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Rwanda's tourism earnings seen up 25 pct in 2016 from last year - official
3 September 2016 - Rwanda expects to boost its revenue earnings from tourism this year by 25.8 percent from 2015, helped by extra attractions, an official told Reuters late on Friday. The central African country is famed for rolling green hills and treks to see endangered gorillas on the slopes of the Virunga Mountains. A new national park called Gishwati-Mukura, the country's fourth, a 'cultural village' in the capital Kigali, a vast new hospitality facility called the Kigali Convention Centre, and new adventure activities on Lake Kivu would drive revenue growth, said Francis Gatare chief executive officer of state-run Rwanda Development Board. (more)

How Africa's fastest solar power project is lighting up Rwanda
23 November 2015 - 'Arise, shine for your light has come,' reads a sign at the entrance to the first major solar power farm in east Africa. The 8.5 megawatt (MW) power plant in Rwanda is designed so that, from a bird's-eye view, it resembles the shape of the African continent. The 17-hectare plant is also evidence, not only of renewable energy's increasing affordability, but how nimble it can be. The $23.7m (British pounds 15.6m) solar field went from contract signing to construction to connection in just a year, defying sceptics of Africa's ability to realize projects fast. (more)

Rwanda turns to small solar units to expand power access
17 December 2014 - Rwanda is expanding the use of small solar units for remote households and schools to help meet a government target of increasing access to electricity to 70 per cent of the nation by 2018 from just 22 per cent now, officials said. Poor access to power in the African nation has held back the growth needed to haul more people out of poverty but expanding power plants cannot always solve the problem when the grid has a limited reach. Other African nations are also seeking to exploit their solar potential. (more)

Africa: Mo Ibrahim - 'The numbers say Africa is rising'
27 May 2014 - The Rwandan capital Kigali hosted this year's annual meetings of the African Development Bank, set up in 1964 with the goal of strengthening African solidarity by means of economic cooperation between African states. Among the international economists and experts attending the 49th meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Kigali was Sudanese-British mobile communications entrepreneur and philanthropist Mo Ibrahim. In 2006 he established the Mo Ibrahim Foundation to encourage better governance in Africa. A year later he initiated the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. At the meeting he stated, 'Rwanda really did take very strong steps towards development. I mean this place is unrecognizable. There's a very good management of economy and resources -- it's a success story and that's great.' (more)

Rwanda: China boosts rural electrification drive with solar kits
9 January 2014 - The Chinese government has given Rwanda a timely boost of solar equipment worth RWF 427 million to the Energy, Water, and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) to increase access to electricity in the rural parts of the country. The solar kits are planned to be installed in at least 400 hundred households in the Southern, Northern, and Eastern provinces of the country. (more)

Rwanda: Report reveals untapped business opportunities in environment sector
14 December 2013 - There are numerous opportunities that private investors can tap into in the environment sector, the State of Environment Report 2013 has said. The report, launched on 12 December by Rwanda Environment Management Authority (Rema), says the opportunities are both small and large scale. The biannual report provides decision makers and stakeholders with information about the current state of the city's environment and suggests responses in line with the City of Kigali master plan and details the state of the environment in the City, as well as the challenges and way forward. (more)

A vote of confidence for African women
1 November 2013 - In September, Rwanda elected a parliament with 64% of seats held by women -- more than in any other country in the world. Rwanda's post-conflict constitution laid out a requirement for there to be 30% female MPs, and in 2008 the nation became the first in the world in which women claim a parliamentary majority. Fast-forward to this September and the ballot results showed yet more progress. Twenty-six female MPs were elected in addition to the 24 seats reserved for women. Rwanda's 64% compares impressively with the 45% female representation in Sweden and the UK's 23% -- all in a country where women only got the vote in 1961. (more)

Congo, Rwanda leaders meet in Uganda to revive peace talks
5 September 2013 - The Presidents of Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda met in Uganda Thursday to try to revive Congo's stalled peace talks with a rebel movement that is widely believed to be backed by Rwanda. The summit in Kampala, organized under the banner of a regional bloc called the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, provided a rare opportunity for Congolese President Joseph Kabila and Rwandan President Paul Kagame to hold face-to-face meetings at a time when their countries are on edge over Rwanda's alleged military involvement in eastern Congo. (more)

Rwanda allows opposition party to operate
11 August 2013 - Rwandan President Paul Kagame's government has legalized an opposition political party that spent four years trying to get registered. The Democratic Green Party, led by Frank Habineza, said late Friday it received a certificate of registration after years of attempts. Rwanda has several political parties, but most are loyal to Kagame's Rwanda Patriotic Front. Habineza's party is seen as a true opposition party. (more)

Rwanda: Mobile libraries to promote reading culture
10 January 2013 - Rwanda's Ministry of Education is set to rollout the national mobile library to enhance reading culture among the populace. Joyce Musabe, the deputy director general in the Rwanda Education Board, in an interview with The New Times, said they are signing contracts with publishers to deliver reading and other learning and teaching materials to schools through mobile libraries. (more)

Short Summaries of Top Stories

Rwanda army officers aiding M23 rebels in Congo - UN experts
28 June 2013 - Military officers from Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo are fuelling violence in eastern Congo despite pledges by the countries to foster peace, according to a confidential UN experts' report seen by Reuters on Friday. A rebel group in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo continues to recruit fighters in neighbouring Rwanda with the aid of sympathetic Rwandan military officers, the UN Group of Experts said in its interim report to the Security Council's Congo sanctions committee. The UN Group of Experts also said elements of the Congolese military have cooperated with a Rwandan Hutu rebel group against the Congolese M23 rebel group, a Tutsi-dominated rebellion of former Congolese soldiers that has demanded political concessions from President Joseph Kabila's government. Last year the experts accused Rwanda's defence minister of commanding the M23 rebellion, which it said was being armed by Rwanda and Uganda, both of which sent troops to aid the insurgency. (more)

Rwanda says FDLR rebels cross from Congo, attack wardens
2 December 2012 - Rwanda said FDLR rebels crossed the border from the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday and attacked a game warden camp, killing one warden in the second attack by the Rwandan Hutu group in six days. 'The FDLR fired small arms, machine guns, RPG and 60mm mortars. The six park rangers fled the camp and one was killed, one injured,' Rwandan defence forces spokesman Brigadier General Joseph Nzabamwita told Reuters. 'They were pursued. None were caught or injured, and fled back to DRC. This is proof of FDLR having got arms and exploiting the situation in eastern DRC to destabilize Rwanda,' he said. Rwanda said on Tuesday that its troops clashed with another group of FDLR rebels after they attacked three villages on its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. An FDLR spokesman denied its fighters had been involved. The group opposes the Tutsi-led government in Kigali and includes Hutu militiamen suspected of participating in Rwanda's 1994 genocide. (more)

Rwanda army officials supporting Congo rebels - HRW
4 June 2012 - Officials within the Rwandan military have provided up to 300 fighters as well as weapons and ammunition to rebels battling government forces in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, Human Rights Watch said on Monday. Rwanda accused the rights group of 'reckless media showmanship' by linking it to the Congo rebellion, which has for the last two months pitted the army against troops loyal to Bosco Ntaganda, a renegade Congo general wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Kigali has a history of supporting armed groups in Congo's mountainous terrain, initially citing a need to pursue Rwandan rebel fighters linked to the country's 1994 genocide. Rwanda has also faced accusations of contributing to years of violence and pillaging the region's vast mineral wealth. But the latest uprising comes after three years of relative peace and improved relations between the two countries. (more)

Woman Minister guilty of genocide in Rwanda
24 June 2011 - The UN war crimes tribunal for Rwanda sentenced former Minister Pauline Nyiramasuhuko to life in prison on Friday, the first time a woman has been found guilty of genocide by an international court. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) found Pauline Nyiramasuhuko and her son, Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, who was also jailed for life, guilty of atrocities committed in Rwanda's southern Butare region during the 1994 massacre. The court said Nyiramasuhuko was guilty of genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity for ordering the killing of scores of Tutsis taking refuge from the slaughter at a local government office in Butare. 'It's shocking that this mother and former social worker, trained to protect life, could instead have been responsible for such appalling crimes', said Freddy Mutanguha, Rwandan Country Director for the Aegis Trust, the genocide prevention organisation responsible for the Kigali Genocide Memorial. (more)

Rwanda says it will charge 'Hotel Rwanda' manager
27 October 2010 - The Rwandan hotel manager portrayed by Don Cheadle in the movie 'Hotel Rwanda' could face charges by Rwandan authorities over allegations the man sent money to opposition commanders, Rwanda's top prosecutor said. But the former manager, Paul Rusesabagina, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he hasn't sent any money to Rwanda in years, and that the government is launching a smear campaign against him because he has opposed President Paul Kagame in the past. After his story was publicized in 'Hotel Rwanda,' Rusesabagina was hailed as a hero around the world. Former US President George W. Bush gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, the highest civilian honor in the US Human rights groups accuse Kagame's regime of iron-fisted control and of silencing opposition politicians and media outlets. The groups and other critics decried the arrest of several opposition figures in the lead-up to Rwanda's August president election, and noted that several others were killed or attacked under suspicious circumstances. (more)

Kagame's former allies warn of Rwanda violence
9 September 2010 - A group of exiled Rwandans has warned that the central African nation could descend into conflict unless Tutsi President Paul Kagame shares more power with the majority ethnic Hutu. Four erstwhile Kagame allies called on the international community to exert pressure to end impunity for gross human rights violations and help avert conflict which they said is inevitable if he continues to marginalize the Hutu population. The group accused Kagame of being a source of instability in the region, having invaded neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo twice and supported proxy militias in its mineral-rich eastern borderlands. They also said Kagame's strident leadership has paralyzed decision-making at senior levels of government and that a climate of fear had caused a brain drain of the educated elite. (more)

Rwanda's Hutus live in fear of attacks, repression
30 June 2010 - International rights groups have condemned Rwanda in recent weeks for clamping down on dissent, curbing freedoms, and silencing opponents in advance of the country's August presidential election. A human rights report released this week said Rwanda's Tutsi-led government is oppressing Hutus in neighbouring Uganda and the ethnic divisions that sparked Rwanda's 1994 genocide have re-emerged. At least 500,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in the Hutu-led slaughter -- violence that ended when a Tutsi-dominated militia headed by Kagame entered the country, causing droves of Hutus to flee. The International Refugee Rights Initiative and the Refugee Law Project said Rwanda is using the legacy of the genocide to repress Hutus. Refugees in Uganda are afraid to return home and some reported that Rwandan authorities were torturing, imprisoning, and even killing Hutus, the report said. 'This situation threatens to shatter Rwanda's outward peace and prosperity as the cycles of violence' based on ethnicity continue, it said. (more)

Rwanda: Editor of suspended newspaper shot dead
25 June 2010 - A journalist working for a suspended Rwandan newspaper was shot dead by an unknown gunman, police said on Friday. Jean Leonard Ruganbage worked as an editor for the vernacular Umuvugizi paper. Media authorities banned Umuvugizi for six months in April, along with another critical paper. Ahead of a presidential election on 9 August, international rights groups and the United States, a major donor and military ally, have expressed growing concerns about a government clampdown on critical media and opposition political parties. Ruganbage's senior editor, Jean Bosco Gasasira, who fled to Uganda in April, accused the government of responsibility. (more)

Rwandan opposition candidate denied run for office
25 June 2010 - An ethnic Hutu opposition candidate who hoped to run for president in Rwanda has been denied the right to appear on the ballot because of charges of denying the country's genocide, party officials said Friday. Victoire Ingabire returned to Rwanda in January after 16 years, a return she says she made because the country needs an open discussion to promote reconciliation. The government has been lauded by the international community for its progress in women's rights and economic growth, but analysts say Kagame's government harshly cracks down on dissent. It's been 16 years since more than 500,000 Rwandans, mostly Tutsis and moderate Hutus, were killed in a genocide, but Rwanda still grapples with ethnic divisions. (more)

Top Rwandan editor killed by gunmen
25 June 2010 - A global media rights group says gunmen have killed a top Rwandan editor in the Rwandan capital. Reporters Without Borders says Jean-Leonard Rugambage, deputy editor of the independent newspaper Umuvugizi, was killed outside his home late Thursday. Rwanda's media regulator has suspended Umuvugizi from publishing for six months for violating the country's media laws. Its editor fled to neighbouring Uganda in May. (more)


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