patience, precision, and great skill to master. Original and ornamental sizes are perfect for any season or occasion.

Indego Africa

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