THE NEW TIMES
by Linda M. KAGIRE, 29 JUNE 2013
Contestants of Primus Guma Guma Superstar Season 3 entertained Ngoma residents in the Eastern Province of Rwanda on week 5 of the countrywide Roadshows.
Starting today, the eleven contestants of the Primus Guma Guma Superstar music contest will embark on the most competitive phase of the Bralirwa sponsored music show.
Riderman, Kamichi, Micho Prosper, Eric Senderi, Danny Nanone, Fireman, Bull Dog, Knowless, Dream Boys, Christopher and Urban Boys will perform at Amahoro National Stadium parking lot in front of a panel of three judges. This is the first time the contestants will perform in front of judges.
Nairobi-based Burundian star Kidum will lead a panel of four judges who will include Canada-based Rwandan musician Mighty Popo Murigande, Aaron Nitunga and Aimable Twahirwa, who are all seasoned music stars and teachers.
The 11 contestants have been undergoing intense rehearsals.
Apart from Kamichi who has been sick, the rest of the contestants have been busy polishing their on-stage skills.
The first phase of Guma Guma, which included road shows in Rusizi, Nyanza, Nyamagabe, Ngoma, Karongi and Gicumbi was not demanding for the contestants since they performed using playback.
Nevertheless, they used the road shows to showcase their might, with some of the contestants proving to be bigger than others.
Tension can already be felt among the contestants. The next part will prove to be a test of character for all the contestants. The ‘live’ part has no room for errors, since those who don’t meet expectations will be eliminated.
“For the first time it feels like a music competition. As a music lover I will enjoy this part because only those who can do music properly will progress. It will not depend on who will campaign more than the others,” says Nadine Umurerwa, a university student.
It is the first time Bralirwa is bringing in judges, a move which has been applauded for bringing something new to the contest.
Following several upcountry road shows, the contestants have taken a one-week break to rest and rehearse for today’s show. This coming weekend the contestants will perform in Muhanga before heading north to Musanze on July 13. On July 20, Guma Guma will head to Rubavu to wind up the countryside live shows.
From July 20 to 26, the remaining contestants will be undergoing intensive rehearsals and radio campaigns before the last eviction set for July 27 at Kigali Serena Hotel. The winner will be crowned on August 10.
The winner will take home Rwf 24million and a trophy, among other things.
Culture plays a powerful role in human societies especially in their maintenance. When nations, or societies united by culture, share not only territories but values and belief systems, great strength results. It is easy to know who belongs and who does not; food, customs, clothes, symbols, language and other factors are readily identifiable member distinctions.
In many traditional cultures, tribal cohesiveness is maintained through a calendar of ritual events in which the village frequently dances from dusk until dawn. Many people join in, so there is usually a lot of call and response with people singing in answer to the drums or other percussive instruments. These events are about celebrating together, as a tribe, a clan, a village. (read whole article)
a few impressions of the JAMAFEST 2013 (Mo.11.February – So. 17. February 2013)
Photo: Full escort by police and MTN bikers (newsofrwanda)
Photo: Burundians perform at the carnival dance fiesta in Kigali (newsofrwanda.com)
Photo: Tanzanian cultural group went wild and thrilled on viewers in style (newsofrwanda)
More info: JAMAFEST
Experts on water and sanitation have asked African governments to get more committed on issues of water if the continent is to meet the Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015.
Minister Stanislas Kamanzi (R) greets the Secretary General, African Water Association, Sylvain Usher, as Elphas Were, from Kenya, looks on at the Young Water Professionals forum yesterday. The New Times/ John Mbanda
The call was made at the start of the second East African Young Water Professionals forum that kicked off in Kigali yesterday. According to water professionals, forecasts for the water situation in Africa are still quite distasteful. The conference has brought together participants from 20 African countries across the globe.
Experts say many African nations will fail to achieve the Millennium Development Goal’s target to reduce by half the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water by 2015, and that many more will miss the sanitation target.
According to Nelson Gomonda from Action Aid, Africa loses five per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to poor coverage of water and sanitation, two per cent to power outages, between five to twenty five to droughts and floods in affected countries, and a further five per cent to the future impact of climate change.
“In Africa where young people are over 50 percent of the population, only seven per cent of hydropower has been developed.
Africa’s agricultural water management is woefully deficient, with a food import bill of over US$17 billion,” Gomonda noted.
Stanislas Kamanzi, the Minister of Natural Resources, while officiating at the opening of the forum, noted that there is need to forge strong political will, supported at all levels of decentralisation.
“Translating national policies and strategies into results on the ground is critical to improving access. However, these gains are only possible at the national level if the political leadership actively supports and drives progress towards the targets,” Kamanzi explained
He added that in Rwanda, this support has come from the very top. The President identified sanitation as a key approach to reducing poverty under national poverty reduction strategies and other policies.
Kamanzi said the meeting is an opportunity to discuss various aspects of water including integrated water resource management, innovations in appropriate technology, Water governance and financing, youth empowerment and gender, climate change, sanitation and hygiene.
“Water scarcity is one of the leading problems affecting more than 1.1 billion people globally. The struggle for access to clean drinking water in Africa contributes daily to the stalling and reversal of human progress on the continent,” said one of the participants.
The Young Water Professionals is a forum comprised of water professionals and students below the age of 35 and the main focus of the YWP is to engage the youth in the water sector to prepare them to become the future leaders of the water sector.
The theme of the three-day conference is focusing on “Water for the future: A contribution of the Youth”. It brings together the East African young water professionals, senior water professionals and other various stakeholders to support the continuous development of a workforce adequate in size, capable in skills and strong in leadership to make a valuable contribution in addressing the issue of water for the present and the future.
Source: EVALINE NAMUWAYA, 11 DECEMBER 2012, The New Times
HER last tweet says it all. It is a short tweet but packed with a compelling message that brings out the values she so cherished in her life that was cut short at the age of 48.
She had a special passion for the wellbeing of children and family values; perhaps this explains why she began and ended her government career as minister of gender and family planning.
“We are committed to seeing all Rwanda’s children grow up in loving, caring families and not in institutions,” Aloisea Inyumba, then Minister of Gender and Family Promotion in the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted on May 4.
But no one knew that was to be her last tweet. Certainly not herself either. Yesterday, the nation was saddened by the news of her death. The soft-spoken but charismatic Inyumba returned to cabinet in May last year in the same position she held in the first post-Genocide cabinet.
She had spent nearly seven years as a senator. Prior to that, she had served as the executive secretary of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission and prefet (governor) of the then Kigali Ngali prefecture.
A documentation of her life shows that public issues were so close to the fallen minister’s heart, particularly children and family.
She had a family and children of her own, but proudly shouldered the unenviable responsibility to help save Rwanda’s family values from being extinct in the face of globalisation.
And she had the strategy. One of them was to encourage Rwandan families to get children out of orphanages and raise them as their own, a bold move that has already resulted in some orphanages closing, with the former occupants now in foster homes.
But she also sought to come up with what she described in another of her tweets as “an economic security programme for families, including access to finance, and new technologies”.
Inyumba’s story is synonymous with Rwanda’s rebirth and healing since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
But many of her friends recall a young Inyumba who abandoned the opportunity of a good job as a young graduate from Makerere University in Uganda to dedicate her life to the liberation struggle that brought the Rwanda Patriotic Front to power and ended the Genocide.
During the liberation struggle (1990-94), she was entrusted with the movement’s finances and was a community mobiliser who worked selflessly for the liberation cause.
Inquiries about her death began to spread on social networking sites Twitter and Facebook yesterday morning. Many Rwandans and friends paid a glowing tribute to the mother of two, describing her death as a great loss to the nation.
President Paul Kagame tweeted, “What a great loss in the passing away of A. Inyumba for RPF, nation and all of us at a personal level!!? Among the best of RPF & national leaders!”
And Rwanda’s High Commissioner to the UK, Ernest Rwamucyo, echoed similar sentiment on Twitter, “Inyumba was a truly dedicated, committed and selfless patriot. Rwanda, RPF have lost a leader, a patriot a mother to her family. RIP Inyumba.”
The UNICEF Representative to Rwanda, Noala Skinner, described her as “a friend, an inspiration and full of dignity and a true activist for women & children.”
Several former colleagues also spoke fondly of her.
“She was selfless, loving and caring, positive and active in promoting the RPF spirit, goals and principles in her different assignments. At a tender age, she made a clear choice and has since never turned back from the ultimate goal,” Rwanda’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Vincent Karega, eulogised the late Inyumba.
During her various responsibilities, she inspired many along the way.
“She inspired me very much as an RPF role model cadre when I was her staff at Migeprofe (Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion) and after. Inyumba is a big loss to many of us in RPF. She was a humble but steady freedom fighter, a committed cadre living by the patriotic principles,” Karega, also a former cabinet minister, said.
He added, “She was much known to the World from her duty as an extraordinary minister of gender full of passion and focus for change. Inyumba shall always be remembered in Rwanda and beyond as a true revolutionary and an extraordinary daughter of our continent Africa.”
Indeed Inyumba’s outstanding contribution to society won her recognition not just at home, but also abroad.
Earlier this year, she was named among the three recipients of the inaugural ‘Women have Wings Courage Award’ – the others being women activists Virisila Buadromo from Fiji and Chi Yvonne Leina from Cameroon.
The award is reserved for outstanding women from around the world living the courageous spirit of Amelia Earhart, the first pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and was the first woman to receive the US Distinguished Flying Cross.
Inyumba was recognised for the “courageous strides she made to further the rights of all people in her country. ‘The Women have Wings’ team was impressed by Hon. Inyumba’s courage and determination to promote peace in her country. Her political work shines a light on the importance of women in government positions. The US has much to learn from Rwanda in this regard,” the Women have Wings team wrote.
From 1994-99, Inyumba served as the first Minister of Gender and Social Affairs in the post-Genocide Rwanda, and was instrumental in the immediate management of post-Genocide trauma and hopelessness.
During that period, she oversaw the burial of Genocide victims, the resettlement of returnees, actively promoted truth-telling and reconciliation, and spearheaded a national adoption campaign to place Genocide orphans in homes.
From 1999 to 2001, Inyumba served as Executive Secretary of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, during which time she played a key role in encouraging truth-telling and reconciliation as the country moved from transition to the development phase.
Later, she was appointed the prefet (governor) of the Kigali Ngali province before joining the country’s inaugural Senate in 2004.
Inyumba is credited for using her strong understanding of grassroots affairs to mobilise community-based organisations, the civil society and others to pull towards the general wellbeing of the people, particularly women and children.
In several interviews, she spoke highly of the Rwandan people and predicted a great future inspired by the people themselves. She always talked about the need to come to terms with the country’s difficult past and to build a better country.
In one interview in 2001, she said, “It’s a choice between life and death; the people of Rwanda have made a choice of living… We are looking into the future and the coming generation, not to be stuck in genocide; this does not mean that we forget, but it gives us a more kind of challenging life; what kind of life are you going to lead to ensure that the future is better and just for everybody, and that’s really where we get the inspiration from.”
As someone who twice served as the minister of gender, Inyumba was passionate about women empowerment and participation in leadership.
In 2010, she said, “I’m who I’m because of that background that I acquired with women at the grassroots, before I became a minister I was involved with mobilisation of resources with the communities; actually if you look at women in leadership positions today in Rwanda they came from the women NGOs, from the community-based organisations, they are people who were very much involved with the civil society, and today they are the ones who are providing the leadership.”
“What’s important is to stick to our principles; be honest, be active, be articulate… women at the grassroots are the force, this is a positive force; they need to be strong and need to know that they are the ones who made us who we are, we are products of the grassroots women”.
Inyumba was also a strong believer in family as the foundation of nation.
And it is these values that she stood for that will define her legacy.
She attended Rwamurunga Primary School in Nshungerezi before heading to Mary Hill Girls High School in Mbarara district, Uganda.
She later joined Makerere University in Kampala where she graduated with an Honors Degree in Social Work and Social Administration. Inyumba also held a Masters in International Relations from the Irish American University and the Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy.
She was also awarded an honorary doctorate from La Roche College in the United States.
And with the RPF members gearing for the party’s silver jubilee on December 20, there is no doubt that Aloisea Inyumba will greatly be missed on that day and so many years to come.
She is survived by a husband and two children aged 15 (girl) and 10 (boy).
May her soul rest in peace.
Source: JAMES MUNYANEZA, 7 DECEMBER 2012 for THE NEW TIMES
The police fire brigade was by 10 am on Saturday still trying to contain a fire that razed the New Cadillac Nightclub and Restaurant. According to Peter Bitana, a security guard at the now destroyed facility, the fire started in the early hours of Saturday at 2 am.
The cadillac Club. Photo: kigalikonnect.com
Bitana said the fire originated from the club’s kitchen, which was closed since all cooking activities were done. “We were around as usual the suddenly we saw a fire in the kitchen area that quickly spread to other parts of the club through the roof,” Bitana told The Rwanda Focus.
The kitchen, restaurant, conference room and VIP side of the straw-thatched structure were all completely destroyed. No casualties were reported, according to the Rwanda National Police spokesperson. He could not, however, estimate the extent of the damage.
“Our investigators are on ground and investigations are still ongoing to get the real cause of the incident and the extent of the damages,” he told The Rwanda Focus on Saturday.
He blamed the quick spread of the fire to the straw and wooden roof, and warned nightclub owners as well as those of other buildings to respect the city’s guidelines on construction in order to avoid such fires in future. “They should also have fire fighting equipment like extinguishers on hand,” he advised.
Workers at the club and restaurant located at the roundabout of the road towards Kimihurura and the one towards Nyabugogo were by Saturday morning seen trying to look through the rubble for any valuable items to salvage.
Efforts to reach the club’s management were futile since they were locked up in meetings with the police.
In August, Downtown Café and Restaurant based in the city center was also seriously damaged in a fire. It has since reopened.
Source: ERIC DIDIER KARINGANIRE, 17 NOVEMBER 2012, Thr Rwanda Focus, allAfrica.com
The 75-minute movie in Kinyarwanda was produced by Trésor Senga, director of The Rwandan Eagles GRP film Production Company, with technical support from Almond Tree Films Rwanda.
Hundreds of youth and adults, as well as students from various schools attended its premiere two weeks ago at Serena Hotel in Kigali.
Speaking at the launch, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and ICT, Rosemary Mbabazi, commended the producer of the movie, noting that it would help the youth realise the dangers of drug abuse.
“With this film, we realise that Rwandan youth have solutions to the problem eating up our society and we shall support them so that they can educate others about the effects of using drugs,” said Mbabazi.
The “Chora Chora” movie shows how the young generation gradually starts engaging in the use of drugs at an early age at school.
It shows that although some youth may forcefully be influenced, others do it willingly and end up dropping out of school and becoming drug dealers.
Rudoviko is an 18 year-old, an angel, who leaves his country village to study in a city of drugs consumption and trafficking.
In order to get money to cover some teenagers’ needs, he finds himself involved in this drugs circuit to which the local Police doesn’t hesitate to put an end.
The film pictures Rudoviko’s step by step confrontation with the world of drugs. And even when he ends up regretting and getting rid of all drugs, he can’t escape the Police’s black list.
Sources: allAfrica.com, igihe.com
Renewed heavy fighting in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) North Kivu Province has pushed some 3,000 Congolese refugees into northern Rwanda where they are in need of humanitarian assistance
KIGALI, 4 May 2012 (IRIN)
“The situation is worsening since humanitarian volunteers are now overwhelmed by the influx of Congolese refugees who are arriving in Rwanda,” Neimah Warsame, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) representative in Rwanda, told reporters on 3 May.
According to Warsame, the refugee influx into the Nkamira transit camp, in the northwest, has prompted a multi-agency relief effort.
In a press release, the Rwandan Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs said that local administrative leaders, in collaboration with humanitarian volunteers, are screening the refugees arriving at Nkamira.
The refugees are fleeing fighting between the DRC army and troops loyal to the former Congrès national pour la défense du peuple (CNDP) militia leader Gen. Bosco Ntaganda.
In a 3 May statement, the UN Security Council expressed serious concern over the recent attacks by armed groups in eastern DRC – in particular former elements of the CNDP under the leadership of Ntaganda – against the Congolese armed forces, and called for an immediate end to the rebellion.
The Council also expressed concern over the worsening security and humanitarian situation in the area, especially the increasing number of displaced persons and the outflow of refugees into neighbouring countries. It called “for all crimes, including crimes against women and children, to be expeditiously investigated and the need for all perpetrators of those crimes, in particular Ntaganda, to be brought to justice.”
Ntaganda has been indicted by the UN International Criminal Court for war crimes in the northeastern Ituri region by the Union des patriotes congolais (UPC) militia whose former leader, Thomas Lubanga, was on 14 March found guilty of conscripting child soldiers by the Court. Ntaganda was Lubanga’s successor at the UPC.
At present, Rwanda is hosting some 53, 000 Congolese refugees and asylum seekers in camps in the Gihembe, Kiziba and Nyabiheke areas in the north and western regions.
“Most of those Congolese refugees have fled previous fighting in their country since 1996,” said Warsame.
After 6 successful editions, the Growing SMEs was held in Kigali, Rwanda, on the 17th and 18th of May 2012.
This unique platform brought together entrepreneurs, investors, leaders and experts to explore and activate the SME sector development in Africa and beyond. More than 400 participants joined to CONNECT with local and international networks of entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders, EXCHANGE expertise, best practices and lessons learned, and accelerate INVESTMENT in high-growth SMEs.
The conference was opened by Rwanda’s T Minister of Trade and Industry, Francois Kanimba, and was attended by over 36 speakers from all over the world –who are expected to present at the conference launched under the theme: “Connect, Exchange & Invest”
Minister Kanimba wooed the participants to invest Rwanda saying that the country is a favorable destination for doing business recognized by World Bank and other international agencies especially due to its restored stability in the region and implementing of comprehensive governance reform agenda including; zero tolerance to corruption.
The conference is also expected to answer issues such as: the role play by of government to make SMEs competitive in Export markets, comparative advantages of SMEs, alleviation of their comparative disadvantages, best practices and how can we learn from the best players.
‘Growing SMEs’ is a premium international conference geared towards SME growth. The conference brings together high growth entrepreneurs and experts in the topics of developing, growing and financing SMEs. Its aim is to facilitate knowledge exchange, networking and learning, hence further paving the way for advanced SME development and therefore economic growth.
The conference was organized by BiD NETWORK, in conjunction with JCI-Rwanda and the Rwanda Development Board (RDB).
written by Alex Duval Smith, Capetown, Tuesday 13.12.2011
Pro-democracy activists fear that Rwandan strongman plans to extend his term in office
Rwandans campaigning for democracy in their country yesterday said that they were “chilled to the bone” by a signal sent by the strong-arm President Paul Kagame that he intends to extend his term in power.
An independent analyst went further, saying that comments made by Mr Kagame yesterday during a visit to neighbouring Uganda could destabilise the Great Lakes region by leaving no option open to the Rwandan opposition other than to take up arms.
Mr Kagame has been in power since the end of the Rwandan genocide in 1994. For a long time he enjoyed wide international support as a result of Western guilt over its failure to prevent the killing of hundreds of thousands of Tutsis. In a legacy of Tony Blair’s era, Britain remains one of the leading advocates of Mr Kagame’s regime. But amid growing claims – strenuously denied – that Mr Kagame’s supporters are ordering political assassinations, human-rights activists increasingly denounce his regime.
Speaking at a press conference in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, he contradicted previous categorical assurances that he would step down at the end of his constitutional two terms in office. His comments came after Rwanda’s Internal Security Minister Sheikh Fazil Musa Harerimana was quoted calling for the constitution to be changed so that the President could run again.
Mr Kagame claimed anyone asking for him to run again was exercising their freedom of expression. Reuters reported that he said: “I will not be uncomfortable at all with people saying this or the other. There’s contradiction, on one hand you say people should have freedom to express themselves. On the other hand, you start questioning somebody expressing himself.”
Mr Kagame, who led the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) to victory in the rebel war linked to the genocide, was re-elected last year. His main opponent, Victoire Ingabire, remains in jail after she was prevented from running in the election.
The next elections are not due until 2017. Analyst Paul-Simon Handy said Mr Kagame’s early move to reveal his intentions suggests deep internal divisions in the ruling RPF.
Mr Handy, a Cameroonian who is head of research at the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, South Africa, said: “The fact that Kagame is openly floating the idea of changing the constitution is extremely dangerous. It marks a radical switch in his tactics. He has always previously said that Rwanda is a constitutional country and that he will abide by the constitution. Given the level of repression in Rwanda, the opposition will consider taking up arms to be their only option.”
Joseph Matata, a human-rights activist, said from Brussels, he was “chilled to the bone” by the prospect of Mr Kagame remaining in power and the potential bloodshed that could result from such a move. “Kagame faces being arrested for war crimes carried out in Eastern Congo (where Rwanda supports rebel groups guarding mineral deposits) and he knows that international judges will not touch him as long as he is President,” Mr Matata, who leads the Centre Opposed to Impunity and Injustice in Rwanda, said.
The opposition Parti Social Imberakuri’s co-ordinator in Brussels, Jean-Baptiste Ryumugabe, said: “We are not surprised that the call for a third term has come through the Internal Security Minister. Kagame always floats his ideas through his close collaborators.”
Mr Ryumugabe denied the opposition would take up arms. “As democrats we believe in peaceful means,” he said.
Human-rights activists have in recent months denounced an apparent rise in the number of attempts on the lives of Mr Kagame’s critics. The most recent was the journalist Charles Ingabire, who was shot dead on 1 December at a bar in Kampala.
Mr Kagame said that Mr Ingabire was a thief who was killed because he stole from an association of genocide survivors.
Interviewed by Khaya Dlanga, a YouTube partner and one of South Africa’s leading video bloggers, President Paul Kagame answers a range of the most popular questions submitted by YouTube users.
This is the first YouTube World View interview with an African leader, Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
World View is a project launched by YouTube, where a series of monthly interviews with the world’s foremost leaders are uploaded. The idea is that YouTube users ask the questions. The top-rated questions will then be asked in the exclusive interviews.