Rwanda develops e-commerce to reduce trade deficit

Published on :

In Rwanda, the government is banking on e-commerce to boost exports and reduce the country’s trade deficit. Kigali was indeed the first African “hub” of the Chinese giant Alibaba, which opened its first e-commerce platform in Africa in 2018 (a second was opened last year in Ethiopia). Report from our correspondent in Kigali, in the Gorilla coffee roasting plant, one of the emblematic coffee brands in Rwanda.

In the sheds of Gorilla Coffee, a huge roasting machine tirelessly sucks up thousands of still green beans harvested by small Rwandan farmers. Emmanuel Makuza, plant manager: “ Here we roast 100% Arabica coffee from the high altitude. »

After packaging, 40% of production will be sold on the Rwandan market, 60% to the United States, Europe, but also China, since the signing in 2018 of a partnership between the e-giant. Alibaba trade and the Rwandan government, which fully owns Gorilla Coffee.

David Ngarambe, general manager of the company assures that in two years, its exports to China have increased by 200%. But he categorically refuses to quantify the volume of sales, except for direct and online marketing operations organized by Alibaba.

« We did this last January with the help of Alibaba and in twenty minutes, 2 000 packets of coffee were sold. Then Alibaba ran another live promotion campaign in May 2020 and there we sold 3 000 packs of coffee in one second. »


On the ground floor, Marianne has her eyes riveted on her computer screen, and her ears glued to the telephone. It is she who follows exports by e-commerce.

« The way we work with Alibaba is that we ship the coffee to China to a distributor who works with Alibaba. Once the orders are placed on the site, the distributor orders coffee from us and then distributes it in China. It really trained me in international market standards. »

To date, only three Rwandan coffee brands, as well as chili, are available on Alibaba. But this is just the start, says Diane Sayinzoga, director of exports at the Rwanda Development Board, a government institution.

« In 2 years, between 8 and 10 tons of Rwandan coffee were exported via Alibaba. You see, the volumes are still small because we’re in a retail model, but we want to move to a wholesaler or business system, to increase the volumes. »

The partnership also includes an educational component: 40 young Rwandans are currently studying at Alibaba Business School.


“Serious concern”: Russia is sending soldiers to Central Africa

“Serious concern”
Russia sends soldiers to Central Africa

In the Central African Republic, the President and Parliament will be elected on Sunday. A fallen ex-head of state is not allowed to run after a judgment. The government accuses him of attempting a coup and asks Russia for protection. The situation is tense.

Russia and Rwanda sent hundreds of soldiers to the Central African Republic ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for Sunday. News from the Central African Republic caused “serious concern,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. A march of armed rebels on the capital Bangui was stopped according to UN information. Armed groups control two thirds of the country, around a quarter of the 4.7 million inhabitants are on the run. “We are of course monitoring and analyzing the situation,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Peskov. However, he did not comment on the troop transfer reported by Bangui.

The government in Bangui accuses former head of state François Bozizé of planning a coup. Bozizé denied this allegation. According to the government, Bozizé is said to have been with militia fighters who had marched on Bangui last. Russia has sent several hundred soldiers and heavy military equipment, said Central African government spokesman Ange Maxime Kazagui. The Rwandan troops are already involved in fighting. Private Russian security firms have also been deployed to protect President Faustin Archange Touadéra, who is running for re-election.

UN mission reports stable situation

The French presidential office said that the elections should be held according to plan to avoid a period of “uncertainty”. The French Presidential Office did not receive any response on the dispatch of troops from Russia and Rwanda. Russia has been heavily involved in the exchange for gold and diamond concessions in the former French colony of Central Africa since 2018.

The day before, a spokesman for the UN peacekeeping mission Minusca in Central Africa announced that the situation was “under control”. The rebel groups had left the city of Yaloke, which is on one of the routes towards Bangui. They also backed away in two other areas.

The Minusca sent blue helmets to the city of Mbaiki, where there was fighting on Saturday to stop the advance of the rebels, the Minusca spokesman said. Three of the largest Central African militias were on Friday on roads that are essential for the supply of the capital. Therefore, the government feared a blockade in Bangui. The three rebel groups also announced that they had joined forces.

Court bans ex-president’s candidacy

The rebel groups accuse President Touadéra of wanting to manipulate the elections. A complex conflict has been smoldering in the Central African Republic since a civil war. The Christian President Bozizé was overthrown in 2013 by the predominantly Muslim rebel group the Séléka. Thousands of people have been killed in fighting in recent years.

Bozizé returned from exile a year ago. He actually wanted to compete against Touadéra in a week’s election and was considered its main competitor. The constitutional court forbade his candidacy. As a reason, the judges cited UN sanctions that had been imposed on Bozizé for allegedly supporting militias. Bozizé assured him that he accepted the judgment.


“Orphan words of the Tutsi genocide”, by historian Hélène Dumas

Without heaven or earth. Orphan words of the Tutsi genocide (1994-2006)

of Hélène Dumas

The Discovery, 308 p., € 19

“The Hutus have done us such harm that it cannot be described. I cannot forget an old woman who was our neighbor: they had cut her into pieces and, while breathing out, she asked for water from a neighbor who was passing by (a Hutu woman); she, instead of giving him water, she pissed in her mouth. ” These words, unfiltered, are those of a young survivor of the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994.

→ MAINTENANCE. Philippe Sands: “The toxic combination of nationalism and the pandemic is fueling the return of old demons”

Supervised by an association of survivors, a hundred orphans from the east of the country, who were between 8 and 12 years old in April 1994, told their story. These texts were put away, forgotten and then discovered by chance in Kigali by historian Hélène Dumas, in 2016. Accompanied by two Rwandans, she translated them, and organized them into three scansions: life before, during and after the genocide.

The hideous part of humanity

They tell the horror at the height of children, recreate the terrible reality of the extermination of Tutsis in Rwanda. They make you smell the smells, hear the sounds, see the wounds, the killings, the survival strategies, the impossible resilience. Reading is grueling, but the experience is not always spectacular and harsh. Thus, the description of the faces of the fathers when they learn of the attack on President Habyarimana, which announces the time of terror.

→ ARCHIVES. In Rwanda a wound still open. Twenty years later, the genocide continues to haunt Rwandans

The horror is also averted by examples of rescues. All these orphans have experienced the hideous part of our humanity, but some have seen a bright side. At the conclusion of her account, a young girl writes: “I beg you, help me visit this lady who hid me, who brought me abroad, who brought me back alive. “


Emmanuel Macron “hopes” to go to Rwanda in 2021

French President Emmanuel Macron says ” hope “ to surrender “In 2021” in Rwanda, a country with which relations have warmed in recent years after decades of tension over France’s controversial role in the 1994 genocide, in an interview with Young Africa.

Asked whether he was considering a trip to Kigali, the Rwandan capital, the French president replied: “I hope to go to Rwanda in 2021.”

→ READ. Genocide in Rwanda: new controversy around the Duclert commission

An anti-French sentiment fueled by Russia and Turkey

Still in the same interview, Emmanuel Macron denounced the “Strategy” led by Russia and Turkey to fuel anti-French sentiment in Africa by playing “On post-colonial resentment”.

“There is a strategy at work, sometimes led by African leaders, but above all by foreign powers, such as Russia or Turkey, who play on post-colonial resentment”, declares the head of state. “We must not be naive: many of those who give voice, who make videos, who are present in the French-speaking media are stipulated by Russia or Turkey”, according to the French president.

Sahel: “With the terrorists, we do not discuss”

French President Emmanuel Macron hammered home the complete opposition of France, militarily engaged in the Sahel, to any negotiations with the jihadists, while this subject is debated in the region, especially in Mali. “With terrorists, we don’t argue. We fight ”, he said.

Algeria: Abdelmadjid Tebboune is “courageous”

Emmanuel Macron said he would do ” all “ for “Help” Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, who is ” courageous “.

“Everything must be done for this transition to be successful. Africa cannot succeed without Algeria succeeding ”, according to the French president.

Guinea: “The situation is serious”

“The situation is serious in Guinea”, estimated Emmanuel Macron, who regrets that President Alpha Condé, reelected in October, “Organized a referendum and a change of the Constitution only to be able to keep power”.

“I think the situation is serious in Guinea for its youth, for its democratic vitality and for its progress”, regrets the Head of State, while President Condé was re-elected for a third consecutive term at the age of 82.


Rwandan Moïse Mugisha wins 20th Chantal Biya Grand Prix

The 20th edition of the Chantal Biya Grand Prix ended this Sunday, November 22 in the afternoon in Yaoundé, Cameroon, with the final victory of Rwandan Moïse Mugisha. The 23-year-old rider wore the yellow jersey during all five stages of the competition. The Burkinabè Paul Daumont distinguished himself by winning two stages, including the last of 166 kilometers between Sangmélima and the capital. Moïse Mugisha succeeds the Algerian Azzedine Lagab, winner in 2019. He is also the first Rwandan to win the Grand Prix Chantal Biya. This edition was the first major race organized in Africa since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Participants and observers consider that it was held in good conditions despite this context. If all goes as planned, the Tour of Cameroon will be held in May 2021.


Despite Corona: Where vacation in distant countries is currently possible

Dhe worldwide travel warning has long since been lifted. However, due to the ongoing corona pandemic and the associated restrictions in international travel, people are still warned or strongly advised against traveling to many countries.

But there are long-term destinations where vacation is possible again. Travelers should bear in mind that both the pandemic and the respective entry requirements can change at short notice. We present a selection:

Indian Ocean: Beach Vacation and Scuba Diving

Holidays on paradisiacal islands, isolated from the hustle and bustle of the world – that is quite possible in the Indian Ocean. For example, TUI announced that it would be flying holidaymakers from Frankfurt to the Maldives again from October 27, despite the travel warning, in cooperation with Lufthansa. 80 percent of the TUI hotel offer in the island state can currently be booked.

As the Federal Foreign Office writes, travelers must be able to present a negative corona test in English upon entry. The smear should be taken a maximum of 72 hours before departure. An electronic entry declaration is mandatory.

Holidays in the Seychelles are possible – even if the German Foreign Office advises against traveling there

Quelle: Getty Images/Cultura RF/Felix Behnke

A comparable regulation also applies to the Seychelles, which can also be visited. There is also no travel warning for this country, the Federal Foreign Office only advises against tourist travel.

The French overseas territory of La Réunion can still be visited – however, the German government has issued a travel warning here. And in Mauritius tourists are allowed to enter again who stay in the country for at least 14 days.

Africa: Safari in the lonely savannah

Several African countries can currently be visited and are also offered by special tour operators. Chameleon Travel, for example, currently brings small groups to Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Diamir Erlebnisreisen is already bringing travelers to Tanzania, Kenya, Namibia, Uganda and Rwanda. Zambia will also be carried out and will take place, said Diamir.

The countries mentioned are classic safari destinations, travelers mostly move in nature and away from the crowds. Beach holidays are popular on the island of Zanzibar, which is part of Tanzania.

There is currently no travel warning for Namibia, Uganda and Rwanda, but there is for Tanzania and Kenya. The popular travel destination South Africa currently does not allow tourist entry from Germany, there is also a travel warning.

Central America and the Caribbean: A little bit of Cuba

The tour operators FTI and Alltours have already announced that they will be offering trips to the island of Cuba again in winter. Condor plans to fly to Varadero from Frankfurt and Düsseldorf on October 31.

For the time being, Varadero is the only place in Cuba that, according to the Foreign Office, can be visited again. Travelers are considerably restricted in their freedom of movement, and visits to the main island are not possible.

Other Caribbean countries also allow foreign travelers to enter the country again under certain conditions, such as Barbados or the Dominican Republic. But nothing works without a negative corona test. And air traffic is only slowly starting up again.

also read

A flight attendant demonstrates the safety measures to protect against infection with Corona

In Central America, for example, Costa Rica has reopened to international tourists. Chameleon Reisen also names the country as one of the long-term destinations that are currently being offered again. Proof of a negative corona test is also required here.

What vacationers need to know before traveling

The travel options and entry requirements can change at any time in view of the development of the pandemic. Holidaymakers who are drawn into the distance should therefore inform themselves closely about their travel destination and the required documents for entry, such as the Corona test certificate.

also read

Corona test center at Dresden Airport

The travel and safety information from the Federal Foreign Office can help with your research. A careful search for suitable flights is also required.

Also important: Just because a trip is feasible again does not mean that it is sensible or risk-free. Vacationers should examine the imponderables carefully and ask themselves whether their wanderlust is really that great.

For example, many international travel health insurances do not pay if a travel warning is issued for a country. And there may be extensive regulatory restrictions on site.

also read

Caution travel warning: Insurance coverage abroad at risk

In principle, booking through a German tour operator is recommended. He is obliged to bring his guests in the crisis country back to Germany on his own account.

Whether the USA and Canada, Thailand and Indonesia or Australia and New Zealand: Many popular long-haul travel destinations are still closed to foreign tourists for an indefinite period of time.

The information is as of October 26, 2020. The travel and safety information from the Federal Foreign Office provides information on the above-mentioned countries and is updated regularly.

“The order of the day for all of us is: reduce contacts”

The number of new corona infections continues to rise sharply. Chancellor Merkel therefore again appeals to the Germans to refrain from unnecessary trips and celebrations. See the current podcast here.


Rwanda: business tourism at half mast

Published on : Modified :

Rwandan economic growth put in difficulty by the coronavirus crisis. The service sector, on which the country has relied for its development, is very affected. For several years now, Kigali has been aiming to become a regional conference “hub”. But the 70 or so events planned for Kigali this year have been postponed, representing a shortfall of 80 million euros for the country’s economy for the year 2020.

A few months ago, Jean Marie Fizi was at the head of a small tourist agency. Today, he washes cars in private homes. ” I had to find something else to do, because tourism is dead for the moment. So I moved on to cleaning. »

As Rwanda prepared to host, last June, the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit and its 10,000 delegates and diplomats, Jean-Marie decided to invest 50,000 euros in importing a new vehicle to transport visitors to the country, but the pandemic has passed that way, and the summit has been postponed until next year. ” For this car, I had taken out a loan from the bank. So I started the other company so that I could at least pay the bank back. Otherwise, we can grab whatever I have. »

Since the rise of the city of Kigali as a conference destination around 2017, the sector has generated $ 276 million according to government figures. Today, it is at a standstill, but Nelly Mukazayire, president of the Rwandan Conference Bureau, is banking on a rapid recovery. ” We had planned to make $ 80 million this year, but in the end we did not earn it. But the good news is that the majority of the planned events have been pushed back to 2021. So even if that money wasn’t generated this year, it will be next year. »

In the meantime, the government is banking on local tourism and has launched a stimulus fund intended to help the businesses most affected by the crisis. Still, growth forecasts are down. Samba Mbaye, IMF representative in Kigali. ” Before Covid-19, Rwanda was experiencing very strong growth. In 2019, he was even in the World Top 5. Before the crisis, we had forecast 8% growth for 2020. In June, our forecast fell to 2%. Today, we are reviewing the figures and it seems that we are heading below the 2% mark. »

For its part, the Moody’s agency recently changed the country’s economic outlook from “stable” to “negative” noting that “ the coronavirus pandemic calls into question Rwanda’s development strategy, largely debt-financed and focused on promoting conference tourism. »


Stops in the “Net”

From a distance, you have to keep your eyes open, but as you approach everything becomes clearer, in spite of the dark predominance: a single man prepares his net to go fishing. The situation seems as easy to summarize as the gesture requires patience and dexterity. This is, in essence, the impression that emerges from the mosaic of images with identical framing, converging on this ordinarily ritualized moment which, shrouded in an almost choreographic grace, refers to an immemorial daily life.

No less than 234 views thus constitute the net. A fresco in square format (187 × 187 cm), built in the form of a giant contact sheet, which incidentally looks like a tribute to chronophotography, this technique consisting in strafing the subject in action in order to decompose all the phases of the movement he is performing. The invention dates from the end of the XIXe century. It is attributed to Etienne-Jules Marey who, like his English alter ego Eadweard Muybridge, had, at the time, more scientific than artistic aims. Unlike Luc Delahaye, who nearly a century and a half later jointly eyes a documentary approach.

A seasoned photographer, the award-winning Frenchman has become known in the conflict zones, which he has surveyed for several decades, between Lebanon, Rwanda, Palestine and the former Yugoslavia. Extract from his fourth personal exhibition, at the antipodes of bellicose spasms, the net, him, the result of a long stay in a hamlet in northern Senegal, near the river of the same name. Hence the aquatic reference which, to be complete, refers to another image, “Photographic table”, in color this time, where we see on one of the four large formats of the hanging, the same man, buried in the vegetation, who dialogues with the tangle of meshes suggesting “Fantastic creatures” in an apparent disorder which becomes “Metaphor of an unconscious in the grip of the jinn”.

If “the Village”, the generic title of the exhibition, dates from 2019, the absence of chronological markers attests to a timeless activity based on the primary sector. A meticulous observer of a bent humanity, which bends but does not break, Luc Delahaye thus accompanies a rural microcosm in the various tasks of an existence which one guesses to be punctuated by seasonal hazards. Immersed in an ungrateful environment (rocky soil, odds and ends, etc.), the magnified modesty of her subjects does not prevent them from being seen as poignant allegories of a resilient task that command respect.

Gilles Renault

The village of Luc Delahaye at the Nathalie Obadia gallery (75004), free entry, until November 14.


Three suspects in Rwandan genocide arrested in Belgium | NOW

The Belgian police have arrested three people on suspicion of involvement in the Rwandan genocide in 1994, the federal prosecutor reports Saturday. It concerns a Belgian and two Rwandans.

The suspects were arrested in Brussels and Hainaut. Two of them are in custody, the third suspect is under house arrest. The arrests took place in the context of several investigations by the Belgian federal prosecutor.

One of the suspects is said to be Pierre Basabose – a former confidant of Juvénal Habyarimana, the then president of Rwanda.

The Rwandan genocide took place after the plane carrying President Habyarimana, a Hutu, was downed on April 6, 1994. The president was killed. Between 500,000 and one million members of the Rwandan Tutsi minority and moderate Hutus were murdered by Hutu militias in the following months.

Nine people responsible for the genocide in Rwanda have already been convicted. One man was sentenced to 25 years in prison last May for multiple murders and attempted murders that were considered war crimes and part of genocide.


How Paul Rusesabagina, hero of the film “Hotel Rwanda”, arrived in Rwanda instead of Burundi

SEEN FROM ELSEWHERE – One of the main opponents of Kagame was “Delivered itself”. Investigate the strange flight plan of the hero ofRwanda Hotel.


By embarking in Dubai, Paul Rusesabagina thought of joining Burundi.  He landed in Rwanda.
By embarking in Dubai, Paul Rusesabagina thought of joining Burundi. He landed in Rwanda. AFP

By Colette Braeckman (The evening)

Brigadier General Nzabamwita, head of Rwanda’s intelligence services, does not have the reputation of an expansive man. In front of the press, however, he openly welcomed the “ smoking blow »Realized by his services and welcomed the arrival in Kigali of Paul Rusesabagina: this former manager of the Mille Collines hotel, who inspired the film Rwanda Hotel, had subsequently become one of the main opponents of Paul Kagame’s regime.

If the Brigadier General insisted on the fact that it was not a question of an abduction, it is because such a procedure would nullify a possible legal procedure. The Rwandan officer attributed the success of the operation to “ good international cooperation », Specifying that the head of the CIA station in Kigali and the head of the Belgian intelligence services would have personally congratulated him. What the interested parties deny. “ The intelligence services are not involved in the arrest

This article is for subscribers only. You have 83% left to discover.

Subscribe: 1 € the first month

Can be canceled at any time