Tuesday 24 April 2018
(Los Angeles Times 09/18/13)
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — An anonymous Kenyan woman made history Tuesday as the first witness to testify against a sitting government leader at the International Criminal Court in the Hague. The woman, known simply as Witness 536, testified for the prosecution against Kenyan deputy president William Ruto in the ICC's biggest test in its 11-year history, its first attempt to try a current government leader. To Kenyans watching the video transmission, Witness 536 appeared as nothing more than a swirl of pixilated colored squares, her identity kept secret to protect her from attack. Ruto is accused of crimes against humanity for allegedly orchestrating ethnic violence and killings after the disputed 2007 elections. More than a thousand people died nationally in...
(The Associated Press 09/18/13)
An upcoming summit of the African Union will debate the possible exit of some African countries from the International Criminal Court, Uganda's deputy foreign minister said Tuesday as the trial of Kenya's deputy president proceeded at The Hague. Okello Oryem said that Uganda, whose president has questioned the ICC's credibility, would be compelled to quit the Rome Statute that created the court if a "summit-level" recommendation is made in solidarity with the leaders of Kenya who face criminal charges at The Hague over their alleged roles in post-election violence that killed more than 1,000 people in 2007-08. They face charges of crimes against humanity, which they deny having committed. The ICC has come under strong criticism from some African leaders...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/18/13)
NAIROBI, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Kenya wants to host a clearing house for China's yuan currency - a bold African first that would deepen the continent's ties with Beijing, already a big investor from The Cape to Cairo. Such a venture would not eclipse the dollar in Africa anytime soon, however, because the yuan is tightly managed and traders are wedded to the greenback's flexibility. Africans can already get quotes for their currencies against the yuan . A clearing house would cut the need for dollar settlements, speed things up and reduce costs. But the real prize for Kenya, or any other African host, would be the symbolism of being the continent's business gateway with Asia's economic emperor, even if...
(Business Daily 09/18/13)
Expenditure on the General Election and related activities was Sh4.05 billion above the approved budget. The Post-election Economic and Fiscal Report prepared by the National Treasury attributed the expenditure to increased legal fees for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, transportation, training, by-elections, simulation and publicity among others. The total actual expenditure for IEBC in the 2012/2013 financial year is Sh30.931 billion, Treasury says in the document prepared by Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and Principal Secretary Dr Kamau Thugge. Produced under pressure by the Budget and Appropriations Committee, the post-election economic update ought to have been published “not later than four months after the polling day of the General Election” as per the Public Finance Management Act. The committee demanded...
(AFP (eng) 09/18/13)
NAIROBI, September 18, 2013 (AFP) - Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is facing trial for alleged crimes against humanity, is scheduled to attend the United Nations General Assembly next week but has yet to confirm he will do so. "He is scheduled to attend. A decision will be taken at the weekend," Kenyatta's spokesman Manoah Esipisu told AFP, without giving further details. The Kenyan leader is due to appear in November at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for his alleged role in the violence that followed the disputed 2007 elections, in which more than 1,100 people were killed and several hundred thousand displaced. His deputy, Kenyan Vice President William Ruto, is currently on trial in The Hague on...
( 09/18/13)
NAIROBI, 18 September 2013 (IRIN) - Climate change is expected to bring a shift in Kenya’s cereal production, particularly for maize and wheat, as regions previously not conducive for growing these crops become more productive. Such areas could, between 2010 and 2050, become the country’s new breadbaskets, say the authors of a new analysis. “Future growing conditions will be variable, and areas that have traditionally produced maize and wheat might not be conducive for the crops while those areas that didn’t support it might be the new frontiers,” James Kinyangi, climate change, agriculture and food security regional leader at the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), told IRIN. The analysis, East African Agriculture and Climate Change, was written by...
(Business Daily 09/18/13)
The full weight of the political pressure arising from the recent introduction of value added tax (VAT) on key consumer goods began to be felt Tuesday as President Uhuru Kenyatta responded to calls for a repeal of the law with a directive that the Treasury publish a full list of the affected goods. Speaking a day after the opposition Cord announced plans to introduce amendments to the VAT Act 2013, President Kenyatta said that although the government’s intention was to simplify the tax regime and increase its revenues, the market had been infiltrated by unscrupulous traders who are taking advantage of the changes to overcharge consumers for essential commodities. “We are sensitive to the vulnerable in our country and that...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/18/13)
The top price of Kenya's benchmark AA coffee grade rose to $372 per 50-kg bag at auction on Tuesday from $324 per bag last week, the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) said. Kenya is a relatively small coffee grower compared with other producers, but its speciality coffee is known for its quality and is much in demand from roasters who blend it with coffees from other nations. NCE said Grade AA sold at $372-200 per bag, compared with $324-169 last week. Grade AB fetched $257-$142 per bag, compared with $234-$96 last week. It said 11,818 bags of coffee were offered, with 3,330 soldat an average price of $178.43 per bag, earning a total of $0.7 million. Last week, 13,847 bags of...
(Business Daily 09/18/13)
Airtel in partnership with British Council has unveiled a program where it will provide Kenyan schools with free Internet connectivity to assist learners and teachers access digital educational resources. The partnership will provide schools with monthly data bundles of up to 5GB for a three-year period to assist them access e-learning apps by use of devices such as computers, laptops and tablets. The Sh5.9 billion (£43 million) program will see the development of 127 digital hubs in schools across nine countries in sub-Sahara Africa. These hubs are expected to act as ICT centres serving both students and the surrounding communities in a national project that is expected to bridge the technology gap in local schools. “We provide teachers with high-quality,...
(The Wall Street Journal 09/18/13)
When residents sang and danced in this town's dusty streets in August to celebrate the self-declared birth of their new nation, Zambia's police pounced. On Tuesday, 59 people arrested in the sweep appeared at a court in Mongu, located on the marshy banks of the Zambezi River, charged with treason. Many were picked up in the past few weeks for their alleged involvement in a ceremony to select a new regional administrator who would organize elections for a newly independent government. It was the latest sign of separatism taking hold in Africa—both peacefully and violently. Some of the jailed activists now call themselves citizens of Barotseland, a kingdom that before Zambia's independence in 1964 was a British protectorate. When the...
( 09/18/13)
(IRIN) - This year, the two most powerful men on the globe, presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping, both embarked on Africa tours, pledging to increase aid and investment and work with the continent to improve development. While this was Barack Obama's first extended tour of Africa since taking office (he made a one-day stop in 2009 in Ghana), Chinese leaders have been visiting the continent regularly for decades, quietly working on joint development, trade, foreign direct investment and assistance projects. "China is the largest developing country in the world, and Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries," Jiang Zemin, then-president of China, said in his opening remarks at the first Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC)...
(Voice of America 09/17/13)
Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague have begun calling witnesses in the trial of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto, who is facing charges of crimes against humanity. Ruto and radio executive Joshua Arap Sang are accused of helping to orchestrate deadly ethnic violence after Kenya's 2007 election. More than 1,100 people were killed in the unrest. On Tuesday, a woman broke down and sobbed as she described a January 2008 mob attack on a church in Kenya's Rift Valley region. The woman said several thousand youths armed with machetes and sticks surrounded the church, where people had sought refuge from attacks. She said the youths set the church on fire with people trapped inside. Investigators say...
(AFP (eng) 09/17/13)
NAIROBI, September 17, 2013 (AFP) - Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday unveiled ambitious plans to transform the country into a regional economic powerhouse, targeting double-digit growth within five years and middle-income status by 2030. East Africa's largest economy was hit hard by political violence in 2008, when growth was pushed down to a mere 1.5 percent, and then by a regional drought and the repercussions of the global economic downturn. For 2013 the government expects gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 5.6 percent. "We are not at the point of realising our full economic potential," Kenyatta said at the opening of a two-day conference organised by the International Monetary Fund and the Kenyan government. Citing a timid reduction in...
(Capitalfm Business 09/17/13)
Nairobi — Parties in the case against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang have been directed to make submissions on the effect of Kenya's Motion to withdraw from the Rome Statute. International Criminal Court (ICC) Trial Chamber V presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji informed the court that they had been notified by the Prosecution that the first witness was late because of the Motion passed by the Kenyan Parliament two weeks ago. "Last week we did not proceed as we would have liked in terms of calling the witnesses and the Prosecutor had indicated in the record why witnesses were unavailable is because there were certain developments in the Kenyan Parliament relating to certain resolutions passed. We will...
(AFP (eng) 09/17/13)
THE HAGUE, September 17, 2013 (AFP) - The first witness in Kenya Vice President William Ruto's crimes against humanity trial broke down Tuesday as she testified how a singing, machete-wielding mob trapped 2,000 people inside a church and set it ablaze. The woman, whose identity is protected and referred to as "Witness P0536", told the International Criminal Court that "around 3,000" youths surrounded the church where she and some 2,000 others were hiding. "They were painted with white clay... some had machetes, axes and sticks," she said, adding "they were singing". "We were all trying to find a way to escape. I was carrying my small child with me," the witness recalled on the opening day of the prosecution's case...
(BBC News Africa 09/17/13)
The first prosecution witness is giving evidence at Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto's trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Mr Ruto has been charged with crimes against humanity, following allegations that he orchestrated violence after disputed elections in 2007. Mr Ruto, the first serving official to appear at the ICC, denies the charge. The court ruled the witness's identity, an alleged survivor of a church arson attack, should not be revealed. This was for her own safety and she will be known by the number 536. Chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has previously said that witnesses have been intimidated in an attempt to prevent them from giving evidence. Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta is due to stand trial in November. He...
(New Vision 09/17/13)
Rich armed poachers are costing East Africa millions of dollars in illegal ivory trade. The illegal trade is mostly fuelled by demand in Asia and the Middle East, where elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns are used in traditional medicine and to make ornaments. Uganda and her sister states in the East African region account for 68% of the illegal ivory trade in the world, according to a 2012 report released at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered species (CITES) at Bangkok, Thailand. Uganda is mostly a conduit route for ivory from neighbouring countries such as the DRC, Tanzania and Kenya. An elephant gives birth to a single calf after 22 months. Today there are 140,000 elephants in East Africa...
(AFP (eng) 09/17/13)
NAIROBI, September 17, 2013 (AFP) - Kenya, which is targeting middle-income status by 2030, is aiming for double-digit growth five years from now, President Uhuru Kenyatta said Tuesday. East Africa's largest economy was hit hard by political violence in 2008 and then by a regional drought, as well as by the repercussions of the global economic downturn. Its economic growth picked up to top four percent in 2012, after hovering around 1.5 percent in 2008, when the country was hit by the worst violence since independence. For 2013 the government expects gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 5.6 percent. "We are not at the point of realising our full economic potential," Kenyatta said at the opening of a two-day conference...
(Reuters 09/17/13)
The top price of Kenya's benchmark AA coffee grade rose to $372 per 50kg bag at auction on Tuesday from $324 per bag last week, the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) said. Kenya is a relatively small coffee grower compared with other producers, but its speciality coffee is known for its quality and is much in demand from roasters who blend it with coffees from other nations. NCE said Grade AA sold at $372 - $200 per bag, compared with $324 - $169 last week. Grade AB fetched $257 - $142 per bag, compared with $234 - $96 last week. It said 11,818 bags of coffee were offered, with 3,330 sold at an average price of $178.43 per bag, earning a...
(The Guardian 09/17/13)
A boom in mobile phone use is creating an explosion of innovation that is changing lives, lifestyles and the economy. It is mid-morning in Nairobi's iHub, a community space for techies and a kids' hackathon – where children as young as 10 are learning some of the basics of coding – is in full swing. The hangar-like space boasts table football, a coffee bar and an ambience that is more Seattle than African savannah. Amid the eager people huddled over laptops and tablets is the towering figure of Erik Hersman, with his bald head and reddish beard. Known to most Kenyans online as @WhiteAfrican, the American, who grew up in East Africa, has become one of the most effective evangelists...

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