Posts tagged as: forum

Rwanda:Hotel Operators Appeal for Lower Interest Rates

Photo: The New Times

Marriott Hotel in Kigali.

By Eddie Nsabimana

Banks’ high interest rate on loans is fast becoming a threat to tourism sector operators, industry players have said.

With local commercial banks charging between 17 per cent and 24 per cent in interest on the loans provided to operators in the sector, hoteliers say that it is too high given the returns in the industry.

Odette Nyiramongi, from Paradise Hotel in Rubavu District, said that the costs are quite high and pay back period short.

“The banks are demanding too much interest on the loans offered to hotel business operators and are not willing to provide it on long-term basis while this business takes long,” she explained.

The concerns by the private sector operators were raised during a CEOs Forum held in Kigali Friday.

It came at a time when the sector is setting out towards achieving revenue targets of $800 by 2024.

Rwanda Development Board’s chief executive Clare Akamanzi assured operators that the government will continue to improve operating conditions in the sector.

Akamanzi promised sector players that discussions will be held on the possibility of lower interest rates.

“We want the tourism sector to become more attractive and need to understand key areas where we need to put more efforts,” she said.

She added that if local commercial banks are not willing to provide long-term loans, the government could look into the possibility of connecting them to foreign banks which can give them long-term loans.

Confusions on loan charges?

Monique Nsanzabaganwa, the central bank vice governor, said that some charges are exercised in compliance with some clauses in loan application forms, cautioning business operators to be careful with such contracts.

“Some clauses are ignored and misunderstood due to language used or the loan applicant’s lack of attention. But it is the client’s right to ask for a loan application form in a language they understand to avoid such misunderstandings,” Nsanzabaganwa said.

The CEOs Forum is organised every year since 2016, and brings together different private business operators to discuss with the government how the business sector can progress to the level of significantly benefiting the sector players and the country at large.

Rwanda

Rwigaras Bail Hearing Finally Begins

The Nyarugenge Intermediate Court on Monday begun pre-trial hearings for three members of the Rwigara family. Read more »

Nigeria:Southern Leaders Tackle Buhari Over Directive to World Bank

By Dapo Akinrefon

THE Southern Leaders Forum has lampooned President Muhammadu Buhari over directive to the World Bank to concentrate on the Northern region, saying such directive was discriminatory.

The forum said the directive, which was revealed by President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, is sectional and divisive.

In a statement by Messrs Guy Ikokwu (South-East), Bassey Henshaw (South-South) and Yinka Odumakin (South-West), the forum faulted the Presidency’s response to the matter, noting: “The Presidency should be more nuanced, speak the language of persuasion and not behave as if it is at war with Nigerians.”

The forum, however, said the disclosure by the World Bank chief had raised the need to restructure Nigeria.

It said:”This gaffe has again raised the urgent need for the restructuring of Nigeria so that the constituent units of Nigeria do not have to struggle to control or pray for the mind of whoever is at the centre before they can witness development.

“This directive without mincing words is sectional, discriminatory, divisive and against the laudable promise of Mr President at his inauguration that he would not be beholden to anyone as he was elected to be the President of everybody.

“It riles the more when we have a situation of provocative deployment of “Operation Python Dance” and “Crocodile Smile” to a section of the country while the World Bank is being despatched to another.

“Giving instructions to the World Bank to concentrate on a section of the country where the President hails from throws a knife at the heart of our nationhood and challenges the hackneyed expression that the ‘unity of Nigeria is settled’.

“There can never be any rational explanation for why such a request should be made by a President with a pan-Nigerian mandate. The only explanation that would have convinced was if we were told that such a discussion did not take place at all.”

“We have also studied the very rude, bellicose, insensitive and knee-jerk response from the Presidency on the matter. The unfortunate tirade from the office of the President showed a very deep contempt and palpable impunity as 90% of its content was devoted to abusing those who have shown rightful indignation at such a development. It is not on record that even the British colonial masters addressed Nigerians in such scornful and brash language.

“The only tepid explanation in the spiteful statement was that the President’s request was for the reconstruction of the North East. But Kim was emphatic about “northern region” and not North East.”

Nigeria

Commissioner Points Hypertension, Diabetes As Major Causes of Blindness

Delta State Commissioner for Health, Dr Nicholas Azinge, has said hypertension and diabetes are major causes of… Read more »

Zari, Betty Kyallo Set to Share Stage in Nairobi Forum

By Mwende Kasujja

Ugandan socialite Zari Hassan will share the stage with Kenyan entrepreneurs among them Posh Palace’s Betty Kyallo and Bidco chairman Vimal Shah.

Zari, who lately has been in the news after her baby daddy Diamond Platinumz admitted to fathering model Hamisa Mobetto’s son, will speak during the forum meant to motivate young entrepreneurs.

This will be Zari’s first public appearance since the parenting drama.

The forum will take place in Nairobi and will feature other entrepreneurs including Chandaria Capital’ Darshan, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s designer Carol Pulei, make-up artist Rose Ntongondu and Sunrise tracking’s Kevin Macharia.

Radio host Adelle Onyango will also be speaking about her Project She alongside Welly Odendo of Havilah.

Kenya

Odinga Travels to UK for Democracy Forum

Nasa leader Raila Odinga left the country Wednesday night for the United Kingdom where he is expected to give an address… Read more »

Cameroon:Financing Projects – Exim Bank China, Chinese Government Set New Conditions

By Kimeng Hilton Ndukong

The bank will henceforth participate in the execution, investment and management of cooperation projects it sponsors.

The Export-Import (Exim) Bank of China has announced a change in financing policy of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, FOCAC projects in Cameroon. The disclosure was made on September 22, 2017 when 27African journalists visited the bank’s headquarters in the Chinese capital, Beijing.

Zhang Shuo of the Concessionary Loan Department told Cameroon Tribune that the bank has decided on a new cooperation formula with Cameroon in order to reduce the country’s debt burden. “It was recommended that Chinese companies not only execute Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, FOCAC projects financed by Exim Bank of China, but should henceforth participate in investing and running them,” she explained. According to Zhang Shuo, the measure is meant to help raise the sense of responsibility of Chinese companies. “They will handle projects better because they are part owners,” Zhang stated.

She made it clear that the shift in policy was a joint decision of the Chinese government and Exim Bank of China in order to promote Africa’s development. Zhang Shuo added that the bank’s support to Cameroon was one of the highest in Africa, though she did not provide any figures. From 2008 to 2017, trade between Cameroon and China reached about 2 billion US dollars (1,098 billion FCFA). Between 2008 and 2015, China granted loans to Cameroon worth 3 billion US dollars (1,648 billion FCFA), mainly for infrastructure, road construction and telecommunications development.

Briefing the journalists, Yuan Xingyong, Exim Bank of China Vice President said forecasts suggest that Africa’s economy will grow by 3.4 per cent in 2017. Moreover, the continent is set to become the second fastest growing region in the world after Asia, Yuan Xingyong predicted. Reviewing Exim Bank of China’s activities in Africa in the past few years, Zhang Shuo said under FOCAC, there has been an increase in concessionary loan facilities.

Loans in 2012 totalled 20 billion US dollars (10,980 billion FCFA), while 35 billion US dollars (19,215 billion FCFA) in export credits was allocated to the continent at the 2015 FOCAC summit in South Africa. Chinese investments in Africa now stand at 100 billion US dollars (54,892 billion FCFA), while 3,000 Chinese firms have been brought into the continent. Over 600 Chinese projects worth 300 billion RMB (24,985 billion FCFA) are underway in Africa, officials disclosed.

Kalipande to Represent At Commonwealth ICT Forum

By Jeromy Kadewere

Melvin Kalipande has emerged as this year’s overall winner in the Information Communication Technology of Malawi (ICTAM) Innovation Forum awards after his Iris application was selected the best.

His application was named the best in the business process category before he was selected the overall winner during the two-day innovation forum at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge on Saturday.

For emerging the winner, Kalipande will next year represent Malawi at Commonwealth ICT forum in Rwanda early next year.

“I am humbled to have won. I want to make a difference in this country,” he said.

Kalipande turning to his Iris application said:”The application was created to aid in the learning process. We introduced an interactive learning experience bundled with fully animated three dimensional organs to show the processes that happen in the human body, this has led to increased engagement and interest from students.”

One of the judges Patricia Khomani asked the winner to fine tune his innovation to compete strongly at next year’s ICT Commonwealth Forum.

Kalipande also won another award in Education and Training category through e-class innovation.

In other awards Peza application was voted the best in entrepreneurship category. Peza was created by Dumisani Kaliyati and Alfred Andrew Kankuzi.

In financial category, Sunga App, by Kankuzi was also named the best while MacDonald Chisale was selected the winner in agriculture category through Organic Food Market App.

Helpline Services App by MacBain Mkandawire won the vulnerable groups category while One for All by Steven Thokozire Chapola won the government category.

Emmanuel Mhango’s innovation of Wamas was chosen the best in water and sanitation category.

ICTAM President Wisely Phiri commended the winners and asked them to continue improving their innovations.

Malawi

Mutharika Asked to Act On Bloodsuckers ‘Myth’

The taxpayer-funded Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has asked President Peter Mutharika to come out strongly and… Read more »

Malawi: Kalipande to Represent At Commonwealth ICT Forum

By Jeromy Kadewere

Melvin Kalipande has emerged as this year’s overall winner in the Information Communication Technology of Malawi (ICTAM) Innovation Forum awards after his Iris application was selected the best.

His application was named the best in the business process category before he was selected the overall winner during the two-day innovation forum at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge on Saturday.

For emerging the winner, Kalipande will next year represent Malawi at Commonwealth ICT forum in Rwanda early next year.

“I am humbled to have won. I want to make a difference in this country,” he said.

Kalipande turning to his Iris application said:”The application was created to aid in the learning process. We introduced an interactive learning experience bundled with fully animated three dimensional organs to show the processes that happen in the human body, this has led to increased engagement and interest from students.”

One of the judges Patricia Khomani asked the winner to fine tune his innovation to compete strongly at next year’s ICT Commonwealth Forum.

Kalipande also won another award in Education and Training category through e-class innovation.

In other awards Peza application was voted the best in entrepreneurship category. Peza was created by Dumisani Kaliyati and Alfred Andrew Kankuzi.

In financial category, Sunga App, by Kankuzi was also named the best while MacDonald Chisale was selected the winner in agriculture category through Organic Food Market App.

Helpline Services App by MacBain Mkandawire won the vulnerable groups category while One for All by Steven Thokozire Chapola won the government category.

Emmanuel Mhango’s innovation of Wamas was chosen the best in water and sanitation category.

ICTAM President Wisely Phiri commended the winners and asked them to continue improving their innovations.

Malawi

Mutharika Asked to Act On Bloodsuckers ‘Myth’

The taxpayer-funded Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has asked President Peter Mutharika to come out strongly and… Read more »

Morocco: Global Energy Transition Offers Opportunities for Developing Countries, Official

Marrakech — Global energy transition offers opportunities for developing countries, said, on Wednesday in Marrakesh, minister of energy Aziz Rabbah.

Energy transition is also an opportunity to change consumption modes, mainly for developing countries, he said at the opening ceremony of the 30th World LPG forum, held under the patronage of HM King Mohammed VI.

He noted that Morocco has decided to move ahead towards an energy transition which promotes renewable energy, and reduces the consumption of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions, explaining that Morocco, whose energy bill is estimated at 6 billion dollars per year, will invest close to 40 billion dollars by 2030 in renewable energy.

He also said that Morocco has decided to turn energy constraints into genuine opportunities for employment and wealth, stressing that the holding of this forum in Morocco reflects the interest of international institutions and the private sector in the Moroccan energy sector.

The World LPG Forum is the annual global event for the LPG industry. This unique event travels the globe annually attracting key international agencies, policy makers, media and the highest level of industry leaders to explore the LPG business, discuss its growth potential and to forge new business relationships.

Morocco

Morocco, Sweden Set to Reinforce Migration Cooperation

Morocco and Sweden are determined to reinforce cooperation in several areas, especially in the migration field. Read more »

Nigeria: Nigeria Woos Foreign Investors At ITU Telecom Conference

By Emma Okonji

The Nigerian delegation to this year’s ITU Telecom World, the biggest telecommunication conference and exhibition across the globe, has engaged foreign investors at various fora to attract foreign investments into the telecoms sector.

The engagement commenced with the official opening of the Nigeria Pavilion, where Nigeria showcased her innovations and products.

The event, which is holding in Busan, South Korea, also provided the opportunity to engage with small and medium enterprises (SMEs), corporates as well as top government officials.

The Nigerian delegation also engaged foreign investors at the Nigerian Investment Forum, where the country’s potential were made known to foreign investors so as to encourage them to invest in Nigeria’s broadband plan and other areas of interests.

The Nigeria Pavilion, which became a beehive of activities, showcased six SME startups and corporate sponsors who thrilled participants and investors with their unique products and services. They were later selected to join other 21 SME startups, making a total of 26 startups selected from 12 countries of the world to contest for the final pitch at the event.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof, Umar Danbatta, said the Nigerian delegation, led by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications, Abdulkadir Mashi, attended the ITU Telecom World 2017 to sell Nigeria’s potential that will in turn attract more foreign investments into the country.

“We come to ITU Telecom World every year to tell our story, share our experiences and borrow a leaf from global best practices to address our concerns. This year, we came to enlist the support of other players, governments, regulators and the global community from whom there is always a basket of ideas to take back home to Nigeria. The implementation of these ideas will ensure a better regulatory environment,” Danbatta said.

During the Nigeria Investment Forum, the Secretary General, International Telecoms Union (ITU), Mr. Houlin Zhao, commended Nigeria’s mission, commitment and participation at global events to woo foreign investors, and called on foreign investors to see Nigeria as a good destination for investment.

“Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have become indispensable. In our digital era, ICTs drive the world’s economy and the transformation of our societies. Investing in ICTs, especially in newer technologies like Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), will go a long way to speed up technology developments in developing countries,” Zhao said.

The Executive Secretary, Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Mrs. Yewande Sadiku, who presented the keynote address at the Nigeria Investment Forum, said: “Nigeria has all it takes to drive economic growth across Africa, despite the recent rating on the ease of doing business, which placed Nigeria at 169, out of 189 countries studied.”

She said Nigeria was able to achieve reforms in various sectors of the Nigerian economy such as the issuance of Visa on arrival to foreigners to make a quick and short journey to the country, faster period of registration of businesses with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and the executive order of doing business in a more transparent form. “ICT is the key to achieving the executive order on ease of doing business, and Nigeria must continue to invest in ICT and attract investments from foreign partners,” Sadiku said.

The Chairperson, Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), and a former Nigeria Minister of Communications Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson, who sat at a panel session during the Nigeria Investment Forum in South Korea, said Nigeria must continue to attract foreign investment, if the country must achieve an all inclusive government, since the country is still battling with poor infrastructure in the area of broadband deployment.

Afro-Barometer Poll Shows Ugandans Want Age Limit Maintained

By GODFREY SSALI

Kampala — A new survey has indicated that majority of Ugandans favor maintaining an age limit of 75 years for presidential candidates.

The survey conducted by Afro-barometer showed that up to 75% of Ugandans across the political divide, age, and gender want the presidential age limit maintained.

The findings further showed that support for the age limit is stronger among men at 78% than among women which are at 71%. The support is even higher in urban areas at 81% that in rural were it stands at 73%.

Dr Frederick Gooloba Mutebi, the lead investigator for the Afro barometer survey in Uganda said that the push for the amendment of article 102 (b) of the constitution by a section of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) MPs contradicts the wishes of many, according to their survey.

“We asked people hypothetically whether they support or don’t support the lifting of the age limit and you see from the results. The controversy we are having now, is that the MPs agitating for lifting the age limit is in contradiction with the thinking of the vast majority of Ugandans,” said Golooba.

The findings further indicated that more than 8 in 10 Ugandans with at least a secondary education favor keeping the age limit, compared to about 7 in 10 among less-educated respondents.

The survey showed that the support to maintain the age limit among National Resistance Movement members is at 67% and even more stronger among supporters of the Forum for Democratic Change at 90%) and independents at 77%.

By region, the survey showed that support for the age limit is greatest in Kampala at 90% and Central region at 86%, dropping to 67% in the Northern region.

Uganda

In Defence of Museveni On Age Limit Controversy

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Cameroon: Financing Projects – Exim Bank China, Chinese Government Set New Conditions

By Kimeng Hilton Ndukong

The bank will henceforth participate in the execution, investment and management of cooperation projects it sponsors.

The Export-Import (Exim) Bank of China has announced a change in financing policy of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, FOCAC projects in Cameroon. The disclosure was made on September 22, 2017 when 27African journalists visited the bank’s headquarters in the Chinese capital, Beijing.

Zhang Shuo of the Concessionary Loan Department told Cameroon Tribune that the bank has decided on a new cooperation formula with Cameroon in order to reduce the country’s debt burden. “It was recommended that Chinese companies not only execute Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, FOCAC projects financed by Exim Bank of China, but should henceforth participate in investing and running them,” she explained. According to Zhang Shuo, the measure is meant to help raise the sense of responsibility of Chinese companies. “They will handle projects better because they are part owners,” Zhang stated.

She made it clear that the shift in policy was a joint decision of the Chinese government and Exim Bank of China in order to promote Africa’s development. Zhang Shuo added that the bank’s support to Cameroon was one of the highest in Africa, though she did not provide any figures. From 2008 to 2017, trade between Cameroon and China reached about 2 billion US dollars (1,098 billion FCFA). Between 2008 and 2015, China granted loans to Cameroon worth 3 billion US dollars (1,648 billion FCFA), mainly for infrastructure, road construction and telecommunications development.

Briefing the journalists, Yuan Xingyong, Exim Bank of China Vice President said forecasts suggest that Africa’s economy will grow by 3.4 per cent in 2017. Moreover, the continent is set to become the second fastest growing region in the world after Asia, Yuan Xingyong predicted. Reviewing Exim Bank of China’s activities in Africa in the past few years, Zhang Shuo said under FOCAC, there has been an increase in concessionary loan facilities.

Loans in 2012 totalled 20 billion US dollars (10,980 billion FCFA), while 35 billion US dollars (19,215 billion FCFA) in export credits was allocated to the continent at the 2015 FOCAC summit in South Africa. Chinese investments in Africa now stand at 100 billion US dollars (54,892 billion FCFA), while 3,000 Chinese firms have been brought into the continent. Over 600 Chinese projects worth 300 billion RMB (24,985 billion FCFA) are underway in Africa, officials disclosed.

Cameroon

Council Silences Journalists, Media Outlets

Cameroon’s National Communication Council, the government media regulator, has suspended 30 journalists or radio and TV… Read more »

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