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Forget The Big Corporate Events, Kigali Now Has High Tea Event Where You Can Chit-Chat About Business




The Service Magazine proprietor Sandra Idossou, is a known figure in Rwanda for her contribution in improving customer care. She pushes businesses and government agencies to offer better services and respond to customer concerns. But she is now taking things to a whole new level. She has introduced a concept which has attracted the attention of business executives; The Hight Tea event. The first event took place on Tuesday evening at the Marriott Hotel in Kigali. She tells us more about the project.

How did it cross your mind, how did it come about and what is it all about?

Idossou: We have been organising a few events with the same objective of raising awareness about customer service. I have been trying to put up different concepts that would bring people together and talk about services. The reason why we wanted a High Tea event is because we have a lot of high corporate events, where people stand. We do not really open up and say the things that are going on wrongly, usually because it is in the vague group where everyone wants to get their voice. So the idea of organizing this High Tea conversation is to bring together a small group of people and we would converse. It is really like an afternoon tea, in a nice environment where we sit down and chat. So it is really like the chatting among friends, because in that case we are able to say the things which are not going on well that need to be improved. Basically, that is how it started.

Why did you choose Marriot Hotel, how was your conversation, and what was it about?

Idossou: Hight Tea is something very nice. The setup is in a nice and cosy environment. So I was looking for a place, and the funny thing is that I used social media, I tweeted and asked people the hotel they would like to be in for this event and they chose Marriott. So I came to Marriott and showed them the survey. I said that 75% of those who responded wanted it to be Marriott, and that it would be better if they offered us the venue and a good deal, and they were happy.

This is the first event. What impacts have you seen?

Idossou: This is the first event. At this stage, I would not say whether I would continue or not. I do not know whether I would do it monthly or quarterly. But from the feedback I have gotten from people, they like it and find it interesting. But we still need to fine tune some issues and invite probably different types of people.

Organising this event is a lot of work. What is your incentive?

Idossou: For now, nothing. It is still under construction, but I am using it, so that people know it. When people know it, I will be able to charge. But for now I am not making any money out of it.

How is the response from the hotel?

Idossou: The hotel was very interested. In fact, we had a meeting and talked about different means and they said that they would be interested for us to organize events with us. I came and met with the GM. He was very happy.

How many people attended?

Idossou: Forty. Initially, we had planned 30 people and finally we got 40. That is different from the other events. We had wanted to have a fixed number of people, so we had asked them to book at home. It is also a way of making people in Rwanda book for events, because here people do not like to book for events. They do not plan ahead and say that at a given time they will do this or that. For me it is a way of making people plan ahead. People do not even know that when you are going to a restaurant you have to book.

Rex Nijhof, Marriott General Manager attend the event and gave a warm welcome to participants.

Foodie time. Coffee, tea, snacks, and fruits were among the items on the menu

Iddosu (C) speaks to Lys Umwiza, the Country Manager for ITM Africa, a HR Agency

Each head contributed Rwf12,000 as a token to attend






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Flights From Dubai To Nairobi Resume



Kenya government has lifted a ban on flights from Dubai entering its territory ending a weeks-long dispute with the United Arab Emirates.

The East African nation had imposed a ban on all inbound and transit passenger flights from the Middle East nation two weeks ago. The ban was lifted Monday midnight, offering a major relief to hundreds of travellers between the two destinations.

The ban did not however affect cargo flights that are normally flown by carriers such as Kenya Airways (KQ) and Emirates airline from UEA into Kenya.

“Kenya shall do a NOTAM lifting the suspension of flights to and from UAE from midnight tonight (Monday),’’ said Gilbert Kibe Director-General Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).

The ban came a few days after UAE extended the Kenya flight ban after it established that travellers from Nairobi were testing positive for Covid-19 after arrival in the Middle East nation, despite carrying negative test results.

Kibe said the scheme involved a racket of private medical testing centres that colluded with travellers to issue fake Covid-19 PCR results to aid their travel.

The Ministry of Health has however launched investigations into the matter with a view to bringing to book health officials who were involved in the shoddy deal that has now coasted Kenya millions of shillings in lost passenger revenues.

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Bralirwa Shares Trading Badly On Rwanda Stock Exchange



Since the just concluded festive season, Rwanda’s largest brewer has not been in good books with its clients as retailers repeatedly complain of lack of some products and  sometimes rationing of beers.

“It is very hard to get grand Primus beers. Every time I send someone to get them from the depot we are told that distributors  haven’t supplied,” says Christine Nyiramariza a bar owner in Gatsibo district.

Trending on twitter is a very confusing situation of Amstel beer filled in Mutzig bottles.

According to Rwanda Stock Exchange, as of Friday, the value of Bralirwa share had dropped to Rwf124.

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Equity Bank Gets £37m From British Agency To Lend SMEs



UK’s Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford MP (pictured above) said his government was extending a total of £37 million to Equity Bank Kenya for onward lending to small businesses.

“Our economic partnership is delivering impressive results, and we have some ambitious, exciting plans for the future. Plans that will deliver for Kenya, and for the UK, long into our shared future,” she said.

This money is being channeled through UK’s development finance institution British International Investment (BII) – formerly known as CDC Group. BII is a key part of the UK government’s wider plans to mobilise up to £8 billion a year of public and private sector investment in international projects by 2025.

This will include BII partnering with capital markets and sovereign wealth funds to scale up financing and help the private sector move in.

BII will prioritise sustainable infrastructure investment to provide clean, honest and reliable financing and avoid low and middle-income countries being left with bad and unsustainable debt.

Ford also stated that the UK will increase its support for green manufacturing in Kenya by providing an additional £400,000 to help Kenya build a green manufacturing industry, increasing its support to the Ministry of Trade and the wider Kenyan manufacturing sector in this area.

Green manufacturing was highlighted by President Kenyatta at COP26 as a key opportunity for Kenya to create new green jobs.

The funding through the UK’s Manufacturing Africa programme will provide expert analysis and advice on how government policy and the organised private sector can help build this industry and create new green jobs for Kenyans.

Kenya is already the third biggest portfolio for BII, with Sh42 billion investments across 83 companies. Those companies support 36,350 jobs and pay Sh2.6 billion in taxes.

“This is how we will deliver world-class projects, characterised by high standards and outstanding expertise, without forcing huge new debts onto countries such as Kenya,” she said.

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