Members of the business community on Wednesday abandoned their profit motives to join the rest of Rwandans to protest against the arrest of Rose Kabuye, director of state protocol.
A survey by the Sunday Times revealed idle businesses in Kigali city as shops, hotels, restaurants, and banks closed in protest of Ms Kabuye’s arrest.
Business transactions worth billions were sacrificed by the private sector members. They believe the growth of their investments is as a result of peace the likes of Ms Kabuye restored.
Kerosene prices fall by 14.5 percent
According to a mini-survey carried out by Sunday Times in Kigali last weekend, Prices of kerosene drop from Rwf788 to Rwf674, representing a 14.5 percent decrease. Filling station managers attribute the decrease to the depreciating fuel prices on the international market.
Reports indicate that oil prices are continuing to fall. Despite a-day cut in production from oil producers’ and cartel, OPEC, US light crude oil fell to $60 a barrel recently, the lowest level in 14 months.
The drop by Rwf114 comes two weeks after the price of diesel and petrol also fell by 13.6 percent, which also attributed to the steadily decrease of fuel prices on the international market.
Private sector urges Kibaki to remove trade barriers. The Rwanda private sector requested Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki to remove existing Non Tariff Trade Barriers (NTB) along the Northern corridor in order to ensure trade flow among the two nations.
The request was made Wednesday during the President’s working breakfast meeting with members of the private sector at Kigali Serena Hotel.
Robert Bayigamba, the Chairman Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF) said that over 50 percent of Rwandese transporters, exporters and importers use the Northern Corridor.
The corridor also serves Uganda, Burundi and DR Congo and is linked to northern Tanzania, Southern Sudan and Ethiopia.
Rwanda’s imposts from Kenya include petroleum products, assembled trailers, footwear, plastic piping, leather, newsprint and iron sheets among others.
Common market granted more time
The East African Community (EAC) ministerial council has granted regional common market negotiators more time to resolve outstanding issues.
The High Level Task Force (HLTF) members will continue with technical negotiations until March next year other than the December, 2008 deadline.
Rwanda’s EAC Minister, Monique Mukaruliza, explained that the meetings will help the HLTF seek further consultations to facilitate decisions on outstanding issues such as accessing and acquiring of land under the right of establishment, and issuing of national identity to facilitate free movement of persons.
Prudence Sebahizi, Rwanda’s Chief Negotiator, said that it was based on the HLTF request for more time to handle new issues crucial to the Common Market such as institutional reforms, environmental matters, and social policy.
ISSA lauds Rwanda’s health insurance
Rwanda’s plan for a public health insurance system has been commended by the International Social Security Association (ISSA), saying it has significantly increased health care in the country.
The association’s recent report titled ‘Dynamic Social Security for Africa’ says that community-based insurance in Rwanda, delivered through health mutual funds has seen enormous development.
The report was launched mid-week during the first regional Social Security Forum for Africa in Kigali, Rwanda at Serena Hotel. The forum has attracted 34 participating countries from across the African continent.
Fina Bank in regional expansion
Fina Bank, a Kenyan-based commercial firm has launched a regional expansion programme with operations in three of the five partner states of the East African Community (EAC).
This follows the bank’s inauguration of operations in Uganda, with two branches. The financial institution has plans to enter Burundi and Tanzania as well.
According to Fina bank Group Executive Officer, Robert Warlow, the expanding network is a way of further facilitating trade between EAC partner states, while hunting for regional presence.
Currently, the bank has 17 branches across the region including 10 in Kenya, 5 in Rwanda and 2 in Uganda.