Business round-up

Fuel pump prices increase by 5 percent Fuel prices in the country increased from Rwf756 to Rwf795 per litre for both diesel and petrol—representing a 5 percent increase. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM), Antoine Ruvebana explained that the increase is due to the rise of oil prices on the international market.

Fuel pump prices increase by 5 percent

Fuel prices in the country increased from Rwf756 to Rwf795 per litre for both diesel and petrol—representing a 5 percent increase.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM), Antoine Ruvebana explained that the increase is due to the rise of oil prices on the international market.

“The pipeline charges from Mombasa, Kenya also increased by $11 (Rwf6,228) per cubic metre (m3) from $40 (Rwf22,648) per cubic metre (m3) towards April,” he added.

Ruvebana also explained that the prices were decided after a meeting between MINICOM and fuel dealers.

The global oil prices have been reported to rally above $67 (Rwf36,224) per barrel for the first time since November 2008.

Rwanda targets international market for its honey

Rwanda has potential to produce and export honey but the sector is still unexploited and still working in isolation, the Director General of Rwanda Animal Resources Development Authority (RARDA) said.

Dr. Theogene Rutagwenda said that Rwandan honey can compete on international markets because it is organic. New markets for Rwandan honey were identified in 2007 in Middle East but could not be sustained due to the quality and the quantity produced according to a RARDA survey.

Dr. Rutagwenda however said that there are strategies to organize the sector move from the traditional way to modern techniques of honey production.

Many people were trained in modern techniques and through cooperatives equipment were distributed. The equipment distributed includes 12,000 traditional beehives and 9000 modern beehives.

Free Trade Zone budget cut by 50 percent

The budget to fund the development of the infrastructure in the Kigali Free Trade Zone (KFTZ) has been reduced by 50 percent.

Ruzibuka Alex the Chairman of the Taskforce said that this will avail more plots for accommodation than before.

He explained that the idea to revise the budget was also a caution to avoid the funding deficits since donors are suffering the global financial crisis.

The road network will also be reduced from a four lane to a two lane.

Nyandungu is to serve as the Kigali industrial park where more than 35 hectares have been purchased.

Those booked plots in the industrial park are charged 20 percent as commitment fee. About 35 local and regional companies have shown interest in development of the KFTZ.

Talks for EAC ‘Common Market’ modalities begin

The East African Community (EAC) talks for the application of the region’s Common Market protocol instruments begun in Kigali, Rwanda.

The High Level Task Force (HLTF) comprising of members from the five partner states are deliberating on annexes of the protocol.

The talks point towards the finalisation of the draft Common Market protocol that is supposed to be signed in November this year. 

Rwanda’s Minister for EAC Affairs, Monique Mukaruliza, partner states expect to reap from the removal of barriers of trade and increase movement of investment due to integration.

She also noted that since the summit had made a stand of the previous outstanding issues, it will now be easier for the HLTF to draft the annexes.

Previously, the Common Market negotiations had stalled after the HLTF failed to agree on free movement of persons, the right of establishment including access to land and permanent residence.

The April summit agreed that with regard to free movement of persons, the national identification document may facilitate the free movement of the holders, where partner states would have accepted its use, provided it is electronically readable.

The objective of the Common Market is to create a single internal market that guarantees the free movement of goods, persons, labour, services and capital.

Rwanda targets valued added tea for export

Rwanda tea packers, a privately owned company will export 10 percent of total tea production with added-value this year.

Anthony Butera OCIR-The Managing Director said that the value addition exercise will include packaging, branding, blending and marketing of domestic green bulk tea leaves in anticipation of an  increment of unit prices of Rwandan tea.

Previously, 99 percent of Rwandan total tea production was being exported as bulk tea through Mombasa auctioning which fetched low revenues for the country.

In the short run, the objective is to produce 24 million kilograms of green leaves, out of which 2.4 million kilograms will be value added.

“With value addition of 10 percent, the tea sector can move us to $90 million by 2011 from $45 million which we earned last year,” Butera explained.

This would be a tremendous achievement from the sector given that OCIR-The has projected to earn at least $90 million by 2020.

The company that is charged with adding value and exporting the product is Olyana Holding and OCIR-The, a government tea agency.

GTZ to support electrogaz in electrical installation standards

The German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) committed to support the improvement of capacity on standards requirements in the area of electrical installation.

The financial and technical support from GTZ will be through training of existing and future workforce and companies on the requirements of Rwandan, East African and international standards, in the field of electrical installation.

“This is aimed to have a direct and immediate effect. It will also increase safety,” said Thomas Bedenbecker, GTZ’s Coordinator of the Sustainable Economic Development sector.

This was revealed when signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Electrogaz, Rwanda Bureau of Standards (RBS) and the Private Sector Federation (PSF).

According to the MoU, the various training measures are expected to enable participants to better understand the requirements of the standards for the product/service they are involved with.

“The support comes at the right time. We don’t have enough skilled people especially in the area of vocation training,” said Dr. Anastase Kimonyo, Director General of RBS.

Ends