The present government of Rwanda emphasizes the promotion of investment growth in the economy, and has made adequate resources available to meet acceptable criterion.
However, private and public investments remain very low due to many factors, such as, low levels of purchasing power and power shortages among others.
Thanks to the government of national unity, initiatives to promote industrial growth in the country have been embarked on such as; Promotion of small and medium processing industries for local natural resources and import substitution, Promotion of small and medium businesses that provide services in the transport, finance, telecommunications and information technology industries, as well as the diversification of the production sector of the economy and Promotion of large scale industries among many others.
Today hotel business is one of the popular businesses all over the country. Sunday Times’ RICHARD NKUBITO caught up with the General Manager for Sports View Hotel, Mr. Thomas Deyah for an interview and below are the excerpts;
Q: Will you briefly introduce yourself to the Sunday Times readers sir?
A: My name is Thomas Deyah.
I’m the General Manager for Sports View Hotel.
Sports View opened its doors on 01/02/2009, in fact people were wondering what type of business we would do since this location (locally known as Imigina) had a bad reputation of prostitution, and however, reality has proven things the other way round.
So far so good in our business and I think this is because of the marketing strategies which we under took.
Taking into account the kind of facilities we have, the targeted market segment and the supply and demand policy of accommodation in this country, at least it was an added advantage.
We are operating over 75% of bed occupation since its inception.
Q: What’s your take on vision 2020?
A: Although I was not here before, but immediately after Genocide the infrastructure before and after the genocide is completely different making the country very beautiful, opening opportunities for both local and foreign businesses.
The vision 2020 is a very wise idea and its going to put the country which was low in socio-economic levels to more than what was expected of the country; the government has taken a step that will make the country’s balance of trade even if it’s a land locked country, it is going to have a higher GDP than expected given the following tangible examples;
1. Security: The government has really set aside a good budget for security for security.
2. Agriculture: Only that Rwanda does not enough land, but the small land available is utilized profitably to the extent that there are exported cash crops such as Coffee and Tea among others.
My idea about Rwanda at first was that this is a small country, so the demand is much higher than the supply, but this is rather the reverse, here resources are utilized to the maximum and there is enough for people to feed on and even export.
3. Small scale manufacturing farms: Even though there are not many large scale farms, these are good enough; a good example I have admired here is the Agashya juice of Nyirangarama.
To me, this juice can even go to the International Standards Organization (ISO).
Q: One of the key objectives of vision 2020 is for Rwanda to become a medium economy come the year 2020, how does Sports View Hotel translate its daily activities in achieving the noble objective?
A: Hotels are coming up in Rwanda and one of them is Sports View Hotel, it is a benefit to both the government and the people of Rwanda in terms of reducing unemployment and poverty eradication.
Rwanda had a few accommodation facilities and here we are adding value.
Most of the people here are not knowledgeable in this field; the introduction of Hotels has therefore called for opening up of training colleges to train qualified personnel to work for these hotels.
These personnel are also interacting with international community and therefore the training and this international interaction becomes an eye opener to the people of Rwanda.
Sports View Hotel also comes in at a time of competition and as we compete with fellow hoteliers, we bring better services suitable for the Rwandan community (efficient and quality services).
Q: Any challenges so far?
A: Our challenges so far include;
Hotels are opening so fast. That means market share however, it shows very good business to the tourism industry at the same time.
Customer care has been very low and it’s giving the management a challenge of training our personnel to phase out most of the cultural values that hinder the professional practice of customer care.
Language barrier: 90% of the people here speak mother tongue and a little French and this calls for employees to be trained on universal language, English to enable them communicate easily.
Education sector: I think the government must do some thing to change the system of education so as to at least standardize it with the East African curriculum.
Q: What’s your message to the entire community as regards the vision?
A: My message is: The government has taken a wise idea for the vision 2020 and this gives us (the people on the ground) a challenge that we must team up together as a community with the little knowledge and capacity we have to support the government and its people for the nation to achieve its goal thus vision 2020.
N.B Thank you for your comments, best regards to our friend Raj all the way from Mauritius.