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LONDON, (Xinhua) -- Hellen Onsando Obiri of Kenya celebrates after winning the women’s 5000m final on Day 10 at the IAAF World Championships 2017 in London, Britain on Aug. 13, 2017.  XINHUA PHOTO: HAN YAN

Kenyan investors urge dialogue to end post-election jitters

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s business community on Monday urged the political class to embark on a dialogue and reconciliation process in order to end post-election jitters that could adversely impact on the investment climate.

Speaking at a media briefing in Nairobi, local investors challenged leaders from both sides of the political divide to demonstrate patriotism and unite the country in the wake of sporadic riots triggered by the announcement of presidential election results last Friday.

“Electoral contests like sports produce winners and losers. Those who lost should concede gracefully or pursue constitutional avenues in case of any grievances,” said Dr Kiprono Kittony, Chairman of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI).

He was flanked by dozens of local business leaders who endorsed a common pact to advance peace and national cohesion in the wake of hotly contested polls.

Kenyans trooped to the polling stations in large numbers on Aug. 8 to elect a new president, lawmakers, county governors and members of local assemblies.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was re-elected for a second term after trouncing his rival Raila Odinga from the opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) in one of the most hotly contested presidential elections in recent history.

Kenyatta garnered 8.20 million or 54.27 percent of the total votes cast in the Aug. 8 polls while Odinga trailed with 6.76 million or 44.7 percent of total votes cast.

The announcement of presidential results on Friday night by the chairman of the electoral body triggered sporadic riots in perceived opposition strongholds in Nairobi slums and western Kenya towns.

A violent standoff between police and opposition supporters in Nairobi’s informal settlements of Mathare and Kibera as well as western Kenyan town of Kisumu led to several casualties.

Calm has been restored in the areas that experienced post-poll riots thanks to intensive patrols by police and intervention of opposition leaders who urged their supporters to maintain peace.

The business community pledged to engage all levels of government and the political class to ensure that peace is sustained countrywide after conclusion of hotly contested elections.

“We are ready to play a key part in our country’s journey towards middle income status. We will continue to work with the government in accelerating job creation, empowering our youth and promoting large and small enterprises,” Kittony said.

He added that local investors have rallied behind President Kenyatta’s call for national healing during his acceptance speech. 


AU calls for restraint from actions that heighten post-election tensions in Kenya

ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) has called on all the concerned to refrain from any action or statement that can further heighten post-election tensions in Kenya.

The AU Commission called for respect of the rule of law following the official announcement of the final results of the presidential election held on August 8 in the East African nation, said the statement from the pan-African bloc later Saturday.

The Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, takes note of the official announcement of the final results of the presidential election in Kenya on August 11 by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission following the General Elections on 8 August, which were deemed credible and transparent by all observer missions, including the one deployed by the AU, said the statement.

He has called on all those who wish to challenge the results to do so through the channels provided for by the law.

The Chairperson is very concerned by the outbreak of violence in certain counties, leading to the loss of life and the destruction of property, according to the statement.  “Recourse to violence is totally unacceptable.”

He has also stressed the need for the security agencies to respect fundamental human rights and refrain from the excessive use of force in their efforts to maintain law and order.


Kenyan police say only 6 killed in post election chaos

By David Musyoka NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Kenyan police on Sunday dismissed reports that over 100 people have been killed in the past two days following the release of presidential election results in which incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta won.

Police spokesman George Kinoti said only six people were killed in Nairobi and Kisumu in Western Kenya in which armed criminals attacked police officers attempting to effect arrest, resulting in the killing of the attackers.

“We are also aware of a very sad and unfortunate incident in which a nine-year old girl was shot dead while in their houses in Mathare, in Nairobi by unknown persons,” Kinoti said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

He said two criminals were shot dead while breaking into a supermarket in Nairobi’s Ruaraka estate. “When challenged to surrender, they attacked the law enforcement officers with machetes with intent to harm them,” Kinoti said.

He said a third person was killed in Starehe residential estate in Nairobi while in a group of 25 armed with assorted crude weapons breaking into private houses after charging at police officers.

Kinoti said two other criminals were fatally neutralized after a gang of six broke into a shop in a residential estate in Nairobi. “As police pursued them, they fired at the police officers who fired back in defence,” Kinoti said.

The police spokesman said the sixth person was killed in the lakeside Western city of Kisumu when a criminal was shot after a large riotous mob blocked a road and barricaded it with bonfires and stones and attacked motorists and pedestrians.

“The police officers attempted to effect the arrest were also attacked,” Kinoti said, noting that another dead body was discovered alongside a road with fresh wounds in a slum in Nairobi but circumstances of the killing remains unknown.

“We wish to inform the public that we are investigating a number of individuals suspected of incitement to violence, either directly or through intemperate social media postings with a view of effecting arrest for prosecution before the court of law,” Kinoti said.

“We urge all Kenyans to avoid re-circulating photos that are not verified as real. They are being used to incite and undermine our security. The police are prepared professionally to protect lives and property from violent rioters,” he said.

The statement comes after the opposition coalition said Saturday at least 100 people were killed by the police responding to protests which erupted after the announcement of the presidential election results on Friday.

However, state-funded Kenya National Commission on Human Rights said 24 people have been killed across the country from police brutality since Aug. 8. 


2 injured in grenade attack in northern Ethiopia: police

ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) -- Two civilians were injured in a grenade attack Saturday night in Bahir Dar city, capital city of Amhara regional state in northern Ethiopia, police said Monday.

Police are on the manhunt for the suspects of the grenade attack, and has already managed to apprehend 5 suspects on another grenade attack that occurred in the city early this month, said Walelign Dagnew, Head of Bahir Dar city Police Department.

Four other suspects who are suspected of planning bomb attacks in the city have also been apprehended, according to Bahir Dar Police Department.

The spate of grenade attacks comes in the tense first anniversary of clashes between Ethiopian security forces and protesters that left several people dead.

On August 7, 2016 protesters from the Amhara ethnic group amassed in the streets of Bahir Dar. The protesters who were venting anger at perceived political and economic disfranchisement engaged in deadly clashes with security forces that left several people dead.

Since then, a series of bomb attacks which Ethiopian government blames on “terrorists” and several strike actions have hit business hard in the normally busy streets of Bahir Dar city.


At least 8 feared dead after boat capsizes in Kenya’s coast

LAMU, Kenya, (Xinhua) -- At least eight people are feared dead on Monday after a passenger boat heading to Kenya’s  Lamu capsized following heavy tides in the Indian Ocean.

Lamu County Commissioner Joseph Kanyi said one person who is a local politician was been rescued alive.

“One body has been retrieved from the boat. The boat was carrying 11 family members when it capsized within Kizingitini last night,” Kanyi told Xinhua by telephone.


Algerian troops seize 40 weapons on border with Mali

ALGIERS, (Xinhua) -- As many as 40 weapons and amounts of ammunition have been discovered on Sunday by the Algerian army on the border with Mali, Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The army troops were patrolling in the southernmost locality of Bordj Badji Mokhtar, near the border with Mali, before they discovered a bunker containing a massive amount of weapons and ammunition, according to the statement.

The weapons included two RPG-2 rocket launchers, four RPK machine guns, two FMPK machine guns, four PKT machine guns, 14 Kalashnikov machine guns, seven Seminov semi-automatic rifles and seven repeating rifles, said the statement.

This is not the first time that Algerian troops found weapon bunkers along southern and southeastern borders.

Located in a region plagued by unprecedented security and political instability, Algeria faces ongoing terrorist threats.

The North African nation deployed tens of thousands of troops on eastern and southern borders to thwart potential intrusion of militants and arms, amid instability reigning in Mali and civil war hitting Libya.


2 Algerian nationals released after 14 years in prison in Iraq

ALGIERS, (Xinhua) -- Two Algerian nationals, who were detained for 14 years in Iraq over terrorism charges, have been handed over on Sunday to the Algerian chancery in Baghdad, said Algerian Foreign Ministry in a statement.

Imprisoned because of entering Iraq illegally, the two Algerians are to return home as soon as possible, said the source.

This happy ending has been reached, following the efforts of the head of Algerian diplomacy Abdelkader Messahel during his last visit to Baghdad as he discussed with Iraqi authorities the issue of Algerian detainees in Iraq.

However, five other Algerians are still detained in Iraq, as they are facing charges of belonging to terrorist groups.

In December 2012, 10 Iraqis and one Algerian national were executed as they were found guilty of terrorist activities on Iraqi soil. By then, Algiers summoned Iraqi diplomats to complain of “lack of cooperation by the Iraqi authorities concerning the issue of Algerian nationals held in Iraq.”

Since then, the release of Algerian prisoners held in Iraq has become “a priority” for the Algerian diplomacy and has been “on top agenda of meetings at various levels with Iraqi officials,” noted the Foreign Ministry, which has been accused by NGOs of having “turned its back” to its nationals held in Iraq.


China congratulates Kenyatta on re-election as Kenyan president

BEIJING, (Xinhua) -- China congratulates Uhuru Kenyatta on being re-elected as Kenya’s President, a foreign ministry spokesperson said on Monday.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was formally declared winner of the country’s presidential election on Friday night, after Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati announced that Kenyatta had garnered 8.20 million votes, or 54.27 percent of the total votes cast.

“We respect the choice made by the Kenyan people,” spokesperson Hua Chunying said Monday at a daily press briefing, extending congratulations to Kenyatta.

China and Kenya are good friends, partners and brothers, and China stands ready to strengthen cooperation and boost bilateral ties with the Kenyan side, she said. 


Gunmen kill at least 17 in Burkina Faso restaurant

OUAGADOUGOU, (Xinhua) -- A group of gunmen attacked a Turkish restaurant in the center of the capital Burkina Faso on Sunday evening, leaving at least 17 dead and eight others injured, according to a government statement.

Authorities said the shooting broke out at the restaurant located on the Nkrumah Avenue in downtown Ouagadougou around 9 p.m. local time (2100 GMT). Security forces were dispatched to the scene and blocked the neighborhood.

Policemen were then engaged in a firefight with the attackers. Nearby residents were quoted by local reports as saying that gunshots and explosions were continuously heard.p   The nationalities of the dead remain unclear, the statement said.

Police asked citizens to calm down and stay home, especially not to go to the city center. Up till now, the blockade has not been lifted.

In January, 2016, terrorists attacked Splendid Hotel, a luxury hotel and restaurant in the same neighborhood, causing around 30 deaths. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb afterwards claimed responsibility for the incident on a website titled “Jihad.”

A landlocked nation in West Africa, Burkina Faso has suffered several attacks in recent years. 


Over 170 die from drowning in Algeria’s holiday season

ALGIERS, (Xinhua) -- More than 170 people died from drowning in Algeria since early July, the Civil Defense Ministry of the northern African Arab country said here Sunday.

The ministry said 102 of the victims drowned near beaches while another 70 people drowned in domestic reservoirs. Most of the deaths occurred in unguarded areas.

The death toll is the highest in recent years, and the government has dispatched life guards over 60,000 person-times to beach resorts, stemming the occurrence of a large number of dangerous incidents.

July and August are the holiday season in Algeria. Millions of Algerians would spend their holidays on the northern Mediterranean coast to avoid intense heat.

Algeria is hit by a rare heatwave this year, and the number of holidaymakers has reached a historic high. In order to improve people’s safety awareness, the government posted warnings in media and banned swimming at dangerous areas before the official summer season started.


South Sudan rebels say have recaptured stronghold from gov’t troops

By Denis Elamu JUBA, (Xinhua) -- South Sudanese rebels said Sunday they have retaken Pagak headquarters which fell recently in the hands of government troops.

Deputy spokesperson of Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in opposition (SPLA-IO) rebels, allied to former First Vice President Riek Machar, told Xinhua from hideout that they are now in charge of Pagak near the Ethiopian border.

“Yes we are in control of Pagak. Since Friday at about 10 a.m.,” Lam Paul Gabriel revealed. The strategic rebel headquarters fell to government troops on Thursday forcing thousands of civilians to flee across the border, and SPLA-IO had vowed to recapture it.

“At the moment, our orders are to stay put and act in self defense only. We don’t know when that will change, but if it does change, I assure you even Juba will be a walkover,” Gabriel said.

Efforts to contact government spokesman Col. Dickson Gatluak for comment were futile as his phone was switched off.

South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013 after political dispute between President Kiir and his former deputy Machar led to fighting that pitted mostly Dinka ethnic soldiers loyal to Kiir against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.

The 2015 peace agreement to end the violence was again violated in July 2016 when the rival factions resumed fighting in the capital forcing Machar to flee into exile.

The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions that have sought refuge in neighbouring countries. 


Update: Head of Egypt’s railway authority resigns over fatal crash

CAIRO, (Xinhua) -- The Egyptian transport minister accepted on Sunday the resignation of the country’s railway authority chief over the recent deadly train crash that killed at least 49, the Egyptian state TV reported.

The resignation comes two days after two trains crashed on Friday afternoon, leaving at least 49 passengers dead and over 130 wounded in the coastal city of Alexandria north of the capital Cairo.

Following a meeting with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail in Cairo on Sunday, Transport Minister Hesham Arafat also announced that his ministry is about to conclude a deal with the Italian government to buy 1,000 train carriages, 100 of which will be made in Italy and the rest will be manufactured in Egypt.

On Saturday, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi urged in a meeting with Arafat to accelerate the development process of the country’s railway network to avoid deadly train crashes.

Earlier in mid June, Egypt signed a 575-million-U.S. dollar agreement with U.S. giant company General Electric (GE) to provide the country with 100 multi-use locomotives.

According to the deal, GE will also provide 15 years of technical support and spare parts for the new locomotives as well as 81 other present trains. It will also offer a training program for more than 275 Egyptian engineers and technicians from the railway authority.

The first shipment of 25 locomotives is expected to arrive in Egypt in 2018.

Railway accidents killed and wounded hundreds in Egypt over the past few years, the deadliest was in 2002 when 350 passengers were killed after fire broke out in a train coming from Upper Egypt.

Another train tragedy hit the country in November 2012, when a train hit a school bus at a crossing barrier area in Upper Egypt’s Assiut province, killing over 50 children.   

CAIRO, (Xinhua) -- Egyptians travel on an overcrowded train in Cairo, Egypt, Aug. 13, 2017. Head of Egyptian Transport Association (ETA) Mohammed Shehata said on Sunday that China can be a main player in developing Egypt’s railway system. XINHUA PHOTO: AHMED GOMAA

Argentinian hunter trampled to death by elephant in Namibia

WINDHOEK, (Xinhua) -- An Argentinian professional hunter was trampled to death by an elephant Saturday, police in Namibia said.

They also identified the professional hunter as Jose Monzalvez aged 46.

Police confirmed the incident Sunday, saying that Monzalvez had a hunting permit.

Monzalvez, who worked for an oil company in Brazil, the police said, was part of a group of trophy hunters - two Argentinians and three Namibians tracking down a herd of elephants in the Kalkfeld area about 260 kilometers from Windhoek, the Namibian capital.

According to the police, the elephant that trampled Monzalvez saw the hunters from a distance and chased them.

Monzalvez was, unfortunately, unable to escape, the police said.


UN declares Somalia free of polio, urges continued vigilance

By Abdi and Hashi MOGADISHU, (Xinhua) -- The UN World Health Organization (WHO) Sunday said it had not recorded any case of polio disease in Somalia in the last three years, declaring the country polio free.

The WHO said the country recorded the last case of polio in 2014 in the central part of the country but has since then remained free of the paralyzing disease.

The UN health agency however warned Somalia remained vulnerable, calling for continued vaccination campaign.

The head of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean which covers Somalia Dr. Mohamed Fiqi said in Mogadishu that massive vaccination campaigns and commitment from government and international actors had ensured the polio virus did not recur in the Horn of Africa country.

“Today we celebrate a major milestone, however we must remember our work is not yet finished. As the world edges closer to eradicating polio, keeping alert in countries that have high risk of polio importation like Somalia is more of priority than ever,” Fiqi said.

“As we move forward, the polio programme in Somalia needs to continue to work to maintain and improve the level of population immunity against polio through target vaccination campaign and strengthening of the routine immunization services and infrastructure,” Fiqi added.

The declaration by WHO keeps Somalia outside the last group of countries which still record cases of polio in the world.

Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan are the remaining countries where polio is still being recorded. The WHO chief warned Somalia remains at risk of importation of the virus from these countries.

Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo praised efforts to rid his country of the polio disease which he noted had subjected many children into suffering.

“No cases were found for the past three years and no child was affected by this disease. Many of our children have suffered from polio for many years.

“To eradicate polio was a big success and it was collective effort and commitment by many young men and women who sacrificed their lives,” President Farmaajo observed.

The three year polio-free celebration comes amidst the worst outbreak of measles the country has seen in years.

Somalia is also still responding to an outbreak of acute watery diarrhoea/cholera, which began in January 2017. Polio systems and networks are being used in both interventions.

“Polio infrastructure has been critical in responding to these other serious outbreaks,” said Fikri.  


Team-based online game helps patients manage diabetes: study

WASHINGTON, (Xinhua) -- A team-based  online game designed to improve diabetes self-management appears to be effective in helping patients lower their hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), a key measure of diabetes control, according to results of a randomized controlled trial.

The reduction is similar to what would be expected from a patient that starts a new diabetes drug, according to results published this week in the U.S. journal Diabetes Care.

For the study, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System enrolled 456 Veteran Affairs diabetes patients from the eastern U.S., all of whom took oral diabetes medications but had inadequate glucose control.

Half were randomly assigned to the team-based online game, known as diabetes self-management education (DSME), while the other half were assigned to a civics education game to serve as a control group.

The DSME game presents a player with a multiple-choice question related to glucose management, exercise, long-term diabetes complications, medication adherence and nutrition.

The game also included detailed explanations for the answers, a “take-home message” and references.

Participants were sent two questions every Tuesday and Thursday by email or mobile app.

After answering the question, they were immediately presented with the correct answer and an explanation, and the same question would be sent again around four weeks later to reinforce the concept.

Participants earned “points” for correctly answered questions and were assigned to teams based on their geographic region, and individual and team scores were posted on leader boards to foster a sense of competition and community.

The game took place over a six-month period and levels of HbA1c, a common measure of long-term blood glucose control, were tested at enrollment, six months and 12 months after the launch of the game.

Overall, diabetes game participants had significant reductions in HbA1c levels—a drop of 0.74 percent compared to 0.44 percent for the control group.

Patients who had the highest HbA1c levels before the game began saw the most dramatic drops in HbA1c over the 12 month period, it found.

“Among the subgroup of patients with uncontrolled diabetes, we saw a reduction in HbA1c levels that you would expect to see when a patient starts a new diabetes medication,” said corresponding author B. Price Kerfoot, an associate professor of surgery at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital who is on faculty at the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System.

“Although their blood glucose levels were still above the target range, this was a strong step in the right direction, and resulted in a sustained and meaningful improvement in blood glucose control,” Kerfoot said. “This game represents a small time commitment for patients, but potentially a big impact for their health.” 


Shortage of qualified staff thwarts Zanzibar’s tourism industry: report

ARUSHA, Tanzania, (Xinhua) -- Tanzania’s semi-autonomous Zanzibar archipelago is currently facing a serious shortage of qualified workers, the situation that forces tour operators to hire foreigners, to do the hospitality jobs, according to a new report released Sunday.

The report, which was commissioned by Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors (ZATI), cited lack of adequate numbers of skilled people as one of the serious challenges thwarting tourism development in the Indian Ocean Islands.

Financed by Tanzania’s business, advocacy, and dialogue facility, BEST Dialogue, the report noted that to devise and develop a skilled workforce in Zanzibar, there is a need to define national skills development pathway.

In long run, the report suggested the need for skills development to be embedded in the education and training sector,.

It also called for the workplace skills training programme, more internships, apprenticeship training and calls for recognition of prior learned skills.

According to the report, over 60 percent of foreign workers in Zanzibar is in the tourism sector, largely due to insufficient supply of skills from the local labor market (in terms of quality and quantity) for the industry. This is an indication that there is a great need to develop a local workforce to be able to handle tourism business operations in the Isles.

“New skills are needed for Zanzibar to remain competitive and tackle the new tourist demands,” said Seif Miskry, ZATI chairman.

He described tourism sector, as a labour intensive, employs a multiplicity of skills - accountants, hairdressers, tour guides and trackers and so on, thus it is one of the quickest ways to generate many jobs within a short period.

“This is why stakeholders in the public and private sector must come together and agree on the way forward in developing adequate and quality human resource for the tourism sector in Zanzibar,” he noted.

ZATI commissioned “Skills Analysis for Zanzibar Tourism Industry” after noting most of the members of the association faced skills gaps, detrimental to their drive to grow the business.

“The hospitality industry has been experiencing a skills shortage... where it’s hard to find and recruit quality employees with the right skill and can stay for the long term,” said Miskry.

Zanzibar government and the private sector have been working together in a number of initiatives to make Zanzibar top destination of the Indian Ocean tourism, as outlined in the Zanzibar Tourism Development Policy.

According to Miskry, this can be realized and it will have a huge impact on the people and Zanzibar economy, thus it’s only prudent to ensure the local youth are adequately skilled to take the industry to the next level.

“We believe that our tourist attractions are world-class but the economy is not fully benefiting from their potential because of some hurdles, which if addressed, will be a game changer,” noted ZATI Chairman.

Miskry said it was paramount for Zanzibar to invest more in tourism education and training, while at the same time ensuring that public policies are made to stimulate travel and tourism job creation.  To that effect, ZATI plans in the near future to hold a public private dialogue on seeking a lasting solution to the problem of lack of adequate skilled labour force for the industry. 


Roundup: Pay TV subscriptions in Kenya soar in wake of digital migration

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s migration to digital TV has maintained an upward trajectory, registering tremendous growth as subscription to pay TV soars.

More Kenyan households have taken up pay TV services since the country made the switch in February 2015, latest data from Communication Authority of Kenya for the period January to March shows Monday.

Some 4.5 million households in the East African country have migrated to digital TV, the regulator’s data showed, up from about a million when the country shifted to digital migration.

Of the number, 3.7 million households are using pay TV, a big boost in a nation where the services were deemed as for the rich. Set-top-boxes makes up for the remainder of the households that have switched.

“The cumulative number of digital free-to-air set-top boxes purchased as at the end of the quarter under review increased to 725,205 from 722,196 representing an insignificant growth of 0.4 percent while pay TV rose to 3.7 million from 3.5 million,” said the regulator.

Currently, there are about six pay TV service providers in Kenya both via satellite and internet, with the number having grown from three before the big switch. These are DStv, GoTV, Showmax, Startimes, Azam TV and Zuku TV.

Subscription fees range from 4 U.S. dollars a month to 60 dollars a month, with the charges having come down due to fierce competition among the service providers.

The rise in the number of pay TV subscriptions in Kenya could be attributed to increased coverage of signal following digital migration.

Unlike the free-to-air TV signal which is unavailable in some parts of the country, especially those in remote places, pay TV signal is nearly everywhere across the nation.

About 75 percent of Kenya’s population now receive TV signal up from half the number when there was analogue signal, according to the regulator.

With digital migration, viewers have an array of channels to watch even as the number of free-to-air channels declined in the period under review.

“As at the end of the quarter under review, the number of free-to-air TV channels on the digital terrestrial platform stood at 60 down from 66 recorded in the preceding quarter.  

This decline is attributed to financial constraints experienced by some of the content providers,” said the authority.

But besides the free-to-air channels, TV viewers can now select what pay TV service providers to subscribe to based on their content, with some taking up services from more than one company.“I have subscribed to two pay TV companies. One offers satellite services from which I view local and international news channels, including the English Premier League while the other is an internet-based movie channel. I am happy with both,” Duncan Omollo, a senior banker in Nairobi, said Monday.

Analysts noted that the sale of set-top-boxes in Kenya has seemingly stagnated as compared to uptake of pay TV because of the introduction of digital TV sets in the East African nation.

“Several manufacturers are currently selling the TV sets in Kenya from 200 dollars to 800 dollars as the old models are phased out. Households are therefore opting to buy the new gadgets than purchasing a TV and then a set-top-box separately as it makes no economic sense,” said Bernard Mwaso, a consultant with Edell IT Solutions in Nairobi.

Free-to-air set-top-boxes are currently going for an average of 35 dollars in the East African nation from about 50 dollars before the switch.

“With people getting the free-to-air TV signal without the set-top-box, households are therefore going for pay TV, which is a sort of value addition,” said Mwaso. 


UN agency pledges to support Tanzania in ending teenage pregnancies

DAR ES SALAAM, (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on Sunday pledged to support the government of Tanzania in ending teenage pregnancies that resulted in the increasing tidal wave of girls’ dropouts from schools.

“Teenage pregnancies is a major roadblock towards Tanzania’s socio-economic development,”said Hashina Begum, an official from the UNFPA speaking in the political capital Dodoma during the commemoration of International Youth Day.

“We are very determined to continue cooperating with the government and other relevant stakeholders in controlling causes that lead to teenage pregnancies in Tanzania,” she said.

Statistics from the Tanzania Bureau of Statistics showed that about 21 percent of Tanzanian girls aged between 15 and 19 have given birth.

Begum said teenage pregnancies could be curbed by imparting the young generation with sound sexual and reproductive education as well as providing them with better health services.

“Teen pregnancies stand tall among major challenges that derail socio-economic development in many African countries, including Tanzania,” she said.

Begum said it was prudent for the government of Tanzania to focus more attention in the fight against teenage pregnancies.

She underscored the need for the government to ensure young people took part in political, economic and social issues in their communities and the country in general.

“This will enable them make informed choices regarding their bodies, sexuality and reproduction without discrimination, violence or coercion,” said the UNFPA official.

Begum said the UNFPA will continue cooperating with the government to empower young people in the country by giving them tools to become even more influential and productive actors in the society.


Ethiopian PM to visit Sudan to boost bilateral ties

KHARTOUM, (Xinhua) -- Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will visit Sudan on Tuesday to boost bilateral ties, Sudanese presidential press office said Sunday.

“Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn is to arrive in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Tuesday, leading a high-level delegation on a three-day visit,” said the presidential press office in a statement.

Desalegn would hold talks with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to review means of enhancing bilateral ties and to hold talks on regional and international issues of mutual concern, according to the statement.

It added that Desalegn is also scheduled to meet with Sudan’s Prime Minister Bakri Hassan Saleh and Vice-President Hassabo Mohamed Abdul-Rahman.

The Ethiopian prime minister would be accompanied by a number of government ministers and officials.

Desalegn’s visit program includes giving a lecture on the Horn of Africa at the Friendship Hall in Khartoum and attending a cultural night besides visiting some industrial establishments in Sudan.

Last April, Sudan and Ethiopia declared a comprehensive cooperation between them in security, military, political, economic, social and cultural fields. 


Tunisian president calls for change to Muslim marriage decree

TUNIS, (Xinhua) -- Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi on Sunday asked the government to end a decree that bans Muslim women from marrying non-Muslims.

“I ask the Minister of Justice to review the ‘circular’ because we have some Tunisian women married to foreigners,” Essebsi said during a ceremony at the Palace of Carthage on the occasion of Tunisian Women’s Day.

“The Tunisian Constitution allows this kind of modification,” Essebsi said in the presence of the Head of the Government Youssef Chahed and Minister of Justice Ghazi Jeribi.

The president also said that his country is seeking to establish equality between men and women in inheritance.

“A commission was created, which will have as prerogative to see how can be put in place the equality in the inheritance,” said the president.

In his speech, Essebsi said he favored the candidacy of a woman in the presidential election in 2019, given that Tunisian women are everywhere on the administrative hierarchy and in most of the senior decision-making positions of the country.

Tunisia granted women the right to vote in 1957. 


China reaffirms opposition after Dalai Lama’s cancellation of Botswana trip

BEIJING, (Xinhua) -- China on Monday reaffirmed its resolute opposition to the Dalai Lama’s anti-China separatist activities in any country, even though he had called off a planned trip to Botswana.

Media reported the Dalai Lama canceled the plan in mid August due to health problems. In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China’s position remains firm.

China attaches great importance to relations and friendly cooperation with Botswana, and hopes bilateral ties will maintain positive and healthy development, Hua told a press briefing.


Egypt sees sharp rise in trade volume with China

CAIRO, (Xinhua) -- The volume of trade exchange between Egypt and China recorded 5.178 billion dollars from January to June 2017, state news agency MENA reported on Monday.

China’s exports to Egypt decreased by 20.79 percent on a year-on-year basis to 4.518 billion dollars, MENA cited the latest statistics released by the Chinese General Administration of Customs as saying.

While Chinese imports from Egypt increased by 298.37 percent to reach 660 million dollars, it added.

In June, the volume of trade exchange between Egypt and China amounted to 928 million dollars.

Chinese imports from Egypt upped by 181.69 percent on annual basis to 80.58 million dollars, while exports dropped by 17.83 percent to reach 847 million dollars.

Egypt ranked 52nd in list of China’s largest trading partners. 

CAIRO, (Xinhua) -- Egyptian Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Qabil © speaks during a press conference in Cairo, Egypt, Aug. 13, 2017. Egypt issued a new law aiming at facilitating measures to issue permits for establishing industrial facilities and attract more industrial investments, the MENA news agency reported on Sunday. XINHUA PHOTO: AHMED GOMAA

Dollar exchange rate maintains stability at Egypt’s banks

CAIRO, (Xinhua) -- The dollar exchange rate stood at EGP 17.74 for buying and EGP 17.84 for selling at the National Bank of Egypt on Monday, state news agency MENA reported.

The dollar exchange rate stood at EGP 17.75 for buying and EGP 17.85 for selling at the Commercial International Bank (CIB).

At Banque Misr, the dollar rate recorded EGP 17.73 for buying and EGP 17.83 for selling, while at Banque du Caire it recorded EGP 17.70 for buying and EGP 17.80 for selling.

The U.S. dollar rate at Bank of Alexandria and Al Baraka Islamic Bank was EGP 17.72 for buying and EGP 17.82 for selling. 


Kenya’s Manangoi uppers in men’s 1500m at World Championships

LONDON, (Xinhua) -- Kenya showed their dominance in men’s 1500m as Elijah Motonei Manangoi and Timothy Cheruiyot recorded a one-two finish at IAAF World Championships here on Sunday.

Manangoi clocked 3 minutes 33.61 seconds, overshadowing his Kenyan compatriot by 0.38 second.

Norway’s Filip Ingebrigtsen bagged the bronze medal in 3:34.53. 

LONDON, (Xinhua) -- Elijah Motonei Manangoi of Kenya celebrates after winning the men’s 1500m final on Day 10 at the IAAF World Championships 2017 in London, Britain on Aug. 13, 2017. Elijah Motonei Manangoi claimed the title with 3 minutes 33.61 seconds. XINHUA PHOTO: HAN YAN

Results of men’s 1500m at IAAF World Championships

LONDON, (Xinhua) -- Following are the results of men’s 1500m at IAAF World Championships here on Sunday:

1.   Elijah Motonei Manangoi, Kenya, 3 minutes 33.61 seconds

2.   Timothy Cheruiyot, Kenya, 3:33.99

3.   Filip Ingebrigtsen, Norway, 3:34.53

4.   Adel Mechaal, Spain, 3:34.71

5.   Jakub Holusa, Czech Republic, 3:34.89

6.   Sadik Mikhou, Bahrain, 3:35.81

7.   Marcin Lewandowski, Poland, 3:36.02

8.   Nicholas Willis, New Zealand, 3:36.82


Results of women’s 5000m at IAAF World Championships

LONDON, (Xinhua) -- Following are the results of women’s 5000m at IAAF World Championships here on Sunday:

1.   Hellen Onsando Obiri, Kenya, 14 minutes 34.86 seconds

2.   Almaz Ayana, Ethiopia, 14:40.35

3.   Sifan Hassan, Netherlands, 14:42.73

4.   Senbere Teferi, Ethiopia, 14:47.45

5.   Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi, Kenya, 14:48.74

6.   Laura Muir, Britain, 14:52.07

7.   Sheila Chepkirui Kiprotich, Kenya, 14:54.05

8.   Susan Krumins, Netherlands, 14:58.33


Obiri crowned in women’s 5000m at World Championships

LONDON, (Xinhua) -- Olympic silver medalist Hellen Onsando Obiri of Kenya won the gold medal of women’s 5000m at IAAF World Championships here on Sunday.

Obiri made a decisive sprint in the final 200m to pull away from Ethiopian Almaz Ayana and finish the race with 14 minutes and 34.86 seconds.

Ayana took away the silver with her season best of 14:40.35. The bronze medal went to Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands in 14:42.73.


Olympic champion Semenya storms to 800m gold at worlds

LONDON, (Xinhua) -- Olympic champion Caster Semenya of South Africa made a strong comeback in the final straight lane to take away women’s 800m gold medal at IAAF World Championships here on Sunday.

Semanya, still third after the curve, got past Olympic silver medalist Francine Niyonsaba and Ajee Wilson in the final 100 meters, finishing the race with a world leading time of one minute and 55.16 seconds.

Niyonsaba ranked second with 1 minute and 55.92 seconds, while Wilson finished third in 1:56.65.


Never stop trying, Usain Bolt tells younger generation

LONDON, (Xinhua) -- Iconic Usain Bolt hopes the younger generation can receive a message from his legendary experience—anything is possible if one works hard.

Retiring Jamaican “lightning” Bolt put on one last appearance on Sunday, the final day of the London World Championships as the 100m and 200m world record holder went on a lap of honor in a specially arranged farewell ceremony in front of the sell-out spectators.

The 11-time world champion and 8-time Olympic gold medalist made a final signature arrow-shooting stance and then left the track for good.

“I’ve proven that by working hard, anything is possible. For me, I was sitting down today and doing an interview. My motto is anything is possible,” said the 30-year-old.

“It shows that everyone should continue trying. I personally feel this is a good message to send to youngsters to push on. If I can leave that to the younger generation, then that’s a good legacy to leave,” Bolt told a packed news conference.

The end of Bolt’s career was far from perfect, a bronze in the 100m and he didn’t make the finish line of his last race, the 4x100m relay as he had to limp off the track with injury.

“One championship doesn’t change what I’ve done. After losing the 100m someone said to me, ‘Muhamnmed Ali lost his last fight so don’t be too stressed.’ I have shown my credentials throughout my career so losing my last race isn’t going to change what I’ve done in my sport,” said Bolt.

Bolt said right now he had no plan for the future and just wanted to do things he was previously couldn’t as an athlete, such as “have a party and have a drink”.

But no matter what he will do in the future, Bolt said he would not return to run again.

“I have seen too many people retire and come back and just make it worse, shame themselves. So I personally won’t. I won’t be those stars to come back,” he said.

After the lap of honor, Bolt received a framed part of the London track from London mayor Sadiq Khan and Sebastian Coe, head of the ruling body IAAF, who often speaks highly of the legendary runner.

“As I said earlier, what we are going to miss Usain Bolt isn’t just the three Olympic Games, the clutch of world records or medals. He is an athlete with an opinion and view. He fills the room and interests you guys,” said Coe before the final session on Sunday. “We need more athletes with accessibility instead of looking nervously at agents and handlers.”

Bolt’s fellow athletes also paid tribute to him.

“He has created so many legends on the track and stays a legend in my heart. I don’t believe anyone can surpass him,” said Chinese ace sprinter Su Bingtian who was the first Asian man to qualify for the 100m world championships final in 2015.

“Usain Bolt’s name will always live on,” said Bolt’s relay team-member Omar McLeod.

Long-time rival Justin Gatlin, who grabbed the 100m gold medal from Bolt in London, was convinced he would return.

“You can’t let this championships define what he’s done in the past. He has done amazing things. He’s still the man,” the 35-year-old said.

“I’m going to win my million dollars. He is coming back in a couple of years. He’ll be ready; he has a passion for the sport. He loves the fans and they love him. He loves the sport too much to walk away. He’s a showman.”


Trinidad and Tobago rally past Untied States for men’s 400m relay world champion

LONDON, (Xinhua) -- Trinidad and Tobago rallied past United States in the last baton to win men’s 4x400m relay at IAAF World Championships here on Sunday.

Lalonde Gordon, Trinidad and Tobago’s last leg, came back in the straight lane to first cross the finish line with a world leading time of 2 minutes and 58.12 seconds.

United States were positioned second with 0.49 second adrift. Britain ranked third in 2:59.00. 

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