NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s
Supreme Court on Friday declared the Aug. 8 presidential
election null and void and ordered a repeat of similar exercise
within 60 days.
Chief Justice and President of
Supreme Court David Maraga said the election where the incumbent
Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner had gross irregularities
which affected the integrity of elections.
UN Security Council extends AU
mission in Somalia
UNITED NATIONS, (Xinhua) --
The UN Security Council on Wednesday unanimously
adopted a resolution to extend the mandate of the African Union
Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) until May 31, 2018 and authorized a
downsizing of troops.
council decided to reduce the level of uniformed personnel to a
maximum of 21,626 by the end of this year, with a further
reduction of uniformed personnel to 20,626 by Oct. 30, 2018,
unless the Security Council decides to accelerate the pace of
current maximum deployment level is 22,126 uniformed personnel,
as set out in Resolution 2355.
long-term objective for Somalia, with the support of its
international partners, is that Somali security forces assume
full responsibility for Somalia’s security,” said the newly
that AMISOM remains critical to security during this transition.
One of the strategic objectives of AMISOM is to enable the
gradual handing over of security responsibilities from AMISOM to
the Somali security forces contingent on abilities of the Somali
security forces and political and security progress in Somalia,
said the resolution.
Egypt, UN urge political
settlement to Syrian crisis
CAIRO, (Xinhua) --
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and UN
special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura discussed on Wednesday
Syrian crisis on the phone, stressing negotiations between
Syrian warring parties.
press statement, the ministry said that De Mistura phoned
Shoukry and briefed him with the United Nations assessment of
the current efforts for uniting the Syrian opposition and
resuming political talks in Geneva.
stressed Egypt’s support for the UN role in fostering
negotiations between the Syrian parties.
Egypt has been supporting a political settlement to the Syrian
crisis in a way that ends bloodshed in the country and maintains
the unity of its territories.
Recently, Egypt worked with Russia to broker an agreement to
create a de-escalation zone in the northern Homs countryside and
also brokered an earlier deal to de-escalate conflict in Eastern
Ghouta region in Damascus.
its eruption in March 2011, the Syrian crisis has claimed lives
of about half a million people, as well as displaced and wounded
over 14 million.
Egypt puts 296 Muslim
Brotherhood defendants on terror list
CAIRO, (Xinhua) --
An Egyptian court decided on Wednesday to place
296 defendants loyal to the banned Muslim Brotherhood on the
country’s terror list for three years, official MENA news agency
defendants admitted during investigations that they joined the
group, which was deemed as hampering the rule of law and harming
national unity through temptations to topple the ruling
authority, according to the Cairo Criminal Court.
defendants confessed committing acts of violence against people
and vital facilities of Armed Forces and police.
Tuesday, the court has made a similar decision against 56
has been launching a massive crackdown on the outlawed Muslim
Brotherhood group since former President Mohammed Morsi, a
brotherhood leader, was removed by the military in July 2013
after mass protests against his one-year rule.
dispersal of pro-Morsi sit-ins in the capital and nearby Giza
left about 1,000 killed and thousands more arrested and facing
then, growing anti-government terror attacks left hundreds of
police and military men killed, with most of them claimed by a
Sinai-based militant group loyal to the regional Islamic State
judicial panel in charge of the group’s capital chain has
previously seized funds of several Brotherhood-run businesses
including supermarkets and private schools.
Zimbabwean ruling party
supporters hold rally in support of First Family
HARARE, (Xinhua) --
A rally organized by the Zimbabwean ruling party
Zanu-PF in solidarity with First Lady Grace Mugabe Wednesday
ended up being held to show support to the First Family as a
whole, with the party’s secretary for administration Ignatius
Chombo being the guest of honor.
delivered at the gathering hovered around the issue of internal
party squabbles and ignored the diplomatic tiff the First Lady
was involved in while in South Africa two weeks ago.
First Lady had to invoke diplomatic immunity cover to evade
court after she allegedly assaulted 20-year-old model Gabriella
Engels whom she had found in the company of her two sons in
South African police wanting to interview her and human rights
group AfriForum pushing for her prosecution, the South African
government said it recognized her diplomatic immunity status and
allowed her to leave the country.
left with President Robert Mugabe who had been attending a SADC
commissar for Harare Province, Shadreck Mashayamombe denied
Tuesday that the solidarity rally had anything to do with what
transpired in South Africa, one of the placards displayed at the
rally—written in a mixture of English and the vernacular Shona—said
Masvingo Province had declared that “Engels is not an angel.”
Zimbabweans had however expressed concern over a possible
backlash by militant South Africans who could attack their loved
ones there if the rally turned out to be supporting the First
Lady over the South African incident.
spoke on the need for discipline in the party and preparations
for the 2018 elections.
love our President and the First Lady, just as we have displayed
by today’s meeting, let’s take the same enthusiasm and energy to
our provinces and vote so that we deliver all the constituencies
to Zanu-PF. The First Lady and President Mugabe will be very
happy,” he said.
criticized some war veterans for engaging in divisive activities
in the party.
Medical charity slams ambush on
its staff in South Sudan
JUBA, (Xinhua) --
International medical charity Medecins
Sans Frontieres (MSF) on Wednesday denounced attack on its staff
in South Sudan which resulted in injuries of two staff members,
a loss of medical equipment and assets.
the ambush on Aug. 24 outside the town of Pibor forced the
suspension of some of MSF’s medical programs in the area.
simply cannot turn a blind eye to incidents like these or start
believing that they are in anyway normal, despite the alarming
frequency with which they have occurred,” Marie Cleret, MSF Head
of Mission said in a statement issued in Juba.
convoy, consisting of an MSF vehicle, a tractor and a team of
four staff members, was en route to conduct a medical assessment
in a nearby village when it was ambushed by a group of armed men
speaking the local language.
medical charity said two members of the team were beaten,
leaving them with minor injuries.
team’s personal affairs were stolen, alongside MSF property,
including the team’s vehicle. The team was then left temporarily
stranded, but was able to return to MSF’s facility in Pibor
later the same evening,” it said.
which is the only humanitarian organization providing healthcare
in Pibor, Lekongole and Gumuruk, said the latest attack
represents yet another serious risk to its ability to safely
provide medical care in Pibor.
are heavily reliant on the assistance we provide for their
survival, and are already incredibly vulnerable due to the
ongoing conflict,” Cleret said.
Following the incident, MSF said it had no choice but to suspend
part of its outreach activity in Pibor, due to the increasing
insecurity of traveling by road.
the third attack on MSF’s medical facilities in Pibor in the
past nine months which has forced MSF to suspend the provision
of much-needed medical care.
attack comes just days after the charity called for the need to
protect civilians and respect their access to medical care in
South Sudan. Over the past 18 months, 24 MSF facilities and
assets have been attacked in the country.
again calls on all armed actors to protect civilians and refrain
from targeting medical facilities, which deprives people of a
vital lifeline when they absolutely need it most,” said Cleret.
incident puts the local population even further out of the reach
of lifesaving medical care.”
According to the UN, over 80 aid workers have been killed in
South Sudan since the beginning of the December 2013 crisis,
including at least 12 killed in 2017, and at least eight
humanitarian convoys have been attacked already this year.
International Humanitarian Law, intentional attacks against
humanitarian relief personnel may constitute war crimes.
Rwanda’s new prime minister
KIGALI, (Xinhua) --
Rwanda’s newly appointed Prime Minister Edouard
Ngirente was sworn in on Wednesday at Parliament in the capital
city of Kigali.
was appointed as the prime minister by Rwanda’s President Paul
Kagame earlier in the day.
Presiding over his swearing in ceremony, Kagame said he trusted
the new prime minister’s ability, will and determination to
serve and achieve what Rwandans expect of him.
thanked Ngirente for accepting to serve his country as prime
government is about being inclusive. Our aim is to ensure that
every Rwandan feels represented by their government. Our way of
working is about working together and complementing each other,”
said the president.
commended the outgoing prime minister Anastase Murekezi, who has
been in office since 2014, for his hard work and contribution to
the central African country.
Rwanda’s Constitution the prime minister is appointed within 15
days from the day of the swearing in of the new president, other
cabinet members shall be appointed within 15 days after the
appointment of the prime minister.
cabinet is appointed by the president in consultation with the
prime minister, according to the constitution.
Malta donates 25,000 euros to
VALLETTA, (Xinhua) --
Malta’s Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion
Ministry has contributed 25,000 euros (29,806 U.S. dollars)
towards water supply and health care services in Libya.
will be given in the form of reparation of water infrastructure
and health facilities, providing water treatment material, and
giving material support to primary health care centers.
donation follows an appeal to support Libya that was made on
July 12 by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
during the launch of the Libya Budget Extension Appeal in
ministry said it supported the work being carried out by the
ICRC and believed that the contribution should assist in the
implementation of their response plan.
Nigeria nabs 10 drug
traffickers in northeast state
LAGOS, (Xinhua) --
Nigeria’s National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)
has arrested 10 suspected drug dealers in northeast state of
Adamawa, an official said Wednesday.
suspects were arrested within the past one week following the
renewed war against drug dealers by the agency, Wale Ige, the
NDLEA state commander told reporters in Yola, the state capital.
put in place a network of measures to ensure that drug dealers
who are bent on coming to Adamawa State to ensnare youths with
illicit substances are caught in NDLEA dragnet,” Ige said.
reporters that the anti-drug agency arrested 127 suspects and
seized 1,763 kg of narcotic and psychotropic substances from
January to date.
arrested suspects are made up of 124 males and 3 females while
the monthly average of the arrests is about 16 persons per
month,” he added.
Study: common antidepressant
may worsen tinnitus
SAN FRANCISCO, (Xinhua) --
A study by Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)
researchers indicates that a common antidepressant medication
may worsen a condition, known as tinnitus, that millions of
with tinnitus have the constant sensation of ringing or buzzing
in the ears, creating constant irritation for some and severe
anxiety for others. A common class of antidepressants known as
selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been used
to alleviate symptoms of moderate to severe depression and
work by increasing the level of serotonin, a chemical compound
that acts as a neurotransmitter thought to be responsible for
maintaining mood balance.
in a paper recently published in the journal Cell Reports, the
OHSU researchers examined brain tissue in mice, specifically the
dorsal cochlear nucleus where sensory integration and tinnitus
occurs. They discovered that neurons known as fusiform cells
within this portion of the brain become hyperactive and
hypersensitive to stimuli when exposed to serotonin.
author Laurence Trussell, a professor of otolaryngology in the
OHSU School of Medicine and scientist in the OHSU Vollum
Institute, said they saw “the activity of those neurons went
through the roof.”
finding suggests that SSRIs prescribed to treat anxiety or
depression may sometimes worsen patients’ tinnitus, which is
defined as the chronic perception of sound when there is no
internal or external acoustic source.
author Zheng-Quan Tang, a senior postdoctoral fellow in
Trussell’s lab, was quoted in a news release as saying a review
of existing scientific literature indicated that many patients
reported an increase in tinnitus soon after they began taking
authors are interested in exploring another area of research to
focus on a type of ion channel in the membrane of neurons that
is activated by serotonin. If they can determine a way to
deactivate those channels, it may be possible to allow the
beneficial effects of antidepressants while limiting the
severity of tinnitus.
New app to use smartphone
selfies to screen for pancreatic cancer
SAN FRANCISCO, (Xinhua) --
University of Washington (UW) researchers are
developing a software application, or app, to allow people to
screen for pancreatic cancer and other diseases by snapping a
five-year survival rate of 9 percent, pancreatic cancer has one
of the worst prognoses in part because there are no telltale
symptoms or non-invasive screening tools to catch a tumor before
BiliScreen, uses a smartphone camera, computer vision algorithms
and machine learning tools to detect increased bilirubin levels
in a person’s sclera, or the white part of the eye.
the earliest symptoms of pancreatic cancer, as well as other
diseases, is jaundice, a yellow discoloration of the skin and
eyes caused by a buildup of bilirubin in the blood. The blood
test currently in use to measure bilirubin levels is typically
not administered to adults unless there is reason for concern.
problem with pancreatic cancer is that by the time you’re
symptomatic, it’s frequently too late,” Alex Mariakakis, a
doctoral student at UW’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer
Science & Engineering, was quoted as saying in a news release.
The ability to detect signs of jaundice when bilirubin levels
are minimally elevated could enable an entirely new screening
program for at-risk individuals.
hope is that if people can do this simple test once a month - in
the privacy of their own homes - some might catch the disease
early enough to undergo treatment that could save their lives,”
explained Mariakakis, who as lead author of a paper will present
the app at Ubicomp 2017, the Association for Computing
Machinery’s International Joint Conference on Pervasive and
Ubiquitous Computing, in Maui, Hawaii, on September 13.
adults, the whites of the eyes are more sensitive than skin to
changes in bilirubin levels, which can be an early warning sign
for pancreatic cancer, hepatitis or the generally harmless
Gilbert’s syndrome. Unlike skin color, changes in the sclera are
more consistent across all races and ethnicities. Yet by the
time people notice the yellowish discoloration in the sclera,
bilirubin levels are already well past cause for concern.
Wondering if computer vision and machine learning tools could
detect those color changes in the eye before humans can see
them, the UW team built BiliScreen on earlier work from the
university’s Ubiquitous Computing Lab, which previously
developed BiliCam, a smartphone app that screens for newborn
jaundice by taking a picture of a baby’s skin. A recent study in
the journal Pediatrics showed BiliCam provided accurate
estimates of bilirubin levels in 530 infants.
app uses a smartphone’s built-in camera and flash to collect
pictures of a person’s eye as they snap a selfie, then
calculates the color information from the sclera and correlates
it with bilirubin levels using machine learning algorithms.
account for different lighting conditions, the team tested
BiliScreen with two different accessories: paper glasses printed
with colored squares to help calibrate color and a 3-D printed
box that blocks out ambient lighting. Using the app with the box
accessory led to slightly better results.
initial clinical study of 70 people, BiliScreen correctly
identified cases of concern 89.7 percent of the time.
S. Africa culls 60,000 birds as
avian flu lands
JOHANNESBURG, (Xinhua) --
South African Department of
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) said Wednesday that
it is contemplating the option of vaccination to stop the spread
of avian flu.
latest province to be hard hit by a highly contagious strain of
bird flu is the Western Cape. The country has registered 16
outbreaks since two occurred in Mpumalanga and Gauteng in June.
“Approximately 60,000 birds have been culled on the farm,”
Ziyanda Majokweni, director of Poultry Disease Management Agency
at the South African Poultry Association, said Wednesday at a
media briefing in Johannesburg.
added that the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) virus
was detected on a commercial layer poultry farm on Aug. 17.
said the department was considering vaccinating most of the
“It is a
decision (vaccination) that should be based on scientific
research for the long-term benefit of the sector and the
country. But we are considering it, as the impact is wide,” said
Senzeni Zokwana, DAFF minister.
decision about vaccination will be made available at the end of
next month, the minister said.
Meanwhile, DAFF has adopted stringent measures to halt the
spread of bird flu from the affected areas, including placing
farms under quarantine, destroying the eggs and depopulating the
Africa, outbreaks of the virus have been reported in various
parts of the country. Ten of the outbreaks were in the area of
commercial chickens, three in ostrich, three in backyard
chickens and eight in wild birds and pet birds.
According to the World Health Organization, no human cases have
been reported as caused by bird flu.
World Organization for Animal Health and World Health
Organization have both confirmed that the specific strain does
not affect human beings,” Zokwana said.
DAFF suspended the sale of live chickens in the country
following the outbreak of the highly pathogenic strain.
Kenya pledges dialogue with
manufacturers to end row over plastic ban
By Christine Lagat NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
The Kenyan government on Wednesday reiterated its
commitment to hold dialogue with manufacturers to end stalemate
over enforcement of a plastic ban.
General of National Environment Management Authority (NEMA),
Geoffrey Wahungu, said that structured discussions with industry
will commence soon to find an amicable solution to rows linked
to a plastic ban that came into force on Monday.
doors are open to manufacturers of plastic packaging materials
seeking clarity on the ban that came into force two days ago. We
have maintained that the ban only affects a limited component of
plastic bags and have no intention to close factories that
employ thousands of Kenyans,” said Wahungu.
in Nairobi during a meeting with members of Kenya Association of
Manufacturers (KAM) who expressed reservation on the
implementation of the ban.
said the state will in future hold a series of dialogue forums
with industry to shed light on the legal framework governing a
ban on manufacture and use of plastic bags.
plastic ban that has received overwhelming support from the
public is part of a national solid waste management and is not
meant to stifle industrial progress in the country,” Wahungu
the plastic ban exempts industrial packaging, fast-moving
consumer goods, pharmaceutical products and large polythene bags
used for garbage collection in cities.
enforced the historic plastic ban on Aug. 28 earning the East
African Nation an enviable position in green stewardship.
manufacturing sector, however, was opposed to the plastic ban,
terming it a threat to job creation and income generation.
case filed by the manufacturing lobby was suspended last week,
paving way for its enforcement.
Phyllis Wakiaga said investors were not opposed to the plastic
ban but wanted clarification on how it will impact on
manufacturers, we have always supported a balance between
environmental sustainability and economic growth. We look
forward to fruitful dialogue with the state to clear the air on
contentious issues surrounding the plastic ban,” said Wakiaga
Director and Head of the Legal Committee, Mucai Kunyiha, added
that it is important that new terminologies that are being
introduced as part of exemptions or new directives are
understood uniformly by all stakeholders.
issue of waste is a complicated matter that needs the
collaboration of all stakeholders. If a body like NEMA does not
have the capacity to manage waste nationally, it is impossible
for us as the business community to do it solely, as expressed
in the extended producer responsibility directive issued by NEMA,
just last week,” Kunyiha said.
Kenya should embrace China’s
growth strategy to achieve prosperity: expert
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya should borrow lessons from China’s economic
miracle that came to light three decades ago thanks to policy
reforms and modernization of agriculture and manufacturing
sectors, an expert said on Wednesday.
Litu, an analyst specializing in informal economy, said in an
article published by the People newspaper on Wednesday that
China could offer Kenya valuable insight on how to leapfrog from
an agrarian economy to an industrial one.
route taken by China is one which Kenya can borrow a leaf from
when looking for ways to transform and grow its economy through
agriculture and manufacturing,” Litu remarked.
estimated 75 percent of Kenyan population relies on agriculture
for income generation while industrial take off is yet to be
realized thanks to infrastructural, personnel and financing
noted that a transformed agriculture sector that underpinned
China’s stellar economic performance could provide inspiration
to Kenya as it embarks on a transition from subsistence farming
to advanced manufacturing.
significant improvement in agriculture helped China release
labor from land to industry and service sectors,” said Litu.
should take a cue from China and embark on policy reforms
alongside technology adoption in order to sustain its status as
a regional economic and industrial hub.
hailed sweeping reforms that China undertook to realize
phenomenal economic growth that spread benefits across the
the years, China has managed to turn around its economy by
instituting certain reforms which have seen the country’s
economy grow exponentially into a global economic powerhouse,”
that the development of a vibrant informal economy could help
address poverty and unemployment crisis in Kenya.
Kenya’s bourse major indices
fall as key shares decline
By Bedah Mengo NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
All key indices of the Nairobi Securities
Exchange (NSE) declined on Wednesday as local investors trading
dropped 20 percent and key shares fell.
investors’ participation stood at 49 percent, down from 70
percent on Tuesday while foreigners accounted for 51 percent of
the trading, mainly selling.
20 Share Index declined 3.22 points to close at 4,038.86,
sustaining a negative trend registered Tuesday where it fell
Similarly, the NSE All share Index (NASI) was down to 171.21
points from 172.75 in the previous session.
turnover stood at 6 million U.S. dollars on a volume of 19
million shares from 34 million worth 8.5 million dollars.
traded counters were Safaricom, Barclays Bank, Kengen, Kenya
Commercial Bank and East African Breweries Ltd after moving 9.8
million, 2 million, 1.9 million, 1 million and 529,500 shares
top losers were Safaricom (2 percent), Barclays Bank (0.5
percent), Deacons (8 percent), Mumias Sugar (4 percent) and
HomeAfrika (4.4 percent)
Investors’ wealth, measured by market capitalization, similarly
declined significantly to 24 million dollars from 25 million
dollars in the previous session.
bonds market, however, turnover rose to 25 million dollars from
19 million dollars in the previous session.
Feature: Kenyan herders find
respite in insurance payouts amid biting drought
By Ejidiah Wangui NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Whenever drought ravages Kenya, images from the
northern parts of the country are those of dusty plains dotted
with carcasses of livestock that succumbed to the harsh
herders in these regions are the hardest hit as their only
source of income is wiped out by natural calamities they have no
power to control.
the misery and despair, efforts to cushion these herders against
the vagaries of weather have started to bear fruit.
Rosauer, a communication officer at the World Bank, told Xinhua
this week that the Kenya Livestock Insurance Program (KLIP), an
index insurance that insures vulnerable pastoralists in the
northern counties in the East African nation, has so far paid
out about 5.3 million U.S dollars to over 20,000 pastoralists in
2016-2017 season, due to a severe drought, KLIP had two big
payouts. One in February to about 12,000 pastoral households of
2.1 million dollars and one in August to 11,500 pastoral
households of 3.1 million dollars. This has helped reach about
100,000 people given the extended size of households in the
North,” she said.
According to the World Bank official, unlike previous
interventions where responses involved mobilizing emergency
relief which would arrive too late to save the animals,
provides protection starting at the beginning of a season, and
if a drought strikes, payouts happen quickly to beneficiaries to
allow them to buy water or food to keep the livestock alive.
all about prevention, rather than cure, and speed of
intervention. It is also a transparent and predictable way to
provide disaster relief which leverages private sector expertise
and capital,” said Rosauer.
exposed to severe droughts which strike about every three to
five years. In northern Kenya, livestock represent 70 percent of
drought occurs, households are at risk of losing their
livestock, and their main source of food and income.
the severe droughts between 2008 and 2011, the Kenyan economy
lost heavily. The livestock sector was hit hardest.
According to Rosauer, Kenya is one of the very few countries in
Sub-Saharan Africa where the index insurance program has the
potential to scale up to attain commercial sustainability.
Ethiopia too has a similar program.
in October 2015 in Wajir and Turkana where about 5,000 pastoral
households were covered, the program spread tentacles in October
2016 to cover Marsabit, Mandera, Tana River and Isiolo Counties
and insured about 14,000 pastoral households.
central government, Rosauer said, pays insurance premiums for
county-selected pastoralists, and private insurance companies
develop the insurance policy and pay claims when they arise.
2016-2017, a pool of seven insurance companies reinsured by
Swiss Re provided insurance cover. The insurance only provides
cover for the equivalent of five cows, and targets the most
vulnerable pastoralists,” she explained.
program, counties are broken down into zones with similar
climate and soil conditions called “unit areas of insurance.”
satellite reads every 10 days the level of pasture in these
zones to produce a vegetation index, which is used as a proxy
for the health of livestock.
vegetation index falls below a pre-determined level, all the
insured beneficiaries in one zone receive a payout. The payout
amount depends on the degradation of the pasture.
“Payments are made primarily by M-Pesa, and by using agents
developed by some banks in the northern counties,” noted Rosauer.
M-Pesa is the most popular mobile payment choice in Kenya.
implemented by the Government of Kenya through the Ministry of
Agriculture and Livestock and the County governments.
World Bank has provided technical support to the government of
Kenya to design KLIP in partnership with the International
Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and Financial Sector
Kenya shilling falls slightly
pending ruling on presidential poll petition
By Bedah Mengo NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
The Kenyan shilling weakened marginally
against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday as the market awaited a
ruling by the Supreme Court on a poll petition challenging the
re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
shilling went down 0.01 percent to close the day at an average
of 102.2 to the dollar as the currency showed some stability.
Central Bank of Kenya on Wednesday quoted the shilling at 103.18
down from 103.17 in the previous session.
other hand, commercial banks put the value of the currency at
between 103.15 and 103.35, which was the same range it had
traded in the previous day.
at the financial institutions noted that the shilling was
waiting for direction from the Supreme Court as the ruling set
for Friday will determine whether it loses or strengthens.
court on Wednesday concluded the hearing of the case after the
several parties made their final submissions and the seven
judges took a break to write their verdict.
noted that whatever the direction the shilling takes, they
expect the forex exchange reserves level, currently at 7.5
billion dollars, an equivalent of 4.96 months of import cover,
to be maintained by expected inflows from tourism, tea and
horticulture exports and diaspora remittances.
China, Africa step up renewable
BEIJING, (Xinhua) --
Cooperation between China and Africa has seen
remarkable progress in renewable energy, showing the
determination of developing countries to harness the huge
potential of clean energy and combat climate change.
China-Africa Renewable Energy Cooperation and Innovation
Alliance, a coalition of financing institutions, smart grid
providers and core manufacturers, on Thursday signed a
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation with Africa
Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI).
has the highest potential for renewable energy, but the least
access to it,” said Seyni Nafo, chairman of AREI endorsed by the
African Union Assembly.
will enable the two parties to cooperate in renewable energy
generation in Africa, with Chinese smart grid providers and
core renewable energy manufacturers providing technological and
projects include helping build micro-grids in some African
households and villages, in combination with large-scale power
of China’s technology transfer efforts advocated by the United
Nations Development Program, the move is expected to better
deploy and distribute renewable energy technology in Africa.
indicates a shared vision to combat climate change and to
promote sustainable development, as renewable energy is expected
to function as a central pillar of China-Africa cooperation on
climate issues, Nafo said.
Pressure on Rwandan franc
continues to ease in H1
KIGALI, (Xinhua) --
Pressures on the Rwandan franc against the U.S.
dollars continued easing in the first half of 2017, Rwanda’s
central bank said Wednesday.
owing to improvement in Rwanda’s export receipts and the decline
in dollar demand in line with increased domestic production of
some of the previously imported goods and the phasing out of
some major construction projects, said the central bank’s latest
monetary policy and financial stability statement.
franc depreciated against the dollar by 1.3 percent at the end
of June and 1.64 percent by Aug. 13, 2017 compared to 4.8
percent by the end of June, 2016, said the central bank, adding
that it is expected at around 3 percent at the end of December
Consequently, the central bank maintained an accommodative
monetary policy stance to continue supporting the financing of
the economy by the banking sector, given that both inflationary
and exchange pressures were expected to decline.
Meanwhile, the Rwandan economy grew by 1.7 percent in first
quarter of 2017, down from 8.9 percent recorded in first quarter
of 2016, said the statement.
slowdown in economic performance was mainly due to the
completion of big construction projects, which affected the
performance of the industry sector, read the statement.
the long spell of the drought, growth of the agriculture sector
slowed to 3.0 percent in first quarter of 2017 from 8.0 percent
of the same period of last year, it said.
Roundup: China partners WFP to
fight hunger in Zimbabwe
HARARE, (Xinhua) --
The Chinese government is forging a strong
partnership with the World Food Program (WFP) to empower rural
communities in Zimbabwe to become food self-sufficient and
resilient to climate-induced shocks.
its partnership with WFP, the Chinese government has since 2009
provided millions of U.S. dollars for immediate food needs and
long-term resilience building for vulnerable, poverty-stricken
rural communities in Zimbabwe.
According to Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe Huang Ping, China
has since 2009 provided millions of dollars to the Zimbabwe
government through the WFP to help the vulnerable cope with food
past 10 years, the Chinese government provided five consignments
of emergency humanitarian food aid to Zimbabwe, worth tens of
millions of dollars.
provided agriculture machinery and fertilizers in the form of
government aid and concessionary loans worth about 100 million
China provided 330,000 dollars for training to small holder
farmers in Zimbabwe.
the Chinese government gave Zimbabwe 1 million dollars for lean
season assistance and productive assets creation after the
country suffered one of its worst droughts in 30 years which
left a quarter of the rural population in need food aid.
donated 24.6 million worth of rice to help the country cope with
food shortages. Besides the rice, China also provided 10,000
tons of urea to Zimbabwe and this year provided 12,173 metric
tons of rice worth 14.7 million dollars to assist the food
week, the Chinese government announced yet another 5 million
dollars contribution to the Zimbabwe government through the WFP
to assist refugees and resilience building among vulnerable
communities in 2017 and 2018.
Ambassador Huang said China-WFP cooperation in Zimbabwe dates
back to 2009 when it donated 5 million dollars through the WFP
to Zimbabwe for emergency food aid.
explained that China-WFP cooperation was cemented in 2016 when
after a decade-long research and consultations, the two parties
signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen their
partnership in ending global hunger.
increasing collaboration each year, WFP is working with the
Chinese government, leading Chinese companies and the Chinese
public to help alleviate hunger within and beyond China’s
borders, Huang said.
has become an increasingly significant donor to WFP’s global
activities, with over 97.5 million in funding from the
government of China as of October 2016, in support of WFP’s
operations around the globe,” the envoy said.
Zimbabwe country director Eddie Rowe hailed China-WFP
cooperation, noting that over the past 10 years, the UN agency
had benefited a lot from Chinese aid.
year, through the Government of China and WFP, we established a
center of excellence where WFP will be able to tap into the
capacity of diverse nature that Chinese people can offer.
“Globally, WFP has more than 50 different projects through which
we are enjoying the capacity of China in so many diverse ways,”
is one of the many countries in the world that are vulnerable to
climate change, resulting in frequent droughts and floods which
affect food production.
only this year after more than a decade that Zimbabwe was able
to produce surplus maize of 2.1 million tons against national
consumption of 1.8 million tons annually.
Nevertheless, it is estimated that 1.1 million people will
require food aid during the peak hunger season from January to
Cognizant of its adage which says that “give a man fish and you
feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a
lifetime”, China has begun to strengthen its resilience building
assistance in recent years to enhance the capacity of vulnerable
communities in Zimbabwe to cope with climate-induced shocks.
project that has the potential to alleviate hunger and build
sustainable and resilient communities is the half-a-million
dollars weir, nutrition garden and orchard project that was
handed over to the Shauke community in Zvishavane District of
Zimbabwe by the Chinese government on Tuesday this week.
by China, the project is being spearheaded by the WFP in
partnership with its implementing local agency, the Adventist
Development and Relief Agency Zimbabwe (ADRA).
According to Rowe, the Shauke project will support improved crop
and livestock production and water access by the community in
the semi-arid district, about 344 km south of the capital
Comprising a 39,000 cubic meter dam, 1.3 ha nutrition garden and
orchard, the project’s construction started in June and is set
for completion in December.
will benefit 480 households, 800 head of cattle and
approximately 600 goats. The garden, which will produce a
variety of vegetables for household consumption and for sale,
will directly benefit 80 households.
Shauke weir community garden and orchard is a prime example of
the innovative work that WFP, with support from China and in
partnership with the Government of Zimbabwe, ARDA and others, is
doing in Zvishavane and throughout Zimbabwe to empower people to
build their future,” Rowe said.
the WFP and its partners will support the creation of eight
resilience building projects in Zvishavane, after having
completed 17 others over the past two years, Rowe said.
said its efforts were aimed at ending hunger, improving food
security and nutrition and strengthening community resilience in
line with Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger by 2030.
this project, we have kicked hunger and poverty away from us,”
said Beauty Jaricha, a villager and vice chairperson of the
project implementation team overseeing implementation of the
project is very important to us because it will enable us to
grow fruits and vegetables not only for consumption but for sale
so that we can generate income to sustain our livelihoods. The
dam will also protect our livestock as they will no longer go to
far away Runde River for drinking water where they were
vulnerable to crocodile attacks,” she added.
Zambia makes progress towards
IMF bailout program: official
LUSAKA, (Xinhua) --
The Zambian government said on Thursday that it has made
substantial progress towards reaching an agreement with the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) on an economic program.
of Finance Felix Mutati said the government was confident that
the IMF will in the coming weeks finalize a report on
consultations done for presentation to the board.
the program discussions have so far taken into account the
progress which has been made under the Zambian government’s
approved economic stabilization and growth program for the
progress involves attainment of a single digit inflation,
stability of the exchange rate, rebound of economic growth,
reforming and removal of subsidies in the energy sector and
developing of a strategy to dismantle arrears and halting
accumulation of new ones, according to a statement released by
the finance ministry.
government and the IMF have since agreed to progress discussions
in the area of public sector spending and borrowing plans, he
Zambian minister said the two parties have so far concluded
talks on protection of social spending over the program period,
reforms of laws and regulations and definitions and measurement
of program targets.
parties have also agreed to continue discussions at the IMF/World
Bank Annual Spring Meetings scheduled for October this year.
an IMF Mission was in Zambia to continue discussions for a
possible bailout package of about 1.4 billion United States
dollars after the cabinet approved for the country to engage the
international financial institutions for an economic program at
the end of the first quarter of 2017.
government had hoped the deal could be concluded by August this
UN advises building resilience
to tackle Ethiopia’s nutrition crisis
ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) --
The United Nations has advised building
communities’ resilience as a critical impetus to bring lasting
solution to address the current food security and nutrition
crisis in Ethiopia.
statement was jointly made on Thursday by the three UN food
agencies that are the World Food Programme (WFP), the world Food
and Agricultural Organizations (FAO) and the International Fund
for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
current food security and nutrition crisis cannot be resolved by
emergency assistance alone. The longer-term solution lies in
building communities’ resilience to better withstand shocks and
avoid being plunged back into crisis,” the three UN food
agencies stressed in a joint statement sent to Xinhua on
three UN food agencies have also affirmed the need to combine
efforts to prevent the situation from deteriorating further.
response led by the Ethiopian government has begun to stabilize
the situation, however additional efforts and support is
urgently needed to prevent the situation deteriorating further,”
the joint statement indicated.
announcement came as the heads of the three UN agencies are
expected to pay a four-day joint visit to the east African
country starting from Friday, from September 1 to 4, to
highlight the critical food and nutrition security situations in
three chiefs, David Beasley, WFP’s Executive Director, Jose
Graziano da Silva, FAO’s Director-General, and Gilbert F.
Houngbo, IFAD’s President, are expected to hold discussions on
how best to strengthen their support to the Ethiopian
government’s efforts, it was indicated.
Kenya football coach names
squad for Mozambique Int’l friendly
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya football head coach Stanley Okumbi on
Wednesday unveiled his travelling squad of 20 for their FIFA
international friendly against Mozambique slated for Saturday in
expected, players from domestic top flight leaders, Gor Mahia FC
dominated the line-up with four while Amos Asembeka, the
breakout forward of another local side, Sony Sugar FC, was the
surprise inclusion in the squad.
Odhiambo who returned to the national team fold after 17 months
out in the cold made the cut in the travelling party alongside
teammates; Peter Odhiambo, Timothy Otieno and Kenneth Muguna
Archrivals AFC Leopards FC who are struggling in 13th
place in the 2017 Kenyan Premier League have three players in
the squad; skipper Robinson Kamura, Duncan Otieno and Victor
Johanna and Aboud Omar and the quintet of Clifton Miheso, Mark
Makwatta, Jesse Were, Anthony Akumu and David Owino who play in
Zambia are among the foreign-based contingent in Maputo.
Nigerian leader reward
victorious basketball players, officials
LAGOS, (Xinhua) --
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday
received members of the victorious D’ Tigress, the national
women’s basketball team which won the FIBA Women’s AfroBasket
final in Mali on Sunday.
players were awarded 1 million naira (about 3100 U.S.dollars)
each and the officials 500,000 naira each.
president, after announcing the award shortly before the
commencement of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), urged the
team to remain focused.
should work toward winning the forthcoming 2018 FIBA Women’s
Basketball World Cup in Spain,” he said.
had on Monday, in a statement, congratulated on the team’s
victory which qualified them for the 2018 FIBA Women’s
Basketball World Cup in Spain.
president commended the players for displaying “uncommon
strength and confidence.”
the Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, attributed the
achievement of the D’ Tigress in Mali to the “silent reforms”
embarked upon by his ministry.
his ministry was determined to restore the old glory of sports
in the country.
Tigress did not drop a single match on their way to the final
and beat Senegal 65-48 to win the title.
time Nigeria won the competition was in 2005, after their first
win in 2003.
Kenya’s Kamworor eager to prove
mettle at New York marathon
By John Kwoba NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s World Cross Country Champion Geoffrey
Kamworor will return to the marathon distance when he lines up
at the New York marathon on Nov. 5 to challenge defending
champion Ghirmay Ghebreslassie from Eritrea.
who opted out of marathon earlier this year to focus on the
track competition, has had bad lack in the 10,000m where he
finished sixth at the London World Championships in August.
It was a
worse performance after claiming silver at the Beijing World
Championships where he was beaten by Mo Farah of Britain.
had my time on track now I return to marathon and hopefully, I
will win,” said Kamworor on Thursday from Eldoret.
reigning world half marathon champion is one of the rising
Kenyan stars in marathon.
24-year-old was the 2015 New York Marathon runner-up and is a
four-time world champion, twice in cross-country and twice in
personal-best time of 2:06:12 came from his marathon debut in
2012, when he finished third at the Berlin Marathon.
turning up in New York in November, Kamworor will seek to clear
his credential as being no fluke and confirm he is a strong
challenger in marathon when he takes up on Ghebreslassie, who is
the sixth fastest entrant in the elite men’s field behind
Ethiopians Lemi Berhanu (2:04:33), Lelisa Desisa (2:04:45),
Switzerland’s Tadesse Abraham (2:06:40) and Kenya’s Lucas Rotich
York Marathon will have a world-class field representing 27
countries including 22 Olympians, 11 Paralympians and 16
athletes - 10 in the open division and seven in the wheelchair
division - who have previously finished on the New York City
Ghirmay, Marcel, and Mary return to the streets of New York to
defend their titles among a group of athletes ... is a true
testament to the TCS New York City Marathon being one of the
most world-class and universally diverse sporting events,” said
Peter Ciaccia, the race director of New York Marathon in an
Ghebreslassie, 21, became the youngest men’ s winner in the
history of the New York City Marathon last year, breaking the
tape in 2:07:51.
posted the third-fastest winning time in history, and was the
first Eritrean winner in race history. In 2015, he became the
youngest winner in IAAF World Championships Marathon history,
and his gold medal was Eritrea’s first ever at the event.
fourth at the Rio 2016 Olympic Marathon and owns a personal-best
of 2:07:46 from last year’s London Marathon, where he also
proud to return to New York to defend my title as the TCS New
York City Marathon champion,” Ghebreslassie said.
crowds along the course are fresh in my memory, and I will work
hard to do well again this year.” But that will not deter
Kamworor from going for the bounty.
Uganda beat Egypt 1-0 in 2018
FIFA World Cup qualifier
KAMPALA, (Xinhua) --
Uganda climbed to top of Group E in African zone
2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers after a 1-0 win over Egypt on
Tanzania-based Emmanuel Arnold Okwi netted the lone goal after
51 minutes when he beat two defenders and slotted the ball past
veteran goalkeeper Essam El Hadary.
Kahraba also thought he had scored when he finished off Mohamed
Salah’s cross after 35 minutes. The goal was cancelled for
Egyptians tried to hold onto the ball and pass it around, but
the home side stood firm and defended in numbers.
based defender Jospeh Ochaya also had his attempt miss the
target for Uganda, while Uganda’s goalkeeper Denis Onyango was
also called to save Salah’s shot after 61 minutes.
the best feeling to score against a strong side like Egypt in a
World Cup qualifying match,” Okwi told Xinhua after the game.
however said they will have to be at their best when they face
the seven-time African champions again on Sept. 5 in Alexandria.
takes Uganda top of Group E with seven points, while Egypt who
beat Congo Brazzaville and Ghana in the previous games is second
with six points. Ghana will host Congo Brazzaville on Friday.
Basena, Uganda’s interim coach said it was sweet to pick a win
shall continue to work hard ahead of the return leg in Egypt,”