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Rwanda Signs €10M Grant Agreement With EU To Support Private Sector

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Rwanda and the European Union signed a financing agreement for € 10 million (about Frw 10.8 billion) to support private sector development and job creation in Rwanda.

This grant is part of the EU’s 460 million package of support to Rwanda for the period going until end of 2020.

The programme will address Rwanda’s needs to create employment opportunities for its youth. Activities will focus on two sub-sectors, namely the digital economy and tourism hospitality, which have the potential for rapid, sustainable private sector growth and job creation.

The programme will strive to ensure equal access for all to the new opportunities in these sectors.

The programme will be implemented through two projects: Market Skills4Tourism, implemented by Rwanda Polytechnic in collaboration with the Tourism Chamber from the Private Sector Federation (PSF), the Skills Office from Rwanda Development Board and Workforce Development Authority, and the Tech Innovation/Incubation Hubs project, implemented by Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA) in collaboration with the ICT chamber from the Private sector federation (PSF).

The Market Skills4Tourism (MS4T) will improve skills for the youth in the Tourism and Hospitality sector in Rwanda.

MS4T will (i) improve institutional and managerial capacity of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) schools and reinforce linkages between TVET schools and Private sector, (ii) improve quality and relevance of the training offer, (iii) increase access to business and professional advisory services to TVET graduates in the Tourism and Hospitality Sector in Rwanda.

The project will focus on forging a dynamic connection between TVET schools and the industry, improving TVET curricula and teaching practices.

The Tech Innovation/Incubation Hubs project will increase digital-based employment opportunities in high potential sectors through innovation/incubation hubs in four secondary cities in Rwanda, namely Rusizi, Rubavu, Nyagatare and Muhanga. The programme will focus on: (i) setting up and equipping innovation/incubation hubs, (ii) incubation for innovative ideas (from ideation stage to expansion stage) through coaching in business development, marketing, legal and financial training; (iii) increasing of access to finance mechanisms for most promising incubated projects.

The project will contribute to support growth of innovative start-ups, which will set off spill over effects across different value chains of the digital ecosystem in Rwanda, hence contributing to their sustainable development and creation of long-term employment.

“The effects of COVID-19 pandemic heavily affected the private sector operations which in turn led to job losses and affected livelihoods. The EU support will contribute to easing this burden through provision of market relevant skills as well enhancing technological innovations” said Dr Uzziel Ndagijimana, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning

“This is particularly more relevant to the current situation where the tourism and hospitality sector has been the most impacted by COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the current crisis has demonstrated that without a strong digital sector, it is difficult to adapt to the new world normal; that is why this programme is so timely to fill the gaps within the digital ecosystem in Rwanda”, said Ambassador Nicola Bellomo, Head of the EU Delegation to Rwanda.

The two projects are expected to make an important contribution to the government’s target of creating 1,500,000 decent jobs by 2024 set in the NST1.

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Most Expensive Home in America To Be Auctioned

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The One mansion of the largest private homes ever built, with a colossal 105,00sq ft of living space will go to the highest bidder tonight during a public auction.

Once valued at $500 million, The One mansion in Bel-Air is being sold for $295 million and will be on the open market until it is auctioned off by Concierge Auctions, an online auction marketplace, from February 28 to March 3.

The home will be sold without reserve, meaning it will sell to the highest bidder. Even if it sells close to the price it’s listed at, it will surely break records.

Currently, billionaire and hedge fund tycoon Ken Griffin’s $238 million New York penthouse in 2019 holds the record as the most expensive U.S. home ever sold.

Developed by Nile Niami, the massive estate took more than 10 years to build and created massive debt for Niami. His development company, Crestlloyd, filed for bankruptcy last year, forcing the home to careen towards auction as part of the bankruptcy proceedings.

However, the home still has about 12 more months of work. The buyer will have to put down nearly $340,000 as a deposit.

The Los Angeles home is one of the largest ever built, and is twice the size of the White House. It spans 105,000 square feet and the property sprawls over 3.8 acres.

Outdoor features include a moat of water on three sides of the home, five pools, a 10,000-square-foot deck and a 400-foot outdoor running track.

The home is more like a personal, private resort than a single-family home. There are a whopping 21 bedrooms, 42 full bathrooms and seven half bathrooms.

Despite its grandiose nature, there is a pared-down, neutral color palette throughout and calming water features.

Within the home, there are custom-curated artworks from artists Mike Fields, Stephen Wilson and glass artist Simoe Cenedese, to name a few. Soaring, 26-foot ceilings make the home feel even larger than it is (if that’s possible), and rooms are oversized and expansive.

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Rwanda-Uganda Full Trading Resumes

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Full trading between Rwanda and Uganda is scheduled to resume on Monday January 31st following Kigali announcement that it had opened locks on its borders shut in March 2019.

“Rwanda has taken note that there is a process to solve issues raised by Rwanda, as well as commitments made by the government of Uganda to address remaining obstacles,” Kigali said in the statement.

Since the border closure Rwanda and Uganda recorded a significant reduction in trade flows and was further worsened by the covid-19 pandemic that struck a year after Rwanda had slammed its doors to the northern neighbour.

Before the border was closed in 2019, Uganda export revenues fetched from trading with Rwanda were valued over U$600million. During 2020 Uganda Exports to Rwanda was US$2.31 Million, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.

President Paul Kagame said in his new year address that Rwanda prospered in the economic front.

“We are beginning the year 2020 after a successful 2019.Our country remained safe as a result of our efforts”.

The Africa Development Bank in its 2019 outlook on Rwanda, projected robust growth prospects even as the standoff with Uganda heightened.

For example, Rwanda and Tanzania signed the standard gauge railway (SGR) deal dubbed, sub-Saharan Africa’s first 570 Km bullet line with Tanzania worth US$2.5 billion.

Also Rwanda by December 2019 signed a U$1.3 billion deal on Bugesera Airport with Qatar.

One of the biggest blows that Uganda suffered in its standoff with Rwanda was the emergence of Tanzania as Rwanda’s new major trading partner.

Uganda exports to Rwanda include; mineral fuels, oils, distillation products ,plastics ,textiles ,cereals , electronics, vehicles, machinery, fish, edible fruits, soaps, cement, lubricants, waxes, candles and an assortment of manufactured articles.

With the border slated for opening on Monday, the gesture is expected to boost  the movement of goods, transport, persons and services and under strict observation of restrictions against covid-19 pandemic.

How Museveni Lost to Kagame in Race For Regional Dominance

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Akabanga Tycoon Diversifies to Petroleum

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Sina Gerard famed for producing the hot oiled pepper ‘akabanga’ has diversified into petroleum products, Taarifa Business desk reports.

Under a new company registered as Sina Gerard Petroleum Ltd, the tycoon’s decision indicates that he is reading from a good business book on diversification strategy.

Diversification is a business development strategy in which a company develops new products and services, or enters new markets, beyond its existing ones.  Companies diversify to achieve greater profitability.

Diversification will never be an easy game, and managers must study their cards carefully. It takes smart players to know when it’s best to raise their bets and when it’s best to fold.

Havard Business review research suggests that if managers consider the following six questions, they can push their thinking still further to reduce the gamble of diversification. Answering the questions will not lead to an easy go-no-go decision, but the exercise can help managers assess the likelihood of success.

The issues the questions raise, and the discussion they provoke, are meant to be coupled with the detailed financial analysis typical of the diversification decision-making process.

Together, these tools can turn a complex and often pressured decision into a more structured and well-reasoned one.

Thus, when managers consider whether or not to diversify, they should ask themselves the following questions:

What can our company do better than any of its competitors in its current market?

Before diversifying, managers must think not about what their company does but about what it does better than its competitors.

What strategic assets do we need in order to succeed in the new market?

To diversify, a company must have all the necessary strategic assets, not just some of them.

Can we catch up to or leapfrog competitors at their own game?

Will diversification break up strategic assets that need to be kept together?

Managers need to ask whether their strategic assets are transportable to the industry they have targeted.

Will we be simply a player in the new market or will we emerge a winner?

What can our company learn by diversifying, and are we sufficiently organized to learn it?

Like good chess players, forward-thinking managers will think two or three moves ahead.

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