08 September 2010

Yesterday we received the registration certificate from RDB! The process was not difficult, just not clearly documented. Even as we were completing the registration, additional documents (which I fortunately had with me) were requested. Nonetheless, by 4:00pm we had received the certificate and submitted the investment application (which also had additional requirements that were not documented in the regulations).

It’s now Wednesday morning, and I’m back at RDB. Our investment application was approved, and the next step is to pay $500 for the investment certificate. I noticed the language in the investment acceptance letter regarding importation of raw materials was different from the language in the investment code, so I inquired. The investment code states,

INCENTIVES OFFERED TO INVESTORS WHO IMPORT GOODS

1° MACHINERY  AND RAW MATERIALS

An investor who imports machinery and raw materials shall be exempted from import duties.

Pretty clear, right? Well, what I learned is that there is an international definition of “raw materials.” And there is an exemption list that applies specifically to industries in Rwanda. Having just reviewed the list with the RDB Investment Director, none of our “raw materials” (peanut paste, milk powder, and vitamin/mineral mix) are on the current list. It is possible to request new items to be added, but the process can take “not less than six months.” To further complicate matters, Rwanda has recently joined the East African Community and, accordingly, important portions of the Rwanda invest code (which RDB sent us and upon which we based much of our information) has changed, although the written code has not been updated. So, I was told this morning, “We know that’s what the code says, but now this is the what we’re doing.”

What difference does this make, you ask? The import duty would be anywhere from 10-25% on each raw material. That would significantly increase our cost of production and, most importantly, result in FEWER CHILDREN being served. So, I’m working with RDB to figure out a way forward that would enable us to produce MANA in a cost-effective, competitive manner. I’m sure we’ll get it figured out, and I’m glad we discovered this now and not when we were trying to clear a shipment of raw materials! I have a meeting set up with Clare Akamanzi, the Chief Operating Officer of RDB for tomorrow morning to discuss all this and chart a course to move things forward.

In the meantime, I’ll pay the $500 for the investment certificate and get number plates for the truck

Bookmark and Share

NEWS POSTS

4th Annual March Madness for MANA!

MANA has saved one million kids…including Obama!

Put #TebowOnYoSquad & Save Kids!

What does acute malnutrition look like for a child?

3rd Annual March Madness for MANA

MANA partners with BIC Bands for National Peanut Month!

Help Luke…Stop SAM!

A World Food Day for All World Views

Good Spread Peanut Butter BOGO Sales Boost Food Donation to World Vision for Malnourished Children in Chad

StopSAM donates $5,000 – 13,000 packets of MANA!

The Calorie Cloud – Don’t lose weight, give it!

MANA’s new Unreasonable dream to save millions of kids

Moscow, Idaho based KickShot Soccer Strategy Board Game partners with MANA to fight malnutrition

Mark Moore: The Strandbeest and the Hongerbeest

The Salvation Army’s Chikankata Mission Hospital in Zambia

Stop SAM

A Food Aid Miracle Waiting to Happen

Meet Miracle!

When Food Isn’t the Answer to Hunger

Science Fiction & Social Fiction

A Peek into World Food Day Canada 2012

Samaritan’s Purse treats children in S. Sudan with MANA

A Fire in Their Bellies: Mark Moore at TEDxCharlotteED

March Madness for MANA

Sequestration, Scarcity, and America’s Values

Mark’s Musings on Lent

MANA = Peanut Butter on Steroids

Heartbeat for Hope takes MANA to Ghana

Peanut based RUTF helps malnourished children in Somalia

3 Pointer Challenge for MANA!

Sam’s Story: How does my donation help children?

MANA in Burundi

Upcycle Life: Reclaiming Materials – Transforming Lives

Read Between the Lines (support MANA, support MANA, support MANA)

Merry Christmas!

Surf the Web, Save a Kid

$100k donation will get MANA to kids in Malawi

MANA RUTF at Work in Burundi

“Forget Chocolate. Good Spread gets altruism into its peanut butter”

Thank you, Ride for World Health!

We’re hiring!

Child from Chad beats three killer diseases, RUTF among her treatments

Mark Moore to speak at World Food Day Canada

What’s inside a packet of MANA?

NPR: The Peanut Butter Cure Moves from Hospital to Snack Room

Fresh Flour One-for-One Campaign

Children: A Good Investment

MANA Goes on a Mission with Bless Back Worldwide

USAID awards 500-metric-ton contract to MANA Nutrition

Taking a bike ride with Elvis

United States Foreign Aid Officials Visit MANA Factory

Opinion: Wiping Out Malnutrition Could Be the Real Legacy for London Games

Double your money for World Vision: We did it!

Double your money for World Vision: We’re halfway there!

Double your money for World Vision!

Translating early warning into early action

Spotlight on SAM: Concern Worldwide, Valid International, and CMAM

WFP: How Solving Hunger Builds a More Secure World

RUTF in Ethiopia, Developing countries unlikely to reach MDGs, and Gotye supports famine relief

RUTF Shortages in Nigeria

Spotlight on SAM: The Children’s Nutrition Program of Haiti

“CNN Effect” in the Sahel, A Tale of Two Ethiopian Women Fighting Hunger

A Promise Renewed: Child Survival Call to Action 2012 Summit

Spotlight on Malnutrition: CARE & USAID Empower Women to Reduce Stunting

TED Talks: Josette Sheeran on Ending Hunger Now

Hunger Stalks Africa’s Young, Hunger & Drought Crisis in West Africa

Spotlight on SAM: ADRA in Madagascar

Articles We’re Reading: May 22, 2012

Advancing Food Security and Nutrition at the 2012 G8 Summit

“You Have $75 Billion to Save the World”

Spotlight on SAM: Action Against Hunger | ACF International in Nigeria

Articles We’re Reading: May 14, 2012

State of the World’s Mothers 2012

What is FEWS NET?

MANA building jobs while feeding the hungry

“In Tune to Spreading the Love” Fundraiser

Pop-Up BBQ for MANA

Linsanely Tall

Caring About the Poor

Charlotte-based company asks for help in fight against hunger in Africa

Wampanoags and Peanut Farmers

Product made in Fitzgerald saves children’s lives worldwide

We’ve Got Ink in the Huffington Post

The President of Burundi and MANA at Forest Hill Church

Guatemala SANA Update!

Mana is in Central America!

Georgia Farm Monitor Coverage of MANA Production Plant

Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting

Efficacy Study Results are in!

March 2011 Newsletter

MANA Fast Destiny

Eradicate? Seriously?

February 2011 Newsletter

13 February 2011 – Take a Rest

MANA Rwanda is in the news!

Rwaza, Week One Progress

Rwaza – First distribution!

MANA RUTF is now in the hands of kids!

Work Started with Rwaza Health Center in Rwanda

MANA Foods Rwanda has a home!

MANA in action!

Millennium Development Goals: Progress?

World Food Day

925 Million People Are Hungry Worldwide

MANA is in the news!

MANA Receives $250,000 Commitment

World Food Day event in Washington, D.C.

MANA Summit Engages Potential Funders

President Kagame of Rwanda Briefed on MANA Production Plans