Nyabihu:Stone miners commended over improving livelihoods

Nyabihu:Stone miners commended over improving livelihoods 

Some stone miners in Nyabihu district revealed that stone mining improved their livelihoods, calling upon other residents to create jobs for sustainable development.

Talking to this website, Pierre Célestin Barajiginywa, 53and Aminadab Bizuru, 65 highlighted that 30 years of stone mining has seen them off to social development.

“I purchased land worth Rwf300, 000 and built a house worth Rwf600, 000 all from stone mining”Baragijinywa said.

Another colleague Bizuru added “in 30 years, I achieved a lot including livestock in addition to taking care of my wife and seven children. I earn between Rwf40000 and 50,000 every month.”

Nyabihu:Stone miners commended over improving livelihoods

Barajiginywa advises residents to create jobs for sustainable development

Barajiginywa asserted: “An odd job is the one that doesn’t pay the worker. I urge all residents to value work because every job can lead to social development.”

Nyabihu:Stone miners commended over improving livelihoods

Pierre Célestin Barajiginywa and AminadabBizuru said every job leads to sustainable development when done with commitment

The government of Rwanda encourages residents to embrace job creation because it’s a key to self-reliance and sustainable development.

 

Tigo announces accelerator program

SMEs told to build   reputable platforms

Tigo Rwanda’s startup accelerator, Think has announced its three-month incubation program, think Accelerated.

The program is designed to be a fast-tracked in three-month incubation program as against its usual six month acceleration program. But both programmes will run concurrently.

Disrupt Africa reports that four startups have already been selected for the program.

“Think Accelerated enables us to attract a wider range of entrepreneurs and tech startups who will benefit from a fast-track incubator offering, keeping Africa at the forefront of innovation,” says Think’s investment manager, Paul Soko.

The four startups selected for the inaugural Think Accelerated program include Asuqu from Nigeria; a marketplace for startups in the service industry, Esaja from Zimbabwe; a business to business marketplace, Safe Motos from Rwanda; a Uber for African motorbikes and Team Tigo from Rwanda; comprising Tigo Rwanda staff who are tasked with developing digital solutions across Tigo platforms.

Participating startups will receive funding, startup specific training curriculum, Tigo resources and opportunity to interact with global tech mentors.

The accelerator program will begin next month, July 2015

Southern Province: Vocational skills improving livelihoods

Southern Province: Vocational skills improving livelihoods

Celestin Habyarimana, the in-charge of TVET in Southern Province revealed that vocational skills improved the livelihoods of many after residents embraced it unlike before.

This is because a great number of Rwandans are enrolling in vocational training centres unlike before when they were thought of as for people that dropped from school, said Habyarimana.

“Like the old saying that a builder’s child misses lunch but eats supper, it’s different now days because this profession enables one to provide three meals a day to his family.” Celestin Habyarimana said

As a way to promote vocational skills, over 87 technical schools have been set up in Southern province and the campaign to increase them is still ongoing.

Habyarimana added that vocational skills graduates no longer become jobless because they create jobs immediately after graduating and support their families financially.

Technical and vocational skills are essential for any country to achieve sustainable development. Vocational skills help people especially youth and disadvantaged residents to get a sustainable source of income to cater for their families.

SMEs told to build   reputable platforms

SMEs told to build   reputable platforms

As Small and Medium Enterprises-SMEs that constitute around 98 percent of   business in the country continue to decry lack of access to finance due to lack of collaterals, officials are calling for reputable platforms.

The  platforms  would help  the SMEs  have enough  collaterals and strengthening  management systems  before they   seek for  credit  from financial  institutions which  helps  banks to  be  assured of  loan  repayment.

It is much easier for a bank to give you a loan after establishing a good reputation. As a business, this is what gives them an insight into your direction,” said Emmanuel Hategeka, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

With their nature, most SMEs lack internal management systems such   book-keeping, cannot manage to   put in place financial flows   that would indicate whether the business is   profitable or not, thus becomes a challenge.

Moreover, the 2011 Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey (EICV) indicated that most of SMEsrequire efforts to ensure their sustainability and productivity through proper planning, mentorship, monitoring and evaluation.

To address the challenge, the ministry of trade and industry is looking at clustering SMEs to enable skills development as well as expertise sharing while also helps in facilitating extension of technical support.

“This would involve identifying SMEs running similar businesses and putting them in the same category,” said Francois Kanimba, Minister of trade and Industry adding that “The clustering will also facilitate good SME mentorship and development.”

Experts also believe that the clusters would help SMEs have a bigger purchasing and bargaining power which would help them grow  and expand.

“it is  easier for  10 processing  SMEs to secure  machineries from a manufacturer  than  one  SME which is cost  effective  and  makes  profit margin  remain healthy,” said Davis Mukiza, an expert  in business enterprise said.

The private sector is looked at as the engine of economic growth expected to grow at 11.5 percent while also provide  200,000 jobs every year, implying  efforts to  bolster the  sector’s  growth  would be   vital.

Painting sector gets professional support

Painting sector gets professional support

Rwanda’s leading local paint producing company- Ameki color has invested in training and providing practical skills to local painters as a way of improving client’s satisfaction in the painting industry in the country.

The training program has been started in major cities of Rubavu and Goma and at least 80 members in Rubavu have formed a painter’s cooperative which provides jobs.

Jean Paul Kayitare, an official of Ameki color says that “the new training program will ensure that clients get their services worth their money if the painters are professionally trained to do a good job in relation to the good paints”.

In this case, Kayitare says that Rwandans will also be able to gain skills and create jobs in the painting industry, which will cut down on the importation of foreign experts and increase employment of local experts.

So far in Rwanda has not been leveled to professional height since it’s still considered a casual job which also pays peanuts.

With these skills some of the painters will be able to seek jobs outside the country- especially in the neighboring countries and this will promote our products and increase customers’ satisfaction” he said.

Painters in Rubavu said that there is need for Ameki color to provide them with supply of some paints that are in demand but not available in the area, yet 30 percent of the clients prefer using Ameki color paints in the area.

The officials of Ameki said that this will be dealt with by consulting the existing suppliers so that deliveries are made accordingly.

Government to contribute more towards Agaciro

The government will annually be contributing Rwf 5 billion (currently $6.7 million) from the National budget towards the sovereign wealth fund, (Agaciro development fund)

The Agaciro Development Fund (AgDF) is a sovereign wealth fund launched in 2012 by President Paul Kagame.

At the time he said, “Aid is never enough, we need to complement it with home-grown schemes. We are not changing our relations with our partners, but rather adding value. More dignity can only help.”

Rwanda’s Minister for Finance and Economic Planning Amb. Claver Gatete said, “This fund does not compete with the budget, but is a fund for the future and it has to be managed and will keep growing”. Gatete was addressing guests recently to celebrate the AgDF achievements in Kigali

“To make sure that this fund is managed properly and it keeps growing properly, this is why government is looking for an international expert specialized in this area of managing a fund,” Gatete said.

The function brought together members of the private sector, district leaders, sector leaders, Finance Ministry officials and AgDF officials among others.

“We will also be contributing 5% of any loyalties on any natural resources, those that are there and others that will be discovered whether it is oil, or minerals,” the Finance Minister said.

The government will again be contributing 5% of anything privatized and this will continue as long as the fund exists which is going to be permanent. “This is the government, but it also depends on our own signal in terms of our own contribution because this is our fund,” Gatete said.

Speaking on behalf of the private sector, Chairman Board of Directors, Private Sector Federation (PSF) Benjamin Gasamangera said, “The private sector which has not been that consistent in contributing to the fund will now be consistent.

“We will be consistently contributing between a range of 2% to 5%  per month which might even go higher not only for the structured companies but also the non-structured,” Gasamangera said.

Rwanda did not have any revenue collection of any kind immediately after the 1994 genocide. There were no taxes and no reserves in the central bank after the lootings that took place.

This caused both physical and financial insecurity since there was no revenues of any kind apart from the finances that came from the United Nation’s Roundtable conferences worth $2.2 billion from 1994-1997. However, Rwanda has continued to progress despite the many difficulties

Aritel donates to Agaciro Development Fund

Aritel donates to Agaciro Development Fund

Airtel-Rwanda country team has contributed a total of Rwf40m to Rwanda’s national Sovereign Wealth Fund commonly as Agaciro Development Fund (ADF).

The contribution comes as a commitment of the company’s efforts to contribute to the development of Rwanda and prosperity for the generations to come.

Handing over the cheque, Airtel Rwanda Managing Director, Teddy Bhullar thanked Airtel staff for the enthusiasm shown while contributing to the fund.

“We thank our staff for this patriotic gesture and for continuing to display a genuine commitment for the development of the country throughout this contribution and other national development activities that we have been participating in as a company.” Bhullar said

“We trust that the money will be well invested in sustainable projects that will elevate Rwanda’s economy and development in general.” He noted.

VianneyKagabo, Chief Executive Officer of Agaciro Development fund thanked Airtel staff for the contribution reassuring that it would play a significant role in the development of Rwanda.

“We will secure high and long-term real return of the fund. We want this money to grow so we can have a fund to ensure a prosperous future for the generations to come,” Kagabo said.

As of May 2015 the fund has so far collected Rwf 26.2 billion and the part of it- Rwf25 billion has been invested in terms of deposit in banks and the capital market and  are expecting to get Rwf1.4 billion in profits by the end of the year .

The Agaciro Development Fund (AGDF) was launched in 2012 by President Kagame with a major objective of making it a sovereign fund sufficiently endowed to improve the level of financial autonomy of the country.

Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. The company had over 326 million customers across its areas of coverage at the end of April 2015.

Government to facilitate informal sector, boost domestic revenues

Government to facilitate informal sector, boost domestic revenues

Angello Musinguzi

Enabling the  informal sector to  thrive, experts say  will  play a key  role in raising   domestic revenues  needed  to   finance the  2015/2016  budget that  was read  on  Thursday 11th June,2015.

Despite  its  fragility, the country’s  informal  sector takes  a bigger proportion of the Small and Medium  Enterprises -SMES which consists  of  over 97 percent  of the private  sector , thus its growth   would trigger an increase  in  domestic revenues.

“Helping the informal sector to grow would be another way of mobilizing   domestic revenues,” said Angello Musinguzi, a Tax Manager at KPMG Rwanda.

According to   the private sector federation-PSF survey   in 2008, it is estimated that there are over 72,000 SMEs operating in Rwanda and of these only25, 000are formally registered leaving a big part outside the national   tax regime due to their   operating nature.

The 2015/2016 budget indicated anincrease ofRwf 40 billion in domestic revenues, consisting of tax and non-tax revenueimplying a bigger percentage of the budget will be financed domestically.

This means  there is need  to raise Rwf1,174.2 billion( an increase  of   FRW 41.6 billion from  the  2014/2015 budget) which  is  66 percent of the  budget  in  domestic  resources, both  tax   and non-tax revenues.

While  domestic revenues  have been increased, external resources have been  reduced in this  budget   and are Rwf 594.0 billion  a  reduction of  Rwf  35.8 billion, while  grants have also been reduced   by Rwf  58.8 billion and are estimated at Rwf 358.3 billion.

Whilst, domestic borrowing and  external loans  are expected to  increase  by Rwf 60 billion and  rwf23 billion to Rwf235.7 billion respectively .

The government’s’  decision to increase   revenues domestically  is seen as   a measure to cushion  the economy from shocks such as reliance on  donor  funds which  at times are  delayed or cut, thus affecting planned execution of the budget.

The government is looking at    increasing tax mobilization mainly the    use of electronic Billing machines- EBMS to increase value added tax collections as well as rising export receipts   through facilitating the export sector.

“Fiscal consolidation through increased revenue mobilization and expenditure prioritization remains the key objectives of Government in the medium term,’ said Amb. Claver Gatete, Minister for Finance and economic planning.

The government plans to spend rwf1,768.2 billion in this fiscal   year (2015/16) which is an increase of Rwf 5.8 billion when compared to   Rwf1762.3 billion in the 2014/15 revised budget.

Minister spends sleepless nights over entrepreneurs financing

Jean Philbert Nsengimana: the Minister of Youth and ICT

Jean Philbert Nsengimana: the Minister of Youth and ICT

The move to promote entrepreneurship that would foster the private sector to leapfrog the economy to middle income has been facing a challenge of access to finance mainly for start-ups projects.

But this challenge is not felt by  entrepreneurs only  but share it with  Minister  of youth and ICT  Jean Philbert Nsengimana, who  is  spending sleepless nights planning  on how  entrepreneurs  can outsource financing for their projects.

The Minister says that most entrepreneurs have good projects but lack financing to implement them adding that looking for ways to help them access credit  is  a challenge that prompts him to think  more.

 “When you think that there could be an entrepreneur out there who’s got a great product, who’s got a great business plan, but who cannot find financing, and then I cannot catch sleep anymore,” Nsengimana explained.

The government  in a bid to curb  down  unemployment as well as  boost the private sector set  target to create  about  200,000  jobs every year , which  means that  promoting entrepreneurship would  help  achieve the  target.

But  most  entrepreneurs   lack  finance   to   kick  off their  projects and moreover, some are not  worth to  attract  commercial banks to  provide credit  due to their risky nature, mainly lack of collaterals.

The Minister believes that   attracting more private layers with affordable products to finance entrepreneurs would help solve the challenge and thus foster economic growth.

To harness this, the University of Rwanda-College of Business and Economics (UR-CBE) is carrying out a national conference on entrepreneurship which will among other things address the challenge of financing.

The conference also supported by Wageningen University (WUR) will run under the theme, ‘Fostering Entrepreneurship and Innovation among the Youth for Social Economic Development’ is scheduled to take place on 12th June, 2015

No concern for Rwanda

No concern for Rwanda

Rwanda has no concerns over the Sharm El-Sheikh Agreement which will be signed in the South Sinai resort, said Rwandan Minster of Commerce Francois Kanimba.

Kanimba told reporters that Rwanda hopes to have a clear understanding of the agreement’s items to speed up its implementation by the end of the conference.

“The agreement goal is removing barrier tariffs and customs in preparation for a joint African economic union alongside the European Union, and increase internal trade between the African continent’s countries,” added Kanimba.

“The agreement will participate in benefiting from the massive resources available in Africa as it grows very fast and open market will provide opportunity to increase enterprises.”

He noted that there are two pillars of the talks, the first involving infrastructure services around the continent particularly trans-border infrastructure projects, where huge projects are planned .The second pillar is release the integrated industries in the al the African region, he said.

The trade exchange between Egypt and Rwanda amounted to $ 4.6bn during the first quarter (Q1) of 2015, according to Egypt’s Ministry of trade and industry.

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