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Rwanda, Belgium Sign Deal To Manufacture Covid-19 Vaccines

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In a bid to reduce dependents of African countries in the global  supply of vaccines and facilitate access in areas where the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted shortages, the Ministry of Health has entered into partnership with a Belgian Cooperation, Enabel, to contribute to Rwanda’s goal of building a robust ecosystem in the biotech industry and to boost Rwanda’s readiness to manufacture vaccines and other pharmaceutical products.

“We strongly believe in vaccine equity as one of the sustainable ways of dealing with Covid-19, therefore, we are grateful for the partnership with the Belgian Cooperation and look forward to availing vaccines and other pharmaceutical products to a bigger number of beneficiaries by bringing vaccine manufacturing capabilities in the country,” said Dr. Daniel Ngamije, the Minister of Health.

Dirk Deprez, the Resident Representative of Enabel in Rwanda said, “Enabel is delighted to be contributing to this noble cause of ensuring that the much-needed vaccines and drugs are accessible in Africa thus contributing to the global vision of health equity.”

This partnership aims at supporting ongoing efforts to strengthen the Rwanda Food and Drug Authority (Rwanda FDA) through the provision of key laboratory software (Laboratory Information Management System) and it is subsequent to the agreement signed between the European Union (ELT) and the Rwanda Development Board (RDS) aiming to strengthen the capacity of the Rwanda FDA, which is key to enhancing the attractiveness of Rwanda for future investments in drugs and vaccine manufacturing.

The Ministry of Health and the Government of Rwanda will continue to work closely with the Belgian Cooperation through Enabel to reach the country’s key strategic health and development goals.

No more details were divulged.

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Business

Flights From Dubai To Nairobi Resume

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Kenya government has lifted a ban on flights from Dubai entering its territory ending a weeks-long dispute with the United Arab Emirates.

The East African nation had imposed a ban on all inbound and transit passenger flights from the Middle East nation two weeks ago. The ban was lifted Monday midnight, offering a major relief to hundreds of travellers between the two destinations.

The ban did not however affect cargo flights that are normally flown by carriers such as Kenya Airways (KQ) and Emirates airline from UEA into Kenya.

“Kenya shall do a NOTAM lifting the suspension of flights to and from UAE from midnight tonight (Monday),’’ said Gilbert Kibe Director-General Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).

The ban came a few days after UAE extended the Kenya flight ban after it established that travellers from Nairobi were testing positive for Covid-19 after arrival in the Middle East nation, despite carrying negative test results.

Kibe said the scheme involved a racket of private medical testing centres that colluded with travellers to issue fake Covid-19 PCR results to aid their travel.

The Ministry of Health has however launched investigations into the matter with a view to bringing to book health officials who were involved in the shoddy deal that has now coasted Kenya millions of shillings in lost passenger revenues.

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Business

Bralirwa Shares Trading Badly On Rwanda Stock Exchange

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Since the just concluded festive season, Rwanda’s largest brewer has not been in good books with its clients as retailers repeatedly complain of lack of some products and  sometimes rationing of beers.

“It is very hard to get grand Primus beers. Every time I send someone to get them from the depot we are told that distributors  haven’t supplied,” says Christine Nyiramariza a bar owner in Gatsibo district.

Trending on twitter is a very confusing situation of Amstel beer filled in Mutzig bottles.

According to Rwanda Stock Exchange, as of Friday, the value of Bralirwa share had dropped to Rwf124.

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Business

Equity Bank Gets £37m From British Agency To Lend SMEs

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UK’s Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford MP (pictured above) said his government was extending a total of £37 million to Equity Bank Kenya for onward lending to small businesses.

“Our economic partnership is delivering impressive results, and we have some ambitious, exciting plans for the future. Plans that will deliver for Kenya, and for the UK, long into our shared future,” she said.

This money is being channeled through UK’s development finance institution British International Investment (BII) – formerly known as CDC Group. BII is a key part of the UK government’s wider plans to mobilise up to £8 billion a year of public and private sector investment in international projects by 2025.

This will include BII partnering with capital markets and sovereign wealth funds to scale up financing and help the private sector move in.

BII will prioritise sustainable infrastructure investment to provide clean, honest and reliable financing and avoid low and middle-income countries being left with bad and unsustainable debt.

Ford also stated that the UK will increase its support for green manufacturing in Kenya by providing an additional £400,000 to help Kenya build a green manufacturing industry, increasing its support to the Ministry of Trade and the wider Kenyan manufacturing sector in this area.

Green manufacturing was highlighted by President Kenyatta at COP26 as a key opportunity for Kenya to create new green jobs.

The funding through the UK’s Manufacturing Africa programme will provide expert analysis and advice on how government policy and the organised private sector can help build this industry and create new green jobs for Kenyans.

Kenya is already the third biggest portfolio for BII, with Sh42 billion investments across 83 companies. Those companies support 36,350 jobs and pay Sh2.6 billion in taxes.

“This is how we will deliver world-class projects, characterised by high standards and outstanding expertise, without forcing huge new debts onto countries such as Kenya,” she said.

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