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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Rwanda officials meet over measures to
ensure peaceful presidential elections

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Senior officials from Rwanda’s Ministry of Justice, National Electoral Commission and Rwanda National Police (RNP) on Tuesday met here to discuss and harmonize measures to ensure that the upcoming presidential campaigns are incident-free throughout the country.

The meeting held at the RNP General Headquarters was chaired by Minister of Justice and Attorney General Johnston Busingye. It was also attended by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) Executive Secretary Charles Munyaneza, Inspector General of Police Emmanuel Gasana and other officials.

Busingye called for all actors to ensure the calm and peaceful elections scheduled for August 4. “For election to run smoothly, everyone must come on board and work together as a team. In the last 23 years, elections have been conducted in a smooth, calm and peaceful manner, we expect the same spirit in August the polls.”

He said with diverse opinions interactions and openness there is no climate of fear as some organizations have insinuated.

“The elections preparations are meant to ensure each one’s rights are respected and maintained,” said the minister.

He advised media to avoid publicizing divisive information, notably division is not among the choices Rwanda is ever going to make again.

Gasana said that the measures have been in place to ensure election run smoothly, he will ensure all Rwandans are secure before, during and after elections.

“I will provide security at polling stations and campaign rally sites across the country,” he said.

He also appealed to the public to avoid and report rumours intended to undermine peace and security during the elections.

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EARLIER REPORT:

Rwanda ruling party unveils seven-year manifesto

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Rwanda’s ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) Wednesday unveiled its manifesto, a policy document the party hopes to convince the electorate to give incumbent President Paul Kagame another elective seven-year term.

The manifesto puts emphasis on economic development, social welfare, and good governance as well as justice with an aim of transforming Rwanda into a knowledge based economy.

Unveiling the manifesto in Kigali, the RPF Secretary General Francois Ngarambe said the manifesto is mainly about consolidating achievements of the past 23 years in the different areas once given the mandate.

“In the RPF’s new manifesto, we want to continue working with all Rwandans in finding quick solutions. Activities to promote our candidate will reach everyone,” Ngarambe said in a statement.

A pocket size booklet outlines promotion of well-being of Rwandans, quality education, promotion of women’s and children rights and strengthening of social protection programs for vulnerable Rwandans, and strengthening unity of Rwandans, urbanization, increasing agricultural production among other areas of focus.

“We have our manifesto ready and we shall explain to Rwandans in detail what we intend to bring to them in the next seven years,” said Ngarambe.

Campaigns for three qualified presidential candidates will officially begin on July 14 and end on August 3, just a day before the elections.

About 6.8 million people will participate in this year’s presidential elections, up from 5.7 million who participated in 2010 presidential elections, according to the NEC.

Incumbent President Kagame has been president since 2000 when he was elected transitional president by ministers and members of parliament following the resignation of then President Pasteur Bizimungu. Kagame was then reelected in 2003 and 2010.

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Rwanda ruling party to launch presidential campaign

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Rwanda’s ruling party Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) on Wednesday announced here that it will launch its presidential campaign this Friday in Southern Province.

Last month, RPF elected the country’s incumbent President Paul Kagame as the party’s presidential candidate for the upcoming elections.

Kagame will be battling with Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, and Philippe Mpayimana, an independent candidate for the highest office in the landlocked central African country.

Addressing a news conference about preparations for the polls, secretary general of RPF Francois Ngarambe said that the ruling party’s presidential campaigns will kick off on Friday in Ruhango District, Southern Province.

“Our candidate will get to every district of the country and depending on topography, twice in some districts. We have our manifesto ready and we shall explain to Rwandans in detail what we intend to bring to them in the next 7 years,” he added.

According to Ngarambe, much has been achieved by the current government in various sectors of the economy most especially in key areas like security, infrastructure and unity.

The ruling party has also appointed its spokesperson during the presidential campaigns.

Campaigns for three qualified presidential candidates will officially begin on July 14 and end on August 3, just a day before the elections.

About 6.8 million people will participate in this year’s presidential elections, up from 5.7 million who participated in 2010 presidential elections, according to the NEC.

Incumbent President Paul Kagame will seek re-election in the election. Kagame has been president since 2000 when he was elected transitional president by ministers and members of parliament following the resignation of then President Pasteur Bizimungu. Kagame was then reelected in 2003 and 2010.

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Rwanda dismisses report saying Rwandans living in fear

KIGALI Rwanda(Xinhua) -- Rwanda Tuesday dismissed as baseless a report by Amnesty International which said that there is a climate of fear in the east African country ahead of next month’s presidential elections.

The report said that since the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) took power 23 years ago, Rwandans have faced huge, and often deadly, obstacles to participating in public life and voicing criticism of government policy.

Speaking to media in Kigali, Rwanda’s Justice Minister and Attorney General Johnston Busingye said that the report was baseless, aimed at attracting attention of financiers to the authors of the report.

He said the “negative information” being spread out there about Rwanda would not affect the country’s development pace.

According to the minister, some organizations exploit election period to come up with negative information to win funding.

“There is no climate of fear whatsoever and that is one of many baseless reports we should expect in this season. This is not the first and last certainly,” said Busingye.

National Electoral Commission of Rwanda last week announced three candidates for the August 4 polls, including incumbent President Paul Kagame of RPF, Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda and Philippe Mpayimana, an independent candidate.

Campaigns will begin on Friday and end on August 3, a day to the elections.

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Rwanda ranks high in sub-Saharan Africa sustainable development index

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Rwanda has been ranked among top 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa that are on progress towards attaining the UN-backed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, according to SDG Index and Dashboards report released here on Tuesday.

The second edition of the SDGs and Dashboards report on Africa, released by the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa (SDGC/A) and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) provides a report card for tracking SDG progress and ensuring accountability.

The survey that assesses the capacity of 157 economies across the globe ranks Rwanda top in East Africa, 7th in sub-Saharan Africa and 117th at the global level.

In sub-Saharan Africa, Gabon ranks first with 85th globally, followed by Mauritius, 103rd in the World and South Africa on third position and 108th globally.

According to the index, Sweden comes first in the world followed by Denmark and Finland ranks third.

Speaking at the launch, Belay Begashaw, director General of SDGC/A, said sub-Saharan African economies still face challenges across almost all SDGs, with poverty, hunger and health as major concerns.

“Developing countries are struggling to meet basic social services and infrastructure access to their populations. There is hope the SDI will help African economies identify gaps that must be closed in order to achieve SDGS by 2030,” he said.

The SDGs are composed of 17 goals and 169 targets to wipe out poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change by 2030. They also aim to build on the work of the historic Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of eight anti-poverty targets to be reached by the end of 2015. 

The report stresses that many high-income countries perform well in areas such as economic development but still fall short of achieving a good all-round SDG performance.

The countries closest to fulfilling the SDGs are not the biggest economies but small developed countries. Poor and developing countries score lowest on the SDG Index as they have little resources at their disposal, according to the index.

SDGC/A is an autonomous non-profit international organization, the policies of which are formulated and carried out by a high level board of directors representing African and global leaders in government, business, academia and civil society. 

             

 

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