MOGADISHU, (Xinhua) --
Somalia’s security forces have arrested five Al-Shabaab
suspects and seized a vehicle laden with explosives in the
northern port town of Bosasso, officials said on Wednesday.
of Bari region, Abdihakim Hussein Yusuf said the security forces
received a tip off from members of the public and swung into
action to thwart a terrorist attack in the town.
“We have captured
five Al-Shabaab suspects and a vehicle loaded with explosives
after receiving prior intelligence. Investigation is still
continuing now,” Yusuf said.
He said the suspects
who were arrested on Tuesday night have been planning to carry
terror attacks on unspecified locations in Puntland including
Hussein said the
security forces have enhanced operations to identify the group’s
targets, saying this was a significant operation against the
terror cells in the region.
The latest arrest
comes after Al-Shabaab and pro-Islamic States’ militants killed
nine Puntland soldiers in a roadside blast.
Four Burundian abductees in DR
Congo released: police
BUJUMBURA, (Xinhua) --
Four Burundian nationals including a priest who
had been abducted earlier this month at Gatumba near the
Burundi-Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) border have been
released, the Burundian police spokesman said Wednesday.
Burundian Police Spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye, all those released
abductees were “in good shape” apart from small injuries on the
feet of three ageing people because of a “long walk” between
Burundi and the Congolese territory.
“All belongings of
the four abductees including theirs shoes and other valuable
objects were taken by the unidentified kidnappers,” Nkurikiye
He however indicated
that those abductees told investigators that they were not
tortured, adding that they do not know whether their families
paid ransoms in order to obtain the release.
Nkurikiye said that
investigations are underway to identify the kidnappers.
Those four persons
were abducted at Gatumba on April 9, 2017 in an ambush by armed
people on a passenger minibus coming from the Burundian capital
During that ambush,
two persons were injured and evacuated to hospital.
Security has been
occasionally disrupted in villages near Burundi’s Rukoko forest
reserve in Gihanga and at Gatumba, with thefts and ambushes on
the road linking Bujumbura to Cibitoke and the road linking
Bujumbura to Gatumba.
Burundi president swears in new
BUJUMBURA, (Xinhua) --
Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza Wednesday
swore in Isabelle Ndahayo as the new East African Community (EAC)
Affairs Minister for Burundi.
attended by the country’s top leaders including lawmakers of
both chambers of the Burundian parliament and diplomats
accredited in Burundi took place at Kigobe Parliament house in
the north of the east African country’s capital Bujumbura.
In her oath,
Isabelle Ndahayo swore fidelity to the Burundian unity charter,
the national constitution and other laws governing the country.
Burundian president and the parliament, I swear fidelity to the
National Unity Charter, the National Constitution and other
laws. I commit to dedicate all my strengths to defend interests
of the nation, to promote unity and cohesion of Burundian
people, to promote peace and social justice in accomplishing my
assignments,” said Ndahayo.
She also committed
to combat genocide ideologies and exclusion as well as all kinds
She also pledged to
promote human rights and liberties.
Isabelle Ndahayo was
appointed by Burundian President Nkurunziza in a presidential
decree on April 14.
Since 2012, she was
one of the nine Burundian lawmakers sitting at the East African
Legislative Assembly whose headquarters is based in Arusha,
Leontine Nzeyimana who had served as Burundi’s EAC minister
The EAC bloc is made
up of six countries including Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania,
Uganda and South Sudan.
Algeria, UN discuss peace
process in war-torn Libya
ALGIERS, (Xinhua) --
Algerian Minister of Maghreb Affairs, African
Union and Arab League Abdelkader Massahel met here on Wednesday
with UN Envoy to Libya Martin Kobler in discussion of peace
process in war-torn Libya.
“There’s a desire
among Libyan ordinary citizens and political leaders to achieve
peace,” Messahel told reporters following his meeting with the
Kobler, who is also Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).
parties detain the solution in their hands, and our role is to
support and assist them without the need to interfere in their
internal affairs,” he noted.
Messahel welcomed the return of UNSMIL mission to Tripoli after
more than two years absence due to chaos reining there.
For his part, Kobler
hailed Algeria’s “efforts in terms of supporting the process of
the implementation of UN-sponsored peace agreement in Libya.”
He admitted that
deadlock due to some articles of the Libyan political agreement
should be reviewed or changed to boost the peace process.
Kobler arrived in
Algeria on Wednesday as part of a work visit to continue
consultation between Algeria and the United Nations on the
Libyan crisis, amid recent developments in this nation and
assessing the progress of the implementation of the Libyan
political accord of December 17, 2015.
Security of Libyan waters an EU
VALLETTA, (Xinhua) --
The security of Libyan waters is an essential
part of the work of the European Union (EU), said Federica
Mogherini, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and
Security Policy, on Wednesday.
She was speaking on
board the Italian Amphibious ship San Giusto in Malta, which is
taking part in the operation SOPHIA tackling piracy and Human
Mogherini said that
this operation is fulfilling its core mandate of disrupting the
traffic of smugglers at sea and they have already trained 93
Libyan coastguards. Libyan coastguards will be provided with
ships that allow them to operate in the waters to monitor what
happens in the waters and save lives if necessary.
She added that the
security of Libyan waters translates into more possibilities for
fishermen of Libya, providing sustainable economic revenue that
can help disrupt the business of human trafficking.
Sudan, UN sign 1.4 bln USD
worth assistance framework
KHARTOUM, (Xinhua) --
Sudan Government and the UN on Wednesday signed
the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for 2018-2021,
which worth 1.4 billion dollars.
signed by Osman Ahmed Fadul Wash, Sudan’s Minister of
International Cooperation, and Marta Ruedas, UN Resident and
Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, constitutes the planning
framework for UN development collaboration in Sudan over the
next four years.
Sudan and the UN
vowed during the signing ceremony to foster cooperation,
coordination and partnership to implement the UNDAF as the UN’s
contribution towards national development plans and the
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
helps in addressing challenges facing sustainable development
and social work in Sudan such as displacement, migration,
refuge, and the social and economic effects of these issues as
well,” said Sudan’s Minister of International Cooperation Osman
Ahmed Fadul Wash.
Marta Ruedas, UN
Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, for her part, said that
“the new UNDAF is an exceptional opportunity for the UN system
to enable an early take-off of the SDGs in Sudan and closely
align its support behind the essential ambitions of Sudan’s
national development plans.”
“The SDGs are
extraordinarily ambitious and complex, and require everyone,
including the UN, to approach development innovatively. We will
need to work across sectors in an all-of-society effort for
these ambitions,” she noted.
The formulation of
the UNDAF, which was based on extensive consultations with
different national stakeholders, including government partners
and civil society, was overseen by a government-UN task force,
coordinated by the Ministry of International Cooperation,
established in June 2015.
Nigerian president to work from
LAGOS, (Xinhua) --
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has opted to
work from home, Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed said
The minister told
reporters after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC)
meeting in Abuja, the country’s capital that the Nigerian leader
has already called for files requiring his attention to be moved
to his official residence.
Osinbajo is presiding over the meeting.
“We just concluded
the Federal Executive Council meeting. I’m sure you noticed that
the President was not there. He was not there because he asked
that he be allowed to rest and asked the vice president to
preside,” he added.
“And he will be
working from home. He has asked all his files to be taken to him
in the house. He will be working from home today,” he said.
reporters that Osinbajo will visit the President at home later
in the day.
There has been
controversies over the state of health of President Buhari, who
returned to the country on March 10 after a 49-day medical
sojourn in London.
Nigerian leader was only seen in public once throughout last
week, when he joined other Muslim faithfuls for a Juma’at
service on Friday at a mosque located near his office inside the
Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The service lasted
less than one hour after which Buhari returned to his residence.
continuous non-appearance at public events is linked to his
ailing health and the need to take further rest.
Nigeria nabs 9 foreigners in
suspected oil theft
ABUJA, (Xinhua) --
Nine foreigners have been identified among 10
suspected oil thieves arrested in Nigeria’s Delta region on
Tuesday, a navy commander said Wednesday.
An Indonesian, a
Beninois, two Ukrainians, two Pakistanis and three Ghanaians
were arrested with a Nigerian onboard a Panama-registered vessel
carrying out the illegal activity early Tuesday, Navy Commander
Ibrahim Dewu told reporters.
The suspects were
caught siphoning crude oil into a vessel from a loading jacket
operated by Shell Petroleum and Development Company, Dewu said.
He said about 2,000
metric tons of crude oil had been siphoned from the loading
jacket before the suspects were caught.
They were arrested
based on intelligence report three days after the Nigerian navy
personnel opened a dragnet on them.
“The Nigerian among
them is the Chief Officer while the Captain is a Pakistani,”
According to him, a
preliminary investigation showed that the vessel had been on
Nigerian waters for two weeks, operating on the high sea during
the day and going late at night to connect to the loading jacket
to siphon crude oil.
The suspects and the
vessel would be handed over to the authorities for prosecution
after investigations, the official added.
Nigeria to kick off nationwide
LAGOS, (Xinhua) --
Nigeria’s electoral commission said Wednesday
that all is set to commence the nationwide Continuous Voter
Registration (CVR) across the 774 Local Government Areas in the
country beginning on April 27.
have been deployed for the commencement of the exercise as
scheduled, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, a director with the Independent
National Electoral Commission (INEC) told reporters in Abuja.
personnel and materials for the exercise have also been
deployed, he added.
reiterated that the exercise would take place at the
commission’s Local Government offices on working days of the
weeks from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. local time, pending when the review
of the exercise.
The director advised
those who are yet to register for their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs)
to use the opportunity to do so.
Osaze-Uzzi said it
was when people have their PVCs to vote, they could influence
politics and development positively.
He advised those who
had registered before but could not obtain their PVCs to go and
lodge their complaint before going for new registration.
Nigeria is scheduled
to hold general elections in February 2019.
Zambian leader seeks to
consolidate ties with Czech Republic
LUSAKA, (Xinhua) --
Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Wednesday said
his government was committed to enhance cooperation with the
Lungu said when
Czech Republic’s Ambassador-Designate to Zambia Radeck Rubes
presented his letters of credence at State House that it was in
the interest of his government to consolidate relations with
other countries at a time it was diversifying its economy and
expanding industrial base.
Zambia, he said, was
looking forward to closely collaborating with the Czech Republic
in order to learn from the country’s admirable expertise in
various sectors such as agriculture, energy and health.
According to him,
the Czech Republic’s decision to open an embassy in Zambia was a
positive development aimed at enhancing bilateral relations,
adding that this will open up several new doors of fruitful
On his part, the
Czech Republic envoy assured of his government’s commitment to
strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.
He said he was
impressed with the great interests in Zambia to take the
cooperation to a greater height.
8 killed, 12 others injured in
road accident in eastern Kenya
MAKUENI, Kenya, (Xinhua) --
At least eight people were killed and 12 others
seriously injured in a grisly road accident along the busy
Nairobi-Mombasa highway in eastern Kenya early Thursday.
police commander Zacharia Bitok said the accident occurred when
a commuter minibus which was ferrying passengers from
Mtito-Andei to Nairobi collided head-on with a truck that was
headed to Mombasa a few meters from Salama market in Makueni
Bitok said the
driver of the minibus was among those killed. “The truck, which
was loaded with timber, overturned following the impact of the
collision,” Bitok told journalists at the scene.
“The eight died
instantly while 12 others among them the lorry turnboys were
rushed to Machakos level-5 hospital,” he added. He said the
driver of the minibus failed to overtake some vehicles leading
to a head-on collision with the truck.
Bitok said the
whereabouts of the others remains unknown. The accident has
disrupted trafficking flows since the truck is blocking the busy
The incident comes
two days after another one happened few meters away from the
scene and killed 27 people and 20 others were injured in the
accident at Kambu, Kibwezi area. Police say they are
investigating both incidents.
Kenya ranks among
African countries with the highest toll of road accidents that
are caused by over speeding and lethargic enforcement of traffic
statistics indicate that the East Africa nation loses at least
3,000 people annually from road carnage, with close to half
being pedestrians while several others are left with injuries,
according to statistics from the police.
Kenya launches e-portal for
Port Health Services
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya on Thursday launched an e-portal for Port
Health Services that will boost surveillance against cross
border transmission of diseases.
Ministry of Health
Cabinet Secretary Cleopha Mailu told a media briefing in Nairobi
that the digital platform will manage services offered to
traders at Kenya’s points of entry.
information system is part of the government’s policy of
promoting automation of services for greater efficiency,” Mailu
“The online system
will provide a platform for faster electronic processing of
applications for export and import health certificates,” he
Mailu said that the
e-portal will greatly contribute towards creation of an enabling
environment for business transactions and thus enhance Kenya’s
exporters will now be able to acquire health certificates in 12
hours as compared to four days under the manual system,” he
The digital platform
will enable Kenya to provide services at the port of entry in
line with international health regulations and therefore
contribute towards attainment of Global Health Security Agenda.
The portal will also
provide a forum for port health officers to share information on
the movement of goods thoughout the country.
Mailu noted that
port health services play a very important role in trade
facilitation through the inspection of goods of public health
“However some of the
goods handled are perishable in nature and require to be
processed within the shortest time possible,” he said.
The portal was
funded by TradeMark East Africa. The platform will be rolled out
on a pilot basis to the main airport of Nairobi and Mombasa and
thereafter rolled out to all border points by the end of the
Kenya seeks to screen 200,000
against high blood pressure levels
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya plans to screen 200,000 people against
increased high blood pressure levels, a senior government
official said on Wednesday.
Ministry of Health
Principal Secretary Julius Korir said the month-long campaign
exercise is the beginning of the fight against cardiovascular
diseases in the country.
“We are stepping up
the fight against cardiovascular diseases because it is the
second killer disease in the country after infectious diseases
as the top contributor in the country,” he said during the
launch of the exercise in Nairobi.
The campaign dubbed
“Pima Pressure” is part of the May Measurement Month and will
see the ministry set up free screening stations in the country’s
referral hospitals, public universities and various public pick
According to the
National Stepwise Survey of 2015, almost one in four Kenyans is
living with hypertension and more than half of Kenyans have
never had their blood pressure measured.
In addition, more
than 90 percent of those undergoing treatment for hypertension
have not attained control of the disease.
“We want to
encourage all Kenyans to regularly measure their blood pressure
because awareness is the first step to better health,” he noted.
According to the
World Health Organization (WHO), hypertension is the most common
cardiovascular disease with estimates where three in 10 people
are living with the condition.
The Steps Survey
2015 also revealed that more than five million Kenyans currently
consumed some form of tobacco products.
One million Kenyans
consume alcohol on a daily basis; three million are physically
inactive and over 40 million consume an unhealthy diet.
The ministry was
keen on addressing the growing burden of Non-Communicable
Diseases (NCDs) and would implement the National NCD Strategy.
“We have intensified
public awareness campaigns and interventions to reduce these
risk factors and the burden of the disease in the country,” he
The ministry of
health in conjunction with the Kenya Cardiac Society and other
stakeholders are leading the campaign.
Kenya’s value chain
agricultural farmers seek funds to enhance output
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s value chain agricultural farmers are
seeking more resources to help boost production and improve
existing agro processing firms to enable them undertake value
addition of locally produced commodities.
A new report on
Kenya agro-processing industry reveals that lack of finances
coupled with poor technology is curtailing full utilization of
agro-processing industry potential.
The report which was
launched in Nairobi on Wednesday states that the agro processing
industry is grappling with low level of investments.
Gloria Otieno, one
of the authors of the report noted that policies on climate
change, trade and food security are not integrated thus leading
to stumpy production and low incomes to farmers and traders.
“There is need for
resource mobilization to up-scale production and upgrade
existing firms so as to ensure that the potential for the
industry is fully utilized, especially in the banana and cassava
subsectors,” Otieno said.
“There are existing
structural inefficiencies with respect to the functioning of
value chains, specifically the way the sectors and ancillary
support sectors such as packaging, labeling branding and
marketing support,” she added.
who co-authored the report stated that government and financial
institutions need to make credit more accessible to Small and
Medium Enterprises (SMEs), producer groups and women engaged in
“This can be
achieved by lowering interest rates and providing innovative
loan packages for entrepreneurs specifically those working in
groups or cooperative societies,” said Booker.
destination market remains quite narrow, with over 70 percent of
total exports being destined to 12 countries globally, she
Booker said even
though youth involvement in agriculture is low, the gap can be
remedied by channeling the youth fund to agricultural and
processing activities at county level.
Principal Secretary Richard Lesiyampe revealed that the
government will soon start providing more smallscale farmers
with appropriate agro-processing machines to enhance value
addition of locally produced commodities.
The machines he
explained will help in advancing value addition of local
products with a view to attracting premium prices at the local,
regional and global markets.
He confirmed the
agro-processing machines will be distributed to farmers in the
cassava, mangoes, bananas and rice sub sectors.
Currently, he noted
most of the agricultural exports such as coffee, tea,
horticulture, cassava, mangoes and bananas are semi-processed
and hence have low market value.
products will enable us attract premium prices and equally we
will also expand our regional and global markets,” said
other value addition processes in agriculture, increases the
competitiveness of our agricultural products in the local,
regional and international markets. The ministry has however
adopted strategies that will enable the country to capture a
greater percentage of value addition,” he added.
The government is
establishing agro-technology incubation centers, for example, in
Siaya, Makueni and Nandi counties and supporting cottage
processing concept in counties that produces mangoes, Cassava,
Aloe-Vera, ground nuts, bananas, and cereals, he added.
Kenya records progress in
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya has made good progress in eradicating fall
armyworms that had invaded hundreds of farms in various regions
across the East African nation.
Ministry of Agriculture early this month conceded invasion of
the pest and discouraged citizens from moving plant materials
from one region to another.
identified a variety of crops under threat that included cereals
such as sorghum, millet, rice, millet, wheat, maize and barley.
Pasture grasses like
Bermuda, hay and napier grass and vegetables like kale and
cabbages, legumes or pulses, bananas, tomatoes, capsicum,
ginger, spinach, amaranth, onions, sugar beet, citrus, cucumber
and sunflower were also under threat.
hectares of off-season maize had been infested, according to the
ministry. Maize is the most important staple in Kenya with a per
capita consumption of more than 78kg per person, per annum.
according to the ministry, undergoes full egg-larva- pupa-adult
metamorphosis, with the female laying tiny eggs in masses of
150-200, thus, enabling the pest to cover a huge area in short
“Plant early and
adhere to regional planting calendar, use recommended
fertilizers and keep fields weed-free to boost plant vigour,”
the ministry told farmers.
In conjunction with
county governments, it released chemicals for use as farmers
were mobilized to spray their crops, especially in maize growing
areas of Bungoma, Busia, Siaya and Kakamega and wheat growing
areas like Nakuru and Uasin Gishu.
The efforts are
paying off, with farmers reporting that they are winning against
the pest that has become a threat to Kenya’s food security,
worsened by a six months drought.
“I sprayed my two
acres of maize concentrating on the shoots as advised by
agricultural officers. The maize is now flowering because I have
maintained intermittent spraying,” James Kayunga, a farmer in
Bungoma, said Wednesday.
that he detected the pest on his farm in mid-March and has
worked hard to eliminate it.
government stepped in to help farmers when I had already made my
own progress. Some farmers who delayed spraying have lost their
crops to the pest but a majority are reporting good progress,”
At the Kenyan Coast,
the Kwale County government said there are no more reports on
the presence of armyworms.
“I am happy to
report that there’s no single case of new invasion of the
armyworms in the county. We have achieved this progress by using
various strategies with the help of the national government,”
said County Agriculture Director David Wanjala.
Bernard Moina, an
agricultural extension officer in Kitale, one of the areas that
had been hit the pests, said the intensify of the worms in the
area had gone down significantly.
The pests, according
to the UN agency Food and Agriculture Organization, was first
detected in Nigeria in January last year and has spread in
Botswana, Congo, Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa,
Swaziland, Togo, and Uganda.
There are four kinds
of armyworms namely African armyworm, Common armyworm, Fall
armyworm and Lawn armyworm. The Fall armyworm is the one that
has invaded Kenyan farms.
Kenyan scientist calls for
increased funding for biotechnology research
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
A Kenyan scientist on Wednesday called on the
government to increase funding for agricultural biotechnology to
help empower women scientists.
Thoruwa, the Chairperson of African Women in Science and
Engineering said additional funding could help enhance the
participation of women in science whose number is currently
will help empower women’s participation in modern science
especially Genetically Modified Organization that is the current
innovation in agriculture,” she said in an inaugural women in
biosciences forum in Nairobi.
Thoruwa called on
the government to increase awareness on biotechnology by
reaching women in all parts of the country.
“It is time to tell
the public about the positive side of biotechnology. We need to
raise up the status of women in biotechnology and also encourage
women to network in order to achieve the noble goal of sharing
their science,” she said.
Felister Makini, the
Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization Deputy
Director General urged the government to make farming easier to
women by providing them with modern tools such as biotechnology.
help African women since they form majority of farmers and
suffer most during drought and food shortages,” she noted.
Makini said that
drought and perennial hunger should be a thing of the past since
the technology that could be of great help exists.
Director, The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech
Applications AfriCenter hailed Kenya’s intention to revive the
textile industry by introducing disease resistant and drought
tolerant Bt cotton.
demonstrated will and long history of safe use, conflicting
messages between different ministries and regulatory agencies
were hampering progress in delivering the technology to
farmers,” Karembu said.
She called on women
scientists to intensify engagement with government and help
clarify long-standing misconceptions on the technology.
Feature: Huawei-funded digital
skills development program benefit Kenyan youths
By Christine Lagat NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Thirty Kenyan youth drawn from low income
families on Wednesday graduated from a six weeks digital skills
development program funded by Chinese telecommunications giant,
The youth underwent
an intensive training program to upgrade their skills in
computing, use of internet and entrepreneurship.
for ICT, Joe Mucheru said government has forged strategic
partnerships with industry and academia to bridge the digital
divide through investments in broadband infrastructure and human
from underprivileged backgrounds with high end ICT skills is an
integral part of the government’s strategy to alleviate
unemployment and its related social ills,” Mucheru said.
in partnership with Kenya’s ICT Authority implemented the
digital skills development program aimed at improving computer
literacy and entrepreneur skills among youth from financially
“We have increased
investments in training programs that enable youth acquire
technical skills like coding, computer assembly and
entrepreneurship. These are critical skills set required to
drive growth of knowledge based economy,” said Mucheru.
He said Huawei has
also supported Presidential Digital Talent Program that aims to
polish ICT skills and employability among university students.
government and enterprises are keen to play a central role in
hastening Kenya’s digital transformation.
to Kenya, Liu Xianfa said Beijing has prioritized vocational
training and technology transfer in a bid to strengthen
bilateral cooperation with East Africa’s largest economy.
“Digital skills for
life program stand as an epitome of China-Kenya skills and
technology transfer to hasten realization of vision 2030,” Liu
Huawei has set aside
adequate funds to support digital skills upgrade for Kenya’s
youth through internship and job placement.
Dean Yu, the CEO of
Huawei in Kenya said that provision of technical and life skills
to under-privileged Kenyan youth is at the heart of Huawei’s
corporate social responsibility strategy.
“We are committed to
enrich the lives of Kenyan people especially disadvantaged youth
with technical skills,” said Dean, adding that Huawei aims to
build an ecosystem to speed up technology transfer in Kenya.
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for ICT Joe Mucheru (2nd
R) and Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa (2nd
L) give a certificate to a trainee at the graduation
ceremony of Huawei digital skills development program in
Nairobi, capital of Kenya, on April 26, 2017. Thirty
Kenyan youth drawn from low income families on Wednesday
graduated from a six-week digital skills development
program funded by Chinese telecommunications giant, Huawei.
The youth underwent an intensive training program to
upgrade their skills in computing, use of internet and
XINHUA PHOTO: PAN SIWEI
Nairobi bourse key index in
major rise as selected stocks swell
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
The benchmark Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE)
20 Share Index on Wednesday rose 25 points to hit a new high of
3,162.37, boosted by rise in prices of key stocks.
Tobacco, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and CFC Stanbic were among
the stocks whose prices went up by between 0.5 percent and 8.3
KCB was the top
traded stock after moving 8.5 million shares at 0.32 U.S.
dollars, an increase of 2.4 percent.
leading telecom operator, came second with 6.2 million shares at
unchanged price of 0.18 dollars.
Equity Bank was the
day’s third best traded stock after transacting 2.8 million
shares at 0.33 dollars, an increase of 1.5 percent.
Some 24 million
shares valued at 7.8 million dollars were traded in 1,006 deals,
down from 32 million shares worth 8.6 million dollars posted in
the previous session.
The NSE All Share
Index ended the day at a high of 133.13 from 132.71 in the
previous session while market capitalization, which measures
shareholders wealth rose to 19 billion dollars.
Nigeria to support for people
living with disabilities
LAGOS, (Xinhua) --
Nigeria on Wednesday said it was committed to
providing welfare support and dividends of democracy to
individuals living with disabilities.
Samuel Ankeli, the
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Disability Matters,
disclosed this in Abuja, the country’s capital city.
He said government
was promoting disability inclusive policies to ensure the
achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
According to him,
this present administration wants to correct the mistake of the
past where disabled individuals were not employed and empowered.
He told reporters
that employment is just one out of many critical areas that
concerns the government and people with disabilities, among
others like health, education, employment, empowerment, housing
He said the
government has a development policy strategy, noting that his
office was to supervise the structure on ground and supervise
its effective implementation.
Feature: Finding an antidote to
Ghana’s illegal mining
ACCRA, (Xinhua) --
Ghana’s illegal mining, arguably the most topical
issue spanning the past few weeks, has sparked strident public
The case against the
practice is its unprecedented sophisticated nature which has
caused massive destruction to the country’s water bodies,
forests and farmlands.
Perhaps, the most
worrying aspect of illegal mining, popularly called “galamsey”
(gather and sell), is the threat it is causing to Ghana’s major
rivers like the Pra, Birim, Bia and Ankobra, sparking fears
Ghana may have to import drinking water within the next 10
It is no wonder a
coalition of media against galamsey has been formed to back
government’s action to halt this harmful practice or at least
make it conform to fresh government policies and guidelines to
restore sanity in small-scale mining.
The impact of
illegal or small-scale mining has been felt in neighboring Cote
d’Ivoire which Tuesday sent a delegation to Ghana for talks on
measures to stem the threat to its water bodies.
delegation Tuesday scheduled a meeting with Ghanaian officials
over the rippling effects of illegal mining in Ghana on that
Deputy Minister of
Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio, told the media in
the Western regional town of Prestea after touring some mining
sites that River Tano and Bia River, which tributaries enter
Ivory Coast’s lagoons had polluted that country’s water bodies.
The meeting was
therefore arranged to find an amicable solution to the problem.
Following a two-week
ultimatum by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources John
Peter Amewu, to all illegal miners to halt their activities,
more than 540 excavators have been withdrawn from mining sites.
The Minister has
also revoked all mining licenses while halting the issuance of
new ones to prospective small-scale miners.
action has received widespread support from chiefs, the media,
non-governmental organizations, and other organized bodies,
urging the government to take sterner measures to protect and
preserve Ghana’s water bodies, forests and farmlands.
The Chief of
Prestea-Hemang, Nana Ntaboah Pra IV, says he backs the
government’s decision to halt mining in the water bodies, which
has destroyed River Ankobra that serves as a source of drinking
water for the people.
“We have taken the
move to destroy dredgers being used for mining in Ankobra River
and even four days to the 2016 general election we burnt eight
of them,” he stated.
Nana Pra has
subsequently asked Ghanaians not to politicize the government
resolve to halt illegal mining in water bodies, while appealing
to the main regulatory bodies - Water Resources Commission and
the Environmental Protection Agency - to join the Ministry of
Lands and Natural Resources to clamp down on mining in rivers.
ministers, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi and Owusu-Bio as well as some
officials of the Minerals Commission later visited Wasa Akropong
in the Wasa Amenfi East in the Western region to find out the
extent of destruction caused by illegal miners.
Ghana economic growth slowed to
3.5 pct in 2016
ACCRA, (Xinhua) --
Provisional data released here by the Ghana
Statistical Service on Wednesday indicated a subdued economic
growth figure of 3.5 percent year-on-year for Ghana’s economy in
2016, compared with the 3.8 percent year-on-year growth in the
The value of the
economy, including oil, was estimated at 36. 01 billion Ghana
cedis (8.52 billion U.S. dollars) for 2016, compared with 34.80
billion cedis in the previous year.
figures here, Acting Government Statistician Baah Wadieh
disclosed that Gross Domestic Product grew by 4.1 percent during
the fourth Quarter (Q4) of 2016, compared with the 3.9 percent
growth experienced in Q4 2015.
The services sector
accounted for 56.9 percent of total GDP, while industry sector
accounted for 24.2 percent, leaving the agriculture sector with
The services sector
again experienced the highest growth rate of 5.7 percent while
the agriculture sector experienced a 3.0 percent growth with
industry contracting by 1.4 percent.
Ghana producer inflation rise
to 6 pct in March
ACCRA, (Xinhua) --
The rate of change over time in prices received
by domestic manufacturers for the production of their goods and
services rose to 6.0 percent during the month of March 2017, the
Ghana Statistical Service announced here Wednesday.
This is relative to
the 5.4 percent recorded during the previous month.
“The rise in
producer inflation rate for March 2017 was mainly due to
increase in inflation in virtually all sectors, particularly
manufacturing as well as mining and quarrying,” said Acting
Government Statistician Baah Wadieh.
quarrying, which recorded the highest inflation, rose by 1.1
percentage points to 20.8 percent in March 2017, relative to the
19.7 percent recorded a month earlier,” Wadieh disclosed.
On the other hand,
manufacturing, which constitutes more than two-thirds of All
Industry, increased by 0.5 percentage points to record an
inflation rate of 4.0 percent during the month under review,
compared with the 3.5 percent for February 2017, while utilities
rose 0.2 percentage points from 1.3 percent in February 2017 to
1.5 percent in March 2017.
higher inflation rate was mainly due to increase in petroleum
prices recorded on February 20, 2017. PPI for manufacture of
basic metals also increased,” he said.
inflation for mining and quarrying was due to slight increase in
gold prices and the depreciation of local currency,” he added.
China pledges to deepen
cooperation with South Africa on women’s affairs
DURBAN, (Xinhua) --
China is willing to deepen pragmatic cooperation
with South Africa on women’s affairs, said visiting Chinese Vice
Premier Liu Yandong here on Wednesday.
Liu made the remarks
at a ceremony where the All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF)
donated sewing machines to the African National Congress Women’s
League (ANCWL), the women’s wing of the ruling African National
Noting that both
China and South Africa are major developing countries and
emerging market economies, Liu said enhanced bilateral
cooperation will not only foster women’s welfare in the two
countries, but also is of great significance to greater global
China will increase
experience sharing with South Africa in women’s universal
education, public health, poverty reduction and equal
employment, she said.
China hopes that
more women will join China-South Africa people-to-people
exchanges and contribute to the cause of women’s empowerment in
the world, she said.
At the donating
ceremony, the South African side expressed that South African
women cherish the friendship with Chinese sisters and hope to
enhance cooperation with the Chinese side.
Bathabile Dlamini, South African Foreign Minister Maite
Nkoana-Mashabane and some other officials attended the donating
DURBAN, (Xinhua) --
Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong (2nd R)
attends the ceremony of the All-China Women’s Federation
donating sewing machines to the Women’s League of the
ruling African National Congress in Durban, South Africa,
on April 26, 2017. China is willing to deepen pragmatic
cooperation with South Africa on women’s affairs, said Liu
Yandong on Wednesday.
XINHUA PHOTO: TIAN HONGYI
Kenya’s Tergat set to take over
national Olympic body, Kipchoge retires
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s iconic long distance runner Paul Tergat
is expected to assume the leadership of the country’s Olympic
body after the incumbent and only rival failed to present his
nomination papers at the expiry of the Tuesday deadline.
With the elections
set for May 5, Tergat has been declared the only candidate
eyeing the chairman position for the National Olympic Committee
of Kenya (Nock), an affiliate of the International Olympic
Tergat will replace
another legendary long distance athlete and former Olympic
champion Kipchoge Keino.
unexpected. I feel lost for the great fortune that has come my
way. I am truly lost for words to express my feelings,” Tergat
said on Wednesday in Nairobi.
“But it will be a
great challenge to steer these great country of top athletes and
sportsmen to greater heights. A challenge that I knew its
magnitude when I presented my candidature for the position.”
However, Tergat was
full of praise for the man he will replace, saying he has always
acted above board, truthful and committed to helping the
country’s youth to do well in international competitions.
“Kipchoge has always
been a statesman, a legend but more importantly he is a leader.
He has done his part and now the baton will change. I will
anchor the team, but it is now up to the younger leadership to
take Nock to the next level,” he said.
“I’d like to
appreciate each federation and their heads; the people I will be
working with indiscriminately. We are known worldwide as a
sporting nation and it is my will to uphold and enhance this
status,” he added.
Keino did not
present his papers and was not present when the Centre for
Multiparty Democracy, who will oversee the polls on May 5, made
the announcement in Nairobi.
Also unopposed are
athletes representatives Hellen Obiri and Kenya Sevens legend
Humphrey Kayange, who will be taking the previous post, which
were occupied by world marathon champion Catherine Ndereba and
Tergat had secured
the support of key federations including Athletics Kenya,
Football Kenya Federation and Kenya Rugby Union.
Change in Nock will
be appreciated by IOC, who have championed for new course in the
wake up of poor organization at the last Olympics in Rio by
Kenya and the increase in doping cases among local athletes.
IOC sent their
observers in Nairobi twice but they failed to convince the
outgoing office to reform and emend its constitution to have
fair play during election.
This prompted the
International Olympic Committee (IOC) to freeze funding to Kenya
earlier this month.
Teams arrive in Uganda for
first Para-badminton event in Africa
KAMPALA, (Xinhua) --
Players from four nations have arrived in Uganda
ahead of the first international Para-badminton Championship to
be staged in Africa.
The event features
six classifications; wheel chair 1, wheel chair 2, SL3, SL4, SU5
and SS6 on April 27-30 at the Sharing Young Center, Nsambya.
the world number 2 from Poland in the SU5 (Standing Upper 5)
category, said, “I am very happy to be in Uganda and I am
looking forward to performing well in the Championship.”
Durand and Richard Perot and 11 from India will compete against
36 players from the hosts Uganda in different categories.
“We have invested a
lot and convinced the World badminton body that we have what it
takes to host this event,” Simon Mugabi, the Uganda Badminton
Association (UBA), Chief Executive Officer said.
Shaban Nkutu, the
Association Chairman said, “We are very happy that the Badminton
World Federation recognises our efforts in promoting para-badminton.”
added to the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2014 by the
International Paralympic Committee.