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Kagame starts A.U. reign with business forum.

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The new African Union chairperson, Paul Kagame, kicked off his reign with a Business and Investment Forum where he strongly advocated for active private sector participation in the African governance process.

Kagame in his remarks held that the earlier African governments realised they cannot serve their citizens without private participation, the better. “We need active support from the private sector in fact without your voice something essential is missing.

“I am happy to see that today’s round tables are specific and full of practical detail. This makes it more likely that new public-private partnerships can be forged. We need the private sector’s help in that regard,” he added.

Whiles a number of African leaders caught their flights back home after the summit which closed on Monday, Kagame was joined by Nigerien counterpart Mohammadou Issoufou, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni and Ethiopian premier Hailemariam Desalegn for the event.

Also present were ECA chief, Veronica Songwe, former Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and members of the U.S. Millenium Challenge Coroporation and the Corporate Council for Africa.

The forum was held under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and was under the theme: “Transform: Africa Buisness and Investment Summit.” Presidents of Kenya and Senegal had earlier discussed Africa’s power needs under the same banner.

Kagame in his remarks cited instances of how Rwanda had partnered and continued to partner private companies outside to help with service delivery especially in its healthcare sector. “This doesn’t mean we should privatise our healthcare systems, but rather find ways to improve quality and access to healthcare.

“In Rwanda, for example, we have entered into an arrangement with an African company to manage our largest hospital. What is being done there is already showing success,” he added.

According to the ECA, participants of the forum aim at making agriculture attractive and smart for Africa’s youth, averring that if the continent is to lift millions out of poverty, Food security is vital but only achievable with enough engagement and political will.

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Israeli to inaugurate new airport near Jordanian border

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Israel has officially inaugurated a new international airport on Monday near the Red Sea resort town of Eilat, a few kilometers from the Jordanian border.



Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the inauguration ceremony, glassy terminal, arriving on the ceremonial first flight said he is excited with the successful completion of the project.

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The new airport is named after Ilan Ramon, Israel’s first astronaut who died in the crash of the space shuttle Columbia. Initially, it will handle only domestic flights, operated by Israeli carriers Arkia and Israir.

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In the future, the airport plans to host jumbo jets from around the globe, and will also serve as an emergency alternative to Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion airport

It says the new airport has a 3,600-metre-long runway and apron parking space for nine “large and wide-body aircraft”.

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Israeli media have said that a 26-metre-high, 4.5km-long “smart” anti-missile fence has been installed to help protect Ramon.

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Import route block throws Ethiopia into fuel scarcity.

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The Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa has been hit by a severe fuel shortage as at Tuesday (January 15), multiple local media outlets have reported.

Unusually long queues have been formed outside fuel stations that have supplies with many motorists waiting for hours to buy fuel. Government has yet to respond to the development.



The shortage is largely blamed on a current blockage on the road that links Ethiopia and Djibouti. Ethiopia, a regional economic giant imports most of its supplies through the Djiboutian ports.

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The blockage is staged by young people in the Afar region who are protesting against violent incidents reportedly perpetrated by an ethnic group of Somali extraction.

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The blockage was specifically in the cities of Semera and Awash with pictures showing people sitting right in the middle of the road with loaded trucks parked on either side.

A local portal said protesters were unhappy about a move that saw the federal government withdraw the region’s special forces from areas where the violence happened.

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