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Crystal Ventures leverages SAP S/4HANA to transform business processes across group companies – The Maravi Post



NAIROBI, Kenya, October 26, 2021 -/African Media Agency(AMA)/- A lack of automation can undermine an organisation’s efforts for greater efficiency and profitability and leave decision-makers blind to real-time information about the business. Data suggests up to 22% of a typical employee’s time is spent on repetitive tasks, with up to 10 errors per 100 steps in manual data entry.

For CVL, one of Rwanda’s leading investment groups, a reliance on manual processes by several of its group companies left it lacking the automation benefits, efficiency, and agility to speed up its growth strategy.

“Our operational efficiency was undermined by reliance on manual processes in many of our business practices,” says Arnaud Muhizi, Project Manager at Crystal Ventures Limited. “Overheads were initially captured separately from the cost of production, which made accurate profitability planning challenging, and our project management practice was operating at a sub-optimal level due to the lack of real-time reporting tools. In addition, production, HR, quality and plant maintenance processes were all manual, hence lacking.”

Crystal Ventures Limited is an investment company established in Rwanda in 1995 with the aim of meeting the challenges of economic recovery and taking advantage of growth opportunities in the region.

Since its founding Crystal Ventures Limited (CVL) has grown into the biggest investment company in Rwanda, employing 12 000 people with operations spanning the manufacturing, hospitality, security services and construction sectors.

Crystal Ventures approached several technology vendors and, following a rigorous evaluation process, chose SAP as the best fit for its requirements. “We chose SAP S/4HANA as our enterprise nerve centre, and deployed integrated solutions that would cover our end-to-end business processes.”

With nine subsidiary companies forming part of the rollout scope, Crystal Ventures worked with implementation partner ISS Middle East to digitise all manual processes and implement a broad range of integrated SAP solutions.

Processes covered by the implementation include human capital management, document management, project management, quality management, materials management, plant maintenance, production planning, finance and cost control, and sales.

The entire project took place over eight and a half months, with 3000 users onboarded to SAP SuccessFactors and 450 users onboarded to SAP S/4HANA.

“Since our go-live, senior management has gained real-time visibility over the performance of project managers, which has contributed to greater efficiency and revenue growth across our construction and manufacturing companies,” says Arnaud Muhizi. “In addition, our costing model allows affected companies to run profitability analyses, and inventory ageing reports are now available to aid decision-making and planning.”

End-users were guided through the changes in processes by regular awareness sessions and extensive training to ensure ready adoption. “We also reorganised department functions to mirror best practice and standard processes, and provided the SAP Learning Hub to the core team. We had regular engagement with the Customer Success Office to ensure the implementation ran smoothly and affected users could easily use new tools and processes.”

Hardeep Sound, Regional Sales Director for East Africa at SAP, says the sheer scope of the implementation and breadth of process coverage has entirely transformed Crystal Ventures and its group companies. “Following this landmark implementation, Crystal Ventures has leapt into the future by laying an unshakable foundation for building intelligent enterprise capabilities. By automating outdated manual processes and improving visibility into key business performance areas, Crystal Ventures is able to more effectively steer its group companies through the complexity of the modern business environment.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of SAP Africa.

Visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @SAPNews.

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Source : African Media Agency (AMA)


Coronavirus pandemic could cost global tourism $2 trillion this year – The Maravi Post




According to the latest forecast by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the same amount was lost in 2020, making it one of the sectors hit hardest by the health crisis.

Despite recent improvements, the report warned that demand for travel could be further affected by “uneven vaccination rates around the world and new COVID-19 strains which had prompted new travel restrictions in some countries.

In the past few days, the emergence of the Omicron variant has led dozens of countries to reinstate restrictions on arrivals, or to delay relaxation in COVID-19 travel and testing rules, leading to wide uncertainty for holiday season travellers worldwide.

Spikes in oil prices and the disruption of global supply chains have also had an effect. According to the latest UNWTO data, international tourist arrivals are expected to remain 70-75 per cent below 2019 levels in 2021, a similar decline as in 2020.

‘We cannot let our guard down’

Although a 58 per cent increase in tourist arrivals was registered in July-September of this year compared to the same period in 2020, this remained 64 per cent below 2019 levels, the UN body found.

In August and September, arrivals were at 63 per cent lower than 2019, which is the highest monthly result since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Between January and September 2021, worldwide international tourist arrivals stood at 20 per cent lower, compared to 2020, a clear improvement from the 54 per cent drop, over the first six months of the year. 

“Data for the third quarter of 2021 is encouraging,” UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said. “However, arrivals are still 76 per cent below pre-pandemic levels and results across the different global regions remain uneven.”

In light of the rising cases and the emergence of new variants, he added that “we cannot let our guard down and need to continue our efforts to ensure equal access to vaccinations, coordinate travel procedures, make use of digital vaccination certificates to facilitate mobility, and continue to support the sector.”

Uneven recovery

Despite the improvement seen in the third quarter of the year, the pace of recovery remains slow and uneven across world regions.

In some sub-regions, such as Southern and Mediterranean Europe, the Caribbean, North and Central America, arrivals actually rose above 2020 levels in the first nine months of 2021.

However, arrivals in Asia and the Pacific were down by as much as 95 per cent when compared with 2019, as many destinations remained closed to non-essential travel.

Africa and the Middle East recorded 74 per cent and 81 per cent drops respectively in the third quarter compared to 2019. Among the larger destinations, Croatia, Mexico and Turkey showed the strongest recovery in the period of July to September.

Caribbean rebound

The Caribbean had the highest results of any of the subregions defined by the UNWTO, with arrivals up 55 per cent compared to 2020.

International tourist arrivals “rebounded” during the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere thanks to increased travel confidence, rapid vaccination and the easing of entry restrictions in many nations.

In Europe, the EU Digital Covid Certificate has helped facilitate free movement within the European Union, the report added.

UN Health News

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Botswana loses court bid to revoke gay rights – The Maravi Post




Botswana’s government on Monday lost a legal attempt to overturn a landmark ruling that decriminalized homosexuality.

The country’s High Court in 2019 ruled in favor of campaigners seeking to strike down jail sentences for same-sex relationships, declaring the punishment to be unconstitutional.

But the government sought to revoke the ruling, arguing that the courts had no jurisdiction in this matter.

“Since the appellant’s grounds of appeal have been unsuccessful… the appeal must fall,” Botswana’s Court of Appeal ruled on Monday.

It had started hearing the case in October.

Homosexuality had been banned since 1965 in conservative Botswana, where offenders could face up to seven years in prison.

The 2019 judgment was hailed internationally as a major victory for gay rights.

Judge Ian Kirby, who read out the ruling on Monday, said gay citizens had long lived in “constant fear of discovery or arrest” when expressing “love for their partners.”

“This sometimes led to depression, suicidal behavior, alcoholism or substance abuse,” he said.

Botswana is one of only a handful of African countries to have decriminalized homosexuality.

Others are Lesotho, Mozambique, Angola and Seychelles.

South Africa is the sole nation on the continent to allow same-sex marriage, which it legalized in 2006.

Source: Africanews

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South Africans rush to get COVID jabs to beat the new virus strain – The Maravi Post




Hundreds of people queued in their cars to get vaccinated against Covid-19 at a drive-thru vaccination center in Cape Town, South Africa.

This comes after dozens of nations from Europe to Asia have imposed travel restrictions on South Africa and its neighbors since its scientists flagged Omicron last week.

“From my side, it’s definitely something that we all need to stand together for to fight against, with the ban just from an economical point of view I feel that look for me that was a political decision,” one woman who came for the jab said.

“So I definitely think today we have been a lot busier than last week. We’ve seen an uptake in people coming which is very encouraging. Friday we also saw a little bit of an increase, I think that was due to the anxiety of the new variant. But I think the public has listened to the president and hopefully this is a good sign of things to come,” said Hillary Bertrand, Clinical Manager, Athlone vaccination site

The travel restrictions have dealt a body blow to South Africa’s tourism industry, which had been looking to the southern hemisphere summer to welcome an influx of visitors from the well-heeled north.

South Africa on Monday said it was “regrettable… (and) sad” that fellow African nations had joined a rush by wealthy countries to impose travel bans over the new Covid variant.

“It is quite regrettable, very unfortunate, and I will even say sad, to be talking about travel restrictions imposed by a fellow African country,” foreign ministry spokesman Clayson Monyela said.

Angola, Mauritius, Rwanda and the Seychelles have halted flights from South Africa in a bid to shield themselves from Omicron.

“What I don’t understand is that some of these African countries that are doing this, know the struggles (that) as a continent we have, where European countries will take this decision and impose travel bans,” said Monyela.

He said South Africa had recently made “substantial donations” of vaccines to some of the countries that were now imposing flight bans.

“When a fellow African country does that, especially in the context where most of these countries are beneficiaries… it doesn’t make sense,” he told an online news conference organised by the health ministry.

Monyela said his ministry was urging countries on the continent and further afield that have hurried to impose travel restrictions to reverse them “immediately.”

Dozens of nations from Europe to Asia have imposed travel restrictions on South Africa and its neighbours since its scientists flagged Omicron last Thursday.

Mauritius and Rwanda were the latest African countries to suspend flights.

Rwanda announced late Sunday that it was halting direct flights to and from nine countries in southern Africa.

All passengers who landed from those countries in the past seven days now have to spend a week in quarantine in designated hotels — at their own cost.

– ‘Afrophobia’ –

On Saturday the director of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, Arvind Bundhun, said in a statement that it was “with regret” that the government took the decision to suspend all flights from southern Africa.

Meanwhile Angola, itself among the blacklisted southern African nations, at the weekend suspended all flights to and from Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa until further notice.

Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera, whose country is also blacklisted, accused Western countries of “Afrophobia” for shutting their borders.

Botswana, where scientists say the variant was first described, has also warned against “geo-politicising” the virus.

An outraged South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday called on countries to “immediately and urgently” reverse the travel curbs, which he said were scientifically “unjustified.”

Health Minister Joe Phaahla said many South Africans had felt the country had hastened to go public with the discovery of the new Omicron variant and that had it “kept quiet, travel bans would not have happened”.

“But that would have been detrimental, because our approach is for our citizens to not live in false security and false safety,” said Phaahla.

The travel restrictions have dealt a new blow to South Africa’s tourism industry, which had hoped the southern hemisphere summer would bring an influx of visitors from the well-heeled north.

Source: Africanews

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