Over 2500 Rwandans from across Western Europe at Gathering
4 December 2010
President Kagame on Saturday evening met with Rwandans from several European cities in Brussels at a festive gathering that comes four years since his last visit to Belgium. President Kagame is on a working visit to Brussels and will on Monday attend the fifth edition of the European Development Days.
Addressing nearly 2700 Rwandans and friends of Rwanda who had braved the unusually cold Belgian winter and travelled many hours to meet with him, President Kagame said that although each one of them were living outside Rwanda for various reasons, had come at different times and under different circumstances, Rwanda belonged to all of them, and what everyone seeks was a Rwanda for Rwandans, not for Tutsis, or Hutus or Twas or even foreigners – but for Rwandans.
President Kagame spoke of the values that guide the new Rwanda, particularly the rejection of the culture of corruption, and importance of self worth of every Rwandan saying
“As Rwandans we have to believe in our own worth, and not expect to get this as a gift from someone else. People who do not value themselves cannot achieve development – we have seen this in the past in our country and on our continent”.
4 November 2010 Radical reforms which have made it easier for businesses to get credit, pay tax and deal with construction have boosted Rwanda’s ratings again in the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business Report’. In 2011’s index, Rwanda was the most improved country in Africa – the second most improved country overall. It came in 58th on the overall list, up from 70th last year
The CEO of the Rwanda Development Board, John Gara welcomed the report
“The 2011 Doing Busines results are a statement of our consistent efforts to empower our local and foreign entrepreneurs. We are determined to work alongside investors to make sure we do all we can to make Rwanda a great place to do business and unleash the country's full potential”
The report, dubbed ‘Making it easy for Entrepreneurs’ also highlighted Rwanda’s improvements in making it easier to start a business, trade across borders, and enforce contracts which have helped it maintain its position above all its East African Community partner countries.
The 2011 results underline the importance of cooperation between government institutions and agencies in order to overcome the constraints facing Rwanda’s private sector.
Monique Nsanzabaganwa, Minister of Trade and Industry and Chair of the Doing Business Steering Committee, said:
“We were inspired by the 2010 results to even do better especially on indicators that were more challenging. The Doing Business spirit that is inbuilt within our institutions enabled us to establish a one-stop centre for construction permits in order to promptly address the main challenge to our construction industry. But there is still more to do; over the next 12 months, we will continue our programme of reforms so that business and trade contribute more to Rwanda's economic growth and social transformation”
The Rwanda Development Board will continue to foster existing partnerships , and build new ones among different doing business stakeholders and agencies in order to do make sure that business is at the heart of our development.
Queries on Rwanda’s Doing Business performance can be directed to:
Bernis Byamukama - Doing Business Coordinator - firstname.lastname@example.org +250 788 627 839
Herbert Muhire - DB Communications Officer - email@example.com +250 788 358 850
National Public Prosecution Authority
Office of the Prosecutor General
Victoire Ingabire Denied Bail
Evidence shows that Victoire Ingabire is a terrorist leader and financier masquerading as a politician
Speaking after the Gasabo Intermediate Court refused Victoire Ingabire bail on charges that include collaborating with a terrorist organization, Rwanda’s Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga, told journalists in Kigali;
“In public, Victoire Ingabire masquerades as a politician. But behind the scenes she operates as a terrorist leader and financier. Her co-conspirators in these endeavors include some of the same individuals who have been in the news lately for the mass rape of women and children in the Eastern DRC”.
Mr Ngoga said the prosecution has a great deal of evidence against Ms Ingabire – some of it gathered with help from Rwanda’s neighbours, Burundi and DRC. That evidence includes records of money transfers through Western Union to FDLR Union (an extremist armed group based in the DRC made up of remnants of the former Rwanda Army and the militias responsible for the 1994 Rwanda genocide).
Evidence also includes testimony by senior commanders of FDLR with whom she was working to form a more violent splinter group in order to wage guerilla war against Rwanda. Amongst these witnesses are former FDLR Colonel Tharcisse Nditurende, who on 29 April 2010 pleaded guilty to working with Ms Ingabire to form a guerrilla group designed to launch offensives against Rwanda; former FDLR Lieutenant Jean Marie Karuta who, on 6 May 2010 another pleaded guilty to working with Victoire Ingabire and Lt Colonel Nditurende and Lt Colonel Noeli Habyaremye to plan military offensives to cause state insecurity within Rwanda.
Also, in the past few days Major Vital Uwumuremyi, yet another former ex-FAR and FDLR commander who had continued to work as her assistant until his arrest, appeared before a court and admitted to helping Ms Ingabire form a terrorist organization with the aim of causing state insecurity.
Mr Ngoga said that Ms Ingabire's personal safety is assured throughout the judicial process and that she will receive a fair trial. He thanked countries in the region for their collaboration and urged other countries from which Rwanda had requested information, including Belgium, Holland, Switzerland and the United States to cooperate in this far-reaching terrorist investigation.
Ms Ingabire has appealed the court decision.
The Government of Rwanda will host a Private Sector Summit organized jointly with Friends of the Global Fund Africa and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on Saturday, 6 November 2010. The theme of the event is “Increasing Returns on Investment in the fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria”. President Paul Kagame is scheduled to speak at the Summit.
The goal of the Private Sector Summit is to enhance engagement of African private sector in the fight against the three pandemics affecting the continent, and to mobilize resources for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The Summit is also part of the ‘Gift from Africa’ campaign – an effort in partnership with the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria which began in June 2010 and encourages organization in the African private sector to support the Global Fund in its efforts to eradicate AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The Global Fund is the largest funder in the fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; the African region currently receives approximately 60% of Global Fund approved grants. It is very important to Africa that this fund continues, especially because it plays a significant role in supporting the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
As 2010 is the Global Fund’s replenishment year; this Summit is an opportune time for members of the private sector to contribute to the fight against the three pandemics while making an investment in Africa and contributing to the welfare of Africans. It is also an opportunity for increased visibility in the African region. Participating companies will benefit from this unique gathering hosted by the people of Rwanda.
Friends Africa (Friends of the Global Fund Africa) is a Pan-African organization which works to mobilize strategic political and financial support for the fight against AIDS, TB and Malaria through education, multisectoral advocacy, documentation and technical assistance.
Media contacts for Private Sector Summit:
Yolande Makolo firstname.lastname@example.org +250 788 306800
Shaduri Rumongi email@example.com +250 788 580110
For more information on Friends Africa and the Private Sector Summit, please visit www.friends-africa.org/private-sector-summit.php or email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com or call =23401 213 7273
Kigali, 19 October 2010
Responding to the Reporters Without Borders 2010 report, Protais Musoni, caretaker Minister overseeing the Ministry of Information, said:
“The Government of Rwanda values responsible freedom of speech and is committed to developing a vibrant and responsible media and promoting professional journalism.
We welcome partners in media development, including Reporters without Borders, to Rwanda to see for themselves the reality of the media environment and to work with us in building capacity in this sector.
Reporters Without Borders’ report bases its conclusions on unverified and grossly distorted accounts of the political situation here. Those conclusions, therefore, are not an accurate reflection of Rwanda’s true media environment.
Independent observers didn’t find the “climate of terror” described by Reporters Without Borders when they were here during the August elections. On the contrary observer teams, including the Commonwealth Observer Group, said the elections were “conducted in a peaceful atmosphere… Campaign freedoms were provided for candidates, and they enjoyed freedom of movement and assembly in the conduct of their campaigns” (2010 Rwanda Elections - Final Report).
Reporters Without Borders fails to explain why two tabloids were suspended for six months. Both publications repeatedly failed to adhere to media law. Their reporting was ethnically divisive, in the manner previously seen in the lead-up to the genocide in 1994, and damaging to the efforts towards national reconciliation.
There is absolutely no basis for Reporters Without Borders to allege that the Government of Rwanda was responsible for Jean-Leonard Rugambage’s murder – his killers were apprehended, have confessed to the revenge killing related to the 1994 genocide, and are currently on trial.
Ignatius Kabagambe, director general firstname.lastname@example.org +250783008764
Kigali, 1 October 2010
Today, the United Nations has stripped the “Mapping Report” of all legal or historical credibility.
“The Government of Rwanda has consistently argued that the report is inherently flawed. We note that the UN also recognizes that the report omits crucial historical context, uses problematic methodology and sourcing, and the standard of proof used to justify the allegations in it is woefully inadequate”, said Louise Mushikiwabo, Foreign Minister and Government Spokesperson.
“It seems clear that no amount of tinkering can resuscitate the credibility of this fundamentally misguided process. This report is yet another attempt to distort Rwanda’s history and prolong instability in the Great Lakes Region,” said Mrs Mushikiwabo.
"Rwanda will continue to defend herself against all attempts to rewrite our history in any form and in any forum, including reserving the right to review our various engagements with the UN.”
Kigali, 30 September 2010
At noon today (Thursday), the Government of Rwanda provided the United Nations with comments on the draft report of the Mapping Exercise in the DRC.
“Despite the media’s focus on sensational aspects of the leaked draft, Rwanda categorically states that the document is flawed and dangerous from start to finish,” Rwandan Foreign Minister and Government Spokesperson, Hon Louise Mushikiwabo said today.
“Our comments to the UN today center around seven specific areas of objection that clearly demonstrate how the Mapping Exercise has been a moral and intellectual failure – as well as an insult to history,” Ms Mushikiwabo said.
The seven areas of objection are:
1. The manipulation of UN processes by organizations and individuals—both inside and outside the UN—for purposes of rewriting history, improperly apportioning blame for the genocide that occurred in Rwanda, and reigniting conflict in Rwanda and the region.
2. The omission of the historical context, especially the immediate and serious threat posed by armed and ideologically charged refugees positioned right at the border of Rwanda and Zaire, as well as the nature of the conflict within Zaire at the time. This is despite the UN’s knowledge of the situation and its blatant inaction.
3. The contradiction between the report and contemporaneous accounts of the situation from the UN Security Council, NGOs and many other eyewitnesses in the region who confirmed that genocidal forces, often posing as civilian refugees, were operating under the cover of UN refugee camps.
4. The flawed methodology and application of the lowest imaginable evidentiary standard.
5. The overreliance on the use of anonymous sources, hearsay assertions, unnamed, un-vetted and unidentified investigators and witnesses, who lack credibility; and allegation of the existence of victims with uncertain identity.
6. Failure to address the glaring inconsistency that claims of genocide are directly contradicted by Rwanda’s extensive and coordinated efforts to repatriate, resettle and reintegrate 3.2 million Hutu refugees; efforts that were supported by the UN.
7. The dangerous and irresponsible attempt by the Report to undermine the peace and stability attained in the Great Lakes region, which directly contradicts the very mission of the United Nations
“Given these objections, it seems clear that no amount of tinkering can resuscitate the credibility of this fundamentally misguided process,” Ms. Mushikiwabo said.
See the full comments here (PDF)