by Susan THOMPSON
As Rwanda prepares to mark the twentieth anniversary of the 1994 genocide, it has found itself in an unprecedented diplomatic crisis. The ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front has all but claimed responsibility for the murder of its former Spy Chief Patrick Karegeya in Johannesburg in January.
More recently, the South African government has accused Rwandan diplomats of a third bungled attempt on the life of the country’s former army chief Kayumba Nyamwasa.
The State Department scolded the government of President Paul Kagame for the attempt. The South African government then expelled three Rwandan diplomats, and is considering ending formal diplomatic ties with Rwanda.
Foreign journalists reporting on the attack on Nyamwasa raised the ire of President Kagame. On March 7, Radio France International journalist Sonia Rolley was subject to misogynistic harassment from the account of @RichardGoldston. American freelancer Steve Terrill came to Rolley’s defense, resulting in a series of mocking tweets from the account of Rwanda president @PaulKagame himself, not the @RichardGoldston to which Terrill (@steveinafrica) had directed his Tweets.
A week later, on March 15, Terrill was denied entry into Rwanda. The denial appears politically-motivated as Terrill broke the story that someone in the office of the Rwandan president also had access to the @RichardGoldston account.
The @RichardGoldston account trolled Twitter for any sign of criticism of Kagame or the RPF, and regularly harassed and demeaned Twitter users that criticized the government.
On March 8, the official Twitter account of the Office of the Rwandan President (@UrugwiroVillage) tweeted that the @RichardGoldston account had been deleted and the staff member responsible for the account had been “reprimanded”.
Rwanda’s Twitter-gate raises questions about the central role of RPF Twitter-trolls in calling out foreign journalists who seek to hold it to account for its excesses at home and abroad.
President Kagame’s reactionary tweets provide insight into the political reality behind his government’s carefully crafted narrative that Rwanda is a nation rehabilitated from the ruin of the 1994 genocide. Twitter-gate is also illustrative of the harassment and intimidation to which critics of the RPF regime regularly experience.
Twitter-gate is the first crack in the armor of the RPF’s longstanding disinformation campaign that has relied on Western exchange students, public relations firms, commemorative events, and a whole host of other techniques to craft an idealized and often invented version of what Rwanda was like before the onset of colonialism and what it has become since the 1994 genocide.
Since 2009, the RPF has worked with American and British PR specialists whose primary task is to drown out the voices of foreign critics and bury evidence of the RPF’s human rights abuses under rosy language about political stability, economic growth, and the stated intention of helping the poor.
In January, Rwanda launched the Kwibuka20 campaign, from inside Kagame’s office of course, for the same instrumental reason: to substitute the trope of genocide for the trope of authoritarianism in narratives about Rwanda.
The disinformation strategy is simple: ensure maximum international sympathy and donor dollars and a minimum of international inquiry into the government’s denial of liberties and human rights abuses.
The Kagame-led regime has a penchant for U.S. visits and visitors, and until recently successive U.S. administrations turned a blind eye to massive human rights violations for which the Kagame-led regime, according to the United Nations, is responsible in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Americans in particular have been taken in by the rhetoric of reconstruction, development, and reconciliation that invariably accompanies most public events in the country.
The RPF frames itself for Western audiences as the political party best able to move Rwanda towards a Western-style democracy because it has regularly held presidential and parliamentary elections.
The RPF handily won the most recent round of parliamentary elections, in September 2013, with 76% of the vote. In theory, it was contending with nine other parties. In practice, Rwanda’s nearly six million voters had little choice on the ballot. A total of 98% of the votes went to the RPF and its four coalition parties.
The continued dominance of the RPF in the electoral realm projects a semblance of political pluralism while masking the fact that all parties are expected to acquiesce to the ruling party. Two actual opposition parties have been banned and their leaders jailed.
Another pillar of Rwanda’s disinformation campaign is that the government promotes gender-equality. 64% percent of parliamentarians in Rwanda’s lower house are women, but this number masks reality. Although women are very visible in Rwanda politics, their ability to shape the future of women, ironically, is circumscribed. Rwanda’s parliament has limited influence.
Parliamentarians – be they male or female – actually have little power to legislate on behalf of their constituents. They have little room to develop policy or even to debate openly; space for free and open political expression is limited. Put differently, an assessment of political realities shows that women parliamentarians in Rwanda are mere accessories of power; they do not actually wield any of it.
Though the genocide has not repeated itself, growing socio-political and economic inequalities – notably the exclusion of youth – under an increasingly authoritarian and repressive government have meant that post-genocide Rwanda is still deeply entangled in its violent past. Rwandans deserve better from their American friends.
Rwanda’s Twitter-gate also reminds us that, on this 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, we should not allow our generally rosy perception of Rwanda as a stable and free country under the visionary leadership of President Kagame to mask long-standing political tensions, unresolved resentments, and the rise of an authoritarian regime.
Susan M. Thomson is Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Colgate University in the United States. She is author of Whispering Truth to Power: Everyday Resistance to Reconciliation in Postgenocide Rwanda (Wisconsin University Press, 2013).
Source: African Arguments
How to spread Rwandan propaganda, and intimidate opponents? Twitter, of course.
Last week, a few unfortunate clicks revealed to the world that the Twitter account of Rwandan President Paul Kagame is run by the same person who spews pro-Rwanda propaganda under the handle @RichardGoldston. The faux Goldston is, of course, allowed to be a lot less guarded than Kagame himself, and a trawl through his Twitter cache offers up a few revelations – none of which are complimentary toward South Africa. No wonder SA-Rwanda relations are at an all-time low. By SIMON ALLISON
21 .1. 2014
Photo: Regional Police officers led by IGP Emmanuel Gasana meeting over the establishment a Traffic Management Center (Source: Newsofrwanda.com)
A new East African Community (EAC) regional traffic excellence center is due to be established in Rwanda as a way of enhancing regional integration and using Rwanda as an example in managing the center.
Rwanda National Police (RNP) has been put in charge of the new centre of excellence which will be responsible for innovation, research and capacity building of Police officers in EAC in road traffic-related initiatives.
A team of experts from the EAC member states visited Rwanda National Police General Headquarters in Kacyiru on January 20, to assess the process in the establishment of the Traffic Management (TM) Regional Centre of Excellence.
According to Rwanda’s Inspector General of Police (IGP) Emmanuel K. Gasana Rwanda is prepared and ready to host the centre to support each other in building a regional force, that is well equipped and properly managed and productive.
The head of the delegation, Burundi Assistant Commissioner of Police Kaguta Bazirakye, also head of Peace and Security at the EAC secretariat said the EAC is impressed with the Rwanda National Police’s implementation progress and what has been achieved.
“Rwanda National Police is special; they are doing a wonderful job. Rwanda has all it takes to host the centre and Police will help move it to the highest horizon,” said Bazirakye.
Though police forces in the EAC region are listed among the most corrupt public institutions, according to a transparence International report in 2013, the Rwanda national police is believed to be at the lead of cleaning up its records.
IGP Gasana says that Rwanda has dealt with the issue of corruption with zero tolerance in its force, adding that putting in place service facilities, capacity building and training of officers has been vital in strengthening the force.
Today, Rwanda has established a motor vehicle inspection center and Gishari Integrated Polytechnic as some of the strategies in place to check on the mechanical faults of cars and give skills to officers.
The Rwanda police force also owns a mobile test lane and is in the process to open other five centers in different parts of the country- and soon one will be able to get a driving permit within 48 hours and Gasana says that these initiatives will make the Traffic Management Centre a vibrant one
Source: News of Rwanda
by Dias NYESIGA
Photo: German Ambassador Peter Fahrenholtz and Minister of Finance Claver Gatete (File photo)
Germany is optimistic that Rwanda’s approach to develop technical skills will register success in shaping the economy into middle income, considering the current strides the country has already taken.
Peter Fahrenholtz, the German ambassador to Rwanda, says that Rwanda’s holistic approach towards investing in developing all skills without specializing is the right approach in addressing the country’s skills challenge.
The country is looking at developing technical and vocational skills to address the challenge of skilled labor and boost the budding private sector mainly in enterprise, industry, and service sectors.
“Investing in all technical and vocational skills will help the country solve the problem of lack of skilled labor force,” he said during the signing of RWF 9.8 billion financing agreement between Rwanda and Germany.
Germany, through its German Development Bank, has extended financing worth RWF 9.8 billion enshrined in two financing project agreements for Technical and Vocational Education Training and decentralization.
Experts believe that to achieve its ambitious target of middle income by 2020, Rwanda needs to invest much in vocational skills development that are needed to supply the growing industry sector.
“Rwanda is trying its best to promote skills development that can sustain economic development”, Claver Gatete, Minister of Finance said.
With its strategy to boost the industry sector, the government is setting up model processing industries throughout the country in an effort to boost the growth of industries that would increase value addition in the country’s exports.
“In Germany, we value much traditionally the work people do with their hands. When you become a master in your craft after vocational training, you are open to earning more money and you are respected in the society,” Fahrenholtz said.
“The big part of this funding will go to TVET, and the purpose is to increase the number of qualified graduates in the selected TVET institutions, said Gatete, adding that the other portion of funding will go to support continued priority development and infrastructure projects in all districts in the country.
According to the agreements signed between the two countries last week, RWF 6.3 billion will go to supporting Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) banking on selected institutions while RWF 3.6 billion, will support continued priority development and infrastructure projects in all districts in the country.
The funds will be channeled through the Rwanda Local Development Support Fund, which will be tasked to help build capacities of districts in project preparation, planning, monitoring and evaluation, and budgeting processes to ensure effective utilization of the funding.
“This funding is really important to our economy considering it is going to help the entire infrastructure,” Minister Gatete said.
Since 2006, the German Development Bank has contributed RWF 21 billion to support decentralization through local infrastructure investments that include roads and bridges, markets and terracing, health centers, and institutions of learning.
THE NEW TIMES
by P. TUMWEBAZE 10/09/13
Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda to complete construction of regional railway by 2018
Photo: The three nations Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda are planning to build a single railway line that will connect Mombasa to Kigali via Kampala. Image: The CEO Magazine
Rwanda has kick-started plans to construct a railway line that will link the country to Kenya’s Mombasa port through Uganda.
According to Prof. Silas Lwakabamba, the Minister of Infrastructure, the ministry is currently conducting a feasibility study to determine the cost of the project, the route of the railway line, how those affected will be compensated and the appropriate technology to use to deliver the project on time.
“We have already signed a memorandum of understanding with Uganda and Kenya. We are working more closely with our counterparts in Uganda to ensure the project is completed as scheduled,” he said.
The minister also noted that Rwanda’s contribution would depend on the findings of the ongoing feasibility study.
“We are determined and will contribute whatever it will take to construct the railway line because we understand the economic benefits it will bring to our country,” he said.
Lwakabamba said the line would increase efficiency in the transportation of goods and reduce road damage by cargo trucks.
He added that road repairs have been consuming most of the ministry’s budget. It will also reduce the cost of transporting goods across the region.
“Kenya is scheduled to start construction works in November, therefore, there is no reason for us to delay this important project,” the minister said.”
The modern railway line expected to cost over $5b and will link Rwanda to Kenya’s Mombasa seaport through Uganda.
Work on the mega structure is expected to end by 2018, according to the statement signed recently by presidents Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame Rwanda.
The railway line is billed to greatly improve trade and transport between the three countries.
The three Heads of State are determined to seeing the success of the railway project.
“Ever since they met in Kampala, so much has been happening to develop the railway line,” officials said.
Commenting on the project, Mark Priestley, the Trade Mark East Africa country director, said the railway line will boost Rwanda’s economy.
“The need to make Rwanda less landlocked and more land-linked is paramount and, one way to realise this, is through the railway line,” he said.
This will ultimately reduce the cost of doing business and enhance domestic and foreign investments in Rwanda, he added.
Gerald Mukubu, the Private Sector Federation chief advocacy officer, said the railway line is a timely intervention.
“As the private sector in a landlocked country, this is great news for us.
“We hope works go according to plan,” he said.
Currently, the northern corridor (Mombasa-Kampala-Kigali and the central corridor, Dar es Salaam) are the bloodline of Rwanda’s trade despite of being the most expensive corridors in the world.
The northern corridor covers over 1,900km, while the central corridor is 1,700km long.
The presidents agreed that each country develops the railway line within the confines of their borders. It is one of the multiple projects being promoted by the three presidents.
After the Kampala meeting in July, Uganda was given the responsibility to lead the railway line development, Rwanda was tasked with the responsibility of fast tracking the single customs territory, single tourist visa and use of East African Community national identity card projects while Kenya is to spearhead the implementation of the oil pipeline and electricity generation.
Overview of Public Transport in Sub-Saharan Africa
by Stephen RWEMBEHO, 20. August 2013 (The New Times)
Photo: posted by Peter (Author at Rwanda Express)
THE RWANDA PATRIOTIC FRONT (RPF) has challenged party members to spearhead the development of communities across the country.
RPF Commissioner Protais Musoni, speaking during a training of 140 party leaders in Eastern Province, said the journey to lead the country to economic stability was still on despite visible development in recent years.
The training was focused on imparting critical thinking, social politics, development and peaceful co-existence into the cadres.
“Our commitment as RPF is that every Rwandan lives a decent life… sustainable self-reliance for all is what we strive for,” he said.
Musoni, who was among RPF senior cadres who conducted the training, lectured the party leaders on philosophical reasoning, saying patriotism was the bottom-line.
“Patriotism is paramount. We must do what our nation needs instead of pushing for our individual interests. It is in this line that our actions will meet the demands of the vulnerable in the country,” [Musoni]
Appreciating the training:
Odette Uwamariya, the RPF chairperson in Eastern Province, reiterated the need for party members to engage in development plans of the country.
She said the training offered an opportunity to refresh the minds of party members, adding that the acquired knowledge would help them solve domestic problems.
“The training was timely and will help us develop our districts. It is also our obligation to help end domestic conflicts in some families. I am sure RPF members remain committed to community development,” she said.
Marie Claudine Mukamajwa, an RPF cadre from Ngarama Sector, Gatsibo District, said grassroots party members had started projects to develop their communities.
“The acquired knowledge will enhance development programmes we already have in villages. I can assure you, Rwanda under the leadership of RPF, is emerging from poverty to prosperity,” she said
06. August 2013
by Kenneth AGUTAMBA
One of the company’s elaborate tents. (photo Bruno Birakwate)
The story of JKK Holdings and how it came to invest in Rwanda reads like a fairytale, a tribute to Rwanda’s attractive investment environment. JKK Holdings Rwanda is a subsidiary of Dubai based JKK International, specialists in events and Interior Design. Although you may not have heard of them, if you have been to this year’s PSF 16th expo at Gikondo, then you have seen their beautiful work on display.
On the immediate left when walking into the Expo, JKK has constructed more than just a tent; they have built a house on fair grounds. The first floor has a wide room fully designed like a living room complete with side drawers, a working water sink, and a huge flat screen TV on the wall.
At the far side of the expansive room, comfortable leather sofa chairs are arranged and the floor fitted with sparkling silver tiles. Upstairs, the bungalow has a single bedroom complete with all the features found in a five-star hotel, including wide windows with a small balcony.
JKK puts all this work into a temporary structure, one that will be disassembled after the Expo. “As you can see, this is what we do, it’s what we are exhibiting, our expertise is events and interior design and what you see here is what you get, the best,” said a middle aged easy looking gentleman.
This man was John Koshy, the managing director of JKK Holdings himself. It is rare to find Rwandan MDs manning their exhibition stalls; most feel they are too important for that, and entrust the task of meeting clients and explaining their businesses to volunteers with very limited knowledge. “Our motto is ‘trust who knows’ and that says it all about our approach to business,” says Koshy, a Dubai citizen.
Koshy says prior to coming to Rwanda, he had always wanted to work in Africa, specifically in a young economy, one that offered great potential to grow. “So I read and researched a lot about the continent and economies here.” It was not his research, but a visit to a friend in Kigali that finally provided an answer to Koshy’s questions. In Rwanda, he had finally found the country to invest his fortune.
“It happened in 2010 when a friend of mine invited me here for a four day visit. After just one day here, I already liked the place – the geography, the weather, safety and the cleanliness of the city,” recalls Koshy. That was the turning point and he expressed his feelings to his friend, who quickly told him about RDB’s easy process to register a business.
“So I used my four days here to register JKK international Africa Ltd and the journey began,” tells Koshy. Today, he employs 11 Rwandans, 1 Ugandan and 3 Indians and he has invested over $1million. He is also considering to open an amusement park in Kigali.
JKK’s first deal in Rwanda:
During his four-day visit, Koshy was introduced to a PSF official who told him about the annual expo, an event directly in line with JKK’s expertise. He submitted a proposal that PSF liked and was told to compete in the 2010 tendering process to design and construct that year’s expo. He did, and he won.
He designed PSF’s exhibition center and four other stalls including Orinfor, Bank of Kigali, Mineac and Minicom. His impressive work on these stalls caught attention of many other corporate firms. JKK’s popularity took off, and it went on to design and organize the 2012 Guma-Guma finals venue as well as the RPF’s 25th anniversary.
This year, JKK designed stalls for over fifteen corporate firms including PSF’s own exhibition center. “Our experience and expertise is priceless. We guarantee quality work on time, regardless of challenges,” he says. It is no surprise that this professionalism comes from a man who has practiced for over 30 years in Dubai, the world’s shopping centre and home to thousands of exhibitions in a year. In Dubai, competition ensures that companies adhere to higher standards of quality and timeliness.
“For instance, we didn’t make any profit in our first assignments in 2010; we had to import everything, paid a lot in taxes, lost a lot in theft but we delivered nonetheless because that’s paramount to us,” he recalls.
Today, Koshy says the situation has improved. JKK can now find 50% of their supplies locally. But still, lack of proper skills remains a huge problem. For three years he has trained his local staff, but poor attitude stands in the way of learning. Currently, he would like to hire at least two Indians from Dubai to enforce his team here, but he has struggled with emigration rules that limit investors on the number of foreigners they can bring into the country. He feels this prevents him from growing his business.
Nonetheless, JKK has confidence in Rwanda and is ready to invest more money here. He only wishes for more cooperation from the authorities.
Candidates of the REMOAwards (Photo: Izuba Rirashe/ Ububiko)
THE NEW TIMES
06. August 2013
by Jean d’Amour MBONYINSHUTI
Rwandan Entertainers and Musicians Organisation (REMO), has awarded artistes and people who promote music in the Northern Province.
Musanze-based famous artiste, Franc Kay led the nominees going into the inaugural REMO Awards, with nods and he was all smiles on Saturday evening, after emerging the Best Male artiste.
Sister Jamy had a teary moment when she took home the award for the Best Female Artiste. Twelve-year Mucyo Gloire, also had a reason to celebrate after beating several young artistes in Musanze district to emerge the Best Popular Teen Artiste.
The Award for Best Modern Dancing group went to Jaba Workers and the Best Popular Song was “Ikibazo” by The Bless.
“I am so honored to receive this award. This has motivated me to even work harder to improve my career in music,” the excited The Bless told the crowd upon receiving the trophy.
Theogene Ntamukunzi won the Best Traditional Artiste and Impete y’umuco as the overall Best Traditional Dancing Group. The 1st annual awards ceremony also recognised journalists, music producers and film producers, among others. Some officials in the Northern Province were also awarded during the event for promoting and supporting the artistes.
Present were officials from various government institutions, including the Rwanda Governance Board, National Youth Council and senior police officials. The Governor of Northern Province Aime Bosenibamwe, said the government supports and encourages the youth to be creative and innovative. “Artistes are among creative and innovative people that the government recognises and pledge to support their projects as longer as they are in line with the government policy,” he said.
According to Francine Umutoni, the president of REMO, the event aims to promote artistes and musicians.
Gahunda yo guhemba abahanzi muri “REMO Award ” yarahindutse (Kinyarwanda)
Ishyirahamwe ry’abahanzi n’abateza muzika imbere mu Rwanda (REMO) ku nshuro ya mbere ryateguye amarushanwa y’abahanzi bo mu Karere ka Musanze, gahunda y’igitaramo cyo guhemba abatsinze ikaba yarahindutse.
Mu kiganiro Umutoni Francine ukuriye Rwandan Entertainers & Musicians Organisation (REMO) yagiranye n’ikinyamakuru Izuba Rirashe, yavuze ko igikorwa cyo guhemba abahanzi bazatsinda amarushanwa yateguye cyari giteganyijwe ku wa 8, cyimuriwe ku itariki ya 29 Kamena 2013 kubera impamvu zitandukanye. [read all…]
The Rwandan Entertainers & Musician Organisation:
REMO (Rwandan Entertainers & Musician Organisation) is an annual award ceremony to acknowledge and honor musical excellence and entertainers creativity as well as provide a high profile and multi faceted celebration of the rich cultural diversity of Rwandan Music.
Celebrating musical achievements through the establishments of an institutional framework that follows, records and relays musical success stories on an ongoing basis (REMO).
Utilizing music as a vehicle for cultural expression i.e. customs food and critical component in attracting tourism inflows to the country.
Selecting a team of industry specialists to act as adjudicators in the process of identifying and selecting musicians who must be acknowledged and honored :
Organizing an annual musical awards that effectively competes at country level,
For its first time we are gong to acknowledge and honor musicians & partners in the northern province of Rwanda for their achievements since 2010 to 2013. LIKE THEM ON FACEBOOK !
EAST AFRICAN BUSINESS WEEK
05. August 2013
by Dias NYESIGA
Mombasa Port. Photo: Rwanda Eye
Kigali — Rwandan business people are hesitant to fully shift to the Central Corridor through Tanzania, despite the recent improvement at Dar es Salaam port.
“The Northern Corridor becomes advantageous to transporters because of its convenience mainly in accessing vehicle servicing, food and accommodation to Uganda and Kenya,” Theodore Murenzi, the Executive Secretary of Rwanda Truckers Association East African Business Week.
” You see there are services we get along the Mombasa route that we cannot get on the Dar Es Salaam route,” Emmanuel Ndikubwabo, a regular trader on the Northern Corridor said.
According to a recent survey by Shippers Council of East Africa (SCEA) Tanzania stepped up efforts to improve service delivery at Dar es Salaam port and plans are underway to build a new complex at Bagomoyo port.This according to experts is seen as a move that is likely to snatch business from the Northern Corridor and specifically Mombasa port.
For long interludes, Mombasa has been beset by congestion which has frequently caused widespread frustration for clients. Mombasa port is also currently being streamlined in major works programme supported by the British government through the Department of International Development.
Rwandan traders say the advantage with Mombasa is the availability of cost effective logistical services.
In spite of an almost one hour difference, Rwandan traders say that the Mombasa port route appears shorter than Dar es Salaam.
It takes 18 hours 39 minutes on average via the Dar Es Salaam-Kigali route compared to 19 hours 3 min for Mombasa-Kigali alternative.
However Rwanda traders do complain about corruption, weigh bridges, road blocks and other non-tariff barriers (NTBs).
“I think most traders shifted to Tanzania route just because of those road blocks and weighbridges which were characterized by delays and hidden costs,” Faruok Mohamed, an importer of garments said in Kigali.
“We have seen some improvements, but a lot has to be done to help us do our business easily. I think Kenya has to work on the expansion of the port which is a challenge currently,” Murenzi said.
The announcement of a Single Customs Territory may also work in Mombasa’s favour.
“We welcome this initiative for integration and I believe this is another big advantage for Mombasa port to keep its business with Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda,” Fausitn Ndizeye, a Kigali- based trader said.
According to the arrangement under this single territory, Rwandan traders will be able to clear taxes at Mombasa as opposed to current arrangement where they have to clear the documentation at every customs point.
Rwanda Traders Snub Tax Machines ( EA Business Week 05. August 2013)
The electronic billing machines that Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) recently introduced to improve and streamline collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) are being snubbed by many traders.
Many complain that the machines, which were intended to curb tax evasion, are not user-friendly. Others tactfully ignore to use them so as they continue evading tax.
“It’s common knowledge that billing machines are not a welcome feature in the business community, most people are not using them,” The Commissioner General, Ben Kagarama, told a news conference in Kigali last week.[read all…]
Rwandan traders welcome Uhuru’s directive on Mombasa Port (Rwanda Eye)
The directive by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to Mombasa port authorities to improve operations at the port will stimulate trade and cut on transport costs, importers say.
Last week, President Uhuru ordered Mombasa port authorities to ensure that they reduce delay time at the port, saying the current situation where containers take 18 days to reach Kampala from Mombasa was untenable. He directed the port authorities to ensure this is reduced to five days at most within three weeks. [read all…]
THE NEW TIMES
06. August 2013
by Ivan R. MUGISHA
Tanzanite miner at the Mererani mine in northern Tanzania. The mineral audit agency said between 60 and 75 per cent of all tanzanite production is undocumented. Photo/FILE AFP
The government of Rwanda has contacted their counterparts in the Democratic Republic of Congo over the tonnes of smuggled minerals from the neighbouring country.
The minerals which, according to the State Minister in charge of Mining, Evode Imena, constituted 8.4 metric tonnes of wolfram, tin and coltan, were seized in June as they were being smuggled into the country from DRC.
“We have communicated to the government of DRC. Rwanda Revenue Authority delivered a letter to the customs of DRC and we are waiting for their response,” Imena, said in an interview last week, adding that the response will determine when the minerals will be handed back.
The interception of the minerals was first announced last month by Louise Mushikiwabo, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, during her address to the UN Security Council in a debate on the security situation in the Great Lakes Region. (Read article)
The value of the minerals is not known. “Once they (Congolese) are ready, we shall inform you of when we shall hand over the minerals,” Imena added. According to the state minister, the minerals constitute the three so-called “conflict minerals” of tin, wolfram and coltan and are currently stored at the Revenue Protection Department in Rusizi District.
The Deputy Commissioner General of RRA, Richard Tusabe, said that the smuggled minerals were seized by a Rwandan surveillance team along the DRC border, although the smugglers were not captured. “They abandoned the minerals and ran away. We do not have any details on who they are,” Tusabe said, adding that: “We will sustain surveillance to stop smugglers.”
In November 2011, Rwanda handed 82 tonnes of smuggled tin, coltan and wolfram back to DRC .
all this sounds so familiar…
Rwanda gives DRC back tonnes of smuggled minerals (Africa Review Nov. 2011)
About 82 tonnes of smuggled minerals seized by Rwandan police has been handed back to the Democratic Republic of Congo in a sign of improved relations between the two neighbours.
The minerals include cassiterite, or tin ore, as well as coltan, used in devices such as mobile phones.
DR Congo’s mineral wealth has been a major factor in years of conflict... .read more
GOVERNMENT OF RWANDA
25 July 2013
Kigali — The government of Rwanda and One UN Rwanda today signed a five year $400 million development assistance Plan (UNDAP) that will help the government meet the millennium development goals and Vision2020 targets.
The UNDAP funds will be finance economic projects worth US$ 82 million, governance initiatives worth US$ 42 million and human development projects worth US$ 276 million.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Ambassador Claver Gatete said that Rwanda is experiencing one of the fastest periods of economic growth in its history. This growth has translated in one million Rwandans lifted out of poverty.
“Our development results are due in large part to strong and innovative leadership and the support of our development partners as we embarked on widespread reforms guided by a bold vision for development,” Minister Gatete added.
UN resident coordinator Lamin Momodou Manneh pointed out that Rwanda continues to own and lead its development process in a particularly innovative and committed way, as underscored by consistently high policy implementation rates as well as raising the levels of aid effectiveness.
“As a result, Rwanda registered very positive results reflected in the high levels of inclusive economic growth, significant poverty reduction, and notable gains in human development, gender empowerment and measurable progress towards the MDGs,” Lamin Momodou Manneh said.
UNDAP is a mid-term five year consolidated plan of UN support to Rwanda’s in its efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, the second Economic and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2) as well as Vision 2020.
The successful implementation of EDPRS 1 (2008-2013), which saw poverty levels drop by 12% was possible because of support by the United Nations Development Assistance Fund (UNDAF), which provided the strategic support in the focus areas of governance, health, HIV, nutrition, population, education, environment, and sustainable growth and social protection.