Wednesday, February 1, 2023
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Kenyan Troops to ‘Enforce Peace’ in East DR Congo

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Kenyan troops are part of a planned East African force aimed at stabilizing eastern DR Congo.

Kinshasa (AFP) Kenyan President William Ruto said Monday that East African troops would “enforce peace” in embattled eastern DR Congo, where the M23 armed group have launched an offensive.

Kenyan troops, deployed as part of an East African Community (EAC) force, arrived in the volatile region on November 12.

The regional force will “enforce peace on those who are hellbent on creating instability,” Ruto said in a news conference in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital, Kinshasa.

The M23, a largely Congolese Tutsi militia, has seized swathes of territory across North Kivu province, edging towards the region’s main city of Goma.

The fighting has reignited regional tensions, with the DRC accusing its smaller neighbor Rwanda of backing the M23, something that UN experts and US officials have also said in recent months.

Kigali denies supporting the M23 and accuses Kinshasa of colluding with the FDLR — a former Rwandan Hutu rebel group established in the DRC after the 1994 genocide of mainly Tutsis in Rwanda.

The M23 first leapt to prominence 10 years ago when it captured Goma in 2012, before being driven out and going to ground.

But it re-emerged late last year, claiming the DRC had failed to honour a pledge to integrate its fighters into the army, among other grievances.

Kenya is sending about 900 troops to the DRC as part of a joint EAC force created to help restore security.

Ruto said he was aware that there are already peacekeeping forces present in eastern DRC — alluding to the thousands-strong United Nations force — but suggested that East African troops would be more forceful.

Kenyan General Jeff Nyagah, the commander of the EAC force, also said when he arrived in Goma on November 16 that the East African operation would be “an intervention force.”

But, he stressed, the priority was to find a political solution to instability in eastern DRC, as well as to disarm militias.

Peace talks under the aegis of the seven-nation EAC were scheduled to be launched in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Monday, but their start date remains unclear.

Ruto told reporters on Monday that EAC heads of state, in their joint mandate to the regional force, agreed that the mission was to ensure peace as well as enforce it.

The mandate has been communicated to the African Union and the UN Security Council, he said. Thousands of people have fled to Goma from the advancing M23 ALEXIS HUGUET AFP

The force is expected to include soldiers from Burundi, Uganda and South Sudan, as well as from Kenya. But its intended total size remains unclear.

The UN’s peacekeeping force in eastern DRC, known as MONUSCO, has a current strength of about 16,000 uniformed personnel.

A Major Exhibition in Nairobi Reveals the History of East African Art Traditions

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Mwili, Akili na Roho (Body, Mind and Spirit) – on in Nairobi, Kenya – is a major international exhibition presenting east African painters who are key players in the modernist art of the region. Modernism in the fine arts refers to a period of experimentation from the late 1800s to the mid 1900s, a break from the realism of the past and a search for new forms of expression.

The exhibition features a group of artists from different generations who vary in backgrounds, as well as in the themes and forms of their art. They represent 50 years of east African art – from 1950 to 2000. They are: Sam Joseph Ntiro (1923-1990), Elimo Njau (1932-), Asaph Ng’ethe Macua (1930-), Jak Katarikawe (1940-2018), Theresa Musoke (1942-), Peter Mulindwa (1943-), Sane Wadu (1954-), John Njenga (1966-1997), Chelenge van Rampelberg (1961-) and Meek Gichugu (1968-).

Together they form an important cross-section of figurative paintings from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Figurative art draws from the real world, especially human figures.

While modernism is most commonly associated with the western world – think Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse or Marc Chagal – these African modernist artists often critique western stereotypes about “primitive” colonised peoples at the same time as they yearn to recover pre-colonial modes of experience. This is one of the aspects that makes the exhibition so powerful. But it contains many more themes to consider that remain relevant today.

A growing showcase

The first showcase of Mwili, Akili na Roho took place in Germany in 2020. It was part of the larger context of a solo exhibition by its originator, the celebrated Kenyan-British artist Michael Armitage. Armitage is the founder of Nairobi Contemporary Art Institute – where the exhibition is currently on show. In 2021, Mwili, Akili na Roho moved to London as a continuation of Michael Armitage: Paradise Edict.

This third iteration in Nairobi expands on the first two. The initial exhibition had seven artists (with the exclusion of Njenga from Kenya, Mulindwa from Uganda and Ntiro from Tanzania). The Nairobi edition boasts a total of 54 artworks, presenting additional works from collections around the world. Notably, artworks are also borrowed from the artists’ own collections.

The exhibition focuses entirely on painting as one of the most prominent mediums of expression in art, representing a sort of history of the painting of east Africa. It’s an entry point for a deeper engagement with this history, and the enduring influence of creative ideas and art institutions from the region.

Faith and religion

For example, the idea of faith and religion is represented by works such as Ntiro’s Agony in the Garden (1950), an African representation of the story of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane before his crucifixion.

In the 1980s, Wadu took a different approach to the same subject. He paints himself as Jesus in Walking on the Water and in Give us Our Daily Bread. He tells his personal story of faith through his paintings. He attributes his success in life to God, having had tuberculosis as a young man but healing as a result of his faith.

There are also artists who have approached religion in the form of African mythology about humanity. Mulindwa did a great deal of research into the myths of the Toro people of Uganda, which influenced his art.

Land and politics

Katarikawe’s works feature cattle as symbols of life, borrowing directly from his and other people’s everyday lives. Nature and landscapes also feature prominently.

Ideas about land and politics offer social commentary throughout, about colonialism and the theft of the land.

Landscapes are also touched on by artists such as Musoke, who sought refuge in Kenya, leaving Uganda during the reign of dictator Idi Amin. Mulindwa’s large, chaotic landscapes depict a subtle social commentary on the oppression in Uganda.

East African art structures

It is useful, when looking at the exhibition, to also reflect on the artists’ backgrounds. Five were educated at Makerere University in Uganda, creating a school of thought of huge significance in east Africa.

These interconnected backgrounds allow reflection on the art structures and spaces that have existed in east Africa. After independence in the region, there was a short period when Makerere University, the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and the University of Nairobi (Kenya) were part of a single art school, Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Art. There was an exchange of knowledge and influences that can be traced in the body of works in the exhibition.

The other five did not receive any formal training in art. Among them, Njau was the founder of the Paa ya Paa Arts Centre in Nairobi and Musoke taught art at universities for about 25 years. Wadu was one of the founding members of the Ng’echa Arts Collective in Kenya (established in 1955 and commonly referred as the “village of artists”) and rose to prominence at Gallery Watatu in Nairobi, where Gichugu had his first solo exhibition.

So, the exhibition also demonstrates how visual art can be used as a tool to educate about history.

Creating a new space

As much as the Nairobi contemporary art scene is vibrant, with galleries selling and showcasing work, there is no museum or other space dedicated to tracking the history of the region’s art, recording it, and building content that can be viewed and reviewed over time.

Read more: The importance of remembering Kenyan artist Rosemary Karuga

The Nairobi Contemporary Art Institute has rightfully claimed this space and Mwili, Akili na Roho is an example of some important choices the gallery is making in furthering the art of the region. The exhibition is educative and – importantly – is open to schools and universities in Kenya for students to learn more.

Mwili, Akili na Roho will run at the Nairobi Contemporary Art Institute until 18 February 2023.

Kenya’s Growth was Strongest in Africa’s VC Market

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As VC activity slowed down globally last year, Kenya defied odds to record the strongest growth in funding raised in Africa. Reports show that the deal count and value to the country surpassed 2021 figures owing to increased investor interest.

Data from market intelligence firm Briter Bridges, and The Big Deal shows Kenya raised $1.1 billion, more than double the funding that East Africa’s biggest economy got in 2021, when the continent raised about $5 billion.

Another report by Partech, which excluded Sun King’s mega round, also shows that Kenya’s funding spiked by 33% last year, to a record $758 million.

Partech placed Kenya fourth in the list of the top VC destinations after Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt, respectively. The four markets account for over 70% of the total VC funding in Africa.

Briter, which included country ranking this year, and Big Deal positioned Kenya as second in VC destination after Nigeria, which took the lead after raising $1.2 billion, despite the deal number and value dropping. When compared to the previous year, the amount invested in Nigeria dipped by over 36%, according to Partech, and 20% as per Big Deal’s data. South Africa’s funding stagnated as per Partech while Big Deal data shows a 42% decline.

The reports show that Kenya recorded the strongest growth in the continent, as Egypt’s VC funding grew slightly too. Overall, Africa reported an increase in invested amount last year; Partech put the figure at $6.4 billion, Briter Bridges at $5.4 billion and Big Deal at $4.8 billion.

Clean tech and e-commerce

Nearly all sectors in Kenya experienced increased VC interest; however, clean tech, e-commerce, fintech and food and agriculture verticals accounted for the bulk of the activity.

The clean tech sector received the greatest VC interest in Kenya, as it accounted for nearly half of the total capital raised by Kenyan private venture-backed companies — buoyed by Sun King’s mega round and M-Kopa’s funding. Both PAY-Go scale-ups are providers of solar home systems, but M-Kopa’s platform now includes financing of a range of products and services.

Other clean tech ventures that attracted venture backing include BasiGo, an EV startup trying to electrify Kenya’s public transport sector currently dominated by fossil-fuel buses.

Investor interest in clean tech ventures aligns to last year’s global trend that saw more capital injected into businesses that are mitigating climate change. It is expected that the clean and climate tech verticals, and more narrowly in Africa, will continue to pull VC dollars amidst slowdown in funding.

Scale-ups in the e-commerce sector like Wasoko and MarketForce; B2B platforms enabling informal traders to source goods directly from manufacturers and distributors; and Copia, an e-commerce platform that taps its network of agents to serve customers in rural areas, also pulled in investors too. The aforementioned raised big rounds that saw the vertical emerge as one of the most positively impacted by VC funding.

Fintechs also continued to attract most funding on the continent as Africa, the world’s second-fastest payments and banking market, grows. However, in Kenya, the vertical was third in VC preference, evaluated by deal value. On the other hand, the vertical experienced the most activity in terms of deal numbers.

Meanwhile, despite Kenya experiencing the enormous growth last year, the market was not spared by the effects of VC slowdown, as some businesses like Kune and WeFarm wound up, as others like Twiga, Sendy and MarketForce cut their staff numbers as they adjusted to new fundraising realities.

Uganda Begins Oil Drilling, Hopes for Production by 2025

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Oil drilling has begun in Uganda and the East African country expects to start production by 2025, an official said Tuesday.

The spokesman for Uganda’s ministry of energy and mineral development, Solomon Muyita, said the beginning of drilling at the Kingfisher oil field in the Kikuube district was “a significant stride” toward achieving commercial oil production.

The project has been strongly criticized on environmental grounds.

The China National Offshore Oil Corporation, CNOOC, operates the field. Uganda is estimated to have recoverable oil reserves of at least 1.4 billion barrels.

Muyita also said construction is starting this year on the 897-mile (1,443-kilometer) East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline, planned by TotalEnergies and CNOOC, between Uganda and the Indian Ocean port of Tanga in Tanzania. Authorities have described it as the world’s longest heated oil pipeline.

The pipeline should be completed by 2025 as well, Muyita said.

Climate activists have raised concerns about the effects of the pipeline on local communities and the environment.

Uganda’s president last year was angered by a resolution by the European Union’s Parliament urging the international community to exert “maximum pressure” on Ugandan and Tanzanian authorities, as well as the project promoters and stakeholders, “to protect the environment and to put an end to the extractive activities in protected and sensitive ecosystems, including the shores of Lake Albert.”

The EU parliament had warned that the pipeline project placed 100,000 people “at imminent risk of displacement … without proper guarantees of adequate compensation.”

Ugandan authorities see the pipeline as key to economic development and assert that oil wealth can lift millions out of poverty.

Uganda’s National Environmental Management Authority has sought to ease environmental concerns. And Muyita asserted that thousands of families displaced by the project have been compensated.

East Africa: Somalia’s Rendezvous With EAC Admission Panel

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The East African Community on Wednesday, January 25, launched its verification mission to assess Somalia’s readiness to join the regional economic community.

The verification team – chaired by Marie Rose Tiri from Burundi – with experts from the EAC partner states will be in Somalia from January 25 to February 3, to establish the country’s level of conformity with the criteria for admitting foreign countries as provided in the EAC Treaty.

This comes after the President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, on July 21, 2022, rekindled his country’s request to join the bloc. At the time, during an EAC Heads of State meeting in Arusha, Tanzania, the President of Somalia requested officially, on behalf of his nation, that “we need to join this great community.”

The EAC Secretary General, Peter Mathuki, disclosed that the technical team in Mogadishu will engage Somalia to ensure that the verification was finalized and a report completed in time in readiness for presentation to the EAC Council of Ministers who will table it for consideration by the 23rd Summit of EAC Heads of State scheduled for the end of February.

“The verification team is set to make findings relating to the institutional frameworks in place; legal frameworks; policies, strategies, projects and programmes; areas of cooperation with other EAC partner states and expectations from membership,” Mathuki said.

As noted, the team will assess Somalia’s development strategies and plans in key areas of collaboration including infrastructure, energy, education and science, peace and security, and international cooperation.

The team will also review the status of Somalia in international law and establish the country’s readiness to join the EAC Customs Union, Common Market Protocol, Monetary Union and ongoing political confederation constitutional framework.

In July 2022, President Mohamud said it will be a dream come true for Somalia to join the bloc. For more than 10 years, his country has sought to join the bloc but circumstances did not permit and, he is now optimistic that the time has come for his country to join “this great Community.”

After the DR Congo completed the process of admission as the seventh EAC Partner State, in july 2022, Somalia wants to be the eighth member.

In February 2021, the EAC Summit, among others, considered a progress report on the verification exercise for admission of Somalia.

The Horn of Africa nation submitted its application in February 2012

In July 2022, the President of Somalia – who has served as the president of Somalia since May 2022 – told his EAC colleagues that his country is part of the very resource-rich part of East Africa, with 15 to 20 million people, close to 10 million hectares of arable land, vast marine resources, livestock, and others, but, above all, “a human resource which is very entrepreneurial and very much active.”

Somalia shares borders with one EAC partner state, Kenya, and has strong historical, linguistic, economic and socio-cultural links with all the EAC partner states.

On Wednesday, Somalia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abshir Omar expressed enthusiasm for the team set to assess Somalia’s readiness to join the bloc, saying that Somalia will benefit greatly because of the free movement of people from Somalia and other countries without a visa, if they are fully in the bloc.

“The Somalis started integrating with their brothers and sisters of the region way before the request of formalizing the decision of joining the EAC,” he said.

Somalia has the longest national coastline – more than 3,000 kilometers – in Africa, linking the continent to the Arabian Peninsula, which, Mathuki said, “the region will tap into to increase intra-regional trade.”

But the country continues to wrestle with problems of general insecurity caused by the Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist group Al-Shabaab.

Criteria for admission of new countries

Under the EAC Treaty, the criteria for the admission of new countries into the bloc include: acceptance of the Community as set out in the Treaty; adherence to universally acceptable principles of good governance, democracy, the rule of law, observance of human rights and social justice; and potential contribution to the strengthening of integration within the region.

Others are: geographical proximity to and inter-dependence between the foreign country seeking admission and partner states; the establishment and maintenance of a market-driven economy; in addition to social and economic policies being compatible with those of the bloc.

10 Best Road Trips in East Africa

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The natural beauty has always made the East African region very vulnerable to world travel accolades. The vegetation vary of East African that keep stretching from the oceanic white sands extending to the golden savannahs of the Mara-Serengeti plains to tropical extensions of central Africa. Fluctuation in the foliage covers funds a lot with matters regarding dwellers. Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya have positioned to be Africa’s hub for wildlife with huge concentration of various species.

The narration entices greatly several travelers who wish to witness about this beauty. East Africa is always the best part of the world to take your road trip considering various issues. A road trip in East Africa leads to oceanic beaches, wildlife, and cultural perception. What exactly is available? You may not need this answer but just know, this region is blessed with abundance.

We outline some of the best road trip to consider when in East Africa. Some of the road trips can combine either two countries or even combined three.

The Masai Mara – Serengeti Road trip

The Africa’s most rewarding safari route that rewards with great wild roars. The Maasai Mara-Serengeti is most celebrated for the thunderous trek of highest concentration of wildebeest. The wildebeest trek is an annual wild event where tens of thousands of the wildebeest cross from either plain to another. It’s an experience that is not encountered anywhere else. A road trip drive crossing through the plains of Maasai Mara reserve to Serengeti is a remarkable wild rewarding. The widely open golden savannahs accommodate huge number of species among which include zebras, big five, several antelope species. This is Africa’s most rewarding wildlife road trip one can ever take. Actually when taking this road trip should ensure the safest and strongest 4×4 safari customized vehicle.

Northeastern Uganda road trip

Revealing of the Uganda’s northeastern road trip circuit, a lot should ring in your mind. It’s beautiful space to catch a miraculous chunk of the world. The Uganda northeastern road trip engages the world longest river, trekking the colorful sipi falls, spend a night with Africa’s most primitive people, watching the world’s most powerful waterfalls and huge concentration of wildlife. It’s one of the road trips in Uganda that only expose the full list of the Big Five games. It include Jinja city, Sipi waterfalls, cultural tours in the Karamoja land, driving to the world’s remotest national park and find yourself in Murchison Falls National Park and also track the only rhinos in Uganda. Activities done here include white water rafting where you raft up to tough advanced grade 5. Trek the amazing phrases of Sipi waterfalls, cultural tours, game drives, wild boat cruise and track the rhinos.

Serengeti-Ngorongoro road trip

The Tanzania’s most amazing road trip is taking the wildlife drive to Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. These are two most famous safari destinations in Tanzania and even feature on the African continent among the most rewarding safari destinations as far as road trip is concerned. The road trip safari starts and ends at Arusha with a remarkable drive through the Serengeti and Ngorongoro crater plains making it a lifetime experience. This famous drive is not for heart fainting, but for adventurous travelers, it exposes you to watch the breathtaking wildebeest Migration at Serengeti National Park and see one of the uncommon rhinos in Ngorongoro Crater. A road trip through the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro crater plains gives a widest plain drive through the golden savannahs rewarding with highest view of wildlife on the African continent.

Bwindi Gorilla Trekking

Not a dramatic drive but rather an authentic drive through varies of landscapes that accelerate from the flat, to gently sloping to the steep slops of the Kigezi tropics. A road trip to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is among the longer drives in Uganda. The en-route is rich, however, a direct drive takes about 9 hours. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the world’s capital for the famous mountain gorillas. The park is located in scenery volcanoes of southwestern Uganda, with half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas. The experience of driving to Bwindi also dwells also in which sector of trekking, and Rushaga and Nkuringo have always offered one of the most interesting and challenging drive deep into the impenetrable. Gorilla trekking is the highlight of the rest of the African adventures, and it’s a lifetime experience as the gorillas are only endemic to this region of the Bwindi and Virunga Conservation Area.

Northwestern Kenya road trip

One of the richest safari routes on the “magical land” of Kenya. The northwestern road trip explains the real meaning of east African semi-arid status. It’s packed with a lot of experiences and greater destinations of consideration as far as safari are concerned. Among the amazing factors of the region are the Laikipia plateau, Mount Kenya, Lake Turkana, Lake Naivasha Park, Lake Victoria, the Elgon Mountains, Kakamega forest among so many. The road trip through this amazing semi-arid safari space suggest amazing bird, and wildlife safaris. As well the continual of the Eastern rift suggests beautiful landscapes.

Southern Tanzania road trip

This road trip can start from Arusha and continues to Dar es Salaam. It leads to some of the Africa’s amazing tourist destinations among which can include Nyerere National Park, Ruaha National Park, Mikumi National Park, Dar es Salaam beaches and the stone Island of Zanzibar. The road trip exposes the natural beauty and all its dwelling, experience the beach life of the Indian Ocean and brings the history of the Early Arab traders and special architectures of Zanzibar Island. Take a world class road trip safari for variety of wildlife to Ruaha National Park and Selous Game Reserve, experience local village life in traditional Tanzanian highland villages, and go birding and chimp trekking in the Udzungwa Mountains.

Western Uganda road trip

Hunting for that remarkable safari road trip experience! Then, the western Uganda road trip suggestion is a big deal for you. Not like anywhere in the world, this region is special with nature. Western Uganda is packed with rolling landscapes that runs from gentle slopes to steeps and even hosting African 3rd highest peak. Among the 10 national parks in Uganda, the western region hosts 7 of them. Takes a self-drive to Uganda’s western region and trek gorillas, track chimpanzees, watching wildlife include the tree climbing lions and these endemic golden monkeys all entice for this road trip. The vegetation vary that runs from the golden savannah to shrubs, continuing to the montane stays along the bamboos, up to the tropical rainforests. The western Uganda is home to Bwindi and Mgahinga parks for gorillas, Kibale for Chimpanzee, Queen Elizabeth, Lake Mburo and Semuliki for wildlife and Mt Rwenzori for hiking.

Gorilla and chimpanzee tracking

A road trip to Uganda that combines gorilla chimpanzee tracking is a special one. The gorillas and chimpanzee are amazing creatures that imitate a lot about human. Both species are thought to possess about 98% of human DNA. Gorilla trekking is done at either Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Kibale National Park is Africa’s most famous chimpanzee tracking destination. Both gorillas and chimpanzees on this road trip are fully habituated and consider having a full close-up encounter with the species.

Rwanda round circuit road trip

Road trip drives is the best way to experience the Country of a thousand Hills, abundant Rwanda wildlife including the endangered Mountain Gorilla in Volcanos and the beautiful Kinyarwanda culture. This road trip offers Wildlife safaris, Gorilla Safaris, Bird Watching Safaris, Mountain Hiking, Chimpanzee trekking, Cultural Tours, Guided Nature walks, and a lot of considerations. The road trips to Rwanda will take you on quiet, scenic back roads to places that you probably didn’t know existed. The route road trip in Rwanda starts from Kigali to Nyungwe forest, experience the safari nature of the country through the Akagera National Park. Then it stretches to the northern drama of hilly lands to trek the only gorillas in the world.

Maasai to southern Kenya road trip

For adventurous travelers, this Kenya most rewarding combining Maasai Mara reserve and southern part of the magical country. It can run from Nairobi capital to Maasai Mara for the remarkable wildebeest encounter through this golden savannahs. Then there are three other dominates on this adventure drive of Amboseli National Park, Tsavo National Park and the Mombasa port. The most rewarding safari adventure in Kenya with huge views of the Big Five, and enjoying the oceanic beaches of Mombasa port.

Why You Need to Visit East African Countries

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East Africa is made up of six countries and these include; Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and lately South Sudan. Each of these countries has something unique to offer regarding safaris. Visiting one country might deny you the chance to explore more interesting stuff in the neighboring countries. East Africa tours that let you visit three or four of these countries might turn out more satisfactory too; something you should consider at all odds.

In this article I break down what each of these East African destinations has to offer also sighting out some of their wonders.

Uganda is primarily known for mountain gorillas. Apparently it has the shelters the highest population of these endangered species in its forests of Bwindi and Mgahinga. These gorillas are available for tourism all year at a standard cost of $700 for permits. Uganda’s gifts go past this. Southwest in Masindi lies Murchison Falls – the most explosive waterfalls in the whole world. This waterfall is the centerpiece of Murchison Falls National Park, the largest and oldest safari park in Uganda. The popular Kibale Forest Park is known to have the highest concentration of primates in the whole world. It is a prime destination for Chimpanzee trackers. Uganda will reward you the best primate experience in the whole world.

Rwanda comes second to Uganda regarding the population of Mountain Gorillas. Rwanda gorillas inhabit Volcanoes National Park, a centerpiece of the Rwanda tourism industry. Unlike Uganda, Rwanda offers a better luxurious Mountain Gorilla trekking experience. Their permits cost $1500 each irrespective of your nationality. Much as there are multiple safari activities to engage in, your primary reason for visiting Rwanda should be mountain gorillas.

Kenya’s wealth of wildlife and immense landscapes are, quite simply, iconic. The true imagery of an African safari comes to life as you wander through the lounging plains of the Maasai Mara or take a drive in the shadows of Africa’s roof – Mount Kilimanjaro. The country’s herds of wildlife reward breathtaking opportunities for wildlife viewing. From the stunning beaches of the Indian Ocean through to its vibrant cities, and out into the unspoiled bush, Kenya a lot to offer both first timers and returning clients. Some of the porpular safaris in Kenya are 3 day Masai Mara Safaris.

Tanzania’s wilderness defines a true beauty of wildlife. Over 70% of the country is protected for wildlife and tourism. Tanzania has 7 of the world and some of the wonders of the world. Your primary visit should be wildlife viewing and maybe mountain climbing or beach holidays in Zanzibar. Tanzania safaris reward one of the finest feelings of wildlife viewing in Africa.

When you book an East Africa Safari, you will enjoy remarkable gorilla trekking experience in Uganda and Rwanda then exceptional wildlife viewing experiences in Kenya and Tanzania. You will get to visit some of the world heritage sites and wonders of the world.

Rwandan Troops Kill Congolese Soldier who Crossed Border

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NAIROBI, Rwandan troops killed a Congolese soldier who crossed the tense border between the two countries on Saturday, Rwanda’s defence ministry and the Congolese army said.

Rwanda’s defence ministry said the soldier entered Rwanda’s Rubavu district and started shooting at Rwanda Defence Force guard towers.

Congo army spokesman Colonel Guillaume Ndjike said the soldier was a new army recruit, who may have wandered across the frontier after becoming lost during a night patrol. An investigation was under way into the incident.

“After verification, it is indeed an element of the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo, who is newly assigned,” Ndjike said.

Tensions have escalated between Congo and Rwanda in recent months over Congo’s accusation that Rwanda was supporting the resurgent M23 rebel group, which has been fighting the Congolese government for a decade. Rwanda denies the accusation.

On Saturday, Congo’s Prime Minister Sama Lukonde, representing President Felix Tshisekedi at a summit of French speaking nations in Tunisia, refused to take part in a group photo so as not to share the stage with Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, Congo’s government spokesman said in a statement.

M23 has waged several offensives in east Congo this year, with clashes between the army and the rebels resulting in thousands of civilians being displaced since March.

Regional powers are working to ease relations between Rwanda and Congo. Kenya’s former president Uhuru Kenyatta and Rwanda’s Kagame agreed on Friday on the need for M23 rebels to cease fire and withdraw from captured territories in east Congo, the East African Community bloc said.

Kilimanjaro To Lose Glaciers by 2050 – UNESCO

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Kilimanjaro Mountains

According to UN report, glaciers at many UNESCO World Heritage sites including Yellowstone and Kilimanjaro National Park will likely vanish by 2050.

The UN agency warned and urging leaders to act fast to save the rest. The warning followed a study of 18,600 glaciers at 50 World Heritage sites, covering around 66,000 square kilometers (25,000 square miles), which found glaciers at a third of the sites were “condemned to disappear”.

The study “shows these glaciers have been retreating at an accelerated rate since 2000 due to CO2 emissions, which are warming temperatures”, UNESCO said.

The glaciers were losing 58 billion tons of ice every year, equivalent to the combined annual water use of France and Spain, and were responsible for nearly five percent of observed global sea-level rise, the agency explained.

“Glaciers in a third of the 50 World Heritage sites are condemned to disappear by 2050, regardless of efforts to limit temperature increases,” UNESCO said.

“But it is still possible to save the glaciers in the remaining two-thirds of sites if the rise in temperatures does not exceed 1.5°C compared to the pre-industrial period.”

Countries have pledged to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels — a goal the world is set to miss on current emission trends.

“This report is a call to action,” said UNESCO head Audrey Azoulay, ahead of the COP27 climate summit in Egypt starting on Monday.

“Only a rapid reduction in our CO2 emissions levels can save glaciers and the exceptional biodiversity that depends on them. COP27 will have a crucial role to help find solutions to this issue.”

The glaciers in the thirds of UN World Heritage sites will melt within three decades, a UNESCO report found.

Mt Kilimanjaro’s last glacier will vanish as will glacier in the Alps and the Yosemite National Park in the US.

In Europe, some glaciers in the Pyrenees and in the Dolomites will also probably have vanished in three decades’ time.

The melting of ice and snow is one of the 10 key threats from climate change, an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report published in February said.

“We hope we might be wrong, but this is the hard science,” said UNESCO project officer Tales Carvalho Resende, one of the authors. “Glaciers are one of the valuable indicators of climate change, because they’re visible. This is something we can really see happening.”

The remaining glaciers in the other two thirds of UN World Heritage sites could be saved, but only if the world limits global warming to 1.5C, the authors say. Another UN report last week found that the world currently had “no credible pathway” to achieve that.

“What is quite unprecedented in the historical record is how quickly this is happening,” said Beata Csatho, a glaciologist from the University of Buffalo, who was not involved in the research.

The report mentioned other UNESCO sites that are to loss their prestigious glacier in east African beside Kilimanjaro. These are Mt. Kenya, Mt Rwenzori and the Virunga Mountains in DRC.

Kwita Izina Manifests Tourism Recovery in Rwanda

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Kwita Izina

Kwita Izina is one of the world’s significant celebrations of nature where Rwanda’s newly born gorillas are given names. This year’s event has finally been held at Kinigi grounds on the foothills of the Volcanoes National Park Rwanda and the event attracted a mammoth crowd composed of conservationists, families, friends, celebrities and local people.

For the past two years, this annual event has been held virtually due to the outbreak of the Corona Virus. The great spectacle at the 2022 Kwita Izina signifies the slow but surely recovery of Rwanda’s tourism.

What is Kwita Izina?

Kwita Izina is an event that is based on a centuries-old ritual in which the Rwandans used to give names to their children in the company of their family and friends.  In 2005, Rwanda introduced it to the conservation world where the baby mountain gorillas were named and instantly became a worldwide celebration of nature. Providing names to the great pe+9aceful apes gives them the status they truly deserve.

The celebrations are a prospect to appreciate the rangers, trackers, researchers, conservationists, and communities that reside around the Volcanoes national park who put in a shift to safeguard the gorillas. Over the last 18 years, more than 350 baby gorillas have been given names.

2022 Kwita Izina

This year, Kwita Izina happened on the 2nd of September on the fringes of the Volcanoes National Park. It was the first physical celebration in two years, the last two happened virtually because of covid-19 that curtailed crowd gatherings around the world.  The glamourous event brought so many high-profile personalities including heads of state, congressmen, conservationists, businessmen, philanthropists, and athletes hence pulling worldwide media coverage.

According to All About Rwanda, the covid-19 broke out in 2020, it put a lot of things to a standstill and the tourism industry fell victim. There are stringent restrictions such as border closures that stopped the influx of foreign travelers into Rwanda yet there are among the biggest players in the tourism sector.

After a few months of covid-19 creeping around the world, standard operating procedures were introduced to minimize its rapid spread. These preventive measures led to the loosening up of some restrictions that curtailed the tourism industry like border closures but it had to take some time for travelers to visit Rwanda.

This is because economies around the world were crippled by the plight and most people were left with no savings and also others lost their jobs. Additionally, those who were willing to travel to Rwanda still feared for their lives because the actual remedy to stop covid-19 has not been found.

In 2021, a number of vaccines were created and thankfully rolled out to the whole world for free. Consequently, tourists started coming to Rwanda but a handful of them. it definitely had to take some time for people to get over the covid-19 trauma and get back to their normal lives.

At the start of this year, 2022, glimpses of tourism recovery started showing. A moderate number of tourists was registered at various tourist sites in Rwanda.  The commonwealth heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) that was held in Kigali in June 2022, showed real signs that tourism was on the road to recovery.  Hotels were fully booked in the capital and also tourist entries at the national parks relatively increased.

The mark of tourism recovery was manifested at Kwita Izina, the official naming of the newly born gorilla in Rwanda. The event was graced by a huge crowd of people both local and international including the newly crowned monarch of Britain, His Majesty King Charles III who was the chief namer, president Kagame, Didier Drogba, Gilberto Silva, Sauti Sol and so on.

Before and after the Kwita Izina, tourist sites such as Kigali Genocide Memorial Center, Volcanoes national park, Nyungwe Forest national park, Lake Kivu, and Akagera national park were surged by tourists. This was a mark to show that tourism in Rwanda was on a real recovery.

Source: Eturbo News

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