Thursday, 30 May 2013

Youth urged to be the designers of the future country

YouthConnekt Gasabo
Edouard Bamporiki addresses the youth. (photo Jean Damascene Niyitegeka)
Minister of Youth and ICT Jean Philbert Nsengimana has urged young people to practically participate in the design of the future country by promoting unity and reconciliation in their neighbors and families. He made the remarks on Wednesday at the YouthConnekt dialogue in Gasabo.
The dialogue offers an opportunity to youth to discuss different issues including their role in fighting against Genocide ideology, and the Minister said they must know the history which led to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis and its consequences so that they can participate in all activities aimed at building the country.
“If you don’t know your history, it is difficult to know what to do so that what happened to our country cannot happen again, since you cannot know where to go if you don’t know where you come from,” Nsengimana said.
Panelists explained how the colonizers divided Rwandans through arbitrary criteria. “Ones who had more than ten cows were categorized as Tutsi and those who had few were called Hutu, and the minorities were Twa. You could even see a a Twa who was called Tutsi because of the number of cows he had,” explained Kalisa Rugano, a specialist in Rwanda’s culture and history.
Edouard Bamporiki, an award-winning film maker, actor and poet who has received national and international attention for his stories of hope, unity and reconciliation, for his part testified how he always felt guilty and ashamed of belonging to a Hutu family but that changed when he started speaking out.
“Whatever I did in my career, I thought that I would be seen in the first place as a Hutu so I would never win any competition. When the President’s Office organized a competition for Liberation Day and I won, I was completely surprised and amazed,” Bamporiki said.
In reply to a question from the youth as to why Hutus were also killed during the Genocide, Minister Nsengimana explained this was because they opposed the killings. He gave the example of the Prime Minister Agathe Uwiringiyimana who was murdered shortly after the crash of Habyarimana’s airplane.
The YouthConnekt dialogue is part of the YouthConnekt month, which is aimed at assessing young Rwandans’ achievements towards development. It is also a platform for youth advocacy and gives them a strategy to contribute to nation building.

Optimism rises over progress of school feeding programme

Plans are underway to have the school feeding programme introduced in all schools across the country. The New Times/File.
The Government plans to develop a nationally owned home-grown school feeding programme with a high degree of community ownership, the Ministry of Education has announced.
The Director-General of Education Planning in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Erasme Rwanamiza, was on Monday reacting to World Food Programme (WFP) report which indicates that more than 360,000 primary school pupils from about 300 schools have benefited from WFP funded school feeding programme in the country since 2002.
The World Food Programme report, titled The State of School Feeding Worldwide, was released last week in Rome, Italy, during an annual meeting of school feeding experts and warned that ‘the coverage of school feeding programmes is lowest in countries where the need is the greatest.’
The WFP feeding programme is now in its final stage with plans to hand over the scheme to the education ministry, which will then engage parents as part of the home grown school feeding programme.
According to the ministry, the school feeding programme has been very crucial in improving education and nutrition status of school children.
Dr Rwanamiza said though there is no data to measure its impact, school feeding was critical in improving punctuality and attendance at school, the decrease of diseases related to malnutrition as well as strengthening ties and relationships between students.
The country, he said, currently runs three different feeding programmes in schools. They include the One Cup of Milk per Child under the Ministry of Agriculture which serves about 75 000 pre-primary and primary school students in grades 1 to 3.
The second, the Secondary School Programme, is funded by the ministry and subsidises meals cooked in all boarding public and Government-sponsored secondary schools.
The third implemented by WFP and has been scaled down to two districts of Nyamagabe and Nyaruguru provides cooked lunch to primary and lower secondary school children in food-insecure districts.
According to Rwanamiza, in order to guarantee the programme’s sustainability it is imperative that parents get involved.
“In order to design a sound Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSF) and successfully transition to full government ownership, the Government of Rwanda has stated its desire to develop a nationally owned home-grown school feeding programme with a high degree of  community ownership”, Dr Rwanamiza told The New Times via an email.
According to the official, plans are underway to have the school feeding programme introduced in all schools across the country but, he noted, the process will depend on the availability of funds to support it.
Government plans to spend over Rwf5bn on the school feeding programme in the next fiscal year.
“Acknowledging the school feeding programme potential contribution to multiple economic development and poverty reduction goals and objectives, the community will be sensitised about how HGSF programme will benefit them and school children, not only in terms of nutrition and education outcomes, but also with regard to local agriculture aspects through local purchases of food,” he added.
The WFP report commends efforts put into the feeding programme over the last few years.
It however warns that ‘the coverage of school feeding programmes is lowest in countries where the need is the greatest’.
“In low-income countries, where children are most likely to be poor and hungry, only 18 percent receive a daily meal at school, compared to nearly 49 percent of children in middle-income countries,” the report reads in part.
“This suggests that where the need is greatest in terms of hunger, poverty and poor social indicators, the coverage continues to be the lowest.”
The report calls upon developing countries to establish clear and strong mechanisms to recover costs involved in the programme and, thus, guarantee its sustainability.
Long-term investment
Based on a sample of 169 countries, WFP estimates that at least 368 million children –about 1 out of every 5- are fed daily when they are at school, according to the report.
Global investment in these programmes is about US$ 75 billion, with most coming from government budgets.
According to the reports’ authors, school feeding presents a lot of economic opportunities to spur local development and, particularly, the development of agriculture.
While commenting on the report, WFP’s Executive Director Ertharin Cousin, observed that school feeding presents a lot of opportunities, including among others addressing social needs, providing a social safety net during crises and supporting child development through improved learning and enhanced nutrition.
WFP has been operating school meals programmes in developing countries,  for more than half a century. Last year, the organisation provided meals or nutritious snacks in school for 24.7 million children in 63 countries, providing an incentive for poor families to keep their children in class, rather than pull them out to work in the fields, in the factories or in the home.
Last year, WFP said it would start purchasing food from local small-scale farmers to help improve their income.

Kagame tips Africa on clear path to economic growth

President Kagame, South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and AfDB President Donald Kaberuka participate at a high level debate at the Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank in Marrakech. The New Times / Village Urugwiro
President Paul Kagame has called on Africans to do things right to position the continent in its deserved place.
“There is a good ground on which to believe with optimism that Africa can make it to where we want it to be, considering the continent’s resourcefulness. The continent is rich in material and human resource. There is a story we can write. We just got to do things right,” the President made the remarks at a high-level panel discussion dubbed “is this Africa’s hour” during the ongoing 48th Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Marrakech, Morocco yesterday.
Kagame was responding to questions from the moderator Komla Dumor, a BBC presenter.  The panel also included Dr. Donald Kaberuka, the president of AfDB, Mo Ibrahim, Founder of Mo Ibrahim Foundation, and Pravin Gordhan, South African Finance Minister.
Comparing countries or regions that have moved to middle income countries and the first world category, the President asked, “What is it in Africa we can’t do the same or even do better?”
The President noted that everything is there in Africa to enable the continent move in the desired direction and level of development.
“However there are certain things we need to do and be able to make that consistency sustainable,” Kagame emphasised.
The President noted that there are still challenges to deal with in Africa, despite the fact that there are huge opportunities, adding that it’s up to Africans to be able to tap into those opportunities and move forward.
The President also highlighted Rwanda’s move to open her borders to Africa where the continent’s nationals travelling to Rwanda get their visas on arrival.
Since January 1, 2013, nationals from all African countries travelling to or transiting through Rwanda are issued with entry visas upon arrival at any Rwandan entry point.
The decision was taken in a bid to remove formalities in visa acquisition from Rwanda’s respective embassies in the travellers’ countries of origin.
“The move to issue visa to African nationals demonstrates that it’s possible, and it carries no dangers to anyone who does it, meaning a country that opens its borders for fellow Africans,” the President said.
Kagame said that, the initiative was benefiting Rwanda because the country was receiving people who either come as tourists or who want to do business and create employment for Rwandans.
“This is for our benefit and we have seen that happen. This raises an issue of bringing Africa together in a practical way rather than talking about it all the time,” he added, “We have seen more people coming to Rwanda across the continent and most of those who are coming are as good as we would have expected and if there is a wrong person coming, the laws of the country will take care of them.”
Kagame warned that the continent won’t realise the needed transformation until people double their efforts to make it happen.
“More of our citizens are the ones frustrated more than we the leaders, which itself is not a good story and if we the leaders got tired of looking at this frustration of our citizens, then we need to be doing better,” the president said.
Leaders, he said, should always measure leadership implementation; delivery on results, having nice stories about different things with no results to show is wastage of time.

Genocide survivors condemn Kikwete on FDLR remarks

Prof. Dusingizemungu (R) and his deputy Egide Nkuranga address the media yesterday. The New Times / John Mbanda
Survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi have strongly condemned remarks by Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete suggesting that the Rwandan government negotiate with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a terrorist group based in Eastern DR Congo.
The FDLR are known perpetrators of the Genocide who not only fled to DR Congo, but maintain their goal of eliminating the Tutsi and have continued to commit war crimes in eastern Congo.
After the 1994 Genocide, FDLR militia fled to eastern DR Congo where they continue to maim and kill DRC nationals. They also occasionally sneak into the country to carry out murderous acts against citizens.
Through their umbrella organisation, Ibuka, the survivors emphasised that such negotiations are unacceptable.
“Ibuka strongly condemns President Kikwete’s statement as no negotiation is acceptable with a known terrorist group that is responsible for the death of more than a million Tutsis in Rwanda and continues its blood-thirsty activities in the eastern DR Congo,” Ibuka president Jean-Pierre  Dusingizemungu said.
Speaking at the AU Summit session on security issues on the continent, including instability in eastern DR Congo, Kikwete pushed for Rwanda to hold direct talks with the FDLR terrorists.
Addressing reporters at the Ibuka headquarters at the Nyanza Genocide Memorial Site in Kigali, Dusingizemungu talked of how the survivors were shocked at hearing that Kikwete “expressed support for FDLR”.
“We are offended that a Head of State who is well aware of the history of the Genocide against the Tutsi would promote unrepentant genocidaires and their ideology,” Dusingizemungu added.
Ibuka’s condemnation is the latest in the string of reactions to the Tanzanian president’s suggestion.
Many other Rwandans, including researchers, and experts have come out to strongly condemn the remarks. The Foreign affairs minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, described Kikwete’s remarks as “aberrant” and “shocking”.
According to the survivors, talks with the FDLR would give legitimacy to a terrorist group whose members should instead be held accountable for their crimes in the genocide and for the suffering of many people in eastern DR Congo where the group’s actions have led to killings, rape, and displacements of many people.
“Negotiating with FDLR would legitimise their cause and encourage impunity. FDLR should be disarmed, repatriated and rehabilitated for those members of the group willing to do so,” IBUKA said.
In a June 2005 resolution, the African Union requested all member states to fight the FDLR and stop any form of support from their nationals or from their territory.
Dusingizemungu also invoked Resolution 1804 of the UN Security Council of 13 March 2008 which requested FDLR to lay down arms, report to the DRC authorities and to UN force in DR Congo (then known as Monuc) with no further conditions in view of disarmament, demobilisation and repatriation.
The survivors association has urged for a “strict observance of the UN/AU position, declarations and sanctions concerning FDLR”, and called upon on President Kikwete “to retract such a grievous and callous statement”.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Rutsiro: Residents Commend Good Governance For Promoting Development

02Residents of Shyembe cell, Gihango sector in Rutsiro district have said that they owe social and economic development to good governance.
This was revealed on May 23rd 2012 during the event to celebrate the achievements.
The celebrated achievements include complete six village administration offices, mutual health insurance coverage, creation of roads and other development activities.
Another cause of celebration was the prize Shyembe cell received from Gihango Sector administration on Labour Day May 1st 2013 for successfully implementing performance contracts.
Concerning medical insurance coverage, Shyembe cell participated 100 percent in 2012-2013 and have so far covered 30 percent of mutual health insurance (mutuelle de sante) in 2013-2014.
The executive secretary of Shyembe cell, Naason Mugiraneza asserts that residents decided to resolve their problems due to good governance.
 “To top in performance contracts, we followed advice of our leaders who sensitised us to join model villages. We thank our President Paul Kagame for the livestock that have improved our standards of living,” confesses one resident.
Though a lot has been achieved, residents decry lack of clean water and electricity though EWSA put up poles three months ago.
On the above issue, the mayor of Rutsiro district, Gaspard Byukusenge revealed that the electricity delay was caused by a transformer that fell down due to bad road.
Byukusenge says: “The problem is being worked on and residents will get access to electricity within two weeks time.”
Commenting on clean water crisis, the mayor explained that like other cells, there is a plan to distribute clean water to Shyembe cell residents.
The event that was characterised by eating, drinking and dancing had a theme “Let’s move forward striving for dignity”

Ngororero: School Data Entry program, a new way of keeping records in schools

School Data Entry is a technology based program that will be used by school head teachers in compiling information about students and to pass it around to those in need of such information.
Education officers as well as head teachers had a 2 days training on this program on 20th and 21st.May 2013 in Ngororero district by the Ministry of Education.
MINEDUC training educationists in the district
This program will help in the making of action plan and getting the right information on students and will in general help the Ministry of Education to follow up closely on the education of students without moving around.
Though this program seems to be too good, some of the head teachers say it will be limited in schools without computers. This is so especially in Twelve Years Basic Education schools with no computers let alone electricity.
Petronille Musabyingabire the education officer in Ngororero district says this School Data Entry program will be of much help in solving apparent problems on the personal information of students and their number per school.
This will especially reduce the scam where head teachers usually give a large of students compared to what they have in a bid to get more money from the Ministry of Education.

Musanze disaster victims call for district’s support

Women wade through flood water in Rwaza last year. Residents evacuated from the area say they need more assistance.
Former residents of Musezero Cell, Rwaza Sector in Musanze District,  have asked authorities to come to their rescue, saying the facilitation they got following a disaster in their former abode has not been enough.

The residents were forced to leave after a landslide buried homes following heavy rain. Sixteen families with more than 70 people were evacuated from the place. 

The residents say they were given a plot of land and iron sheets to resettle. They also say the district  promised them Rwf300,000 to pay landowners, but they have not received this money and the owners are demanding the money.  

Besides, they claim the land they were given was not enough to set up a house and other household partitions. 

“We have built houses on our neighbours’ land, which we did not pay for. We uprooted their crops before we built and now they are complaining. I have no land to trade off because my entire plot was ravaged,” Protais Uzabakiriho, one of the affected residents, said. 

“The place I was given isn’t enough, I don’t have where to build a toilet.”

The residents say they were advised by sector officials to trade off their former land with the plot they were given.

However, they say no one is willing to take the ravaged plots of land. 

“Our situation may worsen. We don’t have land for farming, we are hungry,” Belansille Akimanizanye said

However, district officials say the evacuated were promised Rwf300,000 only if a person’s land has completely sunk, which was never the case. 

One of the people whose land was given to the affected said he was not satisfied with the way his land was given away. 

“I didn’t give the land willingly. They said we would be compensated but we waited in vain,” a landowner, who preferred anonymity, said. 

Winfride Mpembyemungu, the district mayor, said the residents should not wait for government support because what government did was to evacuate them to save their lives and gave them primary support such as roofing and the plot of land. 

“We should have compensated them with that amount if their land had been totally damaged, which is not the case. If the plot is not enough local leaders will help the parties because it is an issue of coming up with a negotiated solution,” said Mpembyemungu. 

She added that the district will keep supporting the residents.

United Nations to honour fallen Rwandan peacekeepers

Four of the fallen peacekeepers served in the United Nations Mission in Darfur.
Five among the fallen peacekeepers that the United Nations will honour at the International Day of UN Peacekeepers tomorrow are former members of Rwandan army and police forces, The New Times has learnt.

They include late Sergeant-Major Jackson Muhanguzi, Pte Innocent Muhayimana, SP. Camarade Rukabu, and Sgt Jean Claude Tubanambazi who all served in the United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), as well as Sgt Ally Hassan Bisangwa who served in the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

The late servicemen are among 103 peacekeepers in total who died last year and the UN will posthumously confer them the Dag Hammarskjold medal to celebrate their bravery at the annual International Day of UN Peacekeepers.

The Dag Hammarskjöld Medal--which is named after Dag Hammarskjöld, the second Secretary-General of the United Nations who died in a plane crash in 1961- is a posthumous award given by the UN to military personnel, police, or civilians who lose their lives while serving in a United Nations peacekeeping operation.

The UN has dedicated this year’s International Day of Peacekeepers to highlighting new developments and challenges in the field, where peacekeeping operations take place and how the body is prepared to adapt to changes.

New approach to peacekeeping

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is expected to explain how the “United Nations peacekeeping is increasingly called on to deploy multi-dimensional operations to help countries transition from conflict to peace, with a significant focus on protecting civilians, including the most vulnerable among them: women and children.”

“To meet emerging threats and rise to new challenges, United Nations peacekeeping is adapting its policies to better fulfil its mandates to bring lasting peace to war-torn countries,” Ban says in a speech released ahead of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers.

The diplomat notes that the world is witnessing new approaches to peacekeeping operations in places like the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where the Security Council has authorised the deployment of an “Intervention Brigade” with a mandate to use force against belligerents and deployed unarmed and unmanned aerial vehicles to improve the body’s ability to operate in the Congolese vast region.

Last year alone, 111 peacekeeping personnel died, while more than 3,100 have lost their lives during the UN’s 65-year history of peacekeeping.

“We salute their bravery and mourn their passing,” Ban says.

The current UN peacekeeping mission has more than 111,000 serving soldiers and police from 116 countries. Rwanda is the world’s sixth largest contributor of peacekeepers, maintaining more than 4000 military and police peacekeepers across the world, notably, in Sudan, South Sudan, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Indian group to invest in real estate in Rwanda

Haresh Mehta talks to His Excellency S.N. Ray, the Indian High Commissioner to Rwanda during an Indian investors meeting in Kigali yesterday.
ROHAN DEVELOPERS PVT Ltd, a Mehta Group of Company subsidiary based in India has announced plans to invest estimated billions of francs in the real estate industry in the country. 

While addressing the Indian investment community in Rwanda, Haresh Mehta, the director of Rohan Developers Pvt Ltd—a real estate and infrastructure development company said his company is ready to make substantial investments in real estate projects if government gives him assurance.

 “Given the urgency and the business potential the industry offers, we are ready to commence on some of these projects within 45 days. There are still lots of business opportunities in the real estate industry that we are looking forward to exploit; we want to be part of a growing economy that guarantees profitability to the business community,” Mehta said in Kigali yesterday.

The delegation of Indian investors arrived in Rwanda on Thursday to explore potential investment opportunities, according to Clarence Fernandes, the representative of Rwanda Development Board (RDB) in India.

The team is in the country under the platform India - Rwanda Show 2013 and they are touring potential areas where they can invest their money.

The India - Rwanda Show 2013 was co-organised jointly by Harresh N. Mehta ,the  managing director and Haresh Mehta. It attracted several investors and businessmen from the US, Portugal, Dubai, Georgia, Tanzania, Mumbai , New Delhi, Jaipur and Hyderabad among others, according to Fernandes.

For the last few years, there have been significant business engagements between Rwanda and India, including business missions on either side.

Several Indian giant firms have already started operations in Rwanda, including telecom giants Airtel and Rajesh Exports, which acquired gold mining concessions, and plans to invest $550 million in mineral exploration, among others.

Mehta’s announcement comes days after the City of Kigali launched an online Construction Permit Management Information System that is set to make it faster, simpler and easier for developers to get construction permits.

Previously, the process up to the point of acquiring a permit lasted at least 30 days. However, with the new technology, if the applicant has fulfilled all the requirements, they should get the application in less than 10 days.

His Excellency S.N. Ray, the Indian High Commissioner to Rwanda advised investors to focus more on  energy especially solar and thermal energy given the existing domestic demand.

“You need to give energy a priority given the fact that the country’s energy production is not yet up to the domestic demand.”

According to Tony Sanganiro of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), it was very imperative that investors concentrate on investing for the export sector given the country’s trade deficit.

“We need to increase on our exports given the rate at which we are importing; having many of you investing not only for domestic market but also for export will help our economy grow much faster,” he said.  

Doing business easiness hailed 

Investors hailed the easiness of establishing business in the country where it takes six hours to register a business.

“We have done adequate research and realised that Rwanda holds great potential for growth and development of various businesses. Our companies will bring in a multi-million dollar investment, given the business friendly environment that exists, coupled with good governance and zero tolerance to corruption,” Mehta said earlier in a statement.

Although the demand for houses has been growing, the housing sector remains under served with an annual demand estimated at 25,000 units, of which 8,000 are in Kigali. 

According to the City of Kigali recent report, 34,406 housing units are still needed to cater for the growing population.

Last month Charles Haba, the president of the Real Estate Association of Rwanda told The New Times that rent fees are still high because supply has not yet met the required demand.

The National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) statistics indicate that a single house costs about Rwf20 million as of last year. This means that total housing demand would require a financing package of up to Rwf500 billion per year.

Mehta Group of companies is already an established company in the neighbouring Uganda and plans to extend its branches of investments in other countries with in the region including Rwanda.

More Rwandan refugees living in Congo Brazzaville to voluntary repatriate

More Rwandan refugees living in Congo Brazzaville to voluntary repatriate
More Rwandan refugees from Congo Brazzaville show willingness to voluntary repatriate, before the UN Cessation Clause comes into effect on June 30, 2013.

The remarks were made by a group of ten Rwandan refugees, who returned from Congo Brazzaville to their motherland, on May 23, 2013.

The group comprised of seven men and ten women was received at Kigali International Airport.

Josephine, 58, mother of nine was less of words, when she saw her second born Mr. Sumbusho Innocent after 19 years of separation.

“Last time I came here at the airport since I had been informed that there were people repatriating from Congo Brazzaville and I guessed my son could be among them. That day I got very nervous and I returned home without hope that my son would come back,” said Josephine.
“Thanks to Lord as now I have all my children, even if I die today, I have nothing to blame my God.” She excitedly said
Sumubusho left Rwanda during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi. He arrived in Congo Brazzaville in 1997 after three years of exile in DRC.
“Is this Kigali or am dreaming,” Shumbusho exclaimed as he turned around to explore the shining Kigali night sky. “I realize now that what I thought was impossible has now come true,” Shumbusho said.
Ignace Nzaramba, father of three was also among the returnees. He left her wife and children in Brazzaville.
“I decided to come alone first to prepare how we shall survive when my entire family returns, but I am determined to do all arrangements as quick as possible to ensure that my wife and children are also repatriated very soon.” Said Nzaramba.

The returnees affirmed that some Rwandan refugees are still reluctant to return due to false information propagated by hardliners who need to hold refugees to cover their interests.
They are however extremely grateful to their relatives in Rwanda who tireless called them, proving that Rwanda is safe until they got convinced to return.
“I called him every day to return, trying to provide all evidences that we are safe in Rwanda. I am very happy to see again the last born of my mother,” said Musabyemariya Epiphanie, who had come to receive her brother Nzaramba.
The returnees were immediately transported home by their relatives after a brief screening by MIDIMAR and UNHCR officials.
Over 6000 Rwanda refugees are estimated to still be hosted in Congo Brazzaville.

The 1994 Rwanda genocide and its aftermath and armed clashes in northwestern Rwanda in 1997 and 1998 – the last time the country experienced generalized violence – produced more than 3.5 million Rwandan refugees.
Most have since returned to Rwanda, including recently, 12,000 mainly from Democratic Republic of Congo.

An estimated 100,000 Rwandan refugees remain in exile.

WB President lauds Rwanda National Police on anti GBV initiatives

WB President lauds Rwanda National Police on anti GBV initiatives
Bank Ki-Moon and World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim unveil foundation stone for the construction of AFSOCCA-VAWG Secretariat
The President of the World Bank Dr. Dr. Jim Yong Kim admired the services and operations of Isange One Stop Center at the Rwanda National Police Hospital.
The center treats victims of gender based violence among others. “I have never seen this before,” Dr. Yong Kim said and added that the center is very professional and presents the best way of storing evidence against perpetrators.
He said storing data in a good environment like this and not to armatures, is very important. “Evidence is a critical asset because it will help put criminals in jail. The center also offers both legal and counseling services to the victims of the violence.
Dr. Yong Kim made the remarks during the ceremony to unveil a foundation stone for the facility of the Africa’s Security Organs Centre for Coordination of Action to end Violence Against Women and Girls (AFSOCCA).
The creation of AFSOCCA is a response to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s campaign “UNiTE to end Violence against Women and Girls” launched in 2008.
Inspector General of Police Emanuel. K Gasana said Rwanda security organs responded to the Ki-Moon’s campaign by establishing “Isange One Stop Centre” to address Violence against Women and Girls across the country. The center receives strong support from the First Lady Madame Jeanette Kagame.
Due to its excellent service, the Isange One-Stop-Centre won the 2012 United Nations Public Service Award. According Gasana, “The UN Public Service Award is the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service.”

Rwanda in poverty eradication drive by 2020

Rwanda flag
Rwanda has reaffirmed its commitment to eradicating poverty and having none of the citizens living below the poverty line. The Minister of Local government James Musoni says that target will be met by the year 2020, considering the existing policies reflected in the development strategies.
Musoni’s remarks come after the release of a Commonwealth report, based on the 12 Aberdeen Principles, stated that with the decentralization progress in Rwanda, local governments units have been capable of handling complex tasks, which were previously unheard of before.
Some of the policies that emerged from the decentralization implementation programme since 2000 indicate that Rwanda has succeeded in holding on and implementing core values for promoting local democracy and good governance.
Some of the initiatives coming from this progress include: performance contracts (Imihigo) and National Dialogue (Umushyikirano) and other home grown solutions were considered to be the best practices needed in good governance system.
The decentralisation implementation programme, which is being implemented in three phases, began in 2000 and was first put into action in 2001. the first phase of decentralization, that ran from 2001 to 2005, saw the promulgation of enabling laws, establishment of service delivery structures, and the first ever democratically elected local government leadership.
The second, from 2006 to 2010, was a turning point in the decentralisation agenda where institutional and organisational restructuring of local governments was carried out to streamline better service delivery.
The third phase which runs from 2011-2015 is expected to improve and sustain the achievements made in the first two phases.
The Minister for Local Government, Musoni said the study corresponds with what is on the ground and it is through such best practices that Rwanda will not have any citizen living below that poverty line by the year 2020.
Rwanda has managed to reduce its poverty line margin from 56.7% in 2006 to
44.9% 2011 according to World Bank statistics, which makes at least one million Rwandans managing to make a better living in the last couple of years.

Some of the residents have highlighted the extent to which such decentralization and development programmes, such as the one cow per family, health insurance, community development funds, to mention but a few; have changed in the lives.
“We have built a good house, our children are nourished. When you feed well you think better. We have water and electricity home” says Daphrose Nyirabapagasi, anMusanze.
“Before Mutuelle de Sante, I used herbs for treatment when I got sick. But today, I receive proper medical treatment” adds Charlotte Uwineza, of Musanze ditstrict.
The challenge ahead
Though the country faces critics on its policies, Rwanda seems to have dealt with the issues of good governance and coming up with policies that have increased investment and a conducive business environment, even after the country undergoing a genocide in 1994 that is attributed to bad leadership and divisions.
As part of making another the stride ahead, Rwanda strives to become a knowledge based economy, and she has biggest part of the 2013-2014 budget has been allocated to semantic areas-which is in three parts and amounting to Rwf818.8billion (50%), as reflected in Rwanda’s second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS 2) that is founded on pillars of economic transformation and poverty reduction by the year 2017.
In this case, economic transformation was allocated Rwf511.4 billion (31%). This allocation will focus on agriculture transformation, increase in exports, infrastructure development and driving-off off farm jobs through creation of secondary cities.
Followed by rural development, with Rwf161.4 billion (10%) allocation will be channeled to integrated land approach to land use and rural settlement, increase in agriculture productivity, integrated social protection programs and connecting rural populations to economic opportunity through improved infrastructure.
While productivity and youth employment pillar will take up Rwf104.5 billion (6%) and it will be used to increase off- farm jobs, develop skills and link them to labor markets.
Apparently Rwf40.8 billion (3%) allocated to accountable governance will be used to strengthen citizen participation in delivery of development, improved accountability, service delivery and security.

Kayonza: Youth commended for embracing job creation program

Kayonza: Youth commended for embracing job creation program
Youth in Kayonza district have been commended for the step taken towards embracing job creation program that has socially developed them.
The recommendation was made by the youth representative Placide Uwizeyimana on May 24th 2013 during the youth gathering.
This comes after up to 150 youth in Kayonza were trained on job creation and 120 youth projects are yet to be set up to create employment for other youth.
The vice-mayor for social affairs in Kayonza district, Anita Mutesi appreciated the work of the youth and asked them to use their time wisely for development purposes.
Kayonza: Youth commended for embracing job creation program
“Without a personal time table and a plan, you can’t achieve your goals,” highlights the vice-mayor.
Alexandre Havugimana, youth representative in Kabare sector in Kayonza district said promised to extend the information to other youth sensitizing them to work hard and have plans.

Monday, 27 May 2013

AfDB urges Africa to focus on economic transformation

Dr Kaberuka. Net Photo.
The first 50 years of Africa achieved political freedom and laid a basis for socio-economic development and it’s now time to focus on economic transformation, Dr. Donald Kaberuka, president of the African Development Bank Group said on Saturday.

He was speaking at the 50th anniversary of the African Union in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.Kaberuka gave the dignitaries present, a profound look at Africa’s past and future trajectory for the next 50 years.

Africa’s GDP has increased from US$ 600 billion to US$ 2.2 trillion since the year 2000, he said, and the continent “now offers the highest risk adjusted return on investment… our economic managers are doing a reasonably good job navigating the difficult global economic slowdown”.

The AfDB president, together with a large number of African Heads of States, was joined by UN leader Ban Ki-moon, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and US Secretary of State John Kerry at 
the African Union headquarters on Saturday.

According to the statement, Kaberuka however, noted that despite strong economic growth, economic transformation remains a challenge for the continent.

He stated that “quality growth” of 7 per cent is what Africa needs for the decade to come, emphasising the importance of quality growth as one “which is not only strong, but sustainable, 
fair, addresses inequalities, and leaves no one behind”

On May 25, 1963, the AU’s predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity, or OAU, was established with the goal of forging a common identity for the continent as Europe’s colonial 
rule of Africa fell apart.

Since then, the African Union has shifted focus to an organisation spear-heading Africa’s development and integration. African solutions 

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn noted that the ‘historic day marks not only a great leap forward in the Pan-Africanist quest for freedom, independence and unity but also the beginning of our collective endeavour for the realisations of Africa’s socio-economic emancipation.”

“When we talk about African solutions to African problems, it is because we know that we can only permanently silence the guns if we act in solidarity and unity,” said AU Commission chief 
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, adding that the continent had a “bright future”.

Kaberuka observed that Africa’s economic journey over the last fifty years has been a tortuous one with many achievements, but numerous setbacks.

In the quest for a prosperous Africa, Kaberuka outlined three things to take note of.

These include knowing that the world is now different from what it was in the last fifty years, the fact that institutions with global mandates, supposed to provide multilateral solutions are 
constrained by global politics and the fact that a number of key mega trends will influence the trajectory of Africa’s economies in the next half a century.

With the exception of countries at war, or emerging from war, economic performance has remained very strong.

Africa’s Economic performance is now back to the level it was in 2008. At the turn of the Millennium Africa’s GDP was 600 billion. Today it is 2.2 trillion.

Kaberuka noted that the continent now offers the highest risk adjusted return on investment.

“The world needs growth. But where will it come from? It will be Africa and the emerging markets,” he said, though warning that from whatever angle you look at it, Africa still faces 
myriads of problems.

“The journey is long. In some countries, absolute poverty is not declining fast enough.

Millions of our youth are entering the labour market each year, 14 million to be exact and cannot find a decent job.”

According to Kaberuka, economic growth is strong but economic transformation remains a challenge.

Robbery victims call for screening of new residents

Dr. Mukabaramba examines a patient admitted after he was attacked by thugs as Rwamagana mayor, Nehemie Uwimana looks on.
Kaniziyusi Karuranga, 56, a businessman who was injured by thugs in Ntunga trading centre, Rwamagana district says one of his attackers was a man who operated a hair salon ‘just next to my shop.’He urged local leaders to screen residents of various communities to identify suspected criminals.

 “Some of those that attacked us were strangers, but they were invited by our neighbours. We have people who recently came to settle in our villages with unknown criminal record...they 
should be identified and sent away,” he told Dr. Alivera Mukabaramba, Minister of State for Community Development and Social Affairs.

The minister was visiting four men and one woman admitted to Rwamagana Hospital after machete-wielding thugs attacked the villages of Ntunga and Musha in Rwamagana District last
week.At least two people died and eight were seriously injured in the attack. “Acts of robbery and murder are new in this area,” Karuranga said.

Another victim of the attack, Theogen Rubasika, also said he knew one of his attackers and that they were bent on ending his life.

 “I did not have any money on me and they knew it. But one of the thugs known as Habimana kept on hitting me with a club. The thugs later on cut me with a machete,” Rubasika, who is nursing deep machete wounds said.

Rubasika is a resident of Kagarama village. 

Minister Mukabaramba, who took time to talk to each patient, castigated the acts of robbery.

“I am surprised that apart from taking your money and other property, they were determined to kill you. It is disheartening to see that we still have people involved in such inhuman acts. 
None of them will go scot-free.
They need heavy punishment, as a future deterrent to potential 
criminals in society,” she said.Mukabaramba also urged district leadership to assist the injured, particularly those without medical insurance to access treatment.

Farmer gets Rwf700,000 compensation

Kampire (second, right) receiving a dummy cheque of her compensation on Thursday.
A Rwamagana farmer who lost her cow to disease has been compensated by Sonarwa insurance.

Patricia Kampire, a member of Giramashyo Farmers’ Co-operative in Gishari sector, Rwamagana district, was paid Rwf700,000 worth of compensation. 

Kampire was all smiles when she got the money and urged farmers to insure their cows to avoid losses.

“This compensation will enable me to buy another exotic cow right away,” she said.

 At least 70 out of 180 farmers in the eight-year-old co-operative insured their cows with Sonarwa.

Emilienne Dusanguwera, another farmer, who benefitted from a Rwf1m compensation package in January, said Sonarwa was restoring their hopes in farming.
He noted that previously, farmers were reluctant to buy insurance cover for their cows, but said this mentality had changed.

“Cattle keeping can be sustainable with insurance cover. Like one buys insurance for a car, farmers should do the same for their cows to stay in business,” Kampire noted.

Sonarwa is one of the biggest insurance companies in the country that has the livestock insurance policy.

Dr. Olivier Rwakana, the Sonarwa agriculture insurance manager, said the livestock insurance policy safeguards farmers from losses. A farmer pays 6 per cent of the cow’s value as cover.
Rwakana revealed that the insurer would lobby banks to give loans to farmers with insured livestock.

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