Thursday 19 April 2018
(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...
(The New Times 09/22/17)
Foreigners or persons outside Rwandan can now adopt children in the country, seven years after the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion suspended the so-called inter-country adoption of Rwandan children. The suspension was lifted this month after government put in place mechanisms in line with The Hague Adoption Convention on the protection of children. Rwanda ratified inter-country adoption mechanism in 2011, according to the Minister for Gender and Family Promotion, Esperance Nyiransafari. The convention outlines advantages of a permanent home to a child when a suitable family has not been found in the child's country of origin. "In 2010, the ministry suspended temporarily receiving new applications for adoption of children in the country by foreigners outside the country pending clear...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
From deadly droughts and destroyed crops to shrinking water sources, communities across sub-Saharan Africa are struggling to withstand the onslaught of global record-breaking temperatures. But the dangers do not end there. Rising heat poses another threat - one that is far less known and studied but could spark disease epidemics across the continent, scientists say. Mosquitoes are the menace, and the risk goes beyond malaria. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads debilitating and potentially deadly viruses, from Zika and dengue to chikungunya, thrives in warmer climates than its malaria-carrying cousin, known as Anopheles, say researchers at Stanford University. In sub-Saharan Africa, this means malaria rates could rise in cooler areas as they heat up, but fall in hotter places that...
(The Guardian 09/21/17)
In response to my article “America’s secret role in the Rwandan genocide” (12 September), Linda Melvern (Letters, 19 September) disputes my suggestion that much evidence points to the Rwandan Patriotic Front’s (RPF) responsibility for shooting down President Juvénal Habyarimana’s aeroplane in April 1994. I rely for information about the provenance of the launchers on Belgian historian Filip Reyntjens, who investigated the matter thoroughly shortly after the event (see his Rwanda: Trois jours qui ont fait basculer l’histoire, published in 1996). In addition, the various investigations linking the RPF to the plot to down the aeroplane rely on former RPF...
(News of Rwanda 09/21/17)
The Rwandan head of state was delivering a speech at the ongoing 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, USA. “Our world faces difficult challenges, but no more so, than in the past. Working together in a constructive spirit, we can assure our children, the future they deserve,” Kagame said. He added that the essence of reform is a mindset of constantly striving to improve performance and delivery, “and holding ourselves responsible.” According to President Kagame, “To be effective at delivering a decent life for all, the UN must treat all the people it serves with impartiality and respect.” “The UN must be a good steward of the funds entrusted to it. Abuse and waste are...
(The New Times 09/21/17)
Rwanda is among 11 African countries selected to benefit from a $280-million fund to support agriculture on the continent under the management of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), an organisation that works to improve agricultural output on the continent. The fund, to be provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), will be used to spur agricultural transformation in the selected countries. The beneficiary countries include Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique. The funding was announced at the 2017 African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, earlier this month as a multi-million dollar Partnership for Inclusive...
(The East African 09/21/17)
East Africa has received $1.6 billion from foreign investors, Kenya taking the bulk of the 55 deals recorded in the past eight months. Data from I&M Burbidge Capital shows that the initial public offering of Vodacom Tanzania, and the purchase of Sadolin Paints by Japanese firm the Kansai Paint were some of the region’s biggest deals. The Vodacom IPO raised $213 million, with foreign investors buying 40 per cent. Tanzania emerged as the second largest market for private equity deals, with most of the capital going into communication, infrastructure and resources sectors. It is followed by Uganda and Rwanda. Executive director of the East Africa Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (EAVCA) Eva Wairigia attributed the rise in private equity...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/21/17)
Makers of generic AIDS drugs will start churning out millions of pills for Africa containing a state-of-the-art medicine widely used in rich countries, after securing a multi-million dollar guarantee that caps prices at just $75 per patient a year. Global health experts hope the deal will help address two looming problems in the HIV epidemic - the rising threat of resistance developing to standard AIDS drugs, and the need for more investment in manufacturing capacity. Bill Gates’ charitable foundation will guarantee minimum sales volumes of the new combination pills using dolutegravir, a so-called integrase inhibitor that avoids the drug resistance that often develops with older treatments. In return the drugmakers, India-based Mylan Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharma, will agree the maximum...

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