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Africa

Controversy As Made in Africa Bid To Buy Vlisco Rejected

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The journey to total creation of one Africa Market may be troublesome as some realities on the ground could be corrosive.

A bid by Made in Africa to purchase the Vlisco Group designs was recently rejected by the seller and this has attracted the attention of the the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat.

Vlisco produces and distributes fashion fabrics, especially of the African wax print style, for the West and Central African market and African consumers in global metropolitan cities.

“It has been brought to the attention of the (AfCFTA) Secretariat that our strategic partner, a leading African financial institution supported a $200 million bid by Made in Africa to purchase Vlisco, a textile company that sells almost exclusively in Africa,” the office of the Secretary General said in a statement dated 23-July.

“Whilst we respect the rights of parties in a private transaction, as a matter of public interest for Africa’s market integration, regional and global competitiveness, we do find it curious that the bid of Made in Africa was rejected by the seller. We totally support the bid by Made in Africa, which is financially backed by one of the leading trade finance banks in Africa,” it added.

The statement said the the objective of the AfCFTA is to accelerate industrialisation in Africa, consolidate an integrated market of over 1.3 billion people with a combined GDP of U$3.4 trillion and to place Africa on a sustained path to regional and global competitiveness.

At the heart of Africa’s global and regional competitiveness is the textiles and clothing sector. This sector employs thousands of Africans, mainly women and contributes to Africa’s industrialisation.

Whilst we respect the rights of parties in a private business transaction to structure their business transactions as they see fit, we do believe that the sale of Vlisco to Made in Africa, is in the broader economic and trade interests of Africa, hence as the AfCFTA Secretariat we are following this matter closely.

“We therefore urge the successful conclusion of this transaction in favour of Made in Africa, which is backed by the leading financial institution, and led by Mr. Kojo Annan, the entrepreneurial son of the late Mr. Kofi Annan, along with other African fashion and business luminaries,” the statement reads in part.

“We cannot express a value judgement as to the reasons for the bid of Made in Africa – which was the higher bid – being rejected. We do however firmly believe that where an African company puts forward a formidable bid for a foreign company that appears to profit exclusively from sales to Africa, supported by a leading African trade finance bank, the African company has a reasonable expectation to successfully conclude the transaction in favour of Africa” says Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of AfCFTA.

We strongly urge reconsideration of this matter, the entire African continent and business community of Africa is following this matter very closely, African entrepreneurship and global competitiveness must be treated fairly.

Cabo Delgado

Rwanda Army Chief Of Staff Visists Mozambique

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Rwanda Defence Force Army Chief of Staff (ACOS), Lt Gen Mubarakh Muganga is on a 4-day visit to Rwandan Forces deployed in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique.

Upon arrival at Mocimboa da Praia yesterday, the ACOS was welcomed by the Joint Force Commander, Maj Gen Innocent Kabandana who briefed him about the progress of military operations against terror groups in Cabo Delgado.

Lt Gen Muganga met Rwandan troops and commended them for the good work done since their arrival in Mozambique.

He further conveyed a message of appreciation from the RDF Commander-in-Chief, President Paul Kagame, for the security achievements gained since the Force’s arrival in Cabo Delgado.

The ACOS urged the Forces to keep the momentum and continue to be good ambassadors of Rwanda.

Rwandan troops in collaboration with Mozambican Forces fought and dislodged the terror groups from several towns including their main bases in MOCIMBOA DA PRAIA and other localities that include among others AWASSE, PALMA, QUIONGA, CHINDA, MBAU, MAPALANGANHA, TETE, NJAMA, QUELIMANE and most recently SIRI I and SIRI II considered to be their strongholds.

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East-Africa

Schools in Burundi Reopen With Disregard For Covid-19

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Schools in Burundi reopened early this week bringing an end to more than two months of vacation.

Egide Harerimana, a journalist attached to Iwacu, a private media critical of the Gitega based government, has taken a quick observation of the reopening of the schools.

According to Harerimana, while the start of the school year is happening in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic, the barrier measures are not respected in some schools in the town hall of Bujumbura.

For good reason, insufficient desk benches and the high number of pupils and schoolchildren.

It is 10 a.m. at the Kamenge III primary school north of the city of Bujumbura. Classes haven’t started yet. The students play in the yard. A reunion after two months of long vacation.

Some even go so far as to kiss. Others look at their names on the bulletin board lists. No one cares about covid-19.

The washing kits are there but there is no soap, physical distancing is almost non-existent, the wearing of masks as well. There are risks of contamination.

“The situation is worrying. At a time when we are talking about an upsurge in positive cases, no measures have been taken to protect our children “, deplores a parent who met on the spot.

He calls on the school administration and the government to take all possible measures to protect students from covid-19.

The school administration says it reminded students to strictly observe barrier measures to prevent covid-19.

However, she does not deny a relaxation in the application of barrier gestures.

“It’s difficult to respect physical distancing with all these children,” says Hildegarde Banyankindagiye, headmistress of the primary school (ECOFO) Kamenge III.

She evokes a problem of lack of desk benches: “Three students share a desk bench. Normally, it should be at most two students on a bench to respect the physical distance but it is impossible “.

Time check, 11 a.m. at the Buyenzi municipal high school in Mukaza commune. A few students are in the classroom and others are entering. No one wears a mask.

In classrooms, two or three of them sit on small desks. Difficult to keep a distance between two students. There are no wash kits. Even on the two taps installed, the students wash their hands without soap.

“I wash my hands before I go to class. But in the classroom the situation is dangerous. We’re too tight, without a mask. There are risks of contamination, ”laments a 8th grade student at the same school.

According to Olive Habonimana, director of the municipal high school Buyenzi, it is difficult to control the pupils with respect to the barrier measures.

“We try to sensitize them but sometimes they forget the instructions, kiss or even shake hands,” She explains that wearing a mask is not mandatory.

The situation was the same at the Rohero Municipal High School. On this day of the start of the school year, the activities had not yet started. The pupils formed small groups in class to discuss, share how they spent their holidays.

Observation; they do not wear a mask and do not respect physical distancing. Yet, they came from different parts of the city, where covid-19 is reported.

“It’s difficult to prevent possible contamination when the students are external. We reminded them to wear masks on buses and to wash their hands when they arrive at school, ”said Gertrude Simbananiye, principal of Rohero Municipal High School.

She explains that her school has a high number of students, which is why it is impossible to maintain physical distancing in the classroom.

“Some classes have more than 80 students. So three students must share a desk bench, ”regrets the principal, adding that even classrooms are narrow and cannot contain many desk benches.

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East-Africa

President Ndayishimiye Launches Population Census in Burundi

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The excersise to count every Burundian in the much isolated East African country was officially flagged off by President Evariste Ndayishimiye on Friday.

President Ndayishimiye launched activities of the general census of the population, habitat, agriculture and breeding scheduled for 2022.

He urged his compatriots , each as far as he is concerned to invest in the success of this census so that decision-makers can know the real life situation of Burundian citizens.

Ndayishimiye indicated that the general census under preparation will provide objective figures which will help to know the personnel to be aligned on the fight against poverty.

According to him, the next general census will provide the opportunity to assess what has happened since the last census in 2008 and the economic situation of Burundi.

On this occasion, the President specified that the results of this census will serve as a basis for the implementation of public policies adapted to the real needs of the population.

He added that the general census of 2022 will make it possible to know the number of the population by age groups, and especially the number of young people, which will facilitate the State to take strategies to prepare for a better future.

Ndayishimiye says this census will also provide a good opportunity for the State to make the population understand that it is necessary to give birth to children that we can bear.

It was also an opportunity for the Head of State to call on the entire Burundian population to prepare to respond massively to this census, inviting all the administrators and leaders to sensitize the population on the importance of being registered.

“We have integrated the basic modules of agriculture and livestock in the general census population and housing and data collection will be done using new information and communication technologies,” he said.

On behalf of technical and financial partners friends of Burundi, the representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) appealed to the Government of Burundi to complete the process of setting up the Central Census Bureau, the central technical body of execution and condition sine qua non for the optimal realization and the success of this census.

Because of the importance of the 4th general census of Burundi, the representative of UNFPA in Burundi called on politicians, administrators, religious men and women, members of civil society and the private sector to call for the mobilization and support from all.

He reaffirmed the readiness of UNFPA and the United Nations system to continue mobilizing global expertise in the field of censuses and additional resources to support the diligent completion of this important operation in accordance with international standards until dissemination and development.

It should be noted that this general census of the population, housing, agriculture and livestock in 2022 will last 21 days and that the cost is estimated at BIF 48,556,797,000 (U$24,458,583).

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