British MPs to lobby for Rwanda’s commonwealth bid
British parliamentarians who are touring the country were reported this week to have expressed satisfaction with Rwanda’s readiness to join the Commonwealth and vowed to back the move by being Kigali’s “unofficial ambassadors.”
Rwanda’s bid to join the commonwealth will be discussed during this year’s Commonwealth summit in Trinidad and Tobago.
Labour MP Bruce George who headed the seven-man delegation that has been assessing Rwanda’s readiness to join the grouping was quoted in the press to have given the country a clean bill of health.
Kagame urges Rwandans to pay taxes
President Paul Kagame this week called upon all Rwandans to stop looking at tax as a burden but rather as a means of facilitating the country’s progress and economic growth.
He made the remarks while presiding over a ceremony to mark the 8th National Tax Payers Day Friday in Gicumbi District, Northern Province.
He is quoted to have told people at Gicumbi Stadium that revenues collected through taxes directly translate into economic growth and help finance the country’s development goals.
President Kagame urged Gicumbi residents and Rwandans at large who are engaged in profitable income generating activities to develop the will to pay taxes and on time and each one of them to consider it as a service to the nation, but not a financial loss.
BNR releases money to banks
The Central Bank announced this week new approaches towards reinstating liquidity in local banks but noted economic growth may further slowdown if there is no strong recovery in credit markets, according to press reports.
In the new Monetary and Financial Stability Statement released this week the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) said the current liquidity crunch in the banking system has strongly reduced Rwanda’s growth prospects.
The BNR governor, François Kanimba, said that to infuse long-term liquidity into the banking system, in the first quarter of 2009, a medium and long term refinancing facility was introduced to allow banks to borrow from the central bank for 3-4 months.
The monetary policy statement shows that so far Rwf2.072bn has been released against treasury bonds as collateral. But all indications, point to more billions flowing into the banks to give them confidence to engage in both short and long-term lending.
According to press reports, this is the first time, since 2004, that the Central Bank has injected liquidity into the banking system.
MPs debate abortion
Also in the news this week were reports that Members of Parliament have expressed deep concerns over the continued government stand of keeping abortion illegal, with some calling for the total withdrawal of the article from the amended Penal Code.
Rwanda is still listed among the countries where abortion is illegal and punishable under the Penal Code.
Abortion, according to media reports, accounted for 50 percent of women who die from reproductive health complications.
Muligande starts work at MINEDUC
Dr. Charles Muligande this week officially assumed office as Minister of Education from Dr. Daphrose Gahakwa. The latter handed over to Muligande at the Ministries offices in Kacyiru.
Gahakwa was dropped in a mini- cabinet reshuffle which occurred last weekend.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, the out-going minister is reported to have thanked several directors who worked under her during her tenure for their maximum cooperation.
Kagame insists on results
President Kagame this week addressed a pres conference and said that for Rwanda to be able to build world class institutions, leaders at all levels must be held accountable and he vowed not to lose momentum in demanding for performance.
He stressed the issue of staying focused in achieving the nation’s development agenda and according to press reports, insisted that he would “not relent on being very demanding” to ensure that transformation of this nation takes place and at a fast pace.