Monday 24 July 2017
(AFP (eng) 03/20/17)
Pope Francis on Monday begged for God's forgiveness for "the sins and failings of the Church and its members" implicated in the 1994 Rwanda genocide that killed around 800,000 people. The pontiff "conveyed his profound sadness, and that of the Holy See and of the Church, for the genocide against the Tutsi," the Vatican said in a statement after a meeting between Francis and the Rwanda President Paul Kagame. "He implored anew God's forgiveness for the sins and failings of the Church and its members, among whom priests and religious men and women who succumbed to hatred and violence, betraying their own evangelical mission," it said. Francis's pardon plea followed a request from Rwanda in November for the church to...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/20/17)
The head of Rwanda's only registered opposition party, the tiny Green Party, said on Sunday he will stand against President Paul Kagame, who is expected to run for third term in August presidential polls. Kagame is widely admired by many for restoring stability to the East African nation after its 1994 genocide, presiding over rapid economic growth and creating a relatively corruption-free government. But rights activists say those achievements have come at the expense of civil liberties. Some of Kagame's political opponents have been killed after they fled abroad, in cases that remain unsolved. Frank Habineza was elected to oppose Kagame in a Green Party congress of about 400 members.
(Xinhuanet 03/20/17)
The World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim is expected in Rwanda on Tuesday. During his visit, from March 21-22, Kim is expected to meet with Rwandan President Paul Kagame to discuss the east African country's development achievements, innovations and the progress made in fostering private sector growth and development, according to a statement issued by the World Bank office on Friday in Kigali. Kim will also hold meetings with private sector leaders and visit human development and other projects in various parts of the country including an ICT innovation centre at K-lab in Kigali and a social protection center at Kinyana to see how the World Bank Group can help sustain and further strengthen them. He will also address...
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
At the Africa CEO Forum which opened this morning in Geneva, AFD Group – in partnership with the European Union – unveiled the “African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility”, designed to boost private sector investment in on–grid and off-grid renewable energy production in Africa. In order to meet Africa’s constantly increasing energy requirements, support must be provided for mass development of the renewable energy technologies – especially solar energy – that will play such a key role over the coming years, given the recent drop in prices and the emergence of new innovative business models. The EU’s electrification funding initiative, “ElectriFI”, helps to harness and stimulate private sector investment to enhance access to renewable energy. More specifically, it focuses on poorly-served...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get rejected but the others come," said Flowers, chair of the African Global Economic and Development Summit. "This year it was 100 percent. Every delegation. And it was sad to see, because these people were so disheartened." Flowers estimated that she...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent as well. That’s what 26 Americans selected to participate in a Reciprocal Exchange program, a new component of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, are now planning to do. The U.S. Department of State partnered with IREX, a...
(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
China's aid to the education sector in Africa is helping boost teacher training, a key component in skilling the population to fast track development, a UN official has said. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in an interview recognized China's contribution to Africa's education sector over the years. "We value the initiative in teacher training in Uganda and other countries in Africa. This will revitalize the teaching profession," she said. China through UNESCO donated equipment to three teacher training institutions in Uganda on March 3. Figures from the Chinese embassy here show that 137 tutors were trained and 272 pieces of Information Communication and Technology and studio equipment...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Africa will host a Commonwealth Games one day despite the blow of Durban being stripped of hosting the 2022 edition, David Grevemberg, the chief executive of The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told AFP. Durban lost the right to host the Games on Monday -- just 18 months after being awarded them -- when it failed to meet criteria laid down by the CGF, primarily over costs. "I wouldn't want to make a judgement call," Grevemberg told AFP on the sidelines of a briefing by 2018 Games hosts Gold Coast on Wednesday. "Durban has hosted some great events, it is a fantastic city and are wonderful warm hosts with bright ambitions and great aspirations. "However, it takes more than a municipality,...
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations in banking, real estate, infrastructure and technology. Edited excerpts follow. MR. KEELER: What about innovation in Africa? Khanyi, what sort of things are you seeing that are inspiring you? MS. DHLOMO:There’s a lot of innovation happening in Africa. But it’s...
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
In Rwanda, the National Agricultural Exports Board (NAEB) announced an increase of 64% of the minimum price guaranteed to coffee-growers. Indeed, the kilogram of the crop will be now sold at 246 Rwandan francs against 150 Rwandan francs previously. According to Pie Ntwari, head of public communication and relations at the NAEB, the decision to increase the price by the government aims to encourage coffee farmers and subsequently boost its production. Besides increasing output, the official believes the measure will also help produce coffee of higher quality.
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
The Land Policy Initiative (LPI), a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched a pilot project to track progress in implementing in the AU Declaration on land issues in Africa. This was revealed by the ECA in a press statement dated March 7. In collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the project will assess progress made in implementing the key decisions and commitments of the AU Declaration on Land adopted in July 2009 by the General Assembly of the pan-African institution. “We are to a large extent in unchartered waters given many of our Member...
(Xinhuanet 03/13/17)
Rwanda and Sao Tome and Principe have signed five agreements aimed at enhancing cooperation ranging from agriculture to tourism. The agreements are on cooperation in areas of agriculture, animal resources, tourism trade, air transport, and visa waiver. Rwanda's foreign minister Louise Mushikiwabo, and her counterpart Urbino Botelho signed the agreements on behalf of their respective countries, following talks in Kigali aimed at strengthening relations between the two countries. A statement released Sunday said both sides pledged to implement the agreements aimed at consolidating bilateral relations as well as promoting South-South Cooperation and strengthening African solidarity.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
The United Arab Emirates, one of the Middle East's largest economies, wants to expand trade ties with faster growing nations in Asia and Africa, a senior official said on Sunday. Rich Gulf Arab states are looking at ways to diversify their economies, including who they trade with, after more than two years of depressed oil prices forced a rethink of government spending. The pace of economic growth in Asian and sub-Saharan African economies has made them ideal partners, Abdullah al-Saleh, undersecretary for foreign trade and industry at the UAE ministry of the economy, told Reuters in an interview in Dubai. Asia's two largest economies China and India are expected to grow by 6.5 percent and 7.2 percent this year whilst...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
In the beginning was .com, followed by a host of other .somethings, but on Friday, 32 years after the world's first domain name was registered, the African Union has launched .africa for the continent. Africans who want to register a website will be able to apply for a .africa domain name in the coming months, which outgoing AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said would allow the continent's people and businesses to better reach the world. "With .africa, I would say Africa has finally got its digital identity," said Dlamini-Zuma, who will next week hand power to Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat after four years at the helm of the continental body Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the lowest rates...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
The International Women's Day was marked Wednesday in Rwanda with a call to close the gender gap. Speaking at the national celebrations in Nyabihu, in western Rwanda, First Lady Jeannette Kagame said national development cannot be achieved if the biggest percent of the population is excluded. Women make up 52 percent of the about 12 million of Rwanda's population. The First Lady observed that Rwandan women's capacity cannot be doubted because women are already key contributors in national development. Rwandan women are in the public sector, been elected into leadership positions, in private sector business and in security organs
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
A critical mass of trained and well equipped community health workforce is key to easing the rising burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, experts said on Wednesday at a continental forum taking place in Nairobi. The experts, policymakers and campaigners who attended Africa Health Agenda International Conference agreed that optimal engagement of community health workers is key to revolutionize response to diseases ravaging the continent. Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu in his opening remarks said that investments in training for community health workers will have multiplier impact on Africa's socioeconomic development. "We require highly skilled and motivated cadre of community health workforce to deal with a high diseases burden in disadvantaged settings in this continent. These...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Lawyers and human rights campaigners launched an initiative for African whistleblowers in Senegal on Tuesday, aimed at providing a secure means of exposing wrongdoing on the continent. African nations such as Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Guinea-Bissau regularly appear at the very bottom of rankings such as Transparency International's Corruption Index, while none make it into the top 30. The Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) will provide guidance from legal experts, secure submission of information and a hotline for potential informants, according to its founders. The initiative is the brainchild of Spanish superstar lawyer Baltasar Garzon -- who has defended Julian Assange of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks -- along with French lawyer William Bourdon, who worked on...
(Xinhuanet 03/06/17)
Rwanda President Paul Kagame has said that Rwanda is committed to supporting the deepening of integration of the East African Community (EAC) to achieve economic and social prosperity of the citizens within the region. He made the remarks on Monday while addressing a Special Sitting of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) which starts a two-week session at the Rwandan Parliamentary buildings in the capital Kigali. The EALA is the law-making organ of the EAC established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC. Being the legislative arm of the community, members are sworn into five-year terms. The regional parliament is responsible for, among other things, approving budgets of the EAC and debating audit reports. "East...
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of the 52 member countries of the Commonwealth when ministers from each country meet in London later this week. But as the UK is prepares itself to leave the European Union, The Times reports that British ministers are planning to talk...
(AFP (eng) 03/04/17)
The wife of a member of Rwanda's opposition in exile who went missing in the central African country two weeks ago, is in police custody accused of ties to a criminal network, her husband said Friday. The Rwandan authorities "have acknowledged that they have Vilette in their custody and appear to be accusing her of working with criminals," said Faustin Rukundo, who is married to Violette Uwamahoro, a dual citizen of Rwanda and Britain. Rukundo told AFP that earlier the Rwandan officials "told the foreign office in the UK that they do not have Violette." He denied the purported charges against his wife and that she was involved in opposition politics, saying "the true thing is that they can never...

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