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Cross Border Trade Made Easy Courtesy Of Rwanda Trade Portal

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Cross border traders can now engage in export and import trade with ease particularly during the hard times of the Covid-19 pandemic, thanks to the Rwanda trade portal.

Traders say the portal has significantly reduced time taken to accessing export and import trade information.

The Rwanda Trade Portal (https://rwandatrade.rw/) is an online platform that was launched in March 2018, and is implemented by Rwanda Revenue Authority under the supervision of the National Trade Facilitation Committee.

It provides a comprehensive, single-point access to user-centric information needed to trade in and out of Rwanda: at its core, a database of procedures provides step-by- step guides to imports, exports and transit, including formalities such as licenses, permits and customs clearance.

The portal was developed to fulfill Article 1 of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement, requiring member states to publish their trade procedures online, displaying them step-by-step, with contact information on enquiry points, fees and access to forms.

The purpose is help traders reduce both financial and time costs that they often incurred while moving to and from various places to seek information related to different trade procedures.

According to Dr. Theoneste Sikubwabo from Uzima Chicken, who has been using the portal since its launch, the benefits are immense.

He emphasized the significant change this portal has had on the company’s trading procedures.

“We started using the Rwanda Trade Portal right after its launch and we are proud of the significant change we have since realized, particularly the increase in revenues simply because we were saved of the unnecessary costs we used to incur while moving to and from places to inquire about some trade information or acquire various certifications which we currently access either on phone or computer from the comfort of our seats, thanks to the portal,” says Theoneste.

Concorde Kananura, a consultant with UNCTAD, who is also among the lead developers of the portal, mentiined other benefits of using the portal.

“In addition to bringing more transparency to trade related information, the Trade Portal empowers government officials, namely members of the National Trade Facilitation Committee, to evaluate the complexity of trade procedures and identify simplification measures,” he said.

So far, 28 trade related procedures have been simplified, making it faster and cheaper to do cross-border trade with Rwanda.

Concorde added that for each procedure, the system shows all the steps the trader will go through, each containing: What you will get, who to see: entity/unit/officer in charge, with contact information, what to bring: requirements (forms and documents), what to pay/costs, how long it takes/duration in the queue, at the counter and in between steps, why it is necessary/legal justification for each step, who to complain to/ recourse procedures in case of complaints, with contact data, as well as the Authority certifying that the step is correctly described, among others.

Currently, there are about 128 procedures, 203 laws and regulations published on the portal with a lot more information including institutional contacts of focal staff to provide online support.

The site also registers up to 4,000 visits a month and the number keeps growing as the team expands the coverage of the Trade Portal to encompass an increasing number of commodities.

The Rwanda Trade Information Portal is connected to the Global Trade Helpdesk, an ITC, UNCTAD, and WTO initiative.

Discover a world of trade opportunities in one place with detailed information about imports, market dynamics, tariffs, regulatory requirements, potential buyers and more.

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Kagame Advocates For Investment Into Africa’s Agriculture Value Chain

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Agriculture and agri-business, especially in Africa, will drive the continent’s attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, President Paul Kagame has said.

“This is especially true as we work to make
up for the time lost to the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said adding that, “Each country and region must chart its own pathway to transformation, but this is also a global challenge that we must address together.”

Kagame was speaking in his capacity as the Chair of the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD, Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee at the official ceremony of the UN Food Systems Summit 2021 Pre-Summit.

In Africa, he continued, 70% of the working-age population is employed in the agricultural sector.

“But our continent’s food markets are often fragmented, and links to food processing and value addition services are sometimes lacking,” the President said.

He noted that digital technologies and biotechnology are playing a greater role in African agriculture, but too many farmers do not yet have reliable access.

And that financial services and products for farmers, including insurance, are generally inadequate.

“As a result, Africa’s food producers do not earn the level of income that they deserve, and they must cope with high levels of economic risk and uncertainty,” Kagame added.

According to the Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme, David Beasley, 41 million people are on the brink of famine today.

“Planet earth, shame on us that we let a single person go to bed hungry,” said.

“We have the expertise to end hunger, but we urgently need the money. This is a global call to action – all hands on deck,” he added.

Transformation is a necessity, according to Presidemt Kagame.

This is why the African Union Development Agency, NEPAD, has worked to facilitate an African Common Position in advance of the Food Systems Summit, in line with the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the SDGs.

Kagame offered two proposition.

Africa will pursue solutions in the following priority tracks:

One, adopt nutritious food policies, establish food reserves, and expand school feeding programs.

Two, support local markets and food supply chains, invest in agro-processing for healthy foods, and expand trade in food products within Africa.

The UN Secretary-General’s special envoy for the UN’ Food Systems Summit, Agnes M. Kaliba,  told participants that the summit is much very powerful than she thought.

“The energy,  and hopes in each room today were palpable!. We need to leverage the incredible power of food to deliver a step change in the SDGs- this is a one in a generation opportunity,” she said.

Myrna Cunningham, speaking for Indiginous People, said that, “Our current Food Systems is based on extreme irresponsibility; We need a food system that is based on rights including Economic empowerement and rights and rights to land.”

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Airtel Rwanda MD Steps Down

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It is learnt through reliable sources that Amit Chawla has decided to step down after completing a three-year term as Managing Director for Airtel Rwanda.

Normally, he would have had his contract extended or rotated to another operation in the company’s footprints, but a source told Taarifa that he is leaving the industry to do other businesses.

A new executive will be announced soon, it is said.

Amit, who took over the newly merged entity on August 31, 2018, during which time he oversaw the achievements of several milestones.

Chief among his accomplishments include the consolidation of the brand Airtel after the takeover of Tigo, its people, products and services as well as modernization of the country’s network, a project that saw the expansion of the Airtel Rwanda Network and saw the consolidation of Airtel’s reputation as the internet provider of choice for Mobile Internet in Rwanda.

During his time with the organization as MD, Airtel Rwanda oversaw great changes. Under his leadership, programs grew and services became more easily available to all customers.

Chawla led the company’s pandemic response that saw Airtel Rwanda direct its CSR budget towards governments efforts to tackle the initial response to the Global pandemic.

Under his leadership, Airtel has gained a reputation for launching ground breaking and bold campaigns such as the recent Va Kugiti Campaign that generated a lot of buzz in the Rwandan market.

Chawla, also oversaw the successful roll out of the Airtel Money Branch (AMB) concept, with 71 shops opened in Kigali alone.

The AMB’s concept has completely revolutionized the proximity of a telecom operator to her network of Agents and Freelancers, enabling them to access up to Rwf5 million within walking distance.

Chawla was unavailable for comment.

 

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First Chinese Electric Car To Reach Europe Disrupts Markets

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Chinese automaker Aiways has resorted to livestreaming its all-electric cars to potential clients across the globe.

“The design is very simple and uncluttered,” one of the presenters said as she detailed the U5’s design and capabilities. “The car is modern, and even the mode of distribution is modern.”

“Modern” distribution here means replicating the “live commerce” experience of Aiways’ home country — using livestreaming events to drum up interest and sales online. The company ships its cars through local partners to customers in Europe from its factory in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangxi.

That arrangement helps Aiways keep prices down. The U5 is priced from around 39,000 euros ($46,000), 10% to 15% cheaper than its rivals, according to the company.

Alexander Klose, the Aiways executive vice president in charge of overseas operations says, “We have some challenges, but overall, I would say it has been fairly positive for us, and we have seen a fairly positive recognition.”

Aiways is not alone: A growing number of Chinese EV makers are setting their sights on overseas markets — and they intend to compete on quality as much as price.

BYD, the Chinese automaker backed by U.S. investment guru Warren Buffett, is betting on Norway. It shipped its first 100 European-specification SUVs to dealers there this June, and it plans to deliver 1,500 by the end of the year.

Like Aiways, BYD is keen to take advantage of overseas consumers’ improving perception of Chinese products.

“We are not going to make the same mistakes as other Chinese brands did more than 10 years ago in the European theater. They tried to launch vehicles in a very cheap and rushed way, without being fully prepared,” a BYD spokesperson told Nikkei Asia.

“Most people haven’t heard of BYD until now, so it is more important to do things right than [to] start talking about [sales volume].”

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