Daily News Brief on ICGLR Member States compiled by LMRC ( 18th June 2019)

1.       ANGOLA

a)      Angola Press Agency: Manuel Augusto leaves for Uganda

Luanda- Foreign Minister Manuel Augusto travelled to the Republic of Uganda on Monday to deliver a message from the Angolan Head of State, João Lourenço, to his counterpart, Yoweri Museveni.

According to a note from that ministerial department, the message of the Angolan Head of State aims to strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

Angola and Uganda develop cooperation relations in some areas, both bilaterally and within the framework of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), especially in the areas of politics, diplomacy, defence and security.

Both states are part of the African Great Lakes region and, above all, develop cooperation relations in the political and diplomatic spheres and are expected to expand into the oil and other sectors.

b)      Angola Press Agency: Ex- Military Intelligence Service chief under house arrest

Luanda - The former chief of Military Intelligence and Security Service (SISM) general António José Maria is facing personal coercion measures of under house arrest, announced the Supreme Military Court (STM) on Monday

In its note reached Angop on Monday, the STM states that José Maria must wait in this condition for further proceedings of the process.

José Maria is indicted for the criminal offences, ranging from loss of documents, equipments or objects containing military information to disobedience.

According to the document, the said offences are provided for in articles 42 number 01 and 17 number 01, both of Law 04/94 of January 28 (Law on Military Crimes).

2.       BURUNDI

a)      Business Standard: Burundi suspends last independent civil rights group

The East African state of Burundi has suspended the country's last independent civil rights group, accusing it of "disturbing peace and public order."

A ministerial order, seen by AFP on Tuesday, applies to an NGO called Parcem, which campaigns for good governance.

Its activities "are suspended" indefinitely, according to the document, signed by Interior Minister Pascal Barandagiye.

Burundi has been in crisis since 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza ran for a third term and was re-elected in elections boycotted by most of the opposition.

At least 1,200 people were killed and more than 400,000 displaced in violence that the UN says was mostly carried out by state security forces.

Independent NGOs were suspended for contesting Nkurunziza's plans for a third term.

Parcem was also initially suspended in 2015 but was allowed to resume its activities when its legal representative accepted conditions imposed by the authorities.

Barandagiye said that despite several warnings, the organisation "worked on tarnishing the country's image, and its leaders on disturbing peace and public order."

Parcem -- an acronym for the French words meaning World and Action for Awakening Consciences and the Evolution of Mentalities -- had recently launched a campaign highlighting Burundi's economic crisis, notably giving figures on poverty that conflicted with official data.

Quoting World Bank statistics, it had said Burundi had the least direct foreign investment and lowest rate of industrialisation in the world.

Three Parcem activists were acquitted on appeal last December after having been given 10-year jail terms for "harming state domestic security" after they failed to invite members of the ruling party to a meeting.

All the leading opposition figures have fled the country, and some of the activists who have remained have been murdered or injured.

Last year, a campaigner was handed a 32-year jail term for taking part in protests.

b)      Regional Week: Chinese UN Envoy urges International Community to respect Burundi’s Sovereignty.

The Chinese UN envoy has spoken, on Friday, June 14, 2019, in behalf of Burundi and urged the International community to respect Burundi’s sovereignty in regards to its near 2020 elections and provide assistance to Burundi’ s government needs.

WHY IT MATTERS: China, which may be described as ‘gap-filler’ of Burundi, has taken all necessary measures to prevent the Western-led resolutions(sometimes condemned by Gitega) to ‘engulf Burundi’ after the Western world suspended their support to Burundi since 2015. China and Russia have taken all the necessary steps to ‘keep Burundi standing’ in the face of the International Community.

The international community should prioritize efforts in creating a favorable external environment for peace and stability of the country, said Wu Haitao, China’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, in a Security Council meeting, Chinese-state-run media Xinhua, reported.

Wu Haitao urged the International Community to respect Burundi’s choice of how to handle their matters, especially the 2020 elections. “Elections are the internal affairs of a country,” said the Chinese envoy.

The Burundian government started preparations for the 2020 elections through consultations with various political parties in the country. It has formulated a roadmap and committed to raising all necessary funding for the elections.

“This fully demonstrated the ability and resolve of the Burundian government and people to take care of their own problems,” Wu Haitao he added.

The International community has been condemning Gitega for the ongoing alleged human rights abuse since 2015. The United Nations, however, acknowledges that there are positive achievements in Burundi ahead of the 2020 elections.

Burundi’s envoy to the UN, Albert Shingiro has been going at length to convince the UN Security Council to remove Burundi on the agenda table a the country to follow closely because ‘Burundi is no longer a threat to the international peace and Security’.

“The Burundian government has stated on many occasions that its situation does not pose a threat to regional peace and security and that the question of Burundi should not remain on the Security Council’s agenda, Wu Haitao added.

The Council should listen seriously to the voice of Burundi and make timely and necessary adjustments in light of the latest developments, he added.

3.       CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

a)      Relief web: Central African farmers and Sudanese herders sign agreement to prevent cross-border conflicts in Birao

Farmers from the northern region of Vakaga in the Central African Republic (CAR) and herders from the South Darfur region of Sudan signed an agreement on 11 June 2019 in Birao (CAR) to prevent and manage cross-border farmer/herder conflicts.

The signing of the Agreement is the result of negotiations convened by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) with representatives of both sides from 6 to 11 June 2019 in Birao. It is expected to contribute positively to securing peace in the Vakaga region, and the city of Birao in particular.

Over the past few years, the Vakaga region has been rocked by violent cross-border farmer/herder conflicts which have fuelled inter-communal tensions, leading to heavy loss of lives, the burning down of villages and a dramatic rise in insecurity. Tensions and violence reached peaks during transhumance periods.

Through the Birao Agreement, representatives of both communities have acknowledged the root causes and consequences of the conflicts, and have committed to resolving them peacefully. In particular, the communities have pledged to:

  • ·condemn all future acts of violence against members of their respective communities;
  • ·refer any threat or attack to local authorities in the CAR and Sudan;
  • ·seek peaceful and amicable resolution of differences without soliciting the intervention of armed groups;
  • ·sensitize their respective communities to the promotion of peace and social cohesion;
  • ·oppose the theft of cattle regardless of which community they belong to, and engage in the search of stolen livestock to ensure return to the owner;
  • ·respect pre-established transhumance routes; and
  • ·Regularly monitor the implementation of the Agreement as well as reporting progress to their respective communities.

As part of this Agreement, the signatories have also called on the CAR authorities to accelerate the Disarmament, Demobilisation, Reinsertion and Repatriation (DDRR) process in a bid to disarm armed groups across the country. Similarly, they have called on Sudanese authorities to promote peace and security, and disarm armed groups.

A Commission comprising members of farmer and herder communities has been set up to prevent and manage future disputes between the parties that could lead to a breach of the Birao Agreement. The Commission will meet once a year to review progress in the implementation of the Agreement.

HD has been working in support of peace in the CAR since 2007, assisting both the country’s National Political Dialogue and community-based mediation efforts. HD played a key role in the 2008 Inclusive Political Dialogue, the 2015 Bangui Forum, the 2016 electoral process and, more recently, the 2019 Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic. The organisation has also been involved in the facilitation of local agreements such as the 2017 Bouar Agreement between the 3R and Anti-Balaka armed groups and the 2019 Bria Agreement between six armed groups (the UPC, MPC, RPRC, MLCJ, Anti-Balaka (Mokom faction) and the FPRC)*. Although farmer/herder conflicts are not a root cause of the conflict affecting the CAR, they have fuelled the national crisis. Preventing and managing farmer/herder conflicts will contribute to reinforcing peace, stability and security in the CAR.

HD would like to express its gratitude to the European Union for its financial support which has enabled the organisation to support peace efforts in the CAR since 2014.

b)      Cameroon Tribune: 3,000 Refugees Return Home

The Central African Republic, CAR's National Commission for Refugees, CNR, and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, in 2018 returned home 3,350 people who took refuge in neighbouring Congo Brazzaville Republic. Making the disclosure in the CAR capital, Bangui on June 14, 2018, Acting Secretary General, Stéphane Engombé-Ifona, said 2,800 other refugees in Cameroon had indicated their intention to return home.

Giving a report on the commission's mid-year activities in Bangui, CNR officials said between 37 and 57 requests for asylum were received from 75 people. According to Engombé-Ifona, lack of logistics and funds was slowing down the return of more refugees from abroad. "You need to hire vehicles and pay mission allowances for the team to accompany the returning refugees," he explained. The meeting on June 14, 2019, which coincided with the 36th anniversary of the National Commission for Refugees, also saw the handover of asylum certificates to 42 Rwandan nationals.

In December 2013, hundreds of thousands of people were forced to flee their homes as violence spread in the Central African Republic after rebels overthrew the government of Gen. François Bozizé. Today, CAR continues to experience sporadic surges of violence forcing over 543,000 CAR refugees to remain in neighbouring Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Congo Brazzaville, with smaller numbers in Sudan and South Sudan.

According to UNHCR, this is the highest number of CAR refugees seen since the start of the crisis. In addition to the situation, close to 700,000 people have been forced to flee inside the country. This represents an increase of about 60 per cent, compared to 2016 numbers. CAR had been experiencing a gradual transition towards peace and stability since late 2016, when both refugees and internally displaced people started to go back home.

4.       DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

a)      Euro News: More than 300,000 flee Congo violence, complicating Ebola fight - U.N.

GENEVA (Reuters) – More than 300,000 people have fled inter-ethnic violence in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo since early June, complicating the tracing and treatment of patients at risk from Ebola, U.N. aid agencies said on Tuesday.

At least 161 people have been killed in a northeastern province of Democratic Republic of Congo in the past week, local officials said on Monday, in an apparent resurgence of ethnic clashes between farming and herding communities.

“Violence in northeastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo is reported to have displaced more than 300,000 since early June. The situation in Ituri province has deteriorated since the middle of last week, with multiple attacks involving the Hema and Lendu groups,” the U.N. refugee agency spokesman Babar Baloch told a news briefing.

The UNHCR fears that the escalation could engulf large parts of the province, amid reports of killings, kidnappings and sexual violence unleashed against civilians, he said. The government is trying to bring the clashes under control, he added.

As Congolese flee violence at “this massive scale”, fears are that more people will try to seek safety in Uganda, crossing Lake Albert, Baloch said.

An Ebola epidemic in Congo, which spread to Uganda last week, has caused 2,168 infections since August, including 1,449 deaths, with Ituri accounting for about 10 percent of cases and deaths, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said.

“We are always saying the mobility of the population in North Kivu and Ituri is a risk factor,” Jasarevic told the briefing.

“So every time you have people moving in high numbers, it is more complicated to do the work of follow-up, contact tracing, follow up on the people who are supposed basically to be observed on a daily basis for 21 days,” he said, referring to the disease’s incubation period.

5.       KENYA

a)      Standard Digital: US Embassy in Kenya not accepting new generation currency

Kenyans applying for the United States Visas will have to use old generation notes after a directive by the US Embassy in Kenya barred the use of new currency notes.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the US Embassy in Kenya said that it is still developing procedures to accept the new Kenyan shillings and advised the visa applicants that they are allowed to continue paying with a credit card.

“The Embassy of the United States is currently developing procedures to accept the new Kenyan shillings.  Until these procedures are in place, consular applicants will only be able to pay for services using the previous Kenyan shillings,” read part of the statement.

The new generation bank notes were launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta during the 56th Madaraka Day celebrations in Narok on June 1, 2019.

The new currency notes are in Sh50, Sh100, Sh200, Sh500 and Sh1000 denominations.

During the launch Central Bank of Kenya Governor Prof Patrick Njoroge said that the Sh50, Sh100, Sh200 and Sh500 notes will be phased out slowly but the Sh1,000 note will be phased by October.

“All the Sh1000 notes were withdrawn by a gazette notice on Friday. Those in possession have until October 31, 2019 to release them,” said Njoroge.

According to the CBK Governor, the immediate phase out of the Sh1000 note was to help the Government in dealing with cases of counterfeits, which has impacted the economy negatively.

b)      Standard Digital: Kenya, South Sudan seek better trade relations

Kenya and South Sudan have said they will continue seeking ways to strengthen trade relations between them.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma yesterday said they had planned a series of talks ahead of a visit by President Salva Kiir to Nairobi.

Dr Juma said Kenya would be seeking to benefit from South Sudan's wealth as a form of payment for her peacekeeping efforts in the country.

Juma said among other things, they planned to launch the first ever joint commission for cooperation with Juba.

"Both the Kenyan and South Sudanese teams will be negotiating a number of instruments to govern the relationship between the two countries as far as trade and investment are concerned,” Juma said during a joint Press conference with her Southern Sudanese counterpart, Regional Affairs Minister Nhial Deng Nhial, in Nairobi.

Juma said also to be discussed during President Kiir's visit would be review of security and management of the border between the two countries.

The two delegations will also discuss how to fast-track implementation of the peace process in South Sudan and how Kenya could cooperate on regional infrastructure development.

Deng said South Sudan was keen on strengthening “our relationship” as neighbours.

"We'll also discuss various bilateral agreements and explore ways of working together in the region," Deng said.

“As always, we are grateful for Kenya's contribution to South Sudan, key among them peace and security," he said.

Also expected to feature in the talks is the ease of movement of persons and goods between the two countries.

Since joining the East Africa Community in April 2016, the country has been keen to improve relations with countries in the bloc.

c)       Standard Digital: Kenya-Somalia border dispute on UN agenda

Kenya has sought the intervention of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on the maritime border dispute with Somalia.

UN Secretary General António Guterres is said to have informally mentioned the raging dispute to the 15-member UNSC as a possible threat to peace and stability in the region.

“Two weeks ago, the issue (maritime border dispute), was signaled by UN Secretary General to the Security Council as a potential threat to peace and regional security,” Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma said.

Kenya argues should Somalia have its way, the issue will have ramifications across the continent, as this will prompt countries to the south also to negotiate their own borders.

This, Nairobi says, will affect Kenya against Tanzania, Tanzania against Mozambique and Mozambique against South Africa if the horizontal rule were to apply. 

Kenya fears should it cede ground or lose the case, it will lose 26 per cent of its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) which is about 51,105 square kilometres and also 85 per cent or 95,320 square kilometers of the continental shelf beyond the 200 nautical miles EEZ and also access to international waters.

“Kenya’s position on this matter of serous diplomatic interest and security concerns is unequivocal. Kenya will never cede and inch of her territory. Kenya understands her historical boundaries and believes Somalia understands that too,” Dr Juma says.  

The UN was informed of the situation following escalating poor relations between Nairobi and Mogadishu sparked by Somali’s decision to offer for auction oil blocks within Kenya’s territory.

Following the auction on February 7, during Somali Oil and Gas Conference in London, Kenya protested to the Federal Government of Somalia terming the move provocative act of aggression by a ‘thankless’ neighbour.

Nairobi also acted immediately by recalling its ambassador in Somalia Lieutenant-General (Rtd) Lucas Tumbo on  February 16 while ordering Somalia’s envoy out of Nairobi in protest.   

In 2014, Somalia sued Kenya at the International Court of Justice asking for a proper determination of the sea border between the two countries. The ruling is expected in September this year.

However, Kenya has not only rejected the jurisdiction of the ICJ, but also expressed fears the ruling may be influenced given the President of ICJ, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, is a Somali national.  

“Kenya rejected the jurisdiction of the court and admissibility of the case on grounds parties had an MoU of 2009 agreeing on how to negotiate the dispute. However, the ICJ disregarded this argument and ruled the matter was within its jurisdiction and the case was admissible,” a note from Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs states.

It adds; “Geopolitics of the composition of the court plays a key role in decisions of the ICJ, as they generally impact on how the judges vote in cases. Notably the President ICJ is Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf of Somali.”

Although Kenya had demanded that Somalia withdraws the maps offered during the London auction, Mogadishu is said to have been reluctant inspite of assurances on the same.

On April 3, Somalia’s foreign minister Ahmed Isse Awad met Juma and discussed the issue. However, Mogadishu is yet to return the minutes of the meeting to Nairobi after they were sent for confirmation and signing.

6.       RWANDA

a)      The New Times: Rwandan economy grows 8.4% in first quarter

Rwanda’s economy grew 8.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2019, in line with official forecasts, according to figures released by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning on Monday.

During the first three months of the year, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or the monetary value of all finished goods and services that were produced in Rwanda was estimated at Rwf2,144 billion, up from Rwf1,987 billion registered in the same period last year.

Officials welcomed the growth, saying it demonstrates positive change in economic activity whose rebound started early last year as it recovered from terrible weather conditions.

The Minister of State in charge of Economic Planning in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN), Claudine Uwera, said that the economy was expected to sustain the positive growth rate.

 “In general, the performance is really good because there has been change,” she said.

Agriculture, services, and the industry sectors were the main drivers of growth.

The services sector contributed 48 per cent, agriculture 28 percent while industry accounted for 17 per cent of the GDP growth.

The remaining 7 percent was attributed to adjustment for taxes and subsidies on products.

During the quarter, agriculture grew by 4 per cent, industry by 18 per cent, while services grew by 8 per cent.

However, export crops decreased by 9 per cent after a significant growth of 46 per cent realised in the first quarter of 2018.

The drop is attributed to a decrease of 7 per cent in production of tea and a decrease of 19 per cent in production of other cash crops such as flowers, pyrethrum, and sugar cane, even as production of coffee increased by 2 per cent.

In Industry sector, the growth of 18 per cent is attributed to 30 per cent increase in construction activities, 8 per cent in manufacturing activities and 12 per cent in mining and quarrying activities. The growth in mining and quarrying is due to an increase of 20 per cent in quarrying activities.

In manufacturing, growth was observed as a result of the Made in Rwanda programme, with a 15 per cent increase in textiles, clothes and leather goods, as well as 38 per cent increase in wood, paper and printing.

The production of construction materials such as metallic products grew by 11 per cent, while non-metallic mineral products (mainly cement) increased by 21 per cent.

In Services sector, transport services grew by 11 per cent due to Air transport services which increased by 21 per cent and wholesale and retail trade activities grew by 7 per cent.

Moreover, professional, scientific and technical activities grew by 25 per cent, administrative and support service activities grew by 15 per cent, while financial services grew by 14 per cent even if telecommunication activities decreased by 2 per cent.

b)      The New Times: Kagame to speak at European Development Days summit

The forum brings together the development community to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges.

President Paul Kagame is today expected to attend this year’s European Development Days (EDD) in Brussels, Belgium where he is expected to make a keynote address at the opening ceremony

This year’s meeting is under the theme "Inequalities: trends and challenges in the context of globalization".

Hosted by the European Commission, the event was initiated in 2006 by Louis Michel, as Europe's leading forum on International Development to mobilise the 0.7 per cent target for Official Development Aid (ODA).

The forum brings together the development community to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges.

Other African Heads of State attending the event include President Macky Sall of Senégal and President Jorge Carlos Fonseca of Cabo Verde.

7.       SUDAN

a)      Sudan Tribune: Sudan’s opposition, UAE officials discussed peace and issues of mutual concern: Arman

June 18, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - A Sudanese opposition delegation visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last April in the wake of the fall of the al-Bashir regime to discuss peace in Sudan and other issues of mutual interest, such as political Islam and the war in Yemen, said Yasir Arman, deputy head of the SPLM-N Agar.

In a written statement to Sudan Tribune Arman who is also the Sudan Call’s external relations official said the opposition delegation besides his person included Minni Minnawi, head of the Sudan Liberation Movement, Khaled Omer, Vice-President of the Sudanese Congress Party, Mohamed Zain Adila of the National Umma Party and Ahmed Tugud and Mu’tassim Mohamed Saleh, both are from the Justice and Equality Movement.

He said that the talks with the UAE officials tackled the role that the Gulf country can play to bring stability in Sudan, adding they stressed the need for a comprehensive peace in Sudan during the transitional period.

In addition, the discussions touched the political Islam, which is seen as a national security matter in Abu Dhabi, the war in Yemen where Sudanese troops are participating in the Saudi-led coalition against Iran-backed Houthi rebels and UAE’s economic investments in Sudan.

"We had a clear discussion with them on the importance of including the issue of war and peace as a major issue in Sudan they can contribute to. Also, we told them there are other important countries (involved in the ongoing efforts to achieve peace in Sudan) and we numbered some of them especially the neighbouring countries," he said.

Regarding the war in Yemen and the contested participation of the Sudanese army, Arman said they indicated that the troops’ withdrawal from Yemen is a complicated issue that requires more time.

"The war in Yemen has complex regional and internal issues that need solutions (...). Particularly, it is Bashir who brought Sudan into these regional axes and there is a need to work, a new policy and a new regime before to get Sudan out of (this war)."

Several opposition groups members of the Forces for Freedom and Change in Sudan (FFC) call for the immediate withdrawal of Sudanese soldiers from Yemen.

However, the ruling military junta stated more than once that Sudanese troops will remain in Yemen alongside the Saudi and Emirati armies.

Arman said their visit to UAE was not a secret visit, contrary to what rumoured in the social media, adding they met with the Sudanese Diaspora during their stay in Abu Dhabi.

Furthermore, he stressed that the Sudanese opposition meeting with the Emirati officials does not mean abandoning its principles or adopting UAE’s policies and plans.

He emphasized that the Sudanese opposition is not in accord with UAE’s position against "the Islamic trend supportive of (democratic) change, accountability, peaceful alternation of power and equal citizenship."

He added that he called on the Sudanese political forces to visit the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt to discuss Sudan issues with them.

"The UAE should not be left to the Rapid Support Forces. The UAE should not use its funds to fund the Rapid Support at the expense of all other (military) institutions in the Sudanese state," he said.

"If they (the Emirati) call me now I will tell them that what happened in Khartoum in the sit-in area is a crime and must be accounted for and that you made a mistake in supporting the Forces of Rapid Support," he added.

Four days after the killing of over 100 peaceful protesters by the RSF and other security forces on 3 June, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargas said his country was concerned about the "massacre" and supports calls for an investigation.

b)      Middle East Monitor: Sudan’s opposition says it will start preparing for ‘revolutionary escalation’

Sudan’s opposition coalition known as Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change said that it will launch a campaign for popular activism and prepare for “revolutionary escalation.”

This came after the deputy head of the ruling military council, Lt. Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, vowed to hold accountable those responsible for killing protesters during the dispersal of their sit-in camp that was staged in Khartoum outside the army’s General Command building.

In a speech that he gave to a public audience and was aired on Sudanese state-run TV, Daglo denied that involvement of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in any acts of violence during the sit-in’s dispersal.

On their part, the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change called for continued opposition to the transitional military council through holding popular seminars and staging night-time protests. The opposition coalition’s call came in a statement that was published on Facebook.

Negotiations between the transitional military council the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change had stopped. The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry has made efforts as a mediator towards restoring negotiations in Sudan.

 

8.       TANZANIA

a)      Tanzania Daily News: Government Keen on Improving Cross-Border Trade

THE government has expressed its keenness on improving cross-border business to warrant a hassle free trading environment.

The Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Responsible for Investment, Ms Angellah Kairuki said yesterday World Bank assessment has ranked the country cross-border business position at 144 slots out of 190 positions globally.

"Our goal is to reach a best position [globally] by improving our country's trading environments at borders," she said.

The minister said that in Dar es Salaam during the breakfast meeting involved various local women traders and entrepreneurs from various regions countrywide.

The occasion was organised by the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) and targeted to discuss solution of various commercial challenges facing women traders across the country.

Ms Kairuki advised women to unite to find solution for their challenges and grab available economic opportunities in order to participate in improving the country's economic developments especially in supporting the country to reach the target of industrial economy.

Earlier at the same occasion, a woman trader from Kigoma Region, Ms Doroth Takwe, requested the government to see how to issue specially identity cards to cross-border traders instead of temporary passport which expires shortly and costly.

"We thank the government for some improvements of commercial environments especially at borders' areas, but the major challenge remained is the issue of passport.

"We are using temporary passport but expires within a day and the cost is 20,000/-and repeats frequently. We request the authority to help us with an alternative means," she said.

TPSF's Women Investors Representative Ms Fatma Kange said during the meeting that women should unite and come up with a platform for discussing issues especially economical since disunity weaken them.

"Women have a number of small associations that are not helpful. We need to unite and come up with strong association which could be our voice and solution for our challenges," she advised.

The government's goal is to improve the country's commercial systems and environments that would support local traders and investors to enjoy and boost the country's income through paying tax.

In recently days, the government has omitted some 54 unnecessary tax charges which were nuisance to traders.

The exercise is in progress to omit other unnecessary levies that backpedal doing business in the country.

b)      The Citizen: The New Budget Signals Start of Industrialization Journey, Says Cti

Dar es Salaam — Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) said on Monday, June 17, 2019 that the 2019/20 budget is a starting journey to the industrial economy.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Leodegar Tenga said the confederation was happy with the government decision to scrap some tax and make policy reforms as it tabled the 2019/20 budget through the ministry of Finance and Planning.

"The government is now committed to start the implementation of its Blueprint which aims at regulatory reforms to improve business environment. With it in the way, the government will remove at least 54 fees, charges and levies which seemed to hamper industrial development making it hard to do business in the country," he said.

He added that, the move of reviewing taxes, adjusting various levies and fees and establishment of 'Office of Tax Ombudsman' under the ministry of finance also are good signs that the industrial sector has a bright future.

"With budgets like this, I am positive that the dream of becoming an industrial economy can be realised, even if it is not tomorrow," he noted.

According to him, the budget is conducive enough to attract more businesses and increased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the country.

9.       ZAMBIA

a)      Lusaka Press Agency: President Lungu expected in Maputo for US-Africa Summit

President Edgar Lungu is tomorrow Wednesday June 19, 2019 expected in Maputo, Mozambique for the U.S-Africa Business Summit.

The summit is being convened by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), and is scheduled to take place at the Joaquim Chissano International Conference Centre from June 18 – 21, 2019.

ZANIS reports that the business meeting has been considered the essential conference on U.S-Africa business and investment, since its inception in 1997 and will be a 12th recurrence this year.

Over the last 20 years, CCA has hosted more than 40 United States and African Heads of State and over 13,300 participants at its summits.

According to information obtained from the Zambian Embassy in Maputo, the U.S.-Africa business and investment landscape is rapidly evolving, with CCA making this strategic move aimed at providing CCA members, investors, and key U.S.-Africa business stakeholders with the opportunity to stay abreast with the latest developments in business and investment across the continent.

The U.S.-Africa Business Summit serves as a platform for African and U.S. private sector and government representatives to engage on key sectors that include agribusiness, energy, health, infrastructure, trade facilitation, ICT and finance, among others.

Corporate Council on Africa is the leading U.S. business association focused solely on connecting business interests between the United States and Africa.

CCA uniquely represents a broad cross section of member companies from small and medium size businesses to multinationals as well as U.S. and African firms.

Our Vision

To be an authoritative and autonomous Think Tank that catalyses reforms and promotes best practices on complex governance issues in the Great Lakes Region.

Our Mission

To reinforce the capacities of social and political institutions of ICGLR Member States in the areas of Democracy, Good Governance, Human Rights and Civic Education.

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