Rwanda Business Alliance Launched in the UK to Strengthen Economic Ties

The Rwanda Business Alliance was officially launched last week in the United Kingdom, with the goal of fostering closer ties between the Rwandan and UK business communities. The Rwanda High Commission in the UK issued a statement highlighting the alliance’s inaugural event, which took place at the Rwandan High Commission in London. The event aimed to connect investors with investment opportunities and facilitate connections between buyers and suppliers of goods and services.

According to the statement, the Rwanda Business Alliance operates under the umbrella of the British African Business Alliance, which seeks to foster connections between African businesses and professionals and UK investors interested in Africa.

During the launch, Johnston Busingye, the Rwandan High Commissioner to the UK, lauded the alliance and its leadership for establishing the first community-organized business forum focused on Rwanda in the UK. He pledged the High Commission’s support in promoting the alliance and facilitating lasting connections between the UK and Rwandan business communities.

Busingye encouraged investors to explore Rwanda, highlighting its conducive business environment, incentives for foreign investment, and its status as a hub for proof-of-concept initiatives.

Several participants who already conduct business in Rwanda shared positive experiences, emphasizing the ease of doing business, transparency, and access to services and support.

Network Director of the Rwanda Business Alliance, Michaelle Kubwimana, expressed enthusiasm for shaping the future of business and making a difference through collaboration. She emphasized that the networking event was just the beginning for the alliance.

Representatives from RwandAir, the national airline of Rwanda, were also present at the launch. They informed guests about the upcoming increase in flight frequency from four to six direct flights per week between London and Kigali, starting in November 2023. RwandAir representatives also discussed the potential for cargo transportation services.

The Rwanda Business Alliance primarily consists of Rwandan-owned businesses in the UK or businesses operating in Rwanda. Its main objective is to connect members with UK businesses interested in doing business in Africa or expanding their operations on the continent.

The alliance plans to organize a series of networking events to facilitate these connections, with the inaugural event held at Rwanda House, the Rwandan High Commission in London. The Rwanda Business Alliance aims to serve as a catalyst for increased trade and investment between Rwanda and the UK, fostering mutually beneficial partnerships and driving economic growth.

Burna Boy’s South Africa Show Cancelled Amid Fraud Allegations Against Organiser

Burna Boy’s highly anticipated live show in South Africa has been cancelled following allegations of fraud against one of the event’s organisers. The Nigerian artist was scheduled to perform at Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium, but the concert was called off in the days leading up to the event amidst rumours of poor ticket sales.

Promoter Ternary Media Group, responsible for organizing the show, revealed that the concert was postponed due to pending legal proceedings related to a fraud claim. CEO Sedote Nwachukwu, accused of embezzling R10 million (£435,000) from the company, has been relieved of his duties until further notice.

Nwachukwu denied the allegations, claiming that his business partner, Gregory Wings, had taken a significant portion of the tickets sold by Ticketpro without his consent. He alleged that Wings sold and distributed the tickets at nightclubs and campuses. Nwachukwu further stated that he hadn’t seen Wings since arriving in South Africa over a week ago.

Wings lodged a complaint with the police, asserting that he discovered over R8 million had been transferred to Nwachukwu’s US bank account without his consent, based on an account verification document provided by Ticketpro.

The Gauteng provincial police have opened a fraud case and are currently investigating the matter.

Burna Boy’s management team expressed regret over the cancellation, citing the promoters’ failure to fulfill their contractual, production, financial, and technical obligations. They noted that production vendors had not been paid, making it impossible to meet the required production standards for the venue size.

Although organisers have stated that the show will be rescheduled for December 16, representatives from FNB Stadium have stated that a contract has not yet been signed.

Burna Boy, who made history as the first African artist to headline a UK stadium with a sold-out concert at London Stadium, released his seventh studio album, ‘I Told Them…’, last month.

Fans who purchased tickets for the cancelled show are advised to seek refunds from the respective ticketing companies. Burna Boy’s team expressed their apologies and conveyed their anticipation of seeing fans again soon.

As the investigation into the fraud allegations continues, the impact on Burna Boy’s future performances and the resolution of the contractual issues remains to be seen.

Activist Kemi Seba Arrives in Niger to Support Military Authorities Amidst France’s Withdrawal

A group of around two dozen people gathered at Niamey’s airport on Monday to welcome Kemi Seba, a Franco-Beninese activist renowned for his outspoken criticism of France’s colonial legacy in West Africa. Seba, who leads the Urgence Panafricaniste movement, is expected to hold rallies in support of Niger’s military authorities.

Seba’s visit coincides with France’s announcement that it will withdraw its forces and envoy from Niger before the year’s end, despite initially pledging to retain its ambassador in the Sahel country. This move has sparked discussions and debates about France’s role in the region.

“It is crucial for the people of Niger to understand that while France appears to be willing to leave, it is actually a strategy on their part to buy time,” expressed Seba, who serves as the President of the NGO Urgences Panafricanistes. “The people of Niger have called for the prompt departure of the French army, but Macron, in his colonial arrogance, claims that the French army will leave by the end of the year, as if it were his decision to determine when the colonizers should pack up and leave.”

Seba also directed strong words towards the regional bloc ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), which has threatened military intervention in Niger. He criticized the ECOWAS leaders for persistently posing a threat to Niger, seeking to attack the country and impose inhumane sanctions on its population.

“The leaders of ECOWAS want to continue to intimidate Niger, aiming to commit a crime against humanity by imposing harsh sanctions on the people. We must unite and mobilize because the war is ongoing. It is an economic war, a suffocation war, and we must stand together to resist. That is why we have come to stand by your side and remind you that Niger is not alone,” Seba asserted.

With approximately 1,500 troops stationed in Niger, France’s decision to withdraw its forces signals the country’s increasing isolation in West Africa, according to experts. The development raises questions about the future dynamics and relationships in the region.

Kemi Seba’s presence in Niger highlights the continuing dialogue and activism surrounding France’s colonial history and its current involvement in African nations. His visit is anticipated to amplify discussions regarding Niger’s military authorities and the country’s path forward as it navigates changing regional dynamics.