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Hot Chocolate In A Wine Glass

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Here’s why a brand is a construct of the mind. I met a long time acquaintance of mine, and after a glass or two, we retired to head back home. His glass of Jack Daniels was half empty, and he wasn’t going to leave it behind. So we asked the waiter to have it packed which she obliged and returned with a clear disposable plastic tumbler.

The statement my friend made is what got me to reconfirm that actually, a brand is a concept of the mind—an expectation. He said that the JD would lose its taste when he drinks it from the plastic tumbler. In a real sense, it was his expectation to play games with his mind. A familiarity that this drink’s presentation is synonymous with a lowball glass. But did it change the taste?

This concept got me thinking about what it would be like if the waiter from my favorite coffee bar served my hot chocolate in a wine glass. This presentation would leave me puzzled at least for the first minute or so and leave me wondering why the rest of the time and when that happens, no other quote brings order to the chaos than Warren Buffet’s “You can hold a rock concert, and that’s okay. You can hold a ballet, and that’s okay. But don’t hold a rock concert and advertise it as a ballet”.

A brand must get into the practice of consistently delivering messages that are aligned to its core brand values and in the same recognizable tone of voice and use of visual elements.

When has a brand presented with a product or service in a way unexpected? I’d love to hear about your experience.

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Opinions

Gen. Ndayishimiye, Tshisekedi Agree To Eradicate Insurgents In Region

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The President of Burundi Gen. Evariste Ndayishimiye flew to Kinshasha for political and diplomatic consultations according to his office.

Gen. Ndayishimiye was received by his host President Felix Tshisekedi at Palais de la Nation. The two heads of state had a one-to-one meeting lasting over an hour.

According to a joint statement the Burundian and Congolese heads of state spoke of the need to strengthen peace and security in the sub-region during their talks.

“The two heads of state decided to activate with determination the concerted mechanisms aimed at eradicating the armed groups operating on Congolese territory,” the statement said, while indicating that they are committed to closely monitoring issues relating to security on the borders of the two neighbouring countries.

Gen. Ndayishimiye and Tshisekedi want to strengthen regional and sub-regional organizations for the consolidation of peace, security, stability and sustainable development.

They call on the international community to invest in the peaceful resolution of the security and humanitarian crises in the region and in other conflict zones in Africa.

Apart from the security issue, the two heads of state discussed economic development projects.

They highlighted the construction projects of bridges for vehicles and for pedestrians between the provinces of South Kivu in the DRC and in Cibitoke in Burundi on the Rusizi river, the agricultural exploitation in the Rusizi plain as well as the electrification of the Bujumbura-Uvira-Bukavu-Goma road.

Within the framework of the same visit, the delegations of the two countries signed the agreements and memoranda aiming at “the revival and the consolidation of the cooperation”.

It also covers agreements and memoranda relating to the construction of a Gitega-Uvira-Kindu railway, trade, peacekeeping, defense and security as well as political and diplomatic consultation.

In their meeting, the two heads of state noted a low level of implementation of existing agreements and consequently reframed “the strategy of revitalizing work”.

On regional integration, President Ndayishimiye expressed “unwavering” support for the DRC’s candidacy for membership in the East African Community.

On the other hand, President Tshisekedi reiterates his “unconditional” support for Burundi’s candidacy for the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Note that the visit of Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye to the Democratic Republic of Congo began on July 12 and ended on Wednesday July 14, 2021.

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Youths’ Understanding, Participation In DRM Processes Can Create A Sense Of Responsibility

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In my first years as a young law student at the University, despite my constant eagerness to read and thirst for information, I was never interested in the national budget and taxation.

This was largely not my fault because these two concepts are largely packaged as a complex discussion for economists at a high level.

However, towards my last year at the University, I attended an EAC students debate on Tax justice which completely dismantled the complexity surrounding taxation and that was the beginning of my work as a Tax justice champion.

However, this article is not about me; but instead, it is about the majority of the youths who are yet to be part of the important discussions around taxation, national budget and Domestic resource mobilization.

Agenda 2063 of the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) identify young people’s role in Africa as vibrant and crucial. Envisioning a stable and prosperous Africa is the responsibility of young Africans, who account for more than 50% of the current African population.

If the youths are to lead the continent; their voices should be heard and acknowledged, that will prepare the youth to be the custodians of African centered solutions to Africa’s problems.

This makes it crucial to educate youths on key concepts of public finance management which affect the continent most notably; domestic resource mobilization.

Some organisations have been working to educate youth on Domestic Resource Mobilisation but I will use an example of Youth For Tax Justice Network (YTJN) because it is a youth-led network and the first of its kind with presence in more than 7 countries in East and Southern Africa.

YTJN has been promoting youth participation in progressive tax systems and providing a platform for youth to discuss national budgets and domestic resource mobilization among others.

This has been done through students debates, essay competitions, capacity building for specific groups including members of National Youth Councils, youth representatives of political parties and youths from Civil Society Organisations.

Like the activities of YTJN, this article intends to impart a great deal of desire among the youths to learn and participate in DRM processes. The more youths understand and participate in DRM processes, the more they will understand their role in development.

Rwanda has a young population, which has the potential to influence policy change and good governance in the region.

Promotion of youth participation in all spheres of life in society and in decision-making processes at all levels can benefit both young people and the decision-making bodies including the Government.

Moreover, involving young people in decision-making processes strengthens their understanding of issues at stake as well as their sense of responsibility towards being part of the solution.

It is therefore important to engage young people on matters of public finance management with a focus on tax justice, especially as they come into their own as members of society able to participate in communal decision-making processes.

Editor: Views expressed in the article are not necessarily those of Taarifa’s.

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Opinions

On Rwanda-France Relations

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President Kagame and the people of Rwanda have done their part in showing the World (though most of what was already known) that France aided the genocide against the Tutsi by providing military trainings, weapons, financial aid and all forms of assistance, including advocacy to the United Nations, to a genocidal regime just to advance French influence in Rwanda and Africa.

Since 1994, French leaders have denied their country’s role in the genocide and limited it to “assistance-under-ignorance,” arguing that they weren’t informed a genocide was being planned and would be implemented to exterminate the Tutsi.

Many people, in Rwanda and the World, are pleased with President Macron’s decision to acknowledge, though partially, his country’s role in the atrocities that befell the Tutsi.

I, like many others, would want to consider such a move by the French leader a heroic act. However, considering that Macron and France, in general, could be doing this for geopolitical gains, I am yet to have a feel-of-appreciation for Macron.

Aware that France is trying to build a French influence over Uganda and that France’s relations with the Francophone West Africa are already sour as nations held captive to this former colonial master in economic and security affairs have started raising their concerns about the implications of such captivity and most of them have taken a strong stand against it, which is a loss for France, I would like to hold back my praises for President Macron.

I’m also aware that France has, for so long, been responsible for a series of regime changes in numerous nations in the West and Central of Africa, not forgetting its role in what became the fate of Gaddafi and Libya.

So, as France is working hard to strengthen relations with Uganda, Rwanda and other nations, the masses in Francophone West Africa are already standing up against their countries’ financial ties to France, which Dr. Arikana Chihombori calls the “Pact for the Continuation of Colonization.”

A meticulous geopolitical analysis would reveal that France stands to lose a large share of its Francophone West African influence as people raise France’s activities in different countries in the West of Africa. This, and not benevolence, makes Macron act the way he is.

With knowledge of the above, a number of questions come to my mind;

Is France’s Macron remorseful for his country’s role in the genocide? 

Is he personally determined to get things right which his predecessors got wrong?

In my opinion, he is not. Being the progressive he seems to be, and being a true European, appreciating of the place Europeans have in World affairs, he is determined to play his cards right to keep his country’s influence in Africa tact.

But, why should he consider being at good terms with Rwanda if he is interested in other countries? In my opinion, Rwanda serves as the worst example of French activities in Africa as Namibia serves a worst example for German activities in Africa. Geopolitically, improving relations with Rwanda helps France reposition its image in Africa, and Macron’s France, at least, and from the periphery, will be considered a partner that understands peculiar national priorities and interests and seeks respectful and mutual (win-win) relations and not the old France that imposed terms that governments were to follow or be overthrown. 

If France and Macron were really intending to accept their role in the genocide against the Tutsi and be accountable for their role, reparations, extraditing genocide perpetrators who have found a safe haven in France would, inter alia, be on the table. But (as if to justify my suppositions), France is offering to give Rwanda financial aid in hundreds of millions of Euros and rich Frenchmen and women have, already, started receiving special support to help them exploit investment opportunities in Rwanda.

In the short run; therefore, Rwanda is winning as the new relations with Macron help expose, beyond doubt, France’s role in the genocide. On a politico-economic standpoint; however, France is winning bigger.

The author is a political commentator and critic. His views do not reflect those of Taarifa’s editorial line.

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