Sunday, November 25, 2012

Barriers for Kenyan firms to invest in Ethiopia removed

NAIROBI; KENYA: Ethiopia has reviewed its foreign policy with the Kenya to include trade between the two economies.
Previously, the relationship focused on politics and security leaving out trade — which is a key component in economic development.
Visiting Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on Thursday said his government had signed up a special status agreement with Kenya as commitment to ease trade between the two countries.
“Our relationship with Kenya was purely based on politics and security matters at the exclusion of trade, which is a key component of our economies,” Desalegn noted.
“The reforms we are championing will address various bottlenecks to allow private sector easily invest in the two countries and improve on the bi-lateral trade,” he said, while calling on Kenyan government to also re-work its investment policies to encourage Ethiopian investors.
Ethiopia is looking to tap into hospitality, manufacturing, input, metal and engineering sectors to grow its economy, which has been on an upward growth of 11 per cent over the last nine years.
Last year, Kenya’s exports to Ethiopia stood at $56.4 million while imports from Ethiopia were worth $4.3 million. Kenya’s Foreign Minister Prof Sam Ongeri said the agreement is expected to see local institutions venture into Ethiopia.
“The agreement is critical because it facilitates Kenyan investors to access the over 130 million people within the two countries to grow their businesses,” Ongeri said.

“The special status agreement will provide a framework for engagement with bilateral investors particularly in the development of areas such as agri-processing, financial services, distributive trade, science technology and innovation, and the higher education,” Ongeri said.
State banks
However, even as they inked the deal, the Ethiopia Prime Minister let out what will keep some sections of the private sector waiting before planning any expansions in the region’s most populous nation.
Specifically, local banks seeking to expand to other countries in the region might have to wait a little longer before venturing into Ethiopia.
Ethiopia runs several State banks offering affordable credit against no collateral at all – necessarily making the business of lending unattractive to private banks.
According to Desalegn, this position is not about to change. “Africa has lagged behind in development by allowing private sector to dominate its financial services. They often restrict access to credit through unrealistic procedures,” he said.
 “The policy of State banks offering loans at no collateral with borrowers only footing certain percentage of credit makes it difficult for private financial institutional to operate,” he acknowledged.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Security tops agenda as Ethiopia PM visits Kenya Capital News »

Kenya is among the first countries that Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has visited since his inauguration two months ago/MIKE KARIUKI
NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 22 – The men in black keep their eyes peeled for any suspicious activity.
The safety of not one but two regional leaders lies in their hands.
It has not been the most secure of times in the East Africa region and it is to this that President Kibaki and the Ethiopian Prime Minister Desalegn directed their statements Wednesday at State House.
“During our discussions, we also reaffirmed our commitment to work closely in addressing challenges to security and peace in the region and especially in tackling terrorism, piracy, human trafficking and other organised crimes,” President Kibaki said.
Kenya is among the first countries that Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has visited since his inauguration two months ago taking over from the late Meles Zenawi who had been in office for 21 years.
Desalegn had served as Zenawi’s Deputy Prime Minister.
The Ethiopian Prime Minister shared President Kibaki’s sentiments saying, “Kenya and Ethiopia can lead the IGAD [Intergovernmental Authority on Development] region. Joining hands so that we can secure peace and stability in this sub-region which all of you know is a troublesome area.”
Both leaders agreed that the Kenyan led military incursion into Somalia was an important step in securing the region.
“We see the light at the end of the tunnel where Somali is now being stabilised by the joint effort of Ethiopia and Kenya along with our brothers from the region,” Desalegn continued.
President Kibaki was also optimistic that the appointment of a Prime Minister and Cabinet in Somalia last month, would bode well for the region.
“We welcomed the election of a new government in Somalia as an important step towards the realisation of peace and stability in the country.”
Prime Minister Desalegn acknowledged Kenya’s role in restoring order to the former Al Shabaab strong hold Somalia.
“We thank the government and people of Kenya for sacrificing their beloved children in Somalia for the peace and stability in that country.”
In the face of increased terror activity in the country; the bombing of a mini-bus in Eastleigh Sunday and the shooting of three soldiers in Garissa Monday, the statesmen’s statements come as no surprise.
President Kibaki also expressed concern over the hostile relations between Sudan and the newly independent South Sudan.
“We exchanged views on the recent conflict between these two countries. We underscored the need for these neighbours to stay the course of the agreements signed following recent negotiations and urge them to resolve all outstanding issues within the timeframe given by the African Union Peace and Security Council.”
The two nations came out of the longest running civil war in 2005 with South Sudan becoming independent of Sudan in July of 2011.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Kenya, Ethiopia agree to co-operate on regional security -

Kenya and Ethiopia have agreed to work together to promote peace and security in the Horn of Africa, the Ethiopian government said in a press release Tuesday (November 20th).
The agreement was announced during the technical meeting of the 34th Kenya-Ethiopia Joint Ministerial Commission held in Nairobi. During the two-day meeting, participants discussed strengthening bilateral ties in politics, socio-economics, security and foreign affairs.
"Kenya and Ethiopia have agreed to accelerate efforts aimed at searching for peace and stability in the Horn of Africa, including consolidation of the gains in Somalia," said Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Thuita Mwangi.
Wondimu Asaminew, director general of the African Directorate of Ethiopia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Ethiopia attaches great importance to its relations with Kenya.
"A second meeting of senior officials in less than six months underlines the paramount importance of our bilateral co-operation," he said, adding that both nations "are committed to enhancing co-operation on major regional and international issues of interest".
Asaminew said the two countries would work together to promote peace and stability on the continent and strengthen the institutions of the African Union and its development programme, the New Partnership for Africa's Development.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Seven dead in Nairobi bus attack - Somali Breaking News & Video Community

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — An explosion on a bus in Kenya’s capital killed at least five people and wounded 29 on Sunday, a police official and the Red Cross said.
Nairobi police chief Moses Ombati said there would likely be more casualties after the explosion on a 25-seater public transportation vehicle.
“There are more casualties coming in but what I can confirm is that five people have been killed,” he said, adding that 10 men and three women were among the wounded.
Kenya Red Cross said 29 people had been wounded in the blast.
Ombati could not give further details about the cause of the blast in the Eastleigh suburb of Nairobi that is sometimes referred to as “little Mogadishu,” because of the number of Somali immigrants who live there.
A U.N. Security official at the scene of the explosion said the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device. Ball bearings could be seen, which likely could have wounded bystanders in the busy area, according to the official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to speak to the press.
Kenya has been hit by a string of grenade attacks that are blamed on sympathizers of al-Shabab, Somalia’s Islamist extremist rebels who are linked to al-Qaida.
Al-Shabab has vowed to carry out attacks on Kenya because it sent troops into Somalia last year to fight the rebels, who are considered a threat to Kenya’s security because they have been blamed for kidnapping foreign tourists and aid workers in Kenya.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Kenya Highway System Kenya's President Kibaki opens first superhighway -

Kenya's President Kibaki opens first superhighwayNov 11, 2012
The brand new 8 lane highway, connecting Nairobi with the municipality of Thika, was yesterday formally commissioned by President Mwai Kibaki, under whose leadership the project was launched in 2009.
Highway construction and rehabilitation and major infrastructure projects like the expansion of aviation facilities across Kenya, not just at JKIA where Project Greenfield is now awaiting the ground braking by Kibaki before he leaves office, have become a hallmark of his presidency and something all Kenyans, even his political rivals, have admitted to.
Major plans for new rail links, for the metropolitan area of Nairobi but also opening up links to Ethiopia and South Sudan, are in the making too and while traffic in Nairobi is still a daily nerve wrecker, there is now light on the horizon with the planned construction of the Southern Bypass and a ‘double decker’ across the city’s most congested Uhuru Highway.
Kibaki in his launch address also blasted criminals for looting lamp posts and railings from the newly constructed highway and other major roads around the capital Nairobi and his ‘encouraging’ words to the police yesterday will undoubtedly result in a few ambushes being laid and the criminals engaged in shootouts with predictable results.
Notably it was Chinese construction companies which brought in the project in record time, though not at estimated cost due to the major inflationary pressures over the past 18 months, a lesson however for local construction companies many of which in the past failed to complete projects or ‘ate’ their payments, then either producing shoddy work or not finishing their contracts at all.
A series of other major overland highways, connecting to the Ugandan borders at Malaba and Busia, the Tanzanian borders at Taveta and Namanga and the Ethiopian border are presently also being planned, making road travel across Kenya in the future safer and certainly faster. Watch this space.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Take up Ethiopia’s offer - Editorials -

  • Kenyan companies will be free to start operations in Ethiopia once the government signs an agreement that will exempt them from the tough regulations restricting foreign investments
  • Ethiopia needs Kenya to support its bid to join the East African Community. And Kenyan companies need the huge market in Ethiopia
  • Ethiopia restricts foreign investors from the telecommunication, banking, media, retailing and insurance and electricity sectors

That Ethiopia plans to accord Kenya a most favoured status to allow Kenyan companies to operate in the currently restricted market is good news.
Kenyan companies will be free to start operations in Ethiopia once the government signs an agreement that will exempt them from the tough regulations restricting foreign investments.
Kenyan investors should take advantage of this offer. Ethiopia needs Kenya to support its bid to join the East African Community. And Kenyan companies need the huge market in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia restricts foreign investors from the telecommunication, banking, media, retailing and insurance and electricity sectors.
Currently, Kenya’s exports to Ethiopia stands at about Sh5 billion compared to Uganda’s Sh76 billion. This lopsided arrangement must improve. After all, Kenya has been Ethiopia’s ally since independence.
Most Kenyan companies have restricted their operations to the EAC member countries and South Sudan. This is hardly a conducive atmosphere for business.
The government should prioritise the proposed Nairobi-Moyale road, and build a new one linking the port of Mombasa with Ethiopia.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Kenya says unaware of South Sudan oil deal with Ethiopia -

Kenyan officials said on Thursday that they were not aware of South Sudan's talks on the construction of an oil refinery with Ethiopia, but said Juba was carrying out feasibility studies before deciding where to locate the plant.

"They (South Sudan) are looking for the cheapest route to export their oil," Patrick Nyoike, the Permanent Secretary of the Energy Ministry, told journalists on the sideline of East African Upstream Summit, staged by the Petroleum Institute of East Africa.

South Sudanese Foreign Minister Nial Deng Nial held talks with Ethiopia's Foreign Minister Berhane Gebrekristos in Addis Ababa on Wednesday, where the South Sudanese FM said his country was looking for ways of enhancing economic cooperation.

The two sides said they would build a joint refinery and South Sudan would formally purchase hydroelectric power from Ethiopia.

Kenyan officials said talks with South Sudan on the terms of hosting such a refinery were still continuing.

"They have reviewed the intergovernmental agreement. We will review the host country agreement. There is an agreement between Kenya and South Sudan and Kenya to invest in the refinery," Nyoike added.

Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan signed a tripartite agreement in Kenya for the construction of the Lamu Port Ethiopia-South Sudan Transport Corridor (LAPPSSET) infrastructure project, which is expected to cost 25 billion U. S. dollars.

South Sudan prioritized the construction of the regional infrastructure project, which aims to create a seamless regional rail, road and port facilities across the region.

South Sudan, which ordered an oil export shutdown after a disagreement with Sudan over the terms of using the oil exportation facilities in the north, signed an agreement with Kenya for the construction of an oil pipeline.

Kenya has East Africa's sole oil refinery which produces refined oil products for export across the East African region.

However, the Kenya Refineries Limited (KPRL) is preparing for a 1.2 billion dollar facility upgrade.

John Mruttu, the KPRL's chief operations officer, said in Nairobi that "we are looking at a major upgrade. Once this is achieved, we would be able to achieve a substantial substitute of imported refined products."

The Kenyan firm has also been planning the construction of a major grease production facility to meet the local demand for machinery and other local firms.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Four people wounded in Akobo attack, Jonglei - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan

October 24, 2012 (BOR) - At least four people are reported wounded in an attempted cattle raid allegedly by members of the Murle ethnic group in Jonglei’s Akobo county on Wednesday.
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IDPs who fled the ethinc conflict in Jonglei (AFP)
Akobo county coordinator, Joseph Jol, who is currently in Bor, confirmed the attack toSudan Tribune in which four people, including a woman, were injured at Niew-Niew village, not far from Walgak of Akobo county. He was unable to give further details.
In a separate interview with Sudan Tribune, the commissioner of Akobo, Goi Jooyul, said the attack was carried out by Murle raiders, intent of rustling cattle from Niew-Niew.
According to Jooyul at 10.30am two men herding their cattle were injured when “attacked by Murle armed men”. The victims then fled to the village, pursued by their Murle assailants, where two more citizens were injured, including a woman.
The South Sudan army (SPLA) troops in the area engaged with the raiders but no one was killed, explained Jooyul.
In light of the Jonglei dissarmament programme, inaugurated by president Salva Kiir in March in reaction to escalating violence in the state, Jooyul said “our people were disarmed and they cannot defend themselves now, so the army came in and repulsed them, and the cattle were rescued".
Over 1,000 people died in cattle raids and revenge attacks in 2011, which escalated in December when 6,000 armed Luo Nuer men attacked Pibor County, the home of the Murle tribe,leaving 20,000 people displaced by January 2012.
When the disarmament began, fears were expressed that some ethnic groups would be more thoroughly disarmed than others, leaving them vulnerable to attack.
Jooyul claims that the Murle are intent on destabilising other areas including Akobo,Uror, Duk, Twice East and Bor counties.
According to the UN Environmental Program the Murle were in Ethiopia until the 19th century. Some remained their until the 1990s while others were driven west by local Nilotes. They established an homeland in Pibor county, Jonglei state in the 1930s, since which, environmental pressures have impinged upon their pastoralist lifestyle.
Little evidence can be found to support the infertility claim which has been used to rationalise the child-snatching they are accused of. However, the motivation to rationalise the denigration of one of South Sudan’s pariah ethnic groups, in order to legitimise the attribution of blame, is self-evident.
Akobo resident Solomon Pur Thok, said the wounded are Nyabel Gatwech Reath, Koath Mayian Teny, Wany Wal Teny and Gatwech Puol Teny. They were airlifted to the state capital Bor, by theUN Mission in South Sudan on Wednesday.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Tanzania: Accident Claims Ehiopian Lives in Kiteto

Four people including two Ethiopians died and eight others injured after a vehicle, a Mitsubishi Pajero carrying thirteen passengers overturned in Ndedo Ward, Kiteto District Manyara Region last week.
The vehicle which was involved in the accident had been carrying 10 illegal immigrants from Ethiopia, one Kenyan and two Tanzanians, was coming from Kenya through Kilimanjaro Region and was allegedly destined to go to Malawi.
Confirming the incident, Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr. Benedict Msuya said that the incident occurred on October 12 at 05:00 p.m. in Ngaboro Area in Kiteto District.
He said that the vehicle was being driven by Khalifa Selemani (38) of Moshi. The sourceof accident was reported as a tyre burst which caused the vehicle to overturn and four people died instantly.
The deceased were the driver of the vehicle Selemani, Neema Joel (36), resident of Ngaramtoni, Arusha. Others were two Ethiopians whose names were not immediately available.
He mentioned those injured as Kennedy Masaku (42) Kenyan Citizen, Shemsu Nulyi Senkulo (30)and Messe Getto Elipero (29), both Ethiopians.
Others who were injured include Ethiopians Abushi Awuli Abuno (25) Ahamed Untto Lode (27)and Abajihmei Lendebo Kibedo (25).
Msuya said that after finding out that the Government is strict in inspecting large trucks usually used to transport illegal immigrants, now they are using station wagons instead of lorries.
He asked members of public to collaborate with the police and the immigration department in reporting to authorities illegal immigrants.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Death toll in latest Mombasa security raid rises to three -


MOMBASA (Xinhua) -- Death toll from the major security operation which was conducted in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa has risen to three after a policeman succumbed to injuries in a grenade attack.
Regional police commander Aggrey Adoli told a news conference in Mombasa on Wednesday that two terror suspects had earlier been killed in the dawn security crackdown on suspected Al-Shabaab militants in the coastal city.
He said eight policemen who were injured in the grenade attacks during the 3 a.m. raid in Likoni area, are still nursing injuries in the hospital.
"The police officers had arrested a terror suspect at Changamwe who had led police to the house where they were attacked.
"During the raid a suspect who was in the house hauled grenades to our officers and opened fire, seriously injuring nine," Adoli said.
He said two Al-Shabaab terror suspects were also killed during the operation by the grenade.
The officers were rushed to hospital and are receiving treatment.
"Four of the police officers are in critical condition.
"Police recovered a pistol, an AK47 rifle, two grenades from the house," the regional police commander said.
Sources said the suspect is said to have declined orders to open the door forcing the police to use extra force to get access to the house.
The suspect is then said to have hurled a grenade at the police officers, killing his accomplice on the spot and injuring 10 police officers on the spot.
Adoli noted that a combined team of officers are still combing the area with reports that more arms could be hidden in the house.
"We heard gunshots at around 3.00 a.m. and loud explosion, an indication that the officers were battling with militia," eye witnesses Mwagomba Juma said.
Coastal town of Mombasa has in the past experienced terror attacks carried out by members of Al-Shabaab group.
The authorities have warned of a possible terror attack in the country since the capture of port of Kismayo, a strong-hold of Al- Shabaab in Somalia, by the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF).
"It’s a major breakthrough in the war on terror although our officers have been injured in the raid which was carried out at night in Likoni," Adoli said.
He said the raid was conducted in Likoni, south of Mombasa following a tip-off from members of the public.
The incident came at a time when the government has declared war on the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) group and other groups that threaten the security of the country.
Mombasa, the country’s second largest city and a major tourist spot, is one of various cities targeted by a series of grenade attacks and abduction of foreigners in recent months.
Western nations have already warned its citizens to be "extremely vigilant" in Mombasa.
The East African nation’s coastal towns are the backbone of the country’s thriving tourism industry, which has been hit by the fear of terror attacks and the kidnapping of foreigners by Somali pirates from resorts near the border with Somalia.
Police have particularly warned against the laxity in the screening of cars for explosives at all shopping malls and any business or social gatherings with at least 10 people at any given moment that these might be vulnerable to attacks.
Kenya’s tourism has suffered a decline in tourist arrivals since September 2011 when the Somali militant group, the Al- Shabaab, carried out the kidnappings of tourists in the Lamu archipelago and the kidnapping of the Spanish volunteers.
The port city, the capital Nairobi and other parts of Kenya have suffered a series of grenade attacks since Kenya sent troops into Somalia a year ago to try to pursue Al-Shabaab insurgents it blames for a surge in violence and kidnappings threatening tourism.

Mombasa security operation kills two
terror suspects and injures 10 police
MOMBASA (Xinhua) -- At least two terror suspects were killed and 10 police officers were injured on Wednesday in a dawn security operation to flush out criminals in the coastal city of Mombasa.
Regional Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Commander Ambrose Munyasia said that during the operation in Likoni area of the city, criminals hurled grenades to the police officers.
Munyasia, who has dispatched more police officers to the scene, said ammunition was discovered in a house.
"The police managed to kill two people whom we believe to be Al-Shabaab suspects.
"The operation is still on and we will release more details later but there is a major achievement," regional police commander Aggrey Adoli told Xinhua by telephone.
The operation came as the police intensified crackdown on members of secessionist groups following a spate of insecurity incidents across the coastal city.
Some members of the secessionist group Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) attacked and killed a local government official in Kwale, a small town in the southwest of Mombasa, in retaliation for the arrest of their group leader Omar Mwamnwadzi on Monday.
Adoli said the police were following crucial leads to bring to book those involved in the killing, warning that the government would combat firmly organized criminal groups and take unspecified actions directly towards the MRC in the next few days.
On Oct. 4, members of the group armed with machetes attacked and injured Kenyan Minister of Fisheries Development Amason Jeffah Kingi, and killed his bodyguard and three others during a political rally in the coastal town of Mtwapa.
The group members, who say they are not Kenyans, have been agitating for secession, vowing that no elections would take place in the coastal region where they are based.
Analysts said the country is facing challenges related to resurgence of militant groups such as the MRC, potential threats such groups will pose to the forthcoming election, and internal risks from external war on the Al-Shabaab in Somalia.
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Thursday, October 4, 2012

New power line to hook up Kenya and Ethiopia - African Business Review

An ambitious electricity scheme to connect Kenya and Ethiopia has won backing from the African Development fund to tune of $348 million.
The project will involve the construction of 1,068 killometres of high-voltage DC 500 kv transmission line connecting Kenya and Ethiopia and will achieve Kenya’s goal of connecting an additional 870,000 households to the national grid by 2018.
The African Development Fund (ADF) contributes to the promotion of economic and social development in 40 least developed African countries by concessional funding for projects and programmes, as well as technical assistance for studies and capacity-building activities.
It has become more involved in multibillion infrastructure projects in Kenya and most recently helped to finance the Thika Super-highway.
Gabriel Negatu, African Development Bank's Regional Director for East Africa, said: "The financing of this project further underscores our position as the biggest infrastructure funding partner for Eastern Africa.
“We are committed to partnering with African governments and other development agencies to make the infrastructure dream true."
MORE from African Business Review
The Kenyan Government plans to have a total of 1,400,000 additional households wired for electricity by 2022. The new line is hoped to be commissioned by November 2013.
Both the governments of Ethiopia and Kenya are also backing the scheme financially along with the French Development Agency.
The ADF’s main mission is to spur sustainable economic development and social progress in its regional member countries, thus contributing to poverty reduction.
It achieves this by allocating resources for investment in member countries and providing policy advice and technical  assistance to support development efforts.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

» AfDB approves $348m funding for Kenya-Ethiopia $1.26b electricity highway-Ghana Business News

The African Development Fund of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved $348 million in funding for the $1.26 billion electricity highway project between Kenya and Ethiopia.
The bank approved the funds Thursday, September 20, 2012.
Due for commissioning in November 2017, the project involves the construction of a 1,068-kilometre high-voltage direct current 500 kV transmission line between the two countries. It also includes putting up of associated converter stations at Wolayta-Sodo (Ethiopia) and Suswa (Kenya), with a power transfer capacity of up to 2,000 MW.
The project is intended to promote power trade and regional integration, contribute to the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP) countries’ social and economic development, and reduce poverty in those countries.
“With the approval of this project, we have solidified our position as the key strategic partner for East African countries in the power sector,” said Gabriel Negatu, AfDB’s Regional Director in charge of East Africa.
The project has been co-financed with the World Bank, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Governments of Kenya and Ethiopia.
By Ekow Quandzie

Monday, October 1, 2012

Kenyan police say Nairobi blast was a bomb attack -

NAIROBI, Kenya -- Kenyan police said Tuesday that a blast that injured more than 30 people in a Nairobi shopping center the day before was caused by a homemade bomb, following reports that a suspicious bag was left at the scene just before the attack.
Police had initially blamed faulty electrical wiring for the blast about 1:15 p.m. But on Monday, Prime Minister Raila Odinga had already voiced the fears of many Kenyans when he called the blast a terrorist attack.
One witness told local media that she saw a man come into a shop several times in the area where the attack occurred. She saw him leave a bag and quickly depart, minutes before the blast.
"He came into the shop twice, looking at T-shirts," Irene Wachira, the witness, told Reuters news service. "He said he didn't have money so he left. Then he came back. He left a bag and a few moments later we had an explosion. The roof caved in and debris started falling on us."

Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe told a news conference on Tuesday that police were trying to trace two male suspects. He said forensic analysis was underway to determine what explosives were used in the attack. Police officials told local media that the blast may have been caused by a fertilizer bomb.
Kenyan media reported Tuesday that FBI agents were at the scene of the blast on Moi Avenue helping with the investigation.
Since invading Somalia in October in a bid to crush the Somali militia Al Shabab, Kenya has seen a series of grenade attacks in crowded areas such bus terminals, killing dozens of people. The rebel group threatened to blow up Nairobi skyscrapers.
However, no group took immediate responsibility for Monday's bombing.
Witnesses described a scene of chaos at the site of the blast.
Geoffrey Kiarie, 22, said that from an electronics shop near the blast he heard a loud explosion before his shop filled with smoke. Then he heard people screaming.
"The screams were very desperate and we all ran out," Kiarie told The Times. "We rushed to the scene and started helping people out. What I saw was very disturbing.
"Some people were thrown on the floor with cuts on their faces, hands and on parts of their bodies," he said. "I saw someone without clothes, screaming saying he was outside on the street and was lifted high and banged down hard. His clothes were torn into pieces and he had a bad head injury as if he was hit by blunt object."
On Monday, Odinga said his people would stand firm against terrorism.
"Kenyans will not be cowed, Kenyans will not surrender to terrorists," he said at the scene of the blast.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

AfDB approves US$348m to fund Ethiopia-Kenya power line - The New Times Rwanda

The African Development Bank has approved a US$348 million loan for Ethiopia and Kenya to finance a cross-border power line, the second phase of a US$1.26 billion project to help improve power supply.

Ethiopia is poised to generate revenue exporting power from its hydropower resources to Kenya, which is facing constant power blackouts.

Kenya, east Africa’s biggest economy, has been investing in its infrastructure, including expanding power supplies to meet growing demand amid robust economic activity.

The electricity will originate from a number of existing and future power plants in Ethiopia.

AfDB said Ethiopia would receive $232 million of the funding, while Kenya would take US$116 million.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Kenya: Kibaki Off to New York for UN Meet

Nairobi — President Mwai Kibaki left the country early on Saturday to attend the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
This year's assembly whose theme is "The adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations by peaceful means", will be characterized by three high level events on the rule of law at national and international levels, a mini-summit on Somalia and another mini-summit on the Great Lakes conflict.
The assembly theme is pertinent for Kenya due to the integral role the country continues to play in advocating for peace and security in the Horn of Africa, especially the Sudan, South Sudan, and Somalia.
The General Assembly will seek to increase compliance with international law, particularly strengthening compliance in the context of the UN mandate, ensuring national implementation, and strengthening treaty bodies and international dispute resolution.
The advancement of the rule of law at both the national and international levels is recognised as essential to the realisation of sustained economic growth, sustainable development, the eradication of poverty and hunger and the protection of human rights.
During the General Assembly, Kenya will lobby for the election of its candidate, George Morara Orina, to the powerful and independent United Nations Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions.
The committee to be picked in November for a three year period will oversee the administrative and budgetary matters of the UN.
Kenya will also be vying for a seat at the United Nations Human Rights Council at elections scheduled for November, 2012.
Kenya and Ethiopia are the only candidates for the two available slots at the Council for the Eastern Africa Sub-region and are likely to be elected on a clean slate.
President Kibaki is expected to give a key note address to the General Assembly and press for the strengthening of the institutional framework for sustainable development, including the upgrading of UNEP.
On the sidelines of the General Assembly, President Kibaki is scheduled to attend a mini-summit on Somalia to launch a high level dialogue between representatives of the international community and the new Somali leadership on the new government's medium to long term priorities.
The mini-summit will deliberate on four main areas; the political, the security, the humanitarian and recovery track, and the economic recovery and development track and is expected to define priorities for peace building and stabilisation in Somalia.
The summit will also seek to ensure a coherent approach for international assistance in support of a Somali-led plan of action, including timelines for a donor conference; to commit to supporting AMISOM beyond 2012; as well as to enhance efforts to rebuild the Somali security institutions.
The conference on Somalia whose theme is "From transition to transformation: the New Agenda for Somalia" comes four months after a similar meeting held in Istanbul, eight months after the London Conference and two years after the first Istanbul conference on Somalia in May 2010.
Kenya will seek to ensure that the refugees and IDP problem remains a priority in stabilization programmes aimed at providing basic social services, helping to alleviate poverty, protect IDPs and ease the return and resettlement of the refugees to Somalia.
The Kenyan delegation to The Assembly includes Foreign Affairs minister Prof Sam Ongeri, Attorney General Prof. Githu Muigai and MPs Adan Keynan, George Nyamweya and Yusuf Hassan Abdi.