Rwanda, the Land of a Thousand Opportunities

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Rwanda is a beautiful country. Not only is it the land of a thousand hills it also the land of a thousand opportunities. As an entrepreneur, I strive to make the simple things in life more accessible to everyone, hence improving the quality of life.

My interests are mainly lifestyle-based. This has a great influence in projects I am involved in. Here are a few of them.

 

Glocal Dubbing –  Rediscovering the Rwandan Culture

Glocal Dubbing was an initiative started in the wake of digital migration. Rwanda was moving from a one-TV country to having multiple stations. But these channels cannot produce all the programs they need to satisfy their audience in-house. Therefore, such a move would see a huge vacuum in the content market that could not be easily filled. Unless, of course, international content was localized for the audience to enjoy.

With globalisation, cultures tend to converge. There is a general fear of that new generations will forget the languages and cultures of their home country. If there could be an option to watch their favorite programs in their local language, why not provide it?

So we did a survey. It revealed that the vast majority of TV viewers in Rwanda would prefer to watch their favorite programs in their local language, Kinyarwanda. Just as we had thought. And so Glocal Dubbing was born.

 

250Taxi –  Built for convenience

One day, Afshon Wallace, now co-founder of 250Taxi, approached me with the idea of a taxi service. I was excited. I knew it would help solve transport issues for many people in Rwanda. Uber had just launched in neighboring Kenya. The idea was appealing, especially after we got stuck at a wedding venue because we couldn’t get a taxi to pick us up.

250Taxi is built around convenience. It is a mobile app that seeks to solve everyday problems. It started out as a transport service aimed to bring about a faster, easier and more reliable way to get a cab and move around the city. Now, it has evolved into a functional marketplace providing different products for our users.

250Taxi was born out of necessity. Solutions in the market were not meeting the needs present. For instance, there is a lot of complaints of having to wait for over half an hour for a cab to arrive. When you call the cab driver, he insists he is almost there. This can be very frustrating,

With our application, the drivers available to you are ones who are at most seven minutes away from your exact location. You can also track the driver as he approaches. Also, you can manage all your transport needs in one place. You can summon a taxi cab or motor, seek deliveries, and check on the weather forecast.

 

Urubuto School Magazine – Creating a voice

Becoming an entrepreneur, I struggled with many things. After getting through them, I often think, if only I knew this earlier! I realised that most problems can be attributed to a lack of education at an early age.

That’s how I got into Urubuto school magazine. I saw the ability to impact the young students by equipping them with life skills very early on. I wanted young people to learn from my mistakes.

Originally, the magazine contained only a few stories. But then we realized there are other people trying to do the same thing. So, over time, the magazine evolved to focus on skills and knowledge that are not taught in schools.

We have also evolved to include content from students. We used to develop all our content in-house, but we realise that students need to be involved. When students write the stories, they are more encouraged to express themselves.

To encourage and promote these stories, we are currently organising a writing competition in the first term of 2016. This has run from late January, and will continue up to early June 2016. In this competition, we encourage students to develop their original work. The best students will be awarded, their stories published for others to read.

 

Marshals Media – Out and About Rwanda

Out and About Rwanda is a travel show. But it is not your everyday kind of travel show, not only about gorillas and cultural events.

The gorillas are a big tourist attraction in Rwanda. The Kwita Izina event attracts people from all over the world. But Rwanda is a land of hidden tourist treasures. There are so many places to go and things to do in Rwanda that the people don’t know about.

The idea came about after finding different destinations in Rwanda, when my partners and I were driving. We saw a few nice hotels. It struck us that we can really do some good and help this local tourism industry to grow.

The idea is really simple. We have destination categories, such as family destinations, ones to go with friends, romantic getaways, and so on. Locals usually think tourism is only for foreigners. But we want to change this. We want to encourage local tourism in a more accessible manner, hence promoting and categorising destinations.

In the near future, we want to do more than just a TV show. We plan to build a tourism destination promotion program and website tailored around the show. Rest assured; we wish to benefit the local tourism industry in Rwanda in various ways.

 

Building Rwanda into a Shining Beacon of Success

Building a better Rwanda is a mandate of everybody living in Rwanda, citizen or foreigner. My mission as an entrepreneur is to grow with the country. To be part of the change and advancement that, is taking place. I want to be able to play my part in keeping Rwanda as a shining beacon of success in the African market.