Posts tagged as: university

University of Rwanda Surgical Students in Voluntary Circumcision Awareness Campaign

By Eddie Nsabimana

Surgical students at University of Rwanda have launched an HIV prevention mobilisation week through voluntary medical male ircumcision.

The launch took place on Saturday in Rusororo Sector in Gasabo District as part of the students’ workshop on surgical and non surgical circumcision and practice.

The weeklong drive was organised by UR Surgical Students’ Association in collaboration with Rwanda Biomedical Centre, Rwanda Military Hospital, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and JHPIEGO, Partners in Health IH and Masaka Hospital to reduce the risk of the community contracting HIV/AIDS.

The awareness campaign features HIV/AIDS prevention and voluntary testing and counselling with the target to break myths concerning the procedures.

Sister Catherine, the head of Kabuga Health Centre, hailed the students’ initiative, calling on residents to embrace circumcision.

“Prevention is better than cure; HIV has no cure, so I hope the initiative will help beneficiaries embrace male surgical circumcision to reduce HIV risks,” she said.

Risk groups

The World Health Organisation indicates that HIV/AIDS is more prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, while Rwanda is among constituent countries where the youth are more affected than any other age group.

Circumcision protects up to 60 per cent in case of unprotected sex, Charles Berabose, the director of outreach, events and mentorship at University of Rwanda Surgical Students Society and coordinator, said.

“We need to make our contribution to a healthy and HIV/AIDS free community, especially the youth, to reduce their risk of contracting HIV virus through public awareness on circumcision, which we believe can play a big impact in slowing down the disease,” he said.

The campaign is part of preparation for the upcoming free circumcision exercise scheduled between July 2 and 10 at Kabuga Health Centre.

The University of Rwanda Surgical Students’ Society targets to circumcise at least 600 people during the week.

Rwanda

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Mengo Kakeeka Home of Idi Amin’s Former Armoury

Photo: Colleb Mugume/Daily Monitor

The area has turned into a busy commercial and residential area due to the influx of students.

analysisBy Shiffa Kulanyi

Despite Mengo Kakeeka’s close proximity to the capital, most Ugandans are not aware of its history.

The area harbors Idi Amin’s former armoury, though its former location is now occupied by Muteesa University. Buganda kingdom’s old sub-county headquarters were also located in the space that Buganda Royal Institute currently occupies.

The name Kakeeka, which loosely translates into a mat was derived from the first visitors in the area, who noticed a football ground that resembled a mat. “It was among the few football grounds in Buganda and Uganda at the time,” says Nicholas Ssewagudde, the area chairman.

Mengo Kakeeka is a sub-county in Rubaga Division. To the north, it lies on the borderline between the north and south constituency of Rubaga, and it is surrounded by Rubaga hospital to the south. It was initially a residential area but has since revolved into a commercial hub.

This is attributed to the educational institutions that have been set up consequently attracting businesses to serve the growing populace with students as the target audience.

Kakeeka is home to a number of educational institutions including Ndejje University law post graduate branch, Muteesa and Pencostal University, two Institutes; Buganda Royal Vocational I, and Radio, Television and Filming institute, one daycare-linear, Redrock and Kisakye Primary Schools.

“Businesses include but not limited to garages, metal fabrication shops, stationaries, hostels, boutiques, and bars. These have been set up to cater for the population that has since increased from 350 to 1,500 people as per the previous Kakeeka voters’ register.” Mr Ssewagudde says.

Buying land and renting

“During my time as chairman, I have not officiated over the sale of any piece of land because the land in the area is mostly owned by the Catholic church and families that have lived in the area for ages. It is very rare for any of them to sell,” said Mr Ssewangudde.

Houses in the area are very pricy, which residents attribute to the area’s close proximity to the capital and the large student population. To rent a one-bedroom house, you need to pay between Shs150,000 and Shs200,000 per month.

Hostels single rooms cost Shs450,000 and Shs600,000 while double rooms go for Shs750,000-Shs900,000 per semester. A three bedroom house costs Shs1m and over.

“The general road network has improved over the years. Kampala City Council Authority recently completed works on Kakeeka road, the major road in the area. For those intending to rent here, our proximity to the capital Kampala is an added advantage,” he says.

Infrastructure

“Most of the structures in the area were previously residential but have been turned into rentals or hostels to cater for the populace that mainly comprises of students. The former army shop was later turned into Buganda Royal Institute after Buganda Kingdom repossessed its land from government. When the institute found a new home, it was replaced by Muteesa University,” the chairman says.

Security

“Kakeeka has two black spots where lawbreakers commonly gather to plot mischief and take drugs,” Mr Ssewagudde says, adding: However, security has tremendously improved over the years and we are working closely with police to fight insecurity.”

Mr David Lutaaya, a technician and resident, describes security in the area as ‘relative’. He says before Muteesa University was constructed at the former armoury, ammunition that had been left behind was spread all over the place and a number of bombs used to go off, adding that a friend of his, Annet lost her leg in one of the blasts.

Quick fact

The area harbors Idi Amin’s former armoury. Buganda kingdom’s sub-county headquarters were also located in the space that Buganda Royal Institute currently occupies.

Zimbabwe: Air Zimbabwe Banned From Europe… So Is It Safe for Mugabe to Use?

Photo: Flickr

Bad news for Zimbabwe’s national airline which is headed by President Robert Mugabe’s son-in-law: it has just has been barred from flying to Europe over safety concerns.

News of the ban, contained in a press release from the European Commission, will deal a blow to the struggling carrier’s plans to resume once-popular direct flights to London.

The European Commission maintains an Air Safety List of airlines that they say don’t meet international safety standards and are barred from operating in the European Union.

One of four banned

Tuesday’s statement names Air Zimbabwe – regularly used by Mugabe on his overseas trips – as one of four airlines added to the list “due to unaddressed safety deficiencies that were detected by the European Safety Agency”. All five of Air Zimbabwe’s planes were grounded in April, the Zimbabwe Independent reported. It’s not clear whether all five are now back in the skies.

London flights stopped

Debt-riddled Air Zimbabwe doesn’t currently offer flights to Europe. Flights to London were discontinued in 2012 after one of the airline’s Boeings was seized at Gatwick over an unpaid debt. These days passengers occasionally post updates of problems with internal Air Zimbabwe flights or flights connecting Zimbabwe to neighbouring South Africa. SA-based journalist Audrey Chimwanda at the weekend posted a photo of herself on an Air Zim flight from Joburg to Harare which had just four passengers (though two days later she reported that the return flight was “almost full”). There have also been claims of handwritten boarding passes.

Nepotism charges

Mugabe’s son-in-law Simba Chikore was last October given the position of Chief Operations Officer at the airline, with the former pilot tasked with helping to turn around the company’s fortunes. While critics said the appointment was a clear case of nepotism, officials maintained Chikore excelled during the interviews and hadn’t been favoured because of his links to the First Family.

Ban could be lifted

The commission’s statement said: “The EU Air Safety List seeks to ensure the highest level of air safety for Europeans citizens.” It said a total of 181 banned airlines from 16 countries should take heart from the case of Benin and Mozambique, whose airlines had their bans lifted on Tuesday.

“I am glad that we are able to take all carriers from Benin and Mozambique out of the air safety list. It shows that work and co-operation pays off,” commissioner for transport, Violeta Bulc was quoted as saying.

Fit for the president?

The British government has advised its staff against using Air Zimbabwe, according to an update on the British embassy in Harare’s website.

There’s been no official reaction yet from the Zimbabwean authorities to the European ban on Air Zimbabwe, though as former Chronicle editor Mduduzi Mathuthu (@mathuthu) tweeted: “In wake of EU ban we should be asking if Air Zimbabwe aircraft fit to be carrying any passengers, including President.”

It’s understood that a plane was leased from Bahrain for Mugabe in March.

Source: News24

Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe: Govt Approves Command Irrigation Project

By Elita Chikwati

Cabinet has approved a special irrigation rehabilitation and development programme, which will see an additional 300 000 hectares of land being put under maize production to ensure national food security. The programme, which is an extension of the hugely successful Command Agriculture, is expected to produce around 2,1 million tonnes of maize that will be set aside for national strategic grain reserve.

The programme will enable farmers to develop irrigation infrastructure at affordable costs.

Maize, wheat and livestock are now being produced under the special programme — Command Agriculture.

Institutions such as churches, prisons and the Agricultural Rural Development Authority with water bodies, and A1 and A2 farmers will also benefit from the irrigation development programme.

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made confirmed the development last night.

He said instructions had been given for more dams to be constructed under the special programme.

He said the irrigation development programme targeted all water bodies across the country.

“For instance, all water bodies within the Manyame River system will be developed completely. This programme will further be elaborated under the Food and Nutrition Cabinet committee chaired by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa,” said Dr Made.

“Once fully irrigated, the farmers will be able to produce winter crops such as wheat and other crops,” he said.

Dr Made said there was need to strengthen the Department of Engineering as the country was currently faced with challenge of proper maintenance and operations of such systems.

“The Ministry will also work with other ministries such as the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade and the Industrial Development Corporation.

“These will play a major role in ensuring that we are self-sufficient,” said the Minister.

“This is where countries such as Algeria, Iran, Russia, Egypt come in.

“We also have a number of experienced engineers whom we are going to call for them to make meaningful contribution.

“The programme will also see the training of farmers and managers who will effectively run irrigation development,” he said.

Zimbabwe is expecting to receive 80 centre pivots worth over $6 million from Spain to aid irrigation under Command Agriculture as Government moves to adopt new technologies and to strengthen infrastructural development in support of the successful import-substitution programme.

Dr Made said the centre pivots from Spain signified a new thrust of embracing new technologies in agriculture to complement new programmes being implemented in the sector.

He said more companies manufacturing agricultural equipment from other European countries like Italy, France, Germany, Portugal and Turkey had expressed interest in servicing with the local market.

Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe: President to Launch Masvingo Highway Dualisation Project

Photo: The Herald

Road construction in Zimbabwe (file photo).

By George Maponga

Masvingo — President Mugabe is expected to officially launch the $1 billion Beitbridge-Harare and Harare-Chirundu highways dualisation project tomorrow, in a development likely to reduce carnage along one of Zimbabwe’s busiest roads. The road will also boost trade on the continent, as well as unlock value for the country.

The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces will commission the official start of the dualisation project at a ground-breaking ceremony that will be held along the highway at Chaka business centre in Chirumhanzu.

Geiger International of Austria was contracted by Government to dualise the highway under a 25-year Build Operate and Transfer model.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo yesterday confirmed that President Mugabe would officially launch the dualisation project tomorrow.

He said the project would be done in phases, with the one being launched tomorrow involving dualisation of the Beitbridge-Harare Highway.

“It will be a big day because the dualisation of the Harare-Beitbridge Highway was long overdue after having been delayed by battles, that at one, time spilled into the courts,” said Dr Gumbo.

“The project will cost just under a billion at about $998 million and the contractor will tell the President the time lines for completing the project and the President will also say something during the official launch of the project.”

Dr Gumbo said preliminary indications were that the project was going to be completed within three years, with work expected to resume once President Mugabe officially launched it.

“The dualisation project will be done in phases and under the first phase being launched by His Excellency at Chaka, the dualisation will be done from Beitbridge to Harare only and as for the Harare-Chirundu stretch, the nation will be notified at the appropriate time,” he said.

Dr Gumbo said the dualisation project would bring economic benefits to Zimbabwe and other countries in the region.

“We are happy that the dualisation will finally start and though it may not totally end road accidents along the highway, we believe for those drivers who are careful, the number of accidents will go down,” he said.

Government has already insisted that 40 percent of the dualisation project was supposed to benefit locals as part of empowering indigenous people.

Calls for Government to expedite the dualisation project got louder last month after 30 people perished at Nyamatikiti River Bridge near Chaka when a Proliner bus bound for South Africa was side-swiped by a haulage truck going in the opposite direction.

Zimbabwe

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Congo-Kinshasa: Speed, Co-Ordination Needed to Curb Ebola

analysisBy Jacqueline Weyer, University of Pretoria

Three people have died and more than 125 are suspected to be infected with the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The outbreak comes less than two years after the most deadly spread of the disease in West Africa. Jacqueline Weyer explains how the outbreak compares to those in the past.

Are there any links between this outbreak and the one that hit West Africa between 2014 and 2016?

There isn’t an expectation that a direct link will be found between the outbreak in West Africa and the one in the DRC. Sequencing data will reveal more information, most importantly the strain of the virus involved and how it relates to Ebola viruses reported in previous outbreaks.

The Ebola virus is known to occur in the DRC and outbreaks are not entirely unexpected. In fact the virus derives its name from the Ebola river in the northern Democratic Republic of Congo.

There have been more Ebola outbreaks in the DRC than in any other country. Over the past ten years there have been four: 2007, 2008-2009, 2012 and in 2014.

Nevertheless, whatever the virus or strain involved, outbreaks of viral hemorrhagic fever are always concerning. The unavailability of proven prophylaxis, effective treatment and high mortality rates are the reasons why these diseases are feared.

Outbreaks like this also often occur in areas that are impoverished. This poses particularly tough challenges in managing cases and containing an outbreak.

What is the difference between an outbreak and an epidemic? At which point will the outbreak become an epidemic?

The two terms actually have the same definition and are often used interchangeably. Both imply an increase in the number of cases of a disease occurring in a population at a specific time, or if there’s an expectation that the disease will spread.

The term “outbreak” is sometimes used when describing an event that happens suddenly and is limited in size and to a particular area. Epidemic, on the other hand, is used to describe a more profuse and dispersed disease event over time. But the line is grey.

What word is used is less important than the fact that outbreaks of viral hemorrhagic fever are always concerning.

What lessons have been learnt from previous outbreaks?

A swift response is critical to containing an outbreak. One major challenge in West Africa was the delay in recognising the outbreak. This meant that the disease was already spreading profusely which made it more complicated to contain the outbreak.

Containment efforts are complex and require many pieces of a puzzle to be put together to achieve success. This includes:

supporting hospitals to limit transmission of the virus to health care workers while treating patients,
engaging with communities so that they can understand the problem, and participate and support the containment efforts themselves,
and active case tracing to identify potential contacts and new cases in order to ultimately interrupt the chain of transmission.

All these efforts have to be supported by adequate communication and logistics. The quicker all these actions can come together, the better the outcome of the containment effort.

Parts of the DRC are still plagued by violence. How would this exacerbate the current outbreak?

The violence in the country has had a massive impact on the availability of health care services. This is obviously a challenge and could hamper international efforts as relief workers and containment teams find it hard to reach the areas in need.

The good news is the country has experience in dealing with Ebola outbreaks, including some in country laboratory capacity for testing samples from suspected cases.

It’s still early days and much depends on how the situation unfolds in the DRC. But there are good examples of the challenges of delivering health care in conflict zones. There are many initiatives and strategies for trying to ensure safe delivery of and access to health care in conflict zones by many governmental and non-governmental agencies around the world. The situations in Syria and South Sudan come to mind.

Disclosure statement

Jacqueline Weyer does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.

The Conversation is a non-profit + your donation is tax deductible. Help knowledge-based, ethical journalism today.

Zimbabwe: Agric, Mining to Drive Economic Growth – IMF

By Conrad Mwanawashe and Enacy Mapakame

The International Monetary Fund expects recovery in agriculture and mining to drive economic growth this year but warns that maintaining the growth momentum would require action to expedite plans to reduce Government deficit to a sustainable level.

But economists said growth will only come if Zimbabwe escalates value addition and beneficiation and development of the agro-based export sectors such as horticulture. “In agriculture, it is clear, whether it is Command Agriculture . . . we are likely to have more maize this year. But I do not see how this will invigorate growth, unless there is value addition and there is more manufacturing done,” University of Zimbabwe’s Professor Albert Makochekanwa said.

Although the IMF mission that was in the country early this month warned that excessive Government spending, if continued, could exacerbate the cash scarcity, further jeopardise the health of the external and financial sectors, and, ultimately, fuel inflation, it noted progress already achieved in other economic fronts through a number of initiatives such as support towards agriculture. The Bretton Woods Institution called for urgency in implementing reforms which include civil service and discretionary spending. “Building on the progress already achieved, the Government is encouraged to demonstrate that Zimbabwe is open for business.

“This will include enhancing efforts to tackle corruption, encouraging private sector investment, allowing the market to determine prices, promoting labour flexibility, and creating a stable legal and regulatory framework to reduce policy uncertainty. Moreover, there is room for enhancing domestic revenue mobilisation, boosting transparency in the mining sector, and improving governance in public enterprises to strengthen the country’s fiscal position,” IMF team leader Ana Lucía Coronel said in a statement.

“Spending pressures stem from high employment costs, government transfers to support specific economic sectors, and elevated discretionary expenditure. Action on these three fronts, while safeguarding social outlays, is therefore crucial. Reducing the wage bill could involve reviewing allowances and benefits and evaluating the size of the civil service with a view to eliminating non-essential posts. Reinforcing the Government’s efforts to curtail non-priority spending is also pressing,” she said.

Economists said while the issues that the IMF raised were pertinent, Government was already working on the issues and this showed that Government was in the right direction.

“The IMF report is reinforcing what Government is already doing but there is need for urgency in certain areas especially industry rejuvenation and rationalisation of staff costs. The gist of the report is that we are in the right direction but we need to do more and to make certain sacrifices as individuals and the country,” Africa University economist Thomas Masese said.

Commenting on calls by the IMF to stop excessive spending through staff rationalisation Mr Masese said it was understandable that Government was in a tough fiscal corner but still “unnecessary allowances such as annual bonus can be done away with”.

Furthermore, Mr Masese said restraint should be exercised on domestic borrowing as it is beginning to crowd out domestic investment and inflation is beginning to show its head. The IMF said the large fiscal imbalances are being financed by domestic borrowing since Zimbabwe is faced with a difficult external environment limiting access to foreign inflows.

The IMF team recommended taking action to unleash the potential of the private sector and ensure that growth benefits the most vulnerable segments of the population. “Restoration of confidence is essential for attracting the necessary dollar inflows to the economy. Refraining from central bank financing of the deficit and containing the issuance of debt and quasi-currency instruments is vital.

“Furthermore, the financial sector should restore its role of intermediating resources in the economy by channelling deposits to productive credit rather than financing fiscal operations,” the IMF said.

Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe: Foreign Doctors – Solanki Off the Hook

By Paidamoyo Chipunza

Trauma Centre, a local private medical institution, has been cleared of allegations of allowing foreign medical doctors to practise in the country without registration, following thorough investigations by Government.

Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Mr Aldrin Musiiwa said in an interview yesterday that following a dispute between the Medical and Dental Practitioners Council of Zimbabwe (MDPCZ) and Dr Vivek Solanki, who owns Trauma Centre, Government noted that both parties had not done anything wrong.

“When we looked into the issue, we realised that both parties were right,” he said. “We noted that it was within Dr Solanki’s right to bring foreign doctors into the country for his patients in an emergency situation without going through the local registration. “On the other hand, it was also within MDPCZ’s right to carry out an inspection where there was suspicion of someone breaking the law.”

Mr Musiiwa said following this assessment, a conclusion was reached that both parties had not committed any offence. “The issue has now been resolved since no one committed any offence,” said Dr Musiiwa.

The tiff between Trauma Centre and MDPCZ started sometime in March when the medical practitioners control body caused the arrest of three Indian doctors at Trauma Centre on allegations of practising without local registration.

Allegations against Dr Solanki emanated from WhatsApp messages where he was inviting other medical practitioners to bring in their patients to Trauma Centre for free consultations by the visiting doctors.

Acting on a tip-off, the MDPCZ, through its registrar Mrs Josephine Mwakutuya, accompanied by other officials from the council and the police, went to physically inspect Trauma Centre.

On arrival, the team found two Indian doctors and a local specialist, Dr Brian Paketh, consulting a female patient. This resulted in the immediate arrest of the two doctors and their subsequent appearance at the courts.

The court case was dismissed on the basis that a local doctor was allowed to invite a foreign doctor to assist his patients. But MDPCZ insisted that the doctors had violated provisions of the Health Professions Act, which prohibits any person to practise medicine without local registration.

Dr Solanki argued that the doctors were in the country for continued professional development activities.

Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe: Govt Commissions U.S.$1,2 Million Electronic Cargo Tracking System

Business Reporter Government has commissioned a $1,2 million Electronic Cargo Tracking System which was availed under a capacity building for public and economic management project being financed by the African Development Bank (AFDB).

The ECTS is expected to go a long way in reducing the cases of transit fraud and the dumping of illegal imports on the domestic market which is estimated at $1 billion annually.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony on Monday, Finance and Economic Planning Minister Patrick Chinamasa said there is need for concerted efforts in tackling corruption but expressed confidence the introduction of the system would result in an increase in contributions to the fiscus.

“This is a special project that Zimra has been working on since last year. I gave them the mandate that they should expand the tax base by bringing in more economic players into the tax net. “I am fully aware that those who are enegaged in corrupt activities would not want this system because it will minimise their (unlawful) gains. So as we implement, we expect resistance from within and must be on guard at all times,” said Minister Chinamasa.

Zimra board chairperson Mrs Willia Bonyongwe said the fight against corruption remains a key priority area for the tax collector.

ADB principal country manager and programme officer Ms Eyerusalem Fasika is confident the cargo tracking system will go a long way in reducing the cost of doing business and promoting trade. “ADB allocated $5.6 million to Zimra under the capacity building for public and economic management project and to date $2.4 million has been utilised for equipment while $1 million has supported the training of Zimra staff,” said Ms Fasika.

The Ministry of Finance availed $1 million which went towards the procurement of additional cargo tracking seals.

Zimbabwe

Work on Robert Mugabe University Begins

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China, Kenya to Beef Up Collaboration in Plant Species Conservation – Official

Nairobi — China will strengthen collaboration with Kenya in scientific research and capacity development to revitalize conservation of the East African nation’s wild flora, an official said on Monday.

Wang Qingfeng, the Director of Sino-Africa Joint Research Centre (SAJOREC) that is affiliated with Chinese Academy of Sciences said Beijing is committed to helping Kenya advance sustainable management of its botanical wealth.

“In the last five years since we signed a memorandum of understanding with National Museums of Kenya (NMK), we have intensified collaborative research to promote conservation of plant species,” Wang said.

He spoke to Xinhua on the sidelines of the 21st edition of Association for the Taxonomic Study of the Flora of Tropical Africa (AETFAT) congress taking place in Nairobi.

SAJOREC which is housed at Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology (JKUAT) has sponsored the five day conference attended by hundreds of scientists and researchers to explore new measures to boost conservation of Africa’s botanic treasures.

Wang said that sustainable management of wild flora is key to accelerate sustainable development in Africa.

“Communities are increasingly turning to native plants for raw materials, medical care, energy, fiber and food hence the need to enhance conservation of plant diversity,” said Wang.

Kenya is among African countries that have benefited from technical and financial support from China to strengthen conservation of vital ecosystems like wild flora and fauna.

Wang noted that exchange programs between Kenyan and Chinese scientists have re-energized home grown initiatives to promote sustainable management of genetic resources.

“We have published several books and articles in peer reviewed journals on biodiversity conservation with our Kenyan partners, we are also promoting joint exploration to identify challenges facing wild flora in several parts of the country,” Wang told Xinhua.

He added that Beijing will continue to support capacity development for African scientists to enhance their contribution to the continent’s ecosystems protection agenda.

“Training the next generation of African scientists is key to boost biodiversity conservation,” Wang said.

The establishment of Sino-Africa Joint Research Centre in Kenya has revitalized biodiversity conservation agenda in the country.

Wang said the centre has improved the capacity of Kenyan scientists and researchers to find solution to challenges facing wild flora like pollution and invasive species.

“Our future collaboration with Kenyan research institutions will focus on emerging threats to plant species,” said Wang, adding that improved research capacity and technology will boost Kenya’s capacity to contain threats to wild flora.

Kenya

Former President Kibaki’s Bodyguard Sues For 2002 Accident

A bodyguard involved in a road accident with former President Mwai Kibaki has alleged in a court case he was mistreated… Read more »

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