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Live Conference: Invest In Rwanda AGRF 2020 Deal Room

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“When I see the topics that the deal room is looking at – from access to finance by women, technology in agriculture or feeding in cities, these are pertinent topics with various investment opportunities, Clare Akamanzi, CEO, Rwanda Development Board (RDB).

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Business

Bralirwa Shares Trading Badly On Rwanda Stock Exchange

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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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Business

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

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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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Meet This Female Entrepreneur, Rusamaza, Fixing Property Taxes For Rwandans In Diaspora

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If you own a property and you don’t have the time to manage how these properties are taxed, then there is a likelihood that you could find yourself in tax penalties.

Arguably, the risks for tax penalties are higher for those in the diaspora, for example. Such cases are no exception in Rwanda, where members of the diaspora community find themselves in tax penalties they have no knowledge about because they are miles away to understand the policies that affect their properties.

Iwacu Diaspora (IDN), a local company aspires to bring Rwandans closer to their properties in distance.

Daniella Rusamaza, the founder of the Iwacu Diaspora is a solution for the problem at hand.

She follows up properties of Rwandans living abroad, manages their properties, and makes sure that they have no tax illegalities.

Prior to launching the company, Rusamaza worked as a bank attendant, where she attended clients from diaspora whose properties were depreciating because they had no agent to look after them.  

According to Rusamaza, Iwacu Diaspora company ltd is a brainchild of a dire need to bring nearer the diaspora people to their properties.

“The idea of starting this company came when I was still a bank attendant where I worked for six years dealing with Rwandans in Diaspora who sought different services such as loans. Most of these people I met, however, highlighted the challenge of managing the properties they left home including houses, land, and other personal services. And I was inspired to start a company,” she says.

During her tenure as a bank attendant, Rusamaza learnt that the majority of Rwandans who lived abroad were hampered by the inability to manage their properties back home particularly those with rental houses, and at times, she could hear them lamenting for not being paid on time.

Furthermore, she discovered a number of Rwandans were incurring losses as a result of tax penalties and these discouraged their will of re-investments at home as a result.

“Through these challenges, I was inspired to start my company that would provide a solution to the problem at hand.” 

As a way of achieving the company’s target, for instance, Iwacu Company Diaspora Network is currently helping taxpayers in the diaspora to pay property taxes before they are caught with Rwanda Revenue Authority deadline scheduled to end on 31 this month.  

In addition, Rusamaza warns that delaying to declare taxes attracts unnecessary fines which the taxpayers can avoid before time.

“We are now helping diaspora people who want to declare their property tax in Rwanda. We strongly urge people to register before time set because penalties come with losing ownership rights of land and fines.”

“There are a number of people living abroad who have no information on paying taxes, some do not have their local agents to help them to re-register outdated land titles. So we are here as a bridge to help them sort all their tax payment by just accessing their UPI numbers.”

“Rwandans living abroad and those in the country should avoid late tax declaration on deadline because it can attract fines and remittances and the fines are always a burden,” she advises.

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