11 August 2010

Diary of a Start Up Venture in Rwanda
By Bret Raymond
Country Director
MANA Foods Rwanda Ltd.

My family of five arrived in Rwanda last night. Today was a day to establish communications with the world. My friend David took me around in his 1997 Toyota Hilux. I already had a cell phone from my trip to Rwanda earlier this year, so it was just a matter of purchasing air time for the phone. That necessitated a trip to the Forex (place where we exchange U.S.$ for Rwandan Francs) where I exchanged money quickly and easily. Just outside the Forex is an MTN representative, so I purchased air time.

Cell phone functioning. Check.

Next, David took me to the Rwandatel office where in just an hour my computer was configured for wireless access to the internet. This was incredible to me because it took four days for Cox Communications to get my home connected in the States!

Internet access. Check.

We then went to the Dutch Embassy to inquire about the 2002 Toyota Landcruiser Prado I purchased last month. The vehicle was there and checked out nicely (except for one flat tire). There’s paperwork to do before I can take the vehicle, so we’ll start that process tomorrow. While at the Embassy we learned of an investment program through the Dutch government for which MANA may qualify. We were encouraged to investigate and apply. Definitely will pursue that!

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