|News Round Up
SADC Signs Gender Protocol
The long over due Gender Protocol has finally been signed at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in South Africa last weekend. With the woman bearing the brunt of social injustice i.e. lack of access to clean water, poor health care, access to economic opportunities or adequate protection before the law in the African continent, the gender protocol will kick start a turn of events in women’s rights and their participation to economic development. The protocol calls for 50 percent representation by women at all levels of government by 2015 and further calls for member states to put in place legislative measures which guarantee that political and policy structures are gender sensitive. It also calls for governments in the region to prohibit all forms of gender-based violence; including marital rape. It sets specific targets and time frames for achieving gender equality in all SADC countries as well as effective monitoring and evaluation.
Tanzania Locks Eastern Africans from Public Share Sale
Investors from Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda have been locked out in one of Tanzania’s most promising share offers of the National Microfinance Bank of Tanzania. Robert Mathu, Executive Director Rwanda Capital Markets Advisory Council termed the move as ‘retrogressive to the spirit of East African economic corporation’ that intends to result in eventual free movement of capital and labour. Giving Tanzanian’s a front liner in acquiring the shares; a policy has been put in place that bars foreigners from buying state assets. The National Microfinance Bank of Tanzania enjoys national clout similar to that of Safaricom, Kenya's leading mobile phone firm, and Stanbic Uganda, the country's largest bank in terms of branch network. The IPO has 105 million shares on offer at Sh35 (Frw11.8) each, showing that the total proceeds will be about Sh3.7 billion (Frw1.2 billion) - which constitutes 21 per cent of the total stake of the bank.
Rwanda’s Economy to Rise by 8.5 %
The Rwandan economy is expected to grow by 8.5% as opposed to the projected 6.8% despite inflation rates registering at 13.1% in the first half of the year. Finance and Economic Planning minister, Mr. James Musoni said that the expected 8.5% growth of real Growth Domestic Product (GDP) this year will among others be geared by the expected good performance of the agricultural sector that will elevate production volumes and keep prices constant to curb down inflation. The country's growth is also expected to significantly come from the good performing manufacturing industry especially alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks followed by construction (+18%), and service industry especially tourism, transport and financial sector (+13%). Officials are optimistic that given the projections for the next half of the year, Rwandan economy is likely to remain stable with minimal inflation resulting from constant prices.
Telemedicine Technology for Hospitals
Tanzania’s ministry of health has announced that in the near future Tanzania's doctors will make use of electronic gadgets to conduct medical checks. Joining the world of telemedicine, Tanzanian doctors will attend to more patients while making prescriptions on-line.
These were some of the remarks made by Wilson Mkama, Permanent Secretary in the Health and Social Welfare ministry, when he opened a three-day Cross Country Learning Event in Health in Dar es Salaam.
Mkama did not exactly say when Tanzania would begin enjoying the benefits brought about by the technology but was optimistic that the development would make the expenses patients usually incur visiting referral hospitals no longer necessary.
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