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Prime Minister Dr. Ngirente to Update Parliament on Covid-19 vaccination Program

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Rwanda Prime Minister Dr. Edouard Ngirente is scheduled to present to Parliament, in a joint session, government ’s actions relating to Covid-19 vaccination program.

According to the schedule, the Prime Minister will commence his presentation at 3PM this afternoon.

Meanwhile, it should be noted that since Covid-19 first reached Rwanda territory in March last year, it has claimed a total of 1,343 lives from over 100,000 cases of infections.

The government has since rolled-out a vaccination program whose access it says is global and non-discriminatory according to Public Health Bulletin an open-access and peer-reviewed bulletin published by Rwanda Health Communication Centre (RHCC).

Towards the end of 2020, the Government of Rwanda had already applied for different vaccines, including Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines, among others.

Rwanda set up infrastructures such as procuring ultra-cold freezers and containers for each of the 4 provinces for proper storage and distribution of vaccines. Facilities for easy transport, protocols, and personnel were prepared for better roll outs of COVID-19 vaccination campaigns.

Under the national vaccine plan, it also covers all refugees and asylum-seekers who live in Rwanda.

Details also indicate that government continues negotiations with partners, including international organizations and other governments, to acquire additional vaccines to cover more people with the plan to vaccinate 8 million people in 2 years.

Rwanda in September had fully vaccinated 10% of its population against COVID-19, reaching the September global target by the World Health Organization (WHO) aimed at widening vaccination and helping to turn the tide against the pandemic.

Prior to the arrival of the first vaccines, the Joint Task Force Committee (JTFC) and the scientific advisory group for COVID-19 vaccination began establishing possible decentralised strategies for quick and effective rollout.

Decisions made for mitigations were decentralized across ministries and local authorities, down to village leaders and Community Health Workers (CHWs).

This approach led to the successful transport of vaccines from central distribution hubs in Kigali to remote areas of the country within 24 hours following vaccines’ arrival.

By September Rwanda had received around 3.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines – 1.1 million of these from The COVAX Facility, 108 000 from the Africa Centres for Disease Control’s Africa Vaccine Acquisition Trust; and 2.1 million from bilateral agreements. Of these, it has administered 3.3 million doses and fully vaccinated 10% of its 13 million people.

Prime Minister Ngirente is expected to expound on the ongoing vaccination program.

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National

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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National

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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