Statistics released by the National Agriculture Export Board (NAEB) show, Rwanda exported 17.3 million kilogrammes of coffee between January and November of last year, a rise of 14 percent compared to the same time period in 2014.
However, despite the healthy growth in exports, revenues only increased by 0.58 percent. The sale of coffee brought in $56.3 million to the country’s economy last year, up slightly from the $56 million gained two years ago.
NAEB has attributed this modest rise to the poor state of the global coffee market that has experienced low prices in recent months.
A new tech accelerator that will be established early next year in Nairobi is expected to provide mentorship and investment opportunities to promising African e-health care start-ups, boost digital health innovations across the continent.
Ampion, an organization that supports African tech start-ups in partnership with Merck, a pharmaceutical company hope to boost innovation in Health care sector across Africa by opening a specialized Tech health accelerator.
“It’s really about finding start-ups in healthcare space that have two goals: on the one hand to generate profits, on the other hand touch the lives of at least 100 million people,” told The East African recently Fabian Carlos Guhl, founder of Ampion
In Africa, technology is being used to develop mobile and web apps that have the potential to revolutionize healthcare sector, by using technological innovation to address public health gaps such as doctors’ shortage and lack of health facilities.
Medroid is an e-Health platform used in rural Tanzania that enables patients to connect to professional health care providers from wherever they are by combining Micro-phone lens hardware and a mobile application to provide medical solutions.
The app could make healthcare accessible in rural areas, where there are few medical practitioners.
Medroid features include clinical diagnosis service which targets physicians with a working knowledge. It’s a quick diagnosis service that that provides practical, expert, as well as immediate access to patients’ diagnosis results.
Successful Start-ups that are already generating revenues, have a prototype and need money to grow faster will join the initial program in the tech hub. They will receive USD 25.000, USD 50.000 investment and mentoring.
Thirty-one sub-Saharan, African countries have 10 or less medical doctors per 100,000 people. This means mobile technology can be used to increase access to health practitioners.
App development and deployment requires funds and skills to get ideas off ground, scale up innovations generate revenues.
According to Guhl, financial resources, human capital, markets that still need to be developed are the main challenges app developers face.
M-Tiba, is an early stage start up that hope to close medical gap through mobile technologies.
Its healthcare app will be used to help people with least access to health care to get “easy access” to doctor’s consultation via a web platform in Rwanda, Tanzania and Nigeria.
“Our solutions is an online platform to collect patients data, anyone who feels ill will go to an online platform talk to doctors who will be available, “explained Thibault Mutabazi,the co-founder ,” as he keeps using the application he[patient] will have medical history online,”
The app is still at development stage.
In East Africa Ampion program dubbed” Bus Venture” has generated 20 start-ups, but only 2 are currently running.
Muvidaba , one of them based in Kisumu and Nairobi currently developing a mobile app that is directory of medicine..
There are business opportunities for innovators in health care sector in Africa. Aaron Fun, managing partner at Nest ,a venture capital company that invests in early stage startups, says Health Tech is a particularly attractive sector in Africa with a large underserved population.
“There is strong opportunity to develop Health Tech that brings access to basic healthcare, emergency services, pharmaceuticals to geographically dispersed populations. “ He said
M –Pharma is another e-health app startup co-founded by Gregory Rockson, a Ghanaian entrepreneur, the app connects patients, clinicians and pharmacists to find quality medicines at real time and where they are needed most in Ivory Coast and Zambia.
According to Rockston, 1000 patients received their prescriptions through the application in Zambia.
The data generated anonymously by application users is analyzed and collected to build the comprehensive pharmaceutical data platform which can be used in other countries.
Nairobi has become one of large Tech hubs in Africa, known for its incubators and accelerators that provide space for innovators.
Mr. Guhly revealed the upcoming health tech accelerator recently at the end of East African Venture bus tour a tech hub in Kigali.
Experts say Apps that are scalable have the potential to attract investments.
According to Fu, African app developers can attract investments the same way the rest of the world do.
“By building a strong team with relevant experience to execute, a precisely defined CVP (revenue equation where Profits = Sales – Variable Costs – Fixed Costs) and a thought-through and comprehensive go to market strategy,” explained the managing Partner, Vest Africa
Airtel Rwanda partnered with Tecno to bring the latest mobile devices and services to the students of University of Rwanda, Huye Campus.
The event which saw Airtel Rwanda unveiling Freebasics.com, an internet service that allows Rwandans on the Airtel network to access various websites at no cost. At the unveiling of Freebasics.com, Airtel also provided free customer services to the university students.
Tecno, the mobile phone provider of Tecno phones, was offering the students the latest mobile devices at affordable prices. Devices such as; Tecno J8, Tecno C8, Phantom 8 among other devices.
The day which was later capped off with entertainment from Airtel Rwanda brand ambassadors King James and Ama G, who thrilled the young revelers as they sang along to the artists’ songs.
Commenting on the day’s activities, Airtel Rwanda’s Brand & Communications Manager, Clementine Nyampinga said, “We are delighted to have been part of today’s funfair. We believe that the students will take advantage of the Freebasics.com service and use it to gain more knowledge as they advance academically.”
Speaking to one of the students, Jean-Pierre said; “It was a great day and some of us were able to get to know more about the Airtel services and we shall be able to use the Freebasics.com service because it is free and has many websites with the information we might need.”
Through Free Basics by Facebook, Rwandans are now able to access various websites through the Airtel network at no cost. Customers can access a set of free services in categories of health, education, communication, sports, jobs, and local information.
Free Basics by Facebook is available as a mobile browser version for feature phone users on the web address http://www.freebasics.com. Smartphone users can also download the Free Basics app on Android devices through the Google Play store.
Among the free websites to be accessed on Free Basics while using the Airtel network include: Facebook, BBC Africa, Inyarwanda.com, Wikipedia, BabyCenter & MAMA, Dictionary.com, SuperSport, Bing search engine, and several others.
By Natacha Uwase
We all have issues controlling what we eat in our life or what is good for our health. We got you covered with different ways of eating in a smart way.
Control you breakfast: Having a solid breakfast will ensure you get at least one quality meal in each day. Go for the veggie omelet, oatmeal, fruit, and lox. Have some tea and hydrate. Skip the sofa pizza.
Prepare more of your own meals: Cooking more meals at home can help you take charge of what you’re eating and better monitor exactly what goes into your food.
Focus on how you feel after eating: This will help foster healthy new habits and tastes. The more healthy food you eat, the better you’ll feel after a meal. The more junk food you eat, the more likely you are to feel uncomfortable, nauseous, or drained of energy.
Drink plenty of water: Water helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins, yet many people go through life dehydrated—causing tiredness, low energy, and headaches. It’s common to mistake thirst for hunger, so staying well hydrated will also help you make healthier food choices.
Snacks: Although snacks are part of a healthy diet, they can become a source of extra calories.Moderation is key. The goal for snacking is to limit snacks to 150 to 200 calories. Always include the three macronutrients: protein, fat, and carbohydrate and understand the ingredients, avoiding anything artificial or refined. Small meals consumed approximately every three hours can contribute to stable blood sugars throughout the day. Choose treats that are high in fiber (5 grams or more per serving) such as bean dips, fruits and vegetables with peanut butter or hummus, and low-fat dairy.
Whether you’re eating for physique, function, or both, you can find the balance between continued success toward your health and fitness goals and still enjoying life to full extent. Balance is best, and by making the extra effort to ensure you’re meeting the needs of your nutritional program the majority of the time, you will be on track to not only enjoy, but to feel good about the progress you’ve made despite the added challenge.
The writer is a PR officer for Hello Food , an online food ordering and delivery platform in Africa.
Rwanda has banned The BBC Great Lakes indefinitely following a 7 months suspension over a controversial TV documentary.
Last Friday RURA, a government utility regulatory agency announced the BBC Great Lakes ban, but said other programmes namely French, English and Kiswahili will be allowed the transmission.
BBC Great Lakes airs in Kinyarwanda and Kirundi.
The documentary titled ‘Rwanda: The Untold Story’ investigates the role of Rwanda’s president H.E Paul Kagame in the events surrounding the genocide against Tutsis and questions the veracity of the official account of the genocide.
Rwandan government and some scholars have vehemently criticized BBC over the film; saying it is a genocide denial.
BBC rejected the accusations and denies any part of the documentary denies the genocide. Its investigations found that the film meets its production standards.
Rwanda through its utility regulation agency suspended the BBC and set up a committee to examine the BBC story content .The committee recommended the ban of BBC Great Lakes, the review of all agreements between Rwanda and the International broadcaster.
Speaking at the opening functions of The Genocide Commemoration Week in last April, Kagame said some people have made a film that presents Genocide victims as perpetrators. He did n’t cite The BBC story though.
Following the documentary airing, there has been a series of demonstrations in Rwanda to denounce the film. However Rwanda Media Commission, a media self-regulation body criticized the decision to suspend BBC Great Lakes.
Reacting to the BBC Great Lakes’ suspension ‘Committee to Protect Journalists’, an international media watchdog qualified the suspension as ‘illegal and illogical’.
The BBC programme,’My World’ that aired the controversial documentary is not viewed in the great lakes country.
BBC Great Lakes a service was launched in the aftermath of The 1994 Genocide to link families that were displaced in the region. Some of its Programs were arguably the most popular Radio programmes in Rwanda.
In recent months the cost of living has risen as reflected in the last Consumer Price Index released National Institute of Statistics.
According to Rwanda’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), main measure of inflation; prices have risen to 0.9 percent year on year in April 2015, up from 0.8 percent in March 2015.
The publican focuses on urban Consumer price Index calculated based on approximately 1022 products in twelve urban centers from Rwanda. The CPI is released in the wake of an increase of oil prices announced by Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The urban CPI increased by 0, 9 percent on annual basis and increase by 0,8 percent on a monthly basis. The annual average rate between April 2015 and April 2014 is 1.1 percent.
According to Minicom, statement the current price of oil is Frw 840 per litre.Minicom says the increase is attributed to global oil prices increase observed since February.Minicom adds that since then the prices have increased 40%.
Jean-Baptiste Habyarimana,an economist analyst and authors of publications on price volatility and market analysis says ,the CPI increase is somehow strong and will likely go up as fuel prices have increased again.
According to National Institute of Statistics, the price increase is mainly attributed to rising prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages 2,5 percent , housing ,water ,electricity and other fuel prices 2,9 percent.
The biggest negative contribution to CPI increase came from ‘Transport’0,7 percent.Habyarimana says the slight change on global oil prices will likely affect price of imported fuel.
“The transport cost increase caused by global oil prices fluctuations affect many others product prices since our economy depend on imports,” explain Habyarimana
As Rwandan economy depends largely on import,Habyarimana says prices will continue to go up since local currency is weak against US Dollars. “The BNR can’t intervene on exchange rates.”
Jean-Christian Hahirwa, a resident of Kigali, says if prices continue to rise, life will become hard and will seek others ways of generating income in addition to his monthly salary.
According to Habyarimana, CPI rise will impact national economy negatively on saving reduction as more consumers will reduce saving, thus will reduce local investment.
The increase of food prices in recent months was attributed to bad weather.
One of monetary policies BNR adopt to curb inflation is raising interests’ rates to commercial banks so as to reduce the quantity of money in circulation.
Urban CPI is very useful to measure cost of living and inflation since most products are consumed in urban areas.
The weakening Rwandese franc against US Dollars also explains CPI increases since national economy depends largely on imports. Explained Habyarimana
“My purchasing power will reduce as my salary will remain constant despite price increases of commodities and products I consume.” added Hahirwa“I will change my spending habit by reducing expenses but there are still certain needs I have to satisfy “.
The urban CPI increased by 0.9 percent in April 2015 compared to the same month previous year.
“I may also work extra hours to increase my income.” the Kigali resident said
CPI reads in April 2015, ‘Food and non-alcoholic beverages’ 2.5 percent and ‘Housing water, electricity, gas and other fuels’ 2.9 percent while transport decreased by 3.8 percent.
Figures also show the “local goods” increased by 1.5 percent on annual change and increased by 1.0 percent on a monthly basis, while prices of the “imported products” decreased by 0.3 percent on annual basis and was stable on a monthly basis.
The monthly change in CPI is 0,8 percent compared to March 2015.’Food and non- alcoholic beverages increased by 2.8 percent.
The prices of the “fresh products” decreased by 0.1 percent between April 2015 and April 2014. While the overall Rwanda CPI increased by 1.2 on annual bases, and increased by 2.0 percent on a monthly basis.
“The consumer bears all costs, for instance policymakers can’t intervene on salaries of consumers by increasing them when prices go up,” commented the economic analyst told Rwanda
Marrakesh, a Moroccan city is one of the top tourists’ destinations in Africa for a number of reasons including its arts, cultural wealth, historical and architectural aspects among others.
Marrakesh attracts visitors from around the world! When in the city there are many things to do and places to visit including museums, monuments and other historical places. The square of Djemaa El-Fna is probably the busiest area in the city center.
Many things happen at place El Djema, visitors are spoilt for choices: at day there are snakes charmers where one can find cobras and other types of snakes. Snakes charmers can even put one on you, if you are not afraid and you just pay few dirhams (Moroccan currency).Taking a picture holding mazing rarely seen creatures also interest visitors.
People with monkeys can also be seen at the place which also interest visitors especially for a photo session. Locals wearing their tradition outfit can also approach you to wear propose to put on their hats and take a photo of yourself with them as a souvenirs.
Another interesting show is an amateur boxing game in which two people fight while the crowds cheer them after betting. If the fighter you cheer wins his fans take away the money and there is a referee who is also an ordinary citizen.
The Koutoubia which is the largest mosque in Marrakesh located beside Djemaa El-Fna sqaure is also another attraction in the city center, with its surrounding large plaza and beautiful gardens.Non-muslims are not allowed to enter inside the mosque.
As the city is always filled with tourists, local are always welcoming! When one enters a shop they first say welcome or Bienvenue (which translates welcomein french) to Marrakesh then ask your country of origin .It seems most sub-Saharan visitors come from West African people. If shopkeepers see a black person,they ask:” are you from Senegal or Mali?”
A Hotel receptionist told me, most visitors from Sub-Saharan Africa comes from Senegal,Mali and Ivory Cost.
There are also students who benefited from Moroccan government scholarships including Rwandans.
Souks are art streets shops where you can find almost everything: jewels, spices, perfumes, shoes, bags, cloths, hats, art crafts and much more. Sellers accept bargaining but a foreigner may pay the price double. We were told by a local photographer that we should bargain for anything we want to buy.
The official languages in Morocco are French and Arabic but in Marrakesh at hotels, shops and other services English is used, even hawkers speak many languages. A Spanish visitor who speak limited English and French told me she did not face any language barrier while in the city because some locals spoke Spanish
Oussama Hamama is a Moroccan journalist; he said, he thinks Marrakesh is a popular destination for its hot weather. “Tourists want to experience heat- weather totally different from European.” –said Hamama
The climate in Marrakesh is arid but the temperature is extremely rising to a high of 45-50 degrees in August. At hotels and downtown people are almost naked.
Palmeraie is the green vast area of Marrakech. It is a real oasis on the outskirts of the city. La Palmeraie covers 13,000ha and it is said that there are about 150,000 palm trees and hosts high standards hotels. It is the perfect place to escape the town life.
The view from Pullman Marrakesh Palmeraie Resort &spa is palm trees everywhere. On your way from city center you can enjoy seeing the palm trees.
Recently the city has hosted 19th African senior athletics championship 2014.
A platform for youth innovation and entrepreneurship known as Emerging leaders and Entrepreneurs of Rwanda has inaugurated awards dubbed ‘the Rwandan youth and business excellence awards’ meant to recognize young innovators, promote innovation and creativity among young budding entrepreneurs.
The youth-led platform known for its acronym ELE Rwanda was founded mainly by beneficiaries of Rwanda presidential scholarship program who attended American universities. The platform’s members say, what they hope to accomplish and the impact of business awards is to see an increase in youth- oriented investment and more achievement championed by the youth.
The inaugural awards ceremonies gala was held last week. Nominees were divided in four categories: the most innovative youth project or startup, the Most Desired Workplace, Creativity Award for a creative idea from a group of students, and Innovation Champion for an institution that promotes job creation and entrepreneurship.
Babson -Rwanda entrepreneurship center scooped the Innovation Champion award.Haya Alzaid is the country director .She said, the award is an opportunity to raise more awareness about what they are doing.
“Hopefully to get more support and to get more people, entrepreneurs and youth involved in other programs. Really that’s what it means.” explains Alzaid.
The awards initiators also hope the recognition will inspire others established and budding young entrepreneurs to be innovative.
Yves Iradukunda is the founder .He said: “The essence of this event is to celebrate but when we celebrate we want aspire and encourage for more.so we are recognizing the young innovators because we want them to serve as role models, to help other young people believe that they can accomplish and they can do it.”
Girls in ICT, a youth- led organization that was one of the nominees in the most innovative project category for Miss Geek competition.Akaliza Gara is a co-founder, she explained how their project is innovative:” We find that many young women and girls grew up thinking that they can only be celebrated for their beauty, so we wanted to show them that they can be celebrated for their intelligence and skills and those are also very valuable quality in a woman.”
” I think as innovative as they [youth] want to be, it’s all in the mindset change. It’s making sure that you say to yourself: I can be as innovative as I want to be. “Commented Ms. Alzaid
Jean Niyotwagira is the founder of Torque Ltd. , a tech start- up that creates softwares for SMEs .He emerged the winner of the most innovative youth start-up. He said:” What this means to me is that I am actually getting there, people are starting to recognize and not just recognizing what I do as a person but publicly,”.
Niyotwagira added:” so, I take this chance to apply more hard work to produce something even better.”Niyotwagira said, next time he wants something bigger like beyond what he has already been able to achieve.
Dr. Mike O’Neal, Chancellor of the University of Rwanda graced the awards functions .He told the audience, innovation is not only about ICT and science. “Those of you who happen to be artists, or happen to be linguists, or happen to be medical people or happen to be in any field so there is room for creativity, there is the room for innovation everywhere.”
Clare Akamanzi, the Chief Operating Officer of RDB was the key note speaker at the awards ceremonies. In her speech ,she reminded the participants, the country’s vision is to become a knowledge- based economy and is very much going to be led by how quickly the citizens can innovate and how entrepreneurs they can become and produce more commercial ideas.
Akamanzi said: “The innovation and creativity that we see is really going to come from you young people, and so seeing the initiatives that you take, I think it is very crucial and very timely,”
School of Entrepreneurship is a youth organization that supports entrepreneurship and innovation in high schools through business ideas competition and debates. It won the creativity award. Patrice Habinshuti , its founder said:” The award shows that what we are doing is valuable and we are contributing to the growth of this country,”
ELE Rwanda was given the Creativity Award in 2013 by The Journal record- an American publication.
The business awards’ nominations were open to the public from June 1-10 July 2014, and they will be held annually.
After completing this exciting learning journey at Beni American University online, I am glad to share with you, my classmates and as part of final exam, the benefits from a 12 weeks class full of new skills, knowledge, interactions, and networking which without doubt will boost my career and personal development as a journalist and budding digital entrepreneur.
Actually, the whole course content is valuable to my career that’s why it is challenging to summarize what I kept in my mind via this blog post but I will do my best to shed the light on digital journalism lessons learned and new skills acquired.
The class started in style with ‘Journalism entrepreneurship’ an interesting subject for aspiring entrepreneurs .The lecturer explained types of enterprises and other topics but the key message for me was about taking calculated risk. As a budding business person this, reminded me that before starting any project or business I should analyze carefully the benefits, market opportunities in other words I care about profits which is my goal and dare to start.
I must admit that in addition to other lessons on entrepreneurship this topic helped me a lot as an aspiring entrepreneur: I recently applied for a digital media grant in my country where I used skills gained on’ revenue and marketing’ and ‘idea to implementation’, this was useful in writing my business proposal especially on my business model section.
“Transmedia storytelling’ is another s module that discusses mostly visual storytelling and digital multimedia reporting. This is very important for content creators in the sense that we learned new creative ways to use video for storytelling in the digital age.
As traditional media are embracing technology to tell stories and build online audience, the lesson titled’New beats in the digital age’ was very enriching in the sense that I learned how I can use crowdsource , online tools, practices for effective news gathering and reporting .
Nowadays social media and online entrepreneurship goes together. Social media marketing, public relation is a perfect strategy to grow business and career development for professional’s .The module titled ‘social media for public relations’ was very important to me in my journalism career and my entrepreneurship journey.
The 5 practical module discusses enables me to use social media campaign effectively to market my work or business online. It will help me to build a wide audience create my product awareness, interacting with customers and best PR practices using Internet.
I have been using social media for personal branding for quite a long time but the related course material and assignment have been most valuable as it helped me to improve my online identity profile following a social media audit I have done in my assignment.
I did my best to set myself apart online and will keep on reading my learning materials to improve my personal branding campaign.
Blogging has been my passion for about 5 years; the lesson titled’ Strategic Blogging’ has been my favorite on’ blogging for business ‘module. It helped me understand how I can source content; define my content of coverage topic. Planning my content plays a key part in my professional or business related blogging. It is very crucial as it will impact my online campaign for any issue or product.
As a blogger the lesson will also help improve my current blog by creating content that matters most to my clients and audience especially promoting products and services using Internet.
This online course is a major career boost as it helps me to shape my future by making it better and taking it to higher professional level.
The time spent at BAU online was not only enriching in terms of course content but also the learning system was also excellent: for instance the forums which were a good time to discuss topic covered and exchange ideas.
However, I expected to see more interactions with our instructor during our discussions for instance replying to some of our comments. It seems the course was focused on reading module materials rather than engaging students.
I don’t mean that the course instructor has not interacted with students. I acknowledge that he replied to our questions. My point is we should have seen more participation or moderation.
My learning experience was also a great opportunity for networking with like-minded people from across Africa.I followed many of them on tweeter and will keep in touch with others. That is why I kindly request their email addresses.
I also enjoyed our tweeter conversations especially on course topics.
I must admit that my connection and active interaction with Pamela Bongkyung is result of t networking part of the course. We have been interacting actively and even exchanged some work related opportunities (story ideas or newsworthy events for coverage).It was really a great and fruitful professional exchange. I hope to keep in touch with other classmates or Alumni after completing the digital journalism course.
To sum up, the digital journalism program was exciting and valuable for life learners as we gained critical and marketable skills in online media, a field that is ever growing. Without doubt it will boost career development, builds professional portfolios for some and plays a key part in achieving entrepreneurship dreams for others.
The 2014 winners of Kenya’s premier gospel music awards have been announced below is their list and categories
Collabo of the Year … Ngai Ti Mundu by Betty Bayo ft Mr. Seed
Western Song of the Year … Khwekanile by Geoffrey Kwatemba
East and Central Africa Artiste of the Year … Solomon Mkubwa
Central Song of the Year … Busy Busy by Betty Bayo
Ragga/ Reggae song of the Year … Live up by Hopekid
Western African Artiste of the Year … Uche
Audio Producer of the Year … Jacky B
Nyanza Song of the Year … Christine Otieno
Southern Africa artiste of the Year … Pompi
Lifetime Achievement Award … the Late Peter Kaberere
Radio Presenter of the Year … And the Radio Presenter of the Year is Anthony Ndiema of Radio Maisha
Album of the year … Kirathimo
Pwani Song of the Year … Ahadi za Bwana by Pastor Anthony Musembi
Dance Group of the Year … Gospel Warriors
Rift Valley Song of the Year … Laleiyo by Shiro Wa GP and L Jay Maasai
Video of the Year … Mateke
Worship Song of the Year … Hakuna Silaha by Sarah K.
Songwriter of the Year … Sarah K.
Eastern Song of the Year … Kitole by Stephen Kasolo
Hip Hop Song of the Year … Wannabe” by Dee and Holy Dave
Video Producer of the Year … Sammy Dee
Gospel Radio Show of the Year … Gospel Sunday
DJ of the Year … DJ Mo
Gospel TV Show of the Year … NTV Crossover
New Artiste of the Year … L Jay Maasai
Skiza RBT of the Year … Loise Kim
Group of the Year… Nicholas Harmonies
Song of the Year … Lingala ya Yesu by Pitson
Outstanding Contributor to Industry … B.A Kanyotu
Female Artiste of the Year … Sarah K.
Male Artiste of the Year … Bahati