By Njoroge Kaburo NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Wednesday that his
government has put in place measures to curb radicalization and
violent extremism in prisons.
Kenyatta said major
steps have been made in collaboration with the National
Counter-Terrorism Centre to improve training curriculum for
staff and rehabilitation programs for inmates to check the vice
in the correctional institutions.
“A multi-agency task
force, which I appointed to assess the capacity of Kenya Prisons
Service, has concluded its assignment and presented the report
for further review - which we will shortly be undertaking,” he
said during the passing out parade of 2,699 prisons recruits in
Ruiru, about 20 kms east of Nairobi.
The police say
extremists are now targeting young people who are members of a
particular youth groups like the football clubs and convert
Christians to Muslims. They entice them with money and a promise
of better lives ahead.
According to the
police, some of the terror attacks in the country have been
committed by Kenyans who joined the terror groups such as Al-Shabaab
who have resorted to recruiting young Kenyans to join the group.
One of the gunmen
involved in the Garissa University terror attack that killed 147
people in April 2015 was a young promising Kenyan lawyer.
The dynamic of
terrorism in Kenya is that while in the past the perpetrators
were exclusively foreigners, there is a growing number of
Kenyans who have joined foreign terrorist organizations like Al-Shabaab
and have staged low key attacks inside Kenya according to
arrests and prosecutions made against some of the Kenyan
Several Kenyans have
been arrested while crossing over into Somalia to receive
terrorism training or when they are returning from the Al-Shabaab
training camps in Somalia to stage attacks.
Kenyatta said prison
institutions are required to offer not only retributive justice
but also the prospect of reform to reduce crime, stem
radicalization and ensure security in the country.
“Our justice system
exists not just to punish offenders or to deter possible
offenders from doing wrong; it exists also to encourage those
who have done wrong to change, and to once more contribute
meaningfully to society,” he said.
The president also
directed Interior Cabinet Secretary and the Commissioner of
Prisons to liaise with the Chief Justice regarding petty
offenders to see if they could be released to decongest prison
that some of the petty offenders have stayed longer in remand
cells than they would have served jail terms if their cases were
heard and determined.
168 drug suspects arrested in
Tanzania’s ongoing crackdown
ARUSHA, Tanzania, (Xinhua) --
At least 168 people, 28 of them women,
have been arrested in Tanzania’s capital Dodoma in connection
with narcotic drugs, authorities said Wednesday.
Dodoma District Commissioner said that the suspects were
arrested in different locations across the city for the past two
weeks when the countrywide narcotic drugs crackdown started.
She disclosed that
those arrested are currently languishing in police custody, as
they wait for the investigation before being taken to court.
According to Mdeme,
most of the suspects were found in possession of khat,
marijuana, and cocaine.
The official named
hot spots for illicit drugs within the municipality as
Makutupora, Veyula, Msalato, Chadulu, Miyuji, Zuzu, Mbabala, and
Chinangali West wards.
Other areas are
Madukani, Mlezi, Hazina, and Airport. But she added that other
spots are likely to spring up due to the expected large influx
of people looking to set up residence in Dodoma as the
designated new capital takes shape.
expressed concern that with Dodoma slated to be the nation’s
capital and government seat, the availability of drug dealers
along its streets remains a big embarrassment.
Mndeme called on
local government leaders to report any cases of illicit drug
trading and use, whether in public or private, in their areas of
She described the
ongoing narcotics crackdown as a real and of a national nature.
“My request to you
is to intensify the war on illicit drugs since this war is not
for the police alone. Please use all the weapons at your
disposal to end the problem in your areas,” she added.
spokesman Daniel Shilah urged the general public to come forward
and promptly report such cases as they occur.
Namibia illegally detains 46
foreigners: gov’t lawyer
WINDHOEK, (Xinhua) --
A Namibian government lawyer told the High Court
Wednesday that 46 foreigners who had been languishing in police
cells since Dec. 2016 were being detained illegally.
The lawyer, Sylvia
Kahengombe, said this when she testified in the case brought to
the court by the Ombudsman John Walters regarding the detention
of the illegal immigrants.
Walters filed an
urgent application Friday against the home affairs, the chief of
immigration, the Immigration Tribunal, the safety minister, the
Namibian Police Inspector General, and the station commanders of
the police stations in Windhoek, Katutura, Wanaheda and Seeis,
where the immigrant were being detained.
Ueitele, who heard the case Monday, postponed it for a week to
allow the defense lawyers representing more time to prepare
their response to the Ombudsman’s application.
admission, however, came earlier after the defense had
investigated the circumstances around the detention of the
foreigners from Zimbabwe, Angola, Democratic Republic of the
Congo (DRC) and Kenya.
Judge Ueitele then
ordered that the immigrants should be released forthwith and be
dealt with according to the provisions of the Immigration
According to the
Immigration Control Act, immigration officers are not allowed to
detain illegal immigrants for more than 14 days.
In the case of an
extension, the Act says the home affairs minister is the only
one who can do so but not for more than 14 days.
officers fail to finalize their investigation to verify an
immigrant’s legality in the country, the Act further says, they
must then release the immigrants after asking them to pay a
In this case, one of
the 46 immigrants had been in custody since Sept. 2016, while
others had been held since Dec. 2016.
Mozambican authorities deport
DAR ES SALAAM, (Xinhua) --
Mozambican immigration authorities have deported
180 Tanzanians through the Newala border in Mtwara region, a
senior Tanzanian official said on Wednesday.
Avod Mmanda, the
Acting Mtwara Regional Commissioner, said some of the deported
Tanzanians claimed to have been raped by Mozambican police.
investigating on these claims,” said Mmanda, adding that there
were also reports that the victims’ money and property were
stolen before they were repatriated.
Tanzania’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, said its envoy
to Mozambique has been tasked to probe the deportations.
“We are awaiting to
hear from our envoy in Maputo so that we can be in a position to
know what had transpired,” she told a news conference in the
commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
Rose Mhagama, the
Mtwara Regional Deputy Commissioner for Immigration, said
reports reaching Tanzania indicated that there were more
Tanzanians lined up for deportation.
“We have learned
that they are being deported in batches,” said the immigration
Some of the deported
Tanzanians claimed that their property, including passports and
money had been confiscated before they were put in custody for
three days while in Mozambique.
said Mozambican police arrested her as she was doing her
business and confiscated her money before they locked her in a
cell for three days.
“I have been living
in Mozambique for the past six years now. I was doing petty
businesses, selling cold drinks and food,” said Mwakipesile.
AU envoy says election of new
president puts Somalia on path to renewal
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Somalia has a chance to forge a new beginning
after peaceful election of the new President Mohamed Abdullahi
Mohamed (Farmajo) on Feb. 8, said the Special Representative of
the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) for
Somalia, Francisco Madeira.
Madeira said in a
commentary published by Kenya’s Daily Nation on Wednesday that
election of a new president will enable Somalia to shake off its
tragic past and chart a new beginning marked by peace, stability
conclusion of the presidential election heralds a new dawn for a
country that has been plagued by years of instability, internal
strife, cyclical drought and violent extremism,” said Madeira.
trounced the incumbent Hassan Sheikh Mohamud after a hotly
contested race to become the new president of Somalia.
His victory was
cheered by Somali citizens, regional blocs and the international
community who expressed confidence in his leadership skills that
were tested when he served as the country’s prime minister for
eight months from 2010 to 2011.
Farmajo holds a dual Somalia-U.S. citizenship and his reformist
credentials will be crucial to restore political and economic
institutions that crumbled during two and half decades of
turmoil in the horn of African state.
Madeira hailed the
peaceful transfer of power in Somalia against a backdrop of huge
uncertainties about its future due to sectarian wars and
“Let 2017 be the
year of firsts for Somalia. There is an opportunity for leaders
to work together to spearhead reconciliation and national
unity,” Madeira remarked, adding that dialogue on resource
sharing, job creation, security, women and youth empowerment
will be reactivated under the new president.
Madeira who is also
the head of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said that
an end to violent conflicts and terrorism in the country is
possible if grassroots leaders and ordinary citizens rally
behind the new president to annihilate the twin evils.
He stressed that
African Union in partnership with the international community
will continue to support counter-terrorism and peace building
initiatives in Somalia.
“With a new
government in place, one of our key priorities with the national
security forces is to intensify our offensive against
terrorists. We will not relent until the war against violent
extremism is won,” said Madeira.
diplomat said the establishment of vibrant security apparatus in
Somalia to deal with old and emerging threats is a key priority
of the AU and its multilateral partners.
He added that the
continental body will also support provision of critical
services like education and health to eliminate conditions that
would create a fertile ground for violent extremism to flourish
Egypt’s president discusses
regional issues with UN chief
CAIRO, (Xinhua) --
Egyptian president and visiting United Nations
chief vowed here Wednesday to continue cooperation and solve
Fattah al-Sisi held talks with UN Secretary General Antonio
Guterres, expressing readiness to further cooperate with the UN,
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said in a press
conference with Guterres after the meeting.
“Guterres has wisdom
since he was a statesman, a former prime minister...Egypt will
definitely be continuously in touch with the UN through our
permanent mission,” Shoukry said.
He explained that
Egypt has supported the peace process in Syria as well as the
efforts of the UN special envoy for Syria Staffan De Mistura,
stressing the importance of the Syrian opposition in the Geneva
The minister also
asserted that the international community cannot accept any
preconditions from all sides to reach a settlement in Syria,
adding that a peaceful solution that meets the aspirations of
the Syrian people must be reached.
said he met on Wednesday with a delegation from the Libyan High
Council of State, and the delegates praised the road map, which
means a notable development that supports the legal institutions
and the national army.
Guterres said Egypt
is a central player in the Middle East and an essential
contributor to the solutions of regional problems.
He stressed that
there is no plan B to the situation between the Palestinians and
Israelis but two-state solution, adding that everything must be
done to preserve that possibility.
“We also need to
find political solutions for the crises of the region,” Guterres
said, stressing the determination to move ahead with Geneva
talks in relation to the Syrian situation and resume the policy
of national reconciliation and unity in Iraq.
He said that he will
be totally committed to support the countries of the region to
come together in order to create the conditions for both Yemen
and Libya able to overcome the present crises.
Guterres took the
post as UN secretary-general on Jan. 1. He arrived in Cairo on
Wednesday after visiting Turkey, Saudi Arabia, United Arab
Emirates, Qatar and Oman.
CAIRO, (Xinhua) --
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ® meets with
visiting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Cairo,
capital of Egypt, on Feb. 15, 2017. Egyptian president and
visiting United Nations chief vowed here Wednesday to
continue cooperation and solve regional problems.
XINHUA PHOTO: MENA
Trial for 41 Rwandan Muslim
terrorism suspects resumes in Kigali
KIGALI, (Xinhua) --
The trial of 41 Rwandan Muslims suspected of
involvement in terrorism crimes resumed Wednesday at the High
Court in Kigali with prosecution praying for the hearing to be
conducted in camera over security concerns.
including five women are accused of multiple counts, including
belonging to a terrorist organization, complicity in a terrorist
act, formation of a criminal gang and financing terrorism.
that the suspects committed the crimes in different areas of
however asked court to disregard the prosecution request for the
trial to be conducted in camera, arguing the public had right to
follow the proceedings.
The High Court set
March 15 to announce its decision on prosecution request before
hearing can continue.
On August 19 last
year, Rwandan police shot dead three suspected terrorists in a
targeted operation in Rusizi district, western Rwanda after they
reportedly turned violent and resisted arrest.
They were suspected
of belonging to ISIL.
5 terrorists killed in northern
ALGIERS, (Xinhua) --
Algerian counter-terrorism troops on Wednesday
killed five armed militants and retrieved weapons in a
wide-scale operation in the province of Bouira, 110 km east of
Algiers, said a statement of the defense ministry.
The operation has
been launched in the dense woods of Laadjiba in Bouira with
accurate information of a terrorist group there, said the
The troops clashed
with a group of armed men, killing five of them, and retrieved
machine guns and ammunition.
The operation is
still underway, the statement added.
Located in a region
plagued by unprecedented security and political instability,
Algeria faces ongoing terrorist threats.
A few militants
affiliated to al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and recently
established Islamic State affiliated group of Caliphate Soldiers
are still taking refuge in the dense woods in the north of the
country, as well as remote desert areas near troubled Libya and
South Sudan, Uganda to set up
joint anti-bird flu task force
By Julius Gale JUBA, (Xinhua) --
South Sudan and Uganda have agreed to conduct
joint border surveillance exercise in an effort to combat the
spread of the avian flu that was reported in Kampala in January,
a South Sudanese official said Thursday.
of Livestock and Fisheries James Janka Duku said South Sudan
would not ban imports of Ugandan poultry products.
The minister said
the two countries have agreed to deploy health experts along the
Uganda-South Sudan border to monitor and inspect Ugandan poultry
He said under the
new guidelines, all bird products must undergo background checks
and traders must have valid export certificates issued by the
joint task force.
Duku said a team of
technical experts from South Sudan would be dispatched to its
Southern neighbor Monday next week to meet their Ugandan
counterparts in a bid to expedite the process.
“We have agreed that
we jointly set up a mechanism for monitoring and regulating
poultry products from Uganda,” Duku told Xinhua in Juba.
The strain of avian
influenza detected in wild and domestic birds in Uganda is the
same virus that has spread through Asia and Europe over the past
The H5N8 avian
influenza strain is thought to have spread across continents via
wild migratory birds.
declared the outbreak, Kenya and Rwanda have banned poultry
products from Uganda and a number of other East African
countries have increased surveillance.
Duku said South
Sudan would not ban Ugandan poultry products from entering its
territory after initial assessment showed that the outbreak has
been contained in the Lake Victoria region.
“We are also
involving the ministry of trade and industry in this process
because banning has a direct impact on trade,” Duku added.
Uganda is South
Sudan’s biggest trading partner in the East African bloc, with
South Sudan taking in 15 percent of Uganda’s agricultural
products according to data from Ministry of Trade.
Former Rwandan minister charged
KIGALI, (Xinhua) --
Former Rwanda’s state minister for mining Wednesday appeared in
court where he was charged with favoritism and falsifying
Evode Imena appeared
before Nyarugenge High Court in Kigali.
Imena, who was
arrested last January after being fired from cabinet, is accused
together with two former officials who worked in former Rwanda
Natural Resources Authority.
that the trio hastily registered a company which was
fraudulently awarded a license to conduct mining in Nduba mines
on the outskirts of Kigali.
Later, the company
which prosecution named JDJ fraudulently sold its concession to
another company called KNM at 20,000 U.S.dollars with the
approval of the minister, according to the prosecution.
The charges were
committed between 2013 and 2014, prosecution claims.
before court, the former minister denied the charges and asked
The court set Friday
to rule on the bail application.
UN political, development team
UNITED NATIONS, (Xinhua) --
A mission led by officers from the UN Department
of Political Affairs and the UN Development Programme is in
Gambia on Wednesday to assess the situation with regard to peace
and security and analyze the new government’s priorities going
forward, a UN spokesman said here.
“It will also assess
governance and institutional capacities in the country, map
support by international stakeholders engaging in peacebuilding,
and identify areas of enhanced UN support to national
authorities and civil society organizations,” Farhan Haq, the
deputy UN spokesman, said at a daily news briefing here.
The mission, which
arrived in Gambia on Tuesday, on Wednesday met with President
Adama Barrow after meeting with the vice-president, the foreign
minister, the UN’s Country Team working in Gambia, and
representatives of the diplomatic community in the West African
country, Haq added.
On Jan. 19, Barrow
was sworn in as Gambian president at the Gambian embassy in
Dakar, capital of Senegal.
Barrow, staying in
Dakar since Jan. 15, won Gambia’s presidential election on Dec.
1, 2016. However, his election win was challenged by the former
Gambian president, Yahya Jammeh, who refused to cede power to
him despite decisions by the Economic Community of West African
States (ECOWAS) to send troops to support Gambia in power
On Jan. 19, UN
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Barrow to discuss
latest developments in Gambia and congratulated him on his
inauguration, according to a statement by UN Spokesperson’s
Office. Barrow returned to Gambia as the new president in late
Construction of Zambia’s new
railway line set to start
LUSAKA, (Xinhua) --
Construction of a new railway line in
northwestern Zambia is set to start after the acquisition of
equipment and other materials required, the project’s proponent
said on Wednesday.
Enock Kavindele, the
chairman of North West Rail Company said construction works will
commence soon after the firm spent 12 million U.S. dollars on
the acquisition of equipment and other materials ahead of
commencement of construction works.
The official, who
also served as Zambia’s vice-president during late President
Fredrick Chiluba’s administration, told reporters in Lusaka, the
country’s capital that construction of the first stretch which
will run from Chingola town on the Copperbelt Province to
Solwezi in the northwestern part was expected to take 18 months
from the date of commencement.
The official, who
was speaking when he flagged off the dispatch of 20 Land Rover
pickups meant for the project, assured that all was set for the
construction of the railway line which will also connect the
northwestern Zambia to Angola.
The project requires
1.2 billion dollars and has been financed by the African
Development Bank and the Development Bank of Southern Africa.
Last year, the
official said the Zambian government had expressed willingness
to take a 30 percent stake of equity shares in the company.
17 banks to be prosecuted in S.
Africa for collusion
JOHANNESBURG, (Xinhua) --
The South African Competition Commission said Wednesday they
have referred 17 banks to their tribunal for prosecution of
Among the 17 banks,
3 of them are South Africa’s biggest banks who face prosecution
of collusion for price fixing of the South African rand.
consumer watchdog has been investigating the banks for the past
two years and has resolved to refer the case to the Competition
Tribunal for prosecution.
Commission said the banks manipulated the price for bids and
offers through an agreement to abstain from trading and creating
fake bids and offers at given times. The collusion happened
through groups chats.
The South African
Banks involved in collusion includes Standard Bank of South
Africa, Absa and Investec. The foreign banks involved are JP
Morgan Chase Bank, Barclays Capital, Barclays Bank, HSBC Bank
and Bank of America Merril Lynch International, among others.
one of the Commissioners from the Competition Commission said
“the referral of this matter to the tribunal marks a key
milestone in this case as it now affords the banks an
opportunity to answer for themselves.”
The Commission said
the banks had a general agreement to collude on prices for bids,
offers and bid-offer spreads for the spot trades in relation to
currency trading involving U.S. dollar and rand currency pair.
According to the
Commission, some banks used trading platforms such as the
Reuters currency trading platform to carry out their collusive
activities. Some used Bloomberg instant messaging system (chatroom),
telephone conversation and had meetings to coordinate their
bilateral and multilateral collusive trading activities. The
banks coordinated trading times and helped each other to reach
applied to the Tribunal to declare that the 17 banks as having
contravened the Competition Act and are liable for the payment
of an administrative penalty equal to 10 percent of their annual
South African ruling
party, African National Congress spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said
the actions by the banks are an attack on the constitutional
mandate of the South African Reserve Bank to protect the value
of the South African currency.
National Congress takes an extremely dim view of the activities
of the listed banks, understanding the banking sector as being
instrumental to our quest for economic growth and development,”
CAPE TOWN, (Xinhua) --
South African President Jacob Zuma ® talks with police
officials at the Nyanga Police Station in Cape Town, South
Africa, on Feb. 14, 2017. The South African government
will do everything to restore peace and safety in
crime-stricken communities, President Jacob Zuma said on
PHOTO: DOC/KOPANO TLAPE
Study shows nearly 50 pct of
mobile users only use voice, SMS services
MADRID, (Xinhua) --
Around half of the people who use mobile phones
still only use them for just conversations and traditional SMS
text messages, a study published on Wednesday revealed.
The study conducted
by GSMA Intelligence in the lead up to the 2017 Mobile World
Congress in Barcelona identifies four groups of mobile phone
aficionados (people who must use their phones), pragmatists,
networkers and talkers.
considered to be the least engaged mobile users and only use
their phones to either made calls or to send text messages.
Despite advances in technology, they still make up 47 percent of
the market, the study found.
GSMA, which is the
company that represents the interests of mobile users worldwide,
believes this number will drop to 29 percent as users see the
effects of “advances in mobile innovations, affordability and
messages are still more popular than internet protocol messaging
in places such as France and the United States.
Along with South
Korea and Qatar, the United States is one of the most important
markets in terms of mobile engagement, the study showed.
The study also threw
up some surprising facts, such as in Kenya and Tanzania, one in
five adult mobile phone owners use their phone for financial
services, while in India there is an important gender gap with
women 43 percent less likely than men to use mobile internet.
UN, Kenya sign deal to promote
environmentally sustainable tourism sector
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
The UN housing agency and Kenya on Wednesday
signed a deal to promote environmentally sustainable tourism in
the east African country.
UN Human Settlement
Program (UN-Habitat) Chief of the Urban Energy Unit Dr Vincent
Kitio told a media briefing in Nairobi that under the agreement,
the UN body will offer technical advice to the Tourism Finance
Corporation (TFC) on the designs for new hotels as well as on
ways of retrofitting existing hotels in Kenya.
“The aim is to
promote energy efficiency in hotel design so as to ensure the
hospitality sector is environmentally sustainable,” Kitio said.
A key facet of the
agreement will see TFC’s technical staff empowered with tools
and measures to help them implement and design environmentally
sound buildings that consume less energy, and conserve water and
also manage waste.
Kitio said that
electricity cost is a factor that greatly impacts on
profitability of hotels and other facility.
“This high cost can
be reduced if Kenya adopts renewable energy that is cheaper than
conventional sources of energy,” he said.
“Green energy can
help make the hospitality sector more efficient and
environmentally sustainable,” he added.
Director Jonah Orumoi said that the partnership with UN-Habitat
will transform the hospitality industry in Kenya.
Orumoi said that the
collaboration will enable Kenya’s hospitality sector to embrace
environmentally sustainable practices.
“It will also help
to make Kenya have facilities that are recognized
internationally as being green,” Orumoi said. He added that the
need for an integrated approach to sustainable development in
the tourism sector is urgent.
“Investors in the
tourism sector must factor in environmental and social
considerations into every business decision,” he noted.
Safaricom inflows boost
turnover at Nairobi bourse
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Turnover at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE)
on Wednesday rose to 11 million U.S. dollars on a volume of 63
million shares from 20 million worth 3.7 million dollars,
boosted by Safaricom inflows.
The leading telecom
operator was the day’s biggest mover, attracting as many foreign
sales as purchases, as it traded a massive 45 million shares at
The shares were
valued at 8.3 million dollars to account for 75 percent of the
KenGen was the day’s second best traded stock moving 7.2 million
shares at 0.06 dollars, an increase of 2.4 percent.
Coming in third was
cement maker Athi River Mining with 5 million shares traded at
0.19 dollars, a rise of 1 percent.
Bank and KenolKobil were the fourth and fifth best stocks after
moving 1.8 million 601,100 shares at 0.25 dollars and 0.13
During the session
in which foreign investors were net buyers, a rise of at least
top 10 stocks lifted the NSE 20 Share Index up 19 points to
settle at 2,952.33.
The All Share Index
(NASI), on the other hand, edged 0.04 points lower to settle at
124.91 while the NSE 25 Share Index shed 1.48 points to settle
The bond market
registered a marginal rise with securities worth 6.9 million
dollars transacted from 6.7 million dollars.
Roundup: African Fine Coffee
event kicks off in Ethiopia’s capital
ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) --
Attracting regional and
international coffee roasters, traders, producers, professionals
and connoisseurs, the 15th edition of African Fine
Coffee Conference and Exhibition kicked off in Ethiopia’s
capital Addis Ababa on Wednesday.
With the objective
of reshaping African coffee industry, the three-day event from
Feb. 15 to 17 is expected to have intensive discussions on
policy and trade development across the African coffee value
The African Fine
Coffee Association (AFCA) and the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea
Development and Marketing Authority, have co-hosted the event
under the theme, “Reshaping African Coffee Industry for
Productivity and Investment.”
The participants are
also expected to discuss ways of boosting coffee production on
the African continent, and the exhibitors from across the world
showcase their coffee products, machinery and packaging
facilities, among others.
The conference is a
buyer-oriented event which brings together buyers from all over
the world to build key trading relationships and discuss issues
impacting on production, trading environment and policy
interventions necessary to grow the coffee industry worldwide,
according to the organizers.
The event is also
expected to provide an opportunity for business-to-business
engagements and for buyers to taste best coffee from Ethiopia
and the rest of Africa.
the event, Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome reiterated that
his government attaches great importance to the coffee industry
as it is backbone of the country’s commodities export.
“Around 20 million
people are directly or indirectly deriving their livelihoods
from coffee. Hence, as major agricultural export product, it
generates about 26 percent of Ethiopia’s total export earnings.
Ethiopia is the largest producer of coffee in Africa and the
fifth largest coffee producer in the world, next to Brazil,
Vietnam, Colombia, and Indonesia, contributing from 7 to 10
percent of total world coffee production,” noted the president.
It has been
recognized that new markets have been identified in order to
benefit coffee farmers and also to encourage all stakeholders in
coffee industry, according to the president.
“In this regard,
China, Russia, Middle East, and the Far East economies,
Australia, and consuming African countries of Algeria, Tunisia,
and Sudan among others offer a lucrative option and price
incentives to the Ethiopian coffee,” he said.
Board Chairman of African Fine Coffee Association (AFCA), stated
that African Fine Coffee Conference and Exhibition has become
one of the top events in the world.
“This conference has
a lot of value because we are at the beginning of the coffee
season and I am hoping that by being here the delegates the
buyers, many, many buyers are here will have the chance to see,
believe and taste the coffees and we are going to ship first
class coffee out of Ethiopia this year,” he said.
Ethiopian Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, said on
his part that the government has been taking various measures to
tap Ethiopia’s huge potential in the sector and boost coffee
productivity in the country.
“Ethiopia has a huge
potential to increase coffee due to processing, suitable
climate, soil, indigenous planting material, and sufficient
rainfalls in coffee growing belts of the country. To this end,
government is committed to more than ever before to tap the huge
potential that exists to increase coffee productivity through
undertaking research and development interventions.”
African Fine Coffees
Association (AFCA) is an association with coffee sectors in 11
member countries, namely Burundi, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya,
Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and
Over 100 exhibitors
participate in the exhibition showcasing their coffee products,
machinery, and packaging among others, according to the
AfDB pledges more support for
ARUSHA, Tanzania, (Xinhua) --
The African Development Bank (AfDB) on Wednesday
pledged to continue supporting Tanzania’s development projects
by providing loans with low-interest rates.
Amadou Hott, AfDB
Vice-President in-charge of power, energy, climate and green
growth, made the pledge when he met with Tanzania’s Finance and
Planning Minister Phillip Mpango.
The bank official
said that the bank will support Tanzania in different ways
including the country’s industrialization agenda.
Hott said that his
bank has allocated 12 billion U.S. dollars to support African
countries including Tanzania so that they improve their
economies as well as fighting against climate change.
The senior bank
official said energy improvement is his priority in Tanzania,
particularly ensuring that state-run power utility firm (TANESCO)
becomes free from huge debts, making it able to focus on
providing competitive services for the country’s economic
“Our interest is to
ensure that TANESCO provide reliable and affordable power, which
will stimulate the country’s economy,” the AfDB official said.
He also revealed the
African bank has come up with a new strategy of encouraging the
effective use of sustainable power in an effort to reduce the
use of charcoal and firewood as a source of cooking energy.
He said that the
move is also meant to save trees and forests in the continent
and Tanzania in particular.
According to Hott,
the bank is interested in financing projects which are
encouraging the use of sustainable energy in urban and rural
Mpango hailed the
role played by the AfDB in improving road infrastructures in the
country, asking the bank to extend the support into the standard
gauge railway line construction, the project which intends to
improve transport of passengers and cargo in the Great Lakes
Britain seeks stronger ties
ACCRA, (Xinhua) --
The British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said
on Wednesday that his government is committed to ensuring more
investments from his country to Ghana.
Johnson, who is on a
two-nation West African tour that has also taken him to the
Gambia, said the British government hopes to have an even deeper
friendship with Ghana going forward.
want to make sure that British firms come here in greater
numbers and in greater strengths to invest in Ghana and if I may
say so take advantage of the fantastic opportunities that are in
this wonderful country,” Boris told the press after holding a
closed-door meeting with president Nana Akufo-Addo at the
Flagstaff House in Accra.
The talks centered
on foreign policy, security in the sub-region and trade
said a lot of work has been done to make sure that the relations
between Ghana and Great Britain continue to be on an even keel,
and that both sides are looking at the areas for greater trade
and business cooperation.
“At the end of the
day, we are both concerned about what we can do to improve the
lives of our various people, and that is the main
consideration,” the Ghanaian leader said.
Ghana’s petroleum authorities
dispel fears of imminent fuel shortage
ACCRA, (Xinhua) --
The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) assured
Ghanaians here on Wednesday there was no basis for fuel shortage
in the country any time soon.
It said there was
enough fuel reserves to meet demands, dispelling rumors of
imminent fuel shortage in the west African country.
“The current stock
position in the country indicates there is over 200 million
liters of gas oil and more than 100 million liters of petrol at
various depots throughout the country. These stocks are expected
to last up to 6 weeks,” the NPA said in a signed statement by
its Public Relation and Consumer Service Manager, Yaro Kasambata.
said over 73 million liters of gas oil and 46 million liters of
petrol were expected to be delivered into the country from Feb.
13th to 18th.
“There are no
challenges at the discharging terminals at the country’s ports
and ensures that there is fairness in the process leading up to
the discharge of cargoes of all importers. The NPA continuously
monitors the weekly schedule of fuel imports to ensure that
there is constant supply of fuel for the country,” it said.
A think tank,
Institute for Energy Security (IES), had warned of an impending
shortage of petroleum products in the coming weeks due to the
shutdown of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and the congestion at
the ports which had compelled many oil companies to postpone
A statement by
Richmond Rockson, Principal Research Analyst at the Petroleum
Unit of IES, said on Tuesday that, due to the unanticipated
shutdown of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and port congestion, the
oil companies were being compelled to postpone their import and
export programs amid acute discharge and loading constraints
that had the potential to interrupt with Ghana’s fuel supply.
CAIRO, (Xinhua) --
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres gives a lecture
entitled “Facing Global Challenges: Finding Hope in Youth”
at Cairo University in Cairo, Egypt, on Feb. 15, 2017.
There is no plan B for the two-state solution between the
Israelis and the Palestinians to resolve the Middle East
conflict and achieve regional peace, UN Secretary-General
Antonio Guterres told a press conference in Cairo on
Wednesday following his meeting with Egyptian President
Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. The UN chief reiterated his
statement at a lecture he later gave at Cairo University,
attended by diplomats and students.
XINHUA PHOTO: MENG TAO
South Sudan launches UN climate
JUBA, (Xinhua) --
South Sudan on Wednesday launched 28 projects
under the National Adaptation Programs of Action (NAPAs), making
Juba eligible to acquire funding of up to 50 million U.S.
dollars for implementation of programs seeking to address
Undersecretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, said
the government has indentified five projects toward developing
environmentally friendly agriculture, early warning system,
wetland protection, renewable energy and mainstreaming
environmental policies and laws.
Bartel urged the
government to enact legislations that can protect the
environment by ensuring increased funding to environmental
conservation efforts and enforce stringent punishment and also
ensure that increased funding to the 28 projects listed in the
“Once we get the
environmental law, we are going to go after anybody including
the oil industry that is currently not being monitored,” he
NAPA is an
initiative of the UN framework convention on climate change (UNFCC)
that provides a process for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to
identify priority activities that respond to their urgent and
immediate needs to adapt to climate change. So far 51 countries
have responded to it.
Josephine Naphon said NAPAs would help guide the country to stop
over-reliance on thermal energy and shift to renewable energy by
Asrad Khan, UN
Environment Program (UNEP) South Sudan Program Manager, said
South Sudan remains one of the countries in the world with the
highest deforestation rates, which has made it prone to
disasters such as drought and flooding that have severely
devastated crop and livestock production in the eastern and
implementation of NAPAs would strengthen efforts to combat
negative effects of climate change on livelihoods and boost food
“Climate change has
no boundaries. So you it is very important for a country like
south Sudan which is prone to disasters to adapt the NAPA to
ensure that we use the natural resources wisely and start to
take action now,” Khan said.
South Sudan is prone
to recurrent floods every year in the rainy season—May to
October—which threatens the lives and livelihoods of the local
population and their communities, according to the United
Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Origination (UNESCO).
The agency said
destruction of homes, schools, crops and agricultural lands lead
to a loss in potential income, food insecurity, disrupted
educational opportunities and delayed delivery of basic services
in South Sudan.
Zimbabwe forecasts maize output
to triple after good rains
HARARE, (Xinhua) --
Zimbabwe expects to produce up to 1.8 million
tonnes of the staple maize in 2017 from 512,000 tonnes last year
due to good rains received this season, the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ) said on Wednesday.
An increase in
production of other cereal crops was also forecast this year
following a devastating El-Nino induced drought in 2016 which
left 4 million of the nation’s 14 million people in need of food
RBZ governor John
Mangudya said the favorable rains would boost agricultural
productivity and help stimulate economic growth given that the
country’s economy was agriculture based.
agricultural season that is anticipated to produce around
1,500,000 - 1,800,000 tonnes of maize and other cereals from
1,595,000 hectares requires government to mobilize funding for
the Grain Marketing Board to purchase grain from farmers,” the
governor said in the 2017 first-half monetary policy statement.
He said cotton seed
output was also forecast to rise to 100,000 tonnes from 32,000
tonnes last year.
Tobacco leaf output,
the country’s largest foreign currency earner, was expected to
jump to between 200 million and 215 million kg from 183 million
kg in 2016 due to an export incentive scheme introduced last
November, the governor said.
The export incentive
scheme is being financed through bond notes whose circulation
now stands at 94 million since introduction in November.
The bond notes, also
introduced to ease current cash shortages in the economy, are
trading at par with the U.S. dollar.
Mangudya said the
export incentive will also be extended to tourism to encourage
foreign currency generation by the sector.
CAIRO, (Xinhua) --
Some Egyptian teenagers are seen in the School of
Recycling in the Zabbaleen district of Monshat Naser,
Cairo, Egypt on Jan. 22, 2017. The School of Recycling,
located in the Zabbaleen district of Monshat Naser, east
Cairo, was built by the Association for the Protection of
Environment in cooperation with the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO). Aiming to help the traditionally marginalized
group and strengthen environmental protection, the school
receives the children of the Zabbaleen (literally meaning
garbage collector in Arabic) and teaches them some reading
and writing skills, as well as waste management and
XINHUA PHOTO: AHMED GOMAA
UNICEF launches 110 mln USD
appeal for Sudan children
KHARTOUM, (Xinhua) --
The United Nations International Children’s Fund
(UNICEF), Sudan office, on Wednesday launched an appeal to raise
110 million U.S. dollars to meet humanitarian needs for children
The appeal is part
of a UNICEF annual global Humanitarian Action for Children,
which aims at mobilizing resources and drawing attention to the
plight of children worldwide, Abdullah Fadil, UNICEF
representative to Sudan said in a statement Wednesday.
UNICEF in Sudan is
planning to reach over two million children this year across the
country, he added.
About 13 percent of
African children who suffer from severe acute malnutrition are
in Sudan, the statement said.
Figures show that
two million children under the age of five are acutely
malnourished, 550,000 of them severely malnourished.
displacements, El Nino, epidemics, floods and droughts
exacerbated the nutrition and food security situation of
Sudanese children, the statement said.
by Sudan’s Health Ministry indicated that malnutrition surpasses
eight known causes of children’s deaths including malaria, blood
poisoning, pneumonia, dehydration, gastroenteritis, anemia and
is working with its partners to implement national priority
programs addressing malnutrition and reducing children’s