The problem of irregular migration from the East and Horn of Africa to southern Africa presents a formidable challenge for countries along this route.

As they device ways of managing the flows while at the same time ensuring that the human rights of migrants are respected and protected, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya, held a three day high level inter-governmental consultative conference which was expected to deliver a final comprehensive roadmap to address the situation of stranded migrants on the Southern route.

It was against the backdrop of this challenge that the three countries affected by the flux, namely The ‘Southern Route’ – as this migration route has become known – is reportedly used by scores of irregular migrants journeying southward in the hope of reaching South Africa.

A release from the International Organization for Migration has indicated that the consultation involved was held in partnership with both the International Organization for (IOM) and the European Union (EU). Running from Tuesday to Thursday, (April 2-4, 2019), the meeting takes place with the support of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the Horn of Africa. The programme, backed by the Africa Trust Fund, covers and has been set up in close cooperation with a total of other 23 African countries.

According to the IOM, the initiative is motivated by the desire to strike that delicate balance between managing the movement and ensuring appropriate human rights consideration in the treatment of the migrants. It follows several bilateral and trilateral technical meetings between the abovementioned countries, since 2014.

Technical experts from the three countries, with the support of IOM, were scheduled to develop a draft outcome document to be adopted by the states at senior political level on the third day, which was this past Friday.

In light of the above, chief of mission of the IOM in Tanzania, “Dr. Qasim Sufi, had expressed optimism that the donor community would continue to step forward to support efforts for the safe return and reintegration of vulnerable migrants.” He did in the same vein acknowledge the efforts of both the United Republic of Tanzania and Ethiopia to jointly assist migrants who are stranded in Kenya.

A key priority of the Joint Initiative, according to IOM, was to support partner countries in the region to develop capacities for safe, humane and dignified voluntary return as well as sustainable reintegration processes. In that regard, a roadmap aimed at addressing issues pertaining to the trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants in the region, as well as the sharing of good practices and developing holistic approaches in tackling irregular migration on the Southern Route is reported to have been crafted at the consultation conference.

Other issues to be addressed by the proposed roadmap include considering alternatives to detention practices and exploring better coordination mechanisms to protect vulnerable migrants and as well improving existing voluntary return and reintegration processes and policies.

This publication made efforts to obtain comments from Wison Johwa, the IOM East Africa Regional communications officer regarding the outcomes of the EU-IOM sponsored Tri-nation initiative, which also linked me with both Alem Makonnen and Abbibo Ngandu, both based in Pretoria. The effort notwithstanding, hit a snag.

 

Source: Sunday Standard

An e-commerce platform, Jiji has announced the acquisition of OLX in Ghana and four other counties in Africa.

The details of the deal was made available via a statement by Naspers on Wednesday.

Consequently, OLX users in Ghana would be directed to Jiji marketplace in a transaction backed by one of Jiji’s cornerstone investors, Digital Spring Ventures.

According to the statement, both companies have also reached an agreement to acquire the other OLX businesses in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, subject to regulatory approvals.

The statement noted that all users of the sell-and-buy classifieds websites of OLX Nigeria, OLX Ghana, OLX Kenya, OLX Tanzania, and OLX Uganda would be redirected to Jiji.

The Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Jiji, Anton Volyansky, while making comment on the deal, said, “Users will always come first for us. We warmly welcome OLX’s customers to the Jiji family and we look forward to our new customers joining Jiji on its …online shopping experience.”

OLX shut down business in Nigeria last year February while it maintained its online marketplace as workers were laid off.

Kenya wants the entire population of elephants in Africa afforded the strictest possible protection.

Currently, only elephants in East Africa are placed under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), a listing that gives them absolute protection. This means that their parts can only be imported or exported for scientific research.

Elephants in southern Africa, on the other hand, are listed in Appendix II, which allows limited trade in their specimens. However, this could change if the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) submission to CITES to place all elephants under Appendix I is approved. Appendix I lists species that are the most endangered.

KWS Spokesperson Paul Gathitu says that the current diverse tiers of protection that allowed Southern African states to trade in selected elephant products have hindered efforts to control the ivory trade that decimated African elephant populations in eastern Africa before CITES members placed them under the most stringent protection.

Kenya’s proposal pits it against southern Africa countries that want restrictions slackened. South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe have proposed an amendment that will remove restrictions and allow for international trade in registered raw ivory from elephants from their countries. But Kenya’s conservationists worry that this might drive demand for ivory from across the continent when it needs to be eliminated.

“We are asking for a transfer of the populations of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe from Appendix II to Appendix I. We want them to stop trading in specimens of elephants,” says Mr Gathitu.

PROTECTION

In their submissions to CITES, South African countries have argued that their populations are relatively stable. However, Mr Gathitu says that in the absence of a total ban, elephant parts are being moved from countries with unsustainable populations, to those with sustainable populations, before being shipped to markets overseas.

“The black market has continued to thrive because some countries are allowed to sell, complicating the poaching crisis for the rest of us,” says Mr Gathitu, adding that CITES needs to come up with ways of dealing with ivory stockpiles.

But the proposals to CITES are only a fraction of the battle, with the real battle awaiting East African States at the 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP) in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where the African elephant range countries will battle it out for a position, between 23rd May and 3rd June, 2019.

At the same conference, Kenya, together with 30 other African states, will also push for giraffes to receive special protection.

According to the African Wildlife Foundation’s Vice President for Species Protection Philip Muruthi, the reticulated giraffe, one of Kenya’s signature wildlife species, has declined steadily and is now considered endangered. Maasai and Rothschild giraffes make up the remainder of Kenya’s total giraffe population, which has declined by up to 67 per cent since the 1970s.

Already, in a new report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the giraffe has been moved from the list of “Least Concern” to “Vulnerable” in its Red List of Threatened Species.

Around the continent, two sub-species of the giraffe have been reclassified as “Critically Endangered”. Despite their decline, hunting remains legal in countries such as South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe, with tourists from Russia, the US and European countries such as Germany paying thousands of dollars for hunting safaris.

“It is a fierce battle,” says Mr Gathitu, adding that Kenya is calling on the EU to back its proposal.

 

- Daily Nation Kenya

The borderlines separating Kenya and Somalia were first drawn in the late 19th century. Like everywhere else on the continent, this was the work of cartographers working for European colonial powers. Across the continent they replaced porous spaces in which people engaged openly across culture, language, religion, kinship, and ethnicity with straight-line geometrics.

East Africa was no exception. For ages, the borderlands in the Horn of Africa conformed to the adage:

Wherever the camel goes, that is Somalia.

Colonial border lines met with fierce resistance. In Kenya the line delineating the Northern Frontier District produced an immediate reaction, sparking the Shifta War soon after Kenya’s independence in 1963. The area is ethnographically dominated by Somalis.

The legacy of that unfinished business has now migrated to the Indian Ocean.

Kenya and Somalia are at loggerheads about the location of their maritime boundary. The claim that Kenya is making cuts off Somalia’s claim. And Somalia’s claim cuts off Kenya’s claim.

At stake is control over a 100,000 square kilometre triangle in the Indian Ocean proven to contain large deposits of oil, gas and tuna.

Legacies of imperial line drawing

Lord Salisbury, the three-times British Prime Minister who presided “over a vast expansion of the British Empire in Africa”, once noted the absurdity of the line drawing undertaken by Europeans to accomplish the scramble for Africa. Colonial powers ceded

mountains and rivers and lakes to each other, only hindered by the small impediment that we never knew exactly where the mountains and rivers and lakes were.

Lord Curzon, Queen Victoria’s Viceroy of India and the man who in 1905 split Bengal into hugely contentious and imperfect Muslim and Hindu areas, called the resulting cartographic Githeri

the razor’s edge on which hang suspended the modern issues of war or peace.“

European line drawing accomplished a kind of economic efficiency in pursuit of colonial administration. But it was indifferent to the huge diaspora and human drama provoked by bisecting and trisecting East Africa.

Winston Churchill as a British parliamentarian and before becoming Prime Minister, justified it in terms of Europe’s civilising mission. In 1907 he rode the 600-mile railway that had been built as part of Britain’s efforts to consolidate the East Africa Protectorate by connecting the port of Mombassa to Lake Victoria Nyanza. He marvelled in his 1908 travelogue,My African Journey, over the engineering masterpiece, which signalled to him

a slender thread of scientific civilisation … drawn across the primeval chaos of the world.

In fact imperial line drawing minted another kind of chaos. This chaos would pit Kenya’s post-colonial state building against Somali’s self-determination and identity politics while spreading tendentious seeds of division across the map of East Africa. Frontier fighting took hold in the Northern Frontier District, and has followed every kink and turn in the borderland, which now finds expression in a simmering dispute out into the sea.

Somalia versus Kenya at the World Court

In 2014 Somalia took Kenya to the Word Court after Kenya failed to attend a third round of delimitation talks.

Somalia wants its sea border to extend the frontier line of its land border in a southeast direction. It bases its claim on the equidistance principle derived from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Kenya claims the border follows along the parallel line of latitude directly east of its shared land terminus with Somalia. The claims overlap contested legal regimes involving the continental shelf, the Exclusive Economic Zone, and extended continental shelf claims beyond 200 nautical miles from the coast.

Kenya has regarded the line parallel to the line of latitude as the border demarcation for almost 100 years. The line mimics the sea border maritime demarcation separating Tanzania and Kenya.

Kenya argued that the two countries had agreed in a 2009 Memorandum of Understanding to settle this dispute outside of the World Court, once the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf had concluded its examination of separate submissions made by each coastal state.

Counsel for Somalia argued that the memorandum of understanding never created a binding commitment to an alternative method of dispute settlement.

In February 2017, the Court agreed with Somalia and proceeded with the case. Counsel for Somalia claimed that the court has never delimited a boundary on the basis of Kenya’s approach, nor are Kenya’s arguments supported by decisions of other international courts or arbitral tribunals. Rather, owing to its lack of confidence in the merits of the case, Somalia claims

Kenya is looking for a way to avoid the Court’s exercise of jurisdiction.

A few weeks ago, Nairobi abruptly recalled its ambassador to Mogadishu and sent back the Somali ambassador. Kenya’s claim: Somalia purportedly auctioned off shore oil blocks in the disputed sea region to European energy companies.

Diplomats are now working to describe the incident as something of a misunderstanding. European oil companies have also disputed the procurement of such licenses, fully aware that the case is sub judice and the outcome is anything but determined.

A deeper subtext

The bottom line is that Kenya and Somalia are intertwined and need one another.

Some analysts attribute the current diplomatic row to short-term political posturing as Somali regional and presidential elections approach in 2020. However, the longstanding tension over terrestrial divisions bodes ill for a settlement of the sea dispute as long as the adjoining states overlay the problems of colonial cartography with a firm commitment to eating their sovereignty cake and having it too.The Conversation

 

Christopher R. Rossi, Lecturer in international law, University of Iowa

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

At least two Kenyan cabinet secretaries are facing arrest for their alleged role in two dam projects through which public funds were misappropriated, the Star reported, citing people it didn’t identify.
 
The cabinet secretaries in the East African nation could face charges of negligence or conspiracy to steal public funds meant for construction of the dams in the Rift Valley, the Nairobi-based newspaper said Thursday.
 
The two dam projects by the state-owned Kerio Valley Development Authority will cost about $502 million, the agency said Thursday in a newspaper statement. It is partly financed through a loan from the Italian government, it said. A 15 percent advance payment was made to the contractor and both projects are on schedule for completion within the agreed period, according to the statement.
 
Kenyan authorities may arrest three county-governors for alleged involvement in graft and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating another 12 of the East African nation’s 47 county-governors, the Star reported Feb. 21. Kenya has intensified efforts to cut corruption related losses in order to avail more funds to finance ambitious infrastructure projects.

Kenya’s earnings from tourism jumped by almost a third in 2018 from the previous year to 157.4 billion shillings ($1.55 billion), after the number of visitors rose by 37 percent, the tourism ministry said on Monday.

 

Credit: Reuters

Oil marketer Libya Oil Kenya Limited (LOKL), which operates under the trade name OiLibya has rebranded to Ola Energy.
 
The oil marketer said its new brand will be effected on all its outlets in 17 countries across Africa.
 
Oil marketer Libya Oil Kenya Limited (LOKL), which operates under the trade name OiLibya has rebranded to Ola Energy.
 
Ola Energy Kenya general manager Duncan Murashiki said the rebranding is part of the firm’s expansion strategy that will see more fuel stations opened across the country. The new name is a short form of Oil Libya Africa. “By the end of 2019, we expect to have more than 100 stations in Kenya with more resources being dedicated to our lubricant market as well as liquified petroleum gas,” said Mr Murashiki.
 
Ola Energy started the distribution and marketing business in Kenya in December 2006 after signing an agreement with ExxonMobil Corporation.
 
The firm did not readily disclose how much it would spend to brand its 1,100 stations spread in 17 African countries but regional board chairman Elmarimi Kashim said they will be keen to gradually phase out the OiLibya tag during the transition expected to be completed by mid-2020.
 
“You will still see a little symbol of OiLibya in our stations as we transit because it’s a brand we have built and we don’t want anyone to imagine we are a new company with no experience in this market,” Mr Kashim said.
 
 
Source: Daily Nation
 

Tecno Mobile has announced the launch and availability of its new smartphones, the Camon 11 and the Camon 11 Pro, in Kenya.

The 2 devices have notches and also come with AI technology for selfie photography for better portraits and all round better pictures.

The Camon 11 comes with:

Screen: 6.2 inch IPS LCD touchscreen (720*1500)
OS: Android 8.1 Oreo
Chipset: MediaTek Helio A22
CPU: Octa-core 2.0GHz
GPU: PowerVR GE8320
Rear camera: Dual 13MP + 2MP with Quad flash
Selfie camera: 16MP with LED flash
RAM: 3GB
Internal storage: 32GB. Upgradable via microSD to up to 128GB
Network: 2G/3G/4G. It supports Faiba 4G
SIM: Dual SIM
Battery: 3750mAh
Colours: Bordeaux Red, Aqua Blue, Midnight Black

The Camon 11 Pro comes with:

Screen: 6.2 inch IPS LCD touchscreen (720*1500)
OS: Android 8.1 Oreo
Chipset: MediaTek Helio A22
CPU: Octa-core 2.0GHz
GPU: Mali-G71 MP2
Rear camera: Dual 16MP + 5MP with Quad flash
Selfie camera: 24MP with LED flash
RAM: 6GB
Internal storage: 64GB. Upgradable via microSD to up to 128GB
Network: 2G/3G/4G. It supports Faiba 4G
SIM: Dual SIM
Battery: 3750mAh
Colours: Bordeaux Red, Aqua Blue and Midnight Black

Camon 11 is available immediately in Tecno and Telkom Kenya shops countrywide. Camon 11 Pro is available on pre-order until 25th November and will be available for purchase thereafter.

 

Source: PmNews

Reductions in malaria cases have stalled after several years of decline globally, according to the new World malaria report 2018

To get the reduction in malaria deaths and disease back on track, World Health Organisation, WHO and partners are joining a new country-led response, launched today, to scale up prevention and treatment, and increased investment, to protect vulnerable people from the deadly disease.

For the second consecutive year, the annual report produced by WHO reveals a plateauing in numbers of people affected by malaria: in 2017, there were an estimated 219 million cases of malaria, compared to 217 million the year before. But in the years prior, the number of people contracting malaria globally had been steadily falling, from 239 million in 2010 to 214 million in 2015.

“Nobody should die from malaria. But the world faces a new reality: as progress stagnates, we are at risk of squandering years of toil, investment and success in reducing the number of people suffering from the disease,” says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

“We recognise we have to do something different – now. So today we are launching a country-focused and -led plan to take comprehensive action against malaria by making our work more effective where it counts most – at local level.”

Where malaria is hitting hardest

In 2017, approximately 70% of all malaria cases (151 million) and deaths (274 000) were concentrated in 11 countries: 10 in Africa (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda and United Republic of Tanzania) and India. There were 3.5 million more malaria cases reported in these 10 African countries in 2017 compared to the previous year, while India, however, showed progress in reducing its disease burden.

Despite marginal increases in recent years in the distribution and use of insecticide-treated bed nets in sub-Saharan Africa – the primary tool for preventing malaria – the report highlights major coverage gaps. In 2017, an estimated half of at-risk people in Africa did not sleep under a treated net. Also, fewer homes are being protected by indoor residual spraying than before, and access to preventive therapies that protect pregnant women and children from malaria remains too low.

High impact response needed

In line with WHO’s strategic vision to scale up activities to protect people’s health, the new country-driven “High burden to high impact” response plan has been launched to support nations with most malaria cases and deaths. The response follows a call made by Dr Tedros at the World Health Assembly in May 2018 for an aggressive new approach to jump-start progress against malaria. It is based on four pillars:

  • Galvanizing national and global political attention to reduce malaria deaths;
  • Driving impact through the strategic use of information;
  • Establishing best global guidance, policies and strategies suitable for all malaria endemic countries; and
  • Implementing a coordinated country response.

Catalyzed by WHO and the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, “High burden to high impact” builds on the principle that no one should die from a disease that can be easily prevented and diagnosed, and that is entirely curable with available treatments.

“There is no standing still with malaria. The latest World malaria report shows that further progress is not inevitable and that business as usual is no longer an option,” said Dr Kesete Admasu, CEO of the RBM Partnership. “The new country-led response will jumpstart aggressive new malaria control efforts in the highest burden countries and will be crucial to get back on track with fighting one of the most pressing health challenges we face.”

Targets set by the WHO Global technical strategy for malaria 2016–2030 to reduce malaria case incidence and death rates by at least 40% by 2020 are not on track to being met.

Pockets of progress

The report highlights some positive progress. The number of countries nearing elimination continues to grow (46 in 2017 compared to 37 in 2010). Meanwhile in China and El Salvador, where malaria had long been endemic, no local transmission of malaria was reported in 2017, proof that intensive, country-led control efforts can succeed in reducing the risk people face from the disease.

In 2018, WHO certified Paraguay as malaria free, the first country in the Americas to receive this status in 45 years. Three other countries – Algeria, Argentina and Uzbekistan – have requested official malaria-free certification from WHO.

India – a country that represents 4% of the global malaria burden – recorded a 24% reduction in cases in 2017 compared to 2016. Also in Rwanda, 436 000 fewer cases were recorded in 2017 compared to 2016. Ethiopia and Pakistan both reported marked decreases of more than
240 000 in the same period.

“When countries prioritize action on malaria, we see the results in lives saved and cases reduced,” says Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “WHO and global malaria control partners will continue striving to help governments, especially those with the highest burden, scale up the response to malaria.”

Domestic financing is key

As reductions in malaria cases and deaths slow, funding for the global response has also shown a levelling off, with US$ 3.1 billion made available for control and elimination programmes in 2017 including US$ 900 million (28%) from governments of malaria endemic countries.  The United States of America remains the largest single international donor, contributing US$ 1.2 billion (39%) in 2017.

To meet the 2030 targets of the global malaria strategy, malaria investments should reach at least US$6.6 billion annually by 2020 – more than double the amount available today.

 

Source: NAN

The Kenyan shilling yesterday weakened to an eight-month low against the US dollar in what market watchers attributed to excess liquidity in the money markets and demand for the dollar from manufacturers and oil importers.
 
Analysts, however, said Monday’s announcement that the Treasury is about to issue a new Eurobond is causing a recasting of positions as markets prepare for a looming jump in external debt.
 
The shilling exchanged at an average of 101.73 units to the dollar in the interbank market, a level last seen at the end of February, having weakened against the dollar by nearly one per cent this month.
 
The shilling’s performance in the market is being seen as resulting from the negative sentiments on Kenya’s debt position and the ongoing flight of foreign capital back to the US where rates are rising.
 
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week downgraded Kenya’s risk of debt distress from low to moderate, and many observers see the looming Eurobond issue as having the potential to spook the market even further.
 
Treasury principal secretary Kamau Thugge told Bloomberg on Monday that the external financing bit of the budget deficit will comprise of up to Sh250 billion worth of Eurobonds, and Sh37 billion in syndicated loans.
 
“The shilling may be further undermined by weaker debt metrics after the IMF’s downgrade of the country risk of external debt distress from low to moderate,” said economists at Commercial Bank of Africa in a note.
 
The bank said the government’s plan to return to the Eurobond market for the bulk of external debt financing this fiscal year risks aggravating debt sustainability concerns given the potential for higher debt servicing costs.
 
The shilling’s depreciation in recent weeks has, however, not been characterised by volatility, suggesting that it is an issue of underlying fundamentals rather than speculative actions in the currency trading markets.
 
 
Source: Daily Nation
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