| Africatime
Thursday 30 March 2017
(Agence Ecofin 11/25/16)
To conserve biodiversity and enhance socio-economic growth, governments of sub-Saharan Africa must consider a priority the management of their land resources, said environmental experts at the end of the 10th meeting of ministers of natural resources of East and Southern countries in Kigali on November 21 and 22. “The two-day ministerial conference provided a platform for engagement among government officials in the Eastern and Southern African region involved in land administration and spatial planning on challenges and opportunities in land, urban and territorial planning,” Xinhua reported. The forum which focused on identifying means to integrate technologies in land management in order to boost economy, protect the environment and efficiently manage lands in the region, was a wake-up call for officials...
(AFP (eng) 11/24/16)
A Rwandan priest-turned-politician said Wednesday he had been blocked from boarding a plane to his country, where he planned to register his opposition party and run for president. The return of former priest Thomas Nahimana after 11 years in exile in France sparked fierce debate in Rwanda where pro-government media accuse him of preaching ethnic hatred and denying the 1994 Tutsi genocide. "To our surprise, as we were preparing to board, agents from Kenya Airways came and forbade us from boarding this plane and returning to Rwanda," Nahimana said in a statement, vowing to remain in transit in Nairobi until he was allowed to do so. The Rwandan Catholic Church in 2011 asked France to stop Nahimana from publishing material...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/24/16)
A mother and her four-year-old daughter who were separated after fleeing the threat of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Ivory Coast may be reunited in Italy before Christmas after a stroke of luck allowed police to trace the woman, authorities said. The girl, identified only as Oumoh, is one of at least 20,000 unaccompanied minors who have reached Italy this year from war-torn and poverty-stricken countries mainly in Africa and the Middle East. She arrived on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa on Nov. 5 after being rescued from a rickety boat by the coastguard, police said. "She was quite traumatized, and initially wouldn't speak or communicate," Marilena Cefala, the head of Lampedusa's reception center, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation...
(APA 11/23/16)
Mothers in Rwanda will soon start getting their full salaries while on 12 weeks maternity leave following a new scheme by the Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB). For years, a section of mothers in Rwanda have had to choose between losing 80 percent of their salaries by staying with their new born babies or return to work so as to earn the full amount. According to the RSSB, the new scheme that guarantees full pay for working mothers is now operational. The new scheme which kicked off in November is part of the government’s commitment towards empowering Rwandan women to physically recover and give newborns the best start in life. The scheme prevents maternity leave from obstructing women’s contribution to...
(CNN 11/23/16)
Near Africa's horn on the easternmost part of the continent, a shiny new electric railway runs alongside an old abandoned track through both arid desert and green highlands. Some 750 kilometres (466 miles) long, the $4 billion line opened in October and links landlocked Ethiopia to the coast in Djibouti. It was partly funded and built by Chinese companies, just like the other planned lines it could soon link up with neighboring Sudan and Kenya -- where the first part of a new $13 billion Kenyan railway linking Mombasa to Nairobi is taking shape. The sprawling network is planned to continue into South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, as part of transnational efforts to connect countries within East Africa. This...
(The Guardian 11/23/16)
Rulers of the DRC, Burundi, Zimbabwe and others say tide has turned after Obama’s efforts to promote democracy abroad. As the sun rose over Kinshasa on 9 November, Martin Fayulu was awoken by a phone call from a relative in the US telling him to switch on his television – Donald Trump appeared set to become the next US president. Fayulu, an opposition politician at the forefront of recent protests calling for elections to be held on time in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, immediately switched on a French channel. “Many Congolese were watching, and a lot had mixed feelings,” he said. Across Africa the interest was equally intense, with the surprise result prompting fierce speculation about the unexpected...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/22/16)
Two Rwandans extradited from the Netherlands to their home country pleaded not guilty during a preliminary court hearing in Kigali on Monday to crimes committed during the 1994 genocide. Jean Baptiste Mugimba and Jean Claude Iyamuremye face charges of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, complicity in genocide, murder as crime against humanity, extermination as a crime against humanity, and the formation of criminal gang. Mugimba faces an additional charge of incitement to commit genocide. Both men were arrested in the Netherlands, where they had been living, and flown to Kigali
(The East African 11/22/16)
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) plans to invest $1.38 million in KCB Rwanda to boost lending to small scale farmers and improve their land’s productivity. IFC, the private lending arm of the World Bank, plans to disburse the funds as part of its contribution to a $2.5 million project which will benefit about 25,000 Rwandan farmers. Farmer co-operatives selected for this project will also receive advisory services aimed at improving their management as well as increasing the production levels of maize and soy beans among participating farmers. “Financing to farmers will be used for seasonal working capital needs such as input costs, land preparation, weeding, harvesting among other needs,” IFC said in disclosure documents. “Approximately 25,000 smallholder farmers are expected...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/22/16)
African states failed on Monday to halt the work of the first U.N. independent investigator appointed to help protect gay and transgender people worldwide from violence and discrimination. The 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council, based in Geneva, created the position in June and in September appointed Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand, who has a three-year mandate to investigate abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. In an unusual move, African states put forward a draft resolution in the 193-member U.N. General Assembly third committee, which deals with human rights, calling for consultations on the legality of the creation of the mandate. They said the work of the investigator should be suspended. However, Latin American countries, supported by Western...
(AFP (eng) 11/21/16)
The Catholic Church in Rwanda has again asked for forgiveness "for all Christians" implicated in the 1994 genocide that killed around 800,000, the head of the country's bishops commission said Monday. A letter of apology signed by the bishops representing the nine dioceses in Rwanda, a copy of which AFP received, had been read in all churches on Sunday marking the end of the Holy Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis. "We ask for forgiveness for all Christians who were involved in the genocide," said the bishops commission president Philippe Rukamba, recalling that the Church had already called for understanding in 2000. The bishop added however that the Church was seeking forgiveness for individuals and not for the institution...
(Xinhuanet 11/21/16)
Rwanda's Valens Ndayisenga, riding for South Africa-based Continental Team Dimension Data, won the eighth edition of the Tour of Rwanda cycling race that just concluded at the Amahoro National Stadium in Kigali on Sunday. The 2014 winner needed 21:15:21 to finish, covering seven stages and a prologue, a total distance of 819.1km. The 22-year-old from eastern Rwanda's Rwamagana district beat his teammate Eyob Metkel, who finished 39 seconds behind in second place after clocking 21:16:00. In a tweet, Rwandan President Paul Kagame congratulated Ndayisenga for what he described as a thrilling Tour of Rwanda. "Thanks to all riders and Rwandans who came out to watch and cheer," the tweet said. Eritrean Tesfom Okubamariam emerged in third having at 21:16:51. Okubamariam...
(AFP (eng) 11/21/16)
The number of HIV-infected people taking anti-retroviral medicine has doubled in just five years, the UN said Monday, while highlighting high infection rates among young African women. A new report by UNAIDS said it was on course to hit a target of 30 million people on ARV treatment by 2020. "By June 2016, around 18.2 million people had access to the life-saving medicines, including 910,000 children, double the number five years earlier," UNAIDS said in a statement. But the report showed the huge risks that some young women face. Last year more than 7,500 teenagers and young women became infected with HIV every week worldwide, with the bulk of them in southern Africa. "Young women are facing a triple threat,"...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/16)
Above the sacks of seeds and coal, three kerosene lamps gather dust in the tiny shed that Kenyan chicken farmer Bernard calls home. He prefers to use solar energy to light up his evenings, listen to the radio or watch television, after abandoning a diesel generator he said was expensive to maintain and burned fuel too quickly. "Solar panels are a good, cheap solution," he told AFP. Across the continent, consumers are opting for their own off-grid solar solutions to power homes and small businesses, even as African governments unveil massive new solar projects seemingly every month to expand their grids. According to International Energy Agency projections, almost one billion people in sub-Saharan Africa will gain access to the grid...
(The Guardian 11/19/16)
At COP22, the African Development Bank’s president, Akinwumi Adesina, tells of strategies to improve energy supplies and fight the impact of climate change “We lose 5% of our potential GDP every year, and African industries cannot be competitive without access to electricity,” says Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank. “I believe that’s why we can’t break away from reliance on exporting our raw materials – new industries will only go to where there’s power.” He is speaking on the sidelines of the COP22 climate change conference in Marrakech, which ends on Friday. Adesina and colleagues from the bank have been using the conference to highlight its new initiatives on energy, including the New Deal on Energy for Africa,...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/16)
Inside a red-brick building with a tin roof in western Rwanda, a group of young people are hard at work studying for a US-accredited university degree. But these are no ordinary students: they are Congolese refugees for whom such a qualification could spell an escape from stateless limbo. Over the past year, a Rwandan charity called Kepler has been offering refugees in Kiziba camp the chance to take online degree courses from the Southern New Hampshire University in the United States. Since the mid-1990s, Kiziba has housed thousands of refugees who have fled the conflict in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. It is currently home to 17,000 people, some of whom were born and raised in the camp. Until recently...
(APA 11/17/16)
Rwanda and Italy have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at strengthening and coordinating their efforts to combat global climate change, a release issued here Thursday says. The agreement was signed during the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference (COP22) in Marrakesh, Morocco on Tuesday by Rwanda’s Natural Resources Minister Dr. Vincent Biruta and Gian Luca Galletti, Italy’s Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea. The MoU seeks to enhance risk assessment, promote secure, clean and efficient energy, to stimulate the transition towards a sustainable low-carbon economy and to implement adaptation actions and opportunities to protect the environment and natural resources.
(AFP (eng) 11/17/16)
African leaders met in Morocco Wednesday on the sidelines of UN climate talks to agree a joint stance to fight global warming on the continent. "Africa is paying a heavy price over the climate issue and is without doubt the continent worst affected," Morocco's King Mohammed VI told the summit attended by 20 African leaders. "These disruptions... greatly hamper Africa's development and gravely threaten the basic rights of tens of millions of Africans," he said. He said the continent needed to "speak in a single voice, demand climate justice". France's President Francois Hollande and UN chief Ban Ki-moon also attended the summit which took place alongside the COP22 climate change conference in Marrakesh. Ban said Africa was at the forefront...
(The East African 11/16/16)
Rwanda is yet to make use of the land it has been allocated by other countries, despite having won a case in which a businessman had seized land given by the Kenyan government A few months ago a Mombasa court dismissed a case involving a Kenyan businessman who had seized land that belongs to Rwanda, and declared it the property of the Rwandan government, a development which was welcomed, with government saying it would go ahead with plans to develop it although this is yet to materialise. “The land is still under dispute, it’s not that we got it back 100 per cent, some squatters still claim ownership, we want to authorise our High Commission in Kenya to find a...
(The New Times 11/16/16)
The national carrier, RwandAir's latest acquisition Boeing 737-800NG is expected in Kigali today (4PM), having left Seattle, United States on Monday. The Boeing aircraft is the first of two new orders from the American manufacturer. The new aircraft christened 'Kalisimbi' is expected to increase the airline's fleet to ten aircraft and it is expected to facilitate the carrier's growing routes on the continent and beyond. The airline in September acquired brand new Airbus 330-200, -nicknamed 'Ubumwe' (unity). The expansion of the fleet is at a time when the airline is preparing to start flights to Gatwick, London's second-busiest airport next year and is also eyeing the American market in the course of 2017. In recent months the airline has launched...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/16)
"Don't go!" That was the heartfelt appeal to African nations as the International Criminal Court opened its annual meeting Wednesday under the cloud of a wave of unprecedented defections. Gambia on Monday formally notified the United Nations that it was withdrawing from the court, following in the wake of South Africa and Burundi. "Don't go," pleaded Senegalese politician Sidiki Kaba, the president of the ICC's Assembly of State Parties meeting in The Hague. "In a world criss-crossed by violent extremism... it is urgent and necessary to defend the ideal of justice for all," he said. The tribunal opened in 2002 in The Hague as a court of last resort to try the world's worst crimes. But in his passionate plea,...

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