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African, Caribbean & Pacific Nations Call For Robust Multilateral System

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The ninth summit of African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) heads of state and government in Nairobi called for the establishment of a robust multilateral system to promote fair trade and hasten inclusive growth, peace and stability in the global south.

Seventeen heads of state and 70 of the 79 ACP Member States were in attendance at the Opening on Monday.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said in his opening remarks that a rule-based world order should be strengthened in order to boost action on pressing challenges like poverty, conflicts, violent extremism and climate change.

“Today’s multi-polar world is characterized by competing geopolitical interests, new challenges to peace, security and movement of people. However, we remain committed to becoming a beacon of hope for multilateralism,” said Kenyatta.

Dozens of heads of state and government, ministers, representatives of UN agencies, industry executives and scholars are attending the ACP summit in Nairobi whose theme is “A transformed ACP committed to multilateralism”.

Kenyatta said that developing countries should advocate for a reformed multilateral system that promotes balanced trade, integration, connectivity and response to climate change.

“As ACP member states, we should be firm in advocating for a fair multilateral trading system that safeguards our economies from unfair trading practices,” said Kenyatta who took over as president of the ACP group of states for the next three years.

Patrick Gomes, secretary-general of the ACP group of states said the Nairobi summit presented an opportunity for developing countries to reaffirm their fidelity to the rules-based global system that advances equitable growth, good governance, peace and cohesion.

“We need to commit ourselves to multilateralism despite the crisis it has experienced in order to ensure that democracy, peace and prosperity prevails in our respective countries,” said Gomes.

He said that the ACP group of states will negotiate for treaties that enhance market access for their product as a means to eradicate extreme poverty, inequality and unemployment.

Gomes said that developing countries will continue to champion low carbon development through the enactment of sound legislation and the adoption of cleaner technologies.

The first ACP Summit of Heads of State and Government was held in Libreville, Gabon, on 6 and 7 November 1997, during which the ACP Leaders undertook to meet on a regular basis. Consequently, ACP Heads of State and Government have met every three years on average.

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President Tshisekedi Orders Martial Law Rule In Kivu, Ituri

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President Felix Tshisekedi has ordered rule of martial law in DRCs North Kivu and Ituri provinces effective on Thursday, May 6.

The Congolese President called on the people of the two provinces “to cooperate closely with the military authorities deployed by denouncing enemies of the people and complicity at whatever level” with those perpetrating violence.

The shift in management of this part of the country is aimed at stemming the bloodshed and returning order to the region, the president said in an address on national television Monday.

During the period of martial law, Congo’s security forces will have the right to search homes, seize weapons and prohibit travel, Tshisekedi’s spokesman, Kasongo Mwema Yambab Yamba, said in a separate address.

The military and police authorities will also have the right to ban publications and meetings deemed contrary to public order and to prosecute those suspected of violating the peace, he said.

Eastern Congo with population of 20 million people, borders Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. This region hosts at least 120 armed groups

Violence in eastern Congo includes numerous conflicts over control of land and resources, protection of local communities, and rebellions linked to neighboring countries.

Ituri and North Kivu are rich in metals like gold and coltan and armed groups including alleged criminal networks in the army sometimes profit from their trade.

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Rwanda Media Ranking Continues To Fall

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Rwandan Journalists have joined their colleagues around the world to celebrate the World Media day annually celebrated on May 3rd.

This is a day dedicated to reflecting on the fundamental principles of press freedom, to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

In Rwanda’s capital Kigali, an event has been organized for Development Journalism Award 2021.  

Development Journalism Awards 2021 (DJA) is a flagship event organized by Rwanda Journalists Association (ARJ) in partnership with Rwanda Governance Board (RGB).

It is held annually to honor, among others, media practitioners’ general excellence, public service outreach, technical innovation, business reporting, people’s right reporting, visual digital storytelling, gender mainstreaming, engaged and investigative journalism and environment management reporting.

According to World Press Freedom Index, Rwanda continues to fall in media rankings for example this year the index put Rwanda at 156th position globally falling from 155th last year.

With a closer synthesis of the Rwanda Media code, critics argue that it is still an uphill task. Defamation may trigger penalties ranging from five to seven years in prison or fines approximately U$7213.

Rwanda has been near the bottom of Reporters Without Borders (RSF)’s World Press Freedom Index for years and is ranked 156th out of 180 countries in the 2018 Index.

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150 Rwandan Students Graduate From U.S. Embassy’s Two-Year “English Access Microscholarship Program”

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The U.S. Embassy hosted a virtual graduation ceremony Saturday in honor of 150 students from Rwanda’s Southern Province who recently completed the Embassy’s two-year “English Access Microscholarship Program.”

The secondary school students began the English enrichment course in 2018 at three different sites: College Immaculee Conception, Save, in Gisagara District; Groupe Scolaire Mater Dei in Nyanza District; and Groupe Scolaire Mere du Verbe Kibeho in Nyaruguru District.

U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda Peter H. Vrooman recognized the students’ hard work and their perseverance through a long delay in-class sessions because of Covid-19 restrictions.

“I congratulate all of the students who have successfully completed the intensive two-year English Access Microscholarship program,” Ambassador Vrooman said. “The United States has invested in you because we believe in you and because we believe in the power of education to open new doors for you and your families.”

The English Access Microscholarship Program is a two-year English enrichment program funded by the U.S. Embassy that provides students with 400 hours of supplementary English instruction and educational activities. The program helps develop the capacities of rural Rwandan youth through English teaching and educational, cultural, and personal development activities, providing talented youth with the English language skills they need to achieve academic and professional goals. Since 2015, the U.S. Embassy has partnered with Congrégation des Soeurs Benebikira to implement the program, focused primarily on rural students in the Southern Province.

Since its inception in 2004, over 110,000 students in more than 80 countries around the world have participated in the U.S. government-funded English Access Microscholarship Program. In Rwanda, the Access Program began in 2010 and more than 1,000 Rwandan students have participated in the program since then.

The U.S. Embassy hosted a virtual graduation ceremony this Saturday in honor of 150 students from Rwanda’s Southern Province who recently completed the Embassy’s two-year “English Access Microscholarship Program.”

The secondary school students began the English enrichment course in 2018 at three different sites: College Immaculee Conception, Save, in Gisagara District; Groupe Scolaire Mater Dei in Nyanza District; and Groupe Scolaire Mere du Verbe Kibeho in Nyaruguru District.

U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda Peter H. Vrooman recognized the students’ hard work and their perseverance through a long delay in class sessions because of Covid-19 restrictions.

“I congratulate all of the students who have successfully completed the intensive two-year English Access Microscholarship program,” Ambassador Vrooman said. “The United States has invested in you because we believe in you and because we believe in the power of education to open new doors for you and your families.”

The English Access Microscholarship Program is a two-year English enrichment program funded by the U.S. Embassy that provides students with 400 hours of supplementary English instruction and educational activities.

The program helps develop the capacities of rural Rwandan youth through English teaching and educational, cultural, and personal development activities, providing talented youth with the English language skills they need to achieve academic and professional goals.

Since 2015, the U.S. Embassy has partnered with Congrégation des Soeurs Benebikira to implement the program, focused primarily on rural students in the Southern Province.

Since its inception in 2004, over 110,000 students in more than 80 countries around the world have participated in the U.S. government-funded English Access Microscholarship Program.

In Rwanda, the Access Program began in 2010 and more than 1,000 Rwandan students have participated in the program since then.

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