Tag Archives: Rwanda

Belgium Africa Museum opening

After five years of €66 million large-scale renovation Belgium Royal Museum of Central Africa opens its door on December 9th, under a new name, and with a new concept: it closes the chapter of the Colonial Palace of the epoch of King Leopold II, and moves on to Africa’s present and future.

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“…Our new permanent exhibition aims to depict the image of modern Africa, looking into the future, without overlooking the shared common past” said Guido Gryseels, the Museum Director, whose ambition is to provide a platform for debate, the meeting space, the exhibition place, the scientific laboratory, and the documentation center. (Image below: Guido Gryseels interviewed).

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We hope to become a real meeting place and centre for dialogue for people who have keen interest in Africa”, Mr. Gryseels added.

At present the Museum works together with diasporas, and builds partnerships with African museums in Rwanda, the Musée des Civilisations noires in Senegal, the national Museum of Congo, and the National Museum of Lubumbashi. There are expectations to have exchanges with a new museum in Kinshasa,  which will open the its doors in the end of 2019. (Image below: the Rotunda, African Museum, Belgium).

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The Museum has experienced a dramatic cultural evolution from Colonial past to a modern vibrant multicultural universe, introducing voices and opinions of Africans in various forms along the exhibitions, telling their own narratives. Furthermore, the new type of engagement is foreseen for recruitment of staff from African origin to ensure the diversity of employees.

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However the Director underlines, that the current state of the establishment under his leadership is “work in process“, a new beginning, a rebirth of a fascinating space, an ‘African island‘ in the middle of Belgium: 120 000 ethnographic artifacts, 10 000 animals, 8 000 music instruments, three kilometers of archive, 205 hectare site, with only one percent of treasures at display!

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African Museum, Tervuren, Belgium

http://www.africamuseum.be

 

Rwanda murderer of Belgium peacekeepers asks for asylum

Former Rwandan Major Bernard Ntuyahaga, sentenced in 2007 by the Brussels Court to twenty years in prison for his participation in the killings of the ten Belgian peacekeepers on April 7, 1994 in Kigali, has served his sentence. After his release from prison, he seeks asylum in Belgium, said the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, Theo Francken.

The former officer of the former Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR) is in a closed center “for a return,” said Theo Francken (N-VA) on Twitter. The release of Bernard Ntuyahaga had been revealed earlier in the week. But the Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons (CGRA), which has to decide on a possible asylum application, refused to communicate on the subject on grounds of privacy.

Theo Francken confirmed that Mr. Ntuyahaga had made an asylum claim, adding that he was in a closed center “for a return“, but without specifying whether it is Rwanda. The Secretary of State reacted to a tweet from Vlaams Belang (opposition) who claimed to be the first to reveal this situation and asked Mr Francken and the Minister of Justice, Koen Geens (CD & V), to show responsibility. “This murderer in no way deserves a second chance,” added the far-right party.

“Let him go to Rwanda. We’ll see what will happen,” said Beatrice Bassinne, the widow of Corporal Bassinne, who was assassinated in Rwanda in 1994. she is against granting Bernard Ntuyahaga a political asylum in Belgium. Her husband was hacked to death with machete along with the other victims of genocide.

Africa’ $3 trillion free-trade zone

African leaders agreed to form a $3 trillion continental free-trade zone encompassing 1.2 billion people, but its two biggest economies, Nigeria and South Africa, declined to join.

The African Union launched talks in 2015 to establish a 55-nation bloc that would be the biggest in the world by number of participating states, aiming to increase intra-regional trade, which constitutes 15% of Africa’s total commerce.

Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda, host of an AU summit called to conclude the initial negotiations, declared a success after 44 African nations signed up to establish the free trade bloc within 18 months. It were no explanations of South Africa and Nigeria decision to restrain from joining the project. However South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa said he is reflecting upon creating of pan-African currency.

The project needed a minimum of 22 countries signing up to get off the ground and Kagame said the aim number of members is reached. Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia, Burundi, Eritrea, Benin, Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau declared as participants of the free-trade zone.

“What is at stake is the dignity and well-being of Africa’s farmers, workers and entrepreneurs,” Kagame declared.

 

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