Sunday, 19 November 2017
Items filtered by date: June 2017

President Paul Kagame has said that Rwanda will proceed with the planned phase-out of importation of second-hand clothes despite the threats that it could lead to a review of eligibility to access duty-free access to the American market.

President Kagame made the remarks yesterday while addressing a news conference moments after submitting his nomination papers to the National Electoral Commission (NEC).

Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania’s eligibility to trade with the US is under review, following the region’s move to phase out the importation of used clothes.

The review could see Rwanda and her neighbours lose duty-free access to the American market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Kagame, however, said the situation leads Rwanda to make a choice between continued importation of used clothes and developing the local textile industry.

He said that despite the consequences of being locked out of AGOA, Rwanda is keen on developing its local textile industry.

“Rwanda and other countries in the region that are part of AGOA, have to do other things, we have to grow and establish our industries,” Kagame said.

“We are put in a situation where we have to choose; you choose to be a recipient of used clothes with a threat hanging or choose to grow our textile industries, which Rwandans deserve at the expense of being part of AGOA.

“This is the choice we find that we have to make. As far as I am concerned, making the choice is simple, we might suffer consequences. Even when confronted with difficult choices, there is always a way,” he added.

The President noted that this is not the first time that Rwanda has had to make tough decisions in the interest of citizens.

EAC member countries have moved to phase out the importation of used clothes and shoes across the East African region as part of an industrialisation plan to give rise to the growth of the local textile industry.

As part of the move, Rwanda last year increased taxes on used clothes from $0.2 to $2.5 per kilogramme, while taxes on used shoes will increase from $0.2 to $3 per kilogramme.

Budget focus

In the 2017/18 Budget Estimates, the Government also eased taxes on inputs under the Made-in-Rwanda initiative, which is expected to facilitate the growth of the local textile industry.

President Kagame is one of the African heads of state advocating for improved engagement terms between African countries and Western countries for mutual benefit.

Kagame has said several times that it’s time to consider Africa as an equal partner in development as opposed to a beneficiary requiring donations and aid.

As part of the move to make the continent less dependent on external financing, Kagame was last year asked to spearhead the African Union reforms.

He said he will continue playing the role as requested by the African heads of state to support the reforms process.

Kagame is scheduled to present a progress update at a meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, next month.

The President said that the intention by African leaders to change status quo was a huge step.

“The fact that the leaders of Africa have found it necessary to do things different is a very big step,” he said.

Going forward, he said the move by the continent will reduce the impact of external factors on the continent’s socio- economic progress.

Courtesy: The New Times - www.newtimes.co.rw

Published in News & Stories

Organised by Zhejiang Normal University, the event attracted more than 500 government officials, academics, economists and business leaders from China and 40 African countries.

The experts argued that without strong industries to add value to raw materials and create jobs, African countries risk high unemployment rates and increasing poverty levels.

Speaking at the meeting, Wang Yi, the Chinese Foreign Minister, urged governments to develop targeted approaches that will help attract foreign direct investment into the continent.

Wang also called on governments to invest in infrastructure and human capital to accelerate economic development on the continent.

China’s approach of establishing industrial zones for joint ventures between foreign enterprises and state owned enterprises is being experimented all over the continent, according to officials.

However, the Chinese Foreign Minister noted that broader consensus has emerged among Chinese and African academics that African countries must consider their unique socio-cultural issues when setting up special economic zones.

Speaking at the forum, Moussa Faki Mahamat, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, urged the continent’s private sector to play its role and ensure proper co-ordination between farmers, processors and exporters to ensure quality and standards and increase competitiveness of the continent’s products on the world market.

“This think tank has a role to promote China-Africa relations...We will work with African governments to cultivate a win-win situation for all parties involved,” Mahamat added.

In 2015, China promised $60 billion funding to promote China-Africa cooperation to support the continent’s development.

The value of Africa-China trade totaled over $200 billion in 2014. In addition, the continent benefits from over half of China’s total foreign aid.

Dr Arkebe Oqubay, the inter-ministerial co-ordinator in the office of the Ethiopian Prime Minister, said strong Africa-China economic partnership is vital to achieve desired prosperity on the continent.

Meanwhile, Liu Honggwu, the dean of the Institute of Africa Studies at Zhejiang Normal University, stressed the need for African governments to, individually and collectively, develop supportive policy and investment guidelines that will help reduce poverty on the continent and drive inclusive growth.

He said clear tax policies and regulations and other laws, as well as contract transparency, predictable policy environments, and currency and macro-economic stability were essential to attract long-term investors.

In a related development, Africa and China have taken yet another step to strengthen bilateral trade relations, a move that could help drive sustainable economic development on the continent. Both parties have agreed to help promote research and share business experience which according to the experts will help reduce poverty and support development efforts on the African continent.

 

Courtesy: The New Times - newtimes.co.rw

Published in News & Stories
Saturday, 24 June 2017 16:18

Rwanda eyes Chinese tourism market

Rwanda has taken its push to increase tourist arrivals and income from China. The country was one of the 50 countries that took part in the three-day Beijing International Fair for Trade and Services and Beijing International Tourism Expo 2017 in Beijing, China last week.

Speaking at the event, Virgile Rwanyagatare, the counselor at Rwanda’s mission to China, said the exhibition presented an opportunity to market and open up Rwanda’s tourism sector to the Chinese market. Rwanda and Ivory Coast were the only African countries at the fair.

“Visitors to Rwanda’s stall were impressed by our tourist sites and attractions, as well as products such as crafts, coffee and tea,” Rwanyagatare told The New Times on the sidelines of the expo.

The official added that the exhibition was also a platform for Chinese businessmen who want to invest in Rwanda’s tourism industry to get information and network.

“Rwanda’s tourism sector still needs investment in infrastructure such as roads and airports, hotel facilities and other complementary services,” he said.

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Rwanyagatare said many Chinese nationals have expressed willingness to attend this year’s ‘Kwita Izina’ (the gorilla-naming ceremony), which is Rwanda’s flagship tourism activity that takes place every year in September.

He said Rwanda gained valuable tips on how to develop its tourism sector by exchanging ideas with other participating countries.

Bangladeshi firm coming

Meanwhile, Rwanda has been hailed as a “beautiful and peaceful country with hospitable people”.

Dhusor Ahamed, the Managing Director of Bangladesh International Tourism Services, who visited the country in 2014, promised to set up a tour and travel services company in the country.

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 “Rwanda is a business friendly country and is corruption free,” Ahamed added.

 

Courtesy: newtimes.co.rw

 

Published in News & Stories

The Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017, which was published on Wednesday September 28, has ranked Rwanda the most improving nation in Sub-saharan Africa.

The report, published by the World Economic Forum, says Rwanda has risen 6 places to 52- closing in on the region’s traditionally most competitive economies; Mauritius and South Africa, despite the two countries registering more modest improvements, climbing to 45 and 47 respectively.

In 2014-2015 report, Rwanda improved its world ranking to 62nd position in the world, up from 66th last year.  In Africa, Rwanda retained 3rd position and number one in the East African Community. This improvement comes particularly from labor market efficiency and institutions pillars where Rwanda ranked 9th and 18th in the world respectively.

Lower down the ranking, Kenya climbs to 96, Ethiopia holds steady at 109 while Nigeria slips three to 127.

Two countries in Latin America and the Caribbean make it into this year’s top 50. Chile, the outlier in the region on 33, climbs two places although the gap is closing with the second highest ranked economy, Panama (up 8 places to 42). Next comes Mexico which performs strongly with a 6-point climb to 51. Argentina and Colombia, the third and fourth largest economies in the region, ranked 104 and 61 respectively.  According to the rankings, Rwanda is followed by Botswana (64), Namibia (84) and Kenya (96).

The report is an annual assessment of the factors driving productivity and prosperity in 138 countries. The degree to which economies are open to international trade in goods and services is directly linked to both economic growth and a nation’s innovative potential.

The trend, which is based on perception data from the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI)’s Executive Opinion Survey, is gradual and attributed mainly to a rise in non-tariff barriers although three other factors are also taken into account; burdensome customs procedures; rules affecting FDI and foreign ownership.

It is most keenly felt in the high and upper middle income economies.

“Declining openness in the global economy is harming competitiveness and making it harder for leaders to drive sustainable, inclusive growth,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum.

The report also sheds light on why quantitative easing and other monetary policy measures have been insufficient in reigniting long-term growth for the world’s advanced economies.

The report finds that interventions by economies with comparatively low GCI scores failed to generate the same effect as those performed in economies with high scores, suggesting that strong underlying competitiveness is a key requirement for successful monetary stimulus.

The report offers insight into how priorities may be shifting for nations in earlier stages of development. While basic drivers of competitiveness such as infrastructure, health, education and well-functioning markets will always be important, data in the GCI suggests that a nation’s performance in terms of technological readiness, business sophistication and innovation is now as important in driving competitiveness and growth.

The Global Competitiveness Index in 2016 for the eighth consecutive year, Switzerland ranks as the most competitive economy in the world, narrowly ahead of Singapore and the United States.

Following both countries is Netherlands and then Germany. The latter has climbed four places in two years. The next two countries, Sweden (6) and the United Kingdom (7) both advance three places, with the latter’s GCI score being based on pre-Brexit data.

The remaining three economies in the top ten; Japan (8), Hong Kong Special Administrative Republic (SAR) (9) and Finland (10) all move backwards.

While European economies continue to dominate the top ten, there remains no end in sight for the region’s persisting north-south divide. Spain improves by one point climbing to 32, however Italy drops back one place to 44 and Greece reverses 5 places to 86.

France, the Eurozone’s second largest economy, climbs one place to 21. For all economies in Europe, maintaining and improving prosperity levels will depend heavily on their ability to harness innovation and the talents of their workforces.

There is some sign of convergence in the competitiveness of the world’s largest emerging markets. China, on 28, remains top among the BRICS grouping although another surge by India – which climbs 16 places to 39 – means there is now less of a gap between it and its peers. With both Russia and South Africa moving up two places to 43 and 47 respectively only Brazil is declining, falling six places to 81.

Culled from: News of Rwanda - www.newsofrwanda.com

Published in Business and Economy

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stressed that his government will not shield anyone found to have broken the laws of the country.

President Akufo-Addo stated that the application of the laws of the land must occur, in the words of the judicial oath, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will, and, therefore, without recourse to the political, religious or ethnic affiliations of any citizen of the land.

“When you fall foul of the law, you must be dealt with accordingly, and the law enforcement agencies, including the Judiciary, must ensure this is done. To persons perpetrating acts of lawlessness in the name of being members of the ruling party, let me make it clear to you that you will find no shield in my government from the law,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo was speaking at the swearing into office of the new Chief Justice of Republic, Justice Sophia Abena Boafoa Akuffo, on Monday, 19th June, 2017, when he made these known.

Recent disturbances in Savelugu, for example, where, allegedly, a handful of party executives and youth are trying to prevent the Municipal Chief Executive, who has been duly appointed with the requisite approval of the Municipal Assembly, from working, according to the President, are obviously unacceptable.

“I urge the Police to do everything in their power to bring to book all those who fall foul of the law. We cannot have development, which will bring jobs to our youth, without order,” he said.

The President continued, “With the Office of the Special Prosecutor in the offing, to ensure the prosecution of public officials, past and present, who engage in acts of corruption and financial malfeasance, it is my expectation that the Judiciary will help facilitate the work of this body.”

He reiterated the commitment of his government to building a new Ghanaian civilisation, where the rule of law is not a slogan, but an operating principle for the development of our State, where the separation of powers is real and meaningful, where public officials behave with honesty and integrity, where the liberties and rights of our people are fully protected, and where law and order provide a firm basis for our social and economic development, so that the dreams of freedom and prosperity that animated the great patriots, who founded our nation, can find expression in our generation.

“All of us, from the public sector, the security agencies, the private sector, the political parties, the civil society, the religious bodies, and the traditional authorities, have a joint responsibility to work together, with our different views and our different perspectives, for the Ghana project,” he said.

The Ghana Project, he noted, is “a united Ghana, governed according to the rule of law, respect for individual liberties, human rights and the principles of democratic accountability; a Ghana that meets fundamental requirements of social justice and solidarity; and a Ghana where we look past commodities to position our country in the global marketplace.”

The President urged all Ghanaians to help work and “free ourselves from a mindset of dependence, aid, charity and hand-outs, and rather concentrate on mobilising Ghana’s own considerable resources to resolve Ghana’s problems.

It is a collective enterprise to which we should all commit ourselves, in unity and in sincerity. For my part, I have an unshakeable faith in the boundless prospects of Ghana’s future and will work for it, the radiance of the Black Star.”

Published in News & Stories

It is with considerable pleasure that I welcome you formally to Accra, and to the seat the Ghanaian Presidency. I recall fondly my participation in the 2011 London and 2014 Seoul Party Leaders’ meetings of the International Democratic Union. On both occasions, I attended in my capacity as leader of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the then main opposition party in Ghana. Nearly three years down the line, by the generosity of the Ghanaian people and the grace of Almighty God, I am hosting you to lunch in a different capacity, as President of the Republic of Ghana. Akwaaba, as you know by now, is our word of welcome to all of you, old and new friends. I hope you enjoy your stay amongst us, a people who pride themselves on their sense of hospitality.

I applaud the IDU for the decision taken to hold its Executive Meeting and IDU Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Meeting in Ghana. This is the first time such a meeting is being held in the country of a member party south of the Sahara, and, dare I say, it is right that you chose Ghana for this meeting. After all, we were the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence in 1957, which led rapidly to the liberation of our continent from colonial rule, and we are, today, in all humility and modesty, the beacon and symbol of democracy in Africa. We are, indeed, privileged to host such a gathering in our country.

When the members of the United Gold Coast Convention, UGCC of blessed memory, the first nationalist party of Ghana, the party which gave birth to the NPP, gathered in the historic town of Saltpond, some 150 kilometres west of Accra, in 1947, to lay the foundation for a democratic and prosperous Ghana, free of colonial rule, they did so against the backdrop of the emerging Cold War. The promise that freedom would lead to a significant improvement in the quality of life of the African peoples was, however, cruelly subverted by decades of authoritarian rule in post-colonial Africa.

Yet, through it all, democratic forces in Africa, like my party, the NPP, continued to believe that the application of democratic principles and the operation of strong, private sector dominated market economies, with good, honest management of public finances, provided the most effective platform for Africa’s development. Hence, the NPP’s motto: Development in Freedom. These beliefs, in our view, have been vindicated by today’s paradigm.

In West Africa, we have made significant progress in our regional body, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). For the first time in the 42 year history of ECOWAS, all 15 member states have democratically elected leaders. This is an indication that democracy, equality of opportunity and respect for human rights, ideals which have stood the test of time, have now found firm anchor in our collective body politic. Indeed, this evolution inspired the decision by ECOWAS to intervene, earlier this year, in the electoral impasse in the Gambia, which ensured the enforcement of the rule of law and the assumption of the reins of government by the rightfully elected leader.

It is now generally accepted that we, who are gathered here and other like-minded people, have won the ideological battle that raged for much of the twentieth century. But, the war to build a better world, by strengthening freedom and democracy and improving the living standards of the citizenry, is far from over.

It is for this reason that the Ghanaian people, dissatisfied with their living conditions, and unhappy with the direction in which the country and, indeed, the economy was headed, voted decisively for change on 7th December, 2016, by the overwhelming victory they conferred on the NPP and my modest person. That is why I am here, today, as President. They voted for us to fix the economy and put our country on the path of progress and prosperity.

To deliver on the wishes and aspirations of the Ghanaian people, I have put before them the most ambitious programme of social and economic transformation of any government in the history of Ghana’s 4th Republic, if not in our entire history.

This programme is hinged on restructuring the institutions of our governance, modernising our agriculture to enhance its productivity, a clear industrial policy, and rationalising the financial sector so that it supports growth in agriculture, and growth in manufacturing and industry. To this end, my government has, in our first budget in March, introduced measures to stimulate the private sector. A monetary policy that will stabilise the currency and reduce significantly the cost of borrowing, in addition to a raft of tax cuts, has been put in place to bring relief to and encourage businesses. These interventions are already lowering the cost of doing business, and shifting the focus of our economy from taxation to production. We aim also to enhance further the business atmosphere and make Ghana an easier place to conduct business through paperless transactions at our ports, and the removal of all internal customs barriers by the beginning of September. Our flagship programmes, “One District, One Factory”, and “Planting for Food and Jobs”, have been launched. We aim to reach our target – to make Ghana’s economy the most business friendly on the continent of Africa, and, why not, in the world.

This process of economic and industrial transformation is going along with ensuring that the most basic elements of social justice are met – making quality basic education and healthcare accessible to all – to promote a culture of incentives and opportunities.

We have been in office barely five months, but we are taking concrete action to fulfil our manifesto pledges and commitments.

We are determined to build a new Ghanaian civilisation, a Ghana beyond Aid. It is a Ghana where we aim to be masters of our own destiny, where we marshal our own resources for the future, breaking the shackles of the “Guggisberg” colonial economy of a producer of raw materials, and a mind-set of dependency, bailouts and extraction. It is an economy where we look past commodities to position ourselves in the global marketplace at the high end of the value chain. It is a country where we focus on trade, not aid, a hand-up, not a hand-out. It is a country with a strong private sector. It is a country that recognises the connectedness of its people and economy to those of its neighbours. It is a country that is governed according to the rule of law, respect for individual liberties and human rights, and the principles of democratic accountability.

Our global village is being buffeted by some stormy, adverse winds – vicious terrorism; religious extremism; resurgent populism in the Western democracies; potentially devastating climatic and environmental changes; and growing inequality between the North and the South. In my view, never has the necessity to organise, mobilise and articulate clearly our values and message been greater. I have no doubt that, in doing so, we shall prevail here on this continent and around the world, and create harmony, serenity and progress for our common planet and our common humanity, and, thereby, banish global poverty and hunger.

My expectation, at the end of this meeting, is that we share best practices in governance, marketing strategies for winning elections, and refining the tools needed to ensure that we continuously gain and maintain the support of our electorates with each other. Our political parties are at the helm of some of the biggest and most successful economies and emerging markets in the world, and are having a positive impact on this generation. We must ensure that, with the aid of science and technology, the promotion of enterprise, innovation and creativity, and the spread of democratic values, we offer the prospects of a constructing a new era of prosperity in freedom for all the peoples of the world. I am confident that we can work together to achieve this noble goal.

Thank you, welcome to Ghana, and may God bless the IDU and us all.

Remarks By The President Akufo-Addo, At The 2017 Idu Executive Meeting Lunch At The Presidency

Published in Parliament

GHANA: The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says the policy measures introduced by his government over the last five months have begun yielding the desired effects on the growth of the Ghanaian economy.

According to President Akufo-Addo, his government, upon assuming the reins of office on 7th January, 2017, put before the Ghanaian people the most ambitious programme of social and economic transformation of any government in the history of Ghana’s 4th Republic, aimed at putting the country on the path of progress and prosperity.

This programme, the President said, is hinged on restructuring the institutions of our governance, modernising our agriculture to enhance its productivity, a clear industrial policy, and rationalising the financial sector so that it supports growth in agriculture, and growth in manufacturing and industry.

The policy initiatives put in place to bring relief to and encourage businesses, he said, include measures to stimulate the private sector, a monetary policy that will stabilise the currency and reduce significantly the cost of borrowing, in addition to a raft of tax cuts.

“These interventions are already lowering the cost of doing business, and shifting the focus of our economy from taxation to production,” he said.

The President continued, “We aim also to enhance further the business atmosphere and make Ghana an easier place to conduct business through paperless transactions at our ports, and the removal of all internal customs barriers by the beginning of September.”

In addition to these, President Akufo-Addo noted that his government’s flagship programmes, “One District, One Factory”, and “Planting for Food and Jobs”, have been launched, with the aim of making Ghana’s economy the most business friendly on the continent of Africa, and in the world.

President Akufo-Addo added that this process of economic and industrial transformation is going along with ensuring that the most basic elements of social justice are met – making quality basic education and healthcare accessible to all – to promote a culture of incentives and opportunities.

“We are determined to build a new Ghanaian civilisation, a Ghana beyond Aid. It is a Ghana where we aim to be masters of our own destiny, where we marshal our own resources for the future, breaking the shackles of the “Guggisberg” colonial economy of a producer of raw materials, and a mind-set of dependency, bailouts and extraction.

“It is an economy where we look past commodities to position ourselves in the global marketplace at the high end of the value chain. It is a country where we focus on trade, not aid, a hand-up, not a hand-out. It is a country with a strong private sector. It is a country that recognises the connectedness of its people and economy to those of its neighbours. It is a country that is governed according to the rule of law, respect for individual liberties and human rights, and the principles of democratic accountability.”

President Akufo-Addo was speaking on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, at a lunch organised for the Executive Meeting and Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Meeting of the International Democratic Union (IDU), the first time such a meeting is being held in the country of a member party in sub-Saharan Africa.

Fight against terrorism, populism

Touching on the “stormy, adverse winds” buffeting the world such as vicious terrorism, religious extremism, resurgent populism in the Western democracies, potentially devastating climatic and environmental changes, and growing inequality between the North and the South, President Akufo-Addo noted that never has the necessity to organise, mobilise and articulate clearly our values and message been greater.

“I have no doubt that, in doing so, we shall prevail here on this continent and around the world, and create harmony, serenity and progress for our common planet and our common humanity, and, thereby, banish global poverty and hunger,” he added.

It was the expectation of the President that at the end of the IDU meeting, “we share best practices in governance, marketing strategies for winning elections, and refining the tools needed to ensure that we continuously gain and maintain the support of our electorates with each other.”

The political parties making up the membership of the IDU, the President said, are at the helm of some of the biggest and most successful economies and emerging markets in the world, and are having a positive impact on this generation.

“We must ensure that, with the aid of science and technology, the promotion of enterprise, innovation and creativity, and the spread of democratic values, we offer the prospects of a constructing a new era of prosperity in freedom for all the peoples of the world. I am confident that we can work together to achieve this noble goal,” he added.

About the IDU

The International Democrat Union (IDU) is a working association of over 80 Conservative, Christian Democrat and like-minded political parties of the centre and centre right.

Formed in 1983, the IDU provides a forum in which Parties holding similar beliefs can come together and exchange views on matters of policy and organisational interest, so that they can learn from each other, act together, establish contacts and speak with one strong voice to promote democracy and centre-right policies around the globe.

Founder Members of the IDU included Britain’s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, then US Vice-President George Bush Sr, Paris Mayor and later President of France Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and many other Party Leaders.

Published in Headliners

PRESS STATEMENT: Foremost financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank plc, has launched GTPATRIOT, a unique Salary Account Package which offers Nigeria’s servicemen and servicewomen subsidized banking products and dedicated value added services. The GTPatriot Account allows serving members of the Military and Paramilitary institutions to open accounts with zero minimum balance whilst offering reduced Current Account maintenance fees and access to loans at reduced interest rates, amongst other value added services. 

GTBank has been at the forefront of providing innovative account packages designed for the unique needs of various segments of the society. Among these account packages are the GTCrea8 e-Savers account which offers young people, especially undergraduates, benefits beyond banking, such as scholarships and career master classes, and the GTBank Seniors Account which offers senior citizens aged 65 years and above free banking services. With the introduction of the GTPatriot Account, the bank will expand and deepen its relationship with another core segment of the society in line with its goal of enriching the lives of all customers and the communities in which it operates.

Commenting on the launch of the GTPatriot Account, the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc said, “As an institution that deeply believes in service, we are excited to introduce this premium account that recognizes, applauds and appreciates the invaluable service that members of military and paramilitary institutions offer to the nation. The GTPatriot Account Package goes beyond providing best in-class banking products to servicemen and women, it includes a wide range of value added benefits that guarantees a superior banking experience and genuinely enriches their lives.”

He further stated that “We will continue to create innovative and specially targeted products and services in order to ensure long-term value adding relationships with several segments of our customers and the communities in which we operate.”

Guaranty Trust Bank plc has always been at the forefront of industry innovations within the Nigerian financial services sector and plays a leading role in Africa’s banking industry. The GTBank brand is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run financial institutions across its subsidiary countries and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service, quality and innovation.

Published in Business and Economy

Mauricio Pellegrino has been appointed as the new Southampton manager on a three-year deal.

He replaces Claude Puel, who was sacked last week after frustrations behind the scenes and in the stands, despite guiding Saints to eighth in the Premier League and the League Cup final in his first season.

Southampton have acted quickly to name his successor, with former Alaves boss Pellegrino penning a contract at St Mary's less than a month after stepping down as boss of Alaves. 

Pellegrino ensured Alaves had a memorable first season back in La Liga, leading them to a ninth-placed finish -- beating Barcelona, Valencia and Villarreal along the way -- as well as to the Copa del Rey final, where they lost 3-1 to Barca.

"I am really happy to become the new coach of Southampton Football Club," Pellegrino said. "The club has a great reputation for having a strong and stable structure, competing in the Premier League and playing attractive football.

"I think my philosophy and the culture of the club will work well together. We have to be a team on and off the pitch; I want to make the supporters proud of the players and to feel part of the game every week.

"I want to win matches, be successful and develop a team spirit where everyone gives 100 percent and supports each other.

"I am excited and passionate about what the future holds for us and look forward to meeting the players and beginning our preparation for the new season." 

Southampton were looking for a manager who would embark on a long-term project to try and take them into the top six of the Premier League on a regular basis, sources close to the club told ESPN FC earlier this week. 

Saints were keen to avoid a repeat of managerial appointments in recent years when Mauricio Pochettino and Ronald Koeman left following successful spells at the helm.

Sources said Pellegrino's experience of English football from his time working alongside Rafael Benitez as an assistant at Liverpool was also viewed as positive.

"We had an impressive list of candidates and went through a comprehensive interview process," said Saints vice chairman Les Reed. "Mauricio impressed us throughout with his depth of knowledge, motivation and ability, communicating this in a professional and passionate way.

"He has an excellent understanding of the Southampton way, and his style of play and aspiration matches the philosophy, culture and ambition of the club.

"We firmly believe Mauricio is the right person to help us take the next steps. He knows our players and believes we have a great squad that with some fine-tuning will be able to deliver continued success.

Pellegrino becomes Southampton's second Argentine manager, with Mauricio Pochettino previously at the helm.

The 45-year-old, a former international defender, will officially join up with the club next week, in time for the start of preseason training.

Pellegrino played for Barcelona, Valencia and Liverpool, while his coaching career has included stints in charge of Valencia, Estudiantes and Independiente.

Published in News & Stories
Saturday, 24 June 2017 03:46

Supreme Court Sacks Taraba Senator

NIGERIA: The Supreme Court has ordered the Senator representing Taraba North Senatorial District, Sani Abubakar Danladi of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to vacate the seat immediately and refund all salaries and allowances he received within 90 days.

The presiding Justice, Justice Amina Augei in the judgement also declared Mr Shuaibu Lau, as the Senator representing Taraba North.

The order was contained in the judgment of the court on the appeal filed by Shuaibu Lau challenging the decision of the court of appeal that had upturned his victory during the primary that he was wrongfully substituted.

The Apex court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to issue a fresh certificate to of return to Lau.

The apex court in the unanimous decision of a five member panel held that the “the appellant has the right to participate just like any other candidate in the primary and of he feels his right was infringed upon, as he has the right to approach the court.

“And His substitution at the primary election is null and void since the appellant scored the highest number of votes, the only option is to declare the appellant as the winner of primary,” the court stated.

 
 
Published in Politics
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