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EAC ‘Tembea Nyumbani’ Campaign to Stimulate intra-regional Travel

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Tembea Nyumbani’, is a new campaign deal propped up by the East African Community aimed at promoting national and regional tourism products and services.

The campaign is set to run for three weeks, from 1st December, 2021. It is part of implementation of the EAC Tourism Marketing Strategy and EAC Recovery Plan supported by German Development Agency, GIZ.

According to architects of this campaign, it seeks to entice East Africans to travel in their specific countries and around the region, in an effort to revive domestic and regional tourism across the region, amid the pandemic.

EAC Secretary General Dr. Peter Mathuki has urged tourism private sector players to extend affordable packages to East Africans so as to entice them into taking advantage of the holiday offers available during the upcoming festive season.

“With preferential entry fees and rates now extended to EAC citizens, it is timely for East Africans to explore the diverse cultures, take on adventure safaris and visit exotic beaches among other opportunities the region has to offer,” he said.

Tourism contributes significantly to the economies of EAC Partner States and pre-pandemic, contributed 10% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 17% export earnings and 7% in jobs creation.

The COVID-19 pandemic saw the sector affected negatively with international tourism arrivals in East Africa dropping by about 67.7%, to an estimated 2.25 million arrivals in 2020 compared to 6.98 million in 2019.

The Tembea Nyumbani campaign is being undertaken by the EAC in collaboration with the East African Tourism Platform that represents the tourism businesses across the region.

Through the campaign, hoteliers and other tourism service providers are being encouraged to promote affordable packages to the EAC citizens.

Jean Baptiste Havugimana EAC Director in charge of Productive Sectors said, “The Sectoral Council on Tourism and Wildlife Management during their Extra-ordinary meeting held on 15th July 2021 recommended that the Secretariat to convene a multisectoral meeting comprising key sectors such as Tourism and Wildlife, Immigration and Security to develop a framework for introduction of the Single Tourist Visa by all the Partner States.”

Havugimana noted that the meeting will be convened early 2022, adding that once fully adopted the Visa will ease travel by foreign tourists across the entire region.

Simon Kiarie EAC Principal Tourism Officer noted that the region will be able to receive about 4 million tourists in 2022, “The tourism sector’s recovery has been on an upward trajectory and we expect that by the year 2024, we will receive about 7 million tourists compared to 2.25 million tourists recorded in 2020.“

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Police Takes Awareness Against Crime To Iwawa Rehabilitation Centre

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It was all fun at Iwawa Island in Rutsiro District on Tuesday, January 25, as Iwawa Rehabilitation Centre (IRS) team faced Interforce FC in a friendly football match organized by Rwanda National Police (RNP) to raise awareness against lawlessness and drug abuse in particular.

Despite losing the match 4-2, it was all joy for the over 1585 young people currently undergoing rehabilitation at the centre, the vast majority for drugs, who have found an alternative to good and healthy life through sports and vocational training programmes.

Why addressing the youth, CP Bruce Munyambo, the commissioner for Community Policing in RNP, urged them to stay focused to the health and skills development programmes offered at the rehabilitation centre to live a positive life away from drugs and other criminal practices.

Iwawa isolated at the island in Lake Kivu, is one of the three national rehabilitation centres in the country.

It was established by the Government of Rwanda in 2010 with a mandate to rehabilitate delinquents of over 18 years old, who exhibit deviant behaviours.

Since then, the centre has graduated more than 27,000 former drug addicts, who were reintegrated into communities.

The nine-month rehabilitation programme offers pyscho-social health, education and TVET services to treat and transform the addicts into skillful people ready to start income generating activities when reintegrated into their communities.

“You have a chance to change your lives here, take this advantage. Draw lessons from the life you lived as addicts and focus on the new path.

Leave the past behind, do not leave here and again engage in abusing or dealing in drugs; leave here as reformed people ready to drive change, to inspire others still involved to stop it and to work with the police and other institutions to fight drugs and other criminal acts,” CP Munyambo told the youth.

He pledged the RNP support to practice what they will learn, when they are reintegrated back into their communities.

Triphose Murekatete, the Mayor for Rutsiro told the youth that the government will continue to monitor their development projects to ensure that they become successful.

She, however, pointed out the responsibility of families in supporting their reformed children not to reunite with their bad past but to follow the new beginning to productive life.

The mayor added that some young people are influenced to leave their homes because of domestic conflicts and they end up indulging in abusing drugs.

The event was also characterized by testimonies from some of the youth, who are undergoing rehabilitation.

“I wasted so many years in drugs and I became an addict. I am happy that Iwawa is giving me a new and meaningful life to take care of my wife and our two children,” said Frank Shema.

TVET courses offered at Iwawa Rehabilitation Centre include carpentry, masonry, tailoring, agriculture, literacy to illiterate youth and motorcycle riding.

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Rwanda Holds Dialogues With EU, €260M Committed

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Six major European countries held a uniquely designed meeting with Rwandan government officials on Tuesday to discuss EU-Rwanda partnerships.

Officials say it’s a regular political dialogue (as per Art. 8 of the ACP-EU Cotonou Agreement).

The dialogue was frank and constructive and offered both sides the opportunity to discuss in detail issues of mutual concern and perspectives for addressing these matters in the context of the EU-Rwandan partnership. 

Both sides took stock of the full width and breadth of their relationship and discussed a broad range of domestic and international issues, ranging from Covid response, economic development, governance and fundamental freedoms, reconciliation to regional and continental relationships, including the perspectives for further EU-Rwanda cooperation. 

The meeting also presented the opportunity for the EU to announce the formal adoption of its 2021-27 country strategy and multi-annual indicative programme for Rwanda, with an initial allocation of €260 million for 4 years until 2024.

Cooperation will be focused on the areas of Education, Skills and Jobs for Youth, the Green deal for development and Political and Economic Governance.

The political dialogue was co-chaired by the Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Vincent Biruta, and the Ambassador of the European Union, Mr Nicola Bellomo.

The government was also represented by the Ministers of Health, Finance and Economic Planning, Justice, National Unity and Civic Engagement, Trade and Industry, the CEO of RDB, the CEO of RGB, the DG of the Rwanda FDA, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Defence. 

On the EU side participated the Ambassadors of Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Netherlands, Slovakia and Sweden.

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Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania Conduct Progress Tour at Rusumo Falls Dam

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Emmanuel Gasana the Governor  of Rwanda’s Eastern Province together with the Regional Commissioner Kagera Region (Tanzania) and the Governors of Kirundo and Muyinga Provinces of Burundi on Tuesday jointly visited the Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Project’s to see the progress of the works set to complete this year 2022.

The Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Project was launched on the 30th, March, 2017 with an installed capacity of 80 MW (Run of River Scheme at 1320masl) that will be shared equally among Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania.

The transmission lines will extend from the power generation plant to Gitega in Burundi, Kigali in Rwanda, and Nyakanazi in Tanzania.

This project will develop renewable hydroelectric power as part of a broader program to support sustainable management of the Kagera River Basin and promote growth and poverty reduction.

The project upon completion will facilitate increased economic activities, private sector development, and investments in social infrastructure and services through improved access to electricity.

The project is worth US$340Million and US$128Million that have advanced to the countries as a loan from the World Bank and African Development Bank for the implementation of the Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric project and the Power transmission lines respectively.

The Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Project (RRFP) is a hydropower project under joint development by the Governments of Republic of Burundi, Republic of Rwanda and United Republic of Tanzania through a commonly owned Rusumo Power Company (RPCL).

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