Posts tagged as: eastern

Income From Coffee Rises 10% on High Price

By Gerald Andae

Coffee earnings in the year to August rose by 10 per cent on strong pricing, helped by a scramble for the smaller volume available at the weekly auction.

A prolonged drought into the first-half of the year affected production in key growing areas, lifting demand of the commodity.

Data from Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) showed the country earned Sh15.3 billion in the period under review compared with Sh13.9 billion realised in a corresponding time last year, representing a 10 per cent growth.

The volume of coffee offered for sale at the auction was however lower at 31 million kg as at August, down from 35 million sold over a similar window last year.

“Better prices were realised in July this year resulting from high competition as traders competed for the little volumes of coffee available at the auction,” says NCE in a statement.

NCE attributes the decline in quantities on drought mainly in the main growing regions of Mount Kenya.

The exchange is suffering low volumes of coffee to trade, a move that saw the auction suspended last month after it had resumed from a one-month break.

According to NCE, there is a significant drop of coffee from farmers in the eastern part of the country which is supposed to be supplying beans now.

The auction took a break on May 23 as the main crop from Central Kenya came to an end, which saw a sharp decline in the quality of coffee at the auction.

About 85 per cent of the Kenyan coffee is sold through the auction with the remaining percentage sold direct to buyers in overseas.

The government has been pushing for direct sales to enable growers earn much from their crop by eliminating the middlemen who exploit farmers when their crop goes through the auction.

Kenya

Duale to Seek MPs Approval of Sh11.5 Billion for Poll

Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale says he will be requesting MPs to approve the release of Sh11.5… Read more »

Flash Floods Hit Elegu Again, Hundreds Stranded

By Julius Ocungi

Gulu — A devastating flash flood has again swept through Elegu trading center in Atiak Sub-county Amuru District at the Uganda-South Sudan border point.

An eyewitness reported that the floods hit the area at about 7:30 pm.

Heavy downpour experienced in the last three days within Gulu and Amuru districts is said to have forced River Unyama to again burst its banks, sending fast flowing waters through the trading centre.

Mr Johnson Uma, a trader at Elegu Trading centre told this reporter that many people who were unaware of the floods have been trapped adding that some have sought refuge on rooftops and trees.

Mr Uma said people had earlier on been warned to vacate the area due to the heavy down pour experienced in the past three days but some didn’t take heed.

He said the areas submerged are Elegu Zone Two and Bibia West parishes in the eastern part of Elegu trading center.

“I’m seeing many phone torches being flashed right now; some from rooftops while others are from trees. The water level is rising really very fast and we are scared that by tomorrow the whole trading centre will be in water,” a seemingly nervous Mr Uma said.

He further noted that Elegu police station has been submerged.

Assistant Superintendent of Police [ASP] Gerald Kaheesi, the Officer in Charge of Elegu Police Station confirmed that the eastern side of the trading centre has been flooded.

He also acknowledged that the police station compound had been flooded but was quick to note that it’s not as alarming as compared to last month’s floods.

“There is no cause for alarm. We warned the locals and traders early enough, the situation is not as worst as you may think,” he told this reporter in a telephone interview.

He said they are monitoring the situation.

The disaster comes barely a month after the same area was hit by floods that killed two people, destroyed several semi-permanent structures and properties worth billions of shillings and displaced about 6,000 people.

Despite government warning of more floods hitting the area and the call for the locals mostly traders and farmers to vacate the affected areas, many didn’t heed to the calls and instead returned to resumed their businesses.

Uganda

Presidents Call for Accelerated Action to End Child Marriage

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has emphasized the importance of education for girls and skills training to boost… Read more »

Museveni, World Leaders Meet Trump Over UN Reforms

Photo: PPU

President Yoweri Museveni, front row, left, and other world leaders attending a conference on UN reforms which was addressed by President Donald Trump.

President Museveni has said Uganda supports U.S president Donald Trump’s political declaration on UN reforms which aim at creating a more lean and efficient institution.

“Trump is pushing for the United Nations to be efficient in its peace keeping processes, be more focused and have more achievable targets, not spend time on procedures but on substance and manpower,” he said shortly after a closed door meeting for world leaders in ECOSOC Hall, at the United Nations Headquarters.

“We support the reforms because this is what we have been talking about all along. There are situations where there is a strong UN presence but alongside, there is death and destruction like in Eastern DR Congo,” he said.

Mr Museveni was one of the key leaders pushing for reforms at the world body. In 2015 Uganda used its Presidency at the UN to push for reforms at the most important committee of the United Nations – the Security Council.

“Uganda is pushing for Africa’s case for the reform of the membership of the security council which is currently monopolised. Africa has no permanent members on the five-member council. Our argument was for Africa to have at least two members,” he said.

President Trump is seeking global support for reforming the world body as he hosts’ leaders at the United Nations Headquarters a day before he makes his inaugural address to the 193-member organization.

According to reports, Mr Trump criticized the United Nations for bloated bureaucracy and mismanagement in his meeting today, calling for “truly bold reforms” so it could be a greater force for world peace.

“In recent years, the UN has not reached its full potential because of bureaucracy and mismanagement while the UN on a regular budget has increased by 140 percent and its staff has more than doubled since 2000. The United Nations must hold every level of management accountable, protect whistleblowers and focus on results rather than on process,” Trump said.

“I am confident that if we work together and champion truly bold reforms the United Nations will emerge as a stronger, more effective, more just and greater force for peace and harmony in the world,” Trump said in his first remarks at the U.N. in New York since his inauguration as president in January.

Over 120 countries were invited to the reform meeting during which Trump spoke for just four minutes.

Todays closed meeting was strictly a one-on-one affair with leaders signing onto a U.S. drafted 10-point political declaration backing efforts by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “to initiate effective, meaningful reform.”

Uganda

Ssematimba Confirmed as MP

Uganda’s Court of Appeal has confirmed NRM’s Peter Sematimba as the validly elected MP of Busiro South constituency in… Read more »

Western Kenya Secession Bid Moves to the High Court

By Benson Matheka

The agitation for parts of Kenya to secede has moved to the High Court with two residents filing a petition seeking the autonomy of western Kenya.

In the petition filed at the Constitutional Division of the High Court, Mr Mathew Okwanda Mwilitsa and Mr Alex Misigo Matisa are asking the court to let the people of what used to be Eastern Province of Uganda under the colonial rule to decide their political future in a referendum.

ABALUHYA KINGDOM

“The petitioners are personally and on behalf of their community urging the honourable court to be pleased to grant the people occupying the territory formerly known as the Eastern Province of Uganda leave to hold a referendum so as to exercise their right to determination in terms of their rights to nationality, territorial integrity, economic, social and culture as a people,” the petition states.

They have sued the governments of Uganda, Kenya and Britain for destabilising the once united Abaluhya kingdom.

Mr Mwilitsa is from Kakamega County while Mr Matisa lives in Vihiga County.

NABONGO MUMIA

“The inhabitants of the former Eastern Province of Uganda were between the years 1895 – 1962 a distinct, cohesive, homogeneous and a united community under the able leadership of their King Nabongo Mumia, whose territorial jurisdiction spread from Jinja in present-day Uganda to Kijabe with the boundary being at Susua in the then British East Africa Protectorate (now Kenya),” the petition further states.

According to the petitioners, the colonial government declined to heed to demands by the Abaluhya community to have their own kingdom during the Lancaster House Talks in the United Kingdom that led to Kenya’s Independence in 1963.

It is the petitioners’ case that the Luhya community was part of Uganda and their land was given to the then British East African Protectorate, now Kenya, against their wish.

LANCASTER CONFERENCE

“The official representatives of the dominant group occupying the Eastern Province of Uganda being the entire Abaluhya Community comprising the Wanga Kingdom voiced their concern in writing of their planned merger,” Mr Mwilitsa states in an affidavit.

He argues the said merger was meant to destroy their cultural and social fabric, which was well knit under the leadership of the able king of the Abaluhya.

Though the Abaluhya leaders voiced their concern in writing to the Lancaster House Conference Talks on Kenya’s Independence in 1960, their pleas have been ignored to date by subsequent governments.

“The merger of the former Eastern Province of Uganda with the British East Africa Protectorate was illegal, and the same violated the United Nations Charter and the United Nations Governing Assembly Resolution No. 1514 (XV) of 14 thDecember, 1960.

DISCRIMINATION

“The Government of the United Kingdom by design failed to resolve the Abaluhya Question when it was in a position to do so before granting independence to the British East Africa Protectorate; and therefore liable to pay reparations for the anguish and sorrow suffered by the said community to date,” the petition states.

Since the merger and after independence, the petition says Luhyas suffered severe discrimination, and victimisation in job allocation and general development funding.

“The community has similarly been marginalised economically, socially, culturally and politically and in the end the community has been given a derogatory tag as being ‘professional cooks and watchmen'”.

THE UK

The petitioners are asking the court to compel the Government of the United Kingdom to pay reparations to the Abaluyia Community for randomly and arbitrarily placing them in Kenya, and for failing to resolve their question and petition before granting independence to the former East Africa Protectorate, now Kenya.

They want the court to declare that the inhabitants of the former Eastern Province of Uganda are at liberty in making their free choice of their territorial integrity without external force or intimidation and that Article 15 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the right to nationality, self-determination and territorial integrity applies to their petition.

Malawi: Police Officers Encouraged to Go for HIV Test

By Elijah Phimbi

Malawi Police officers in the Eastern Region District of Balaka have been encouraged to go for HIV Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) to know their status as one way of combating the deadly Aids pandemic.

The call was made at the end of a day long Peer Educators (PE’s) Training of Balaka Police Station Officers which took place at Sue

Rider Hall and was organised with funding from Project Concern Universal (PCI) Balaka Office.

Speaking in an interview with Nyasa Times, Assistant Supt. Robert Sakwiya who represented the Station Officer (S.O) admitted that Police Officers have not been spared by the deadly killer disease hence the need for Peer Educators to be equipped with knowledge and tools that can assist in reducing the growth rate of the infected fellows.

Balaka Police HIV/Aids Coordinator and Peer Educator Assistant Supt. Edward Girevulo said the training will assist them in making

evaluations and see how much change they have brought in the Malawi Police Service particularly at Balaka Station as well as looking at which areas to improve.

Girevulo however expressed concern with the high infection rate among police officers.

“Infact Malawi Police Service (MPS) is very much affected because the infection rate is very much higher amongst Police Officers. We

therefore need to think about our lives and families and avoid engaging ourselves in extra marital affairs” said Girevulo.

Speaking on behalf of female Officers, Assistant Supt. Salome Osman said she was happy to be part of the Peer Educators team at Balaka Police and that she will capitalise on this to share the knowledge and experience gained through the training with other officers.

“I am very happy to be part of this group and I will share whatever I have learnt here with others. I will also encourage my friends to go

for VCT” said Osman.

She therefore advised fellow Police Officers that: “They should abstain and avoid engaging themselves in risky behaviours that can

lead to contraction of HIV”.

A 2013 Survey Conducted by German Aid Agency Organization for International Cooperation (GIZ) that singled out the Northern Region part of Malawi revealed that the Malawi Police Service was the only Government Department badly hit by the pandemic amongst all the Civil Services Departments.

By then, the infection rate was at 32.5 percent for Female Officers and 23.7 percent for Male Officers.

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Malawi

Opposition Politician Chimbanga Joins Ruling Party

Leonard Chimbanga who recently resigned from the political movement Transformation Alliance (TA) has joined the… Read more »

Nigeria: Nigeria’s Transmission Network Gets N540 Billion Boost

By Roseline Okere

Nigeria’s transmission network will soon receive a boost as the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHC) has embarked on an investment of over $1.5 billion (N540 billion) in relevant infrastructure.

The investment is expected to tackle the transmission inadequacies in the power sector.The development comes as Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, says the production of electricity from power plants across Nigeria has reached 7,001 megawatts (mw) from the 2,069mw recorded in 2015.

The Executive Secretary of the Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), Dr. Joy Ogaji, had told The Guardian that even though the generation companies (Gencos) have power generation capacity of 12,500 megawatts (mw) per day and with expansion capacity of doubling it, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the distribution companies (Discos) have ill-equipped infrastructure to evacuate and distribute the generated power.

But the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company, Chiedu Ugbo, yesterday, at The Guardian Power Summit, “Beyond Rhetoric: Turning Nigeria’s Power Sector Value Chain Potential to Profit,” disclosed that NDPHC has embarked on several transmission, distribution and gas projects to bridge infrastructure gap in the sector.

Ugbo listed the transmission projects to include a 5,590 MVA of 330/132kV transformer capacity; 313 MVA of 132/33kV transformer capacity; 2,194 km of 330kV lines; 809 km of 132kV lines; 10 new 330kV S/Stations; seven new 132kV S/Stations and expansion of 36 existing 330kV and 132kV S/Station.

Ugbo said that NDPHC was only granted a licence to generate electricity.”The interventions in the various segments of gas transportation, transmission and distribution infrastructure are meant to be transferred to appropriate licensee and statutory agencies while generation assets are to be privatised,” he said.

On power sector achievements since 2015, at the summit, Fashola said that the Federal Government’s effort to provide electricity was yielding positive results.According to him, as at September 4, 2017, the available power that could be put on the grid was 6,619 mw while the transmission capacity was simulated at 6,700 mw, up from 5,000 mw in 2015. “Production reached all time high of 7,001mw.”

The minister, however, put the distribution capacity at 4,600 mw. Fashola noted that the achievement could not be attributed to the regular rainfall, which is known to contribute to the generating capacity of hydro power plants. “I acknowledge that there will be cynics who will say it was because of the rains. True enough, the rains contributed to the hydro power increase, but the total hydro capacity available with the rains from Jebba, Kainji and Shiroro as of 4th of September 2017 was about 1,000 mw. So it is the gas thermal plants, arising from peace efforts and pipeline repairs that made up the difference that made the total available power of 6619mw that was produced.”

He disclosed that the government is also looking at licensing some private power plants that have generation licences and excess power, but no distribution licence, to grant them permits to willing buyers especially in industrial clusters under regulations made by Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

Fashola assured that the completion of the 240mw Afam power plant; 10mw Katsina wind farm; 29mw Dadin Kowa hydro plant; 30mw Gurara Hydro plant; 40mw Kashimbilla Hydro power plant; Kaduna 215mw plant; Zungeru 700 mw Hydro plant and the Mambilla 3050mw Hydro plant would in the nearest future increase the country’s generating capacity.

On “The Role of Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHC)”, Ugbo lamented Discos’ inability to pick the load.According to him, with the resolution of the gas supply challenge for the plants in the Western Delta and the gas and transmission infrastructure challenge in the Eastern Delta and improved generation, the sector is facing a new set of challenges, which include resultant generation constraint as a result of system frequency control.

The Commissioner, Legal, Licensing and Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye, said that available statistics showed that about 70 to 80 per cent of installed meters have been bypassed by customers.

To tackle the issue, Akpeneye called for a significant investment in smart meters’ tamper proof technology.He also recommended that all Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) should be migrated to pre-paid meters to forestall having to deal with accumulated debts.

The Chairman, Editorial Board of The Guardian, Prof. Wale Omole, who represented the Chairman and Publisher of The Guardian, Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru, said the flagship of the Nigerian media would continue to organise conferences geared towards the country’s economic growth.Omole said that the discussion from the conference was expected to be beneficial to businesses and individuals in Nigeria.

NRM and Independent MPs Predict Doom If Age Limit Clause Is Scrapped

A section of Members of Parliament including those who subscribe to the ruling National Resistance Movement and Independents on Wednesday challenged the planned move by the NRM caucus to table a bill on the removal of the presidential age limit.

The plan to scrap Article 102 (b) from the Constitition was unveiled on Tuesday by a section of NRM MPs, a party that enjoy a majority in Parliament.

However, Mr Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemigaga), Mr Muhammed Nsereko (Kampala Central), Mr Banabas Tinkasimire (Buyaga West), Mr Felix Okot Ogong (Dokolo South), Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East) and John Baptist Nambashe (NRM Manjiya) addressed journalists on Wednesday and below is what some of them said to reject the plan which they say is intended to rape the 1995 Constitution.

John Baptist Nambeshe (NRM Manjiya)

This is what Nyerere said when he was similarly under pressure from sycophants and self-seekers mobbed him like it is happening here. That Nyerere, even when we are about to get to multiparty dispensation, you are a wonderful leader.

After these 24 years, you must be the pioneer leader under the multiparty dispensation. He looked straight in their faces and actually blasted them. He said you are the enemies of Tanzania. You are sycophants and self-seekers. The best time for a leader to relinquish power is when you have some semblance of popularity. Is when you still have some semblance of support.

And two, he said; you can never be after you have taken so many years, a long duration of time in power, you can never be a successful leader until you see your successor succeed. But the mentee [ of Nyerere President Museveni] who even at one time confessed in the a jamboree of meetings with the youth, that the challenge we have in Africa is for African leaders to overstay in power.

He has turned around as the very person that must be reminded, guided and counselled that it would be wrong for him at this time to interfere with his good legacy. He should be the first person ever, to oversee a peaceful transfer of power from one leader to another.

He should be the superintendent to see the Constitution that was made during his tenure of office.

Articles like this one of presidential age limit, he should see it function. And in my view, colleagues of the ruling party who have been agitating for the removal of this presidential age limit are in total contempt of the directive of Parliament. Because the Speaker [Rebecca Kadaga] was unequivocally clear, when this matter came up; she warned that there should be no other debate in the public domain on this matter and they have resurrected it. This is total disobedience or defiance of that directive.

I join colleagues to say that Ugandans at this time round, even if the reason is, they are very constrained on the part of the ruling party or the members who have been scratched with money; these are huge sums of money we are talking about, appointments and pledges of other fraudulent inducements, Ugandans, this is not the time to throw our hands in the air and we look on as the Constitution is being abrogated by mob justice. This is a mob that must be fought with all the strength, including the utmost point of our atoms in our life.

I am aware that there are threats but no amount of threats, no amount of money, no amount of pledge for appointment even if I remained alone as Nambeshe John Baptist, in my lifetime I have seen it all. No amount will change me.

Look at Eastern Uganda; if you are talking of a dichotomy between of the haves and have-nots, Eastern Uganda is at the tail end. It is so impoverished. What we see is a continuous fragmentation of this part of the region, in order to divide it and rule it. If you were to pose a fundamental question on the sharing of the national cake, are we waiters or dinners? Or have we been turned into the food to be eaten on the dinner of the national cake? And indeed you ask the other critical question of whether we are on the table or under the table. Or we are merely waiting on others to eat as we clean the table?

Enough is enough and that is why I raise a clarion call on those who matter; the youth of this country, do not be cajoled, or rather intimidated or threatened. This is the time to join us to uphold, defend, and protect the Constitution. So help me God.

Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East)

Either we stop calling it the Constitution of Uganda and call it the Constitution of NRM and Museveni, and we fold our hands and let the country go to the dogs as it surely will, unless citizens resist this and all of us take the mantle to stop this business of people raping our Constitution.

The only option now that will be available should these schemers go through, is to let country either blast into war and we go either the Zimbabwe way or Somalia way, or all Ugandans join hands to put pressure on their MPs to look at the country and its history. And look at the future of this country and stop this business or raping our Constitution.

The flamers of the 1995 Constitution who put age limits in the Constitution had both the historical, social and scientific reasons to do so. I laugh at their argument that let’s now remove the minimum age to 18. If you are talking of the age being a limit, then, if you are saying limit the age is unconstitutional, then open up for babies also, so that even those who are born today can stand and vote.

I think Ugandans should not be taken for a ride and I hope Ugandans will take it upon themselves on each individual MP who is in this process of raping the Constitution to pay for his greed and sins. Of course I know this is President Museveni’s machinations. I know a person he told in 1996, unfortunately he passed on, but the late Sam Njuba told me.

He told him he will only think of retiring in 2026. So, it has always been his mission to rule until he dies.

But how is he going to leave this country at the time he has passed on? I hope Ugandans are there to judge.

The individual MPs who have agreed to be used and induced into this cacophony, and I hope at an appropriate time, sense will prevail and that those who are in the cause for fighting for good governance and democracy will prevail. And I am sure with the support of Ugandans especially you the media, religious leaders and everybody.

The resistance we have put on his quest to take out land should be the same amount of resistance and force we must put on his quest to rule until he dies. So, it is now that we do it or forever we shall cry with our children and grandchildren. I thank you.

Mohammed Nsereko (Kampala Central MP)

Yet again, our country is met at crossroads and at a time when a fundamental decision is about to be taken. Bearing in mind that the history of our nation was based on trickery and turbulence from the time we attained independence in 1962, we were ushered into a Constitutional trickery by the late Milton Obote and his henchmen at the time.

In 1966, the late Obote overthrew a legitimate government and declared himself, the president of the Republic of Uganda.

Unfortunately, all that took place in the precincts or around the place where we are today. In 1967, Obote and his sycophants came up with a bogus Constitution that they imposed onto Ugandans that was used to reign onto us until 1971, when the late Idi Amin Dada overthrew the same government.

The same reasons were put forward by those who opposed those persons that they had used their majority fraudulently to usurp the powers of the people of Uganda.

In 1980, we had fraudulent and bogus elections where President Museveni even when he did not come second, he said that his votes had been rigged. He gathered a few members and went to the bush to liberate not only himself but also Ugandans.

In 1986, on the doorsteps of this Parliament, the President of the republic clearly said that this is not a mere change of guards, but a fundamental change.

The Ugandans ululated and chanted in happened welcoming a liberator not knowing that as times would go by, history would repeat itself. Within the same premises of Parliament today, or yesterday, we witnessed a multitude of selfish individuals; others had been hoodwinked while others clearly knew of the plan of what they were mooting.

Rightly said by my honourable colleagues, they are talking about the unthinkable.

Altering toe constitution of the republic through the use of their irresponsible numbers that have mutually consented to do something that is not only bogus but also that would go down to them as one of the most stupid acts that members of Parliament have done.

We have been to these MPs to many countries. People look down upon us with despise and shame. At least look at Kenya, look at the degree of sanity and democracy. Look at the transition from Kenyatta to Moi from Moi to Kibaki from Kibaki to Uhuru and to the extent that the Supreme Court can even overturn elections and still peaceful.

So what are these individuals talking about? That there is discrimination, with their hollowness in law, they come here to talk about discrimination? Don’t they know that they are here as a subject of discriminatory acts? For example, you cannot be eligible to be a Member of Parliament unless you qualify to be of a minimum education level of Advanced level.

Definitely I saw some of them and most have questionable papers and you would see how they were chanting because they were let off the noose by just mere calls from certain individuals. That is why they are here. No wonder, look at all those that spoke yesterday (Tuesday) and look for their names on the Hansard, they have either been contributing rubbish or they have silent throughout their tenure and career.

The first blame goes to the following; you voters, all the time you say mutuyambe (come to our rescue you outspoken MPs], how many are we? When you send here hollow people, that’s what you expect. You reap what you sow. Proud are those that voted for these honourable members of Parliament as they will walk with their heads high. But shame on to those from whose constituencies those other MPs emanate.

Go to them and tell them we did not send you to exactly do this. I don’t have time to discuss President Museveni. Some of us are Independent. We are not NRM, we are Independent. We were expelled from this party (NRM), because we spoke our mind. We are happy because we stand for the same values we are back together on the table. We have always been together because something that binds us together is speak the truth even when it hurts.

He has tried to disintegrate and fight us using rumours and all sorts of things thrown at us but we can never disintegrate and numbers are growing and swelling.

What are we saying? We wish the best to our nation. How shall we answer to our children? That for mere bribes and promises of positions [appointments], people exchanged positions and sold their nation for salt. They sold their hearts for salt. We cannot trade our nation.

Therefore, the way forward, Ugandans, we can do the following and start with this;

Every one of you WhatsApp, use social media, use whatever you have. Call all your MPs and make their line busy. Call them. Who sent you to do this? You Honourable Magezi, who sent you to exactly do this? I have heard the people from Bushenyi because we also have families and relatives from the greater Bushenyi saying that that’s not the Magyezi we sent… ..The Magyezi we sent was brighter than that. Therefore, with due respect to our comrades, you have opened a can of worms. We already told you don’t go that direction.

Is this the most urgent issue we need as people go without drugs in hospitals? As mothers die while giving birth? As schools are there unattended to? As roads are filled with potholes with open sewage?

Nigeria: Effective Policing Crucial to Maritime Sector Growth, Says Peterside

By Sulaimon Salau

The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside has described effective policing as a critical factor to aid the development and growth of the nation’s Maritime sector.

Peterside said this while receiving a delegation of the Police Force, Maritime Command, led by the Commissioner of the Command, CP David Folawiyo, who paid him a courtesy visit at the Nigerian Maritime Resource Development Centre (NMRDC), Lagos.

He said the Police officers’ first order of business is to serve and protect; and that as an Agency of the Nigerian Government, whose mandate includes ensuring safety of the Nigerian’s waterways, NIMASA places premium on security, and all legal agencies and instruments that facilitate and complement the delivery of this mandate.

“Let me commend you for what is in the offing to improve the nation’s maritime sector, particularly your plan to provide more police personnel to secure our waterways. We are impressed for the plans you have put in place to complement our efforts in ensuring that our maritime domain is safe for maritime and shipping activities to thrive. We are open to partnership and collaboration, especially with the Nigerian Police Force,” he said.

Peterside observed that security has a wide implication for the maritime sector, and that NIMASA is taking the issue of maritime security seriously in line with global industry benchmark and standard, particularly the International Ships and Ports Facility security (ISPS) Code, to enhance growth and regional stability.

He also noted that a symbiotic relationship between NIMASA and other institutions of government in Nigeria was necessary to guarantee safety and security of the Maritime corridor, to further promote ease of doing business in the country, in line with the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).

The Police Chief Folawiyo, noted that his team was in NIMASA to fraternise with the Agency for its achievements since Peterside became the helmsman; and to also chart a path of possible partnership and collaboration as well as inform the Agency of the Command’s plans and activities.

He noted that a strong relationship between NIMASA and the Nigerian Police Force was necessary to ensure a safe and secure maritime environment, and that his team was ready to support the Agency to realise its enabling mandate.

Folawiyo disclosed that there are a number of Police officers deployed to the 63 police outposts within his Command, adding that the existing 2,500 officers within his jurisdiction would be augmented to 5,000 on or before year end.

He informed that 1,300 men would be deployed to cover maritime alone, while 1,200 and 200 officers are expected to be deployed to cover the ports, and coastal activities respectively.

Folawiyo said: “We are planning to bring in two helicopters to provide aerial surveillance of our maritime domain; and we are also seeking the approval of government to establish the Western and Eastern Maritime Zone, to ensure effective policing and we know that this visit to NIMASA is a step in the right direction.”

Is Kenya Losing Its Air Freight Edge to Ethiopia?

analysisBy Njiraini Muchira

High costs and long cargo dwell times are hampering Kenya’s competitiveness in the air cargo business in the region.

Transporters say that while the Kenya government has invested heavily in upgrading its airports, particularly Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), rising fuel prices, security threats and changing inventory policies are making the country lose its competitive edge to Ethiopia.

Ethiopian Airlines operates eight freighters on 39 global routes with an average daily uplift of 650 tonnes to 95 destinations globally.

Although Kenya is strategically placed to serve as the hub of air traffic for East and Central Africa, challenges like cargo long dwell time, which ranges between three to five days; lack of free storage facilities that cause demurrage charges; lengthy Customs documentation that delay cargo clearance; and numerous regulatory agencies with overlapping mandates are driving away traffic.

“These have negatively impacted shippers’ competitiveness on the global market and the growth of the sector,” says a report by the Shippers Council of Eastern Africa, which is studying Kenya’s air freight sub-sector.

About 18 per cent of Kenya’s total value of exports destined for international markets is transported by air. These are mainly high-value fresh vegetables, cut flowers and fish.

Globally, more than one-third of the value of goods traded is transported by air.

Challenges

Fresh produce exporters, who are the main users of air transport at JKIA cargo centre, say the cost of doing business accounts for close to 55 per cent of the total export value.

“Agricultural producers have goods to export, but are simply unable to economically do so due to the cost and or lack of air cargo options,” says another report on costs and benefit of open skies in East Africa Community done by consulting firm InterVISTAS.

InterVISTAS says that addressing the challenges facing transporters, including liberalising the region’s airspace, would result in new markets for regional air cargo transport, thus allowing perishable goods to flow to key markets in the European Union, Asia and the US.

Despite the government investing about $150 million in upgrading JKIA over the past decade, these challenges continue to impact cargo volumes at the airport.

Airport underutilisation

Data from the Kenya Airports Authority shows that the volume of cargo handled at JKIA between March 2016 and March 2017 declined by two per cent, from 20.7 million tonnes to 20.3 million tonnes.

The authority, however, blamed underutilisation of the airport’s capacity for the dwindling cargo volumes. JKIA has a capacity of 5,000 tonnes a week but only 3,000 goes through every week.

At least 25 airlines operate cargo services out of JKIA, with Kenya Airways handling a paltry 65,000 tonnes annually.

In April, the airline opened a new cargo centre projecting to increase its annual revenue by $2 million.

Kenya’s two other international airports, Eldoret and Moi International Airport, recorded growth in cargo volumes at 21 per cent and 103 per cent respectively.

During the period, Eldoret handled one million tonnes, up from 845,985, while Mombasa handled 311,000 tonnes up from 153,000.

According to a report by the World Bank, the demand for air freight is limited by cost, typically priced about five times that of road transport and 15 times that of sea transport.

Air freight rates range from $1.50 to $4.50 per kilogramme, while the value of air cargo typically exceeds $4 per kilogramme.

University of Nairobi Trails Africa Peers in Research, Lecturer Numbers

By Neville Otuki

The University of Nairobi has moved one position up to be ranked the 11th best university in Africa even as it trails peers in research, female student enrolment and lecturer-student ratio.

The Times Higher Education World University rankings, released last week, shows that the university has improved from position 12 last year.

The University of Nairobi and Uganda’s Makerere (position five) are the best higher learning institutions in Eastern Africa, while University of Cape Town in South Africa leads the pack in Africa.

The study assessed five metrics to rank them — teaching, research, citations, international outlook and knowledge transfer.

“Kenya has one university in the overall rankings,” the study says.

Globally, the Nairobi varsity is ranked at number 801-1000, a band used to categorise universities with close results, behind Makerere (401-500) while Cape Town comes in at 171.

“We used the bands in the rankings since the results for several universities were too close to call,” Laura Barnes, an official, responded when we asked for the exact positions.

The report indicates that Nairobi is, however, the worst performer among its peers in research work with a score of 9.4, behind Makerere University (11.6). University of Cape Town has a 36.2 grade in research, Africa’s best.

Nairobi also holds the dubious distinction of having the highest number of students per lecturer at 47.3, compared to 28.8 for Makerere, 11.7 for Cape Town, 12.7 for Suez Canal University and 26.5 for Mansoura University, both Egyptian institutions which are classified in the same band with Nairobi.

Kenya’s top varsity boasts a bloated student population of 84,614.

Kenya

Odinga – Nasa Ready for Polls but Concerns Must Be Addressed

Kenya opposition National Super Alliance presidential candidate Raila Odinga has said his team is ready for the October… Read more »

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