World Bank Vice President commends Rwanda’s Growth

In her recent visit to Rwanda, World Bank Vice President, Rachel Kyte “commended the Government of Rwanda’s vision and commitment for implementing successful growth-driving policies.” Kyte spoke favorably of Rwanda, commenting on the great success story of its development as it shifts from “aid to more investment,” focusing particularly on the need for Rwanda’s government to enhance Foreign Direct Investment.

Read the full article here.

Made in Rwanda Leadership Summit Co-sponsored by Karisimbi Partners

More than 150 delegates from Canada and Rwanda, including international thought and business leaders, will gather in Kigali, Rwanda for the inaugural Made in Rwanda Leadership Summit. The Summit is an innovative think tank centered on the themes of leadership and the development of human capital.

The inaugural event is organized by Opportunity International Canada and The Wellspring Foundation for Education and sponsored by the Rwandan Development Board, Bridge2Rwanda, Private Sector Federation, Rwanda-Canada Chamber of Commerce, Urwego Opportunity Bank of Rwanda and Karisimbi Business Partners.

Read more here.

Made in Rwanda Leadership Summit

Leaders in business from both Rwanda and Canada will gather this week for the inaugural Made in Rwanda Leadership Summit. The event, hosted by Opportunity International Canada, will feature various keynote speakers, including Carter Crockett, founder and partner of Karisimbi Business Partners. The summit is focused on exploring the power of human capital and the potential for partnerships spanning various sectors in business, education, government, etc.

Read the full article here.

Rwanda to review commodity exchange plan

In an effort to reward farmers with better prices by eliminating intermediaries believed to be driving up the prices of staple crops, Rwanda is working to establish the first Rwanda Commodity Exchange. If successfully implemented as planned over the next 12 months, this could be of great benefit to both agri-processors and farmers alike.

Read the full article here.

Karisimbi Partners Supports Team Karisimbi Cyclist

Karisimbi Partners believes in helping businesses and individuals reach the summit of their potential.  Over the past few years as we have had the opportunity to work across various parts of the country and among a wide variety of business sectors, we have come in contact with some remarkable people and organizations doing amazing things.  In line with our social motivation, we have sought to support  inspiring organizations and individuals here in Rwanda.

One such organization is Team Rwanda, a non-profit focused on building and developing the Rwandan cycling team. Their Mission: “Team Rwanda Cycling searches for talent to empower, enable and to inspire not just individuals but families, communities and a nation through cycling.” These young men are taken from extreme poverty and given an opportunity to develop their skill and talent for the good of their families, their country, and in pursuit of personal dreams.

Janvier Hadi of Team Rwanda competing in the 2011 Tour of Rwanda
Janvier Hadi of Team Rwanda competing in the 2011 Tour of Rwanda

Janvier Hadi is a promising nineteen year old rider that Karisimbi Partners is pleased to support in the development of his racing career.  Far from a hobby, cycling can allow this young man (with only a primary school education) to provide for his family and serve as an inspiration for the youth of his country. In April of 2011, he won the Kigali to Butare Single Speed Race and earned the right to be evaluated in Musanze (Team Rwanda training headquarters).  He tested quite well, had an excellent pedal stroke and fit the bill for an up-and-coming cyclist: tall, thin and young.  He was mentored by one of Team Rwanda’s veteran riders, Gasore Hategeka, who was featured in an article in this summer’s New Yorker by Philip Gourevitch, Climbers.

Janvier has shown incredible promise.  As a rookie, he made the top team, Team Karisimbi, for Team Rwanda for the 2011 Tour of Rwanda, and had a very strong showing.  Based on Janvier’s performance, he was selected as the third rider to attend the UCI training camp in South Africa in February and March along with Gasore and another veteran rider, Nicodem.  Sending Janvier to training camp in South Africa is essential to his growth as a rider.  Karisimbi Partners is honored to provide the required support to cover Janvier’s camp fees and travel costs to attend this critical component in his development. This will be Janvier’s first time on a plane and first time outside Rwanda.  He will come back in April transformed.

The week before training camp, Team Rwanda coach Jonathan Boyer was invited to Janvier’s home village to see the new house he bought with the winnings from the Tour of Rwanda.  He bought the house for his family of seven!   Janvier is another young rider giving hope to all the young boys…and girls…in Rwanda, hope that they too can make a difference to their family and even their country through cycling.

Janvier stands proudly in front of the house he bought for his family
Janvier stands proudly in front of the house he bought for his family

Onward & upward,

Milk for Health and Wealth

A recent news article highlighted the forthcoming Rwanda National Milk Campaign to be launched in January 2012 and continuing throughout the year, with a primary goal of fighting chronic malnutrition among the young.  Read article here

Karisimbi Partners has worked closely with a number of key industry processors in the milk value chain and welcomes this move by the Ministry of Agriculture to emphasize the importance of milk consumption for health and well-being of the population. Of critical importance to the success of this goal is the strength of the overall dairy sector and the value chain that supports it.

While milk is a desired commodity within the country and the region, the financial viability of players within the sector has been tenuous given the competition between raw (unprocessed) milk and pasteurized (processed) milk.  Karisimbi Partners has been a strong proponent of government support to sensitize the public to the benefits and importance of processed milk consumption vs. the milk traditionally available in the informal channel.  Given the low per capita income of the vast majority of the population, processed milk represents a price premium over that of its informal competitor, consequently limiting the market size for processors and the incomes of dairy farmers and other suppliers.

Karisimbi Partners has worked closely with key industry and government players to evaluate options for reducing processing costs and increasing efficiencies to bring pasteurized milk products to the general public at prices as close as possible to those found in the informal market.  The National Milk Campaign should provide critical visibility and support to drive consumers to the formal dairy market. This can drastically change the market dynamics within the country, providing health, wealth and employment benefits to many families and dairy providers in this sector.