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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya and South Sudan agree to pacify
communities to enhance border peace

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan and South Sudan on Tuesday agreed to pacify communities on their common borders in order to promote regional peace.

Governor of Kenya’s Turkana County Josphat Nanok and governor of South Sudan’s Kapoeta State Louis Lojore Lobong held a bilateral consultative meeting in Nairobi on the joint international boundary.

"The parties are committed to resolving any issues amicably through diplomatic channels including Africa Union Border Programme without third party’s interference," the two governors said in a joint statement released after the meeting.

The meeting was held as a result of the agreement between Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir to fast-track the implementation of the memorandum of understanding on boundary delimitation and demarcation between the two countries.
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.Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta [right] welcomes South Sudanese President Salva Kiir | Coastweek

  The two governors from two neighboring areas welcomed the initiative of both governments in signing the MoU for boundary delimitation and demarcation to facilitate the setting up of joint cooperation mechanisms.
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EARLIER REPORTS:

South Sudan says progress
in combating hate speech

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- South Sudan is making progress in countering hate speech after the latest campaign spearheaded by a local organization Screen of Rights disseminated peace building messages to over 27,223 South Sudanese.

Reach D’Akumrich, a Juba-based lawyer with Screen of Rights, said the campaign that took place between June 27 and July 1 attracted participants from Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania who combined efforts to advocate for peace and unity.

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta [right] welcomes South Sudanese President Salva Kiir at State House in Nairobi.  XINHUA PHOTO - CHARLES ONYANGO

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"The Screen of Rights is privileged to announce that the campaign informed 27,223 beneficiaries through videos and flyers posted on our social media pages on the danger of hate speech and the need to co-exist as a country," D’Akumrich told journalists on Tuesday in Juba.

Since outbreak of conflict in December 2013, hate speech was widespread pitting communities that had been co-existing in peace and harmony against each other amid heightened communal violence characterized by cattle theft and killings in South Sudan.

"As people keep watching our videos the number of beneficiaries may keep increasing. We aspire to see a republic of South Sudan where no tribal or communal hatred prevails over the love for our country," said D’Akumrich.

The outbreak of renewed violence in July 2016 led to collapse of the 2015 peace deal which prompted UN Secretary General’s Advisor on Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng in November 2016 to warn that ethnic killings amid rising hate speech risked the youngest nation descending into genocide.

But experts have since ruled out genocide as President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar signed the revitalized peace deal in September 2018 in Ethiopia which is largely holding.

Action against hate speech is a campaign which has been funded since 2017 by the EU through the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) aimed at countering hate speech and peace building in South Sudan.

The conflict killed tens of thousands and displaced more than four million people both internally and externally, creating one of the world’s fastest crises.

The revitalized peace deal which is currently being implemented returns Riek Machar as one of President Salva Kiir’s four vice presidents under the transitional unity government (TGoNU) expected to be formed in November.

The parties were supposed to form the TGoNU in May but agreed to a six-month extension in order to implement key issues that include cantonment, screening of forces and determining number of states and boundaries.
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Kenya plans infrastructure project to boost development in northeast region

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Tuesday kicked off preparations for a World Bank-backed infrastructure project to boost economic development of the northeast region, officials said.

Julius Korir, principal secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development told journalists in Nairobi that the Northeastern Transport Improvement Project (NETIP) aims to improve transport efficiency along the 740 km Isiolo-Wajir-Mandera road.

"To facilitate preparatory work, particularly the engineering designs of the road sections, the World Bank has advanced Kenya 1 billion shillings (10 million U.S. dollars)," Korir said during the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the national government and county governments of Meru, Isiolo, Wajir, Garissa and Mandera for NETIP related projects.

He said the existing Isiolo-Wajir-Mandera road will be upgraded to bitumen standards so that Kenya can enhance its links to the neighboring countries of Somalia and Ethiopia.

Korir said that the World Bank is expected to fund through a concessional loan of 500 million dollars for construction of 365 km of road out of the 740 km.

"The remainder of the road will be constructed with funds from Arab banks and the road annuity program," he added.

According to the government official, environmental and social impact assessment has already been completed. "The process of procuring the contractors will begin in the next three weeks," Korir added.

Josphat Sasia, lead transport specialist at World Bank said the NETIP project is at an advanced stage and construction work should start in the next eight months to 12 months.

He noted that NETIP will also include installation of a 744 km fiber optic cable from Isiolo to Mandera.
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Kenya and South Sudan confirm deals to shore up trade ties

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya and South Sudan on Monday inked agreements aimed at deepening trade ties between the two neighboring countries.

The deals which were signed in Nairobi between visiting South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his host Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta will also see the two countries set up a joint border commission for the management of the common border.

Under the agreements, Kenya will hold a trade expo in Juba in November to help deepen trade ties between the two nations and also work as a show of confidence in South Sudan’s economy.

"The expo will not only showcase Kenyan products but also reciprocate by exposing South Sudan’s products to Kenyan business people," Kenyatta told a joint news conference after holding bilateral meeting with Kiir.

Kenyatta said his government has also agreed to allocate land for a dry port to South Sudan at the Naivasha Special Economic Zone and for a logistics hub near the new Lamu Port.

Kenyatta assured South Sudan that Kenya is fast tracking the completion of an ambitious Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPPSET) corridor project, an economic and transport corridor that stretches from Kenya’s coastal Lamu Port to South Sudan and Ethiopia, including transnational highways, oil pipeline and the Lamu Port, among others, to link the two countries.

"The first berth (of the Lamu Port) will be ready this August while Berths 2 and 3 are expected to be completed within the year 2020. I will invite Your Excellency, with other regional leaders, to inspect the Lamu Project in due course," said Kenyatta.

He said Kenya and South Sudan will put more efforts in completing trans-national highways including Eldoret-Lokichoggio-Nadapal-Kapoeta-Torit-Juba Road.
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Kenya urges South Sudan to enhance peace and boost growth

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has called on South Sudan leader to consolidate peace dividends to accelerate the country’s social and economic growth.

Kenyatta said the moment has come for the patriotic men and women of Africa’s youngest nation to secure their place in national, regional, continental and global arena.

"The leadership of South Sudan, across the entire spectrum, have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to forge for lasting peace that provides the internal stability and enabling environment for your country’s take-off, both economically and socially," Kenyatta told visiting South Sudan President Salva Kiir.

The Kenyan leader spoke on Monday evening during a state banquet hosted for Kiir and his delegation in Nairobi.

Kenyatta’s office said in a statement issued after the reception that the Kenyan leader urged the South Sudan leadership to defy the naysayers and prophets of doom by putting aside their differences and delivering unity, peace and security to their nation.

Kenyatta said Kenya will continue to provide technical and diplomatic support to facilitate the implementation of the peace process including deployment of military ceasefire monitors as well as technical advisors to various transitional and implementation mechanisms.

"Kenya is cognizant of the fact that the political, security, economic and humanitarian situation in South Sudan will largely be determined by the success in the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) which was signed by the parties on 12th September 2018," he said.

He said commitment to the agreement will allow South Sudan to shed off the yoke of needless conflict and internal disunity that have limited the Horn of Africa country’s achievement of its full potential.

Kenyatta said South Sudan will be able to take advantage of the immense opportunities available on the African continent.

"One of these is the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) which has opened enormous trade and investment opportunities among African countries. Another is the East African Community, which South Sudan is the youngest member," the Kenyan leader said.

Speaking during the occasion, Kiir thanked Kenyatta for inviting him for the state visit, saying it has strengthened the bond of friendship between Kenya and South Sudan.

"I want to assure that South Sudanese and the great people of Kenya are one people. We share common borders and we are good neighbors," Kiir said.
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Kenyans discuss electricity deal with South Sudan

NAIVASHA (Xinhua) -- Kenya and South Sudan said Tuesday they are working on a deal to address the acute shortage of electricity in Juba. Under the deal, Kenya will offer electricity from geothermal in exchange of gas from oil fields in South Sudan.

Charles Keter, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for energy and petroleum, said that works are undergoing to construct transmission lines to Lodwar town which neighbors South Sudan, noting that Nairobi is keen to use the transmission lines to supply electricity to the neighboring country which was currently engaged in various development projects.

"We are engaging our brothers from South Sudan so that Kenya can get gas from the oil fields while they in return will get electricity supply," he said.

The official made the remarks when visiting South Sudanese President Salva Kiir toured the geothermal plant in Naivasha, Kenya.

Daniel Awou, South Sudan’s minister for petroleum, said that his country faces many challenges in power production, noting that the oil fields in the war-ravaged country need more electricity so that they could supply more oil.

"We are ready to partner with Kenya in terms of geothermal exploration and supply as currently the demand for electricity in our country is higher than supply," he said.

Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), the largest power producing company in Kenya, said on Tuesday that the company is ready and willing to share its expertise and experience in geothermal power development with South Sudan.

Rebecca Miano, CEO of KenGen said that studies have proven that South Sudan has capability of producing 400MW of geothermal power, adding Kenya is ready to support its neighbor.

"Kenya is ranked ninth in terms of geothermal production in the world and we are ready to offer expertise and advice to South Sudan government," she said, emphasizing the importance of clean energy given its contribution to curbing climate change.

"KenGen’s strategic focus is geared towards geothermal energy production, an area the company has heavily invested in. Our diverse expertise in energy production has become a point of reference, providing insights to various countries in Africa such as Ethiopia, Comoros, Rwanda and Djibouti," Miano said.

Miano said KenGen is also exploring expansion opportunities beyond Kenya and will in the near future extend to oil and mining sectors in the region.

Kenya is Africa’s leading geothermal energy producer and is among the top ten in the world. The country has a geothermal installed capacity of 685 MW with an estimated potential of 10,000MW along the Rift Valley, according to KenGen.
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South Sudan’s Central Bank orders banks
to suspend transactions in Kenya currency

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- South Sudan’s central bank on Monday directed all commercial banks to suspend transaction in Kenyan currency until October as demanded by its Kenyan counterpart in a bid to curb illicit financial flows and counterfeit.

The Bank of South Sudan (BOSS) in a circular issued in Juba said the move was necessary to curb illicit financial flows and counterfeits.

"The Central Bank of Kenya has informed us that it has started issuance of a new series of Kenyan shillings banknotes.

The measure is partly intended to combat the emerging concerns of illicit financial flows and counterfeits," said Moses Makur Deng, director general for banking supervision, research and statistics at BOSS.

It added that the directive will help discourage illicit transactions in Kenyan currency in South Sudan during and beyond the period of conversion from old Kenyan shilling banknotes to the new ones.

"Given these concerns, the Bank of South Sudan hereby direct all the commercial banks and other non-bank financial institutions to be vigilant and to subject all such transactions to strict due diligence," it said.

"We are specifically directing you to immediately stop accepting deposits in Kenyan shillings to ensure that illicit flows in Kenyan shillings do not return to Kenya’s financial system through financial institutions in South Sudan," it added.

BOSS also called on the financial institutions it overseas to share with it relevant information and intelligence on any illicit transaction.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has kicked off the process of phasing out old notes in circulation and replacing them with new generation currency notes.

Kenya is withdrawing the old 1,000 shilling note with a new note in an exercise expected to be complete by Oct. 1.

             

 

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