Sunday 19 November 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in Sub-Saharan African tourism in the past year, according to data from the U.N. World Tourism Organisation. Hilton said the remaining additions to its 39 existing African properties would be operational within the next five years. “The model of converting existing...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The African Union (AU) will on Thursday endorse reports and recommendations on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARWE) made by experts and senior officials in a meeting held on Monday and Tuesday. The endorsement will take place during the ministerial session of the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on ARWE that opened on Thursday in Addis Ababa under the theme “Improve environmental sustainability and transform agriculture to ensure food and nutrition security.” These include policy papers and reports on agriculture, rural development, water and environment and recommendations and guidance on issues in the 2063 Africa Development Agenda, including agriculture, environment, climate change, and youth engagement. Among the points chosen for the discussions are the assessment of...
(AFP (eng) 10/04/17)
Rwandan prosecutors said Tuesday that a prominent critic of President Paul Kagame had been charged with inciting insurrection against the state as well as other offences. Provisional detention was requested for Diane Rwigara, who was blocked from challenging Kagame in August's presidential election, as well as for her mother Adeline Rwigara and her sister Anne Rwigara. "The charges include forgery of documents and signature counterfeiting by Diane, sectarian practices by Adeline Rwigara and inciting insurrection for all the three," a spokesman for the state prosecutor's office, Faustin Nkusi, told AFP. Diane Rwigara has said they were questioned by police almost daily in the first three weeks of last month, before being detained for questioning on September 22. There was no...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Government shutdowns of the internet have cost sub-Saharan Africa about $237 million since 2015, according to a study released Friday, as authorities increasingly implement planned disruptions. At least 12 countries have had internet shutdowns, often before elections or when protests erupt, with mobile internet networks most recently suspended in Togo during opposition demonstrations. "Internet disruptions, however short-lived, undermine economic growth, disrupt the delivery of critical services, erode business confidence, and raise a country’s risk profile," the CIPESA report said. The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) released its...
(Xinhuanet 09/28/17)
Rwanda holds China in high regard for its contribution to Rwanda's socio-economic development and close bilateral cooperation based on mutual trust and partnership, said Rwandan minister of state in charge of economic planning on Wednesday. China has remained a valuable partner for Rwanda over the past four decades in several sectors, especially infrastructure, Uzziel Ndagijimana told a reception here celebrating the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, which falls on Sunday. Trade relations between the two countries have also shown significant progress, said Ndagijimana. "As Rwanda continues to work towards building the manufacturing sector
(Xinhuanet 09/28/17)
Rwanda has begun a campaign to reduce the use of firewood for cooking while promoting other technologies such as gas and energy saving stoves to limit deforestation. Minister of Land and forestry Francine Tumushime announced the above at a stakeholders meeting in the capital city of Kigali. She decried the fact that forests in the east African country are being harvested before maturity largely for cooking purposes. READ: US firm targets institutions with special stoves According to the ministry, 83 per cent of Rwandans use firewood for cooking currently, against less than 20 per cent using other cooking technologies such as biogas, gas and energy saving stoves. The minister said there is need to reduce the use of woods to...
(Bloomberg 09/28/17)
The country is suddenly brimming with high-end options. From the balcony of my villa at daybreak, I can see the nearby village creaking to life. Children are walking to school in their blue uniforms, and a farmer slings a hoe into the ground. The Africa of travelers’ imaginations is defined by vast open spaces—the treeless plains, the lonely desert—but Rwanda is the most densely populated country on the continent, and a trip here comes with an awareness that you’re sharing this space. I sip my coffee in the morning breeze, and my eyes wander out to the mountain dominating the landscape. Mount Bisoke is one of several volcanoes in the Virunga chain, and every room at Bisate Lodge offers a...
(Xinhuanet 09/27/17)
Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) on Monday auctioned a multi-million-dollar mall located in the center of Capital Kigali, belonging to exiled tycoon Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa. Ayabatwa was listed Africa's Number 1 Tobacco man by Forbes in 2014. He is the founder and controlling shareholder of Pan African Tobacco Group (PTG), one of the continent's largest indigenous manufacturer of tobacco products. He was accused of working with Rwanda National Congress, a political organization formed by Rwandan elements based in exile with intent to topple the government. During a public auction ceremony, the Union Trade Center (UTC) was bought by local real estate company Kigali Investment Company (KIC) at eight million U.S. dollars, way below 20 million U.S. dollars value announced after its...
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
Studio 189, a label founded by actress Rosario Dawson and fashion executive Abrima Erwiah, is reinvesting in its African roots. It’s hard enough to build a fashion brand, let alone an empire. Rare is the person who makes a mission of using fashion to build communities. Such is the case with Studio 189, a label founded by longtime friends Abrima Erwiah (formerly a marketing executive at Bottega Veneta) and Rosario Dawson (an enduring star most recently seen in Netflix’s Marvel franchise). “The idea is to produce everything in local markets,” says Erwiah. “Particularly in Africa, particularly in Ghana.” The founders set up the company in partnership with the United Nations’ Ethical Fashion Initiative, which also works with such socially conscious...
(AFP (eng) 09/26/17)
Police in Rwanda said they are questioning a prominent critic of President Paul Kagame on suspicion of "offences against state security". Diane Rwigara was blocked from challenging Kagame in August's presidential election, and has spent the last month in and out of police custody or under house arrest, under investigation for alleged tax evasion and forgery. Officers took Rwigara and her mother and sister back into custody at the weekend and have until Thursday to charge or release them, police said in a statement received Monday. "During ongoing investigations, police uncovered credible evidence linking the trio to offences against state security," police spokesman Theos Badege said.
(Financial Times 09/26/17)
BNP Paribas is back in the crosshairs of the authorities, this time in France, where the public prosecutor has opened an investigation into allegations of complicity in the 1994 Rwandan genocide by France’s biggest bank. The probe, which does not imply any guilt, will be led by three investigating magistrates after a complaint against BNP was filed this summer by three French civil society organisations, according to a spokesman for the prosecutor. The bank is accused of transferring more than $1.3m of funds used to finance the purchase of 80 tonnes of weapons by a Rwandan general that allegedly broke a UN embargo and helped to arm the perpetrators of the country’s genocide. In 1994, Rwanda’s Hutu majority attempted to...
(AFP (eng) 09/26/17)
Wildlife guards funded by the WWF and other conservation groups have carried out systematic abuses against tribes in central Africa, an activist group claimed on Monday. Survival International, a British rights group, published a report containing more than 200 reported incidents against the Baka and Bayaka Pygmies in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic since 1989. It claimed some of the world's largest conservation organisations, including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), have illegally evicted the tribes from their ancestral homelands "in the name of conservation".
(The New Times 09/26/17)
Swedish judges are in the country to gather evidence in a case of a Rwandan Genocide suspect whose trial is due to start tomorrow in Stockholm. Two judges arrived in Kigali on Sunday - with four more expected later - to listen to witnesses in the trial of Theodore Rukeratabaro, 49, a Genocide suspect living in the European country. According to the National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA), the judges will today begin hearing witness testimonies - via video link - at the Supreme Court in Kigali. Survivors of the Genocide who grew up with the suspect have told The New Times that he altered his last name to Tabaro, a short version now carried in foreign media reports, to evade...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/26/17)
Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd said on Tuesday it won a contract worth $240 million to provide a wide array of defense electronic systems to an unnamed country in Africa. The contract, which will be carried out over a two-year period, is comprised of Directed Infra-red Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems to protect aircraft from shoulder fired missiles, based on passive infrared systems, and includes missile warning systems, radio and communication systems, land systems, mini-unmanned air systems and helicopters upgrade.
(AFP (eng) 09/25/17)
France has assigned magistrates to investigate allegations that banking giant BNP Paribas was complicit in the 1994 genocide of the Tutsi minority in Rwanda, a source close to the case told AFP Monday. In June, three non-governmental organisations filed a lawsuit accusing the bank of financing the purchase of "80 tonnes of arms used to carry out genocide" by the Hutu regime, even though "the bank had to have known the genocidal intentions of the country's authorities". The Paris judiciary confirmed Monday that it opened an investigation for "complicity in genocide and complicity in crimes against humanity" on August 22, and asked the Paris genocide and war crimes division, which is already handling 25 other cases linked to the Rwandan...
(The Associated Press 09/25/17)
KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — Rwandan police have arrested Diane Rwigara, a leading critic of Rwandan President Paul Kagame and a women’s rights activist, for alleged offenses against state security. Rwigara’s mother and sister were also detained on the tax evasion charges and she is also being charged with forgery, Rwanda police said in a Twitter post Sunday. The three who arrested Saturday have been under investigation and police have interrogated them several times. “During ongoing investigations, police uncovered credible evidence linking the trio to offenses against state security,” Rwanda police said. Police said earlier the three refused to cooperate with police and publicly revealed information that is, by law, supposed to be confidential. Rwigara was a women’s rights activist before...
(Bloomberg 09/25/17)
Rwanda’s police said they arrested an activist barred from running for the presidency and two family members for alleged offenses against state security and forgery. Diane Rwigara, her mother and sister were arrested Saturday after the East African nation’s police “uncovered credible evidence linking the trio to offenses against state security,” the force said in a statement on its website. Investigators have five days to complete the probe and decide whether to forward the case to prosecution, the police said. Rwigara’s lawyer didn’t immediately answer phone calls seeking comment. A women’s rights activist, Rwigara attempted to run in August’s presidential vote against long-time ruler Paul Kagame only to be disqualified
(Xinhuanet 09/25/17)
A Rwandan woman who showed interest in August's presidential election has been arrested over suspected offences against state security and forgery, Rwandan police said on Sunday. Diane Shima Rwigara, a 35-year-old businesswoman, was arrested on Saturday alongside with her mother and sister, according to a statement released by the police. "During ongoing investigations, police uncovered credible evidence linking the trio to offences against state security," said the statement. The decision to arrest them was prompted by their behavior during preliminary investigations, "particularly their consistent refusal to cooperate with police and publicly revealing information that is, by law, supposed to be confidential," it said. On Sept. 4, Rwigara was taken to police for questioning after she refused to respond to three...
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the Global First Ladies Alliance (GFLA) and Facebook. Geingos credited the quota enacted by the ruling SWAPO party of her husband, President Hage Geingob. But she said a similar quota might be needed for Namibia’s private sector, where only 10 to...
(The New Times 09/22/17)
Rwandan specialty coffee processors are looking to clinch key export deals at the ongoing annual Specialty Coffee Conference and Exhibition (SCAJ) in Japan, enabling them to expand the export market and attract new buyers. The expo, that started on September 20 and closes today, brought together all sorts of coffee specialties across the world and their owners, including five Rwandan coffee companies and a National Agricultural Export Board (NAEB) representative, to create more market linkages, NAEB said in a statement yesterday. Through meeting and seminar opportunities at the conference, it is expected that Rwanda specialty coffee brands will be promoted and gain more visibility at the international market...

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