Business round-up

Payments to pensioners increases by 72 percentMoney paid to pensioners by the Social Security Fund of Rwanda (SSFR) increased by 72 percent by this year as compared to what was paid in same period last year.
Caisse sociale to incerase pensioners’ payments by 72 percent
Caisse sociale to incerase pensioners’ payments by 72 percent

Payments to pensioners increases by 72 percent
Money paid to pensioners by the Social Security Fund of Rwanda (SSFR) increased by 72 percent by this year as compared to what was paid in same period last year.

According to statistics, the public pension body paid Rwf3.1 billion in the first six month of this year as benefits compared to Rwf1.8 billion paid in the same period of 2008.
“A total of 31,193 pensioners were paid with Rwf3.1 billion as pension and occupational risks,” the first semester report reads.

In a breakdown, Rwf3 billion was paid to 29,404 social security members as pension while Rwf103 million was payment of damages owing to occupation risks where 1,789 members benefited.

However, out of 10,048 active employers, only 6,342 members complied compared to 5,180 of the 7,547 active employers registered last year in the first semester. This represents a 6 percent decline in the employers’ compliance.

Gov’t buys 35,000 phones for e-soko project

Government through the e-soko project will next month buy 35,000 mobile phones for farmers, a move that is meant to bridge the information gap between farmers and buyers.
Government will pay 50 percent of the cost, MTN 25 percent and beneficiaries 25 percent of the phone prices.

The development of e-soko and procuring of 35,000 mobile phones is expected to cost $175,000.

The e-Rwanda coordinator, Wilson Muyenzi said that at least one cooperative in every district has been identified to benefit from the project. “Farmers will be able to call and identify profitable places to sell their commodities instead of dealing with middlemen.”

Government targets 40 percent subscription by the end on next year and 50 percent in 2012.

Sulfo offers 30 percent discount on cooking gas

Sulfo Rwanda industries has announced a 30 percent reduction in the prices of cooking gas, following a drop in its import duties under the East African Customs Union. A gas cylinder which cost Rwf40,000 previously now goes for Rwf28,000.

According to Agaram Natarajan the Director of Finance and Importation, import duty on cooking gas has come down from 30 percent to zero.

MTN Rwanda ponders halting interconnectivity with Rwandatel

MTN Rwanda is threatening to disconnect Rwandatel customers over failure to meet its interconnection fees obligations for about eight months as per the telecom regulations.

Under the telecommunication services provision regulations in Rwanda, companies are required to assess and pay each other whatever interconnection fees are due to them at the end of every month.

The terms of the law also provide for either party to legally cut off interconnectivity.

The interconnection fees are about Rwf40 for every call. The cost is met by subscribers from within the normal call charges.

The matter is reported to be handled by the Rwanda Utilities and Regulatory Authority (RURA) though efforts for a comment were futile.

However, Cleophas Kabasiita, Rwandatel’s Corporate Communications Manager said that the problem will be solved soon.

Rwanda’s national fibre to connect SEACOM to Burundi, DRC

SEACOM, the company that owns the undersea cable linking the East Africa coast to the rest of the world via the Red Sea will use Rwanda’s national fibre-optic backbone to connect high speed affordable bandwidth to Burundi and the DRC.

This was part of the agreement signed between the company and government owned Internet Service Provider (ISP) New Artel.

The two parties signed a one year 620 Mbs connection agreement with a possibility of extending it. SEACOM’s capacity is 1.28 Tbps of bandwidth.

Without divulging into details, the CEO of New Artel, Francis Karemera confirmed that there is an arrangement of using the national ICT infrastructure.

The national fibre optic backbone with over 2,300kms of cables is an extension of the ongoing Kigali Metropolitan Network that aims to connect 97 government agencies in Kigali and 226 government agencies in districts.

Isaka dry port project hangs in balance

The project to develop infrastructure at Isaka dry port in Tanzania maybe dropped after official say that the project will not be viable once Isaka- Kigali Railway line is implemented sooner than expected.

However, Gustave Nkurunzinza, Projects Manager in Private Sector Federation (PSF) said that this will not be possible since the railway will allow goods through the Central Development Corridor (CDC) for Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi.

It is anticipated that once the railway project is completed, most importers and exporters will shift from Mombasa port to Dar es Salaam since it is a shorter route to Kigali.

The dry port project was expected to handle transit cargo to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, and Rwanda providing the region with an internal container depot (ICD), a parking yard, storage facilities and motor garages.

RRA to auction smuggled merchandise

The Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) will auction smuggled and confiscated goods worth Rwf50 million in a bid to recover government revenue.

The public sale is scheduled for early next month. It items such as motor vehicles, motorcycles, and cartons of liquor, spirits, wines and furniture. It will also include goods that have stayed for more than 3 months in the RRA’s warehouse.