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Magufuli Reveals Kagame Advised Him On How To Revive AirTanzania

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In November 2015 when John Pombe Magufuli took over as President of the United Republic of Tanzania, he suspended all foreign travel by public officials and significantly chopped public spending.

All focus was on this educationist who is obsessed with figures and statistics – he literally knows every statistics that his eyes have glanced on.

Magufuli earned his bachelor of science in education degree majoring in chemistry and history as teaching subjects from The University of Dar es Salaam in 1988.

Prior to his Bachelors degree, he attained a Diploma in Education (Sc.) Chemistry, Mathematics and Education. This is where his obsession with statistics starts from.

Now going back to his first days as president, Magufuli made several phone calls to various leaders across the continent and the world for some, to express continued diplomatic ties while some he was seeking advice on important issues of development.

But one biggest challenge he had encountered was the shame that the government he was inheriting did not have its own national carrier yet literally every tourist has at least some knowledge on Tanzania but just a mere million tourists were visiting.

When Magufuli looked at the statistics of tourists that visit Tanzania, he was shocked that they were too small to boast about. He needed to do something about these shameful statistics.

A quick research and incquiry with his advisers led to something that would point to possible solution to fixing the national shame.

“We did an analysis and found that countries owning airlines also receive the highest numbers of tourists,” Magufuli said last week.

“We checked with Egypt, talked to Kenya and even Morocco- these are countries with large numbers of tourists flocking. Imagine Egypt has over 10 million tourists visiting and for us we just have only one million tourists,” Magufuli wondered how quick he would fix this challenge.

By April 2016, Magufuli had just spent a few months in office as head of state. He drove to the border with Rwanda to jointly inaugurate the Rusumo International Bridge and a one-stop border post. President Paul Kagame was there to meet his counterpart that later drove to meet at Kagame’s country home on the shores of Lake Muhazi.

This was Magufuli’s first foreign trip as president which several external and domestic analysts had not expected but keenly scrutinized as the new reformist leader spent two days in Rwanda.

His predecessor had strained relations with Rwanda thus Magufuli’s choice of Rwanda for his first foreign trip was treated with skepticism.

“I normally don’t like to travel because I am busy at work and I want to save on resources. I have been invited to go to many places, including Europe and I haven’t been able to make it. But when President Kagame invited me, I had to come.” Magufuli said in 2016.

President Kagame told Magufuli that all the two countries needed was “Friendship, we need brotherhood, and we need to do business together for mutual interests.”

There was not much revealed about their detailed conversations at the shores of Lake Muhazi but it was evident the two leaders explored several aspects.

It has now emerged that while in Rwanda, Magufuli tabled the challenge of how Tanzania would walk out of the ditch of shame for not owning her own national carrier and wanted Kagame to explain in details how he managed to build RwandAir from scratch to an enviable national carrier.

[We cannot confirm if the issue was discussed then, but the two presidents, according to Magufuli, talked about it at some point.]

Almost three years later, Magufuli is now revealing that President Kagame is a genuine friend that armed him with details of advice on how to revive Air Tanzania.

“Let me thank President Kagame. He told me, just do it. If you delay you may meet bigger challenges,” Magufuli said over the weekend adding that it’s when he realized that in Kagame he had a good friend.

“Kagame advised me to contact all the aircraft manufacturers at the same time to get good purchase deals. I did the same and actually bought seven planes,” Magufuli said amidst applause from Tanzanians gathered to receive the first Boeing aircraft at Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA).

Magufuli has already handed four aircraft to state owned Air Tanzania Company limited (ATCL) and is to deliver two CS300 jetliners from Bombardier company in Canada by November.

President Kagame said while hosting Magufuli in 2016 that cooperation based on peace has potential to transform the two nations.

Tanzania’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. President John Pombe Magufuli says his government is determined to revive the Air Tanzania Company limited (ATCL).

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National

Kagame Calls On Men To Stop Violence Against Women

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Men with masculine behaviors that hinder the development of women as well as their empowerment must stop it, President Kagame told a gathering in Kinshasa, DRC on Thursday.

“We must act to tackle the structural impediments and deep seated norms that fuel harmful masculinities, and cultivate positive notions of masculinity. Gender equality is much more a moral obligation. It is a right that cannot be abridged,” President Kagame said at the conference on gender, violence against women and girls and men’s conference on positive masculinity, joining other African Heads of State and Government.

He said men are the authors of violence against women and girls. Men should reverse the behaviors by taking a responsibility to speak and take action against the violence of women as well as changing their mindset.

“We must commit to tackling the negative mindsets in some men and boys that normalize violence against women and girls. Working together, we can end this scourge. Men have a special responsibility to speak out and take action,” he said.

He noted that a strong legal framework that promotes women empowerment and gender equality would be vital for women empowerment agenda to be effective.

“Women’s empowerment should be anchored in strong legal and policy framework.”

According to the UN Women, one of the key consequences of gender-based violence (GBV) in Rwanda is the drastic increase in teen pregnancies.

UN Women reports that teen pregnancies increased from 17,000 cases to 23,000 teen pregnancies in 2019.

The UN Women also adds that there are a number of unreported cases due to a culture of silence at community levels combined with patriarchal social norms and cultural beliefs.

“Thank you President Tshisekedi for the invitation to attend this very important conference on gender,violence against women and girls and the role of men in ensuring that violence against women and girls is eliminated. Africa has a role to play,” Kagame said.

Click on the following link to see amazing photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/paulkagame/albums/72157720229828970

 

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National

Rwanda Army Gets 1000 More Advanced Infantry Soldiers

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Close to 1000 RDF soldiers including Junior officers and other Ranks completed a 6 months Advanced Infantry Training (AIT) at Nasho Basic Military Training Center, in Kirehe District.

AIT is designed to enhance skills of ordinary infantry to enable them effectively perform infantry tasks while fulfilling RDF missions.

The graduation ceremony was presided over by the RDF Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Jean Bosco Kazura on behalf of the RDF Commander in Chief, President Paul Kagame.

In his remarks, the RDF Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Jean Bosco Kazura commended the graduates for their milestone achievement, commitment and discipline. He also appreciated the leadership of the training centre including instructors who work day and night to build their competencies and skills to be effective leaders and soldiers in their respective roles.

The overall best officer, 2nd Lieutenant Fred Rugamba said that the knowledge acquired will help them to fulfil their responsibilities.

“As a serving officer, I  was able to acquire additional skills that will enable me to serve my institution and country better,” he said.

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Israel Donates 20 Cows To Vulnerable Families In Rwanda

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The Israel Embassy in Rwanda, on behalf of the Israel’s agency for International Development, MASHAV, on Thursday, November 25, donated cows to 20 vulnerable families in Rulindo District, Northern Province.

This is in line with the government of Rwanda’s Girinka program also known as ‘One Cow Per Poor Family’, initiated in 2006.

The event was held in Rusiga sector, and was attended by the Ambassador of Israel to Rwanda, Dr. Ron Adam, the Acting Mayor of Rulindo District, AlBashir Bizumuremyi, representatives of security organizations and beneficiaries of the program among other attendees.

In his remarks, Ambassador Adam underscored that Israel is pleased to support Rwanda’s existing efforts to promote Rwandans’ welfare.

“Israel is happy to support Girinka program initiated by H.E President Paul Kagame. We realized that a cow is one of the most sustainable support you can give, because the beneficiary is able to get milk and fertilizer, and can make money out of it. This is the third time we are donating cows, and we are looking forward to continue doing so,” he said.

He added: “The support is yet another sign of existing good relations between Israel and Rwanda.”

In 2020 and June this year, Israel donated 40 cows to families in Nyamasheke and Gisagara Districts.

According to Girinka program, a beneficiary receives a heifer, raises it and when she gives birth, the first female calf is given to another poor family and the process continues.

This said, Bizumuremyi underscored that the 20 cows are a significant contribution to existing efforts.

“A cow is a sign of prosperity and wealth. We are grateful to the Israel Embassy for this support, because it contributes to the existing efforts by the Government of Rwanda to improve citizens’ social welfare,” he said.

So far, as per the statistics of Rulindo district, 10264 residents of the district have benefited from Girinka Program.

Beneficiaries speak out

Honorine Mukeshimana, a resident of Gako cell, Rusiga sector in Rulindo district is one of the beneficiaries. She explains that the cow she received will help her to cater for her families’ day-to-day needs.

“My three children will no longer miss milk on the table. Also, as a farmer, the problem of lack of manure will be no more. My harvest is going to increase, and hopefully I will be able to not only feed my home, but also sell my produce,” she said.

This was also reiterated by Innocent Niringiyimana, a father of three who resides in Kirenge cell.

“This is a dream come true. I am very grateful to the Israel Embassy in Rwanda and our government for this program. My family and I are going to make sure we take care of this cow so that it helps us to develop ourselves,” he underscored.

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