Kenya | Africatime
Sunday 22 January 2017

Kenya

(AFP (eng) 01/20/17)
Kenya's new electoral commission was sworn in Friday to replace a team forced to quit after violent protests by opponents who accused them of bias, mismanagement and corruption. The seven new commissioners have only seven months to organise presidential and parliamentary elections which already have emotions flying high in the east African country. The new chief of the electoral commission (IEBC), lawyer Wafula Chebukati, promised to deliver a "free, fair and credible election" after taking the oath of office at the Supreme Court. The previous nine-member commission resigned in October under pressure from the opposition which led violent protests in May and June. The IEBC had been mired in controversy since its establishment in 2010,...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/20/17)
When the Kenyan government announced five years ago that coal deposits had been found in the Mui Basin, a land of rolling hills and pristine forests east of Nairobi, local farmers hoped the discovery would help transform their livelihoods. But as villagers prepare to leave their loamy, fertile soils to make way for the multimillion-dollar mine and power station development, many households fear they will miss out on compensation because women do not have titles to their land. Traditionally, Kenyan society is patriarchal and ownership and decisions on land management or disposal are made by men. The villagers' situation reflects the predicament of thousands of women throughout Kenya who head their households but are not named on land ownership documents...
(Xinhuanet 01/20/17)
Kenya's Olympic marathon champion Elud Kipchoge said he will not take part in this year's London Marathon scheduled for April. Kipchoge, who is also the London Marathon defending champion, has instead opted to take part in the Breaking 2 Marathon whose date and venue is yet to be determined. "I normally plan for only one race in a year. I have already embarked on training for the Breaking 2 Marathon, which is an event that aims at having the first...
(Xinhuanet 01/20/17)
Kenya's Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champions Conseslus Kipruto and Ruth Jebet of Bahrain will compete at the Cross Internacional Juan Muguerza in Elgoibar, Spain on Sunday. Kipruto, who has skipped all local cross country meeting, is keen to impress the selection panel as he bids to lead the Kenya team to the World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda in March. "I have done well before in Italy and Spain cross country meeting and this will be another chance for me...
(Voice of America 01/20/17)
By most measures, Africa is safer today than it has been in the modern era: Diseases are less deadly and wars are less frequent. But recent years have also been marked by a rise in radical extremism on the continent, and the terror threat could derail some of the world's fastest-growing economies. Dealing with the spread of radicalization has been a central focus of U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy during his time in office. Few areas have been spared...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
University lecturers in Kenya began a strike over pay Thursday, joining doctors who walked out in early December, crippling the country's healthcare. The strike was called by the Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) to protest government failure to implement a four-year-old agreement to increase wages by at least 50 percent. Union chairman Muga K'Olale said failure to have their demands met had led to a "massive brain drain in public universities". "It is only this strike that will add premium...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
The first patient Cynthia Waliaula lost was a baby who stopped breathing while she carried him in her arms through the hospital, desperately trying to find an oxygen tank. Barely out of medical school, the bright-eyed young doctor quickly learned that many of the techniques she had spent five years studying meant nothing in a world where there was neither equipment nor drugs. Waliaula, 25, is one of thousands of Kenyan public sector doctors currently engaged in the country's longest-ever medical strike which has dragged on for the last month and a half, demanding a tripling of salaries and better working
(Citizen Digital 01/19/17)
The government has announced that it will start importing maize if the awaited long rains fail to come by June and the country’s maize reserves are depleted. According to Agriculture Cabinet Secretary, Willy Bett, his Ministry is tracking availability of maize and global prices in a bid to start sourcing grain imports from countries that have maize that is not organically modified. “The government has constituted a multi-agency team that is conducting comprehensive drought and food security assessment to inform...
(Citizen Digital 01/19/17)
The government has banned importation of poultry products from Uganda following an outbreak of bird flu in the neighboring country. According to Agriculture Cabinet Secretary, Willy Bett, the government has also established a task force to ensure proper surveillance on smuggling routes on Kenyans borders with Uganda, especially at the Busia border. Bett adds that National Treasury, Kenya Revenue Authority and Ministries of Education and Interior have been directed to be on high alert even as no case of the...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/18/17)
Kenyan legislators on Tuesday approved a corporate lawyer to head the electoral board, hoping to restore voters' confidence in the much-maligned body before national elections later this year. The previous electoral board resigned in October after the opposition accused them of corruption, leading to deadly protests. The new candidate to head the electoral board, Wafula Chebukati, unsuccessfully ran for parliament in 2007 on the opposition ticket but has largely stayed out of politics since then, practicing as an independent corporate...
(Xinhuanet 01/18/17)
Kenyan Sports Minister Hassan Wario is set to be prosecuted over the scandal in Rio where money and kit for the Kenyan Olympic team were stolen. According to local reports on Wednesday, Director of Public Prosecution Keriako Tobiko wants Wario and the Principal Secretary in his Ministry, Richard Ekai on the dock to answer charges related to abuse of office. "The persons who should bear the greatest criminal culpability for authorising (or) approving the unlawful payments are the following; Dr...
(Xinhuanet 01/18/17)
The last phase of voter registration that commenced on Monday is an indicator that Kenya has put systems running to ensure the Aug. 8 general election is held on schedule. Kenya's electoral agency will conduct a month-long voter listing exercise as a follow-up to an earlier one carried out in February 2016 to ensure citizens who have attained the legal voting age participate in the August polls. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) disclosed that it intends to register...
(Xinhuanet 01/18/17)
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Monday that the country's counter-terrorism strategy was paying off with reduced number of terror incidents being recorded in 2016. Kenyatta said only 16 people died last year as a result of the terror incidents staged by Somalia Islamist militants, Al-Shabaab, as compared to the 202 who died in 2015. "There has been significant progress in counter-terrorism arising from enhanced capacity. These emanated from terrorism and other forms of organized crime, which required innovative ways...
(Xinhuanet 01/18/17)
Until late 2016, the number of Kenyans facing starvation according to the government were 1.3 million. But the number based on audit by ministry of devolution under which management of drought emergencies that directly relate to distribution of food falls, is to exceed 2 million should there be no urgent implementation of workable solutions. It is the drought; the lack of rain causing depression on farming that farmers had nothing or little to harvest because there was no water to...
(Xinhuanet 01/18/17)
The Chinese government's decision to terminate ivory processing and trade by the end of 2017 marked a critical milestone in the journey toward eliminating poaching and other threats to Africa's elephant species, a conservationist group said on Wednesday. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) hailed China for taking bold measures to revitalize global efforts to save African elephants whose numbers had declined this decade due to poaching and climatic stresses. "The recent announcement by the central government of...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/17)
A Kenyan opposition MP has urged fellow women to impose a sex boycott until their men register to vote in August's general election. Mishi Mboko, who is married, said women should withhold sex until their menfolk present their credentials in the form of a valid voter ID card. "Women, if your husband has not been registered as a voter, you deny him a little and tell him to go get registered and then come back and enjoy the game," she...
(New Vision 01/17/17)
“I can tell you that rats destroy up to 60% of health equipment in Africa,” Ssali said. Ssali sought to highlight the dangers that exist when biomedical engineers are not consulted in the management of health equipment including x-rays and CT scans. For instance, he narrated, cables of a CT scan installed at one unnamed facility were eaten up by rats, costing the institution over $5,000 to replace. Biomedical engineers are professionals who maintain and repair machines for diagnosing medical...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/17)
Top Kenyan athletes on Monday welcomed a new initiative to stop doping, which has tarnished their image, in which they will be monitored by specially appointed doctors. Athletics Kenya announced last week that from January 17, elite athletes will be under the watch of a select team of doctors, who have been appointed by International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and Athletics Kenya. The sports ministry organised a meeting Monday in the western city of Eldoret to explain the new...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/17)
Kenya's election commission began a national drive to register millions of new voters ahead of the August presidential poll, with rival parties encouraging their supporters to sign up on time. Kenyans will go to the polls on August 8 in what is set to be a hard-fought general election decided in large part by the core support of candidates' ethnic constituencies. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) said its 'Mass Voter Registration' exercise would last from Monday until February 14 when registration will end. Already 15.9 million Kenyans have registered, more than the 14.4 million
(Voice of America 01/16/17)
It's a hot day here on the sidewalk outside Nairobi's St. Peter Clavers primary school, but the 20 or so people standing in line behind a small desk don't seem to mind. They are here to register to vote in Kenya's August elections. "It's our right to vote for the next president and our MPs and all of that," said 31-year-old laborer and first time voter Samuel Njoroge. This is the first day of the final mass voter registration drive...

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(Voice of America 01/20/17)
By most measures, Africa is safer today than it has been in the modern era: Diseases are less deadly and wars are less frequent. But recent years have also been marked by a rise in radical extremism on the continent, and the terror threat could derail some of the world's fastest-growing economies. Dealing with the spread of radicalization has been a central focus of U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy during his time in office. Few areas have been spared over the past eight years, with much of the continent living in the shadow of a violent extremist group: al-Shabab in Somalia and East Africa, Islamic State (IS) in Libya, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
University lecturers in Kenya began a strike over pay Thursday, joining doctors who walked out in early December, crippling the country's healthcare. The strike was called by the Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) to protest government failure to implement a four-year-old agreement to increase wages by at least 50 percent. Union chairman Muga K'Olale said failure to have their demands met had led to a "massive brain drain in public universities". "It is only this strike that will add premium to the lives of university workers, without this strike we're done," he said. In a statement declaring the strike late on Wednesday the union called on President Uhuru Kenyatta and his ministers to honour a pay deal proposed in the...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
The first patient Cynthia Waliaula lost was a baby who stopped breathing while she carried him in her arms through the hospital, desperately trying to find an oxygen tank. Barely out of medical school, the bright-eyed young doctor quickly learned that many of the techniques she had spent five years studying meant nothing in a world where there was neither equipment nor drugs. Waliaula, 25, is one of thousands of Kenyan public sector doctors currently engaged in the country's longest-ever medical strike which has dragged on for the last month and a half, demanding a tripling of salaries and better working
(Xinhuanet 01/18/17)
Kenyan Sports Minister Hassan Wario is set to be prosecuted over the scandal in Rio where money and kit for the Kenyan Olympic team were stolen. According to local reports on Wednesday, Director of Public Prosecution Keriako Tobiko wants Wario and the Principal Secretary in his Ministry, Richard Ekai on the dock to answer charges related to abuse of office. "The persons who should bear the greatest criminal culpability for authorising (or) approving the unlawful payments are the following; Dr...
(Xinhuanet 01/18/17)
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Monday that the country's counter-terrorism strategy was paying off with reduced number of terror incidents being recorded in 2016. Kenyatta said only 16 people died last year as a result of the terror incidents staged by Somalia Islamist militants, Al-Shabaab, as compared to the 202 who died in 2015. "There has been significant progress in counter-terrorism arising from enhanced capacity. These emanated from terrorism and other forms of organized crime, which required innovative ways...
(Xinhuanet 01/18/17)
Until late 2016, the number of Kenyans facing starvation according to the government were 1.3 million. But the number based on audit by ministry of devolution under which management of drought emergencies that directly relate to distribution of food falls, is to exceed 2 million should there be no urgent implementation of workable solutions. It is the drought; the lack of rain causing depression on farming that farmers had nothing or little to harvest because there was no water to...
(Xinhuanet 01/18/17)
The Chinese government's decision to terminate ivory processing and trade by the end of 2017 marked a critical milestone in the journey toward eliminating poaching and other threats to Africa's elephant species, a conservationist group said on Wednesday. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) hailed China for taking bold measures to revitalize global efforts to save African elephants whose numbers had declined this decade due to poaching and climatic stresses. "The recent announcement by the central government of...
(New Vision 01/17/17)
“I can tell you that rats destroy up to 60% of health equipment in Africa,” Ssali said. Ssali sought to highlight the dangers that exist when biomedical engineers are not consulted in the management of health equipment including x-rays and CT scans. For instance, he narrated, cables of a CT scan installed at one unnamed facility were eaten up by rats, costing the institution over $5,000 to replace. Biomedical engineers are professionals who maintain and repair machines for diagnosing medical...
(ABC News 01/16/17)
In poor Kenyan communities the rates of sexual assault are staggeringly high — but also hard to quantify. That is because most are never reported. But a group of grandmothers has had enough and they are fighting back — literally. Korogosho is one of the many informal settlements in Nairobi. It is a slum. It is there that a group of grandmothers is using elements from wrestling and karate to protect themselves and each other as part of a program...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/17)
A Kenyan court has handed down a one-month suspended jail term to seven union officials over a doctors' strike which has crippled public hospitals for the last 40 days. However Judge Hellen Wasilwa said that if the doctors did not call off their strike within two weeks, the officials would "be arrested and taken to jail." The walkout by some 5,000 Kenyan doctors has devastated public health services in the East African nation, where few can afford private care which...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/11/17)
Kenyan police have arrested two suspected members of the Somali Islamist group al Shabaab for planning attacks on churches and other sites in Nairobi, police said on Tuesday. Hundreds of Kenyans have been killed in attacks claimed by al Shabaab, including a 2013 assault on a Nairobi shopping mall and a 2015 raid on a university in the northeast. The group says it is waging a war to drive Kenyan troops out of Somalia, where they are fighting the militants...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/17)
Thousands of Kenyan doctors who have been on strike for over a month risk being fired if they do not return to work by Wednesday, government officials said. The walkout by Kenyan doctors and nurses since December 5 has devastated public health services in the east African nation, where few can afford private care. The medics on Friday rejected a 40 percent pay rise offer from the government, demanding the full implementation of a 2013 collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which...
(AFP (eng) 01/06/17)
Kenyan doctors on Friday rejected the government's offer of a 40 percent pay rise in the latest bid to end a month-long strike that has crippled public hospitals across the country. Thousands of doctors in the country downed tools on December 5 to demand a 300 percent pay rise that they say was agreed in a 2013 collective bargaining agreement (CBA), and several rounds of negotiations have failed as the medics dig their heels in. Nurses are also striking, although some returned to work in mid-December after reaching a separate deal with authorities. Union officials on Wednesday met with President Uhuru Kenyatta who offered to raise minimum salaries from 140,244 shillings
(Reuters (Eng) 01/06/17)
When Walid Amed Ali stands beside the only window in his tiny office, he looks out on an almost perfect world on the Kenyan island of Lamu where his family has lived for generations. His view is of a tranquil sea, boats bobbing in the breeze as fishermen back from pre-dawn catches serve waiting customers while women in black buibuis or shawls, men in long white kanzu robes, and donkeys bussle along the seafront. "You see this," Ali said, pointing...
(AFP (eng) 01/05/17)
Eleven people were killed in Kenya Thursday when the driver of an overloaded minibus lost control of the vehicle which rolled over and landed in a ditch, traffic police said. The vehicle, known as a matatu, was travelling from Sirare on the Tanzanian border to the port city of Kisumu when the accident took place. "Officers collected eight bodies at the scene. Unfortunately three others passed on while being rushed to the hospital," said traffic official Andrew Naibei. Local police...
(AL Jazeera 01/05/17)
Kenyan prison inmates learn how to read and write as well as gaining legal skills to represent themselves in court. Nearly half of Kenya's population of 44 million live below the poverty line and 60 percent of the people in the capital Nairobi live in shanty towns. Lack of education and opportunity lead to a high level of crime, contributing to Kenya's prison population of 57,000 inmates, which is more than double the country's official capacity of 27,000 prisoners. "I...
(Bloomberg 01/04/17)
Kenya’s government may spend more than the 21.5 billion shillings ($208.7 million) it budgeted to support rural farmers and households struggling for food this year amid drought in parts of the country. Rainfall the nation usually receives between November and January has been poor, according to James Oduor, chief executive officer of the National Drought Management Authority. The government is prepared to support 1.3 million people to the end of July and may set aside more money should an assessment...
(The Guardian 01/04/17)
With crime rates high and no efficient emergency number available, an app developed by a student aims to make people in Kenya feel safer. Kenyan university student Edwin Inganji was happily pursuing his passion – computer science – until he lost his laptop in an armed robbery. Beaten and bruised, and wondering how he could call for help since his mobile phone had also been stolen, Inganji came up with a new coding idea: what about a type of “panic...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
Italy vowed Wednesday to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests have been rejected, after a riot in a reception centre sparked by the death of a young woman. The country, which has been on the frontline of migrants arriving across the Mediterranean from North Africa, is pushing for an agreement with Niger and a renewed deal with Tunisia to facilitate returns. "We have saved many lives but we cannot accept rule-breaking. We need to speed up deportations," Foreign Minister...
(Dw-World 01/03/17)
There are only a few public hospitals within the informal settlement of Embakasi in Nairobi County so many pregnant women face private health care bills. A mobile phone and a pre-payments plan can help. During a pregnancy, women have to pay between 10,000 and 15,000 Kenyan shillings ($100 to $150, 95 to 142 euros) for medical checkups, the delivery and postnatal care when they attend a private health facility. Many of them have no other choice because public hospitals are...

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(Reuters (Eng) 01/20/17)
When the Kenyan government announced five years ago that coal deposits had been found in the Mui Basin, a land of rolling hills and pristine forests east of Nairobi, local farmers hoped the discovery would help transform their livelihoods. But as villagers prepare to leave their loamy, fertile soils to make way for the multimillion-dollar mine and power station development, many households fear they will miss out on compensation because women do not have titles to their land. Traditionally, Kenyan society is patriarchal and ownership and decisions on land management or disposal are made by men. The villagers' situation reflects the predicament of thousands of women throughout Kenya who head their households but are not...
(Citizen Digital 01/19/17)
The government has banned importation of poultry products from Uganda following an outbreak of bird flu in the neighboring country. According to Agriculture Cabinet Secretary, Willy Bett, the government has also established a task force to ensure proper surveillance on smuggling routes on Kenyans borders with Uganda, especially at the Busia border. Bett adds that National Treasury, Kenya Revenue Authority and Ministries of Education and Interior have been directed to be on high alert even as no case of the virus has been reported in the country. The CS has, however, appealed to Kenyans to be alert and immediately report any case of sickness among the country’s 32 million poultry, with surveillance targeting wild birds on land and in water...
(Agence Ecofin 01/06/17)
Indian firm Aaviskaar Venture Management Services (AVMS) has announced plans to raise between $100 million and $150 million for Africa investments. “We will start the fund-raising around the middle of 2017 and we expect to close it in 2018,” said Vineet Rai, founder of Intellecap-Aavishkaar group. The new African fund will focus on investing on African low-income groups, especially in the agriculture, finance and financial technology sectors. “We will use the sow-tend-reap strategy of multiple round investing and will be...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/05/17)
The Kenyan shilling weakened against the dollar to touch a 15-month low of 103.60/80 against the dollar on Thursday mainly due to a surge in demand by importers. The central bank stepped in to sell dollars after the fall, helping the currency to pare some of the gains, currency traders told Reuters. "The shilling depreciated on the opening, moved to 103.60/80, the central bank came in and currently it's a bit stable at 103.50/70," said a trader at a commercial...
(Standard Digital 01/05/17)
A number of French companies have shown interest to start operations in Kenya. This offers a big boost to the country’s job-creation efforts. The companies which cut across different sectors, are keen to capitalise on Kenya’s position as the regional hub. Although most of the companies did not specify when they would like to enter the Kenyan market, Afrostream- a subscription video on demand which offers access to Afro-American and African movies and TV series, said it would be making...
(Bloomberg 01/04/17)
The Kenyan currency could fall at a much faster pace this year, compared with 2016, as falling foreign-exchange reserves impede the central bank’s ability to intervene in support of the shilling. Kenya’s central bank, which has been selling dollars to boost the shilling, has stayed away from the market this year after frequent intervention throughout 2016 that kept the unit fairly stable, according to Faith Atiti, an economist at Commercial Bank of Africa. Forex reserves in East Africa’s biggest economy declined to $6.97 billion at the end of December, the first time they have fallen below $7 billion since January 2016.
(BBC News Africa 01/03/17)
An electricity grid for the whole village Problem: A total of 1.3 billion people worldwide currently don't have electricity, according to Yale Environment 360. Getting people in rural areas on to the national grid is proving too difficult and traditional solar panels generate meagre amounts of energy. Solution: Steamaco makes solar and battery micro-grids which can work for a whole village. They are small electricity generation and distribution systems that operate independently of larger grids. How it works: Micro-grids are...
(Daily Nation 12/30/16)
Inflation eased to 6.35 per cent in December even as food, fuel and electricity prices continued to increase amid a drop in cooking gas costs. The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) data shows that the cost of living dropped from a nine-month high of 6.68 per cent in November. Homes got a further relief in December from cheaper cooking gas prices that have been falling due to lower global prices of crude from which the fuel is extracted and...
(Voice of America 12/30/16)
2016 was predicted to be a tough year for African economies, and it delivered. Traditional economic leaders faltered this year amid a storm of falling commodity prices, unpredictable and destructive weather like droughts and floods across large swaths of the the continent. Slow economic growth in China, a major investor and trading partner, only added to their challenges. “This year, you’ve seen the two Africas: the commodity exporters going through tough times, while the non-commodity exporters being more resilient,” Nigerian...
(AFP (eng) 12/28/16)
Its lower cost has made it popular in commercial food production, but after being blamed for deforestation in Asia, palm oil plantations are now getting a similar rap in Africa. The sheer scale of land required is having an impact in Gabon, Cameroon and the Congo Basin, environmentalists say. With financing coming from American, European and Asian agri-businesses, palm bunches are cultivated then cut from trees and sent to factories where oil is extracted by hot pressing. But the production...
(The East African 12/27/16)
The Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) is on the spot over decisions made by its board and senior management that have resulted in the loss of more than $10 million of public funds. The agency, which is tasked with providing efficient, reliable and cost-effective means of transporting petroleum products from Mombasa to the hinterland, has been upgrading its pipeline, building new lines, and streamlining its senior management. However, documents seen by The EastAfrican show that there has been corruption, manipulation of costs, theft and wanton wastage of public funds at the company.
(The Herald Online 12/27/16)
The end of 2016 provides an opportunity to take stock of Africa’s recent economic performance and future prospects. It’s been a tumultuous year for some African countries largely due to a commodities crisis and a global economic slowdown.Yet there were still pockets of good growth which displayed the huge potential of the African continent. And 2017 looks to be the year the countries hardest hit by the crisis seek to recover from the economic reversals of the past few years...
(Bloomberg 12/23/16)
Kenya is constructing fishing ports in three towns off its coast to attract investment into the under-exploited industry and encourage the registration of locally flagged vessels. Of the 57 deep-sea fishing licenses issued in East Africa’s biggest economy this year, only one went to a vessel flying the Kenyan flag, according to Kenya’s assistant director of fisheries, Mwaka Said Barabara. While the potential catch from its Indian Ocean waters is about 150,000 metric tons annually, Kenya is landing between 9,000...
(Washington Post 12/23/16)
For Tavneet Suri, an economics professor at MIT who grew up in Kenya, much has changed in her home country over the past decade. What used to be an economy relatively closed off to the rest of the world is now a one where the vast majority of people are paying bills and sharing money with one another through cellphones. “It’s baffling to me,” Suri said in a phone interview. “I’m just like, ‘Oh my God, how did we get...
(AFP (eng) 12/21/16)
Volkswagen on Wednesday inaugurated a new assembly plant in Kenya, returning to the East African country after four decades as it seeks to take advantage of surging car sales on the continent. The German car manufacturer's return to Kenya comes just weeks after it signed a deal to build an assembly plant in Algeria, and ahead of a trip by its brand chief to Rwanda for a new project. "Overall car sales in Africa are bound to rise by 40...
(Daily Nation 12/21/16)
The United States has emerged as the top source market for Kenya after overtaking tourist arrivals from the United Kingdom in the first 10 months of this year. According to data released by the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), 82,363 American visitors toured the country between January and October, surpassing 80,821 tourist arrivals from Britain. During the period under review, tourist arrivals from the US increased to 82,363 up from 70,734 arrivals in the same period last year. On the other...
(APA 12/21/16)
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday inaugurated the Volkswagen production facility at Thika town with a call to Kenyans to buy products that are made, assembled or value-added in the country. The President welcomed the decision by the Volkswagen Group to invest in Kenya, saying it resonated well with his administration’s stated policy to industrialize the economy. “We have adopted this policy because we know that industrialization is the surest way to the destination we seek to achieve, that of...
(Daily Nation 12/21/16)
The Treasury has returned to the money market for a tap sale of this month’s two-year bond, seeking an additional Sh20 billion from the issue even as it refuses to pay investors a higher price. In the initial sale of the Sh30 billion bond the government took up only Sh10.5 billion out of offers worth Sh35.5 billion, indicating an unwillingness to take up expensive debt at a time investors such as banks are lining up to lend to the State...
(Daily Nation 12/21/16)
Sanctions imposed against former Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Nahashon Nyagah over the transfer of property in the Tatu City project will remain in force, the High Court ruled on Tuesday. The court reinstated an order that had blocked the sale and transfer of more than 2,000 acres of rich farmland estimated to cost Sh5.3 billion to third parties. Commercial court Judge Francis Tuiyot ruled it was in the interest of all the parties “to preserve the property” in...
(The Citizen 12/21/16)
Tanzania is among some African countries which may see a drop in development aid as the US is likely to expand fiscal stance and cut spending during Donald Trump's presidency, a new report shows. The move by the world's largest economy will affect dependent countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and DRC according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) latest report released in London yesterday. In its Economic Insight: Africa Q4 2016, the accountancy...

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(Xinhuanet 01/20/17)
Kenya's Olympic marathon champion Elud Kipchoge said he will not take part in this year's London Marathon scheduled for April. Kipchoge, who is also the London Marathon defending champion, has instead opted to take part in the Breaking 2 Marathon whose date and venue is yet to be determined. "I normally plan for only one race in a year. I have already embarked on training for the Breaking 2 Marathon, which is an event that aims at having the first runner to run the full marathon in under two hours," Kipchoge told Xinhua on Thursday night in Nairobi during the occasion to reward the country's top sports personalities of 2016. Kipchoge, 32, retained the Londong...
(Xinhuanet 01/20/17)
Kenya's Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champions Conseslus Kipruto and Ruth Jebet of Bahrain will compete at the Cross Internacional Juan Muguerza in Elgoibar, Spain on Sunday. Kipruto, who has skipped all local cross country meeting, is keen to impress the selection panel as he bids to lead the Kenya team to the World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda in March. "I have done well before in Italy and Spain cross country meeting and this will be another chance for me to get to run against a strong team of Ethiopians and Eritreans to see how I weigh ahead of the Kampala event," he said. The event, which is good for endurance will be also serve as part of the European...
(Xinhuanet 01/18/17)
Kenya's golden era in basketball when the country was considered a regional and continental powerhouse was in the 1970s and 1980s during which both the men's and women's teams reigned supreme. However, due to lack of a solid and focused youth program to feed develop basketball talent and feed the national team with players, the game took a nose-dive. "Many good players begin playing basketball in high school, which is a very later stage compared to powerhouses like Angola and...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/17)
Top Kenyan athletes on Monday welcomed a new initiative to stop doping, which has tarnished their image, in which they will be monitored by specially appointed doctors. Athletics Kenya announced last week that from January 17, elite athletes will be under the watch of a select team of doctors, who have been appointed by International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and Athletics Kenya. The sports ministry organised a meeting Monday in the western city of Eldoret to explain the new...
(AFP (eng) 01/10/17)
Kenya is to put 109 elite athletes under the watch of a team of selected doctors in a bid to stop doping, a practice that has tarnished the image of its famed sportsmen and women. Athletics Kenya chief Jackson Tuwei said that in conjunction with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), five trusted doctors had been selected to work with the country's top athletes. This is an effort to limit bad medical practices by some Kenyan doctors who have...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/17)
Gabon witnessed one of the most sensational finishes to an Africa Cup of Nations tournament when no-hopers Zambia stunned the Ivory Coast to win the 2012 final. Zambia failed to qualify this time, but the Ivorians will be among the favourites again when the competition returns to the central African state with the first fixtures scheduled for Saturday. AFP Sport rates the chances of the 16 challengers for the $4 million (3.8 million euros) first prize (last three competitive results...
(Xinhuanet 12/07/16)
Chicago marathon champion Florence Kiplagat of Kenya has ruled out competing in the World Cross Country Championships next year. Kiplagat, 29, competed the Iten cross country meet last week and hopes to reclaim the title she last won in Amman, Jordan in 2009 World Cross Country. She said she was not keen to compete in Kampala, in March where the biannual competition will be held. "I just wanted to feel my body and see how good I am in training...
(AfricaNews 12/05/16)
Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses failed to use home advantage and revenge in the final of the Women African Cup of Nations (AWCON 2016) losing by a goal to Nigeria’s Super Falcons. The Super Falcons thus successfully defended the title they won in 2014 by defeating Cameroon in Namibia. The hosts entered the final aiming to win their first title and avenge two previous defeats by Nigeria. But a late goal by Oparanozie Desire dashed hopes and sent disappointment through the teeming...
(AFP (eng) 11/25/16)
The deputy chairman of Kenya's Olympic committee was on Friday charged with stealing money and Nike sportswear intended for the team at the Rio Olympic Games. Bernard Ekumbo is the fourth official from the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) to be formally charged over the embarrassing scandals which tarnished Kenya's best-ever performance at a Games. Ekumbo is accused of stealing one million shilling ($10,500) and the team uniforms, whose disappearance meant athletes showed up at the opening ceremony in...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/16)
A Kenyan court on Tuesday dropped charges against the Italian sports agent who managed disgraced marathon star Rita Jeptoo to allow prosecutors to pursue further investigations into doping. However, under Kenyan law Federico Rosa could be rearrested if sufficient, additional evidence comes to light. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last month doubled a doping ban against Jeptoo to four years, signalling the end of a sparkling career which saw the Kenyan win the 2014 Chicago and Boston marathons...
(Independent Online 11/21/16)
Kenya's Sport Ministry officials have been accused of embezzling money earmarked for athletes expenses during the country's participation in the Rio Olympic Games according to reports. The allegations have surfaced from a report by the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games Probe Committee which is investigating Kenya. The report, according to Reuters, claims more than $8.4 million(R121m) which was set aside for air tickets was misappropriated. Part of the misappropriation of funds by the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) was...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/16)
Kenyan cricketers are looking forward to playing their first international game after a four-year hiatus when they host Hong Kong in a World Cricket League qualifier in Nairobi on Friday. Due to security concerns, Kenya was forced to play their first home game of the tournament against the United Arab Emirates in Southampton, England in June 2015. Kenya has not played at home since a series of bomb attacks hit the capital in 2012. Coach Thomas Odoyo says playing at...
(AFP (eng) 11/14/16)
Kenya’s Luka Rotich Lobuwan won the 34th Athens classic marathon on Sunday in two hours, 12 minutes and 49 seconds for the grueling 42-kilometre (26 mile) course. The 28-year-old Lobuwan was followed across the line by eight of his countrymen with second place going to Benson Kipruto, who clocked 2:13.24 and Bernard Kitur in third at 2:13.32. The woman’s race was won by 30-year-old Kenyan Nancy Jebichi Arusei in a time of 2:38.13 and was 18th overall. Some 50,000 runners...
(AFP (eng) 11/10/16)
Kenya's two-time world and Olympic 800 metres champion David Rudisha has been appointed to chair the African Athletics Confederation (AAC) Athletes' Commission, replacing former Namibian sprinter Frank Fredericks. Rudisha's appointment was made by AAC president Ahmad Kalkaba Maboum who also appointed four other new members to the body. They include former Nigerian sprint queen Mary Onyali, who will serves as Rudisha's deputy, Hakim Toumi of Algeria and Ivorian Amandine Affoue Allou. "The president of the African Athletics Confederation has chosen...
(AFP (eng) 11/10/16)
All CAF competitions will offer increased prize money from 2017, the Cairo-based African football body said Wednesday. The announcement came months after French oil-gas company Total signed an eight-year sponsorship deal with CAF reportedly worth more than one billion dollars (915 million euros). Winners of the biennial Africa Cup of Nations will receive $4 million, up from the $1.5 million pocketed by 2015 champions the Ivory Coast. CAF Champions League title-holders are going to collect $2.5 million -- $1 million...
(The Associated Press 11/07/16)
Quite a run at the New York City Marathon for Mary Keitany. Pretty swift debut for Ghirmay Ghebreslassie, too. Keitany won the race for the third straight time Sunday, pulling away with more than 10 miles to go and breezing home to the finish line in Central Park. “Alone in the streets,” the 34-year-old Kenyan said. Except for the cheering fans, of course, who packed the course to root on the record-setting 52,049 runners from 120 nations as they wound...
(The New York Times 11/07/16)
Mary Keitany, a 34-year-old mother of two, went out for a run on Sunday morning. She started at the foot of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge on Staten Island and worked her way through the city. About 10 miles into her run, in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Keitany picked up the pace, the first signal to those running with her that she was not in the mood for a group run. She soon surged again, effectively saying, “Goodbye, everyone; I’ll see you at...
(AFP (eng) 11/03/16)
African champions Mamelodi Sundowns won for the first time in the South African Premiership this season Wednesday and climbed off the bottom of the table. The Pretoria club triumphed 2-0 at Polokwane City thanks to goals from Percy Tau and Zimbabwean Khama Billiat, two stars of the 2016 CAF Champions League triumph. Sundowns became African champions for the first time 11 days ago by defeating Zamalek of Egypt 3-1 on aggregate in the final. But a domestic fixture backlog meant...
(Citizen Digital 11/02/16)
Tusker FC captain James Situma insists they do need assistance from AFC Leopards on Sunday to be crowned the 2016 Kenyan Premier League champions. The Brewers have a four-point advantage at the top of the standings on 55 points and play 24 hours after titleholders and closest challengers Gor Mahia welcome KPL Top 8 winners Muhoroni Youth. “We are not expecting any favours from Leopards. We are preparing for the game which we are treating like final. We know they...
(Citizen Digital 10/31/16)
Gor Mahia FC's players Eric Ouma left and Jacques Tuyisenge celebrate Gor Mahia FC’s second goal against Mathare United FC during their Kenyan Premier League match at the Safaricom Stadium on October 30, 2016. Gor Mahia FC won 2-1. After humiliating their archrivals AFC Leopards 2-0 in the latest Mashemeji Derby, the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions are counting on the old enemy to do them a huge one and derail Tusker FC from dethroning them this weekend. With two...

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(APA 12/30/16)
The release of the Kenya certificate of Secondary Education exam results (KCSE), grabbed the attention of major dailies on Friday. “Matiangi’s shocker,” screamed the headline of the Standard newspaper which reported that the Kenyan certificate of Secondary Education exam results released on Thursday registred a drastic reduction in high grades. In 2016 KCSE, there were only 141 straight As as compared to 2,636 As in 2015 and 3,075 As in 2014,” reported the daily. “Alliance Girls top,” reported the Daily Nation which pointed out that Alliance Girls made a dramatic comeback to the top of the charts as it registered 25 straight As in this year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education. The school’s top candidates...
(APA 12/16/16)
Chaos that has marred Jubilee strongholds in ongoing elections for interim party officials and President terming opposition coalition as a tribal outfit grabbed the attention of major Kenyan dailies on Friday. “Chaos witnessed at Jubilee,” reported the Star newspaper which pointed out that for the second day running, meetings to select Jubilee Party interim officials were marred by chaos. “In Mt Kenya region, chaotic scenes were witnessed in Tharaka Nithi, Laikipia and Embu counties as aspirants and incumbents met to choose officials to oversee party affairs albeit on a temporary basis,” reported the daily. “Chaos hits Jubilee as County leaders picked, “screamed the headline of the Daily Nation which reported that a woman was seriously injured in a scuffle during...
(AL Jazeera 12/13/16)
Biennial event is promoted by conservationists to curb lion hunting and spot talent among southern Kenya's Maasai tribe. Lion hunting is an age-old tradition for Maasai tribes in southern Kenya, which used the sport as a rite of passage from adolescence to manhood for young male tribe members. With the encouragement of conservationists, amid a drop in the lion population, Maasai warriors are finding other ways to maintain their cultural identity and prove their leadership. The third edition of the...
(APA 12/06/16)
The ongoing countrywide doctors strike and ruling and opposition parties move to block IEBC nominees, grabbed the attention of major Kenyan dailies on Tuesday. “Uhuru, Raila allies seek to block IEBC nominees,” reported the Star newspaper which pointed out that Jubilee and Cord have filed petitions to disqualify some applicants for membership of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. “Details of four petitions emerged yesterday, even as complaints were made about political interference with the selection panel and process. National...
(Xinhuanet 12/02/16)
The Chang Rong Light Centre, a primary school funded by Chinese situated deep inside Nairobi's Mathare slums is only a few kilometers from the city's central business district. In the slum, one will come across kiosks run by Chinese citizens who easily mingle with the residents and children who have mastered the basics of the Mandarin language. It is also not uncommon to hear them drop a few lines in the language. "Ni hao!" John Kinyua blurted in greetings while...
(APA 11/30/16)
IEBC new elections timelines, expected results of Kenya’s most guarded national exams and President Uhuru Kenyatta labeling opposition leader as bad for economy, grabbed the attention of major dailies on Wednesday. “IEBC sets new election timelines,” reported the Star newspaper which pointed out that the IEBC has unveiled a new roadmap for the already bitterly contested 2017 polls, outlining key timelines critical to leading coalitions as the general election draws near. “In the new plan, IEBC will advertise for, recruit...
(APA 11/17/16)
Failure by investigating agencies to tame spiraling graft, IEBC and waning over Jubilee Campaign team, grabbed the attention of major Kenyan dailies on Thursday. “Scandals see no evil hear no evil,” screamed the headline of the Daily Nation which reported that parliament has decried the failure by key investigative agencies to get to the bottom of the scandals at the National Youth Service. “The Public Accounts Committee, the key watchdog team of the House, strongly criticised the Ethics and Anti-Corruption...
(APA 11/09/16)
Government ministries and departments mired in corruption, US polls and Deputy President William Ruto denial in court documents that he is a land grabbed and a killer, grabbed the attention of major dailies on Tuesday. “Graft: List of Shame,” screamed the headline of the Daily Nation which reported that the ministries of Transport and Infrastructure and Interior and Coordination of National Government and the Office of the Deputy President top the list of departments that have been investigated for corruption...
(The Guardian 11/02/16)
Contest in Nairobi aimed at fighting back against persecution in east Africa, where albino body parts are sold on black market, the Daily Maverick reports. With its evening gowns, celebrity judges and tears of joy, this beauty pageant in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, was like many others – except for one thing: all 20 contestants had albinism. Titled Beauty Beyond Skin, the world’s first albino pageant was designed to celebrate people who lack pigment in their skin, hair and eyes, and...
(APA 10/26/16)
Teachers new pay deal and bid by Deputy President William Ruto bid to reveal wealth in legal suit, grabbed the attention of major Kenyan dailies on Wednesday. “Revealed: Details of teachers’ new pay deal,” reported the Standard newspaper which pointed out that teachers are set for a major salary rise that will see the lowest paid primary school teacher take home Sh27,195, up from Sh21,756. “The lowest paid secondary school teachers will also have their salary increased to Sh34, 955,...
(AFP (eng) 10/22/16)
In many parts of Africa albinos are stigmatised or hunted for their body parts, but for one night in Kenya those with the condition took to the catwalk to show off their unique beauty. Billed by organisers as the first pageant of its kind, young albino men and women on Friday competed for the title of Miss and Mr Albinism Kenya. "People with albinism are not seen as beautiful and handsome so it is very rare to find those two...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/16)
Demand for homegrown contemporary music is sweeping Africa and driving a creative boom in an industry otherwise battered by falling CD sales and rampant piracy. A recent study of the entertainment sector by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) accountants showed rapid earnings growth in many African countries, fuelled largely by live performances by local artists. "Consumers are increasingly wanting local content," Vicki Myburgh, a PwC director who conducted the study released last month, told AFP. "The Nigerian music market... will (soon) grow at...
(APA 10/12/16)
The construction of a controversial multi-billion water project in Murang’a and demands by governors for direct tickets for the 2017 elections, grabbed the attention of major Kenyan dailies on Wednesday. “Raila to Murang’a leaders: Face the truth on water project,” Raila has fired back, accusing the Murang’a governor Mwangi wa Iria of avoiding the substantive issues and instead concentrating on personal attacks on him. "Governor Iria should stop being a coward and stand up for the survival of his people...
(APA 10/11/16)
Opposition leader Raila Odinga allegations of the construction of a multibillion water project by the government that will eventually turn five counties in deserts, grabbed the headlines of major dailies on Tuesday. “Raila fights project he launched,” reported the Star newspaper which pointed out that Opposition chief Raila Odinga appeared to shoot himself in the foot on Monday when he savagely opposed a Sh6.8 billion "secret Jubilee Government" water project — which he launched as Prime Minister in 2012. “Raila...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/16)
Raised on the backstabbing intrigue of 1980s American soaps "Dallas" and "Dynasty", and later, the heady drama of South American telenovelas, Africans are enjoying a surge in local TV content they can finally identify with. It took a while, but in the past decade local programming has soared in sub-Saharan Africa's key economies, a rise driven by both foreign satellite networks and television stations on the continent. This growth has delivered up local shows such as Kenya's comedic "Real Househelps...
(APA 10/06/16)
The resignation of IEBC bosses and crisis in the opposition ranks over 2017 elections, grabbed the headlines of major Kenya dailies on Thursday. “IEBC bosses resign as 4 picked to hire new team,” reported the Daily Nation which pointed out that the nine electoral commissioners and their chairman, formally resigned on Wednesday, paving the way for a new team to be picked to oversee the 2017 General Election. “Immediately after their exit was made public, both the ruling Jubilee coalition...
(APA 09/29/16)
A report exposing tribalism in 32 counties, fears over missed deadlines in preparations for 2017 polls and teachers salary demands, grabbed the headlines of major Kenyan dailies on Thursday. “Exposed: 32 most tribalistic counties in Kenya,” screamed the headline of the Standard newspaper which reported that a State agency has exposed counties whose key employment criteria since 2013 appears to be that you must be ethnically-correct, meaning you must have been born there, to get an employment letter. “The report...
(AL Jazeera 09/26/16)
Using video cameras, citizen journalists capture the realities of life and poverty up close in this part of Kenya. Around Lodwar, a town in the arid Turkana region of northwestern Kenya, Carol Akai and Bedan Lomor are recognised by the video cameras they carry. They are on a mission to put their birthplace on the map and their cameras are the tools with which they hope to make that happen. The vast, barren area has recently become better known after...
(AFP (eng) 09/23/16)
A century after the project was conceived in the throes of racial segregation, and a few months before the first black US president leaves office, the African American Museum in Washington opens Saturday. Here are key facts about the first national museum devoted entirely to showcasing African Americans' life, history and culture. - 1915: A project 101 years old The effort to open, in the US capital, a museum dedicated to the history of the black community "began more than...
(Dw-World 09/22/16)
Hundreds of journalists took to the streets of Mombasa to protests persistent attacks against journalists and free expression. This is the second such protest in Kenya this month. In Kenya, the freedom of the press is guaranteed by the country's constitution which was signed in 2010. But in response to what they called continuous harassment, threats and assaults directed towards the media, hundreds of journalists in Mombasa downed their tools and demanded that their rights to perform their jobs be...

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(Voice of America 01/20/17)
By most measures, Africa is safer today than it has been in the modern era: Diseases are less deadly and wars are less frequent. But recent years have also been marked by a rise in radical extremism on the continent, and the terror threat could derail some of the world's fastest-growing economies. Dealing with the spread of radicalization has been a central focus of U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy during his time in office. Few areas have been spared over the past eight years, with much of the continent living in the shadow of a violent extremist group: al-Shabab in Somalia and East Africa, Islamic State (IS) in Libya, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb...
(Voice of America 01/16/17)
It's a hot day here on the sidewalk outside Nairobi's St. Peter Clavers primary school, but the 20 or so people standing in line behind a small desk don't seem to mind. They are here to register to vote in Kenya's August elections. "It's our right to vote for the next president and our MPs and all of that," said 31-year-old laborer and first time voter Samuel Njoroge. This is the first day of the final mass voter registration drive being conducted by Kenya's Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. The other took place around this same time last year. The current drive will end in one month's time. And so far, IEBC communication manager Andrew Limo says things seem to...
(ABC News 01/16/17)
In poor Kenyan communities the rates of sexual assault are staggeringly high — but also hard to quantify. That is because most are never reported. But a group of grandmothers has had enough and they are fighting back — literally. Korogosho is one of the many informal settlements in Nairobi. It is a slum. It is there that a group of grandmothers is using elements from wrestling and karate to protect themselves and each other as part of a program...
(RFI 01/14/17)
The 27th Africa-France Summit kicked off on Friday in the Malian capital Bamako with more than 30 African heads of state meeting French officials to discuss the threat of jihadists in the Sahel region and improve democracy in Africa. the meeting is also an opportunity for French president François Hollande to showcase his legacy. The choice to hold the 27th Africa-France summit in Mali is not insignificant. Bamako is where president François Hollande first revealed himself as an international statesman,...
(Bloomberg 01/11/17)
Kenyan opposition leaders gathered in the capital on Wednesday to discuss the formation of an alliance to run against President Uhuru Kenyatta in this year’s elections and a contentious new electoral law. More than 4,000 leaders of parties including the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy, led by ex-Premier Raila Odinga, are meeting at the Bomas conference center in Nairobi, where an announcement on the two issues is expected this afternoon, CORD spokesman Dennis Onyango said by phone. “The leaders will...
(Huffingtonpost 01/10/17)
And it’s ironic given the growing consensus that Beijing is the U.S. president-elect’s enemy number one. Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden are the duo behind the China Africa Project and hosts of the popular China in Africa Podcast. We’re here to answer your most pressing, puzzling, even politically incorrect questions, about all things related to the Chinese in Africa and Africans in China. The election of Donald Trump has introduced a new era of uncertainty in global politics, especially...
(Bloomberg 01/06/17)
Kenya’s Senate passed contentious amendments to the nation’s election laws that the opposition says could aid the ruling party rig a ballot to be held in August. The amendments to the electoral law provide for a manual mechanism for voter registration and transmission of the results as a back-up should electronic methods fail. The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy, Kenya’s main political opposition group, says the changes may open the electoral system to abuse by enabling the registration of dead...
(Voice of America 01/05/17)
Kenya's Electoral Commission says political wrangles and tension related to biometric voter technology may delay preparations for the country's upcoming elections. The opposition is threatening protests over a proposed amendment to Kenya's electoral law. Kenya's Senate legal committee is reviewing public comments about a controversial amendment to the electoral law the lower House passed late last month. The bill would allow manual voting and also allow the commission to manually submit election results in case biometric voter technology fails during the August election. Electoral commissioners said they requested the amendment because they do not want to lock out some voters
(AL Jazeera 01/05/17)
Kenyan prison inmates learn how to read and write as well as gaining legal skills to represent themselves in court. Nearly half of Kenya's population of 44 million live below the poverty line and 60 percent of the people in the capital Nairobi live in shanty towns. Lack of education and opportunity lead to a high level of crime, contributing to Kenya's prison population of 57,000 inmates, which is more than double the country's official capacity of 27,000 prisoners. "I...
(Bloomberg 01/04/17)
The Kenyan currency could fall at a much faster pace this year, compared with 2016, as falling foreign-exchange reserves impede the central bank’s ability to intervene in support of the shilling. Kenya’s central bank, which has been selling dollars to boost the shilling, has stayed away from the market this year after frequent intervention throughout 2016 that kept the unit fairly stable, according to Faith Atiti, an economist at Commercial Bank of Africa. Forex reserves in East Africa’s biggest economy declined to $6.97 billion at the end of December, the first time they have fallen below $7 billion since January 2016.
(Bloomberg 01/04/17)
Kenya’s government may spend more than the 21.5 billion shillings ($208.7 million) it budgeted to support rural farmers and households struggling for food this year amid drought in parts of the country. Rainfall the nation usually receives between November and January has been poor, according to James Oduor, chief executive officer of the National Drought Management Authority. The government is prepared to support 1.3 million people to the end of July and may set aside more money should an assessment...
(The Guardian 01/04/17)
With crime rates high and no efficient emergency number available, an app developed by a student aims to make people in Kenya feel safer. Kenyan university student Edwin Inganji was happily pursuing his passion – computer science – until he lost his laptop in an armed robbery. Beaten and bruised, and wondering how he could call for help since his mobile phone had also been stolen, Inganji came up with a new coding idea: what about a type of “panic...
(Dw-World 01/03/17)
There are only a few public hospitals within the informal settlement of Embakasi in Nairobi County so many pregnant women face private health care bills. A mobile phone and a pre-payments plan can help. During a pregnancy, women have to pay between 10,000 and 15,000 Kenyan shillings ($100 to $150, 95 to 142 euros) for medical checkups, the delivery and postnatal care when they attend a private health facility. Many of them have no other choice because public hospitals are...
(BBC News Africa 01/03/17)
An electricity grid for the whole village Problem: A total of 1.3 billion people worldwide currently don't have electricity, according to Yale Environment 360. Getting people in rural areas on to the national grid is proving too difficult and traditional solar panels generate meagre amounts of energy. Solution: Steamaco makes solar and battery micro-grids which can work for a whole village. They are small electricity generation and distribution systems that operate independently of larger grids. How it works: Micro-grids are...
(Voice of America 12/30/16)
In Kenya, a controversial amendment to the electoral law is now before the Senate. The bill would give the electoral commission a workaround if biometric voting equipment fails, but the opposition has rejected the change for fear of voter fraud. But as political temperatures rise ahead of next year’s polls, Senate members are advising caution and careful consideration. The Senate did not vote on the amendment to the electoral law Wednesday. Instead, Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro sent the bill to...
(Voice of America 12/30/16)
2016 was predicted to be a tough year for African economies, and it delivered. Traditional economic leaders faltered this year amid a storm of falling commodity prices, unpredictable and destructive weather like droughts and floods across large swaths of the the continent. Slow economic growth in China, a major investor and trading partner, only added to their challenges. “This year, you’ve seen the two Africas: the commodity exporters going through tough times, while the non-commodity exporters being more resilient,” Nigerian...
(Bloomberg 12/29/16)
Kenyan police tightened security in the capital, Nairobi, as senators debated contentious amendments to the nation’s electoral laws ahead of a presidential vote next year. The Senate is discussing changes approved by the National Assembly last week that allow for alternatives to biometric voter identification and the manual transmission of poll results. The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy, Kenya’s main political opposition group, says the amendments may enable the ruling party to rig the ballot. CORD, led by former Prime...
(AL Jazeera 12/27/16)
The infiltration of illegal firearms has led to a rise in violent cattle raids. Pastoralists are now arming themselves. On a morning in mid-November, 16-year-old Richard left his father's cluster of huts with a loaded AK-47. He drove a dozen cattle from their village of Sinoni, in the hilly region of Mochongoi, along a footpath snaking west through shrubs. He was headed for grazing fields by a river which divides his Tugen and the Pokot tribe. Richard, like most herders...
(Bloomberg 12/23/16)
Kenya is constructing fishing ports in three towns off its coast to attract investment into the under-exploited industry and encourage the registration of locally flagged vessels. Of the 57 deep-sea fishing licenses issued in East Africa’s biggest economy this year, only one went to a vessel flying the Kenyan flag, according to Kenya’s assistant director of fisheries, Mwaka Said Barabara. While the potential catch from its Indian Ocean waters is about 150,000 metric tons annually, Kenya is landing between 9,000...
(Washington Post 12/23/16)
For Tavneet Suri, an economics professor at MIT who grew up in Kenya, much has changed in her home country over the past decade. What used to be an economy relatively closed off to the rest of the world is now a one where the vast majority of people are paying bills and sharing money with one another through cellphones. “It’s baffling to me,” Suri said in a phone interview. “I’m just like, ‘Oh my God, how did we get...

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