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CIMERWA Officially Lists On Rwanda Stock Exchange Despite Fears Of #COVID-19 Effects




At last, the long-awaited listing of Rwanda’s only integrated cement manufacturer, CIMERWA, was flagged off on Monday morning at Kigali Convention Center by Rwanda Development Board CEO, Clare Akamanzi.

The listing has taken place amidst skepticism that such a listing would go bad amidst the current Covid-19 global pandemic, but Akamanzi dispelled the fears saying that  Rwanda’s economy is slowly getting back to business.

CIMERWA received approval from the Capital Markets Authority and the Rwanda Stock Exchange to list a free float of 344,575,560 shares (49% of 703,219,520 total shares) worth Rwf41,349,067,200 (About US$43 million) now available for trading to the investor community at Rwf120 per share on the Rwanda Stock Exchange.

The 49% constitutes shares owned by AGDF Corporate Trust on behalf of the government of Rwanda, Rwanda Social Security Board, Rwanda Investment Group, and Sonarwa Holdings Ltd.

With CIMERWA PLC Listing by Introduction, it has become the second company to list through this approach and the tenth to be listed on the Main Investment Market Segment of the RSE.

“It is inescapable to register CIMERWA’s listing as confidence conferred in our economy – that the economy will recover and excel, indicating a bright future for the infrastructure sector, which means strong cement growth,” Akamanzi said.

Rwanda Stock Exchange CEO, Celestin Rwabukumba, says the decision for CIMERWA to list on “our young bourse is yet another vote of confidence in our market’s ability to attract good reputable companies and investors from anywhere in the world.”

Rwabukumba said that, “It is a good signal for Rwanda as well as a country to showcase that we are open for business: Despite the current crisis the world economy is going thru, we are still going to keep a leadership role as a gateway to investment opportunities for the EAC region and the wider continent.  We shall keep building schools and other big infrastructure projects, Visit Rwanda is here to stay, Made in Rwanda campaign shall prevail, and this is just to name a few.”

According to Regis RUGEMANSHURO CIMERWA Board Chair, joining the Rwandan Stock Exchange is clearly the logical next step for CIMERWA as a business, as it works to grow and scale up with the environment becoming more competitive. The Rwandan Bourse is steadily growing with an increasing portfolio of listed companies. CIMERWA comes in as the tenth Company to list on the main investment segment and looks forward to propelling itself to the next level by taking advantage of the numerous benefits of being listed.

Albert Sigei, CIMERWA CEO said that this listing by introduction will prove that, “We have been part and parcel of Rwanda’s growth story with a contribution to the society on many fronts.”

He also said that the listing is CIMERWA’s reminder that the company has always made bold moves and will continue to do so.

Last month Rugemanshuro said that, “The timing is right,” he said, adding that, “This transaction will create opportunities for private investors, and the Government will become a neutral player in a sector whose potential is yet to be fully exploited.”

Akamanzi called upon Rwandan citizens and institutional investors to take the opportunity and buy into the 10th company to list on the stock exchange.

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Hundreds Of Passengers Miss Flight In Uganda Due To Delayed COVID-19 Tests



Hundreds of Ugandans have been left stranded at Entebbe International Airport by the Emirates Airways after the laboratory where they had taken their Covid-19 results delayed to return them on time.

In a Snapchat post by Ugandan socialite Sheila Gashumba, she ranted, ‘’When I tell Ugandans that Covid in Uganda is a business they say I have ‘kajanja’.

Now all Emirates passengers have missed their flights because Safari Lab sent Covid results at 2:45pm and Emirates closed its gate at 3pm.

The hospital said it couldn’t work on everyone in the short time.

Around 300 passengers missed their flight yet Safari Lab had made a total of UgSh75m since everyone had paid UGX 250,000 for the test.

In the video where all passengers were visibly angry and frustrated, they can be heard asking for what the solution is and who is going to pay for the tickets again now that those that they had paid for can no longer be used anymore.

Passengers expressed their frustration at the rot in the service.

“I experienced such thing in March as the officers in charge claimed that the gates were close at 1pm as the flight was at 3pm,” one twitter user said.

Some made jokes out of it and asked, if this was because of the US$10 tax that is in the process of being introduced and will be paid by anyone that leaves the country using the Entebbe International Airport.

Another twitter user @kasoxialex2000 asked, ‘’@UgandaCAA (Uganda Civil Aviation Authority), but seriously you guys when you move to some airports don’t you copy something? Why are we ever backwards??? Stop embarrassing us. Who will save Uganda’’
By press time there was no official communication from the Civil Aviation Authority, Safari Lab nor Emirates Airways.

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Kagame Tells Bankers, Banking Can’t Just Be “Service For Elites”



Banking can’t just be a service for elites, President Paul Kagame has said.  He made the remarks while speaking at the 14th Annual Banking and Finance Conference in Nigeria that he attended virtually.

Running under the theme, ‘’Economic Recovery, Inclusion and Transformation: The Role of Banking and Finance’’, the two-day conference will aim at the need to reposition the Finance and Banking sector as a catalyst for Economic recovery, transformation and inclusive growth.

In his remarks, he noted how the Covid pandemic has affected every aspect of Africa’s economies but at the same time also presents an opportunity for African banks to play a leading role in making societies more resilient and more responsive to the needs of Africans.

‘’Whatever affects business, affects banking. Financial services are the engine of private sector development. Banks are crucial for allocating capital wisely and productively,’’ he further added.

President Kagame noted that, in order to stay competitive, there is need to keep integrating new technology into banking to increase financial inclusion and access as banking can’t just be a service of elites.

He also went ahead to reemphasize what he has always said when it comes to African states always depending on the West and other countries for support. ‘’Indeed, Africa has the resources to fund its own economic growth and reduce dependence on external resources,’’ he said.

Kagame also noted that the African Continental Free Trade Area is creating new opportunities for Pan African Trade and investment. ‘’Banks with continental reach, like several of the institutions represented here can lead the way in cementing economic integration.’’

As he concluded, he stated how the banking sector, more than any other, understands the importance of integrity and good customer service. ‘’Banking is ultimately about trust. We look to you to set the pace in this regard. Our role as governments is to maintain good enabling environments, protecting both shareholders and customers while allowing for innovation. We expect you to keep challenging us on this,’’ he said.

In attendance at the same conference was the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Edwin Emefiele who made a huge announcement.  He said, ‘’Central Bank, will, in the next twelve months be establishing the Nigerian International Financial Centre (NIFC). The NIFC will act as an international gateway for capital and investments, driven by technology and payment system infrastructure.’’

In Rwanda, current statistics show that even though there are still various challenges that continue to put women behind men when it comes to financial inclusion, the number of women who are currently banked have risen from 24% in 2016 to 34% in 2021.

This is according to a FinScope 2020 Gender thematic report on the state of women financial inclusion in Rwanda that was supported by Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR).

In one of the Focus Notes from Access to Finance Rwanda, farmers reported that women and men enjoy equal rights and treatment at specified two Financial institutions in the Focus note and therefore no special gender based treatment yet the outcomes of each groups are not equal.

At both Financial Institutions, women and youths are more likely to use loans to hire land farm as they lack access to land and they have been assisted by addressing some of the barriers that women and youth face in accessing loans.

The conference will therefore focus on how banking can be a service enjoyed by all Africans regardless of their financial strengths through making access to finance for development is an easy and smooth process.

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400K Coffee Farmers To Adopt Cashless System



About 400,000 coffee farmers in Rwanda are being targeted to embrace a cashless payment system facilitated by Bank of Kigali.

On Friday, Bank of Kigali through IKOFI integration with Smart Kungahara System (SKS) said it expected to serve more than 300 coffee washing stations, with a target market size of more than 400,000 coffee farmers.

“Through our partnership with RWACOF, we enabled coffee farmers to embrace cashless means of payment. We believe in digital transformation for everybody including farmers. These telephones will significantly help famers to adopt a more digital lifestyle,”said ⁦⁦Diane Karusisi the CEO Bank of Kigali.

According to BK, currently, 1,767 agro dealers and 263,691 farmers are active IKOFI wallet users benefiting from the service by digitally paying for their agro-inputs through mobile phones, conveniently paying for other services such as Irembo, RRA, WASAC, all done through *334*2#.

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