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Archive for March, 2007

Norway: Tromsø defeats Oslo

Posted by African Press International on March 31, 2007

Acting Norwegian Olympic Committee and Confederation of Sports president Odd-Roar Thoresen (right) had to use his double votet to break the deadlock in favor of Tromsø.

PHOTO: Heiko Junge / SCANPIX

Tromsø gets Olympic nod

The board of the Norwegian Olympic Committee and Confederation of Sports has decided that the northern city of Tromsø should be the candidate to bid to stage the Winter Olympics in 2018.

Acting sports president Odd-Roar Thorsen announced the decision at a press conference at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, after saying: “It is the nature of sport to be brutal – it creates winners and losers.”

Thorsen revealed that the board vote had ended 6-6 and been resolved by the double vote of the meeting leader.

“We now go from a city contest to a contest of nations. It is important that we now stand united behind the candidate we have chosen,” Thorsen said, and added that all three candidates – Tromsø, Oslo and Trondheim – had been strong.

“They have done a thorough job and deserve respect. I am sure that all three could have held fantastic winter games,” Thorsen said.

The next stage of the process will be a parliamentary treatment of the question of a state guarantee for the Olympic games, which should happen in the autumn. In 2009 the Norwegian Olympic Committee and Confederation of Sports presents the candidate city to the International Olympic Committee and a formal application is sent to the IOC in 2010.

In July 2010 the IOC narrows the field of potential hosts to four cities and a year later the IOC chooses the city that will hos the 2018 Winter Olympics.

By Erli Berg Daneshmand and Jonathan Tisdall

*”/”*Lifted and published by African Press in Norway, apn, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.aftenpostenENG

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Majority of Kenyans willing to embrace GMO

Posted by African Press International on March 31, 2007

Nairobi (Kenya) A new research conducted by the Research International Organization International, a non-governmental organization, has revealed that a majority of Kenyans are now willing to embrace Genetically Modified Foods (GMO).

The study that was conducted between May and June 2006 to establish the public perception on the biotechnology indicates that 81 percent of Kenyans consider new technologies as the only way to eradicate poverty and make the economy competitive.

Melissa Baker, the International Public and Social Director for Research International Organization said that 52 percent of the respondents said that getting food for them and their families was their first priority.

“These people said getting enough food to eat for them and their families is the key issue, but 15 percent said they are concerned with avoiding food with ingredients that may be harmful,” said Baker.

While addressing journalists in Nairobi on Saturday, Ms Baker described the 15 percent as the more sensitive group.

The study further indicates that 52 percent of Kenyans rarely check the contents of the food they buy while only 20 percent fear there may be risks involved in adopting GMO foods.

Baker however conceded that a majority of the respondents lack basic information about such foods.

“The survey recommended increasing the availability of accurate information to both the population and to key stakeholder groups, involve all stakeholders in the process of any genetically modified crop introduction and then overcome some of the concerns such as the perception that there may be negative health impact”, Baker added.

Baker said 77 percent of the respondents trust medical professionals and the media to pass on the information on GMO technology while only 15 percent trust NGO’s on the same.

The countrywide study had 2,500 respondents above 18 years of age.

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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ECOWAS adopt plan for biotechnology development

Posted by African Press International on March 31, 2007

Accra (Ghana) The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at the end of its third ministerial conference on March 27 – 30 in Accra, adopted Friday evening an action plan for biotechnology development, in line with the general agricultural policy aimed at reviving the agricultural sector of the sub-region, the special correspondent of APA has noted.

The objective of the action plan is to “contribute in a sustainable way to people’s food security, to economic and social development and to reducing poverty in member countries”.

In order to reach that goal, activities were classified within three main operational chapters.

According to the final statement of the conference, the point is to develop biotechnology in the ECOWAS area “in order to improve productivity, agricultural competition and manage genetic resources in a sustainable way”.

The other two operational lines relate to the regional approach of bio-security and the implementation of a steering, monitoring and evaluation mechanism.

At that level, ECOWAS ministers insisted on the necessity to implement a communication strategy aimed at sensitizing actors, decision makers and the civil society on the advantages of biotechnology and biodiversity.

The implementation of the action plan, according to ECOWAS’ estimates, will cost about US$26 million over five years of implementation.

The next ministerial meeting on biotechnology is slated for June 2008 in Cote-d’Ivoire.

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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EU geared to have copper contracts reviewed

Posted by African Press International on March 31, 2007

Lusaka (Zambia) The European Union Saturday joined other international organisations and stakeholders in urging the government of Zambia to review the contracts it had entered into with the new owners of the country’s copper mines.

Privatised nearly seven years ago, the Zambian copper mining industry is now doing well largely due to exceptionally high world market prices for the metal.

This is however now causing various organisations to scrutinise the contracts the government entered into with the new buyers of the mines.

Under the existing agreements, the government offered the new investors large concessions and charges a modest tax on profits called a mineral royalty.

However, the country is reaping modest profits from international copper sales even with world copper prices at an all time high, as the private owners of the mines are not obliged to return their profits to the country.

The World Bank was the first institution to call on the Zambian government to re-negotiate the deals with a view to accruing high benefits from the profits.

The leader of an EU delegation currently in Zambia, Derek Fee, said Saturday that the time has come for the government to revisit the deals so that the benefits of the high world market prices accrue to Zambians rather than just the mine owners.

The government has shown a reluctance to renegotiate the deals, claiming the contracts were legally binding and cannot be changed.

The Zambian Chamber of Mines, which represents the mining companies has indicated it will begin arbitration proceedings against the Zambian government should it go ahead to cancel the contracts.

The Zambian business sector has however dismissed the reasons being advanced by both the government and the mine owners as being invalid because they said the government had the power to change the deals without getting into a legal battle.

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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Chadians and Sudanese take to prayers together

Posted by African Press International on March 31, 2007

Agadez (Niger) Chadian and Sudanese heads of state ; Idriss Déby Itno and Omar el Bashir have prayed together Friday evening in Agadez during a collective prayer session led by the Libyan leader, Mouammar Kadhafi, attended by other African heads of state, to celebrate Mawlud, the birthday of the Prophet Mohamed (PBUH), APA has noted.

Presidents Ely Ould Mohamed Vall, Amadou Toumani Toure, Ahmed Tejan Kaba and Mamadou Tanja, also participated in the prayer ceremony.

Since 2003, the Darfur region, at the border with Chad, has been the scenario of violence that caused thousands of casualties, particularly among the civilian population.

Chad and Sudan have been accusing each other, despite the mediation of the African Union and the deployment of security forces in Darfur.

Though Deby and el Bashir did not hug each other, they were however in the same assembly in two prayer sessions (Maghrib and Icha), led by the Libyan leader.

In his sermon, Mouammar Kadhafi urged Muslims “to strengthen their ties and endeavour to commemorate the seal of the Prophet Mohamed (PBUH).

He also recommended the “return to origins” by making of the Holy Quran “the reference book par excellence”.

Mouammar Kadhafi prayed for “peace in the hearts of all children of Adam” for the triumph of truth”.

The commemoration of Mawlud in Agadez, Niger, was attended by thousands of believers from several countries, including six African heads of state.

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UN announces plans to step up efforts in Central African Republic aimed at peacerful solution

Posted by African Press International on March 31, 2007

Washington DC-(USA) The top United Nations humanitarian official Friday announced plans to step up relief efforts in the strife- torn Central African Republic (CAR), hours after meeting some of the thousands of people who fled their homes and are now living in the bush to escape rebel attacks and fighting with government forces.

Mr. John Holmes, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said the UN plans to establish coordination offices in remote areas of the country’s north – scene of the most brutal attacks on villages in the past year – to bring in more non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and support their work.

“With tens of thousands of people dispersed and hiding in the bush, a degraded road system, and few NGO partners on the ground, one of the greatest challenges is just reaching people in need,” he said, according to a statement issued here by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

An estimated 284,000 people have been displaced in the past six months, with about 210,000 now living elsewhere within the CAR and about 74,000 escaping to neighboring Chad, Cameroon and Sudan. Many fled after their villages were burned to the ground.

Mr. Holmes visited the Otah area Friday morning, now home to about 1,700 former residents of the town of Paoua, which was torched three months ago during fighting between government forces and rebels.

These internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been returning to Paoua by day to try to rebuild their homes, but then retreating to nearby forests at night for their own safety.

“These men, women and children are not in good shape, living without decent food, clean water or health care, even though they are just a few kilometres away,” he said.

Mr. Holmes, who is the Emergency Relief Coordinator for the UN, also visited the town of Beboy, where many regulars at the weekly market have been afraid to return because of the continuing instability and lack of security.

The Under-Secretary-General then headed to the capital, Bangui, for talks with General Lamine Cissé, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and the head of the UN Peacebuilding Office in the CAR (known by its French acronym, BONUCA). He is also expected to meet with CAR Prime Minister Élie Doté.

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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Equatorial Head of State on a tour to Cameroon

Posted by African Press International on March 31, 2007

Yaoundé (Cameroon) Equatorial Guinea head of state Obiang Nguema Mbasogo Friday afternoon concluded a one-day friendship and working visit to the Cameroonian capital, Yaoundé, APA noted.

Speaking to the media at the end of his stay that was marked by discussions with his counterpart Paul Biya, Mr. Obiang Nguema pointed out that their discussions related to the reforms of the Economic and Monetary Union of Central Africa (CEMAC) of which he is leading a steering commission.

The Equatorial Guinea president said that discussions with his counterpart also revolved around border and consular issues between the two countries to be normalised.

President Paul Biya, on his part said that his guest had come to get the opinion of Cameroon on the CEMAC reform process.

Answering to a question about the recurrent frictions between his country and neighbouring Equatorial Guinea that recently resulted in some massive repatriations of Cameroonians, Paul Biya did not expand over the issue, preferring to say that these were “small border and consular issues”, while expressing his hope however that “on both sides, people abide by the laws”.

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EA Court discounts Kenya

Posted by African Press International on March 31, 2007

By Adam Ihucha, Arusha

Kenya went against the procedure normally followed by the East African Community in electing members of the regional Legislative Assembly, the East African Court of Justice ruled yesterday.

In a landmark judgment read by EACJ Vice President Joseph Mulenga from Uganda, the court declared that the process that the Kenyan government used to get its nine members of EALA was outright illegal.

Justice Mulenga said Kenya grossly breached Article 50 of the EAC treaty which directs that the legislatures of the three partner states should elect the proportional nine members to the EALA through procedures to be determined by the august assemblies themselves.

?As per evidence presented before this court, Kenya has not done any election as clearly stipulated under Article 50 of the EAC treaty.

Rather, it has merely appointed its own members,? he stated.

In the judgment, which he delivered for two and half hours in a packed courtroom, the judge called on EAC member states to harmonise their laws to conform to the EAC treaty.

?The EAC treaty must be interpreted, understood and implemented uniformly by the EAC member states` laws and not otherwise,? stressed Justice Mulenga, who was flanked by three fellow judges.

These are Augustine Ramadhani (Tanzania), Harold Nsekela (Tanzania) and Kasanga Mulwa (Kenya).

But he hailed Tanzania and Uganda, saying the modalities they had used in electing their respective EALA members went as stipulated by Article 50 of the EAC treaty.

The ruling fell short of saying whether Kenya should conduct a fresh election for its EALA members but the applicant?s counsel team leader, Mutula Kilonzo, said that was obvious.

?This is a landmark ruling by the EACJ and it should be a warning to the EAC member states on the need to abide by the law and not to leave a few people in power to decide crucial issues at the expense of the majority,? Kilonzo told reporters shortly after the ruling at the Arusha International Conference Centre.

It all began as ordinary case of political jostling when Kenyan Vice President Moody Awori and Health Minister Charity Ngilu started arguing last September as to who between them had the right to lead the process of picking the nine Kenya representatives to the EALA.

Ngilu argued that, as the chairperson of the ruling National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) which had put the current (Mwai Kibaki) government in power, she had the right to preside over the selection process.

But Awori insisted that, as the leader of government business and the chairman of the House Business Committee which sets the agenda in parliament, he was better placed to preside over the process. The government sided with Awori.

However, as it appeared that the jostling was over and everything was going on smoothly again, another problem arose.

Things came to a head when the government dropped some of the names forwarded by some of its constituent parties and went ahead to pick other representatives on behalf of the parties.

The government`s official position was that the former ruling party, Kanu, had authorised the House Business Committee to come up with the names for parliamentary approval.

It is that system that was used to pick the outgoing members of the regional assembly, mostly from Kanu.

Five of the nine names – Catherine Kimura, Clarkson Otieno Karan, Augustine Chemonges Lotodo, Gervase Akhaabi and Safina Kwekwe Tsungu – were nominated by the government.

The opposition Kanu picked Abdirahman Haji, Sarah Godana and Christopher Nakulei, as Ford-People went for Reuben Oyondi.

Four names forwarded by some constituent parties of NARC were rejected, much to the chagrin of their sponsors.

They were Fidelis Nguli, Yvonne Khamati, and outgoing EALA members Ochieng Mbeo and Rose Waruhiu.

The aggrieved constituent parties, Democratic Party, Liberal Democratic Party, National Party of Kenya and Ford-Kenya, protested and subsequently filed a case in the EACJ challenging the nominations.

The parties argued that the nominations went against the principle of the EAC treaty that provides for direct and representative democracy in that the names forwarded by the Clerk of the Kenyan National Assembly were not those proposed by the parties concerned.

The government, through Attorney General Amos Wako, argued that the regional court had no jurisdiction over the partner states` selection methods.

It said the treaty gives the states the flexibility to determine the rules under which to pick their candidates for the regional assembly.

However, the regional court dismissed the argument as a wrong interpretation of the EAC treaty.

  • SOURCE: Guardian

Posted by Karuga Njuguna, published by African Press in Norway, apn, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525

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ODM-K should listen to this

Posted by African Press International on March 31, 2007

Political hard talk is here:

Posted by Karuga Njuguna, Published by African Press in Norway, apn, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525

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South African president Mbeki gets specific on Zimbabwean crisis

Posted by African Press International on March 31, 2007

Mbeki confident mediation can help Zimbabwe crisis

JOHANNESBURG, March 31 (Reuters) – South African President Thabo Mbeki said he was confident new mediation could help resolve Zimbabwe’s political crisis, but warned that neither the government nor opposition should attach conditions to the talks. 

Mbeki, named last week by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to promote dialogue between President Robert Mugabe and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), told the SABC broadcaster Western calls for tougher moves on Zimbabwe were misplaced.

“As a region we are quite convinced that the only way to solve the problem is the direction we have taken,” Mbeki said in an interview broadcast on Saturday.

The United States said African nations “fell short” in putting pressure on Mugabe at a special summit in Tanzania last week, which saw SADC call for an end to sanctions on Mugabe’s government and a new political dialogue.

Tensions in Zimbabwe have risen sharply in the last two weeks after police arrested and beat MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and other activists in a move that spurred widespread international condemnation.

Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF party on Friday formally endorsed the 83-year-old leader as its candidate for presidential elections next year, a move which could see him extend his rule over the country into a third decade.

Mbeki, who has tried and failed to facilitate dialogue between Mugabe and the MDC in the past, said he believed all sides in Zimbabwe agreed that political talks were the best way to address the crisis.

“Both MDC groups – the one led by (Morgan) Tsvangirai, and the other by (rival MDC faction leader Arthur) Mutambara – have not complained to us. Mugabe and ZANU-PF have not complained,” Mbeki said.

Tsvangirai’s MDC has warned it may not participate in the 2008 elections if Mugabe is a candidate, accusing him of rigging a series of previous elections.

But Mbeki said such pre-conditions would do little to improve the situation in Zimbabwe, where an accelerating economic collapse is increasing political tensions.

“If people have issues to raise, they should raise it in the context of discussion,” he said

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Clay, should we really forgive and forget?

Posted by African Press International on March 31, 2007

Check this out!

Here is an example to what happened to our Kenyan people, and I am supposed to forgive and forget?

I am not dwelling on this, but I cannot just
assume it never happened.

Posted by Esther, Finland

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Watching Kenyan diplomats abroad

Posted by African Press International on March 31, 2007

Kenya High Commission ARROGANCE2007/03/31 09:47

This week one of the leading UK/Kenyan website quoted
“Reliable sources at the Kenya Embassy in London reviews that several senior diplomats at the embassy has been recalled back to Kenya which is quite unusual as some of them have not yet finished three years”

During the last elections HE Mwai wa Kibaki promised that he was starting a new chapter of a working government which obviuosly would include KHC IN LONDON .What went wrong with this government and it’s organisations????????????

Kenyans in UK have cried their heads off with the poor service they get at KHC.This includes a faliure to send a reprentative to welcome fellow Kenyans on this Global Exchange Event.This event was attended by The local MP for Harlow constituency Bill Rammell who is also The Minister of Higher Education in UK. Richard Howitt, MEP (Member of European Parliament)A represetative of South East of England in Brussels, Anne Strike (Goodwill Ambassador for Action on Disability and Development), Mark Pendlington – BAA Director of Communications, Peter Ngugi who is a pastor and Kenyan leader.Maranatha World Revival UK Pastor Peter Muigai among others.

HE Muchemi we are asking you now,Are these not VIP’S who made an effort to meet and encourage the youths????What cretaria do your public office use to gauge the impotance of Kenyans events????????.Why did you not send even a representative of hamukuwa na petroli tumchangie??????????There are youths going to Kenya on this programme from UK ,Are you going to give them Kenyan visas to travel to Mombasa???????????We demand for answers.

During HE Kibaki’s last visit in UK, Hon Wetangula the assistant Minister,Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanked you for the good work of making KHC user Friendly possibly because you were very new.Mr Muchemi,have you lost touch of your office or you still got hangovers of Woken affairs?????????

Ruth Talbot Global Exchange Supervisor expressed her anger among others when they got interviewed by the press camera crew and had to bury my bead in the sand when they opened their gates to condemn you office

” Hon. Raphael Tuju, M.P.,Assistant Minister for International Affairs Hon. Moses Wetangula,MP,Permanent Secretary Mr. Thuita Mwangi,Chief of Protocol Amb. Bruce Madete,Your office seriously needs to see this DVD and have a review.”Ruth blamed Mr Muchemi’s PA (MAY BE UNPROFESSIONAL AND ARROGANT KENYAN CIVIL SERVANT WHO LEAVES IN HER OWN PLANET)for having no concern at all and as baba has taught us we say “WEWE PUMBAVU TU IN A DEEP KIKUYU ACCENT”

Many kenyans had a laugh when a few Kenyans eyed the Top Kenyans seat in UK REF:
“Bishop Gilbert Deya tells Apn by Phone that ODM-K has promised him to become Kenya’s High Commissioner to London” has-promised-him-to-become-kenyas-high-commissioner-to-london/
Could have ARCH Deya seen the light at the end of the Tunnel???????Another famous business doggy lady has expressed the desire of the Hot seat.Can they do the job and DELIVER?????Will they make KHC A NON SLEEPING EMBASSY.Your answer is as good as mine.

Kenyans in UK their eyes on you to act now
· Hon. Raphael Tuju, M.P.

Assistant Ministers
Assistant Minister for International Affairs
· Hon. Moses Wetangula, M.P.

Assistant Minister for African Affairs
· Hon. Hon. Kembi Gitura, M.P.

Permanent Secretary
. Mr. Thuita Mwangi

Chief of Protocol
· Amb. Bruce Madete.

Contact Information
Old Treasury Building, Harambee Avenue
P.O. Box 30551, Nairobi
Tel. 334433
Telegrams: “FOREIGN”

Make your scream now and write to these people and demand the answers.Please note elections are round the corner and Kenyans will vote fror a working and serious governmentPosted by Karuga Njuguna, Published by African Press in Norway, apn, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525

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It is sad that economic goodies normally don’t trickle down to the poor in order to translate into wealth

Posted by African Press International on March 31, 2007

A reaction by Muthoni to our earlier article posted by Pauline Onyango titled: Disrimination: When will it end in our society?


I will react by analyzing the causes of societal discrimination on different levels namely: the Global, national and personal level. Poverty plays a key role and is the main thread weaving through these three levels, down to this unfortunate orphan denied a chance in college. At the global level, the rich countries continue to use all manners of financial power to buy our good brains, who should help us invent so that a poor continent like Africa can also be a competitor, and not a dependant on their handouts.

Poverty is present in the rich countries too among the socio-economically deprived natives and immigrants, who are highly discriminated differently.

At the national or country level which Kenya is referred to here, responsibility lies with the central government that is supposed to have quotas or provisions for brilliant children who need to proceed to college. But as well noted, Kenya is a country that favors the children of the financially able.

Down to the personal level, many of those who are born poor in Kenya, die poor. This is quite unfortunate, and there must be a turnaround so that every Kenyan is valued and can enjoy quality life, regardless of her/his socio-economic status. It is sad that economic goodies normally don’t trickle down to the poor in order to translate into wealth.

Some solutions: (1) The developed world still owes us a fortune in terms of helping us uplift our living standards. Why? Financially, people from these countries make billions of dollars on most of our natural resources, including patenting our trees for medicine in their countries, kikoi etc. Soon it might be our Nyatiti (kamba nane), after reading about the Japanese Luo-speaking woman who plays nyatiti and sings. Morally, they need to help us because they forced us to abandon our cultures (through slavery and Christianity), and now for example, many Africans live with borrowed accents when speaking the white man’s language. They left us halfway before completing their acculturation. The French even offered citizenship to Africans who could speak, dress and eat like them. The Europeans messed us forever by colonizing us.

(2) African leaders need to be aggressive in marketing themselves, our products and also be patriotic. The love for your country does not mean you become a tribalist, but would mean for example, that you do not sign contracts that will enslave your descendants by paying inflated interest rates to the IMF and the World Bank for another century, thereby perpetuating poverty. Recently, a Kenyan delegation to a tourist exhibition in Berlin was poorly rated for bringing the Maasai clad in their usual red regalia. People have seen this for years and is nothing new or exciting. We need to be more inventive because in this case, the Rwandese brought their dancers who stole the show and it was reported that the Kenyan stall could not attract people. Remember, Kenya is losing more tourists to Uganda, Rwanda and South Africa, who seem to have improved their standards and even advertize themselves on CNN.

I have said it here that without innovation, Kenya is heading nowhere. We need to reduce brain drain by capturing our scientists inside Kenya, so that they can generate knowledge to help us prosper. This also requires that there is good political governance which in return will bring harmony among people, thus reducing crime because there will be law and order. Good leadership is key, otherwise we shall continue losing smart brains like the late Professor Bwayo, a great HIV/Aids vaccine scientist who was recently shot dead by a reckless gun-totting young thug. The state of anarchy in Kenya is partly due to the retention of wealth in a few hands. A smart capitalist knows that wealth grows by distributing capital and goods to generate profit. However, most of our wealthy Kenyans tie their money in Swisss or offshore accounts, and continue enriching those areas. Rural-urban migration can be curtailed by erecting industries in the rural areas. We need to devolve most of our services so
that people do not have to travel to city and town centres. Basically, the central government needs a sound and fair macro-economic planning by putting the taxpayer’s money in the right areas of economic growth.

3. The personal level: I will not urge Kenyans to go out there and fetch jobs, because Kenya does not have numerous job opportunities. However, if wealth can trickle from the central government to the individual level, then micro-economic growth can be realized. The former Asian Tigers rose within the decade of the 1980s due to sound planning and investments, with the full support of their central governments. The model had its weaknesses, but the key is planning and prioritizing expenditure into areas of probable growth. Kenya is projecting the middle-income position among the less developed countries by 2030; it sounds like a joke. I guess this could be halved to speed up poverty eradication. But again, is this not the same Kenya which promised clean water to all citizens by 2000 but we still do not have it? The Asian Tigers fell economically in the 1990s, but once again, they are on their feet. In 2005, South Korea registered an increase of 21% in the number of dollar
millionaires, among the emerging economies. We need to ask ourselves, how within a decade they are once again an emerging global financial market. Kenyans need to love each other too, regardless of tribe or social-political differences, because the level of tribalism has risen so much that I am sure a look at a name will deny one a place at work or in school.

My levels of analysis are chained together because not a single solution can make Kenya a better place for all.

By Muthoni Kabara,

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Military recruits graduate in Gambia and gets President Yammeh’s blessing

Posted by African Press International on March 31, 2007

Banjul (The Gambia) The largest number of new recruits into the Gambian armed forces graduated Friday at the July 22nd Square in Banjul at a well attended ceremony presided over by President Yahya Jammeh.

The recruits, who numbered 573 ; 27 of them women, will be deployed to the different services namely, the army, the navy and the National Guard.

At a ceremony attended by the Vice President and other members of the government as well as members of the diplomatic corps, President Jammeh stressed the importance of discipline and the maintenance of high moral and professional standards in the military.

Noting that in the absence of peace there can be no development, he told the graduants that his government will continue to give high priority to defence. He told them that as soldiers they were the ambassadors of peace and a strengthened democracy in the country.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Colonel Lang Tombong Tamba, stated that the 573 recruits received basic training which marked the end of the process of their transformation from civilian to military life.

The training process, which he described as an initiation into “militaryhood” covered various fields ranging from military warfare tactics, paramilitary duties, basic first aid, urban operations, arms and foot drill, weapon handling, communications, map reading, physical training, peace support operations and administration.

According to Col. Tamba, the Gambia armed forces believe in being well disciplined, well trained and fit soldiers, which he said was why some of the recruits whose performance during training fell below the acceptable standards were discharged.

Col. Tamba added that as continuous professional development is the foundation of any modern military, the soldiers will continue to receive further training to enhance their professionalism and prepare them for deployment within and outside the sub-region in the service of peace.

He thanked President Jammeh for among other things creating a child welfare account from nursery to high school for the children of officers who lost their lives while in active service. He also thanked the governments of Great Britain, the USA, France and Turkey for contributing to the training of the Gambia armed forces.

The best three recruits from each of the three batches which were trained as well as the overall best female recruit were promoted to the rank of lance corporal and decorated accordingly by President Jammeh.


Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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Sudan willing to re-consider UN initiative on Darfur

Posted by African Press International on March 31, 2007

Khartoum (Sudan) Sudan has agreed to review the overall package proposed by the United Nations for easing violence in Darfur, the minister of state for foreign affairs said on Friday.

Ali Karti said that the agreement announced at an Arab summit in Saudi Arabia on Thursday now opens discussions on the Security Council resolution 1706 authorizing the deployment of UN troops in Darfur, where African Union (AU) troops have had little impact.

Resolution 1706 calls for 22,500 UN troops and police officers to support the 7,000-strong AU force in Sudan.

“This is a breakthrough because we have agreed to sit down and discuss the mandates in 1706,” Karti told APA in an interview.

“We are open to sitting down and discussing the overall package in Darfur, not just UN troops but everything,” he said, added that the review would include a “heavy support package” such as planes.

In the past President Omar Hassan al-Bashir Bashir has rejected the UN resolution as an attempt to restore colonial rule but welcomed the world body’s support for the ill-equipped AU force.

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said at the Arab summit in Riyadh that Sudan has agreed to allow UN logistical support to help the AU mission.

He described it “a breakthrough that never happened before” and expressed hope it would lead to an immediate solution to the humanitarian tragedy in western Sudan.

The announcement came after Bashir met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Arab League chief Amr Moussa, Saudi King Abdullah and Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, who heads the East African body, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development.


Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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