Posts tagged as: president

Ex-Street Boy Wins Jubilee Ticket for Bulla Pesa Ward

By Vivian Jebet

Residents of Bulla Pesa ward in Isiolo town have nominated a former street urchin to contest for the seat in the concluded Jubilee primaries.

Despite all odds, Abdi Kasanya, 26 emerged winner after battling out with his three opponents.

Mr Kasanya is optimistic that he will unseat the incumbent Moses Kithinji who is seeking to retain his seat on a PNU ticket in August 8 polls.

He holds a diploma in Social work and has been on the forefront in championing for establishment of a mentorship and rehabilitation centre in the county to help the street families who have turned into drug addicts.

He polled 1,794 votes against Hajj Hajjira Abdi’s 1,161 and Leloon Ismael Lekisho who garnered 781 votes.

He will face off with Mr Kithinji (PNU), Mohammed Ahmed (ANC), Lenah Nkatha (Narc-Kenya), Robert Mugambi (Maendeleo Chap Chap), Mr Idi Kimathi (Independent) and Mr Witherford Mwirigi (Independent) during the general elections.

Mr Kasanya said he will prioritize youth empowerment, talent creation, roads construction and reduction of street families in town if elected in August elections.

Residents led by Mrs Sadia Mohammed said Mr Kasanya who is known to pulling carts at Isiolo market for a leaving is a man of integrity, hard work and principled.

Mr Kasanya thanked locals for nominating him pledging to offer a fresh leadership.

The youthful aspirants said funds allocated to special groups including the street urchins by the national and county governments were benefiting some cartels.

“I will ensure that funds meant for the vulnerable groups will reach to owners if elected,” he added.

Kenya

Thank You! President Kenyatta Says for Active Participation in Jubilee Primaries

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday met and thanked Governors Ken Lusaka, Salim Mvurya, Samuel Kuntai Ole Tunai and… Read more »

Thank You! President Kenyatta Says for Active Participation in Jubilee Primaries

Nairobi — President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday met and thanked Governors Ken Lusaka, Salim Mvurya, Samuel Kuntai Ole Tunai and Hussein Dado for standing with the Jubilee Party and helping in the quest to deepen democracy in the country.

The President was speaking at a meeting at State House, Nairobi that was also attended by Deputy President William Ruto. He commended them for their role in creating a conducive environment for free, fair, transparent and credible Jubilee Party primaries in their areas.

The governors were accompanied by legislators Gideon Mung’aro, Joyce Lay and Dan Mwazo. The three – all former opposition MPs – will contest the August 8 elections on Jubilee tickets.

The President said he appreciated their partnering with the Jubilee Government in its transformative agenda to grow the economy and lift the lives of Kenyans.

Governors Lusaka (Bungoma), Dado (Tana River) and Mvurya (Kwale), and Taita Taveta Senator Mwazo on Friday accompanied the President on his meet-the-people tour of his populous Kiambu home county.

During the tour, the President thanked Jubilee supporters for coming out in large numbers to exercise their democratic rights and to give him a new team to participate in the August polls.

In the primaries, the people have sent a clear message that leaders must prudently manage public resources and deliver efficient services to the electorate if they wanted to retain their elective posts.

Kenya

Ex-Street Boy Wins Jubilee Ticket for Bulla Pesa Ward

Residents of Bulla Pesa ward in Isiolo town have nominated a former street urchin to contest for the seat in the… Read more »

My Life Is in Danger, Says Opposition Leader

By Moses Havyarimana

Burundi’s main opposition leader and Deputy Speaker of Parliament Agathon Rwasa has claimed his life is in danger following attacks of several of his supporters by unknown people.

He said the attacks and a plot to assassinate him are linked to the coming elections in 2020.

Mr Rwasa pointed an accusing finger at members of the ruling party, Council for the Defence of Democracy – Forces for the Restoration of Democracy, CNDD-FDD, and the police.

Mr Rwasa is one of the few opposition leaders who have remained critical of President Pierre Nkurunziza’s government. Several of his supporters have lately been killed and others kidnapped and he says these incidents have left him fearing for his life. But the government has dismissed the claims, saying he had not even made an official complaint.

“We suppose that he is well protected by the police and the army because he hasn’t yet reported any abnormal situation of his security,” said Burundi police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye.Video footage surfaced on social media showing the ruling party youth wing Imbonerakure jogging while chanting that they would “impregnate” opposition members so as they “could give birth to Imbonerakure.”

The video stirred up reactions from the international community, with the latest condemnation coming from the UN human rights office.

“The grotesque rape chants by the young men are deeply alarming, particularly because they confirm what we have been hearing from those who have fled Burundi about a campaign of fear and terror by this organised militia,” said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.The ruling party condemned the Imbonerakure, saying it was contrary to the “rules and the mission of the party.”

“CNDD-FDD condemns the use of that language and the disciplinary commission is investigating and whoever involved will be sanctioned,” a statement read from the ruling party.

Efforts have been made by the East African Community to put an end to the political crisis that continued to dog the country since 2015, although the regional mediated dialogue under the facilitation of former Tanzania president Benjamin Mkapa is yet to produce tangible results.

“We had said this before and we will continue saying it that the Burundi government will not sit on the same table with the coup plotters… they only have to face justice,” said Will Nyamitwe, special ambassador of Burundi.

As the country steadily gains stability and the focus turns to the 2020 general elections, the ruling party CNDD-FDD is said to still have the upper hand. The absence of main opposition leaders and weak opposition justifies the dominance of CNDD-FDD.

The intra-Burundi dialogue commission (CNDI) released a report on the findings in the six-month period on what could restore peace.

According to the findings, Burundians called on their lawmakers to scrap term limits that can see the incumbent stay in power.

Burundi is relatively gaining stability after the violent protests in 2015 that led to more than 500 people losing their lives. The country’s Constitution has been at the centerstage of the political crisis the country has faced since the 2015 polls.

Burundi

Burundi Still Unsafe for Refugees Return, Says Uganda

Burundi is not yet safe for the return of its nationals who sought refuge in neighbouring countries, says Uganda’s… Read more »

Gambia: Standard Chartered CEO Adenowo Meets President Barrow

The President of the Republic of The Gambia, His Excellency Adama Barrow on Monday 24th April 2017 received Mr. Olukorede Adenowo, the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Standard Chartered Bank, The Gambia.

His Excellency President Barrow welcomed Mr. Adenowo to The Gambia and thanked him for paying a courtesy call to the Office of The President within the first week of taking office. “Standard Chartered is a household name in The Gambia and has been around for over a century. The Bank should continue playing the important role of encouraging good banking practices in order to rebuild the new Gambia”, President Barrow said. He assured the Bank to prioritise the security of The Gambia to foster investment.

The incoming CEO, Mr. Adenowo congratulated the President on his recent elections and pledged the bank’s support in complementing the Government’s efforts in the development of the country. He thanked the President for creating a conducive environment for investment in The Gambia and thanked him for granting him an audience for the courtesy call. Mr. Adenowo said that “Standard Chartered’s is here for good and will continue being a responsible investor in the country assisting in advisory, access to capital and support in the infrastructure investment plan. Standard Chartered Bank has more than 123 years experience in The Gambia and will help facilitate trade opportunities between Gambia and its trade partners because of its unshakeable belief in The Gambia’s future”.

He reaffirmed Standard Chartered’s support to ensure that the bank’s core business of banking supports sustainable growth. He committed to ensuring fair outcomes for our stakeholders and the bank’s unwavering support to the Government of The Gambia. The bank enables individuals to grow and protect their wealth. Help businesses to trade, transact, invest, and expand in addition to helping a variety of financial institutions with their banking needs.

About Olukorede Adenowo

Mr. K.O. Adenowo with 30 years post university experience joined Standard Chartered Bank in 1999, and was part of the founding team that helped start the Nigerian business. He has worked in various roles including Regional Head of Global Corporate Africa, Deputy Head of Origination and Client Coverage Nigeria, Head of Origination and Client Coverage, West Africa 4 and more lately Regional Head of Financial Institutions and Public Sector for West Africa.

In his most recent role as Regional Head of Financial Institutions and Public Sector for West and Central Africa, he provided strong leadership in building and managing key strategic FI relationships across West Africa for business success and growth in an increasingly stringent regulatory environment.

K.O. Adenowo is a Non-Executive Director of the Board of Standard Chartered Bank Sierra Leone and serves on the Board of a number of charities. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, has an MBA from the Lagos Business School (IESE) and graduated from the University of Ife, Ile-Ife Nigeria.

Gambia

Gambia’s Barrow Meets Sirleaf

Liberia’s President and Chair of regional bloc ECOWAS Mrs. Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf has received the Gambia’s President… Read more »

Gambia: PS Ceesay Says Malaria Control Requires Joint Partnership

By Momodou Faal

Dawda Ceesay, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has stated that Malaria control requires joint partnership, as the task for Malaria control is colossal but it has to be tackled head on by the Gambian population.

PS Ceesay made this remark on Monday at the commemoration of World Malaria Day at Essau in the North Bank Region (NBR).

The event was organised by the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare through support from the Global Fund and partners.

PS Ceesay pointed out that The Gambia through the National Malaria Control Programme has put in place key strategies to combat Malaria in the country and among them includes the following interventions; free distribution of long lasting insecticide treated nets, to meet universal coverage, targets free access to reproductive and child health services, including prompt and effective treatment for Malaria, Indoor Residual spraying across the country and wide spread community education for behavioural change among others.

Ebrima K. Dampha, the governor of NBR, in his welcoming remarks, said Malaria is the leading cause of deaths for children under five years of age and World Health Organisation estimates that 3000 people die of Malaria everyday.

He pointed out that pregnant women and their unborn babies are particularly vulnerable to malaria, when a woman is pregnant, her immunity is reduced, making her more vulnerable to Malaria infection with dangerous consequences such as abortion, stillbirth, premature delivery and low birth weight.

He thanked the National Malaria Control Programme and their partners for hosting the event in his region.

Balla Kandeh, programme manager of the National Malaria Control Programme stated that World Malaria Day set a platform for intensive debate so that education and awareness levels on malaria are substantially and widely disseminated, noting that the day came as a result of the historic Abuja Summit where 44 African heads of State and Government representatives met in the year 2000 and made a declaration to halve burden of Malaria by 2015.

He added that the day provides countries the opportunity to soberly reflect on the efforts made on tracking the scorch of malaria, noting that it is a moment for stock taken and to renew political commitment, increase advocacy, communication and social mobilisation for Malaria control and prevention.

He thanked Global Fund, WHO, UNICEF and all the partners in the Roll Back Malaria for their support towards the fight against Malaria.

In another development EcoBank donated D52,000 to the NMCP as part of their contribution towards the fight against Malaria. Ebrima Jammeh presented the cheaque noted that the bank has made similar donations to 32 countries in Africa.

Gambia

Gambia’s Barrow Meets Sirleaf

Liberia’s President and Chair of regional bloc ECOWAS Mrs. Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf has received the Gambia’s President… Read more »

Liberia: Death Toll From ‘Strange Disease’ in Sinoe Climbs to 10

The Chief Medical Officer of Liberia, Dr. Francis Kateh, has disclosed that another person has died from the ‘strange disease’ in Sinoe County, bringing to ten the number of deaths.

Dr. Kateh told ELBC Radio Thursday that another person who has contracted the disease has been hospitalized at the J.F Grant Hospital in the provincial capital Greenvile.

This, he said, brings to 18 the number of persons who have contracted the disease.

Dr. Kateh reiterated that initial tests conducted by the Liberia Institute of Bio-Medical Research in Charlesville, Margibi County have proved that the disease is not Ebola.

He, however, said another test will be performed while authorities and the Liberia National Police have launched an investigation to ascertain the origin of the deaths.

It can be recalled that on April 25, Sinoe County health authorities reported multiple unexplained deaths in five communities in Greenville, Sinoe County in southeastern Liberia from a ‘strange disease.’

The outbreak has instilled fear in Liberians as it reminds them of the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in 2014 that claimed an estimated 4,500 lives in Liberia and more than 10,600 lives in the hardest hit countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

Dr. Kateh reiterated that the Ministry of Health has put in place the necessary systems, measures and capacity to contain any outbreak of infectious diseases in the country.

He said the ministry of health will keep the public updated on the situation as it unfolds.

Liberia

Gambia’s Barrow Meets Sirleaf

Liberia’s President and Chair of regional bloc ECOWAS Mrs. Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf has received the Gambia’s President… Read more »

Liberia: Liberian Leader Lauds Global Fund Support to Health Sector

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has lauded the Global Fund active support to the Liberian health sector through its malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS program.

She also praised the partnership between Liberia and the Global Fund that has brought about immense impact on the nation’s population.

President Sirleaf , however, called for increased support that would target rural health programs intended to enhance access healthcare.

The Liberian Chief Executive was speaking when she received in audience the Chief Executive Officer of Global Fund, Dr. Mark Dybul, at her office in Monrovia.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader thanked Dr. Dybul of Global Fund for his organization’s support to Liberia during a critical moment in our history.

Earlier, Dr. Dybul thanked President Sirleaf for the opportunity, her extraordinary support and strong voice for the work of Global Fund.

He described President Sirleaf as an advocate and champion of the aspirations of Global Fund and noted that the level collaboration in the health sector remains on course and praised Liberia for its robust Post-Ebola Resilient Healthcare Program.

Dybul acknowledged the need for support to the roads to health agenda of the government during discussions with the Ministry of Public Works officials aimed at addressing huge challenges that occasion the rainy season especially in rural parts of the country.

He expressed the need to make health services available to all sectors of the population in spite of the season.

Dr. Dybul assured that Global Fund was willing to partner with other actors, including the World Bank to critically respond to demanding infrastructure issues that will enable essential health, education and economic opportunities become accessible.

On Global Fund overall programme implementation towards its Liberia Program, Dr. Dybul noted that tremendous progress has and continues to be made in those critical facets of interventions.

Liberia

Gambia’s Barrow Meets Sirleaf

Liberia’s President and Chair of regional bloc ECOWAS Mrs. Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf has received the Gambia’s President… Read more »

Gambia: FAO and Partners Commit to Improve Gambia’s Nutritional Status

FAO and partners commit to harness the potentials of Sustainable Food Fortification to improve the nutritional status of The Gambian populace.

24th April, 2017, Banjul – The Gambian Government has joined forces with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in a bid to sustainably reduce the menace of malnutrition, and in particular micronutrient deficiencies which remain both a major public health and development problem for the country. Through funding from The European Union, FAO in close partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DoA), the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA), the Food Safety and Quality Authority of The Gambia (FSQA), the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI), Private Sector Food Industries as well as Importers, the Consumer Protection Group and other stakeholders is set to develop and implement the sustainable integrated food fortification initiative. The initiative – “Improve Food Security and Nutrition in The Gambia through Food Fortification” aims particularly to improve micronutrient nutrition and health outcomes of vulnerable women and children in The Gambia.

This is a public private partnership initiative that will work with food industries and farmers involved in the production of staple foods to embark on industrial scale fortification, as well as the cultivation of bio-fortified food crops to increase access to essential micronutrients by the population in The Gambia, especially women and children. . Vulnerable children 6-59 months and pregnant and lactating women in food insecure households in the North Bank and Central River North Regions will have increased access to and consume more micronutrient-rich foods through both industrially fortified food staples and bio-fortified food commodities.

The initiative has integrated nutrition education as a key strategy to strengthen nutrition outcomes. It is also designed to strengthen public and private sector capacities, build public private partnership and advance the reinforcement of regulatory systems on food fortification in The Gambia. The intervention will ensure at least 65% of the Gambian population have increased awareness and access to fortified staple foods high in essential micronutrients such as vitamin A, iron, zinc, folic acid and other Vitamin B nutrients.

Dr. Sablah Mawuli, FAO Lead Technical Officer for the project from the FAO Regional Office for Africa in Accra, Ghana concluded a week-long Technical Assistance mission to Banjul on 22nd April 2017 focusing on capacity needs assessment. He also engaged with the various stakeholders to clarify the technical roles of different public and private sector stakeholders, and guide in the development of the detailed project implementation plan.

The FAO Country Representative to The Gambia, Dr. Perpetua Katepa-Kalala, has praised the initiative noting that Food fortification presents an attractive potential area of investment to address micronutrient deficiencies in vulnerable girls, women and children, based on its potential to provide a relatively low-cost, affordable, scalable and immediate tool in response to the challenge of eliminating hidden hunger from The Gambia. She expressed gratitude to the EU and the different stakeholders on their commitment to improving nutrition outcomes in The Gambia. She is enthused about this initiative which will establish the enabling environment through mandatory legislation with standards on food fortification, production and distribution of fortified foods, social marketing with nutrition education under effective public private partnership Gambia Alliance on Food Fortification. Dr. Kalala explained that various capacity building and awareness raising campaigns would be organized on fortification and bio-fortification with mixed farming systems that promote dietary diversification, nutrition education and sustainable strategies for ensuring high coverage of fortified foods to address vitamin and mineral deficiencies in populations in The Gambia.

Potentials for food fortification

Deficiencies of essential vitamins and minerals are widespread in The Gambia with substantial adverse effects on maternal and child health and development. The Gambia Demographic and Health Survey (DHS 2013) reported that 24.5% of children under five were stunted, 16% were underweight and 11.5% were wasted while 4.2% were severely wasted. Similarly, micronutrient deficiencies continue to be a public health challenge to The Gambia with Vitamin A deficiency in preschool children estimated at 54%, iron deficiency related anemia hovering around 72% in this age group and 60% in women of reproductive age.

Mr. Modou Cheyassin Phall, Executive Director, National Nutrition Agency NaNA explained that industrial scale food fortification and bio-fortification including bio-fortified orange flesh sweet potato, cassava and beans will play a critical role in sustainably combating micronutrient malnutrition in a manner easily accessible to food insecure communities. He noted that The Gambia Milling Corporation covering over 98% of the market with wheat flour has initiated voluntary fortification using industry standards which would now be aligned with harmonized Gambian standards to be developed on the broader ECOWAS Standard Harmonization Model (ECOSHAM). Mr. Phall also explained that the rice would also be fortified with essential micronutrient under the programme.

The Director General of the Food Safety and Quality Authority of The Gambia Ms. Zainab Jallow has also praised the intervention as timely noting that it will strengthen efforts aimed at enforcing standards and quality requirements on food fortification in The Gambia.

Source: FAO

Gambia

Gambia’s Barrow Meets Sirleaf

Liberia’s President and Chair of regional bloc ECOWAS Mrs. Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf has received the Gambia’s President… Read more »

Zimbabwe: Setback for Beitbridge-Chirundu Dualisation

By Tendai Makaripe

GOVERNMENT has put brakes on the US$3 billion Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu dualisation project, despite the recent hype around what could be Zimbabwe’s biggest infrastructure project since independence in 1980.

The dualisation project was supposed to be launched by President Robert Mugabe last month, with construction work starting this month.

But Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister, Joram Gumbo, said this week that government was no longer in a hurry to start the project.

“The project cannot be rushed,” Gumbo told the Financial Gazette. “A project of this magnitude involves a lot of complex processes that cannot be completed overnight.”

Asked why he was backtracking from government’s earlier commitment, Gumbo said there were many bureaucratic processes involving different arms of government which were stalling the project.

“For example, some of the processes involve the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, an institution with its own way of doing things. We also need to open bank accounts at the same time giving ear to our financial advisors on the proper route to take,” he said.

Asked to explain why the project was not commissioned by President Mugabe last month as he had indicated in February, Gumbo said: “I will have to wait and hear from my boss on when he will commission the project. What I can tell you is that it will take place near Mvuma.”

Apparently, it is now nearly 10 months since government announced that it had found an investor, who would pour at least US$2,7 billion into the project.

Last year, government entered into an agreement with a Chinese contractor, China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC), to do the work, which would be financed by Austrian firm, Geiger International (Geiger) on a 25-year Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) model. The road continues to wear at a rapid pace, battered by elements. The heavy rains which poured on the country this year left most road infrastructure heavily damaged. The treacherous highway, whose poor state has been blamed for fatal road traffic accidents, is a critical artery in the southern African region.

The latest development is a strange turn of events, considering that the ruling ZANU-PF party is banking on the project to show its commitment to turn around the economy and create jobs promised during the 2013 elections, in which it won a landslide victory against the opposition parties.

There is speculation the ZANU-PF administration could be deliberately delaying the project in order to launch it close to elections, which are slated for next year. The ruling party is already gearing for what promises to be a crunch general election.

ZANU-PF is known for turning national projects into campaign platforms. Already, reports elsewhere in this newspaper suggest that over 700 people in Karoi, Mashonaland West, have registered for jobs on the stretch of the highway project that pass through the district.

With the dualisation of the highway expected to create thousands of jobs, it comes in handy for the party which has received brickbats for failing to deliver the 2,2 million jobs it promised ahead of the 2013 general elections.

Watchers have said the project could be ZANU-PF’s perfect opportunity to appease the agitated populace as the plebiscite draws closer.

But Gumbo denied this was the case.

“That is mere speculation; there is no political involvement whatsoever. This is purely a technical matter,” he said, explaining the current development.

The highway has been delayed for years owing to many factors, among them a nasty legal wrangle involving government and ZimHighways — a consortium of 14 construction firms that included Murray & Roberts Zimbabwe (now Masimba Holdings), Costain Africa (now ZCL Holdings, which is under judicial management), Kuchi Building Construction, Tarcon, Bitumen Construction Services (Bitcon), Joina Development Company and Southland Engineers — which had won the tender for the 900km highway at a cost of US$883 million.

Fed up by the delays, government sought to terminate the contract, arguing that the consortium lacked the financial wherewithal to do the work. ZimHighways claimed that the delays were caused by senior government officials who demanded bribes to facilitate the project.

The battle ended two years ago when government sweet-talked the consortium into withdrawing the case and opt for an out of court settlement under which it would be granted 40 percent of a stake on the road project.

CHEC has also had its own fair share of controversy.

It is a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), which in 2011 courted controversy in Uganda and several other countries for alleged shoddy deals.

CCCC was blacklisted by the World Bank over fraudulent practices by its predecessor, China Road and Bridge Corporation, in 2009.

But government defended its decision to award it the tender, arguing that that it was CCCC, and not CHEC, that was blacklisted.

The highway is Zimbabwe’s busiest road, carrying nearly 5 000 vehicles per day.

It is not only part of the trunk network in Zimbabwe, but also a major component of the north-south traffic corridor directly linking Harare and Pretoria, and providing landlocked Zambia with access to the Indian Ocean ports of Durban and Richards Bay in South Africa.

RURA – Regulating for Safety, Fairness and Efficiency

By Joseph Mudingu

In line with its policy of economic development and good governance, the Government of Rwanda established the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) to contribute to the achievement of its socioeconomic goals.

PATRICK NYIRISHEMA, the RURA Director General, explains about the mandate and what the institution has been able to achieve in the past seven years. The New Times’ JOSEPH MUDINGU writes.

RURA as a multi-sectoral regulator was established in 2002.The whole idea of the government deciding to put up a multi-sectoral regulator was to create an institution that can build capacity and synergies across different sectors that drive economic development.

RURA regulates all the utilities that include ICT, Transport, and Energy sector, Water, Sanitation and Media

Unlike many countries which have delegated regulatory authorities, Rwanda decided to establish one that is efficient and cuts across all utilities.

From the establishment of RURA, a lot has happened from 2010.

Operational Mandate

As a regulator, RURA sits between the government which is the policy maker, the private investors who are the operators and the consumers.

The regulators’ mandate is primarily to ensure that government policies have been put in place and that they are being implemented by the service providers.

At the same time, we also make sure that the private investors in different sectors are profiting and are able to sustain their operations, getting return on investment.

We also ensure that while in the private sector people are making profits, the services are affordable to the citizens. So as regulators we work between the policy makers, private investors and the consumers.

In line with that mandate then, what we have done as RURA over the last seven years was to build the right capacity to be able for example to have economic regulation tools in place that help us set tariffs in various sectors like transport, electricity and water.

RURA recently started to handle tariffs in petroleum, sanitation services and even in sectors that don’t have tariffs; we put mechanisms in place to make sure that services are affordable, reasonable and fair in ICT and Telecom sectors.

Technical capacity

In terms of building technical capacity, RURA has built technical capacity to be able to monitor quality of service in the telecommunication sector, to be able to manage spectrum and use of frequency in the country.

We have also built capacity to be able to verify international traffic, transport sector by being able to inspect and track and to make sure that the policy objectives are being accomplished and that operators are fulfilling their obligations.

ICT

In the ICT sector, from 2010 to 2017 there has been an increase of 5.3 million from 3.1 million mobile subscriptions to 8.4 million today.

On internet penetration, there has been an increase from 1.6% to 36%. The ICT sector received the highest Foreign Direct Investments in 2016.

There has been an increase in subscriptions because internet is more affordable than ever before. In 2014, the Alliance for Internet Affordability ranked Rwanda as number one in Africa.

ICT sector is an enabler that has allowed for connections and communication with suppliers, consumers and partners, saving time and resources.

When the Northern Corridor Initiative Projects created a one area network, traffic grew four times from 2 million minute calls to 10 million minute calls. In-between the increment, transactions are growing and businesses are expanding, taxable incomes increasing and institutions that are IT intensive-based all benefiting.

Transport

In the transport sector, a new transport policy was put in place in 2013 and we have since done a lot of transformational changes in the transport sector.

We have moved from a time when transporters in Kigali would wake up in the morning and decide where to operate depending on where they think they can get passengers or change direction half way through journey.

Today there is zoning in the whole city where operators are accountable with specific working hours from 5am to 11pm in the night.

We have moved from having small mini-buses to big buses which of course not only increase our capacity for mass transit but also help reduce traffic congestion in the city.

Some buses on routes between Kigali and the rest of the country have introduced electronic ticketing that has brought a lot of efficiency in the delivery of service in the intercity transport sector.

Though we still have three years to 2020 and that we have ambitious targets to meet in various sectors, we can confidently say that a lot has been accomplished.

Energy

In the energy sector we have moved from a time when it was 100% government involvement in electric generation and distribution to a time now when we have a lot of independent power producers in the market who have been licensed to produce electricity and feed the grid.

Sanitation

There have also been significant strides in re-organization of sanitation services, put in place proper licensing frame work, tariff benchmarks and works for the local government to ensure that every single sector in Kigali has a solid waste collection company which wasn’t always the case.

Every single commercial premise and households in Kigali today are accessible by a solid waste company.

For a country that is striving for a clean, green environment, sanitation services are very crucial and for Rwanda there has been a lot of progress there.

Media

Rwanda was among the seven countries in Africa that were able to immigrate from analog to digital broadcasting in record time.

At global level the target was June 2015 and Rwanda was able to do it one year earlier in July 2014 which is an accomplishment worth noting.

Visionary leadership

We have benefited as an institution from the visionary leadership of his Excellency President Paul Kagame where in all these sectors he has taken the leadership most especially in the ICT.

The clear policy direction and the commitment have been given at a national level and from all the other efforts that have created a good environment for investment.

The national effort to create a very business friendly environment is something that has helped RURA in accomplishing her mission.

Partnerships

As a regulator, RURA works with other regulators and institutions that have different mandates in the various sectors that we regulate.

For example, the Standards Board puts a standard in place and based on that standard we put a regulation that is enforceable.

The Standards Board, for example, puts the standards that a petrol station has to meet and RURA puts a regulation that requires all petrol station operators to meet those standards.

Another example is the Central Bank which regulates financial services like mobile money yet it is a service offered by telecom companies that are licensed and regulated by RURA.

So RURA has established an MoU with the Central Bank that defines various roles and responsibilities to make sure that there is no overlap.

For the city of Kigali, we work with them in many things regarding all the services in the city. When the City, for example issues a construction permit, RURA follows it with an installation license.

There is a joint inspection term in the transport sector comprising of RURA, City of Kigali and National Police which ensures that all the transport companies are complying with the laws and regulations and that quality services are being delivered.

So as RURA, we coordinate our efforts with the city of Kigali across all the sectors we regulate like electricity, water, by making sure that all the residents in city of Kigali have access to these services.

One last comment I can make is that we have not had any difficulty in coordinating with other institutions and we have only benefited with these institutions that have played different roles that were needed for private investors to succeed.

N.B: This is a sponsored article

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