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Europe Samples Rwandan Coffee at Amsterdam Festival

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Europe Samples Rwandan Coffee at Amsterdam Festival

Posted on 16 May 2015 by peter

Europe is now able to sample Rwanda’s high quality coffee at the ongoing festival in Amsterdam in The Netherlands. 

The event (May 15-17) has been organised by the Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda in The Hague in collaboration with This Side Up (importer of coffee) and Sweet Cup (coffee roaster and retailer).

Ambassador Jean Pierre Karabaranga,Rwanda’s envoy in the Netherlands said, “key industry players and of course many other interested parties will discover and enjoy the specialty coffees from Rwanda.”

“This is an invaluable experience for coffee connoisseurs,” said Ambassador Karabaranga.

Rwanda’s coffee specialties at the festival include; Coko, Iwacu and Rushashi. The country is blessed with particularly good coffee-growing condition volcanic soil and plenty of sun and equatorial mist.

Most of the coffee in Rwanda is grown at elevations ranging from 1,200 to 1,800 meters above sea level. Coffee plants flower in September in October and cherries are harvested from March to July.

Rwanda exports more than 3,698.6 tonnes of Coffee annually to mostly China, Germany and United States.

Europe Samples Rwandan Coffee at Amsterdam Festival

A visitor at the Rwanda Booth Samples Rwanda’s coffee at the ongoing Amsterdam Coffee Festival

The Rwandan booth at the festival, diversity of Rwanda coffee (filter and espresso) can be experienced: three very diverse coffees – Cup of Excellence winning cooperatives and private law mills.

The Amsterdam Coffee Festival in the Netherlands is the event where an innovative subculture of fans experiences coffee, tea, chocolate and food.

Rwanda also is using the festival to court potential investors and coffee retailers. Its attended by more than 5,000 visitors from across the globe.

Lennart Clerkx of This Side Up a firm known for direct marketing of Rwanda coffee says, “I will answer any question about starting and maintaining direct trade relationships with Rwandan coffee producers.”

“Throughout the festival we will hold walk-cuppings and visitors to the booth will be overloaded with everything they want to know about these coffees,” He said.

More than 94 global coffee companies including Rwanda’s –Rwanda Coffee have graced the Amsterdam Coffee festival.

The festival follows the 2014 inaugural edition; it features over 100 artisan roasters, equipment makers, gourmet food stalls and more.

Europe Samples Rwandan Coffee at Amsterdam Festival

More than 5,000 visitors from across the world attending the coffee festival in Amsterdam in The Netherlands

Europe Samples Rwandan Coffee at Amsterdam Festival

Visitors at the Rwanda Booth.. interested parties will discover and enjoy the specialty coffees from Rwanda

Europe Samples Rwandan Coffee at Amsterdam Festival

The Amsterdam Coffee Fest features over 100 artisan roasters, equipment makers, gourmet food stalls and more

Source: KT Press

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BRD Receives $30m To Finance Development Projects

BRD Receives $30m To Finance Development Projects

Posted on 08 May 2015 by peter

BRD Receives $30m To Finance Development Projects

A Rwandan Farmer attending to passion fruit garden.

Rwanda’s Development Bank (BRD) signs a $30 million deal todayaimed at financing Rwanda’s Energy, Agriculture and Manufacturing sectors.

KT Press has learnt that the deal will also finance the country’s education sector and exports.

The funds from Banque de Développement des Etats des Grands Lacs (BDEGL) will be channeled through BRD.

“BDEGL loan will strengthen financing capacity of BRD in the productive projects of Small and Medium-Enterprises that meet the financing criteria,” Frank Abaho, Bank’s publicist has told KT Press.

Last year, BRD approved investment loans worth Rwf64 billion ($88 million) in the above sectors, contributing Rwf43 billion ($59 million) to the country’s GDP of Rwf5, 389 billion.

The BRD plans to expand its loan portfolio this year. “We want to inject Rwf65 billion ($90 million) in the economy to finance private and public projects that will see the country attain its aspirations.”

Rwanda, whose economy has grown 8% for the past decade, wants to attain a middle-income status with a GDP per capita of $1200 in the next five years.

Source: KTPress

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Rwandan lawyers honor Murambi Genocide victims

Posted on 06 May 2015 by peter

Over 100 lawyers through their Rwanda Bar association on Monday afternoon visited the Murambi Genocide memorial site as part of the 21st Genocide commemoration activities.

Lawyerslaid wreaths on graves, after a one-minute moment of silence

Lawyerslaid wreaths on graves, after a one-minute moment of silence

Lawyers honored the memory of the 50, 000 victims at Murambi Genocide victims with a minute of silence.

“It’s important that we honor the victims and survivors of this terrible tragedy and ensure that we prevent future atrocities from being committed,” said Athanase Rutabingwa, the representative of the lawyers’ forum.

Lawyersin a walk to remember

Lawyersin a walk to remember

Philbert Nyamagabe Mugisha, the mayor of Nyamagabe district Rwandans should not forget the genocide and the victims.

He also said that the human community should ensure that Rwanda ever suffers such systematic destruction again.

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Northern corridor renews tourism bid

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Northern corridor renews tourism bid

Posted on 30 April 2015 by peter

Northern corridor renews tourism bid

Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda, that are part of the East African Community and whose three members constitute the Northern Corridor Integration Projects initiative are reviewing their joint tourism marketing programs.

The focus will be on attracting more international leisure and business visitors; continuing to position the East African region as a single tourism destination, drawing on the depth and diversity of the attractions within the region and offering an estimated 141 million people as an attractive market for investment.

Joint tourism marketing brings together the government and private sector agencies in charge of tourism marketing including Rwanda Development Board’s Department of Tourism and Conservation, Kenya Tourism Board and Uganda Tourism Board under the Northern Corridor Integration Projects Initiative.

Speaking during a press briefing in Kigali after a joint consultative meeting, Ambassador Yamina Karitanyi, the Chief Tourism Officer at the Rwanda Development Boards said that the partner states collectively considered issues like security, infrastructure and ease of access as central to ensuring domestic, regional and international visitors’ confidence in their personal safety and comfort when touring East Africa.

“We have pledged to continuously and actively promote the Northern Corridor states as a joint destination. Security and ease of access and tourist confidence remain a top priority for this destination.

As you know, we introduced the East Africa Tourism Visa last year and this already has had an impact. In addition to organizing joint events at fairs, we have organized travel trade and travel media trips for the groups to familiarize them with the offering.” she said.

Fiona Ngesa, Assistant Regional Marketing Manager at the Kenya Tourism Board indicated that the region remains a very safe destination for every tourist and that Kenya was addressing the security situation.

“We want to reassure our domestic, regional and international visitors that they will be safe and secure. We are open for business & we therefore encourage all to come & sample the diversity of our tourism products.”

Edwin Muzahura, the Marketing and PR Manager at the Uganda Tourism Board said “We are in a unique region that has a lot to offer and at least regionally, we are taking advantage of it.

There has been an increase in inter regional trade and tourism as a result of use of the interstate passes, the East Africa Tourism Visa and the IDs. Northern Corridor Initiative

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Nyabihu slam MINISPOC for unfulfilled promise to construct Mukamira Memorial site

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Nyabihu slam MINISPOC for unfulfilled promise to construct Mukamira Memorial site

Posted on 19 April 2015 by peter

For five years, the Ministry of Culture and sports (MINISPOC) promised Rwf65 Million to Nyabihu District for construction of Mukamira Genocide Memorial Site but trials have been on a regular failure without clarification.

Despite numerous struggles to get the ministry to release the promised funds, Nyabihu is still waiting in vain a reason they made the final attempt to remind the ministry of the promise made and get the fund to finish the construction of the memorial site.

Nyabihu slam MINISPOC for unfulfilled promise to construct Mukamira Memorial site

The 1st Phase of Mukamira Memorial site was completed; the second construction phase is being awaited.

“When Joseph Habineza was the Minister in MINISPOC and had joined us in a genocide memorial event, he had  promised to give us the money to complete the construction of Mukamira Memorial Site but since then, the promise has not been realized,” recounts Anastase Juru, the coordinator of IBUKA in Nyabihu district.

After finishing in renovation, painting, fencing and tiling among other things one part of Mukamira Memorial Site with the support of local people and Nyabihu district, they are waiting for the Local Government Ministry to fulfill its promise and have the 2nd part of Mukamira Memorial Site be constructed.

“The first phase of Mukamira Memorial site renovation had cost Rwf70 Million and we are waiting for Rwf65 Million from MINISPOC to finish the 2nd phase” explains Juru.

Nyabihu slam MINISPOC for unfulfilled promise to construct Mukamira Memorial site

Anastase Juru, the coordinator of IBUKA reminding MINISPOC of its promise during a memorial service

The 2nd part of Mukamira Memorial Site will include construction of a museum house, a room and office, the tiled part where to lay wreaths of flowers during commemoration, tiling the mass graves for 1994 genocide against Tutsis victims, toilets and the watchman’s house.

The 2nd phase construction project is ready to commence as soon as MINISPOC releases the Rwf65M.

The Ministry concerned has not been able to explain the cause of delaying funds despite several inquiries for the right answers.

Mukamira Memorial Site is situated in Kazuba village in Mukamira sector and has about 2074 1994 genocide victims laid to rest in the area.

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Anastase Juru

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Nyabihu: MINISPOC empty promises angers IBUKA

Posted on 19 April 2015 by peter

Nyabihu: MINISPOC empty promises angers IBUKA

The Ministry of Culture and sports (MINISPOC) during the reign of Joseph Habineza pledged to contribute Rwf65million towards the construction of Mukamira Genocide Memorial Site.

According to Anastase Juru, the coordinator of IBUKA in Nyabihu district it has been more than 5 years and the Ministry of Culture and sports never fulfilled its promise.

“By the time, Joseph Habineza was the Minister in MINISPOC and had joined us in a genocide memorial ceremony and he did promise that on behalf of the ministry he pledged towards the construction of the  Memorial Site but since then, the promise has not been realized yet,” recounts Juru.

Anastase Juru

Anastase Juru

Mukamira Memorial Site is situated in Kazuba village in Mukamira sector and shelters over 2074 genocide victims.

He explained that the construction project had other partners who fulfilled their pledges now awaiting MINISPOC to release Rwf65million to complete for the second phrase.

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Rwanda's Tourism Sector grabbed massive Americans 2014

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Rwanda’s Tourism Sector grabbed massive Americans 2014

Posted on 16 April 2015 by peter

The United States is the largest contributor to Rwanda’s tourism revenues, accounting for 20% of the total revenue.

The immigration office says 1,220,000 visitors were received in 2014, compared to 1,122,000 visitors hosted in 2013, corresponding to a 9% increase (98,000 visitors).

In 2014, of the total number of visitors, 24,488 were Americans, followed by India with 13,008 visitors, then United Kingdom with 12,320, Belgium with 8,733, and 8,228 Germans on the fifth spot.

Rwanda Development Board (RDB) says the country generated$304.9 million in 2014 from tourism, compared to$293.6 million in 2013, representing an increase of 4%. These revenues increased from $62 million in 2000.

Apart from being the safest spot for vacation in Africa, wildlife sight-seeing, especially gorilla and bird watching, and conferences draw the biggest portion of the revenues. The country hosted 19,085 conference visitors, compared to 15,441 in 2013, earning $29 million.

Georgianne Nienaber, an American author and regular visitor to Rwandatold KTPress that “Americans realize thatRwanda is one of the safest places to vacation in Africa. More and more tourists will come.”

Rwanda's Tourism Sector grabbed massive Americans 2014

Georgianne on Canopy Walk in Nyungwe forest

Tourists enjoy the variety of landscapes, the other wildlife, and especially the birds, Nienaber says. “Americans are big bird enthusiasts.”

Payments for gorilla permits accounted for 70% of this year’s tourism revenues worth$213.43 million, RDB says. A foreigner pays $750 to visit mountain gorillas.

Being home to two thirds of the world’s mountain gorillas aggressive conservation efforts in the last 10 years have helped breed 179 mountain gorilla infants, usually cerebrated and given names during the Kwita Izina ceremonies, inspired by the Rwandan baby naming tradition following the birth of a new baby.

Global figures such as Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Rick Warren have participated in the event.  Last year, over 500 international guests participated.

Meanwhile, the country targets generating $860 million from tourism by 2016, but analysts say the target is a little too ambitious and may not be attained due to different shortfalls, especially in the quality of services.

“When you look at Rwanda’s tourism growth in a regional perspective, a lot needs to be done,” said Joseph Opondo, a lecturer at Rwanda Tourism University.

“There should be more efforts in improving services like hospitality in different sectors of this country,” he said.

Rwanda's Tourism Sector grabbed massive Americans 2014

An encounter with mountain gorillas in their natural habitat in Rwanda.

Rwanda's Tourism Sector grabbed massive Americans 2014

tourists trekking in one of the forests in Rwanda

Source:KT Press

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Nyarubuye genocide memorial to get facelift3

Kirehe: Nyarubuye genocide memorial to get facelift

Posted on 02 April 2015 by peter

In a bid to maintain and keep memories of the victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, Kirehe district plans to renovate Nyarubuye genocide memorial site.

Nyarubuye genocide memorial to get facelift

Nyarubuye genocide memorial site is home to the remains of more than 50,000 victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

This comes after residents complained about the construction of Nyarubuye memorial site, saying every year a promise is made but never put into place.

This was revealed on 28th March 2015 during monthly umuganda.

Nyarubuye genocide memorial to get facelift2

Ernest Rwagasana, head of Kirehe district council revealed to this website that a master plan has been made for the construction of Nyarubuye genocide memorial site, saying what is left is to present the master plan with the district administration.

“The latest news reaching us is that the master plan has been drafted. What is remaining is to discuss with the district administration about the master plan and include it in the next fiscal year,” said Rwagasana.

Nyarubuye genocide memorial to get facelift3

He said that the site will be decent place to store the remains of the victims and also provide space for the young generation to learn the history of genocide.

While Nyarubuye genocide memorial site awaits construction, Jacqueline Murekatete; vice mayor in charge of social affairs urged residents to take good care of the site by cleaning and keeping grass short.

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The Embarrassing Photograph France Would Rather Doesn’t Exist

Posted on 28 March 2015 by peter

On June 25, 1994, Boniface Higiro was 19 years. At around 11:00am, a convoy of military and white civilian vehicles drove uphill towards Bisesero, located in Western Rwanda.

“We saw white people calling us to come down as they were here to rescue us,” narrates Higiro, now 40 years. And they did come out hoping for protection.

Boniface Higiro is one of the 900 surviving Tutsis from what turned out to be one of the worst mass extermination projects in which tens of thousands of Tutsis were lured to their death by French troops.

Twenty one years later, after the Genocide against the Tutsis, he still has vivid recollections of the few days that will remain ingrained in his memory forever.

Bisesero located in the hilly region of Kibuye prefecture, today’s Karongi District. Before the genocide began en-mass on April 6, 1994, it was considered to have more Tutsis than Hutus, according to an academician, Dr Jean Damascene Bizimana.

It was target of the ex-government forces and genocide Interahamwe militias. Despite months of reinforcements, Tutsis armed with stones, sticks and anything they could get hold o, battled for survival to counter mass attacks.

Hundreds died due to the overwhelming power of the attacks coordinated from the highest levels of the interim government led by Theodore Sindikubwabo.

Survivors including Kwigize Jean, say that the militias who were brought from adjacent regions and began occupying the hill tops. It was from there that they strode downhill armed with the most crude weapons and guns to clear out all Tutsis.

Tutsis then organized themselves into coordinated resistance groups. “We knew for years that one day extremists will come to exterminate us, and indeed they did” says Kwigize. “There were only two options; fight the killers or wait to be wiped out.”

Bisesero in 1994

Three French journalists

The former Finance Finance, Emmanuel Ndindabahizi, is serving life sentence for his role providing a constant supply of weapons for militias to head to Bisesero. Convicted Aloys NDIMBATI, the bourgmestre of nearby Gisovu commune also availed government vehicles that ferried the militias to Bisesero.

Up until June, Tutsis in Bisesero fought running battles pushing the militia onslaught up the hills, as the latter moved down clearing anything with breathe.

Whenever they were overwhelmed, the militias retreated while burning up everything to deny food and hiding places for Tutsis.

Then on June 27, news spread quickly that white people had arrived in Bisesero.

Exhausted and hungry, many Tutsis were still alive. Higiro and Kwigize, with thousands others moved towards the French convoy.

The two remember very well seeing French commandos urging them to return to their homes and a camp was set up at the exact location.

The French soldiers were accompanied by government forces. Higiro and Kwigize say they pleaded with their visitors to either stay or be relocate to other regions. But as they cried for protection, militias and government soldiers laughed.

Within hours, the French told the crowding Tutsi survivors that they would return “tomorrow”, before driving off.

Three French journalists from three of France’s biggest media were on the convoy including Patrick de Saint-Exupéry. He has since published a series of award-winning publications about his time in the region.

Meanwhile, on the evening of the same day, survivors saw buses and military trucks driving towards Bisesero from all directions.

From a distance, the occupants sung and chanted as though they were heading for a big celebration. The final assault on Bisesero was being prepared.

As the massacre went on in Bisesero region, Patrick de Saint-Exupéry writes that on June, 29, French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur and Defense Minister François Léotard arrived in Kibuye to visit their troops.

Saint-Exupéry reportedly asked the two officials in an unscripted exchange what was going to be done for Tutsis holed up the mountains.

“We will go there,” responded Balladur, according to Saint-Exupéry’s account. “…tomorrow, we will go there.”

Bisesero March 2015

Hope from horror

Data from UN indictments which led to conviction of several government officials and businessmen for their role in the Bisesero massacre shows that internal planning had set June 30, as the deadline to “finalise work in Bisesero”. It was the date by which no Tutsis would be left in the area.

French troops were part of a UN-mandated. The French contingent set up the infamous ‘Zone Turquoise’ covering Wester and some parts of Southern Rwanda.

As the photo taken 21 years ago shows, nothing much has changed in the exact location where it was taken by a civilian member of the convoy.

About 300m away is the magnificent Bisesero genocide memorial site built on one of the hills.

The embarrassing photo, along with the remains of the tens of thousands of victims, is laid to rest inside the memorial.

On March 21, 2015, more than 700 orphans from different parts of the country made the emotional journey back to Bisesero.

The orphans grouped in the Association of Student Genocide Survivors and former students cleaned the memorial site, built a new house for a vulnerable survivor and rewarded two individuals for saving Tutsis.

An elderly woman who hid Tutsis and watched her husband killed, was rewarded with a cow. The military also promised her to a well-furnished house.

Today, the population of Bisesero is largely comprised of frail elderly people and some in their 40s, all of whom are males.

The old, women and children who could not survive the militia assault, hunger and disease, died during the horrific days of June.

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Source: KT Press

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Why is Nyange memorial site in bad shape?

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Why is Nyange memorial site in bad shape?

Posted on 11 March 2015 by peter

Why is Nyange memorial site in bad shape?

Families of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi victims in Nyange sector of Ngororero district are wondering why Nyange memorial site is in a poor condition.

“Us, whose relative’s remains lie in the Rukumberi memorial site, we are really sad. We would be delighted if this site was upgraded and put up to required standards,” said Donathile Mukandekezi, a genocide survivor from Nyange sector.

Why is Nyange memorial site in bad shape?

Nyange memorial site, where remains of at least 7,217  killed in the Genocide lie, is described by Jean d’Amour Niyosenga, president of IBUKA; an umbrella organization for genocide survivors in Ngororero district, as “historical site”, considering how the Genocide perpetrators used copters to chase Tutsis who attempted to find refuge in the area.

However, it had been revealed in 2014 by Jean De Dieu Mucyo, the president of the National Commission against genocide (CNLG) that it was due to misunderstandings between Nyundo catholic Diocese and Ngororero district concerning the site.

It was due to this revelation that Gideon Ruboneza, mayor of Ngororero district highlighted that the district entered into partnership with CNLG and the Diocese to construct to upgrade Nyanza memorial site.

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