Photo The New Times

 

The Ethiopian Ambassador to Rwanda, Lulit Zewdie, has shared with Rwandans the opportunities available in her country in the areas of investment and tourism, saying that both countries have many areas of common interest.

The Embassy of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in Rwanda was officially opened in 2017.

“I am the first resident Ambassador of Ethiopia to Rwanda. We believe that significant achievement has been done to further strengthen the already existing friendly relations between our two countries and peoples in all areas of comment interest,” she said during an event held on March 13.

She said that Ethiopia has a vision to place Ethiopia amongst the top 100 countries on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Report.

“In relation to the investment sector, Ethiopia has indeed come a long way in forging an enabling environment to create a productive and competitive private sector, to attract foreign direct investments to allow more space for private sector investment,” she said.

More than 80 important reforms, she noted, have been implemented since the national initiative to improve Ethiopia’s ease of doing business was launched two years ago.

In addition to improving ease of doing business in the country as part of wider economic reforms, she said, a remarkable decision has been passed by her government to partially privatize some of the major public enterprises.

These include railways, telecommunications, hydropower and Sugar Corporations among others.

Ethiopia is also building the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam which after completion could generate 6500 MW of electricity.

Investment opportunities

According to Gebresilasie Tadese, the Business and Tourism Officer at the Ethiopian embassy in Kigali, while Ethiopian investors have invested in Rwanda in sectors such as manufacturing, construction, services and so on, Rwandans can also invest in multiple sectors in Ethiopia.

“Strategic priority areas have been identified for foreign direct investment attraction and export promotion. These include agro-processing, horticulture, tourism, ICT, textile and apparel, leather and leather products,” he said.

The leather sector has potential, he said, considering that Ethiopia has more than 53 million cattle, 25.5 million sheep and 24.1 million goat populations yet only 50% of hides and skins potential are being utilized.

“With this, investors can invest in tanning of hides and skins up to finished level, manufacturing of luggage (such as handbags), saddle and harness items, footwear, and garments and Integrated tanning and manufacturing activities,” he said.

Investment incentives

More than 12 industrial parks are functional in the Horn of Africa country to facilitate investors, Tadese said.

He said that there is 100% exemption from the payment of import customs duties and other taxes levied on imports is granted to an investor to import all investment capital goods such as plant machinery and equipment.

Ethiopian products and services destined for export are exempt from the payment of any export tax and other taxes levied on exports, while any income derived from an approved new manufacturing and agro-industry investment or investment made in agriculture shall be exempted from the payment of income tax he disclosed.

“Business enterprises that suffer losses during the tax holiday period can carry forward such losses for half of the income tax exemption period following the expiry of the exemption period,” he noted.

In the tourism sector, Ethiopia has been included among Forbes ‘Rising Stars in Travel’, which feature seven countries that have potential to become major tourist destinations in a post-Covid world.

Ethiopia has currently an estimated 112.1 million population.

Bilateral ties

In 2017, Rwanda and Ethiopia signed 11 bilateral agreements.

The agreements are in the areas of extradition treaty, mutual legal assistance, communication, information and media, youth and sports, tourism and health, education, culture, cooperation in prisons and correctional services, gender, women and children as well as water resources management. 

Rwanda exports to Ethiopia were US$9.74 million in 2019, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade. -Michel Nkurunziza, The New Times

Raila Odinga`s first contact has spoken and will be seeking a Convid-19 test in Nairobi.

Ex-Nairobi Governor Dr Evans Kidero has broken silence after Raila Odinga tested positive for Covid-19 at Nairobi Hospital.

According to the ex-Nairobi county boss, he had spent four days with the former Premier in Malindi and Mombasa last weekend, where they emphasised support for Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

READ ALSO: Raila Odinga Tests Positive For Covid-19

Kidero said that after Raila contracted the novel virus and contacted him, he will proceed to take a Covid-19 test and observe the Covid-19 protocols on isolation.

Kidero has also advertised the cancellation of all public engagements scheduled for this weekend.

He was expected to attend Bishop Elijah Kwanya`s mother’s funeral in West Karachuonyo ward in Homa Bay, who died at 115.

READ ALSO: Tanzania’s Magufuli Admitted to Kenyan Hospital, In Critical Condition 

At the same time, Kidero wished Raila Odinga a quick recovery.

KDRTV understands that Evans Kidero is the first person to speak after making contact with Raila Odinga.

What did he say:

“Good evening fellow Kenyans,
I wish jakom (Chairman) a quick recovery. I spent four days with jakom (Chairman) in Malindi and Mombasa last weekend where we drummed up support for BBI.
Following the news of his current status and my personal responsibility to the public am cancelling all my public engagements listed for this weekend.
Am driving back to Nairobi having cancelled my funeral attendance of bishop Elijah Kwanya’s mother’s funeral in West Karachuonyo Ward, Homa Bay, who passed on at the age of 115 years.
Am proceeding to take a COVID test and follow the COVID-19 protocols on isolation.
Am again wishing Jakom a quick recovery.”

 

Evans Kideros Facebook post

Evans Kideros Facebook post    KDRTV

Ugandan soldiers patrol near the house of Ugandan opposition presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine in Magere, Uganda. Photo Sally Hayden / SOPA Images / Sipa via AP Images

 

(Nairobi) – Ugandan authorities should take immediate steps to end the ongoing abductions by suspected state agents and cease the unlawful detention without trial of opposition supporters, Human Rights Watch said today.

On March 4, 2021, Internal Affairs Minister Jeje Odongo presented a list to parliament of 177 people in military detention who had been arrested between November 18, 2020, and February 8, 2021, allegedly for “participating in riots,” “possession of military stores,” and “meetings planning post-election violence.” On March 8, in a public letter to the media, President Yoweri Museveni said that 50 people are being held by the Special Forces Command, a unit of the Ugandan army, for “treasonable acts of elements of the opposition.”

On November 18, security forces had clamped down on protesters demanding the release of the then-detained opposition presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine.

“The recent spate of enforced disappearances has only compounded the intense climate of fear in Uganda following the recent violent national elections,” said Oryem Nyeko, Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The authorities should urgently investigate these disappearances and other abuses and hold those responsible, including members of security forces, to account.”

The authorities should investigate all cases of enforced disappearances to determine the whereabouts and status of all victims, release all those arbitrarily detained, and prosecute those responsible, Human Rights Watch said. Anyone lawfully detained should have immediate access to their family and lawyers, and anyone not yet charged and placed in pretrial detention, should be released in accordance with the law.

Between February 17 and March 3, Human Rights Watch spoke with 10 relatives of people abducted, witnesses, opposition members, and civil society members, in Kampala. Witnesses described how armed men picked up people off the streets or from their homes and took them away in unmarked vans without numbered license plates; commonly referred to in Uganda as “Drones.” Human Rights Watch spoke to victims who said that their abductors beat and detained them in “safe houses” and questioned them about their political affiliation or their role in the protests, then dropped them off at random locations. The circumstances of many others who were abducted and taken to safe houses is unknown.

Shadia Nakaweesi said that on November 20, about 20 men in black police uniforms broke into her home, beat her 34-year-old husband, Hassan Mubiru, then drove him away in a black “Drone.” Nakaweesi said that when she tried to report him missing at a nearby police station, the officers refused to accept the complaint. Her husband’s whereabouts remains unknown.

A victim, Alvin Ddamulira, said that six armed men abducted him, his 51-year-old father, John Ddamulira, and three others at their spare parts shop at Kisekka market in Kampala on November 21. The men blindfolded, handcuffed, and beat them, then drove them in a white “Drone” to an unmarked building, where, he said, a man told them, “You people from Kisekka market, stop rioting. The president is not happy about what you are doing.” At 1 a.m. the following day, the abductors dumped four of the men in Bweyogerere, 12 kilometers from Kisekka Market. John Ddamulira was not released and has not been heard from since.

On November 24, Rose Nakayiza said, she was told by a friend that her husband, Rashid Kalunda, 32, had been taken away in a “Drone” by men in black uniforms, with two others – Fred Jingo and Sunday Mwange – from Owino market in Kampala. Nakayiza said that her efforts to locate her husband in several police stations and the military intelligence office have so far been fruitless.

On March 5, Kyagulanyi’s party, the National Unity Platform, said that 423 members and supporters had been abducted and were still missing, and another 41 had been released by their abductors.

On February 8, media reported that Ronald Segawa, who had been missing since late January, was found dumped unconscious at the Mulago hospital morgue in Kampala. The next day Kyagulanyi shared pictures of Segawa’s scarred body on Twitter during a visit to him in a hospital, saying that he had been burned, electrocuted, and had his fingernails plucked out allegedly for campaigning for Kyagulanyi.

The Ugandan constitution, in line with international human rights norms, requires the authorities to produce anyone accused of a crime in court within 48 hours and to ensure the detainees’ right of access to a lawyer, and their family and to receive any needed medical attention.

An enforced disappearance occurs when agents of the state, or organized groups or private individuals acting on behalf of, or with the support, direct or indirect, consent or acquiescence of the government, deprive someone of their liberty and then refuse to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty; or to disclose the fate or whereabouts of the persons concerned, placing them outside the protection of the law.

The January 14 elections were characterized by widespread violence and human rights violations during which security forces clamped down on opposition members and journalists, violently arresting scores of people, including Kyagulanyi and Patrick Amuriat, another presidential candidate, multiple times. The authorities also shut down the internet for five days, and blocked access to social media websites for a month.

On February 5, 2020, Uganda’s parliamentary human rights committee released a report in which they found that security forces detained and tortured people in unofficial detention facilities across Uganda, commonly known as “safe houses.”

Arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, and inhuman or degrading treatment and torture are strictly prohibited at all times under international, regional, and Ugandan law. The prohibition not only obligates governments to comply with the law, but entails a duty to investigate when suspected violations occur and prosecute those responsible. Enforced disappearances and torture may also constitute and be prosecuted as a crime against humanity if they form part of a state-sponsored policy or practice, or are part of a broader attack against civilians by state authorities.

“The Ugandan authorities should act immediately to stop the egregious violations that have taken place since the elections, including by releasing those held incommunicado, shutting down all secret detention facilities, and holding those responsible to account,” Nyeko said. “The government should respect political plurality and end the harassment of opposition members.” - Human Rights Watch

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