Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Take up Ethiopia’s offer - Editorials - nation.co.ke

  • 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 - Globaltimes.cn

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 - coastweek.com


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.
Remember: you read it first at coastweek.com !

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 - latimes.com

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.