Thursday 21 September 2017
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
Three African nations are holding major elections in August: oil giant Angola, East African powerhouse Kenya and tiny, rapidly developing Rwanda. Campaigning is under way in all three nations ahead of these votes. While these nations are geographically, politically and economically very different, analysts say each of these polls could be a turning point for their nation. Rwanda First up is tiny, landlocked Rwanda, which will vote August 3-4. Again, the undisputed favorite is the longtime president, who has ruled since the end of the tiny nation’s horrific 1994 genocide. Even the head of the European Union electoral commission said to VOA in May, “I think you would not lose any money if you bet on Mr. Paul Kagame.” Senior...
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya. In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers. Participating in the meetings were interior ministers from Algeria, Austria, Chad, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Libya, Mali, Malta, Niger, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tunisia and Estonia, which currently holds the EU Council presidency. Through the first half of 2017, nearly 84,000 migrants arrived in...
(AfricaNews 07/24/17)
Rwanda’s electoral commission has announced plans to hold the country’s first presidential debate which will br broadcast live ahead of the August 4 elections. The National Electoral Commission (NEC) and the state-run broadcaster Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) announced on Thursday without giving a date for the debate, The EastAfrican reported. “RBA gave room for the debate, where candidates or their representatives will appear at the same time. They will speak about their policies with a moderator conducting the debate,” said spokesperson for the NEC, Moise Bukasa, who added that it is likely to be held a week before the elections.
(The New Times 07/24/17)
Independent presidential candidate Philippe Mpayimana has promised to reduce taxes on used clothes, popularly known as 'cagua', if he wins the August 4 vote. Mpayimana was yesterday campaigning in Kigali districts of Nyarugenge and Kicukiro where he told residents that he will support small businesses in the city. He said that even though government increased taxes on imported used clothes in favour of locally-made products, once elected, taxes should be reduced again until the local textile industry is capable of producing garments at a more affordable price. According to Mpayimana, discouraging used clothes in favour of local industry is good but that the phase-out should be implemented in such a way that it will not hurt small and medium enterprises...
(The New Times 07/24/17)
he United Nations has commended the role by Rwandan Police peacekeepers serving under the UN Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in Central African Republic (MINUSCA) for their quick response to protect an IDP camp, when it was attacked by an armed group, recently. Between June 30 and July 2, the Rwanda Formed Police Unit Two (RWAFPU2) contingent in CAR successfully secured an Internally Displaced person (IDP) camps in Kaga-Bandoro region, when it experienced series of attacks from ex-Seleka militias. The IDP camps located about 400km from the capital Bangui, is a home of about 25, 000 displaced persons and currently under the protection of RWAFPU2. In a formal letter dated July 21, and directed to the contingent commander of RWAFPU2, Chief Superintendent...
(African arguments 07/24/17)
The arrest then release of Colonel Rusatira is often held up as an example of false accusations against genocide suspects. But a new look at the evidence raises the possibility that justice was not served but obstructed. For the United Nations, the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda will always be remembered with shame as it failed to act and prevent the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. But even within this embarrassing stain on the international body’s history, there are some moments which are even more woeful than others. One of those is the massacre that took place at the Don Bosco Ecole Technique Officielle (ETO) in Kicukiro, on the outskirts of the capital Kigali. Just a...
(AfricaNews 07/21/17)
Frank Habineza, Rwandan presidential aspirant and main opposition candidate in upcoming polls, has given a good account of the incumbent Paul Kagame but adds that Rwanda could do with change, a leading English daily The New Times has reported. Habineza, Kagame and a third candidate are criss-crossing the country canvassing for votes. On one of his campaign stops earlier this week in Rulindo and Nyabihu districts located in the northern and western provinces respectively, Habineza promised to build on successes of the ruling RPF-Inkotanyi, if elected. “We have had a better country but we want the best one, we will build on what has been achieved to bring about positive change; we will not destroy what has been achieved by...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will expand from 16 to 24 teams and be staged in June and July, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Thursday. The tournament has traditionally been held in January and February, with the timing of the tournament a source of frustration to European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season. The CAF executive committee confirmed the changes to the format following a two-day symposium in Rabat, although the tournament will continue to be held every two years and exclusively on African soil. The decision to increase the number of teams mirrors a similar one taken by UEFA to expand the European Championship, with 24 nations taking part at...
(AfricaNews 07/20/17)
President Paul Kagame of Rwanda has likened the case of the country to a seed that was buried but germinated – a reference to its difficult past and how it survived a genocide. The 59-year-old leader made the remarks when his campaign team stopped in the Bugesera District located in Rwanda’s Eastern Province. Bugesera is home to one of the main memorial sites of the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda. “Bugesera, like the rest of Rwanda was a seed that was buried but germinated. Bugesera exemplifies many things. “You cannot speak about Bugesera and not mention the historical context of this area. It exemplifies effects of bad leadership and what can be achieved with good leadership,’‘ he stressed. He tasked people...
(Xinhuanet 07/20/17)
Rwandan presidential candidates will for the first time in the history of the Rwanda elections appear in a live television debate ahead of August 4 polls, said the National Electoral commission (NEC) of the country on Wednesday. The three candidates, incumbent President Paul Kagame of the ruling party Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda and Philippe Mpayimana, an independent candidate, will face off next week, in the much anticipated television debate, NEC's executive secretary Charles Munyaneza told Xinhua on a telephone interview. He said the Rwanda Broadcasting Agency and NEC are currently organizing the live presidential debate.
(The New Times 07/20/17)
At least 3,718,502 women are expected to vote in the forthcoming presidential polls due on August 4. This number will account for 54% of the 6,888,592 people registered to vote. If we are to go by this voter demographics, one would safely say that the women’s vote will significantly determine who becomes the next President of Rwanda come August 4th. There are three candidates in the race including RPF-Inkotanyi Presidential candidate Paul Kagame, Independent candidate Philipe Mpayimana and Frank Habineza of the Green Party. The three candidates have 15 days to wrap up their campaigns, but what will it take for any of the three candidates to be assured of the women’s vote. Observers interviewed cited women empowerment and poverty...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa's major central banks are entering an easing cycle as they try to stimulate growth after months of drought, austerity drives and confidence issues across the continent, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. Much of southern and eastern Africa is still recovering after an El Niño-related drought wilted crops last year. Poor business confidence in South Africa and foreign exchange restrictions in Nigeria have also hampered growth. "We expect that African monetary policy is entering a widespread and protracted period of policy easing. This will provide a boost to growth," said John Ashbourne, Africa analyst at Capital Economics. Ghana, which agreed a three-year fiscal discipline deal with the International Monetary Fund in exchange for aid in 2015,...
(AFP (eng) 07/19/17)
Inside a metal shed in southeastern Rwanda, Nicholas Hitimana brandished a plastic container holding a green liquid: geranium essential oil, freshly distilled and ready for export at more than $200 (175 euros) a kilo. The pioneer of essential oils in Rwanda, Hitimana said he understood over a decade ago "the need to develop high-value crops" in his hilly nation of just 2.6 million hectares (6.4 million acres). Agriculture accounts for nearly a third of GDP and employs four-fifths of the population and, as a result, there is "little arable land" remaining. "On a hectare, if we grow beans, we earn about $2,000 a year, whereas on the same land, if we grow geranium, the income can reach $6,000 or even...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30 million mobile-banking customers, giving them “a very sizeable platform on the continent,” he said. Vodacom’s purchase of the Safaricom stake from U.K. parent company Vodafone Group Plc gives the South African company access to the fast-growing M-Pesa platform, which processed...
(The New Times 07/18/17)
The Government and the World Bank on Monday signed a $120 million (about Rwf100 billion) financial agreement to support skills development across multiple sectors of the economy. The 38-year concessional loan, according to Finance and Economic Planning minister Claver Gatete, will mainly focus on priority sectors, including manufacturing, energy, transport and logistics, among other sectors. The 3-year Priority Skills Programme for Growth (PSG) project will focus on high priority economic sectors, including energy, transport and logistics, and manufacturing with a focus on 'Made in Rwanda' products, Minister Gatete said during the signing ceremony in Kigali.
(Quartz 07/18/17)
Rwandan officials have summarily executed “at least 37 suspected petty offenders” in the last year instead of prosecuting them, a new report from Human Rights Watch (HRW) says. The rights group said that the killings were “not isolated events” and were part of an official strategy to “spread fear, enforce order, and deter any resistance to government orders or policies.” Victims were suspected of committing minor criminal offenses like stealing bananas, a cow, or a motorcycle; smuggling marijuana; using illegal fishing nets, or illegally crossing the border from the Democratic Republic of Congo into Rwanda. Witnesses who saw the bodies reported seeing bullet wounds and injuries that seemed to have been caused by beatings or stabbings. HRW said that the...
(Xinhuanet 07/18/17)
The World Bank announced Monday 120 million U.S. dollars credit to support Rwanda's skills development. The World Bank's country manager to Rwanda Yasser El-Gammal said the credit facility was expected to help in the implementation of programs under Rwanda's development blueprint, the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2). "It will also help Rwanda achieve its target of creating more than 200,000 off-farm jobs as prescribed in the EDPRS2 blueprint," he said at the signing ceremony of the financing deal in Kigali, capital city of Rwanda. The 38-year concessional loan will be allocated toward priority sectors including manufacturing, energy, transport and logistics, said Rwanda's finance minister Claver Gatete. The programs that the loan will support including a 3-year Priority...
(The New York Times 07/18/17)
Republicans, you are probably tired of hearing how so many Americans are sicker than their peers in other rich countries, lacking access to needed medical care. There are only so many times one can take being unfavorably compared to Denmark. As you regroup after the collapse of your bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, hoping to figure out some new approach to dismember it, you might want to think not about Denmark, but about Rwanda. Rwanda’s economy adds up to some $700 per person, less than one-eightieth of the average economic output of an American. A little more than two decades ago it was shaken by genocidal interethnic conflict that killed hundreds of thousands. Still today, a newborn Rwandan...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he packed up leftovers at a training event for people who work with refugees, where he had served a menu which included traditional African dishes. "I talk to my family frequently, ask them their needs, and help...
(Bloomberg 07/17/17)
The last time Rwanda held presidential elections, opposition leader Frank Habineza’s deputy was killed and he fled into European exile. Seven years on, he sees his candidacy in next month’s vote as a cautious step toward greater political freedoms in the tiny East African country. The Aug. 4 election will be the first time Habineza, who leads the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda and says he still faces intimidation, has been allowed on the ballot papers. That, according to the 40-year-old, is enough of a victory as he competes against President Paul Kagame, who’s running for a third term after the constitution was changed and is all but certain to win. “This is an election where people will hear an...

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