Hope Magazine - Issue 83

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calls for Undisruptive Digital Transformation across continent Keep the rhythm going. Keep Keep the the rhythm rhythm going. going. Pay for school fees Pay Pay for for school school fees fees from anywhere. from from anywhere. anywhere. Birangize MTN MoMo. Birangize Birangize nana MTN na MTN MoMo. MoMo. *182# and follow prompts. DialDial *182# Dial and *182# follow and follow thethe prompts. the prompts.


In this Issue

January 2018 Issue 83



Iradukunda Anime

Rumanzi Abraham



Allan Migadde

Keith Ntagozera

Shema Ignace


Ben Gasore

Kobusingye Bonitah

Sindayirwanya Isabelle

Erwin Winkler

Manzi Joseph

Rebero Daniel

Himbana Alexandre

Mbanda Claude


Ishimwe Yvonne

Mucyo Rodrigue

Dani K.

Reserved by Hope Magazine, a monthly Magazine published by HOPE HOLDINGS LTD All rights reserved. The opinions expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the editors and publishers of Hope Magazine.



MTN Rwanda


BPR ATlas Mara Group


Bourbon Coffee


Safintra Limited


Akagera Business Group


Mobisol Limited


Business Partners Limited



P.O. Box 6176 Kigali-Rwanda +250 788 524189 / +250 788 404138

info@hope-mag.com www.hope-mag.com


Kigali Serena Hotel


Lake Kivu Serena Hotel


Airtel Rwanda


UAP Group Rwanda


UAP Group Rwanda


Marriott Kigali


Galaxy Hotel


KCB Bank Rwanda


KCB Bank Rwanda


Davis and Shirtliff


Riders Lounge


Engen Rwanda Limited


16 YEGOMOTO launches Tap & Pay on taxi-motos

The Court Boutique Hotel


20 AIRTEL Bomba Packs upgraded to offer unlimited data

WAKA Fitness Group


24 BRALIRWA CREATE empowers farmers to earn more

The Arts & Gimco Real Estate


26 ACCESS Bank in breast cancer awareness campaign

Sinotruk Rwanda Limited


28 UTEXRWA to grow textile industry local and export markets

BK Techouse


30 MTN Rwanda launches Birangize na MoMo Campaign



7 EDITORIAL Technology should respond to a need 10 AFRICA TECH SUMMIT calls for Digital Transformation 12 BRD AND I&M receive EIB credit lines for private sector


VISIT HOPE WEBSITE www.hope-mag.com


For people to Embrace tech, it should respond to a need

COVER Africa Tech Summit -Kigali calls for Undisruptive Digital Transformation across continent

HIGHLIGHTS The Heineken Africa Foundation (HAF), the philanthropic section of the Heineken Group.., has partnered with the Ministry of Health to realise the hospital’s ambitions of improving services to mothers and new-borns... Under the partnership, HAF through BRALIRWA is offering EUR300,000 which will be largely for constructing the new facility (Kacyiru Hospital) while the Government of Rwanda will invest in the neonatal-maternal health facility with modern equipment to ensure quality service delivery.





34 KIGALI MARRIOT Wine-tasting evening, a wide selection of wines 40 KATE SPADE Luxury Handbags changing Masoro’s community 42 BPR Unveils new Digital Banking Solutions to its customers 43 AIRTEL RWANDA New MD to run the combined entity in Rwanda 46 VISIONFUND launches childcare centre 48 CIMERWA unveils New Brand, to reach full capacity mid-2019

Hope Magazine assume no liability for error or omissions in this publication. All Advertisements are taken in good faith, opinions and views contained herein are not necessarily those of the Publisher. All copyrights and trademarks are recognized. No part of this publication or contents thereof may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system or transmitted in any form without written permission by Hope Magazine. Exemption is hereby granted for extracts with the purpose of fair review. © 2013


he Africa Tech Summit Kigali, a 2-day event which took place in Rwanda’s c a p i t a l m i d - F e b r u a r y, b r o u g h t together leaders from the African tech industry, international players and investors who want to drive growth in Africa. The summit explored the latest trends with expert speakers from across the continent delivering keynotes, panels and breakout sessions. One of the main conclusions to come out of the summit is that the continent still has some way to go in terms of mindset towards technology, both on the part of governments and of the population. However, it seems that both can be addressed when the tech developers – the private sector – come up with inventive tools and applications that actually respond to the needs of Africans. And those solutions aren’t another fitness app or silly game with which you can kill some time. A good example is the use of mobile phones to make money transfers, which is something that was pioneered on the continent and where it more widespread than in other parts of the world. The reason is exactly that it responded to a huge need, as financial inclusion is still rather limited and banking procedures can be cumbersome. In came some genius techies at telecommunication companies, and the mobile money wallets were born. It was such a success that the banks, realizing that they were being outpaced, brought all hands on deck to come up with a reply. Today, the majority of the banks on the continent offer multiple ways to electronically

manage bank accounts, and are working hand in hand with the telecoms to ensure smooth transfers between mobile wallets and bank accounts. There are so many other areas where some smart thinkers could, and have, come up with solutions which people will jump on. A good example is the delivery of blood to hospitals by drones, which is being pioneered in Rwanda. It is no secret that across the continent, the road network is nvot only still underdeveloped, but in some countries even the existing roads are in a sorry state. While that may not be the case in Rwanda, our winding roads make speedy delivery near impossible, and there are of course still parts of the country that are difficult to reach. That is why Zipline’s solution to use drones to deliver blood to upcountry hospitals is of such genius simplicity. Of course, as with the drones, the willingness of the government to embrace this technology was vital, and there are still quite a few countries on the continent that could borrow a leaf from Rwanda, where the leadership is pushing technology by offering all its services online (sometimes exclusively) and actively encouraging tech companies to come and develop their innovations here. Yet in the end, if the tech companies have nothing better than a fitness app or a silly game, they will run out of breath very quickly.

Erwin Winkler

We appreciate your feedback. Please keep sending more on info@hope-mag.com or visit www.hope-mag.com, to post your comment on any published story. We shall pick it and respond to you asap!



The audience at a panel discussion at the Africa Tech summit

Africa Tech Summit -Kigali calls for Undisruptive Digital Transformation across continent The Africa Tech Summit Kigali that opened on Wednesday has called for the acceleration of undisruptive digital transformation and the move from cash to digital payments across the Africa continent.


he two-day summit is a platform to explore the latest trends in digital technology with the participation of some 250 key African and international tech leaders. During the summit, technology firms including Yegomoto, BK Techouse showcased their latest innovations through tech solutions in agriculture, transport, communications and banking, among other sectors. According to Edward George, head of research at pan-African bank Ecobank, people are often stuck in their ways – whether a market vendor or a top executive – and the challenge is to change the mindset and open them up to the opportunities of digital solutions. “As a bank, we are helping individuals and businesses to meet the challenges with latest banking and tech innovations, including using mobile and customer data to create individualized credit scores, unlocking the potential for mobile lending and micro-insurance,” George said.


Edward George head of research Ecobank HOPE JANUARY ISSUE 83

Karanvir Singh CEO of Yegomoto explains the company's tech innovation


BK Techouse CEO Regis Rugemanshuro speaking at the summit

Yegomoto CEO Karanvir Singh during a panel discussion

During the summit, Karanvir Singh, CEO of Yegomoto, said that through the company’s intelligent connected fare meters for motorcycle taxis which were launched in Rwanda less than six months ago, safe and reliable service delivery is ensured.

Lucy Mbabazi, vice-President for Push Payments at Ecobank, said that Africa needs to incentivize a mindset change to make people change from cash to digital payments, and give companies tax breaks if they digitalize their business.

“In the beginning, drivers were hesitant but now they benefit from free helmets, meters, knowledge of new technology and the bigger picture of effective easy working,” he said.

“The more you are aware of digital, the more you want to use it,” she said. “Banking is not a privilege, it’s a right; we need to use all the digital tools available to remove the pain point for customers to make a payment.”

While over 80% of Africans have mobile phones, only around a quarter (28%) of them has a bank account. But mobile banking and e-wallets are helping to fill the gap, offering a range of alternative payment methods as well as lending and savings services. This has boosted the overall financial inclusion rate to 34%, and it is growing each day.

The expo hall of the Africa Tech Summit

However, there are many barriers to wider use of new technology where change is needed in attitudes and approaches towards innovation. Therefore, participants and key speakers called upon governments to embrace technology which will overcome these barriers and stimulate wider usage. The hostess at YegoMoto stand gives explanations to a visitor

Lucy Mbabazi vice-President for Push Payments at Ecobank, speaks during a panel discussion on fintech

The stand of BK Techouse featured robots made during the recent Robotics Camp Rwanda www.hope-mag.com





BRD and I&M receive

EIB credit lines for private sector investment

Eric Rutabana BRD CEO, Maria Shaw-Barragan EIB Director and Robin Bairstow I&M Bank Managing Director sign the agreements




“This agreement shows commitment by EIB to assist us in SME financing, and it will help us extend our reach across country, because SMEs are everywhere and are vital for the economy and job creation,” Rutabana remarked. “The sectors that will benefit from this credit line include manufacturing, agribusiness, energy and exports.” BRD CEO Rutabana the agreement will help the bank extend its reach across country


nder the EIB’s Private Enterprise Finance Facility, BRD received a €15 million credit line while I&M Bank benefits from a $10 million lending programme, both accompanied by technical assistance.

The agreements were signed in Kigali on Monday by on the one hand, Maria Shaw-Barragan, EIB Director responsible for lending operations outside Europe, and on the other hand BRD CEO Eric Rutabana and I&M Bank Managing Director Robin Bairstow. Barragan observed that for both BRD and I&M Bank it is the second time the EIB extends a credit line as the first ones were successfully completed – which is why the new credit lines are 50% bigger than the previous ones. “The EIB has already given loans worth €87mn for private sector development in Rwanda over the last six years, so we’re building on the success

of previous investments which created at least 3,000 jobs in different sectors,” she remarked. “We target SMEs as they create jobs, and thus promote financial inclusion.” BRD CEO Rutabana remarked that the new agreement is highly important for the development bank, as two years ago it embarked on a new strategy to develop SMEs in the country. “This agreement shows commitment by EIB to assist us in SME financing, and it will help us extend our reach across country, because SMEs are everywhere and are vital for the economy and job creation,” Rutabana remarked. “The sectors that will benefit from this credit line include manufacturing, agribusiness, energy and exports.” “This is not the first time that the EIB finances BRD, and we hope it isn’t the last as we still have many projects. We thank EIB very much,” he added.


Robin Bairstow, the I&M Bank Managing Director, also lauded the EIB’s continued support. “Thanks to the EIB, we have built a strong SME portfolio over the years and many of the businesses have since grown significantly,” he said. “This new line will make it possible to explore new sectors such as tourism and agribusiness while continuing to have a considerable influence on existing businesses mainly in the trade sector.” “This new initiative by the European Investment Bank builds on a proven track record of helping companies across East Africa to expand, including here in Rwanda,” said Ambassador Nicola Bellomo, Head of the European Union Delegation to Rwanda. “Technical assistance provided alongside the new private sector lending will both strengthen financial services in Rwanda and financial skills within Rwandan businesses.”






President Kagame attended the Africa

Market on the sidelines of the African Union Summit 30th AU Summit in Addis Ababa, on 29 January 2018

Business and Investment Forum in Addis Ababa, on 30 January 2018


President Kagame met with members of the Chief Executives Organisation on 20 January 2018


President Kagame attended the World Economic Forum from 23 – 25 January 2018


President Kagame hosted envoys accredited to Rwanda to a Diplomats’ Luncheon on 16 January 2018


President Kagame chaired the 30th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, on 29 January 2018


President Kagame, Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat and President Faure Gnassingbé of Togo launched the Single African Air Transport


President Kagame and AUC Chairperson held consultative meeting on AU Institutional Reform with former Heads of State and Government, in Addis Ababa, on 30 January 2018


ffHighlights on some of the monthly activities the President has undertaken in and outside the country



President Kagame met with H.E. Horst KĂśhler, former German President and Personal Envoy of the UNSG for Western Sahara and H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, AU Chairperson on 13 January 2018 President Kagame led the nation in the commemoration of National Heroes Day on 1st February 2018

10 President Kagame met with Hon. Wang Yi, Minister

of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China on 13 January 2017

11 President Kagame received former President of

France Nicolas Sarkozy on 15 January 2018

12 President Kagame addressed the AU Peace and

Security Council (PSC) in Addis Ababa, on 27

January 2018 13 President Kagame met with Co-Chair of Africa

Wildlife Foundation Board Benjamin Mkapa and President of Africa Wildlife Foundation Kaddu Sebunya. on 10 January 2018


President Kagame made a working visit to Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, on 14 January 2018

15 President Kagame received new envoys

who presented their letters of credence on 16 January 2018

16 President Kagame met with US President

Donald Trump on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, on 26 January 2018





YEGOMOTO launches TAP & PAY on taxi-motos ff Yego Innovision has launched a system that will enable passengers on its motorcycles to pay for the ride using the MTN Tap and Pay system. Users of Yegomoto were already able to pay with MTN Mobile Money, but this required lengthy process using USSD; the introduction of Tap & Pay will make that process quicker and easier.


he company also launched its own Yegomoto Ride-Tap-Pay system. “We are delighted to partner with MTN to bring this innovative payment option to passengers of taxi-motos,” said Karanvir Singh, the CEO and Managing Director of Yego Innovison. “From today, passengers will be able to pay with their MTN mobile wallets using MTN’s Tap & Pay or Yegomoto’s Ride-Tap-Pay tags. The Yegomoto Ride-Tap-Pay will soon be able to support payments from mobile operators as well as debit cards from banks. This will give a tremendous boost to Rwanda’s effort to go cashless.”

Karanvir Singh Yegomoto CEO and Patrick Nyirishema RURA DG, test the Tap & Go system

MTN’s Chief Business Officer Norman Munyampundu for his part said that the telecom has been very interested in Yegomoto’s business. “When MTN Rwanda learned of what Yegomoto was initiating, and we gladly joined hands as this service is meant to ease the way people pay for their transport on motorcycles,” he said.

Yegomoto CEO Karanvir Singh speaks about Rwanda’s effort to go cashless

Norman Munyumpundu MTN's Chief Business Officer speaks at the launch of the new system 16

Yegomoto uses meters connected to the internet and to GPS which automatically calculate the fee for the ride. The tariff per kilometer is set by the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), and its director general, Patrick Nyirishema welcomed the joint initiative. “We are very proud of Yegomoto’s cashless payment system because it will emphasize the dignity and discipline of the motor riders. And in accordance with the

President’s vision of increasing the use of technology, this initiative will boost Rwanda’s economy and make things easier for both the drivers and the passengers,” he said. To use the MTN Mobile Money or Yegomoto RideTap-Pay system, passengers have to register, which takes more or less 30 seconds. Using either of the systems comes at no extra charge.

Some of the guests of the launch



YEGOMOTO gets licence to install connected fare meters on taxi-motos ff Yegomoto has received a license from the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency to install intelligent connected fare meters on all the motorcycles in the country.

Karanvir Singh Yegomoto CEO addressing Journalists at the announcement of the license

Karanvir Singh Yegomoto CEO and Aaron Ndagijimana the Deputy Head of Transport at RURA,


Yegomoto’s CEO Singh explains the connected meter system

wanda becomes the first country in the world to have the metered motorcycle taxi services with cashless payments. According to Yegomoto’s CEO, Karanvir Singh, the transport company is proud to be a pioneer in partnership with RURA, the police and other stakeholders in creating the world class project.

Since the process started 18 months ago with market research, Yegomoto has installed 680 meters on the motorcycles in Kigali, and Singh pledged to complete the task in the capital in the next six months and across the country in nine months.

“We are delighted to announce that we have received the license from the regulator to install the intelligent connected fare meters all taxi-motos in the country. The regulator has asked us to complete the process within nine months and we expect to meet the deadline,” he said.

“It has been a long journey, we have worked with all the stakeholders since 2016 to find out what were the real challenges to taxi motorcycle industry in the country. We conducted a detailed field survey for over one year and half that gave us deep insight into to industry. We studied how taximotos operate, and their challenges,” Singh said. www.hope-mag.com

Aaron Ndagijimana, Deputy Head of Transport at RURA said Yegomoto comes to solve challenges for both the motorcyclists and the passengers. “Negotiations between motorcyclists and passengers were amongst the problems as it was time consuming, but with the meter both parties are going to be happy. So it is a win-win situation,” he said. Yegomoto has recently introduced payments through MTN’s Mobile Money Tap & Go method, and has announced this will soon be extended to both TIGO and Airtel. The company also plans to integrate with banks to provide seamless payment from their wallets and bank accounts. 17

Business Health


Airtel Bomba Packs

upgraded to offer unlimited data and call options � Kigali, Rwanda. January 2018. Airtel Rwanda has today enhanced its Bomba Packs, introducing “Bomba No Limit” packs to the Bomba packs family. “Bomba No limit” frees Airtel Internet subscribers to enjoy unlimited data and make calls without time restrictions. The introduction of these volume-based packs comes to compliment the time-based bundles that were introduced by Airtel in November 2017.


irtel Data customers now have the option to choose between loading a daily, weekly or monthly pack and consuming it up to to 1 GB of per day, 7GB of data per week or 30 GB of data per month.

Speaking about the development at Airtel headquarters, acting Managing Director at Airtel Rwanda Raoul Bedi, said, “The upgrade of Bomba packs comes as a response to customers need for flexible internet packs that can be used without restrictions.

Alternatively, customers can load “Bomba No Limit Bundles” and utilize as much data as they wish without restriction.

These packs provide the agility needed by customers who use our Internet for work assignments that may sometimes require more than 1 GB of data per day.”

“Bomba No Limit Bundles” offer 1GB daily for 500 RWF, 7GB weekly for 3000 RWF and 30 GB of data monthly alongside other voice and SMS benefits.

“Bomba No Limit Bundles” offer 1GB daily for 500 RWF, 7GB weekly for 3000 RWF and 30 GB of data monthly alongside other voice and SMS benefits.



About Bharti Airtel Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 16 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 home broadband, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G, 4G wireless services and mobile commerce. Bharti Airtel had over 394 million customers across its operations at the end of December 2017. To know more please visit,


Bomba packs provide a range of choices to Airtel customers to enjoy daily, weekly and monthly streaming using Airtel Internet as well as making calls to all networks at an affordable rate.


Agri-Business ...

CREATE empowers farmers to earn more from agriculture, transform their villages

� From tilling small fragmented farms and cultivating them with a wide array of crops, 73 farmers working together in Jyambere Muhinzi Cooperative in Gishari Sector of Rwamagana district in Rwanda’s Eastern Province now have more than 100ha of land under maize farming and productivity has been increasing significantly since 2016.


yambere Muhinzi which in Kinyarwanda loosely translates into “farmer development,” engages in modern farming and is a role model on good farming practices for many farming cooperatives in the district. To its members, notwithstanding their hard work, success gained so far has been possible thanks to the technical and equipment received from the Community Revenue Enhancement through Agricultural Technology Extension (CREATE) Project.


CREATE is a Heineken Group funded project t h r o u g h i t s l o c a l s u b s i d i a r y B R A L I R WA implemented by the European Cooperative for Rural Development (EUCORD). The project seeks to empower farmers to earn more from their agricultural activities and in so doing foster community wide economic transformations. In large parts of the Eastern Province including Kayonza and Rwamagana districts, the one-crop HOPE JANUARY ISSUE 83

For the 73 farmers in Jyambere Muhinzi, their maize harvests have been progressively increasing. From 73.4tons of maize in 2016/17 the cooperative is looking at 150tons of this 2017/18 implying over 104% increase in a year.


for the farmers as identified through scientific assessments of the land qualities conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture in its land consolidation and land use policy is maize. Given that it coincides with a crucial rawmaterial in BRALIRWA’s brewing activities –maize grits –it is understandable why maize and these particular districts given Heineken Group’s sustainability target of increasing local sourcing of raw materials to at least 60% by year 2020. Under CREATE, the focus has been to sensitise farmers on good farming practices such as use of quality agricultural inputs like fertilisers and timely planting, business management skills which help transform agriculture from subsistence to market oriented farming, and kick starting agricultural mechanization through irrigation among other initiatives. And this wide array of approaches has born results particularly increased productivity, breaking the poverty yoke and changing the face of entire villages thanks to income earned from maize farming.

produce other crops in the harshest of time,” Nshirigihunga Lambert the President of Jyambere Muhinzi Cooperative notes.

For the 73 farmers in Jyambere Muhinzi, their maize harvests have been progressively increasing. From 73.4tons of maize in 2016/17 the cooperative is looking at 150tons of this 2017/18 implying over 104% increase in a year. According to farmers like Christine Mukakabano, maize has been a success and instrumental in changing their lives around. “I cannot think of farming without the maize crop. It is only after I started cultivating maize that I was able to earn a significant amount at the same time from my farming. Originally, I used to do a lot of mixed cropping and could only earn a few thousand francs from selling my harvests. In the previous farming season, I brought in slightly over 1.3tons of maize to the cooperative from which I earned about Frw300,000 that I used to make improvements in my family’s life including buying two goats.” For other farmers like Hakizimana Innocent who was able to harvest 3tons from his farming in farming season A of 2016/17, returns from maize have made his village better. “We have managed to rehabilitate our houses, our children are going to school and we are meeting our basic needs.” Having access to a ready market for maize produce has been the major factor for the game changer that maize has been. Many of the farmer cooperatives supported by CREATE are now fully registered, have managed to buy more land and are well advanced at being able to use available local financing opportunities to sustain their activities. According to Fabien Ngoga who coordinates the project for EUROCORD, the combination of farming techniques, agricultural mechanization, access to agricultural inputs and now strengthening farmer access to financial facilities is a success in building sustainable modernized

farming that will eventually bring more cash in the hands of farmers in addition to making communities and the country food secure.

Cost effective irrigation solutions make all year farming possible A crucial element in modernized market driven farming has the ability to be productive throughout the year. For farmers both cultivating lowlands and hillside fields under the CREATE project, irrigation has opened up new farming seasons they never had and are producing crops they never thought possible. Farmers who previously were only able to utilise farming seasons A and B and just waited around without serious work during the season C which is largely in the dry spells of Rwanda’s farming calendar are now able to farm throughout the year and as they testify, this is increasing their ability to make extra cash from what they their agriculture profession. “Had it not been for irrigation, the harsh dry season we experienced in 2016/17 season would have left us without even food for our families but thanks to irrigation solutions, we were able to have a good harvest and even www.hope-mag.com

Armed with irrigation equipment and techniques, these farmers are now cultivating cabbages as a new crop all year to take advantage of a read market of the vegetable in the neighbouring Rwanda National Police Training College in Gishari. Besides access to irrigation equipment and empowerment to make use of available Government of Rwanda facilities to incentivize use of irrigation in farming, farmers have also been trained on installation, operation, maintenance and minimal reparation skills for their irrigation units. According to EUROCORD’s irrigation specialist Maurice Binyebebe, farmers are given irrigation support for a year including on installation, operation, maintenance and minimal repairs. Alongside these services, skills on these areas are imparted so that cooperative members are able to continue on their own after the year. “Currently, farmers we have been working with since early 2017 to install and operate irrigation solutions are able to manage them on their own thanks to various trainings received.”To further make irrigation solutions affordable, the project has introduced solar powered irrigation units that will further improve usability and ensure that farming continues to bring more financial liberation to rural communities. Thanks to smallholder farmers like those supported by CREATE, the establishment of an irrigated maize farm by BRALIRWA in partnership with MINIMEX in the Ndego Sector of Kayonza district and the extended impacts of these two initiatives, local maize harvests account for about 40% of Rwanda’s leading beverage manufacturer’s maize grits consumption. 25


Health ...

Access Bank in breast cancer awareness campaign While figures indicate that about 300 women die from breast cancer every year, the Director of the Cancer Unit in RBC, Dr Francois Uwikindi, conceded that the number is probably much higher. “We think there are many others who are suffering from breast cancer and eventually die because they never go for early screening thinking they are suffering from a different disease,” he said.

Nadine Rutabayiro Access Bank Team Leader explains the breast cancer campaign

Access Bank clients at the breast cancer screening

ff Access Bank in collaboration with the Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) last month kicked off its annual initiative of raising awareness on breast cancer for women by carrying out a free screening for its clients and staff.


Access Bank Rwanda has a product called maternal health support scheme where it provides loans at low interest rates (15%) to enable clients diagnosed with such chronic diseases to access medical treatment and pay back later.

he one-week campaign was held ahead of the international day for fighting breast cancer held on 4th February under the theme “I Can, We Can.”

“The treatment is accessible for both in Rwanda and abroad,” Rutabayiro explained. The free screening targeted over 80,000 women, at a time when breast cancer is becoming increasingly prevalent. Dr Francois Uwinkindi Director of the Cancer Unit at RBC

Speaking to journalists during the free screening event at the bank’s head offices at Union Trade Centre in Kigali City, Nadine Rutabayiro, the Access Bank Team Leader for Women Banking noted that; “as we help women to access finance for their economic empowerment, we strongly believe that they should also be healthy to be able to benefit from financial stability. She added that; “We cannot talk about financial development without better health. That is why we are screening them for breast cancer in conjunction with RBC.”


He lauded Access Bank’s initiative, saying it complements the government’s efforts in raising awareness on prevention and early detection of cancer for easy treatment.“People often seek medical support when they are already at an incurable stage because they delayed screening. It is better that a woman is examined every month,” Uwikindi remarked.

Access Bank employee being taken through the self-examination procedure HOPE JANUARY ISSUE 83

The campaign also included explanation of measures to prevent breast cancer and on how women can do a monthly self-examination of their breasts.

Utexrwa, the largest textile and garment factory in Rwanda, is today positioned to take maximum benefit of the growing market emerging from the stability in and fast development of the country. Founded in 1984, and currently among the largest textile companies in the region, Utexrwa plays a pivotal role in job creation and the development of the textile and garment sector. The company’s operations also contribute to import substitution and thus to improving the trade balance. In addition, Rwanda’s strong bilateral ties with West African countries such as Congo Brazzaville, Cameroon and Gabon, present a golden opportunity to Utexrwa to gear up for the export markets and thus become a strong foreign exchange earner.


Quick delivery, reliability, flexible customization ,and adoptability are quali-ties that define Utexrwa today.

Quick delivery, reliability, flexible customization, and adoptability are qualities that define Utexrwa today” Ritesh Patel, Managing Director UTEXIRWA

Stretched on nine acres of land with built-up construction of over 25,000 square meters, the garment maker’s facilities are composed of a vertically integrated textile mill that includes spinning, weaving, processing (dyeing and printing), and in-house garment division. Largely specializing in the production of uniforms, Utexrwa focuses on Rwanda’s budding education and security sectors. With Rwanda’s peacekeeping forces operating in several countries around the globe, there is great growth potential in that market. Utexrwa also firmly believes that the partnership between the textile sector and the government in the production and supply of uniforms for public schools is a credible vehicle for the transformation of the sector.

Some of the finished fabric that are often exported to regional markets such as Congo

Its uniforms are customized with clientspecific design, size and colour. The product range so far includes uniforms for the army and police, fire fighters, medics, schools, commercial, home and industrial workforce as well as eco-friendly home furnishings. The company also supplies finished cotton and blended fabrics in rolls.

Utexrwa sources most of its raw materials such as cotton from Rwanda and other EAC countries.

Tailors at Utexrwa sewing police uniforms

Processed cotton

The company also supplies finished cotton and blended fabrics in rolls.

The company also produces uniforms for commercial purposes, such as taxi-moto jackets. 29


Innovation ...



MTN Rwanda launches

Birangize na MoMo Campaign ffMTN RWANDA today launched its latest multi-channel Mobile Money campaign titled “Birangize na MoMo”, which emphasises the mobile operator’s bold views on aligning itself with the Rwandan government’s drive to digitise the economy.


he campaign articulates MTN’s commitment to contributing tothe national economic strategy on enhancing cashless transactions that offers convenience and security to all Rwandans. Speaking at the launch, MTN Ag. CMO, Richard Acheampong, said, “MTN has developed and deployed numerous innovative financial products aimed at convenience and safety while supporting the drive towards a cashless economy. We are communicating how, through the evolution of MTN Mobile Money, peoples’ lives have become simpler and more convenient. Today, the sim card gives you more than just voice and data; you can perform your financial transactions anywhere and at any time, from your mobile phone.” A key criterion of the campaign is that it showcases and celebrates what customers can do because of the role Mobile Money plays in their lives, such as paying water bills, buying airtime, paying for electricity, paying for parking tickets, paying taxes and so much more, all in the most unexpected places. Most of these services are actually paid at no extra cost to the MoMo subscriber. “We know the enormous potential MTN Mobile Money has to transform our lives. As more services are deployed on the Mobile Money platform, it is important for us to continue to drive financial inclusion in a manner that the average subscriber can identify with and finds valuable,” he added. This campaign is MTN’s most ambitious yet. It comprises a number of television executions and a combination of market-specific print, online, outdoor and mobile creative executions.


The vibrant and catchy audio track that kicks off this campaign is done by local up-and-coming artists namely Ntwali Benjamin and Banamwana Paulin who are students, and Sano Shengero Aline who is actively pursuing a music career. “Our brand has evolved with Rwandan musicians such as Tom Close, Jay Polly, Mani Martin, Riderman, Charly & Nina, many of who were still fresh in the industry but have risen to become some of the biggest names in Rwandan music today. We are taking our partnerships a notch higher by working with young talented upcoming musicians to driving a campaign that is transformational both for our subscribers and also for these young upcoming musicians. The models featured in all our brand campaigns are also proudly Rwandan. We continue to support and promote the development of such artists by giving them platforms to showcase their talents. Birangize na MoMo!” concluded Mr. Acheampong.



ABOUT MTN Rwanda MTN Rwanda is the market leader in the mobile telecommunications industry in Rwanda. Since 1998, MTN Rwanda has continuously invested in expanding and modernizing its network and is now proudly Rwanda’s No 1 Network. MTN Rwanda offers superior services to its subscriber base, including innovative propositions such as personalized voice and data offers with MTN Irekure. The company is also the front runner in Mobile Financial Services in Rwanda with Mobile Money, Tap&Pay and MoKash, Loans and Savings.


Hospitality ...

Simon Hodson Director of Food and Beverages at Kigali Marriott (left) and the hotel’s General Manager Rex Nijhof (right), with a guest



o to make its patrons more familiar with its wine menu, Kigali Marriott invited a select group to a winetasting evening at Cucina. At the event, organized together with Akagera Business Group (ABG) which is Marriott’s partner for wines, guest could


sample a dozen or so wines from all around the world, while two French experts, Gil Cheviron and Stéphane Roi, were on hand to help them choose and give explanations. There were also various amuse-bouches including cheeses, ham and different types of bread. HOPE JANUARY ISSUE 83

“This is an intimate event to enjoy good wines, and also an opportunity to present ABG, which is one of our main suppliers,” explained Simon Hodson, Director of Food and Beverages at Kigali Marriott. “We also hope to start a trend and have regular wine evenings, so that people can come and enjoy this at the Marriott.”


The event was reserved for select guests

Some of the wines served during the evening

Stéphane Roi says the wine business in Africa is growing

He indicated that all the wines served at the event, which included champagne and presecco, are on the menu or will be soon. “While most of our wines are French, we have others from every wine region in the world – Italy, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, …” Hodson said. “And they all go very well with the food served at Cucina.” Stéphane Roi, who is Central Africa Manager for winehouse ‘Les Grands Chais de France,’ applauded the initiative. “It’s an occasion for people to taste different wines and discover

which ones they like best,” he said. And for Roi, it was also an excellent opportunity to get to know the Rwandan market better. “The wine business in Africa is growing, but for us Rwanda is new so together with ABG we are now exploring the market,” he said. “So far we see mainly a demand for French and Italian wines, but the reaction to those from Chile has also been very good. Of course, Marriott is a high-end place, so they require some more sophisticated wines.”

Wine expert Gil Cheviron serves a glass of wine www.hope-mag.com





Sold Worldwide ...

Some of the products made by Abahizi for Kate Spade New York

Luxury Handbags are



nd one of her favourite examples is that of the collaboration between Kate Spade New York and Abahizi Rwanda. It is indeed a remarkable story of an unlikely alliance. Kate Spade New York is a global high-end fashion brand with stores not just in the USA but in many of the world’s biggest cities, including in Asia. Then there is Abahizi Rwanda, a social enterprise based in Masoro, in Rulindo district of the Northern Province, who run a relatively small factory. Yet they are the first (and so far the only) providers of Kate Spade New York’s ‘on purpose’ line of products, for which they supply high-quality handbags, thanks to RDB’s facilitation. 40

“Kate Spade New York brought global expertise and combined it with trained Rwandan women artisans to make globally competitive products,” Akamanzi said. “The impact of Kate Spade New York’s collaboration with Abahizi Rwanda on livelihoods is also significant.”

Clare Akamanzi introduces the debate

Akamanzi gave the example of the amazing collaboration while introducing a recent panel between various stakeholders in the project. The speakers were Taryn Bird, senior manager at Kate Spade New York on purpose; Darius Habemenshi, the general manager for production at Abahizi Rwanda; Ayla Schlosser, CEO and co-founder of Resonate consultancy; Sean Gilley, managing director of Karisimbi Business Partners; and Mike O’Doherty, country director for Laterite consultancy. HOPE JANUARY ISSUE 83

It is no coincidence that Akamanzi mentioned the impact on livelihoods, as the relationship between Kate Spade New York and Abahizi Rwanda goes much farther than that between a fashion brand and a supplier. Indeed, the on purpose line focuses on social entrepreneurship, and this doesn’t only mean that a lot of attention is given to the working conditions of the women, but also to their extraprofessional development and the community in which they live. To start, while all Abahizi Rwanda’s women were experienced artisans, it was with the support of Kate Spade New York that they founded Abahizi Rwanda in 2014 and became the owners of their company. The fashion house also provided advanced sewing training to ensure its standards are met, and hired Karisimbi Business Partners, a business consultancy based in Kigali, to ensure proper management of the factory and business aspects.


Abahizi Rwanda


“In the beginning, when an artisan would for example break a needle, they would just sit there and remain silent. When it happens today, they take action. They also don’t hesitate to share their ideas” she said. It also helps that Abahizi Rwanda doesn’t have a vertical, hierarchical organisational structure. While there may be a management team, they are considered as equals, not superiors, to the artisans and other workers. That management team also includes a Life Skills Empowerment Manager and a Health Adviser and Counsellor.

L-R Taryn Bird Senior Manager Kate Spade Darius Habemenshi Production Manager Abahizi Rwanda Ayla Schlosser CEO Resonate consultancy Sean Gilley MD Karisimbi Business Partners Mike O’Doherty Country Director Laterite consultancy

All this should not obscure the fact that at the core, the relationship between Kate Spade New York and Abahizi Rwanda is one of business, not charity.

A student from Akilah Institute asks a question American Ambassador Erica J. Barks-Ruggles with some of Abahizi's employees and other stakeholders

And in this respect, too, the project has been a major success, as in its three years of operations, the Masoro cooperative has nearly tripled the value of the handbags and accessories exported to New York, to almost $1.5 million. And the quality of the products is so satisfactory that starting next year, Abahizi Rwanda will also work with Coach, a sister-company of Kate Spade New York.

And what do the customers say?

Employees of Abahizi are presented to the audience

And in line with the vision of on purpose, it also employed Resonate, a consultancy specialised in the training and education of women and girls, specifically to provide leadership training focused on self-confidence, communication skills, goal-setting, self-advocacy, and other critical interpersonal and leadership skills.

From other partners, Abahizi Rwanda’s employees also receive training in life skills like counselling, health, finance and English. Through this approach, the factory enables women to act as catalysts for change in themselves, their families, and their community. That is visible often in small things, as Resonate CEO Schlosser observed. www.hope-mag.com

“The reactions are very positive,” said Kate Spade New York’s Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Mary Beech, who had come over all the way from New York for the occasion. “Since the on purpose line is merchandised together with our other products, initially the customers weren’t aware that there was something special about their handbag. But as each of the bags has a hangtag with the name of the artisan and some explanations, they noticed and we got many questions. So the reactions are very positive, and the customers love the bags.” 41


Finance & Banking ...

BPR in new drive for a

Cashless Rwanda unveils new Digital Banking Solutions to its customers The bank also partnered with Rwanda online (Irembo) where all BPR customers can now pay for different government services offered through Irembo (an online portal that offers government services electronically to citizens), these services include Paying for a birth certificate, provisional or definitive and supplementary driving licenses, criminal record certificate and marriage certificates among others over the BPR counters in all branches. “The bank also pledges to keep leveraging on the existing new technologies to improve customer experience and the customers will always be at the center of the day to day operations, the bank plans to introduce new products to the market which include Agency banking planned for Q1 of 2018, micro lending on mobile, Visa & Master card ,MasterPass among others,” he closed.

About BPR part of Atlas Mara Maurice Toroitich BPR's Managing Director shows how the bpr mobile banking app works


ollowing the bank’s ambitions of becoming the leading ‘‘Digital bank in Rwanda’’ offering a wide range of Digital banking solutions to clients, and to support the government of Rwanda’s initiatives towards a cashless economy, on 26th January 2018 BPR Atlas Mara announced to the public the unveiling of new digital products and the upgrade of the existing ones with new features that will ease the banking experience of its customers. Maurice Toroitich, the bank’s Managing Director said that the bank; launched a state of the art internet banking where customers can do a series of banking transactions such as pay for taxes, purchase electricity, water bills, DSTV, Star Times, effect bulk transfers such as salary and funds transfer to other bank accounts instantly.


Found in 1975 BPR started as a cooperative to serve its members achieve better livelihood, in 2008 it transformed to become a fully-fledged commercial bank while retaining its cooperative roots.

“This is a differentiator in the market since the transfer is instant and doesn’t go through any manual intervention; customers are required to visit any BPR branch for sign up,” he explained. He added that the bank had upgraded its mobile banking platform with more features where customers can now transfer funds to other bank accounts instantly without having to go through clearing approvals or third party checks, to access customers can register to the branch or download the App for free. Another initiative the bank undertook was to partner with telecoms MTN and Tigo Rwanda to launch Push and pull services where customers with BPR accounts can now push or pull funds from their BPR accounts to Tigo and MTN E-wallets and vice versa. HOPE JANUARY ISSUE 83

In April 2015 Atlas Mara Limited (“Atlas Mara” or “the Company”) ( LSE : ATMA ), a financial services holding company acquired minority shares in BPR and later in 2016 it merged BPR with the commercial wing of the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRDC) that it had acquired in 2014 giving Atlas Mara the controlling stake in BPR with 62.1% of shares, strategic partner Rabobank remaining with 14.6% and 23.3% retained by Local Shareholders. BPR is the second largest commercial bank by total assets, and largest bank in Rwanda by customer base and branch network, earlier last year BPR was awarded the Best Bank in Rwanda 2017 accolade in the Banker Africa Awards for the East African region by CPI financials

For more information visit: www.bpr.rw

Your Bank. Your Future. Banki Yawe. Ejo Heza.


Airtel appoints new Managing Director to run

the combined entity in Rwanda � Following the approval of the merger by the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) on the 23rd of January and formal closure of the acquisition on the 30th of January, we wish to announce the appointment of Philip Amoateng, as Managing Director of Airtel Rwanda.


r. Amoateng is a member of the Association of Chartered Accountants and a graduate of the University of Leicester with an MBA. He has held various operational, financial and strategy positions whilst he worked at Millicom for more than 16 years. In 2016, he was appointed CEO Tigo Rwanda, a position he held until the organization was acquired by Airtel. The move to combine the two entities will see improvements in coverage and a wider network of customer touch points.

About Bharti Airtel Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 16 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 home broadband, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G, 4G wireless services and mobile commerce. Bharti Airtel had over 394 million customers across its operations at the end of December 2017.

PHILIP AMOATENG Airtel Rwanda Managing Director

To know more please visit, www.airtel.com



Health ...

BRALIRWA, Rwanda Government partner to increase access and quality of neonatal and maternal health services ffKACYIRU HOSPITAL IN GASABO DISTRICT OF KIGALI CITY ON AVERAGE DELIVERS 24 NEWBORNS PER DAY IMPLYING A MONTHLY AVERAGE OF OVER 700.

D mother.

espite this relatively high number of pregnant mothers served, maternal and neonatal health facilities at the hospital are neither spacious enough nor sufficiently equipped to effectively meet the needs of each expectant

Luckily as the hospital’s Director General Chief Superintendent of Police Dr. Pascal Nkubito shares, nothing has seriously gone wrong as a result but confirms that making improvements such as expanding the operating theatre and improving neonatology facilities is top on the agenda of their agenda. Other than the structures, the hospital equally intends to acquire modern medical equipment in the maternal and neonatal care facilities. 44

These improvements according to Nkubito are aimed at sustaining provision of efficient, respectful and high quality life-saving services to all its patients but especially to mothers and children and continue to position Kacyiru Hospital as a centre of excellence in neonatal and maternal healthcare services. With this purpose in mind, the Ministry of Health embarked on seeking partners in delivering these improvements. The Heineken Africa Foundation (HAF), the philanthropic section of the Heineken Group which owns majority shares in Rwanda’s leading beverage manufacturer BRALIRWA has partnered with the Ministry of Health to realise the hospital’s ambitions of improving services to mothers and new-borns. Proposed construction works at Kacyiru Hospital were launched by the partners in mid-February, laying a foundation stone of the new facility that will see more space for the mother and child health facilities. Once construction is completed, additional equipment including beds and other medical supplies will be installed too. HOPE JANUARY ISSUE 83


Under the partnership, HAF through BRALIRWA is offering EUR300,000 (approximately Frw300 million) which will be largely for constructing the new facility while the Government of Rwanda will invest in equipping the neonatal-maternal health facility with modern medical equipment to ensure quality service delivery. The new facility will boost the hospitals capacity to carry out surgical operations by more than double from just four to 10 expectant mothers in one instance thanks to an additional 3 operating rooms with two theatre beds that will be constructed. Similarly, the emergency rooms capacity of the maternal and neonatal unit of the hospital will be increased from the current five to 12 rooms in total implying an equally more than double increase.What this means according to Dr. Nkubito is that more women, who in some

instances would delay to get operated on, will now have room in the operation theatre, furthering the hospital’s capacity to provide quick life-saving operations on expectant mothers. Similarly those brought into the hospital as they wait delivery who in the past had to sometimes get congested in the few emergency rooms of the maternity ward will now have more room available ensuring quality reception and waiting conditions. When you look through the state of the two emergency rooms that host expectant mothers at the Kacyiru hospital as they await delivery, though not alarming, it is equally not the ideal. Some expectant women are unable to find a bed at some occasions; having to share a small bed with another while they wait for their due time.

“We greatly appreciate the Heineken Africa Foundation for this meaningful support to make life for our compatriots who use our services better and for enabling us to serve them to full capacity” Dr. Nkubito acknowledged. Construction works of the new facility are expected to take nine months costing a total of Rwf383 million. Speaking at the ceremony to lay the foundation stone for the facility, BRALIRWA’s Managing Director Victor Madiela emphasized why supporting such initiatives is important to the beverage manufacturer and promised continued collaboration with the Rwandan Government in improving the quality of life. “BRALIRWA and by extension the Heineken Group is committed to improving the quality of life in communities where we operate and we see no better way than through ensuring that pregnant mothers receive the best quality of services and that children are delivered efficiently to give them a good start on life.” According to Nkubito, Kacyiru hospital which started operations in 2009 was established with the main goal of offering quality services to expectant women and by so doing contribute to the reduction of mother and child death as a result of complications at the time of giving birth. “Thanks to sustained Government support, Kacyiru Hospital is one of the most reliable hospitals in Gasabo district. With the extension of the maternal and neonatal health facilities, there is no doubt that the quality of services will improve and so will the number of their beneficiaries. We are grateful to this partnership with the Heineken Foundation in making this happen,” the Vice Mayor in Charge of Social Affairs for the City of Kigali, Languida Nyirabahire commented. Since its launch a decade ago, the Heineken Africa Foundation has committed up to EUR7.2 million (approximately Frw7.2billion) to 83 different projects all focused on health especially maternal and child care and water, sanitation and hygiene promotion. The emphasis on mother and child care and water, sanitation and hygiene promotion is born from experience that both areas are crucial for the earliest beginning of life and are highly interdependent in addition to the fact that even small improvements in the two areas can have big positive impacts on entire communities. In Rwanda, BRALIRWA through funds from HAF has financed other projects before Kacyiru hospital including a dental health improvement project implemented by Aide Dentaire Afrique (ADA) and the Ministry of Health in Gicumbi and plans to support other health initiatives in the near future such as the expansion of maternity infrastructure and equipment at the Gisenyi hospital. HAF only finances projects in sub-Saharan Africa and particularly in countries where there is a local Heineken brewery, the equivalent of BRALIRWA in Rwanda.

For more information about the foundation and its work visit its website HYPERLINK “http://www.africafoundation.heineken.com” www.africafoundation.heinekven.com www.hope-mag.com


Business ...


VisionFund launches childcare centre to give women easier access to its services

ffVisionFund Rwanda (VFR) has opened a childcare centre at its Muhima branch in Kigali to make access to its services easier for its clients, many of whom are women with young children.


FR decided to set up the centre based on the experience that its female customers, who come either for training or to discuss a loan, are often accompanied by young children who can be disruptive and also make it difficult for their mothers to concentrate on the business dealings for which they came to VFR. Regularly the women have to step outside to calm down their children. The childcare centre, run by qualified staff, remedies that problem. “We wanted to find a concept to facilitate the work of our clients, especially women, and also provide child-friendly services as it’s one of

VFR staff and partners pose with some of the children who already enjoyed the centre

Officials cutting the ribbon to mark the official opening of the childcare centre

our core values,” said Ross Nathan, the CEO of VisionFund Rwanda, one of the biggest micro-finance companies in the country which has the unique goal of helping poor people care for their children. 46

VFR CEO Ross Nathan at the launch

The childcare centre was established in partnership with other organisations including World Vision (VFR’s mother organisation), Vision Fund International, Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR), the Association of Microfinance HOPE JANUARY ISSUE 83

Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR) and the Development Bank of Rwanda. “We are grateful to everyone who responded to our request and extended their support and partnerships,” Nathan said.


Sean Kerrigan, the Country Director of World Vision, expressed his delight with the initiative.“I’ve spent more than 30 years in the finance sector and working with different banks, but today I witness the first bank to build a childcare centre,” he remarked. “We are greatly honoured to be part of such a noble cause; it’s a symbol of our ambition which is more than providing financial services to the people.”

Sean Kerrigan Rwanda Country Director of World Vision

The centre is run by qualified staff

We are greatly honoured to be part of such a noble cause; it’s a symbol of our ambition which is more than providing financial services to the people Vision Fund Rwanda CEO Ross Nathan with Caroline Tsilikounas of Vision Fund International

The childcare centre at VFR's Muhima branch

Roselyne Uwamahoro, the Country Director of Access to Finance Rwanda

Roselyne Uwamahoro, the Country Director of AFR, also commended VFR for creating the centre. “It is a way to empower women more; when we think of the gaps in the financial sector and low-income earners in Rwanda, we think of women, so it’s a way to improve financial inclusion,” she said. www.hope-mag.com



Business ...

CIMERWA unveils New Brand

Targets to reach full capacity mid-2019 “Strengthening Rwanda is in line with our mission to strengthen our relationship with our biggest strategic partner, which is the government of Rwanda,” he said. Cimerwa has invested $170 million in a processing plant in Bugarama with capacity to produce 600,000 tonnes of cement per year. “We currently produce at over 65% of our capacity, and target to reach full capacity by mid-2019,” Mthembu said. “Last year, Cimerwa exported more than 10% of its production.”

Cimerwa new brand


imerwa has unveiled a new brand vision that ties into the company’s long-standing heritage in the market as it targets to operate at full capacity by mid-2019.

Bheki Mthembu Cimerwa CEO, said 'Strengthening Rwanda' is the brand’s way of life

In Cimerwa’s first full year of trading after commissioning the new plant, its market share has more than doubled to over 50%. “The growth comes on back of a 5% decline in domestic volumes. Export volumes have improved particularly in eastern DR Congo by double digits in support of initiatives to improve customer service and reduce logistics costs,” Mthembu said. Cimerwa significantly contributes to offset Rwanda’s balance of payment and has also boosted the country’s forex reserves. “We expect the construction sector to grow in line with the GDP at a rate exceeding 6%, with government spending on key public investment projects such as the new Bugesera International airport being a major contributor,” Mthembu said. Other source of growth include significant capital installations as FDI earmarked in the private sector, so Cimerwa is optimistic and ready to support many other housing projects that are being currently undertaken.

Bheki Mthembu CEO of Cimerwa (centre) flanked by Edgar Odipo Sales and Distribution Manager (L) and Juvenile Rutaganda Manager in Charge of Strategy (R)

This new brand vision ‘Strengthening Rwanda’ had a soft launch at the end of 2017 and will fully roll out this year across different platforms. It positions Cimerwa PPC as an organization that has been at the forefront of strengthening the nation over the last 34 years. 48

According to Bheki Mthembu, the CEO of Cimerwa, Strengthening Rwanda has been and still is the brand’s way of life and is the story of Cimerwa’s journey and commitment to empowering the people and the community they operate in. HOPE JANUARY ISSUE 83

“ E v e r y d a y, w e c o n t i n u e t o s e e opportunities to capitalize on our commitment to a stronger and bolder Rwanda built on strong foundations,” said Sales and Distribution Manager Edgar Odipo. “From a business perspective, there was a need to refresh our brand message, after we got an investing partner called PPC, South Africa’s leading cement manufacturer.”



SINOTRUK RWANDA SALES & SERVICES CENTER Mobile: +250 784 625 038, Gishushu area next to Accord hotel, KG628ST, Gasabo district, Kigali-Rwanda, Email. sinotruckrwanda@gmail.com