Sunday 25 June 2017
(Xinhuanet 06/02/17)
Fifty-four African Union member states will convene the 5th Continental Conference of Solidarity with Cuba in the Namibian capital from June 5-7, said an Naminian official on Thursday. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of International relations and Cooperation, Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, said the aim of hosting the conference in Namibia is to intensify solidarity and to strengthen bounds of friendship between the people of Cuba and the progressive peoples throughout the African Continent. Namibia's President Hage Geingob will open and address the conference, which will run under the theme, "Intensifying Solidarity and continuing the legacy of Fidel and Che". The conference, which will also be attended by a Cuban delegation, will also recognize the important work done in support of...
(AFP (eng) 06/01/17)
Rwanda's media regulator has said the election body does not have the mandate to regulate social media use by presidential candidates, a measure seen as an assault on free speech. The National Electoral Commission (NEC) ruled last month that once campaigning starts on July 14, any social media updates by presidential candidates must be submitted to them for pre-approval. However, the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) which oversees the media, said in a statement late Wednesday that the NEC had "no mandate to regulate or interrupt the use of social media by citizens." "RURA as the statutory regulator has not had any discussions with NEC on this subject and would like to reaffirm the right of citizens to express themselves...
(AFP (eng) 06/01/17)
One in five children born with a twin sibling in sub-Saharan Africa dies before the age of five -- three times the rate among singletons, said a study Thursday. Almost two-thirds die in the first month of life -- often succumbing to the after-effects of a difficult birth or entering the world too early or underweight, according to research published in The Lancet medical journal. And while rates of under-five deaths in the sub-Saharan African region have declined over two decades, the improvement has been much slower for twins than for single-borns. "Twins account for 10.7 percent of all under-five deaths and 15.1 percent of neonatal (newborn) deaths in the region and these percentages are increasing," the study said. "The...
(AFP (eng) 05/31/17)
Western diplomats in Rwanda voiced their concern on Tuesday over an order that presidential candidates must submit their social media messages to the country's election commission for pre-approval before dissemination. "We are all concerned about this recent development and I think it is important to really understand what is behind this very, very serious limitation on the freedom of expression," said US ambassador Erica Barks-Ruggles. The envoy was speaking at a panel on human rights organised by the European Union and attended by foreign diplomats as well as Rwanda's justice minister. The measure giving control over social media use to the National Electoral Commission (NEC) will take effect at the start of the official campaign period on July 14 ahead...
(Washington Post 05/31/17)
The old man’s house had become a camp for the displaced. In the back yard, groups of women boiled water for rice. Small children skittered across the dirt, running into the bedroom, where they careened around the long, skinny legs of Elijah Karama. “Because of the conditions, they are mine to take care of,” said Karama, 57, more tired than proud. By conditions, he meant Boko Haram’s destruction of vast areas of northeastern Nigeria, and the hunger crisis that has followed. This city of about 1 million has absorbed an additional 1 million people who fled the Islamist militants who burned their villages and kidnapped hundreds of children. In Maiduguri, the vast majority of the displaced aren’t living in U.N...
(AFP (eng) 05/30/17)
There will be no spur of the moment Twitter rants by Rwanda's presidential candidates, as the election commission has ruled that it must pre-approve all of their social media updates. "We are asking (candidates) to present us their messages, their drafts" to verify that they are not against the law," electoral commission head Kalisa Mbanda told AFP on Monday. The measure, published in the government gazette earlier this month, will be effective as from the start of the official campaign on July 14 and concerns "messages, photographs and other campaign material" published on social networks.
(Xinhuanet 05/29/17)
Rwandan university students on Sunday joined a Chinese proficiency competition for foreign college students in the capital city of Kigali. The competition, hosted by the Confucius Institute Headquarters in China, is the Rwanda regional final and is also a preliminary competition of the 16th "Chinese Bridge" to be held in China. Twelve students participating in the competition won out of more than 400 contestants. The competition held at the University of Rwanda-College of Education was jointly undertaken by Chinese Embassy in Rwanda and Confucius Institute at the University of Rwanda-College of Education(CIUR-CE) . The students gave speeches in Chinese and were tested knowledge about China. They also demonstrated their talents -- Chinese songs, Chinese cross talk, clapper talk and a...
(Agence Ecofin 05/29/17)
Shareholders of Crystal Telecom which holds 20% of MTN Rwanda are concerned about the $8.5 million fine recently imposed to the firm by the regulator. Crystal Telecom asked MTN’s subsidiary to explain the impact of the fine on dividend payment to its shareholders. Crystal Telecom’s concern is mainly due to the slump in dividend shared as MTN’s revenues slumped from 1.14 billion Rwandan francs in 2015, to 1.03 billion Rwandan francs in 2016. This pushed Crystal Telecom’s earning per share down to 3.82 Rwandan francs or $0.4 last year (against 4.26 Rwandan francs or $0.5 in 2015). The fine from the regulatory authority, RURA, to MTN Rwanda on May 17, came up after the telecom firm infringed its telecom licence...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/27/17)
Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations met African heads of state on Saturday, the final day of their annual summit which has been marked by discord over climate change, but unity on tackling terrorism. Italy had hoped to make Africa the major focus of the annual G7 gathering, holding the discussions on the island of Sicily that has taken in hundreds of thousands of migrants over the past four years as they flee war and poverty back home. However, the two-day meeting got overshadowed by a suicide bombing in northern England on Monday that killed 22 people, and also got bogged down by lengthy discussions on the merit of free trade and the 2015 Paris Agreement to tackle...
(Xinhuanet 05/26/17)
Rwanda's national airline RwandAir has launched first direct commercial flight to Gatwick International Airport, London's second busiest airport. The airline's flight took off from Kigali International Airport on Friday afternoon en route to Gatwick International Airport, adding it to its network of 22 destinations worldwide. The new route will be operated by recently acquired brand new Airbus A330 aircraft that boasts of in-flight connectivity. The airline will fly to London three times a week and is expected to boost tourism and trade between the UK and Rwanda. Speaking to reporters shortly after launching London flight destination, the airline's deputy chief executive officer in charge of corporate affairs, Yvonne Manzi Makolo said that the airline has embarked on expanding its wings...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Entertainment | France | film | festival | Cannes | Zambia | witchcraft Cannes, France | AFP | Friday 5/26/2017 - 14:01 UTC+3 | 615 words by Katy Lee Being accused of witchcraft is no laughing matter in Africa -- but movie director Rungano Nyoni decided a dose of humour was just what was needed to tackle a problem rampant in parts of the continent. Set in Zambia, the sharp satire "I Am Not A Witch" has premiered to strong reviews at the Cannes film festival, taking aim at the blatant sexism behind accusations that overwhelmingly target women. White tourists are seen gawping at women detained in a "witch camp" in the movie, taking pictures of them as if they're...
(Xinhuanet 05/24/17)
Entrepreneurs from East Africa on Tuesday called for increased investments in the power generation so as to develop a strong value-added manufacturing base in the region. Delegates participating in the second high-level East African Manufacturing Business Summit and Exhibition (EAMBS) held in Rwanda's capital city Kigali, said that heavy investments by both private and the public in the energy sector will enhance the production capacity of manufacturing industries in the region. Rwanda hosts the forum from May 23 to 25 dubbed; "Harnessing the Manufacturing Potential for Sustainable Economic Growth". It has brought together top executives in the manufacturing and agri-business sectors, policy and decision makers, as well as key financial institutions from Africa and beyond to dialogue and explore opportunities...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/24/17)
When U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders of the world's seven major industrialized nations gather in Sicily on Friday, they will enjoy a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea, but won't get any glimpse of boats full of migrants. A common sight off Sicily in recent years, the authorities have banned all migrant landings on the island during the Group of Seven Summit for security reasons, telling rescue vessels that pick them up at sea to take them to the mainland during the two-day meeting. Out of sight does not mean out of mind. Italy chose to host the summit in Taormina, on the cliffs of eastern Sicily, to concentrate minds on Europe's migrant crisis and to seek ways...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/23/17)
Fossils from Greece and Bulgaria of an ape-like creature that lived 7.2 million years ago may fundamentally alter the understanding of human origins, casting doubt on the view that the evolutionary lineage that led to people arose in Africa. Scientists said on Monday the creature, known as Graecopithecus freybergi and known only from a lower jawbone and an isolated tooth, may be the oldest-known member of the human lineage that began after an evolutionary split from the line that led to chimpanzees, our closest cousins. The jawbone, which included teeth, was unearthed in 1944 in Athens. The premolar was found in south-central Bulgaria in 2009. The researchers examined them using sophisticated new techniques including CT scans and established their age...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa need to get their budgets in order, diversify their economies and look after their poorest people. If they do that, there is no reason why the region cannot have the strong growth needed to meet the aspirations of a young and growing population. That, at least, is the three-pillared prescription from the International Monetary Fund as expressed by one of its top Africa researchers, Celine Allard, in an official IMF blog post and podcast. Allard co-authored the Fund's regional economic outlook, released earlier this month. It found that sub-Saharan economic growth hit only 1.4 percent last year, the lowest level in two decades and well off the 5-6 percent rates normally reached. It was also well...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/20/17)
France will step up the fight against resurgent Islamist militants in north and west Africa and will work more closely with Germany to help the tinderbox region, President Emmanuel Macron said on his first trip outside Europe on Friday. Visiting Mali days after taking office, Macron vowed to keep French troops in the Sahel region until there was "no more Islamist terrorism" there. He said operations would be escalated in response to signs that militant groups were regrouping and uniting. "It is vital today that we speed up. Our armed forces are giving their all, but we must speed up" efforts to secure the Sahel, he told a news conference in Gao, Mali, where he held talks with President Ibrahim...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
When rich countries wrote off billions of dollars of African debt in 2005, they hoped governments would think twice about borrowing again in costly foreign currencies. Over a decade later, most sub-Saharan African countries still rely on U.S. dollar-denominated debt to finance their economies. Some investors say this is sowing the seeds of future debt crises if local currencies devalue and make dollar debt repayments more expensive. Aside from South Africa and Nigeria, governments have not yet done enough to develop capital markets that would have allowed them to raise more money in their own currencies, investors say. United Nations trade body UNCTAD estimates that Africa's external debt stock rapidly grew to $443 billion by 2013 through bilateral borrowing, syndicated...
(The New Times 05/18/17)
At least12,000 Rwandans who still live in foreign countries as refugees could return home between July and June next year as a result of implementation of the Cessation Clause, officials at the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (MIDIMAR) have said. The estimate was revealed, yesterday, by Minister Seraphine Mukantabana while appearing before the parliamentary Standing Committee on National Budget and Patrimony to present MIDIMAR's Budget Estimates for Financial Year 2017/18. The minister said December 31 being the deadline by which Rwandan refugees who fled their country before December 31, 1998, will no longer be considered as refugees, a massive homecoming by returnees should be expected during
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much as 60 billion rand ($4.5 billion), said Evan Walker, a money manager at 36one Asset Management in Johannesburg, although the valuation could also be as low as 40 billion rand depending on how much debt Steinhoff puts into the vehicle...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/17/17)
Gay and lesbian Africans who fled abuse in their home countries face a "culture of disbelief" which makes their experience of seeking asylum in Britain traumatic, a Nigerian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights (LGBT) campaigner said. Aderonke Apata, 50, who fled persecution in Nigeria, said the practice of assessing Africans' sexual orientation claims based on Western standards was problematic. "They expect an LGBT person to have used sex toys, to go to gay clubs," Apata, an asylum seeker who founded African LGBT charity, African Rainbow Family, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Apata has been trying to claim asylum in Britain for 13 years, but her case was refused several times after a judge ruled that she was pretending to be...

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