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Construction of Kigali Convention Center likely to be completed in May

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Construction of Kigali Convention Center likely to be completed in May

Posted on 29 January 2016 by peter

Construction of Kigali Convention Center likely to be completed in May

If good weather persists, the physical structure of the Kigali Convention Center and Hotel should be completed by May 1, 2016.

The announcement was made by Rwanda’s Finance Minister, Amb. Claver Gatete while appearing before parliament yesterday.

Rwanda had to contract Turkish engineering firm-Summa to complete construction of the multimillion dollar ($300million) Kigali Convention Centre, after kicking out the Chinese company that was initially contracted but delayed the project for more than four years.

“The works that have been done by the Turkish company indicate a progress in the project’s completion. They will hand over the structure mid-April and by May 1, we will be good to go” Gatete said.

The four-year delay increased the cost of the project from the initial estimate of $300 million due to additional costs incurred by government mainly in form of accumulated interest fees as the project has mainly been financed through external borrowing.

The government spent $120 million from the proceeds of its $400 million Eurobond to repay an outstanding loan secured from Citibank, NA London branch.

The Turkish firm was contracted in June, 2015, on condition that the project is completed by the end of March 2016, failing which it will attract penalties.

The new Kigali conventional center, located on Kacyiru Roundabout, along the Kigali International airport road, will house a five star hotel with 292 rooms, entertainment facilities and conference halls with a capacity of handling over 2 500 persons.

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The U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker

U.S Announces Rwanda Its Africa’s Special Trade Ally

Posted on 28 January 2016 by peter

The U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker

The U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker

The USA has announced a special arrangement through which Rwanda will become a strategic ally in the quest to reinforce trade partnership with Africa.

US President’s Council on doing business in Africa, currently in Rwanda, delivered the message to President Paul Kagame.

Executives of the Council and representatives of American business community said Rwanda will be a point of reference for US trade policy with Africa.

The understanding comes after thorough study of the trade with Africa, which helped them develop a clear vision of partnership with the continent.

The U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, who is leading the delegation in Kigali, said  after meeting Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, she said the U.S chose Rwanda as one of two destinations because over the past 20 years, the country has been a remarkable success story.

“Much of this positive progress is the result of a concerted and focused approach to economic and commercial policymaking,” she said.

The 2015 Doing Business report, a global ranking of World Bank ranked Rwanda top 3 easiest places to do business in Africa, and 46th globally.

Rwanda has reduced its corporate income taxes from 30% to 15%, for priority sectors, including energy, financial services, transport, affordable housing and logistics in an investment code that was published in May 2015, replacing a code of 2005.

The country is giving up to 7 years of tax holidays to projects investing $50 million in energy, of which Americans are already benefiting and manufacturing, health and ICT, key sectors in country’s economy.

Pritzker said, Rwanda, like the East African Community, has a lot to offer to the US, thanks to a successful regional integration.

Rwanda and the region will also benefit from American’s partnership especially in the energy sector.

The visit provided the council an opportunity to share their perspective on what the governments of the region, in partnership with the U.S, can do to foster deeper regional economic and trade ties to overcome challenges related to power, access to capital, and infrastructure, among others.

Energy is still a challenge for Africa’s development. In the Rwandan context, the country has concluded several deals to import over 400 Megawatts from Ethiopia and Kenya, but needs more. More than $500million has been invested by American energy firms.

Meanwhile, the visiting business community also held discussion with President Kagame on some political affairs, including his decision to run for a third term in 2017. He evoked the disappointment that was expressed by US President Barack Obama’s administration.

However, the relationship between the U.S and Rwanda is ‘deep and mature’, Pritzker said. “We have seen Rwanda make progress on economic growth, reducing poverty, promoting education and improving public health.”

She also mentioned that the U.S recognises Rwanda’s contributions to peacekeeping.

Source: KT Press 

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Davos’ Love Affair With Rwanda

Posted on 23 January 2016 by peter

President Paul Kagame at the Davos World Economic Forum

President Paul Kagame at the Davos World Economic Forum

Pressure is mounting in Kigali. Jobs are at stake, so are businesses. Be it a street cleaner or a CEO of a contracted multi-million dollar firm, everyone is anxious.

Roads in the city center are being repaired. Old trees have been cut and replaced with young fresh gardens. Streets in the middle of the city now have more lanes; for cars, pedestrians and riders. New well streamed gardens have been planted alongside.

High-end apartment structures that have been under construction for a long period are now doing their final touches. Hotels are revamping their properties too.

The City Mayor, Fidel Ndayisaba, inspects every corner of the city time to time. Meetings after meetings. It is that serious.

Apparently President Paul Kagame has been asking when will the Marriott Hotel and other structures be ready.

Meanwhile, Kigali city’s face has changed. It starkly looks different from how it looked 90 days ago. Those not in the know can easily suspect something is going on, vividly. What is happening now has been the custom in Rwanda in last two decades: litter-free streets, traffic lights along all highways, construction ongoing everywhere – and the list goes on.

The reason is one. The World Economic Forum on Africa will be hosted by Rwanda in Kigali in May, 2016.

KT Press met with an official from Davos who was in Kigali in December 2015 to inspect and guide the Rwandan team preparing for the much awaited international event.

Rwanda is determined to impress the world, he concluded. “I am here to provide some assistance and guidance, but I can see Rwanda is serious about it, very serious.”

There is still valuable time before the event takes place, but the team began preparations ahead of time to avoid any surprises.  The Office of the Government Spokesperson said it is already contacting people and putting together communications plans.

Marriot Hotel in Kigali will be opened in mid February

Marriot Hotel in Kigali will be opened in mid February

Kagame takes the team to Davos

President Kagame’s significant entourage to Davos this week comprised of senior government officials. He had five ministers who spoke seperately on different panels.

Some ministers like that of Foreign Affairs Louise Mushikiwabo, and Finance’s Claver Gatete were on panel discussions. There was even a country segment dedicated to Rwanda’s economy where Atlas Mara Group co-founder Bob Diamond and Ashish J. Thakkar shared insights into why they decided to buy two local banks.

Rwanda’s image is at stake for sure. Everything has to go according to plan. The country must vindicate the World Economic Forum, understandably.

Over the past years, the World Economic Forum has ranked Rwanda among the top performers in areas of governance, gender and economic prosperity among others.

The high rankings

Last year Rwanda was ranked 1st globally in female representation in parliament, labour force participation, wage equality, and primary school enrollment. At 15th for more women in ministerial positions, all this has put Rwanda on the 7th position, in the Global Gender Gap Index 2015.

The Global Gender Gap Index thus rewarded Rwanda for its smaller gaps in equal access to its meager resources, regardless of the overall level of resources.

Being 62nd in the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), Rwanda has become the most competitive country in East Africa and 3rd most competitive in sub-Saharan Africa after Mauritius, which ranks 1st, and South Africa which ranks 2nd  

For the business executives such rankings may mean nothing, but mention the level of business sophistication, a modern financial market, friendly regulations and a red carpet, and then they will pay attention.

President Paul Kagame spoke candidly during the WEF in Davos, that one of Rwanda’s weak spots is infrastructure, especially insufficient electricity, and that it is hampering progress and business.

“The best we have done is not good enough,” he said. “We are still lacking electricity to light our streets, our homes.”

But that has not deterred global leaders from admiring and speaking highly of Rwanda’s progress.

The story that sells Rwanda is immaterial. It has nothing to do with the volume of the economy or the natural resources underneath Rwanda’s earth. Far from that. Rwanda is about $9.2 billion GDP, too small that Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is five times richer.

What sells Rwanda, instead, is something almost every globally respected research institution has found intriguing and fascinating. The World Economic Forum ranked Rwanda among the best governed countries in the world; the 7th.

President Kagame speaking at WEF in Davos

President Kagame speaking at WEF in Davos

Rwanda spews no rhetoric

What makes Rwanda score such a high mark, the WEF says, is how the government utilities the meager resources it has to achieve maximum results.

However small the economy is, the World Economic Forum, the World Bank, IMF, and others, have ranked Rwanda among the fastest growing economies in the world.

The country’s GDP per capita has grown from about $206.65 in 2000 to $769 in 2015; lifting over 1.6m citizens from extreme poverty since 2008. That alone, attracts investors’ attention.

What global CEOs like about Rwanda though, in particular, is the red carpet environment and intolerance to corruption. Global anti-graft group Transparency International annual index has had Rwanda at the top of its rankings for years.

It does not mean Rwanda is heaven, but the country is no fan to rhetoric. Officials caught up by the law are heavily punished. Even close friends to the President who find themselves on the wrong side of the law are punished, indiscriminately.

Firms that have invested in Rwanda or CEOs who have visited Rwanda have experienced this phenomenon. Some are struck by simple, but serious cases. A traffic police offer will simply arrest anyone proposing a bribe once they are caught in an offense.

Notably though, all this is taking place in a country that is as safe as one’s bedroom. Visitors to Rwanda are stunned by the level of calmness and safety on the clean streets. Apart from it being provocative, a stranger can easily walk on the street with a sack full of a million dollars unharmed. This is unheard of, by all standards.

The conventional mindset is that, such a country is too nice to exist, and if there is one, then it could be harder to be allowed entry than it is to get a USA or a Swiss VISA.

Yet Rwanda, exclusively, has exempted all Africans from VISA applications and has allowed citizens of neighbouring countries to enter without a passport.

Indeed, VISA applications were waived for all participating countries in the ongoing African Soccer Championship tournament in Rwanda.

President Kagame explained to participants in Davos how opening up doors between African nations will unlock most of Africa’s social economic challenges. “We know if we trade amongst ourselves, we would have a higher GDP growth,” he said. His view is that, these are things Africans should not “have to wait for.”

President Kagame addressing African Regional Business Council Meeting  at Davos, 22 January 2016

President Kagame addressing African Regional Business Council Meeting at Davos, 22 January 2016

Africa’s renascence from Rwanda?

For many, Kagame’s passionate vision for Rwanda, which he recently projected to the year 2050, his desire for Africa’s renaissance in general, does not only give hope, but entices even those who habour pessimism and paint a doomed picture of Africa.

Kagame’s views have to some great extent, shaped the global approach on Africa and how the west should engage the continent in a long-term relationship.

With its military foot print with over 5000 troops in the most feared conflict zones and troubled countries, Rwanda has set an echoing tone, and very well heard.

Speaking about Africa and not mention Rwanda is almost impossible. From Tech firms to  green energy corporations all speak highly of a country that is talking their language.

How the country that was almost wiped off the world map by a despicable genocide against the Tutsi just two decades ago, has managed to rebuild itself and raise to the level of gaining such global influence, is what the rest of the world wants to explore more about.

Diplomatically, the choice of allies is worth studying. Rwanda has not only managed to befriend American and British CEOs, but their governments too. In the Middle East, Israel’s friendship with Rwanda is unquestionable, but the doors in the Arab world have been opened. So is the same with China, Russia, S. Korea, Japan and India.

The UN trusts Rwanda in many fronts. The World Bank does too. In case of a crisis, it doesn’t matter where or the form of the conflict, Rwanda is always willing to send peacekeepers.

If the World Bank proposes a new shift in fighting poverty, Rwanda is always ready to try the policy. And it has always worked out positively.  At Davos, Rwanda sets a perfect example of a possibility during discussions on fighting poverty, climate change or improving health conditions.

The country does not take all this for granted. The World Economic Forum gave Rwanda the privilege to host o the WEF on Africa in May 11-13, 2016.

During the WEF,  Kagame hosted a gala called, “Rwanda Night” and took the advantage to invite participants to the event. Maybe, and maybe, some countries might pick one or two ideas from Rwanda’s rebirth during their stay in Rwanda.

Rwanda, however, is hungrier for ideas and seeking partnership than any other. At least that is how President Kagame looks at it. “Growth is not only due to hard work…but also due to partnerships.”

This partnership thing, is what is keeping everyone awake and anxious ahead of the event.

A view of Kigali city at night/ F.Nkurunziza

A view of Kigali city at night/ F.Nkurunziza

Source: KTPress

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Rwandair To Spread Wings To India

Posted on 21 January 2016 by peter

Rwandair aircraft

Rwandair aircraft

Rwanda’s national carrier, Rwandair has secured a deal to spread its wings to India connecting the Asian community in East Africa to Asia.

At the beginning of September 2016, RwandAir will start direct flights connecting Mumbai with Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali.

The airline says, this new connectivity is expected to reduce the flight time to 7 hours, with a stopover at Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania’s capital.

The honorary representative of Rwanda Development Board to India, Clarence Fernandes, said, “Dar-es – Salaam in Tanzania is home to Indian community and has not been connected yet.”

Fernandes added that; “As demand increases, we shall increase the seating capacity up to 274, with A330-300 with revised configuration (30 seats of Business class, 21 Premium and 223 Economy).

Currently, travelers have to take connecting flights from Nairobi, Addis Ababa then to Doha.

Upon commencement of its flights, Rwandair will run four weekly flights with its newly acquired aircraft, the A330-200, with a seating capacity of 244 seats; effectively spread over three classes-20 seats of Business class, 21 Premium and 203 Economy.

Rwandair is regarded as the fastest growing airline in Africa, flying to an increasing number of destinations across Africa and Middle East.

The airline recently passed the International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit, and acquired IOSA certificate.

Source: KTPress

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USA, UK Top Investors As Rwanda Registers $1.2 Billion In 2015

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Rwanda Development Board Enticed more Global Investors 2015

Posted on 18 January 2016 by peter

USA, UK Top Investors As Rwanda Registers $1.2 Billion In 2015

It is unusual for Medical Doctors to mobilise millions of dollars and invest in a multi-million dollar and bankable venture.

In 2015, however, three big brains in global health, Drs. Paul Farmer, Peter Drobac, and Agnes Binagwaho; Rwanda’s Health minister, were able to mobilise enough money for what turned out to be Rwanda’s biggest investment of the year.

Equipped with an array of academic and extensive expertise from implementation experts to educators from leading academic medical institutions, including Harvard Medical School and Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, the doctors established the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE).

The world-class health sciences university, owned by Partners in Health, an American health organisation, is worth $150million.

A slightly similar venture, the third largest investment in terms of cash volume, the African Leadership University, also injected in $100million to offer higher education to students in Rwanda and the rest of the continent.

The second biggest investment was $113.5 million by Meshpower, a British energy firm, that is installing solar-powered micro grids to provide electricity to off-grid rural areas.

Meanwhile, the three investors contributed 32.34% ($363.5million) of the total investment registered in 2015.

KT Press has exclusively learnt from the Rwanda Development Board that the country registered $1.124billion from 144 projects in 2015. Ten of the total projects worth $44.8 million were registered in December alone.

The investments were in the eight sectors. Agriculture ($75million), Tourism ($62million), ICT ($76million), Manufacturing ($51 .397million), Services ($440.62) Energy and Water ($243million), Mining ($51.8million), and Construction ($126million).

RDB’s target for 2015 was to register $1.344billion, but it fell short of $220.10 million, making $1.124 billion (83.63%).

However, the target ($230million) for the service sector was exceeded by $210.62, mainly because of the  large volume by the and the third top investors.

Construction, ICT and tourism made failed to hit the target respectively. The is no assessment provided to explain the cause.

However, inconsiderate of the targets, the top three sectors in terms of value registered were, services with $440.60million, energy and water with $243million and construction that attracted $126million.

On the other hand, however, the top three sectors in terms of number of investment projects registered out of the total 144 from the eight sectors, were services with 35,  followed by manufacturing with 35 and then agriculture with 24.

In spite of falling short in the target, the volume of investment for 2015 were way higher than those registered in 2014. The number of registered projects and dollars invested were way below those of 2015.

The country registered 111 projects worth US$390.6m; just 23% of investment in 2015.

Interestingly though, USA continues to be Rwanda’s leading source of investment flow.

The first ten investments in 2014 were worth US$259million (66.31% of total FDIs). Symbion Power, an American  energy firm extracting methane gas from Kivu lake, counted for 60.61% of the top ten, with $157million.

USA, UK Top Investors As Rwanda Registers $1.2 Billion In 2015

SOURCE : KT-PRESS

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Kagame Explains Rwanda’s Foreign Policy To Diplomats

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Kagame Explains Rwanda’s Foreign Policy To Diplomats

Posted on 15 January 2016 by peter

Kagame Explains Rwanda’s Foreign Policy To Diplomats

President Paul Kagame (C) Uganda’s Ambassador to Rwanda, Richard Kabonero, the Dean of Ambassadors in Rwanda

At a glamorous annual diplomat luncheon held at Village Urugwiro, President Paul Kagame clarified in a brief but precise address, Rwanda’s engagement with the rest of the world.

President Kagame said that Rwanda’s foreign policy is informed by free open dialogue, friendship and partnership.

“Rwanda’s diplomacy and international engagement are resolutely multilateral, cooperative and judicious,” Kagame said.

He explained that Rwanda’s desire and commitment to engage with the wider international community is driven by what Rwandans stand for as a people; “We contribute meaningfully to global cooperation because it reflects who we are as a people.”

The President said that Rwanda values open dialogue and, “we listen carefully and also contribute, where we can.”

He also expressed gratitude for the support Rwanda has received from the international community in the past two decades as the country struggled to emerge from the difficult times as a result of the genocide against the Tutsi in 1994.

“We very much appreciate all that you do, to keep our relations strong,” he said. “For us, this counts for a lot. Thank you for what we have achieved together and look forward to more as we continue to make progress we want and deserve.”

As usual, he repeated what he has always said about Rwanda’s ambitions and aspirations.

In Rwanda, he said, “we are determined to prosper. Rwandans are working to be our best selves, fully responsible for our future, a burden to no one.”

“You are in a position to see this first-hand and provide useful context, back to headquarters, when called upon,” Kagame said.

Uganda’s Ambassador to Rwanda, Richard Kabonero, the Dean of Ambassadors in Rwanda, a post he has held since 2008, spoke briefly and described how the international community understands Rwanda. By quoting Kagame, he said, “We will make this country prosperous not by riding on back of others but based on our abilities.”

President Kagame later talked about how indeed Rwanda desires with all efforts, to become a self-reliant nation in the near future.

“There is no doubt, we need to be who we are. We can work to be better versions of who are.” “That is what we struggle to achieve,” he said.

Before concluding his address, President Kagame, who lost his mother on November 23, 2015, thanked everyone for the condolences and support he received during the hard time.

“Thank you for the messages of condolences received when my mother passed away. There are moments when we are just humans, thank you for being with us in those moments.”

Source: KT Press 

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China, Uganda increase Exports amid Rwanda’s widening deficit

Posted on 11 January 2016 by peter

Uganda Cement bags being loaded on a truck destined to Rwanda

Uganda Cement bags being loaded on a truck destined to Rwanda

Rwanda is increasingly purchasing most of its major necessities from neighbouring Uganda although China is still number one source of its imports.

According to the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda, Uganda has overtaken India as the second major source of its imports.

With a fast growing economy, Rwandans are increasingly demanding for; cement, cellular phones, medicines, vehicles and fertilisers.

These commodities, the report noted, represented 15.95% of Rwanda’s total imports in the third quarter of 2015.

The value of these imports have more than quadrupled compared to the second quarter.

Cement imported from Uganda was worth US$19.39 million (14.55% less over the same quarter of 2014).

Telephones for cellular networks or for other wireless almost US$20 million (up 10.35% year-over year)

Rwanda also imported medicaments in measured doses for retail sale worth US$ 16.4 million (down 14.15% compared to the same quarter of 2014 reaching).

There was a surprising increase in demand for diesel or semi diesel engine vehicles, 2500cc, mostly (up 463.13% when compared to the same quarter of 2014 amounting US$ 12.16 million).

Roughly US$ 10 million was spent on mineral or chemical fertilisers containing the three fertilising elements nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium (up 68.44% on 2014 third quarter levels).

Overall, the value of imports in the third quarter of 2015 amounted to US$ 481.10 million representing a 2.23% rise compared to the second quarter of 2015 which amounted to US$ 470.60 million and of 12.47% compared to the corresponding quarter of 2014 amounting US$ 427.75 million.

In the third quarter of 2015, top five imports of Rwanda originated from; China (US$ 97.88 million), Uganda (US$ 63.35 million), Kenya (US$ 39.83 million), India (US$ 35.81 million) and Japan (US$ 24.80 million),” said the report released last month.

Around one third (32.95%) of Rwanda’s top five imports came from Asia (US$ 158.48 million).

Meanwhile, as Rwanda still struggles to fix the widening balance of trade, the country is pushing to increase export of its locally produced goods to external markets.

According to a report, the country’s formal trade in goods increased by 0.3% in the third quarter of 2015.

“In the third quarter of 2015, Rwanda’s total trade reached up to US$ 623.25 million higher by 0.3% over the third quarter of 2014, made up of exports worth of US$ 96.14 million, imports worth of US$ 481.10 million and re-exports valued at US$ 46.01 million.

However, the deficit continues to widen. Despite making almost US$100m more, the trade imbalance has stretched beyond 40%.

The trade deficit for the third quarter of 2015 worked out to US$ 338.95 million, 45% higher than the deficit of US$ 233.98 million for the corresponding quarter of 2014.

Compared to the previous quarter of 2015, the deficit was higher by 4% (US$ 326.32 million of deficit in the second Quarter of 2015.

Rwanda’s exports mainly comprised of Tea (fermented and partly fermented) and coffee both not roasted and not decaffeinated.

Others goods included minerals such as; Niobium, vanadium ores, tantalum and concentrates. The list also consists of gold, tin ores and concentrates.

Source: KTPress 

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Rwanda produces tasty tropical fruits

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Rwandan Products Expanding Footprint In Europe, Asia

Posted on 07 January 2016 by peter

Rwandan women drying coffee beans.

Rwandan women drying coffee beans.

Rwanda is finding better ways of getting known around the world than the usual ugly “genocide tag”.

Over 40 % of the country’s exported products have already found their way into European retail stores.

Trade and Industry Minister, Francois Kanimba told KT Press that Rwanda is also one of the supliers of industrial materials.

“We are mainly exporting raw materials highly needed in the European market,”  he said.

Rwanda earned $ 599.76 million from exports in 2014 and $ 275 .28 million in the first half of 2015, according to the central bank.

The annual trade performance report indicates that export of Rwandan products to Europe increased to 41% of the total exports in 2014 from 35% in the previous year.

“Europe is a traditional consumer of our products and we are just trying to penetrate new markets, especially Japan, South Korea and the Middle East bloc,” said Pierre Munyura, the chairman of coffee exporters and processors association of Rwanda (CEPAR).

The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) says exports to Europe are now twice higher than exports to East African Community that consumes 21% of Rwandan commodities from formal trade.

Exports to the region are mainly food commodities including; famous Irish potatoes from volcanoes region, cereals, milk, meat and eggs among others.

Rwandan exports to Europe are far higher than Asian and Australian blocs where export volume declined to 16% of the total commodities export in 2014, from 19% in 2013.

DRC is the biggest regional importer of Rwandan products with $106 million representing 20% in 2013 and $84 million (14%) the following year.

Exports to DRC are dominated by beverage, fresh foods, cereals, dairy products and others.

Meanwhile, the National Agriculture Export Board indicates that Rwanda exported 16,000 tons of coffee earning $60 million in 2014.

Switzerland imported close to 40% of this volume, equivalent to the volume going to South and North America.

The second biggest export destination is Belgium with 17%, followed by UK with 6%.

Pakistan is the main consumer of Rwandan tea, taking 60% followed by UK with 18%. Egypt and South Sudan share 8%.

Horticulture export is still low, but Europe has also shown interest. The Netherlands will soon turn the biggest market for Rwandan flowers, which are only being exported by individual farmers.

Simon Ethang’atta, a consultant with Floramats, a flower export company told KT Pressthat he is expecting two million flowers to be shipped at the Flora Holland, the global auction of flowers based in the Netherlands.

Floramats has secured five hectares for flower plantation in Rulindo district, Northern Province. “The only challenge with Rwanda is scarcity of flower seeds,” says Ethang’atta.

Rwanda produces tasty tropical fruits

Rwanda produces tasty tropical fruits

Last year, Burcin Isler, the former General Manager of Turkish Airlines in Rwanda told KT Press that his country, Turkey, is eagerly looking for the tasty tropical fruits and Rwanda is among their targets.

Europe’s dominance of Rwandan market could be attributed to diversification of the products.

Meanwhile, Asia is the main importer of minerals. In 2014, Coltan, Cassiterite and Wolfram earned the country a total $203.32 million.

Between January and June 2015, the country had registered a quarter of this amount with $64. 24 million from the same minerals.

Frabrice Kayihura, Managing Director of Mineral Supply Africa, told KT Press that the main destination of Rwandan minerals is China.

He said China is mainly interested in Coltan and Casseterite, which also goes to Malaysia and Thailand.

China also dominates the Wolfram market, with Japan as a competitor.

“Labour market is low in China; several Europeans and Americans installed their franchises in the country to benefit the cheap labour in the manufacturing industry,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rwanda’s trade relationship with the Americas is still dismal, with 4% of exports volume. It might soon be bypassed by the recent Middle East market.

SOURCE : KT-PRESS

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Rwandans In Canada To Invest $7M In Housing

Posted on 21 December 2015 by peter

Housing construction is booming Rwanda due to the high demand for affordable housing

Housing construction is booming Rwanda due to the high demand for affordable housing

Allain Patrick Ndengera, a Rwandan living in Canada and other partners, has found a better place to invest his idle cash.

He announced during the 13th National Dialogue taking place in Kigali that him and a few other Rwandans living in Canada will invest $7million in real estate projects back home.

“We are abroad, but we are attached to our home country; we want to build apartments in city of Kigali, the project will cost us $7 million,” he said, attracting wild applause.

Ndengera said that Rwandans in Canada have invested in several sectors in Rwanda, through capital markets, but he believes the investment in real estate will contribute to bridging the gap in housing industry.

The Rwanda Housing Authority estimates the Rwanda’s demand for affordable housing in general to at least 560,000 Units by 2020.

In Kigali City alone, the new housing demand is estimated at 344,068 dwelling units between 2012 and 2022, with more than 60% needed for low and middle class.

Kigali is targeting to build at least 10,000 dwelling units every year to bridge the gap, creating a ready investment opportunity for various investors like Ndengera.

Meanwhile, he said that Rwandans in Canada also take part in social programs like one cow per family, community work, Umuganda and others, quite like any Rwandan in the country.

Rwandans living abroad say the country integrates them in all its programs, and they always feel their investments should come back home.

Ndengera said this after a speech by Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, who said, “Before appointing any ambassador to represent Rwanda abroad, we make sure we assign them to make the embassy a home for any Rwandan in that country.”

“We are no longer asking what our country should do for us, rather, we want to find out what we could do for our country,” said Ndengera.

Every year since 2003, the national dialogue gives an opportunity to each and every Rwandan to appreciate the progress of the country, to ask a question they think is hindering the country progress and to propose a breakthrough.

Allain Patrick Ndengera and other Rwandans living in Canada will invest $7million in Real estate in Rwanda

Allain Patrick Ndengera and other Rwandans living in Canada will invest $7million in Real estate in Rwanda

Source: KTPress

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Farm better, save more: Gisagara rice farmers’ group transforming lives

Posted on 16 December 2015 by peter

Members of the various farmers’ groups are trained in better farming techniques, in addition to other aspects that can enable them practice agriculture as a business.

Members of the various farmers’ groups are trained in better farming techniques, in addition to other aspects that can enable them practice agriculture as a business.

Adam Rwirahira has spent his life growing rice.  His father, Peter, is considered a rice guru and has been in the business for 30 years. He currently farms close to ten hectares but his son wanted to do more.

Before he joined Save village rice farmers association in Gisagara district, Rwirahira and his family of four were living in a grass-thatched house. In that life, his main challenge was getting a daily home income to buy household items like soap and salt.

Putting food on the table for his family was also a challenge as he would first go to offer labour in people’s gardens to make some money.

As fate would have it, one day Rwanda Agricultural board (RAB) introduced access improved seeds in his sector which increased acreage and production.

Rice is one of the main staple foods in Rwanda and has been identified as a priority crop by government.

Farmers from Save and Kibirizi sectors reveals that yields were very low when they were growing sweet potatoes and maize, saying that they only got enough for consumption but remained poor.

Vincent Rutebuka, another rice farmer in Kibirizi sector said: “I have three rice fields in this marshland but never harvested crops worth Rwf20, 000 before. However, this time the story is different.

Through the association, we can do collective marketing and as a bulking of farmer’s produce for value addition and also collective bargaining for better prices.

“We fix prices for farmer produce and collect marketing information because some farmer’s don’t know how to market their produce,” Rutebuka points out.

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