| Africatime
Sunday 30 April 2017
(Daily Nation 03/20/17)
Tanzanian doctors will start working in Kenya in the first week of April, Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu has said. Dr Mailu on Monday said the medics would be given two-to-three year contracts, and would be posted to national, county and faith-based health facilities. KNH VISIT Speaking during an impromptu visit to the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Dr Mailu said the recruitment of the 500 doctors was within the law. He dismissed claims by the doctors union that there are 1,400 jobless Kenyan doctors, saying they are unemployed "by choice". Kenyan doctors, he said, get jobs in government upon completing their studies but some choose private practice, insinuating that all those who are jobless fall in this group. He...
(Xinhuanet 03/20/17)
Kenya has ruled the World Cross Country Championships in all the four editions held in Africa. That trend is not about to end as the team takes their title challenge to Kampala, Uganda on Saturday. Head coach Juma Ndiwa, himself a former 800 meters runner, who represented the country in World Championships and Olympics, said there is every sign that the team will rule the roost in the Ugandan capital. It will also be the fifth time the championships will be hosted by Africa after Rabat in 1975, Johannesburg in 1996, Marrakech in 1998 and Mombasa in 2007. Kenya team, which has pitched camp in Embu, will be leaving Nairobi for Kampala on Thursday with only one mission, to write...
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
At the Africa CEO Forum which opened this morning in Geneva, AFD Group – in partnership with the European Union – unveiled the “African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility”, designed to boost private sector investment in on–grid and off-grid renewable energy production in Africa. In order to meet Africa’s constantly increasing energy requirements, support must be provided for mass development of the renewable energy technologies – especially solar energy – that will play such a key role over the coming years, given the recent drop in prices and the emergence of new innovative business models. The EU’s electrification funding initiative, “ElectriFI”, helps to harness and stimulate private sector investment to enhance access to renewable energy. More specifically, it focuses on poorly-served...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Thousands of HIV-negative Kenyans will for the first time be placed on daily antiretroviral medication, or ARVs, in a bid to avert new infections. The new program seeks to lower the country's HIV transmission rate to individuals who face a substantial risk of contracting HIV, such as rape victims and HIV-negative drug users. The head of the National AIDS and STI Control Program (NASCOP), Martin Sirengo, said the measure will be rolled out in April and will involve the use of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP. “We are introducing PrEP to a selected population, not to everyone, and this selected population includes, for instance, HIV-negative partners
(Reuters (Eng) 03/18/17)
Kenya's national Olympic committee has escaped the threat of suspension after failing to adopt a new constitution but funding will continue to be withheld until further notice, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Saturday. The IOC froze financial support to Kenya nine days ago, after the country's troubled national committee (NOCK) failed to adopt a revised constitution, and said it would discuss the matter at its executive board (EB) meeting in Pyeongchang this week, leading to speculation that it might ban the country. However, IOC Deputy Director General Pere Miro said a Kenyan undertaking to bring in the new constitution at a meeting later this month meant the IOC had stayed the threat of further action. “The IOC EB...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get rejected but the others come," said Flowers, chair of the African Global Economic and Development Summit. "This year it was 100 percent. Every delegation. And it was sad to see, because these people were so disheartened." Flowers estimated that she...
(Daily Nation 03/17/17)
President Uhuru Kenyatta has defended Kenya's debt, saying the money was used to finance infrastructure to stimulate growth. The President told a joint session of both Houses of Parliament that Kenya was not at any risk of default. He said the proportion of debt to gross domestic product (GDP) was still safe enough for the country to honour its obligations without defaulting. "Every year since the start of my administration, we have made adequate budgetary provisions to service the debt. I want to assure Kenyans that at no point has the country been at risk of default," said Mr Kenyatta. He said the debt from the domestic and international creditors had been solely to finance transport infrastructure, increase energy production...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/17/17)
The Kenyan unit of U.S. ride-hailing firm Uber Technologies Inc has increased its fare by 20 percent, a move that follows protests and strikes by Uber drivers who said a lower fare made their service uneconomical. Uber, which operates in several African countries, cut its fare in Kenya to 35 shillings ($0.3400) per kilometer last year, after local rival Little - backed by Kenyan telecoms operator Safaricom Ltd - introduced a service with a lower price. Uber drivers have staged regular strikes and protests in Nairobi in recent weeks over the low fare, local media reported. Lawmakers and ministry of transport officials also supported a higher price. The company has now raised its fare to 42 shillings per km. "We...
(Xinhuanet 03/17/17)
The Kenyan government must allocate adequate funds to support nuclear research and innovation in a bid to hasten industrial transformation, an expert said on Thursday. Director of the Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology at the University of Nairobi, David Maina, said Kenya should allocate sufficient funds in the nuclear technology arena if the country is to realize the target of commissioning a nuclear plant by 2027. "There is no need to train students in nuclear science when you don't know what to do with them later. Many undergraduates study the subject but later divert to other fields due to lack of research funds to further their studies," Maina remarked on the sidelines of the Kenya Nuclear Week and Conference...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
The Kenya Association of Manufacturers says the government's directive to ban plastic bags beginning in September will hurt more than 170 companies and put at least 60,000 people out of work. The problem is not plastic bags, but consumer behavior, says Phyllis Wakiaga, the association's chief. "Issue of waste management is an issue we must admit as a country because all of us are responsible for it," Wakiaga said. "How we manage our waste at the individual level, at a household level, at the business level, is a concern that all of us. As Kenyans, we should be part of the solution in charting the way forward." Many countries in the world, including Kenya, have faced challenges in disposing of...
(Xinhuanet 03/17/17)
Amid an ever rising cost of paraffin in Kenya, adoption of solar lamps for night fishing is rapidly becoming a cheaper source of power for fishermen at the expansive Lake Victoria in Western Kenya. A liter of kerosene cost an average of 0.55 dollars in March, 2015 against the average 0.7 dollars in early 2017 thus increasing the cost of input for the fishermen who spend 12 hours in the waters searching for a healthy catch. However, solar lamps are providing a better option for the fishermen and to some extent cutting their expenditure on fuel. "Solar lamps are such a cost relief to us," said Okoth Odhiambo,who has been fishing for the past three decades at Migori County's Muhuru...
(Xinhuanet 03/17/17)
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and CDC Group, the UK's development finance institution, will invest up to 35 million U.S dollars in Africa Logistics Properties Holding (ALP). ALP is a developer and manager of modern, grade-A warehousing. The financing is expected to fill the gap in logistics infrastructure in the region. The investment -- 10 million U. S dollars from IFC and 25 million U.S dollars from CDC -- will be used for ALP's developments in Nairobi, Kenya, the trading hub of East Africa, where the lack of quality, international-standard warehousing space has long been a constraint on business growth and economic development. Quality warehousing improves operational efficiencies by reducing waste from poor...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent as well. That’s what 26 Americans selected to participate in a Reciprocal Exchange program, a new component of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, are now planning to do. The U.S. Department of State partnered with IREX, a...
(Bloomberg 03/16/17)
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said he’ll rectify a decline in bank lending to business caused by his decision in August to impose a limit on commercial lending rates. Kenyatta in August capped rates at 4 percentage points above the central bank rate, fulfilling a campaign pledge he made before coming to power in 2013 to lower the cost of credit. The ceiling has failed to stimulate lending, with growth in loans to the private sector slowing to 4.3 percent in December, the weakest pace since at least 2005, from 18 percent a year earlier, according to central bank data. “It’s unfortunate that the unintended consequence was a slowdown in credit to small- and medium-sized enterprises,” Kenyatta, who will seek a...
(Usa Today 03/16/17)
A 100-day doctors' strike that has created a health crisis for millions of Kenyans neared an end Tuesday, when government and union officials signed an agreement to improve pay and work conditions, the union announced. The country's 5,000 public-sector doctors will resume work on Friday, said Ouma Oluga, secretary-general of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union, according to the Associated Press. Doctors, who were once on call at all times, will now work 40 hours a week and be compensated for extra time on the job. Thousands of doctors walked off the job Dec. 5 to protest the government’s failure to make good on a 2013 agreement to double salaries and hire thousands of new doctors to fill...
(Standard Digital 03/16/17)
Kenya plans to roll out e-passports to Kenyans from September 1, 2017. The Immigration department announced the postponement of the exercise from April to September. Immigration Services Director Maj Gen (rtd) Gordon Kihalangwa said the postponement was due to unforeseen circumstances. "Due to circumstances beyond our control, the launch will now happen as stated," said Mr Kihalangwa in a statement. To get the e-passport, applicants will be required to apply for a replacement passport and return their current passports. Information from the department says the e-passport will have an electronic chip holding the same information as the old model passport, alongside a biometric identifier, digital photograph of the holder and security features to prevent unauthorised use and forgery. Details of...
(Standard Digital 03/16/17)
Being in possession of a plastic bag for whatever use could soon land you in trouble with the authorities. This follows the announcement that the Government will beginning September ban the use of plastic bags. In a gazette notice dated February 28, Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu said the ban particularly targets carrier bags, plastic bags with handles as well as flat bags - those without handles - all used by consumers to carry goods, especially from retail outlets. “In exercise of the powers conferred under section 3 and 86 of the Environmental Management and Natural Resources Act, it is notified to the public that the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources has with effect from...
(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
China's aid to the education sector in Africa is helping boost teacher training, a key component in skilling the population to fast track development, a UN official has said. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in an interview recognized China's contribution to Africa's education sector over the years. "We value the initiative in teacher training in Uganda and other countries in Africa. This will revitalize the teaching profession," she said. China through UNESCO donated equipment to three teacher training institutions in Uganda on March 3. Figures from the Chinese embassy here show that 137 tutors were trained and 272 pieces of Information Communication and Technology and studio equipment...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Africa will host a Commonwealth Games one day despite the blow of Durban being stripped of hosting the 2022 edition, David Grevemberg, the chief executive of The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told AFP. Durban lost the right to host the Games on Monday -- just 18 months after being awarded them -- when it failed to meet criteria laid down by the CGF, primarily over costs. "I wouldn't want to make a judgement call," Grevemberg told AFP on the sidelines of a briefing by 2018 Games hosts Gold Coast on Wednesday. "Durban has hosted some great events, it is a fantastic city and are wonderful warm hosts with bright ambitions and great aspirations. "However, it takes more than a municipality,...
(AFP (eng) 03/15/17)
Kenyan doctors signed a deal on Tuesday to end a strike over pay and working conditions that has crippled public hospitals for 100 days. The government had threatened repeatedly to fire the strikers and hire foreign doctors, and union officials were even briefly jailed in a bid to end the country's longest-ever medical strike. Poor salaries and working conditions -- such as a lack of vital drugs and equipment -- have pushed Kenyan doctors to flee the public sector or go to other countries where there are better opportunities. The deal, signed at a ceremony broadcast on television, followed intense negotiations brokered by religious leaders.

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