SoSoMa industries wins Africa’s SME award

SoSoMa industries wins Africa’s SME award

Finally, this year’s top award for SME of the Year went to SoSoMa Industries, another Rwandan SME specialising in agro-business.

“We wanted to celebrate SMEs by spotlighting champions capable of transforming the continent and creating value,” explained Amadou Kane, former Finance Minister of Senegal, who was selected to lead the awards panel. “They are the torch-bearers of the Africa SME Champions community.”

Africa SME Champions is so much more than just a conference. We will offer the business and institutional community a framework to meet their needs and enable them to interact with one other.

SMEs need money, but they especially need support as well,” explains Didier Acouetey, founder of the specialist recruitment agency AfricSearch and creator of the event. “This is why we decided to launch Africa SME Champions, a platform to support African SMEs.”

Scheduled to launch in early 2015, this platform aims first to offer support tools to SMEs based on information derived from the fifteen or so thematic sessions presented at the forum.

These sessions dealt with issues such as writing a business plan, marketing techniques and customer relations.

The partner institutions and enterprises, including the IFC, the African Development Bank, OCP, investment funds and consulting firms, will all contribute input to this database of expertise.

In addition to the website, the Africa SME Champions platform will offer very concrete support and consulting services.

“Once SMEs find the information they need on the website, a dedicated team will be on hand to connect them to the relevant funds and consultants who can help them to raise the necessary funds. An entire ecosystem will be available in support of African Champions,” explains Didier Acouetey.

The Africa SME Champions Forum community has also made plans to create the “African Champion” label.

This label will be attached to SMEs based on several criteria, such as their ability to create jobs, their role in regional integration, their implementation of good governance principles, etc. With this label, they will be able to enjoy favourable conditions in the partner countries. In addition to tax advantages, they will also be able to access public procurement contracts, recruitment aid and guarantee funds.

The pan-African bank Ecobank, an event partner, has itself announced the creation of Ecobank SME Clubs. Albert Essien, the bank’s general director, described this project:

“SMEs merit special attention. These clubs will be privileged spaces for dialogue to better evaluate funding needs and make it easier to obtain funding. The criteria for joining the clubs will be extremely simple.”

The Africa SME Champions Forum ( closed on 12 November in Dakar, but its work in support of African champions is only just beginning.

Bringing together over 300 SMEs and around 100 African economic and political policymakers, these two days of dialogue produced the foundations for a very concrete roadmap.

This roadmap will guide the actions of the Africa SME Champions community in anticipation of the next forum, to be held in Nairobi in November 2015.

The forum also offered an opportunity to recognise champions. The African SME Champions Awards, sponsored by the African Guarantee Fund, honoured three enterprises, which were selected following a rigorous and transparent process. The director of Village Group in Rwanda was awarded the Young Entrepreneur Award. Tabaki, a Kenyan SME, won the Regional SME Award

Ngororero: Private sector should do more -mayor Ruboneza

The Ngororero district mayor Gideon Ruboneza has called on the private sector to increase its participation in the district’s economic development, saying the current levels of private investments are still wanting.

“We want to harness the expertise, resources and innovation of the private sector to help the most vulnerable,” said the mayor Gideon Ruboneza, Ngororero district. “This leads to better job opportunities, more investment and more resources to improve productivity and public well-being.”

Ruboneza explained that the private sector has created job opportunities to more people from poverty to prosperity in Ngororero district but the sector still has a lot to improve on.

Private sector should do more -mayor Ruboneza

The Ngororero district mayor Gideon Ruboneza boasts of the achievements of PSF

Ruboneza said that Ngororero district has registered infrastructural development in areas.

It is the primary source of economic growth, job creation, government revenue to finance essential public services, and the goods and services required to improve people’s quality of life.

The projects that were recently realized will play a part in performance of Ngororero district in the realization of performing contracts 2014/2015.

Private sector should do more -mayor Ruboneza1

Ibrahim Kanyambo, coordinator of PSF Ngororero believes hard work and full participation leads to development

Kabaya and Matyazo sectors are the exemplary sectors that have already initiated PSF cooperatives which are operational and of positive impact to its members.

Language affecting local contractors

Language affecting local contractors

Rwandan contractors are losing lucrative tenders in East Africa because they cannot comprehend bid documents written in the English Language. This is according to Donatien Mungwararera, director of The Private Sector Federation Rwanda (PSF).

“Though we carryout periodic trainings in languages, we do not reach everyone,” said Mungwararera, who advised traders to try their best to learn “the most commonly spoken languages in the region, especially English and Swahili, to enhance their competitiveness.”

Laying credence to the PSF director’s claim, a local supplier of construction materials, Enock Kamugisha, told this reporter that he lost tenders on four occasions because he could not understand all the requirements stated in the bid documents.

“Bids are drafted in English; and there are many technical terms that we fail to understand,” he said.

PSF, a professional organization dedicated to promoting the interests of the Rwandan business community has noted that learning the languages will boost the growth of Rwanda’s private sector..

According to Rwanda’s 2013 Manpower Survey released earlier this year, most Rwandan business people do not understand English and Swahili. This has made them less competitive within the region.

To help solve this challenge, the Ministry of East African Community Affairs has developed a new language policy that will offer Swahili and English lessons at an early age.

“We have a policy that aims at teaching Swahili from lower secondary education. The policy is already being implemented by the Ministry of Education,” said Jean Pierre Niyitegeka, the director of social development centre at the ministry.

Nyaruguru: Private institutions urged to buy treasury bonds

Nyaruguru: Private institutions urged to buy treasury bonds

Member of the private sector in Nyaruguru district have been urged to buy treasury bonds which promotes saving culture and help the government in development plans.

The government embarked on a Treasury bond program in a bid to boost the capital market development and fund infrastructure projects. The primary objective is to increase and diversify participants in the Treasury Bond Market.

Gasana revealed that sometimes the government has little money compared to what is needed to undertake some development projects.

“This is why the government auctions treasury bonds for interested buyers as a way of helping the holders save as well as be part of national economic development” he explained.

He also explained that Treasury bond helps the investor to get annual interest on the amount invested and is guaranteed to sell her shares at anytime.

“Apart from saving, one lends to the government and benefits from the economic development through the bonds,” he said.

Faustin Mazimpaka, head of Tea growers’ cooperative in Nshili-Kivu in Nyaruguru district the treasury bond is another way of saving for long term interest and contributing to the development of the country.

“To me, it’s one way of saving and investing in the activities meant to bring national economic development,” he added.

“It all depends on how one earns. Farmers for example cannot afford Treasury bond denomination of Rwf100, 000. But for others that might need to invest money in property, treasury bonds is the way to go,” said Mazimpaka.

Jean Leonard Murego, from National Bank of Rwanda (BNR)

Jean Leonard Murego, from National Bank of Rwanda (BNR)

The government of Rwanda issued Rwf15 billion treasury bond with a seven-year maturity period.

This move is in line with the renewed government commitment to revive the bond market. Proceeds from the bond will be used to finance infrastructure projects as well to develop the capital market.

“The main challenge is that seven-years is a long period yet most people earn less to make such a big investment,” he added.

The bond target market is domestic, regional and international investors. On the local stage the bond targets banks, investment groups, Umurenge SACCOs, Micro-Finance Institutions, Cooperative Banks, Insurance companies, Pension Funds among others.

Vital decision to propel  entrepreneurial businesses

Rob Shallenberger

Taking right decisions helps the entrepreneur to minimize risks that would cripple the growth of their business, experts have revealed.

Rob Shallenberger, CEO and Senior Consultant for Becoming Your Best says that  entrepreneurs as leaders and mangers should ensure that   their decision impact positively   in their journey towards creating their dream businesses.

“A solid plan begins with a clear vision of the desire outcome, As clear vision helps determine the goal and  keeps the  plan  focused on the  desired  result, “  he said  during the   becoming your  Best  training for  Rwandan  youth in Kigali  on  Thursday

The training organized by Ministry of youth and ICT and the young entrepreneurs chamber   aims at  equipping young leaders and  entrepreneurs  with tools that  would enable  them  be  part of the   ambitious  goals the  country  set to   leapfrog the economy into  middle income.

“Rwanda needs these young people to become strong and sustainable entrepreneurs and leaders, and it needs to leverage its greatest resource: the human capacity of these young people,” said Lydie Hakizimana, Chairwoman Young Entrepreneurs Chamber

She adds, “We need partners to expose and empower today’s young Rwandan leaders on best practices and skills in the 21st century’s leadership.”

She says that adding that “Setting clear expectations can lead to increased accountability and a clear understanding of what is to be accomplished.”

Experts advise that the entrepreneur’s ultimate desire will  help  in  driving the  goals of their   businesses, as their vision  on other hand  describes the  culture they  wish to  establish  in their  organization.

“When you learn to employ the power of knowledge in positive ways, you become trusted, you can be given more responsibility, you can improve your financial opportunities and you fell a greater sense of satisfaction,” said Shallen berger

Experts   believe that   shaping one’s character as well as setting a clear vision would help entrepreneurs develop   international   corporates and organizations which would therefore foster the private sector growth of the country.

“A test of character isn’t   how you  responding  when things are going well, but  how  you respond when  things  get  tough  and the pressure  is  high,” hesaid adding that “Through   learning and hard work, you can become thebest atwhat you do.”

The training comes at the time when   efforts to foster youth entrepreneurship faces setbacks as most youth looks more of capital than  developing their  idea  into fundable and profitable  business.

Nyabihu: Savings culture credited with changing lives

Savings culture

For most of his active years,Jean De Dieu Nzasabimanabo spent almost every penny he earned without saving for the next day. In personal finance, it’s the little things that seem to have the biggest impact, Jean De Dieu Nzasabimanabo; 27 from Bigogwe sector in Nyabihu district was a bicycle driver before he acquired a motorcycle through saving.

Like “Save now for a better future”, a theme for savings week that started on 25th October 2014; But about five years ago, Nzasabimanabo, decided to change the course of his life and that of his family.

He says that saving little by little helped him to buy a motorcycle. Nzasabimanabo, who started with a bicycle to earn a living in 2006, had no idea on saving until Umurenge Sacco was introduced.

“I could pay Rwf500 to the bicycle owner every day and save Rwf400. After years of saving, I purchased a motorcycle that generates more money to take care of my needs,” he disclosed.

After opening a savings

“After opening a savings account in Sacco, I applied for Rwf1.2 million loan which I used to purchase a motorcycle”

Though he declined to delve into details of his savings, Nzasabimanabo said he was able to “emerge from poverty” in the recent past

Jean Claude Uwitonze AMIR, in charge of Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and Sacco’s revealed that without saving and working with financial institutions, it’s very difficult  to achieve fast development.

“Saving is the fast way to fast social economic development,” he said.

Abdullatif Twahirwa, mayor of Nyabihu district said that savings increased from over Rwf700 million to Rwf1.3 billion.

Nzasabimanabo explains that financial literacy campaigns opened his eyes and given him a chance to discover new opportunities.

He has started working with financial institutions and secured loans on several occasions that he has used to expand his investments.

And like him, so many residents have emerged out of poverty thanks to efforts to encourage them to embrace the savings culture. The testimony comes at a time when Rwanda is marking a special Savings Week that is aimed at educating the public about the importance of saving for their future and that of the country’s economy in general.

The Savings Week, which is being marked under the theme; “Save now for a better future”, kicked off on Monday ahead of the World Savings Day due October 31.

Umurenge SACCOs largely contributed to the 72% financial inclusion in 2012 and they are expected to include many more people into the formal financial services arena.

About 1.3 million peo­ple are members of Umurenge SACCO country wide.


Rusizi: Barasabwa kwihutisha ibikorwa by’iterambere ry’umujyi

Rusizi: Barasabwa kwihutisha ibikorwa by’iterambere ry’umujyi

Inzu z’ubucuruzi ziri kubakwa I rusizi

Umunyamabanga wa Leta uhoraho muri Minisiteri y’ubutegetsi bw’igihugu Munyeshyaka Vicent arasaba akarere ka Rusizi kwihutisha ibikorwa by’iterambere biri mu mujyi wako no mu nkegero zawo ibyo yabisabye kuwa 27/10/2014, nyuma yo kuzenguruka imirenge itandukanye areba uko ibikorwa by’iterambere birimo ibikorwa remezo bihagaze muri ako karere.

Munyeshyaka avuga ko akarere ka Rusizi karimo ibikorwa by’amajyambere byinshi byazamukiye icyarimwe kandi ibyinshi muribyo bikaba bigeze ahashimishije kuburyo muminsi iri imbere bizaba biri kubyazwa umusaruro, muribyo harimo inzu z’ubucuruzi ziri kubakwa kumipaka ya Rusizi ya mbere n’iyakabiri mu rwego rwo kunoza ubucuruzi bwambukiranya imipaka , hari kandi n’inzu y’amagorofa ane y’abamotari bibumbiye muri koperative yitwa COMORU igeze kukigero gishimishije.

Nubwo hari ibikorwa bimaze gutera intambwe ishimishije umunyamabanga wa Leta Munyeshyaka avuga ko hari n’ibindi bikorwa by’imishinga minini byandindiye asanga bikwiye kongerwamo imbaraga muribyo harimo imihanda yo muri aka karere ikiri inyuma cyane haba mu mujyi rwagati no mu mpande zawo aho abaturage batuye.

Uruganda rwa nyiramugengeri ruri kubakwa

Ibindi bikorwa byadindiye ngo ni uruganda rwa Nyiramugengeri ruri kubakwa mu murenge wa Muganza aho kugeza magingo aya rutarabona amazi azarufasha gukora ndetse hakaba hatarubakwa n’umuyoboro w’amashanyarazi uva kuruganda rwa  CIMERWA ujya kuri urwo ruganda icyakora kubufatanye bw’inzego zitandukanye zagiye zikurikirana icyo gikorwa kuburyo ibikorwa bisigaye bizihutishwa

Hoteli ikiri kubakwa

Ikindi gikorwa nacyo kimaze imyaka re irenga itanu kitava aho kiri  ni Hoteri y’inyenyeri 5 imaze igihe yarahagaritse yatangijwe na Kiriziya Gaturika . muri ibyo byose umunyamabanga wa Leta uhoramo muri minisiteri y’ubutegetsi bw’igihugu Munyeshyaka Vicent yasabye ubuyobozi bw’ako karere gushaka amafaranga buri mwaka azajya yifashishwa mu kubaka ibikorwa remezo mu rwego rwo kwirinda kudindira

Umuyobozi w’akarere ka Rusizi Nzeyimana Oscar avuga ko uru ruzinduko rw’umunyamabanga uhoraho wa Leta yagiriye muri aka karere rwabongereye imbaraga n’inama nziza bizabafasha kureba uko bakomeza kwihutisha iterambere no kubyutsa ibyari byaradindiye no gutangira ibindi mubihe bya vuba birimo umuhanda wa km 3 wo mu mujyi rwagati .

gusa nawe yashimiye abafatanya bikorwa mu iterambere ry’akarere ka Rusizi kuko hari byinshi bimaze kugerwaho bihindura isura y’umujyi aho anavuga ko n’ibigaragara ko byadindiye nabyo biri gutekerezwaho ndetse n’amafaranga yo kubisubukura akaba ari kugenda aboneka gahoro gahoro .

Ku ruhande rw’abaturage batuye mu mujyi w’akarere ka Rusizi baravuga ko bishimira iterambere riri kuza kuko ribafasha kubona akazi bityo bakiteza imbere icyakora nabo ngo barasanga imihanda yo muri ako karere ikiri imbogamizi kuko yose iba yahindutse ibyondo mubihe by’imvura kubera ukuntu yasenyutse

Umujyi w’akarere ka Rusizi ni umwe mu mijyi 6 yatoranyijwe izaba yungirije umujyi wa Kigali mubihe biri imbere akaba ari muri urwo rwego ubuyobozi bw’akarere bushishikajwe no kuwutunganya mungeri soze.

UN-Rwanda, Government sign RwF 4.96bn Grant 

UN-Rwanda, Government sign RwF 4.96bn Grant 

The Government of Rwanda and One UN Rwanda, yesterday signed US$ 7.2 million (approximately RwF 4.96 billion)

The grant will strengthen the capacity of National and Sub-National Institutions to generate data and enhance evidence based on Policy Planning, Analysis and Monitoring and Evaluation.

The five-year (2013 -2018) program plan is derived from the United Nations Development Assistance Plan (UNDAP).

It outlines the continued support of UN agencies in capacity building for the national and sub-national institutions, coordinated by the Institute of Statistics of Rwanda, in conducting high quality data collection, data analysis and dissemination.

These are instrumental in tracking progress towards the realization of the set results of the Second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2) and other international development goals.

The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning Claver Gatete noted that the support was in line with EDPRS2 especially on increasing engagement of citizens in development planning at all levels.

“This support will focus on in-depth analysis and utilization of existing information for evidence-based policy making and monitoring and evaluation, especially at decentralized levels,” Minister Gatete said.

Minister Gatete also noted that funds would help in producing accurate data and information that would help in decision making.

Overall the project will support institutional capacity building for data production in socio-demographic and economic surveys such as Census, the Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis and Demographic and Health Survey.

It will also support integrated households living conditions survey, various more sector specific surveys and frameworks like gender statistics framework will also be strengthened.

The UN contributed to improvement of capacity to undertaking governance assessment to strengthen the evidence base for policy and programming in the area of governance and to produce.

Making money: There’s no business like second hand shoe business

Annet Wibabara poses at her stall as she waits for customers

Annet Wibabara poses at her stall as she waits for customers

The business of selling used shoes in Rwanda is becoming a lucrative one. Rwandans today especially youth have increasingly shown keen interest in used shoes.

Annet Wibabara, sells used shoes at Kimironko market, she says “I cannot take an office work especially now that I am enjoying profits from my business”.

In one year of selling used shoes, Wibabara has bought a plot of land and take care of the family without any difficulties.

“In one year in this kind of business, I managed to buy a plot of land, meeting my needs and the family. Basing on my experience, there’s no business like dealing in used shoe, I am making money” she said.

Apart from benefits, being your own boss is priceless as you can attend to any other issue with ease.

“Before coming to work, I take care of my family and do some chores. Even when it calls for time to relax or visit people, I always make time for it and still make sales,” she added.

Wibabara advises jobless people to start small and create jobs to achieve fast development.

Creating own job is under the government’s program (Hanga Umurimo) that aims at supporting youth to have an entrepreneurial mindset.

Han­ga Umurimo (HUP) was established to unlock the youth’s potentials to run competitive and innovative enterprises in order to generate more job opportu­nities.

As Rwanda’s Vision 2020 seeks to generate 3.2 million off-farm jobs by 2020, the Ministry of Trade and Indus­try that pilots HUP says it is guided by Vision 2020 and the National policy of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to contribute to promote rapid growth of such enterprises among the Rwan­dan Youths.

Finance Minister roots for Private sector participation

Finance Minister roots for Private sector participation

The  country  is  banking on  the  private  sector to be  the engine of the economy, a reason  the Minister of  Finance ,Amb. Claver Gatete says it’s participation in the development of the economy is vital.

Gatete says that   despite the growth of the sector coupled in the recent years, their participation in the growth of the economy mainly, an increase in experts and job creation is still low.

As government, the Minister notes “we have to use the resources to leverage private sector participation, he said during the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, Annual Meetings in Washington, USA.

The event  looked at ways  African policy makers   take on  to   increase the  pulse   at which their economies are growing, something seen as  a peer  advantage  to help  the policy  makers  to learn from   each other.

The International Monetary Fund-IMF says the continent’s real GDP is likely to continue growing   on an upward trend by the end of the year, an indication that the economies are doing well. It is estimated the growth is likely to grow to 5.1 percent by end of 2014 before growing to 5.8 percent in 2015.

Rwanda’s growth rate was at   6.8 percent in the forts half of 2014 and likely to   close at 6.0% by end 2014 by end of year as private sector seen to take a driving role mainly in service sector.

As member of the panel discussing the “Africa: Sharing Economic growth broadly” Gatete  said that the  backing the private sector  will help  the government   tackle some of the critical  areas  of growth such as increasing exports as well  as   bridging inequality.

“If we have private sector intervention in these areas, we are able to achieve our ambitious inclusive growth targets,” he said

Moreover, the recent interventions to bolster the private sector mainly in access to finance  through  establishment of the  Guarantee funds and  keeping the  economy  afloat  has seen  the sector’s   growth towards  increasing  off-farm jobs.

According to Ministry of Trade statistics, off farm jobs  rose to   1.4 million in 2011up from  408,000  in 2001  with   Non- agricultural  employment increasing  to 27.3%  of all jobs in  2012 from 12.1% in 2002.



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