Tuesday 22 August 2017
(BBC News Africa 08/22/17)
Rwanda's Football Association (Ferwafa) is preparing to finalise its bid to host the 2019 Under-17 World Cup. The Ferwafa president Vincent Nzamwita insists the country is capable of hosting a tournament of such a stature. "We have already submitted a formal request to Fifa to host the event and they have registered us and sent bid documents," Nazamwita told BBC Sport. "We have a dateline of 25 August to send the terms and agreement to Fifa and later start preparing the bid." Nzamwita said hosting a tournament like the World Cup will raise the profile of not only Rwanda but the region and continent as well. Last year Rwanda hosted a successful Africa Nations Championship...
(Bloomberg 08/21/17)
GreenWish Partners, a renewable energy company run by a former Morgan Stanley executive, is planning to invest $800 million on solar-powered telecommunications towers across Africa. The project could fuel economic growth by providing power for essential services. Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest rates of energy access in the world and is home to about half of the world’s 1.2 billion people without reliable electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. The problem extends to businesses as well as households, cutting into productivity and growth. “We reduce the total cost of power by 30 percent,” said Charlotte Aubin-Kalaidjian, the founder and chief executive officer of GreenWish, who was formerly a managing director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. “Smaller towers can run...
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead...
(Bloomberg 08/09/17)
Maybe he is. That doesn't bode well for his people or the progress his country has made. This could have been the year that Rwandan President Paul Kagame rode off into the sunset to riches and acclaim. Kagame has been his country's dominant political figure since leading the 1994 military rebellion that halted the genocide by the majority Hutus of his ethnic group, the Tutsis. He was chosen as president by the country's parliament and cabinet in 2000. Then, after...
(Bloomberg 08/04/17)
Rwandans began voting Friday in a presidential election that’s all but certain to extend Paul Kagame’s 17-year rule of the East African nation. Polling stations opened at 7 a.m. and will close at 3 p.m., with about 6.8 million people in the country of 12 million registered to vote. Electoral officials say the winner will be announced later Friday, after at least 80 percent of ballots have been counted. Kagame is competing against the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda’s Frank...
(Bloomberg 08/03/17)
Paul Kagame has held an iron-clad grip on power in Rwanda since taking office 17 years ago and that’s set to remain after Friday’s presidential elections, with his victory an almost foregone conclusion. The 59-year-old led a rebel army that ended the East African country’s 1994 genocide in which about 800,000 people died, and he’s been credited with turning Rwanda’s economy into one of the continent’s top performers by cutting red tape, improving internet access, roads and electricity supplies. Yet his detractors, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, say civil liberties have fallen by the wayside and the credibility of the vote has been compromised by a violent crackdown on his opponents...
(Voice of America 08/02/17)
Three days before the presidential election in Rwanda, the country's electoral commission says it is not bothered by people who suggest the outcome is a fait accompli. "It is not a foregone conclusion and we are not wasting money," said the commission's executive secretary, Charles Munyaneza, in an exclusive interview with VOA's Central Africa service. "We are not bothered as a commission and I also think Rwandans are also not bothered," he said. "... We are running elections, we are...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Julien Ochala can’t live without his morning cup of Joe. But not just any coffee will do. For the past five years, the 37-year-old physiology lecturer at King’s College London has visited the same store every week to grab a pack of his beloved Kenyan brew. And he’s not put off by the cost: at 37 pounds a kilogram ($22 a pound), it’s more than double a similar supermarket product. "I take Kenyan coffee every morning," said Ochala, who buys...
(Voice of America 08/01/17)
With only a few days until Rwanda's presidential election, candidates are focusing on the economy as they make their final pitches to voters. President Paul Kagame, predicted by most analysts to win big in Friday's poll, campaigned Monday in Rwanda's Northern Province. While there, he promised residents that the dusty roads in their district would be improved as soon as he is re-elected. The president appealed to national pride as he addressed a large crowd. "We have the responsibility to...
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands...
(Voice of America 07/29/17)
KIGALI — Normally, African election campaigns like the one taking place in Rwanda generate a lot of "noise," meaning tension and worries of unrest, according to Moody Awori, head of the East African Community team tasked with observing the August 4 presidential vote. In Rwanda, however, "I have not seen that, I have not heard that and, in fact, sometimes it is difficult to know that an election campaign is going on," he said. "To me, that is a plus."...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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,...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable...
(RFI(EN) 06/30/17)
Three NGOs said Thursday that they had filed a lawsuit against BNP Paribas for alleged "complicity" in the 1994 genocide of the Tutsi minority in Rwanda. The organisations - Sherpa, which defends victims of economic crimes, Ibuka France, a Rwanda victims' association, and the France-based Collective of Civil Parties for Rwanda - accuse the French bank of financing the purchase of "80 tonnes of arms used to carry out genocide" by the Hutu regime. The four-month campaign led to the massacre of about 800,000 people, mostly from Rwanda's Tutsi minority. BNP authorised the fund transfer to the regime in June 1994...

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