Step up your game, RDB urges business community

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The Chief Executive of Private Sector Federation, Stephen Ruzibiza (L), speaks as Rwanda Development Board chief executive Francis Gatare looks on during a breakfast meeting with the business community in Kigali yesterday.

As Rwanda shifts its priority towards promoting tourism, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has challenged the business community to be on top of their game if they are to tap into benefits of global visitors.

This year alone, the country has hosted the Africa Nations Championships (CHAN), a major tournament on the sporting calendar. And, lined up is the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the African Union Summit slated for May and June, respectively.

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Faustin Mbudu (L) chats with Sina Gerard of Nyirangarama during the meeting in Kigali yesterday.

RDB hosted the leaders in the business community to a breakfast meeting where they deliberated on how to create lasting business relationships with delegates to the events as well as ensuring the guests have memorable experiences while in the country.

Banks, hotels, transport companies, investors and policy makers were all part of the deliberations geared towards making sure tourists enjoy seamless services.

Francis Gatare, RDB chief executive, challenged the business community to adopt stronger cooperation to leverage opportunities from business leaders who will be convening in Rwanda.

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Private Sector Federation Chairman Benjamin Gasamagera speaks during the meeting in Kigali yesterday.

“Members of the private sector need to articulate individual and collective strategies to make sure that the World Economic Forum leaves a legacy on them individually as business leaders,” Gatare said.

“The forum shouldn’t only be a successful event; it should rather leave behind a strong business relationship.

We agreed to make sure guests are given the best customer care and enjoyable experience in the country.”

Private sector plots partnerships

While bankers are devising means to generate Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) from the upcoming World Economic Forum, members of the private sector are being lured into stronger cooperation to tap into forthcoming business opportunities.

In an interview with The New Times, Sanjeev Anand, chief executive of the Banque Populaire du Rwanda, pointed out that the business community is a gateway to guests experiencing the tourism offers among other advantages.

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Belise Kariza (L), the chief tourism officer at Rwanda Development Board chats with Dr Diane Karusisi, Bank of Kigali CEO at the meeting in Kigali.

“The number one advantage is to project Rwanda as a tourism destination, which is very key. Number two is to use this opportunity to make direct investments which we will be discussing with investors and bankers later,” Anand said.

“Banque Populaire du Rwanda will be among the sponsors of WEF, so this will boost the performance because you get the businesses out of new investors, which push for the economic growth and everybody benefits.”

Benjamin Gasamagera, the chairperson of Private Sector Federation (PSF), said the business community is committed to playing its part.

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Edigold Monday, the Managing Director of Crane Bank Rwanda asks a question during the meeting in Kigali, as Maurice K. Toroitich, KCB Rwanda’s Managing Director looks on.

“In the scope of three months ahead of the forum, we will be focusing on efficient customer care taking into context some of the challenges we met in the past,” Gasamagera said.

“But we will need to work as a team to share many details and plans. Very often we were caught off-guard due to lack of early preparedness, but this won’t be the case this time around.

“We value efficient coordination and sharing of information which we think will be crucial during the hosting of these events from which all of us will benefit in general and business leaders in particular.”

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Under the theme, “Connecting Africa’s Resources through Digital Transformation,” the 26th World Economic Forum on Africa will bring together regional and global leaders from business, government and civil society to discuss digital economy.

The forum is also expected to discuss catalysts that can drive radical structural transformation, strengthen public-private collaboration on key global and regional challenges, and agree on strategic actions that can deliver shared prosperity across the continent.

The New Times.