Rwanda Becomes Arsenal’s Official Tourism Partner

Rwandan President, Paul Kagame   Rwanda has become the official tourism partner of English football club Arsenal FC, whose players will

Rwandan President, Paul Kagame

 

Rwanda has become the official tourism partner of English football club Arsenal FC, whose players will sport a “Visit Rwanda” logo on their sleeves, the club announced Wednesday.

The tiny country’s leader, President Paul Kagame, is an ardent Arsenal fan and often expresses his opinions about the club’s performances during summits and on social media.

The three-year deal with Arsenal is the latest bid by Kigali to draw tourists and investors to the country, burnishing its reputation as a safe, sought-after destination.

Ever since the devastating 1994 genocide in which 800,000 mainly Tutsis were killed, the country has been praised for a swift economic turnaround.

“The country has been transformed in recent years and Arsenal’s huge following will bring Rwanda into people’s minds in a new and dynamic way,” Arsenal’s chief commercial officer, Vinai Venkatesham, said in a statement.

“The Arsenal shirt is seen 35 million times a day around the world and we are one of the most viewed teams around the world.”

As the club’s first-ever sleeve partner, the “Visit Rwanda” logo will appear on the shirt of all first team, under-23 and Arsenal Women’s players from the new season this August, the club has announced.

Rwanda Development Board CEO, Clare Akamanzi, said that the sponsorship deal will highlight the country’s tourism offers, but would not be drawn on how much it had cost.

“While we cannot disclose the amount, the partnership cost is part of our marketing budget to promote Rwanda and attract investors and tourists,” she said.

Rwanda is one of only three countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, where one can see mountain gorillas.

The country has in recent years re-introduced lions and rhino to its Akagera National Park — which had gone extinct due to poor conservation — to become a Big Five safari destination.

“In addition, we are telling investors to Visit Rwanda and discover why we are the second fastest growing economy in Africa, growing at 7.3 percent per annum,” said Akamanzi.

She added that Arsenal players from the men’s and women’s teams will visit Rwandaand club coaches will host coaching camps to support the development of football in the country.

Rwanda received 1.3 million visitor arrivals in 2017 and tourism is Rwanda‘s largest foreign exchange earner, government statistics show.

The country has decided to focus on high-end low-impact tourism, and last year doubled the price of a gorilla permit to $1,500 (1,300 euros).

Kagame is revered in some quarters for stopping Rwanda‘s genocide and engineering what admirers see as an economic miracle, but rights groups accuse him of crushing all opposition and ruling through fear.

The 60-year-old won a third-term in office last year after the constitution was changed to allow him to potentially stay in power for another two decades.

AFP

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East Africa Com Tracks Region’s Slow But Steady Tech Growth

East Africa Com serves to bring together stakeholders within the East African tech scene. Photo – Twitter Every year, stakeholders

East Africa Com serves to bring together stakeholders within the East African tech scene. Photo - Twitter

East Africa Com
East Africa Com serves to bring together stakeholders within the East African tech scene. Photo – Twitter

Every year, stakeholders in the East African tech scene converge on Nairobi for East Africa Com, the region’s flagship tech conference, to discuss progress and roadblocks in the region’s tech revolution.

The story of this year’s event was one of quiet progress, with discussion over the obstacles that remain when it comes to establishing cities like Nairobi, Kampala and Dar es Salaam as African tech hubs, and ensuring that technological development benefits all parts of society.

While the likes of Kenyan tech pioneer Dr Bitange Ndemo and ICT secretary Katherine Getao kicked off the event by hailing the extent of tech transformation in the region, others were more cautious when it came to the state of play.

Oren Tepper, vice president for sales in Africa at satellite operator Spacecom, said the provision of affordable connectivity was being hindered by the fact that satellite firms and mobile operators had yet to find affordable ways of working together.

“There is a conception that satellite connectivity is expensive. The challenge is to bring the cost per bit to as cheap as possible,” he said.

“There are a lot of upfront costs. So we need to find innovative business models to enable us to bootstrap projects and reduce costs.”

An operator shopping list

The mobile operators themselves are also looking for better working relationships, but with government. A panel on the regulatory environment for operators in Kenya convened representatives from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) and the country’s three telecoms companies.

It agreed good progress had been made, but regulators can still do more when it comes to assisting development.

Paul Kukubo, board director at the government regulator, said Kenya had one of Africa’s most vibrant telecoms markets, while the recently-introduced policy of mobile money interoperability was an example of forward progression in the sector. The regulator, he said, had to continue to look forward.

“There are so many emerging issues – AI, data, what a network looks like in 2018, or 2025.  How do we create a regulatory environment? Our mindset now is a bit more futuristic. We don’t want to regulate for yesterday, the world moves on,” he said.

Kenyan operators want the world to move on in a certain way, and came to the event with a shopping list for government. Alice Kariuki, group regulatory director at Airtel Africa, said there were issues around how infrastructure is accessed by operators, and called for a stable tax environment.

“They don’t always have a consistent policy. When they face financial pressures they will target the telecoms space,” she said.

Karuki also said the region as a whole was lagging behind when it came to laws for data protection.

“We appear to want to have a European model before we have something to protect us. We need to have legislation that grows with the challenges as opposed to waiting for the perfect model,” she said.

Stella Wawira, head of public policy at Telkom Kenya, said the cost of spectrum was too high, and urged the CA to come up with a policy that encourages investment, a view echoed by Mercy Ndegwa, head of regulatory and public policy at Safaricom.

“We want an environment that allows for competitive investment. We want a framework that allows for consumer interest to thrive,” she said.

A bright future

Hindrances aside, the conference discussed a number of exciting developments, in spaces as diverse as internet of things and blockchain, that could contribute to the development of the region.  Startups also had their chance to impress, with nine innovative solutions from the region pitching their wares to an audience of investors, telecoms operatives and other stakeholders at the inaugural Disrupt Africa Live Pitch Competition on day two.

The startup-related section of the event also saw representatives from the corporate and startup worlds agree that, though progress had been made, more needed to be done in terms of facilitating partnerships between corporates like mobile operators and banks, and smaller, more innovative startups.

Uber also had its chance to share its vision of a brighter future, with the company’s East Africa general manager Loïc Amado introducing Uber Movement, its data-driven service aimed at facilitating smarter cities. He also said the company’s carpooling service will help get cars off the road in Africa.

However, he believes that the self-driving cars Uber is trialling will truly make an impact.

“This is going to be a gamechanger. It is still very early days, but shared self-driving cars would reduce the number of cars on the road by 90 percent,” he said. “We can turn a ride into a shared ride and start reclaiming our cities today.”

Financial inclusion

Fintech is another space that is developing quickly, with Anuj Tanna, director of mobile financial services at Telkom Kenya, saying the industry was “in a good place right now”.

“We are at a very mature stage compared to other markets in sub-Saharan Africa,” he said.

“We are seeing expansion above and beyond simple basic services like money transfers and payments, where we are leveraging platforms and ecosystems to drive further financial inclusion within the market. It has given a chance to developers and startups that are trying to solve problems.”

Tanna said different players should understand exactly what their individual roles were, and that the sector needed do more to tackle closed ecosystems.

“We are layering products, and that is natural. When you have the rails in place you want the products to bring different services to customers as well as additional revenue streams,” he said.

“The real thing that’s dawning on everyone is that there’s been a lot of progress but most transactions are still cash-based. There’s still so many hurdles when it comes to providing these products. A tech solution is not always a solution that is going to translate into customer behaviour.”

Tom Jackson is co-founder of Disrupt Africa, a news and research company focused on the African tech startup ecosystem.

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Women Are Being Left Out Of Rwanda’s Tech Revolution

(Photo: African Leadership Magazine)   In recent years, Rwanda has been going through a digital revolution. The tech industry has

Rwanda

Rwanda
(Photo: African Leadership Magazine)

 

In recent years, Rwanda has been going through a digital revolution. The tech industry has become one of the largest contributors to GDP growth, at 3 percent, and, the government claims, the burgeoning sector is attracting more and more investment from foreign countries.

But women are largely missing out on this tech boom, and those who do work in the industry say companies and the government need to do more to help bolster their ranks.

From News Deeply.

The gender gap starts in high school and college, where the number of young women studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is dwarfed by the number of young men. The Educational Statistical Yearbook shows that only 34 percent of women opt to study sciences in university, compared to 66 percent of men. The number of women taking engineering is even smaller at 23 percent versus 77 percent of men.

Read more at News Deeply.

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African Innovation Foundation announces that Rwanda will host this year’s IPA

Read more: ‘Entrepreneur prize not bankrolled by Angolan sovereign wealth fund’ The event will feature a series of strategic roundtables and


Read more: ‘Entrepreneur prize not bankrolled by Angolan sovereign wealth fund’

The event will feature a series of strategic roundtables and workshops aimed at identifying solutions and key actions to drive investments in inclusive innovation ecosystems across Africa.

It will also feature an innovation market place where IPA winners and nominees together with Rwandan and other selected African innovators will showcase their innovations to a pan African and international audiences.

The African Innovation Foundation said Rwanda’s bid was underscored by the government’s commitment towards building a knowledge-based economy

The decision to host IPA in Rwanda received endorsement from the Government of Rwanda, and the host country selection was based on the bid Rwanda submitted which underscored the government’s commitment towards building a knowledge-based economy by promoting innovation and entrepreneurship.

Commenting on the event the Minister of Information Technology and Communications Jean de Dieu Rurangirwa said it is an honour for the country to host IPA2018 and emphasised on the effort made by the government to adopt innovative solutions for the country’s problems.

Over the past six years, AIF has partnered with innovation enablers and governments in Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa to host the Innovation Prize for Africa event. Last year the event was held in Accra, Ghana.

Read more: Egyptian wins $100 000 Innovation Prize for Africa with smart magnetic bearings

The AIF has a network of over 9,400 African innovators across 55 countries and over 400 innovation enablers. IPA impact is illustrated by the fact that it has generated over $30-million in investments for African innovators and past winners/nominees have achieved commendable milestones benefiting not only themselves but also their communities.

IPA 2018 will bring together key government officials, public and private sector stakeholders as well as innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, academics, researchers, policy makers, think tanks and science, technology and innovation experts.

This year’s theme ‘Investing in Inclusive Innovation Ecosystems’ calls for African governments and innovation stakeholders to invest in building bridges for more inclusive ecosystems that will accelerate and scale African innovation at all levels of society.

Death Toll,As Landslide Rocks Rwanda After Heavy Downpour

Mudslides hit Rwanda’s Northern and Western provinces, taking death toll from flooding to more than 200 since January. At least

Mudslides hit Rwanda’s Northern and Western provinces, taking death toll from flooding to more than 200 since January.

At least 18 people have been killed in landslides caused by heavy rains in Rwanda’s Northern and Western provinces, the government said.

Heavy downpour on Sunday night killed 15 people in the two provinces while three others were swept away early Sunday in Rubavu district in the Western province, the country’s Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (MIDIMAR), said in a statement on Monday.

In Karongi district officials said several residents were missing following mudslides.

The mountainous East African country has been receiving heavy rainfalls since January. More than 200 people have killed and 200 others injured in floods since the start of the year.

Nearly 10,000 homes, 58 roads and seven churches were also destroyed, the ministry said.

Mudslides are common in the rainy season in Rwanda and other East African countries.

 

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Ms Geek Africa Prepares Girls For The Digital Future

(Photo: New Times) This year’s Ms. Geek Africa could not have rolled around at a more opportune moment, when the

Ms. Geek Africa

Ms. Geek Africa
(Photo: New Times)

This year’s Ms. Geek Africa could not have rolled around at a more opportune moment, when the continent’s hills are alive with the promise of a growth, industrialization, economic diversification and trade that will come with the recently-signed Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (CFTA).

The CFTA opens up a whole new world of opportunity in the tech sphere for Africa’s innovators to take advantage of – it is imperative that female innovators and techies take part.

From The New Times. Story Annita Akinkindi.

One could argue that the prospects have already started rolling in: in the last year alone, Rwanda has seen Volkswagen set up shop in East Africa, with interest for other car manufacturers as well; AC Group (Rwanda) has expanded its business to West Africa; and drone innovators like Charis (Rwanda) are using drone technology to improve agriculture and working with partners from around the world to tap into regional opportunities.

Read more at The New Times.

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Nigeria to secure $300 million loan to finance national malaria strategy

As part of efforts to eliminate malaria in Nigeria, the Federal Government will be securing $300 million in new financing

As part of efforts to eliminate malaria in Nigeria, the Federal Government will be securing $300 million in new financing from the World Bank, Islamic Development Bank and African Development Bank.

According to a press statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES, the commitment was made known on Friday during the African Leaders Malaria Alliance on the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018.

The meeting which held in Tanzania secured the commitment of 53 world leaders to halve malaria across the Commonwealth within the next five years.

The commitment followed this week’s Malaria Summit, where leaders from malaria-affected countries, businesses, donors and the international community made new commitments and urged leaders to get ‘Ready to Beat Malaria’.

According to the statement, the commitment from the Commonwealth has the potential to prevent 350 million malaria cases and save 650,000 lives. 90 per cent of global malaria cases and deaths occur on the African continent and the impact of this renewed focus to eliminate malaria will be felt across the continent.

Nigeria will be using the money as part efforts to elevate malaria on the national priority list.

An additional $18.7 million to was also pledged to leverage $37 million from the Global Fund to distribute 15 million mosquito nets and to support the local manufacture of essential malaria commodities.

Aside Nigeria, 11 other African countries in the Commonwealth affirmed their determination to eliminate malaria. These countries include, eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Gambia, Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia.

Barnabas Dlamini, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of eSwatini representing the King Mswati III and Chair of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance said Africa as a continent has made significant gains against malaria.

He said the progress has been the result of the sustained commitment from African leaders and the international community but the gains made are fragile and there is no room for complacency.

“Failure to sustain and indeed strengthen our efforts will have humanitarian effects as well as cost implications for our respective countries.

“The Commonwealth has made a strong statement that it is ready to beat malaria. Let’s recommit to work together as governments, development partners, the private sector and communities to eliminate malaria for good. Zero malaria starts with me and with you,” he said

In addition, the African Leaders Malaria Alliance, in line with the African Union’s (AU) Catalytic Framework to end AIDS, TB and Eliminate Malaria by 2030, committed to supporting member countries to introduce and strengthen the use of national and sub-national malaria scorecards and action trackers, with robust community engagement.

Aids logo

It also aims to support increased domestic funding from both the public and private sector; and to continue its work with Heads of State and Government in Africa to monitor progress towards this goal.

As for international commitments, the UK Government reaffirmed its commitment to spend £500 million a year through 2020-2021 and an extra £100 million commitment to the Global Fund.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also announced an additional $1 billion through 2023 to fund research and development to reduce the burden of malaria.

In addition, the Foundation pledged £50 million in matching funds against the UK Government’s additional £100 commitment to the Global Fund.

Malaria is estimated to cost African economies $12 billion a year in direct losses. It is also estimated to cost the UK over £700,000 in lost trade.

BellaNaija’s Funsho Okubanjo Takes Kigali! #forLoopRwanda

Hello BNers, Funsho Okubanjo here. I am the Head of Technology at BellaNaija. I’ll be spending my weekend in Rwanda,

Hello BNers, Funsho Okubanjo here. I am the Head of Technology at BellaNaija.

I’ll be spending my weekend in Rwanda, starting today as I’ll be attending the inaugural forLoop Rwanda event.

My flight leaves today (Thursday), and I’ll be spending my Friday touring the beautiful city of Kigali and then on Saturday, attend the event where I’m scheduled to speak on “Technical Habits of a World Class Developer”.

I can’t wait to visit the city and meet other developers at the event on Saturday. I’ll also be sharing my experience with you as it happens.

Keep it locked on @bellanaijaonline Instagram page, as well as my personal page @devfunsho (I had to add mine lol). Also, follow the story using the hashtags #forLoop #forLoopRwanda and #DevFunshoxRwanda. Cheers!

Unlike Cameroon, Rwanda, Uganda, No Nigerian Missing At The Concluded Commonwealth Games

13 African athletes have gone missing from the just concluded Commonwealth Games, in Australia. Commonwealth Games Federation Chief Executive David

13 African athletes have gone missing from the just concluded Commonwealth Games, in Australia. Commonwealth Games Federation Chief Executive David Grevemberg who revealed this stated that the 13 athletes represented Cameroon, Uganda, Rwanda and Sierra Leone in Games.

He explained that while Nigerian representatives can be accounted for, eight Cameroon athletes disappeared mid-way into the 11-day event, Rwanda, Uganda and two squash players from Sierra Leone got missing toward the twilight of the competition which ended on Sunday.

Grevemberg added, “We have a service to people who have legitimate visas to be in this country. The focus now is to support teams in trying to track down the athletes who are missing.

Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton had warned that athletes who over stay would be forcibly removed from the country for over staying their visas.

“They aren’t going to game the system,” he told local radio. “Australian Border Force officers will find these people (and) they’ll be held in immigration detention until they can be deported.”

Africans ended the competition on the medals’ table with a total of 97 medals. While, South Africa finished in the 6th position with a total of 37 medals, Nigeria occupied 9th position with a total of 24 medals and Kenya in the 14th position with a total of 17 medals.

Well the good news is, all the athletes still find the country worthy. Lol

Neza – Shaba (prod. Pimp)

Neza – Shaba (prod. Pimp) “MCG Empire is here again! With the promise to dish out unlimited songs this year,

Neza - Shaba (prod. Pimp)

Neza – Shaba (prod. Pimp)

“MCG Empire is here again! With the promise to dish out unlimited songs this year, here is the Empire’s first lady Neza with Shaba! This song is definitely going to make your favourite playlists. Listen share and enjoy!!!”

Enjoy!

DOWNLOAD AUDIO

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