What Kigali City Council calls routine inspection of food-handling premises is now even more pronounced. Reason is the upcoming East Africa Investment Conference to take place here six weeks from today. Hundreds of high profile guests, including heads of state will descend onto Kigali to participate in this first-of-its-kind regional business forum.
Council health officers are extending the hygiene campaign to hotel rooms and apartments to make sure there is running water, and available at different temperature levels. Food stores, groceries and preservation facilities will also be visited.
The effort to add cleanliness where it really matters, to great hospitality Rwanda offers visitors is a clear sign that the country is dead serious on consolidating its position on the development racetrack, in the service-economy paddock.
Guests who enter the country either by road or air, are all welcomed by beautiful sceneries free of liter, while they travel on properly made roads and well paved sides. The interior smooth movements need to always lead them to matching destinations: cafes, social clubs, motels, pubs, leisure centres, shops and restaurants.
When you think about it, the better services we want to give to our guests, as hosts we deserve them too. Moreover when we make pampering ourselves a culture, treating our guests equally will only be natural. Then we shall not have to raise any standards whenever VIP visits loom.
The rolling inspections KCC conducts could be made more ambitious by creating a permanent rating scheme under a department, or a separate food standards agency. This could for example build up an on-line database to store inspection results, which could then be updated after every other inspection.
Residents and intending visitors who wish to decide on where to shop, eat, sleep, etc, could then access the reports on-line by a mere click of a button. The effect here would be an efficient guiding mechanism, but would also double as an incentive for entrepreneurs in this service sub-sector to keep high standards of hygiene in their premises.