Posts tagged as: agreement

The Reverend John Gatu Passes On At Nairobi Hospital

By Wanderi Kamau

The Reverend John Gatu, the ex-Moderator of Presbyterian Church of East Africa who spilled beans on Mau Mau oaths during Jomo Kenyatta era, is dead

Close family and church sources on Friday confirmed to the Nation that the veteran clergy passed on at a Nairobi hospital on Thursday evening, where he had been admitted.

Speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak on behalf of the the Gatu family, a family member said the reverend had been suffering for undisclosed disease some time.

Dr Gatu will be remembered for being outspoken against the excesses of previous governments, especially that of President Daniel Moi.

In late last year, he spilled beans on Mau Mau oath ceremonies in Mount Kenya region in an explosive biography– Fanning the Freedom– implicating Kenya’s founding President Jomo Kenyatta.

More follows.

Kenya

EU Opts for Dialogue As Region Ignores Signing Trade Deal

European Union (EU) has invited the government to a dialogue over the contentious Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Read more »

Local Retailers Warn of Flour, Sugar and Milk Rationing

By Margaret Wahito

Nairobi — Local retainers have indicated there could be maize flour, sugar and milk rationing to manage existing shortage of the commodities.

Retail Trade Association of Kenya (RETRAK) Chairman Wahome Muchiri says this is to ensure there is fair supply to the customers.

“All RETRAK members are committed to providing fair access to the commodities in short supply. We therefore request retail customers to co-operate and oblige when called upon to pick products under rationing treatment such as maize meal or sugar, in limited numbers,” Muchiri said on Thursday.

Currently, a packet of 2 kilograms of maize flour is selling average price of Sh140, a kilo of sugar Sh180 and a packet of milk at Sh65.

He says the retailers have embarked on an engagement process with basic commodities suppliers to manage the prevailing shortage.

Muchiri however denies any hoarding activity of the said commodities, causing both shortage and cost crisis.

“Formal Retail traders are not engaging in hoarding of essential food commodities, and implied in sections of the media. We as the intermediary between the Suppliers and the retail customers, we continue to suffer poor and acutely erratic deliveries,” he explained.

“Formal retailers avail products for sale at Supplier recommended retail prices. Our members have no latitude to set prices at will and remain guided by the Suppliers current price guides.”

Kenya

EU Opts for Dialogue As Region Ignores Signing Trade Deal

European Union (EU) has invited the government to a dialogue over the contentious Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Read more »

Kudos to Marathon Hero

editorialBy Editorial

With the eyes of the world on a racing track in northern Italy, Kenya’s Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge rewrote the history books.

Mr Kipchoge was aiming to be the first man to run the full marathon in under two hours. He came agonisingly close, missing the target by only 25 seconds.

It was a heroic feat. In doing it, he shaved two minutes off the world record and three off his personal best time, remarkable feats in themselves.

The mark he set is still unofficial because the race was not held under normal competition standards set by the world athletics body.

The consistent use of fresh sets of pacesetters is not allowed in competitive events.

Despite that, Kipchoge’s achievement deserves to be celebrated.

POWER AND ENDURANCE

No two races represent a test on the limits of the power and endurance of the human body like the 100 metres sprint and the marathon.

It has long been debated whether any man can run the longer distance under the two hour mark.

It would, of course, be ideal for this audacious attempt to set a new record to be staged in a normal racing environment in future, to address the concerns of purists who felt this was a publicity stunt on behalf of the organisers, American apparel firm Nike.

Athletics fans will hope Kipchoge and others will continue to strive to beat the mark.

Still, all those that took part in the campaign, the scientists, the pacesetters and coaches and most importantly Mr Kipchoge himself, deserve praise for their efforts to take humankind to a place no man has ventured before.

Kenya

EU Opts for Dialogue As Region Ignores Signing Trade Deal

European Union (EU) has invited the government to a dialogue over the contentious Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Read more »

Mauritius: Mauritius and the Kingdom of Swaziland Sign a Bilateral Air Services Agreement

press release

Mauritius signed a Memorandum of Understanding and initialled a Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) with the Kingdom of Swaziland on 19 April 2017 at the Prime Minister’s Office in Port Louis. The signatories for the Mauritian side was the Solicitor-General, Mr D. K. Dabee, and for the Swazi side the Director General of Swaziland Civil Aviation Authority, Mr Solomon Dube.

The Agreement provides for multiple designation of airlines by each country and seven weekly frequencies to be operated by the designated airlines of each Party. Air Mauritius will also be able to exercise fifth freedom traffic rights at a number of intermediate and beyond points on routes specified in the Agreement. Both countries may operate all cargo services between and beyond the territory of the Contracting Parties without any capacity and frequency restrictions with full third, fourth and fifth freedom traffic rights.

It is expected that the new air services agreement will give a boost to passenger traffic between the two countries and will be beneficial for cross border collaboration, as well as enhance Swaziland investment opportunities in Mauritius. The BASA is also important for the air transport sector’s contribution to the economic and social development of both countries.

The signature of the Agreement is a follow-up of a visit in February 2016 of a delegation from Swaziland, led by the Minister of Transport of the Government of the Kingdom Swaziland, to Mauritius. During the visit, it was agreed to review and modernise the existing Air Services Agreement.

The issue of air connectivity between Mauritius and Swaziland was also discussed between Mr Pravind K. Jugnauth, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius and Dr Sibusiso B. Dlamini, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Swaziland, in the margins of the inaugural session of the African Economic Platform, held last month in Mauritius.

Air Services between Mauritius and the Kingdom of Swaziland have so far been governed by the framework of an Agreed Record and a BASA concluded in May 1977. The Agreement provides, amongst others, for single designation of airline and one weekly frequency to be operated by the designated airline of each Contracting Party.

It will be recalled that in the late 70’s and early 80’s Royal Swazi National Airways operated direct air services between Mauritius and Swaziland. However, it ceased its services to Mauritius in 1981. In the absence of direct air links between Mauritius and Swaziland, passengers travel through the Johannesburg gateway. In 2016, tourist arrivals from Swaziland stood at 370.

The Singapore-Mauritius-Africa Air Transport Corridor project

In line with Vision 2030, the Government of Mauritius is implementing a more open and robust air access policy that takes into account both the national interest and economic growth. In this perspective, a collaboration agreement was signed between Air Mauritius and Changi Airport Group in Singapore.

The creation of this air corridor, which became operational in March 2016, serves as a link between Africa and Asia via Mauritius. As part of this initiative, Air Mauritius has expanded its network into Africa with two new destinations, namely, Maputo and Dar-es-Salaam.

Air Mauritius has also successfully managed to strike a commercial agreement and partnership with Singapore Airlines this year that gives a new impetus to the air corridor and makes travel beyond Singapore to Asian countries more economical. In this context, Swaziland has been invited to join the air corridor to bring new synergies and further strengthen this project.

Mauritius

Launching of National Art Exhibition

The National Art Exhibition was launched on 19 April 2017 by the Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Prithvirajsing Roopun,… Read more »

Human Rights Situation Two Years After Crisis

analysisBy Diane Uwimana

“About 720 people were killed, over 80 others tortured since Burundi has plunged into the current situation in April 2015,” says Jean Baptiste Baribonekeza, Chairman of the National Commission for the Human Rights-CNDIH. He also says that between 700 and 800 people have been arbitrarily arrested in different areas of the country. “Thanks to our intervention, some of them have been released”, he says.

The chairman of CNDIH says the human rights situation deteriorated at the beginning of 2015 but has improved day after day. “Considering the situation between 2015 and 2016, there has been some improvement in 2017”, he says.

Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, Chairman of the Association defending the Human Rights and the detainees’ rights-APRODH, says his associations estimated the death toll of 2000 Burundians, imprisonment of 8000 people, flight of thousands of Burundians to other countries , torture of hundreds of people including women who have been sexually abused before their children and the disappearance of hundreds of people. “All this was caused by Pierre Nkurunziza when he violated the Arusha Agreement and Burundi Constitution”, he says.

The same view is shared by Léonce Ngendakumana, Deputy Chairman of Sahwanya Frodebu party. “The violation of the Arusha Agreement and Burundi Constitution caused many killings, tortures, sanctions against Burundi government, corruption, economic embezzlement, and the deterioration of the education system,” he says.

Ngendakumana says Burundi has moved into recession since 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a controversial term in office. Ngendakumana says the government and its allies must engage in an inclusive dialogue with the opposition to restore democracy in Burundi. “The only option to end the crisis is the inclusive dialogue”, he says.

Jean De Dieu Mutabazi, chairman of RADEDU party says Burundi was in trouble for three years but the situation has improved day after day. “The efforts by the troublemakers and opposition to destabilize the country have been undermined year after year. Today, the security situation is good”, he says.

Burundi

UN Rights Chief Alarmed By Rape Chants in Burundi

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has expressed outrage at an apparent widespread pattern… Read more »

Uganda Defaults On AfDB Payments, Reduces Stake

Photo: The Observer

AfDB bank.

By Alon Mwesigwa

Uganda’s stake in the African Development bank has been reduced by 1,347 shares after the country failed to meet its subscription obligations.

According to the auditor general’s report for 2015/16, the country owed AfDB subscription fees amounting to $1.3m (Shs 4.6bn). After Uganda failed to pay, the country paid the price by relinquishing some of its shares.

The audit said “further losses are expected if a balance of $1.7m is not cleared.” The deadline for payment is not yet clear. The AfDB is a multilateral development lender and draws its members from states in Africa and beyond. All the 54 countries in Africa are members of the bank.

Losing shares means a member can lose voting rights and also risks its membership from being suspended. Uganda still holds some shares in the bank. According to the agreement that sets up the bank, “If a member fails to fulfill any of its obligations under this agreement or any other obligation to the bank arising from the bank’s operations under this agreement, the board of governors may suspend such a member…The board of governors may, in lieu of suspension of membership, order suspension of the voting rights of such a member upon such terms and conditions as may be established by the board of governors… “.

According to the agreement, “each member shall have 625 votes and, in addition, one vote for each share of the capital stock of the bank held by that member.”

The bank is expected to use the resources at its disposal for the financing of investment projects and programmes in the member countries, especially infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the auditor general also noted that Uganda has more outstanding obligations with other organisations, which curtail its participation and benefits from them.

In the audit report dated December 15, 2015, the auditor general said the country was indebted to international organisations to the tune of Shs 38.4bn. That amount appears to have reduced, though.

“Overall outstanding commitments to international organizations as at 30th June 2016 amounted to Shs 27.3bn in 17 organizations,” said another auditor general report, the latest.

“Failure to make timely subscription will continue to affect the country’s ability to benefit from these international organizations,” said the audit report.

Uganda is seen mainly as one of the active participants in these organisations but it has always fallen short when it comes to its subscription.

Uganda

Uganda Withdraws From Central African Republic

Uganda has started withdrawing its military troops involved in the US-backed operations against Lords Resistance Army… Read more »

Kenya to Host Emir of Qatar and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

press releaseBy PSCU

Nairobi — Kenya is this week hosting two key leaders that include His Highness the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz.

His Highness the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani will pay a State visit to Kenya on Tuesday while Prince Abdulaziz will pay a courtesy call on President Uhuru Kenyatta, where a number of issues of mutual interest to both countries will be discussed.

The one day visit of Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani is set to cement the relationship between both countries.

This follows the visit by President Kenyatta to Qatar in 2014.

State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said the discussions will centre on ways of bolstering bilateral ties between Kenya and Qatar.

He further indicated that the visit will cement previous agreements, important to delivering his vision for a vibrant energy sector that will lead to a substantial drop in the cost of living.

Kenya has signed several agreements and Memorandums of Understanding in various fields of cooperation with Qatar.

According to Esipisu, in the upcoming state visit to Kenya by the Amir of Qatar, several MoUs and Agreements are expected to be signed and several others will be discussed.

“The agreements that will be signed will include the Agreement on Education, Higher Education and Scientific Research as well as the Agreement on Cultural Cooperation,” he announced.

“The tradition with State visits is now fairly well known to you. Formal welcoming ceremonies include an honour guard and a 21-gun salute, a tête-a-tête with the President, bilateral talks and, in this case, a State luncheon.”

The Amir is also traveling with a strong contingent of business leaders.

“We expect that they will strike deals with their Kenyan counterparts at a business forum.”

Separately, Saudi Arabia’s Minister for Commerce and Investment Majed bin Abdullah Al-Kassabi will lead a delegation of 80 investors and entrepreneurs to Kenya.

He will be hosted by his Kenyan Counterpart Adan Mohamed of Industry and Trade.

The investors have interests in agriculture, energy, construction, transport, healthcare among others.

Kenya

Australian Man Asks Nairobi Court to Speed Up Sodomy Case

An Australian man who was four years ago accused of sodomy wants a speedy hearing and determination of the case facing… Read more »

Ethiopia: Embracing the Win-Win Approach

editorial

Shearing off the age-old monopolistic perceptions hanging over from the days of yore regarding the utilization of resources, thinking out of the box is very much helpful for mending wrong turns and becoming forward looking. Mongering to the archaic adage “Might is right!”, in so far as my interest is met and as long as I cream off the lion’s share of the boon, my neighbours, with whom I share a common resource, say a river, could land in a soup no longer buys currency, for the catchphrase of the era has become a win-win deal.

Alluding to the mind set of scramble for power relegated to the dustbin of history, dragging foot reluctant to all-embracing benefits and growth is an act frowned up on as it is not in concord with modern trends. For a sustainable and efficient utilization of such a resource, the mental bent of seeing the resource as a common wealth pays of. Clicking with each other with considerateness is what should be made a point.

Ten upper riparian countries of the Nile River, as member states, have come aboard the Nile Basin Initiative launched in 1999, for the initiative eyes at development projects like the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) that reinforces common growth and buttresses studies for sustainable and mutual utilization of resources. The initiative as well workout the Nile River Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA). It is in cognizance of the aforementioned facts that downstream countries are nowadays voicing interest to follow suit.

It is to be recalled that Egypt and Sudan did take part in launching the NBI and the CFA negotiations. Both countries suspended their NBI memberships after the CFA was opened for signature in 2010. But Sudan reactivated its membership in 2013. Egypt has never boycotted the Nile Council of Ministers (Nile-COM), comprised of ministers in charge of water affairs in each of the NBI member states and the highest decision and policy-making organ of the NBI, but it had been boycotting the technical level meetings.

In an exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald Egyptian Ambassador to Ethiopia Abou Bakar Henfy Mahmoud, regarding his country’s current take on the matter, hinted at Egypt’s interest to restore its position in the NBI.

He noted Egypt could not distance itself from the cooperation for regional developmental thrust. He said “Encouraging efforts are under way to expedite the good relations.” He added Egypt doesn’t entertain the desire of domineering over countries in the basin as it abides by the no-harm, benefit-all and win-win ideals– governing principles of the era. As to him, revisiting its stance pertaining to the Entebe agreement, Egypt is warming up to join the Cooperation Framework Agreement (CFA) in the not distant future.

It is to be recalled that former Egyptian leaders were backpedaling from the common utilization of the Blue Nile River while their contemporary Ethiopian leaders were not committed to the utilization of the resource.

Contrariwise, currently Ethiopian leaders are proving forthcoming in tapping this resource for regional growth–bridging demand and supply imbalance of electricity much needed for industrialization and socio-economic take off– while Egyptian leaders are strategizing relations with Ethiopia aiming at shared vision. “We have rich resources. And the resources include, of course, water and electricity.” The Ethio-Egypt relations had been at a deadlock for over six decades as a result of misconceptions and misunderstanding “through the ongoing fruitful popular diplomatic efforts, we will prove brotherhood to our respective citizens and the world,” added the Egyptian ambassador.

Up on arrival on a three-day state visit here on Tuesday, Sudanese President Al-Bashir commented that the GERD project would not harm downstream countries. Capitalizing on the benefit of projects like GERD, fine-tuned with the ideals of the framework of NBI, he said Ethiopia and Sudan are working to connect GERD with Khartoum. “WE have agreed to buy 300MW of electricity the dam generates.”

There is no gainsaying that NBI aims at an efficient utilization of resources. Pertaining to this, experts note “The water that evaporates from Aswan Dam is much greater than the one Egypt utilizes for irrigation. That is due to the vulnerability of the water of the Aswan Dam to a scorching sun. If this water is preserved in a gorge, having a lower surface area at the Ethiopian Highlands, the quantity of evaporation will be scaled down.” This ensures a sustained flow of the water downstream telling on the fact GERD is beneficial to all.

Egypt’s position as an arid country with little rainfall and total reliance on the Nile River is understandable. Ethiopia and member states of NBI respect Egypt water security concerns. When they think of development it is mindful of this fact. That is why they have mounted a remarkable public diplomacy to drive home their genuine intent of a win-win approach.

The bottom line is mindful of the fact signatories of the NBI have no hidden motive of inflicting harm on their brothers and sisters in downstream countries and cognizant that the upstream countries interest resides in sustainable and considerate use of resources, Egypt need reconsider NBI membership it disrupted in 2010.

Somalia and Kenya Must Capitalise On Opportunities for Partnership

opinion

Many media commentators wrote surprisingly of the successful official state visit of Somalia’s President, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, to Kenya on Thursday last week.

In fact, the Somali President’s warm welcome by his counterpart, President Uhuru Kenyatta, was not the main story as this was a given, but how quickly they moved to agree strategic action on all matters of common concern and opportunity within this single face-to-face encounter.

All the agreed policies at this fruitful meeting from security, trade and investment to direct flights between Mogadishu and Nairobi are not new either.

They were negotiated, agreed and renewed as part of the Joint Commission of Cooperation (JCC) which was signed between the two governments in February 2016.

However, what is distinctly different and diplomatically noticeable is the energy and speed with which both leaders want to achieve these enabling goals to advance bilateral relations.

Kenya and Somalia’s relations are deep and strong, as they must be in order to navigate a common path to development as neighbours in a new age of insecurity and competing global economic interests.

However, this relationship has been challenged by the violence of terrorism, which both nations have painfully suffered from, and which they are jointly courageously fighting in Somalia, in support of the People and Government of Somalia and for wider regional stability.

TRAGEDY AND LOSS

Prior to the war on terror and the fight against Al-Shabaab in Somalia, many Somalis settled in Kenya and are now citizens, contributing to the success of the Kenyan economy and society.

Many more are refugees and will have to be returned home safely and with dignity under the Tripartite Agreement at the earliest opportunity.

This continuous support of Somalia and its citizens on the part of Kenya is something that must be noted and is fully recognised and appreciated by both the Somali people and government.

Therefore, a close relationship with Kenya and other regional partners is not just a mere policy commitment or formality on the part of the Somali government but a strategy for development, economic growth and regional integration.

The immediate common challenge for Somalia and Kenya is fighting terrorism and as both President Mohamed and President Kenyatta promised, they will not stop until it is defeated in both countries.

This is significant, because at times some Kenyan citizens may and have actually questioned why their loved ones must serve in Somalia as part of the African Union forces (AMISOM), especially, in times of tragedy and loss like the El Adde attack in January 2016.

What the continued commitment on both sides and at the highest level illustrates is the firm understanding that tackling terrorism together is paramount, because it does not respect borders as it is driven by a violent, hateful and fraudulent interpretation of the beautiful Islamic religion which Somalis and many Kenyans follow.

The security partnership that Somalia and Kenya enjoy is important but can only be strengthened by further cooperation in cross border investment and trade.

RELEVANT LINE MINISTRIES

This is a unique opportunity for both countries given their geographic proximity, strong people-to-people relations and the need for services like education, health and professionals in Somalia. Already many Kenyans are employed in Somalia and their skillsets are valued across the professions, including engineering, education, administration and hospitality.

The direct flights from both capitals will facilitate the strengthening of economic ties further and may even lead to a future boom in cross border tourism and more airlines flying between the two routes offering consumers great choice.

As usual, while the respective leaders of Somalia and Kenya have reaffirmed the agenda for the two nation’s bilateral relations in Nairobi last week, it is for the relevant line Ministries and agencies on both sides to drive this forward to fruition. It is usually here where delays occur.

However, given the importance of the need for the successful implementation of the Joint Cooperation Agreement and Kenyan visa requirements for Somali diplomats and government employees being waived, bureaucrats on both sides must get to work quickly.

Liban Obsiyeis a senior adviser to the Somali Foreign Minister and the Somali government’s legal adviser during the Joint Commission of Cooperation discussions in Nairobi in 2015.

Kenya: CBK Keen to Get Chase Bank Back On Its Feet

By Kennedy Kangethe

Nairobi — The Central Bank of Kenya is committed to returning Chase bank back in the sector but is yet to finalize on a suitable potential buyer.

CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge says the move would be a strong signal of stability in the banking sector.

The regulator had earlier planned to complete its acquisition by the end of March after eight potential buyers expressed interest including Kenya Commercial Bank.

Chase Bank was placed under receivership in April 2016 following a bank run after reports of its liquidity hurdles gained traction online.

KCB later took over management of the bank with a plan to fine tune the modalities of an acquisition.

So far Chase Bank has been allowed to do all transactions including foreign exchanges and issuing loans.

Kenya

Egypt Snubs Nile Sharing Agreement, Asks for More Time

Egyptian authorities on Monday, yet again, requested for more time to “consult widely” on the terms and implications of… Read more »

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