Posts tagged as: ethiopia

Kenya Committed to Stabilization of Somalia, Says FM

Kenya is committed to the stabilisation of Somalia and calls upon development partners to support the country that has experienced more than two decades of instability, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has said.

Speaking during a high-level meeting on Somalia on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly in New York, Mohamed said as a neighbour, long-term friend and partner, Kenya will do whatever it can to help Somalia to remain on this positive trajectory.

She thanked those who attended the High-Level Meeting including the United Kingdom, Ethiopia and Italy, and assured them of Kenya’s commitment to supporting the long search peace and stability in Somalia.

“In spite of the many challenges that Somalia still faces, remarkable positive developments have been witnessed in almost every sector, placing it on course towards socio-economic and political transformation, said CS Amina.

She said Mogadishu was now open for business and investors were moving beyond speculation to establish their presence there.

She said the successful conclusion of the 2016/2017 electoral process that led to the assumption of office by President Mohamed Abdullahi in a peaceful transition had set Somalia on a path towards improved governance and political stability, including the fight against corruption.

“Somalia today has in place, an elected and more broadly based government that has demonstrated commitment to: formulate a new constitution; create a viable federal system of government; and, rebuild state institutions,” said Mohamed.

She said through a framework of a bilateral Joint Commission for Cooperation, Kenya had made commitments including the establishment of more border posts to ease the movement of people; resumption of direct air services between Mogadishu and Nairobi; and training on behalf of the Government of Somalia, an agreed number of teachers, nurses and administrators.

“We believe that these modest capacity building assistance programmes will facilitate the expansion and extension of critical public services by the Government to the population,” said Mohamed.

She said Kenya welcomes the international community and friends to partner with Somalia and Kenya by making available additional resources for more capacity building programmes for Somali officials which could be delivered in Kenya’s institutions.

Security remains the single most important factor in Somalia’s political and economic aspirations. The situation remains precarious as the Al Shabaab terror group appears to have invigorated their heinous acts of terror, threatening a rollback of the gains that have been made.

Kenya supports other regional and international initiatives on Somalia. One of these initiatives was the London Conference on Somalia whose third edition in May 2017 endorsed a New Partnership for Somalia.

The Third London Conference expressed support for a condition based transition from AMISOM to Somali security forces, starting in late 2018 with clear target dates linked to the security sector reform that Somalia in the undertaking.

CS Mohamed said Kenya shall remain a faithful partner to the people of Somalia and will continue to work closely with the Federal Government, the region and the international community in getting Somalia out of the shadows of conflict into a future that holds a bright promise for this and coming generations

Kenya: The Environmental Impact of a Coal Plant On Coast Is Being Underplayed

Photo: Daily Nation

A worker loading coal.

analysisBy David Obura, the University of Queensland

China is transforming its sources of energy domestically in a bid to reverse decades of environmental pollution. But the switch to renewable energy has brought about a conundrum: what to do with the jobs and industries that have no future in this new system?

Export them. Several African countries are accepting the poisoned chalice of China’s subsidised development through the construction of outdated, dirty coal plants.

Kenya is one. Its coastline is a national asset for fisheries, tourism, a growing population and economic development. But Amu Coal – a consortium of Kenyan and Chinese energy and investment firms – is set to start building a coal plant on the only part that is untouched by industrial development. The plant is planned to be some 20 kilometres from the town of Lamu on the mainland coast, at the mouth of Dodori Creek.

Quite apart from the unfavourable economic and financing aspects for generating energy from coal, the plant may be Kenya’s single largest pollution source.

The problems should be set out in the Environment and Social Impact Assessment study required by Kenya’s Environment Act and vetted through the National Environment Management Authority. But three key issues are omitted or glossed over by the study. Any one of them should be cause for the environment authority, other arms of the Kenyan government and certainly the public to oppose the coal plant.

Thankfully, opposition is growing.

Key issues against plant

The first is a classic Industrial Revolution, Victorian issue. Toxic pollution. Coal releases a range of toxic substances into the environment. These go into the atmosphere, rain, groundwater, and seawater – and then to flora, fauna and people. These substances are barely mentioned in the assessment study. There are also no detailed estimates on the amounts that could be released and how they could be reduced by mitigating actions. The coal intended for use – initially to be imported from South Africa, and classified as “bituminous”, releases large amounts of toxins, particularly if improperly burned.

The impact study also doesn’t clearly state the full size of the mountain of coal residue left behind after burning – almost 4km long by 1km wide and 25 metres high. No credible plan for disposing of the waste is presented.

Second is Kenya’s contribution to global carbon dioxide emissions. Under the Paris Agreement on climate change the Jubilee government committed to reduce these by 30% by 2030. The impact study dismisses the carbon emissions from the plant as negligible on a global scale, at only 0.024% of global emissions. But what it attempts to hide is that the emissions of the coal plant alone will double Kenya’s energy sector’s entire CO2 emissions. This at the same time that citizens, businesses and the government are investing in efforts to reduce their carbon footprints, through – for example through wind, solar and geothermal power generation.

The third reason is a chimera of the above – climate change and toxic pollution combined. It is reasonably certain that sea levels will rise due to climate change. Estimates suggest this could be in the order of half to one metre by the end of this century, and very possibly more. The toxic waste mountain left by the plant will be on Kenya’s flattest shoreline, built on sand. Its base will be maybe 2-3 metres above sea level, and tens to 100m from the shoreline. This is the most vulnerable part of Kenya’s coast where sea level rises, and yet the massive toxic dump is to be placed there.

Part of the impact assessment argues that “the area is remote” so few people will be affected by pollution. Quite apart from the flawed logic that it’s okay to pollute natural wilderness areas, if plans for a major urban development under the LAPSSET project – Eastern Africa’s largest and most ambitious infrastructure project bringing together Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan – are concluded, there will be a city of over one million people in the area by 2050.

The report contains nothing about exposure of this number of people to toxic waste. Even the Strategic Environment Assessment for the LAPSSET project, conducted in the last few years, doesn’t include the coal plant in its assessment. The logic is that the plant is “not part of LAPSSET” yet even the simplest understanding of the purpose of both impact assessments and strategic environment assessments is to consider all interacting threats, and particularly the biggest ones, to the environment and people.

Improved standards are undoubtedly needed in Kenya’s Environment Impact Assessment sector. The country will develop, by hook or by crook, with or without a vision for 2030. Strengthening environment and social impact assessment as a tool to facilitate the right sort of development – where currently it’s viewed by business and most government authorities as a pesky bureaucratic step at best – will be one of the single most significant steps the government can take to protect and grow the natural and social assets that secure, healthy and equitable development is founded on.

Disclosure statement

David Obura is the Director of CORDIO (Coastal Oceans Research and Development – Indian Ocean) East Africa, a Kenyan non-profit research organisation that has operated in East Africa for nearly 2 decades.

Environmental Impact of a Coal Plant On Coast Is Being Underplayed

Photo: Daily Nation

A worker loading coal.

analysisBy David Obura, the University of Queensland

China is transforming its sources of energy domestically in a bid to reverse decades of environmental pollution. But the switch to renewable energy has brought about a conundrum: what to do with the jobs and industries that have no future in this new system?

Export them. Several African countries are accepting the poisoned chalice of China’s subsidised development through the construction of outdated, dirty coal plants.

Kenya is one. Its coastline is a national asset for fisheries, tourism, a growing population and economic development. But Amu Coal – a consortium of Kenyan and Chinese energy and investment firms – is set to start building a coal plant on the only part that is untouched by industrial development. The plant is planned to be some 20 kilometres from the town of Lamu on the mainland coast, at the mouth of Dodori Creek.

Quite apart from the unfavourable economic and financing aspects for generating energy from coal, the plant may be Kenya’s single largest pollution source.

The problems should be set out in the Environment and Social Impact Assessment study required by Kenya’s Environment Act and vetted through the National Environment Management Authority. But three key issues are omitted or glossed over by the study. Any one of them should be cause for the environment authority, other arms of the Kenyan government and certainly the public to oppose the coal plant.

Thankfully, opposition is growing.

Key issues against plant

The first is a classic Industrial Revolution, Victorian issue. Toxic pollution. Coal releases a range of toxic substances into the environment. These go into the atmosphere, rain, groundwater, and seawater – and then to flora, fauna and people. These substances are barely mentioned in the assessment study. There are also no detailed estimates on the amounts that could be released and how they could be reduced by mitigating actions. The coal intended for use – initially to be imported from South Africa, and classified as “bituminous”, releases large amounts of toxins, particularly if improperly burned.

The impact study also doesn’t clearly state the full size of the mountain of coal residue left behind after burning – almost 4km long by 1km wide and 25 metres high. No credible plan for disposing of the waste is presented.

Second is Kenya’s contribution to global carbon dioxide emissions. Under the Paris Agreement on climate change the Jubilee government committed to reduce these by 30% by 2030. The impact study dismisses the carbon emissions from the plant as negligible on a global scale, at only 0.024% of global emissions. But what it attempts to hide is that the emissions of the coal plant alone will double Kenya’s energy sector’s entire CO2 emissions. This at the same time that citizens, businesses and the government are investing in efforts to reduce their carbon footprints, through – for example through wind, solar and geothermal power generation.

The third reason is a chimera of the above – climate change and toxic pollution combined. It is reasonably certain that sea levels will rise due to climate change. Estimates suggest this could be in the order of half to one metre by the end of this century, and very possibly more. The toxic waste mountain left by the plant will be on Kenya’s flattest shoreline, built on sand. Its base will be maybe 2-3 metres above sea level, and tens to 100m from the shoreline. This is the most vulnerable part of Kenya’s coast where sea level rises, and yet the massive toxic dump is to be placed there.

Part of the impact assessment argues that “the area is remote” so few people will be affected by pollution. Quite apart from the flawed logic that it’s okay to pollute natural wilderness areas, if plans for a major urban development under the LAPSSET project – Eastern Africa’s largest and most ambitious infrastructure project bringing together Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan – are concluded, there will be a city of over one million people in the area by 2050.

The report contains nothing about exposure of this number of people to toxic waste. Even the Strategic Environment Assessment for the LAPSSET project, conducted in the last few years, doesn’t include the coal plant in its assessment. The logic is that the plant is “not part of LAPSSET” yet even the simplest understanding of the purpose of both impact assessments and strategic environment assessments is to consider all interacting threats, and particularly the biggest ones, to the environment and people.

Improved standards are undoubtedly needed in Kenya’s Environment Impact Assessment sector. The country will develop, by hook or by crook, with or without a vision for 2030. Strengthening environment and social impact assessment as a tool to facilitate the right sort of development – where currently it’s viewed by business and most government authorities as a pesky bureaucratic step at best – will be one of the single most significant steps the government can take to protect and grow the natural and social assets that secure, healthy and equitable development is founded on.

Disclosure statement

David Obura is the Director of CORDIO (Coastal Oceans Research and Development – Indian Ocean) East Africa, a Kenyan non-profit research organisation that has operated in East Africa for nearly 2 decades.

Kenya: Boom for Kenyan Miraa Traders as Shortage Hits Somaliland

By David Muchui

Miraa traders from Kenya are cashing in on a shortage being experienced in Somaliland following the disruption of the business by conflicts in Ethiopia’s Oromia and Somali regions.

Ethiopia supplies most of the miraa consumed in Hargeisa, Somaliland and Djibouti but recent ethnic conflicts have cut off transport from the miraa growing areas.

In Ethiopia, miraa is largely grown in the eastern regions of Dire Dawa state and Harari region which are both about 200 kilometres from Hargeisa.

On Friday last week, BBC reported that dozens of people had died and at least 30,000 displaced in clashes across Ethiopia’s Oromia and Somali regions in recent days while local media said the conflicts had affected business in eastern Ethiopia.

12 TONNES

Speaking to Nation, Nyambene Miraa Traders Association (Nyamita) spokesman Kimathi Munjuri said they are now delivering 12 tonnes of miraa to Hargeisa since last week.

He said they entered the market after traders and consumers in Somaliland protested over shortage of the herb that is highly prized in the region.

“Two aircraft are ferrying 12 tonnes of miraa from Nairobi since last week.

“We have been kept out of the market by hefty taxes and this is why we need government intervention for constant supply. We wish the national government can grab this chance to regularise the trading framework for us to continue with the supply,” Mr Munjuri said.

TAX

Miraa is a major tax earner for Somaliland and reports indicate that its sale generated 20 percent of the government’s Sh15 billion budget in 2014.

Somaliland is said to spend over Sh54 billion annually on Ethiopian miraa and the sector is a key source of employment in the unrecognised state.

In 2016, former Meru Governor Peter Munya visited Hargeisa to look for miraa market in a trip that turned controversial.

Mr Munya said Kenyan miraa is charged 300 percent duty while the Ethiopian khat is deducted 100 percent duty making it impossible to compete.

“The miraa market in Somaliland is worth about Sh40 billion which the Meru farmers should share in,” the former governor said.

He had sought to persuade the government of Somaliland to remove the obstacles that have hindered the export of miraa to Hargeisa.

Somaliland broke away from the Federal Republic of Somalia in 1991.

It shares borders with Djibouti to the west, Ethiopia to the south and Somalia to the east, and is yet to be recognised as a sovereign state.

Kenya

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Ethiopia: All It Takes to Anger Private Banks

opinionBy Christian Tesfaye

It was a crude moment for the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) – the biggest bank in Ethiopia, whose assets are pushing on half a billion dollars – had to be assisted by the much smaller private banks to foot the bill for the Ethiopian Shipping Logistics Services Enterprises (ESLSE) to the Djibouti ports. The amount was 15 million dollars, and a quota was put on the banks according to their capacity. They had to come up with the money in a mere three days.

The crisis – if one chooses to call it so – is a case in point of Ethiopia’s lack of foreign currency exchange. Ethiopia’s most haunting, most prevalent problem since at least a decade. It is only getting worse. In fact, not long ago, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn himself claimed that the forex crunch would probably last the state another two decades.

This could be shocking, indeed, if it was not for the fact that Ethiopia has more or less gotten used to. There has never been a time, at least in the life span of the current administration, where export has not been far lower than import, exasperating the forex crunch. Ethiopia has friends around the world, they use the country as a destination for aid and loans but, exasperatingly, for exports too. This is an especially stark occurrence when it comes to one of Ethiopia’s closest allies, China, which buys over 200 million dollars worth of goods from the country, but exports many times that amount.

And such an annoyingly constant phenomenon is making the country more and more socialist by the day. As the amount of foreign currency exchange is significantly small, the government has been forced to designate sectors it deems more important, and thus deserve foreign currency more quickly. The ESLSE, which is of prime importance, an undeniable truth, is one such enterprise whose foreign currency woes are prioritised when it needs some. The manufacturing, agriculture and health are other sectors that are prioritised for when they need forex to acquire machineries, fertilisers and medicines, respectively.

On the other hand, businessmen and many private institutions, outside the more prominent, “socially beneficial”, pro-poor sectors of the economy, are left to their own devices until at least some forex has been made way for. These sectors are not considered of the ‘national importance’, at least not directly. A strikingly sad occurrence, but an entirely obvious one, in a country that never considered the private sector on the same footing as the large state-owned enterprises that have monopolized shipping, the financial sector and the airlines industry.

For the government, the whole attitude is a cliché. It goes hand in hand with the ‘development state’ mentality, where the government is the chief means of economic growth, not the private sector or individuals. Prioritizing such sectors is but an obvious character of such a government as that of the Revolutionary Democrats – it would have been stranger if the case had not been so.

But it is indeed strange why the banks are not more annoyed.

Does such a directive not undermine their corporate interest? And how does the whole incident affect customers’ trust in the banks, especially when they find them with even less forex? Or is it that customers and the banks are so patriotic, the ‘national importance’ trumphs the corporate or individual one?

Of course, on the other hand, the government has never been entirely too harsh on the commercial private banks. After all, they do exist in unruffled waters, where competition is easy (as it is with each other) and growth is almost exclusively on a steeply vertical trajectory. Their success could be tracked back to the fact that there is a population that is in large numbers growing its income and becoming banked.

There are a total of 16 private banks for a potential 100 million local customers. And even though the CBE swigs a large portion of this customer base, the bank’s owner – the state – protects the private banks from more stern competitors, like the latter. It is unlikely that foreign banks would stay out of the Ethiopian financial sector for long, in the meanwhile, the private banks are being allowed to grow and prosper.

Another such incident that should have irritated the private banks more was the 27pc five-year government bonds they are required to buy for every gross loan disbursements. Yet, another example of the ‘national importance’, they are being asked to fund infrastructure projects. But much in the same way, even though there are complaints here and there, it is not in the volume and intensity it should actually be.

Such directives the private banks have to live with, and the banks’ seemingly nonchalant response to them, signify an unwritten agreement. They would take anything from the government as long as it protects them from foreign competition, making them mere followers of the state. They are blocked from innovating and ultimately leading the industry, as their interest is too tied up with the current state of affairs. The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), the central bank, is more than a regulatory body in such circumstances, more like a friendly boss, until at least such time it deems the CBE strong enough to compete on the global financial stage.

Christian Tesfaye Is Fortune’s Op-Ed Editor Whose Interests Run Amok in Both Directions of Print and Celluloid/Digital Storytelling.

Namibia: E-Waste a Nuisance in Africa – Environmental Expert

By Albertina Nakale

Pretoria — An environmental expert says electronic waste has become a nuisance in Africa, and points at the overwhelming number of second-hand and refurbished electronic products dumped in African markets as a reason for concern.

It is estimated that in Namibia the Windhoek area alone produces approximately 300 tons of electronic waste every year, while the national electronic waste amounts to between 1,500 and 2,000 tons per annum. Electronic waste, or e-waste, is described as discarded electrical or electronic devices.

The environmental expert James Mulolo, who is the Africa Institute project coordinator, spoke to New Era on the sidelines of a workshop on improving chemicals management in English-speaking African countries last Friday in Pretoria, South Africa.

According to United Nations statistics, the global community produces a total of 50 million tons of electronic and electrical waste every year – if filled into trucks it would reach halfway around the globe.

Africa Institute is an environmentally sound management organization dealing with hazardous wastes and development of national plans or policy on various hazardous waste streams, including the disposal and storage of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) waste.

It aims to strengthen the capacity of its members in implementing the conventions on chemicals as waste clusters by mobilising different academic and research institutions located in member states.

Countries served are Angola, Botswana, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

“E-waste is a challenge. There are new phones every year and you must get rid of them but you don’t know how to get rid of them. There are various precious metals in the phones that people who want to do smelting would want to extract – gold, palladium and all these rare metals. So, what they do is burn these products and in the process, they produce dangerous fumes called dioxanes. And this is where the problem is,” Mulolo said.

Many countries still handle broken electronic equipment as waste only, while others process it to the benefit of the environment and economy, proactively managing its volumes of e-waste.

He said since e-waste is a challenge, African countries should think of re-cycling such waste. He suggests that countries could restrict the importation of second-hand electronic equipment by specifying that products that are, for instance, five years old and above will not be allowed into the country.

This, he says, will help avoid electronic products being dumped on the continent that will only work for a short time and then be discarded into the environment.

Another intervention he mentioned is that manufacturers or companies selling these products could be encouraged to have a take-back policy whereby people return unwanted products to avoid dumping once they no longer need them.

“If you have a laptop or a phone and you want a new one, then you take back and get a discount when you buy a new one. That way you encourage consumers and those things can be given to re-cycling companies that can make money out of them. Those are some of the ideas that are available on the market. These things are done in Europe and several other African countries and they are working.”

Mulolo said caring for the environment is about things that don’t get headlines in the media, of course unless it’s a disaster.

Therefore, he called on the media to continue voicing their concerns regarding the environment.

Transworld Cargo, a Namibian company, has decided to complement its expertise and logistical facilities by introducing e-waste recycling in Namibia.

EAC Eyes 30,000 Km Roads

By Marc Nkwame in Arusha

EAST African Community (EAC) member states envisage upgrading their 30,000-kilometre road network to bitumen standards in the coming 33 years.

At an average rate of 900 kilometres per year, the region’s entire road network will be covered by 2050 as provided for in the EAC Vision 2050.

Decent road infrastructure is among the development milestones detailed in the Vision 2050, which prioritises improved road networks to support industrialisation drive and ease movements of both people and goods.

“The EAC Partner States have agreed on ten transit transport corridors which constitute EAC Road Network, including twelve feeder corridors,” reads the EAC Vision document, maintaining that the infrastructure vision under the Road Transport Sub-sector will be achieved through developing the EAC Corridors.

It’s envisioned that 2050, the level of services along the main transport corridors will have improved substantially, reaching categories B and A, from the current average regional levels of C, D and E.

Current flagship projects include Uganda’s Entebbe and Kampala-Jinja Expressways, the Mombasa-Mariakani and Chalinze Expressways in Kenya and Tanzania, respectively. Of critical importance also will be the upgrading of secondary and feeder roads from gravel to bitumen standards, achievable through the use of low cost technology and local materials.

“The discovery of oil and gas in the region is a boon for road construction sector, as the costs of construction are likely to drop because of reduced import costs of petroleum based products,” reads the Vision document. The Vision document estimates the cost of developing the corridors at between 20 and 25 billion US dollars.

Projects prioritised under the Heads of State to relieve the congestion at the ports constitute much of the priorities in the sub- sector for the next 20-25 years.

But, revisions will be made to the projects especially those related to the community expansion to accommodate other countries, especially now that South Sudan has joined the EAC, after the Vision compilation.

The current East African Road Network covers Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania, including the Northern Corridor (Mombasa-Voi-Eldoret-Bugiri – Kampala-Masaka-Kigali-Kibuye – Kayanza-Bujumbura), measuring 1,800 kilometres.

The 3,100-kilometre Central Corridor covers Dar es Salaam – Morogoro-Dodoma-Singida – Nzega-Nyakanazi-Bujumbura to Kigali and Gisenyi and the Dar es Salaam (TAZARA) Corridor (Morogoro-Iringa-Mbeya -Tunduma) is 1,100 kilometres.

There is also the Namanga Corridor (Iringa-Dodoma-Kalema -Arusha-Nairobi-Thika-Murang’a – Embu-Nyeri-Nanyuki-Isiolo – Marsabit-Moyale), with 1,800 kilometres.

The Sumbawanga Corridor links Tunduma-Sumbawanga-Kasulu-Makamba-Nyanza Lac-Rumonge, all the way to Bujumbura, measuring 1,300 kilometres while the Sirari Corridor (Lokichokio -Lodwar-Kitale-Bungoma-Kisumu -Kisii-Mwanza-Biharamulo) is 1,500-kilometre long.

The Coastal Corridor (Mingoyo-Dar es Salaam; Chalinze-Vanga -Mombasa-Malindi-Lamu) has 1,500 kilometres.

The Mtwara Corridor (Mtwara-Mingoyo – Masasi-Tunduru-Songea-Mbamba Bay) is 800-kilometre long. There are also the 500-kilometre Arusha Corridor (Arusha-Moshi -Himo-Lushoto – A1) and the Gulu Corridor (Nimule – Bibia – Gulu – Lira – Soroti – Mbale -Tororo), 600 kilometres.

The Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor (Lamu-Isiolo-Lodwar – Nadapal) transcends to Ethiopia through 1,700 kilometres.

The corridors bring the total EAC Road Corridor Network length to 15,800 kilometres, which if joined to other feeder roads, stretch to 30,000 kilometres in total.

Kenya Under-20 Arrive From Ethiopia

By Cellestine Olilo

National women’s junior team Harambee Starlets are expected back home on Tuesday to prepare for the return match of their 2018 Fifa under 20 Women’s World Cup against Ethiopia scheduled for Friday next week in Machakos.

The junior Harambee Starlets came from a goal down to draw 2-2 with Ethiopia at the Hawassa National Stadium in Ethiopia on Sunday, meaning that they carry two advantageous away goals heading into next week’s return leg.

If they manage to overcome the junior Lucy of Ethiopia, they will proceed to the next round of qualifiers where they will face either Algeria or Ghana in another two-legged tie.

Musa Otieno, who was part of the Starlets technical bench in the match, commended the girls on their impressive fighting spirit, and remained hopeful that the team will record success in the return match.

“We were unlucky to concede two goals early in the match, but we are happy the girls showed good character to salvage a point and two crucial away goals late in the match. Our focus now is on the second leg and hopefully, we will get positive results and progress to the second round,” said Musa Otieno who doubles up as Harambee Stars assistant coach.

This was Starlets second game in the qualification process, as they beat the Zebras of Botswana 7-1 in the opening round of qualification away at the Lobatse Sports Complex on July 21.

Botswana pulled out of the competition immediately afterwards, thereby giving Kenya a free pass into the tournament’s second stage.

In Sunday’s match, the Kenyan youngsters suffered an early setback when Ethiopian forward Mirikat Feleke sent the team to a 19th minute lead, and this was followed by another goal from Alemnesh Geremew just ten minutes later to further dampen their spirits.

The resolute juniors however ploughed back with two late goals in the second half, the first being a spot kick converted by senior national team striker Corazon Aquino in the 85th minute, followed by a 90th minute goal from 19-year old Maureen Khakhasi who turns up for National and East African champions Wiyeta Girls Secondary School.

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CFTA Set to Kick-Off Next Year

AFRICAN continent is set to fast track continental free trade area early next year to create single market for goods and services.

Head, of Trade Division in the African Union Commission Mr Nadir Merah said in Dar es Salaam yesterday at the threeday-workshop that the initiative focuses at improving Africa’s competitiveness in the global economy.

“We need to fast track free trade areas as soon as possible. Towards end of Janu ary next year, we will present to the heads of the states the final paper on the initiative,” he said adding that the workshop seeks to discuss ways to improve communications and information systems on business and finance.

He added that,”The intra-African trade is still very low at only 14 per cent compared to 70 per cent in the countries of the European Union,” He said all the 55 countries of the AU have started negotiations on the free trade areas citing issues like legal and institutions, customs, trade remedies, roots of origin and trade liberalisation.

Tanzania is effectively represented in the technical group which is discussing intensively the areas of harmonisation for increasing flow of goods and services in the continent. “We want to connect Africa businesses by collecting and analysing data on trade and finance before disseminating them to the business people to boost intra African trade,” he noted.

On his part, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment Prof Adolf Mkenda said business in formation in boosting intra-african trade. Statistics show that Tanzania trade with other African countries remains very low at 3 per cent, thus failing to harness the huge potentials of increasing volume of business in the continent.

“The workshop taking place in Dar es Salaam is timely and will pave way for Tanzania and the rest in the continent to access clear information of trade and finance that will boost business flow,” he added.

The 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2012, adopted a decision to establish a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) by an indicative date of 2017.

The Summit also endorsed the action plan on boosting intra-africantrade (BIAT) which identifies seven clusters: trade policy, trade facilitation, productive capacity, trade related infrastructure, trade finance, trade information, and factor market integration.

The CFTA will bring together fifty-five African countries with a combined population of more than one billion people and a combined gross domestic product of more than 3.4 trillion US dollars.

Tanzania

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Rwanda Improve By One Place in Latest FIFA Ranking

By Jejje Muhinde

Rwanda moved up one place to 118th in the latest FIFA world ranking released on Thursday in Zurich, Switzerland.

The move by Amavubi is attributed to the 2-1 win over Sudan in an international friendly last month. At the continental level, Rwanda is ranked 31st, above Togo, who dropped eight places to 32nd.

Neighbours Uganda remain the best-ranked team in the East African region – gaining two places to 14th on the continent and 71st globally. Kenya is 21st in Africa after dropping six places to 88th in the global rankings.

Tanzania dropped to 125th worldwide, while Burundi 129th, Sudan 134th, Ethiopia 144th and South Sudan 150th.

Egypt remain Africa’s top-ranked team despite dropping five positions to 30th in the world, followed by Tunisia (31), who moved three spots ahead of Senegal (33) and DR Congo (42).

The reigning world champions, Germany, returned to the summit of the FIFA rankings, pushing Brazil back into second place.

European champions Portugal climbed three places to third – even though they are second in their World Cup qualifying group behind Switzerland.

Argentina are fourth in the rankings despite struggling to qualify for the World Cup after drawing their last two games – away to Uruguay and at home to Venezuela.

War-torn Syria, who have reached the Asian playoff stage in the World Cup qualifiers despite playing their ‘home’ World Cup qualifiers in Malaysia because of the security situation in the country, rose to their highest-ever ranking of 75.

Three other teams reached their best-ever place – Peru (12th), Northern Ireland (20th) and Luxemburg (101st) after they held France to a 0-0 draw away.

Rwanda

Tunga Promotion Returns

Twelve motorbikes and a brand new car are up for grabs as the Airtel Tunga promotion returns. In its third year running,… Read more »

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