| Africatime
Sunday 30 April 2017
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
Africa's Matabele ants, fierce predators of termites, rescue their wounded soldiers and bring them back to the nest where they are "treated," a new study showed Wednesday. This helping behavior for the injured is the first to be detected in the insect world, according to an article in the US journal Science Advances by a German research team at the University of Wuerzburg's Biocentre. The ants, formally known as Megaponera analis, are widespread south of the Sahara on the continent. Two to four times a day, they set out in long files on raids to kill worker termites at their foraging sites. But the attacks meet strong resistance from soldier termites guarding the worker termites, which have powerful jaws that...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/12/17)
Kenya needs to build two million affordable city homes to meet its housing deficit and stem the growth of its sprawling slums, already home to six out of 10 urban households, the World Bank said on Wednesday. Investment in housing would also create jobs, improve economic growth and strengthen the east African country's financial sector, it said. "Many Kenyans are unnecessarily living in slum dwellings, because of limited supply and lack of affordability," the World Bank said in a report. "The problem will only become more acute over the next decades without a serious focus on housing and the finance of housing for the average Kenyan." Africa has the fastest growing cities in the world, with 40 percent of its...
(Xinhuanet 04/11/17)
Kenya plans to use its mobile government bond, M-Akiba to boost the savings rate among its citizens, a senior government official said on Tuesday. Cabinet Secretary in the National Treasury Henry Rotich told a media briefing in Nairobi that the country's saving rate currently stands at 12 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) compared to 25 percent in the developed world. "The M-Akiba, which is an exclusively mobile phone traded bond, is undoubtedly one of the most powerful savings vehicles for Kenyans given that it provides an annual rate of return of ten percent tax free of the amount invested," Rotich said. "The low entry point of 30 U.S. dollars as compared to the current minimum of 500 dollars...
(Xinhuanet 04/11/17)
Kenyan soldiers on Monday killed 15 Al-Shabaab terrorists and injured several others in an attack in southern Somalia near the border with Kenya. Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) spokesman Joseph Owuoth said KDF soldiers operating under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) had identified an Al-Shabaab terrorist camp west of Catamaa, about 104 km from the border town of El-Wak, Gedo region. "The KDF/AMISOM detachment from a nearby location engaged the terrorists using artillery and mortar fire and successfully destroyed the terrorist
(Reuters (Eng) 04/11/17)
In this sunny part of Kenya, solar cookers – which trap sunlight to heat food – have surged in popularity in recent years. But a big problem remains: How to cook when the sun doesn't shine? Communities are now starting to sort out solutions, from insulated baskets that hold onto heat after the sun disappears to use of back-up fuel-efficient charcoal and firewood stoves. “Fluctuations in sunshine can hinder cooking using the solar (system) but with the basket we nowadays prepare tea during the day and can drink it after sunset,” said Peter Wanga, whose family has been using a solar cooking system since last year. The insulated basket “conserves enough heat to cook food even when there is no...
(Xinhuanet 04/11/17)
Kenya's sport ministry on Tuesday launched the country's draft strategic plan to enhance governance of sports organizations and promote sports in the country. The Strategic Plan 2017-2018, which will cost 6 million U.S. dollars to implement, presents the key programs, projects and activities to be implemented and is a participatory process involving broad consultation with all stakeholders within the sporting fraternity in Kenya. Speaking during the launch in Nairobi, Sports Registrar, Rose Wasike said the document emphasizes the commitment of the office of the Sports Registrar's to the public sector reforms as a way of institutionalizing citizen-focused service delivery through the establishment of regional offices. Before the Office of the Sports Registrar was established in 2015, registration of sports organizations...
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
El Nino, the cyclical climatic phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, is linked to shifts in cholera cases in Africa, providing an early warning that could save lives, scientists said Monday. During the years when El Nino is warming the eastern Pacific, East Africa has about 50,000 additional cholera cases a year, new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests. By contrast, the years when El Nino is not active, there were 30,000 fewer cholera cases in East Africa, according to the study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers analyzed more than 17,000 annual observations from 3,710 different locations between 2000 and 2014 in Africa, which has the most...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/07/17)
The Abbott World Marathon Majors (WMM) will hold back on naming a women's champion until after the conclusion of the doping case involving series leader Jemima Sumgong. Sumgong, who last year became the first Kenyan woman to win Olympic gold in the marathon, tested positive for the banned blood-booster EPO (erythropoietin) in an out-of-competition test carried out by the sport's governing body. "While we are distressed to learn of the reports of Jemima Sumgong's positive drug test, if true, they indicate that we are gaining ground in our long-standing fight against doping," Tim Hadzima, general manager of the consortium, said in a statement. "Given our policies, until the conclusion of Jemima Sumgong's case and any potential appeal process, we will...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/07/17)
Access to off-grid solar energy in rural areas of Africa goes beyond lighting up homes - it also enables people to connect to the wider world and boosts their economic prospects, said the head of one of the continent's biggest solar companies. Azuri Technologies' entry level solar system - for which customers pay a one-off installation fee, then use scratch cards or mobile phone payments to top up on a weekly or monthly basis - provides eight hours of lighting each day. Having power at home for the first time encourages customers to also buy mobile phones, radios and televisions, giving them regular access to the media and the internet, said Simon Bransfield-Garth, chief executive officer of UK-based Azuri. "This...
(Daily Nation 04/06/17)
The Cabinet has approved the draft Financial Services Authority Bill 2016, which will merge the functions of four financial regulatory bodies. The Financial Services Authority will merge and take over the functions of the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA), the Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) and the SACCOS Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA). The purpose of the reform of the financial sector is to provide a consolidated supervision for financial services to eliminate regulatory gaps, and to increase protection of consumers of financial services. The initiative to reduce the number of regulatory bodies
(Reuters (Eng) 04/06/17)
In this part of northwest Kenya, one of the worst droughts in years has left the land littered with carcasses of dead livestock – even hardy camels. Normally droughts here lead to the early marriage of girls, as pastoralist families look for dowry payments to help cushion the impact of livestock losses. But this time, something unusual is happening: Hard-hit herder families are instead selling drought-threatened livestock and using the money - along with government cash payments - to keep girls in school. “It is no longer profitable to exchange our young daughters with livestock, because when the animals die of drought, it is like we have lost the girl,” Joyce Apus Ipapai, a mother of eight from Lorengelup village,...
(Standard Digital 04/06/17)
Kenya has given an Egyptian company “impossible” terms to keep operating the century-old local railway business, including clearance of a Sh2.76 billion debt by June 30. Rift Valley Railways, owned by Qalaa Holdings of Egypt, was last Friday ordered to pay the contested debt, rehabilitate the track and significantly raise the uptake of freight from Mombasa within 90 days. Termination of the concession could have huge ramifications for thousands of RVR employees and the investors who have never reported a profit since taking over in 2006. It would also complicate the ongoing negotiations between Qalaa Holdings and prospective investors who are expected to inject about Sh10 billion into the business. Equity Bank is among the lenders exposed as its Sh2...
(The Star 04/06/17)
Kenyan large companies have topped the continent in incidences of bribery and corruption for the second time in a row, a report by audit and consultancy firm EY suggested yesterday. The report, based on a survey done by UK's second largest research firm Ipsos MORI between November 2016 and January 2017, ranked Kenya sixth among the 41 countries in Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa. EY EMEIA Fraud Survey got responses from 4,100 employees from large companies globally. About 79 per cent of Kenyan respondents, the report shows, perceive corrupt practices to be prevalent in their work place, 68 per cent of whom believe their seniors are involved in unethical business practices. This is slightly lower than 90 per...
(Xinhuanet 04/06/17)
Britain has donated six new remotely operated vehicles and associated equipment to help train Kenyan soldiers counter explosive devices during their peacekeeping mission in Somalia. Visiting British Minister for Armed Forces Mike Penning who handed over the equipment to the joint UK/Kenya Counter Improvised Explosive Device (CIED) wing of the Humanitarian Peace Support School said the training will help save soldiers' lives in Somalia and contribute to the defeat of Al-Shabaab. Speaking during the visit at the school late Wednesday, Penning said the vehicles allow improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to be destroyed or disarmed remotely at a safe distance, preventing specialized CIED operators from having to put their lives at risk. "The equipment and expertise we give to this country...
(Standard Digital 04/06/17)
Kenya has sent a team of scientists and other experts to investigate reports of crop-eating caterpillars known as fall armyworms in maize fields in the western region of Trans-Nzoia, a senior government official said on Wednesday. Neighbouring Uganda confirmed last month that the pests had attacked crops on farms in about 20 districts in the country, heightening concerns that they could spread into Kenya. Johnson Irungu, the director of crops at the ministry of agriculture, said the team was sent in two weeks ago after reports the pests had appeared in maize crops being grown by farmers using irrigation. Kenya is suffering from a drought that has left about 2.7 million people in need of food aid and driven up...
(Daily Nation 04/06/17)
The opposition alliance Nasa and the electoral commission have agreed on the modalities of tallying and announcing results in the August 8 elections. Nasa leaders met Thursday with IEBC commissioners in a bid to resolve the issue after the opposition said it would set up a parallel national tallying centre. Following the meeting, IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said both the commission and Nasa had agreed that political parties and the media can monitor elections but only the IEBC can announce results. He said the matter was amicably resolved. He added that political parties will be allowed to deploy agents at polling centres in line with the law. By PETER LEFTIE
(Reuters (Eng) 04/05/17)
Kenya has fully sold its debut mobile phone-based bond worth 150 million shillings ($1.45 million), with investor demand forcing the issue to be closed ahead of time, the Treasury said on Wednesday. The East African nation started selling the three-year bond, called M-Akiba, on March 23, becoming the first to issue a mobile phone-based bond in the world. The offer was open for three weeks but it closed on Wednesday when the target amount was reached. The 150 million shillings raised is the first tranche of the bond; the balance of 4.85 billion shillings goes on sale in June. The bond sale is a further advance in financial technology for the country that pioneered mobile money with M-Pesa in 2007...
(Capitalfm Business 04/05/17)
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has called upon the 10 remaining political parties to submit their party membership lists soonest to enable the commission publicize the lists as required by law. The remaining political parties have until end of Wednesday to do so as the Commission will gazette the names received within 7 days. The Commission’s chair Wafula Chebukati says so far only 57 registered political parties have delivered their submissions. “The Commission published a public notice on 6th February, 2017 requiring political parties to submit Names of Candidates for Party Primaries to the Commission from 26th March, 2017 – 5th April 2017,” he noted. “Political parties should be reminded that no party primaries shall take place until...
(Standard Digital 04/05/17)
President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered medics be paid for the 100 days they were on strike. The President, however, warned that the doctors will be fired if they go for another strike, saying they cannot continue to endanger the lives of Kenyans despite taking the hippocratic oath. Governors had declared they would not pay the medics for the period they were on the streets demanding for better pay and working environment. "We are paying you but you cannot continue to endangering the lives of Kenyans," said Uhuru "If they strike again, they will all go home. Not even a single doctor will go back to our hospitals because we already know what we will do," he added during his tour...
(New Vision 04/05/17)
The loans will cover 89% and 88% of the Uganda and Kenya project costs respectively. The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved $253 million of loans to the Governments of Kenya ($147.3 million) and Uganda ($105.7 million) for the upgrading of a 118km road section connecting the two countries as well as the construction of the a 32km Eldoret town bypass in Kenya. Once completed in 2021, the project will contribute to improving the living standards of the 1.4 million people in the project zone of influence, according to Amadou Oumarou, Director of the Infrastructure, Cities and Urban Development Department of the Bank. The loans will cover 89% and 88% of the Uganda and Kenya project costs respectively. For...

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