IMPORTANT STATEMENT ON RWANDA BY TIM HENSHALL, CHIEF EXECUTIVE.
Responding to recent speculation within the tourism industry, it seems appropriate to provide an open and factual account of the relationship between Kamageo and Rwanda Development Board (RDB). Our contracted partnership started in mid-2014 and ended (when World Banks funds were exhausted) in December 2015, covering the UK, Russia, German-language markets and North America.
Sadly, we were advised that senior RDB personnel had been repeatedly slandering Kamageo. Kamageo has supplied undisputed evidence to prove that every objective set by RDB was not only achieved, but often significantly exceeded across all markets. Examples include the rise in global visitor numbers; an increase in tour operators selling Rwanda (UK up from 79 to 109); coordinating 44 trade fam trips (target 12) and gaining media coverage of £4.5m (target £650k). At the time, RDB verbally confirmed the outstanding performance of Kamageo, but more than three years on, almost £30,000 of Kamageo’s invoices remain unpaid, despite having been fully approved by RDB. We have long given up on being paid this outstanding sum.
To our huge disappointment, RDB has been widely quoted as stating that “RDB cancelled Kamageo’s contract because they did not perform”. This is false. When challenged, RDB has not denied making the comments. The truth is that our original contract was extended and our partnership only ended when RDB’s World Bank funds for the project ran out. It has been suggested that RDB’s false statement could be a bid to avoid paying the outstanding invoices, or because of Kamageo’s successful business relationship with Rwanda’s key competitor - Uganda - which began in 2016. Kamageo will not comment on this speculation.
As a boutique-sized agency up against a national government, we have had little option but to agree to disagree over the outstanding payments. But there was never any question over the magnificent results we achieved for Rwanda. To falsely criticise Kamageo is remarkable given the commitment we showed and more importantly the results we achieved for Rwanda’s tourism marketing.
We have now received an official notification from RDB which clarifies our role and our performance.