Dubai Expo: Rwanda to showcase business prospects at National Day – The New Times

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Rwanda’s tourism potential and investment opportunities will be showcased in Dubai, United Arab Emirates during Rwanda’s National Day slated for February 1 at the ongoing Expo 2020.
As part of the celebration, the Government of Rwanda has organized a two day business forum to be hosted in the same city.
Rwanda’s National Day at the Expo will be celebrated on February 1, with the ceremony including guided tours of both the Rwanda and UAE pavilions as well as meetings on investment and partnership opportunities in Rwanda.
According to Yves Iradukunda, Rwanda's Commissioner-General for Expo 2020 Dubai, a National Day is dedicated to each participating country with an event themed to celebrate that particular country.
Following Rwanda’s National Day, Iradukunda said that they will hold a two-day business forum on February 2 and 3, which will among other things, showcase business opportunities in the country and foster partnerships between local and international investors.
Among the agencies that will feature include Rwanda Development Board, Rwanda Finance Limited, Rwanda Mining Board, the Ministry of Health and Ministry of ICT and Innovation.
Investment promotion as well as export and tourism promotion– especially through the Visit Rwanda brand – business-to-business meetings and Government to Government meeting are some of the intended purposes of the forum.
“We wanted to create a forum in addition to Rwanda’s National Day to have a tangible engagement from a business perspective,” said Iradukunda, who is also the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of ICT and Innovation.
The private sector members have also been invited where they will be looking to engage with their counterparts from around the world.
“This is a place where you have 192 countries present, global organisations and people from across the world. In terms of business promotion and image branding, this is the place you would want to be,” he added.
The expo has also been ideal for Rwanda through aspects such as the retail section which has been visited by thousands of visitors giving them insights into Rwanda and what the country has to offer.
Speaking to The New Times, Clare Akamanzi, the CEO of Rwanda Development Board said that the sessions at the Business Forum include Doing Business as well as roundtables for the Kigali International Financial Centre, mining sector, Health, Fintech and business process outsourcing as well as Visit Rwanda.
“Dubai Expo is a big platform that brings business people of interest from all over the world, engaging them to know about the opportunities in Rwanda is a big opportunity. The expo has a very big media platform where even those who are not there physically follow from across the world. We hope to tap into these areas to pin Rwanda’s competitiveness as a business destination,” Akamanzi said.
Dubai Expo has driven the visibility of local brands such as Kivu Noir which is exhibiting and serving coffee at the Rwanda pavilion.
Kevin Mbundu, Co-founder and Chief Executive of Kivu Noir Coffee told The New Times that they had witnessed positive reception of their brand with demand picking up.
“We have seen a good reaction and have been able to have repeat customers for the coffee packs, notably from the royal family of UAE. I also believe the initiative to offer free coffee has played a major part in us making sales, because people are able to taste it first and are always impressed by our Rwandan blend, then are able to buy Kivu Noir products with confidence,” he said.
The Rwanda pavilion has welcomed over 300,000 visitors and served over 70,000 cups of coffee to date, according to officials statistics.
Hosted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the expo – which runs from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, offers a stage for countries to explore opportunities, exchange ideas and deepen their relations. 
So far, Dubai Expo 2020 targets to attract 25 million visitors by the time it comes to an end. 
Rwanda seeks to use the platform to provide information about the country’s development agenda, its ambitions toward Vision 2050, and also pitch business opportunities to potential investors.
Since its debut the Rwandan pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai has managed to attract prominent global figures including ministers of different countries in Africa and beyond.
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