Rwandan sauce popular abroad

Friday November 18 2022

Urwibutso Enterprises makes Akabanga a hot chilli product. Rwandan firm accused several individuals in Uganda of counterfeiting and selling the chilli at a cheaper price. But the company lost the case. PHOTO | FILE


Akabanga, the extra hot chilli sauce-manufactured by Rwanda’s local entrepreneur — Sina Gerald — is popular on Amazon and other e-commerce platforms, as its market soars internationally.

When recently asked about the items he can't leave behind when travelling, during a television interview, renowned Nigerian musician, Burna Boy said, Akabanga sauce.

“I travel with it everywhere I go, I eat it on everything, I even eat it on bread,” he said.

The hot sauce made in Musanze District, has built a large clientele base on amazon where it has been sold for a number of years now, and has a five out of five star rating on the e-commerce giant, where it goes for $8.80 per 100ml bottle.

“You literally need just a couple of drops onto a healthy portion of food to ramp-up flavor. You could even make an overcooked running shoe edible and tasty with just a few drops,” reads a review from Richard Malcom, one of the customers on amazon.

Akabanga (little secret) is obtained from the seeds of pods of the African bird eye chilli, and refined with a little vegetable oil, with a pungency of around 100,000 Scoville.


It is suitable for meat dishes, stews an  soups, giving a refined aroma and an all
round background spiciness. Noelle Harerimana, the sales director at Urwibutso Enterprise, the makers of Akabanga, and a range of other food products, said they have also been shocked by the global market appeal the product has amassed.

“Akabanga has gone far and wide, we are now selling it on other e-commerce platforms beyond amazon, for instance, where it is also doing good numbers”

“Every year we get a 20 percent increase in quantities demanded on amazon”

He said they currently have distributors in Canada, Nigeria, Ghana, USA, Belgium, UK, and sales agents in Gabon, Senegal, UK and France.

He said the company faced packaging challenges during the time the coronavirus pandemic had caused supply chain glitches, but they have now gone back to normal operations.

“We plan to take advantage of the products wider market appeal to expand our market reach further, because there is a real opportunity,” he added.