SEPTEMBER 2017 ISSUE 79
TELLING RWANDA’S STORY
RADISSON BLU KIGALI Africa’s Leading Conference and New Hotel
HIGHLIGHTS While BRD in general targets projects worth Rwf 50 million and above, even investors who require less money can have their projects considered through the commercial banks. The investor should however be able to finance at least 30% of the project cost himself. BRD will channel its credit through Bank of Kigali, I&M Bank, BPR and SACCOs. The funds will be allocated to key priority sectors with export development taking the lion’s share with $222m, followed by energy with $185m, agriculture financing at $170m, affordable housing at $66.3m and education financing at $64m.
DEVELOPMENT BANK OF RWANDA
RWANDA REVENUE AUTHORITY
CONTENTS COVER RADISSON BLU KIGALI Africa’s Leading Conference and New Hotel
WAKA Fitness Group
Lake Kivu Serena Hotel
Access Bank Rwanda
KCB Bank Rwanda
Airtel Rwanda Tunga
Engen Rwanda 35 Grazia Apartments
Davis and Shirtliff
10 RADISSON BLU Opportunity for Hotels in Africa
13 RADISSON BLU We are joining forces to Bring business to the city’
Herocean Enterprises Limited
ProAv Africa Limited
15 MTN top management give thank to customers
Sinotruk Rwanda Limited
7 EDITORIAL Taxpayer Recognition should induce even more compliance
16 AKAGERA MOTORS Introduces MCV buses 20 UAP recognises key stakeholders
RWANDA DEVELOPMENT BOARD
22 ACCESS BANK appreciates customers during customer service week
42 BRD Launches Roadshow to meet local private sector members and investors
24 KCB BANK’S Mobile Loans offer maximum convenience and privacy
44 KIGALI MARRIOTT boosts African expansion plan with two awards at WTA
26 BRALIRWA Best large taxpayer in Rwanda
46 RDB honours customer champions to promote excellent service delivery
28 AIRTEL Rwanda Tunga promotion back 30 BPR pledges service Excellence
48 MARKEDU empowering SMEs with digital marketing
32 RRA recognizes best taxpayers
50 VISIONFUND teaches the poor to save and improve their lives in Nyamagabe
37 NAKUMATT named Best taxpayer in rwanda
52 BRD supports Made - in - rwanda campaign
HOPE MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER ISSUE 79
TEAM Albert Ndata Allan Migadde Ben Gasore Erwin Winkler
Should induce even more compliance
Himbana Alexandre Ishimwe Yvonne Keith Ntagozera Latim Lawrence Manzi Joseph Micheal Balinda Mutabazi Jackson Rumanzi Abraham Shema Ignace Shema Leonard Sindayirwanya Isabelle Rebero Daniel
DESIGN & LAYOUT Dani K. PUBLISHED BY
HOPE HOLDINGS LTD ADVERTISING & GENERAL INQUIRIES P.O. Box 6176 Kigali-Rwanda +250 788 524189 / +250 788 404138 email@example.com www.hope-mag.com
COPYRIGHT 2013 Reserved by Hope Magazine, a monthly Magazine is published by
ff THE GOVERNMENT OF RWANDA HAS ALWAYS STRIVEN TOWARDS CRAFTING, DRAFTING AND IMPLEMENTING POLICIES AND STRATEGIES THAT DRIVE THE ECONOMY INTO A DIRECTION THAT ENSURES ASCENDANCE TOWARDS SELF RELIANCE AND SUSTAINABLE IMPROVEMENT OF LIVELIHOODS FOR ALL RWANDANS.
he taxation policy in Rwanda; fair, affordable and equitable, is one such of the many policies that have been instrumental in taking the country towards being a self reliant nation. The contribution of locally generated taxes towards the financing of national budget has been taking to a rising scale. Such an impact has been realised because of the efforts expended towards enlarging the taxable base through a number of acts that include; systematic attraction of investors, improving the Doing Business environment, supporting SMEs from being informal to formal active business entities and creating a sense of ownership among taxpayers. When Rwanda Revenue Authority sets aside a period of time to
celebrate its customers, the taxpayers, they are making a statement of recognition, deepening the sense of ownership that stimulates compliance and build better relations for better collections. It is imperative therefore to accentuate, every now and then, the issue of compliance, reminding ourselves that we are all partners in national development, building the Rwanda we want and capable of contributing to our timehonoured dignity as a country, as a people. RRA has played its role in setting up structures, elaborating processes, simplifying procedures and building friendly tax-payment regimes that we should respect, comply with and become deserving partners of our own growth and national development.
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THERE IS STILL A
HUGE OPPORTUNITY FOR HOTELS IN AFRICA
ï¿½ THE RECENTLY HELD AFRICA HOTEL INVESTMENT FORUM ATTRACTED SCORES OF SPECIALISTS IN THE HOTEL AND TOURISM SECTOR TO THE KIGALI CONVENTION CENTRE. YET WHEN IT COMES TO EXPERIENCE IN AND WITH AFRICA, FEW COULD PROBABLY MATCH ANDREW MCLACHLAN, SENIOR VICE-PRESIDENT FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA AND THE INDIAN OCEAN AT CARLSON REZIDOR HOTEL GROUP, OPERATORS OF THE RADISSON BLU, RADISSON RED AND PARK INN BY RADISSON BRANDS ACROSS THE CONTINENT.
Senior Vice-President for Business Development in Africa & the Indian Ocean at Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group 10
RADISSON BLU HOTELS SPECIAL FEATURE
Today we’ve got 8 hotels in Nigeria – 2 open and 6 under development – and we want to add another 8 in the next five years. Ivory Coast is a good market for us as well. We want to be in Abidjan, but also elsewhere to make sure we actually have more than one market.
ope Magazine had the opportunity to sit down with the South-African, who has more than 25 years of experience in the hotel sector in Africa, and who today is still based in his native country at Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group’s Africa Area Support Office in Cape Town. � C a r l s o n Re z i d o r re ce n t ly l a u n c h e d ‘Destination 2022,’ a five-year global expansion drive that also aims to significantly grow your portfolio in Africa. Can you briefly explain the group’s plans for Africa under this program? What we’re mapping out in Destination 2022 is how we want to accelerate our growth and our portfolio in Africa over a period of 5 years. In Africa, between 2014 and now, we have got very accelerated growth; we’ve opened a new hotel every 60 days on the continent, and we’ve signed a new hotel deal every 37 days. Today we have a portfolio of 80 hotels, and 17,000 rooms, and by the end of 2022, we want 125 hotels and 23,000 bedrooms. To do that, we’ve identified 12 Tier-1 cities – where we think we can have multiple hotels in the same city – and 17 proactive cities. We have also started to create business routes within economic communities; take the East African Community: a businessman who is leaving Nairobi, will most often be going to Kigali or Dar-es-Salaam. So we look at business travel and airlift within a community, and make sure that we provide the correct hotels and locations. In Africa, there are 16 economic communities, and we’re focussing on three: the East African Community, the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC ) and the Economic Community for West Africa (Ecowas). And we want to create such business circuits both within the Radisson Blu and the Park Inn by Radisson brands. We really want to focus on these two core brands, and only develop Radisson Red in very selected locations because it’s a lifestyle brand, it cannot go in as many locations as Radisson Blu and Park Inn – only 30 days ago, we opened the very first Radisson Red in Cape Town, South Africa. In Africa we are adding two new hotel brands in 2018.
� Why did you opt for the Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson brands in Africa?
� What are Carlson Rezidor’s key countries in Africa and why? If we look at key countries, South Africa is our most important market in Africa, purely because we think we can have the most scale there. Today we have 14 hotels in South Africa, 12 which are open and 2 under development. In Destination 2022, we want to add another 8 hotels. In East Africa, we’ve identified Ethiopia and Kenya as proactive markets. If we look at Ethiopia, it’s got the fastest GDP growth in Africa and a population of over 100 million people, and we think that we can have scale there. We have 4 hotels in Ethiopia today, 1 which is open and 3 under development – we actually announced 2 hotels in Ethiopia during the Africa Hotel Investment Forum here in Kigali: a Radisson Blu in Bishoftu and a Park Inn by Radisson in Addis Ababa. We want to add another 4 hotels, so we aim to have 8 in Ethiopia by 2022. Kenya is a similar story. We have 3 hotels in Nairobi today - 1 Park Inn and 1 Radisson Blu which are operational, and we’ll open our first Radisson Blu Residence, which is an extended-stay product, in late 2018/early 2019.
Radisson Blu is our best known brand, it’s what we call the heavy-weight boxer. When we come into a new country, it’s always first with Radisson Blu; it’s our strongest brand, so we’ll be able to fight for market share no matter who is already in the market, and we should be able to retain our share against whichever competitor follows us in that market. Once we have a Radisson Blu established, we normally follow it with a Park Inn by Radisson. The difference between the two is the quality and size of the hotels: a Radisson Blu in Africa is a 5-star hotel, and a Park Inn by Radisson is typically 3 stars. It’s a little bit like an airplane having business class and economy class, it’s the same approach. We find that we’d rather come into a new country with a Radisson Blu so we can have a more senior management team as it’s a bigger property; and once we’re established and bring in a Park Inn, we don’t have that same level of investment as when you would have brought it in first. We did this in Rwanda: we first came with a Radisson Blu in July 2016, and then we followed it with a Park Inn in May of 2017. In Nairobi we did the same thing. That’s typically the approach because then we make sure that we’re in two price points in the marketplace.
We want to add another 4 hotels to Kenya within our Destination 2022 strategy. In West Africa, Nigeria is a very important one for us – it’s a huge market of 180 million people, and even though it has had a tough three years economically, it has long-term sustainability. www.hope-mag.com
RADISSON BLU HOTELS SPECIAL FEATURE
� As you mentioned, Carlson Rezidor currently has a Radisson Blu and a Park Inn by Radisson in Rwanda. Are there any plans to increase your presence here? No, not at the moment. In Rwanda over the last 36 months, a lot of new hotels have been coming into the market like CityBlue, ourselves, Marriott, Ubumwe Grande Hotel which is now going to change to DoubleTree by Hilton... So now, from an economic point of view, the city needs to keep growing, the convention centre needs to establish itself in the marketplace, and airlift needs to improve; so I don’t think there will be too many new hotel rooms being added to Kigali for a long time. We, at the moment, are quite busy getting our two hotels up and running well. A new hotel normally takes about a 1000 days, or almost four years, to get at a stabilised occupancy, and that’s what we’re focusing on at the moment. � In the context of the ongoing Africa Hotel Investment Forum, how do you see the potential, and near future, of the hotel sector and tourism in Africa? What do you see as the main challenges? The Africa Hotel Investment Forum is a very important event for the industry in Africa – it’s a once-a-year occasion when all the stakeholders in the hospitality sector can meet: bankers, investors, professionals, architects, designers, hotel groups,... 12
We can actually discuss issues, share lessons learnt, and engage and help grow our business and our industry. I think in Africa there is still a huge, long-term opportunity. There are still a lot of cities which are under-supplied with quality hotels. The industry continues to grow: new rooms in Africa grew by 13% from last year. Generally, tourism in Africa is growing well because more and more governments recognise it as a very important GDPcontributor. It’s also a very good industry to create a lot of permanent jobs. So tourism is really growing and has a bright future ahead. There are some common challenges. Access to funding is always difficult, getting the right amount of equity is always a bit of a challenge. In some markets it is infrastructure – you need to bring in everything as there’s nothing you can source locally, which makes it expensive to build. Construction skill sets are also a bit of a challenge in some markets. In some cases, the governments are not so proactive in supporting the development of hotels or the tourism sector. But we also have some countries that are very proactive – they provide tax-breaks, duty-free imports, they accelerate the decision-making when you’re presenting your plans to the municipalities, etc. Airlifts and visas are always a problem: it would be a lot easier if people could move freely from one country to another, as opposed to having so many visa restrictions. As airlifting accrues, more people can do business and there will be more demand for hotel rooms. � The Rwandan government has taken the option to mainly promote MICE and high-end tourism? How do you assess that choice, and how can Carlson Rezidor contribute to it? HOPE MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER ISSUE 79
Obviously, we’ve been involved in this hotel and conference centre from the beginning, back in 2009 when it was just a plan on paper. At that stage, the government decided that within East Africa, Rwanda wanted to become a centre for MICE business. That was the reason for developing such an amazing conference and convention centre, and today it definitely is the best convention centre in East Africa, and probably within the top 3 or 4 best convention centres on the African continent. And when you have a big convention centre like this, it’s not just beneficial to the Radisson Blu Hotel, it has huge economic value to the entire city – airlines benefit from it, taxis, restaurants, even competing hotels benefit from a convention centre like this. When it’s busy and when it’s full with 5000 delegates, everyone in the city actually benefits from that. The strategic move for Rwanda to position itself as a luxury destination, I think that’s a smart move – just look at the Seychelles, which also positioned itself as a more exclusive destination rather than a mass market. You should also consider the assets in the country: visiting the gorillas, for instance, there can only be 8 people per gorilla family for one hour a day – so you’ve got to maximise your revenue and make it more expensive and exclusive. But people in that market are prepared to pay. So I think it’s the right strategy for Rwanda, and we’re obviously very supportive of that. Going back to the MICE business, the Radisson Blu Hotel works very well with the Kigali Convention Bureau, there’s really a strong strategy on how we will get the convention centre to be busy all the time.
RADISSON BLU KIGALI IS
CONFERENCE AND NEW HOTEL � THE RADISSON BLU HOTEL IN KIGALI HAS WON THREE MAJOR AWARDS DURING THE WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS AFRICA GALA CEREMONY 2017, WHICH NOT COINCIDENTALLY WAS HELD IN OCTOBER AT THE RADISSON BLU HOTEL AND CONVENTION CENTRE IN KIGALI.
irstly, it was named Rwanda’s Leading Conference Hotel; however, not only did Radisson Blu Kigali beat its Rwandan competitors, it also proved better than any other African hotel in this category as it also scooped the award of Africa’s Leading Conference Hotel. Not bad for a hotel that only opened its doors in July 2016. That is clearly what the jury of the World Travel Awards thought, because Radisson Blu Kigali also walked away with the trophy of Africa’s Leading New Hotel. In the two categories where it took the African crown, Radisson Blu Kigali will go on to compete with hotels from other continents at the World Travel Awards Grand Final, to be held on 10th December in Vietnam. Radisson Blu Kigali belongs to the Carlson-Rezidor Hotel Group, and is conjoined twins with the Kigali Convention Centre.
Denis Dernault Radisson Blu Kigali's General Manager (2nd left) receives one of the hotel's three trophies
The complex opened its doors with great pomp, as the first conference it hosted immediately after its inauguration was the 27th African Union Summit. Since then, Radisson Blu Hotel and Conference Centre has been the beating heart of the government’s drive to promote MICE tourism (meetings, incentives, conferences, events). It has since hosted numerous prestigious conferences such as the Comesa Global Africa Investment Summit, the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (both in 2016 and 2017), the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, a continental conference on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as
well as the launch of the SDG Centre For Africa, the 2nd Aviation Africa Summit, the launch of the Africa Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), the 2017 Global Fund Board Meeting, the Transform Africa Summit, the Afreximbank 2017 General Assembly, and of course the World Travel Awards Africa Gala Ceremony 2017. Not surprisingly, Rwanda has made great strides in MICE tourism since the inauguration of the Radisson Blu Hotel and Convention Centre. In the 2016 ranking of the International Congress and Convention Associations (ICCA), Rwanda took the 3rd place in Africa, behind only South Africa and Morocco. In 2014, Rwanda was ranked only 13th in Africa, and 7th in 2015.
Radisson Blu Hotel and Convention Centre Staff celebrate the Africa's Leading New Hotel award www.hope-mag.com
‘WE ARE JOINING FORCES TO BRING BUSINESS TO THE CITY’ Denis Dernault
General Manager Radisson Blu Hotel & Conference Centre Kigali
� AFTER JUST 16 MONTHS OF OPERATIONS, THE RADISSON BLU HOTEL & CONFERENCE
CENTRE IN KIGALI HAS ALREADY WON THE WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS FOR LEADING NEW HOTEL AND LEADING CONFERENCE HOTEL IN AFRICA. HOPE MAGAZINE CAUGHT UP WITH A SATISFIED DENIS DERNAULT, GENERAL MANAGER OF THE COMPLEX. � What do the WTA awards mean for you and your team? It is really a great achievement. When we started in July 2016, 90% of the employees had never been exposed to the hospitality sector before they came to work with us. In the Western world, people go to hotel school for minimum two years before they set foot in a hotel. So this is really an exceptional achievement, and I say kudos to them. It’s such a motivation – you probably saw how all of them got on the stage at the WTA ceremony; it was the hard work, the dedication, the commitment that they celebrated there. � Radisson Blu Kigali was also named the leading conference hotel in Rwanda, which is no mean feat given that in the past two years or so, several high-end hotels have opened in Kigali.
But isn’t there a risk of over-supply in this market? I think at the present time, this is the adequate room inventory for the market, because when we are welcoming an international event of importance, everybody is impacted positively by it. It should stay like this probably for the next two years, and then go further, because the MICE business (meetings, incentives, conferences, events) is going to develop. We are now having great visibility, people have seen we have the know-how here, and I trust that in the next three years there will be real improvement in the number of international events hosted here. For example, the trend in Rwanda in the past has been that the first trimester of a year is always tough for the sector; and this year, it was indeed very difficult. But the first trimester of 2018 looks extremely promising. So that shows MICE is really developing. HOPE MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER ISSUE 79
� So you think the Kigali Convention Centre is sustainable? I would say the business potential of this complex is amazing. First, it’s all about marketing and putting Rwanda, Kigali and this complex on the international market. And this is what is happening with the Rwanda Convention Bureau: at every big travel fair, we are present as a destination – not as Radisson Blu, Marriott etc. Whenever we have an extremely potential client, we are pitching together and we are able to leverage our joint influence. Otherwise, this cannot work; we have to look at the macroeconomics of the city, and at the whole experience we have to offer attendees when they come to the destination. � So how does Radisson position itself? At the Radisson Blu, we consider the other hospitality entities as partners as we are focused, with our management of KCC, to generate large size events to benefits all hotels. W e have many global sales offices, and they are also pitching Kigali. So it’s a cooperation between the hotels. And we as Radisson Blu are here to ensure that this complex shines positively on the rest of the market.
MTN RWANDA SPECIAL FEATURE
MTN top management personally says ‘thank you’ to customers ff To celebrate the customer service week, which took place from the 2nd to the 6th October, top executives from leading telecom MTN Rwanda took time to interact with customers and express their appreciation for their loyalty.
erving clients personally at the MTN Rwanda service centre at the Champions Investment Company (CHIC) building, senior management asked customers how they like the company’s services, and gave them gifts of appreciation. “We are always striving to meet the needs of our clients, and are committed to provide them the best telecom services,” said Norman Munyampundu, the General Manager of MTN Business.
The company’s CEO, Bart Hofker, said MTN Rwanda cares a lot about people who use its network. “We want customers who are happy with us and keep coming back,” he remarked. And MTN Rwanda seems to be succeeding in keeping its customers happy, as it remains the leading telecom company in the country in terms of customer and revenue numbers with a 42% market share in subscriptions.
Norman Munyampundu speaks to journalists at the customer service week
Norman Munyampundu MTN Business General Manager, rewards staff of forex company UAExchange with a handset at the customer service week
MTN Rwanda staff share smiles with a client
MTN Rwanda the market leader strives to keep customers happy
MTN Service Center at CHIC building www.hope-mag.com
AKAGERA BUSINESS GROUP SPECIAL FEATURE
Introduces MCV Buses ff AKAGERA MOTORS HAS CONCLUDED AN AGREEMENT WITH MANUFACTURING COMMERCIAL VEHICLES (MCV) TO DISTRIBUTE ITS VEHICLES IN RWANDA. THIS WAS ANNOUNCED DURING A CEREMONY TO LAUNCH THE PARTNERSHIP ON 29TH SEPTEMBER 2017.
ABG MCV Team
ased in Egypt, MCV is a leading manufacturer of buses in the Middle East and Africa. As a daughter company of Daimler AG, it also assembles commercial vehicles of Mercedes-Benz, and is the general distributor in Egypt for the brand.
With 6,000 motivated and competent employees and almost 300,000 square meters of well-equipped modern manufacturing facilities, MCV’s production capacity amounts to 10,000 buses per year. It has international offices in the UK, the UAE, South Africa, Algeria, Nigeria, Cuba and Singapore. Akagera Motors will be selling MCV’s full range of buses including mini-buses, intercity buses, high deck coaches, super high-deck coaches, city buses and double-decker buses.
MCV Bus Model 240 HOPE MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER ISSUE 79
Akagera Motors Rich History The agreement with MCV is another important milestone in Akagera Motors long and rich history, which started in 1997, when two entrepreneurialminded brothers were seeking a business opportunity in Kigali, Rwanda. Being hard working, determined, passionate and businessminded, the brothers were able to turn Akagera Motors into an automotive powerhouse, which remains one of the country’s major companies. As more business ventures were added to the company’s portfolio, Akagera Motors became Akagera Business Group (ABG) Ltd. in 2008. Headquartered in Kigali, ABG today consists of nine divisions dealing in automobiles, tires, batteries, lubricants, media, consumer goods, consumer electronics, car rentals, leasing, hardware, paints, design, construction, security and safety systems.
MCV Bus Model C120
MCV Bus Model S114
It has a presence in Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and the eastern DR Congo. ABG has about 250 employees, including some 10 expatriates of different nationalities throughout the nine divisions. The company’s turnover reached $50 million in 2016.
ABG has qualified and professional front line managers and executives, and a congenial professional work culture based on the Kaizen management system, with a single objective of continuous growth. It uses a divisional structure with clear objectives and growth plans, while division managers are empowered independently, handling delegation of work and bottom-line results.
MCV Bus Model 260
Akagera Motors is enhancing the transport experience for passengers and drivers by providing luxurious, safer, comfortable and fuelefficient buses, which benefit the transport owners
as well. With 20 years of experience, Akagera Motors has the capability of providing not only sales, but also spare parts and service in a timely manner at an affordable rate.
ABG owns nearly 30,000 square meters of infrastructure comprising of office blocks, warehouses, customs bonded warehouses, yards and corporate houses.
ff Please contact AKAGERA MOTORS at +250 781 466 886 / email@example.com for any inquires. www.hope-mag.com
Serena HotelS ScoopS Seven titleS at tHe 2017 World travel aWardS These awards are just but a few awards Serena Hotels has won this year. This is proof of the devotion put to providing unmatched guest experiences and quality services across all our properties. Serena goes ‘beyond the boundaries of industry excellence’ and it is indeed a testament that the ‘best is getting better’. Mara Serena Safari Lodge (MSSL) has not been left behind as it has been nominated on a global scale for the prestigious World’s Leading Safari Resort at the 24th World Travel Awards 2017. Not only is this safari lodge advantaged to be in one of the most popular and ‘all year round’ safari destinations in Africa, Magical Kenya, but also famous for its unique location, with breathtaking views of the Wildebeest Migration which takes place at the doorstep of the Lodge. Indigenous design, architecture and local materials at MSSL inspired from the Maasai community are integrated with the most modern amenities such as a swimming pool, a wellness gym and spa, complemented by exceptional service. To vote for Mara Serena Safari Lodge as the “World’s Leading Safari Resort” at the 24th World Travel Awards 2017, we would be grateful if you can take some time to vote using the link: https://www.worldtravelawards.com/ award-worlds-leading-safari-resort-2017
MANAGEMENT Tourism Promotion Services (TPS), Serena Hotels
Serena Hotels scoops seven awards, including category titles of Leading Hotel Brand in four East African countries at the Africa Edition of the 2017 World Travel Awards held in Kigali, Rwanda. According to the Wall Street Journal, the World Travel Awards is regarded as the “Oscars” of the travel industry and recognizes commitment to excellence across all sectors of the global tourism and travel industry. Serena Hotels clinched the following awards: 1.) Rwanda’s Leading Hotel 2017: Kigali Serena Hotel
2.) Rwanda’s Leading Hotel Suite 2017: Presidential Suite at Kigali Serena Hotel 3.) Uganda’s Leading Hotel 2017: Kampala Serena Hotel-a member of the Leading Hotels of the World 4.) Uganda’s Leading Hotel Suite 2017: Presidential Suite at Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa 5.) Mozambique’s Leading Hotel Brand 2017: Polana Serena Hotel 6.) Mozambique’s Leading Hotel Suite 2017: Presidential Suite at Polana Serena Hotel
contact information: For more information, contact Serena Hotels at: reservations email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel:(+250) 788 184 500/ (+250) 252 597 100
7.) Zanzibar Leading Hotel 2017: Zanzibar Serena Hotel Mr. Mahmud Jan Mohamed, Managing Director, Serena Hotels, Africa remarked, “We are honoured to be recognized for these awards which demonstrate the level to which our guests and partners uphold our brand. We attribute our win to our unwavering commitment to meet the needs of our guests by offering exceptional experiences through quality product and services and through the outstanding commitment of our staff. We would like to extend our gratitude to our partners, business suppliers and our staff.”
Website: www.serenahotels.com; facebook: www.facebook.com/serenahotels twitter: www.twitter.com/serenahotels Blog: www.theserenaexperience.com
Serena Hotels offers quality accommodation in a collection of 24 up-market hotels, safari lodges, camps and resorts within 6 countries in the Eastern Africa region (Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Rwanda and Mozambique) and 11 properties in Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan). These properties are strategically located to offer exciting circuits for guests in some of the most exquisite and prime locations in Eastern Africa and Asia. With a focus on product, service standards and guest satisfaction, Serena Hotels continues in its quest to be the hotel of choice for the discerning traveller providing guests with quality accommodation, conference and holiday solutions. Serena takes pride in the level of personal care and warmth of welcome that it extends to its guests. Each Serena property is designed to complement its environment, while nurturing the landscape, culture and community that surrounds it. The Serena Group stands out in East African eco-awareness and eco-policy implementation.
CENTURY PARK SPECIAL FEATURE UAP RWANDA UAP RWANDA SPECIAL SPECIAL FEATURE FEATURE
UAP RECOGNISES KEY STAKEHOLDERS during customer service week �UAP INSURANCE RWANDA JOINED THE REST OF RWANDA AND THE WORLD IN CELEBRATING CUSTOMER SERVICE WEEK, WITH THE COMPANY’S MANAGEMENT MEETING WITH KEY STAKEHOLDERS AND CUSTOMERS TO EXPRESS THEIR APPRECIATION FOR THEM AND THEIR CHOICE OF INSURING WITH UAP.
Calisto Ogaye the new CEO (R) rewards insurance brokers during the customer service week
he week was also an opportunity for the insurer to introduce its stakeholders to the new CEO, Calisto Ogaye, who took office early September. During the week, the company’s management met insurance brokers, direct sales force executives and agents, staff and customers.Ogaye emphasized that UAP considers the customer as king and always strives to serve them and keep them satisfied.
fuel vouchers and bottles of wine, which were much appreciated. “We would like to assure you of our support and we will keep coming to you to streamline our businesses,” said Vianney Ngarambe, who works with Utmost Insurance Brokers.Theoneste Uwizeyimana, an agent of the direct sales force, thanked UAP Rwanda for treating them to a breakfast at Ubumwe Grand Hotel, and said it was encouraging that UAP recognizes their efforts.
“Let’s work together to keep finding the suitable terms and conditions for our customers,” Ogaye told brokers during a breakfast meeting at Kigali Serena hotel.Under the slogan ‘We are good company,’ UAP staff also gave the stakeholders gifts such as
“It’s always good to make time to meet us,” he noted. Among the corporate partners which UAP put in the spotlight were I&M Bank Rwanda CEO Robin Bairstow, and representatives from Kobil and Access Bank Rwanda.
Robin Bairstow (L) I&M Bank CEO receives a gift from Ms. Claudine UAP (Rwanda) customer service manager
About UAP Insurance Rwanda UAP Insurance Rwanda is a subsidiary of UAP Old Mutual Group an integrated financial services provider comprising Banking, Insurance and Investment businesses. The East Africa business is headquartered in Kenya with operations
UAP Insurance agent speaks of the company's inspiring engagement efforts with all stakeholders
HOPE MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER ISSUE 79
UAP RWANDA SPECIAL FEATURE
UAP agents treated to a nice breakfast at the Ubumwe Grande Hotel during the customer service week as the insurer appreciated their efforts
UAP staff (R) warmly serves a client
We are Good Company The new tagline for Rwanda's leading insurer
in Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan and Tanzania. UAP Insurance Rwanda commenced operations in October 2012 to provide General and Health Insurance, with market-led approaches and capacity to offer differentiated solutions. As evidenced by the firm’s customers, UAP Rwanda has a diverse portfolio of protection solutions for customer risks with a customer-centric focus. UAP’s entry into the Rwanda market with innovative solutions has contributed significantly to the scope of insurance products available for customers in the Market.
Our vision is to become Rwanda’s revolutionary financial services company; one that is committed to improving the dignity of life by bringing peace of mind and financial freedom to Rwandans. UAP Insurance Rwanda management and staff have adopted local approaches to co-craft solutions for customers and served them with world-class systems and processes to delight them. We have presence in Kigali, Musanze, Rubavu, Kayonza, Muhanga and Rusizi to ensure that we are accessible to our customers.
Cutting cake Appreciating UAP staff during the customer service week
UAP agent interacting with a client
A group photo of the insurance agents after the breakfast www.hope-mag.com
ACCESS BANK RWANDA SPECIAL FEATURE
during Customer Service Week ff ACCESS BANK RWANDA TOOK THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW APPRECIATION FOR ITS CUSTOMERS DURING THE ANNUAL CUSTOMER SERVICE WEEK THAT RAN FROM 2ND TO 6TH OCTOBER. THE BANK HELD DIFFERENT ACTIVITIES IN ALL ITS BRANCHES, WHICH INCLUDED SERVING CUSTOMERS WITH SOFT DRINKS, COOKIES AND SWEETS AS A HUMBLE SIGN OF APPRECIATION BY THE BANK’S STAFF AND MANAGEMENT.
Kayitesi (L) receives an award from the RDB CEO, Ms. Clare Akamanzi (R) for her exceptional service
hen visiting Access Bank Rwanda’s main branch, customers were always welcomed with a warm smile from all the serving staff. To cap the week, one of the bank’s employees was recognized by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) during the Customer Service Week’s closing ceremony at the Kigali Serena Hotel. As one of the fastest growing banks in Rwanda, Access Bank has over the years evolved to become a catalyst for socio-economic development and is on course to becoming one of the top three banks in Rwanda within the next 5 years. The bank, which offers a wide range of retail products, has its strengths in delivering superior services to its customers with a team that has capacity to serve with the highest level of professional and ethical integrity. The bank’s team boasts of a young and dynamic workforce that seeks to enhance quality and sustainable customer relations. In the last 10 years, Access Bank has been able to develop innovative products with competitive pricing.
Access Bank staff always serve clients professionally and with warm smiles
HOPE MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER ISSUE 79
ACCESS BANK RWANDA SPECIAL FEATURE
Access Bank Staff serves the client
This has been mainly done through the migration of cash payments and plastic card payments to payments made over digital channels. These banking solutions including SMS and E-mail alerts, E-statement, Visa cards, as well as payroll management solution. These products are all tailored to meet the needs of its corporate and retail customers. Access Bank’s business is subdivided in the following departments: Corporate Banking which provides services to multinationals and large domestic clients across a variety of industry sectors; Commercial Banking which covers all non-institutional clients within the value chain of the bank’s large, corporate customers; Personal Banking which concerns all individuals customers. In 2015 and 2016, the company also set up a Public Sector Unit that offers service to public institutions, and Women Banking. It has been able to attract customers by offering business loans and lines of credit to help commercial and industrial businesses grow and become successful.
Kayitesi (L) Kayitesi's warmly interacte with clients
Access Bank Staff The Bank boasts of a young dynamic staff www.hope-mag.com
BRALIRWA SPECIAL FEATURE
BRALIRWA NAMED BEST
LARGE TAXPAYER IN RWANDA ff LEADING BEVERAGE MANUFACTURER BRALIRWA HAS BEEN REWARDED AS THE BEST LARGE TAXPAYER OF 2016 BY RWANDA REVENUE AUTHORITY (RRA. THE SOFT DRINKS AND BEER MANUFACTURER RECEIVED THE ACCOLADE ON NATIONAL TAXPAYERS’ DAY ON FRIDAY 13TH OCTOBER IN A COLORFUL EVENT HOSTED BY RRA TO CELEBRATE THE BEST TAXPAYERS IN THE COUNTRY.
Victor Madiela (C) Bralirwa's MD receives the award for the beverages manufacturer being among the largest tax payers in the country
peaking after receiving the RRA award, Bralirwa Managing Director Victor Madiela said the firm remains committed to comply with all tax regulations. “At Bralirwa, we are committed to maintain prudent and ethical business management standards including prompt tax payments,” Madiela said.
RRA Commissioner-General Richard Tusabe confirmed that Tax compliance rates in the country are steadily improving with continued support from various economic actors including the private sector. The RRA boss disclosed that the tax body had managed to beat its collection target for the last financial year by more than Rwf 8.6 billion with a total revenue of about Rwf 1.1 trillion last year. HOPE MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER ISSUE 79
Bralirwa is Rwanda’s leader by market share in the beverage industry, dominating the soft drinks market with its Coca-Cola line of products and having an equally high share of the beer market. Established in 1957, Bralirwa is a subsidiary of the Heineken Group which has 75% of the shares. The remaining 25% shares are listed on the Rwanda Stock Exchange since 2013.
BRALIRWA SPECIAL FEATURE
BRALIRWA DONATES SOLAR KITS TO KAYONZA FAMILIES ff BRALIRWA, THE BIGGEST DRINKS MANUFACTURER IN THE COUNTRY, ON WEDNESDAY SIGNED AN MOU WITH THE DISTRICT OF KAYONZA AND THE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION LIMITED (EDCL) TO SUPPLY SOLAR ELECTRICITY SYSTEMS TO 283 VULNERABLE FAMILIES IN NDEGO SECTOR, WHICH IS ALSO HOME TO BRAMIN MAIZE FARM, PARTLY OWNED BY BRALIRWA.
The donation is worth Rwf 15 million
he solar systems, supplied by Mobisol, consist of a solar p a n e l , a b a t t e r y, 3 lights, a solar lantern and a phone charger kit. It will take one week to install all systems. The managing director of Bralirwa, Victor Madiela, called it a big day for the company’s ambitious corporate social responsibility agenda. “Our Bramin farm provides jobs to some 300 people who live around the farm in Ndego, so we want to support that community,” he said.
Yves Nshuti acting managing director EDCL, Freddy Nyangezi corporate affairs manager Bralirwa, Ronald Kiwanuka executive secretary Kayonza district and Victor Madiela Bralirwa’s managing director after signing the MoU.
Signing MoU Bralirwa’s Victor Madiela and Yves Nshuti of EDCL
For example, we have a permanent ambulance at the farm which is there for the community.” “Today we sign this MoU to provide electricity to Ndego sector, and it will not be the last such MoU,” Madiela added. The executive secretary of Kayonza district, Ronald Kiwanuka, said the local authorities
Mobisol Rwanda representative demonstrates solar systems
are very grateful for the good cooperation with Bramin and Bralirawa. “In the name of the mayor and the population, I want to thank Bralirwa for this donation,” he said. “It will bring relief as Ndego is one of the few sectors in the district which still doesn’t have electricity.” Yves Nshuti, the acting managing
director of EDCL, remarked that Bralirwa’s initiative contributes to achieving universal access to electricity by 2024. “We appreciate this effort by Bralirwa, which is not in the business of electrification,” Nshuti observed. “And we encourage other companies to follow this example.”
AIRTEL RWANDA SPECIAL FEATURE
Tunga Promotion Back
12 Motorcycles and brand new car to be won
THE LEADING TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANY AIRTEL RWANDA HAS TODAY ANNOUNCED A MEGA PROMOTION DUBBED TUNGA WHICH WILL SEE 12 CUSTOMERS AWARDED 12 MOTORCYCLES IN 12 WEEKS AND ONE WINNER WILL WALK AWAY WITH A BRAND NEW TOYOTA AVANZA CAR AT THE END OF THE PROMOTION
Airtel customers to win 12 motorcycles in 12 weeks Grand prize of a brand new Toyota Avanza car to be won Airtel airtime up for grabs daily For us at Airtel, the time is NOW for our customers to live their dream by becoming one of the lucky winners and proud owners of brand new motorcycles and a brand new car,” Abindabizemu said.
Note: All winners will receive a call from an Airtel Rwanda official on the number 0731000000 notifying them on the date to redeem their rewards. Rewards can only be redeemed by the SIM Card holder whose KYC matches his/her valid Identification Card. About Bharti Airtel Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 3 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India, the company’s product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high speed DSL broadband, IPTV, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services and mobile commerce. Bharti Airtel had over 353 million customers across its operations at the end of January 2016.
Moses Abindabizemu Commercial Director and Meddy Ngabo the brand Ambassador for Tunga promotion at the Launch
he promotion is set out as a trivia challenge where customers will participate and stand a chance to win a motorcycle and a brand new car. Customers will be required to send the text message “1” to 155 or call 155 and will automatically be entered into the game and can start playing by answering questions. The message will cost only Rwf 100 and the promotion is open to all Airtel Rwanda customers. To check points accumulated, the customer will dial *155# Speaking at the launch of the TUNGA promotion, Airtel Rwanda Commercial Director, Mr. Moses Abindabizemu thanked Airtel customers for their support and encouraged the public to take part in the campaign saying anyone could be a winner. “We are happy to reward our customers for the loyalty they have showed us the past year and continue to show us. 28
To know more please visit, www.airtel.com
He added, “With promotions such as these, our customers can be able to have fun while using the Airtel network as well as acquire knowledge about various subjects and ultimately stand a chance to win.” During the promotions, customers will each earn 100 points for every correct answer and will receive 50 points for attempting even if they get the answer wrong and the customer wins a bonus worth 11Rwf per SMS to be used on Airtel to Airtel SMSs. Additionally, calls to 155 costs 100Rwf/ response to a question. Each week a motorcycle will be won and a grand prize of brand new car will be handed over to the winner to end the promotion. HOPE MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER ISSUE 79
Mose Abindabizemu Airtel Commercial Director poses with Meddy Ngabo on the launch of Tunga Promotion
BPR BANK SPECIAL FEATURE
BPR PLEDGES SERVICE EXCELLENCE DURING THE
CUSTOMER SERVICE WEEK ff TO CELEBRATE CUSTOMER SERVICE WEEK, BPR TOOK A SERIES OF INITIATIVES IN ITS BRANCHES TO THANK ITS CUSTOMERS FOR BEING LOYAL TO THEM.
Eric Rutabana (second left) Country head of corporate & investment banking Prossie (L) - Head of marketing & communications Afrique RAMBA and (second right) Shema Xavier Mugisha Head of Retail banking
he bank’s Country Head of Corporate and Investment Banking, Eric Rutabana, said all staff including senior management were actively involved in reaching out to clients, serving and interacting with them, and showing their appreciation with small gifts. Rutabana said the bank makes sure to offer modern banking services for its customers’ convenience – such as ATMs, online and internet banking services and the 24-hour call center.
The annual Customer Service Week seeks to celebrate all key players in the customer experience: front-line service representatives, sales professionals, marketers, customers, support staff and top management. This year’s theme was “Building trust” which is key to building strong, sustainable productive relationships with clients.
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BPR BANK SPECIAL FEATURE
“Ideally, here at BPR we are prepared to make merry with customers during the week which will be one of celebrations and recognition,” Rutabana observed. “But it should also be a week where we go the extra mile to listen to our customers to build trust and have direct and measurable results of our employees’ efforts in offering quality customer service.” Earlier this year, BPR was recognized as the best bank in Rwanda at the annual Banker Africa 2017 awards for the East African region, held in Nairobi, Kenya. “We want to maintain this standard as the number one customer service bank in Rwanda. Clients visiting BPR's branches are warmly welcomed
BPR Rusizi branch staff welcoming a customer during the customer service week celebrations
Prossie Kalisa BPR's Head of Marketing & Communication shares a light moment with a customer during the customer service week
Shema Mugisha BPR's country head of retail thanked customers for their loyality during customer service week
Shema Mugisha BPR's country head of retail thanked customers for their loyality during customer service week
Earlier this year, BPR was recognized as the best bank in Rwanda at the annual Banker Africa 2017 awards for the East African region, held in Nairobi, Kenya. “We want to maintain this standard as the number one customer service bank in Rwanda. www.hope-mag.com
The customer service week is an opportunity for us to review how we can keep measuring up to and even surpass our clients’ expectations,” Rutabana noted. At the end of the week, some of BPR’s employees who had excelled in providing the best customer service were rewarded to boost their professional commitment and encourage them to continue offering quality service. 31
RWANDA REVENUE AUTHORITY SPECIAL FEATURE
RRA RECOGNIZES BEST TAXPAYERS as it
seeks to further increase compliance
The event's winners across all categories posed for a group photo with senior government officials after the event
ff RWANDA REVENUE AUTHORITY (RRA) ON 13TH OCTOBER HELD ITS ANNUAL NATIONAL TAXPAYERS’ DAY TO SHOW ITS APPRECIATION OF COMPLIANT TAXPAYERS’ CONTRIBUTION TO NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, AND TO SENSITISE OTHERS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF PAYING TAXES.
he event at the Radisson Blu Hotel and Kigali Convention Center (KCC) was held under the theme ‘My Tax, My Development, My Dignity,’ which the guest of honour, Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente, reflected the fact that taxes are one of the best ways to build a self-reliant country.
year 2016/17, exceeding its target by Rwf 8.6 billion. Local government revenue collections also increased in comparison to previous years, with Rwf 47.9 billion collected at the district level, falling slightly short of the target of Rwf 49.2 billion yet still far exceeding the Rwf 40.5 billion raised in the financial year 2015/16.
This theme reminds us of everyone’s contribution in building and developing our country,” he said. RRA collected Rwf 1.1 trillion in the financial
The taxpayers’ awards were divided in eight categories. Nakumatt supermarket, Le Carrefour supermarket, Sulfo Rwanda, and Hotel Chez
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Lando got trophies for efficiently using electronic billing machines (EBM) in their daily transactions. Awards were also given to the best small, medium and large taxpayers. In the last category, Bralirwa, MTN Rwanda, the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority, and Zigama CSS were the winners, while the best medium taxpayers were Acquired Boot Training company, Wood Case Technology and Mute Line International.
RWANDA REVENUE AUTHORITY SPECIAL FEATURE
Among small taxpayers, the trophies went to Remote Partners, Fonda Tea Company, and Transunion Rwanda. The best taxpayers at the provincial level were also recognized, with Track Solution, Governors Camp Rwanda, Centre Bon Conseil, and Amako Paints walking away with the prizes. In the category ‘Made in Rwanda,’ the winners were East African Granite Industries, Stoke Building, and Africa Improved Foods Rwanda. RRA also showed special recognition to the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) and the Rwanda National Police (RNP) for being valuable partners in dealing with defaulters and fraudsters, and ensuring transparency in services delivery.
Richard Tusabe RRA Commissioner General makes keynote address during the event
Robin Bairstow I&M Bank Rwanda's MD during the event
RRA hosted taxpayers at the Radisson Blu & Kigali Convention Center during the National Taxpayers' Day
Everyone’s obligation At the occasion, Prime Minister Ngirente underlined the importance of taxes to help the country become self-reliant, and urged those who still fail to comply with the tax regulation to change their ways. “We need to realise that no country can develop without the contribution of its citizens through taxes,” he observed. “We attribute the development we see in all sectors to increased taxpaying compliance, but we still want to achieve more. Therefore, we remind those who do not pay their taxes well and those who do not pay them at all to change their mind-set and understand that paying taxes is everyone’s obligation.”
In the lead-up to the celebration of the ‘2017 Taxpayers ‘Appreciation Day,’ RRA held awareness events across the country such as meetings with business owners and appreciation of most compliant taxpayers at the provincial level. RRA Commissioner General Richard Tusabe thanked taxpayers for increased compliance, and promised more efforts to make it easy for businesses to pay their taxes. He also attributed this success to the use of modern technologies and increased quality of service delivery and transparency.
Zigama CSS recognized among the largest tax payers
He highlighted electronic payment systems that have made it easier for people to pay their taxes. “The private sector is a key player in achieving the tax target; it represents 79% of our revenue, which is something we applaud. We are committed to continue improving our services with better approaches to make it easier for all taxpayers to meet their obligations quickly, easily and cost-efficiently. But we will also make sure that those who do not abide by the rules get punished,” Tusabe said.
RRA SPECIAL FEATURE
Victor Madiela (C) Bralirwa's Managing Director receives the award among the largest tax payers in the country
Rwanda National Police awarded for aiding RRA enforce tax payment
Adan Ramata Nakumatt Rwanda Country Manager receives an award for efficient use of EBM
Annual National Taxpayers’ Day Richard Tusabe RRA's CG and Uzziel Ndagijimana Finance Minister
Private sector growth Speaking on behalf of taxpayers, the chairman of the Private Sector Federation (PSF), Benjamin Gasamagera, thanked RRA for providing technology to businesses to make paying taxes easy. “The fact that the private sector has paid 79% of the taxes is something to be proud of, not only because of the contribution to the development of the country, but also because it is a sign of how the private investment has grown,” he remarked. While he called upon all businesspeople who are still lagging behind in paying taxes to change their mind-set, he also requested RRA to address some remaining challenges. “The delay of 90 days to pay the VAT refund should be adjusted and made the same as the 15-day deadline for businesses to pay taxes and fines,” Gasamagera said, explaining that the longer delay for refunds incurs losses to entrepreneurs as they could be used for investment and operations if paid in time.
Also, he asked for the tax on casual labourers to be removed, and that the 5-year period for loss carried forward would become unlimited as it is the case in some other countries because it is not easy to recover from loss in only five years.
A better future ahead For the current fiscal year 2017/18, RRA targets to collect Rwf 1.2 trillion, which accounts for 57.3% of the Rwf-2.1-trillion national budget. Local governments taxes are targeted at Rwf 51.5 billion, an increase of Rwf 3.6 billion or 7.5% in comparison to the previous financial year. RRA will continue to use the latest technologies to facilitate tax collection, declaration and payment, by enhancing the use of tools such as electronic filing, mobile declaration, mobile payment, EBMs, and MobiCash, among others. Despite an increase of about Rwf 140.7 billion for national spending as outlined in the 2017/18 budget, the government has chosen not to impose additional taxes but tighten revenue collection measures.
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According to Tusabe, this means that RRA will have to improve its efficiency to ensure tax compliance and widen the tax base, among others through public sensitisation campaigns. “We are going to continue with sensitization to ensure that tools such as EBMs are put to proper use and that the general public is aware of its role in tax compliance,” he said. With about 16,000 EBMs currently in use, RRA is looking at the introduction of a version compatible with the electronic environment that is being promoted as part of the cashless economy. The tax body is also looking to introduce an application that can be used in place of the actual machines, thereby cutting the cost of distributing the EBMs and increasing compliance. “We will add about 10,000 machines this fiscal year, especially for risk sectors,” Tusabe noted. “It will not be a one-sizefits-all, but tailored in terms of complexity and the nature of their operations.”
NAKUMATT SPECIAL FEATURE
Nakumatt Rwanda Country Manager Adan Ramata receiving the Best Taxpapyer Award from Chairperson of Private Sector Federation (PSF), Benjamin Gasamagera
NAKUMATT named Best Taxpayer in Rw anda
� REGIONAL RETAILER NAKUMATT HOLDINGS RWANDA BASED SUBSIDIARY HAS BEEN NAMED THE BEST TAX PAPER BY THE RWANDA REVENUE AUTHORITY.NAKUMATT RWANDA WHICH OPERATES 3 RETAIL STORES IN KIGALI, RWANDA WAS ADJUDGED THE BEST TAX PAPER ON FRIDAY EVENING AT A COLOURFUL EVENT HOSTED BY THE RRA TO CELEBRATE TAX PAYERS IN THE COUNTRY. AT THE EVENT, NAKUMATT RWANDA PICKED THE 2016 BEST TAXPAYER AWARD.
The firm also received the best Electronic Billing Machine (EBM) user award. Speaking at the event, RRA Commissioner-General Richard Tusabe confirmed that Tax compliance rates in the country are steadily edging up with continue support from various economic fronts including the private sector. The RRA Boss disclosed that the Tax body had managed to beat its collection target in the last financial year by more than Rwf8.6 billion based on a total collection of than Rwf1,102.8 billion last year. Speaking moments after receiving the RRA awards, Nakumatt Rwanda Country Manager Adan Ramata said the firm would continue maintaining prudent tax management systems to support Tax Collection and settlement initiatives in Rwanda. “At Nakumatt we remain committed to maintainining prudent and ethical business management standards including prompt tax payments,” Ramata said. The retailer he said had successfully managed to integrate Electronic Billing Machines (EBM) across the branch network in Rwanda. Last year, Nakumatt Rwanda opened its third Nakumatt store in the country nine years since the firm first entered the fast growing country.
DEVELOPMENT BANK OF RWANDA SPECIAL FEATURE
BRD LAUNCHES ROADSHOW
to meet local potential private sector members and investors ff THE DEVELOPMENT BANK OF RWANDA (BRD) HAS LAUNCHED A COUNTRYWIDE CAMPAIGN TO IDENTIFY POTENTIAL BANKABLE PROJECTS IN PRIORITY SECTORS.
Dr Livingstone Byamungu, Chief Investment Officer at BRD, explains to Bugesera investors the details of the investment fund and key priority sectors
he campaign, which started in Nyamata, Bugesera District, seeks to dicuss with private sector members and potential local investors in education, agriculture, energy, housing, exports as well as special projects and infrastructure. BRD in its new 5 year Strategic plan (2016-2020) has earmarked $707.3 million, with which it plans to finance directly to project promoters as well as
through the refinancing model and funds are made accessible through its financing partners including MFIs, SACCOs and commercial banks. BRD also partners with the Government, PSF, RSSB and other agencies to implement the plan. “The aim of this campaign is to meet investors with ongoing projects and those with project proposals to see how we can help them develop and thus increase their contribution to national development,”
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Eric Higiro Chairman PSF Bugesera district highlights on the private sector in the district
DEVELOPMENT BANK OF RWANDA SPECIAL FEATURE
said Livingstone Byamungu, the Chief Investment Officer at BRD. He said BRD’s meetings with investors is not only a platform for the bank to explain new opportunities that help investors grow their businesses, but also the Bank’s products and services, and most of all its new mandate which is strictly a development Bank.
Benjamin Manzi BRD Exports Senior Manager explains the benefits of BRD's investment fund
medium entrepreneurs have equal opportunities to access the bank’s credit, through the MFIs, SACCOs and commercial banks. He said that, while BRD generally targets projects worth Rwf50 million and above, even investors who require less money can have their projects considered through BRD’s financing partners.
affordable housing, education as well as special projects and infrastructure considered as social goods which include the services sector and medical facilities like clinics and hospitals, markets, furniture and welding centres, and factories for construction and building materials among others.
Eric Ruzindaza vice-mayor of Bugesera district in charge of Economic Affairs
Prime Insurance representative talks about the importance of insurance for investors
Bugesera district investors at the launch of BRD's countrywide outreach campaign
The chairperson of PSF in Bugesera, Eugene Higiro, thanked BRD, saying the funds will promote the private sector in various ways and help the business community contribute towards national development. Eric Ruzindaza, the Bugesera vicemayor in charge of economic affairs, urged people to seize the opportunity and approach BRD. The outreach campaign ends in January, and will cover all the districts. Dr. Livingstone Byamungu, also made it clear that BRD does not only target big investors, but that small and
The prospective investor should, however, be able to finance at least 30 per cent of the project cost.BRD will channel its credit through Bank of Kigali, I&M Bank, Urwego, BPR, MFIs and SACCOs. In the 5-year strategic plan implementation, the funds will be allocated to key priority sectors including exports financing, followed by energy, agriculture,
Dr Livingstone Byamungu BRD Chief Investment Officer responds to questions by investors 43
MARRIOTT HOTEL RWANDA SPECIAL FEATURE
KIGALI MARRIOTT boosts African expansion plan with two awards at WTA � BARELY ONE YEAR AFTER OPENING ITS DOORS, KIGALI MARRIOTT HOTEL HAS ALREADY BEEN RECOGNISED AT THE WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS, THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY’S LEADING AWARDS PROGRAMME.
uring the World Travel Awards Africa Gala Ceremony 2017 held in Kigali early October, Kigali Marriott was named Rwanda’s leading business hotel and Rwanda’s leading city hotel – which is a testimony to the hotel’s success in bringing out the Marriott Hotel brand’s values which target business and sophisticated travellers. The awards also come as a boost for the company’s ventures in Africa, as Kigali Marriott was only Marriott’s first hotel in sub-Saharan Africa, and it has an ambitious expansion plan on the continent. Indeed, during the Africa Hotel Investment Forum, which followed the WTA Gala, Marriott International announced further expansion in Africa with seven new hotel signings. The company is targeting over 200 hotels with 37,000 rooms open or in the pipeline by 2022, equating to around $8.5 billion of capital investment by its real estate partners and reinforcing its continued commitment to expansion in Africa and solidifying its leadership on the continent.
Rex Nijhof General Manager of Kigali Marriott Hotel (C) with Graham Cooke President and Founder of the World Travel Awards (L)
Marriott Hotel Building
Marriott Hotel Cucina Italian Restaurant 44
The investment is expected to generate substantial economic activity and around 50,000 direct and indirect jobs once the hotels open. “Africa today makes a very compelling story. We are seeing unprecedented traction for our brands, driving our momentum of
Marriott Hotel Iriba Terrace HOPE MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER ISSUE 79
growth,” said Alex Kyriakidis, the President and Managing Director for the Middle East and Africa at Marriott International. “We have always believed in the potential of Africa and the opportunities the continent has to offer. With economic growth, a rising middle class and rapid urbanization, the demand for travel and high quality lodging is growing, providing us with a significant opportunity to enhance our footprint and play our part in supporting many emerging markets across the continent,” he added. Today, Marriott International has a strong footprint across Africa operating 140 hotels with close to 24,000 rooms across 12 brands.
RWANDA DEVELOPMENT BOARD SPECIAL FEATURE
RDB HONOURS CUSTOMER CHAMPIONS
TO PROMOTE EXCELLENT SERVICE DELIVERY
Clare Akamanzi BRD CEO awards Antoinette Kayitesi, a customer service agent at Access Bank
ff AS RWANDA JOINED THE REST OF THE WORLD TO CELEBRATE THE CUSTOMER SERVICE WEEK WITH THE THEME “BUILDING TRUST,” OFFICIALS AT THE RWANDA DEVELOPMENT BOARD (RDB) EMPHASISED THE IMPORTANCE OF TRUST BETWEEN AN ORGANISATION AND ITS CUSTOMERS, AND BETWEEN CO-WORKERS.
uring the week, which takes place every year in the first week of October, private and public institutions took special initiatives ranging from giving gifts to customers to managers showing special appreciation to their employees. “All customer service providers in Rwanda were urged to celebrate the service week and this was successfully done,” said Belise Kariza, the Chief Tourism Officer at RDB. “We observed a lot of activities during the week through different platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.” “We saw managers writing notes by hand to acknowledge a job well done, while others sent e-cards to highlight the contribution of employees and show their appreciation,” she added. Kariza particularly commended KCB
Bank Rwanda, which sent personalised tweets to all its customers. The week was closed with a ceremony during which exceptional customer service providers (individuals or institutions) were recognised, nominated by the public via social media. While all of them were worthy recipients and received a lot of applause, some of them stood out. There was a lot for excitement, for instance, at the nominations of Senior Sergeant Alex Murenzi, an officer at the police’s traffic department, and Antoinette Kayitesi, a former security officer at Access Bank who was later promoted to her current post of a customer service agent. “I believe everyone who goes through Gishushu can testify that this police officer Murenzi, ed. absolutely deserves this award,” Kariza commented in a
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tweet, and many concurred. Other nominees were Etienne Uwiringiyimana, an official at Nyaruguru District; Evelyne Muteeteri, a customer care officer at the Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB); Jean Pierre Kizito who works at the Ministry of Justice; Morris Ndekwe from Vine Pharmacy in Kigali; Lillian Ingabire, a procurement officer at RISA; Denis Ngoga, an employee at Galaxy Hotel Rwanda; Sylivanus Kagiraneza, a security officer at I&M Bank with an eternal natural smile; and Dr. Mohamed Okasha. At the ceremony, Kariza observed that good customer service should however be a permanent attitude, and not just for one week. “I think customer care should not end this week, it should be a culture and it should keep improving,” she noted.
RWANDA DEVELOPMENT BOARD SPECIAL FEATURE
Clare Akamanzi RDB CEO explained the purpose of the customer service week
Changing the mindset Clare Akamanzi the RDB CEO, for her part paid tribute to President Paul Kagame for cultivating good service among Rwandans. “This is very important and we are proud as Rwandans; many would recognize that the President did start a page of good customer care and asked to observe it at individual, institutional and country level. Today, we have managed to change the mindset towards customer service,” she observed. Akamanzi explained that the purpose of celebrating customer service week is to enable economic actors to assess progress and outstanding challenges. “We look back and celebrate where we have come from; we celebrate the achievements and progress, and also challenge ourselves on remaining problems,” she said. The RDB CEO also made a special reference to the police and the immigration services, which she said had made great strides in improving in customer care and created a memorable impression in her. She recalled for instance that a long time ago, a police officer asked her if it was indeed necessary to smile when he stopped a car. “Indeed, we
Customer Service Week Guests at the ceremony
have come from far, now the achievement in the area of service delivery by the Rwandan police as an institution is worth celebrating,” Akamanzi said. The immigration services, in her opinion, are an example of people who go beyond their duty to serve their clients. “When people come to pick their passports or visa on their birthday, the immigration department surprises them with flowers,” Akamanzi said to much applause.
Call to emulate winners For the Minister for Trade and Industry, Vincent Munyeshyaka, the awards are an incentive for good customer care, which is a prerequisite for the service-based economy that Rwanda envisages. “Today’s recognition is a clear message to others to emulate the winners and provide good customer care to their clients,” he observed. “As the government strives to build a service-based economy, we cannot achieve anything if the services we are providing are poor. Therefore, it is crucial to understand what is needed to provide good customer care and this exercise should be carried out by every Rwandan, every businessperson, and every
Dr Mohamed Okasha is all smiles as he receives his awards from Minister Munyeshyaka www.hope-mag.com
employee in an organization, top or bottom. The attitude, ambition and thinking should be driven by the spirit of treating our citizens and clients in a dignified manner,” he added. Munyeshyaka noted that the culture of customer care should not be seen as the duty of frontline employees, and called on all institutions’ leadership to embrace it in every action plan they make. He suggested that institutions make performance contracts on customer service. He also called on Rwandans to live by their core values. “I would like to stress again the need to be respectful, friendly, polite and well-mannered towards others to contribute to good customer service,” he remarked. The Minister said the customer service week should be an opportunity for workers and Rwandans in general to reflect on the work they do and make new commitments to deliver good services. “Thank you to all of the bright, innovative and hard-working companies that have come here tonight,” he concluded the ceremony. “You are the reason why we are all here tonight, and your hard work is benefitting our country as a whole. You are a role model to other aspiring entrepreneurs all over Rwanda.”
Minister Vincent Munyeshyaka called for others to emulate the customer champions 47
Particpants in the Kigali Masterclass with their certificates
How MARKEDU is empowering SMEs with digital marketing
ff IF YOU’RE THE OWNER OF A SMALL OR MEDIUM COMPANY IN THIS DIGITAL AGE, IT MIGHT BE TEMPTING NOT TO SPEND MONEY ON ADVERTISING AND JUST SET UP SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS THROUGH WHICH TO PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS. THAT MAY NOT BE SUCH A GOOD IDEA, THOUGH. NOT ONLY MIGHT YOUR POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS NOT BE THERE, BUT EVEN IF THEY ARE YOU WILL REQUIRE SOME MARKETING KNOWLEDGE TO GET THEM ENGAGED. AND IF YOU DON’T HAVE A GOOD WEBSITE AS A FOUNDATION, ALL YOUR TWEETS AND FACEBOOK POSTS ARE PROBABLY FUTILE.
hese and other very practical tips and knowledge were the subject of the first one-day Digital Marketing Masterclass organised by Markedu in Kigali in October, presented by the company’s founder and director Michael Leander. Leander knows what he is talking about. Before creating Markedu, he had a career of 20-odd years first in the corporate world as a CEO and chief marketing officer mainly in northern Europe, and later as an entrepreneur with his own publishing, consulting and tech companies. He founded Markedu in 2009, starting with webinars on direct and digital marketing and later evolving into events, first in Europe, and then looking at East Africa. “Our main objective now is to go into emerging markets and train primarily in digital marketing,” Leander tells Hope Magazine. “We do it with events like the Kigali masterclass, and hopefully get people interested enough to do bigger programs with an actual accredited certificate in digital marketing.”
And in his view, emerging markets are exactly the right environment for digital marketing. “Look at the whole ecosystem of entrepreneurs that is thriving right now in East Africa; a lot of brilliant things that are being done that solve real problems,” Leander says. “But for people to know about it, it’s very expensive if you use traditional channels.
Michael Leander Markedu founder and director HOPE MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER ISSUE 79
But with social media, content marketing and various types of paid advertising, even a small bootstrapped business can actually find an audience.” He also thinks that digital marketing is the way to go for SMEs, which constitute the majority of companies in an emerging market like Rwanda’s. “I actually think it levels the playing field. Look at Europe 15 years ago; the internet was not a new thing then, and SMEs who didn’t have the funds or skills were able to level the playing field because the larger companies kept doing what they had always done. SMEs with all their constraints would see digital as a way to actually compete with the big guys – they could reach customers in a better and cheaper way, engage with them by showing much more who they were by having a great website, educate with a blog, maybe written by friends or family,” Leander explains. “In other words, SMEs can move on a good idea and immediately make it happen; in a large corporation you need a plan and a big agency to do it, and it takes forever,” he adds.
MARKEDU SPECIAL FEATURE
Essentials for SME digital marketing While not divulging all the secrets you will learn in a digital marketing masterclass, Leander was kind enough to share with Hope Magazine four essentials in digital marketing for SMEs.
1 Have a good web presence You should have a core website which has all the information required for someone to make a decision, either about purchasing or about getting in touch with the company. The web presence has to be anchored into the e-marketing ecosystem. There might be an e-commerce component, depending on what you’re selling, and there could be a blog involved as well. That is really the starting point. You have to see it like this: if you’re a retailer, the essence is that the better you display the goods, the more active you are in creating offers and so on, the more sales you’re going to get.
And a website is similar. What we see in Rwanda right now is that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of focus in getting that right, to say the least.
over-estimate the power of 2 Don’t social media While it’s great to get engagement, and relatively easy to get it, all social media today are advertising platforms. It’s proven that you don’t get successful unless you put money into advertising; you have to boost your post, you have to run actual campaigns and so on. A lot of small businesses, especially, think they can just have a good presence on social media and everything is going to be great. It is not.
3 Know your marketing foundation All the marketing things about positioning, value proposition and knowing your audience, they still count a lot to become successful digitally. And that’s where a lot of SMEs go wrong. They go with the channel: they see that Facebook is popular so they want to be on Facebook. They don’t ask themselves: 1) is my audience there, 2) what do they do there? If you’re in a B2B context, Facebook often doesn’t work because people are there in a private context, not for business.
direct 4 Understand marketing principles Digital marketing is a direct marketing channel, so you need to understand direct marketing principles. This has to do with psychology: how do you get people to engage, how do you create an emotional connection with your message and – very importantly – carefully detail the flow that you take an audience through in order to get a sale. They say retail is detail, but I would say, so is digital. Yvonne Ishimwe (L) and Isabelle Sindayirwanya (R) from Hope Magazine improved their digital marketing skills at the Masterclass
Rupak Gorajia, Marketing director at Akagera Business Group I attended this training to see if I could progress my knowledge in digital marketing for our company on our social media presence, our website and actual physical presence as well. The training is going well so far, I learned a couple of things that we can apply to our business and also about our clients and how we can start new business products and services. So I think it’s good; we have a couple of hours to go so I hope to learn more.
For more information on future workshops, check http://www.markedu.com/
Marie-Claire Muneza, Marketing, Media and Sponsorship Specialist at Tigo Rwanda
Michael Leander Markedu founder and director at the masterclass in Kigali www.hope-mag.com
I was interested because of my working experience in digital marketing, and I wanted to learn from Markedu about the channels where marketers can best push the brand and products and so far we have learned a lot. Nowadays, we’re moving from outdoor advertising to online, so getting more knowledge is helping us to get to know where we can push the brand with a lot of impact to reach the customers. 49
VISION FUND SPECIAL FEATURE
In Nyamagabe VisionFund
taught the poor residents to save and improve their lives ff MANY PEOPLE THINK THAT SAVING MONEY, AND THEN INVESTING IT IN BUSINESS, IS ONLY POSSIBLE WHEN YOU HAVE A BIG INCOME. YET AT VISIONFUND RWANDA (VFR), ONE OF THE COUNTRY’S BIGGEST MICRO-FINANCE COMPANIES, THEY PROVE EVERY DAY THAT EVEN SMALL EARNERS CAN SAVE, PROVIDED THEY MANAGE THEIR MONEY WELL.
iviane Itangishaka has experienced that first-hand, thanks to VFR. Today, she heads the Twiteganirize savings group, which consists of 30 residents from Cyibumba village in Nyamagabe district, and she affirms she has a good life. But only five years ago, things were very different. At the time, Itangishaka (who is now 41 years old, married and mother of 5 children), was running a small business selling fruit and clothing; while she managed to get food on the table for her family, she didn’t think saving was possible and had never set foot in a bank. But in 2012, under the impulse of World Vision, several residents from Cyibumba created the Twiteganirize group and were put in contact with VFR, which helps poor people to improve their lives through small loans, and thus ensure a better future for their children.
She can now easily pay school fees for her children and health insurance for her family, and has even bough goats and a cow. What is more, with the knowledge on financial management got from VFR, she is now helping elderly women in her church to develop themselves by creating small income-generating activities and saving money little by little. Other members of the Twiteganirize group have fared as well as Itangishaka.
Viviane Itangishaka with a cow she managed to buy thanks to the VFR loans
Members of the Twiteganirize group 50
First they received some basic financial training to better manage the revenue from their small businesses, and then they could apply for a loan. Itangishaka took out a loan of Rwf 200,000, which she used to expand her business selling vegetables, fruits, clothes etc. Over the years she received more credit (VFR’s condition for allocating a new loan is that the previous one has been paid back) and it turned her life around.
Their businesses have expanded, their children are well fed and go to school, they have good sanitation and have renovated their houses and often installed solar energy systems, and they bought cattle. Thus, with just a little help from World Vision and VFR, these Cyibumba residents who thought they were too poor to save have managed to do so, to get loans and pay them back, to lead good lives and feel that they are valuable members of the community.
Viviane Itangishaka with her two children HOPE MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER ISSUE 79
DEVELOPMENT BANK OF RWANDA SPECIAL FEATURE
BRD BOOSTS POULTRY SECTOR IN SUPPORT OF MADE-IN-RWANDA CAMPAIGN
ff THE HUMBLE CHICKEN MIGHT BE A NOISY AND ANNOYING BIRD, BUT WHEN IT COMES TO TWO KEY GOVERNMENT POLICIES – INCREASING EXPORTS AND IMPORT SUBSTITUTION THROUGH THE PROMOTION OF MADE-IN-RWANDA PRODUCTS – IT HAS A REMARKABLE POTENTIAL. IT IS THEREFORE NO SURPRISE THAT THE GOVERNMENT MADE A LOT OF EFFORT TO HAVE THE FIRST POULTRY AFRICA 2017 CONFERENCE AND EXPO IN RWANDA, WHICH WAS HELD ON 4TH AND 5TH OCTOBER AND ATTRACTED SOME 1,000 PARTICIPANTS FROM AFRICA AND THE REST OF THE WORLD.
Livingstone Byamungu (R) BRD chief investoment officer Jean-Claude Kayisinga (C), Minagri permanent secretary, give explanations on Poultry Africa
uring the conference there were seminars focusing on the best practices with regards to breeding and hatching, health and nutrition, farm management as well as animal welfare, while the expo taking place on the sidelines presented network opportunities for
farmers and traders, and to get acquainted with the latest technology to maximize the benefits from Rwanda’s growing poultry sector. The event was organized by VIV Worldwide in collaboration with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI) and the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD).
HOPE MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER ISSUE 79
The involvement of the latter is no coincidence, as BRD is Rwanda’s leading lender in agriculture, especially to promote and boost modern agriculture. As such, it has financed several businesses in the poultry sector. One such venture BRD has supported is the Icyerekezo Poultry Farm, set up by Vincent Gakwandi in Gasharu Sector in Kicukiro.
DEVELOPMENT BANK OF RWANDA SPECIAL FEATURE
Gakwandi started the enterprise in 2012, as he saw a gap in the market, particularly in the production of eggs. He had noticed that most eggs consumed in Rwanda were important, yet he had seen friends in Uganda become rich through poultry farming.
Jean Baptiste Musabyimana CEO of Abusol eggs and chicken feed supplier speaking at Africa Poultry
Icyerekezo Poultry Farm employs 13 people and produces 65,000 eggs per day
Even today, Rwanda still imports about 300,000 eggs from Uganda every week and 150,000 day old-chicks every month, and more come in from Kenya and sometimes Belgium. As such, egg production was a relatively virgin sector with little competition, especially compared to the clearing and forwarding business Gakwandi was involved in, so he decided to move.
“So I wanted to give it a try and see whether I could succeed,” he says. To get familiar with the business, he visited different countries including Serbia, Turkey, and Uganda. Gakwandi says when he started, his aim was to ensure that the high demand for eggs on the Rwandan market is met locally, all the time, and without any hiccups in supply. He started with just 2,000 chicks, and one year later, the farm had already grown to 5,000 birds. That is when he realized he needed financial support to develop the business. He approached BRD, which supported the venture and gave him finance for 8000 more chicks, a poultry house, and Rwf63.5 million payable in five years at an interest rate of 16%.
Icyerekezo Poultry Farm which started with 2,000 chickens in 2012, now had more than 25,000 thanks to BRD's support
“Initially I had one poultry house, but now I have constructed six more that can accommodate 25,000 chickens. There are challenges, of course, but it doesn’t stop me and I’m still trying to improve the farm,” he says.
Gerardine Mukeshimana Agriculture Minister visits the Africa Poultry 2017 expo www.hope-mag.com
The farm now employs 13 people and produces 65,000 eggs per day. The big challenge for the poultry industry, Gakwandi says, is that it is not well developed; management skills and feeds are lacking, while medicine for the animals is expensive. Therefore, his wish had been for BRD to invite experts and experienced specialists in all aspects of the poultry value chain, and to provide trainings. With the Poultry Africa 2017 conference and expo, the development bank has delivered.