Tuesday 24 October 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate to 3.4 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, citing Nigeria's recovering oil and agricultural sectors. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report that the region would grow by 2.6 percent this year after 1.4 percent in 2016. "Growth is expected to rise gradually," it said, while noting that the rate would be uneven and "barely above population growth". GDP in the west African powerhouse Nigeria contracted by 1.6 percent in 2016, but is predicted to grow by 0.8 percent this year and 1.9 percent next year. The IMF said Nigeria was benefitting from "recovering oil production and ongoing strength in the agricultural sector", but the...
(The Associated Press 10/10/17)
Kenya’s main opposition leader Raila Odinga has surprised the nation by withdrawing his candidacy for the fresh presidential election set for later this month. It was his legal challenge that led the Supreme Court to nullify the August election won by President Uhuru Kenyatta and order the new vote. It was the first time a court had overturned a presidential election in Africa. Here’s a timeline of the recent developments: ___ Aug. 8: Kenyans vote in presidential election with Kenyatta and Odinga the main challengers. Aug. 11: Election commission says Kenyatta wins election; Odinga disputes the results as protests break out. Aug. 16: Opposition announces it will challenge election results in court. Aug. 19: Opposition files petition with Supreme Court...
(AFP (eng) 10/09/17)
Thirty-seven people were killed after Kenya's August elections, and all but two of the cases were caused by "excessive" force by police, a human rights watchdog said Monday. Previous tolls from the disputed elections -- since annulled by the Supreme Court -- had not exceeded 24, and until now there were few details into how the deaths occurred. In a 262-page report, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) said 35 of 37 deaths it documented between August 9-15, were due to "excessive use of force by police". The remaining two were due to "civilian aggression". The August 8 presidential poll has been cancelled by Kenya's paramount court, which cited widespread "illegalities and irregularities." New elections are scheduled for...
(APA 10/09/17)
APA-Nairobi (Kenya) - The Central Bank of Kenya(CBK) on Monday disclosed that it has received an offer from Mauritius-based financial Institution (SBM) Holdings acquire to Chase Bank Kenya which is under receivership since April 2016. CBK said that they have received a non-binding offer which includes the acquisition of certain assets and matched liabilities from Chase Bank. Last year, CBK placed Chase Bank, under statutory management for a year due to what the regulator termed as unsafe financial conditions. “Whilst the non-binding offer is still subject to confirmatory due diligence and a binding contract, it is expected that this transaction will inter alia ensure a substantial recovery for depositors currently under moratorium and a transfer of a substantial number of...
(AFP (eng) 10/06/17)
Police in Kenya fired tear gas on Friday at crowds of opposition supporters marching in three main cities ahead of a tense presidential election re-run. Opposition leader Raila Odinga has called for biweekly protests to pressure the government to overhaul the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) ahead of the vote scheduled for October 26. Leaders of the opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition say the election commission, in its present form, should be barred from managing the re-run vote after the Supreme Court annulled the original August poll, citing widespread "illegalities and irregularities". In the opposition stronghold Kisumu in western Kenya, thousands of protesters were dispersed with tear gas after they tried to storm the election body's local offices...
(Reuters 10/06/17)
Police fired teargas at opposition activists in Kenya’s capital as protests mounted in cities on Friday calling for the sacking of election board officials involved in August’s cancelled presidential vote. Crowds gathered in Nairobi, the western opposition stronghold of Kisumu and the port of Mombasa for the second time this week. Kenya’s Supreme Court voided the Aug. 8 election citing irregularities without finding any individual at the election board responsible. [nL5N1M119T] President Uhuru Kenyatta, who won the vote only to have his victory annulled, has accused the Supreme Court of bringing the country close to “judicial chaos”.
(APA 10/06/17)
APA-Nairobi (Kenya) - Thousands of Gikomba market traders in Nairobi were on Friday mourning the loss of their property worth millions after a huge fire gutted down their wares in Nairobi’s largest open air market. Thousands of traders watched in disbelief after the fire that begun around 3.am in the morning razed down their property after the fire broke in the fish and groceries section. By Friday morning, all county fire engines were on the scene battling with the inferno that had spread to other other parts of the market and buildings housing banks close by. No cases of casualties has been reported with the cause of fire still unknown.
(Xinhuanet 10/05/17)
The African Union (AU) on Wednesday called for a peaceful resolution of disputes in Kenya ahead of the fresh presidential election scheduled for October 26. The chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, continues to follow with concern the recent political developments in Kenya following the Supreme Court ruling annulling the 8 Aug. 2017 presidential election and subsequent scheduling of fresh presidential election for 26 Oct., according to an AU statement. With a few days remaining until the election, the chairperson is concerned about actions and utterances that have the potential to adversely affect the holding of the fresh presidential election as scheduled. He has called on all stakeholders to refrain from actions and utterances that will derail Kenya's...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Nairobi (Kenya) - The Carter Center on Thursday urged Kenyan political leaders to engage constructively with the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to discuss and agree on key measures needed to allow fresh, transparent, and credible elections within the constitutional timeframe. The Centre which deployed an observer mission in Kenya during the August 8 general elections, pointed out that the agreed measures should be in line with the Supreme Court judgement that annulled the elections and ensure that the repeat polls will be transparent and verifiable. “The agreed measures should be guided by the court’s written ruling and ensure that the fresh election will be transparent and verifiable, with parties and observers given the required access to observe all aspects...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Nairobi-Uganda - The deterioration of the Kenyan private sector intensified during September, driven by an unfavourable political climate, Markit Stanbic Bank Kenya Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) report revealed on Thursday. The seasonally adjusted PMI dipped to a new survey record low of 40.9 in September from 42.0 in August. According to the survey, the overall decline of the private sector was driven by sharp contractions in output and new orders. In response to lower output requirements, firms decreased their payroll numbers while firms continued to face increases in input costs at the end of the third quarter, but reduced their charges again. PMI is an indicator of the economic health of the manufacturing sector based on five major indicators which...
(Bloomberg 10/05/17)
Kenya will deploy security forces to monitor protests planned by the main opposition alliance, the government’s spokesman said, as he criticized the demonstrations for slowing down business. The opposition National Super Alliance plans to hold demonstrations in the capital, Nairobi, and other cities on Friday. The coalition began a campaign of twice-weekly protests on Monday to press its demands for an overhaul of the electoral commission before a rerun on Oct. 26 of the country’s annulled presidential elections. “It seems that Nasa has deliberated to adopt a political approach that creates a lot of uncertainty in the business environment of our country,” government spokesman Eric Kiraithe told reporters Thursday in Nairobi. “To Kenyans, we are telling them to go to...
(Xinhuanet 10/05/17)
The African Development Bank (AfDB) is currently looking for a co-financing partner to fund the 445 km Kenya-Tanzania highway, officials said. AfDB Chief Regional Program Officer Lawson Zankli told Xinhua in Nairobi in a recent interview that his bank has tentatively set aside 300 million U.S. dollars towards the road project that runs along the East African Coastline from Malindi in Kenya to Bagamoyo in Tanzania. "We are looking for partners to bridge the remaining 485 million dollars required to complete the transnational highway," Zankli said. The project will consist of rehabilitation of 215 km of bitumen road on the Kenyan side and upgrading from gravel to bitumen standards of 230 km on the Tanzanian side. Zankli said that AfDB...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in Sub-Saharan African tourism in the past year, according to data from the U.N. World Tourism Organisation. Hilton said the remaining additions to its 39 existing African properties would be operational within the next five years. “The model of converting existing...
(AfricaNews 10/05/17)
Another year of disappointment for the African favourite for the Nobel Prize in Literature, Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o who has been tipped to win the prestigious prize since 2010. The 2017 prize was awarded to British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro for his emotionally impactful novels, the Nobel Foundation announced on Thursday. He was selected out of the about 350 nominations made by literary experts and former Nobel laureates from around the world. 79-year-old Ngugi published his first book in English in 1964, which is the first by a writer from East Africa. He later changed his language of writing to his native Gikuyu language. He set up a revolutionary theatre in the 1970s that provoked the authoritarian regime at the...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The African Union (AU) will on Thursday endorse reports and recommendations on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARWE) made by experts and senior officials in a meeting held on Monday and Tuesday. The endorsement will take place during the ministerial session of the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on ARWE that opened on Thursday in Addis Ababa under the theme “Improve environmental sustainability and transform agriculture to ensure food and nutrition security.” These include policy papers and reports on agriculture, rural development, water and environment and recommendations and guidance on issues in the 2063 Africa Development Agenda, including agriculture, environment, climate change, and youth engagement. Among the points chosen for the discussions are the assessment of...
(APA 10/04/17)
APA-Nairobi (Kenya) - The United Nations on Wednesday warned against political candidates boycotting the October 26 repeat Presidential elections, and has urged President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga to dialogue with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission(IEBC). The United Nations strongly encouraged President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee party, and NASA flagbearer Raila Odinga and the electorate to participate in the planned election on 26 October, saying that free, transparent and credible elections are the only democratic ways to enable Kenyans choose their leaders. “The responsibility for successful elections lies not just with the electoral management body...
(Bloomberg 10/04/17)
Kenya’s electoral commission said it’s made progress on meeting the demands of the main opposition coalition on how the rerun of August’s annulled presidential election will be handled. A day of talks between Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission officials and representatives of the opposition National Super Alliance, or Nasa, and the ruling Jubilee Party were “fruitful,” commission Chairman Wafula Chebukati told reporters Tuesday in the capital, Nairobi. A technical team is working with Nasa to produce a statement on what has been agreed, he said. “Most of the issues raised by Nasa have been addressed by the commission,” he said. “We shall publish what we have agreed with the Nasa team so that we can move on with the major...
(APA 10/04/17)
APA-Nairobi (Kenya) - The Kenyan government plans to spend 6 billion shillings ($5.8 million) to subsidize maize, and make the staple food affordable to Kenyans. This is a response to the negative impact of the ongoing drought that has hit the Horn of Africa region, including Kenya. President Uhuru Kenyatta has said the money will be used to buy all the maize offered for sale by farmers this season, under the government’s strategic food reserve programme to boost food security and maintain an affordable price for maize flour. Maize is the key staple food for the Kenyan population, providing about 65 percent of staple calorie intake. “To boost our food security and sustain affordable price for maize flour, the government...
(AFP 10/03/17)
Campuses at one of Kenya's largest universities were closed on Tuesday after demonstrations broke out ahead of the country's tense presidential election re-run, a university official said. Students at the University of Nairobi were ordered to vacate their dormitories on short notice after overnight protests that went into Tuesday morning, corporate affairs director John Orindi told AFP. "We've closed the university due to the directives of administration," he said. The demonstration started last week after the arrest of Babu Owino, a former student body president who recently won a seat in parliament as a staunch supporter of opposition leader Raila Odinga. Odinga will face off against President Uhuru Kenyatta in polls scheduled for October 26 after the Supreme Court ordered...
(APA 10/03/17)
APA-Nairobi (Kenya) - The European observer mission to Kenya on Tuesday warned that late amendments to electoral laws ahead of A repeat of the Presidential polls on October 26 risks been politically polarizing for the East African nation. The EU warned that if passed, the changes would likely be subject to legal challenge, including on constitutional grounds, resulting in further uncertainty in the electoral process. “Changes to the electoral law would also hinder the on-going work of the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in preparing elections in an already limited timeframe,” said EU Observer mission head Marietje Schaake. The proposal in the Bill introduced in the National Assembly last week seeks a raft of changes in the current electoral laws,...

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