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Rwanda, DPWorld Launch Global E-commerce Platform For Rwandan Products

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Rwanda Development Board, (RDB) and Dubai Ports World (DP World) have launched a new global e-commerce platform, www.dubuy.com, that will market Rwandan products to the global market place.

The launch comes after RDB and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in December, 2020 to launch the new global B2B and B2C e-commerce platform to make it easier for Rwandan businesses to engage in international trade.

Dubai Ports World is an Emirati multinational logistics company based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It specialises in cargo logistics, port terminal operations, maritime services and free trade zones.

Rwanda now becomes DP World’s hub for expanding e-commerce across the East Africa Community and beyond. Rwandan businesses will also benefit from broader DP World services and investment that will help to facilitate and develop trade.

This includes the promotion of Rwandan exports of coffee, tea, and horticulture on Dubuy.com, modernising of Rwanda’s supply chain logistics including in rural areas, and access to digital tools to help businesses save money and expand their reach to local, regional, and global markets.

“We have robust infrastructure to support logistics in Rwanda and we are committed to reducing the cost of logistics, enabling Rwanda to become a regional logistics hub,” Summit Bhardwaj, CEO of DP World Rwanda, said during the launch that was held virtually on Wednesday morning March 3, 2021 between Rwandan officials and DP World Executives.  

RDB Deputy CEO, Zephanie Niyonkuru and Rwanda’s Ambassador to the UAE, Emanuel Hategeka, were part of the launch.

Niyonkuru said that Dubuy.com is a great addition to Rwanda’s local and regional trade activities and as a country promoting the manufacturing of products for export. “We believe it will help us quicken the process of connecting buyers and sellers,” he said. “The real work has now started and we need to make sure that many companies sign up and access global markets. We also hope that through the platform, we’ll be able to reduce the overall cost of trade.”

Ambassador Hategeka who has been instrumental in securing this partnership said that, “We are honored that Rwanda is the first country of launch for http://dubuy.com in the region. E-commerce platforms like this are needed now more than ever before as we respond to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

This launch follows also another development where Rwanda’s products are now listed on the most popular e-commerce platforms in Singapore such as Red Mart and Shopee Singapore as well as s major Singapore’s largest grocery retail shops.

In January, this year, the on-going Campaign to promote Rwandan Coffee and other products in Japan, Ambassador Ernest Rwamucyo met with Yoshiaki Kawashima, President, Mi Cafeto, and Special Advisor to JICA on Coffee Value Chain Development Project to explore how more coffee could be accessed in Japan.

Sales of Rwandan coffee in China via online platforms belonging to China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba increased by 400 percent in 2020, according to Alibaba.

Amb. James Kimonyo, Rwandan envoy to China (centre) with Xueli Cherie, a Chinese online influencer, and Sam Abikunda, Commercial Attaché at the embassy during a live streaming promotion event in China. / Photo: Courtesy.

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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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400K Coffee Farmers To Adopt Cashless System

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About 400,000 coffee farmers in Rwanda are being targeted to embrace a cashless payment system facilitated by Bank of Kigali.

On Friday, Bank of Kigali through IKOFI integration with Smart Kungahara System (SKS) said it expected to serve more than 300 coffee washing stations, with a target market size of more than 400,000 coffee farmers.

“Through our partnership with RWACOF, we enabled coffee farmers to embrace cashless means of payment. We believe in digital transformation for everybody including farmers. These telephones will significantly help famers to adopt a more digital lifestyle,”said ⁦⁦Diane Karusisi the CEO Bank of Kigali.

According to BK, currently, 1,767 agro dealers and 263,691 farmers are active IKOFI wallet users benefiting from the service by digitally paying for their agro-inputs through mobile phones, conveniently paying for other services such as Irembo, RRA, WASAC, all done through *334*2#.

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