Posts tagged as: presidents

Kagame Hits Out at Critics as He Starts Third Term

By Edmund Kagire

Rwandan President Paul Kagame was on Friday sworn in for his third seven-year term following his overwhelming victory in the August 4 polls.

President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, were among the 20 African heads of state and government representatives at the inauguration.

The colourful ceremony at at Amahoro National Stadium, was celebrated with military parades and traditional dances, and was attended by thousands of Rwandans and televised outside the stadium and in different venues across the country.

The Rwandan leader was sworn-in after posting a landslide win of 98.79 per cent against his rivals Philippe Mpayimana who got 0.73 per cent of the vote and Democratic Green Party of Rwanda’s Frank Habineza who came in last with 0.48 per cent.

Speaking shortly after taking the oath of office, President Kagame described the inauguration as a day of “renewal and gratitude”, taking a potshot at critics of the presidential polls who keep trying to impose ‘dogma’ which are not working even in their own countries.

President Kagame said efforts to ‘denigrate’ the electoral process a few weeks ago only made Rwandans more defiant and determined to express themselves through the vote.

“All along, we have had to fight to protect our right to do what is best for us and we will without any doubt continue to do so,” he said.

“In this regard, Rwanda is not an exception. Every African country has to contend with efforts to force us to live on someone else’s terms. They demand that we replace systems that are working well for us with dogmas in which their own people are rapidly losing faith,” he added.

The Rwandan leader and his party Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF-Inkotanyi) came under heavy criticism before and after the polls over perceived lack of political space and locking out credible opponents from the August 4 election.

President Kagame, however, pointed out that, given Rwanda’s history, the country had chosen to do things differently, opting for a consensual political model rather than confrontation and divisive ones, which he said critics want to impose on the country.

Buoyed by the presence of many African leaders, the Rwanda leader, who is now poised to take over the chairmanship of the African Union next year, used the opportunity to advance “African ideals”, pointing out that the continent was ready to plot its own path without being shoved around.

“Africa has no civilisation problems — only assets,” said the president, who is also leading efforts to reform the AU and its organs. It is important for Rwandans and Africans to feel reassured that attacks on our character only make us stronger, provided that we respond with clarity and conviction”.

“Africa is on the right path and we are going to be just fine,” President Kagame added.

He said that Africans need to do what they know is right for the people and they will be vilified because the results are much better and the costs much lower.

“Those who are worried of our welfare should feel at ease. We are the best students of our shortcomings,” he said.

He added that African countries need to do what is good for them because there is no single model for nation building.

The Rwandan leader also highlighted the progress the country has made over the past 23 years and reconstruction following the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, adding that his government will do even more.

Last term

President Kagame, who has hinted at this being his last term despite the 2015 constitutional amendment which allows him to stay in office until 2034, said that his government will continue to empower young people, especially ‘first time voters’.

He thanked the leaders and members of the eight other parties which joined RPF to nominate him as their candidate, as well as his opponents in the election. He pledged to work together with them all.

Several political parties, including the Social Democratic Party and the Liberal Party, are expected to be rewarded with top positions in the government.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir who arrived in Kigali on Friday morning and was welcomed by the Minister of Education Dr Papias Malimba Musafiri received a rousing welcome upon arrival in the national stadium.

Also to receive a thunderous welcome was Kenya’s President Kenyatta.

Those present included Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal, Edgar Lungu of Zambia, Sassou Nguesso of Congo, Hage Geingob of Namibia, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia and Yemi Osinbajo, the acting President of Nigeria. Others were the presidents of Gabon, Togo, Central African Republic, Chad, Guinea, South Sudan, Djibouti and Niger.

Conspicuously missing was President John Magufuli of Tanzania and Burundi’s Pierre Nkurunziza.

Kenyatta Affirms Closer Ties With Rwanda at Kagame’s Inauguration

Kigali — President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday joined over 20 Heads of State and Government from Africa and beyond to witness the inauguration of Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame.

President Kenyatta, accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, graced the colourful swearing-in ceremony held at the Amahoro National Stadium in Rwanda’s capital Kigali that was also attended by thousands of Rwandans.

Other leaders included Presidents Alpha Condé of Guinea who is also the current Chairman of the African Union, Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Salva Kiir (South Sudan), Ismail Omar Guelleh (Djibouti), Omar al-Bashir (Sudan), Faustin Archange Touadera (Central African Republic), Brahim Ghali (Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic), Mahamadou Issoufou (Niger).

Others are Presidents Edgar Lungu (Zambia), Macky Sall (Senegal), Sassou Nguesso (Republic of Congo) and Hage Gottfried Geingob (Namibia).

Prime Ministers Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia and Patrice Emery Trovoada of São Tomé and Príncipe were also present at the swearing-in ceremony while Ivory Coast was represented by Vice-President Daniel Kablan Duncan and Gambia by Acting Vice-President Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang who is also her country’s Minister of Women’s Affairs.

Other dignitaries included African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat, and former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria), Festus Mogae (Botswana) and Benjamin Mkapa (Tanzania) among others. Speakers of Parliament of Equatorial Guinea, Gaudencio Mohaba Mesu, that of the Moroccan House of Representatives, Habib El Malki, as well as the Speaker of Parliament of the Democratic Republic of Congo Aubin Minaku represented their countries.

In his speech, President Kagame spoke against external interference while calling on African countries to work together more closely – as brothers and sisters – for the benefit of the citizens of the continent.

“Attacks on our character only makes us stronger provided we respond with clarity and conviction. There is no one-size-fit-all nation-building. At the root of any success are good choices built on ‘built it yourself’ mindset,” President Kagame said.

He said the continent must build on the reform spirit that has taken root in the African Union and in every African country to deliver the results citizens expect.

“Africa is on the right path and we are going to do just fine. Without exception, there is infinitely more that unites us as Africans than that which divides us,” the Rwandan leader said.

President Kagame thanked Rwandans for re-electing him, saying Rwanda will continue to be a firm believer in real partnership and cooperation with friends around the world to lift the lives of the citizens of the East African nation.

“I would like to express particular appreciation to Rwandans for renewing the trust between us. It is truly a privilege and honour to serve you,” President Kagame said.

President Kagame was sworn-in for his third seven-year term in office following a landslide re-election victory in the August 4 presidential election where he garnered 98.7 per cent of the total votes cast against his two main rivals Frank Habineza and Philippe Mpayimana.

President Kenyatta and the First Lady, who received thunderous cheers when they arrived at the stadium for the event, later attended a State luncheon hosted by President Kagame.

Kagame to Be Sworn in Today

By Collins Mwai

President Paul Kagame will take oath of office, Friday, officially marking the start of a new seven-year term.

The ceremony will take place at Amahoro National Stadium.

About 20 Heads of State and Government as well as representatives of various governments and organisations will be part of the ceremony.

By press time, the Kigali International Airport was a hive of activity as high-level delegates arrived for the inauguration ceremony.

Dignitaries began jetting in at around 1:00 p.m., Thursday, in their presidential planes with government officials at hand to receive them.

Central Africa Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadera was the first Head of State to arrive followed by Brahim Ghali of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

The Djibouti President, Ismail Omar Guelleh, followed shortly after, just ahead of Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou.

Other Heads of State and Governments who had arrived by press time include Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal, Edgar Lungu of Zambia, Sassou Nguesso of Congo, and Hage Geingob of Namibia

Prime Minister of São Tomé and Príncipe Patrice Emery Trovoada also arrived yesterday.

Other high-level delegates who arrived yesterday include the Vice President of Ivory Coast Daniel Kablan Duncan, Prime Minister of Madagascar Olivier Mahafaly Solonandrasana, the African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki, Speaker of the DR Congo Parliament Aubin Minaku, former Tanzania President Benjamin Mkapa, and former Botswana President Festus Mogae.

Kagame takes the oath two weeks after he was re-elected into office by an overwhelming 98.7 per cent beating Frank Habineza, of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, and Philippe Mpayimana, an independent candidate.

According to the Rwandan Constitution, the President-elect takes oath of office within thirty days after the final results of the election have been officially released.

Rwanda

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Chongoleani Village Explodes Into Life

By Bernard Lugongo in Tanga

Tanga residents yesterday turned up in their thousands at the Chongoleani Village for the laying of a foundation stone to kick start the construction the Hoima-Tanga pipeline.

The ground at the village, where the project implementation will take place, was fully occupied by 7am as people started flocking to the place from as early as 6am.

The security was tight as well; people were checked at three different security check points before proceeding to the place of the event.

Traders took advantage of the big crowd to sell different food items and drinks, thus had all reasons to smile all the way to their homes after pocketing probably one of their highest incomes in the business.

The event was attended by several leaders led by the two Presidents, John Magufuli and Yoweri Museveni. Among others was Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa and ministers from both Tanzania and Uganda.

The leaders started arriving at around 7am and the event officially kicked off when the two Presidents arrived at around 9am. President Magufuli was the first to arrive and welcomed his guest, President Museveni, who appeared about 15 minutes later.

Upon arrival, President Magufuli walked to the audience and waved. The gathering cheered. The event got blessings from various stakeholders, including the private sector which attended the launching.

In a dramatic scene, when addressing the gathering, President Magufuli called Mr Ruge Mutahaba, Director of Strategy and Programmes Development of Clouds Media Group (CMG) and Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda to the podium.

He asked them to iron out their differences as he told them to shake hands in public to show that they had buried the hatchet.

Recently, the two came out in the public and engaging in war of words, attacking each other. Before they turned into enemies, the two were close friends. It was only after Mr Mutahaba alleged that Mr Makonda stormed the headquarters of CMG.

The President’s intervention yesterday saw the two leaving the podium as friends and joined the artists for dancing. The event was also attended by representatives of the three companies tendered to implement the construction and operation of the project – Tullow, Total, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).

The companies, which have been contracted to construct the pipeline, assured the two Presidents that the project construction will meet international standards. They also promised to complete the construction work within the given deadline, saying it was the trust of the two Presidents to them which resulted in their hiring.

One of the issues which normally emerge during the implementation of the projects was participation of locals, but the companies pledged that local content will be effectively considered to make them benefit from the project.

Tanzania

Museveni, Magufuli Reaffirm Political Will for Oil Pipeline

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Uganda: Tanzania, Uganda Sign Rural Electricity Deal

By Veronica Simba

Kagera — TANZANIA and Uganda have signed yet another Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the supply of electricity to villages along the Uganda-Tanzania border.

The signing ceremony which was held in Bukoba, Kagera Region at the weekend, comes just four days before President John Magufuli and his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni, lay a foundation stone for the construction of the East African crude oil pipeline from Hoima in Uganda to Tanga Port in Tanzania.

The two leaders are expected to lay a foundation stone for the project in Tanga on Saturday. The rural electrification MoU was signed between the Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Dr Augustine Mahiga, and Uganda’s Minister for Energy, Mr Simon D’Ujanga.

Dr Mahiga signed on behalf of the Minister for Energy and Minerals. In the main agreement, the two countries put pen to paper on the implementation of a project for electricity supply to Nangoma village, located at the Uganda-Tanzania border and other villages around the area on the Tanzanian side.

According to the Tanzanian Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals, Dr Medard Kalemani, who witnessed the signing ceremony, the Rural Energy Agency (REA-Tanzania) would fund the 33 kilovolt electricity at a cost of US dollars 36,923.06.

Similarly, he added, Uganda’s Rural Electrification Agency (REA-Uganda) would foot the bill for the construction of 7.5 kilometres of another 33 kilovolt from the border to Bukwali, Gamuli, Bushungulu, Nangoma, Omurushenye, Mizinda and Lukunyu villages at a cost of US dollars 724,239.06.

The meeting of ministers was preceded by another meeting of Permanent Secretaries from different ministries from both countries held on July 28, in Bukoba as well.

Last year, Uganda chose the Tanzanian route to export its crude oil amid competition from Kenya, which also wanted to clinch the deal to transport oil to yet to be constructed Lamu Port in North-Eastern Kenya.

President Museveni made the decision to construct the pipeline through Tanzania during the 13th Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP) summit in Kampala, which was also attended by Presidents Paul Kagame and Uhuru Kenyatta of Rwanda and Kenya, respectively.

The envisaged pipeline through Tanzania will be of benefit not only to Uganda and Tanzania, but also other countries in the region such as Kenya, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Uganda

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Angola: Agriculture and Industrialization Top João Lourenço’s Speech

Malanje — The promotion of agriculture and industry, food self-sufficiency, tourism, as well as the construction of monuments to honor national heroes dominated the intervention of the MPLA candidate for President of the Republic, João Lourenço, on Saturday in Malanje.

In his public presentation as head of the MPLA’s list to the general elections of August 23, in this region, João Lourenço paid tribute to the heroes of the resistance to colonial occupation and the national liberation struggle and promised to build monuments so that the history of Angola perpetuate.

He said that the Angolan people have lived in peace and harmony since April 4, 2002 and the country is in full development despite the universal crisis.

João Lourenço stated that the main current challenge is to promote the economic and social development of the country, stressing that there is still much to do to continue the work initiated by Presidents António Agostinho Neto and José Eduardo dos Santos.

He spoke of the need to increase the capacity of production and distribution of energy to contribute to the production of goods and announced that four new dams could be built.

He pledged special attention to private entrepreneurs to invest in agro-livestock farming, as well as to continue demining programs for farmers to work on secure land.

The party intends to give special attention to the transformation and industrialization of agricultural production, in order to meet the increased production and supply of food products produced in Angolan soil, and its flow to consumption centers in perfect conditions of hygiene.

Angola

Cuando Cubango – People Urged to Vote in Next Elections – Official

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Celebrating the 53rd Union Anniversary – Has the Country Succeeded in Meeting the Union Goals?

columnBy Pius Msekwa

I am very happy to be back in this ‘Current Affairs’ column, after a temporary absence of a few weeks during the month of April, 2017.

It is during that temporary absence that the country celebrated a major national event, namely, the 53rd anniversary of the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which was marked on 26th April, 2017.

As usual, the newspapers were awash with comments regarding this event; with most of the commentators concentrating on the achievements of this Union during the past 53 years.

For example, the Daily News of Wednesday, 26th April, 2017′ reported the statement made by Hon January Makamba (the Minister of State in the Vice-President’s Office responsible for Union Affairs), that “the Union Government has made positive headways in addressing the Union challenges”.

The Daily News also reported the comments made by Dr Bashir Ally, a lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam, who generally concurred with Minister Makamba, but added that “each issue which is resolved adds value to the sustenance of the Union”; and further that “building the Union is something sustainable, and the country must not relax upon successfully addressing a specific number of challenges . . .

It is better to look at whether the country has succeeded in meeting the Union goals, particularly regarding the state of peoples’ lives”. It is this last sentence of Dr Bashir Ally’s comments which quickly caught my attention. Namely, his pertinent question : “has the country succeeded in meeting the Union goals”?

But in order to answer this question correctly, one needs to know exactly what, specifically, were ‘the goals’ of this Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar.

The search for an answer to this crucial question, is the subject of my article today. What, indeed, were the goals of this Union?

It must be remembered that the main product of the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar was the creation of an entirely new nation of “Tanzanians,” which emerged out of the previous two separate nations of “Tanganyikans” on one side, and “Zanzibaris” on the other.

It is easy to identify what the goals were when the previous two nations of ‘Tanganyikans’ and ‘Zanzibaris’ were created, which, in both cases, were, quite simply, ‘to get rid of colonial domination’; under which the entire life of the people of these nations had been shaped by foreign rulers, who had totally different customs and beliefs.

These foreign rulers had determined the forms of government, the type of economic activity, and even the amount of education and health services to be provided to the indigenous people of these previous nations. But we are now talking about the new nation of “Tanzanians”. What then, were the ‘goals and objectives’ which were envisaged in creating this new nation of “Tanzanians”?

The most reliable answer can only be found in the statements made at the material time, by the founding fathers of this Union, Presidents Julius Nyerere of Tanganyika, and Abeid Amani Karume of Zanzibar.

These can be found in the relevant records, a reading of which reveals that according to the founding fathers of the Union, there were three substantive reasons which created the basis for the formation of this Union.

One was the ‘burning desire, (shauku kubwa) for African Unity; the other was the existence of ‘a long beneficial association between the peoples of these two countries,’ plus their ties of kinship and amity; and the third was the urgent need to enhance the defence and security status of these two nations. The desire for African Unity, and the need to strengthen the existing ties of kinship and amity.

These twin goals, or objectives, are readily confirmed by the following records. One is the preamble to the “Articles of Union” (which were signed by Presidents Julius Nyerere of Tanganyika, and Abeid Amani Karume of Zanzibar).

That preamble reads as follows: “WHEREAS the Governments of the Republic of Tanganyika and the Peoples’ Republic of Zanzibar, being mindful of the long association which has existed between the peoples of these lands, and of their ties of kinship and amity; and being desirous of furthering that association and the strengthening of these ties; AND of furthering the unity of African peoples; . . .

It is therefore AGREED between the Governments of the Republic of Tanganyika and the Peoples’ Republic of Zanzibar as follows: (i) The Republic of Tanganyika and the Peoples’ Republic of Zanzibar, shall be united into one Sovereign Republic . . .”

The second relevant record is President Nyerere’s article which was published in The Journal of Modern African Studies, Cambridge University Press,1963. In that article, President Nyerere stated as follows: “There is one sense in which African Unity already exists.

There is a huge sentiment of ‘African- ness’, or a feeling of mutual involvement, which pervades all the political and cultural life of the African continent. . . Our goal must be a United States of Africa.

This does not mean that we can achieve this goal tomorrow, in one single step. We must make progress towards it as and when we can, by taking appropriate steps towards African Unity in different areas of Africa . . .”

This is what explains President Nyerere’s great enthusiasm for the quick formation of the East African Federation, as an important step towards the eventual unification of all the African countries.

But when that goal appeared to fail, his enthusiasm quickly turned to the Union with Zanzibar, in the same hope that this would constitute one positive step towards the desired unity of all African States, or the United States of Africa.

The third relevant record is President Nyerere’s address to the Tanganyika Parliament on 25th April, 1964, when he was asking the Parliament to ratify the said Articles of Union; in which he said the following: “Leo hii kuna tamaa kubwa sana ya umoja katika Afrika. Mioyo ya Waafrika ina shauku kubwa ya ajabu ya kuungana ili tuwe kitu kimoja.

Lakini pamoja na kujivunia shauku hii, yafaa tukumbuke kwamba umoja huo hautakuja kwa sababu ya shauku tu, na maneno matupu. “Hatua mahsusi lazima zichukuliwe za kuonesha kwamba shauku hii, na matumaini haya, si ndoto tu isiyowezekana, bali ni jambo halisi linaloweza kutimia.

Hivyo basi, ikiwa nchi mbili ambazo ni marafiki, na ni jirani, zikiweza kuungana; muungano huo utakuwa ni uthibitisho wa vitendo kwamba matumaini ya umoja wa Bara letu si ndoto tu. “Kwani kama nchi mbili zikiweza kuungana na kuwa nchi moja, basi nchi tatu pia zinaweza.

Na ikiwa nchi tatu zinaweza, basi hata nchi zote thelathini za Afrika pia zinaweza kuungana.” President Nyerere elaborated further as follows: “Tanganyika na Zanzibar ni nchi ndugu.

Tunashirikiana kwa historia, lugha, mila, tabia, na siasa. Udugu wa Afro-Shirazi Party na TANU wote mnaufahamu. Udugu wa viongozi wa vyama hivi viwili haukuanza jana. Basi tunazo sababu zote hizo za kutufanya tuungane na kuwa nchi moja.

“Na juu ya yote hayo, kuna shauku ya Umoja wa Bara la Afrika. Basi, kwa kuzingatia yote hayo, mimi kwa niaba yenu, na Rais Karume kwa niaba ya ndugu zetu wa Unguja na Pemba, tulikutana mjini Zanzibar siku ya tarehe 22 mwezi huu, tukatia saini mkataba wa umoja baina ya nchi zetu mbili.

“Endapo Bunge hili, pamoja na Baraza la Mapinduzi la Zanzibar, yatakubali kuridhia mkataba huu, nchi zetu hizi mbili zitakuwa zimeungana na kuwa ni nchi moja.” The need to enhance the defence and security of these countries. We have listed this as the third principal objective for the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar.

It will be remembered that President Karume was ushered into power by the success of the Revolution which took place on January 12th, 1964. Hence, during the short period immediately following the said event, there was, quite understandably, considerable fear and apprehension among the Zanzibar Authorities, of the possibility of a counter revolution being organised by the forces which they had just overthrown, as a result of the success of their Revolution.

Furthermore, during that short period following the success of that Revolution, the new Government of Zanzibar had not yet been able to put in place its own defence and security forces, which would have the capability to repel any such counter- revolutionary attempt.

Thus, Zanzibar’s security threat was a real threat, and must have influenced the decision made by Presidents Karume and Nyerere, to seek Zanzibar’s ‘security assurance’ by uniting that country with Tanganyika, in compliance with the wise old adage, that “in unity, there is strength.”

Have these Union goals been met? That is precisely the point which was raised by Dr Bashir Ally, whose comments are quoted above.

In his remarks, Dr Bashir Ally asks whether our country has succeeded in the fight against the three enemies of poverty, diseases, and ignorance.

With regard to this point, I would like to remind our readers that the Constitutional structure of our Union provides for a two-government structure; whereby the Union Government has responsibility for the said matters (i.e. the fight against the said three enemies) only in the Mainland part of the United Republic.

Responsibility for such matters in Zanzibar is the exclusive reserve of the Zanzibar Revolutionary Government, hence any assessment of the success or failure in this particular endeavour, must be carried out separately in respect of each of the two Governments.

This is because such matters are described in the Union Constitution as “non-Union matters” which, in the case of Zanzibar, fall under the exclusive responsibility of the Zanzibar Revolutionary Government. The goal of African Unity has not been met.

The goal that our Union was intended to be just one step towards the unity of all African States, has obviously not been met.

This is because the ‘burning desire’ for the unity of all African States which, we are told, had “pervaded all the political and cultural life of the people of the African continent” which was so candidly described by President Nyerere in his article quoted above, has now completely disappeared!

However, the remaining goals and objectives of our Union, have indeed been accomplished. The ‘long established beneficial association between the peoples of these lands, and the ties of kinship and amity between them’ have been successfully maintained and strengthened.

Similarly, the important objective of enhancing the safety and security of our United Republic has also been achieved, as was exemplified by the total defeat and annihilation of Uganda’s armed forces, which were under the command of Iddi Amin Dada, the then President of Uganda, which had invaded the Kagera Region of our country in 1978; and resulted in the said Iddi Amin fleeing his country and running to a foreign country, where he lived in exile for the remainder of his life.

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Regional Heads of State Summit Now Set for May 20

Photo: Samuel Miring’u/The East African

Regional heads of State during the 17th Ordinary EAC Summit in Arusha Tanzania.

By Christabel Ligami

The East African heads of State Summit has been postponed for the third time to May 20, raising concerns about the EAC leaders’ commitment to regional integration.

The Summit, which had been scheduled for April 28 in Dar es Salaam, was postponed following a request by Kenya through its Ministry of East African Community, Labour and Social Protection. The ministry cited undisclosed “other commitments,” — April 28 would have coincided with party primaries in preparation for the August 8 general election.

Originally scheduled to be held last December, the Summit was first moved to March, and then to April at the request of Burundi and Tanzania respectively.

Top of the agenda is giving direction to the Community after what has been a year of sluggish implementation of projects. The year was also marked by a dispute on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU and differences between Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda on the route of a pipeline to evacuate oil from Uganda.

The heads of State Summit is usually held in April and November but was postponed to January 2017 following a request by Tanzania for time to consult on whether the EPA was viable.

Kenya’s Principal Secretary for East African Affairs Betty Maina said there was no cause for alarm in the delay. “Although decisions on key matters are pending, it can only be a big issue if the presidents go for a year without meeting,” said Ms Maina.

“We are hoping that there will be no more postponing from the current date. Burundi has confirmed availability for that day and we are waiting for the other partner states to do so.”

Wanyama Masinde, an expert on EAC integration says it is likely that the presidents are reluctant to meet because of the EPA issue; this especially so for Tanzania, which has taken a step back from the partnership.

“It is important for the presidents to meet because most decisions are pegged on the Summit’s outcome,” said Dr Masinde. Ms Maina, however, said the EPA was no longer a major sticking point because there were no timelines attached to it.

“Kenya has already signed and ratified the EPA which makes it safe for the country to sell to the EU market. We are only awaiting the decision of the other countries on the matter to decided the way forward,” she said.

“We expect that Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza will attend since the government had officially asked for the postponement of the Summit,” noted Dr Masinde.

Sudan: Khartoum, Abu Dhabi Agree to Enforce Several Agricultural and Livestock Production Projects

Khartoum — A delegation from Khartoum State headed by the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Mohamed Salih Jabir and the Commissioner of Khartoum Locality Lt. Gen. Ahmed Ali Osman Abu Shanab have got acquainted with the experience of the central markets in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates within the framework of regulation and modern design of the markets to ensure circulation of agricultural and animal products of high quality in preparation for transferring the experience of the city of Abu Dhabi in this domain to Khartoum State.

The Khartoum State’s delegation discussed with the Director of the Office of the Head of Business Department of the President of the State Sheikh Mohamed Bin Khalid Al-Nahyan His Excellency Abdul-Jalil Al-Baluki, the Presidents of a group of UAE companies, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gulf Bank-Khartoum and the Chairman of the Emirates Investment and Agricultural Production Company in Khartoum, ways of joint cooperation and the implementation of a number of projects during the coming period for the benefit of the two peoples in various development, agricultural and livestock production besides activation of tourism work in Khartoum and push all projects that will achieve sustainable development in the state.

For his part, Gen. Abu Shanab said that the visit came in response to the desire of the group of UAE companies to invest in Khartoum after the visit of paid by their delegates during the past month where the two sides agreed to study a number of projects in the framework of the construction of markets, revitalization of tourism work and establishment of the largest animal park in the country.

Sudan

Sudan’s Silent Conflicts – State Censorship in the War Zones

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Ghana: Government Will Regulate Indecent Social Media Content – President

By Esther Tagoe

President Nana Akufo-Addo on Thursday said his government would institute regulations to guide and control indecent social media content.

He said regulating indecent communication was essential and could help control content posted on social media, which would also avoid denigrating Ghanaian societal norms and values.

The President noted this would instill some level of sanity and decency in the way information was disseminated in the advent of social media and technology.

President Akuffo-Addo said this when he paid a courtesy call on Osagyefo Oseadeyo Agyemang Badu II, the Paramount Chief of Dormaa Traditional Area on the final day of a two-day working visit to the Brong- Ahafo Region. He had been to Goaso in the Brong-Ahafo on the first day to launch the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ initiative.

The visit was also to thank the people of Dormaa for voting him into power.

The President was responding to a remark made by the Omanhene to the effect that many Ghanaians were deliberately employing social media to indiscriminately and unreservedly malign, castigate, abuse and destroy the hard-won reputation of some highly respected and prominent personalities in the country.

President Akuffo-Addo expressed his government’s preparedness to cooperate and work with traditional rulers irrespective of their political, ethnic and religious inclinations.

He reiterated his government’s commitment and resolve to fight the galamsey menace and called for a concerted effort towards its total elimination noting that it was extremely crucial and vital to safeguard and preserve the country’s natural resources for posterity.

He added that although the resources bequeathed to him by his predecessor was meagre and his government was determined to prudently find ways of managing and generating resources to prosecute Ghana’s development agenda.

Touching on the emergence and activities of vigilante groups, he said people who committed criminal offences should be made to face the full rigours of the law irrespective of their status in society.

“Nana, even if you should go against the law you will be punished. Because the law is not a respector of persons”, he stated. He indicated that he would continue to seek the advice of the country’s former surviving Presidents and hold periodic meetings with them to draw on their valuable experiences and wisdom to shape his government. “This will not be nine-day wonder”, he added.

The President tasked the Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister to work with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to ensure that a veterinary laboratory facility was provided to help poultry farmers in Dormaa to diagnose diseases of live birds and for research purposes.

“In the same manner, I will work to find solutions to taxes on medicines for poultry and construct cocoa roads”, he emphasised.

On victims in Dormaa-Ahenkro whose households were struck with severe rainstorm in March causing extensive damage to property and several injuries, he tasked the Regional Director of NADMO to work together and help provide assistance to the victims.

The President expressed his determination to fulfil all campaign promises including executing and implementing the one district one factory agenda, free SHS policy and restoration of nurses training allowance.

Osagyefo Oseadeyo Agyemang Badu II, Paramount Chief of the Dormaa traditional area commended President Akufo-Addo for his recent initiative to seek the advice and consult the former Presidents of the land.

He described it as unprecedented in the history of the nation and asked him to make it a routine occurrence. He appealed to the President to continue with the good works started by his predecessor in the provision of infrastructure for Dormaa including roads, development of a University Campus in Dormaa, and to complete the Community Day SHS in Danyame. Osagyefo Oseadeyo Agyemang Badu II, pledged his full support as well as that of his subjects towards the success of Akuffo-Addo administration.

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