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MAY 2017 ISSUE 75



Africa Improved Foods On a mission to improve nutrition in Rwanda

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HIGHLIGHTS “Marriott Hotels is a premium full-service brand offering sophisticated spaces and experiences, and there’s a particular type of guest we’re looking for, It’s an ambitious traveller, distinctive in the way they operate and who aspire to make their mark through original, inventive thinking. They travel a lot, they’re generally in business but they also want to spend some time here to think and relax. Our spaces are beautifully designed so that people like to spend time there.” We also have a clear strategy for local customers.






COVER Africa Improved Foods on a mission to improve nutrition in Rwanda

22 TIGO RWANDA Paints Kigali Blue 24 BRD EA housing finance seminar examines affordable housing 25 BRD FINTECH CONFERENCE promotes financial inclusion


28 MARRIOTT HOTELS seeking to grow with Rwanda’s tourism sector

M Peace Plaza


30 AIRTEL RWANDA & UNICEF Provide children and youth a platform to present innovative ideas through Pitch Night

Crown Paints


Airtel Rwanda


Safintra Limited


Access Bank Rwanda



Akagera Business Group KCB Bank Rwanda

7 EDITORIAL AIF Rwanda a wonderful example of self-reliance through Made in Rwanda

UAP Group Rwanda

10 AFRICA IMPROVED FOODS Factory to help step up fight against malnutrition 20 PRESIDENTIAL MONTH Highlights of the President’s monthly activities

37 MOBISOL RWANDA Celebrates 80000th Customer in East Africa 38 RICTA Hosting internet content locally 42 ENGEN STAFF visit Kigali Genocide Memorial Site



46 RWANDA DEVELOPMENT BOARD Big five to thrive again in Rwanda with return of rhinos


15, 50 16

MTN Rwanda


Lake Kivu Serena Hotel


TIGO Rwanda Limited


9 14


Kigali Serena Hotel




19 23, 52

Mobisol Limited


Hotpoint Limited


Startimes Rwanda


The Manor Hotel


WAKA Fitness Group


Nakumatt Supermarket


BPR Bank Rwanda


Davis and Shirtliff


Century Real Estate


Legend Hotel Kigali


KCB Bank Rwanda


Sinotruk Rwanda Limited



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ADVERTISING & GENERAL INQUIRIES P.O. Box 6176 Kigali-Rwanda +250 788 524189 / +250 788 404138

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AIF Rwanda a wonderful example of self-reliance through Made in Rwanda


od helps those who help themselves,’ as the popular saying goes, and in Rwanda’s remarkable journey of the past two decades, that also seems to be the motto that has guided the government in its programs and policies. From finding inspiration in ancient Rwandan traditions to come up with home-grown solutions such as the Gacaca courts, mediators (abunzi) or the one-cow-per-family program; over reducing the national budget’s dependency on foreign financing year after year and the creation of the Agaciro Fund to make Rwanda less vulnerable to the sometimes whimsical donors; to the ‘Made in Rwanda’ campaign to promote local industries and create import substitutes, the government’s vision has always been that Rwandans should in the first place rely on themselves to find solutions to their problems. The most recent addition to the list of initiatives that result from this focus on self-reliance is the $60 million Africa Improved Foods (AIF) factory in Kigali, which manufactures fortified foods and was officially inaugurated late May. Looked at from the perspective of Rwandans solving their problems themselves, the whole concept of this plant is a stroke of genius, as it tackles several issues at once. In the first place, it will help fight malnutrition, which despite significant progress over the past years remains a problem in Rwanda, as stunting due to a poor diet still affects 38% of children. The fortified porridge flours for infants and mothers produced by AIF Rwanda can play a key role in eradicating malnutrition altogether in accordance with the SDGs, not just in Rwanda but also in the DR Congo and Uganda which the company sees as its first export markets. Now such fortified foods are nothing new, but rather than putting itself at the mercy of global food giants such as Nestlé, the government rather opted to create AIF Rwanda in a joint venture with a consortium of four partners: Royal DSM (a Dutch private company and majority shareholder), Dutch development bank FMO, the UK’s development finance institution CDC Group and the International Finance Corporation. So the project fully subscribes to the ‘Made in Rwanda’ philosophy, bypassing the costly imports of similar fortified foods. Last but not least, AIF Rwanda also contributes to income generation and job creation by adding value to agricultural produce, which is a key part of the government’s development programs. The plant already works with over 9,000 large and small grain and cereal farmers, and employs 300 staff at the factory. As far as self-reliance goes, it doesn’t get much better than AIF Rwanda.

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Africa Improved Foods on a mission to improve nutrition in Rwanda f Africa Improved Foods Rwanda is on a mission to curb malnutrition not only in Rwanda but the East African region as a whole. The newly inaugurated $60 million state of the art Plant located in the Kigali Special Economic Zone is now producing high quality nutritious complementary foods specifically for young children between 6 months and two years as well as pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

Hon. Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana Agriculture Minister cuts the ribbon to officially inaugurate Africa Improved Foods in Rwanda together with Mr. Amar Ali- CEO, Africa Improved Foods (L) and Mr. Feike Sijbesma- CEO, Royal DSM (R) 10



The plant is located in Rwanda's Special Economic Zone


he Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources Hon. Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana recently observed that stunting in Rwanda currently stands at 38% among children and that there is need for concerted efforts to address this challenge.

“As a nation, we feel that ending malnutrition is our moral obligation to make sure that no child is deprived of its future,” she said at the official Plant launch, adding that the establishment of the Plant could not have come at a better time. “The Rwandan Government works very hard to attract private investment to help achieve the

country’s developmental goals, and AIF is a good example of how public-private partnerships can be instrumental in speeding up projects, “she said, adding that there is good reason to be proud of AIF’s progress because it has already established itself as a reliable buyer of local raw materials.

Invited Guests receiving guidance on the Plant tour



Guests at the Launch Dinner at the Kigali Convention Centre

AIF Rwanda is currently working with 9,000 smallholder farmers and employing 300 full-time staff in addition to 500 jobs that were created in the construction of the factory. For AIF’s CEO Amar Ali, the prevailing political stability and fast growing economy were critical aspects in luring the key stakeholders to invest in Rwanda. AIF Rwanda is a joint venture created in 2015, between the Government of Rwanda and a consortium of four partners: Royal DSM, the majority shareholder; IFC, the Dutch Development Bank (FMO) and the British government’s development finance institution CDC Group.

Mr. Mauricio Adade Africa Improved Foods Board Chairman giving welcome remarks at the AIF Launch Dinner 12

Regional Player AIF Rwanda targets to reach about 1 million children in its first year of operations. “Our products are already used in Rwanda and Uganda, and we will soon start exporting to the DR Congo. We are also looking at other markets like Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia as our aim is to be a regional player,” Amar Ali revealed.

Sijbesma says he was impressed by the President’s comments and vision, so he managed to get a brief meeting with Kagame, which ultimately led to the establishment of the AIF plant in Kigali. “We are here to tackle malnutrition which is a major problem in this part of the world – almost 38% of children are stunted which is way too many, and this is the major problem we are here to solve,” he said.

Feike Sijbesma has been the driving force behind the AIF project. In 2007, shortly after his appointment as Royal DSM’s CEO, he participated in the World Economic Forum in Davos and that is where he first saw President Kagame who was a panellist.

“We want to prove the concept that you can manufacture nutritious food locally and I am deeply impressed that Rwanda is leading the way in addressing malnutrition issues in the region,” he added.

Mr. Prosper Ndayiragije, Country Manager AIF with Guests HOPE MAGAZINE ISSUE 75


Dinner at the Kigali Convention Centre

“Rwanda is a country that went through difficult times 23 years ago, but the growth achieved since then is remarkable; we want to build on that,” he continued. Africa Improved Foods does not only want to tackle malnutrition,

but also underlying issues such as lack of economic development in certain communities and agricultural activity. The Plant aims at sourcing everything locally which will in turn improve the level of productivity and quality

throughout the value chain as well as creating jobs. In the medium term, AIF also targets to attract partners to invest in irrigation and is also open to various commercial and noncommercial proposals.

AIF range of products

How AIF Rwanda was born In 2013, Rwanda launched the ‘1000 days’ national campaign to combat malnutrition with the aim of improving maternal and child health in the country. Two years later, the government of Rwanda entered into a joint venture with other partners to invest in this high technology facility. The objective of the venture was to improve the nutritional status of Rwanda’s population and help address malnutrition by manufacturing high quality complementary nutritious foods for vulnerable groups in Rwanda and the region.


MTN kicks off employee volunteer programme with call to share knowledge. MTN Group is inviting social media users across Africa and the Middle East to join its employees in a virtual campaign to break down traditional barriers to education, by sharing interesting facts during the company's annual 21 Days of Y'ello Care programme. "In 2016, more than 1 O 000 employees participated in Y'ello Care. Together, they built 10 classrooms, established 56 libraries and launched eight ICT labs. Their efforts benefitted more than 100 000 people in our communities:' says Maroleng.

Y'ello Care 2017 activities: MTNers in Rwanda will spend the next 21 days implementing a digital application to manage communication around education for teachers, students and the education department. The team will host ICT training, and mentorship and reading sessions. They will also construct three classrooms, as well as install solar panels and water tanks to enable access to clean water.


sing the hashtag #ShareKnowledge, members of the public with access to Facebook, Twitter and lnstagram, are encouraged to share fun facts or pieces of information that is less known about their countries, but it is of great interest to the world. The campaign aims to pass on knowledge and make learning fun. "Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's famous quote, Be the change you want to see in the world, we are launching this campaign to practically demonstrate the role of technology in enabling greater access to education. We are particularly excited about this initiative because it is something that everyone in our communities can be part of;' says Chris Maroleng, Executive for Corporate Affairs, MTN Group. While the knowledge share efforts gain momentum virtually, MTN employees will be making a difference physically by embarking on a myriad of education-focused activities in local communities. These range from classroom renovations and literacy projects, to Information Communication Technology (ICT) training and the provision of digital educational content. Maroleng says if past efforts are anything to go by, 2017 will deliver yet another memorable Y'ello Care campaign for communities in MTN's markets.

"MTN is part of society. We want to make a visible and sustained contribution to our society in which we operate and provide an opportunity for MTN staff to actively contribute to community development," said MTN Rwanda CEO, Bart Hofker.

Prize monies for the best campaigns At the end of the programme, all MTN operations that participate in Y'ello Care stand in line to win monetary prizes, which are to be invested into CSI or community upliftment programmes in their market. These include the Group President & CEO prize of US$100 000 and Vice President prizes for each region of US$30 000

Traveler’s Hotel of Choice Lake Kivu Serena Hotel is in an ideal location just outside the small town of Gisenyi, on the shores of Lake Kivu, 160 kilometres from Kigali (20 minute's flight from Kigali International Airport) and just minutes from the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo and the city of Goma. The Hotel features an oasis of luxury with attractive views. Serenely sited on the white sandy shores of Lake Kivu, surrounded by extensive tropical gardens, offer the ideal destination in Rwanda for an extended holiday or simply a week-end escape. Exceptional services to our high-profile clientele, we regularly play host to corporate, social, regional and international events. The Kitchen offers Internationally recognised Cuisines from our experienced Chefs. Choose from a varriety of both alcoholic and soft drinks available at the Bar. Relax in a peaceful environment with spacious Air-conditioned Bedrooms offering Broadband and Wi-Fi, LCD TV with satellite channels. Stay fit at the GYM for services like Sauna, Massages and Steambaths.

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PRESIDENTIAL MONTH Dear esteemed readers, on this spread we highlight in pictures some of the monthly activities that the President has undertaken in and outside the country, for your recap 1 On 12 May, 2017 President Kagame and visiting Heads of State and

5 President Kagame and the AU Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki

2 President Kagame attended Bank Of Kigali 50th Anniversary in Kigali, on 5

6 President Kagame officially Launched the African Institute for

3 President Kagame addressed African Foreign Ministers, Ambassadors and

7 President Kagame addressed RDF Senior Command and Staff on 6 April

4 President Kagame received members of the African Union Peace and Security

8 President Kagame made a two-day State Visit to the Republic of

Government attended the closing of Transform Africa Summit 2017 in Kigali May 2017

stakeholders on of African Union Reforms on 7 May 2017 in Kigali Council in Kigali, on 5 May 2017

participated in Walk to Remember on 7 April 2017

Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in Rwanda on 3 April 2017 2017

Djibouti, on 18- 19 April 2017

9 President Kagame visited Guinea Conakry where he was received by President

Alpha Conde, to discuss the implementation of the AU reforms on 24 April 2017

10 President Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame received Ethiopian Prime

Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn and First Lady Roman Tesfaye in Kigali, on 27 April 2017

11 President Kagame addressed the 37th Global Fund Board Meeting in Kigali, on

3 May 2017

12 President Kagame received Moussa Faki, Chairperson of the African Union

Commission in Kigali, on 8 April 2017

13 President Kagame received credentials from new China and India in Kigali, on

13 April 2017

14 President Kagame addressed the RPF Women’s League on 22 April 2017


BRD-sponsored EA housing finance seminar examines affordable housing f The first East African Housing Finance Seminar, sponsored by the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD), was held in Kigali last month and brought together stakeholders to discuss ways to make houses affordable for all citizens, especially through residential Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).

EA Housing Finance Seminar BRD invited different stakeholders to the event including University of Rwanda students to learn how REITs are implemented


xperts from the South African Center for Affordable Housing Finance (CAHF) explained how residential REITs work, and presented case studies from Tanzania and Kenya. Rwanda is yet to have a residential REIT project implemented but with the support of BRD, one will be

launched soon. Residential REITs include trusts that specialize in apartment buildings, student housing, manufactured homes and single-family homes. Kecia Rust from CAHF noted that the introduction of REITs is an innovative approach that policy makers, property developers and real estate investors in certain African countries are promoting in an attempt to address finance constraints in realestate markets.

“CAHF wanted to explore this model further and commissioned a study that outlined the general context of REITs and specifically residential REITs globally and specifically in Africa, through case studies of REITs in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Morocco,”

Livingstone Byamungu BRD Chief Investment Officer presents during the East African Residential REITs seminar in Kigali

Msemwa explains how the Watumishi Housing Company has been a successful Residential REIT company in Tanzania

she said. Fred Msemwa, the CEO of Watumishi Housing Company that implements residential REITs in Tanzania, said they started financing their projects through social security and pension funds. “Social security institutions can invest up to 30% of their assets through collective investment schemes, and our REITs were able to benefit from this,” he explained. He added that other investors can also buy the company’s REIT units after the lock-in period of three years once the units are registered on the Dar-esSalaam Stock Exchange. Thanks to this way of financing residential REITs, Msemwa said they are now able to construct housing units of as low as $13,000 each, which many people can afford in Tanzania. After the seminar, the delegates visited the different affordable housing projects being undertaken in Kigali such as the Batsinda and Vision City projects.

Ms Nadia Kruger from CAHF presents her findings on how REITs are done in Africa at the Kigali Marriott Hotel 24



FINTECH CONFERENCE BRD promotes financial inclusion f Given the importance of technology for the financial sector, the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) participated in the two-day ‘Dot Finance Africa’ conference recently held in Kigali, with experts in finance and information technology calling for leveraging of financial technology (FinTech) to drive financial inclusion. interoperable, consumercentric, secure, and tap into the power of mobile phones, are more promising. As FinTech is driving financial services, operators need to innovate around the needs of the people,” she remarked.Diane Karusisi, the CEO of Bank of Kigali, said digital services are raising the competitive bar in every sector of the economy, including in banking.

FINTECH CONFERENCE Participants listen on during the conference panel session


he Dot Finance Africa conference is one of the largest gatherings of financial technology professionals. Held under the theme ‘Transforming Africa for the FinTech Age,’ this second edition brought together more than 400 financial industry leaders from 60 countries. Speaking during one of the panel sessions, Benjamin Nyakeriga, BRD’s Chief Development Officer, noted that thanks to technology, banks can offer a wider range of products and services to their clients, resulting in increased financial inclusion.

Benjamin Nyakeriga BRD’s Chief Development Officer speaks to delegates at Fintech Conference

While advances in digital financial services are promoting inclusion and creating new opportunities for many people in Africa who are still excluded from formal financial services, the experts underscored the need for financial services operators to develop customer-centered innovations. Lucy Mbabazi, the Country Manager of Visa, said it is critical for financial operators to innovate around the customer needs as the sector is being transformed by FinTech. “Every technology innovation can be promising, but those that are

She added that FinTech has a vital role in driving financial services. “The financial services field is among the sectors set to be shaken up by digital innovations in Africa and worldwide. FinTech is not disrupting traditional financial services providers but complementing them to meet the needs of unbanked population. It is playing a significant role as facilitator of economic growth to transform Africa,” Karusisi said. “ As a banker, I see huge opportunities in FinTech solutions, which will harness new technologies to lower transaction costs,” she further observed. “With digital innovations, we can also deal with inefficiencies in several value chains especially in agriculture. Banks also have a chance to tap into big data to improve product offerings and access to credit for SMEs and other consumers.”

Fintech Conference A number of digital payment platforms including Point of Sale devices were showcased at the event as key to enhancing financial inclusion


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We are delighted to begin the journey in Rwanda, Our doors are open to all Rwandans and we hope to make the Kigali Marriott a new home that they can enjoy with their friends and families Rex. A.G. Nijhof, General Manager Kigali Marriott hotel

Kigali Marriott Hotel

Marriott Hotels seeking to grow with Rwanda’s tourism sector f It started in 1927 in Washington, when J. Willard Marriott and his wife Alice set up the A&W root beer stand with just 9 stools. 90 years later, Marriott International is a leading global lodging company with more than 6,100 properties in 124 countries and territories across 30 major hotel brands. The choice of Rwanda also doesn’t seem obvious, compared to better known and bigger tourism destinations on the continent such as Kenya, South Africa or Senegal. Yet according to Vanessa Delgado, Marketing and Communications Manager at Kigali Marriott, setting up shop in Rwanda was a wellconsidered move. “One of the reasons that Rwanda was chosen is because there’s a lot of potential in this market,” she explains.


Rex Nijhof General Manager Kigali Marriott Hotel


ne of the latest pieces in the Marriott puzzle is Kigali Marriott Hotel, officially opened in October last year, which surprisingly is Marriott’s first hotel in sub-Saharan Africa.

“There’s a lot of effort by the tourism industry and the government to make Rwanda a proper space for business and leisure travel. And what made Marriott a good fit with that is the type of clientele that will be coming, and is already coming, into Rwanda – if you look at the Transform Africa or the African Union summits, those guests and attendees fit the profile of Marriott.” “There is so much in Rwanda: it’s got beautiful landscapes, a great culture, warm


Vanessa Delgado Marketing and Communications Manager at Kigali Marriott Hotel

people – it’s a stable, safe and lovely country, but it seems not too many people know that yet. There’s an effort to change that, and Marriott wants to grow along with that,” Delgado adds. And according to


her, Marriott can lend a hand. “We have our Marriott Rewards members, a group that is loyal to Marriott and who can use their rewards points around the world. This is a group that we can communicate to that Rwanda is a fabulous place for business or leisure,” Delgado says. “So it’s an interesting way that we can work together.” Rwanda is also supposed to be a springboard to the rest of sub-Saharan Africa where, the marketing manager admits, Marriott still lacks presence.

Equally important for Marriott is working with local suppliers. “Marriott has its own supplier standards, so we have to make sure they are met, but it also has to be local,” Delgado observes, adding that they like it even better if the company also has a social aspect about it, such as their coffee supplier, Question Coffee, which works closely with women smallholder farmers. “It’s not just about looking for local suppliers; if they are socially responsible and make sure that what they’re producing helps their community and environment, that grabs our attention,” she says. What is more, for a relatively young member of Rwanda’s private sector, Kigali Marriott already has an impressive number of corporate social responsibility activities under its belt.

“We have a presence in 30 countries on the continent [in part through mergers with groups like Starwood and Protea Hotels, ed.], but we have a strategy to increase that with a projected growth to 38 countries and 150,000 rooms by 2022,” she says. Marriot Hotel Soko Restaurant Buffet

Marriot Hotel Cucina Italian Restaurant

Marriot Hotel Swimming Pool

Marriot Hotel Saray Spa

Marriot Hotel Iriba Terrace

Ambitious traveller

Personality and attitude

Obviously, Marriott is not the first big hospitality group to come to Rwanda, but Delgado is confident that the hotel can make a distinctive proposition to potential customers. “Marriott Hotels is a premium full-service brand offering sophisticated spaces and experiences, and there’s a particular type of guest we’re looking for,” she points out. “It’s an ambitious traveller, distinctive in the way they operate and who aspire to make their mark through original, inventive thinking. They travel a lot, they’re generally in business but they also want to spend some time here to think and relax.

Being part of the community also means recruiting locally, which is something that is essential to the Marriott approach. “We believe hotels are a really important space for economic growth and employment opportunities, so we want to contribute to Rwanda’s development in that sense,” Delgado remarks.

Our spaces are beautifully designed so that people like to spend time there.” Delgado points out that they also have a clear strategy for local customers. “We want to be part of the community, not just to be a hotel that comes and caters for the conferences,” she says. “The local market is our bread and butter, so we want to use our restaurants and spa to attract the local market, and we’re coming up with different kinds of events so that people feel they can come to visit the hotel like any other bar or restaurant.”

“Our human resources team works with local universities to identify people with the right attitude for working in the Marriott. That is really key when it comes to employment with us: having a personality and attitude that fits with the Marriott brand, and training comes afterwards.” “We provide a great deal of training on site, and also have an extensive e-learning program where any employee can take courses online,” the marketing manager says. “There’s room for development and growth here, which is really attractive to the employees. If you look at the executives across Marriott, many have held positions across various departments. For instance, one of Rex Nijhof’s first positions in the Marriott was as a minibar supervisor.

Last year, they organised charity events and fundraising around fistula and breast cancer awareness, and they work closely with their local associates to identify worthy causes – which can be visiting a school or orphanage (or inviting these children to the hotel for lunch and a chat), tree planting or anything else that allows the hotel’s employees to get physically involved, rather than just giving a sum of money. At 90 years old, it seems Marriott is rejuvenating itself in Rwanda, and giving Africans an exquisite experience in return.

Kigali Marriott Hotel at a glance f 254 rooms including 25 luxury suites (from junior to Presidential) f Saray Spa + fitness centre f Outdoor swimming pool f Cucina Italian restaurant f Iriba Bar Terrace f Soko International restaurant f Sarabi Grill.



Airtel Rwanda & UNICEF Provide children and youth a platform to present innovative ideas through Pitch Night

f Airtel Rwanda and UNICEF have launched an innovative initiative to motivate youth below 25 to pitch their business ideas for projects on environment, health and education. This initiative, Pitch Night, began with a competitive call for applications and culminates today with an interactive event for the five finalists to pitch their ideas to a live audience of Government, private sector, civil society, and the diplomatic community.


itch Night provides a platform to introduce emerging entrepreneurs to investors, potential clients, media and fellow entrepreneurs. It is also an opportunity for children and youth to find

innovative solutions to problems, with a special focus on education, health and environment issues. In addition to opportunities, Pitch Night aims to provide mentorship to young people to take their dreams of becoming ICT investors and innovators

to reality. This event is the result of a partnership between UNICEF and Airtel Rwanda. Airtel Rwanda has positioned itself as a key player in the ICT innovation

PitchNight Launch On May - 17 - 2017, Airtel Rwanda Partnered with UNICEF to launch the PitchNight initiative to motivate the youth pitch their Business Ideas 30



their business ideas. Out of 5 groups that pitched in the Pitch Night, Rosette Muhoza and David Cyinzuzi, students of Kepler University emerged winners and walked away with $5000 to assist them develop their Green House Project. Among other gifts, they also won brand new laptops and fully subscribed Airtel internet modems for a full year to assist them in research purposes as they build their project.


Airtel Touching Lives Program Airtel Helping the less previladged youths in Rwanda

arena, where it seeks to develop solutions for issues in health, education and environment, always striving towards the development of Rwanda. Michael Adjei, Managing Director of Airtel said, “Airtel Rwanda is pleased to be partnering with UNICEF to launch what we call an innovative project, one which will continue to provide solutions for Rwandan adolescents and youths as we move towards achieving the Vision 2050 goals that Rwanda committed to.” “We are positive that the project we launch today will assist youths to build ideas that will help society, as the country is moving towards using homegrown solutions to tackle the country’s problems,” added Mr. Adjei. Ted Maly, UNICEF Representative,

noted that “Young people now and in the future will play a big role in how our world adapts to various challenges and opportunities. This event brings the voices and ideas of Rwanda’s youth to the forefront of development discussions.” To participate in Pitch Night, applications were open from 15 March to 6 April 2017. Five shortlisted applicants and their projects were selected from a pool of over 100, and received business mentorship and pitch training from Inkomoko Business Development. The final Pitch Night event was held at the University of Rwanda College of Business and Economics in Kigali to showcase the talented participants and

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF Rwanda and its work, visit: https://www. Sid Shrestha, UNICEF Rwanda, Contact: +250 788301419, Follow UNICEF Rwanda on Twitter Facebook and Instagram

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 4 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 wireless services and mobile commerce. Bharti Airtel had over 312 million customers across its operations at the end of December 2014. For more, please visit, airtelrwanda or Micheline Umulisa, Airtel Rwanda Contact +250 731000062

PitchNight Launch The objective was to connect emerging entrepreneurs and innovators to potential investors



Elegant Hotel

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MOBISOL Celebrates 80000th Customer in East Africa f Mobisol, the leading Germany-based provider of smart high quality solar solutions celebrated the connection of its 80,000thcustomer across East Africa regionon Wednesday 12th May 2016


thanase Ngabonziza, a resident of Bugesera District in Eastern province who bought the system on Tuesday 11 th May after consultation with his wife expressed his gratitude for being recognized as part of Mobisol’s tremendous journey. “I am delighted to be part of this milestone and I strongly believe that lives of my family and I are going to change drastically and I believe my kids will have more time to revise and do their homework at night,” Ngabonziza extended his happiness as he family and friends cut a cake to celebrate the milestone. Mobisol group Head of marketing Leslie said one of mobisol’s objectives is to empower children who study in rural areas

where there is no electricity. By Using solar, they benefit from clean and efficient light at night and can access information via radio, TV and connect to the Internet via mobile phones – thus increasing their educational opportunities. Leslie said; At the same time, the reliable electricity through our high quality German engineered solar home systems we offer an opportunity for people to utilize it for various income generating activities. Many customers pay off their solar systems while making money by using solar haircutters in salons or run mobile phone charging stations in rural areas with no connection to the national grid. We also provide free installation, a comprehensive after sales service including long warranties and

maintenance service for a minimum of three years. People may live in rural areas but they too want to enjoy the merits of real electrification. Moreover, they want to understand what is going on in the world and they too are aiming big. They want a modern lifestyle. We are here for that. Mobisol offers an attractive and affordable ‘rentto-own’ model, providing customers with highquality solar home systems as customers make small monthly payments via mobile money for up to three years. Customers can do daily, weekly or monthly payments to pay off – and fully own their personal electricity source and associated appliances having paid off the system. The systems are available in sizes from 100 to 200W,

Mobisol Rwanda Group honor their 80000th client Athanase Ngabonziza, a resident of Bugesera District in Eastern province



Jean Philbert Nsengimana (R) Joyce Dogniez (L) Minister of Youth and ICT and Senior Director, Global Engagement at the Internet Society repectively share a light moment during the launch of the report last month in Kigali

Hosting internet content

locally has many benefits RICTA f In most African countries, the majority of websites targeting a local audience are hosted abroad, generally in North America or Europe.


owever, the Rwanda Information & Communication Technology Association (RICTA) points out that hosting websites abroad stifles the growth of a local content infrastructure, as well as of local content development and services. Therefore, local hosting forms an important stepping stone to the development of a robust local Internet economy. That is the main message from a study carried out by RICTA with the assistance of the Internet Society titled ‘The Benefits of Local Content Hosting.’ Published last month, the study examined the progress Rwanda has made in terms of hosting content locally. Speaking after the presentation of the report, Ghislain Nkeramugaba, the Chief Executive Officer of RICTA, explained that the agency had conducted a pilot project in which websites were moved from international to domestic hosting. “We measured the positive impacts on the websites, both in terms of latency measurements, as well as in terms of visitor behaviour. Local content hosting offers several key advantages, such as greater visitor


engagement due to shorter loading times, as well as a possible reduced cost of access for consumers, due to lower Internet Service Provider (ISP) spending on international bandwidth,” he explained. The effort to localize hosting in Rwanda is part of a larger move by the Government to increase the amount of content served locally. Nkeramugaba said Rwanda already has a Google Global Cache, as well as a node for the Content Delivery Network (CDN), Akamai both generally serving international content. The Government chose RICTA as the Rwandan registry and as the manager of the Rwandan Internet Exchange Point (IXP), to manage the pilot phase of the local hosting project under the name “Rwanda Content Hosting”. The Internet Society provided technical expertise for the analysis of the impact of the project. According to the report, the structure of the market in Rwanda is such that, generally, developers provide a full range of services for their clients – they develop the websites, do or resell hosting, and provide the domain names as registrars who sell the local domains HOPE MAGAZINE ISSUE 75

Ghislain Nkeramugaba RICTA CEO, in a recent interview

(notably .rw and For website hosting, they generally turn to large US-based hosting providers, such as GoDaddy, and for website design, they often use a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress.


Cost of hosting Various reasons are given by developers for why they host in the US or in Europe as preferred to hosting in Rwanda. Primarily, they note that the monthly cost of hosting is lower, especially in the United States. The latter is the most common option, with over half of all .rw and websites being hosted there. However, to counter this, Nkeramugaba said that RICTA had recently made efforts to lower the costs of local hosting to match the global rates in a bid to encourage more institutions to host locally. “Our goal is to make local hosting cheaper than the global rates,” he said. In addition, during interviews developers often mentioned historic doubts about reliability and uptime of hosting in Rwanda. This is something that is frequently mentioned in countries like Rwanda that rely on overseas hosting and therefore, countries that wish to improve or begin local hosting should focus on removing any unfounded fears of reliability. “We note that there were no issues with uptime for hosting in Rwanda during the year-long pilot phase,” states the report.

The availability of local content also brings new users online, and contributes to jobs and revenues for local entrepreneurs. As such, governments should see local content hosting as a key ingredient in developing a local Internet economy. Another key advantage of local content hosting is that, as more traffic originates from local servers, this allows ISPs and telecommunication companies in the country to fulfil demand with less capacity on international cables, thereby reducing costs. “Ideally, savings in the purchase of international bandwidth would offset the higher electricity costs of local hosting, thereby lowering the cost of access,” Nkeramugaba explained. “In addition to the increased content relevance from the locally hosted websites, the reduced cost of access will translate to greater Internet adoption, enhancing the virtuous circle of a greater number of users and a greater amount of relevant content.”

Secondly, it is important to have a dialogue between stakeholders, such as local content workshops. Thirdly, it is important to present data and information about key issues, including content regulations (or lack thereof), and cost and reliability of local data centres.

The Government To help to lower the cost of creating and running data centres, tax breaks on equipment imports and lowering energy costs could play an important role in helping to match the prices of overseas data centres, particularly before the local ones have significant economies of scale. Understanding content regulations is also important, so that content providers have certainty about the rules that may apply to them. This includes, in particular, issues of intermediary liability – it is important for developers and hosting providers to know whether they are liable for their clients’ content. Training and capacity development is also important for content providers, website developers, hosting providers and data centre operators, to help develop a vibrant local content ecosystem. Developing a regional market, for instance building on the regional integration being fostered by the Northern Corridor initiative in East Africa, can help to develop scale for data centres, to increase investment and lower the cost of hosting.

Favourable uptime information along with the advantage of faster loading times can help to persuade website owners to use local hosting platforms. The study found that moving websites to Rwanda dramatically lowered the latency and loading times. As a result, those websites improved their visitor engagement in various metrics such as return visits, pages viewed and overall number of visitors. This is likely to be a result of the decreased loading time of the websites.

Businesses Data centres should ensure that their pricing is as competitive and transparent as possible to help attract customers, and provide information on their uptime reliability and security levels, using third-party certification if possible.

In addition, website developers have more business opportunities by being able to act as a reseller of hosting capacity and having the opportunity for greater skill development. The developers also wished that they had learned about the benefits of local hosting sooner. “The main problem that came forward during the pilot phase of the project was the issue of developers using outdated software on their websites, which was exposed when the websites migrated to the local server,” continues the report. “This weakness enabled outsiders to send Internet Society Delegates at the launch of Internet Society report on the Benefits of Local Content Hosting last month spam messages that appeared to come from the migrated websites, which eventually led to one of the three servers being blocked Report Recommendations by companies such as Google, which classified all email originating from this IP address as spam Based on the study’s findings, the Internet Society in its Gmail service,” Nkeramugaba emphasized recommended the following for Rwanda’s internet however that local content hosting is important stakeholders to create an enabling environment for because of the direct and measurable impacts on local content hosting: user engagement with local websites. “Local content hosting helps to develop vibrant data centres and All stakeholders web hosting providers, which in turn help to support First, it is important to have an awareness of the the development of more local content and services,” issues, starting with the benefits of local content he explained. hosting described in the report.

ISPs are the indirect beneficiaries of local content hosting, because it saves them buying expensive international capacity. While they do not make the decisions on where content is hosted, they can play an important role in helping to raise awareness, and could also go so far as to offer to subsidize short trial periods of local hosting (particularly if, as is often the case, they own their own data centre – the savings on international capacity could be used to subsidize local hosting). Website developers and hosting providers should understand the benefits of local content hosting, and also ensure that the Content Management Systems underlying the websites they develop are kept fully up to date, using upgrades if possible, to protect against spam or other attacks. Automated systems such as Installatron or the opensource Bitnami can help with this. Finally, content providers should play an active role in hosting decisions because they are the ultimate beneficiaries of local content hosting, in terms of increased page views and customer engagement.



Engen staff visit

Kigali Genocide Memorial Site

f Staff of fuel marketer, Engen Rwanda on Friday visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial Site as they marked this year’s commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis in which over 1 million people lost their lives. Sarah Doukoure Engen Rwanda MD signs the visitor's book

Engen staff led by their Managing Director, Sarah Doukoure lay a wreath on one of the mass graves at the Memorial 42




Kigali Genocide Memorial A guide gives explanations to the Engen staff on how the Genocide unfolded.

he visit to the memorial, where over 250,000 victims were laid to rest, was a somber one for the staff that was led by their Managing Director, Sarah Doukoure. Engen

staff received explanations from officials at the site on the horrific events that took place in 1994, and were also shown an introductory video of survivors telling their story. They then lay wreaths of flowers on the burial grounds of the site after which they toured the memorial. Engen staff also

made a donation to the maintenance of the site. Engen staff led by their Managing Director, Sarah Doukoure, lay a wreath on one of the mass graves at the Memorial. A guide at Kigali Genocide Memorial gives explanations to the Engen staff on how the Genocide unfolded.

Engen staff watch a video of survivors' accounts


Making your stay in Kigali

Legend Hotel maintains the best of traditional values while continually introducing new services to cater for today’s traveler. We provide personalised service to suit your expectations. Guests have the assurance of friendly, highly professional staff waiting and eager to serve you. Legend Hotel Guest Rooms exude ‘ the home away from home ’ comfort. Spacious bedrooms with the full range of room and bathroom amenities and careful attention given to little touches. Each room Offers Broadband, Entertainment, with Bar and Restaurant serving varriety of Delicious meals. We arrange your tours and assist in your researches, with expertise and discreet.

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Big five to thrive again in Rwanda with return of rhinos f Eastern black rhinos have returned to Rwanda ten years after the last individual was spotted, in a historic move for the nation and the species.

Akagera Park


The newly introduced Rhinos

frican Parks, the conservation organization which manages Akagera National Park (as well as numerous other national parks and protected areas across the continent on behalf of governments), in collaboration with the Rwanda Development Board and with funding provided by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation,


translocated a founder population of 16 Eastern black rhinos from South Africa to Rwanda over the first two weeks of May. The People’s Postcode Lottery and the Dutch Government also provided additional support to the project. “Rhinos are one of the great symbols


of Africa, yet they are severely threatened and are on the decline in many places across the continent due to the extremely lucrative and illegal rhino horn trade,” said African Parks CEO Peter Fearnhead. “The rhino’s return to this country however is a testament to Rwanda’s extraordinary commitment to conservation and is another milestone in the


Thaba Tholo Game Ranch Carefully Selected Rhinos were capture and transported to Akagera National Park

restoration of Akagera’s natural diversity.” The Eastern black rhinos were carefully selected and captured over the course of February and March this year at South Africa’s Thaba Tholo Game Ranch. The individuals were transported by truck

and plane to their new home in Akagera National Park where they were first kept in an enclosure for a short time to give the animals a chance to settle after their long journey before they were released into the wider park. “The return of the

rhinos to Akagera National Park opens a new chapter in our conservation journey and we are grateful to all our partners that contributed to this achievement,” said Clare Akamanzi, the CEO of the Rwanda Development Board.

Jes Gruner, Belise Kariza, Frederique De Man Akagera Park Manager, RDB's tourism chief and Dutch ambassador during a press conference on the rhinos


Thaba Tholo Ranch Game Warden / ranger takes care of the selected Rhinos

“We are fully prepared to welcome them and ensure their safety for the benefit of our tourism industry and the community at large. We couldn’t be more excited for their return.” Donated to the Rwandan government by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, the rhinos will be looked after by African Parks as part of its overall responsibility for the total management of Akagera and managed in accordance with a verified rhino management programme. “Several years ago, as we were struggling to have success combating rhino poaching in other parts of Africa, I made a commitment to President Kagame that we would support the reintroduction of rhinos in Rwanda because we knew this country would protect them,” said Howard G. Buffett, Chairman and CEO of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. “Today marks another milestone in Rwanda’s emerging leadership on the continent in conservation, ecotourism and most importantly, good governance.” Thaba Tholo Ranch Carefully Selected Rhinos loaded for transportation 48



Security And the rhinos will indeed be well protected in Akagera National Park. Since African Parks took charge of the protected area in 2010, it has overhauled law enforcement in the park, reducing poaching to an all-time low in six years. Today the park is flourishing, and numerous species have rebounded in the park. Seven lions were successfully reintroduced in 2015, whose population has since more than doubled. To ensure the best possible outcome for rhinos in the region, staff have undertaken years of research, planning and preparation, including training by Akagera staff in rhino tracking and monitoring. Consultation with experts and specialist groups also occurred to secure a genetically appropriate and available source of Eastern black rhino for reintroduction. Security measures have been implemented specifically to ensure the safety and well-being of the rhinos once in the park. A canine anti-poaching unit and an expertly-trained rhino tracking and protection team have been established, and a helicopter has been deployed in addition to other security measures implemented specifically for the reintroduction of rhino – all made possible with funding provided by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

Arriving at Akagera Park Air and Road means were used to transport the Rhinos to Rwanda

The big five Akagera was historically home to a diversity of large African mammals, many of which were sadly hunted to local extinction over recent decades. Back in the 1970s, more than 50 black rhinos thrived in Akagera National Park, but their numbers declined under the pressure of wide-scale poaching until the last confirmed sighting of the species in 2007. In 2010, African Parks has partnered with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) to form the Akagera Management Company (AMC), which New Home Akagera Park The youngest of the newly reintroduced rhinos is 18 month old

manages Akagera with a vision of restocking the park with species that have become locally extinct and securing their long-term protection. The reintroduction of the Eastern black rhino forms part of this vision. Their return will be the final step towards restoring Akagera to its previous natural glory. The return is also expected to elevate the park’s international profile as the country’s only Big Five tourism destination, boosting the local economy, directly benefiting communities, establishing the park as a valued national asset, and helping to solidify Rwanda as a leader in African conservation.

Akagera National Park Seven lions were reintroduced in 2015, whose population has more than doubled

The big five are the lion, the leopard, the rhino, the elephant and the African buffalo. With fewer than 5,000 black rhino remaining across their range in the wild, of which approximately 1,000 are the Eastern black rhino subspecies, this reintroduction is an urgent, progressive, and valuable opportunity for their conservation, and serves as a story of hope for the species.




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

Hope magazine Edition- issue 75  

Africa Improved Foods on a mission to address malnutrition in Rwanda

Hope magazine Edition- issue 75  

Africa Improved Foods on a mission to address malnutrition in Rwanda