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PPC Africa Sustainability Model: CIMERWA’s Corporate Social Investment




One of the most prominent trends amongst corporates in recent years is the growing focus on Corporate Social Investment (CSI).

Given the political, economic, social, and environmental crises that the world at large is confronting, corporates have a role to play in contributing to the socio-economic well-being of the communities they operate in.

Among the businesses impacting the community it operates in is Rwanda’s leading and only integrated cement manufacturer for over three decades, CIMERWA Plc. 

CIMERWA Plc is the only cement company in Rwanda that mines raw materials, produces clinker concentrate, packs, and sells cement for general and civil construction.

Our production plant in Bugarama, Rusizi District near the South-Western border of Rwanda manufactures cement that enables us to serve the Rwanda market and neighbouring countries such as DRC and Burundi.

Established in 1982, CIMERWA Plc has actively contributed to the Rwandan market and is collaborating with communities, making a positive impact through its sustainability model.

2020 marked a milestone for us as CIMERWA; following approval by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE), our shares were listed publicly. 

CIMERWA Plc became the second company to list by introduction, and the tenth to be listed on the Main Investment Market Segment of the RSE.

The 344,575,560 shares (49% of 703,219,520 total shares) worth about Rwf 41 billion (US$41 million) are available for trading to the investor community at Rwf 120 per share.

“Strengthening Rwanda is a shared responsibility. We are cognizant of this fact and have a formula that works with a strong team, experienced, and committed Board. We have a resilient business model and supportive stakeholders.

As we continue in our journey, we are more than ready to continue supplying our SIMA NYARWANDA and stay on the course of delivering our business strategy,” says Albert Sigei CIMERWA Plc CEO.

CIMERWA Plc is fully focused on the journey of strengthening Rwanda and is laying a strong foundation for future generations while improving the livelihoods of Rwanda’s people.

We are committed to building strong partnerships with leaders and members of the local community, and CSI is ingrained in the way we do business.

CIMERWA Plc has established a range of CSI guided by our five key strategic pillars of Education, Health, Enterprise Development (with a special focus on women and youth), Environmental protection, and Sustainable Infrastructure Development.

Our CSI works in tandem with the overall business strategy, maximizing value for the company without sacrificing serving Rwanda’s communities.

Every social investment seeks to add value that is relevant to the affected stakeholders and promote community health.

Our investments protect and preserve local cultural heritage, are realistic, sustainable, and maintainable in the long run, and they tangibly bridge socio-economic gaps.

According to the Human Development report published by UNDP, Rwanda’s Human Development Index (HDI) value in 2019 was 0.543- putting the country in the low human development category. It is ranked 160 out of 189 countries and territories. 

UNDP describes HDI as a “summary measure of average achievement in key dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, being knowledgeable and having a decent standard of living.”

To improve the lives of those in communities across Rwanda, CIMERWA Plc has invested over Rwf 118,634, 711 towards CSI projects across our five key pillars since 2020.

This effort is part of our contribution to complement the good work being done by the Government through the country’s vision 2050.

CIMERWA Plc’s direct and indirect contributions are supporting the reconstruction of the local economy. 

Rwanda’s construction sector remains one of the four key sectors that propel the country towards the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1), which aims to lay the foundation for sustained growth and transformation for the future with the private sector’s facilitation, maximizing the contribution to Rwanda’s development.

In response to the exceptional circumstances presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, CIMERWA Plc implemented numerous initiatives. 

The company rose to the challenge by putting measures in place to safeguard the community it operates in.

This includes provision of face masks to employees and surrounding community members and launching of extensive Covid-19 awareness campaign in different markets surrounding the CIMERWA plant.

In addition, the CIMERWA Plc team also made a contribution towards the Covid-19 fund and assisted the Ministry of Health by facilitating screening and testing of all CIMERWA Plc staff and people in surrounding communities. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of effective governance in the water and sanitation sector.

During the pandemic, CIMERWA Plc has understood the challenge of striving to be an effective line of defence while facing threats on multiple fronts to keep water flowing.

We supported the construction of six (6) automated handwashing stations in the District of Rusizi, and the provision of clean tap water to surrounding homesteads. 

With the operation of the CIMERWA Plc Water Treatment Plant, we continue to contribute to the health and economic development of Rwanda. 

The water treatment plant, which has a capacity of 2,60 m3 per day, supplies clean water to more than 3,500 families in the neighbouring villages through company-owned pipelines. This is an important boost to sanitation and health in the area.

Another significant project that in improving the health of communities is the CIMERWA Factory Clinic, established at the plant premises in 1984. 

It comprises a pharmacy, a 14-bed facility, and a laboratory manned by trained staff. 

In addition to being open to the staff of the plant and their dependents, the health centre is available to the local population who pay a subsidized consultation fee.

The Health Centre records 1,200-1,500 consultations per month. Approximately 70% of the patients are local people, and only 30% are CIMERWA Plc employees and their dependents.

 Monthly reports of check-ups at the Clinic are reported to the Government with close collaboration with the Ministry of Health. 

Immunization is also carried out at the health centre, with vaccines provided by the relevant authorities. 

In line with the Government of Rwanda’s priority to provide safe education for all, CIMERWA Plc supplied cement to the Ministry of Education’s school expansion project where over 22,000 classrooms were built nationwide over a short span of 3 months.

It also donated Rfw20M to supplement the Government budget in this program. 

Additionally, CIMERWA Plc constructed and supports the L’Educateur school that caters to more than 500 students.

CIMERWA Plc’s also works to encourage entrepreneurship and SME development by establishing and supporting small business empowerment programs.

The Government of Rwanda has successfully created an institutional framework which is conducive to the growth of entrepreneurship.

A key example of our contribution is the establishment and support of a tailoring co-operative as well the establishment of the Muganza local produce trading market.

PPC Africa, Southern Africa’s leading cement manufacturer is the largest CIMERWA Shareholder with a 51% stake. CIMERWA Plc has strategically mirrored and aligned with PPC Africa’s Pan-African message. 

“As PPC Africa we continue to thrive guided by our purpose to empower people so they can experience a better quality of life. 

This purpose has driven integrated thinking across the group’s operations which also extends to our CSI. We’re all responsible for sustaining our communities and as a group we aim to assist, benefit and empower marginalised individuals and communities, using a strong developmental approach that utilises company resources for the benefit of individuals and communities,” says Mokate Ramafoko, Managing Director PPC International.

PPC has not only invested in the CIMERWA business, but has been instrumental in providing technical support and expertise, as well as providing further on-the-job training to our local employees.

PPC has been in the cement business for more than 125 years and is a public listed company on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. 

PPC Africa is a leading provider of building materials and solutions, including high-quality and consistent cement, aggregates, metallurgical-grade lime, burnt dolomite, limestone, ready-mix, and fly ash. 

Currently, it has 11 cement factories operating across the continent, the company has an annual production capacity of approximately 11,6 million tonnes of cement products. Headquartered in South Africa, it also operates in Rwanda, Botswana, DRC, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe.

More than ever, PPC Africa is investing in ethical and sustainable operations. 

It values its sustainable contribution to the growth and development of the communities that it operates in.

As we continue the journey to sustainably contribute to the growth and development of the communities that are part of PPC Africa’s footprint, our upcoming feature explores our activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Read more about PPC’s sustainability efforts, and learn how we are creating a better life for our stakeholders here:

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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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