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Friday, 30 May 2014

Cycling administration usher in new leaders

The administration of the sport of cycling in this country has entered a new era following the election of a President, Vice, General Secretary, treasurer and three executive members to govern the Ghana Cycling Federation.

Incumbent President, Mohammed Sahnoon was retained unopposed at the association's 2 delegates congress on Saturday as Teye Doku and Dennis Moore also went unopposed to become the Vice President and General Secretary, all on four year mandates.

Ali Umar is the treasurer after polling 14 votes to the seven of Sefa Bamfo for the only contested position whereas Hassan Musa, Amen Ametor and Nathaniel Agoe got elected as executive members, also all unopposed.

The new executives jump straight into action with the impending Commonwealth Games in July on the horizon. 3 officials are expected the 6-man cycling team that leaves Accra headed for neighbouring Ivory Coast for a 10-nation African tournament spearheading Commonwealth Games preparations.

Samuel Anim, Godwin Dzeha, Isaac Sackey, Anthony Boakye, Abdul Razak Umar and Aminu Mohammed will do battle for Ghana in Abidjan ahead of the Glasgow Games.

Airtel Rising Stars tourney to start in July

This year’s edition of the annual Airtel Rising Stars will start at the end of next month and will run for over two months, according to Rwanda Football Federation (Ferwafa).

Over 100 teams have registered but Ferwafa is still veting all the players to make sure they fall within the required age group. Players eligible to compete in the tournament must be under the age of 17.

“We need to check their dates of birth because we want players of the right age, we don’t want old players because it has been happening in Rwanda for many years,” said Alloys Kanamugire, one of the members on the organising committee.

Kanamugire noted that it will be good to have players, who fall in the required age bracket to help the federation get players, who will feature for the national junior teams.

Two weeks ago, Rwanda held the Airtel-Arsenal football clinic which attracted 28 selected youngsters from Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Zambia and Rwanda.

The youngsters got a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the ‘Arsenal way of playing’. Arsenal football club legend Tony Adams was also in Kigali to inspire the players.

Daniel Sturridge to play with a smile on his face at World Cup

After an excellent season at Liverpool, in which Sturridge scored 21 Premier League goals, the 24-year-old looks certain to lead the frontline for his country alongside Manchester United's Wayne Rooney.

Roy Hodgson's men have been drawn in Group D with Uruguay, Italy and Costa Rica, and Sturridge intends to make the most of his first World Cup.

"I'm very excited," he told Liverpool's official website. "I think players wait their whole careers to have this opportunity to go to a World Cup and I'm one of those players.

"I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to the training camps just as much as playing the first game. I'm going to soak up everything and be like a sponge when I'm out there, and just take everything in. "It's important for me and the other players to understand that it's a great occasion and to embrace it. I don't feel there should be any form of pressure on us.

"It should be about enjoyment and about playing with smiles on our faces. I'm doing cartwheels and front-flips inside but I'm not going to show it."

10-year-old Layola makes Olympiad chess team

Ten-year old Murara Umuhoza Layola defied odds to earn a slot on the national team which will represent Rwanda at the 41stWorld Chess Olympiad slated for August 1-15 in Tromso, Norway. Layola won the ladies’ chess tournament to book a place as Rwanda’s Board 1 member at the Olympiad later this year.

She finished top after a head to head contest with four other players to score 4.5 points out of 5. Other members of the women team include Christella Rugabira (4 points), Marie Faustine Shimwa and Monique Uwinkesha (3 points each) and Aline Niyonsaba with 2.5 points.

Layola, the youngest player in the squad will be making her debut in the main world tournament. Last year, she failed to qualify for the World Youth Chess Championship in United Arab Emirates after finishing second behind her 11-year elder brother Ian Murara Uwintwari who represented Rwanda at the Al Ain edition.

Like daughter like father, Maxence Murara the father to Layola also secured a national slot as he finished third, tied on seven points with Eugene Kagabo and Alain Patience Niyibizi to seal the national team slots.

Candidate master Godfrey Kabeera who won the men’s chess tournament after securing 12.5 points out of 14 and Alex Ruzigura who finished second with 8 points are the other members on the men’s team.

The ten chess players will now have to mentally prepare excellently with two months to go so as to register outstanding performance in Tromso.

Rwanda has previously participated in several Chess Olympiads but failed to impress - and the country is currently ranked 145th in World ranking behind regional giants Uganda at 105, Burundi at 128 and Kenya at 139.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Castro Promises Good Show @ ‘Ghana Meets Naija’ Concert

The 2014 Highlife Song of the Year award winner, Castro, has promised to give out his best at the much awaited 'Ghana Meets Naija' musical concert slated for May 24 at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC).

The hiplife artiste, who would leave no stone unturned in his bid to make the shows grand, disclosed that he would turn the venue upside down with an extraordinary performance.

He promised to make the event unique, adding that he would perform a number of his hit songs to entertain his numerous fans who would troop to the venue.

The 'Odo Pa' hit-maker, who would be performing alongside his Ghanaian artistes like Sarkodie, Guru, Lil win, Shatta Wale and a host of Ghanaian icons said in a chat with BEATWAVES that 'over the years, I have never disappointed my fans, and this event will not be different. This will be my second time of performing at this event and I want to use this opportunity to tell my fans to come to the event in their numbers and catch a maximum fun.

'I'm ready to unleash an extraordinary performance on the night; one that my fans have never witnessed before,' he said.

'Ghana Meets Naija', an event powered by Empire Entertainment has been rated as a major concert in West Africa which, on a yearly basis, brings on one stage, star artistes from Nigeria and Ghana to doll out outstanding performances.

Nigerian superstars such as Davido, Kcee Wizboyy of 'Wizolingo' fame and a few others would represent Nigeria at this year's event.

The organiser of the event, Bola Ray, also promised that the event which is in its fourth edition of the event would be nothing less than spectacular performances and an absolutely exciting show.

The 4th edition of 'Ghana Meets Naija' is proudly sponsored by the nations' leading telecommunication network, MTN, with support from Unibankthe official sponsor of the Black Stars, and other sponsors such as Smirnoff, Vodka, Africa World Airlines, Oak Plaza Hotel and Atlas Rent A Car.

Africa Travel Oscars heads to Nigeria this year

A Gala Ceremony will celebrate excellence in travel, tourism, and hospitality in the Africa & Indian Ocean regions next year in Abuja, Nigeria. Industry leaders from across both regions will gather to recognize the achievements of African travel companies when the “Oscars of the travel industry” are presented in September.

The travel “Oscars,” otherwise known as the World Travel Awards will be held on September 5 at the sumptuous Transcorp Hilton Abuja, host for the event. Hundreds of industry leaders are expected to descend upon the Nigerian capital for the event. The Transcorp Hilton Abuja hotel offers easy access to the commercial district, Abuja tourist attractions, and is only 40 minutes from Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.Transcorp Hilton Abuja will mark the fourth stop on the annual World Travel Awards Grand Tour, with proceedings having kicked off at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai earlier this month. Divani Apollon Palace & Thalasso, in Athens, Greece, marks the next stop on the year-long global search for the world’s finest travel tourism organizations, on August 2, with Quito, Ecuador, following on August 9.

Regional Gala Ceremonies will follow in New Delhi, India, and on the beautiful Caribbean island of Anguilla later in the year, before World Travel Awards arrives in Marrakech, Morocco, for the Grand Final 2014 in November.Valentine Ozigbo, Managing Director and Chief Executive of Transnational Hotels & Tourism Services, owners of Transcorp Hilton Abuja, added: “’We welcome the opportunity to host the prestigious World Travel Awards Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony 2014 in our hotel.

I have a surprise package for my fans this year… says Okyeame Kwame

Okyeame Kwame, one of the Ghanaian hiplife artistes who has carved a niche for himself as one of the reigning artistes in Ghana today, has declared his determination to work extra hard to enable him to reach the top and compete with those on the international music scene.

The accomplished songwriter and producer, whose dream is to make an impact on the world music scene said he hopes to make more impact first on the African market with his upcoming 'African Connection' album, yet to be released before going international.

Okyeame Kwame, who has been working hard on his new album, had already put out a number of singles including 'Try Another Time' featuring J. Martins, meant for the new album titled 'African Connection'.

Known for his versatility, Okyeame Kwame told BEATWAVES in a chat that after almost two decades in the Ghanaian music industry, the new phase of the musical album titled 'African Connection', which features 16 selected renowned African musicians, would widely be accepted by a lot of people.

Kwame's activities in the music industry have probably inspired many people to consider a career in music and he is gradually making his way to the top of the music chart, as his fan base keep increasing every day.
Kwame's quest for growth and knowledge has taken him further as he is catching up with great professionals in the creative arts industry in Ghana and beyond. He is keen on improving his performance in the music industry.

Okyeame Kwame told BEATWAVES in a chat that he would not rest until he reaches the top, adding, 'I will work hard to maintain the good image I have attained so far as I'm a musician and always thinking of satisfying my fans and admirers in whatever I do. I am able to make it because I always tried to create something new to meet the demand of my fans.'

Okyeame Kwame, who is the CEO of One Mic Entertainment, last year signed an agreement with Bola Ray's Empire Entertainment, a move that would market him and his musical works on the global market.
Okyeame Kwame said, 'I know my fans have waited for me for long, so I just want to surprise them with my 'African Connection' album. I have a surprise package for my fans this year.'

He, however, thanked his fans for their loyalty and support all these years and assured them that the new album would make a huge success.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

AfDB – A key contributor in Rwanda’s development

Committing to Rwanda’s endeavor for improving skills, entrepreneurship and employment, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a loan worth US $76 million (Approximately 51.68 Billion) to the country. Confirming to a statement from the African Development Bank, the loan will fund a program to support the development skills, employability and entrepreneurship (SEEP II) in the country which will cover three financial years; 2013 /14, 2014/13 and 2015 /16 respectively.

Commenting on it, Isaac Lobe Ndoumbe, Bank's head of operations office articulated that the basis for the approval of the loan was Rwanda being a model in terms of competitiveness. He added, "The support of the ADB directly contributes to the competitiveness of Rwanda, inclusive growth and poverty reduction. Rwanda has made significant progress in the development of skills and labor, which today are more responsive to the demands of the labor market, while promoting job creation for young people. These advances, through which the private sector is now more involved in the education and technical and vocational training, facilitate access to counseling services for businesses - particularly for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) - while improving entrepreneurial skills via incubators established.”

At present, the main priority and challenge for the country is to enhance labor productivity, to create decent jobs and diminish underemployment that is estimated at about 58 percent (63 percent for youths). Rugwabiza Minega Leonard, chief economist at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning stated that the loan will elevate the country's efforts to execute medium-term strategy for EDPRII. Further, he conveyed, "The Government of Rwanda appreciates this support. It is timely and will strengthen its efforts to implement medium-term strategy for economic development and poverty reduction - the EDPRS 2.”

The programme will prove profitable mainly for the young women and men. Presently, 40 percent of registered entrepreneurs are women who signify 52 percent of the country's population. Rugwabiza praised the bank's mounting partnership with the government of Rwanda especially in backing its development journey. He expressed, "This program shows, once again, the close ties between the Bank and Rwanda. Over the past 40 years, the commitment of the Bank to the Republic of Rwanda totals to more than 1.7 billion U.S. dollars."

Vodafone excites new subscribers with ‘Welcome Offer’

As part of efforts to give customers value for money, Vodafone Ghana is offering all its new subscribers 100 per cent bonus on all top-up and the opportunity to recover what they spent during the week for calls, internet browsing and text messages on Weekends.

Termed the 'Welcome offer', Vodafone SIM' will now be sold at GHC 2.00 and each SIM has been provisioned with 50p airtime for calls and text messages. The offer which lasts for 90 days begins immediately the SIM is activated and the 100 per cent bonus after every recharge can be used for Vodafone to Vodafone calls, text messages and internet browsing.

Chief Marketing officer for Vodafone Ghana, Uche Ofodile explained new subscribers do not need to register for the service as it works automatically when the SIM is activated.

'From our insights we know our customers want a reliable service that keeps them confidently connected and offer them a variety of ways to stay in touch with the people who matter to them at highly affordable prices', she emphasized.

New subscribers can also sign up for the existing daily, weekly and monthly bundles and get double value. The 'Browser daily' comes with 30MB at the cost of GHC 1.00 while the 'Streamer weekly' has 200MB for GHC 3.00. 'Browser mini' and 'Lite' comes with 400 and 800MB and sell for GHC 5.00 and GHC 10.00 respectively. Subscribers can also opt for 'Streamer Lite' at 750MB for GHC 15.00.

Air Uganda joins African Airline Association – IATA next

Uganda’s quasi-national airline, Air Uganda, is the latest airline to join AFRAA, the African Airline Association, according to information received from the company’s CEO, Cornwell Muleya. Already active as a keynote speaker at the recently-held 3rd Convention for Aviation Suppliers and Stakeholders in Nairobi, the membership of U7 in Africa’s premier aviation body has opened the door for the Ugandan carrier to join such winning initiatives as the joint fuel purchasing program and will be able to participate in the next big scheme, the joint ground-handling initiative. During the Nairobi meeting, AFRAA mentioned over US$30 million in savings for fuel purchases that participating member airlines made last year, a very significant amount of money considering the volatile nature of the prices of Jet A1 aviation fuel.

Said Cornwell Muleya in his communication: “Air Uganda became a full member of AFRAA in May 2014. This is part of our broad strategy to participate fully in the industry associations as we continue to grow the company and business.

The membership gives us access to the full range of benefits including the joint fuel purchase scheme, the lower training costs organized by AFRAA and IATA, joint ground handling, coordinated lobbying for aviation policy changes etc.” Cornwell went on to confirm that Air Uganda had already placed an application for full IATA membership and admission to the world airline body is expected to be confirmed in due course.

Air Uganda will also be present at the upcoming Routes Africa meeting in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe in June this year where Cornwell has been listed as one of the speakers of the event.

The airline, which took to the skies in late 2008, is presently fully owned by the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, in short AKFED but talks are progressing with the Ugandan government, following an agreement between His Highness the Aga Khan and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to have the Government of Uganda acquire a strategic share in the airline, then making it formally the flag carrier of The Pearl of Africa.

IOSA certified Air Uganda operates a fleet of 3 CRJ200 jets and serves the wider region with flights from Entebbe to Nairobi, Juba, Bujumbura, Kigali (in codeshare with RwandAir), Kilimanjaro, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi and Mombasa and notably Mogadishu. It is understood that a fleet renewal exercise is being planned to acquire newer and larger jets, so don’t miss those news and watch this space for breaking and regular news updates from the Eastern African aviation scene.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Uganda breaks record

Information received while in Kenya shows a further rise in passenger numbers for Entebbe International Airport during 2013, with figures for the first time rising above the one million mark with 1,025,391 compared to 964,274 the previous year. Domestic passenger numbers nearly doubled, the first time in over a decade that figures have risen again after a constant decline in local passengers. Here, the 2013 figure reached 21,448, up from just 13,464.

The figures were presented to the 9th Joint Transport Sector Review earlier in the week in Kampala by Dr. Rama Makuza, CEO of the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority.

Also up were aircraft movements overall from 22,370 to 23,091 indicating that the number of flights has risen besides airlines switching to larger aircraft to cater to growing passenger numbers.

The capital Kampala, besides access to the international airport in Entebbe – a new four-lane highway is being constructed to cut down on traffic delays – can also use the Mission Aviation Fellowship owned Kajjansi airfield, located just 15 kilometers outside the city, which is also the home base of the Kampala Aero Club and Ndege Juu. It is from there that the Aero Club operates its domestic charter and scheduled coach services, while Aerolink, a sister company to Air Kenya, operates their domestic flights and charters from the main airport in Entebbe.

South Africa & Seychelles discuss further cooperation

Minister Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, the Minister of Tourism of South Africa, and Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, met on the sidelines of Indaba, the tourism trade fair of Africa that is held annually in Durban in South Africa.

Both ministers were accompanied by a high-level delegation from their respective countries.

South Africa and Seychelles are two countries that continue to enjoy friendly ties, and Ministers Van Schalkwyk and St.Ange used the opportunity of the Indaba meeting to review areas of cooperation between South Africa and Seychelles, and how the different joint actions undertaken between them has fared.

The historic UNWTO (UN World Tourism Organization) and ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) that will be bringing together for the first time ministers of tourism and ministers of transport, was discussed as this meeting is set to be held in Seychelles. The UNWTO Commission for Africa (CAF) meeting, also in Seychelles in April 2015 at the same time as the island's annual Carnaval International de Victoria, was also discussed. South Africa, through KwaZulu Natal, was this year a co-host of the carnival in Seychelles, and the benefit of such a partnership was also discussed.

Minister Van Schalkwyk and Minister St.Ange both felt that the continued cooperation between South Africa and Seychelles needed to be further developed. The two Ministers signed a MOU a year ago paving the way for increased cooperation between South Africa and Seychelles.

New energy incentive for industrial park investors

Industrialists are being encouraged to move to the area. Industrialists are set to benefit following a decision by the national energy utility to waive electricity connection fees for those seeking to set up industrial plants in the new industrial park located in Gasabo District

The decision was announced by the Energy Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA). Aimee Uwanyiligira, the head of electricity commercial unit at EWSA, said the waiver aims at attracting more investments, thus spurring economic development.

“We were being charged between Rwf4m - Rwf5m for installing a 500KV transformer but this has been revised to no cost,” she noted.

She added that the decision also aims at encouraging industrialists to move to the free economic zone. Uwanyiligira added that even charges for those intending to establish industries outside the free economic zone had been slashed.

“For instance, establishing a 5.3km medium voltage line from the national grid before was costing about Rwf212 million, but now it’s just a flat fee of Rwf20 million,” she said.

Ntare Karitanyi, the Director General, of EWSA said the move will help boost employment since more industrial establishments will be attracted to invest in the area.

“It will also present industrialists with an opportunity for expansion,” she said

Claudine Mukeshimana, the Executive Director of Rwanda Association of Manufacturers, welcomed the move saying it would help reduce costs of production for industrialists. She, however, called upon the Government to reduce power tariffs as they greatly reduce the turnover of industrialists.

“The power utility urges us to carry out our operations in the night, as this comes with low electricity charges, but it has proven impractical, since you have to supervise workers till late in the night which is costly,” Mukeshimana said.

She also called upon EWSA to work towards reduc ing power blackouts, saying they cause enormous losses in stalled work.

“Our members have also complained of occasional faulty power connectivity, which usually destroys property worth millions,” she said.

Alex Ruzibukira, the Director General of Industry, Small and Medium Enterprises at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, noted that the move is an incentive for industrialists to shift to the special economic zone before the 2016 deadline.

“Nine out of 14 factories have moved from Gikondo wetland to the new economic zone in Kigali, we hope we this dev elopment will encourage the remaining firms to move,” Ruzibukira said.

“Basic infrastructure, including water, sewage, fibre optic cable and road network are already in place at the Special Economic Zone in Kigali, so subsidising electricity connectivity is a huge complement,” he added.
Ruzibukira also disclosed that the construction of eight more industrial parks is underway country wide.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Rwanda through AfDB figures

In a new statistical report by the African Development Bank (AfDB), Rwanda’s recent work stands out prominently. Presented by the director of AfDB’s statistics department, Charles Lufumpa, the publication titled “Tracking Africa’s Progress in Figures” looks at past key trends that defined the continent and those that shape its future.

In general terms, the report shows that African economies have scored exceptional rates of growth driven by strong domestic demand, improved management of economic affairs, a growing middle class, and increased political stability.

“With Africa’s population expanding rapidly, from around 1 billion today to an estimated 2.5 billion by 2060, we will have a young and increasingly urbanized workforce, which presents an opportunity to reap a demographic dividend,” Lufumpa said in his presentation.

“Seizing that opportunity will depend on access to education and skills, the quality and scale of public investment in infrastructure, and the associated private investment in business and jobs,” he added.
However, the report warns that the impressive performance of certain countries is overshadowed by other countries’ poor results.

“Madagascar, for example, has significantly reduced its adult mortality rate. Liberia, Rwanda, Algeria, and Burkina Faso also performed remarkably well. However, Swaziland and Lesotho registered a twofold increase in their mortality rates between 1990 and 2011,” the report states.

The report further shows that 97 per cent of pregnant woman in Rwanda receive antenatal services, which is way above Africa’s average of 74 per cent. The report says that over 18 million African women still do not give birth in a health facility.

On average, the time required for business start-up reduced on the continent by nearly half in the past seven years, Rwanda stood out for making major reforms in property registration programmes, improving cross border trade and strengthening investor protection. Other countries that scored highly in this category include Burkina Faso, Burundi, Egypt and Mali.

Rwanda also falls in the category of countries with relatively high rates of poverty reduction, along with Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi, Mali and Uganda. Those that suffered acute increase in poverty levels over the past few years include Chad, Ivory Coast, Egypt, and Zimbabwe.

On gender development, Rwanda has an unprecedented 64 per cent of the seats in the Chamber of Deputies held by women, the report says. Seychelles, Senegal, and South Africa also stand out in this category with more than 40 per cent female representation in Parliament.

Countries where women have less than 10 per cent of parliamentary representation are Egypt, Comoros, Swaziland, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Benin and Democratic Republic of Congo. Yusuf Rurangwa, the Director General of the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda, welcomed the report, saying that harmonised statistics throughout Africa will make development goals more realistic.

“Countries must exploit advanced research modules in order to cut cost of data storage. Private businesses must also improve the way they use national data to better understand opportunities and risks in investments,” Murangwa said.

Rwanda’s main challenge according to the report lies in its significant reliance on aid.

New mobile application for Reunion Island Tourism

Reunion Island Tourism (IRT) is offering a unique experience of Reunion Island with its new application that provides a discovery of the destination - an immersion into the heart of Reunion Island through videos.

The distinctiveness and innovation of this application is that visitors are able to watch a 360-degree video with the capability to zoom anywhere in the film. Thus, the application offers many advantages while providing an unforgettable experience of Reunion Island thanks to the immersion provided by this technology sensation.

Reunion Island’s new app is the logical consequence of the application of virtual tours designed for the promotion of meetings with an interactive 360-degree panorama of venues. The use of video brings a feeling of immersion even more intense than just photos as the user is transported into the scene.

Intended to both promote the destination as well as a love for the island, Reunion Island’s new app is the result of prime technology through innovation.

Already awarded to Travel Gold 2012 for its implementation of “visits” to virtual meeting venues, the IRT was selected again this year among the 5 finalists in this category for its innovative Reunion Island application of “Best Websites and Applications in the Tourism Sector.”

The IRT wishes to continue its efforts in this area to remain a "destination of most-used communication geeks," said Frederic Vanhoutte, President of Eventiz and creator of Travel Golden. The new website technology is sure to also attract more users with greater experiences and interactions. 360 videos and 360 panoramas are also available in web version.

Kenya Hospitality Trade Show and Hotel Summit East Africa declared a success

The second edition of the Kenya Hospitality Trade Fair and the parallel Hotel Summit East Africa ended at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in the heart of Nairobi. Exhibitors expressed satisfaction with the business contacts made, in spite of the present challenges Kenya’s tourism and hospitality sector faces. Visitors to the exhibition in particular appreciated the cooking demonstration sessions with Kenya’s first celebrity chef, Ali; Chef Raphael; and chefs from the Sarova Stanley Hotel, who thrilled the crowd mobbing the cooking stations with mouth-watering dishes being prepared in the space of an hour; cooking instructions, of course, were provided and demonstrated.

Other similar events across the three days the trade show was open, comprised of whiskey tasting sessions, organized by Kenya Breweries which is owned by East African Breweries, which in turn is a Diageo subsidiary, and tea and coffee tasting sessions were also available to exhibitors and visitors courtesy of Kericho Gold and Dorman’s Coffee. Domaine Kenya made an impact with their winetasting sessions, while PERAK, the Pub and Restaurant Association of Kenya, operated a “Bartenders & Mixologists” pavilion which during demonstrations was also packed to capacity.

The Hotel Summit in a packed program, showcased a number of international speakers and presenters discussing the entire range of challenges investors in the hospitality industry are faced with, from planning over feasibility studies, to financing and staffing, and last but not least, to implementing green operating standards, leading to lively discussions and interactions during the coffee breaks.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Ghana striker Prince Tagoe set to make Kelantan debut after arrival of ITC

Ghana striker Prince Tagoe is set to make his debut for Kelantan FA following the arrival of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC), GHANAsoccernet.com can confirm. The Red Warriors have been unable to use the 27-year-old they signed over a month ago as a free agent due to the non-availability of his ITC. The Malaysian club were having difficulties in securing the vital document from Tagoe's former side Club Africain. The Tunisian club were reluctant in giving away the ITC due to Tagoe's decision to unilaterally cancel his contract over the nonpayment of wages and salaries for over three months.

Kelantan FA adviser Tan Sri Annuar Musa has confirmed the arrival of the ITC and says the Ghanaian striker is free to make his debut in the side's next game against Perak. “Prince Tagoe can play the next match,” Annuar Musa confirmed.

Tagoe's availability serves as a massive boost for Coach George Boateng who is desperate to use the ex TSG Hoffenheim man for the remaining games in the Super League.

Mourinho bids to sign Atletico Madrid’s star striker before the World Cup

Chelsea have opened talks with Atletico Madrid in an attempt to wrap up the signing of Diego Costa ahead of the World Cup. Sportsmail revealed in December that Costa had emerged as Jose Mourinho's principle transfer target and Chelsea are determined to push it through.
Mourinho hinted after Chelsea's final Premier League game of the season that he wanted their transfer business to be concluded swiftly.

But he wants to catch his rivals by surprise and make a big statement of intent after failing to win a trophy in his first season back in English football with Chelsea.

Costa, who is fighting to be fit for the Champions League final against Real Madrid in Lisbon on May 24, has already set his heart set on moving to Chelsea.

The Spain striker has a buy-out clause in his contract which is set at around £32m and Chelsea want to take advantage of it before their rivals can make a move.

2014 World Cup: FIVE goalkeepers who can make Ghana squad

Adam Kwarasey: He will probably be one of the first names to make Coach Kwesi Appiah's squad for the World Cup purely because of his consistency and good form at Norwegian club Stromsgodset. He is even being talked off at the possible first choice at the World Cup following the difficulties Fatau Dauda has had at Orlando Pirates. Kwarasey captained Stromsgodset to the Norwegian top flight title last season and has played every single minute of their campaign this season.

He is considered a sure bet to make the squad but doubts are rife over whether he can indeed emerge as the first choice at the World Cup in Brazil.

Fatau Dauda: Having been the safest pair of hands for the Black Stars in over a year, it will come as a major surprise if Fatau Dauda is dropped from Ghana's World Cup squad despite his issues at Orlando Pirates.

The 28-year-old managed just three league appearances for the Buccaneers all-season-long – giving rise to doubts over his first choice role in the team. Kwesi Appiah however kept faith in the ex AshantiGold man throughout the qualifiers and could therefore be considered a safe bet ahead of the official naming of the Black Stars squad for June's tournament.

Stephen Adams: The Aduana Stars goalkeeper could very well end up as the only home-based players to end up in the squad that is populated with foreign-based players.

Adams missed the opportunity to make the Black Stars squad for the World Cup four years ago and will be dealt another heavy blow if he fails to make this one as well. His impressive performances during the CHAN tournament have also won him some points but it remains to be seen if they are strong enough to get him on the plane to Brazil.

Daniel Agyei: He has just come of a gruelling season with Free State Stars who escaped relegation by the skin of the teeth. The ex-Liberty Professionals captain has however failed to come into his own despite spending a lot of time deputizing with the Black Stars.

There is however the feeling he could be preferred over others but that will only be known when the squad is named.

Razak Brimah: He is liked a lot by the coaches and officials but the fact that he plays in the third tier in Spain is a massive disincentive to include him in the squad.

He has done very well to steer Cordoba off the foot of Segunda B to guarantee them another season in the same division when they looked destined for relegation.

He could make the squad but his chances are considered to be long shots.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

PGGSS 4 STARS bring Ruhango to a standstill

Primus GumaGuma superstar season 4 continued with music stars rocking the town of Ruhango in the Southern Province. Bruce Melody wowed the crowd with his rock hit uzandabure. Thousands of music fans filled up the district headquarters main ground to have a glimpse of their stars. Well prepared to deal with any emergency situation was the Police force, Bralirwa security personnel and Red Cross. The Mc’s Anita Pendo and Tino thrilled the crowd with jokes. There was thunderous noise and clapping when artistes finally arrived and headed back stage. The artistes, who had earlier held a talk show on Radio Huguka in Muhanga, looked refreshed and relaxed. Backstage, they changed into their stage gear while others tested their vocals.

Soon, it was show time. Stars came on stage according to the number they picked in the draft selection process but the most exhilarating performance came from Senderi International Hit. Dressed like a chef, Senderi sent the crowd screaming when he performed a song he composed for Rayon Sport. Senderi performed Turi mu muvuduko, Jalousie and Icyomoro.

However, before Senderi hit the stage, Hip Hop sensation Jay Polly staged an amazing performance. From Ikosora to Chagua and the crowd’s favourite Deux fois Deux, Jay Polly’s performance took him further up the ladder of the favourites to win this year’s PGGSS 4 title.

Amag the Black was second to come on stage after Jay Polly. He started off with Turi kw’ishuri before performing Care, a song where he talks about how ladies are ‘dethoothers’. MC Anita Pendo asked him if he was not generalising all ladies as ‘dethoothers’ and Amag the Black responded by saying “we sing about what I see” sending the crowd into laughter. His last performance was Agakaye although the crowd didn’t warm up to him.

Diana Teta took to the stage after Amag the Black and hit it off with Canga Ikarita. The crowd could be seen singing along and dancing. She was asked by the crowd to sing from the center stage and she immediately took them by storm when she sang her verse in the hit-single Fata Fata as people cheered her on. Amongst all her songs, the crowd’s favourite was Kata, a song released this year in response to rumours that she had bribed her way into PGGSS 4.

Nadia Buari Sign s New Models To Her TN Modelling Ag ency

It’s only been a few months since foremost Ghanaian actress Nadia Buari made her debut into the fashion industry by instituting a training program for talented youngsters to be groomed into professional models under her Nadia Buari’s Fashion Parade Youth Development Program.
Affectionately termed ‘TN Models’ by clients, Models under Team Nadia Model Management have been in high demand by African fashion patrons only after weeks being signed into business , the agency can be credited with ushering services at the 2014 African Achievers Awards, Black & White Concert and Dairy of Imogene Brown premiere.

Models have also been featured in commercials for Coke, King Cracker Biscuits, Mighty Malt, Media Contraceptives and music videos by Samini & Popcan, Dee Moneey, J Town, Edem and Praye etc. Nadia’s models have been booked for the forthcoming African Fashion Week and the FAME Series we all need to watch out for.

Now it’s very evident everything Nadia Buari ventures turns into to pure gold, the actress also indicated via twitter that she is currently recruiting aspiring fashion designers and models to join her annual fashion parade.

Miss Fine Face Gets $5,000 From KCEE

Peace Ambassador, and industryrecognized Limipopo King, KCEE has given a $5,000 Cash Prize to the Winner of his Social Media Pageant – Miss Fine Face.

The winner, Sophie Omolola Martin, a Student-Pilot based in Accra Ghana was overwhelmed with “speechless shock” because in her words, “the competition was everywhere online and there were thousands of pretty Contestants. I just couldn't stop screaming when I was announced winner. I also liked the fact that I got an all-expense paid trip to Lagos all the way from Ghana to receive my money.

Asides charity donation and hopefully religious tithes, Fine-face Lola says, “I’ll use the cash I won to further my education.” KCEE is a Creative artiste, she continues. “He is quite inspirational. He is good at what he does, and his songs prove that. I have won his $5,000 and unknown to him; I have also ‘won’ a life-long lesson from him. He achieves whatever he sets his mind on, and that’s what I must start doing from here on.
Excited about the immense success of Miss Fine Face, the Instagram-Pageant, which is not a respecter of size, height, or location, KCEE maintains the Contest “is more than a Pageant. It’s my little way of saying: Thank You to fans.

Aside KCEE’s $5000, Lola also won gifts worth N100,000 from Fashpa.com as well as a Samsung Galaxy Phone.

Fortunately, the week Lola came for her Prize Money was the same week KCEE dropped the Video of his latest single – Fine Face. A video shot in South Africa and currently being enjoyed online and on TV Stations across the world.

At the Cheque-presentation to Lola in Lagos, KCEE said: “At Five Star Music (and with support from E-money) we release beautiful songs, we shot beautiful music videos, and then we take things a step further – for standing by us, we reward our fans, beautifully: Lola, here, is a beautiful Proof’’.

Vodafone Ghana unveils mobile ‘HealthLine App’

Telecom operator, Vodafone Ghana has announced the launch of 'HealthLine App', a free software application that provides realtime health information through smartphones and tablets.

The interactive app, which has been developed for all mobile networks, is available on Android and provides tips and facts on health conditions including HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Retinal Migraines and Acne, among others.

Additionally, the App will keep users up-to-date on Vodafone Ghana's award-winning television programme 'HealthLine' including, viewing times, profiles of the doctors and access to videos.

Commenting on the initiative as part of its leadership in health and corporate responsibility programmes in the country, Chief Marketing Officer of Vodafone Ghana, Uche Ofodile, said: “Developing an application to compliment the Healthline Television show, as well as Healthline 255 call line will change the way doctors and patients approach healthcare meaning no matter who you are, expert medical advice is never out of reach.”

She added “We are really committed to improve Ghanaians health and knowledge about health through impactful initiatives, and we are confident that the App will enhance health delivery in Ghana.”
The App has a simple design with easy scrolling for efficient browsing and is available on Google play store and itunes App store for free.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Vivo Energy Ghana Supports Otumfuo Teachers Awards

Vivo Energy Ghana, the company that distributes and markets Shellbranded fuels and lubricants, has donated 20 table-top fridges and 100 branded solar lamps to the Otumfuo Charity Foundation in support of the 4th Teachers Awards.

The donation towards the awards aims at motivating teachers from deprived communities in the country to give-off their best in ensuring good performance of pupils from these communities.
It also aimed at curbing the migration of teachers from the rural communities to the urban areas for better working environment and conditions of service.

The Managing Director of Vivo Energy Ghana, Mr. Fred Osoro who donated the items said Vivo Energy in line with its community investment strategy, is committed to educational excellence and will invest in communities through its three strategic themes; road safety, education and environment.

“Vivo Energy understands the value of education and appreciates the work of the Asantehene and decided to lend its support to the foundation to help it extend its work to more people from deprived communities in the country” say Fred Osoro.

The Otumfuo Teachers Award was instituted four years ago to motivate teachers serving in some deprived communities in the country.

This year's award formed part of activities marking the 15th anniversary celebration of the reign of Otumfuo and 100 teachers from the ten regions of the country were awarded.

The awardees received a certificate, a table top fridge, solar lamps, wellington boots, rain coats among other items and an undisclosed amount of cash.

Ghanaian IT firm is Best Technology Inn ovator in Africa

Innovative EPS, of PAYZONE has been adjudged the Best Technology Initiative in Africa for the year 2014 at the second Card and ePayment Africa Awards ceremony, which took place in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Card and ePayment Africa Awards ceremony is powered by Intermarc Consulting with the purpose of catalyzing and inspiring innovation in the payment space, just as it is the case in continents in Europe and Asia. PayZone is an integrated payment solution providing a whole range of payment and financial services – from purchase of airtime, micropayments to banks and utility companies.

The Pan Africa event focuses on technological advancements and innovation within the ePayment space. It provides a platform for all stakeholders in the industry to be recognized, rewarded and celebrated. Technology trends such as the mass adoption of smartphones and tablets, increasing availability of open APIs and the rise of cloud computing have laid the foundations for innovation across the board in areas such as international money transfer, prepaid, peer-to-peer consumer payments, services for the underbanked, and the ambiguous concept of mobile money payments. The 2014 awards and dinner hosted top executives from Ghana, Kenya, Angola, Egypt, South Africa, Morocco, Nigeria, Namibia etc.

Platinum sponsors for this year was Access Bank Nigeria, EMIS Angola, while our partners are Verifone Inc, PAX Technology Limited. The event featured 19 categories of awards with Nigeria's Access Bank, emerging among the winners. Access Bank won the Best Credit Card Product of the year.

Innovative EPS is the service leader in electronic payment processing and the developer of InnoCloud, an open standard cloud platform. The Accra based company provides Extreme support to its customers and partners across a portfolio of services, including electronic payments, self-service kiosk, dedicated cloud, public cloud and hybrid hosting. Headquartered in Madina, Accra, ieps manages more than 50+ and counting payment kiosk from its data centre in Accra.

The Best Mobile Technology award was won by First Bank of Nigeria Plc, while Wigroup (PTY) South Africa, won the Best Alternative Payments Programme award. Arab Bank Morocco Master Card emerged as the winner of the Best Prepaid Card Product of the Year, while the Best Card Benefits Programme of the Year award went to United Bank for Africa Nigeria. Other awards were: Best Card Processor of the Year won by S2M Morocco; Best POS Integrator of the Year won by Micros South Africa (PTY) Limited; Best Debit Card Programme of the Year was won by Banco de Fomento (BFA) Angola, Industry Personality of the Year won by Ms. Gill Marcus, Governor of Reserved Bank South Africa and Innovative EPS of Ghana operators of PAYZONE won the Best Technology Initiative of the year award. The third edition of the Card and ePayment Africa Awards will come up on the Tenth of March 2015 at the Southern Convention Centre Johannesburg, South Africa.

First phase of Drobonso electrification project completed

The first phase of an electrification project at Drobonso, the capital of Sekyere Afram Plains, has been completed. This was made possible through efforts of the Ministry of Energy to connect people in the newly created district to the national grid. Under the first phase of the project, only streetlights have been connected to the national grid, while the second phase, yet to be started, would be the wiring of the various households and installation of electric metres. A 14.2 km stretch of electric poles wiring commenced on September 15, 2013 and was completed on December 15, 2013. The Resident Engineer, Mr Kwadwo Asare of the Wilkins Engineering, told the Daily Graphic that power was connected from Deduako near Atebubu in the Brong Ahafo Region to Drobonso. At a ceremony at Drobonso, both the Member of Parliament for Sekyere Afram Plains, Mr Alex Adomako-Mensah, and the District Chief Executive, Mr Donkor Fuseini, were assisted by the Dronbonsohene, Nana Dwamena Dankwa Dwubisiaw, to inaugurate the first phase of the project. He pledged his support for the electrification project at Drobonso, as that was his place of abode, and called on the government to quicken efforts to commence the second phase, when electricity would be extended to the various households.

After the inauguration, the street lights would be working for about two weeks after which they would be disconnected to avoid the situation whereby residents could indulge in illegal wiring. The MP indicated that only three districts in the country including Sekyere Afram Plains had benefited from the government's rural electrification project. He further indicated that the project was approved in May 2013 to allow rural communities to be hooked on to the national grid. He said light was life, and asked the people of Drobonso, particularly schoolchildren, to take advantage of the streetslights to learn and improve their academic lives. The DCE, for his part, said the assembly was quickening efforts to collaborate with ECG to begin the second phase of the project as soon as possible. He said of the 1,500 households, about 800 of the residents had paid or registered their electric metres, and called on others who had not registered to do so in time. He said the assembly would liaise with the ECG to help educate the people on the use of electricity in their various homes. He however, advised the people to guard against illegal connection within the period.

BADSHAH BJP MODI IN POWER WITH NEW APPROACH TO AFRICA

As the captain of the ship, how is he competent to steer the ship to different heights nevertheless rough the sea may be? What brands him distinct from others?

Beliefs in India for the new government are sky-high. Positive hope could be made in almost every sector-whether agriculture, health, education, poverty, infrastructure, electricity, growth, business friendliness, or the legal system.

Prospects are high that his approach would be more sensible and practical, and away from grand gestures. Regardless of mounting recognition of the latent of the African market, previous government did not venture there until the last visit of the Prime Minister to Nigeria in 2007, India's largest trading partner on the continent.

The fame of Modi goes beyond the shorelines of India. From USA to Africa, from China to Europe, one will all times find those who are fascinated by Modi’s persona and bravura of work type.

“Modi has every reason to take Africa seriously since he talked much about development. Africa is the reservoir of resources in this 21st century. No country which is looking for economic upliftment can ever ignore Africa. My advice to Modi as expert in African studies would be to look what is China doing in Africa and why? China knows the indispensability of China for their economic development. India being a growing country need resources especially oil and gas from Africa. Therefore, Modi's government must see Africa from the right perspective and do everything that could bring India and Africa closer and enhance its trade and commerce relationship. Modi's should see that all the commitment that UPA has made implement without fail and regain Africa's trust on India” said Dr. A. S. Yaruingam Head, Department of African Studies & Coordinator, Centre for African Studies University of Delhi.

The new spearhead is fairly passionate for Africa. No doubt, Gujaratis are curiously efficacious at doing business in Africa. Gujarat's historic and geographic lead has shaped a network of traders, and a Modi-led government would apply this network to expand wider Indian trade ties with Africa.

While applauding the efforts of India for successfully holding the peaceful, fair and free elections, the High Commissioner of Lesotho to India, H.E. Mr. Bothata Tsikoane said, “On behalf of His Majesty, King Letsie III, the Government and the people of the Kingdom of Lesotho, I would like to congratulate the winners, the voters and the entire Indian Community for this election. The Indian Democracy is the number one winner and surely this victory calls for a great celebration not only by Indians but the whole world as well.”

The former commerce ministry assistant quoted earlier by saying "We should be maintaining a database and developing contacts in African countries. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) needs to prioritise economic engagement. We make eight trips to America and the UK in a year, but it takes us years to plan a visit to an African nation."

Preferably, while the MEA should recognise regions of impending economic worth and shape relationships, the Commerce Ministry should simplify trade with those regions. MEA should develop economic connections in new markets and sharpen on high-profile visits to the countries of Africa.

At the India Economic Convention in New Delhi in March, Modi spoke of the requisite for a refurbishment at the MEA. He said: "It seems... our overseas missions' primary task is to file long reports...to gather information about their host country, write political and security analyses about the country's old friends and new. These dispatches are sent to headquarters, where they are read by the relevant division. While such procedures were justified in a previous day and age, in the 21st century, both foreign policy and the foreign office needed to change direction."

“Africa is a strong partner to India and our friendship is based on mutual respect and assistance. The history tells us that Africa and India always work side-by-side in key international issues. Our wish to the upcoming government will be the preservation of that flame, and the deepening of the friendship that binds us together as partner. There have been recently lots of misunderstandings between the African community and our Indian Brothers and a series of isolated unfortunate events which have shaken at some points our living as Africans in India, our prayer is that such unwanted events don’t come again, our Indian brothers and us deserve to look at the same direction as we are historically and traditionally linked”, said Richie Lontulungu, President of the Congolese Community of India (CCI) in an interview to IAT.

The Vibrant Gujarat Summit has no doubt, become an illustration of visionary approach of the State Government of Gujarat to investment promotion and encroachment of commercial and social growth for many states.

The event, in true sense, delivers massive prospects to the state to exhibit its strengths, progressive stand, creativities, investor friendly climate and culture of Gujarat. The state of Gujarat, known as the Growth Engine of India, is now stirring towards headship in knowledge advancements based on the towers of novelty and sustainability.

The event not only provides local players a chance to network with national and international players, but also with top Government officials from various departments and sectors. This event has encouraged the administration, and stimulated government workers and agencies to work hard and get organized.

The triumph of the Vibrant Gujarat Summits has rightly proved the international standing of Modi as an administrator; over a hundred countries participate in the Summits and the results are for all to see. They brought investment and economic growth to Gujarat.

Interestingly, a brilliant new study submits that the secret of Modi’s success place in agriculture, an area totally ignored by political analysts. Ashok Gulati, Tushaar Shah and Ganga Sreedhar have written an IFPRI paper, ‘Agricultural Performance in Gujarat Since 2000’, which high spot something few people know - that Gujarat’s agricultural performance is most superlative in India.

It’s imperative to highlight, at this point, that agriculture is vital for sub-Saharan Africa’s growth and for achieving the Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty by 2015. The connotation of agribusiness for wealth formation in Africa has been extensively acknowledged in recent years. There is no doubt that Africa is well braced to become the Future Food Basket of the World and is definitely the way to wealth in Africa.
Gujaratis have made noteworthy contribution to the political economy of East Africa and it is but likely for Modi to raise closer ties between India and East African nations amongst other countries where even today there are Gujaratis in large numbers.

He has commenced a very fruitful visit to Kenya and Uganda where he received a very warm welcome. The Governments of Kenya and Uganda were extremely enthralled by the expansion of Gujarat under Modi.
In January 2014 the High Commissioner of South Africa met Modi and he was with Shri Modi’s plan to celebrate 100 years of Mahatma Gandhi’s return to India in 2015 (Gandhi ji returned in 1915 from South Africa).

Little wonder that during every Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the most awaited speaker remains Modi. He stays a widely travelled person, having visited various countries including Australia, China, Japan, Mauritius, Thailand and Uganda.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Tourism and Travel Mart to be held in Seychelles

It has been confirmed that the Seychelles will be hosting the 2014 Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Tourism and Travel Mart which from the 19th to 21st September 2014.

The aim of the 2014 Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Tourism and Travel mart is to bring together policy makers and stakeholders in the tourism and travel industry. This will include both the Seychelles, Regional and International Tourism Organisations, Travel Agencies, Hotels, Tour Operators and Airlines under the same roof.

The Tourism and Travel Mart is also an opportunity to bring together Tourism Ministers of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) member states which would be the perfect occasion to discuss the possibilities of strengthening and expanding the regions tourism industry.

Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for tourism and Culture has personally written to Ministers of Tourism from the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORC) to invite them to attend and participate actively in this important regional event.

The decision for the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to host their Tourism and Travel Mart in Seychelles was taken when Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture met with the IORC Secretary General, Mr K.V. Bhagirath at his organisation's headquarters in Mauritius. The Indian Ocean Rim Association is a 19 Nation group pushing for Regional Cooperation.

India, Bangladesh, Australia, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Seychelles and members of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) with China, Japan, Egypt, France and Britain having the status of dialogue partners in the group.

During the meeting in Mauritius in 2013 between Minister Alain St.Ange, the Minister of Tourism and Culture of the Seychelles and Mr K. V. Bhagirath, the Secretary General of the Indian Ocean Rim Organisation (IORA) the strengthening cooperation between the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORC) and the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Regional Organisation was also discussed as it now accepted that the importance of the Indian Ocean, the world's third largest as a trade corridor and energy highway, is being seen as undeniable as it provides passage to half of the international container ships and more that 70 percent of crude and oil shipments. The meeting in Mauritius followed the Vanilla Islands Ministerial Meeting in Madagascar on the 1 june 2013 after Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles had been re-elected to a second term of office as President of the Vanilla Islands following a joint motion presented by La Reunion, Madagascar, Comoros and Mayotte for the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture to consider leading the organisation for a second year.

Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles has said that he was thrilled to be welcoming Member States of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to the Travel Mart in Seychelles. "We are a good destination to be used as the example to showcase tourism. Our tourism industry remains the pillar of our economy and yet we have managed to remain environmentally friendly and developing a sustainable style of tourism." Minister St.Ange of the Seychelles said.

World will see tourism returning to Egypt

Egypt’s Tourism Minister announced ambitious plans to try to revive the country’s tourism sector, in distress after years of political turbulence. Government data showed last month that tourism revenue dropped 43 percent to $1.3 billion in the first quarter of this year.

Egyptian Tourism Minister Hisham Zazou said in an interview in Dubai: “The world will see tourism returning to Egypt. We have an ambitious global plan to show the world that it is safe and fun to visit Egypt anytime.” Egypt’s insurgency has largely spared tourist sites, but on Friday suicide bombers hit near the tourist resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, killing a soldier and wounding at least eight other people.

Three South Koreans were killed in February when a bomb hit a tourist bus in South Sinai near a border crossing with Israel. Zazou said: “Our plan is to attract more than 25 million tourists by 2020. Revenues generated will double from the 2010 peak of $12.5 billion to $25 billion within the coming 6 years.”

He added that India, China and Latin America would be major target regions in a marketing campaign. The tourist sector hopes that Egypt’s political climate will become more stable. Speaking in Dubai less than four weeks before the country’s planned presidential election, Zazou said Egypt is gearing up for a fresh new start with a new president and a parliament.

“Tourism in Egypt has its captive audience and the major flow of tourists will happen once the political scene is settled,” he said.

Egyptians will vote on May 26-27 in a presidential election that Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is expected to win easily, meaning the former army chief who deposed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi could be sworn in as head of state by early June. Latest government figures show that tourism currently contributes 11.3 percent of Egypt’s GDP and brings in 14.4 percent of foreign currency revenues.

More than 14.7 million tourists visited Egypt in 2010, dropping to 9.8 million after the revolution that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak. The sector picked up in 2012, attracting 11.5 million but shrank again to 9.5 million last year after various attacks on tourist destinations. But the tourism ministry is launching this week a three-year marketing campaign in the hope of attracting tourists and investors to the country, probably the country’s last hope in fixing its own internal finances without relying on aid from neighboring Gulf states.

“We are currently negotiating agreements to prevent double taxation on airlines and tourist agencies. We want to partner with companies like Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways to bring in tourists to the country. There’s a well-prepared plan in place,” Zazou said.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates pledged more than $12 billion in aid to Egypt. Zazou called on companies in the United Arab Emirates like property developer Emaar Properties and hotel management firm Jumeirah to invest in the Egyptian market. The government earlier this year sold five plots of land on the Red Sea coast and plans to initiate new investment opportunities for local and international investors.

“We had valued the square metre in this area at $38 but it was sold at more than $150 per metre at the auction. Investors buying the land must know the value of what they’re getting.”

World Economic Forum first time in Nigeria

The 2014 World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa ended up in the Nigerian capital, drawing investment worth more than 68 billion U.S. dollars. More than 900 leaders from business, government, civil society and academia participated in the threeday meeting from 7th to 9th May.

According to the WEF’s Africa Director Elsie Kanza said: “A Nigerian company would invest about 16 billion dollars over the next four years, which will create around 180,000 jobs. Another company will invest 1 billion dollars over the next 10 years and which will create at least 20,000 jobs”. “A total of 2 billion dollars from donor agencies has been committed to improve electricity supply across Nigeria, and 700 million dollars to the immunization program,” she added.

It was the first when this threeday event of World Economic Forum, under the theme of “Forging Inclusive Growth, Creating Jobs,” was held in a West African country.

As part of the WEF programme, Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum and Minister of Power co-chaired a special session on the African energy outlook, moderated by Dr. Birol and with the partaking of selected high-level personalities, counting the USAID Administrator, the Minister of Energy of Benin, the Deputy Minister of Power of Ghana, the UN Special Representative for the Sustainable Energy for All initiative and top executives from Shell, Mitsubishi, Dow Chemical, ENI and other companies.

In the context of WEF Summit, the IEA Chief Economist conveyed keynote demonstrations at sessions deliberating the prospect of electricity and the impending impact of climate change on the continent. He also had several bilateral meetings, including with Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum, Minister of Power and Governor of the Central Bank, as well as with Japan’s Vice Minister for Environment and the Ambassadors of several IEA members: Italy, Japan, Norway, the United Kingdom and the European Union (who also hosted a dinner with 15 high-level participants).

The status and effectiveness of the “Africa Energy Outlook” study were consistently documented, with reference of its latent to add significantly to the continent’s development. This was imitated by the level of engagement by government and central bank of Nigeria, which will be sending a senior official to the IEA to work on the report.

Friday, 16 May 2014

APR BASK IN GLORY

APR FC head coach Vincent Mashami reveled in a great season as he paid tribute to players, fans and club administrators after their historic Turbo King Football League title triumph. APR won the historic Rwandan league title, two years after they decided to offload foreign players in favour of only Rwandan players as a way of giving a chance to homegrown talent. The military side were crowned champions without kicking a ball after their final day opponents AS Muhanga failed to turn up for the game following the players’ strike over unpaid salary arrears for four months. “This is a great day for APR and the supporters, we are happy for this title because for most of the players and us the coaches, this is the first title, it’s something to enjoy,” Mashami said. Mashami described the journey to the title as very long and never easy. He said it involved tough games but noted that his team maintained focus and kept on fighting up to the end. However, the former Isonga tactician was quick to warn his players against complacency and urged them to go ‘full throttle’ in their upcoming fixtures of the Peace Cup competition and ensure they don’t miss out on a double. Skipper, Ismail Nshutiyamagara was equally excited. “I’m very happy, it is really a wonderful feeling, after a lot of hard work we have made it and it is in order to congratulate everyone. We set out to make history, we have done it,” said Nshutiyamagara. Defender Emery Bayisenge was overwhelmed by the historic win as he struggled to express his feelings. The 20-year old defender said: “I cannot explain how I feel; it is amazing, it has always been my dream to win a league title for years. Thank God I have achieved my dream, I’m so happy.”

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Rwanda eye Zone 5 Afro-basket title

The National U-18 Boys team has confirmed their readiness to stage an impressive performance at Zone 5 Afro-basketball tournament scheduled for May 10 to 15 in Kampala, Uganda. Rwanda is set to be represented by both boys’ and girls’ national teams in a tournament which will hand winners a ticket to the continental championship. The Boys’ team head coach Cyrille Kalima named a 12-man team and promised to lift the regional title. “Our target is to reach the final and lift the title. We have had good preparations and every player named on the team has a mission to accomplish. We do not fear any of the regional participants. We believe in our players because they are talented and skilled to win the tournament and bring the title home,” Kalima said. Rwanda’s boys are the defending champions; they won the competition in 2012 in Kigali after beating Kenya in the final. The Kampala tournament is meant to serve as a qualifier for the Africa Nations Championships for U-18 men’s Afro-basket games in Madagascar and U-18 women meet in Mali. The regional show will include Rwanda, Tanzania, Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Egypt, Burundi and hosts Uganda. Boys’ team: Gilbert Cyusa (UGB), Pacifique Habyarimana (KBC), Fiston Irungingabo (College Advetiste –Gitwe), Serge Kagame (UGB), Ian Mugabo (Espoir), Edmond Mujyarugamba (Espoir), Victor Mutabaruka (Gisenyi), Dieudonn√© Ndizeye Ndayisaba (IPRC), Bienvenu Niyonsaba (Gisenyi), Walter Nkurunziza (KBC), Bruno Nyamwasa (Espoir), Raphael Nzitonda (Gisenyi) and Yannick Rwigema Ndinda (Petit Seminaire).

Hakizimana Finishes Fourth in Burundi Open

Rwanda’s lead professional golfer Jean Baptista Hakizimana managed a fourth-place finish as Rwanda staged a dismal performance in the 2014 edition of the Burundi Golf Open. The Nyarutaramabased golfer scored 73, 70 and 74 to finish the tournament with an overall fourth with a score of 217. It was a Kenyan affair in Burundi Open as Dismas Indiza won the tournament after scoring 77, 65 and 65 to finish with a score of 207. David Odhiambo and Simon Ngigi scooped second and third with 72, 68 and 72 with a score of 212 points as well as 71, 73 and 71 with a score of 215 points respectively. The other Rwandan representatives Emmanuel Ruterana and Ernest Ndayisenga finished 13th and 14th overall, respectively. The 16th edition of Burundi Golf Open attracted golf professionals and amateur golfers from Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and DR Congo (Lubumbashi club).

The Burundians won only the second category in the amateurs while Uganda secured top lead in the first category in the amateurs.

ARCHERS TARGET 2016 OLYMPICS

The Rwanda Archery Federation has kicked off preparations for their mission of securing a slot in the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Archery, a sport consisting of propelling arrows with the use of a bow has now marked an outstanding progress as the federation prioritizes participation in the 2016 Olympic Games. The Federation’s chairman Richard Muhumuza said that they have started preparing Rwandan archers to ensure that they gain exposure and experience needed in securing the qualification.

“We are now celebrating two years of existence as a federation and we are very ambitious of securing a qualification to Brazil. Archers from different clubs in Rwanda are determinate. We have got enough equipment and our coaches are well-trained to achieve “We are now celebrating two years of existence as a federation and we are very ambitious of securing a qualification to Brazil. Archers from different clubs in Rwanda are determinate. We have got enough equipment and our coaches are well-trained to achieve

In Rwanda, Archery is pursued by four clubs namely New Vision Pointers, TUC, Muhanga Indomitable and SWACA. The Federation is planning to spread the sport in various schools across the country. Rwanda Archery Federation was recognized as the member of World Archery Federation late in September, 2013.