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One & Only Nyungwe House Ranked 5-Star In RDB Tourism And Hospitality Establishments Grading

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Fifty seven hospitality establishments have been awarded between 1 (one) to 5 (five) stars by RDB (Rwanda Development Board) during the 2018 Hospitality Grading ceremony today.

The 1-5 grading system helps to differentiate the quality of services that establishments render to their clientele.

The criteria used to grade the establishments range from their location, site and environment, architectural design and features, capacity, reception area, information services, hours of service, decor, amenities and accessories and regulation of temperature among others as per the ‘East African Criteria for Standardization of Hotels, Restaurants and other Tourist Accommodation Facilities’.

The criteria stipulates the standards that should be met for any accommodation establishment to be one, two, three, four or five star and are mandatory for any prospective property developer in the accommodation sector in all EAC member states.

The only facility awarded a five-star rating is One & Only Nyungwe House in the Nyungwe Forest National Park.

This mountain lodge offers a total of 22 Luxury Rooms which are in six wooden villas.

In addition to this room type, the Inn also offers two exclusive and spacious Presidential Suites which are in separate villas.

One of the Presidential Suites features a Jacuzzi.

The rooms are well appointed with a modern design and provide private decks from where magnificent vistas over the forest terrain can be admired.

The new 5-Star facility joins three other hotels; the Serena Hotel, Radisson Blu Kigali and Kigali Marriott Hotel according to 2017 rankings.

Sabyinyo Silver Back, Gorilla Golf Hotel, La Palisse Nyamata, Ubumwe Grand Hotel, Lemigo Hotel andHotel des Mille Collines are 4-Stars of 2017.

The new 4-Stars are High Ground Villa and apartments in Kigali city, Classic Lodge and Fatima Lodge in Musanze, Epic Hotel & Suites in Nyagatare and Moriah Hill Resort in Karongi Districts.

Ninteen hotels received three-star category, 26 fell into the two-star category while six were ranked as one-star facilities.

While presiding over the ceremony, Local Government Minister, Prof. Anastase Shyaka said the establishment and compliance with these standards is very important for Rwanda as a tourist destination in order to sustain a competitive advantage and attract more tourists.

“Tourism plays a fundamental role in Rwanda’s economy and is the leading foreign exchange earner. In 2017, tourism generated about US$ 438 million in revenues, and we aim to double the revenues from the sector to US$ 800 million by 2024. This will be done through provision of consistent and high quality services.

Emmanuel Hategeka, the RDB Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer said that as Rwanda increases the number of four to five star category of hospitality establishments, it is a good sign of how the destination has grown and ensures our visitors of the quality in accommodation as well food and beverage services.

“Today we have an opportunity to award a five star to one establishment outside Kigali, which is an indication of Rwanda’s commitment to spread tourism activities across the country.”

He added that in the past, five star establishments were only found in Kigali, the capital city but we are striving to make sure that facilities in other cities of the country also offer high quality services.

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Airtel Rwanda Partners With Canal+ To Ease Payment Of Subscription Fees Via Airtel Money

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Airtel Rwanda and Canal+ Rwanda have launched a partnership, enabling customers to easily make subscription payments.

The partnership announced at a joint press conference today provides clients of both CANAL+ and Airtel a simpler, instant and secure payments method using Airtel Money.

CANAL+ Rwanda is the subsidiary of CANAL+INTERNATIONAL, TV operator by satellite in Africa and present in over  25 African countries.

CANAL+ Rwanda have a trilingual package with 200 channels in French, Kinyarwanda and English and it offers accessible bouquet starting from 5,000 Francs with a distribution network throughout the country.

Speaking at the launch event, Airtel Rwanda Managing Director, Mr. Emmanuel Hamez said “We are delighted to launch this new service on our Airtel Money platform we welcome all Canal+ customers to enjoy the convenience and simplicity offered by Airtel Money both on the USSD as well as in the My Airtel App”.

The new service that was launched today comes on the heels of an ongoing Airtel Money campaign called Free P2P which enables all Airtel Money customers to send and receive any amount of money for FREE.

“Free P2P or Ohereza Amafaranga Ku Buntu was launched in June 2021 saw Airtel scrap all charges to send and receive money between customers, a major differentiator that positions Airtel Money to become the provider of choice when it comes to payment of good and services such Canal+ that we have launched today” added Hamez.

Canal+ Rwanda’s Managing Director, Madam Sophie TCHATCHOUA said “It gives me great pleasure to allow Canal+ client to renew their subscription with Airtel Money. The successful integration of our mutual services makes life easier for our beloved customers who can now recharge and seamlessly have their images back and all this can be done from the comfort of their home”.

To renew your subscription via Airtel Money, customers can simply dial the direct short code string *500*4*3*2*4*1# on either their smartphone on feature phone, input their 14 Digit of their decoder  number, select their preferred bouquet and make the payment which is recognized by the Canal+ billing system instantly.

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

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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”

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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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