BOURBON COFFEE set to open up 2 new coffee shops

Annita Kabbatende It has been eight months since the first coffee shop worth its salt was opened at the Union Trade Centre (UTC) in Kigali’s city centre. On the back of this success at UTC, at the end of November, Bourbon Coffee will be opening a brand new addition to the Bourbon Coffee franchise at the MTN centre in Nyarutarama. This will be closely followed at the end of December by another coffee shop at the Kanombe Airport. The new shops will open with innovative additions to the original Bourbon Coffee experience.  

In keeping with the idea of promoting the Rwandese coffee brand, the new shops will have an expanded menu with more regional representation of the coffee growing areas in Rwanda. However this time around, in addition to the coffee, there will be an ice cream parlor as well as a full scale bakery. For the coffee aficionados, the coffee beans will be ground on-site.    

To top all this off, Bourbon Coffee at the MTN centre and the airport will boast more private and fully equipped meeting rooms that will allow the executive to make presentations in a friendly environment as well as allow the travelling businessman to work right till the moment he has to board his plane. 

Bourbon Coffee takes pride in promoting the Rwandan coffee brand.  However in so doing, it is also showcasing Rwandese hospitality and innovation.  

Interestingly, bourbon coffee is an old coffee variety of the gourmet Arabica coffee which has been proven by time to possess the best in flavor characteristics. It could be said that from the moment it opened its doors, the coffee shop held the promise of serving the best of Rwandese Gourmet coffee. 

For a country whose coffee industry contributes a significant portion of its foreign exchange revenues, we could hardly boast of a coffee drinking culture of any sort.

By illustrating to the Rwandese public the numerous ways coffee can be consumed, creating awareness of the health concerns associated with coffee and the installation of free internet facilities, Bourbon Coffee is creating a lifestyle out of coffee drinking. 

Interestingly, it is not all about the consumption of coffee at this establishment. Bourbon Coffee’s management is using it as a platform to promote the Rwandan Coffee brand by insisting on serving only home grown coffee from all the coffee growing regions of the country as well as exposing its patrons to a few choice details about the Rwandan coffee industry.

At the end of this year, when you visit the brand new coffee shops, take a minute to savoir not only the gourmet coffee, but the whole experience of hanging out at Bourbon Coffee.  



Despite $300bn in aid that has been disbursed to the African continent since 1970, economic growth and human development in Africa still lags behind the rest of the world. That is a challenge that the Rwandan President took on during a  recent five-day trip to visit the United Kingdom, where he was a speaker at the Conservative Party annual conference in Blackpool and at the London School of Economics. 

For President Paul Kagame, as it should be for the rest of the continent, processing or value addition to local products is an indispensable practice that Africans must fully embrace if they are to ever break the yoke of aid dependence that is necessitated by reliance on the export of raw materials. His call for minimizing exporting only raw materials, and turning to processing them before export, thus adding value first, should not be taken lightly.  Instead of exporting coffee beans for example, we export coffee as a finished product. 

The President argued that Africans need to see aid as a temporary vehicle for building institutions, systems, infrastructure and capacity for embarking on real development via domestic entrepreneurship and direct foreign investment. 

His address to the London School of Economics (LSE) pointed out that over 83% of COMESA exports are raw materials. If the relatively industrialized economies of Kenya and Egypt are left out of this equation, the percentage of raw material exports goes much higher. 

Countries get rich by adding value to commodities and selling these products. This requires investment and Africa is still hardly the most attractive destination for such capital. Inadequate infrastructure, insecurity, lack of skilled labor and stifling government bureaucracies cause investors to put their money elsewhere. 

Productive capacities, competitiveness and value addition to products – as opposed to aid dependency, is a frame of mind and a practice that Africa and Rwanda must embrace. Kagame gave an assessment on why Africa fell behind. According to him it was because of bad leadership, the failure to invest in people, a lack of productivity and competitiveness and aid dependence.  

Governments should see their roles as enablers of business, and not gatekeepers that control and hamper it. Governments do not create wealth, businesses do, the President emphasized.