Thursday 27 July 2017
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Rescue workers pulled a mother and two children from the rubble of a collapsed seven-storey building in the Kenyan capital Nairobi Tuesday, but several people were still missing. Officials said they had evacuated most residents before the building came down late Monday, but the incident has rekindled the controversy over unregulated construction in the city. The building collapsed in a poor neighbourhood near Nairobi's international airport southeast of the capital, Red Cross spokeswoman Noellah Musundi told AFP Tuesday. "The collapse was not completely unexpected, which allowed us to evacuate most of the people," Musundi said of the disaster which struck the Kware area...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Extortion, corruption and fear; violence, hunger and sometimes even death: for west African migrants dreaming of reaching Europe, the road to get there can be an absolute minefield. - Departure - Whether it's The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal or Nigeria, everything starts with the "hustlers" -- slang for the middlemen or fixers who organise the trip. Their honesty and prices vary, with the would-be migrant usually deceived about the welcome expected in Europe. Many possess no official documents from their home country, and do not understand illegal status in Europe. Most are ignorant about the extreme difficulties they will encounter en route. "We didn't know we were risking our lives," said Kante Sekou...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Maria gave smugglers all her family savings and crossed three countries and the searing Libyan desert, but when she finally boarded a boat for Europe her dream was swiftly shattered. She was 24 and pregnant with her second child when she left Liberia with her husband and their three-year-old son. The family passed through Guinea and Mali before crossing southern Algeria to reach the Libyan desert. "The smugglers took all our money" -- more than $2,150 (2,000 euros), she said. "We spent four days in the desert. People died of thirst and the sun in the back of the truck." They finally arrived on the beach at Sabrata, 70 kilometres (45 miles) west of Libya's capital Tripoli, a key departure...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
At least four people were missing after the collapse of a seven-storey building in the Kenyan capital Nairobi overnight, the Red Cross said on Tuesday. The incident occurred in a very poor neighbourhood near Nairobi's international airport southeast of the capital, Red Cross spokeswoman Noellah Musundi told AFP. "The information is still scanty (about) the exact number of missing people, but at this stage, a mother and her three children are missing," she said. Police and local residents said the authorities had been alerted on Monday evening after cracks appeared in the building, prompting an urgent evacuation before it collapsed two hours later, at around 10:00 pm (1900 GMT). "The collapse was not completely unexpected, which allowed us to evacuate...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
Kenya on Tuesday confirmed its withdrawal from next month's Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas to concentrate on hosting the IAAF world under-18 athletics championships. The July 19-23 Commonwealth Youth Games in Nassau, which features athletics, boxing, judo, rugby sevens, swimming and tennis gets under way three days after the conclusion of the world under-18 track and field champs in Nairobi. "After due considerations and deliberations, I have been advised to inform you that we will not be in position to sponsor the team because most of resources have been committed to the World Under-18 Youth championships which Kenya is hosting," top Kenyan sports official Haroun Komen said in a letter to the National Olympic Committee of Kenya, which is...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
Uche's real journey had yet to begin but he had already spent four days in the northern Nigerian city of Kano after travelling on public buses and potholed roads from Imo state in the southeast. He planned to go to Agadez, a transit town on the southern edge of the Sahara desert in central Niger, take a truck to Sebha, in southwestern Libya, and from there to the capital Tripoli, and then to Italy or Spain. But his contact, who was supposed to drive him and three women across Nigeria's northern border, was arrested on suspicion of people smuggling. "His house had been under surveillance," explains the 38-year-old electrician in Kano's bustling Sabon Gari district. "The movement of the three...
(Reuters 06/13/17)
At 9am, Eliud Sankare is still at home in Isinya village, south of Nairobi, instead of out herding the 40 cattle his son has already led to pasture. He heads to the cowshed to join his wife and two daughters, raking manure into big mounds. Using dry twigs as brooms, they are sweeping the green-layered droppings into a fifth pile when they’re interrupted by a loud hooting. Sankare beams excitedly and heads for the gate - his family is about to reap $150 for their labor. “Prolonged drought is making it hard to find pasture and food,” he explained, estimating a third of his cattle have starved this year. “Selling manure helps me buy food and pay hospital bills for...
(AFP (eng) 06/12/17)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will on Monday meet African leaders in Berlin on initiatives aiming to reduce the poverty and conflict driving a mass migrant influx to Europe. The idea is to team up African nations willing to reform with private investors who would bring business and jobs to a continent where instability or graft often scare off foreign companies. Merkel is hosting the initiative as part of Germany's presidency of the Group of 20 powerful economies, whose leaders meet in the northern port of Hamburg a month later. Invited to Berlin are Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the leaders of Ghana, Ivory Coast...
(Bloomberg 06/08/17)
Kenya’s elections may prompt violence that evokes the unrest that killed at least 1,100 people following a disputed vote a decade ago if the electoral authorities fail to ensure this year’s process is credible, opposition leader Raila Odinga said. Any outbreak of clashes would be difficult to control, even though Kenyans “don’t want to go back to 2008,” Odinga said in an interview Wednesday in the capital, Nairobi. The 72-year-old former prime minister is seeking to stop President Uhuru Kenyatta from securing a second term in the Aug. 8 election. Kenyan elections are a source of nervousness for investors in East Africa’s biggest economy.
(Bloomberg 06/08/17)
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga said he would consider tax cuts to woo foreign investors and measures to boost manufacturing to drive export-led growth if he wins the country’s presidential elections in August. The National Super Alliance also plans measures to assist small-scale businesses and farmers, and a crackdown on corruption to boost revenue collection if it comes to power, Odinga said in an interview Wednesday in the capital, Nairobi. The party will release details of its economic plans when its manifesto is published around June 19. Odinga, 72, is seeking to stop Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, 55, from securing a second term in the Aug. 8 vote. He’s lost three previous attempts to become president and an opinion poll...
(BBC News Africa 06/08/17)
The first major new railway line in Kenya for more than a century, running between the capital Nairobi and the coastal city of Mombasa, faces an immediate challenge of justifying its relatively high cost. At $5.6m per kilometre for the track alone, Kenya's line cost close to three times the international standard and four times the original estimate. So it is perhaps not surprising that Kenyans have been asking why they seem to have paid so much. Kenya's new 472km (293 mile) railway is the country's biggest infrastructure investment since its independence in 1963. Built to a modern "standard gauge", it runs parallel to the now-dilapidated metre gauge railway line from the colonial era. While everyone agrees that Kenya desperately...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/08/17)
More girls are completing secondary school across sub-Saharan Africa as attitudes change and state spending rises, but some of the most marginalized girls — like those married young or forced to work — are still missing out, education experts say. The percentage of girls completing secondary school has risen in all regions of Africa since 2005, said a recent report by the African Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the U.N. Development Program. Almost twice as many girls in East Africa and three times as many in Central Africa completed secondary education in 2014 as in 2005, according to the annual African Economic Outlook report, which was published at the end of last month. Yet more...
(Bloomberg 06/07/17)
Kenya’s electoral body fired its head of procurement after it failed to obtain ballot papers less than two months before the country’s presidential elections, heightening concern over the credibility of the vote. The Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission dismissed Lawy Aura because of “incompetence that has made operations untenable as we fast approach the general election,” the Nairobi-based body said on its website on Tuesday. The development could result in the election date being pushed back in a “worst case scenario,” though a more likely outcome is that the tender will be awarded directly, said Ahmed Salim, an analyst with Dubai-based Teneo Strategy.
(AFP (eng) 06/07/17)
Four people, including three NGO workers, were killed Tuesday when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in eastern Kenya, a local government official said, in the latest such attack in the country. "We have four people dead from the incident that occurred between Dadaab and Doble," said the regional commissioner Mohamud Saleh. Three of those killed were employed by an NGO called Adeso, which was founded by a Somali activist and receives funding from the US and European Union for its work in the Horn of Africa, according to its website. The incident occurred near the town of Dadaab -- home to one of the world's largest
(Xinhuanet 06/07/17)
Kenya is set to host the third edition of China Week Kenya from June 29 to July 1, organizers said on Tuesday. MIE Events International Events Director Michelle Meyrick told a media briefing in Nairobi that the three-day event will be a business to business trade show featuring Chinese manufacturing companies looking to connect with local and regional firms in Africa. "It will be an opportunity for the local community to develop direct trading links with high-end Chinese product manufacturers," Meyrick said. She noted that the event will provide a trade environment that will be conducive to creating stronger ties between Chinese companies and the local business community looking to source for products and services from China. According to the...
(Financial Times 06/07/17)
Government move will help lossmaking airline raise additional capital for recovery. The Kenyan government will offer Kenya Airways’ creditors $750m in guarantees to help the heavily-indebted and lossmaking airline raise additional capital to continue its recovery, official documents have revealed. The Ks24.56bn ($238m) the government has lent the company since 2014 will be converted into equity, government officials said. The guarantees, which are subject to parliamentary approval, will cover $525m owed to the US ExIm Bank and $225m borrowed from local lenders, according to a cabinet document seen by the Financial Times. The Kenyan government owns 29.8 per cent of the airline. It is not clear how many shares its debt will be converted into, when the conversion will happen...
(Andalou Agency 06/07/17)
'We do not want politics that would create IDPs again. That should be a thing of the past,' says Kenya's president. Kenya’s president on Tuesday gave around 800 million Kenya shillings ($8 million) compensation to people internally displaced by post-election violence that claimed thousands of lives in southwestern Kenya. After handing over 358 million Kenya shillings ($3.5 million) to thousands who were affected by post-election violence in 2007-2008, Uhuru Kenyatta will meet another group of integrated Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) tomorrow in Nyamira in Kisii County to give the remaining 472 million Kenya shillings ($4.72 million). "With the money we have handed over, we have finally taken care of the last groups of IDPs in Kisii," said Kenyatta, urging locals...
(Bloomberg 06/07/17)
Kenya’s government agreed to swap loans it provided to Kenya Airways Ltd. for equity, a conversion that may give the state a controlling stake in the national carrier, Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich said. The government will also guarantee 77 billion shillings ($745 million) of the airline’s debt to lessors and domestic banks, enabling Kenya Airways to extend its loan repayments to 10 years, Rotich told reporters Tuesday in the capital, Nairobi. The government has yet to decide what amount of loans it will swap, he said. “We will be deciding whether we want to increase our debt to equity, that means the government may own more” of the airline, Rotich said. “If we convert the loans that we have, probably...
(Standard Digital 06/07/17)
Kenya may have to wait until the next Parliament to send a representative to the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA). Grandstanding between the ruling Jubilee coalition and the Opposition has frustrated efforts to send the names of Kenyan MPs to the regional assembly. New EALA members from other countries are expected to convene in Tanzania for the swearing-in ceremony in the next one week. The wrangling involves the process of picking the names of Kenyan representatives. The National Assembly faced a dilemma over how to proceed with the matter as key timelines had lapsed. Speaker Justin Muturi told the House he, together with his Senate counterpart Ekwee Ethuro, would look at the regulations to confirm whether coming up with names...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/07/17)
Building a network of African women leaders in fields ranging from business to politics could galvanize female leadership across the continent and boost peacebuilding efforts and good governance, the head of U.N. Women said on Tuesday. The African Women Leaders Network, which was launched last week in New York by the United Nations and the African Union Commission, hopes to drive more women into leadership roles, through mentoring, peer learning and harnessing contacts. By supporting women's leadership in Africa, the platform aims to galvanize their contributions to building and sustaining peace, improving political processes and driving social change, and realizing the U.N. global goals, according to U.N. Women. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), adopted in 2015, include targets on...

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