| Africatime
Friday 24 March 2017
(Bloomberg 02/14/17)
Kenya’s preparations for general elections in August face “a period of uncertainty” after the High Court nullified a ballot-paper printing contract, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission said. The commission may appeal the ruling over the contract that had been awarded to Dubai-based Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Co., IEBC spokesman Andrew Limo said in a statement e-mailed Monday. Kenya is scheduled to hold presidential and legislative elections on Aug. 8. “The decision sends the preparations for the general election into a period of uncertainty,” Limo said. “The commission wishes to assure the country that it will do everything possible to ensure that we have credible elections.
(Xinhuanet 02/14/17)
The World Bank has approved a 250 million U.S. dollars credit to finance agricultural productivity and help smallholder farmers and pastoral communities build resilience to climate change. A statement from the World Bank released on Monday evening that the project aims to increase agricultural productivity and build resilience to climate change risks in the targeted smallholder farming and pastoral communities in Kenya. "The aspects of this project include upscaling climate smart agricultural practices, strengthening climate-smart agricultural research and seed systems and supporting agro-weather, market, climate, and advisory services," the WB said. "The finances will, among others, support the development of agro-weather forecasting and marketing information system and dissemination tools in Kenya," it said. According to the lender, the Kenya Climate...
(ABC News 02/14/17)
If you bought a rose for your loved one this Valentine's Day, there is a chance it has travelled a very long way. Figures from the Federal Department of Agriculture show that Australia imported more than 9 million rose stems this month, with the majority sourced from Kenya. Since the start of February, 5.22 million rose stems had been imported from Kenya, up by nearly 850,000 roses in the same period last year. It is understood to be a record for the Kenyan rose trade to Australia. Jasmin McFadden, who runs a flower shop in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia, said she was surprised when told the roses she was being sent were from Kenya. "It would appear...
(Voice of America 02/14/17)
U.S. President Donald Trump made his first phone calls to African heads of state Monday, speaking with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and South African President Jacob Zuma. Nigeria and South Africa said the calls were made at the request of the U.S. president, who until now has said little about Africa or African issues since assuming office last month. The Nigerian presidency said Trump and Buhari discussed issues of terrorism, and said Trump assured Buhari the United States is ready to make a new deal to help Nigeria "in terms of military weapons." The statement said Trump also commended Buhari for the strides Nigeria is making against Islamist radical group Boko Haram, and invited Buhari to come to Washington at...
(AFP (eng) 02/13/17)
A Kenyan court on Monday jailed seven union officials for a month over a doctors strike that has crippled public hospitals for 10 weeks. Judge Hellen Wasilwa at Kenya's labour court had handed down suspended sentences to the officials a month ago after they ignored an earlier court order to end the strike. Jailing them for contempt of court, the judge said they had provided no reason for the punishment to be deferred. "The applicants have not demonstrated to court any new and compelling issue, or pointed out any mistake or error apparent on the record, or any sufficient cause that would warrant review of the court's order," Wasilwa said. The seven officials were handcuffed and driven to jail past...
(Xinhuanet 02/13/17)
East African leaders will meet in the Tanzanian town of Arusha on Feb. 28 to discuss the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) that allows regional countries to export its agricultural products to Europe without attracting tax. Chris Kiptoo, Kenya's Principal Secretary in charge of Trade said Monday the matter is one of the agenda to be handled by the heads of state during the summit. Kiptoo explained East Africa Community (EAC) countries are supposed to sign as a bloc so that they can enjoy quota and duty free market access. "All the EAC countries ought to have signed the EPAs as a bloc with the European Union (EU) by Feb. 2. The deadline is over but only Kenya has signed and...
(Xinhuanet 02/13/17)
Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) 20 Share Index went down for the first time this month on Monday after losing momentum it had peaked to close the day at 2,933.69, down from 2,951.62 in the previous session. The index, which had dropped to an eight-year low of 2,789.64 on Jan. 30, had been on a rally until Monday when it lost the 18 points. Trading, similarly, slowed down 48 percent as turnover stood at 3.3 million U.S. dollars on a volume of 16.3 million dollars from 32 million worth 6.2 million dollars in previous session. Foreign investors accounted for 80 percent of total purchases against 66 percent total selling during the session. Safaricom was the day's biggest mover trading 4.3 million...
(Voice of America 02/13/17)
In Kenya, seven officials from the doctors union will be spending the next month behind bars for refusing to end the strike that has paralyzed the country's public health system for more than two months. After more than two hours listening to the doctor's lawyer on the progress of the talks between the union officials and the health ministry, High Court judge Hellen Wasilwa, made her ruling — one month in jail. “Indeed, they have submitted that they are engaging in negotiations ordered by the court on 1st December 2016, but they have not explained why they have chosen to obey part of the order and failed as officials of Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union to call off the...
(Xinhuanet 02/13/17)
Demand for Kenyan flowers in the EU market has risen by five percent ahead of Valentine's Day, according to the flower industry. The slow growth has been attributed to the move by Britain to withdraw from the EU (Brexit), which has weakened the sterling pound. According to George Onyango, the Human Resource manager at Van Den Berg flower farm, the demand had however shot up by 20 percent compared to December 2016. "Demand for the flowers have shot up by 20 percent as from December as Valentine is always our peak season," Onyango said. Speaking during a tour to the farm that produces 500,000 roses daily, Onyango said that the sector had a bright future despite challenges. "Roses love sunny...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/13/17)
A Kenyan judge on Monday ordered officials from the national doctors' union to be jailed amid a strike in public hospitals that has turned into a test of President Uhuru Kenyatta's leadership ahead of August elections. As news of the ruling emerged, truckloads of riot police took up positions and doctors wearing white gowns and surgical caps blew whistles and chanted angrily in the street. Doctors in public hospitals have been on strike since Dec. 5 over pay and conditions. A series of corruption scandals, including an investigation into millions of dollars allegedly missing from the Health Ministry, has bolstered support for the doctors, even though Kenyan media has reported that patients have died during the strike. A court ruled...
(Xinhuanet 02/13/17)
Kenya's anti-narcotics detectives on Monday arrested five most wanted drug barons in the coastal city of Mombasa. Swaleh Yusuf Ahmed and his wife Asma Abdalla are among the five latest drug lords to be apprehended in the county in the ongoing security operation to eliminate drug lords in the East African nation. Regional government official Nelson Marwa said the dragnet saw 15 kg of heroin recovered from a store in Bamburi, Mombasa as well as 180,000 U.S. dollars cash believed to be proceeds of narcotics. "We suspect the money was proceeds of drugs allegedly to be used to bribe law enforcers and to smuggle more narcotics," Marwa said. Four vehicles suspected to be used to smuggle the drugs were also...
(Xinhuanet 02/13/17)
Governments across the East African region must devise bold and innovative strategies to re-energize the fight against corruption, said the senior anti-corruption advisor at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Tim Steele, during a regional forum held in Nairobi on Monday. While acknowledging that corruption was detrimental to regional development, peace and stability, Steele emphasized that political goodwill, law enforcement and public awareness are key to rooting out the vice. "Corruption not only inhibits development but also compromises security and cohesion in any country. Governments in this region must create an enabling environment to enhance the fight against this menace at all levels," Steele said. Senior policymakers, law enforcement agencies and experts from the east and Horn of...
(Xinhuanet 02/13/17)
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Monday urged Kenya to leverage the power of radio to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern African Advisor for Communications and Information Jaco Du Toit told a media forum in Nairobi that radio has an important role to play in order to leave no one behind in terms of development. "Radio can give a voice to people to explain and express themselves on issues that are relevant to them and also help policymakers prioritize achievement of SDGs," Du Toit said during an occasion to commemorate the World Radio Day. Du Toit said that radio is important because it provides citizens with information on all areas that are...
(AFP (eng) 02/11/17)
Russian athletes will be allowed to compete in the World Under-18 championships in Kenya under a neutral banner, the organisers said on Friday. It will be the first time that Russia is represented in an international championships after the country was suspended last September by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) over doping violations. "Russians athletes will be eligible to compete in Nairobi as "individuals" under a neutral banner (presumably under the IAAF)," the U-18 championships organising committee (LOC) chief executive officer, Mwangi Muthee said. The Russian entry should serve as a consolation for the championship organisers following
(Xinhuanet 02/10/17)
Kenya's benchmark 91-day Treasury bill performed poorly for the second straight week as investors shunned it due to poor yields. The paper was once again heavily undersubscribed this week, pulling bids that amounted to 44 percent of the 38 million U.S. dollars sought, auction data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) showed Friday. "The total number of bids received amounted to 17 million dollars while total bids accepted were valued at 13 million dollars," said the CBK. Yield on the bill stood at 8.65 percent from 8.66 percent. The paper was the only one to record a decline as both the 182-day and 364-day bills registered rises in this week's auctions. Last week, the paper attracted bids worth 37...
(Xinhuanet 02/10/17)
Somali refugees on Friday welcomed Kenya's court ruling, which declared the closure of the Dadaab refugee camps illegal. The refugees who fled violence in Somalia to Dadaab refugee camps celebrated after Thursday's court ruling which blocked the planned closure of the camps home to more than 300,000 aliens of Somali origin. The refugees said that the ruling had brought a sigh of relief to them because the hurry in which the government was enforcing the closure of the camps was worrying since security in Somalia was still fragile. "It's a big sign or relief for many of us who had no idea where we would be taken to and how we were to start life afresh. The ruling came at...
(AFP (eng) 02/10/17)
Up to 18 players at the just-completed Africa Cup of Nations could be involved in the new-look CAF Champions League when it kicks off this weekend. Among them is Georges Bokwe, one of two unused goalkeepers in the Cameroon squad that defeated Egypt in the final last Sunday in Gabon. Bokwe was kept out of the starting line-up by the consistent brilliance of Spain-based Fabrice Ondoa, who was included in the team of the tournament. But Bokwe is the first choice for regular Champions League entrants Coton Sport from northern Cameroon cotton town Garoua. Coton qualified for the 2008 final, losing to Al Ahly of Egypt, but have fared poorly recently with first round exits in the past two seasons...
(AFP (eng) 02/09/17)
Kenya's High Court on Thursday blocked the government's decision to close the Dadaab refugee camp -- the world's largest -- and force Somali refugees to return home. Judge John Mativo ruled that the plan to shut down the camp was unconstitutional, violated Kenya's international obligations and amounted to persecution of refugees. Dadaab is home to some 256,000 people, the vast majority of them Somalis who fled across the border following the outbreak of civil war in 1991. The government unilaterally decided to close the camp in May last year, saying it was a terrorist training ground for Shabaab Islamist militants.
(AFP (eng) 02/09/17)
Kenya's High Court on Thursday blocked the government's decision to close the Dadaab refugee camp -- the world's largest -- and to send Somali refugees home. Judge John Mativo ruled that the plan to shut down the camp was unconstitutional and amounted to persecution of refugees. Dadaab is home to some 256,000 people, the vast majority of them Somalis who fled across the border following the outbreak of civil war in 1991. The government has taken a hardline stance on the sprawling camp, saying it acts as a terrorist training ground for Shabaab Islamists
(Xinhuanet 02/09/17)
Thousands of refugees who have settled in temporary camps located in Kenya's northern frontier districts are an asset rather than a burden to the local economy, the World Bank said on Thursday in a new report launched in Nairobi. According to the report "Economics of Refugees and their Social Dynamics in Kakuma, Kenya," the east African nation could reap enormous benefits through integration of foreign refugees into the local economy and cultural setups. Apurva Sanghi, World Bank Lead Economist and co-author of the report, urged the authorities to harness the skills and talents of refugees from neighboring countries to foster economic growth, stability and peace. "Refugees presence in Kenya has been a boon to the macro-economy as evidenced by higher...

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