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Posted by on in Rwanda


The Auditorium of the formerly renowned National University of Rwanda was chosen as the venue. Within those towers of wisdom, students as well as the public from the surrounding community, gathered to witness as the Southern Province representatives in Miss Rwanda 2014 were about to be selected. The Auditorium had been turned into a wonderfully decorated hall. It was a delightful experience to be there.

Cat walking, elegance, expression, and answering judges’ questions on issues dubbed ‘general knowledge’ were among the selection criterions. Contestants were students from the University itself, and other girls who felt beautiful enough to be part of the race.

Then came the Q&A part, where the beauty queen aspirants’ knowledge, public speaking skills and language literacy were to be tested. The start was painful enough and meant more than just an answer to a judge’s question. The beauty queen’s answer, associated with her level of studies, and the way she expressed herself in a foreign language of her choice made many of us cringe. She answered-I will write it as it was uttered- “Le problem que je veux legrer c’est la mere des enfants qui vont mort avant noeud, la problem que je legre c’est la problem des enfants qui a mort avant noued. » I salute her courage and confidence. It takes an unrivaled level of self-confidence to contest in such pageants, aware of your language literacy, which you know very well are limited.

The above is one of many examples of how poor are language literacy skills that were witnessed in the Miss Rwanda 2014 Auditions. If you want to see more, you ought to watch videos of The Northern, Western and Eastern versions of the Tryouts. Thanks to the Kigali Today Video Journalist who uploaded them.
One cannot find proper words to describe it. But to try, let me borrow words tweeted by a friend, He described it as ‘a touching and painful story’. As someone who has attended some of the auditions, and watched videos from those I didn’t attend, my description of what I saw is: An appalling and throbbing story which involves young confident and stunning girls.

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Posted by on in Energy and Commodities

Rwanda has increased fuel prices by 50 RWF from Tuesday 12 March as announced by the Ministry of trade and industry citing the higher costs on the international market.

In December Rwanda lowered fuel prices  which officials said then  it was due to a reduction in oil prices on the international market. This move is likely to trigger prices rise in almost all major sectors mainly those affected by Transport.

The ministry said that from Tuesday prices for diesel and petrol would be set at a maximum of 1,050 Rwandan francs per litre, up from 1,000 francs in December.

The ministry of trade and industry said the increase was mainly due to the high oil prices escalation on the international market where petroleum products prices increased by an average of 10 percent since January.

Rwanda was spared the worst of soaring inflation and currency weakening in 2011 that hit its African neighbours such as Uganda and Kenya, because of the removal of fuel import duties  that kept food prices down but it is  now being hit by aid suspension by western countries in recent months due to its involvement in Congolese conflict. Its year-on-year rate of urban inflation slowed to 4.79 percent in February from 5.67 percent a month earlier.

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Written by Aime Sindayigaya (edited by Jules Niyibizi)

We often hear that Rwanda is to turn into Africa’s Singapore but we never really question the possibility of this ambition coming to fruition. I recently read two interesting articles that were published in the Economist on the 25th February 2012 “Africa’s Singapore” and another one on the 20th March 2012, “Dangerous Delusions” in which the vision of Rwanda turning into African’s Singapore was discussed. After reading the articles it made me wonder whether the idea of Rwanda becoming Africa’s Singapore is simply a myth or whether it can possibly be achieved.

The first article “Africa’s Singapore” takes notice of what I understood were promising paths for Rwanda to turn into Africa’s Singapore. Curbing corruption, best country to do business, quick registration of a new company and strengthening the property rights were among other factors cited in the article presumably putting Rwanda on its way towards turning into Africa’s Singapore. However, the article noted that there is a scarcity of skilled labour in Rwanda despite the government recruiting western educated members of the Rwandan Diasporas and opening up the labour market to immigrants from neighbouring countries such as Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Singapore also recruited amongst its western educated citizens and attracted immigrants from neighbouring countries. Taxation is another problem for Rwanda, as most of Rwandans cannot afford to pay tax. Domestic infrastructure is substandard, electricity is expensive and it is an ordeal to reach a port making transportation tough for Rwanda.

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Posted by on in Banking & Loans
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Posted by on in Doing Business

I get asked all the time how is it like to do business in Africa and the most business friendly countries on the continen. I will go through the benefits of doing business and the main challenges of doing business on the continent.

Skilled staff.

African countries are not short of labour and opportinuties but finding skilled workers is the main challenge you will have to deal with for your business to be successful. while it true highly educated people are available, they do lack practical management experience. For this reason some high profile companies opt for employing expatriates as an alternative option but this by far this the best solution. Why? I hear you ask!  Expatriate personnel find the living conditions in many African countries difficult. Also by employing foreign personnel, your company will slow down the skills transfer process. Expatriates also have language barriers in several African countries.

Finding local consumers

For your venture to be successful, you need to find out your targeted local customers and how to reach them. Africa is a large continent with as many as 53 countries. It is therefore challenging to find the right range of customers for your products.

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