Panafrican News Agency

Rwandan media highlight COVID-19 response and economic recovery plan

Kigali, Rwanda (PANA) - Rwandan newspapers this week gave wide coverage to the country's response to COVID-19 and the new priorities aligned with the economic recovery plan as a result of the pandemic. 

The English daily 'The New Times' wrote that the COVID-19 pandemic now raises fresh economic challenges with the biggest questions being which sectors are under consideration to accelerate recovery.

Earlier this month, the World Bank Group Board of Executive Directors discussed the Rwanda Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for the period 2021-26, focusing mainly on supporting the recovery from the COVID-19 impacts.

According to the newspaper, the Country Partnership framework also includes cross-cutting themes that are of central importance in Rwanda and are corporate priorities for the Bank. These include governance and institutions, gender and development, supporting people with disabilities as well as supporting Rwanda to recover from the negative public health and socio-economic impacts of the pandemic.

The Bank Group’s portfolio in Rwanda currently includes 18 national projects and 4 regional operations with a net commitment of about $1.9 billion, the newspaper said.

In another article, the semi-private 'KT Press' wrote that local Rwandan artists and players in the creative industry are upbeat following the launch the Cultural and Creative Industry (CCI) recovery plan which will see then benefit from a Rwf300 million (about $314,000) fund to help them overcome the impact of the new coronavirus outbreak.

Under the headline, "Artists, Creatives Buoyed By Rwf300m Recovery Plan", the newspaper wrote that the cultural and creative industry recovery plan will focus on supporting seven CCI federations namely, Rwanda Music Federation, Rwanda Film Federation, Rwanda Plastic Arts Federation, Rwanda Writers Federation, Rwanda Beauty and Fashion Federation, Rwanda Traditional Dance Federation and Rwanda Performing Arts Federation.

Rwandan Minister of Youth and Culture, Rosemary Mbabazi, said the arts and creative sector were hard hit by COVID-19 as it was among the first to be affected when concerts and different activities were suspended.

"The government has come up with different initiatives, with different partners to ensure that the sector is supported to overcome the impact of COVID-19," she was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

'KT Press' added that in line with  the first phase of National Strategy of Transformation (NST) by 2024, the Government of Rwanda intends to create 1.5 million decent and productive jobs for economic development from various interventions and sub-sectors including creative arts as one of the growing and promising industries.

For its part, the private newspaper 'Taarifa' reported that as far as the COVID-19 outbreak is concerned, mining workers were disregarding anti-COVID-19 measures.

'Taarifa' wrote that there is a four-page document on anti-COVID-19 measures required to be observed by those in the mining sector signed by Francis Gatare, Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board.

The Board said it was making a follow-up in connection with other institutions to ensure that anti-COVID-19 measures are observed by all mining sites in the country.

In another article focusing on Rwanda's response to COVID-19, 'The New Times' wrote that Community Health Workers (CHWs) will soon be engaged in the coronavirus treatment process.

According to the Director-General of Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC), Dr Sabin Nsanzimana, the involvement of CHWs in this fight will significantly bolster the fight against the virus in communities, largely due to the decentralized nature of their reach.

So far Rwanda's Community Health Workers have reduced malaria deaths by 60%, according to official statistics 

'The New Times' wrote that among the roles that will be assigned to CHWs are educating citizens on preventive measures, distribution of protective equipment and following up on recovering patients after they are discharged from treatment centres.

-0- PANA TWA/MA 25July2020