‘Foot and mouth’ disease reported in Nyagatare
Foot and mouth disease, a highly contagious disease has been reported in Nyagatare district of the Eastern Province.
Officials from the Rwanda Animal Resources Development Authority (RARDA) said that the fatal viral disease of cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle was confirmed present about two weeks ago.
Dr Théogène Rutagwenda, the Director General of RARDA said that about 244 cows have been diagnosed with signs of the disease within Katabagemu sector (umurenge).
“As we continue to investigate where the disease might have come from, the situation is not alarming,” Dr. Rutagwenda said.
He said that veterinary officers in the districts have vaccinated about 78,268 cows in the area.
Rwanda among top performers in economic governance
Rwanda has been ranked among the top most performing countries in the area of economic governance in Sub-Sahara African (SSA), according to the African Economic Outlook (AEO) report.
Rwanda was ranked the 6th top reformer in SSA countries in the year 2008, coming after Sierra Leone and Liberia. Senegal, Burkina Faso and Botswana are the top performers according to the report.
“Several regulatory reforms were undertaken in these countries which substantially improved the county’s global rankings on overall ease of doing business in 2008 and 2009,” the report stated.
So far, this year, Rwanda is ranked number 124 in the world and it scored 54.2 points for the area of the country with the most economic freedom as compared to last year’s 54.1.
AGOA exports fell by 70 percent
Rwandan exports to the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) fell by 70 percent in 2008, according to statistics provided by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Revenues resulting from trade related to AGOA stood at about $10 million last year, which was more than one half compared to 2007.
Information shows that the coffee sector was affected the most with its revenues from the US dropping from $2.5 million in 2007 to $800,000 last year.
The export volumes also fell drastically from 1,124,829 kg to 329,195 kg in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
A case study that was carried out indicated that the AGOA revenues continued to fall in 2009.
Total revenue earned by a local crafts exporter to US in 2008 amounted to $549,000.
But the report indicates that in the first quarter of 2009, her average sales had fallen to $120,000.
Kigali records highest number of phone users
Kigali City is still recording the highest users of both fixed and mobile telephones per household in Rwanda, according to information attributed to the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Estimates released during the launch of the African Economic Outlook report indicate that more than 70 percent house holds in Kigali City have phones a figure of 7 times more than the Southern Province which is seemingly more connected than any other part of the country.
The Northern Province has the least number of phone users as compared to the other provinces.
Figures attributed to the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) also indicate that there is an estimation of 991,977 phone users in Kigali City of about 1.3 million phone users countrywide as of December 2008.
According the RURA report dated December 2008, Rwanda had 16,852 subscribers on fixed subscription and about 1.3 million on mobile phone subscription. Rwandatel beats MTN-Rwandacell in fixed phone subscription while it is the reverse with mobile phone users.
MTN defer merger talks with Bharti Airtel
India’s largest mobile phone company, Bharti Airtel, has extended merger talks with the MTN Group in South Africa till late this month. The discussions were supposed to end July 31st.
The two firms are in talks for Bharti to take a 49 percent stake in MTN, while the South African company would get a 36 percent stake in the Indian business.
43 percent of tourists were business oriented
Out of a total of 439,017 international tourists listed in the first semester of 2009 (January to June) 43 percent of them were in Rwanda for business related purposes.
According to the statement from Rwanda Development Board (RDB), almost 440,000 international visitors arrived in the country during the first semester of the year corresponding to a 7 percent increase compared to 408,000 recorded in the same period last year.
This propelled the increment in revenues to about $92.7 million a 14 percent increase compared to the same period last year.
About 28 percent of the total visitors came to visit friends and relatives while 18 percent were in transit, 9 percent were here for other reasons and only 5 percent of the total visitors in the first semester came for holiday.
In comparison with 2008 in the same period, business increased by 18 percent while leisure visitors decreased by 4 percent and transit and other purposes decreased by 3 percent.
Wealth declarations to be on-line
Government employees who are required to declare their assets and liabilities for verification by the office of the Ombudsman will be able to do it on-line effectively by next year.
The Ombudsman, Tito Rutaremara said that this will reduce on time used to deliver and returning the files, cut costs for printing books and transport.
Studies are underway to design the on-line declaration.