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Today — July 20th 2018IGIHE.com English Version

Rwanda becomes shareholder of Pan African infrastructure platform

By John Mbaraga

Representing the Government of Rwanda at the third general shareholders meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, the Permanent Secretary and Secretary to Treasury in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Caleb Rwamuganza noted that Africa50 provides Rwanda with a unique opportunity to pursue to key infrastructure projects.

“We have several infrastructure projects in the pipeline that we hope to realize in the near future. Joining Africa50 simply takes us another step closer to that objective,” Rwamuganza said after signing a shareholder agreement on behalf of Rwanda.

Africa50's primary target sectors are transport and power, which represent almost 70% of projected infrastructure investment needs between now and 2025, and have a significant economic and transformative impact.

“More than ever, Africa50 is in a position to deliver its mandate. In just two years of operation, Africa50 has brought together key players from Africa's public and private sectors and the broader Pan-African and international development finance community,” the platform Chief Executive Officer, Alain Ebobiss said.

Africa50 supports commercially sustainable projects through increasing the number of investment-ready, infrastructure projects and provide financing at earlier stages of projects.

It also provides primarily equity and quasi equity with flexible exit options, while accessing preferential debt from the Africa Development Bank and development finance institutions.

The third general shareholders meeting was graced by President Uhuru Kenyatta and was attended by African ministers, senior government officials representing Africa50's shareholder countries, as well as distinguished business leaders in Africa and beyond.

Africa50's investor base is currently composed of 28 African countries, the African Development Bank, the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), and Bank Al-Maghrib, with over US$800 million in committed capital.

The Permanent Secretary and Secretary to Treasury in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Caleb Rwamuganza

IGIHE

Senate summons Prime Minister over water access hurdles

By John Mbaraga

The government targets 100% access to clean water by 2024. However, the report presented yesterday expressed concerns over strategies being implemented to achieve the target.

Senators visited all districts across the country and consulted different institutions including the State Minister in charge Water and Energy in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC) officials and the Ministry of Local Governance.

According to the committee chairperson , Jacqueline Muhongayire, the report identifies many queries in the water distribution process.

“Water distribution process has many challenges including wrong statistics, poor operational and management of water supply system as well as poor collaboration between district officials and contractors in charge of water distribution and maintenance,” she explained.

Among others, Muhongayire said that contracts between contractors and district officials are poorly implemented.

The report indicates that District Water Boards do not effectively implement their responsibilities. In all districts, the government rain water harvesting programme is not efficiently implemented.

Senators expressed concerns in district water distribution plan and lack of water accessibility research. It was concluded that water access challenges need immediate redress.

The commission observed that 100 per cent access to clean water by 2024 may not be achieved if there are no clear measures to address the prevalent challenges, which is why Prime Minister should explain the way forward.

Currently, clean water access is 84.8 percent from 74.2 percent in 2010. Under the seven-year government programme, it is targeted to reach 100 per cent.

Prime Minister, Dr. Edouard Ngirente has been summoned by Senate of water hurdles

IGIHE

No better way to continue liberation than combining efforts—Kagame

By John Mbaraga

Kagame was speaking yesterday at a State Banquet hosted in honour of visiting Mozambican President, Filipe Nyusi.

Nyusi arrived in Rwanda yesterday for a three-day state visit on the invitation of President Paul Kagame.

Kagame said that the two countries have a similar liberation trajectory, as well as a common vision for African integration.

“Our countries have earned the freedom to chart our own course. It came at a heavy price as we know, as well. Our responsibility has been to continue the struggle for the prosperity, security, and dignity of our citizens. We are counting on the next generation to sustain these gains and expand upon them,” Kagame shared.

He said that shared work to make the African Union more effective and relevant is part of the struggle.

“As signatories of the African Continental Free Trade Area, we look forward to trading much more with each other around our continent,” he added.

Rwanda and Mozambique teams have been working together this week to strengthen bilateral cooperation in priority areas.

“There is no better way to continue our liberation journey than to combine our respective strengths and capabilities and transform the lives of our people,” Kagame noted.

The Head of State revealed that Rwanda seeks to open an embassy in Mozambique which is expected at strengthening cooperation.

“In fact, a little earlier I informed the President that we are looking at opening an embassy in Maputo very soon. This will help carry on with the work of strengthening our cooperation,” he added.

Kagame hosted visiting President, Nyusi at a State Banquet

IGIHE

Rwanda welcomes intimate monthly outdoor screening

By IGIHE

This nascent project trading under Outdoor Movie is led by a team of two enterprising ladies; Kobusingye Bonitah and Mwiza Gasangwa Denise. The very first Outdoor Movie screening took place at Caiman Restaurant in May 2018 with a huge turn up of about 300 people where scrumptious dishes were as well served.

Speaking to IGIHE, Kobusingye said that the two women conceived the idea at a time they were longing for a spark in the routine. She further added that they seized the opportunity because they wished to contribute to the Rwandan entertainment menu by diversifying the events.

"We want to take entertainment to a new level with a diversity of all-time classic films enjoyed under the stars in a unique setting. We will have vendors selling snacks, soft drinks and alcohol at the movie showing venues. We really do want the public to enjoy their time", Kobusingye gushed

Burgers, chip twisters, cold drinks, popcorn, candy floss and other snacks will be for sale. The movie which is yet to be announced by the organizers, will start at 6Pm and end at 8:30pm.

“This project also aims at educating and inspiring through the art of films. There will be screenings each last Saturday of each month and we hope to receive all your support!” She added

Pack your picnic blanket and chairs and take along a cooler box with drinks and snacks and head to Caiman Restaurant for the screening of a family friendly classic. No glass or forks are allowed at the venue, although wine bottles are permitted.

For more direct information contact the numbers on the poster and follow this interesting initiative on their social media platforms @OutdoorMovie_kgl

Treat the family to a special night of reminiscing to old classic movies in a cozy outdoor screening
The very first Outdoor Movie screening took place at Caiman Restaurant in May 2018 with a huge turn up of about 300 people where scrumptious dishes were as well served

IGIHE

World Bank appoints new EAC, Eritrea country director

By John Mbaraga

In a statement, Thursday, the World Bank says that under Jaramillo's leadership, the World Bank will continue supporting inclusive growth and poverty reduction through a wide array of financial products and technical assistance.

Mr. Jaramillo will be overseeing an operational portfolio of over 80 projects representing a total investment of more than US$12 billion to help countries share and apply innovative knowledge and solutions to the challenges they face.

In Rwanda, the focus will be on supporting the Government in the implementation of the National Strategy for Transformation. Jaramillo will oversee the development of a World Bank Group Country Partnership Strategy that will focus on accelerating economic growth that is private-sector driven and job creating; improving productivity and incomes of the poor through rural development and social protection and supporting accountable Governance through public financial management and decentralization.

Mr. Jaramillo is the outgoing Director of the World Bank Group's Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice (MTI) where he led a global team of over 450 economists.

Since joining the World Bank, in 2002, he has also served two terms as Country Director in the Latin America and Caribbean Region.

Before joining the World Bank, Mr. Jaramillo served in the public service of the Government of Colombia, holding offices in the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank and the Ministry of Trade.

He holds a Ph. D. in Development Economics from Stanford University. Jaramillo succeeds Ms. Diarietou Gaye, who has been appointed as the World Bank's Director of Strategy and Operations for the Africa Region.

Felipe Jaramillo

IGIHE

Yesterday — July 19th 2018IGIHE.com English Version

Indian Prime Minister's visit set next week—GoR

By John Mbaraga

According to a statement from the Office of the Government Spokesperson, issued 19th July, Modi will have a two-day working visit starting from July 23rd to 24th.

Between today 19th to 24th, Rwanda hosts leaders of Mozambique, China and India on successive state visits.

Meanwhile, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi arrived in Rwanda, Thursday and welcomed by President Paul Kagame.

Nyusi is in the country for a tree-day state visit.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, will be in Rwanda from July 22nd to 23rd, this marks the first visit by a Chinese leader to Rwanda.

A statement says that the visits will facilitate to expand trade and investment opportunities.

“These important events will serve to celebrate and deepen the close ties that exist between Rwanda and these three friendly nations. Each leader will also be accompanied by a significant private sector delegation. Expanding trade and investment will therefore be a particular focus, notably in the areas of infrastructure, mining, agriculture and information technology,” reads a statement.

Discussions will also touch upon continental matters in the context of the African Union, which President Kagame currently chairs. China and India are among Africa's most important and fast-growing economic partners.

IGIHE

Six professional court bailiffs dismissed over misconduct

By John Mbaraga

In a statement, the Minister announced that those dismissed will not be admitted in any other justice sector-related job.

“Through Ministerial Order N◦136/MOJ/AG/2018 of 18/07/2018, the Ministry of Justice has permanently dismissed six Professional Bailiffs for serious professional misconduct. The Dismissal means that they can't get admitted to any other profession in the Rwandan Justice sector permanently,” a statement reads.

Dismissed are Febronie Ayinkamiye, Epimaque Mutesa, Juvenal Nyirimbibi, Alexis Mutunzi, Roger David Sebahire and Michel Muhire.

Article 43 of the Law N° 12/2013 of 22/03/2013 governing the Bailiff Function in Rwanda states that when court bailiffs fail to accomplish their responsibilities they are verbally warned followed with a written warning, temporary suspension for a period from one month to six months and dismissal from the profession.

Article 46 says that reasons for the temporary suspension or dismissal of a professional bailiff are unlawful auction of the seized property, getting involved in corruption, embezzling the seized property or anything offered as a bribe.

The article says that a court bailiff will be dismissed from job when sentenced to a term of imprisonment equal to or exceeding six months, serious professional mistakes due to misconduct, accessing fraudulently to the profession of bailiff and being characterized by discrimination while exercising his/her duties.

Busingye fired six professional bailiffs over misconducts

IGIHE

Kagame receives Mozambican President Nyusi

By John Mbaraga

The visit aims at strengthening bilateral ties between both countries.

Arriving at Kigali International Airport, Nyusi was welcomed by the Head of State along other senior government officials.

As part of the visit, Nyusi will tour Kigali Special Economic Zone before being hosted to a state banquet.

Nyusi will also visit Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre in Gisozi to pay tribute to the victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi laid to rest there.

He will also visit King's Palace Museum in Nyanza District of Southern Province and ‘La Corniche One Stop Border Post' in Rubavu District of Western Province.

President Nyusi will conclude his three-day visit on 21st .

Rwanda will, in the same week, receive President Xi Jinping of China on July 22nd and 23rd.

Kagame receives Nyusi at Kigali International Airport

IGIHE

Ngirente rallies COMESA members on digital economic integration

By John Mbaraga

Ngirente was speaking yesterday in Lusaka, Zambia at the opening of the 20th COMESA Heads of State and Government Summit.

The summit was organized under the theme ‘Towards Digital Economic Integration'.

He said that the Government of Rwanda values the role of COMESA in expanding market integration for its members, and remains committed to organisation's vision.

Ngirente said that the summit's discussions and recommendations will contribute to achieving the organisation's mission of providing technical services and to facilitate the region's sustained development through economic integration.

“To make COMESA's digital economic integration achievable and meaningful to our people, additional efforts, resources and closer collaboration are needed. Rwanda stands ready to play our part, working together with member states, to make this dream of COMESA digital economy a reality,” he noted.

He said that through Rwanda's National Strategy for Transformation 2017/2024, Digital Economic Integration is one of the top priorities.

According to Ngirente, Rwanda is working to apply digital solutions to improving service delivery in both public and private sectors.

The Head of Government insisted that integrating digital technologies will add value to ongoing efforts of COMESA member states to grow and diversify their economies, enhance business climate and attract more trade and investment.

Ngirente speaks at the opening of the 20th COMESA Heads of State and Government Summit in Lusaka, Zambia.

IGIHE

Mozambican President Nyusi arrives in Kigali today

By John Mbaraga

According to Mozambican media, Nyusi's visit was approved by Mozambican parliament.

The visit starting from July 19th to 21st is aimed at advancing bilateral ties, increasing political mutual trust and expanding substantial cooperation.

Nyusi's visit follows that of President Paul Kagame in Mozambique in October 2016.

During the visit in 2016, the two Heads of States held bilateral talks and signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the areas of political consultations between the two countries.

In Mozambique, Kagame also visited the National Assembly of Mozambique where he held courtesy talks with Veronica Macamo Blhovo, the assembly President.

He also visited the Mozambique Memorial Heroes square dedicated to the heroic figures of the Mozambican War of Independence.

The President of Mozambique, Fillipe Nyusi

IGIHE

KCC 19TH JULY

By Mutoni Yvonne

Kagame restructures RDF's Intelligence department

By John Mbaraga

In a statement from the Ministry of Defence, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Nyamvumba was promoted and appointed the department head.

“Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Nyamvumba has been promoted to the rank of Colonel and appointed the Chief of Defence Intelligence,” a statement reads.

Nyamvumba had been the Head of Strategy and Policy in the Office of the President.

IGIHE

Before yesterdayIGIHE.com English Version

Xi Jinping visit: Rwanda, China to sign diplomatic visa waive agreement

By IGIHE

A Chinese president will visit Rwanda for the first time since the creation of relations between both countries 47 years ago.

Nduhungirehe was in China early this month as part of the visit preparations.

Speaking to IGIHE on Wednesday, Nduhungirehe said that many projects, mostly infrastructure related are being assessed so that they select those for which support will translate into signing agreements.

“They include road construction projects, Masaka Hospital expansion and tourism projects among others. Both parties are still under discussions. We shall identify those to sign,” he explained.

“Among expected agreements to be signed is the removal of visas to people possessing diplomatic and service passports for facilitating people-to-people exchanges between Rwandans and Chinese,” he added.

China finances many projects in Rwanda including the ongoing construction of multi-million ministerial complex that will house the Office of the Prime Minister among other ministries and parastatals.

He said that Rwanda-China relations have been existing for 47 years.

Jinping two-day state visit in Rwanda will start on July 22nd to 23rd. He will also visit Senegal, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Mauritius.

IGIHE

Cyber-crimes pose threat to national security—Busingye

By IGIHE

Busingye was speaking yesterday in Kigali while launching a two-day workshop on forensic evidence, cybercrimes, electronic evidence and data protection.

The workshop was organized by Rwanda Bar Association and East Africa Law Society in partnership with Rwanda Investigation Bureau, Rwanda National Police, National Public Prosecution Authority and the Ministry of Justice.

It was organized to address challenges currently faced by lawyers, prosecutors, investigators and judicial officials among other justice players.

Speaking at the workshop, Busingye said that the rise of internet technology has increased cyber-crimes.

“The rise of internet technology and digitization of vast sectors of human activity have brought to the fore unprecedented challenges; a rise in cybercrime with its attendant difficulties in identifying perpetrators. The ability of men to hide heinous crimes behind layers of the dark web and the use of computer technology to aid complex financial crimes are all challenges that we must all strive to find solutions to,” he said.
Every year, Busingye said, African governments and businesses lose substantial economic resources to digital fraud. He said they are done through flawed technologies in procurement, falsification of digital data and concealment of pertinent information through technology.

“Financial institutions have witnessed rising cases of bank accounts being hacked into and substantial resources transferred away into unknown addresses using internet technology,” he said.

Busingye noted that governments continue to suffer from sabotage and theft of crucial and highly-classified information by criminal elements intent on achieving a variety of criminal objectives.

"Increased cyber-attacks on our security establishments and economic institutions pose a direct threat to our national security and to our collective existence,” he noted.
He went on to explain that use of social media to promote human development has brought the challenge of cyber-bullies and identity thieves. He said, the challenges pose some of the greatest threats to human enjoyment of the use of technology.

“Drug trafficking, illegal arms trade and human trafficking are now comfortably operated by criminals by a mere click of a mouse. Computers have made identification, investigation and prosecution of crimes a very difficult process,” he added.

“Cellphones, laptops, iphones, CCTV cameras and portable recorders have all become crucial tools in the administration of justice. Without understanding how best to make use of these tools, due process will continue to face hiccups,” he cautioned.
He warned that inattention to different factors sometimes leads to miscarriage of justice, with the possibility that criminals go scott-free for failure by investigators to secure unassailable evidence.

IGIHE

Call for collective efforts to end mal-nutrition

By John Mbaraga

Mureshyankwano was speaking yesterday in Huye District at an event to link local officials and partners working in fight against malnutrition and stunting programmes.

The event was organized by an umbrella of Civil Society Organisations in Rwanda, Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Alliance whose vision is to promote sensitive and specific nutrition actions.

Speaking at the event, Governor Mureshyankwano urged the organisations and officials on collective efforts as the possible way towards attaining their goals.

“It happens that people start activity together but end up implementing separately. Partners in nutrition and local officials should work collectively starting from planning phase, setting targets, implementation process as well as time frame,” she urged.

SUN Alliance coordinator, Venuste Muhamyankaka said that they want to conduct shared plan for them to be able to eradicate malnutrition and stunting in Rwanda.

“We chose to link local authorities and actors to be able to find out where those cases take place in districts, sectors and villages for us to be able to organise a shared plan leading to a well-nourished child,” he said.

World Food Programme's 2015 research indicates that in Rwanda 38% children were stunted urging that stunting maximum rates should not go above 20%.

Mureshyankwano urged local leaders and partners to combine efforts in fighting against malnutrition

IGIHE

BRD recovers over Rwf5 billion from govt sponsored students

By John Mbaraga

In October 2016, BRD and the Ministry of Education signed a Memorandum of Understanding allowing the bank to pay tuition and living allowances to university students, recovering the same beneficiaries graduate and get employment.

Speaking to the media yesterday in Kigali, BRD Chief Executive Officer, Eric Rutabana much as there is a big amount of money which is yet to be recovered, efforts have been invested in the recovery process.

The bank says that a total of Rwf80 billion has been distributed through scholarship programme and benefited over 70,000 students.

However, BRD took over the responsibilities after Rwf12 billion had been recovered.

“From 2016 to todate, we have recovered Rwf5.1 billion. Of the Rwf80 billion which was disbursed, a total of Rwf17 billion was recovered,” he explained.

He said that BRD faces challenges of graduates who do not get employment and delay recovering process.

Beneficiaries pay 8 percent of monthly salary.

BRD's Head of Recovery Unit, Claudine Matata said that they have got the list of beneficiaries and are still tracking where they work from.

She encouraged beneficiaries who have got employment to start paying before they face legal fines.

“They should also come forward and facilitate us during the recovering process, if they ought to reimburse certain amount of money, they should start doing so. If they don't, fines will be applied as determined by the law,” she added.

Currently, BRD pay scholarship fees for 28,500 students studying in the country and 365 studying abroad.

BRD Chief Executive Officer, Eric Rutabana speaks at the event yesterday

IGIHE

Telecom Egypt, Liquid Telecom enables completion of Fibre network from Cape to Cairo Abuja

By IGIHE

Under the MoU, Liquid Telecom will link its network from Sudan into Telecom Egypt's network via a new cross border interconnection – bringing together a 60,000km network that runs from Cape Town, through all the Southern, Central, and Eastern African countries, and has now reached the border between Sudan and Egypt. The Cape to Cairo network - often referred to as “the One Africa” broadband network - has been in the making for over ten years and serves some of the largest global companies with some of the fastest network speeds on the continent.

“Completing our vision of building a single network running on land, all the way from Cape to Cairo is a historic moment for the company and for a more connected Africa. This network not only represents a remarkable engineering achievement that has overcome some of the most challenging distances and terrains on the continent, but it is also supporting the rise of Africa's digital economies,” said Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet.

Mr Masiyiwa also observed that: “Wherever the One Africa network has been completed we have seen dramatic increase of data traffic between nations connected to it. We expect to see a lot of traffic between Egypt and the rest of Africa. Where there is improved communications, improved trade follows as well. We need to see more trade between African countries.”

As part of the strategic partnership, Liquid Telecom and Telecom Egypt will share network infrastructure and explore further areas of collaboration, including joint network services, a peering arrangement and a voice interconnection agreement.
Telecom Egypt, which has served Egyptian customers for over 160 years, will offer Liquid Telecom unrivalled reach through interconnection services, while Egypt Telecom's customers will benefit from access to Liquid Telecom's pan-African fibre network

“This MoU is a great step in our strategy to penetrate the African market and avail Telecom Egypt's most advanced technology and global infrastructure services to customers across Africa. We look forward to working alongside Liquid Telecom to develop new network services and products that will help stimulate intra-regional trade,” said Ahmed El Beheiry, Telecom Egypt's Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.

The 2018 Annual Meetings of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), which is the foremost pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade, is being held this week from 11 to 14 July in Abuja, Nigeria. It brings together banking industry professionals, trade and trade finance practitioners and other parties involved in economic development from across Africa and beyond.

“The roll-out of infrastructure, particularly high-speed networks, is crucial for stimulating intraregional trade. The Cape to Cairo network sets a new standard for Africa and will open-up new trade opportunities across the region. Our congratulations to Telecom Egypt and Liquid Telecom for reaching an agreement to complete the Cape to Cairo network,” said Dr. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank.

IGIHE

‘Tap & Go' Cards to be used to access 2018 Rwanda Trade Fair

By IGIHE

The exhibition, organized by the Private Sector Federation, is set from July 26 through August 15 at the Gikondo Expo Grounds.

The Tap&Go card by AC Group is a local payment card which is used in public Buses. It is built with a chip that is read by a machine installed at the entrance of the bus. A passenger taps the card on the machine which deducts an amount of money equivalent to his/her trip. The electronic payment system came with a promise of putting a stop to long hours and long queues, and hassling out with bus conductors for change, among others.

Speaking with IGIHE, PSF Head of Communications and Marketing, Eric Kabera, said that among the innovations of this year's annual fair, attendees would have to rely on their TAP&GO cards so to access the venue.Automatic word wrap
“In line with the promotion of cashless economy, people will be using Tap&Go cards to access the Venue for Rwanda International Trade Fair, at Gikondo Grounds. We want to harness the culture of buying goods/services using electronic means.” Kabera said

Kabera further explained that anyone owning a Tap&Go card will only be required to add RWF500 which will be the required entrance fee for the exhibition.

“It will now be easy for people to enter easily. We are now in the process of installing the machines and we expect that they will be done before this week ends. Another thing is that we've prepared agents who will be positioned at all 10 major Entrances of the Fair, so to decrease chances of long queues.” He added

According to PSF, the exhibition has over the years drawn a formidable impression among the locals and more importantly, has served as a platform to attract foreign companies to consider setting up a presence in the country.

Such companies include JKK International from Dubai, Mukwano & Movit from Uganda, ALINK Technologies from China, Yvonne Exclusive Design from the Fashion Industry, Roofing Rwanda Ltd, Dodoma Ltd, Egyptian House of Kitchen, Desire Products from Uganda, Azam from Tanzania, among others

Machines which deducts money from the 'Tap&Go' cards
The brilliant technological 'Tap&GO' cards, brought on by AC Group

IGIHE

MICE getting nicer as international hotel brands redefine Rwanda's hospitality landscape

By IGIHE

This is particularly true when one considers that in 2013, Kigali Serena Hotel was the only five-star facility in the hospitality industry. Since then, Rwanda has risen among the leading foreign direct investment (FDI) destinations in the region, and even beyond.

Five years ago, the government of Rwanda set out to establish foundations for the Meetings Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) promotion with the aim of becoming Africa's newest darling in the sector.

Given the upward trajectory on the macro front, good governance, great policies for doing business and the fact that it is a growing MICE and conference destination, Rwanda quickly became the region's leading choice of investment for a number of international hotel brands.

In 2016 Rwanda started reaping what it had so tediously sown in the MICE sector.

Radisson Blu launched a new Kigali complex in 2016, a 292-room luxury hotel together with Kigali Convention Center, which was unveiled just in time for the 2016 African Union Summit from which it earned $4.2 million, according to Rwanda Development Board.

The International brand joined a slew of other hotel chains that found in Rwanda, a new travel and conferences hotspot.

Rezidor Hotel Group's Radisson Blu, a five star complex with 292 rooms and conference facilities that can host more than 5,000 guests opened shop, hosting several international meetings, attracting foreign exchange, boosting national pride and tourism.

Kigali Marriott Hotel which is part of Marriot Hotels International chains followed suit. It is a five-star hotel and the first ground-up Marriott hotel in Sub-Saharan Africa with 254 rooms and suites spread across eight floors with the capacity to accommodate over 650 guests.

Park Inn by Radisson, a four-star hotel by Rezidor Hotel Group located in the cool shades of Kiyovu offers 161 rooms in different types including suites, superior and standard rooms.

Hilton Hotels and Resorts, another Global hotel chain took over Ubumwe Grande Hotel, which is located within the heart of Kigali. The facility that is currently undergoing some changes will be rebranded as DoubleTree by Hilton Kigali City Centre.

Africa's largest hotel group, the Protea Hospitality Group is set to open a grand hotel in Rusizi District by name of ‘Protea Kivu Marina Resort Hotel'. The group has over 116 hotels in its portfolio, in several parts of the continent such as South-Africa, Zambia, Nigeria, Namibia, Malawi, Uganda and Tanzania.

Another International brand known as Starwood Hotels & Resort, more popular as Sheraton, announced its entry in Rwanda's hospitality industry with a facility to be built in Gasabo District this year. It will be the fiftieth hotel of the group and will consist of 136 rooms.

Other important international brands with a foot in Rwanda are Golden Tulip, Onomo Hotel, Serena Group of Hotels, Marasa and Swiss International Hotels & Resort, popular in Asia, Europe and America.

All these international hotel brands are establishing in Rwanda with the aim of grabbing a portion of the regional conferencing pie as the country progressively defined itself, making MICE the base of tourism industry.

High-end luxurious facilities such as Fatima Hotel, Bisate Eco Lodge, Singita Kwitonda Lodge, Nyungwe Forest Lodge, CityBlu Epic Hotel are also hitting their marks in the country's hospitality industry.

MICE tourism segment's impact on Rwanda's Development

Since the launch of MICE in 2014, Rwanda has hosted tens of thousands of regional and international conference guests among who are many that visit several tourism destinations across the country.

According to Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Rwanda received 1,298,000 visitors in 2016, up from 666 000 visitors in 2010, indicating that the long-term outlook to the country's MICE tourism segment is now very vibrant. Furthermore, in 2016 alone, the MICE tourism segment contributed to the $404 million Rwanda earned in revenues.

Last year (2017), Rwanda hosted over 169 international meetings, recording 28,308 delegates, hence an indirect support for the service providers such as hotels, lodges, restaurants and Rwanda Air.

The blooming MICE sector is an unmistakable vote of confidence in the reforms Rwanda has been undertaking over the years in its bid to revitalize an economy that almost everybody believed was in limbo after the 1994 genocide against Tutsi.

Serena Hotel is one of the leading Hotel Brands in Rwanda, where it sent its footprint in Kigali and Rubavu
Bisate Lodge, a truly dramatic natural setting formed by eroded volcano cones and yet one of Luxury Tourism's gems
Wilderness Safaris' Magashi Camp located in Akagera National Park, is set to open in Mid-December 2018
In past years, Milles Collines Hotel was supposed to be bought by Kempinski from Switzerland but the deal was stopped, later.
Golden Tulip which originates from Louvre, also made its entrance in Rwanda's Hospitality Industry with its elegant Hotel located in Nyamata.
Seeking to appeal to guests' desire for new experiences, ONOMO Hotel Kigali is another facility that has incorporated Rwandan visual art into its interior and exterior designs.
Park Inn by Radisson, a four-star hotel by Rezidor Hotel Group located in the cool shades of Kiyovu is another hotel that recently opened its doors
Radisson Blu launched a 292-room luxury hotel, lined with colorful metal ribbons on its exterior, together with the round-shaped glass-and-steel Kigali Convention Center
Kigali Marriott Hotel which is part of Marriott International Hotels chain is another five-star Hotel that adorns the heart of Kigali
Century Park under construction in Nyamata District

Olga I. Ishimwe

Jinping visit to Rwanda to strengthen cooperation higher—Envoy

By John Mbaraga

The Envoy was speaking yesterday in Kigali ahead of the president's two-day state visit to Rwanda.

“As the Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda, I firmly believe President Xi's upcoming visit will be of historic significance and will bring China-Rwanda relationship into a new era,” he said.

Deepening political trust

“Adhering to the principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith, and upholding the values of friendship, justice and shared interests, China will work with Rwanda and all other friendly African nations, carry out more exchanges on governance and guidelines of development, so as to pave a broader and more solid road of mutual benefit and common development for China and Africa,” Hongwei said.

He noted that the visit will increase programmatic cooperation where Jinping and President Paul Kagame are expected to witness the signing of a number of Memorandum of Understandings and agreements.

“These will enable China and Rwanda to further match our development strategies and seek to harvest more fruits across multiple areas, including the Belt and Road Initiative, public health, human resource training, mining and law enforcement cooperation among others,” he said.

The envoy said that the visit will broaden regional cooperation. He said that it remains a cornerstone of China's foreign policy to consolidate China's relations with Rwanda and other African nations.

“China values the important contribution to the solidarity and development of Africa that President Kagame has made after assuming the rotating chairman of the African Union and coordinator of the AU reform. China and Rwanda will further enhance collaboration in regional and international arena and uphold the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries,” he added.

China is the World's second largest economy, largest industrial producer, largest trader in goods, and largest holder of foreign exchange reserves. Over the past four decades, thanks to the policies of reform and opening up, China's economy has been growing an average annual rate of 9.5% and its foreign trade at 14.5%.

In recent years, China's contribution to global growth has been exceeding 30%.

Jinping will start his visit to Rwanda from July 22nd to July 23rd 2018.

Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda, Rao Hongwei
Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda, Rao Hongwei speaks to the media yesterday

IGIHE

Mushikiwabo meets OIF ambassadors ahead of SG elections

By John Mbaraga

Mushikiwabo met the ambassadors at a luncheon yesterday in Paris, France.

According to official twitter of Mushikiwabo's campaign at OIF also known as La Francophonie, at the meeting, she got opportunity to present her priorities to the ambassadors.

“Today, in Paris, Mushikiwabo met ambassadors to the OIF. A meeting rich in exchanges and the opportunity for the candidate to present herself, give an overview of her priorities and priority topics,” a tweet reads.

The group of ambassadors emphasized that Mushikiwabo presented her priorities and received many questions from the ambassadors.

Mushikiwabo recently in Antananarivo, Madagascar submitted her candidature to President Hery Rajaonarimampianina who is the sitting president of La Francophonie currently.

OIF Secretary General Elections will take place during the the organisation's summit scheduled for October 11th -12th in Erevan, Armenia.

IGIHE

Minister Uwacu urges youth on leadership, participating in national development

By John Mbaraga

Uwacu was speaking Saturday in Kigali during training in leadership that was organized by 4HER, a local non-profit organization. .

The training brought together female students and women in leadership positions to share experiences along the development journey.

Uwacu hailed the event organisers for linking female students with people whom they consider as their role models and urged students to benefit from advantages the country offers with them.

“As the President of Republic always reminds us, youth should lead in change and national development,” she said.

She said that problems that youth face are not far complicated as those their parents faced.

“There are many advantages, so, they should put in mind that they are there to develop the country. It means that national leadership and future of the country among others are in the hands of youth,” she noted.

Mulindi Cynthia, 4HER coordinator told IGIHE that the training aimed at explaining youth on women potentials basing on testimonies from those who have become successful.

“Today, we wanted to show students how they can become successful leaders, how others made it and challenges one could face in the journey of becoming a leader,” she said.

Imbuto Foundation Director General, Sandrine Umutoni said that the training was crucial for youth female to get advised on ways to tackle challenges that can ruin their future dreams.

The training was attended by 70 female leaders.

IGIHE

Base—Gicumbi road nears completion

By John Mbaraga

The road linking four districts of Northern Province; Rulindo, Gakenke, Burera and Gicumbi is being constructed in fulfillment of President Paul Kagame which he promised when he was campaigning for the first term back in 2003, according to the Province Governor Jean-Marie Vianney Gatabazi.

The 51-kilometer road is part of 125-kilometer-road linking Northern Province and Eastern Province through northern Rwanda.

IGIHE visited the construction works for Base-Gicumbi side and contractors confirmed that in the first phase, 46 out of 50 kilometers have been completed.

The phase was expected to have been completed by August 21st 2018 at a total cost of Rwf32 billion. However, Northern Province officials say that construction process encountered different challenges including heavy rains which delayed the activities and increased the budget.

Officials assure that construction works will be completed by December 2018.

Governor Gatabazi said that the road will boost transport services of Gicumbi.

“When it is completed, it will facilitate movement from Nyagatare District in East to Musanze District in North. None will need to pass through Kigali,” he said.

Gatabazi said that they cleared queries that had been raised by residents whose activities were affected by construction works.

“Some houses were relocated and residents through whose land the road passes have been compensated and whoever will be affected will also get paid,” he added.

People speak

Northern Province residents who wanted to travel from one district to another used to pass through Kigali.

Take an example of those to or from Gicumbi-Gakenke , it used to take them around a day to reach there.

For a person who used a motor-bike, transport cost to or from Gakenke—Gicumbi used to take them Rwf15.000. Currently, it has reduced to Rwf5000.

“Currently, we are using Rwf1200 in public bus to reach Byumba and takes us two hours. I believe that the time will reduce further when the road is fully completed,” said a Burera resident.

Traders in Base Centre in Gakenke District started to reap from the benefits of the road.

They say that a commercial room which was rented at Rwf20,000 today fetches Rwf40,000 currently.

A pledge by President Paul Kagame

Gatabazi said that the road was the remaining activity to be implemented among the pledges the Head of State had promised former Byumba Prefecture in 2003 presidential elections.

“I was there when President Kagame promised residents to construct this road, Kinihira Hospital, water, electricity and schools among others. Today, a majority have been done and this road is also nearing completion,” he explained.

Road users requested investors in public transport to increase the number of public service buses on the road to ease transportation.

Adele Nyirabishyimbo said that they used to walk for three hours from Ruhunde Sector of Burera District to Byumba Hospital but today it takes them thirty minutes in a bus.

The second phase construction works from Gicumbi to Nyagatare will start in 2018/2019 fiscal year, according to CHICO, a Chinese company contracted to build the road.

IGIHE

Bruce Melody wins PGGSS8 title

By John Mbaraga

The tournament which started in March by conducting different road shows across the country was concluded in a colorful event in Expo Ground Gikondo, Kigali.

Melody won the 8th edition of the competition far dominating his nine competitors in terms of fans support and thrilling revelers in different road shows across the country and at final event.

Melody went away with a prize of Rwf20 million while Christopher Muneza took the second place with Rwf4.5 million plus Rwf15 million of an artiste who got many votes through fans' SMS.

Active came third taking away Rwf4 million, Uncle Austin came fourth taking home a cheque of Rwf3.5 million while Queen Cha came fifth winning Rwf3 million.

Organised by Bralirwa and East African Promoters (EAP) the competition attracted ten artistes which are Young Grace, Christopher, Bruce Melody, Uncle Austin, Khalfan, Jay C, Queen Cha, Just Family, Active and Mico The Best.

Bruce Melody won PGGSS 8 and took a cheque of Rwf20 million
All ten artistes competed for PGGSS8

IGIHE

First Lady participates in Car Free Day sports events

By John Mbaraga

Car Free Day takes place every first and third Sundays of the month, bringing together city dwellers for physical fitness exercises.

In sports on Sunday, First Lady participated in the running exercise and stretching at Rwanda Revenue Authority premises.

Last year President Paul Kagame participated in the sports event and requested city officials to increase the hours of the sports so that it continues to contribute to the health of Rwandans.

IGIHE

Over 2000 observers for September parliamentary elections

By John Mbaraga

Speaking to the press, NEC Chairperson Prof. Kalisa Mbanda said that they have invited electoral observers form inside the country, the region and overseas with representatives from government institutions, civil society organisations, Forum for Political Parties in Rwanda, Embassies and Faith-based organisations' forum among others.

“We expect as many observers as possible of who about 400 will be foreign,” he explained adding that some have confirmed their participation with more expected to confirm in the last weeks of election preparations.

Mbanda added that the report from observers helps in improvement of next electoral preparations.

Preparations for September elections continue with independent and political representatives submitting candidatures to NEC, an exercise that has been on from July 12th ending July 25th. The final list of approved candidates will be announced on August 6th.

African Union electoral observers in last year presidential elections

IGIHE

OIF: Michaëlle Jean makes false claims on Minister Mushikiwabo's diplomatic background

By IGIHE

Three months from the Yerevan summit, where the new secretary general of the International Organization of la Francophonie (OIF) will be elected on October 11 and 12, the campaign continues for Michaëlle Jean, the incumbent President and her opponent, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Rwanda, Louise Mushikiwabo.

During an interview with Radio-Canada that took place Wednesday, 11th July, Canadian Michaëlle Jean claimed that she personally knew Mushikiwabo who, according to her, "had been Rwanda's ambassador to Canada".

"She showed me her credentials while I was still Governor General in Canada," she added.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs since 2009, Louise Mushikiwabo has never been Rwanda's ambassador to Canada. At the time when Michaelle Jean was Governor General (2005-2010), Edda Mukabagwiza, now a member of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), was the representative of Rwanda in Ottawa.

Michaëlle Jean's false claims slammed by Tweeps

Few hours after being released, the video of the Interview went viral on Social Media, where some people criticized Jean's wrong claims on Mushikiwabo.

A tweep who goes by Sharangabo wrote “It is very Sad. Michaëlle Jean, Mrs Louise Mushikiwabo was never Rwanda's Ambassador in Canada or anywhere else on Earth.”

Another tweep who goes by Oria K. Itegeri said “It is really sad… and hilarious on another side. And the way she contradicted herself saying ‘I am not in competition'.”

“This showed me that the journalist was not well-informed about Mushikiwabo either for she would have corrected her”, said Mireille (@M_Musaniwabo)

Meanwhile, Louise Mushikiwabo on Wednesday officially submitted her candidature for the position of Secretary General of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF).

The organization, to which Rwanda subscribes, brings together French-speaking countries across the world.

Among her ideals, Mushikiwabo seeks to prioritize peace, security and promotion of the youth among others.

She is currently on a campaign trail across various OIF member countries.
In support of her candidature, President Paul Kagame officially wrote to all African states who are members of the organization requesting them to back the Rwandan candidate. She also has been shown support by French President Emmanuel Macron who wields great influence in la Francophonie and pays the largest portion of its bills.

Incumbent Secretary General of La Francophonie, Michaëlle Jean

IGIHE

Genocide: How Kabuga Trading Center became a deadly slaughter scene

By John Mbaraga

In Rusororo Sector of Gasabo District in Kabuga trading center at an area commonly known as Gahoromani, activities to unearth remains of victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi are ongoing.

Kabuga is a developing area located 16.4 kilometers from the seat of Rwanda Parliament in Kimihurura.

Information revealed during Gacaca Courts and local residents shows that in 1994, Kabuga trading center was a killing site for Tutsi from capital city, Kigali and surrounding areas including Ruhanga, Mbandazi, Muyumbu, Ndera, Remera, Kanombe, and Masaka.

The victims were fleeing to the Eastern parts of the country while others were heading to the Capital city.

Escaping Tutsi could come across five deadly roadblocks, where they were killed and their bodies dumped into several mass graves around Kabuga trading center.

The first roadblock was in front of Gatarama's houses. The second one was close to houses that belonged to a one Mbambanyi. The third was located along the road to Bugesera, at a place known as Kwa Mayisha who was a renowned trader and a notorious Interahamwe together with his two sons Nshimiye and Rudomoro.

At Mayisha's home, Interahamwe carried out all forms of killings including organizing themselves before setting off to carry out killings in the surrounding areas, issuing reports of the killings and giving instructions.

The fourth roadblock was located at a place known as Kuri Kariyeri by the home of Sibomana Faustin. At this home, it is where the first mass grave was discovered in the area which consisted of remains of more than 150 genocide victims.

The fifth roadblock was situated at the road heading to Gahoromani, which was codenamed ‘CND', it was named after the Parliamentary building before 1994. It is at this roadblock that fleeing Tutsi were intercepted and told to have been taken to ‘CND', insinuating that it's a safe place yet it was a site for mass murder.

According to the Executive Secretary of National Commission for the Fight Against the Genocide (CNLG), Dr. Jean Damascène Bizimana, the residents in the area say that in 1992-1993, several ditches were dug in people's homes around ‘CND'.

“There was also a big number of Interahamwe militia members including the head of the militia in the area known as Richard who had an MRND, former ruling party's flag always flying at his home,” he said.

Other notorious members of the militia, Bizimana said include Kibuye, Rusangiza (Mbambanyi's son), Kajinya, Rwamuhama Selemani, Kamali Abudarahamani commonly known as Gisaka, Maguru who was a soldier, Theogene Hakizimana, Jeanne a welder, counsellor of Rusororo sector, Mwongereza Bernard and his sons Mudakemwa and Satire who were drivers of Ignace, a genocide convict who completed his sentence.

It's Hitamungu vehicle that used to transport the militia men to kill.

“This area experienced atrocious killings due to the fact that it was home to many republican guard soldiers including Chief Warrant Officer Gasana, Corporal Nsengiyumva, and other soldiers from Kanombe Military Barracks who came to give support to killers and prominent traders including Safari Heliminigiride, John also known as Gikapu, John Nduwamungu, Phenias and Corporal, a renowned potato trader among others,” he said in a statement.

To date, 17 ditches have been identified. Of them, eleven have been dug and six are remaining.

Findings in dug ditches

In ongoing activities to unearth the remains of the genocide victims, CNLG established that in some mass graves, killers burnt the bodies of victims with acid.

Others indicate that on top of the bodies, killers piled horns and jaws of cows, placed some old vehicle spare parts on top before they sealed the graves with concrete.

In some other mass graves, victims had their heads cut off and dumped the remaining parts into the mass graves together with the weapons used like machetes. After, the mass graves would also be sealed with concrete.

In one of the mass graves, remains of children were found, an indication that killers identified children and threw them in a separate mass grave.

In all mass graves, some tools belonging to victims including their clothes were discovered and helped relatives to identify them.

Survivors vividly recall the murder

Exhumation activities in the area started in April and remains of 150 victims were given decent burial in Ruhanga Genocide Memorial Site in Rusororo Sector.

Claudine Uwizeyimana, a survivor in the area vividly recalls how the genocide was cruelly implemented and facilitated by soldiers.

In her testimony at the burial ceremony on April 15th, Uwizeyimana said that she lost 30 family members including seven blood relatives in the area.

She said that in early days of the genocide, Tutsi in the area had managed to resist attacks by Interahamwe from surrounding areas, but later on republican guard forces intervened by throwing grenades in a crowd that had sought refuge in a church before burning their bodies using petrol.

“Luckily enough, I survived the attacks but left me with wounds on head,” she recounts.

IGIHE

MICE getting nicer as international hotel brands redefine Rwanda's hospitality landscape

By IGIHE

This is particularly true when one considers that in 2013, Kigali Serena Hotel was the only five-star facility in the hospitality industry. Since then, Rwanda has risen to become among the leading foreign direct investment (FDI) destinations in the region, and even beyond.

Five years ago, the government of Rwanda set out to establish foundations for the Meetings Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) promotion with the aim of becoming Africa's newest darling in the sector.

Given the upward trajectory on the macro front, good governance, great policies for doing business and the fact that it is a growing MICE and conference destination, Rwanda has become the region's leading choice of investment for a number of international hotel brands.

In 2016 Rwanda started reaping what it had so tediously sown in the MICE sector. Radisson Blu launched a new Kigali complex in 2016, a 292-room luxury hotel together with Kigali Convention Center, which was unveiled just in time for the 2016 African Union Summit from which it earned $4.2 million, according to Rwanda Development Board.

The International brand joined a slew of other hotel chains that had found in Rwanda, a new travel and conferences hotspot.

Rezidor Hotel Group's Radisson Blu, a five star complex with 292 rooms and conference facilities that can host more than 5,000 guests opened shop, hosting several international meetings, attracting foreign exchange, boosting national pride and tourism.

Kigali Marriott Hotel which is part of Marriot Hotels International chains followed suit. It is a five-star hotel and the first ground-up Marriott hotel in Sub-Saharan Africa with 254 rooms and suites spread across eight floors with capacity to accommodate over 650 guests.

Park Inn by Radisson, a four-star hotel by Rezidor Hotel Group located in the cool shades of Kiyovu has offers 161 rooms in different types including suites, superior and standard rooms.

Hilton Hotels and Resorts, another Global hotel chain took over Ubumwe Grande Hotel, which is located within the heart of Kigali. The facility that is currently undergoing some changes will be rebranded as DoubleTree by Hilton Kigali City Centre.

Africa's largest hotel group, the Protea Hospitality Group is set to open a grand hotel in Rusizi District by name of ‘Protea Kivu Marina Resort Hotel'. The group has over 116 hotels in its portfolio, in several parts of the continent such as South-Africa, Zambia, Nigeria, Namibia, Malawi, Uganda and Tanzania.

Another International brand known as Starwood Hotels & Resort, more popular as Sheraton, announced its entry in Rwanda's hospitality industry with a facility to be built in Gasabo District this year. It will be the fiftieth hotel of the group and will consist of 136 rooms.

Other important international brands with a foot in Rwanda are Golden Tulip, Onomo Hotel, Serena Group of Hotels, Marasa and Swiss International Hotels & Resort, popular in Asia, Europe and America.

All these international hotel brands are establishing in Rwanda with the aim of grabbing a slice of the regional conferencing pie as the country is progressively making MICE the base of tourism industry.

High-end luxurious facilities such as Fatima Hotel, Bisate Eco Lodge, Singita Kwitonda Lodge, Nyungwe Forest Lodge, CityBlu Epic Hotel are also hitting their marks in the country's hospitality industry.

MICE tourism segment's impact on Rwanda's Development

Since the launch of MICE in 2014, Rwanda has hosted tens of thousands of regional and international conference guests among who are many that visit several tourism destinations across the country.

According to Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Rwanda received 1,298,000 visitors in 2016, up from 666 000 visitors in 2010, indicating that the long-term outlook to the country's MICE tourism segment is now very vibrant. Furthermore, in 2016 alone, the MICE tourism segment contributed to the $404 million Rwanda earned in revenues.

Last year (2017), Rwanda hosted over 169 international meetings, recording 28,308 delegates, hence an indirect support for the service providers such as hotels, lodges, restaurants and Rwanda Air.

The blooming MICE sector is a resounding vote of confidence in the reforms the country has been undertaking over the years in its bid to revitalize an economy that almost everybody believed was in limbo after the 1994 genocide against Tutsis.

Serena Hotel is one of the leading Hotel Brands in Rwanda, where it sent its footprint in Kigali and Rubavu
Bisate Lodge, a truly dramatic natural setting formed by eroded volcano cones and yet one of Luxury Tourism's gems
Wilderness Safaris' Magashi Camp located in Akagera National Park, is set to open in Mid-December 2018
In past years, Milles Collines Hotel was supposed to be bought by Kempinski from Switzerland but the deal was stopped, later.
Golden Tulip which originates from Louvre, also made its entrance in Rwanda's Hospitality Industry with its elegant Hotel located in Nyamata.
Seeking to appeal to guests' desire for new experiences, ONOMO Hotel Kigali is another facility that has incorporated Rwandan visual art into its interior and exterior designs.
Park Inn by Radisson, a four-star hotel by Rezidor Hotel Group located in the cool shades of Kiyovu is another hotel that recently opened its doors
Radisson Blu launched a 292-room luxury hotel, lined with colorful metal ribbons on its exterior, together with the round-shaped glass-and-steel Kigali Convention Center
Kigali Marriott Hotel which is part of Marriott International Hotels chain is another five-star Hotel that adorns the heart of Kigali
Century Park under construction in Nyamata District

Olga I. Ishimwe

Jinping visit to Rwanda to strengthen cooperation higher—Envoy

By John Mbaraga

The Envoy was speaking yesterday in Kigali ahead of the president's two-day state visit to Rwanda.

“As the Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda, I firmly believe President Xi's upcoming visit will be of historic significance and will bring China-Rwanda relationship into a new era,” he said.

Deepening political trust

“Adhering to the principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith, and upholding the values of friendship, justice and shared interests, China will work with Rwanda and all other friendly African nations, carry out more exchanges on governance and guidelines of development, so as to pave a broader and more solid road of mutual benefit and common development for China and Africa,” Hongwei said.

He noted that the visit will increase programmatic cooperation where Jinping and President Paul Kagame are expected to witness the signing of a number of Memorandum of Understandings and agreements.

“These will enable China and Rwanda to further match our development strategies and seek to harvest more fruits across multiple areas, including the Belt and Road Initiative, public health, human resource training, mining and law enforcement cooperation among others,” he said.

The envoy said that the visit will broaden regional cooperation. He said that it remains a cornerstone of China's foreign policy to consolidate China's relations with Rwanda and other African nations.

“China values the important contribution to the solidarity and development of Africa that President Kagame has made after assuming the rotating chairman of the African Union and coordinator of the AU reform. China and Rwanda will further enhance collaboration in regional and international arena and uphold the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries,” he added.

China is the World's second largest economy, largest industrial producer, largest trader in goods, and largest holder of foreign exchange reserves. Over the past four decades, thanks to the policies of reform and opening up, China's economy has been growing an average annual rate of 9.5% and its foreign trade at 14.5%.

In recent years, China's contribution to global growth has been exceeding 30%.

Jinping will start his visit to Rwanda from July 22nd to July 23rd 2018.

Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda, Rao Hongwei
Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda, Rao Hongwei speaks to the media yesterday

IGIHE

Mushikiwabo meets OIF ambassadors ahead of SG elections

By John Mbaraga

Mushikiwabo met the ambassadors at a luncheon yesterday in Paris, France.

According to official twitter of Mushikiwabo's campaign at OIF also known as La Francophonie, at the meeting, she got opportunity to present her priorities to the ambassadors.

“Today, in Paris, Mushikiwabo met ambassadors to the OIF. A meeting rich in exchanges and the opportunity for the candidate to present herself, give an overview of her priorities and priority topics,” a tweet reads.

The group of ambassadors emphasized that Mushikiwabo presented her priorities and received many questions from the ambassadors.

Mushikiwabo recently in Antananarivo, Madagascar submitted her candidature to President Hery Rajaonarimampianina who is the sitting president of La Francophonie currently.

OIF Secretary General Elections will take place during the the organisation's summit scheduled for October 11th -12th in Erevan, Armenia.

IGIHE

Minister Uwacu urges youth on leadership, participating in national development

By John Mbaraga

Uwacu was speaking Saturday in Kigali during training in leadership that was organized by 4HER, a local non-profit organization. .

The training brought together female students and women in leadership positions to share experiences along the development journey.

Uwacu hailed the event organisers for linking female students with people whom they consider as their role models and urged students to benefit from advantages the country offers with them.

“As the President of Republic always reminds us, youth should lead in change and national development,” she said.

She said that problems that youth face are not far complicated as those their parents faced.

“There are many advantages, so, they should put in mind that they are there to develop the country. It means that national leadership and future of the country among others are in the hands of youth,” she noted.

Mulindi Cynthia, 4HER coordinator told IGIHE that the training aimed at explaining youth on women potentials basing on testimonies from those who have become successful.

“Today, we wanted to show students how they can become successful leaders, how others made it and challenges one could face in the journey of becoming a leader,” she said.

Imbuto Foundation Director General, Sandrine Umutoni said that the training was crucial for youth female to get advised on ways to tackle challenges that can ruin their future dreams.

The training was attended by 70 female leaders.

IGIHE

Base—Gicumbi road nears completion

By John Mbaraga

The road linking four districts of Northern Province; Rulindo, Gakenke, Burera and Gicumbi is being constructed in fulfillment of President Paul Kagame which he promised when he was campaigning for the first term back in 2003, according to the Province Governor Jean-Marie Vianney Gatabazi.

The 51-kilometer road is part of 125-kilometer-road linking Northern Province and Eastern Province through northern Rwanda.

IGIHE visited the construction works for Base-Gicumbi side and contractors confirmed that in the first phase, 46 out of 50 kilometers have been completed.

The phase was expected to have been completed by August 21st 2018 at a total cost of Rwf32 billion. However, Northern Province officials say that construction process encountered different challenges including heavy rains which delayed the activities and increased the budget.

Officials assure that construction works will be completed by December 2018.

Governor Gatabazi said that the road will boost transport services of Gicumbi.

“When it is completed, it will facilitate movement from Nyagatare District in East to Musanze District in North. None will need to pass through Kigali,” he said.

Gatabazi said that they cleared queries that had been raised by residents whose activities were affected by construction works.

“Some houses were relocated and residents through whose land the road passes have been compensated and whoever will be affected will also get paid,” he added.

People speak

Northern Province residents who wanted to travel from one district to another used to pass through Kigali.

Take an example of those to or from Gicumbi-Gakenke , it used to take them around a day to reach there.

For a person who used a motor-bike, transport cost to or from Gakenke—Gicumbi used to take them Rwf15.000. Currently, it has reduced to Rwf5000.

“Currently, we are using Rwf1200 in public bus to reach Byumba and takes us two hours. I believe that the time will reduce further when the road is fully completed,” said a Burera resident.

Traders in Base Centre in Gakenke District started to reap from the benefits of the road.

They say that a commercial room which was rented at Rwf20,000 today fetches Rwf40,000 currently.

A pledge by President Paul Kagame

Gatabazi said that the road was the remaining activity to be implemented among the pledges the Head of State had promised former Byumba Prefecture in 2003 presidential elections.

“I was there when President Kagame promised residents to construct this road, Kinihira Hospital, water, electricity and schools among others. Today, a majority have been done and this road is also nearing completion,” he explained.

Road users requested investors in public transport to increase the number of public service buses on the road to ease transportation.

Adele Nyirabishyimbo said that they used to walk for three hours from Ruhunde Sector of Burera District to Byumba Hospital but today it takes them thirty minutes in a bus.

The second phase construction works from Gicumbi to Nyagatare will start in 2018/2019 fiscal year, according to CHICO, a Chinese company contracted to build the road.

IGIHE

Bruce Melody wins PGGSS8 title

By John Mbaraga

The tournament which started in March by conducting different road shows across the country was concluded in a colorful event in Expo Ground Gikondo, Kigali.

Melody won the 8th edition of the competition far dominating his nine competitors in terms of fans support and thrilling revelers in different road shows across the country and at final event.

Melody went away with a prize of Rwf20 million while Christopher Muneza took the second place with Rwf4.5 million plus Rwf15 million of an artiste who got many votes through fans' SMS.

Active came third taking away Rwf4 million, Uncle Austin came fourth taking home a cheque of Rwf3.5 million while Queen Cha came fifth winning Rwf3 million.

Organised by Bralirwa and East African Promoters (EAP) the competition attracted ten artistes which are Young Grace, Christopher, Bruce Melody, Uncle Austin, Khalfan, Jay C, Queen Cha, Just Family, Active and Mico The Best.

Bruce Melody won PGGSS 8 and took a cheque of Rwf20 million
All ten artistes competed for PGGSS8

IGIHE

First Lady participates in Car Free Day sports events

By John Mbaraga

Car Free Day takes place every first and third Sundays of the month, bringing together city dwellers for physical fitness exercises.

In sports on Sunday, First Lady participated in the running exercise and stretching at Rwanda Revenue Authority premises.

Last year President Paul Kagame participated in the sports event and requested city officials to increase the hours of the sports so that it continues to contribute to the health of Rwandans.

IGIHE

Over 2000 observers for September parliamentary elections

By John Mbaraga

Speaking to the press, NEC Chairperson Prof. Kalisa Mbanda said that they have invited electoral observers form inside the country, the region and overseas with representatives from government institutions, civil society organisations, Forum for Political Parties in Rwanda, Embassies and Faith-based organisations' forum among others.

“We expect as many observers as possible of who about 400 will be foreign,” he explained adding that some have confirmed their participation with more expected to confirm in the last weeks of election preparations.

Mbanda added that the report from observers helps in improvement of next electoral preparations.

Preparations for September elections continue with independent and political representatives submitting candidatures to NEC, an exercise that has been on from July 12th ending July 25th. The final list of approved candidates will be announced on August 6th.

African Union electoral observers in last year presidential elections

IGIHE

OIF: Michaëlle Jean makes false claims on Minister Mushikiwabo's diplomatic background

By IGIHE

Three months from the Yerevan summit, where the new secretary general of the International Organization of la Francophonie (OIF) will be elected on October 11 and 12, the campaign continues for Michaëlle Jean, the incumbent President and her opponent, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Rwanda, Louise Mushikiwabo.

During an interview with Radio-Canada that took place Wednesday, 11th July, Canadian Michaëlle Jean claimed that she personally knew Mushikiwabo who, according to her, "had been Rwanda's ambassador to Canada".

"She showed me her credentials while I was still Governor General in Canada," she added.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs since 2009, Louise Mushikiwabo has never been Rwanda's ambassador to Canada. At the time when Michaelle Jean was Governor General (2005-2010), Edda Mukabagwiza, now a member of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), was the representative of Rwanda in Ottawa.

Michaëlle Jean's false claims slammed by Tweeps

Few hours after being released, the video of the Interview went viral on Social Media, where some people criticized Jean's wrong claims on Mushikiwabo.

A tweep who goes by Sharangabo wrote “It is very Sad. Michaëlle Jean, Mrs Louise Mushikiwabo was never Rwanda's Ambassador in Canada or anywhere else on Earth.”

Another tweep who goes by Oria K. Itegeri said “It is really sad… and hilarious on another side. And the way she contradicted herself saying ‘I am not in competition'.”

“This showed me that the journalist was not well-informed about Mushikiwabo either for she would have corrected her”, said Mireille (@M_Musaniwabo)

Meanwhile, Louise Mushikiwabo on Wednesday officially submitted her candidature for the position of Secretary General of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF).

The organization, to which Rwanda subscribes, brings together French-speaking countries across the world.

Among her ideals, Mushikiwabo seeks to prioritize peace, security and promotion of the youth among others.

She is currently on a campaign trail across various OIF member countries.
In support of her candidature, President Paul Kagame officially wrote to all African states who are members of the organization requesting them to back the Rwandan candidate. She also has been shown support by French President Emmanuel Macron who wields great influence in la Francophonie and pays the largest portion of its bills.

Incumbent Secretary General of La Francophonie, Michaëlle Jean

IGIHE

Genocide: How Kabuga Trading Center became a deadly slaughter scene

By John Mbaraga

In Rusororo Sector of Gasabo District in Kabuga trading center at an area commonly known as Gahoromani, activities to unearth remains of victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi are ongoing.

Kabuga is a developing area located 16.4 kilometers from the seat of Rwanda Parliament in Kimihurura.

Information revealed during Gacaca Courts and local residents shows that in 1994, Kabuga trading center was a killing site for Tutsi from capital city, Kigali and surrounding areas including Ruhanga, Mbandazi, Muyumbu, Ndera, Remera, Kanombe, and Masaka.

The victims were fleeing to the Eastern parts of the country while others were heading to the Capital city.

Escaping Tutsi could come across five deadly roadblocks, where they were killed and their bodies dumped into several mass graves around Kabuga trading center.

The first roadblock was in front of Gatarama's houses. The second one was close to houses that belonged to a one Mbambanyi. The third was located along the road to Bugesera, at a place known as Kwa Mayisha who was a renowned trader and a notorious Interahamwe together with his two sons Nshimiye and Rudomoro.

At Mayisha's home, Interahamwe carried out all forms of killings including organizing themselves before setting off to carry out killings in the surrounding areas, issuing reports of the killings and giving instructions.

The fourth roadblock was located at a place known as Kuri Kariyeri by the home of Sibomana Faustin. At this home, it is where the first mass grave was discovered in the area which consisted of remains of more than 150 genocide victims.

The fifth roadblock was situated at the road heading to Gahoromani, which was codenamed ‘CND', it was named after the Parliamentary building before 1994. It is at this roadblock that fleeing Tutsi were intercepted and told to have been taken to ‘CND', insinuating that it's a safe place yet it was a site for mass murder.

According to the Executive Secretary of National Commission for the Fight Against the Genocide (CNLG), Dr. Jean Damascène Bizimana, the residents in the area say that in 1992-1993, several ditches were dug in people's homes around ‘CND'.

“There was also a big number of Interahamwe militia members including the head of the militia in the area known as Richard who had an MRND, former ruling party's flag always flying at his home,” he said.

Other notorious members of the militia, Bizimana said include Kibuye, Rusangiza (Mbambanyi's son), Kajinya, Rwamuhama Selemani, Kamali Abudarahamani commonly known as Gisaka, Maguru who was a soldier, Theogene Hakizimana, Jeanne a welder, counsellor of Rusororo sector, Mwongereza Bernard and his sons Mudakemwa and Satire who were drivers of Ignace, a genocide convict who completed his sentence.

It's Hitamungu vehicle that used to transport the militia men to kill.

“This area experienced atrocious killings due to the fact that it was home to many republican guard soldiers including Chief Warrant Officer Gasana, Corporal Nsengiyumva, and other soldiers from Kanombe Military Barracks who came to give support to killers and prominent traders including Safari Heliminigiride, John also known as Gikapu, John Nduwamungu, Phenias and Corporal, a renowned potato trader among others,” he said in a statement.

To date, 17 ditches have been identified. Of them, eleven have been dug and six are remaining.

Findings in dug ditches

In ongoing activities to unearth the remains of the genocide victims, CNLG established that in some mass graves, killers burnt the bodies of victims with acid.

Others indicate that on top of the bodies, killers piled horns and jaws of cows, placed some old vehicle spare parts on top before they sealed the graves with concrete.

In some other mass graves, victims had their heads cut off and dumped the remaining parts into the mass graves together with the weapons used like machetes. After, the mass graves would also be sealed with concrete.

In one of the mass graves, remains of children were found, an indication that killers identified children and threw them in a separate mass grave.

In all mass graves, some tools belonging to victims including their clothes were discovered and helped relatives to identify them.

Survivors vividly recall the murder

Exhumation activities in the area started in April and remains of 150 victims were given decent burial in Ruhanga Genocide Memorial Site in Rusororo Sector.

Claudine Uwizeyimana, a survivor in the area vividly recalls how the genocide was cruelly implemented and facilitated by soldiers.

In her testimony at the burial ceremony on April 15th, Uwizeyimana said that she lost 30 family members including seven blood relatives in the area.

She said that in early days of the genocide, Tutsi in the area had managed to resist attacks by Interahamwe from surrounding areas, but later on republican guard forces intervened by throwing grenades in a crowd that had sought refuge in a church before burning their bodies using petrol.

“Luckily enough, I survived the attacks but left me with wounds on head,” she recounts.

IGIHE

Kagame commissions 180 RDF officer cadets

By John Mbaraga

Speaking at the event on Friday, Kagame congratulated new Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) Officers who successfully completely the training adding that those who join the force are trained to face the challenges of the times including unexpected ones.

“You are given the training and knowledge to protect the sovereignty of our nation, to fight wars and keep Rwandans safe. It is an important responsibility,” he said.

He said that officers can end their career without going to the battlefield, but their responsibilities in the country continue.

He said that the army is not trained for starting wars, but to fight them back when others have launched them.

“RDF is trained and prepared to fight wars but not to start them with others. But if others make us their problem and choose to start a war with us, that is when we use judgment, determination and training to fight and finish it for them,” he noted.

The Head of State told new officers to be proud of their profession adding that it will help them build the country.

“The profession you have chosen is a great one. One you should be proud of. You can build your country and yourself the way the country and you deserve,” Kagame added.

The Training Commandant, Lt. Col. David Mutayomba said that commissioned officers graduate in the 7th intake.

He said that they started with a big number of recruits but some did not manage to complete the course due to different reasons including indiscipline, physical and mental performance which could not enable them accomplish the force's job effectively.

The prime mission of Rwanda Military Academy in Gako is to develop young military leaders through multidisciplinary training that enables them to inspire, motivate, and effectively command men and women in times of war and peace.

180 officer cadets completed a one-year and half training at Rwanda Military Academy

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44,000 Kigali children insecure—NCC

By John Mbaraga

The revelation was made yesterday by the National Children Commission (NCC) in Kigali in a meeting that brought together the NCC and city District Mayors and Vice-mayors in charge of social affairs.

The meeting was aimed at assessing challenges children face.

NCC revealed that children have different problems including being left by parents, sexual violence and carrying early pregnancies, and rights violation among others.

Gasabo District comes on top with a total of 21.827 children including 10.800 females, Nyarugenge District with 11.578 with 5.750 females and Kicukiro District with 10.611 children in total with 5.382 females.

NCC Executive Secretary, Claudine Uwera Kanyamanza said that the meeting aims at taking decisions on problems children face.

“In this meeting, we expect to set up sustainable measures to tackle challenges faced by children and how to address them. Prevention can help us to solve these problems before they grow to unmanageable levels,” she explained.

Nyarugenge District Vice-mayor in charge of social affairs, Jean Marie Vianey Ndayisenga said that some children are brought by parents and engage them in risky street life.

“You should help us in solving the problem of children brought by their parents from countryside and take them on streets for begging; this problem has taken another stage,” he appealed.

NCC Executive Secretary, Claudine Uwera Kanyamanza
The meeting brought together NCC and city District Mayors and Vice-mayors in charge of social affairs.

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