Posts tagged as: international

Nigeria: Nurses, Midvives, Other Health Workers to Commence Strike

The major unions of health workers have announced the commencement of their nationwide strike on Wednesday.

The Joint Health Sector Unions and Assembly of Health Care Professionals, JOHESU, and the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, NANNM, announced the strike on Tuesday.

According to a statement signed by the National President of NANNM, Abdrafiu Adeniji, all nurses and midwives in all federal health institutions are to proceed on an indefinite strike action from midnight of Wednesday.

Mr. Adeniji said the association is in agreement with all JOHESU’s positions on the recent seven-day ultimatum given to the federal government to accede to all its lingering demands dated back to 2012.

The strike is coming barely a week after the National Association of Resident Doctors suspended its strike.

The healtht workers had earlier threatened to embark on an indefinite industrial action that would shut down operations in public hospitals due to the prolonged delay by the federal government in meeting their demands.

Their demands include payment of arrears of specialist allowances and upgrade of their members due for promotion.

Earlier, the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, had pleaded with the leadership of JOHESU, not to embark on its planned industrial action.

Mr. Adewole said that the government would continue negotiation with the union and hoped that a consensus would be reached on the issues in contention.

JOHESU comprises all the other professional groups in the health sector and forms about 95 percent of health workers and health care providers in Nigeria.

Nigeria

IMF Puts Global Cost of Bribery At U.S.$2 Trillion Annually

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has estimated that the annual cost of bribery — just one sub-set of corruption –… Read more »

Rwanda Police Return Three Stolen Vehicles to South African Owners

By Athan Tashobya

Barnard Kobus , a South African farmer in Free State Province lost his Toyota Land Cruiser truck in August 2012. He was in a prayer room with a friend when unknown people came and took away two of the cars that were parked outside, including his.

Five years later, Kobus received a call from the South African Police informing him that his car had been intercepted, in Rwanda.

“When I received a call, I was so happy. I had given up on my car but the police didn’t give up. They did their job very well and I hope my friend’s car will eventually be found as well,” he told The New Times, shortly after being handed the car key to his vehicle at Rwanda Police headquarters in Kacyiru.

He added: “I am a bit sad that it is old but I was very sad when I lost it. I am now happy the police found it and now I know insurance will help me revamp it.”

Kobus’s car is among the three vehicles stolen from South Africa, intercepted in Rwanda and handed back to rightful owners by Rwanda National Police, yesterday.

Since Rwanda adopted the International Police Organization’s – Interpol – I-24/7 communication system two years ago, 38 vehicles-with the last interception happening on Tuesday morning at Akanyaru Border stolen all the way from Mexico -have been recovered, according to police.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Peter Karake, the Commissioner for Interpol says that the system has fundamentally changed the way the global law enforcement community works jointly to battle such sophisticated transnational crimes.

“The system gives us access to several criminal databases globally, mainly for stolen motor vehicles, wanted persons and stolen and lost travel documents among others,” Karake said.

Capt. Francois Conradie from the South African Police told The New Times that I-24/7 communication system is huge boost for security operatives in combating transnational crimes.

“This technology is of a very high standard. unfortunately, technology is not always our friend because criminals are always inventing new ways to counter one that is in place but with such collaboration we have seen with Rwanda National Police, we can definitely end transnational crimes,” Conradie said.

Karake said that the system has been installed in all the 13 entry points into the country including Kigali International Airport-and it has played a key role in curbing the number of cross-border and transnational crimes transiting Rwanda.

“Most of the vehicles we intercepted are those transiting our country because of the number plates. Some are going to DR Congo, Burundi, Uganda or Kenya. Very few vehicles are destined for Rwanda. But for the sake of international corporation, we have to act and that is what we agreed to fight cross-border and transnational crimes.

“Mostly we get these vehicles from drivers who are oblivious to the crime because initial sellers are difficult to catch. We are slowly but surely combating transnational crimes and we ask the public to be vigilant about such crimes” Karake added.

Besides Kobus’s truck, two other cars; a Range Rover Sport and a Toyota Fortuner were handed over to South African owners.

The Fortuner was handed to its owner, South African national Peter Cawood while the Range Rover was collected by the South African police on behalf of the owner.

Malawi: Kamuzu International Airport Expansion Works On Track

By Brian Itai

Lilongwe — As part of the ongoing expansion and rehabilitation works at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) terminal building, the airport is set to have a new surveillance equipment since the previous one broke down in 2000.

The high cost of the surveillance equipment has made it difficult for it to be replaced as it was last quoted to be at K 750 million in 2009.

Chief Consultant for Japanese Marubeni Protechs, Takao Yamaguchi, main contractors behind the rehabilitation works said they intend to put in place secondary surveillance radar equipment and automatic dependence surveillance broadcast mode equipment.

“It was not so much of a problem in terms of any risks. The equipment which we would provide under this project would enable aircrafts to be seen by the controller and other aircrafts in the vicinity which will enhance separation and safety,” he said.

On Monday, the contractors took members of the media on tour of the site to provide an update on the progress that has been made so far on the project which is being financed by Governments of Japan and Malawi through Airport Development Limited (ADL) and Department of Civil Aviation (DCA).

As part of the expansion phase of the project a new arrival wing, new departure wing and a new domestic terminal are being constructed while the rehabilitation phase will see the expansion and rehabilitation of the passenger terminal building.

“We intend to install X-ray scanner for checked and carry-on baggage, metal detector gate, portable metal detector, aerial work platform plus CCTV system which will also enhance the security of the terminal,” he said.

Yamaguchi said at the moment the capacity of the terminal is very small to accommodate passengers from three aircrafts which arrive at the same time from South Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia which has resulted in the space being too congested.

Chief Executive Officer for ADL, Rodrick Chattaika said with the kind of rehabilitation work being done it would mean doubling the available space and increasing the capacity to handle more aircrafts at KIA.

“This entails that we would now meet international standards in terms of safety and security while at the same time increasing the space that we can handle more passengers. The current space has limitations on the number of aircrafts it could handle and number of passengers.

“The arrival hall would be expanded, it would have more parking car cells, the immigration counters would be more than the current ones, and the check-in counters would be pushed backwards therefore increasing in number as well. The congestion will be less and the movement of the passengers will be quick,” he narrated.

KIA was constructed 35 years ago and as such the building facilities at the airport have severely deteriorated and damaged, requiring major rehabilitation work.

In addition to this problem, due to the increasing number of passengers and the concentration of air traffic volume, the check-in counter, immigration, baggage claim area and other areas are extremely congested during peak times.

The ground breaking of the project was done on 10 February in 2017 and the rehabilitation and expansion works are expected to be through in 2019 when the facility will be handed over back to the government.

Africa: Coffee Lovers and Farmers Will Be Hurt By Warming Planet – Researchers

By Alex Whiting

Rome — “There’s more at stake here than my nice espresso”

Coffee lovers may find it harder to get their favourite caffeine fix in a few years’ time, as global warming could cut coffee growing areas in Latin America by as much as 88 percent by 2050, scientists said on Monday.

Latin America is the world’s largest coffee-producing region. Coffee growing areas in Asia and Africa may be similarly hit, the researchers said in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

They based their predictions on a rise in global temperatures of 2.6 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2050.

Nearly 200 countries have pledged to keep temperatures to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius by curbing planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, under the 2015 Paris climate deal, but some fear this target will not be met.

Coffee is grown by about 25 million farmers in more than 60 countries, with probably 100 million people involved in its production – most of them are rural and poor, said Taylor Ricketts, co-author of the study and director of the Gund Institute for Environment at the University of Vermont.

“There’s more at stake here than my nice espresso in New York or Paris going to get more expensive. It threatens the primary livelihood of millions of people who are already vulnerable,” Ricketts told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

High quality coffee grows in mountainous areas in the tropics, where it thrives in the cooler air. As the planet heats up, coffee plants will have to be moved higher up mountains – meaning there will be less land available to cultivate them.

“Getting coffee cultivation right is really important to conserving nature and developing rural communities. Aside from being everybody’s favourite morning thing to do, it’s got these big ramifications,” said Ricketts.

Coffee-growing areas are particularly rich in plant species, including some unique to those regions. These “biodiversity hotspots” will also be impacted by a warming planet.

The worst affected countries in Latin America will be Nicaragua, Honduras and Venezuela, the scientists said.

On the other hand, slightly more land might become suitable for growing coffee in Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia and Costa Rica, they said.

HEAT-TOLERANT COFFEE

Coffee farmers can protect their plants from a warming climate by creating shade for them. They also need to protect the forests, hedgerows and other areas that provide pollinating bees with flowers and nesting sites.

“If there are bees in the coffee plots, they are very efficient and very good at pollinating, so productivity increases and also berry weight,” said lead author Pablo Imbach of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).

Unlike coffee plants, bees that pollinate the coffee can spread to cooler areas north or south of the tropics, as well as uphill.

“We can think about … making sure we grow coffee in really smart ways, in ways that are more biodiversity friendly and ways that produce higher quality coffee in sufficient amounts on smaller amounts of land,” said Ricketts.

It may also be possible to develop varieties of coffee that are more heat tolerant. “Whether they’ll taste good to the consumer is up in the air,” he said.

Another option for farmers is to switch crops.

“I think other crops are in less dire straits because they grow in a place where there’s a lot of land to their north and to their south and uphill,” said Ricketts.

“I’d prefer it if the climate weren’t changing so quickly, but there are possibilities of alleviating some of the problems this paper predicts.

“The trick is to see them coming so there’s time to adapt,” Ricketts added.

– Reporting by Alex Whiting @Alexwhi, Editing by Ros Russell

Uganda: Uganda Sets Tougher Rules for Oil, Gas PSAs

By Halima Abdallah

Uganda has set tougher terms for new entrants in its oil and gas sector, where profits and losses will be shared in line with prevailing oil prices.

The new terms also restrict investors from recouping more than 65 per cent of their production costs in a year.

In the latest Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) signed last week, between Uganda and Armour Energy Ltd, the government will also be approving the company’s annual budget and expenditure.

The Australian Securities Exchange-listed company has been given an exploration licence for the Kanywataba block.

Nigeria’s Oranto Petroleum International Ltd will also get an exploration licence and PSA for the shallow and deep plays in the Ngassa area.

The two companies met the financial, technical health, safety and environment management requirements for the licences.

Uganda does not have capital to invest in its oil and gas industry, so it enters into PSAs with companies. These firms inject money for exploration, field development plans and oil production.

However, their expenditure is recoverable at the start of actual oil production for an agreed ratio.

“We have agreed that when production begins, the companies can recover 65 per cent of its production costs every year instead of full expenditure incurred for that year and the balance will be shared as profits.

But, if expenditures are high and revenues low, then we shall have zero consumption,” Permanent Secretary at the energy ministry, Robert Kassande told The EastAfrican.

Fundamental shift

This is a fundamental shift from the previously signed PSAs, where the companies’ recoverable costs took precedence while high ratios and profits were based on daily crude oil produced. The old practice also saw companies first spend money and then the Auditor-General came in later.

“The model we are using means that when oil prices are high we get good money. The previous agreements did not provide for this,” said Mr Kassande.

The issuance of the exploration rights signals that the country is on a steady path to increase its oil and gas resource base and attract additional investments in the sector. This is expected to plug petroleum products supply gap in the medium and long-term.

While the 26-month long bidding process has seen the government get $2.4 million for data development, successful companies are paying additional fees, which will be kept at the petroleum fund held at Bank of Uganda.

For example, Armour Energy paid $316,000 annual rent in addition to $990,000 for performance guarantee. Royalties agreed on will range between 8.5 per cent and 21 per cent.

Armour Energy intends to immediately start its operations to keep pace with the two-year timeline the company has been given to sink at least one well.

For the first 12 months, Armour group CEO, Roger Cressey, said the firm will be involved in research and in the second 12 months the company will carry out seismic studies.

“Our budget aligns with our commitments and we have secured $1.98 billion to carry out the work,” said Mr Cressey.

Armour energy was until recently, an exploration company. It has however included oil and gas production in its operations.

Riding to Riches On Bamboo

Photo: The Independent

Kasoma working on a bamboo frame.

By ANDREW S. KAGGWA

Kampala — Jesus Christ on a wooden bicycle!

That is an expression often used to show surprise, shock and disbelief. It could easily come to mind, for example, once someone tells you that there are bicycles made out of bamboo in Uganda.

But a group of youth in Uganda is actually minting money by making bamboo bicycle frames which they mostly export to European countries – and on order.

While many people cannot believe that bamboo is strong enough to carry someone’s weight, Noordudin Kasoma and his team believe bamboo is the perfect material for making bicycle frames.

Kasoma would know. He rides bicycles as a hobby and used to be a competition rider with Tropical Heat Riding Club in Katwe, a Kampala city suburb.

“We decided to use bamboo because it has the ideal properties suitable for bicycle construction, As a material, bamboo has excellent vibration dampening effects and effectively absorbs all bumps on the road when one is riding,” Kasoma explains.

His bamboo bicycles were a hit at the recent Bamboo Exhibition organised by the Uganda Bamboo Association at the National Forestry Authority headquarters at Bugoloobi between September 4 and 8. Many curious visitors took test rides on the two bicycles made with bamboo frames which he exhibited.

“It’s a comfortable ride and I now no longer have any doubts about the strength of the bamboo bike,” said an excited William Okello, a resident of Luzira who weighs 83kgs, after doing the test ride.

Kasoma says international research was made in the universities in US, Switzerland and UK which found bamboo a good material for bicycle making. He adds that bamboo is beautiful and makes more attractive bicycles than those made of metal.

Kasoma explains that he called his company BOOGAALI Bikes Uganda Ltd because “boo” is the last part bamboo and “gaali’ means bicycle in Luganda and many Ugandan languages. So Boogali actually means many bicycles.

Kasoma, who trained in electrical installation, shows many such sparks of creativity. But he says he was first trained in bamboo craft by an American instructor, Craig Calfee, in 2011 at the Entrepreneurship Institute of Technology in Lubaga, Kampala. His team started making the bamboo frames in 2013 and currently exports the ready frames on order to the Netherlands, Belgium, and Sweden.

He has five permanent employees at his workshop at Zzana on Entebbe Road in Wakiso District. He also trains students from vocational institutions.

To make the bamboo frame, Kasoma and his workers first have to find stems of the size that would meet a customer’s specifications. He said this easy because many people have not yet appreciated the value of bamboo and sometimes even give him the bamboo stems free of charge or cheaply. He only needs to find the labour to cut them down, he explains. The best bamboo, which is straight, is only available in Kisoro in South Western Uganda transport stems means incurring additional transport costs.

After they get the stems, they measure out the pieces and dry them in the sun which strengthens them. Then they apply sand paper to make them smooth and beautiful.

To strengthen the joints when joining the frame, Kasoma says they use a bark cloth (olubugo) from the bark tree (mutuba in Luganda). This too has been tested in foreign laboratories and found to be strong if woven in the right way.

“The bark cloth is not only environmentally friendly but light and easy to handle and turn into any shape, once dipped into a resin and dried,” Kasoma explains. Since the bamboo stem is hollow, they add metal parts they import to join the frames.

Kasoma says he can produce only 10 frames in three months as most of the work is done by hand and it takes one worker between 10-20 days to complete one frame.

“Sometimes it becomes very hard for us to satisfy our orders because we do most of the work by hand as we do not have the necessary equipment like our colleagues who make bamboo bikes in the developed countries do. So at times international customers who have big orders or need their bamboo bicycles urgently prefer to give the orders to makers in other countries,” he explains.

Kasoma says they sell each frame at US$400 (about Shs 1,400,000) excluding freight which is paid for by the customer.

That price pushes the bamboo bicycles out of competition with the iron bicycles on the local market.

Kasoma says importing some materials from abroad; including the resin for hardening the bark cloth which is used in the joints, is very expensive.

Locally, they have supplied to Christ’s Hope, a non- governmental organisation which provides palliative care to AIDS patients with offices in Wakiso district in Uganda, Kisumu in Kenya, and Mwanza in Tanzania. The NGO has bought 30 bicycle frames from them which it uses for fundraising riding.

Though they now concentrate in making only bamboo bicycle frames, Kasoma says they have some complete bicycles with metals parts imported from US, Europe and Asia which they use in riding competitions under their Boogaali Test Riding Club. The aim is to test the efficacy of their bamboo frames.

He says all the bamboo frames they make are customised depending on the specifications they get from the customer and they offer a two year warranty on the frame against any manufacturing defects.

“We are confident about the quality of our product and take the utmost care in selecting the best bamboo and natural fibre we use to make the frames.

“Though our warranty is two years, if well looked after, a bamboo bike can last even between 10 to 15 years,” Kasoma says.

Maintenance of bamboo bicycles cannot be done by ordinary mechanics since they require specialised metal parts which are not easily available. Kasoma says bamboo bicycles are very strong and there are examples throughout the world of hundreds of them which have lasted for between 10-15 years after being ridden for thousands of miles.

He, however, says like any other product, the better one looks after their bamboo bike the longer it lasts. He cautions against leaving it outside to the extremes of weather like too much sunshine and rain.

Regarding what he calls the wrong perception that bamboo bikes are heavy, Kasoma says the frames they build are of natural bamboo and the weights vary. He, however, says that generally they are lighter than a steel and aluminum frame but slightly heavier than a carbon and titanium frame.

According to Kasoma, their bamboo frames average about 1.8 kilograms whereas those for the carbon fibre bikes used for racing weigh 1.2kgs. Depending on customisations, a complete bike with a bamboo frame weighs about 12kgs. Those made of ordinary steel and aluminium frame can weigh up to 15 kgs. The ones made of carbon titanium frames are lightest at 8kgs.

Kasoma disputes another perception that bamboo bikes are not strong enough and can crack under someone’s weight.

“Hundreds of bamboo bikes have been built in the world and they have travelled thousands of miles – some in difficult terrain. In Uganda we have had riders competing on bikes with our frames and they have had no problem at all,” he says.

Kasoma is looking forward to Sept. 18 World Bamboo Day on which his Boogaali is organising a 458-kilometre bamboo awareness bicycle tour from Kampala to Echuya Bamboo Forest Reserve in Kisoro from Sept. 15. It is being billed as a promotion and awareness ride to show the importance of bamboo to Ugandan communities.

Kasoma says they expect over 100 riders to participate in the event and already 10 people with bamboo bicycles have confirmed participation. The participation fees include bamboo bike rental and a 20 percent donation to the Echuya Batwa community in Kisoro, Kasoma says.

Farther ahead, Kasoma says he wants to set up a training centre for bamboo artisans and a state of the art workshop for fabrication of parts of bamboo bicycles. He says his ambition is to reach a state where even other parts of their bicycles are made of bamboo materials.

Bamboo: Plant of many uses

Bamboo is an evergreen perennial flowering plant in the subfamily Bamboosoidea of the grass family Poaceae. Bamboo is classified as a grass and not a tree as many people think.

Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family. Bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world due to a unique rhizome-dependent system. According to research, certain species of bamboo can grow 3ft (about half the height of an adult person) within a day. It means they grow at a stunning rate of almost one inch every 40 minutes.

According to the website of the International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR), a multilateral development organisation of 42 states including Uganda for the promotion of bamboo and rattan, bamboo has a higher specific compressive strength than wood, brick, or concrete and a specific tensile strength that rivals steel.

The Dutch-Sino-East Africa Bamboo Development programme, a project implemented by INBAR to support poverty reduction, sustainable development, climate change action and international trade says Uganda has an estimated 40,000 – 50,000 hectares of bamboo. The project covers Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia which have sub-Saharan Africa’s largest natural bamboo forests and accounting for 3-4% of the world’s total known bamboo coverage.

Alternative uses of bamboo

Andrew Ndawula Kalema, a farmer and bamboo enthusiast, who is the national coordinator for INBAR in Uganda and he says bamboo has gained increasing importance worldwide as a substite for timber in a wide range of innovative products. Bamboo shoots can be eaten as food, poles for agriculture and structures, panels and composite materials for houses and buildings, versatile household products (furniture, kitchen utensils), vehicles for transportation (such as bicycles, boats, skateboards, and even ultra-light airplanes), pulp and paper, fibre for textiles, medicinal and bio-¬chemical products (including bio-plastics and bio-fuels), charcoal for cooking and heating, and so much more. Kalema has a carboniser drum which he said is used to make bamboo charcoal from bamboo stems. He describes how bamboo is being used in making lotions, shampoo and vaseline.

Carol Tusiime and Gertrude Newumbe of the House of Bamboo Cosmetics make cosmetics from bamboo products under the Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI); a government incubator which supports research in industrial projects.

Other companies have added value to the Bagisu traditional delicacy of “malewa” made from bamboo dried shoots. Noordudin Kasoma, the proprietor of BOOGAALI Bikes Uganda Ltd which makes bamboo bicycle frames and make other artifacts like lamp stands, chandeliers, and key holders.

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Abduction for Political Motives?

By Pierre Emmanuel Ngendakumana

In the morning of Tuesday, 12 September, Léopold Habarugira, Executive member of UPD-Zigamibanga party, not officially recognized by the Government, was abducted. His family is worried. Reactions over his kidnapping arise from all sides.

Written by Agnès Ndirubusa & Rénovat Ndabashinze and translated by Pierre Emmanuel Ngendakumana.

It was in Nyakoni Avenue, near the Institute of Health Sciences and Community Development, in Mutanga Nord, Gihosha area, Ntahangwa commune where the abduction took place. Sources on the spot say Léopold Habarugira, aged 54, was walking with his wife. “It was around 7:30 a.m,” says a student from Université Lumière de Bujumbura who was going to study.

Suddenly, he continues, a blackish car with tinted windows pulled up in front of the couple. “We thought they were friends who stopped to greet them as the couple did not seem worried. There was a heavy traffic, pupils and students going to school, etc.” he said.

Four men, three in plain clothes and one in police uniform and armed with a rifle, got off the car, said a carpenter. He was going to his workshop at the place called Ku Kasoko. “These men caught the husband and brutally took him into their car in the eyes of his stupefied companion and passers-by.” The carpenter fears for Habarugira’s safety considering the way he was arrested. “It is sad! It’s high time such acts stopped in our country, “he said, before continuing his journey.

Another passer-by deplores the fact that such acts happen in the middle of the day while there are policemen in every corner of the city. “How do cars without number plates pass through all the police checkpoints? For him, there is little doubt that there would be an involvement of some police officers in this kind of operation.

” Shoot! “

Witnesses of the kidnapping say Mr. Habarugira tried to resist. “Stunned, some passers-by wanted to help him,” said another eyewitness. One of three men in plain clothes ordered the armed policeman: “Shoot! With this order, passers-by retreated, and the car started off towards Gikungu area.

Libérate Nzitonda, wife of Léopold Habarugira, said the car did not have a license plate. “Afterwards, I alerted the police, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the National Independent Commission on Human Rights (CNIDH).” Contacted in the morning of Wednesday, she said neither the police nor CNIDH approached her to inquire about the situation. “God alone knows the fate of my husband.” May God forgive those who abducted him.”

However, the police spokesman said on that day that they were not aware of the disappearance.

The witnesses speak of a scene of panic after this abduction. “I was coming out of my plot. I saw a woman screaming out loud: ‘They’ve just kidnapped him. “She was running towards Mount Zion sanctuary in Gikungu area, in tears and shivering,” said a man met near the Institute of Health Sciences and Community Development. He said he tried to stop the car to find out who the victim was, but to no avail. “This woman was trying to call, unsuccessfully, because she was trembling uncontrollably.” Later, he said he learned that it was a kidnapping of a politician.

Other sources said Habarugira had just returned from a three-day visit to Tanzania.

As a reminder, Zedi Feruzi, president of UPD-Zigamibanga party was assassinated on 23May 2015, in Ngagara, with his bodyguard. Two months later, Patrice Gahungu, spokesman for the same party, suffered the same fate at about 20 meters from his home, on 7 September 2015, in Gisandema area of Gihosha in Ntahangwa commune.

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His party fears the worst

“All these cases of kidnapping orchestrated by Bujumbura are in line with the execution of a physical elimination plan of opponents,” says Chauvineau Mugwengezo, chairman of UPD-Zigamibanga party, a wing not officially recognized by the government. He asked the population to help locate the place where Léopold Habarugira would be. He urged the police to do their best to secure his immediate release. This opponent finally asks the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Burundi to do whatever it takes to find the traces of Léopold before anything worse occurs.

” Léopold Habarugira should be found. “

For Abdoul Kassim, president of UPD-Zigamibanga, “life is sacred and must therefore be protected. This politician close to the government asks the defense and security forces to do all they can to find him so that he can return to his family.

Police appeal for witnesses

Police spokesman, Pierre Nkurikiye, said Léopold Habarugira’s wife went to the police station on Thursday to file a complaint. According to him, investigations are underway and the police appeal for witness: “Anyone who has information about this case is asked to notify to the nearest police station.”

Who is Léopold Habarugira?

Léopold Habarugira, 54, is a businessman and treasurer of UPD Zigamibanga party not recognized by the government. His family speaks of a jovial man. Politicians speak of someone who listens to everyone. He is a fervent Catholic, but very close to the Muslim community. Very successful in business from a young age, he decided to drop out at the end of the primary school to engage in commerce.

His business quickly prospered. He was born in 1963, in Kamenge area, Ntahangwa commune, north of Bujumbura and is the eldest of 7 children. He went into politics with the rebel movement CNDD-FDD.

He did not join the resistance movement in the bush but became one of the key fund-raisers for the party of the eagle (CNDD-FDD). A strong friendship links him with the former boss of that party Hussein Radjabu.

His wife became the private and confident secretary of the latter before becoming a senator in 2005. In 2007, Hussein Radjabu fell from grace. Léopold Habarugira, father of five children including three boys, and several other dignitaries close to Radjabu, left the ruling party to join UPD-Zigamibanga party in 2007.

His family said it was devastated by his kidnapping. His sister says she doesn’t know the motives behind his abduction: “My brother is a reputable trader and politician. We have no idea why he was kidnapped.” The whole family, she says, is waiting for his return.

What the New Iso Certification Means for Central Bank

By Collins Mwai

The National Bank of Rwanda early this month received International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) certification for meeting standards in Information Security Management System.

The bank received ISO 27001:2013 certification becoming the first institution in the country as well as in the East African Community.

The certification means that the regulator has met global standards in processing transmission and storage of digital information and information processing assets of the bank.

According to experts, the certification means that bank’s systems can protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information assets from all threats in relation to the processing, transmitting and storing sensitive information.

The certification follows processes of establishing and implementing risk based information security controls as well as updating operational procedures of business functions.

According to the regulator’s ICT officers, the bank also moved to comply with statutory regulatory requirements and contractual security obligations as well as spreading security awareness amongst staff, interns, service providers, third party contractors and end users of the bank’s information systems.

The certification comes at a time when the country and the central bank are embarking on rolling out cashless economy systems and financial technology which could be compromised by cyber security threats.

Information security

According to a statement by the central bank, in light of the ever-growing cyber security threats, the development adds a layer of information security governance where by the bank’s key ICT infrastructure are protected and administered according to the accepted international standards.

“BNR being ISO 27001:2013 certified as the central bank and a regulatory body in the financial sector was also determined by its parties including staff, service providers, network providers, assessors and auditors, vendors and suppliers of goods and services, customers both financial sectors, public institution, ministries, statutory authorities like World Bank, IMF, African Development Bank (ADB,” the statement reads in part.

Justin Rurazi, the director-general of ICT development at the central bank, told The New Times last week that the global certification is a chance for them to set standards for players in the financial sector in the Information Security Management System.

“Now that the National Bank of Rwanda is certified, it serves to increase the confidence in the security of our systems amongst players as we roll out cashless systems in the country,” he said.

The ranking also serves to build trust and confidence among the interested parties that their data and other information is protected, thereby improving the value and customer satisfaction.

Rwanda

Whistleblowers Stepping Forward, Says Mutangana

Although convincing Rwandans to play the role of whistleblowers is still challenging, there has been an improvement in… Read more »

Fiba Africa Zone V Club Championships Set for October

By Richard Bishumba

The 2018 FIBA Africa Zone Five Club Championships will be held from October 1-7 at Lugogo Indoor Stadium in Kampala, organizers, Federation of Uganda Basketball Association (FUBA) have confirmed.

The competition for both women and men returns to Uganda after five years. The country hosted the 2012 edition when Rwanda’s Espoir scooped the men’s tourney while Kenya’s Eagle Wings claimed the women’s title.

The regional club competition attracts the League champion teams from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi and Egypt.

Uganda’s City Oilers and Kenya’s Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) are the defending champions in the men and women categories respectively.

The annual regional basketball competition is staged by member countries on a rotational basis. Tanzania staged last year’s edition while Rwanda organized the 2015 edition.

Rwanda will be represented by three clubs, two (Patriots and IPRC-South) in the men’s category and Ubumwe in the women’s category.

The regional clubs’ flagship tournament will also serve as qualifiers for the FIBA Africa Club Championships finals to be hosted in Casablanca, Morocco in December.

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Nigeria: NCAA Certifies Lagos Airport

By Oladeinde Olawoyin

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, on Monday certified the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

By this development, the airport becomes the first to be certified out of the 22 managed by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN.

The certificate was formally presented to the Managing Director of FAAN, Saleh Dunoma, by the Director- General of the NCAA, Muhtar Usman, at a ceremony at the NCAA’s headquarters in Lagos.

Mr. Usman said the certificate was valid for a period of three years, noting that all hands must be on the deck to ensure that the certification was sustained.

The NCAA boss said the current drive toward certification of Nigerian airports was significant not only as a requirement by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and Nigerian civil aviation regulations, but even as one of the critical safety targets of the Federal Government.

The director-general said that the declaration which was made in July 2012 mandated all African countries to certify their international airports, adding that the certification would facilitate the attainment of a regional hub, which Nigeria desires for Lagos and Abuja.

“Aerodrome certification can be defined as a process by which a state can demonstrate that airports in its territory meet regulatory safety requirements on a continuing basis,” he explained.

“It is providing uniform conditions for safe and efficient operation of aircraft from all other states as required by Article 15 of the Chicago Convention.”

Nigeria

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