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Rwanda Distributes Food Under Coronavirus Lockdown

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Rwandans will not stay indoors on empty stomachs during the ongoing lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of the deadly Coronavirus epidemic.

The Government of Rwanda on Saturday started distributing essentials first to the most vulnerable citizens across the country, hours after President Kagame announced the support program in a televised state of the nation address.

Sector pick-up trucks were seen in different sectors loaded with basic essentials including; maize flour, beans, cooking oil, rice, salt, and sugar and soap.

All items are locally produced. Rations will be issued based on the number of people in a household.

Sector workers used weighing scales to ensure equal packages for every beneficiary.

With environmental protection as a major principle to adhere to, all essentials were packaged in paper envelopes before handing them to beneficiaries.

Through Ubudehe program all Rwandan households are categorized to ensure their economic status.

It is very simple for every sector to know poorest families in category 1. Other categories include 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

However, last year the government launched an exercise to review the entire Ubudehe social stratification for all Rwandans because in the past, some citizens complained against being placed in wrong categories.

Every three years, Ubudehe categories are updated in order to identify the best practices, challenges and gaps and make necessary changes to the system

Understanding The categories

Rwanda’s total population is 12million citizens.

According to the Ministry of Local Government and Social Affairs, categorization is composed of four levels.

Category One – there are 1.5million Rwandans in the first category equivalent to 16% of the total population. (These are people with no means to own or rent homes of their own and can hardly put food on the table.)

For Category Two, there are 3.1 million people, accounting for 29.8% of the population. (These have part time small jobs and either own cheap houses or are able to pay rent.)

Category Three is composed of 5.8 million Rwandans. (These are farmers, professionals, and business owners. They don’t need government for survival)

Category four is made up of the rich especially public servants from the level of Director General and over and large business owners.

Meawhile, since the exercise began, several donations are trickling in from different supporters. For example Simba Supermarket donated 10,000kg of spaghetti to the City of Kigali.

Also, Africa Improved Foods the Manufacturer of highly nutritious cereal based foods have donated a truck filled with flour to support this initiative within Kigali.

“It is in times like these that we need to lend a helping hand. In partnership with Local Government Ministry , we have donated Nootri porridge flours to support those affected by the current situation caused the Covid-19 outbreak in the City of Kigali,” Africa Improved foods said.

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U.S. Africa Energy Forum Launched

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The Africa Oil & Power and the African Energy Chamber this week announced the launch of the first-ever U.S. Africa Energy Forum (USAEF).

This event aims to create deeper cooperation between the U.S. and Africa on energy policy, to reach alignment on long term sustainability goals, to stimulate greater American investment in the African oil, gas and power sectors, and to engage and reposition the U.S. as the primary partner of choice for African energy developments.

Under the theme “New Horizons for U.S. Africa Energy Investment” the forum will explore diverse foreign investment and export opportunities across the continent, including natural gas as a vital fuel for the energy transition; energy storage and battery minerals; Africa’s place in global energy supply chains; the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area; evolving energy technologies and how they relate to the future role of petroleum resources; and on-and off-grid power developments.

An online seminar and in-person networking event will be held in Washington D.C. on July 12, 2021, building up to the in-person U.S. Africa Energy Forum summit and gala dinner, to be hosted in Houston, Texas, on October 4-5, 2021.

Africa Oil & Power and the African Energy Chamber has invited all U.S.-based companies with an interest in engaging with African industry leaders and project developers to participate in the USAEF Houston summit.

This initiative comes at an important juncture in U.S.-Africa relations. The Biden Administration’s announcements of its intentions to proactively build a stronger U.S.-Africa partnership coincides with the fact that African projects are seeing rising interest from U.S. companies and lending institutions alike.

The USAEF event is thus dedicated to enabling dialogue between its participants that advances these developments.

“Our mission has always been to showcase the resource potential that Africa has to offer while at the same time showing its growing preference for sustainable energy policies and technologies.

Toward that end, we hope it becomes evident that Africa does not just want investment capital: it wants smart capital and an accompanying partnership with the investors,” said James Chester, Senior Director of Africa Oil & Power.

“The U.S. Africa Energy Forum represents the first-of-its-kind opportunity to catalyze U.S. participation in Africa’s energy transformation – via technology, policy support, capital injection and skills development – and turns a new page in the chapter on global energy investment.”

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Namibia’s Defence Minister Fired Over Undeclared Offshore Bank Account

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President, HE Dr Hage Geingob summoned his Defence Minister Rear Admiral Peter Vilho and grilled him over a list of crimes and fired him on the same day according to a reliable source.

Rear Admiral Peter Vilho Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs was seen at State House on April 6 where he met both the President and Vice President Nangolo Mbumba.

Vilho was summoned over allegations of corruption, which, among others involves an undeclared bank account in Hong Kong.

In his resignation letter, Vilho informed the Head of State that his continued membership of the Executive was “untenable” and the “ongoing media blitz” focused on him detracted from the “very important work of government, especially in the area of defence and security”.

Geingob accepted the resignation letter on the same day.

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Prince Phillip Funeral Plans Revised

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Carefully laid plans for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral, revised over many years, have been abandoned owing to the coronavirus pandemic, with public elements unable to take place.

The Queen and senior aides have now to fashion a fitting farewell to the longest-serving consort in British history given current restrictions. The plans will be set in motion once they have been personally approved by the Queen.

It will be a major undertaking. Organisers are said to be “desperately anxious” not to stage anything that attracts mass gatherings.

The police are facing the difficult, and sensitive, task of ensuring that crowds do not gather to pay their last respects to the duke.

All senior members of the royal family are regularly asked to update their funeral plans. The duke revised his – codenamed Forth Bridge – many times over his long life.

“One thing he did not want was for it to be like the funeral of his uncle, Lord Mountbatten [in 1979]. He did not want that ostentation,” a source said. Of that, given all the present circumstances, he is assured.

Under pre-Covid plans for the coming days, thousands of people would have been expected to line the processional route in London as his coffin was borne on a gun carriage pulled by naval ratings through the capital on the day of his funeral.

From London, the coffin was to have travelled to Windsor by Range Rover, with the cortege making its way along a processional route in Windsor to the castle, and St George’s Chapel for the funeral service.

The routes were to have been lined with hundreds of members of the armed forces, representatives from the many organisations of which the duke had been patron, and well-wishers.

Traditionally a royal ceremonial funeral would entail a horse-drawn procession. But, in keeping with the duke’s military career and strong links to the armed forces, horses were to be replaced with service personnel.

For the duke, who served with the Royal Navy, and was mentioned in dispatches during the second world war, his coffin was to have been be drawn by naval gun carriage – as was Queen Victoria’s – with 80 ratings in front and 40 ratings behind.

Now there is likely to be no procession in London or Windsor.

Up to 800 mourners, including world leaders, Commonwealth representatives, and senior politicians, would have been among those expected to attend the St George’s Chapel funeral. This will now not be possible.

Current rules on funerals in England mean a maximum of 30 people may attend, who must all socially distance unless they live together or share a support bubble.

It means the Queen may have to limit the numbers of her large family who can attend. She and others may also have to wear face coverings and stay 2 metres apart.

Tradition suggested that before the funeral his coffin would have initially rested at the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace in London, where family and household staff could stand private vigil, and private prayers can be said.

On the night before his funeral, it was expected that the coffin would have been moved to the nearby Queen’s Chapel. It is not yet known if this is still the case.

Philip’s no-fuss, no-nonsense approach to life was reflected in his refusal to have a lying in state at Westminster Hall, as took place for the Queen Mother’s funeral.

According to royal protocol he would have been entitled, as befits his position as a senior member of the royal family and prince consort – though he never used that official title.

But he long ago rejected the honour of lying in state, where members of the public pay their respects and visit the coffin, when consulted over his own funeral plans. His decision relieves the government of one potential problem, at least.

Preparations are now expected to centre on Windsor Castle, without the military procession in London or processions through Windsor. The funeral service itself is still likely to be held at St George’s Chapel, and is expected to be televised.

It is likely there will be, as was long planned, a private burial in the royal vault below the chapel, attended by the Queen and senior family members.

Some military involvement to honour the duke is still possible, though confined to the grounds of Windsor Castle, and in compliance with Covid-19 restrictions.

Details of the exact final funeral arrangements, with the UK progressing through the easing of restrictions, will be announced in the near future.

A memorial service – not something the duke wanted – could be held at a later date after the nation has dealt with the worst public health crisis for a generation.

In overall charge of the arrangements is the Lord Chamberlain, Baron Parker of Minsmere – a former head of MI5 – who took over the role at the start of April.

He is the most senior official of the royal household and has overall responsibility for the duke’s funeral.

Sir Edward Young, the Queen’s private secretary and senior adviser, will be on hand for the Queen throughout the challenging days ahead.

The Guardian

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