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Vivo Energy Rwanda Acquires ENES, GEMECA Petroleum Assets




Vivo Energy Rwanda, the company that markets and distributes Engen-branded fuels and lubricants in Rwanda, has acquired Energy Solution (ENES) and GEMECA petroleum assets.

The move is meant to increase its retail network and provide more convenience to its customers, according to the company’s executives.

With this acquisition, Vivo Energy Rwanda will increase its network by 13 operational service station and three new land banks which plan to be developed within the following 12 months.

Vivo Energy’s retail network will thus increase from 24 to 40 service station sites across the country.

Hans Paulsen, Executive Vice President of Vivo Energy East and South said that adding 13 new sites to their network, and significantly increasing its market share is a milestone that places a lot of value on the experience provided to customers.

In the past year, the company’s focus has been on raising the standard of convenience services, quick shops, car wash and other facilities in order to offer unmatched customer service at Engen-branded service stations.

“We are delighted to bring more stations and more choice to our customers with these newly added service stations,” Paulsen said.

This acquisition builds on the company’s strategy to invest to grow the business. Currently, the ENES and GEMECA branded service stations are being rebranded to Engen.

Paulsen continued: “We targeted the ENES and GEMECA portfolio for the outstanding quality of its staff and assets, its key account customer base, and for the strategic fit with our business. As such, I am very pleased that our Managing Director Saibou Coulibaly and the entire team at Vivo Energy Rwanda have been able to close this deal with both companies alongside our partners.”

Rwanda Development Board (RDB) Deputy CEO, Zephanie Niyonkuru, who was invited at the ceremony to announce the acquisition, said that this private transaction reflects a lot about the current business environment in Rwanda.

He said that this is a “vote of confidence” that Rwanda is a conducive environment for such transactions to take place. “In fact, we are encouraging the business community to take advantage of other existing facilities such as the Rwanda Stock Exchange,” he said, adding that, “when such transactions are going on, we would encourage you to consider cross-listing on the Rwanda Stock Exchange and raise more capital, but also give an opportunity your customers to be shareholders into the company.” “When one stops at the gas station to refuel, they should feel proud that they are spending to support the business they have stake it.”

Meanwhile, this transaction was facilitated by Bank of Kigali (BK).

BK CEO, Dr. Diane Karusisi told Taarifa on Thursday evening that they believe in consolidation because they have an advantage to go into economies of scale, invest in better services, safety and standards as opposed to small companies that struggle to meet the minimum standards.

“We picked interest because they also have a strong network across the globe, they are listed on the South Africa and London Stock Exchanges,” Dr. Karusisi said.

Vivo Energy Rwanda will ensure the smooth transition of this process working together with ENES and GEMECA.

Meanwhile, the company has also launched partnership with Victoria Motors where it will be installing electric charging points at service stations.

This is line with its mission to decrease carbon emission and offer eco-friendly solution solutions to  customers.

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Kagame Advocates For Investment Into Africa’s Agriculture Value Chain



Agriculture and agri-business, especially in Africa, will drive the continent’s attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, President Paul Kagame has said.

“This is especially true as we work to make
up for the time lost to the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said adding that, “Each country and region must chart its own pathway to transformation, but this is also a global challenge that we must address together.”

Kagame was speaking in his capacity as the Chair of the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD, Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee at the official ceremony of the UN Food Systems Summit 2021 Pre-Summit.

In Africa, he continued, 70% of the working-age population is employed in the agricultural sector.

“But our continent’s food markets are often fragmented, and links to food processing and value addition services are sometimes lacking,” the President said.

He noted that digital technologies and biotechnology are playing a greater role in African agriculture, but too many farmers do not yet have reliable access.

And that financial services and products for farmers, including insurance, are generally inadequate.

“As a result, Africa’s food producers do not earn the level of income that they deserve, and they must cope with high levels of economic risk and uncertainty,” Kagame added.

According to the Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme, David Beasley, 41 million people are on the brink of famine today.

“Planet earth, shame on us that we let a single person go to bed hungry,” said.

“We have the expertise to end hunger, but we urgently need the money. This is a global call to action – all hands on deck,” he added.

Transformation is a necessity, according to Presidemt Kagame.

This is why the African Union Development Agency, NEPAD, has worked to facilitate an African Common Position in advance of the Food Systems Summit, in line with the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the SDGs.

Kagame offered two proposition.

Africa will pursue solutions in the following priority tracks:

One, adopt nutritious food policies, establish food reserves, and expand school feeding programs.

Two, support local markets and food supply chains, invest in agro-processing for healthy foods, and expand trade in food products within Africa.

The UN Secretary-General’s special envoy for the UN’ Food Systems Summit, Agnes M. Kaliba,  told participants that the summit is much very powerful than she thought.

“The energy,  and hopes in each room today were palpable!. We need to leverage the incredible power of food to deliver a step change in the SDGs- this is a one in a generation opportunity,” she said.

Myrna Cunningham, speaking for Indiginous People, said that, “Our current Food Systems is based on extreme irresponsibility; We need a food system that is based on rights including Economic empowerement and rights and rights to land.”

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Airtel Rwanda MD Steps Down



It is learnt through reliable sources that Amit Chawla has decided to step down after completing a three-year term as Managing Director for Airtel Rwanda.

Normally, he would have had his contract extended or rotated to another operation in the company’s footprints, but a source told Taarifa that he is leaving the industry to do other businesses.

A new executive will be announced soon, it is said.

Amit, who took over the newly merged entity on August 31, 2018, during which time he oversaw the achievements of several milestones.

Chief among his accomplishments include the consolidation of the brand Airtel after the takeover of Tigo, its people, products and services as well as modernization of the country’s network, a project that saw the expansion of the Airtel Rwanda Network and saw the consolidation of Airtel’s reputation as the internet provider of choice for Mobile Internet in Rwanda.

During his time with the organization as MD, Airtel Rwanda oversaw great changes. Under his leadership, programs grew and services became more easily available to all customers.

Chawla led the company’s pandemic response that saw Airtel Rwanda direct its CSR budget towards governments efforts to tackle the initial response to the Global pandemic.

Under his leadership, Airtel has gained a reputation for launching ground breaking and bold campaigns such as the recent Va Kugiti Campaign that generated a lot of buzz in the Rwandan market.

Chawla, also oversaw the successful roll out of the Airtel Money Branch (AMB) concept, with 71 shops opened in Kigali alone.

The AMB’s concept has completely revolutionized the proximity of a telecom operator to her network of Agents and Freelancers, enabling them to access up to Rwf5 million within walking distance.

Chawla was unavailable for comment.


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First Chinese Electric Car To Reach Europe Disrupts Markets



Chinese automaker Aiways has resorted to livestreaming its all-electric cars to potential clients across the globe.

“The design is very simple and uncluttered,” one of the presenters said as she detailed the U5’s design and capabilities. “The car is modern, and even the mode of distribution is modern.”

“Modern” distribution here means replicating the “live commerce” experience of Aiways’ home country — using livestreaming events to drum up interest and sales online. The company ships its cars through local partners to customers in Europe from its factory in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangxi.

That arrangement helps Aiways keep prices down. The U5 is priced from around 39,000 euros ($46,000), 10% to 15% cheaper than its rivals, according to the company.

Alexander Klose, the Aiways executive vice president in charge of overseas operations says, “We have some challenges, but overall, I would say it has been fairly positive for us, and we have seen a fairly positive recognition.”

Aiways is not alone: A growing number of Chinese EV makers are setting their sights on overseas markets — and they intend to compete on quality as much as price.

BYD, the Chinese automaker backed by U.S. investment guru Warren Buffett, is betting on Norway. It shipped its first 100 European-specification SUVs to dealers there this June, and it plans to deliver 1,500 by the end of the year.

Like Aiways, BYD is keen to take advantage of overseas consumers’ improving perception of Chinese products.

“We are not going to make the same mistakes as other Chinese brands did more than 10 years ago in the European theater. They tried to launch vehicles in a very cheap and rushed way, without being fully prepared,” a BYD spokesperson told Nikkei Asia.

“Most people haven’t heard of BYD until now, so it is more important to do things right than [to] start talking about [sales volume].”

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