April 18, 2024


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Rwandan Entrepreneur Albert Munyabugingo Uncovers the other value of the Jack Ma Foundation’s Africa’s Business Heroes Competition

Mr. Albert Munyabugingo, during an ABH Pitching Session in Kigali

Rwandan entrepreneur Mr. Albert Munyabugingo, co-founder and CEO of Vuba Vuba Africa Ltd, the leading e-commerce platform in Rwanda, finds that the Jack Ma Foundation’s Africa’s Business Heroes Competition besides the financial prizes, it offers a valuable chance to learn from fellow entrepreneurs and exchange ideas that contribute to the overall development of the African continent.

He also finds that the competition is an important way to expose one’s solution to the Africa’s needs adding that “the goal of the Jack Ma Foundation is to empower African entrepreneurs in any sector they are in and as a result, the competition becomes more intense and the challenges become greater.” He said.

Judges at the Pitching session for the semi-final competition

Speaking to the media after pitching her business idea at the ABH Semi-Final Pitching session held in Kigali this week, Mr. Munyabugingo said “Through interacting with fellow entrepreneurs and founders, we have gained valuable insights from their mistakes and experiences.”

“This is a very good platform and of course, if you get to, there’s a price to be shared. It’s about 1.5 million US dollars. So it’s a very good portion in terms of boosting our finances as well.” He added.

The top 20 finalists of ABH 2023 among which, the Vuba Vuba Africa Ltd ranked was announced in July while the top 10 finalists of which again Vuba Vuba is ranked was announced on 2nd September, 2023.

According to the organizers, the return of a large-scale Grand Finale and Summit, during which the top 10 candidates will pitch live to global business legends to secure their share of the final award, is slated to take place in Kigali, Rwanda on November 23-24, 2023.

Rwanda has been participating in ABH each year since its inception in 2019 and has highly benefited from this initiative as 4 Rwandan entrepreneurs have so far emerged among top 10 winners for the year 2019, 2021 and 2022 respectively.

Overall, to date, Rwanda has won a total grant of over US$385,000 (equivalent to over 455 million Rwandan Francs).

What Vuba Vuba Africa Ltd has done so far

Mr. Munyabugingo revealed that his company has truly connected buyers and sellers, starting from home country.

He mentioned that, for example, numerous Rwandans are familiar with his company, but they are not personally acquainted with him. This indicates that the solution his company provides has indeed been effective for them.

“So a country like Rwanda is a very good testing market, I would say. If you’re not delivering what you promised, if you’re over-promising and under-delivering, word of mouth in Rwanda works effectively. A single tweet, second tweet, or third tweet is enough for people to stop using your service,” he said.

“So, I believe that after creating a solution that effectively caters to the needs of Rwandans, it is evident that there is not a one-size-fits-all market. We will need to make certain adjustments. Additionally, as part of our planning, we have identified two more countries that we aim to expand into by 2024,” he added.

Mr. Munyabugingo aslo noted that service users and ABH Competition are another opportunity to test if the solution that was provided also is an African one.

“Of course, we are going to test ourselves to determine if the solution we are building is truly African. You cannot ascertain this until you enter another market. However, it is crucial to be aware so that you do not exhaust all your finances on expansion without adequate preparation. Therefore, I would say it requires time, but the feedback from your users will indicate if you are ready for expansion or not,” explains Munyabugingo.

Vuba Vuba impacts in Numbers

Vuba Vuba Africa Ltd, the leading e-commerce in Africa was launched in Rwanda in January 2020.

 The company is currently averaging more than 1,000 deliveries every day and the average purchase order is about 12 to 13 US dollars. However, Mr. Munyabugingo said that they are looking forward to adding more services.

“We now employ 37 full-time employees, around 50 casual workers and we give the ability to serve to about more than 100 delivery riders. These are people who are usually motor riders, but we transformed them into a way of working by making them a customer service agent, so it literally unlocks more doors for them.” He explained.


Mr. Munyabugingo advised other Entrepreneurs in Africa to not be the type of founders or CEO who spend probably 90% of the time in meetings rather than actually getting back in operation.

“Because most of the times, we do understand this operation more than, of course, other people support us all, but we have the lead. So you have to take the lead by being part of your team and not over demanding and being part of the demand that you’re making yourself.” He said.

READ ALSO: Rwanda’s Vuba Vuba Africa LTD: The Rising Star Among Africa’s Business Heroes

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