Kitabi Tea Company, one of the companies managed by Rwanda Mountain Tea, indeed emerged the best black tea in East Africa over 74 competing factories, winning the best BP1, Dust1 and overall black Tea awards. The award ceremony which took place on 29 August 2013 at Kigali Serena Hotel was witnessed by hundreds of people from the tea sector, government and financial institutions as well as research bodies.
The President of Rwanda, His Excellency Paul Kagame was the Guest of Honor at this event organized jointly by the East African Tea Trade Association (EATTA) and the National Agriculture and Export Development Board (NAEB).
His Excellency President Paul Kagame, who was guest of honor at the event and who awarded the prestigious prizes to producers of the best black and speciality teas in the region, acknowledged the role of tea in African Economy adding that special measures have to be taken to add value to the manufactured teas to support the continent’s socio-economic development efforts.
His Excellency in his speech emphasized the role tea plays in African economies by stating that statistics showed over 90% of African Tea is exported outside the continent. In Rwanda, less than 2% of the production is consumed locally His Excellency reported with the the rest of Africa also consuming less and exporting more of its tea production. From 2003 to 2012, the Rwanda’s Tea export earnings have increased from 22.2$ million to 65.7$ Million each year, added His Excellency.
During a dinner organized on 31 August 2013 to congratulate Rwanda Mountain Tea for the performance of its managed tea company, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Francois Kanimba said the achievement was a reward for the government of Rwanda efforts and investment in the sector in the past 10 years.
It was also made known to the public that Rwanda decided to add an additional 20 000 hectares to the existing tea plantations as well as building 4 new factories.