Nigeria Seeks U-19 Cricket World Cup Qualification In Rwanda

Junior Yellow-Greens, Nigeria’s Under-19 Cricket team

 

The Junior Yellow-Greens, Nigeria’s Under-19 Cricket team are in Kigali, the Rwandan capital to begin the defense of the title that earned the country her first Cricket World Cup appearance.

The team used 10 days in Harare, Zimbabwe, where they had been on a pre-tournament tour for the last leg of their preparation for the Championship. The winner will represent Africa at next year’s ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup taking place in the West Indies. South Africa and Zimbabwe have already booked their places at the event along with 13 other teams.

Team Nigeria Coach, Uthe Ogbimi, is optimistic about the level of preparation that will get his team ready for the competition.

“We are going this ICC Under-19 Africa World Qualifier as the defending champion and that puts a lot of attention on us; we know that. But our plan is to take every game on their merit. Our most important game is our next game and we are primed to give our best to every game. No team at this event is ordinary and we hope to treat everyone with such respect.” He said.

Six-time winners of the event and last edition’s runner-up, Namibia, Uganda, Tanzania, and host Rwanda are the other teams competing for glory at the eight-day tournament.

Nigeria’s opening match at the event is on Friday, October 1st against host Rwanda before taking Tanzania on Sunday, October 3rd. Uganda’s encounter is set for Monday 4th before closing the event on a high against Namibia on Wednesday 6th.

The Junior Yellow-Greens is captained by Boniface Oche. Other team members include; Prosper Useni, Ridwanulahi Mohammed, Victor Ipoli, Destiny Chilemanya, Nzube Nwokike, Ridwan Kareem, Lukman Kofoworola, Joshua Sunday, Talabi Odunayo, Paul Pam, Huzaifa Abdulsalam, Theophilus Jeremiah, Isaac Onyemgba, Udekwe Chiemelie, and Elochukwu Ndubudem.

Rwanda Confirmed As Host Of 2025 World Cycling Championships

The pack rides during the Men U23 road race during the sixth day of the UCI World Championships Road Cycling Flanders 2021, in Leuven, on September 24, 2021. DIRK WAEM / BELGA / AFP

 

Cycling’s road race world championships will take place in Africa for the first time in 2025, with the sport’s governing body the UCI rubber-stamping Rwanda’s candidacy on Friday.

Rwanda enjoys a healthy cycling culture and runs an annual eight-day stage race, the Tour of Rwanda around the hilly capital of Kigali, and has been selected ahead of Morocco.

“We have 54 confederations on the African continent and it was time we thanked them for their contribution to cycling,” UCI president David Lappartient said at cycling’s annual congress.

Lappartient said when taking the post in 2017 he wanted to see Africa given a chance to host the annual event.

“Rwanda ticks all the boxes, organisational, financial and of course on a sporting level,” he said.

“We all know the passion the fans will bring in Kigali.”

“There will be a million fans out for the event, it will be amazing and bikes are a major development tool in the region.”

This year’s world championship is currently ongoing in Flanders.

Australia hosts the event in 2022, with Scotland in 2023 and Switzerland in 2024.

Volleyball: Action Resumes At African Women Nations Championship In Rwanda

 

The Government of Rwanda has agreed to properly conclude the 2021 African Women’s Senior Nations Championship.

The decision comes after deliberations with the Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) and considerations of the consequences of ending the event abruptly

The tournament had earlier been called off by the Rwanda Volleyball Federation and Rwanda Ministry of Sports and all the participating teams and officials were ordered to leave the country within 24 hours.

The country also failed to make the Kigali Arena available for African Volleyball Confederation (CAVB) to continue the championship for two days (Friday and Saturday).

The reaction from the hosts came after the Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) released a press statement to suspend the Rwanda Volleyball team for fielding four ineligible players.

The Rwandans played the group stages with four Brazilian players who did not meet the naturalization requirements of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB).

The African Volleyball Confederation (CAVB) has confirmed that the championship will continue with the final standings on day 4 when the competition was paused.

Meanwhile, in today’s early action, Kenya booked another final place after beating Morocco 3-0 (25-12, 25-21, 25-11 Nigeria lost 0-3 (13-25, 33-35, 13-25) to defending champions Cameroon in the second semi-final match.

Nigeria had broken a 16-year semi-final jinx following their progress to the semifinals of the 2021 African Seniors Nations Championship in Rwanda on Friday. Coach Samuel Ajayi’s team will play Morocco later today in the third-place match.

Rwanda’s Kagame Slams Arsenal After Loss To Brentford

File photo: Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame reacts in front of a wreath for the 25th Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide at the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Kigali, Rwanda, on April 7, 2019. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

 

Rwanda’s leader Paul Kagame on Saturday unloaded on his beloved Arsenal after they opened  the Premier League season with a loss to newcomers Brentford, saying Gunners fans deserve better than “mediocrity”.

The veteran president and long-time Arsenal supporter tweeted a tirade after Brentford returned to their first English top-flight season for 74 years with a 2-0 win over the Gunners on Friday evening.

Kagame, whose country is an official sponsor of Arsenal, said Brentford deserved the win but the Gunners had soul-searching to do.

“The game itself aside Arsenal and the fans don’t deserve to kind of get used to this….NO !!! I say this as one of the big fans of Arsenal. The change has taken to long to come!” the president tweeted in a three-part post-match screed to his 2.4 million followers early Saturday.

Kagame, a former rebel leader who has ruled Rwanda since the aftermath of the genocide in 1994, hammered club management over planning and questioned decision-making around the acquisition of new players.

“We just must NOT excuse or Accept mediocrity. A team has to be built with purpose to win win win. So that when we lose….it was not to be expected!” Kagame said.

“I am sure we all know on whose shoulders the heaviest burden rests. I hope they know too or even accept it!!!”

Rwanda became the official tourism partner of Arsenal in 2018, with players sporting a “Visit Rwanda” logo on their shirt sleeves during matches.

The three-year deal was aimed at drawing tourists and investors to the tiny east African nation, and burnishing its reputation as a safe, sought-after destination.

Kagame often expresses his opinions about the club’s performances during summits and on social media.

 

AFP

Rwanda Capital To Be Put Under Lockdown As COVID-19 Cases Soar

 

Rwanda will put the capital Kigali and eight other districts across the country under lockdown from Saturday to rein in surging coronavirus cases and deaths, officials said.

The restrictions will last until July 26, the office of Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente said in a statement late Wednesday.

“Citizens are urged to significantly reduce social interactions and limit movements only to essential services,” it said.

Both public and private offices, except for those providing key services, were ordered closed.

Other measures due to come into force include a ban on outdoor sport and recreational activities, while schools will be closed and the number of people attending funerals is capped at 15.

International arrivals and tourism will however continue.

A dusk to dawn curfew introduced in June across the country remains in force.

Rwanda has up until now avoided the worst of the pandemic by enforcing some of the strictest containment measures on the continent and implementing a rigorous regime of testing and contact tracing.

But in recent weeks, cases have skyrocketed as the East African nation battles more virulent variants of the virus, including delta.

Hospitals have been overwhelmed, with a critical shortage of beds and desperately needed medicines.

The country of 13 million people has registered nearly 51,000 cases of Covid-19 of which 607 have been fatal.

But like other countries on the continent, vaccine uptake has been slow due in part to a lack of doses and public apathy.

A nationwide campaign aimed at vaccinating 60 percent of the population by next year has so far reached just 401,160 people, according to the latest government statistics.

-AFP

Rwanda Sends 1,000 Troops To Insurgency-Hit Mozambique

 

File COMVO of Rwanda and Mozambique

 

\Rwanda said on Friday it will send a thousand troops to Mozambique to help the country battle extremist militants wreaking havoc in the north of the gas-rich nation.

Islamic State-linked jihadists have been terrorising the impoverished Cabo Delgado province since late 2017, stoking fears that the violence could spill over into neighbouring countries.

“The government of Rwanda, at the request of the government of Mozambique, will today start the deployment of a 1,000-person contingent of the Rwanda Defence Force and the Rwanda National Police to Cabo Delgado Province,” Kigali said in a statement.

The forces will “support efforts to restore Mozambican state authority by conducting combat and security operations, as well as stabilisation and security-sector reform”, it added.

Rwanda’s deployment follows last month’s decision by regional bloc the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to send forces to help quell the insurgency.

The Rwandan contingent will work with the Mozambique Armed Defence Forces and those from SADC “in designated sectors of responsibility”, said the statement from Kigali.

Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi, himself a former defence minister, had for long shied away from asking for foreign military intervention to fight the jihadists, instead of relying on private military companies.

But last month he vowed to crush the militants with the help of regional allies as attacks escalated over the last year.

Rwanda is a major contributor to the UN’s peacekeeping force in the Central African Republic and last year sent hundreds of troops to the unstable country after an alleged attempted coup.

-AFP

Rwanda Cancels Weddings As COVID-19 Cases Surge

A handout picture taken on March 11, 2021, and released by Urugwiro Village, the office of the President, shows Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame (L) receiving the first injection of the Covid-19 vaccine at King Faisal hospital in Kigali, Rwanda. (Photo by – / Urugwiro Village / AFP)

 

 

Rwanda on Monday announced fresh restrictions including a ban on weddings as it struggles to contain a surge in coronavirus infections.

“All social gatherings including celebrations of all kinds are prohibited,” a government statement said Monday evening. “Traditional, civil and religious weddings are suspended.”

Other measures due to come into force on Wednesday include the extension of a nationwide curfew, from 7 pm (1700 GMT) until 4 am, restrictions on movement between districts, and the suspension of air travel to neighbouring Uganda where coronavirus cases are spiralling.

“The public is reminded of the critical importance of complying with health measures including physical distancing, wearing face masks, and ensure hand hygiene. Penalties will be applied for non-compliance,” the statement said.

Rwanda has, up to now, avoided the worst of the pandemic by enforcing some of the strictest containment measures on the continent and implementing a rigorous regime of testing and contact tracing.

But over the last few weeks, cases have shot up with authorities counting 662 cases and seven deaths on Monday.

The country of 13 million people has registered a total of 31,435 positive cases and 388 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

A nationwide campaign aimed at vaccinating 60 percent of the population by next year has so far reached just three percent of the population.

‘We are suffering’: Congo Volcano Spells Misery For Rwanda Too

Residents displaced by the May 22, 2021 Mount Nyiragongo volcanic eruption wait to register to receive some aid distributed by a local politician and businessman in Goma on May 26, 2021.
Residents displaced by the May 22, 2021, Mount Nyiragongo volcanic eruption wait to register to receive some aid distributed by a local politician and businessman in Goma on May 26, 2021.

 

Two days after Mount Nyiragongo erupted, out of the volcano’s direct path Hadidja Dusengimana felt a powerful tremor and a sound “like a landmine” rippling through her home in Gisenyi.

“We were sleeping and the house started to shake… Then I heard a boom. We ran out of the house and saw the damage,” said Dusengimana, surveying the deep fissure running from the courtyard to her living room, where sunlight now peeps through cracked walls.

Gisenyi, on Rwanda’s northwestern frontier, is separated by an international border from Goma, the eastern Congolese city in the shadow of Nyiragongo, and most at its mercy.

They have endured the immediate terror in recent days as Africa’s most active volcano has spewed lava but those in Gisenyi — about 20 kilometres from the crater — have not been spared its wrath.

Violent tremors in the aftermath of the May 22 eruption have damaged houses, ripped up roads and cracked water pipes in the city.

Businesses are shut, while the city’s hospital services had to be relocated. Some 1,800 homes have been affected and nearly 340 completed flattened, the city municipality says.

To compound the pressure,thousandsof refugees from Goma have poured into the city on the shores of Lake Kivu, fearing Nyiragongo could blow again, all in need of emergency shelter and assistance.

Unprecedented

The Dusengimana family, who live just a few hundred metres from the DR Congo border, have been sleeping in the courtyard of their home for a week, sharing the space with chickens and a pig.

“We’re going to sell him, because we can’t live like this,” said Dusengimana, a 40-year-old farmer and mother of eight.

“We’ve organised the yard so that everyone can sleep. In the morning, we light a fire, and in the evening we take out the mattresses to sleep.

“But we are devoured by mosquitoes,” she said, gesturing to her face pocked with bites.

She does not know when her lot will change, with cash in low supply and little help to rebuild her shattered home.

“With help, I could rent somewhere else and escape the mosquitoes, but since I have no money, I’ll have to sleep outside and wait to see what happens,” she said.

A neighbour, who declined to be named, confessed to being so worried she couldn’t eat.

“We worry so much about our house,” she said of her earthquake-damaged dwelling, “we can’t fix it.”

The damage is worse than even during Nyiragongo’s last major eruption, a disaster in 2002 that covered the eastern part of Goma in lava and claimed more than 100 lives.

“We had nothing then, no earthquakes,” said Kabaya Seratiyeri, a man in his 80s. “This was so powerful it scared us.”

‘God will help us’

Rwanda has extended assistance to Congolese refugees escaping the volcano’s path, setting up tents and clinics and assisting those unable to return home.

But those in Gisenyi affected by the disaster say help has been slow coming.

“The Congolese are coming, and they have help. If they get help, we should get help too. If not, God will help us,” said Dusengimana.

Her neighbour said: “We are asking for help, our children are suffering.”

“They came on Monday to take stock of the damage and register us, but we haven’t heard anything since,” she added.

Deogratias Nzabonimpa, the deputy mayor of Gisenyi in charge of economic development, said the refugees were in dire need and assisted as a point of priority.

“They were the first to be served so that they did not lack the means to survive,” he told AFP.

“Now that we have finished with the orientation of the various refugees from Congo, we are proceeding with the Rwandans who have been affected. We hope that within two or three days, everything will be up and running,” he said.

On Sunday morning, at a makeshift camp that just a day earlier housed Congolese evacuees, Rwandans in need gathered for handouts of food, soap, and blankets.

Africa’s COVID-19 Vaccine Access ‘Scandalously Inefficient’- Kagame

A handout picture taken on March 11, 2021, and released by Urugwiro Village, the office of the President, shows Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame (L) receiving the first injection of the Covid-19 vaccine at King Faisal hospital in Kigali, Rwanda. (Photo by – / Urugwiro Village / AFP)

 

 

Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Friday described vaccine distribution in Africa as “scandalously inefficient” and warned against building an “invisible wall” around parts of the world unable to secure jabs.

The World Health Organization (WHO) in May said two percent of Covid-19 vaccines globally had been administered in Africa, a continent of over 1.2 billion people.

Kagame said efforts to ensure fair vaccine access, including the WHO-backed Covax initiative, remained “scandalously inefficient” and added that depriving Africa risked prolonging the pandemic.

“The fact that Africa is not receiving vaccines, in the end is not good even for those getting the vaccines,” Kagame told AFP and France Inter in an interview late Friday.

“The backlash will be there, it will come back to them. If we do it equitably, then we have the chance of eradicating it globally.

“I hope we don’t find ourselves in a situation where it’s like building an invisible wall. Those who have been vaccinated saying ‘we need to remain safe so we need to keep away those who are not vaccinated’.

Kagame said it was essential Africa start manufacturing its own vaccines but pointed to hurdles in the way of investment, intellectual property rights and technology.

“These are things that need to be quickly sorted out,” he said.

“Our desire here in Rwanda, we hope we can see vaccine being manufactured here in no less than a period of one year. That is on a very optimistic side.”

In early May, the US expressed support for lifting intellectual property protections for Covid-19 vaccines to speed up production and distribution around the world.

Many EU countries have expressed skepticism about such a move.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who this week gifted Rwanda a batch of vaccines during a state visit, said Friday in South Africa that he agreed to a temporary waiver on patents if it would spur vaccine production in developing countries.

Rwanda has recorded nearly 27,000 cases of Covid-19 and around 350 deaths from the disease, according to the health ministry on May 27.

It has administered 350,400 vaccines.

Basketball Africa League: Patriots Defeat Rivers Hoopers In Opening Match

Basketball players perform during the opening match of the Basketball Africa League in Kigali, Rwanda on May 17, 2021.

 

Former NBA player, Nigeria’s Ben Uzoh became the first player to score in the newly-created Basketball Africa League (BAL), but the historic game belonged to the host Patriots Basketball Club of Rwanda who defeated Nigeria’s Rivers Hoopers 83-60 at the Kigali Arena.

Although the Hoopers had a promising start, they struggled to adjust to the Patriots’ aggressive defence.

And turning the ball over 20 times didn’t help.

Wilson Nshobozwabyosenumukiza, who came off the bench, and Prince Ibeh led the Patriots comeback, and the Nigerians couldn’t find any answers.

And to make matters worse for the Hoopers, they got in foul trouble early in the second quarter, and things were never the same.

Nshobozwabyosenumukiza, who established a record for most steals in a single game in the FIBA AfroBasket Qualifiers in February, proved crucial defensively on Sunday, making the Hoopers look helpless.

Trailing 18-17 at the end of the first quarter, Ibeh thought it was about time to turn things around.

Ibeh’s two thunderous dunks early in the second quarter ignited the Patriots to a 13-0 run as the hosts took absolute control of the game, and they never looked back, leading at one point by as many as 29 points.

Costner Brandon led all scorers with 20 points and Ibeh contributed 11 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocked shots for the hosts.

Patriots guard Kenneth Gasana, who contributed seven points and four assists, paid tribute to his team.

“We played good inside, we limited a lot of inside points and we took advantage of the turnover that they had,” the Rwandan international said, adding that “it feels good to start the BAL with a victory.”

Talking about Ibeh’s performance, Gasana added: “He’s a beast, I loved the way he played. He really protected the paint.”

READ ALSO: Tuchel Tells Chelsea Not To Fear Leicester Rematch

Taren Sullivan did a bit of everything trying to keep the Rivers in the game, but his team-high 15 points weren’t good enough to avoid the Nigerians’ defeat.

Making his professional basketball debut, Jermaine Cole scored three points, with two assists and three rebounds.

Patriots resume their Group A campaign on Tuesday, facing Madagascar’s GNBC, a team they beat twice in the BAL Qualifiers.

Rivers Hoopers will return to action on Wednesday against Tunisian champions US Monastir.

Basketball Africa League Unveils Team Rosters Ahead Of Sunday’s Tip-Off

Roster for Nigeria’s representative, Rivers Hoopers. PHOTO CREDIT: Africa Basketball League (BAL)

 

The Basketball Africa League (BAL) have unveiled the rosters of the 12 participating teams ahead of the league’s inaugural season, which tips off on Sunday, May 16 at 4:00 p.m. CAT / 10 a.m. ET at the Kigali Arena in Rwanda.

The BAL rosters, subject to change, feature 154 players from 24 countries across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the U.S.

Each of the 12 teams, which come from 12 African countries, will have up to 13 players (12 active and one inactive), at least nine of whom are citizens in their respective team’s home country and up to four of whom are from other countries, with no more than two players per team from outside of Africa.

READ ALSO: Musa, Omeruo, Others Make Provisional List For Cameroon Friendly

Ben Uzoh, who joined Nigeria’s Rivers Hoopers, is poised to become the first former NBA player to play in the BAL, having played for the New Jersey Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Toronto Raptors from 2010-12.  He was also a member of the Nigeria Senior Men’s National Team at the 2016 Olympics, FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019, and FIBA AfroBasket in 2013 and 2015.

Nine players bring NBA G League experience to the BAL’s first season: Brandon Jay Costner and Prince Ibeh (Rwanda’s Patriots BBC); Myck Kabongo and Demarcus Holland (Mozambique’s Ferroviàrio de Maputo), Ibrahima Thomas (Mali’s AS Police); Uzoh, Taren Sullivan and Robert Christopher Daniels (Rivers Hoopers); and Ater Majok (Tunisia’s US Monastir).  Twenty-one BAL players have NCAA Division 1 experience, with 11 of the 12 teams featuring at least one former Division 1 player.

BAL teams feature a combined 19 players who previously participated in Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Africa, the NBA, and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program for top prospects from across the continent, including Mohab Yasser Abdelaty Abdallatif (Egypt’s Zamalek).  Abdullatif is poised to graduate from NBA Academy Africa this year and becomes the first NBA Academy prospect to play in the BAL.

 

Kagame Welcomes France ‘Change’ On Rwanda As Archives Opened

File photo: Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame reacts in front of a wreath for the 25th Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide at the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Kigali, Rwanda, on April 7, 2019. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

 

 

Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Wednesday signalled he was ready for a new phase in ties with France after a landmark report acknowledged French responsibility over the 1994 genocide, as Paris ordered the opening of key archives.

The 27th anniversary of the start of the slaughter — an event that still casts a shadow over France — was marked by conciliatory moves on both sides to heal long-troubled relations.

The report, handed by French historians to President Emmanuel Macron last month, “marks an important step toward a common understanding of what took place,” Kagame said in Kigali.

“It also marks the change, it shows the desire, even for leaders in France, to move forward with a good understanding of what happened,” said Kagame in his first reaction to the report.

The archives to be opened by France concern the work of former president Francois Mitterrand between 1990 and 1994 when the genocide began, according to a statement by the French presidency.

Also to be opened are those of the prime minister at the time, Edouard Balladur, in accordance with his own wishes, it added.

Many of the documents — which include diplomatic telegrams and confidential notes — were sources for the long-awaited report by historians handed to Macron.

All the documents cited in the report will also be declassified and made public, the presidency said.

The decision is part of Macron’s “committment” to create conditions favourable to help better understand France’s role in Rwanda, it said.

– ‘Cover-up’ –
The genocide saw around 800,000 people slaughtered, mainly from the ethnic Tutsi minority, between April and July of 1994.

The commission concluded that France bears overwhelming responsibilities over the genocide and was “blind” to preparations for the massacres.

It said there had been a “failure” on the part of France under Mitterrand, while adding there was no evidence Paris was complicit in the killings.

Macron ordered the report after years of accusations France did not do enough to halt the massacres and was even complicit in the crimes.

The issue has poisoned relations between France and Rwanda under Kagame, a former Tutsi rebel who has ruled the mountainous nation in Africa’s Great Lakes region since the aftermath of the genocide.

Kagame and his wife Jeannette earlier lit a remembrance flame at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, where every year commemorations are held to mourn the dead.

The genocide between April and July 1994 began after Rwanda’s Hutu president Juvenal Habyarimana, with whom Paris had cultivated close ties, was killed when his plane was shot down over Kigali on April 6.

The report said France under Mitterrand adopted a “binary view” that set Habyarimana as a “Hutu ally” against an “enemy” of Tutsi forces backed by Uganda.

France had been “involved with a regime that encouraged racist massacres,” although there was no evidence that it had any “willingness” to join in the genocide itself.

Kagame said a parallel investigation carried out by Rwandan authorities would release its own findings this month, saying the conclusions “go in the same direction” as the French report.

But he criticised “the decades-long effort by certain French officials to cover up their responsibilities”, saying it had caused “significant damage”.

“The important thing is to continue working together to document the truth,” Kagame said.

– ‘Half measures’ no use –
The historian Vincent Duclert who chaired the historial commission told the Mediapart news site that he believed France now needed to apologise for its policies in Rwanda, which were characterised by “great violence and a very colonialist superiority”.

The Elysee has said it hoped the report would mark an “irreversible” reconciliation process between France and Rwanda, which Macron has said he wants to visit this year.

Welcoming the Duclert report, the French foreign minister at the time, Alain Juppe, acknowledged it had highlighted the failures of the government.

“We did not act in the way we should have done,” he wrote in Le Monde, saying France had not understood that “half measures” were of no use in the face of a genocide.

“We lacked understanding of what genocide was and the need to act without delay to stop the massacres with all the determination that was possible,” he said.