Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister, Brian Chituwo, has said it is unfortunate that some people cannot appreciate the importance of Zambia donating maize to Zimbabwe according to Times of Zimbabwe. Dr Chituwo said in an interview that the Government was sensitive to the plight of the Zambians and would ensure that it looked after the locals adequately while assisting outsiders. He said there was an indication that Zambia would have a good harvest this year and that there was no need to politicise the donation of maize. The minister maintained that the country had enough maize but it was sad that some selfish people were exploiting the farmers. Zambia recently announced the donation of about 9,000 tonnes of maize to Zimbabwe. "We can send 9,000 tonnes of maize to Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is our neighbour and we also went through this and they came to assist us," he said. Southern African Development Community leaders recently met and agreed to help raise funds and other assistance for Zimbabwe, which is currently going through difficult times.
Rwanda, U.S. Move to Shield Recession- Hit Trade
Top Rwandan and United States of America trade officials met in Kigali recently to address reports of declining trade. According to East African Business Week. The meeting followed reports that trade between the two countries has been falling since the beginning of the year. The US delegation was headed by the Assistant US Trade Reprehensive for Africa, Ms. Florizelle Liser and hosted by Rwanda's Trade and Industry Minister, Ms. Monique Nsanzabaganwa. Rwanda-US trade is laid on the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) signed in 2006 and the now nine-year-old African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA). The US Foreign Trade Statistics website reports that US exports to Rwanda fell from $3 million in January to $0.9 million in February 2009. In that same period, imports fell from $2.3 million to $1.7 million.
Nigeria’s Gas Supply May Hinder 6,000 Megawatt Target
Insufficient gas supply to the Independent Power Project (IPP) may scuttle plans to produce 6,000 megawatts (mw) by December, Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan, alerted on Monday according to the Daily Independent. He disclosed at the Olorunsogo power station in Papalanto, Ogun State that effort is still being made to tackle the problem of gas supply to the plants. He was reacting to the concern raised by officials of the Chinese contractor, SEPCO III, that the inability of the company to get adequate supply of gas is the major problem confronting the company. SEPCO Deputy Project Manager, Shaohua Liu, said the first phase of the project has been completed, alongside one of the four gas turbines and two steam turbines. "The greatest problem we have is this issue of gas," Jonathan stressed. "Before we got here, the Minister of Power, Olanrewaju Babalola, had briefed me about the problem of gas and the problem of payment that you have just explained. The essence of our coming is to listen to you and go back to see how we will get the payment made." Jonathan told Ogun State Governor, Gbenga Daniel, that the Federal Government would need to negotiate the reimbursement of funds claimed by the state on the project.
Uganda Denies Accusations by DRC over Rebels
New Vision has reported that Uganda has denied accusations by DR Congo that she was harbouring Congolese rebels. According to the Arua resident district commissioner, Maj. Ibrahim Abiriga, the Congolese claimed that Gen. David Tinyefuza, the coordinator of intelligence services, had held meetings with the rebels at Dalamabi Hotel in Arua. "We are not hosting any rebel group. Tinyefuza has never stepped in West Nile since the beginning of the year," said Abiriga, who led the Ugandan delegation comprised of colleagues from the districts of Nyadri, Koboko and Nebbi to the quarterly meeting on Saturday in Aru, DR Congo. The Congolese delegation was led by Medard Autsai Senga, the governor of the Oriental Province. Other issues raised during the meeting include the demarcation exercise of the Uganda-Congo border. Abiriga denied that Uganda had removed the pillars which mark the border between the two countries at Mahagi.