ABUJA, (Xinhua) --
Nigeria’s table tennis star Seun Ajetunmobi was on
Friday confirmed dead following a gas explosion inside his home in
the southwestern state of Lagos.
Italy-based Ajetunmobi died due to severe injuries he sustained
during the domestic accident late Thursday, according to local
Friday morning while receiving treatment at a Lagos hospital,” said
an official statement.
Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) described the late Ajetunmobi as “a
key player that will be sorely missed.”
NTTF scribe Anthony Idaye, the deceased athlete was on holiday in
Nigeria after the end of the season in Italy.
Ajetunmobi won the men’s singles champion at the annual Aso
Championships, a local tourney, in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja.
international duty for Nigeria was at the 2015 African Games in
died at 33.
49 killed, 70 others still missing
after tropical cyclone in Somaliland
MOGADISHU, (Xinhua) --
At least 49 people were killed while 70 others are
still missing following tropical cyclone Sagar that caused heavy
rains and flooding in Somaliland, the UN humanitarian agency said on
estimates from Somaliland’s disaster management authority, NADFOR,
the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said
nearly 168,000 people were directly affected and some 277 hectares
of land have been destroyed in the affected villages.
infrastructure, including roads, fishing boats, medical facilities,
boreholes and water wells were damaged. Over 80 percent of community
shelters have been destroyed and 33 schools were affected,” said
OCHA in its latest humanitarian bulletin.
the UN, communities in the coastal areas of Somaliland and major
portions of Awdal district, as well as some coastal communities in
Puntland are still reeling from the impact of tropical cyclone Sagar.
one of the strongest storms ever recorded in Somalia, left an entire
year’s worth of rain in a matter of hours, according to SWALIM.
“It left in
its trail death, floods and strong winds, as well as the destruction
of farmland and infrastructure. Thousands of livestock were killed
and civilians displaced. The impact of the cyclone has affected
communities that were still recovering from prolonged drought,” said
the UN relief agency.
said the UN, flash floods in Bari left three people dead and damaged
the road linking the town of Bossaso to areas in the south.
“Humanitarians have reported that 3,600 families were affected. The
worst-affected areas include the coastal towns of Bareeda, Caluula,
Gumbax, Murcanyo, Xaabo and some parts of Qandala,” says the report,
noting that houses and fishing boats were washed away. Agricultural
land was also swamped.
Sagar which formed in the Gulf of Aden hit Somaliland, northern
Somalia on May 19. It also affected the neighboring country
Ethiopia, where 188,000 people were reportedly displaced.
Gunmen kill 15 in NW Nigeria’s
LAGOS, (Xinhua) --
Nigerian police in the northwestern Zamfara state
said on Saturday that 15 people were killed when unknown gunmen
attacked a village in the state.
spokesperson in the state, Muhammad Shehu, told reporters in Gusau,
the state capital that the gunmen killed the people in a village
called Zakuna, in the Anka Local Government Area.
invaded Zakuna in the early hours of Friday and stole cows belonging
to villagers, she said, adding that no arrest had been made.
reporters that investigation into the matter had commenced.
beleaguered state has seen repeated attacks in recent times that
have left scores dead.
On May 25,
some communities in Gidangoga District in the Maradun Local
Government Area of the state were attacked by bandits, resulting in
the death of 26 people, with three others injured.
Air strikes kill at least 2
civilians in eastern Libya
TRIPOLI, (Xinhua) --
At least two civilians were killed by air strikes
carried out by Libya’s eastern-based army targeting the eastern
Libyan city of Darna, head of the city council confirmed on
two civilians were killed by four air strikes targeting various
locations in the city, specifically at the populated western
entrance of the city,” Awad L’eraj told Xinhua later on Saturday.
“The city is
besieged from all directions, as military forces are trying to break
into it without taking into account the civilians and the losses
they would suffer by the continuous air strikes and shelling,”
He called on
international organizations to “lift the siege on Darna and enable
entry of medicine and food, as civilians are on the brink of
international organization can provide any aids without prior
authorization by Libya’s eastern-based army, which is besieging the
city, L’eraj added.
accused Tripoli-based UN-backed government of “abandoning Darna and
its residents”, after the government announced it was unable to
provide any aids for the city due to the military action.
Support Mission in Libya on Friday said that at least 17 civilians
had been killed and 22 others wounded in Darna over the past two
weeks, as a result of the fighting between the army and militants.
also confirmed that some 125,000 people in Darna were suffering
power blackouts and water shortage, appealing to all parties in
Darna to “allow unfettered and safe access” by humanitarian workers.
eastern-based army, led by General Khalifa Haftar, has been
besieging Darna since 2015 and demanding the armed group of the
Shura Council of Mujahideen of Darna leave the city. The army
accuses the group of being loyal to al-Qaida.
48 migrants die after boat sinks
off Tunisian coast
TUNIS, (Xinhua) --
The number of illegal immigrants killed after their
boat sank off the southeastern coast of Tunisia on Sunday has risen
to 48, according to the Ministry of Defense.
A total of
75 people have been rescued people so far, including 60 Tunisians,
five from Sub-Saharan Africa, two Moroccans and one Libyan, said
Rachid Bouhawala, the press officer at the Ministry of Defense.
operations are continuing in coordination with the army as well as
units of the Maritime Guard and civil protection.
At least 180
illegal immigrants were aboard the boat stranded off the island of
Kerkennah on the southeastern coast of the country, including 80
known as one of the main illegal gateways to Europe from Tunisia.
Since the beginning of this year, about 1,910 Tunisian migrants have
reached Italy by sea, according to the International Organization
Forum for Economic and Social Rights said in a study that 9,329
Tunisians attempted to cross the Mediterranean in 2017, with 34
percent intercepted by Tunisian maritime forces.
Kenyans split on state officials
taking polygraph test to curb rampant graft
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenyans are divided on an announcement by President
Uhuru Kenyatta that the government will subject all its procurement
and accounting officers to lie detection test to curb spiraling
Friday announced that all the officers would be subjected to the
polygraph test by June 30 as his government works to curb corruption
that has rocked his administration.
five public institutions are currently being investigated for
institutions are National Youth Service (NYS), Kenya Pipeline, Kenya
Power, National Cereals and Produce Board and the Youth Fund.
suspects linked to the theft of 90 million U.S. dollars at the NYS
were this week arrested and charged in court with the crime.
Kenyatta used the Independence Day celebrations on Friday to
announce the new measure by his government to tackle graft.
of procurement and accounts in government ministries, departments,
agencies and parastatals will be vetted afresh, including taking a
polygraph test, to determine their integrity and suitability,” said
believe the radical step would eliminate the vice but others are
cynical, noting that is another scheme to wane public anger but
would yield little results.
detection test is out of this world and would be a first in Kenya. I
really support it. Any move that would help fight corruption in
Kenya is welcome,” Joseph Kimenyi, a public transport vehicle (matatu)
driver, said Saturday.
suggested that the test should be extended to the traffic police
department, which has been ranked the most corrupt institution in
Kenya for ages.
they should start with the police. As matatu operators, we lose a
lot of money to the officers and this has become a way of life. This
should stop,” he said.
Musavi, a salonist was hopeful that the lie detection test would
eliminate corrupt people in government and allow the employment of
critics say a lie detection test is the last thing that Kenyans need
to fight corruption.
needs to fight corruption is political goodwill not lie detectors.
Kenya is gripped in corruption because the political class is
benefiting from it and has allowed it,” said Dismas Okoth, a youth
leader in Kayole on the East of Nairobi.
if government was keen on fighting corruption, Kenyatta would have
ordered for the incarceration of all people linked to graft,
including his close allies.
people including top politicians and government officials have been
named in graft scandals but they continue to serve. Are they going
to take a lie detection test?” He posed, noting the best way to
fight corruption is to start from the top.
media, Kenyans have debated the pros and cons of the lie detection
test that the government has said is urgent.
flaw of polygraph testing is the fact an honest person may be
nervous and a dishonest person may be non-anxious. You can fool a
lie detector test with just one simple movement and get away with
it,” said Kinyan Boy on Twitter.
noted the announcement of the test had caught the country by
radical. It is innovative but citizens’ chances of eliminating
corruption with the gadgets are fifty-fifty. Corruption is so rooted
in Kenya that a polygraph test is part of the solution but not the
cure of the menace,” said Ernest Manuyo, a business management
lecturer in Nairobi.
observed that to eliminate corruption, Kenyans first need to have a
sense of nationhood so that they can see graft as a threat to their
country and existence.
people seek services from government offices expecting to bribe.
This is what public officials exploit. Though I welcome the
detector, we need a major culture shift as Kenyans to eliminate
graft,” he said.
Kiyiapi, a professor of environment and a political analyst, noted
that to end corruption, the country must not only punish those
complicit in graft, but also return the money.
AU Commission chief calls for calm,
restraint in Mali
ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) --
The Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission,
Moussa Faki Mahamat, has urged political actors in Mali to refrain
from acts that may further worsen the situation in that country.
ahead of Mali’s presidential elections in July, violent clashes
occurred last Saturday in the capital city Bamako sparked by
demonstrations by opposition parties.
statement on Monday, the Chairperson of the 55-member Commission
regretted the incidents, whereby more than a dozen were reportedly
injured during the demonstration organized in Bamako by the
speedy recovery to those who were injured in the incidents, the
Chairperson of the AU Commission has called on Malian political
actors to exercise restraint and refrain from any act likely to
induce greater political polarization.
underlined that all Malian political leaders need to work towards
the holding of peaceful, smooth, and transparent elections next
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday also called for calm
and restraint by all parties in the country.
He has urged
political actors and the civil society to favor dialogue in order to
maintain an environment conducive to the holding of credible and
Angola president’s Belgium visit to
improve bilateral cooperation
LUANDA, (Xinhua) --
Angolan President Joao Lourenco’s two-day working
visit to Belgium could improve cooperation between the two
countries, said Angolan foreign minister on Sunday.
the press on Sunday in the capital Brussels, Angola’s Foreign
Affairs Minister Manuel Augusto said bilateral cooperation will
dominate the agenda of the Angolan president’s visit.
said the president is expected to meet with King Philip of Belgium
and Prime Minister Charles Michel, as well as senior officials of
international bodies based in Brussels, such as the European Union.
will also meet with the Belgian business community and the Angolan
community in residing in Belgium.
South Sudan’s Kiir in Ethiopia for
JUBA, (Xinhua) --
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir on Wednesday
travelled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for a one-day State visit, the
Kiir was accompanied by the country’s chief peace negotiator and
government ministers for talks with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy
Sudanese leader is expected to brief the Ethiopian prime minister
about South Sudan’s position on the peace talks led by the East
African regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on
president of the republic would discuss with the new Ethiopian Prime
Minister the government’s position on the recent IGAD proposal on
the revival of the country’s peace,” the presidency said.
It is Kiir’s
first visit to Ethiopia since the resignation of former Ethiopian
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. Ethiopia is hosting peace talks
aimed at reviving South Sudan’s stalled 2015 peace deal.
round of the High Level Revitalization Forum ended last week without
any deal after the warring parties rejected a proposed power sharing
deal developed by IGAD. IGAD is yet to announce the next date for
Madagascar’s PM announces
ANTANANARIVO, (Xinhua) --
Madagascar’s Prime Minister Olivier Mahafaly
Solonandrasana announced his resignation Monday morning after the
decision of the High Constitutional Court last week which asked him
to resign in seven days.
from my position freely without problem. I will send to President
Hery Rajaonarimampianina my resignation,” the prime minister said
during his press meeting Monday.
Solonandrasana said that the reason of his resignation is the
decision of the High Constitutional Court (HCC), which decided to
create a new government of consensus.
without objection this decision of the HCC and I put my resignation
to facilitate it,” Solonandrasana added.
minister said he always looked for solidarity among the Malagasy
Solonandrasana, 53, was appointed prime minister on April 10, 2016
to replace Jean Ravelonarivo.
Zimbabwean government rejects U.S.
claims on upcoming vote
HARARE, (Xinhua) --
The Zimbabwean government said Monday it has taken
adequate executive measures to ensure free, fair and credible
elections set for July 30 this year.
It said this
in response to recent claims by United States senator Chris Coons
that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration was making empty
promises and deliberately delaying implementing key electoral
reforms to disadvantage the opposition.
government has guaranteed a peaceful poll, which is why the
President has been unambiguous in his call for peace as well as
taking the unexampled decision to meet with opposition parties once
the Nomination Court has confirmed who is genuine and who is not,”
the state-controlled Herald newspaper quoted Mnangagwa’s
spokesperson George Charamba as saying.
said the new Zimbabwe government had taken steps to guarantee a
credible poll which included inviting international observers and
adequately resourcing the electoral body to smoothly run the
He said the
Zimbabwe government would not interfere with the operations of the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission in running the poll.
is unclear to the Senator (Coons) is that ZEC is a constitutional
creature whose independence is provided for in the law. Whether,
when and how it release the voters’ roll and in what format, is for
it to determine without undue influence from any player national or
international, inside government or outside government,” Charamba
Activists in Uganda denounce tax on
social media users
KAMPALA, (Xinhua) --
Civil society organizations and rights activists on
Friday criticized Uganda’s legislators for passing a controversial
bill that imposes a daily tax on social media users in the country.
Sewanyana, the executive director of Foundation for Human Rights
Initiative, told Xinhua in an interview that the Excise Duty
(Amendment) Bill 2018, which imposes a mandatory daily tax of 200
shillings (0.05 U.S. dollars) for social media users is unwarranted
and unnecessary on tax payers.
“It is a
restriction on people’s individual freedom to express themselves and
communicate freely since it makes access costly and prohibitive,”
“It is a
double tax since we pay for airtime. Such a tax should be rejected.
The bill once passed into law will be subjected to court litigation
to determine its constitutionality,” he said.
lawmakers on Wednesday passed the bill two months after President
Yoweri Museveni in March announced that the government was planning
to introduce taxes on social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook,
Twitter, Skype, LinkedIn, and Viber, on alleged grounds that people
were using them mainly for gossip.
director of communications and public affairs at Uganda’s
Parliament, told Xinhua that the bill was passed to enable the
government to raise revenues to offer social services.
originated from the executive which runs government. Parliament has
passed it basing on the reasons the executive advanced in order to
run government,” said Obore.
excise duty law, which takes effect from July 1, 2018, also imposes
1 percent levy on the mobile money transactions, which includes cash
deposits and withdrawals using a mobile phone aimed at growing
domestic budget financing.
23,529,290 mobile phone subscribers, according to the recent report
of the Ugandan Communications Commission.
Zimbabwe to end voter registration
for July 30 elections
HARARE, (Xinhua) --
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said
Wednesday voter registration for the July 30 national polls ends on
chairperson Priscilla Chigumba said changes to the recently
promulgated Electoral Act stipulate that voter registration closes
two days after proclamation of the election date.
Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday set July 30, 2018 as the date for
national polls to choose the President, National Assembly members
therefore means that the registration of voters for the purposes of
the 2018 harmonized elections shall close on June. 1 2018,” she
those that are going to register after the cut-off date will be
considered for future elections,” she added.
registration started in September last year and about 5.4 million
people have so far registered to vote in the July 30 election.
said the two-days until June 1 would afford those who failed to
inspect the voters’ roll from May 19 to 29 a chance to do so.
ready for the elections whose budget is 198 million U.S. dollars,
that the electoral body had identified regional companies that will
supply ballot papers and ink to be used in the voting process.
electoral body would also provide the final voters’ roll to
candidates who will have successfully filed their names to contest
in the elections.
UN, South Sudan launch strategy to
JUBA, (Xinhua) --
The United Nations agency in charge of fighting HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
and South Sudan have launched a five-year strategic plan to halt new
infections and deaths linked to the disease.
Lola, chairman of South Sudan network for people living with HIV/AIDs,
said many people living with the disease lack access to quality
medical care because of the economic crisis and insecurity engulfing
the UN strategy, which was launched on Thursday, saying its speedy
implementation accompanied by adequate funding will offer hope to
people living with HIV/Aids.
funds are availed, we can really meet the target of universal
testing and treatment,” said Lola.
Lato, who works at an organization called national empowerment for
HIV-positive Women united, expressed gratitude to the UN and
government for coming up with a plan to guide the country to respond
to its treatment and prevention.
“We now have
the direction to help anyone who come to seek medical advice and
treatment will not struggle to get the required assistant since they
will be guided by this plan,” said Lato.
the launch of the UN strategy, South Sudan’s vice president James
WaniIgga told the gathering that the government is committed to
fight HIV/AIDs but lack adequate funding.
is the most under-funded country in regard to HIV/AIDs program. As a
government we are doing our level best to finance HIV/AIDs
intervention in the country although we have our own limitations,”
Sidibe, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, said the plan is to
strengthen response to HIV prevalence in the east African nation.
are talking about 25,000 or more on treatment. Few years ago, we
were having less than 30 people in treatment so this is a good
progress. We will continue to strengthen our response to HIV
prevalence in the country,” Sidibe remarked.
Sudan’s national AIDS commission chair, Estereno Novello said the
government recognized HIV as one of the most formidable challenges
in the country.
“I urge the
UNAIDS leadership to advocate for an increase of resources to enable
us implement the country’s national strategic plan to strengthen the
availability of strategic information such as aids indicators survey
which we have not done since independence,”
Sudan’s AIDS commission estimates a 2.7 percent national HIV/AIDS
prevalence while only about 25,000 people in the country are
currently on treatment.
Tanzania set to amend laws to allow
DAR ES SALAAM, (Xinhua) --
The government of Tanzania plans to review relevant
laws to allow for HIV self-testing and enable persons undergoing the
testing to interpret diagnostic results in private, a senior
official said on Thursday.
system aims to help reduce challenges in the current form of testing
whereby many people fear going public, the Minister for Health, Ummy
Mwalimu, told parliament in the capital Dodoma.
the ministry has written to the Attorney General, recommending that
the laws be reviewed to allow self-testing since the laws do not
currently allow that.
“As we move
to the new way of testing for HIV, my office has written to the AG’s
office for the amendment of the law to allow self-testing which is
likely to have very big impact in the country,” she told the House.
the government will soon launch a public drive for men to
voluntarily go for HIV testing, saying that people should not fear
testing since HIV/AIDS is no longer a “death sentence” because once
found positive, a person can live longer while on drugs.
statistics by the Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS), Tanzania
has an estimated 1.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS, but only
52 percent of them are aware of their condition.
has mostly affected the youth aged between 14 and 25 years,
according to the ACAIDS.
Kenya’s SGR train to hasten
Africa’s rise as major power: expert
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) passenger train
service whose first anniversary was celebrated on May 31 will be
instrumental in propelling Africa’s rise as a global economic power,
a Kenyan expert said Sunday.
Kagwanja, CEO of Nairobi-based think tank Africa Policy Institute
said in a commentary published by Sunday Nation Newspaper that the
SGR project has revolutionized regional growth while placing the
African continent in a vantage position to become an economic and
brings 21st century railroad technology to power the
African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063,” said Kagwanja.
eliminates the technological isolation and balkanization of the
continent, thus defying the legacy of colonial era lines that had
little regard for interconnection of the continent,” he added.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on May 31 last year launched the modern
train to operate along the China-funded 480-km railway linking the
port city of Mombasa to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
“Madaraka Express”, the SGR commuter service has over the last one
year ferried an estimated 1.3 million passengers hence generating 11
million U.S. dollars.
hailed benefits unleashed by Madaraka Express that includes
decongesting the highways while providing efficient, safer and
faster means of transport for regular travelers, tourists and
that the railway project has reduced the cost of maintaining roads
and air pollution that is linked to use of heavy commercial vehicles
to transport cargo.
railway network is supporting efforts to diversify the economy and
enhance East Africa’s export potential. It has created an enabling
environment for investments,” said Kagwanja.
Africa’s most audacious railway project. Railways are linked to the
rise of powers such as the United States, China and Russia,”
sense, the new railway paves the way for Africa’s emergence as a
major global power,” he added.
Deal signed to promote Angola’s
LUANDA, (Xinhua) --
The Angola-China Chamber of Commerce (ACCC) signed a
partnership agreement here on Friday with Angola’s tourism
authorities and a local bank to promote the tourism sector in the
deal, Sol Bank would help facilitate the acquisition of foreign
exchange to back Angolans who wish to do business in China and
promote national tourism, said Coutinho Nobre Miguel, the president
of Sol Bank, a privately-owned bank based in Luanda.
agreement also aims to promote trade relations between Angola and
China, taking into account the decline in business activity as
Angola is currently undergoing economic and financial crises, Miguel
Calado, chairman of the Angola-China Chamber of Commerce, said the
agreement will strengthen tourism in Angola, stressing the Chinese
have vast experience in the tourism sector and can easily adapt to
the realities of other peoples, whether in the field of business or
Angola-China Chamber of Commerce currently has 800 Angolan and 200
Chinese members and intends to expand to 50,000 members in the
long-lasting civil war ended in 2012 in Angola, the country’s
tourism sector is currently facing tough challenges, ranging from
difficult visa procedures and high prices for hotel rooms to yellow
fever outbreaks and street crime, according to media reports.
last year, Angolan State Minister for Economic and Social
Development Manuel Nunes Junior said that Angola was open to
establishing international partnerships to provide competitive and
better tourism products to attract more tourists from around the
He also said
that his country would work on simplifying visa procedures for
Ethiopia’s next fiscal year budget
to grow by 3.6 pct
ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) --
A draft budget bill approved by the Ethiopian Council
of Ministers on Saturday showed a 3.6-percent increase for the next
2018-2019 Ethiopian fiscal year.
now tabled to the Ethiopian House of People’s Representatives (HoPR)
for approval, provides 346.9 billion ETB (close to 12.56 billion
U.S. dollars) budget for the coming fiscal year, up from 320.8
billion ETB for the current 2017-2018 fiscal year, state television
Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) reported.
The bill is
expected to fulfill the regional governments’ necessary requirements
as well as for the federal government’s effective implementation of
the second five-year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) of
Ethiopia, due effective from 2015 to 2020.
Ethiopian government’s priority areas during the GTP II include
infrastructure, education, agriculture, water, and health
constitutes 61 percent of the total budget allocation, according to
Ethiopia’s finance ministry.
3.6-percent increase, the next year’s budget has registered a
decrease as compared with the current fiscal year’s budget in terms
of its value due to the Ethiopian National Bank’s decision to
devalue the Ethiopian birr (ETB) by 15 percent as of October last
will be scrutinized by the HoPR’s, the Ethiopian parliament’s lower
house, Budget and Finance Affairs Standing Committee before tabled
to the parliament for approval.
Zambia’s annual inflation increases
to 7.8 pct in May
LUSAKA, (Xinhua) --
Zambia’s year-on-year inflation increased to 7.8
percent in May from 7.4 percent recorded in the previous month, its
statistics agency said on Thursday.
that on average prices of goods and services increased by 7.8
percent between May 2017 and May 2018,” Goodson Sinyenga, acting
director of the Central Statistical Office (CSO) told reporters
during a press briefing.
attributed the increase in the annual inflation to price movements
in food and transport.
figures, the year-on-year annual food inflation rate was recorded at
6.9 percent compared to 6.5 percent the previous month, indicating
an increase of 0.4 percentage points while the year-on-year annual
non-food inflation rate for May was record at 8.9 percent from 8.4
percent recorded last month.
also recorded an increase in the month-on-month inflation to 0.6
percent in May from 0.4 percent in April, he added.
Kenya begins transportation of
export-oriented crude oil
TURKANA, Kenya, (Xinhua) --
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday flagged off
the first consignment of crude oil destined for export from the East
African nation under a pilot scheme.
flagged off trucks loaded with crude oil from the Turkana oil fields
in northwest Kenya as part of the Early Oil Pilot Scheme (EOP).
flag-off event and the anticipated implementation of the Early Oil
Pilot Scheme mark the beginning of a long and fruitful journey,”
hoped the EOP scheme will establish the country as a crude oil
exporter in the region and help gain information for future
exploration and development.
scheme, some 2,000 barrels of oil per day will be transported to
Mombasa by road for eventual shipment.
The EOPS is
being undertaken by the Kenyan government and the Kenya Joint
Venture Partners comprising Tullow Oil, Africa Oil and Total Oil.
African nation struck oil in 2012 and has so far confirmed
approximately 750 million barrels. Kenya is currently undertaking
the EOPS before full field oil production commences in 2021.
2017 also signed an agreement for a feasibility study on a proposed
pipeline to transport crude oil from the oilfields to Lamu.
said the initial petroleum exports will complement the country’s
existing development projects under the Big Four Agenda, a five-year
development plan to transform the lives of Kenyans through
manufacturing, food security, universal health insurance and cheaper
government will therefore focus on the development of our oil and
gas sectors for the betterment of the economy and people,” Kenyatta
president said the pilot scheme will also incentivize better road
infrastructure in the region and spur electricity connectivity in
production has made it a front runner in the East African region
that is eyeing a greater role in the global petroleum sector.
discovery of oil and gas in Uganda and Tanzania and the ongoing
explorations in Ethiopia and DRC, Kenya finds itself in the company
of other resourceful African nations,” Kenyatta said.
Kenya unveils plans to revamp
ailing cotton industry
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya has announced plans aimed at revamping its
ailing cotton sector, a government official revealed on Saturday.
Waturu, Director of Horticulture Research Institute at the Kenya
Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), said the
sub sector has potentials for the manufacturing industry that is one
of the key development agendas of the government.
plans to introduce the development of cotton production using
hybrids, which will have three times the production yield,” Waturu
said during a cotton stakeholders meeting in Nairobi.
He said the
government has plans to give incentives to investors to build modern
ginneries and textile manufacturing plants as part of the revival
to increase revenue from textile industry from 35 million U.S.
dollars to 20 billion dollars,” he added.
He said the
East Africa country is also exploring the potential of application
biotechnology and other plant breeding techniques to help produce
“We have a
provisional commercialization of Bt cotton trials road map and has
identified in the nine sites for National Performance Trials (NPTs),”
that some 50,000 youths and women are to be trained and 5 million
square feet of industrial sheds will be established in
cotton-growing regions to boost production.
scientist observed that additional 500,000 jobs will be created in
the sub sector and 100,000 new clothes jobs by the year 2022.
sub sector can be revived faster with the adoption of modern
technology such as biotechnology,” said Edward Nguu, professor at
the biochemistry department of University of Nairobi.
technologies are desirable because they are pest resistance, drought
tolerance, cold tolerance and reduces the use of herbicides and
chemicals in farming,” he added.
that the technologies derived from authorized genetically-modified
(GM) crops are as safe as conventional varieties and takes a shorter
time to achieve desired results.
cotton has been low in competition to the more efficient producers
in India, China, Bangladesh and Vietnam,” said Dickson Kibata,
Technical Advisor on fiber crops from to the Agriculture and Food
that the leading producers of cotton have in the past years
developed integrated strategy that cuts across production and value
addition to markets.
attributed low production of cotton to high energy cost, low
technology upgradation and competition from cheap imports.
sector has outmoded ginneries, spinning and weaving with only
garmenting at the Export Promotion Zones (EPZ) which is modernized,”
that today, only 30,000 farmers are involved in cotton growing that
produces 4,000 tonnes against the market demand of 25,000 tonnes,
yet the country has the potential for 200,000 farmers as eligible
revealed that AFA targets productivity efficiency of 2,500 kilograms
per hectares in the future compared to the current 572 kilograms per
started a national cotton classing system through the planting of
conventional and hybrid seed varieties,” he noted.
the Kenyan government is due to launch production of the commodity
through irrigation with expectation of 35,000 bales expected to come
from irrigation as well as adoption of Bt cotton that is expected to
lower the cost of production by 40 percent.
that the government recently appointed a 12-member task force to
oversee commercialization of Bt-cotton.
Kenya says regional infrastructure
projects on course
LAMU, Kenya, (Xinhua) --
Kenya said Thursday the construction of an ambitious
Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (LAPPSET) corridor project
is well underway.
Maringa, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, said
Kenya is currently pursuing the development of the appropriate road
infrastructure connections that will connect the port to the rest of
the LAPSSET corridor as well as other parts of the country and
happy that the port construction has taken shape very well and it’s
now at 42 percent complete. We appreciate the great support that the
LAPSSET Corridor project has so far received from the local county
and national governments plus all concerned agencies. I would like
to say that we are all working together to deliver the port
project,” Maringa told journalists in Lamu.
Corridor Project plan includes a 32-berth port, transportation hubs
for rail, highway and international airports in Lamu, Isiolo and
Lodwar, an oil pipeline from South Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia to
Lamu Port, an oil refinery and three resort cities in Isiolo, Lamu
port project is estimated to be worth 25 billion U.S. dollars,
Maringa said, noting that the construction of the first three
terminals is also underway with the first expected to be completed
by end of June this year.
two berths in the initial phase are expected to be completed by end
of the year 2022, according to Maringa. The entire three berths will
cost 480 million dollars.
Kasuku, the LAPSSET project Director General, said so far, 150
million dollars of the total budget had already been spent on design
works and auxiliary facilities.
construction project is taking shape very well and so far we have
had to work within the confines of the plan. We have enough support
from the government and other agencies,” said Kasuku.
He said the
LAPSSET portends huge economic and industrial benefits for Kenya and
the East Africa region, adding that the port will open up Kenya to
more and bigger trade opportunities and investments in Africa and
construction of the port headquarters that cost 8.7 million dollars
and a police station is already complete, Kasuku said.
government expects the LAPSSET to have impact on the livelihoods of
166 million people in Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan and other East
intervening discovery of economically viable oil deposits in
Lokichar, Turkana along the LAPSSET corridor, the proposed refinery
and oil based infrastructure will automatically be able to refine
oil mined from Turkana.
It has been
suggested that the Lamu basin has a potential of generating up to
3.7 billion barrels of oil.
Ugandan car dealers welcome bill
banning importation of vehicle over 15years old
KAMPALA, (Xinhua) --
Ugandan car dealers on Friday welcomed the proposed
law banning the importation of cars manufactured more than 15 years
Ayebale, secretary general of Associated Motor Dealers, said there
must be a limit on every sort of junk coming into the country.
the director of communications and public affairs at Uganda’s
Parliament, told Xinhua that bill is aimed at promoting road safety.
(of the bill) is to regulate traffic and promote road safety in the
country,” said Obore.
African country registers at least 20,000 accidents with over 2,000
deaths each year, making it one of the countries with the highest
road accident fatality rates in the world, according to police
exempts heavy vehicles such as breakdown lorries, crane lorries,
road sweeper lorries, fire fighting vehicles, concrete mixer
lorries, spraying lorries, mobile workshops and forklifts among
vehicles, agricultural and forestry tractors will also be exempted.
Rwandans march against plastic
KIGALI, (Xinhua) --
Hundreds of Rwandans on Sunday marched in the capital
city of Kigali to encourage the public to join the effort to address
organized by the ministry of environment through the Rwanda
Environment Management Authority (REMA) is part of activities of the
2018 national environment week and World Environment Day due on June
Plastic Pollution Walk” offered a great opportunity to demonstrate
Rwanda’s commitment to improving health and environment by ending
the use of single-use plastics and addressing plastic waste, said
REMA director general Coletha Ruhamya at the event.
urged Rwandans to reject using single-use plastics including plastic
straws, cups, plates and bottles, and find sustainable alternatives.
May 29 launched the national environment week featuring different
awareness activities aimed at addressing plastic pollution, such as
countrywide inspection of the illegal use of plastic bags and
exhibition on plastic recycling.
will be concluded on June 5 on World Environment Day.
than a decade, Rwanda has raised awareness about the benefits of
life without plastic bags to maintain a clean and healthy
In 2008, the
landlocked country passed a law banning importation and use of
polythene bags, which also stipulates heavy penalties for their use
or smuggling them into the country.
encourages Rwandans to live without disposable plastics to make the
world a better place for today and future generations.
Botswana citizens lead the pack in
tobacco use - official
GABORONE, (Xinhua) --
Botswana citizens use tobacco the most when compared
with other highly populated African countries such as Nigeria,
Uganda and Kenya, a senior official said on Thursday.
At an event
marking the World No Tobacco Day in Francistown, Botswana’s second
largest city, Permanent Secretary of Botswana’s Ministry of Health
and Wellness Ruth Maphorisa said tobacco use in Botswana is severe.
said “17.6 percent people in Botswana currently use tobacco.”
the official, this is the highest rate among all African countries
involved in the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) last year,
including Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya.
Botswana undertook GATS, a study aimed at determining the impact of
tobacco in the southern African nation.
Maphorisa, the survey established that 82.2 percent of the 17.6
percent tobacco users buy single sticks of cigarettes, indicating
the affordability of cigarettes, which makes them easily accessible.
“Affordability and easy accessibility of cigarettes promote the
buying of tobacco sticks on credit,” she said.
explained that the average monthly expenditure on tobacco per person
is an estimated at 79.5 U.S. dollars, an amount that is more than
the country’s minimum wage pegged at 40 U.S. dollars.
majority of those spending on tobacco are people in rural areas with
no basic education who spend more than they earn on tobacco,” she
Due to the
high use of tobacco in the country, Maphorisa said 7.5 percent of
She further explained that the average monthly expenditure on
tobacco per person is an estimated at 79.5 U.S. dollars, an amount
that is more than the country’s minimum wage pegged at 40 U.S.
second-hand smoke is real within the communities of Botswana, saying
it is more dangerous than active smoking.
a message released on Thursday by World Health Organization (WHO),
tobacco kills over 7 million people each year despite a steady
reduction in tobacco use globally.
Global Report in Prevalence of Tobacco Smoking 2000-2025 shows that
worldwide, 27 percent people smoked tobacco in 2000 compared with 20
percent in 2016.
Kenyan shilling dips 1.2 pct in May
on high dollar demand
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
The Kenyan shilling depreciated 1.2 percent against
the U.S. dollar in May saddled by increased demand for the
declined from 100.40 at the end of April to 101.60 at the close of
May, according to data from the Central Bank.
was mainly due to increased dollar demand by multinationals and
importers towards the end of the month,” Cytonn, a Nairobi-based
investment firm, noted in a brief Monday.
The bulk of
the fall in May happened last week, where the Kenyan shilling
depreciated by 0.5 percent against the dollar to close at 101.60
from 101.1 the previous week, mainly due to continued end-month
dollar demand by oil importers.
a year-to-date basis, the shilling has gained 1.6 percent against
view, the shilling should remain relatively stable against the
dollar in the short-term, supported by stronger horticulture export
inflows driven by increasing production and improving global prices
and high forex reserves, currently at 9 billion dollars,” said
Kenya’s Kipruto targets world
record run in Monaco
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champion Conseslus
Kipruto of Kenya will make an attempt on the world record in Monaco
Commonwealth Games champion believes his career will be incomplete
without the world record to his name as he wants to go an extra mile
than his mentor Ezekiel Kemboi.
Nairobi on Saturday, Kipruto, who also won the world title in London
last year, says he has set the plan in motion and tested his fitness
in Rome where he won in a season best time of 8:08:40 to beat
Eugene, USA winner Benjamin Kibet (8:10.01) while Doha winner Chala
Beyo (8:11.22) was third.
record has been in my mind. I know I can run faster and I now have
four weeks to focus on training before attempting the world record
in the Monaco Diamond,” said Kipruto, who boasts a personal best of
8:00.12 from Birmingham in 2016. “I will put all of my effort in
there. I’m ready for it.”
he started his season early and has been struggling to return to his
off with win in Gold Coast after returning from injury and believes
he was not ready for action in Shanghai where he failed to finish
believes Kenya has a big reservoir of athletes who will be able to
challenge for medals at the Africa Championships in Asaba, Nigeria.
countries have confirmed participation in the premier track and
field competition in the continent, in which the top two will secure
direct qualification to the IAAF Continental Cup in Ostrava, the
Czech Republic in September.
giants South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya are all presenting large
squads as they move to consolidate their dominant status on the
are the defending champions – having won the last two editions
hosted in Marrakech, Morocco; and Durban, South Africa.
Namibia, China to clash in Under-23
WINDHOEK, (Xinhua) --
Namibia’s under-23 football team heads to China on
Friday ahead of two friendly matches on June 4 and 7.
the Namibia Football Association (NFA), the squad of 20 players will
participate in preparatory games in China ahead of their 2019
African Under-23 finals qualifiers.
Timo Tjongarero said on Friday that the qualifying draw is still to
be conducted and his team has to be ready for anything, hence the
importance of the training camp in China.
grateful for this invitation and the boys have been hard at work on
the field going through the drills so that they can leave a mark in
China,” he added. “It will be a learning experience as well and the
team will enjoy playing to find the right combinations to see what
can work for us before the real business begins.”
years, Namibia has won the COSAFA Cup for southern African nations
at senior and under-17 level, also reaching the quarterfinals of the
African Nations Championship. Tjongarero says this current crop of
players want to build on these achievements.
“Of the many
friendly games the team has played thus far, the most notable one
was on May 19 when we defeated the Tertiary Institutes Sports
Association of Namibia 1-0.”
Namibia’s dreams of participating in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be
decided by a tournament to be held in Egypt in November and December
will see the top three teams qualifying automatically for the
Olympic Games, with the fourth-place finisher competing in a playoff
match against a team from the Asian Football Confederation.
Uganda’s Nakiyemba gets wildcard
for 2018 World Badminton Championship
KAMPALA, (Xinhua) --
Uganda’s female player Aisha Nakiyemba is among the
African players who have been given a wildcard to take part in the
2018 Badminton World Federation World Championship.
which will bring together the top players in the world will take
place July 31-Aug. 5 at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games Park Arena,
“I am happy
to be among the players who have been considered for a wildcard to
feature at the World Championship,” Nakiyemba who represented Uganda
at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia told Xinhua
Nakiyemba who is ranked 112 in the world in the women’s singles,
Egypt’s Hadia Hosny is the other African player on the wildcard.
player who is also ranked 65 in the World, Kate Foo Kune is the only
African women’s player who has gained direct entry to the
men’s badminton player Edwin Ekiring who retired from the national
team after the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games is the only Ugandan
player ever to play in a World Championship in 2015 in Indonesia.