Friday, October 18, 2019

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RURA moves to introduce new public transport reforms in Kigali

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Rwanda Utility Regulatory Authority (RURA) has started the process of introducing new and improved road transport reforms in the City of Kigali in an effort to bring efficiency and a sustainable transport system.

The process dubbed ‘Public Transport Generation Two (PT-G2)’ launched on Thursday, is part of the national transformation process, which will officially come into force in May next year, running for five years until 2025.

PT-G2 described as a well planned, scheduled and prioritized public transport network, will replace the five-year PT-G1 launched in August 2013, which mainly focused on organising and regulating public transport in the capital.

PT-G1 also replaced PT-G0 (before 2013), when the city was defined by low capacity vehicles with poor accessibility, operating on non-assigned routes, high revenue leakages between vehicle owners and drivers/conductors, and the government; abusive drivers and conductors; long waiting hours; unclean vehicles and unhygienic drivers and conductors.

Under PT-G2, the regulator will introduce vehicle schedule time at every bus station, improved route planning, introduce public transport application for smart-phones to facilitate passengers in their schedules on time when a bus will be at the station; driver duty board, which is filled by the driver on arrival and departure time at every bus station; and an intelligent service monitoring system, which helps the regulator to track buses in line with regard to arrival and departure time at stations.

Others include better vehicle mix, improved service contracts, increasing the commercial speed to influence use public transport rather than use of private means, which cause traffic jam; introduction of drivers’ shifts to prevent stress and accidents caused by long working hours, contracts for drivers to ensure job security, medical insurance and organized salary payment process, all which is aimed at having professional drivers with access to financial loans since they will be having contracts.

This Thursday’s launch of the reforms process marked the official call for fresh interested parties to operate public transport in the City of Kigali, a process which will take two months.

Currently, there are 80 routes in the City of Kigali up from 41 routes in 2013, which are classified in four zones.

RURA’s Director General, Patrick Nyirishema, while speaking, during the press conference, said that PT-G2 comes to implement the city master plan, which requires a transit oriented city, sustainable transport network and comprehensive transport system.

“We have moved a long journey from PT-G0 towards PT-G2 and to PT-G3 (which will start in 2026); we moved from a disorganized transport system where passengers had no right, but we are yet to get where this country wants to be, and we will get there in favorable steps and phases,” Nyirishema said.

He added that under the new public transport generation, passengers will hold transporters and drivers accountable through real time passenger information system, fight traffic jam through prioritized public transport routes, and increase use of public transport and preventing road accidents.

Currently, motorcycles account for the majority 60 percent means of transport in Kigali, private cars account for 34 percent, while public vehicles and cargo trucks account for 3 percent each.

A survey conducted this year indicates that there are 450 fleets in Kigali with the capacity of 18,394 passengers.

According to Nyirishema, the current fleet is enough to accommodate passenger capacity in Kigali, but the commercial speed is affected by the big number of private means of transport, which the new reforms will strive to address.

Generation Two will also look at the transport fare, improve operations monitoring system, public transport operator structure and governance.

Transport schedules will also take into consideration normal and peak hours, weekend and public holidays.

Nyirishema said that the reforms are meant to further ensure reliability and legibility, increase passengers’ satisfaction and improve traffic control.

The Express News

Rwanda’s e-commerce improving access to markets

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Rwanda has an estimated 3.8 million out of 12.2 million of the population that is consistently using the internet to access electronic business applications that link them to different local, regional and international markets.

Latest figures show that the number of internet subscriptions rose from 6.0 million in the first three months of 2019 to 6.2 million in the second quarter of the same year representing a 4.2% increase.

Recently, the government e-Criminal Record Clearance Certificate is now fully digitized and accessible online to ease the otherwise lengthy process.

To better link the e-governance synergies ministries, institutions and NGOs have signed Memoranda of Understanding with the Ministry of ICT and Innovation.

Some of the people already are linked to the markets by internet through e-commerce applications also use of the mobile phone to execute their businesses.

Today the speed of the Internet is a 4G LTE network and fibre optic line connected all around the country and linking it to the East African Community and its COMESA partners and is not limited to SADC countries.

The Rwandan government has programs and synergies that promote the use of e-governance and e-commerce to do everyday business.

Already there are agreed measures that protect online services leveraged at the global standards like the proprietary information security.

Many citizens and businesses still use traditional ways of physical interactions, and many transactions are in cash, however, the trend is promising as the online services increase and e-government portals, such as Irembo, to pay taxes and others.

People also use mobile money payment systems to do business and all are linked to the e-government which is in place to ensure that work is done proficiently and faster.

E-commerce services have improved in the last decade in the hospitality, airline, banking, food delivery, and courier services sectors.

There are many different e-commerce start-ups that either link business-client at the local market level or other markets be it regional and international.

Rwandans can now import goods from as far as China and other away countries through different international electronic trade portals like Alibaba, Ali Express, Amazon and e-bay.

They also can make their payments through the Western Union, MoneyGram, and HubShil to name.

E-commerce has over the last decade and a half remained possible and spread due to the many youths that invest in Information Computer Technology.

The government also has ensured that intellectual property rights law is enforced to avoid hacking and other cybercrimes.

The business that uses the electronic system are commonly investing in grocery, food, travel, real estate, miscellaneous, classified, crafts, automotive, medical, and hospitality among many others.

Credit and debit cards are now used by many people in Kigali and other provincial towns where Visa Inc is being used since 2011 and helping inaccessibility to other international payment systems.

Electronic billing machines that also interlink with the internet and e-commerce have been introduced by Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) to make payment more convenient for many using the system.

There are now more than 3,638 credit cards in use since 2018, while the number of debit cards is estimated to be over 883,755.

And more than 3.8 million Rwandans are using mobile money payment systems to pay their electricity, water and transfer money to different business partners.

But some ICT or Tech start-ups still wish to tailor the e-systems with utilizable traditional values that do inspire Rwandans to engage in its development and use.

The Express News

Uweera Florida, Rwanda’s unsung icon

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Many Rwandans who loved the 80 and 90’s folks reminisce well the lyrics like Inzoovu, Bene imana, Mbahoze nte, abatangana and others.

She is one of the composers of those tracks of the earliest days embroiled with the traditional element that was pure, ancient and melodic.

Her exceptional unique vocal blended with powerful lyrics lay a strong message of love and humanity. Florida was very active in the years of 70’s-1990’s. However, her tracks are still alive despite the modern trends.

Uweera’s musical inspiration grew some time back since 1960’s while in Burundi at the only 14 years of age.

At only 14 years that is when she started her musical career and by early 1963 Uweera had recorded her first songs like inzoovu, Iwaacu, Igitaramo, Bene ‘imana which she recorded in France to lack of recording houses locally at the time.

Also, the membership in the traditional troupes including Indashyikirwa, Amariza, Amagaju, Amasonga sharpened improved her since there were many vocalists in those troupe group

She recalls in 1959 when the reigning king in Rwanda urged the Rwandan refugees in Burundi in an official message to consider and conserve the integrity of original culture through the traditional folks.

“The king’s message increased the love of the traditional songs among the Rwandans living in Burundi,” she said.

Joining the traditional troupes for instance ‘Indashyikirwa and ‘Abaterambabazi’ ‘Umugabekazi ’ impacted her musical journey.

Shortly, after recording her first song ‘Abaterambabazi’ she started travelling from here and there as well building a reputation on a global scale.

In her memory lane, she remembers attending one of the prominent event, a cultural show in France and Belgium during the 1980’s on the invitation of other Rwandan folk singers like Muyango and Cecille Kayirebwa who were living in those countries.

“In this cultural conference I met other traditional singers coming all over the continents like Cameroon, Ethiopia, South Africa and many more others which boosted my connection,” she said.

‘While in Belgium I exploited the chance and recorded my first album called ‘Urumuri’ composed of songs; Urihehe se Mana Yangye, Ndaje shenge , Umwiza wangye,Rumanzi,Wirila, Bene Imana,Urukundo,Nimundeke Ngende,Urukundo, Izohambere.

“I can say that my career at the time sustained my financial needs especially from those international concerts where I managed to get some of my money which catered some of my household needs,” she added.

Advice to the young traditional singers

Uweera advises young Rwandans who want to pursue traditional songs either as soul singers or in troupes to shun away with copying and pirating, rather they should have to focus on their originalities and vocals.

The Express News

Itangazo rya Mukankusi Esther risaba guhindura amazina

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Uwitwa MUKANKUSI Esther mwene RUGANGO Dismas na MWIRENGA Leneifride utuye mu Mudugudu wa Rugarama || Akagari ka Nyamata Ville , umurenge wa Nyamata, Akarere ka Bugesera mu Ntara y’Iburasirazuba uboneka kuri Telephone 0787723133

Yasabye uburenganzira bwo gusimbuza izina MUKANKUSI , izina RUGANGO mu mazina asanganywe MUKANKUSI Esther akitwa RUGANGO Esther

Impamvu atanga ni uko izina RUGANGO ari izina rya se ashaka kwitwa nk’izina ry’umuryango .

Ikindi ni uko iri zina yarikoresheje yiga rikaba rigagaragara ku Nyandiko ze z’ishuri

Akaba asaba kwemererwa binyuze mu nzira zemewe n’amategeko, gusimbuza izina MUKANKUSI , izina RUGANGO mu mazina asanganwe MUKANKUSI Esther bityo akitwa RUGANGO Esther mu gitabo cy’irangamimerere kirimo inyandiko ye y’ivuka.

The Express News

Uganda-Rwanda crisis: Andrew Mwenda can no longer feign neutrality

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On June 3, 2019, Andrew Mwenda, the proprietor of The Independent Magazine, published in Uganda, wrote a story titled “Uganda and Rwanda’s slippery slope.”

On September 3, 2018, exactly nine months previously, Mwenda wrote a detailed article in the same paper titled, “Kayihura, Kagame, Museveni” whose objective was to update his readers on what was then a subject that had yet to enter mainstream media.

And so, Mwenda asked the question, “So what is the issue between the two countries?” in order to “give a general picture of the things that have torn our two countries apart.”

It was perhaps the first time a mainstream journalist had covered the subject in great detail, having engaged actors at different levels. Mwenda presented ample evidence clearly pointing out the aggressor in the conflict.

Mwenda, however, refused to say the name Museveni and, as the evidence proved, that couldn’t be excused from a situation he had personally created; instead he resorted to scapegoating, shifting the blame to Museveni’s subordinates.

In other words, Mwenda was well aware that if things escalated, it was because of what Museveni – not his subordinates- had done and approved.

Therefore, even if Mwenda desisted from naming the source of the problem, the point had already been made; the evidence he had adduced spoke for itself.

But even going as far as he had gone could help him portray himself as a courageous person in pursuit of the truth, someone genuinely interested in contributing to averting the escalation of the crisis.

In all, Mwenda listed nine Rwandan grievances against one for Uganda.

Significantly, he pointed out that Rwanda had protested to Ugandan authorities, “But Kampala has never made a formal or even informal protest to Kigali over its sole allegation.”

President Museveni corroborated this position in his letter to President Kagame this March, 2019, “I get lots of stories; but I will never raise them unless I have confirmed them,” Museveni explained why he has yet to raise the claim that Rwanda has spies in Uganda to his Rwandan counterpart.

Mwenda expressed concern, then, that Rwanda grievances remained unaddressed by Uganda even as the latter was reluctant to air the grievances it has against the former, “the complaints by Kigali and the poor effort by Kampala to meaningfully address them began to cloud every decision, however, innocent, Uganda made in its relations with Rwanda,” an apparently concerned Mwenda wrote last year, presumably fearing the indifference was dangerous for relations between the two countries.

“I warned many Ugandan officials even at high levels that this show of bad faith was undermining trust between the two nations,” Mwenda wrote last September.

It is then that Mwenda predicted that the failure to address Rwanda’s grievances “portends a risky escalation.” It was also the first time that Mwenda had characterised the worsening relations in these terms: “This is a slippery slope.”

Facts matter

At the time, Mwenda said he believed that in order to de-escalate the situation, it was important to deal with the facts he had listed as the causes of the tensions.

He also said he had been perplexed by what he had discovered. What’s perplexing is that less than a year later, Mwenda now thinks that “the facts don’t really matter!”

This is a major personal transformation that has him not only persisting in his usual stance of avoiding to explicitly naming the root cause of the conflict, one that he knows very well; he is shamelessly dancing around that fundamental issue, pushing generalities intended to place both aggressor and aggrieved on the same footing, with the deliberate aim of absolving Museveni of a situation that he alone has created by his decision to instrumentalize the FDLR and RNC terrorist organisations in his campaign to destabilise Rwanda.

Kagitumba-Mirama Hills One-Stop Border Post between Rwanda and Uganda

And so, Mwenda goes on a journey of 1,000 words where facts don’t matter! Where in the past his analysis examined structural factors, his new methods rely on “incidents like the one that happened last week can easily and rapidly turn a tense situation into a military conflagration.”

In so doing, he reduces the real issues – Uganda’s stubborn refusal to address key grievances – that are driving the breakdown of relations between the two countries, to ‘last week’s incidents.’

Consequently, the reason for his writing becomes obvious, especially when he chooses to preoccupy himself with assertions – “last week’s incidents” – that have been misrepresented and blown out of all proportion in the pursuit of Uganda’s propaganda interests.

Such fact-less methods could only lead him to facile and spurious conclusions that it is such incidents – not the real grievances- that could turn the present crisis into a military conflagration.

Shameless partisanship

“Uganda may now also deploy her troops at the border to scare Rwandan security from entering as it claims they did last week,” Mwenda writes in a clear blow to his cover as a neutral commentator on the conflict. He is an open partisan to the conflict.

Otherwise, how is one to explain that a 1,000 word analysis can be based on a doubtful incident. In his dubious mind – since he claims to be a mind reader – Mwenda appears certain that the incident took place on Ugandan soil, something he considers a trigger for a “military conflagration.”

Even if we were to assume that the aim of his writing was to divert attention from the real grievances in order to shift the unsuspecting reader “last week’s incidents” as the cause of the conflict.

The parading of the dead body of a Rwandan national and the mobilising of diplomats for the “handover ceremony” can itself constitute an incident for triggering military conflagration. So, the selective amnesia is in itself telling.

Similarly, the idea that “Uganda may now also deploy her troops at the border” repeats an evidence-free falsehood.

It implies that Rwanda has already deployed its troops at the border in ways that incite a response from Uganda, which may put “its military to be on alert.” In other words, Mwenda aims to paint Rwanda as the aggressor itching for “military conflagration!”

Indeed, the assertion that “both sides have deployed their armies across the common border in irritating contact with each other” is false and does not reflect the situation on the ground.

There is no such tense situation as Mwenda suggests, and Rwanda has not, at any rate, reinforced its military predisposition on its border with Uganda. Neither has Rwanda ordered its defence forces to be on the alert; nor does it feel a necessity to “preserve a reputation of being tough”.

If Uganda decides, as Mwenda thinks it will, to order “its military to be on alert” then it will be for reasons other than “last week’s events” much of which involved further provocations against Rwanda.

Therefore, the contention that a war between Uganda and Rwanda may most likely become inevitable reflects specious thinking and shallow analysis that presents war as something of a game to trifle with.

The accidental analyst

Almost a year after his own evidence, Mwenda now also thinks the causes of the conflict between Uganda and Rwanda are happening “accidentally.”

Here are his words, “Yet, whatever Uganda plans, believing such action to be innocent, Rwanda would be stupid to take it lightly and vice versa.” Someone should get Mwenda a copy of his own writing from almost a year ago: there is nothing innocent about Uganda’s plans!

Uganda’s plans are now in the open. They have been confirmed by the terrorist organisations that they are working with, ranging from the FDLR and FLN officials who have been apprehended and have confirmed several planning meetings with senior government officials in Kampala.

Indeed, the United Nations Groups of Experts Report of December 2018 also confirmed that there is nothing “innocent” about Uganda’s plans. These are the facts!

Similarly, there is no “vice versa.” There is nothing Uganda is doing – on purpose or accidentally – that Rwanda is also doing in retaliation. Rwanda is not supporting any dissidents to topple Museveni. Neither is it harassing, arresting, torturing, and deporting Ugandans living in Rwanda.

Nor are “leaders in both capitals” making “decision based on information from their officers on the ground that is most likely doctored to create an excuse for their own mistakes.”

Only President Museveni is acting on lies fed to him by unscrupulous security officers only to later claim to have been “misled” as he has recently done by ‘withdrawing the spying allegations’ against Mr Vanhellenputte, who – along with three other top MTN officials – was in February this year accused of spying for Rwanda and deported: “I am the one who ordered for the deportation of MTN CEO but I was misled.”

Further, the conflict is not “where Kampala and Kigali are caught-up in mutually reinforcing fears and temptations. Each side fears the other is seeking regime change and is tempted to aid the other’s enemies.”

This is patently dishonest and goes against Mwenda’s own findings that have now led him to conjure up equivalences where they don’t exist. For instance, unlike what Uganda is doing with FDLR and RNC, what enemies is Kigali supporting to cause regime change in Kampala?

Last year, Mwenda was certain that the solution to the escalating conflict was to address the grievances in order to avoid escalation that could lead to a slippery slope. Almost a year later, he now thinks “the solution to this impasse is extremely difficult to craft.”

Interestingly, he believes that part of the difficulty lies in “lost trust between the two sides,” something that he, almost a year ago, predicted would be a likely outcome of the persistent refusal of Kampala to address Kigali’s grievances.

But his own prediction doesn’t stop him from his dancing craft, which is perfected in the claim that the present “assessments ignore the structural causes of tension and individuals are driven, like in ancient Greek tragedies, to act as if driven by fate.”

Ironically, this is the same man who has trashed his own analysis of the structural causes of the tension that he previously enumerated and has, in so doing, proven to be no different from the individuals he despises for who “being driven to act as if driven by fate.”

In them, Mwenda unfortunately fails to see the image of himself and to consider that he may share much more in common with, than what separates, them: The thought that what motivates his and their actions are the same and that it explains why he ignores the very reason why all this is happening and chooses to play the moral equivalence game.

But Mwenda is not alone in this change of attitude from those who were reputed for independent and courageous positions and have now turned to moral equivalences where there are none.

In 2001, Winnie Byanyima boldly called Museveni to order for providing support to the FDLR.

Like Mwenda, she now thinks Museveni’s support for the same FDLR she lambasted him for – and the RNC – are worth dancing around by conjuring moral equivalences.

The loss of courage by Andrew Mwenda and Winnie Byanyima to name things as they actually are is the real tragedy here, not the specious prediction of an alleged inevitability of war! This is nowhere on the cards.

By Gerald Mbanda

The Express News

Gen. Nyamvumba visits Rwandan peacekeepers in Central African Republic

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The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba, on October 14, visited Rwandan military, Police and Correctional Service peacekeepers serving under UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and urged them to maintain the partnership to achieve the mission purpose.

While addressing the Rwandan peacekeepers in Socatel M’Poko camp in the capital Bangui, Gen. Nyamvumba thanked them for staying put to their tasks towards peace, safety and security in CAR.

He commended the “job being done” by peacekeepers and the jointness between the three Rwandan peacekeeping components; Military, Police and Correctional Service personnel.

“The population of CAR that you are serving as well as the leadership of Peacekeeping Mission in New York; all say that you are doing a commendable job. This has made you good ambassadors of Rwanda”, Gen. Nyamvumba said.

He added: “What is required of you is to continue what you started, maintain and sustain the good achievements. This requires you to uphold your discipline and maintain professionalism.”

Rwanda maintains the highest number of peacekeepers serving in MINUSCA. Rwanda started its peacekeeping operations in CAR in 2014, and shortly after deployment of the military, the maiden Formed Police Unit (FPU) contingent was deployed. Since then, 13 contingents have been deployed on a rotational basis, and currently Rwanda maintains three FPUs in CAR, each composed of 140 Police officers.


The Express News

Aviation Africa Summit & Exhibition Wins « Best International Event » at EN Indy Awards

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The two-day summit and exhibition which hosted over 866 attendees from 90 countries, with almost ALL the African nations represented and an exhibition featuring 100 exhibitors and sponsors is now firmly established after just 4 editions as the continent’s largest aviation event.

Mark Brown, director of Times Aerospace Events said “We are delighted that Aviation Africa is being recognised globally. We are happy to accept this award along with our partners in Rwanda – Government of Rwanda, Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority, Rwanda Development Board and the Rwanda Defence Force and the official airline RwandAir.

Aviation Africa not only brings together the African and world-wide aviation industry it also helps put African countries in the spotlight for development and we are certainly achieving that in Rwanda.”

Colonel Silas Udahemuka – director general, Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority commented from Rwanda “We most sincerely feel very proud of the team and the award won”.

The next edition of Aviation Africa takes place 4&5 March 2020 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

RDF sports team heads to China for World Military Games

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A contingent of RDF sports teams including Athletes, Beach Volley, Taekwondo, and Shooting, heads to Wuhan City, China for the 7th World Military Games, scheduled 15-30 October 2019.

The RDF Sports Contingent comprising 18 personnel is led by Brig Gen J. B Ngiruwonsanga who is also a member of the Board of Directors for the International Military Sports Council (CISM).

While briefing the RDF teams before leaving Kigali, Brig Gen Ngiruwonsanga urged them to be good ambassadors for Rwanda. “We should fight to keep the good image of our country during these games. RDF should mark a difference in this event by keeping high discipline and winning the competition. Wining the competition is not something granted, we should work for it,” he added.

The Games will involve military sports teams from around 140 member countries of CISM who will compete in 27 sports disciplines.

The Military World Games are the top sporting event for military personnel around the world. They are always held every four years since their launch in 1995. Rwanda is participating for the 3rd time.

The games were last held in Mungyeong, Republic of Korea, in 2015.

In the last EAC military games, RDF emerged best overall in men’s basketball and was awarded gold medals. RDF women’s volleyball lost 3-1 vs KDF and the netball side lost 76-16 vs UPDF.

Rwanda’s Chief of Defence Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba and President Uhuru Kenyata and the RDF CDS Gen were among the guests of honor in Nairobi in the EAC military games

These games are expected to attract a number of Rwandan spectators living in China.

The Express News

Castration or heavier penalties for rapists?

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Due to the raise of rape cases and teen pregnancies as well as unwanted one, voices of feminists are advocating for men castration as only one solution to intimidate other possible cases.

Sources reaching the Express News is that there are renewed debates of the male castration after the number of the unwanted pregnancies toll.

There have been debates in the last decade as campaigners discuss whether the growing number of the rapists and unwanted pregnancies could be sorted out by the heavier penalties of the castration but the vying bills on the matter always lost the vote before the lower chamber of the parliament.

According to Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF) data, in 2017 alone, 17,337 girls under 18 years were impregnated. The number rose to 19,832 as of December last year.

Eastern province had highest figures, with Nyagatare district recording 1,465 girls raped and they got pregnant. It was followed by Gatsibo district with 1,452 cases. Gasabo district in Kigali had 1,064 girls.

Rwandan laws punish rape and defilement with up to life imprisonment and one can say there are many rapists, but judges need to consider the consent matter to avoid possibilities injustices on men. Do really the jailed men rape or some girl consent to sex but later report their sexual partners?

On social media, the anger against the men with implicit message towards allegedly abusing girls is ever more visible.

Judicaelle Irakoze, wrote on twitter, “men are given male superiority from the beginning,”

“Men as a social class had emotional awareness but they don’t because patriarchy sets them up to be unavailable to their own vulnerability. If they were aware of how messy they are, they would seriously abolish male supremacy for their own benefit,” her tweet further says.

Another feminist, Samira Isimbi, wrote, “Men will really kill us if we don’t stop trusting them, they are really not human beings. They will all kill you slowly and you will be left alone to deal with the consequences,”

President Paul Kagame recently pardoned 52 women in jail who had been convicted of abortion.

Justice Minister, Johnston Busingye, comenting on the presidential mercy of 52 jailed women, said President Kagame yesterday pardoned 52 women convicted for abortion and infanticide. All those formalities done, they will rejoin their families’ tomorrow.

Chemical castration is the use of drugs to lower sexual desire and libido, with minimum treatment lasting three to five years, according to studies done in Canada, Sweden and Denmark.

The policy has been trailed in these 3 countries with evidence from Scandinavia suggesting it can cut re-offending rates from 40 percent to 5 percent.

The Express News

Fresh warning against serving alcohol to minors

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Police has issued fresh caution and warned of “legal action” to anyone, who will be caught serving alcoholic beverages to children.

The public are also reminded that child protection is a “collective responsibility” and urged to report all sorts of child abuse, including sexual, child labour and corporal punishment.

The fresh call follows Saturday night operatons in Rusizi District where children were found drinking alcohol in two bars located in Kamembe town.

The bars in question are Best friend and B13.

Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Emmanuel Kayigi, the Police spokesperson for the Western region, said that Police and local leaders handed the children to their parents.

“The victims’ parents were located and educated on child rights and their responsibilities as parents to protect children before handing the children to them,” CIP Kayigi said.

He added: “Suspects will also face the law. The continuous operations falls in line with the implementation of the law on child protection, mainly focusing on bars, hotels and entertainment spots serving alcohol to minors; people who employ children to do domestic chores, rearing cattle, tea plantations, carrying goods in markets, mining and stone quarry.”

Article 27 of the law relating to the protection of a child states that, any person, who sells alcoholic beverages or tobacco to a child, causes or encourages a child to drink alcoholic beverages, to smoke or to go to bars commits an offence.

Upon conviction, the offender is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than three months but not exceeding six months and a fine of between Rwf100, 000 and Rwf200, 000.

Drinking alcohol at an early age can reduce a child’s mental and physical abilities because the brain is still developing at the time.

Underage drinkers are also more likely to be exposed to other illicit drugs and the exposure may in the long-term cause them to commit other crimes.

CIP Kayigi reminded owners of all joints selling alcohol to always take a step to verify if they are suspicious of someone’s age.

The Express News

Rwanda an Emerging Destination to Watch

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At Luxperience for their second year, Visit Rwanda in Australia was a hit with attendees

Visit Rwanda was recently in Australia for Luxperience where they hosted an exclusive lunch seminar for buyers and media to learn more about this emerging destination and what makes it an attractive option for travellers to East Africa.

At Luxperience for their second year, Visit Rwanda was a hit with attendees. Both the Government and Public Sectors were represented at the stand, including Rwanda Development Board, the national airline Rwandair, One&Only Resorts, Mantis Collection, Uber Luxe Safaris, Heritage Safaris and African Unique Safaris & Tours.

VisitRwanda team at Luxperience. Image: Kate Webster

Speaking at the lunch, Chief Tourism Officer at Rwanda Development Board, Belise Kariza, said that the gorillas are a major draw card for the country, but it is a destination that has so much more to offer.

The challenges were to ensure visitors travelled the country and not just visited the gorillas. The focus ‘Beyond the gorillas’ has two angles – promoting new products and promoting existing products beyond the gorillas, » Belise Kariza explained.

« This is where partnerships with the likes of One&Only, Bistate, Wilderness Safaris, Mantis Collection and more become important, to piggyback off the brand. »

« The private sector also plays a very big role in selling all the products on offer in Rwanda, not just the gorillas, » Belise Kariza continued.

Simon Bruce-Miller representing Uber Luxe Safaris added that from a private sector perspective, an itinerary for Rwanda is in a transition.

« Five years ago, it was almost certainly a three nights gorilla trekking itinerary that was added on to a Tanzania or Kenya safari, » Simon Bruce-Miller explained.

« Now we are seeing a trend where travellers will take an eight or nine night itinerary beyond the gorillas to include other destinations around the country like Nyungwe Forest and more, » Simon Bruce-Miller said.

Bonita Mutoni, Marketing Manager for One&Only in Rwanda said the company saw potential in the destination and have invested in the two properties, One&Only Nyungwe House at Nyungwe Forest and One&Only Gorillas Nest at Volcanoes National Park, opening next month.

« As a brand internationally, One&Only has its own clientele, so opening in Rwanda opens new markets for those clients, » Bonita Mutoni added.

When questioned about the increase in the gorilla trekking permit price to USD$1500, double that of neighbouring Uganda, Belise Kariza confirmed that revenue from January to September 2018 to the same period in 2019 had increased by 25 percent. With a 15 percent increase in permit numbers for the same period, to a total of 17,431 permits sold in January to September 2019, the price increase has not shown signs of deterring visitors.

The market is picking up and we are now attracting a different type of traveller, » Belise Kariza pointed out.

In attendance at the lunch and meeting with Visit Rwanda at Luxperience, Roderick Eime from Travography said « when you attend this kind of trade show all the time, it is truly refreshing to discover a standout destination that not only breaks through the clutter and noise but offers experiential travel opportunities that others can only dream of. »

« Rwanda seems like the destination for the 21st-century’s thinking traveller. I am going to be watching Rwanda very closely. »

Kate Webster

The Express News

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wins 2019 Nobel Peace Prize

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The 43-year-Old Ethiopian Prime-minister Ahmed-Abey has been awarded the 2019 Nobel peace prize for his efforts to “achieve peace and international cooperation”.

The award announced today Friday is for his “efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation and for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea.” Ahmed worked with Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki on the peace agreement, to end the two-decade long conflict.

“An important premise for the breakthrough was Abiy Ahmed’s unconditional willingness to accept the arbitration ruling of an international boundary commission in 2002,” the Nobel Institute said in statement.

Ethiopia reached a peace deal with Eritrea last year, ending a 20-year military stalemate following their 1998-2000 border war.

He was named as the winner of the 100th Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, where he will receive the award in December worth nine million Swedish crowns (about £730,000; $900,000).

After becoming prime minister in April 2018, Mr Abiy introduced massive liberalizing reforms to Ethiopia, shaking up what was an extremely tightly controlled nation.

He freed thousands of opposition activists from jail and allowed exiled dissidents to return home. Most importantly, he signed a peace deal with Ethiopia’s neighbor Eritrea, ending a two-decade conflict.

But his reforms also lifted the lid on Ethiopia’s ethnic tensions, and the resulting violence including the Chief of the General Staff of Ethiopian National Defense Force Seare Mekonen and forced some 2.5 million people from their homes.

A statement from the office of the Prime Minister Ahmed said since coming to power in 2018 he had made “peace, forgiveness and reconciliation key components of his administration.”

“This victory and recognition is a collective win for all Ethiopians, and a call to strengthen our resolve in making Ethiopia – the New Horizon of Hope – a prosperous nation for all,” the statement added.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg had been the favorite to win. Abiy Ahmed, elected leader in 2018, was the bookmakers’ second favorite to win. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was also a contender, lauded for her response to the Christchurch shooting earlier this year.

This year’s peace prize was the 100th to be awarded. According to the Nobel Institute there were 301 nominees in the running for this year’s peace prize, the fourth highest on record. The record was 376 candidates in 2016. However, the list of nominees is only revealed 50 years after the prize is awarded.

Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and human rights activist Nadia Murad were joint winners in 2018 for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.

There had been also great speculation over who would win the prize, with climate activist Greta Thunberg widely tipped as the favourite. Under the Nobel Foundation’s rules, nomination shortlists are not allowed to be published for 50 years.

The Express News

RURAL NAMIBIANS PIN HOPES FOR PROSPEROUS FUTURE ON TOURISM

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Johannesburg, 10 October 2019
Namibian rural communities are impressively running lodge and hunting agreements to reduce poverty in seemingly lifeless but wildlife rich semi-desert landscapes, despite the western animal rights groups’ harmful hunting ban threats.

“In 2017 Namibia’s 87 rural conservancies earned a total of R132 824 233.00(US$8 854 949.00), with tourism having generated R80 117 640.00(US$5 341 176.00), said the Namibian Association of Community-based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM) Support Organisations (NACSO) in its 2017 State of Conservancy Report.
Conservation hunting grossed R32 503 047.00(US$2 166 870.00) and from it conservancy residents’ protein base was boosted by meat distributed to them and valued at 12,566,280. Elsewhere within Namibia’s wildlife economy R5 191 002.00(US$346 066.00) was earned from indigenous natural products with an additional R2 446 264.00(US$163 084.00) miscellaneous income generated, some of it from interest charges on the products. The NACSO Report said that Conservancy residents earned a total cash income of R65 828 264.00 (US$4 388 550.00) from enterprise wages, with R42 081 247.00(US$2 805 416.00) earned from joint-venture tourism and R18 861 815.00(US$1 257 454.00) from conservancies, including R3 558 788.00(US$237 252.00) from conservancy residents’ enterprise wages. The small medium enterprises (SMEs) generated R1 326 414.00(US$88 428.00) Conservancy residents earned R4 632 261.00(US$308 817.00) from indigenous plants and R1 429 933.00(US$95 329.00) from crafts. “A total of R16 159 501.00(US$1 077 300.00) was distributed to residents and used to support community projects by conservancies,” said the NACSO Report.
The earnings paint a brighter future for Namibia’s rural residents.
“We started the Conservancy Programme with four registered conservancies in 1998 and the number has grown to 89 registered conservancies, covering around 19% of communal areas with around 300,000 conservancy membership,” said NACSO director Ms Maxi Louis.
Sadly, the western animal rights groups’ continued lobby to stop hunting in southern Africa, including Namibia remains a major threat to these Namibian conservancies’ future business success.

Therefore, local residents are worried that without benefits from hunting there would be no incentive to conserve but poach wildlife, including lions, rhinos and desert adapted elephants that attract tourists. The say that the proposed animal rights hunting ban would trigger poaching and would inevitably collapse their tourism lodge and hunting agreements.

“The benefits from hunting have brought never-seen-before mindset changes for people in my conservancy from poachers to champions of wildlife conservation,” said the Kunene Region Anabeb Conservancy chairman Mr Ovehi Kasaona. “I remember poaching a big Kudu for meat. My friends were also poachers for meat, including father and grandfather. My uncle even poached for rhino horn sale. In the past when we saw wildlife we saw meat for the pot. But now we are seeing tourism business because we are making money from wildlife based businesses including, lodges, game drives and hunting.”

Mr Kasaona said that some of the high impact and mindset changing benefits enjoyed by his conservancy include, employment creation from lodges and hunting agreements. They are using the money earned from hunting and lodge businesses to supply water to every household. They have also planned to supply solar power to every household, starting next year. Other conservancies nation-wide, share such wildlife use benefits driven attitude change. Observers say that this conservation and development model is set to bring greater rural tourism business and conservation successes in the future. But the western animal rights groups’ anti-hunting lobby remains a threat to that success.

“Please western animal rights groups allow us to do what works for us and stop telling Namibian rural communities what to do with their wildlife,” said NACSO director Ms Maxi Louis. “We have a unique product [tourism and hunting agreements]. It works. It creates socioeconomic and wildlife conservation opportunities for Namibians.”

NACSO provides quality tourism and conservation investments services to conservancies, upon receiving written requests assistance from them. They work in partnership with the Namibia Ministry of Environment and Tourism; eight pro-sustainable use local environmental NGOs, the University of Namibia and Namibian Parliament.

So far NACSO and its partners have succeeded in establishing one of Namibia’s two most successful rural conservancies lodges, under a community private sector partnership. They include Grootberg Lodge (Khoadi//Hoas Conservancy) that is spectacularly located on a flat mountain top and refreshingly overlooks a valley teeming with roaring lions, black rhinos and oryx that can be seen on daily game drives offered.

“Ms Maxi Louis of NACSO is an icon because she helped us assess the suitability of the Grootberg Lodge,” said Mr Bob Guibeb, a member of the Khoadi//Hoas Conservancy. “Now we are enjoying a win-win working relationship with our Lodge business partner.”

NACSO and its partners also helped establish Twyfelfontein Country Lodge in Uibasen Twyfelfontein Conservancy. It is immersed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site where thousands of visitors worldwide are spoilt with stunning rock paintings of different species, including the big five. The rock paintings tales of wildlife use provide enough evidence that western animal rights groups’ anti-use values seek to destroy – a hunting culture that has existed for centuries without driving any wildlife to extinction because they were hunted responsibly then, as it the case today.

Ten percent of Twyfelfontein Country Lodge’s average annual income is paid as land lease fees to the Uibasen Twyfelfontein Conservancy. The remainder goes to the private sector partner who pays for marketing; salaries, tax and all the costs associate with running the business. Khoadi//Hoas Conservancy’s Grootberg Lodge also pays the community 10% of its annual earnings.

The chairman of the Khoadi//Hoas Conservancy, Mr Asser Ndjitezeua said the money generated from hunting and Grootberg Lodge is being used to support a local primary school’s needs, establish drinking waterholes for both wildlife and livestock, in order to reduce human wildlife conflict. They also employ wildlife game guards and pay their office employees.

“About 90% of the Grootberg Lodge employees are from our community,” said Mr Guibeb. “They together with me, are now earning life-changing salaries that enable them to send their children to school,”

“Grootberg Lodge offers game drives to view black rhino, lion, desert and adopted elephants,” said Mr Ndjitezeua.

Elsewhere, the Twyfelfontein Country Lodge offers game drives and rock paintings and visits to the nearby cultural village.

A Twyfelfontein Country Lodge tour guide, Ms Monalisa Geises said that more than 80 000 tourists worldwide, including film stars and celebrities visit the Twyfelfontein UNESCO declared world heritage site annually to view the stunning rock paintings of wildlife found in the area centuries ago and still existing today. The rock art wildlife include rhino, desert adapted elephants antelope, giraffes, leopard, zebra and lion.

The Twyfelfontein Country Lodge employs 90 people from the Uibasen Twyfelfontein Conservancy as tour guides, waiters and waitresses and cleaners. All members of the Conservancy who are above 18 years receive an average annual payout of R5 000.00(US$333.00). The Conservancy also uses funds generated from its 56 twin-room upmarket lodge to develop community development projects. Other benefits include community garden, soccer field with spectators stand, orphans grants payouts, livestock vaccination, and employment of community game guides. Some of their revenue is used to pay salaries of the 8 officers who work in the Uibasen Twyfelfontein Conservancy office.

Despite the nation-wide life-changing benefits from hunting and tourism businesses, the western animal rights groups including South Africa born Trevor Noah are calling for a hunting ban in Africa, claiming that hunting communities are receiving insufficient benefits. Namibia’s minister of Environment and Tourism Mr Shifeta Pohamba dismissed this harmful propaganda in a statement last month.

“The animal rights groups need to be called to order,” said Ms Louis. “Their agenda is to stop everything about wildlife use. I see human rights violation when they impose their own values and decision on Africans. They are the same thing as poaching.”

Even some western citizens such as Los Angeles-based NGO, the Ivory Education Institute managing director, Mr Godfrey Harris agree that “there is no reason for western animal rights groups to interfere in the management of wildlife” in sovereign African countries.

“How dare you continue advancing a colonial attitude in telling Africans what do with their wildlife,” said Mr Harris in a protest statement at the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Wild Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) 18th meeting in Geneva Switzerland, August 2019.

A Torra Conservancy leader, Mr Euphrasius Dawids said that decisions on how to use wildlife hunting and tourism lodge revenue “are democratically made” in his Community.

“We are happy with our benefits from both hunting and lodge business,” said Mr Dawids. “Therefore, we would like to invite Mr Noah to come and see the benefits.”

Notably, the threats to Namibia’s Conservancy Programme future success are not only from the western animal rights groups. Other threats that NACSO, the government of Namibia and their development partners are addressing range from human wildlife conflict, climate change and environmental refugees from within Namibia that go to settle in wildlife rich neighbouring communities for employment, better grazing pastures and in some cases start poaching there.

Under Human Wildlife Conflict policy, the Namibian Government has funds to offset human wildlife conflict costs.

Elsewhere, a Torra Conservancy-based human wildlife conflict coordinator working for the Namibia Integrated Rural Development Nature Conservation, Human Wildlife Conflict Support Unit Coordinator, Mr Cliff Tjikundi said that a new early warning technology has been introduced to address human wildlife conflict.

“The technology senses electronic signals from collared lions from afar, starts flashing and sends alarm signals that give the communities enough time to react,” Mr Tjikundi. “Mr Flip Stander, a Namibian invented the early warning system to minimize human wildlife conflict.”

Meanwhile, all the conservancies have expressed concern over the impact of climate change on agriculture, with most of them now saying that their future lies not agriculture but in lodge business and hunting.

“To address these threats the Namibian pro-sustainable use environmental NGOs have agreed to promote public awareness and education on the need to support our life-changing Conservancy Programme that is also promoting nature conservation,” said Ms Louis. “Nobody is going to stop us from doing that.”

About the writer: Emmanuel Koro is a Johannesburg-based international award-winning environmental journalist who has written extensively on environment and development issues in Africa.

The Express News

Rwanda’s fashion Industry comes of age

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Fashion is more lucrative than ever in Rwanda in all fronts, models jetting with creativity than ever before as only that some-one has not to do it without targeting fame but to make it as a career.

According to Franco Kabano, the President of the Rwanda Models Union, believes, that Fashion is not just for entertainment but necessity demanded on the daily basis, hence, making models earning a lot of money once persisting to the test of time.

Kabano says, Fashion is not a western thing as many thought but a job that can be done by Rwandans too. “Thus, so far mindset on the fashion has improved as 1200 professional models are active in the fashion,” he says.

Thanks, to the government to offer a helping hand to the fashion to see that fashionistas are participating in economic development and growth.

“The government is pushing us through training and capacity building through RDB so that creative industry is exploited,” he says.

“Many exhibitions are being exonerated by the Government where we don’t pay a coin, therefore, providing us with a helping hand to us to market our products. The Government has also given us free stands at Kigali cultural village for long without payments,” he adds.

Emmanuel Mugisha, the organizer, Made-in-Rwanda awards, Secretary General East African Youth Development Agency, a non-governmental organization that empowers youth in the region, says, fashion awards were aimed to encourage young fashionistas to join Fashion industry and raise public awareness on it.

“Like other businesses which bring taxes and employment fashion can make it too,” he adds.

Eric Sekamana, a Male model and stylist in Rwanda, believes that the fashion industry is growing speedily.

“Previously, models were no more as Rwandans were blank about the fashion. But now the move is visible in diverse ways. “Fashion awards are being organized as well as exhibitions a sign that the once a dormant business is now becoming active,” he adds.

Kabano, says, fashion is a profitable business. “I don’t do anything but I earn 1 million a month from modelling businesses.

Aime Francois Ndayishimye, Deputy CEO, Moshions fashion house, says, the Governments plans to reduce tax on the local made clothes is an inspiration to the designers. “Though it’s not yet implemented it’s encouraging to stay in the field,” he says.

Joselyn Umutoni-wase, CEO, Rwanda clothing collections, says, products in Rwanda are good quality only that the mindset becomes low when it comes to the local buyers.

Patrick Kamali, a Hairstylist, Mirror Saloon, says, not all people get the white-collar jobs therefore, its time that people start looking for blue-color jobs. “Our staffs cannot go below 600,000 Rwf as a salary a sign that fashion is coming of age,” he says.

However, says, Rwanda still far compared to other countries in as far as organizing events.

“It would be more booming in case Stylist awards are organized regularly instead of being seasonal as it is,” he adds.

Jacky Mukabalisa, a retail seller, based in Kigali, says, that the local clothes and jewelry are of good quality only that they are expensive due that raw materials are imported from abroad.

“However, that if they can manage to make their materials it could be cheaper and affordable,” she adds.

Challenges

Safi Madiba is a local celebrity, and the owner of the Madiba Collections, says, there are no consistent fashionista’s but casual laborers.

He adds unique styles are no more due that there is no innovations. For instance, when you look at the traditional attires in wedding parties in other countries they make casual outfits.

Safi noted that traditional attires market the country and attract tourists yet Imishanana are only won during the wedding parties. “They need to be worn everywhere. This is a problem that we don’t like our products from fashion, music, consumption yet Made in Rwanda is there but fashionistas are lagging to grasp the move,” he says.

“In other countries, fashion galas are on the menu every weekend. For us, it’s prepared after 3 months or a year. We have also few fashion houses in Rwanda which cripple’s competition at the end of the day,” he adds.

He says products come from China, Dubai and USA majorly fabrics which are taxed highly on the way. “By reaching here they are too expensive,” he says

The Express News

Rwanda and Japan Partner to Provide Satellite Imagery to African Countries

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Axelpace Corporation announces the partnership with Broadband Systems Corporation to provide Earth observation data from AxelGlobe, the Daily Earth Observation Platform, to African nations.

Axelspace and BSC signed the partnership agreement, as BSC visited Japan to participate at the Japan & Africa Business Expo, held in Yokohama. Rwanda’s ICT Minister Paula Ingabires joined the signing ceremony celebrate.

This partnership led to Axelspace to provide BSE with data from AxelGlobe. For the first project, the two partners plan to monitor the new international airport, currently under construction in the southeastern Rwanda of Bugesera District.

Broadband Systems Corporation is engaged in the business of providing advanced information and communication technology (ICT) services based on broadband connectivity to provide world class broadband connectivity and solutions to empower citizens, communities, government and businesses in Rwanda and the region.

The Express News

Regional Police students attending UN course conduct study tour

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Fifty eight Police officers, who are attending the UN Police Officer Course (UNPOC) for Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) at the Police Training School (PTS) Gishari, conducted a study tour on Saturday.

The ninth UNPOC course brings together participants from Comoros, Ethiopia, Seychelles, Sudan, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, Djibouti and the host, Rwanda.

During the tour, which serves as the practical part of the two-week peacekeeping course, officers visited Kigali Genocide Memorial in Gisozi where they laid wreaths to pay tribute to more than one million people killed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The visit was also meant to learn about Rwanda’s history, the Genocide, events that led to mass killings including the role of the then leadership in planning and execution to exterminate Tutsis.

One of the students; Lt. Amin Sanad from Sudan said that what he has witnessed and learnt on Rwanda’s dark past is different from what he was hearing.

“Most of the people hear of Genocide, but they don’t know what exactly happened. What I have seen here breaks your heart, it’s unimaginable thing. We thank God that there are some who managed to survive and striving to live and to develop their country,” Sanad said.

“We have heard a true story of what happened in Rwanda, a story we will share with others back home. We have learnt what is required of law enforcement organs to prevent such from happening anywhere again; it’s a lesson we will also take in peacekeeping duties,” he added.

Cpl. Teresia Okali from Kenya said that survivors shouldn’t be held back by what happened but strive to live a purposeful life.

She commended the government for documenting the past to educate Rwandans on their history and what is required of them to ensure that such never happens again.

The UNPOC theory and practical course is in line with EASF mission to maintain and sustain a fully operational and multidimensional integrated standby force ready for peace support operations.

The objectives of the course is to introduce participants on the concept and mandate of peace support operations, multidimensional nature of peacekeeping, EASF, AU and UN organs’ relations in line with peace and security as well as challenges in peace support operations.

The Express News

Libyan Refugees Thankful for Rwanda’s Reception

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The first batch of African refugees and asylum-seekers from Libya have been settled into accommodation at transit centers in Rwanda

Zainab Yousef is among the 66 Africans and recounts her journey to the East African nation. « I was afraid. I am young and I have a small baby. Sometimes people would come and ask me whether she really is my baby and I thought they would take her away. I thought of escaping, but because of the baby I could not take the risk », she told the United Nations’ refugee agency.

We don’t have to have a lot to give. We can share the little resources we have with a big heart.

Her hope is that her baby will receive an education. « I need for my child to get the necessary vaccinations and medical support. I want to offer her education, shelter and other basic rights. I also never had a chance to go to school. I would like to have an education », Yousef added.

Locals are beyond ready to lend a helping hand.Richard Mutabazi is mayor of Bugesera district. « We don’t have to have a lot to give. We can share the little resources we have with a big heart », he said.

Rwanda’s agreement to take in 500 people who have been trapped in Libya, at risk of rocket attacks and rape, has raised concerns. It is unclear how long they might be held here and how free they are to leave.

The Express News

USD 20 Million Fund to Benefit FROM 1.6 Million Rwandans

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Rwanda Government has received funding worth USD 20 million through a loan agreement signed with OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).

The new funding is expected to boost financing for the provision of water and sanitation infrastructure in Kigali and six other cities through the Rwanda Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Programme (Phase II.)

If well implemented, the project is expected to boost living standards of almost 1.6 million people in line with the government’s agenda to reduce poverty and boost the country’s development.

OFID noted that the completion of the project will see to it that water and sanitation access in Rwanda reach 81 percent of national coverage.

The fund will facilitate the construction of eight water supply systems to serve 14 districts, the installation of 7,600 connections and the provision of sanitary facilities in 10 schools.

Rwanda’s Prime Minister Édouard Ngirente commented on the new agreement saying that the OPEC Fund’s contribution to Rwanda’s infrastructure will boost key sectors such as transport, energy, water supply, and sanitation to propel growth.

OPEC Fund and Rwanda have had a longstanding relationship since 1976. To date, the OPEC Fund has approved 27 loans for a total amount of about US$202 million.

The Director-General of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa lauded Rwanda for its remarkable progress which he said is an inspiration to many other countries.

« We are able to support development projects via our public and private sector operations windows and will work with Rwanda as it continues on its journey of socioeconomic transformation, » he added.

The Express News

19 rebels killed, 5 caught red-handed in Musanze counter-attack

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A new communique from the police has indicated that 19 rebels are already shot to death by the security forces as 5 five caught red handed in the counter-attack at Musanze district.

The Police communique further show that 14 people are yet the new number of the victims who have so far succumbed to the Musanze skirmish attack by unidentified rebels.

The Police has not yet revealed if the attackers are Kinyarwanda speakers However, according to the local residents in the area of Musanze, the attackers were speaking Kinyarwanda, with fluent accent.

The Police statement signed by Spokesman CP John Bosco Kabera, wrote that among those who were killed some was at their homes and attackers used traditional weapons to kill the residents.

The traditional weapons that were used including machetes and stones. “This is a sign of the grave hostility of the attackers. The operation of searching who ever has a connection with the attackers is continuing and the security in the area is very tight,” the communique further states.

The attackers targeted areas of a tourist hub where visitors visit the park to tour rare Gorilla’s in Kaguhu cell in Kinigi sector and Kabazungu cell in Musanze sector – all in Musanze district, northern province.

The first official statement about the attack was from the Police at 11:29 am on Friday.

.

The Express News

Southern province: New power plant of 38Kwts benefits Nyaruguru residents with electricity

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Residents of Nyaruguru District, Ruheru sector, Remera Sector, Southern province of Rwanda have benefitted a new 38Kwt Pico Hydro Power Plant that will supply power to 260 households.

The event that was launched on 30th, September 2019 marked the official operation of Mudasomwa Pick Hydro power plant that will supply power to 6 bars and restaurants, 1 tailoring business, 6 grocery shops, 1 cyber café, 1 cassava mills, 2 primary schools, 1 health center and 3 churches and 1 cell office.

The plant was constructed by Mudasomwa Mini-Grid Ltd which is jointly owned by private developer and community through a community ownership model. The SOGER programme was funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) through the Swedish Embassy in Kigali.

The objective of the programme is to contribute to the growth of a sustained off-grid renewable energy market in Rwanda.

In addition to providing light to the households and businesses, the energy company supports local entrepreneurs to acquire productive use of appliances to take advantage of the new electricity to contribute to the economic development of the area and boost new business services. At present, a tailoring business, a cyber café, milling, sewing’s, plumbing and a popcorn business have been already supported by Energy4Imapct to acquire electrical appliances to expand existing businesses and create new services.

“Energy4impact funded 70% equivalent to
125,000usd appliance cost through SOGER grant, as remaining 30% was funded by the entrepreneurs through their savings,” According to Robert Mutarindwa, Business Development Coordinator, Energy4impact.

“With the productive use support, demand for electricity is expected to grow thus enhancing project commercial viability and sustainability Energy 4 Impact offers these entrepreneurs/businesses training in business management skills (such as record keeping, marketing, and customer care), vocational training on appliance usage, health and safety standards at workplace,” He added

Beneficiaries speak out

Ntakirutimana marthee, one of the beneficiaries, said she had a maize milling machine to make maize flour and consumers would complain that the foods have a poor quality with bad smell, thus, after getting the energy hopes are high that they will get satisfied.

Uwimana Claudine, said, electricity helped them to get the materials for electrical sewing machines. “Besides, our children will be able to study during the night and able to revise their books and streets lights will enable us working longer hours during the night,” he added.

The Express News

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