Electric motorbike company Ampersand Rwanda secures US$3.5m investment from VC fund Ecosystem Integrity Fund

RWANDA – Electric motorbike company Ampersand Rwanda Ltd has secured a US$3.5 million investment from Ecosystem Integrity Fund (EIF), its largest-ever venture capital fund investment in sub-Saharan Africa. According Ampersand founder/CEO Josh Whale, the deal marks a turning point in global electric transport. “EIF’s support further dispells the myth that electric transport will happen in rich nations first and trickle down to developing countries later, second-hand,” he added. The San Francisco-based Ecosystem Integrity Fund is a sustainability-focused venture capital company, which invests in companies that reduce or ameliorate threats to…

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Heifer International and Rwandan government announce US$10m investment in livestock farmers

RWANDA –  International development organization, Heifer International and the Rwanda Ministry of Agriculture have announced a partnership to invest more than US$10 million in livestock and training for 23,400 smallholder farming households geared towards improving incomes and food and nutrition security in Rwanda’s most impacted regions. In Rwanda, one fifth of the population is food insecure, and the average income per household is approximately US$3.11 per day in the 15 districts in Rwanda’s Northern, Southern, Western provinces where PRISM will be implemented. Through the partnership, Heifer International aims to support…

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RwandAir set to be the first African airline to trial IATA Travel Pass

RWANDA – RwandAir, one of the fastest growing airlines, will become the first African airline to trial International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Pass to enable safe and seamless international travel. The airline will begin a three-week trial in April for customers travelling between Kigali and Nairobi, Kenya. IATA Travel Pass is a digital platform to help passengers easily and securely verify that they comply with Covid-19 test or vaccine travel requirements, in turn giving governments the confidence to reopen borders. Developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the…

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Rwanda to extract another 15MW from lake Kivu methane gas

RWANDA – Shema Power Lake Kivu (SPLK) of Rwanda is set to produce 15 megawatts of electricity by June this year in its first phase of methane gas extraction from Lake Kivu, the company engineers have said. Overall, the plant seeks to add 56 megawatts to the national grid after investing US$400 million in methane gas extraction. The project, which started in October 2019, is set to be finalised by December 2022. “This is one of the projects that will significantly increase power generation,” said Laurent Butera, Branch Manager of…

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MTN Rwanda ponders setting up independent financial tech firm

RWANDA – MTN Rwanda is considering setting up an independent subsidiary to run financial technology operations in the country. MTN Rwanda Cgief Executive 0fficer Mitwa Ng’ambi said that with financial technology fast becoming influential in digital finance, they have been considering setting up an independent subsidiary running financial technology operations. This would see Mobile Money move from a department within the telecom to a stand-alone company. “Mobile Money was initially set up as a department within MTN Rwanda. Where we stand today, we see the future of digital finance, Fin-tech so…

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Drone startup Charis UAS raises funding from XM2 PURSUIT

RWANDA – Drone startup Charis UAS from Rwanda has secured an undisclosed investment from XM2 PURSUIT, a leading global provider of moving camera systems, to speed its expansion across Africa. Launched in 2014, Charis UAS was the first-ever licensed UAV company in Rwanda and provides high-quality aerial imagery and data solutions in order to support intelligent decision making. The funding round raised from the UK-based XM2 PURSUIT will help the startup broaden its market reach and cement its position as a leader in drone services in Africa. “We are thrilled to work…

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RwandAir to launch Kigali – Bangui flights

RWANDA – Flag carrier of Rwanda, RwandAir is set to launch a new route into Central Africa with flights to Bangui. The launch of the new intra-African service to the Central African Republic is part of RwandAir’s recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic as it opens up new markets and destinations. The Kigali-based airline will fly to Bangui the capital of Central African Republic, twice a week from February 3, 2021, with flights operating on Wednesdays and Sundays. Tagged to the existing route to Douala in Cameroon, the…

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Rwanda’s HQ Peat Power Plant construction nears completion after more than 3 years

RWANDA – MHQ Peat Power Plant in Rwanda is nearing completion after approximately three years of construction, the General Manager of HQ Power Dominique Gubbini, the General Manager of HQ Power, the company behind the development of the facility has said. HQ Power is owned by a Turkish investor called HAKAN AS, an international power company dubbed Quantum Power, with the participation of Themis, a leading project developer and investor with an exclusive focus on incremental renewable power generation assets in Sub Saharan Africa. Mr. Gubbini said that by March 2021, the plant which…

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African Development Bank appoints Aissa Touré as country manager for Rwanda

RWANDA – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced the appointment of Ms. Aissa Touré as country manager for Rwanda. An economist and development expert, Aissa Touré, the country manager designated for Rwanda, a Senegalese national, brings to the bank over 25 years of experience, working in three continents and 12 countries for 5 international organizations. Aissa’s work experience covers rural development, particularly agriculture, rural economics and climate adaptation and mitigation, among others. She brings a solid set of skills in strategic management, institutional representation and partnership management at country,…

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Rwanda drops plans to increase RwandAir fleet

RWANDA – The government of Rwanda says it is putting on hold the acquisition of new airplanes for its national carrier RwandAir mainly due to the impact of Covid-19 on business. The additional planes were to enable RwandAir serve the increasingly opened skies through the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA). Due to the pandemic, RwandAir was forced to suspend operations following the lockdown in March, and only resumed operations in August when the country started a gradual reopening of the economy. The airline has gradually reopened routes though passenger occupancy remains…

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