Thursday 21 September 2017
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced by some countries as the reason they could not sign or ratify the agreement. However their adoption represented a milestone in the negotiation, as it removed the last obstacle to signing and ratifying the agreement," Mangeni said. The tripartite free...
(The Associated Press 07/15/17)
Rwanda's president is already claiming victory in next month's election. President Paul Kagame told supporters at his first campaign rally Friday that the results of the vote were known in 2015, when more than 4 million Rwandans petitioned Parliament to change the constitution to allow him to run again. Kagame said his critics cannot change the will of the people. "You can choose not to hear the truth but you cannot deny what your eyes show you here today," he said. "Pretending not to know the will expressed by the people during the referendum would be a lie, not democracy." Kagame has been in power since the end of the East African nation's genocide in 1994. While he has been...
(AFP (eng) 07/14/17)
On the impeccably clean streets of Rwanda's capital, where a skyline of gleaming new buildings pokes through undulating hills, few have heard of opposition presidential aspirants Frank Habineza and Philippe Mpayimana. They were only confirmed as candidates and allowed to begin fundraising a week before Friday's campaign start for August 4 presidential polls in the east African nation. With little money, and only three weeks to drum up support, the two men face a seemingly insurmountable task in challenging the all-powerful President Paul Kagame, who is expected to easily win a third term in office.
(AFP (eng) 07/13/17)
The soldiers came at dawn to Fulgence Rukundo's house in a village in western Rwanda, and accused him of stealing a cow. They draped slabs of the dead cow's carcass around his shoulders and positioned the animal's head on his before marching him into a banana plantation and shooting him dead, according to witnesses cited in a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report on extrajudicial killings released Thursday. An investigation by the rights group alleges that Rwandan security forces executed at least 37 suspected petty offenders, including Rukundo, instead of prosecuting them.
(Bloomberg 07/13/17)
Rwanda’s ruling party vowed to build new infrastructure and boost industry if the East African nation re-elects President Paul Kagame for a third term next month. The Rwandan Patriotic Front will partner with the private sector to encourage new industry and expand production at existing facilities, according to its manifesto for the Aug. 4 vote, released Wednesday in the capital, Kigali. It also promised to build about 3,800 kilometers (2,361 miles) of roads and do further explorations to determine the country’s mineral potential. “We will create jobs to spur development and social welfare of the Rwandan people with the next seven years, promote sustainable urbanization and rural development,” said the party, which has ruled Rwanda since 1994. Rwanda changed its...
(Xinhuanet 07/12/17)
Rwanda has been ranked among top 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa that are on progress towards attaining the UN-backed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, according to SDG Index and Dashboards report released here on Tuesday. The second edition of the SDGs and Dashboards report on Africa, released by the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa (SDGC/A) and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) provides a report card for tracking SDG progress and ensuring accountability. The survey that assesses the capacity of 157 economies across the globe ranks Rwanda top in East Africa, 7th in sub-Saharan Africa and 117th at the global level.
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(AFP (eng) 07/11/17)
Rwandan President Paul Kagame called for bolstering relations with Israel on Monday during a visit reflecting a warming of ties between the Jewish state and Africa. In July 2016 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Rwanda as part of a four-nation Africa trade and security tour aimed at boosting ties and in June this year he joined West African leaders at a summit in Liberia. "Ever since the prime minister's visit to West Africa last year, Israel has continued to follow through on its commitments and objective of scaling up engagement across Africa," Kagame said. "This is a very positive trend which can only be welcomed and merits our support,"...
(African arguments 07/11/17)
Only President Paul Kagame has a chance of winning the 2017 presidential election. And he could stay in power until 2034. “More of a coronation than real contest.” That’s how the Kenyan daily The Standard characterised Rwanda’s presidential poll slated for 4 August. It sums up the reality well. In countries with competitive politics, elections are an important moment giving rise to debate and excitement. Not so in Rwanda. Rwandans have become accustomed to polls where everything is settled in advance. This was the case before the genocide, when the country was officially a one-party state. And it has been the case since 1994, after which Rwanda became a de facto one-party state under the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). The...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(The Associated Press 07/10/17)
Rwanda's electoral commission on Friday disqualified three candidates for next month's presidential election, including the only woman, saying they hadn''t fulfilled requirements such as collecting enough supporting signatures. The announcement came as Amnesty International charged that the election would be held under a "climate of fear" and repression. Those disqualified were Diane Shima Rwigara, Gilbert Mwenedata and Fred Sekikubo Barafinda, said Kalisa Mbanda, chief of the electoral commission. Rwigara, who was running as an independent, said last week that local leaders threatened her supporters while they collected
(Reuters (Eng) 07/10/17)
Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame has assured Israelis his country is open for cooperation and he is looking forward to strengthened ties between the two states. Kagame was meeting Israel’s leadership on Monday in Jerusalem, on a two day visit to the region. The cooperation is aimed at helping rebuild Rwanda, support its major sectors like agriculture and security. “This is a very positive trend which can only be welcomed and merits our support. We are looking forward to reinforcing our cooperation with Israel on common challenges and issues of mutual interest,” Kagame said. Both countries have experienced genocide according to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who believes, that shared history is a great bond. “We have pledged, I think,...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/10/17)
Rwanda's only female presidential candidate has been disqualified from next month's election, with authorities saying on Friday that she did not submit enough supporters' signatures and some of those she did submit belonged to dead people. Rwanda has the most women in parliament of anywhere in the world - nearly two-thirds of lawmakers are female - but a woman has never been president. According to the final list, President Paul Kagame will run for a third term on Aug. 4 against Frank Habineza, nominated by the opposition Democratic Green Party, and Philippe Mpayimana. Diane Shima Rwigara, a 35-year-old accountant, was one of three candidates left off the list, and the only woman. Kagame is widely admired for restoring stability after...
(AfricaNews 07/10/17)
President Paul Kagame, main opposition party leader Frank Habineza and independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana have been cleared by Rwanda’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) as candidates in the August 4 presidential elections. Three other independent candidates including the only female aspirant, 35-year-old Diane Shima Rwigara were disqualified by the NEC for not meeting the requirements as candidates. The NEC announced on Friday citing reasons why each disqualified candidate failed to make it on the final list. For Diane Shima Rwigara, NEC Chairman, Kalisa Mbanda said she “did not raise the 600 signatures required. She has 572 signatures and used voters cards which are yet to be obtained by their owners.” The NEC added that she conspired with one of their officials...
(AfricaNews 07/10/17)
Rwanda has been ranked highest country in the world with most women in parliament as of January 2017. The East African country has 49 women in its 80-seat lower house of parliament and 10 women in its 26-seat Upper house of parliament, the Women in Politics 2017 map, created by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women depicted. Rwanda is followed directly by Bolivia, Cuba and Iceland. The African countries that made it in the top 20 include Senegal, South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Ethiopia and Angola, ranking 7, 9, 12, 13, 17 and 19 respectively. No African country made it in the two least categories. Nigeria however placed 180 in the 190 ranking. The map, showing global rankings for women...
(The Associated Press 07/10/17)
KAMPALA, UGANDA — Rwanda's presidential election next month will be held under "a climate of fear'' following two decades of often deadly attacks on political opponents, journalists and rights activists, Amnesty International charged Friday, calling for serious political reforms in the East African country. "Since the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front took power 23 years ago, Rwandans have faced huge, and often deadly, obstacles to participating in public life and voicing criticism of government policy,'' said Muthoni Wanyeki, an Amnesty official in East Africa. "The climate in which the upcoming elections take place is the culmination of years of repression.'' Many killings and disappearances, including some recent ones, have been blamed on the government of President Paul Kagame, who has been...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(AFP (eng) 07/08/17)
Rwanda's election commission on Friday permitted two opposition candidates to run against President Paul Kagame in elections due on August 4, ruling out three other challengers. National Election Commission (NEC) chief Kalisa Mbanda announced the approval of the Democratic Green Party's Frank Habineza, independent Philippe Mpayimana and Kagame as candidates, while rejecting three other independents. Habineza's is the only opposition party permitted to operate in Rwanda, long dominated by Kagame's Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), and the only opponent to a 2015 constitutional reform that cleared the way for the president to run again despite having been in charge of the country since 1994. Last month the NEC approved Kagame and Habineza but rejected the four independent candidates on procedural grounds,...
(AFP (eng) 07/07/17)
Two decades of attacks on Rwanda's opposition, journalists and rights groups have created a "climate of fear" ahead of next month's presidential election, Amnesty International warned Friday. "Since the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) took power 23 years ago, Rwandans have faced huge, and often deadly obstacles to participating in public life and voicing criticism of government policy," said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty's regional director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes. "The climate in which the upcoming elections take place is the culmination of years of repression." The rights group released a 30-page report detailing several alleged violations, including the killing of an opposition party member as well...
(APA 07/07/17)
APA-Nairobi (Kenya) - Two decades of attacks on the political opposition, independent media and human rights defenders have created a climate of fear in Rwanda ahead of next month’s election, Amnesty International warned in a new report on Friday. The organization is urging the government to prevent harassment of opposition candidates and their supporters ahead of the August poll, but also to initiate far-reaching reforms that will open up political space before the 2024 elections, allowing genuine debate and diverse opinions to be freely expressed. “Since the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front took power 23 years ago, Rwandans have faced huge, and often deadly, obstacles to participating in public life and voicing criticism of government policy. The climate in which the...

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