Posts tagged as: century

Africa:Prof. Joseph Stiglitz to give inaugural Babacar Ndiaye Lecture

press release

Washington, DC — Prof. Joseph Stiglitz, Economist and Professor at Columbia University and Nobel Laureate in Economics Sciences, will give the inaugural lecture in an international series being launched by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in honour of the late Dr. Babacar Ndiaye, former President of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Prof. Stiglitz will speak on the topic: “From Manufacturing Led Export Growth to a 21st Century Inclusive Growth Strategy for Africa” on Sunday 15 October in Washington DC.

The lecture will draw on themes outlined by Dr. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, in a recent keynote speech at New York University, where he discussed Africa’s economic development and highlighted the role of intra-African trade and regional integration in driving growth.

“We are honoured to have Professor Stiglitz, a world-renowned economist and advocate for Africa’s progress, delivering our inaugural lecture,” said Dr. Oramah, adding, “As Africans we owe much to Dr. Babacar Ndiaye, who was instrumental to the creation of many of the continent’s foremost institutions, including Afreximbank.”

The Babacar Ndiaye Lecture series honours Dr. Ndiaye, who served as President AfDB from 1985 to 1995, for his many important contributions to Africa’s economic development, in particular, his critical role in the creation of Afreximbank. He also enabled the Bank to earn its triple ‘A’ status, which it retains today. Dr. Ndiaye was also behind the creation of several other continental institutions, such as Shelter Afrique and the African Business Roundtable. He is credited with fostering the emergence of many young entrepreneurs who are helping to build Africa.

For more information, please contact: Obi Emekekwue (oemekekwue@afreximbank.com; Tel. +202-2456-4238)

Africa

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Nigeria:21st Century Technologies, Vmware Join Hands On Smart Digital Platform

By Bankole Orija

21ST Century Technologies Limited, Nigeria’s ICT powerhouse has announced her entry into the VMware Cloud Provider programme, with its SMART Digital Platform.The service illustrates to the customers that the company’s public cloud service is validated and compatible for use with VMware vSphere, the leading virtualisation platform for building cloud infrastructures and is secure, managed, agile, resilient and transformative for tomorrow’s digital business- all which will be enabled by SMART.

A member of the VMware Cloud Provider Programme, 21st Century Technologies provides its VMware IaaS powered service as a set of cloud computing services across a common platform, using proven VMware technology that organisations already use in the existing data centres.

The VMware cloud provider programme provides global cloud services and is the preferred choice of VMware cloud provider programme service partners in more than 100 countries globally.

“Digital innovation and engagement models are crucial in the fourth industrial revolution. I am positioning 21st Century Technologies Limited to use digital channels to engage with customers and provide innovative solutions that addresses their specific needs and requirements” said, Wale Ajisebutu, CEO, 21st Century Technologies.

“Technology is fast becoming the most crucial element for businesses of all sizes going forward. Our solutions will provide customers with opportunities for unlimited growth, cost reduction, and increased profitability.” Ajisebutu added.

“VMware has a clear and unique position around Hybrid cloud and enabling cross cloud functionality to help out over 600,000-plus customers to manage an increasingly complex multi-cloud, multi-device IT environment, with a software-defined approach,” said David Funnell, manger, Cloud Provide Programme at VMware West Africa.

“VMware IaaS powered services delivered by service providers within the VMware Cloud Provider Programme can provide the efficiency, agility and reliability inherent in cloud computing. We look forward to supporting 21st Century Technologies as a strategic partner for VMware in West Africa as it empowers organisations with a simple and flexible path to the cloud”

According to 21st Century Technologies, the company opted to partner with VMware and ensure it attained IaaS Powered validation because the company is today the infrastructure platform of choice of 100 per cent of the Fortune 500 and has saved customers tens of billions of dollars in their road to the cloud.

Furthermore, VMware has a vast partner ecosystem with access to more than 75, 000 solutions providers worldwide who as a result can take advantage of open interfaces, more solutions and broad software support.

The company is consistently recognised by analysts; Gartner, Forrester and IDC as a market leader.

“We look forward to an enduring partnership with 21st Century Technologies as we empower organisations in West Africa to leverage VMware’s leadership with private cloud in and outside of privately owned data centres. This will enable them to manage cost, achieve greater time-to-market, enhance productivity, gain market share and capture new market, all very timely outcomes for enterprises and small businesses alike, as we motivate for local innovation” added Funnell.

As a VMware Cloud Provider Programme Service Provider, 21st Century Technologies can now provide users with enhanced responsiveness and agility, and enable reduced IT costs through greater performance, availability and scalability.

The service debuts today and is set to revolutionise the innovative capacity of West African businesses.

Nigeria:21st Century, Vmware Partner to Launch Smart Digital Platform

By Emma Okonji

21st Century Technologies Limited has announced its entry into the VMware Cloud Provider programme with its SMART Digital Platform.

The service illustrates to the customers that the company’s public cloud service is validated and compatible for use with VMware vSphere, the leading virtualisation platform for building cloud infrastructures and is secure, managed, agile, resilient and transformative for tomorrow’s digital business- all which will be enabled by SMART.

A member of the VMware Cloud Provider Programme, 21st Century Technologies provides its VMware IaaS powered service as a set of cloud computing services across a common platform, using proven VMware technology that organisations already use in the existing data centres.

The VMware cloud provider programme provides global cloud services and is the preferred choice of VMware cloud provider programme service partners in more than 100 countries globally.

Chief Executive Officer, 21st Century Technologies, Wale Ajisebutu, said: “Digital innovation and engagement models are crucial in the fourth industrial revolution. I am positioning 21st Century Technologies Limited to use digital channels to engage with customers and provide innovative solutions that addresses their specific needs and requirements.”

According to him, “Technology is fast becoming the most crucial element for businesses of all sizes going forward. Our solutions will provide customers with opportunities for unlimited growth, cost reduction, and increased profitability.”

Manger, Cloud Provide Programme at VMware West Africa, David Funnell, said; “VMware has a clear and unique position around Hybrid cloud and enabling cross cloud functionality to help out over 600,000-plus customers to manage an increasingly complex multi-cloud, multi-device IT environment, with a software-defined approach.”

“VMware IaaS powered services delivered by service providers within the VMware Cloud Provider Programme can provide the efficiency, agility and reliability inherent in cloud computing. We look forward to supporting 21st Century Technologies as a strategic partner for VMware in West Africa as it empowers organisations with a simple and flexible path to the cloud”

According to 21st Century Technologies, the company opted to partner with VMware and ensure it attained IaaS Powered validation because the company is today the infrastructure platform of choice of 100 per cent of the Fortune 500 and has saved customers tens of billions of dollars in their road to the cloud.

Nigeria

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Korean Community in Rwanda Celebrate National Day

The Korean community in Rwanda, together with the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, has organised ‘Korea Week’ to celebrate their national culture and heritage.

The Korean Week, to run from September 18 to 24, is the first of its kind since the opening of the embassy in Kigali in 2011, according to Korean envoy to Rwanda Kim Eung-Joong.

The cultural week, which opened on Monday with the National Day Reception in Kigali, will close with the 2017 Korean Ambassador’s Cup for Taekwondo at Petit Stade in Remera on September 23 and 24.

“The Embassy of the Republic of Korea expects Rwandan people to have deeper understanding of its culture throughout the events, and these events will contribute to strengthen friendship and cooperation between the two countries,” Kim said while officiating at the launch of the activities.

The launch event was attended by several government officials, legislators and members of diplomatic corps accredited to Rwanda.

Other activities include Korea scholarship briefing session held on Tuesday at the embassy, Korean Film Festival to be held at the Century Cinema in Kigali from Wednesday to Friday, and the Korean speech contest, to be held at the embassy on Friday.

Every year, the Government of Korea invites undergraduate or post-graduate students in Rwanda to Korea and offers opportunities of studying in Korea. Through the scholarship briefing session, the embassy explained how to apply for their scholarships.

The Korean Film Festival will be the highlight, according to the embassy, featuring four selected Korean movies – “Train to Busan”, “A Hard Day”, “Miss Granny”, and “Masquerade.”

These films are covering various genres from action and thriller to comedy and drama.

Meanwhile, over 200 Rwandans applied for the Korean speech contest. Participants will make a five-minute speech in Korean among three topics as follows: ‘how to introduce Rwanda to Korean’, ‘reasons to visit Korea’ and ‘how Rwanda and Korea get closer to each other’.

The winner of the competition will be awarded with prizes, including Samsung Smart gadgets.

About 250 Koreans live in Rwanda.

Rwanda

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South Africa: Green Energy Conference Focuses On SA Climate, Water

With the threat of climate change impacting on natural resources, the National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA) is hosting an energy conference focused on the green energy industry.

The free biennial Industrial Efficiency Conference in Cape Town will expose companies to government policy on transitioning to a low carbon economy.

“We host the event in a different province each year. The 2013 event in Gauteng was the first, followed by an even more successful conference in Durban in July 2015,” said Julie Wells, marketing and communication manager of the NCPC-SA.

The conference will offer a number of workshops and panel discussions on how policy might affect company operations in terms of resource efficient methodologies.

Delegates will also have the opportunity to learn from one another on topics such as energy efficiency, water efficiency, industrial symbiosis, waste management, green productivity, localisation and clean technology.

Climate change

The increase of storm severity has been linked to climate change.

Scientists have calculated that for every 1°C increase in temperature, the atmosphere could hold 7% more water, resulting in more rain, especially during storm events.

READ Scientists: Harvey may be the soggy sign of future storms

Despite that, US President Donald Trump has pulled his country out of the Paris accord designed to engender co-operation between countries to mitigate the effects of climate change.

In SA, Cape Town has seen declines in rainfall that has left the city struggling to cope with an acute drought.

Dr Peter Johnston’ a climate scientist at UCT’ estimates that by 2050, Cape Town will receive 20% less rainfall. This could result is partial desertification of the Western Cape province.

The Industrial Efficiency Conference kicks off on Thursday and is funded by the departments of trade and industry and environment. It is hosted by the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research).

It will be held at the Century City Conference Centre, in Cape Town.

Source: News24

Nigeria: Experts Canvass Early Coding Activities for Nigerian Children

By Ibukun Igbasan

In recognition of the fact that Computer programming is the most important skill of the 21st Century, and the earlier a kid starts, the better he will get, experts have canvassed coding training for children.

According to them, a critical tool for operating in the digital society is programming know-how, adding that the place to start is to have an understanding of how to code.

Speaking at a ‘Summer to Code’ training, organised for the children in the Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State, by the De Royale Hall Resources, an educational and content development firm, the experts said it is imperative that children be provided access to coding know-how, to ensure that Nigeria and Nigerians are not left behind. “Coding is now a life skill, so children from every strata of society deserve the opportunity to acquire coding skills, to be prepared for the future and to keep abreast with change in the society.”

Chief Content Officer at De Royale Hall Resources, Elvis Eromosele, said children have the brightest minds, noting that their hands might be small they do have great minds.

According to him, there is no limit to what they can achieve, “we only need to provide the platform to set them on the right path. ‘A Summer to Code’ helped to create an enabling environment and platform to help them find expression for their thoughts and imaginations.

“In the course of this summer, we found that coding equally helped to strengthen your kids logical thinking, improve their problem solving skills and boost they readiness for the digital future.”

On the experience, Eromosele noted that the six Saturdays of learning to code, was highly enlightening. “The class had 21 participants aged between 4 -18 years. By the end of the third week, the kids were creating basic websites, and understood the concept of mobile apps design, development and deployment. Children began to code with minimal supervision by the end of the third week.”

According to him, it takes about two to three months to learn coding (programming) at a level that the learner can work with, noting that ‘A Summer to Code’ is the just first step in turning on the light for children in Alimosho.”

To Godfrey Adejumoh, the brain behind the project, there is a need for government to support efforts to bring coding classes to children not just across Alimosho but Nigeria. He urged the government to set up a centre where kids can access computer systems, and acquire at least three hours of lessons a week, plus some measure of follow up and mentoring to keep them in check.

Adejumoh noted that with coding, “we can unleash the creative energies of the young people in Alimosho, and indeed across Nigeria, and help them to discover the beauty of storytelling using coding. Coding is the future. That future must begins now!”

Zimbabwe: Beef Producers Say Govt Suffocating Beef Industry, Favors Tobacco Farmers

Photo: Zimbabwe Independent

Tobacco farming in Zimbabwe.

GOVERNMENT continues to suffocate the beef industry in favor other agro-based industries despite the sector having potential to earn the country the much need foreign currency, beef producers have lamented.

Zimbabwe used to earn $45 million annually through beef exports to the European Union when the Cold Storage Company was still the largest meat processor in Africa. Things changed at the turn of the century when government began its controversial land reform grab exercise.

Masvingo Beef Producers Association chairman, Robert Makado, said government has sidelined the industry since the land reform program despite the province being home to half of the country’s total herd of cattle.

Makado said the province has in excess of 2 million herds of cattle becoming the country’s main producer of beef.

He added that the exorbitant taxes of $5 per hector annually imposed on cattle farmers was not sustainable to beef producers who own over a 1000 hectors of cattle ranches.

“Government does not take the beef industry seriously like what it does with other sectors particularly tobacco producers; some farmers in the province are paying over $7 500 in rentals only per year without factoring other costs which include purchasing of stock feeds.

“When tobacco farmers raise their concerns they are immediately addressed but when it comes to beef producers our concerns seem to land on deaf ears,” Makado said.

He applauded the $18 million extended by NSSA towards the revival of the Cold Storage Company as a positive development towards the growth of the industry as farmers had fallen prey to private abattoirs who are charging farmers uncompetitive rates.

“In Masvingo we have a state of the art CSC abattoir which is lying idle and it is our hope that the investment being poured in by NSSA will resuscitate the abattoir were farmers could also get returns which are at par with production costs,” he said.

Zimbabwe

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Nigeria: How One Million Phone Users Dropped Out in One Month

By Emmanuel Elebeke

Ever since the country’s telecommunications revolution began in 2001, the mobile growth has experienced steady upward movement until recently when the number of active users dropped by one million within a month.

It was not as if this was not foretold. Earlier this year, the Chairman of Zinox technologies, Mr. Leo-Stan Ekeh, warned that if nothing was done to check the harrowing conditions that businesses were subjected before to before accessing foreign exchange, 99 percent of them would close down.

Ekeh also warned that the implication would be a drop in foreign direct investment and most probably a reduction in the level of support these businesses give to the economy. Ekeh was particularly worried that there would be a drop in Information and Communication technology, ICT contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP.

Although he expressed optimism that the government would not allow the forex issue to become a hydra-headed monster in Nigeria’s business ecosystem, the situation appears to be nothing less.

Persistent poor quality of services

All the telecommunications operators are crying that maintaining their network facilities is becoming problematic let alone importing new ones.

This situation may not be unconnected to the persistent poor quality of services and may have resulted to as many as a million users dropping off as announced by the regulator.

According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the number of active telecom service users in Nigeria decreased from 155.1 million in January to 154. 1 million in February.

The telecommunications industry regulator disclosed this in its monthly Subscriber/Operator Data released to the press over the weekend. According to the data, there was a decrease of 993,063 in the number of telecoms users across the country in January, while active users of telecommunications services in the country decreased to 154,120,484 in February this year from 155,113,547 in January.

It also indicated that 153,661,547 of the 154,120,484 active numbers subscribed to the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) network services.

The GSM operators’ active customers decreased by 998,899 of the 154,660,446 subscribers recorded in January.

The report states that of the GSM operators, MTN had 61,390,697 users in February which decreased by 858,130 against 62,248,827 recorded in January.

Globacom’s figure increased in February by 27,552, giving a total of 37,250,455 customers against 37,223,902 in January.

Airtel had 34,832,181 subscribers in the month under review which increased by 165,416 users against 34,666,765 recorded in January. Etisalat, however, recorded a drop in customers by 333,738 in February, giving a customer base of 20,188,214 against 20,521,952 users in January.

The Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operators had 217,566 users in February same with the result of January. Between the two surviving CDMA service providers, Visafone had 213,106 customers, while Multi-Links had 4,460 in the month under review. It shows that the Fixed Wireless network (landline) consumers remained at 26,865 in February.

NCC’s report said between the two Fixed Wireless service providers, Visafone had 26,437 subscribers as Multi-Links maintained its November record of 428 customers. It also revealed that the Fixed Wired operators (landline) subscriber base increased by 412, giving a total of 124,635 users in February against 124,223 recorded in January.

In the Fixed Wired arena, MTN Fixed moved from having 8,028 in January to 8,564 in February, thereby increasing by 536 users, while Glo Fixed had 12,742 users in February.

It said that Glo added 11 customers to the January record of 12,731. IpNX network moved from 2,477 subscriber base in January to 2,589 in February, increasing its customers by 112. It said that 21st Century network had 100,740 customers in February, recording a decrease of 247 users from its January record of 100,987.

The report shows that the two Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) networks had 89,871 active users in February, as their customers increased by 5,424 from their January subscriber base of 84,447.

Of the VOIP networks, Smile Communication had 36,285 customers, giving an increase of 573 users to its January result of 35,712.

Ntel had 53,586 consumers subscribing to its products and services in the month of February, showing an increase of 4,851 user to the January record of 48,735.

For the NCC, the release was in compliance with section 89 Subsection 3(c) of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 which mandates it to monitor and report the state of the telecommunications industry.

“The commission is mandated to provide statistical analyses and identify industry trends with regard to services, tariffs, operators, technology, subscribers, issues of competition and dominance.

“This is with a view to identifying areas where regulatory intervention will be needed.

“The commission regularly conducts studies, surveys and produces reports on the telecommunications industry.

“Therefore, telecommunications operators are obligated under the terms of the licences to provide NCC with such data on a regular basis for analytical review and publishing,” the report said.

Zimbabwe: Micro Finance Institutions Cash in On Informalisation

By Fidelity Mhlanga

LOCAL banks risk appetite has significantly gone down by nearly US$200 million over the past year, with Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) battling to cover the gap in what analysts say signals growing informalisation of the economy.

Bank loans and advances decreased from US$3,87 billion in 2015 to US $3,69 billion by end of 2016, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s monetary policy statement (MPs) show.

While bank’s lending is on a downward spiral year on year, total loans and advances by MFIs almost doubled from US$87,46 million in March to US $158,01 million by end of December last year.

Economist John Robertson said the growth in loans offered by MFIs and a slump in bank loans indicates proliferation of the informal sector as more and more people now rely on MFIs than formal banks.

“This mainly shows the growth of the informal sector as people without security go to MFIs than formal banks. This is not helping the economy in terms of tax revenue, employment creation as this is mostly done by individuals with no capacity to employ others. It’s not a welcome development since more and more people are depend on the informal sector,” he said.

Economist Kipson Gundani said MFIs are now preferred by ordinary Zimbabweans as they have more flexible conditions for acquiring loans.

“The major contributing factor is that it is less stringent and perhaps faster to get a loan from a microfianance institution than a bank. More so, most microfinance institutions accept motor vehicles and other movable assets as collateral hence more convenient to the low income borrowers,” he said.

Consequently the growth of active clients serviced by MFIs considerably grew from 185,471 to 222,007, an indication that more people are now turning to MFIs for loans.

The number of licenced MFIs improved to 185 (including deposit taking) from 159 during the period March to December 2016.

Not to be outdone is the number of MFI branches to service clients which grew from 591 to 639.

According to the MPS, four deposit-taking microfinance institutions (microfinance banks) namely African Century Limited, Getbucks Microfinance Bank, Success Microfinance Bank (formerly Collarhedge Finance) and Lion Microfinance Bank over and above the 181 registered credit-only microfinance institutions.

A significant shift in the lending dynamics of microfinance institutions was noted as 69% of US$158,01 million was loaned to productive sector as at December 31 2016.

The US$158,01 million was loaned by 181 credit microfinance exclusive of the four deposit taking institutions.

While there was a surge in the loans offered by MFIs, it is noteworthy that the number of outstanding loans grew from US$209,906 to US$327,539 from March to December 2016.

“With effect from January 2017, the Reserve Bank commenced the process of registering various credit providers such as banking institutions, microfinance institutions, deposit-taking MFIs and credit shops as subscribers in the credit registry system to enable them to access the credit registry database,” the MPs said.

The MFI sector has according to the MPs witnessed an improvement in the portfolio quality, as measured by the Portfolio at Risk (PaR>30 days) since December 2012, with year on year PaR significantly improving from 25,2 % as at December 31 2012, to 8,75% as at September 30 2016.

However, the ratio increased over the quarter ended December 31 2016 to 12,06% largely due to non-performance of salary based loans.

Portfolio at Risk (PaR) is calculated by dividing the outstanding balance of all loans with arrears over 30 days, plus all refinanced (restructured) loans, by the outstanding gross portfolio as of a certain date.

Further, microfinance institutions according to the MPs are required to protect their clients from over-indebtedness through responsible lending and compliance to the industry code of conduct.

“Microfinance institutions are required to strengthen their corporate governance structures and risk management systems in order to build sustainable financial institutions that can grow and provide financial services on a permanent basis to an increasing proportion of the low income and marginalised groups,” the MPs said.

Turning to the banking sector, the MPs alludes that funding to the productive sectors of the economy, such as mining and manufacturing continues to be constrained by the short-term liability structures of banking institutions’ balance sheets.

Short term liability is a debt or current liability arising from normal business operations and recurring expenses that is expected to be satisfied within one year.

Of the US$3,69 billion loaned by banks in 2016, a huge chunk of 28,7% went to individuals, agriculture got 16,7%, distribution 15,3%, services 14,95 % and manufacturing sector got 10,4%.

The mining sector received 4,5%, construction sector 3,5%, financial firms 2,11% and communication 1,5%.

The decrease by nearly US$200 million in the bank’s appetite to lend may also be informed by the previous growth of Non-Performing Loans, which had grown by 20,45% at its peak and slumped to 7,87% by December last year, thanks to the Zimbabwe Asset Management Company (Zamco), which has absorbed NPLs amounting to US$812,52 million — comprised of proprietary portfolio US$548,66 million and managed portfolio US$263,86 million.

Kigali Enforces Ban On Business Offices in Residential Premises

The office space business in the Rwandan capital Kigali is undergoing remarkable innovations as people dash to beat a March 2017 deadline to vacate offices from residential premises.

The directive announced in early January gave businesses and Non-Government Organisations operating in residential premises a three months ultimatum to vacate.

City of Kigali (CoK) authorities say the move is an implementation of the city master plan, and is a result of more commercial space becoming available lately.

The order targets 968 residential houses and only tenants with proof of having paid rent beyond April 2017 being considered for exemption.

“This relocation drive seeks to establish an organised city, able to accommodate the ever increasing population,” said Parfait Busabizwa, the City vice mayor in charge of economic development. Kigali currently has 1.2 million people and the number is expected to grow to 3.9m by 2040.

CoK authorities say that some residential buildings do not have ample parking space, forcing the parking of cars in road reserves, and this does not only cause congestion but also increases accident risk.

Some of the affected have, however, criticised the move, pointing out that existing commercial space is too expensive.

Mark Muramira, the director of Kizere Group, a firm involved in export of fresh flowers to Europe, says they currently pay US$2000 (Approx. Rwf 1.7 million) per month to occupy a residential house in Gikondo suburb, with space (plus compound) totaling to 4,000 square meters but would have to part with US$ 90,000 (Approx. Rwf 72.3 million) for equal space at Kigali Heights, an upmarket office block. Each square meter costs US$22.5.

Enforcement of the order comes at a time when major commercial structures in the city like CHIC Complex , Kigali Heights, towers built by Rwanda Social Security (RSSB), and M. Peace Plaza all remain largely unoccupied, yet for some, bank loans were used for development.

Fusion Capital, for example, invested about $40 million (Rwf32billion) in the 30,000 square metres Kigali Heights. While 100 per cent of this retail space of this Grade A property has been let, office space is still at about 52 per cent.

Parfait Busabizwa, the City vice mayor in charge of economic development, points out that they are currently engaging owners of the commercial buildings in talks geared towards making the spaces more affordable.

Business people say that while there is increased supply of Grade A commercial space, there is still general shortage of Grade B, which most small and medium businesses can afford.

Calvin Rock Gahizi who works with Century Real Estate, however, points out that there has been increased supply of Grade B space.

“Now we have commercial space at a cost range of US$10 and US$12, which was unheard of in recent years.”

Gahizi is confident that that the cost of space will go down more, considering that as many as 50,000 square feet of commercial space are still unoccupied.

However, representatives of Nonprofit Organisations (NGOs) observe that many commercial buildings in the city do not meet the tastes of many UN agencies and NGOs as they are constrained by limited parking slots for tenants and visitors.

“Some of these nonprofit organisations do not have any other sources of funds, except donor money, so the directive should be effected in a way that will not push some of them to closure,” noted Edouard Munyemaliza, the coordinator of the Rwanda Civil Society Platform.

The Kigali City Master Plan was approved in 2013. The CoK authorities say people were adequately consulted before implementation begun but some members of the public are against it. Some business people have described the move as unjust as it aims to benefit particular complexes.

Busabizwa, however, dismissed the claim, saying “we are not forcing any one to occupy a particular commercial building. People are free to find and occupy any, as long as residential buildings are vacated.”

The Private Sector Federation (PSF) Chief Advocacy Officer, Gerard Nkusi Mukubu, says he hopes getting real estate dealers to reduce space prices would not be hard since there is competition as a result of increased supply.

Measures

In a bid to help small business people find affordable space, a number of co-working spaces have developed around Kigali, with an ideal example being, The Office, which is a shared space found in Kiyovu, a Kigali city outskirt. Entrepreneurs, consultants, freelancers, small business owners, and remote employees can rent a workstation here and share the costs of a full-service office.

Founded in 2012, the 870 square meters large office space, complete with internet connection, has a range of 75 to 100 people working on a daily basis. The managers say they have plans under way to expand to suburbs like Kacyiru and Nyarutarama, still in Kigali.

Regus, the world’s largest provider of flexible workplaces, in 2012 opened its first business centre in Kigali to serve rising demand.

Regus provides serviced offices, virtual offices, meeting rooms, and videoconferencing to clients on a contract basis.

Regus which has 4000 business centres across 120 countries currently runs a business center at Kigali City tower, with daily charges per individual client ranging from $1.97 to $35.00.

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