MTN Rwanda and BRALIRWA the sole brewery company in Rwanda are already established institutions. MTN with 1.8 million subscribers has been in the market for almost 11 years now being the sole GSM provider for the better part of the period.
BRALIRWA has been brewing Primus for the last 50 years and while the Heineken Group has a stake in the company BRALIRWA is soon listing the first IPO on the Rwanda capital market.
Both companies are the largest tax payers in the country and their brands are synonymous with almost every house hold in the country.
Better still they have won numerous accolades including the prestigious, Price Waterhouse ‘Most Respected Companies’ in the East African region.
The question: Why would MTN and BRALIRWA, companies which have such ‘mighty’ gigantic profiles, participate in a race that is meant to promote encourage home grown investors?
Serena and Soprotel (which is actually Laico Umubano according to officials) are both hospitality facilities. When Serena Hotel was announced that it had won the Tourism nod, the delegate who sat next to me asked, “are tourists attracted to the country because they are visiting a particular hospitality facility or because of a particular tourist attraction?”
I would love to rephrase that question. If the Serena or the Laico Umubano brand were not operating in the country, how much would it affect the number of tourist that visit the country?
In the real estate category why would there be only one nomination and therefore one winner?
The awards, according to officials are meant to promote and support the private sector in Rwanda, and encourage the consistent and innovative performance of the business community in Rwanda.
While that is happening successfully the awards should also encourage small and developing investments by recognising those that are newly established otherwise MTN and BRALIRWA will still win for the next five or probably ten years.