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New Director of Operations at GTC

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Achille Udahemuka as our new Director of Operations in Kigali. Achille will be overseeing all our operations in Rwanda and the rest of East Africa.  Achille has vast international project management experience  and is a welcome addition to the team.

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    Rwanda and Nigeria Seen As Africa’s Top Countries for Retailers

Rwanda and Nigeria Seen As Africa’s Top Countries for Retailers

JOHANNESBURG—Rwanda and Nigeria are Africa’s most promising markets for global retailers, according to consulting firm A.T. Kearney, as foreign investors look at all corners of a sprawling continent where a new middle class is expected to keep growing.

“There are opportunities all over Africa,” said Mike Moriarty, a partner at A.T. Kearney and lead author of the firm’s African Retail Development Index, a ranking of some 20 countries the firm has identified as attractive to global retailers.

At the top of the list, Rwanda and Nigeria present very different opportunities and risks.

Rwanda is a small, landlocked nation of 11 million people, most of whom are poor. But under the leadership of longtime President Paul Kagame, Rwanda has developed a reputation as being one of the African countries most welcoming to foreign companies.

Nigeria, on the other hand, is a nation of some 170 million people. Many of them are destitute, but millions are making enough of an income to acquire a taste for branded foreign goods. That growing potential can make it worth braving Nigeria’s unpredictable politics and security risks, Mr. Moriarty said.

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By |March 24th, 2014|News, Rwanda|0 Comments

National Bank of Rwanda Offloads Some Debts

Investors sought the most local-currency bonds in Rwanda since the central bank began selling the debt in 2008, with yields lower than Uganda as the East African nation revives issuance in francs.

The sale of 12.5 billion francs ($18 million) of three-year bonds had a coupon of 11.48 percent and a yield of 11.6 percent, the Kigali-based National Bank of Rwanda said in a statement on its website. Investors sought 40 percent more than offered, it said. Uganda’s three-year notes yielded 13.19 percent at an auction on Jan. 29, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The success of the bond is attributed to the far-reaching awareness campaign,” the Bank of Rwanda said in the statement. “The marketing strategy consisted of split roadshows covering the four provinces while at the regional level a roadshow was organized in Nairobi.”


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By |March 1st, 2014|News, Rwanda|0 Comments

New smartphone technology for agri-business in Rwanda

New technology to help Rwanda’s private fertiliser traders to develop efficient and competitive fertiliser procurement and distribution systems has been extended to all sectors across the country.

With funding from Usaid, the International Fertiliser Development Centre (IFDC) was introduced in March 2013, to help fertiliser importers, distributors and retailers monitor and manage trade and sales.

Using smart phones equipped with the mFarms application, agro-dealers are able to record all supplies bought from distributors and all sales to customers and calculate their remaining stocks.

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By |February 22nd, 2014|News, Rwanda|0 Comments

Rwanda Named Least Corrupt Country in Africa

Transparency International Boss Speaks About Rwanda’s Fight Against Corruption.

A Transparency International report last year ranked Rwanda the least corrupt country in Africa and was among the top 50 best performing countries in the world out of 177 surveyed. The New Times’ Eugene Kwibuka caught with Huguette Labelle, Chair of the Board of Transparency International, as she wrapped up her trip in the country on Tuesday.

Police officers, judicial staff and lawyers march against corruption of Friday last week. Timothy Kisambira

Below are the excerpts:

What have you found out on your visit to Rwanda?

The first thing that all countries need is rule of law, a judiciary that is professional and provides justice to all people as well as a professional police force that carries out independent investigations. The justice system in Rwanda in functional and there are also other institutions like the Office of the Ombudsman where people can report anything wrong.

There is also a law protecting whistle-blowers and a number of other laws. So, Rwanda’s legal framework, judiciary, and oversight institutions like the Auditor General are all functional and I think other countries need to emulate this.

What are the major legal and institutional gaps that most countries lack as far as fighting corruption is concerned?

Many countries do not have the institutions or have them but they are not strong or lack independence. It is important for the prosecutor and Ombudsman to be independent so that they can dispense justice professionally. Unfortunately, these are some of the things lacking in many countries around the world.

Transparency International Rwanda last year cited the police, decentralised entities and the judiciary as some of the most corrupt institutions in the country. What could be the cause of this?

Well, I think in […]

By |February 20th, 2014|News, Rwanda|0 Comments

Rwanda to Build Solar Power Plant Near Kigali

Rwanda will become the first country in east Africa with a utility-scale solar plant after a $24m deal was signed to build the scheme outside Kigali.

The 8.5 megawatt solar  project is the brainchild of American-Israeli green entrepreneur Yosef Abramowitz, a pioneer of Israel’s solar industry. It is expected to boost Rwanda’s electricity supply by 8 per cent once it starts operating this year.

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By |February 19th, 2014|News, Rwanda|0 Comments

One Laptop per Child in Rwanda

The OLPC (One Laptop Per Child in Rwanda) programme is one of the pillars of Rwanda’s Vision 2020, which aims to turn the country into a knowledge-based economy similar to that of Singapore in South East Asia.

In the wood-panelled halls of his official office, we meet President Paul Kagame, who has personally been a driver of this vision. He says information technology will help to turn Rwanda into a regional tech hub that will help Rwandans “find jobs, feed their children and regain their dignity”.

The tragedy of the 1994 genocide is a strong motivation for President Kagame. In his view, better access to information might have helped victims and perpetrators make different political choices.

For him, the IT revolution is not only about modernising the Rwandan economy – at the core, it’s about healing the nation.

Mr Kagame has presided over an era of robust growth in Rwanda. Last year, the economy grew by more than 7%.

Government reforms have encouraged foreign investment and the World Bank has ranked Rwanda the third best country in sub-Saharan Africa in its “Doing Business” index.


By |February 13th, 2014|News, Rwanda|0 Comments

Rwanda Aims for 7% Economic Growth Rate in 2014

Rwanda’s Economy is projected to grow by 7.2 percent in 2014, surpassing last year’s performance. This was revealed during the release of the fifth edition of Rwanda Economic Update report by World Bank on Thursday.

The main contributor of the projected growth will be capital and production supported by strong government reforms. In 2013 the economy grew by 5.9 percent and 5.7 percent in the first and second quarters respectively, before registering a 6 percent growth in the third quarter.

The slow growth compares poorly with 7.7 per cent growth rate of 2012. The slow growth was attributed to aid shocks experienced in 2013. According to the report, the main driver of growth in 2013 was exports while imports slightly reduced.

The country also experienced a lower fiscal deficit than had been projected mainly due to strong tax collection and the Euro bond. According to Kampeta Sayinzoga, the Permanent Secretary and Secretary to Treasury at the Ministry of Finance the slow economic growth during the third quarter of 2013 provide a strong case for the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2) to be fast-tracked.

“We are working hard to boost our reserves and build the capacity of the exports sector to raise the country’s foreign reserves,” Sayinzoga said.

The report recognised that Rwanda has shown a track record of good macro-economic management during the difficult periods such as economic crisis and aid suspensions. This was manifested by Sanghi Apurva, a World Bank economist who noted that “There is a more impressive performance of macroeconomic policy in Africa, especially Rwanda. We are confident that high income growth, strong fiscal buffers and increased capital formation will be a bright spot for Rwanda”. He urged the country to position itself […]

By |January 31st, 2014|News, Rwanda|0 Comments

Rwanda Vision 2020

How do Rwandan envisage their future? What kind of society do they want to become? How can they construct a united and inclusive Rwandan identity? What are the transformations needed to emerge from a deeply unsatisfactory social and economic situation? These are the main questions Rwanda Vision 2020 addresses.

This Vision is a result of a national consultative process that took place in Village Urugwiro in 1998-99. There was broad consensus on the necessity for Rwandans to clearly define the future of the country. This process provided the basis upon which this Vision was developed.

Today, Rwanda finds itself at a crossroads, moving from the humanitarian assistance phase associated with the 1994 genocide into one of sustainable development. Since 1994, the Government of Rwanda has stabilised the political situation, whilst putting the economy back on track with considerable assistance from development partners. However, the challenges remain daunting.

The Rwandan population is expected to double to around 16 million by 2020 . Given that the major aspiration of Vision 2020 is to transform Rwanda’s economy into a middle income country (per capita income of about 900 USD per year, from 220 USD in 2000), this will require an annual growth rate of at least 7%. This will not be achieved unless we transform from a subsistence agriculture economy to a knowledge -based society, with high levels of savings and private investment, thereby reducing the country dependence on external aid.

Economic growth, alone, is not sufficient to bring about the necessary rise in the standard of living of the population. To vanquish hunger and poverty, growth must be Pro-Poor, giving all Rwandan’s the chance to gain from the new economic opportunities. Vision 2020 aspires for Rwanda to become a modern, […]

By |November 1st, 2013|News, Rwanda|0 Comments