News Round-up

Africa’s Economy Recovers
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa will post a steady economic upturn in 2011 and subsequent years, but the growth will not create jobs and lift millions of citizens out of poverty, economists warned. The continent posted 4.5 percent growth in 2010, up from 2.3 percent in 2009.

Experts are now calling on African states to redefine their role in pushing for growth that will lead to significant reduction in poverty levels and provision of high income-earning jobs that still lack in the region. A new report by the Economic Commission for Africa and African Union said African governments were still dithering on infrastructure projects such as roads, airports and railway lines which could boost job creation and thus help fight biting poverty

EAC Pushes for Uniformity of Treaties
The East African Legislative Assembly is pushing for the amendment of a key charter on EAC integration to allow uniformity of the Protocols with the international charters and instruments. In a recent workshop on draft policy instruments in Rwanda, members agreed that the amendment of the Treaty for the establishment of the EAC will accommodate and guarantee the security of fundamental rights as well as that of other on-going projects and programmes as the integration process moves forward.

EAC Secretariat has finalised three draft instruments on Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution Mechanism, the EAC Draft Bill of Rights and the EAC Framework on Good Governance

EAC Drive to Integrate Wins Lamy’s Support
Visiting World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director General, Pascal Lamy, supports the strong determination of the East African states to integrate their economies. He reckons the initiative to merge was a move in the right direction for the region’s population. Lamy said in Mombasa that WTO viewed the process as the most dynamic in the whole of Africa, as it had the political will of the leaders and the momentum needed to ensure its success. Speaking when he paid a courtesy call at the Kenya Ports Authority headquarters, the WTO Director-General further commended KPA for steadying itself to serve EAC hinterland.

Kigali to Focus on Faster Growth
Rwanda’s annual budget is expected to increase by 14 percent in the 2011-2012 financial year, as the government increases development spending to accelerate growth and reduce poverty. In 2011, the economy is projected to grow at about seven percent, showing a slight slowdown from 2010, due to the expected adverse impact of rising food and fuel prices.

Higher food and transports costs pushed up the inflation rate in Rwandan urban centres for the sixth conservative month in April to 4.98 percent. Overall inflation rate, which has a higher weighting on food, surged more than five percentage points to 3.05 percent in April from minus 2.03 percent in March