EDITORIAL: Entrepreneurs should take full advantage of major summits

Whenever an international conference takes place in Kigali, visitors go back with a piece of Rwanda with them.

Many come with wrong conceptions, are apprehensive and are only reassured after landing and interacting with Kigalians and, surprisingly, discover a haven of peace, not the stereotype of genocide.

The orderliness and amazing organisation far outstrips the African narrative of dirty streets and sprawling slums. No, Rwanda is not a “miracle”; it is a result of foresightedness and determination.

Kigali is again teeming with thousands of visitors attending the fifth edition of Transform Africa Summit that has turned into a signature get-together for international tech experts and helps stamp Rwanda’s new status as a technological hub.

This summit should not be an exclusive tech affair; it should rope in other sectors in the country as well. It is a great market place for our products, a platform to display our culture and hospitality.

The crime-free atmosphere should be milked to full capacity with service providers coming up with new packages and attractions to share a piece of the pie that the over 4,000 visitors will come with.

But it is surprising that the presence of such a large number of visitors is not causing a buzz in the business community – except hospitality industries – unless they elected to display their products at the summit.

People should learn how to attract customers such as having special discounts for delegates, but unfortunately, most are sleeping on the job. They should simply visit Rwanda Convention Bureau or the local media websites to see a calendar of upcoming events and package their wares accordingly, otherwise, the train will leave without them.

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