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Rwandan Coffee Sells Out In Seconds At Electronic World Trade Platform Livestream Event In China




Rwandan coffee continues to gain popularity in China as over 3,000 bags of coffee were sold out in less than a minute at an online live streaming event held through the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) on Thursday, May 14.

The eWTP was first launched in Rwanda by the Government of Rwanda and Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba Group in October 2018 to offer African businesses easier access to new markets through simple and straightforward procedures.

The platform is also being used to drive sales for global brands impacted by the #COVID-19 pandemic.

The livestream event saw Rwandan brand, Gorilla Coffee, trade all of its stock, through Alibaba’s Tmall cross border e-commerce store, highlighting the impact technology has in disrupting global supply chains.

David Ngarambe, the Chief Executive Officer of Gorilla’s Coffee said, “Our coffee sales plunged during the coronavirus pandemic as supply chains were ruptured and cafés and hotels were forced to close their doors.”

He said a sharp drop in flights worldwide also caused transportation costs of Rwandan coffee to more than double.

“Thanks to support from the eWTP Gorilla’s Coffee was able to not only reach large swathes of consumers but also generated enough sales to qualify for more reasonable freight rates,” he added.

Eric Jing, Alibaba Group Director and Executive Chairman of Ant Group said they want to support SMEs worldwide to recover from the outbreak, resume production and secure orders in their times of need with digital technologies.

“Through today’s livestream, we look forward to reopening global trade, starting with helping businesses reopen,” he said.

Also in attendance during the livestream, Vera Songwe, the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of Economic Commission for Africa said that at a time when the world is closing down, it is particularly important that the world continues with trade because that’s the only way to build a prosperous world and a prosperous Africa.

“We believe that with the opening up of the Electronic World Trade Platform to more countries of the continent, we can do more together to ensure that no one is left behind from the Covid-19 crisis,” he explained.

Rwanda’s Ambassador to China, H.E. James Kimonyo thanked the Government of the People’s Republic of China for the existing good cooperation with Rwanda in e-commerce, and Alibaba Group in particular for the eWTP partnership which has so far yielded good results, especially in the coffee sector where Rwandan farmers are able to sell value added products without going through middlemen, thus making more profits. “Because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the world needs e-commerce more than ever before and Rwanda looks forward to continued fruitful partnerships with Alibaba Group,” he said.

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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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