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$20M invested in ‘Tap and Go’ Technology

by Kalinda Brenda & Daniel Sabiiti
1:44 pm

Made in Rwanda initiative bearing fruits

The Made in Rwanda technology has started earning good returns for the innovators after attracting foreign investors, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has revealed.

Rwanda has developed three mechanisms to bridge the trade imbalance with the Made in Rwanda, Start in Rwanda and Grow in Rwanda and beyond.

During the National Dialogue the RDB CEO Clare Akamanzi made revelations that shocked the  audience.

“Recently a Japanese company bought shares in AC Group’s ‘Tap&Go’ at $20 million, the same price that was paid for Umubano Hotel,” Akamanzi said.

With Tap & Go cards, public buses passengers do not have to pay cash. This is part of the country’s wider transition into a cashless economy. Holders of ‘Tap & Go cards can top up through agents stationed at all bus terminals with as little as Frw200.

Previously, commuters were only able to use the Tap & Go cards on 95% of the routes in Kigali. Today, the group said it has covered an extra 2% covering 97% of the routes.

The next move is to rollout the program upcountry, but before that, the company exported its technology to Cameroon.

RDB CEO Clare Akamanzi

The new investor who is interested in the Made in Rwanda ‘Tap and Go’ is  DMM Group, a Japan-based electronic commerce and Internet company with a diversified group of businesses that includes online shopping and video on demand service.

The company manages DMM.com, an online entertainment site that allows users to purchase goods and services like e-books, games, mainstream DVD releases, and 3D printing. Its subsidiary DMM.com Securities is the world’s second largest forex company in terms of trading volume.

Another technology that is also selling is the ZippLine a technology that operates drones used in blood delivery in Rwanda.

Recently, Tanzania adopted the technology, but uses it in agriculture.

Akamanzi said, the technology will expand to Liberia in the near future.

Akamanzi also said that, a computer assembling plant Positivo BGH encountered a number of challenges when they started operating in Rwanda but now they have overcome them and will soon start manufacturing Television screens.

“Transformation is a journey and it is time we safeguard our achievements. It is about being bold,” Akamanzi added.

This boldness has seen C&H, a Chinese garments company creating 1700 jobs from Rwandans working inside the textile company of which many have been trained in technical skills (TVET).

Akamanzi said that Rwanda will also focus on encouraging investors in the electronics to tap on the $4 billion market in the global market and $300million in the East African region.

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