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Turn Your Farm Into Tourism Hotspot

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In other parts of the world, Rural and Agri-tourism have remarkably increased into importance for many world’s economies- and Rwanda may also want to take a shot at it.

Agritourism, as a form of individual relaxation, satisfies the needs of various groups of the middle class.

At the end of March, Rwanda Development Board organised a two-day training on the development of agro-based tourism products with industry stakeholders in a bid to diversify the sector’s product offerings.

For Rwandans that may have vast land on which to conduct agriculture activities, can embrace this new cluster of agri-tourism and develop required products.

The products and services assigned to Real agri-tourism can comprise of five groups including; observation of agricultural production process, including plant production, animal production and some processing, including guided or individual farm (ranch) tours.

They also include; real participation in the process of plant production, animal production and processing (e.g. help in cow milking, hay making, etc.), animal demonstrations or shows, including cow milking, sheep shearing, angora rabbit shearing, stock selling, on-farm signed walking trails; direct contact with domestic animals or the nature of farms in different kinds of petting-zoo or safaris.

On March 31, RDB organised a training on development of agro-based tourism products with industry stakeholders to diversify the sector’s product offerings.

Rural and agri-catering businesses (gastronomy)

Rural and agri-catering are an integral part of agri-tourism. Tourist staying temporarily or periodically in a farm have to buy at least some meals.

They can buy their meals in restaurants, make their own meals or buy catering services offered by agri- -tourism farms or other rural tourism enterprises.

There is a great variety of agri-catering services in agri-tourism and rural tourism, however there only three groups are distinguished within that cluster.

The variety is connected with source of food products, number and time of meals, places of serving meals.

Foods products may come partly from an agri-tourism farm own production or fully be purchased outside the farm.

Serving own food products farms can increase their income. One can divide meals in various ways and by three criteria; for example, by the time of serving meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea, supper), by the place of served meals (in the dinning room or in the kitchen, outside home, in restaurants, etc.), or by feeding patterns (regional kitchen, national kitchen, every-day meals and holiday meals, etc.).

The idea of rural and agri-tourism lies in varieties that make the meals very special and different from the meals served by other agri-tourism farms. Each meal may be identified as an individual variant of an agri-tourism product. The unlimited possibility of meals’ differentiation causes the farms can be different from each other.

Children enjoy a tractor ride on the farm. Such an experience would be more relaxing and memorable

Rural and agri-accommodation services

Distinguishing of the rural and agri accommodation cluster is justified by its specific nature. All services and products of the cluster can be divided into six groups.

Rural and agri-accommodation services comprise various kinds of accommodation in rural areas. Homestead accommodation, including farm-stays, country-stays, rural home- -stays, and rural B&B seem to be the most common and the most tied with countryside and rurality.

These accommodation categories are quite specific for rural and agritourism, however the differences between them are very slight.

B&B in usual is an “umbrella term” for variety of hosted accommodation that includes a bed for the night and a breakfast in the morning. There are also some specific for agri-tourism forms of accommodation, e.g. sleeping on the hay, camping barns or bunkhouses.

With this literature on hand, Rwandan entrepreneurs may begin looking at farming as an opportunity for tourism and thus be able to convince financiers just in case they want hit the road.

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Business

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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Business

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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