Thursday 21 September 2017
(AfricaNews 08/04/17)
The South African government has wished Rwanda and Kenya well as both countries vote in elections that are four days apart. Rwandans vote on August 4 whiles Kenyans take their turn on August 8. South Africa’s state-owned SABC News Online reports that International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane during a press briefing in Pretoria on Friday, called for peaceful and credible polls as Rwanda picks a president and Kenyans vote in general elections. Rwandans vote to pick a president Rwandans have already started voting as at Friday morning to elect a leader for the next seven years. It will be the last seven-year term as per a 2015 constitutional referendum that says in the 2024 polls and beyond, a...
(Bloomberg 08/04/17)
Rwandans began voting Friday in a presidential election that’s all but certain to extend Paul Kagame’s 17-year rule of the East African nation. Polling stations opened at 7 a.m. and will close at 3 p.m., with about 6.8 million people in the country of 12 million registered to vote. Electoral officials say the winner will be announced later Friday, after at least 80 percent of ballots have been counted. Kagame is competing against the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda’s Frank Habineza and Mpayimana Philippe, an independent. “He is the only candidate with a vision and he will move the country forward,” said Monique Mucyeshimana, who’d just cast her vote for Kagame in the Kicukiro district of the capital, Kigali. “No...
(AfricaNews 08/03/17)
Rwandans back home will cast their votes in presidential polls on Friday, August 4. But before they do, nationals across the world are casting their ballots. Rwanda is one of few countries that allows citizens in the diaspora to play a role in electing the president. Local media portal, the New Times Rwanda reports that polling stations have been open in African countries like Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti and South Africa. Registered voters who are overseas are also not left out as election officials are seen serving those in Belgium, the United States, Sweden and other countries. The elections are the third post the 1994 genocide and return to multi-party politics. Three candidates were passed by the National Electoral Commission (NEC)...
(Bloomberg 08/03/17)
Paul Kagame has held an iron-clad grip on power in Rwanda since taking office 17 years ago and that’s set to remain after Friday’s presidential elections, with his victory an almost foregone conclusion. The 59-year-old led a rebel army that ended the East African country’s 1994 genocide in which about 800,000 people died, and he’s been credited with turning Rwanda’s economy into one of the continent’s top performers by cutting red tape, improving internet access, roads and electricity supplies. Yet his detractors, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, say civil liberties have fallen by the wayside and the credibility of the vote has been compromised by a violent crackdown on his opponents...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/03/17)
Rwanda's Frank Habineza, the only registered opposition leader competing against President Paul Kagame in Friday's elections, pledged on Wednesday to retry political prisoners if he's elected. Appearing in the last day of campaigning, Habineza told supporters that he would take up the cause of many jailed Rwandan dissidents he said were "unfairly treated" in their sentencing. "What we have decided is that we are going to put up a special tribunal to retry those political prisoners," he told a gathering of his supporters in the capital Kigali. Rwandans vote two days from now in an election that analysts the 59-year-old Kagame will win.
(AfricaNews 08/03/17)
Rwandans will be casting ballots to elect the country’s president for the next seven years. The process has a local and global component to it. Overseas voting takes place today, August 3, whiles back home eligible voters will cast their ballots on Friday, August 4. Campaigning over the past weeks have been held in different parts of the country as the three aspirants cleared by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) canvassed for votes. The process has largely been peaceful. The incumbent, Paul Kagame, leads the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and is up against two other contenders. Frank Habineza of the main opposition Democratic Orange party and an independent candidate, Phillippe Mpayimana. Here are some key facts about the voting process:...
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Trade between China and Africa reached 85.3 billion U.S. dollars in H1, surging 19 percent year on year as the two sides strengthened cooperation in a wide range of areas, official data showed Thursday. The data reversed the negative growth trend since 2015, according to Gao Feng, spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce. During January-June, Chinese imports from Africa, including minerals, agricultural products and fruits, amounted to 38.4 billion U.S. dollars, jumping 46 percent from the same period last year, while exports gained 3 percent to 47 billion U.S. dollars. Transport equipment has become a bright spot in China's exports to African countries, with that of ships, trains and aerospace equipment up 200 percent, 161 percent and 252 percent respectively,...
(AFP (eng) 08/02/17)
Rwandans go the polls Friday in a presidential election in which strongman Paul Kagame is widely expected to cruise to a third term in office. The 59-year-old leader faces two little-known candidates who were given only three weeks to campaign against the incumbent, who has kept a tight hold on power since his rebel army ended the 1994 genocide. Observers say Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party -- the only permitted critical opposition party -- and independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana face an unwinnable battle. Even Kagame has said the result is a foregone conclusion. While the nation has been colourfully covered with the red, white and blue of the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and posters of Kagame, there...
(AFP (eng) 08/02/17)
Here are key dates since President Paul Kagame's ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) took control of Rwanda in 1994. - 1994: Genocide and takeover in Kigali - On July 4, 1994, the armed wing of the RPF -- which launched a civil war four years earlier from Uganda where its founding Tutsi members were exiled -- captures Kigali. The seizure of the capital halts 100 days of genocide in which extremist Hutus killed 800,000 people, primarily minority Tutsis. A million Hutus, including those held responsible for the worst massacres, flee across the western border to Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Pasteur Bizimungu, a Hutu allied with the RPF, is named president, and RPF leader Paul Kagame becomes...
(AfricaNews 08/02/17)
Three young technology entrepreneurs in Rwanda have decided to take on the job of providing free app development skills and training to the youth in the country. The trio – Ildephonse Mungwarakarama, Theogene Niyonsenga and Jerome Habimana – started a company in 2014 called House of Technology. Their aim is to bring technology to the youth all over the country so as to improve academic outcomes and prepare the future workforce. They launched a programme last week called Code for Good. This programme is open to the public who want to be trained in app development, help to train others, or offer support for future projects. On their website – code.rw – the trio said they are not only focusing...
(Voice of America 08/02/17)
Three days before the presidential election in Rwanda, the country's electoral commission says it is not bothered by people who suggest the outcome is a fait accompli. "It is not a foregone conclusion and we are not wasting money," said the commission's executive secretary, Charles Munyaneza, in an exclusive interview with VOA's Central Africa service. "We are not bothered as a commission and I also think Rwandans are also not bothered," he said. "... We are running elections, we are spending money because we want to build a system we have started as Rwandans." At campaign stops, President Paul Kagame's supporters have been heard saying the election is over and they are simply waiting to show their approval on Election...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Julien Ochala can’t live without his morning cup of Joe. But not just any coffee will do. For the past five years, the 37-year-old physiology lecturer at King’s College London has visited the same store every week to grab a pack of his beloved Kenyan brew. And he’s not put off by the cost: at 37 pounds a kilogram ($22 a pound), it’s more than double a similar supermarket product. "I take Kenyan coffee every morning," said Ochala, who buys his beans from Monmouth Coffee Company in Borough Market. "I love it because of the relatively higher acidity level. It keeps me active in the afternoons." Customers willing to pay a premium for African brews, known for their floral, fruity...
(AFP (eng) 08/01/17)
Paul Kagame is revered for stopping Rwanda's genocide and engineering what admirers call an economic miracle, but his critics see a despot who crushes all opposition and rules through fear. The 59-year-old former guerrilla fighter is seeking a third term in office in August 4 polls after voters massively approved a constitutional amendment allowing him to run again and potentially stay in office for another two decades. Kagame frames his run as a duty to his country, however the move angered international allies whose patience has worn thin with a man once held up as a shining example of successful post-colonial leadership in Africa. Yet the president of the tiny central African nation has become one of Africa's most powerful...
(AFP (eng) 08/01/17)
Frank Habineza is an environmentalist running to become Rwanda's president for the first time after an eight-year struggle to register his party and obtain a spot on the ballot paper. The 40-year-old leader of the Democratic Green Party has faced death threats and seen supporters beaten up, imprisoned and forced into exile during his bid to enter Rwanda's tightly controlled political space. "It has been a very difficult journey, and also a very dangerous journey," he told AFP at an interview in his stark office in the capital Kigali, where a bodyguard keeps watch on the balcony. Born to a Hutu father and a Tutsi mother in exile in Uganda, he returned to Rwanda to study public administration. He also...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/01/17)
KIGALI (Reuters) - Rwandan President Paul Kagame, already in power for 17 years, predicted on Monday he would win overwhelming popular backing for a third term in elections this week, brushing off accusations of stifling political debate. Kagame is able to run for the third term only after constitutional changes were approved in a 2015 referendum by what the opposition and Western diplomats described as a suspiciously high 98 percent vote. Appearing in one of his last rallies before Friday's presidential elections, Kagame told hundreds of cheering supporters of his Rwanda Patriotic Front that victory would ensure economic growth in the tiny East African nation. "From August 4, we will have seven years to achieve more development," the 59-year old...
(APA 08/01/17)
APA-Kigali (Rwanda) - For the first time in the history of elections in Rwanda, the electoral commission will issue specially designed ballot papers to facilitate disabled voters cast their vote during the August 4 presidential poll. Previously, visually impaired voters relied on aides or polling assistants to cast their vote. This, many observers say, was quite inconvenient because it stopped short of the secret ballot. The special ballot paper was successfully tested during the election of representatives of the disabled to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA). Speaking to the press on Monday, the Executive Secretary of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), Emmanuel Ndayisaba, said the names of the presidential candidates have been put on the braille...
(Voice of America 08/01/17)
With only a few days until Rwanda's presidential election, candidates are focusing on the economy as they make their final pitches to voters. President Paul Kagame, predicted by most analysts to win big in Friday's poll, campaigned Monday in Rwanda's Northern Province. While there, he promised residents that the dusty roads in their district would be improved as soon as he is re-elected. The president appealed to national pride as he addressed a large crowd. "We have the responsibility to transform our own nation. Others may come and help, but the foundation of it all is each of us," he said. One of Kagame's two opponents, Green Party candidate Frank Habineza, campaigned in the Huye district of southern Rwanda. Habineza...
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands in 2015. The British broadcaster said the bribery was revealed by a former employee, Paul Hopkins. At the time, BAT said “we do not tolerate corruption in our business, no matter where it takes place.” The SFO investigation adds to...
(AFP (eng) 07/31/17)
In a two-year-old mall in Kigali's city centre, bored shopkeepers chat idly as muzak echoes through the quiet interior, with barely a client in sight on a weekday morning. The gleaming building is one of several developments that have shot up in the Rwandan capital, a window to an ambitious future in which a thriving middle class built on a services-based economy will have replaced a nation of largely poor, rural farmers. But the Rwandan dream is decades away and observers warn that aggressive and costly infrastructure expansion -- mostly with public funds -- is a risky gamble in a tiny market where 39 percent of the population still lives on less than two dollars a day. "Development is good...
(AFP (eng) 07/31/17)
Rwanda's ruling party has tightly controlled the political sphere for over two decades, but it is also accused of monopolising the economy via its very own conglomerate: Crystal Ventures. The investment arm of the Rwandan Patriotic Front is the country's top private employer, with assets estimated at $500 million (426 million euros). It is present in almost every sector, from food processing to private security, building materials and real estate. The company, formerly named Tristar, was born in 1995, a year after the then rebel RPF seized Kigali and put an end to a 100-day genocide which left 800,000 people, mostly from the Tutsi minority, dead. With the country shattered and not a franc left in the treasury, the new...

Pages