Angola: New International Airport Undergoes Correction Works
Rwanda Launches Icyerekezo Satellite to Connect Rural Schools to the Internet
Sudan: President Al Bashir Delegates Powers as Head of Ruling Party to Deputy
Kenya: New Contractor to Build Itare Dam
Ethiopian Receives First Boeing 737-800 Freighter
Monastir: Chahed stresses need for Tunisia to get in step with industry 4.0
Adoption of Agriculture & Fisheries Agreements Further Strengthens Morocco-EU Links
Investment Minister Sahar Nasr discusses support for private sector with ITFC CEO
The New Times (Kigali)
Rwanda has practically passed the space Rubicon, so to speak. All eyes had been directed towards Japan where its space agency was collaborating with the Rwandan government to launch a multi-purpose satellite into space sometime this year.
But unfolding under the radar, without all the expected fanfare, was a communication satellite dubbed “Icyerekezo” (vision) that was launched this week.
The name was coined by students on the remote island of Nkombo in Western Province who will be the first to benefit from the satellite which will provide broadband internet to remote schools.
As usual, actions speak louder than words. Rwanda has on many occasions said it would build a knowledge-based workforce and the first priority is bridging the digital divide, and it is doing so.
The recent opening of the country’s first coding academy, and the planned rollout of others in the remaining provinces is just a tip of the iceberg.
But all the centres of excellence cropping up should not be taken a trophies to be displayed, but should be used to encourage more students to join the scientific world.
As the just-launched satellite is aptly named, this country’s vision is firmly grounded on having a knowledge-based generation of tech-savvies by adopting the latest technologies. Icyerekezo has shown that in Rwanda, the sky is not the limit.
The Herald - Zimbabwe
Yesterday, Zimbabwe and Botswana successfully concluded the inaugural Bi-National Commission, a platform that allows the two countries to cooperate at the highest level.
As we report elsewhere in this issue, Zimbabwe and Botswana signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) in six major areas that span the political, economic and social spectrum.
The cherry on top, of course, was the one-billion-pula facility that the western neighbour and diamond producing giant is extending to Zimbabwe’s private sector.
Throughout the duration of the interactions, there was a palpable sense of positivity on both sides: Botswana is willing to help Zimbabwe rise from the present economic trouble that have roots in the history of the country and in particular shaped by events of the last two decades.
Zimbabwe was slapped by unjust sanctions by Western countries and slipped in its development, with de-industrialisation, economic decay and social services breaking down.
At the height of the troubles, a significant number of Zimbabweans left the country to find better fortunes in Botswana, South Africa as well as other countries farther afield.
Botswana knows where Zimbabwe has come from. It has decided to act, and act positively.
Under President Mokgweetsi Masisi, Botswana has decided to engage Zimbabwe in a friendly and sustainable manner that elevates shared interests and values.
It has gone further to locate its relations with Zimbabwe in the global and geopolitical matrix, lending support to its neighbour within the context of its most pressing issues at home and abroad.
President Masisi has found a willing partner in President Mnangagwa who, too, has decided to bring a new chapter to relations between the two countries after years of under-warm interaction.
This latter story is well told and bears no emphasis from us. And this week played out a beautiful story.
We would like to celebrate this huge step of Botswana and Zimbabwe opening a new chapter. We also acknowledge, heartily, Botswana’s extension of credit facilities, and the promise of more.
Some Zimbabweans do not want to hear any good news happening to the country, for the obvious reason that a better Zimbabwe will dent the prospects of political outfits that thrive on the suffering of the masses.
As such, we took note — with disgust — how some people, especially on social media, appeared to celebrate what in their view was Botswana disowning a commitment to extend facilities to Zimbabwe.
Some of us — the eternal optimists — were ridiculed and almost lynched for having earlier reported on the positive indications.
Our crime was to be happy that something that would alleviate the suffering of our people was in the pipeline.
The disbelievers do not want to hear anything positive about the country.
A positive trajectory for the country will be hard to process for their shut minds.
We are different.
We choose to be positive and wish our country well. There is nothing to be ashamed of.
We will continue celebrating every good news that concerns our country. For us, unlike others, the good news is good news.
We have never considered bad news to be good news. No.
Experts from the Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA), African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) are meeting in Libreville, Gabon today to review the guidelines for preparing national AfCFTA implementation strategies. Experts will review current production and trade within a national and regional context; the identification and prioritization of opportunities for value chain development; a thorough analysis of constraints, including non-tariffs barriers and competitiveness issues faced by businesses and means to address them; strategic actions to boost identified priority sectors; a monitoring and evaluation framework; and financial resources mobilization plans. Taking also the macroeconomic context into account, all these factors will feed into producing guidelines to support 30 countries with the development of their national AfCFTA (African Continental Free Trade Agreement) implementation strategies.
ATPC acknowledges that the AfCFTA could bring about some short-term adjustment costs such as lower tariffs revenues. Furthermore, a range of cross cutting and very critical issues need to be integrated into the national plans, including gender mainstreaming, the environment, climate change, and new technologies. David Luke, Coordinator of the African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) said that “country strategies will not be developed from scratch. African countries have in place a number of well-grounded knowledge products and frameworks, national development plans, trade, industrialization and export policies that will inform the AfCFTA strategies.”
With 19 countries now having already ratified the Agreement, the target number for implementation (i.e. 22 ratifications) is expected to be reached in just a few weeks.
The national implementation strategies, which will have regard for countries priority interests within the continental and global development agenda, are part of a wider project aiming at Deepening Africa’s Trade integration through Effective Implementation of the AfCFTA. Financially supported by the European Union, ECA has been working with its partners including the African Union Commission (AUC), International Trade Centre (ITC), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and a selection of independent trade experts to identify the key elements to be considered in the AfCFTA implementation strategies, the support will initially be rolled out in 30 countries.
About the African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC). The African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) strengthens the human and institutional capacities of African Governments to formulate and implement sound trade policies and participate more effectively in trade negotiations at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels. ATPC works with a range of other relevant stakeholders such as the private sector, civil society, and academia in research, training, information dissemination and advisory services to build consensus and achieve inclusive outcomes. The African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) is based within the ECA Headquarters in Addis Ababa.