Category Archives: East African Community News


From: Joachim Omolo Ouko
News Dispatch with Omolo Joachim

Concerns have been raised on whether Burundi could be helped never to go to dark ages marked with violence, killings, intimidations, tortures among other human rights abuses. The answer to these concerns is simple, African leaders cannot assist because they behave the same.

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni who was sent by East African communities to broker peace and reconciliation himself changed the constitution to enable him run for third term. Rwanda is the same. Kenya is no difference, so does Tanzania.

At least 50,000 refugees are living on the shore of Lake Tangyanika in rough conditions after fleeing the political crisis in Burundi. More than 105,000 Burundians have fled the country, with 70,000 crossing into Tanzania alone, since the political crisis began in Burundi. Around 26,300 Burundians have entered Rwanda, most of whom are now living in the Mahama refugee camp.

According to activists, at least 20 people have been killed in clashes with police. The government has repeatedly disputed allegations of heavy-handed tactics. But the ongoing crisis has prompted an exodus across the border.

Polling has just ended after a night of gunfire and explosions that claimed two lives in the capital Bujumbura. President Nkurunziza iwho has forced his way to run for a third term despite a limit of two terms in the constitution is going to be declared the president, so what?

Even if the US State Department has joined critics saying the disputed presidential election lacks credibility and will discredit the government, do they care? Most African leaders are not there for the people but for their own benefits, that is why they don’t care whether people are dying or suffering.

The US said it would review all aspects of its partnership with the east African country including imposing visa restrictions on those it said were responsible for promoting instability. But do they care even if the president’s office describes the latest protests as terrorist acts intended to disrupt the election.

In Burundi we are dealing with rebel leader-turned president, who claims to be born-again Christian, former sports teacher whose father was killed in ethnic violence in 1972. The African Union (AU) did not send observers – the first time it has taken such a stance against a member state, not because they are against Nkurunziza’s decision to run for the third time but because of the blame from foreign communities.

The European Union has expressed a similar view, and has cut some aid to Burundi to show its anger with Mr Nkurunziza. Most African nations still rely on European, US, World Bank, IMF and other foreign aids, so they cannot contradict them.

The other thing in Burundi is to do with tribe. Tensions between Burundi’s ethnic Hutu majority – comprising some 85 percent of the 10.5 million population- and the country’s Tutsi minority have flared up regularly since independence from Belgium in 1962.

Mr Nkurunziza led a Hutu rebel group fighting the Tutsi-dominated army until a peace deal led to him becoming president in 2005. The Constitutional Court has backed his argument that his first term in office did not count towards the two-term limit, as he was elected by MPs.

Burundi is not alone. In Nigeria it has been called the election that still “haunts” Nigeria to this day. Popular businessman Moshood Abiola officially garnered 58.3 percent of the vote, against his closest contender Bashir Tofa with 41.7 percent, in what was called Nigeria’s most democratic election since independence:

For the first time, a southerner was able to gain broad popular support from all corners of the country. But soon after the results were announced, the military regime in power, led by Ibrahim Babangida, simply annulled the results – end of story.

Nigerians were appalled, taking to the streets in protest. Babangida had to resign, and in the uncertainty following, General Sani Abacha took power – leading to the most brutal and repressive chapter in Nigeria’s history.

Similar story is in Uganda. Long-serving president Yoweri Museveni was up against opposition leader Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC). But in the run up to the election, Besigye was arrested and charged with treason both in civilian and military courts, allegedly for his “anti-government” activities while in exile in the preceding years. He was also charged with rape, of the daughter of a friend.

Besigye protesters believed (and court proceedings later suggested) the charges were fabricated to stop Besigye from challenging Museveni. When it appeared that Besigye and his twenty-two co-defendants in the treason case might be released on bail by the civilian court, the government prosecutor, in an apparent attempt to prevent Besigye’s candidacy, then brought terrorism charges against him.

On the day of their bail hearing, a group of heavily armed goons were lurking around the court, ready to detain the group as soon as they were released on bail. The judge presiding did grant them bail, but the defendants declared to remain in Luzira Prison, instead of risking detention– incredibly, prison was a better deal than going free.

In the end, the legal charges, counter-charges, appeals, and dramatic court decisions made it impossible for anything like a level playing field to be possible, and Besigye ended up spending almost as many days in court as on the campaign trail. Museveni ended up winning with 59 percent of the vote.

In Kenya President Mwai Kibaki was facing tough competition from opposition leader Raila Odinga, with initial results showing that the opposition party had taken the majority of seats in the National Assembly.

While parliamentary results were forthcoming, it wasn’t the case for the presidential results. Three days after the election, President Kibaki suddenly and inexplicably received a massive boost in the tally, with the numbers ostensibly coming from his “strongholds” – but which observers say was marred by ballot stuffing and outright fraud.

The Electoral Commission of Kenya announced Kibaki as the winner, leading to his hurried swearing in at dusk at State House in Nairobi. The country swiftly descended into deadly political violence that killed over 1,000 and displaced 600,000, and eventually Odinga joined Kibaki in a coalition government as Prime Minister to end the violence.

In Zimbabwe the story is even scary. President Robert Mugabe was facing his toughest challenge yet, as the country’s economic situation was dire – inflation was averaging 165,000% and the economy had shrunk 40 percent since 2000.

Voting day itself was generally peaceful, but as initial reports of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) taking the lead began coming in, confusion set in, and a recount was ordered in 23 constituencies. More than a month went by before an official result was announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, indicating Tsvangirai won with 47.9 percent of the vote, and Mugabe came second at 43.2 percent, necessitating a run-off.

The period between the first and second votes was marked by systematic violence, intimidation and brutalisation of voters perceived to be MDC supporters, and just days to the run-off, Tsvangirai announced he was withdrawing from the run-off, describing it as a “violent sham” and saying that his supporters risked being killed if they voted for him.

Although Tsvangirai’s name remained on the ballot, Mugabe (obviously) won the second round as the only candidate. Tsvangirai later joined the government as Prime Minister in a Government of National Unity.

In DRC the story is similar. The 2011 election was the second since the official end of the Second Congo War in 2003, but it was marred by widespread fraud in the electoral roll and in vote tallying. One survey showed hundreds of thousands of ghost voters in the form of duplicate names in the register.

Some duplicates could be attributable to technical glitches, but tampering was a more likely explanation due to the scale. In several of the Congolese provinces, the double entries were equivalent to more than 12 percent of voters; the margin of error for duplicates on similar databases used in Western and some Asian elections is less than 1 percent.

And in the tallying, some constituencies in Katanga province “reported impossibly high rates of 99 to 100 percent voter turnout with all, or nearly all, votes going to incumbent President Joseph Kabila”, while in Kinshasa, where opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi enjoyed strong support, results from nearly 2,000 polling station stations were simply “lost” – roughly a fifth of the city’s total. In the end, Kabila officially won the poll with 49 percent of votes cast, against Tshisekedi’s 32 percent.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
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Energy Access and Security in Eastern Africa – Status and Enhancement Pathways

From: Yona Maro

A report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), which assesses the state of energy access and security in 14 States of the Eastern Africa Region by employing energy access and security assessment methodologies was launched on 10th June in Kigali, Rwanda.

The report entitled “Energy Access and Security in Eastern Africa – Status and Enhancement Pathways” investigates on issues of energy technology, energy resources governance, energy and the environment, energy trade and the impact of energy on the macro-economy. It also reviews, in depth, the issues of energy access and security based on regional analysis, and case studies of Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Sudan and Uganda. It suggests pertinent recommendations on enhancing the state of energy access and security in the sub-region.

The share of the population with access to electricity in Eastern Africa is among the lowest globally. The report cites for example, that in South Sudan, a mere 1 percent of the population has access; in Burundi 2 percent; in DR Congo 9 percent; and in Uganda 12 percent. The regional access level of 27% is also below the level for middle-income countries (a policy aspiration of member States) of 82%. “Structural transformation aspiration of member States will need to overcome the energy access bottleneck impairing the pace of industrial development,” the report says.

The report further notes that due to limited progress in transition from traditional biomass as a main source of energy, since 1990 there has been a forest stock decline of 20% in Ethiopia, Somalia and Tanzania, nearly 40% in Uganda and Burundi and between 4-8% in DR Congo, Eritrea, Kenya and Madagascar, leading to household energy challenges.

Reflecting on energy security in the petroleum sub-sector, the report highlights that the region nearly exclusively relies on imported refined petroleum, with declining regional refining capacity and increasing consumption levels (increased by 63% in the last decade). Oil import is now taking a large share of GDP in member States, diverting financial resources from development. The needs for a regional and country framework on energy security management are discussed.

Yohannes Hailu, the Economic Affairs Officer in Charge of Energy at UNECA. “Energy trade with neighboring countries and regionally is an untapped opportunity in Eastern Africa” “Countries in the region which have the capacity to generate more power, given their energy resource potential, should increasingly look at regional energy trade opportunities that would mutually benefit all the economies of the region.” he added.

Hailu further noted that regional opportunities for energy sector development would have to be supplemented by greater efforts at the country level to develop indigenous energy resources, along with a national strategy and framework for energy security management.

Ethiopia Welcomes Egypt’s Shift in Position Over Nile Row

From: Abdalah Hamis


Ethiopia on Thursday commended Egypt’s unprecedented and an official decision to peacefully resolve a long-standing dispute with Addis Ababa over a controversial power plant project known as Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

“Ethiopia strongly welcomes Egypt’s interest to re-launch talk over the GERD and solve the problem through dialogue,” spokesperson for Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Dina Mufti told journalists.

“Egypt has no other option except dialogue and win-win negotiation to find a solution that is acceptable by both sides,” he added.

Egypt’s newly elected president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has recently pledged to resolve the water dispute with Ethiopia through dialogue.

Ethiopian officials said that al-Sisi is expected to pay an official visit to Ethiopia soon probably making it his first trip to a foreign nation since he assumed office in June 8.

Ethiopian Foreign Minister, Tedros Adhanom, who attended the new president’s inaugural ceremony in Cairo, has held meeting with al-Sisi and other high ranking officials over the multi-billion dollar power plant project.

During their discussion Adhanom has reaffirmed Ethiopia’s commitment for cooperation with Egypt based on mutual trust and confidence.

Al-Sisi and Adhanom have also agreed to reactivate the tripartite technical dialogue between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia and harmonize existing differences by high-level political consultations.

Addis Ababa insists the $ 4.6 billion dam project won’t adversely affect Egypt and Sudan instead the downstream countries will be benefited from the cheap and renewable hydro power processed electricity it generates.

Egypt considers the massive dam project, as a threat to its water security arguing it will eventually diminish its water share.


Mean while, Sudanese vice-president, Bakri Hassan Saleh, has reaffirmed his country’s commitment to the dam project which Ethiopia is building in Nile river near the Sudanese border.

Saleh who was in Addis Ababa earlier this week to attend a regional summit of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) made the remarks while holding talks Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

“Sudan will derive multiple benefits from the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project,” Saleh said according to the state-run Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency (ERTA).


Saleh and Desalegn have also consulted on the 6 month old conflict in South Sudan.

While commending Ethiopia’s role to peacefully end the conflict in neighbouring South Sudan, Saleh called on Addis Ababa to continue exerting maximum efforts to bring lasting solution.

Desalegn, for his part, assured his country would remain committed to end the political crises in the youngest nation.

“Ethiopia will continue to put pressure on the South Sudanese rivals through all channels available,” said the Ethiopian premier.

Leaders of the two SPLM rival factions, President Salva Kiir and his political rival Riek Machar, on Tuesday agreed to end fighting and form a unity government within two months.

At a news conference he gave Friday, spokesperson for Ethiopia foreign ministry, Dina Mufti said IGAD member countries have been frustrated by the failure of previous deals.

He however went on to saying that the regional bloc mediating the two warring factions won’t hesitate to take action if the two sides once again violate the latest agreements.

He added peacekeeping force drawn from Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya will be deployed to end the conflict which has killed thousands since erupted in mid December last year.

Tanzania, Burundi to launch One-Stop Border Post soon

From: Abdalah Hamis

Tanzania and Burundi have moved steps closer towards being the first countries in the East African Community (EAC) to operationalize the One Stop Border Post (OSBP) concept at Kabanga/Kobero .

The pilot operation is scheduled to commence in June of this year following completion of temporary structures on site and the installation of ICT systems at the border between the two countries, an achievement realised thanks to financial support from Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA).

Other than the financial support, the OSBP has also been made possible based on the bold decision by the governments of the two countries to sign the OSBP Bilateral Agreement back in 2011.

The Bilateral Agreement enables the countries to implement the OSBP concept while waiting for OSBP law, which is in the offing.

According to the tentative timetable released during a recent bi-lateral meeting between Tanzania and Burundi in the town of Gitega, Burundi, the OSBP operations on a pilot basis could start as early as 7th June, 2014.

The launching of the OSBP operations at the border will be a huge relief to travelers and traders from the two countries as they will now only stop once for customs formalities instead of twice, thereby cutting cost and time spent at the border. Clearance will also improve thanks to envisioned automation of operations at the post.

Under the OSBP concept, people entering Burundi will by-pass the Kabanga border post (Tanzania customs and immigration offices) and proceed to Kobero in Burundi where Tanzanian customs and immigration officials will work side by side.

Likewise those entering Tanzania will by-pass Kobero and stop only at Kabanga where officials of both countries will be working side by side.

According to Customs Officials Adelius Francis (Tanzania) and Bigirimana Felix (Burundi), on average, the border serves between 50 and 70 trucks per day, with more traffic moving from Tanzania into Burundi.

“Sometimes we attend to more than 100 trucks…it depends on the day,’ lamented Bigirimana who works at the Kobero border post.

Fully fledged OSPB operations at Kabanga/Kobero will begin when the construction of permanent structures completed.

TMEA’s Manager for OSBPs Israel Sekirasa told participants of the bilateral meeting who visited the border on 14th May, 2014 that the construction of the OSBP at Kabanga is expected to be completed by December this year.

He said that the construction of permanent facilities at Kobero on the Burundi side has not started but the country plans to use the modest buildings currently used for the pilot project until further notice.

Kenya: President Uhuru Kenyatta Speech, during the 5th Northern Corridor Integration Summit

From: Sam Muigai


Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government,
Heads of Delegation Present,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me begin by thanking you for honouring my invitation to this important Summit. It is a pleasure for me to welcome you all to Nairobi and in particular to this Forum. We highly appreciate your presence as it bolsters our bonds. Karibuni Nairobi!

Let me also commend the Ministers and senior officials who have been meeting during the last two days, for their diligence in preparing for the Summit. We look forward to reflecting on your report, and to advancing the work you have done.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our region still faces a significant infrastructure deficit challenge:we must,therefore, continue to construct the infrastructure we need to raise our economies to the path of higher growth. In the near term, we will need to expand, upgrade and rehabilitate the transport network throughout our entire region to open wider economic opportunities for our peoples.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Since our first Summit in Entebbe last year, we have made remarkable progress in the priority areas we identified as crucial to our engagement. This builds on the longer history of the summits, which have seen a successive expansion of the scope of our cooperation – animated, as always, by our long-term aim of full integration. Allow me to mention some of our signal achievements so far.

As you know, our region remains beset by serious deficiencies in energy production. We chose to deal with that difficulty by investing in several generation and transmission projects, particularly in the production of geothermal power, in the construction of oil pipelines, in power interconnection and in the construction of an oil refinery. There is progress to report: the Memorandum on Geothermal Energy was signed in Februarythis year, while the electricity inter-connections between our countries are on track for completion by April next year.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
We long ago recognised that we would need to build our people’s skills if we were to achieve our ambitions. It is, therefore, my pleasure to remind you that, at our last summit, we resolved to identify priority skills needed in the Integration Projects, through a regional skills audit for each sector. We also agreed to consider allocating funds for capacity building for various institutions across the region; the aim was to rehabilitate and upgrade their facilities.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
These measures will enliven the training programmes we must have, if we are to meet the demand for skilled men and women that will follow the expansion of our infrastructure.

I wish also to recall our resolution to cooperate in the development of our commodities exchange.To hasten the integration of Commodities Exchange in the region, we agreed to establish a Joint Technical Committee at the regional level. I look forward to hearing from our Ministers on the advances they have made in this task.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the Fourth Summit in Kampala this year, we launched the East African Tourist Visa and agreed to permit the use of each other’s identity documents for travel within the region. These two initiatives have been rolled out successfully;a real evidence of the region’s desire for deeper integration. The advent of the single tourist visa eased the travels of our visitors, and effectively turned the participating countries into a single tourist destination.

Our acceptance of ID cards for travel across our borders substantially eases our peoples’ travels, opening new opportunities for cross- border trade, as well as integration at the level that matters most – between citizens. In the same spirit, we also set out to operationalize the One-stop Border Post Concept and to budget for e-visa, e-identity card and e-border management systems. I am informed that work on these matters continues at the experts’ level.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Congestion at our ports and diverse barriers along the main transport corridors have long hindered the movement of our goods. Since our first Summit, considerable improvements in the movement of cargo along the Northern Corridor have been realised. Containers from Mombasa once took 18 days to reach Kampala; that has now been reduced to 4 days. Equally worth noting is that the journey from Mombasa to Kigali now takes six (6)days in contrast to 22 days not long ago.

But this is not all about our achievements:I note with satisfaction that multiple customs declarations for fuel have since dropped by 90%. These

are great achievements; but to sustain them, we also agreed to remove all technical and non-tariff barriers to trade. Today’s Summit should therefore aim to build on these achievements by agreeing on new measures to remove the obstacles that remain.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our achievements so far are threatened by the insecurity and terrorism that has recently caused so such concern in our region. We, the Heads of States, signed the Mutual Defence Pact and the Mutual Peace and Security Cooperation Pact during the last Summit.

These pacts expressed our common commitment to take the fight to those who prefer violence and theft instead of honest toiling to earn prosperity and freedom. Allow me now to encourage the partner states to hasten the full enactment of these agreements.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Let me now touch on other infrastructure programmes we are working on.

Some time ago, we set ourselves the goal of developing a standard gauge railway system byMarch 2018. For my part, I can report that work on the Mombasa-Nairobi section was launched in Novemberlast year.

Full construction is expected to begin in July this year, and the line from Mombasa to Malaba is on schedule for completion by March 2018. The LAPSSET project, which we all expect to multiply the opportunities for trade and interaction between our nations, continues to make steady progress.

We also agreed to establish seamless operations across our air space – whether in the management of our air traffic, or in the use and sharing of the information and resources held in trust by our institutions. These plans are backed by, and depend on, our commitment to partner in the development of an ICT infrastructure-related concept.

Ladies and Gentlemen, In conclusion, I wish to note that these projects and initiatives are extraordinarily ambitious. But we have no choice if we desire to fully exploit the potential of our region. We agreed to undertake those initiatives confident that we are equal to the task. It remains only to rededicate ourselves to completing what we have begun.

Thank you. God bless you all, and may He bless and lead East Africa.


Reports Leo Odera Omolo

Information emerging from Arusha says the East African Business Council has elected Felix Mosha, a Tanzanian, as its new Executive Chairman for 2014/2015.

Mosha now succeeds Virnal Shah a Kenyan who had served the umbrella of private sector organization since May 2013.

Mosha, who is an Economist, will be tasked with ensuring that non-tariff barriers are eliminated as they are main uniting factor to the growth of the private sector and are slowing down the integration process.

The region also needs to speed up the integration process for the benefit of its citizens.

Mosha has outlined key privileges that he will focus on during his tenure.

They include free movement of persons across the region, movement of services, ensuring food security across the region, elimination of NTBs, free and speedy acquisition of work permits, domestic taxes, harmonisation, improving EABC viability and mobility enhancement.

Other Board members elected were Vice Chairperson Nyumbere of Burundi, Olive Kigunga of Uganda and Denis Kabera of Rwanda.

A report released by the EAC Secretariat that cover he past 55 NTRS were resolved from 36 that were resolved in 2012.

The World Bank doing business 2013 report highlighted NTBS as one of the key challenges the region faced with. Inadequate infrastructure, particularly roads, railways and energy, have also hindered the process.

Established in 1992, the EABC is the apex body of business associations of the private sector and corporates from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda. It also aims to protect the environment conducive to business and growth.

Meanwhile other new items came out of Arusha based secretariat of the EAC syas that a push to remove unnecessary trade barriers and develop key infrastructure progrests has driven trade between East African countries to new heights.

New data by the United nations (EAC) ensurer that between 2000 and 2012.



Business feature By Leo Odera Omolo

East Africa regional leaders have agreed to set up a regional oil refinery in Hoima town in western Uganda and a pipeline in Lamu on the Kenyan coast.

Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda struck the deal at a recent meeting held in the Rwandan capital, Kigali. Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatt, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame of Rwanda were in attendance during the mini-summit which was held on April 6 , 2014.

Discussion centered on the oil refinery at Hoima stated presidential joint strategic communications unit issued after the meeting.

The regional leaders also agreed on joint construction of a crude oil pipeline from Hoima to Lamu in Kenya.

The regional refinery and a crude oil pipeline to Kenya’s seaport of Lamu are among a raft of agreements that are covered in a trilateral pact signed last year.

The pact, however, left room for the three states to decide whether to pull resources for the refinery and how to do so.

Uganda and Kenya have both confirmed commercial quantities of recently discovered oil and both are currently sprucing up their midstream capacities

Kenya closed down its aging Changamwe based oil refinery last year citing inefficiencies that made locally refined fuels more costly than imported finished products

The assets of Kenya petroleum Refinery Ltd were also found to be unstable in refining the waxy oil discovered in both countries. The Changamwe based facility was built to handle urban demand and oil from the middle east. As a result, regional leaders have been favorable to pipeline and refinery options when the oil find came online.

Experts, according to media reports, have however warned that a pipeline for waxy oil is likely to be a very expensive undertaking. Concerned states therefore, will not only have to invest in an …heating system to keep the crude flowing, but also ensure its security from sabotage.

South Sudan and Ethiopia are also expected to join the initiative at a later stage as it professes flow at the Lamu port.

Meanwhile EAC countries traded more with each other than with any other trading blocs on the continent, boosting an average intra regional export as a percentage by destination of 19.5 per cent.

Comparatively, southern African Development Community (SADC), is second with an intra regional trade export average of 10.9 per cent, followed by intergovernmental authority on Development, at 0.92 per cent, and West African Economic community (ECOWAS), coming fourth at 8.6 per cent.

However intra EAC trade still suffered hiccups arising from several barriers evicted by member state. For example the latest scorecards on EAC trade launched in February show that Tanzania and Burundi have retained the highest number of restriction to cross boarder trade and flow of foreign direction investment in the East African Region.

Since the common market protocol was implemented in July 2010, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania have introduced at least 10 restrictions on the movement of capital in service. Several new restrictions have been introduced – – at least 10 restrictions to cross border on the movement of capital In service. Several new restrictions have been introduced or carried over into laws.

And for the case of goods, since…the enactment of the custom reunion on January 1, 2005, 51 non tariff barriers arising from regulatory measures by governments were identified between 2008 and June 2003.

The UNECA argues that the average intra regional export members are low and more needs to be done to help push them up.

While in the recent past there has been a focus on approving infrastructure by EAC heads of states, it remains a major aim to increasing intra- organization trade. Both roads and railway network are still not well established to allow the easy movement of goods and services.

UNEAC further says that intra- regional trade promotes cohesion and strengthens the barganing power of African countries as a critical of factor when negating trade agreements with rich nations.

The deal which increased intra-regional trade would also help Africa gain more from its measures. Usually the developed world buys raw materials from African Nations to manufacture goods and later sell to the continent at exravegant prices.

“Dependence on commodity prices and in some cases mineral extraction makes growth vulnerable to external shocks,“ says Andrew Mold, a senior economic affairs officer at the sub-regional office for Eastern Africa.

Economics and observers believe a diversified economy will help East African countries more from a traditional agriculture based economy to one industrial one



To: “”

By Agwanda Saye.

The second phase of Lake Victoria Environmental Management Programme has been extended by two years by the respective donors according to the project’s National Coordinator Francisca Awuor.

According to Awuor despite many hurdles which they have experienced they have implemented various activities and realized various achievements as the project was suppose to end in June 2003 but has been extended to June 2015.

Speaking after an extension tour with journalists on LVEMP 2 projects within Busia,Siaya,Homa Bay and Migori Counties Awuor added that the donor funded project had a budget of $ 30 million which was to be spent within four years but now six year.

“The good about the project’s four main four components phase: Strengthening Institutional Capacity for Managing Shared Water and Fisheries Resources, Point Source Pollution Control and Prevention, Watershed Management and Project Coordination and Management is that so far we are almost achieving all of them as at now we have absorbed 50.6% but we out to have reached 80% to be allowed to move to the next phase”Awuor added.

Already two hundred and twenty five Community Driven Development groups have benefitted from the fund as kshs.300, 950,021 has been disbursed to them while kshs 359,950 021 is yet to be distributed.

She however added that for efficiency measures LVEMP 2 project doesn’t give each individual group money in full but its broken in phases which commensurate the group’s activities progress.

However she cautions the groups against diversifying the fund’ from their initial intended purpose warning that the groups made an agreement with the Kenya government and any found to squander the fund will face the full force of the law.

So far LVEMP 2 in collaboration with the Kenya Maritime Authority is involved in the removal of Water Hyacinth within both the two counties of Migori and Kisumu.

Awuor further said that kshs 0.5 billion has been set aside for the expansion two sewer treatment plants in both Homa Bay and Kisumu Counties while a new plant is to be constructed within Bomet County.

“The Kisat Sewer treatment plant in Kisumu will cost kshs 110 million while the Homa Bay will be done a cost of kshs 210 million with the construction of a new Sewer plant in Bomet will costing kshs 135 million” Awuor added.

Currently, six water laboratories have been completed within Kisumu and are housed in Kisumu and are housed in one building.

The six water labs will help in monitoring quality and quantity of water whether borehole, spring, ground and spring water as well as industrial and disposal waste.

The Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project phase two (LVEMP-II) is a regional initiative implemented by the five East African Community (EAC) Partner States of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. LVEMP II complements and upscales the LVEMP I activities which ended in December 2005.

LVEMP II is regionally coordinated by the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) through its Regional Project Coordination Team (RPCT) based in Kisumu, Kenya. In Tanzania, the project became effective on 20th August 2009, and its implementation covers Lake Victoria Basin Tanzania part in Mara, Mwanza and Kagera Regions, with a total number of 23 districts. The Project is funded by the World Bank, Global Environmental Facility (GEF), Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), Government of Tanzania and Communities. The project, which is multi-sectoral and coordinated by the Ministry of Water, is expected to be implemented for a period of 8 years in two phases, from 2009-2013 and 2013-2017.

The Overall Objective of LVEMP II is to contribute to the achievement of EAC’s vision for the Lake Victoria Basin, which is: “creating a prosperous population living in a healthy and sustainable managed environment and providing equitable opportunities and benefits”

The Project development/global environmental objectives (PDO/GEO) of APL1 are to:

i. improve collaborative management of the trans-boundary natural resources of LVB for the shared benefits of the EAC Partner States; and

ii. reduce environmental stress in targeted pollution hotspots and selected degraded sub-catchments to improve the livelihoods of communities, who depend on the natural resources of LVB

The project has four main components: (i) Strengthening Institutional Capacity for Managing Shared Water and Fisheries Resources; (ii) Point Source Pollution Control and Prevention; (iii) Watershed Management; and (iv) Project Coordination and Management.


young East Africa entrepreneurs & scientist business fund support for startup

From: sebastian marondo

Dear all,

Kindly be informed that, BAIP group seeks to support young businesses and science projects in rapidly growing countries of East Africa and Southeast Asia by combining them with European information technology businesses, scientists and professionals, funding them and investing in their development.

Therefore, BAIP group is inviting East Africa young entrepreneurs and scientists to pitch us their ideas to be selected to participate in the Investment Summit which will take place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in September 2014.

During the Summit, Entrepreneurs with the best, the most promising ideas with the highest growth potential will be selected and connected with European IT businesses and professionals, business mentors and investors, their know-how, experience and funds in order to turn their ideas and businesses into profitable enterprises.

For more information about BAIP group and the application process, please see the presentation:

Kindly share this invitation with young entrepreneurs and scientists that could benefit from this program to check the presentation and pitch us their ideas.

Best regards

Eastern Africa: The fast emerging oil and gas frontier region

From: News Release – African Press Organization (APO)

5th Eastern Africa Oil, Gas-LNG & Energy Conference – 28 – 30 April 2014, Intercontinental Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya

Eastern Africa: The fast emerging oil and gas frontier region

NAIROBI, Kenya, March 27, 2014/ — With a 35+year track record in and on Africa, Global Pacific & Partners ( hosts this landmark meeting on Eastern Africa. Now in its 5th year, Global Pacific & Partners invites you to this annual event held in Nairobi, Kenya, providing unrivalled new insights into the upstream opportunities, open acreage, bid rounds, new ventures, oil/gas investments, key upstream players, and corporate/government strategies in this vast region of fifteen countries covering onshore and offshore potential, from Eritrea to South Africa, including across the Mascerene islands.


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About “Global Pacific & Partners: Clubs and Networks”:

Over 350 senior executives attended the Conference in 2013, with 36 exhibitors.

Key Focus:

– Upstream opportunities

– Open acreage

– Bid rounds

– New ventures

– Oil/gas investments

– Key upstream players

– Corporate/government strategies

Senior-Level Presentations from:

– Africa Oil Corp

– Anadarko Petroleum



– Discover Exploration Limited

– Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos, EP

– Geological Survey Department, Malawi

– Ministry of Energy, Kenya

– Ministere des Hydrocarbures, Kinshasa

– Ministere des Mines et des Hydrocarbures, Madagascar

– Ministry of Energy & Natural Resources, Rwanda

– Ophir Energy

– PetroSeychelles

– Petroleum Exploration & Production Department, Uganda

– Salama Fikira

– Shell Exploration

– SPETC Advisory

– Soma Oil & Gas

– Somali Petroleum Corporation

– South Atlantic Petroleum

– Taipan Resources

– T5 Oil & Gas Ltd

– Tullow Oil

– Vanoil Energy

The 5th Eastern Africa – Strategy Briefing presented by their Chairman, Dr Duncan Clarke, is held prior to the conference, on Monday 28th April, and will provide key insights on the corporate upstream oil and gas game, governments, state oil firms, and licensing strategies.

Key Focus:

– Eastern Africa’s corporate E&P players

– Acreage, assets, strategies and investments

– Minnows, Independents, Super Majors

– Onshore/Offshore: Sudan to South Africa

– Foreign State Oil Companies

Following the 5th Eastern Africa Oil, Gas/LNG & Energy we will celebrate the 62nd PetroAfricanus Dinner to be held on 29th April.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Global Pacific & Partners.

Note for the Press:

For further information, please contact Global Pacific & Partners:

Babette van Gessel
Tel: +31 70 324 61 54

Sonika Greyvenstein
Tel: +27 11 880 70 52

Global Pacific & Partners


From: Abdalah Hamis

This statement gives a review of the performance of the October to December (OND), 2013 short rainfall season, the ongoing seasonal rains over central, western, southwestern highlands, southern region and southern coast, and an outlook for the March to May (MAM), 2014 long rainfall season (Masika). Click here to view/download a copy of the full report

Kenyan Lawmakers Want Uganda out of South Sudan, Accuse Museveni of “Hidden Interests”

From: Sam Muigai

Senators of the Kenyan political block, the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) have expressed their concerns over Uganda’s military involvement in South Sudan and urged the Kenyan government to stop Uganda’s one-sided policy in the world’s newest nation.

The two senators, Hassan Omar and James Orengo charged Uganda’s president of pursuing “hidden interests” and want him to publicly declare the interests he is pursuing.

The Lawmakers also asked the Ugandan President to immediately withdraw his troops from South Sudan and urged him to give peace a chance.

“We are telling the Kenyan government to ask Museveni to quit fighting in South Sudan with immediate effect. He is the one who is fueling the conflict by supporting one side”, Senator Hassan Omar argues.

Senator James Orengo went further saying the Ugandan president should leave “the Island of Migingo” alone before meddling in the young nation’s affairs.

“Museveni is an aggressor and if the truth be told he can only morally intervene in the South Sudan if he can leave alone the Island of Migingo because it belongs to the people of Kenya”, Orengo said.

The lawmakers further accused Museveni of “sabotaging the peace process” currently taking place in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

The Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is widely hated in South Sudan because of his military intervention.

Most South Sudanese believe that the alleged coup claimed by President Kiir was actually a plan given to him (Kiir) by Museveni to get rid of all his political rivals


Writes Leo Odera Omolo in Kisumu City

SECURITY Ministers of the three Eastern African nations of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda met in Kigali, the Rwandan capital early this week and signed an important pact to jointly combat the activities of the terrorists bin the region.

The new pact according to an impeccable source, will address threats posed by marauding genocidal entities such as { FDRL}, terrorists groups like ADF-Nalu, and the islamists Al-Shabaab, and several transnational crime groups, that require collective security framework.

Kenya”s cabinet secretary for Defense Ms Rachelle Omamo and internal security counterpart Joseph Ole Lenku went Kigali and met with their Ugandan and Rwandan counterparts..They Signed the pactwith the Rwandan Defense Minister James Kabarebe while Ugandan Defense Minister Grispus Kiyongsa signed on behalf of the Kampala regime.

Under the new pact, the three countries which are member states of the East African Community joint forces will tackle the terrorism in the region following the steady raise of terrorism menace in the region.

Addressing newsmen on behalf the group, Rwandan Defebse Minister Kabarabe that the landmark Mutual Defense and security agreement will help the three countries jointly tackle “Negative Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda” [FDRL], WHICH Rwandan government accuse ofhaving links with the perpetrators 0f the 1994 genocide in Rwanda which claimed the lives of close to one million people..

The minister said the Rwandan government has refused to negotiate with FDRL and has accused the UN of backing the rebel movements in the DEMOCRATIC republic of the {DRC} and deploying death squad to murder opponents abroad.

The document was also endorsed by thr Rwandan Internal Security MIinister MUSA fazil Haremana and HIS Kenyan counterpart Arounda Nyakiraima \nd Ole Lenku respectively..

According to Rwandan officials, the pact will seek to address the security challenges that may come with free movement of people..”, he said adding that co-operation between the three countries will bring more benefits t the population.”

The Rwandan Minister hinted that after signing the pact,the next step will be to develop the common foreign policy for the three countries in order to have one voice on the global stage.

He added, “We need to harmonize defense and security with foreign policies.” We must be inclusive and outward looking because dealing with the current global maters require us to work together in the region.



WRITES Leo odera Omolo

Foreigners visiting any of the five member state of the East African Community as tourists midstream now have to wait until next week to get a single visa covering Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda after the three countries missed January 1, 2014 deadline for valid of the travel document.

The East Africa tourist visa was expected to take effect yesterday January 1st 2014. However government officials in Nairobi were quoted by local media services as saying that this launch had been pushed forward to next week due the to unforeseen logistic problems.

The logistics for the role out, says a source, are being worked out right now and are expected to be in place by early next week.

Once in place in place, the visa will give the tourists multiple entry access to the three countries, allowing the government of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, to market the region as a single towards destination.

On December 17, 2013, stakeholders from the three countries met in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, to assess the feasibility of rolling out the visa on New Year day.

During the meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, the delegation had noted that it was in the process of distributing 60,000 visa strikers to high commissioners and immigration departments of the three countries. The process was expected by December 23 , 2013.

Kenya and Uganda were also expected to send information technology (IT) experts to Kigali for training which was set the fin on December 22 , 2013.

It is perhaps these logistics that have seen the launch of the visa delayed until next week.

According to report issued during the December 17, Kigali meetings, the East African tourist visa will have validity of 90 days and will be over about Kshs8,650 (USD 100) .



WRITES Leo odera Omolo

Foreigners visiting any of the five member state of the East African Community as tourists midstream now have to wait until next week to get a single visa covering Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda after the three countries missed January 1, 2014 deadline for valid of the travel document.

The East Africa tourist visa was expected to take effect yesterday January 1st 2014. However government officials in Nairobi were quoted by local media services as saying that this launch had been pushed forward to next week due the to unforeseen logistic problems.

The logistics for the role out, says a source, are being worked out right now and are expected to be in place by early next week.

Once in place in place, the visa will give the tourists multiple entry access to the three countries, allowing the government of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, to market the region as a single towards destination.

On December 17, 2013, stakeholders from the three countries met in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, to assess the feasibility of rolling out the visa on New Year day.

During the meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, the delegation had noted that it was in the process of distributing 60,000 visa strikers to high commissioners and immigration departments of the three countries. The process was expected by December 23 , 2013.

Kenya and Uganda were also expected to send information technology (IT) experts to Kigali for training which was set the fin on December 22 , 2013.

It is perhaps these logistics that have seen the launch of the visa delayed until next week.

According to report issued during the December 17, Kigali meetings, the East African tourist visa will have validity of 90 days and will be over about Kshs8,650 (USD 100) .

Six African countries get new support to bolster private sector’s role in climate action

From: News Release – African Press Organization (APO)

Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Mali and Mozambique

TUNIS, Tunisia, November 28, 2013/ — With African Development Bank (AfDB) ( support, six African nations – Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Mali and Mozambique – made it through a global competition run by the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) to provide dedicated funding to engage the private sector in effective climate solutions. The seven project concepts endorsed for full project development in Africa focus on forests in Burkina Faso, DRC and Ghana, renewable energy in Kenya and Mali, and climate resilience in Mozambique.


The multilateral development banks (MDBs) ran the four-month competition to provide funding to garner more effective private sector involvement in projects in renewable energy, sustainable forests, and climate resilience. The selected African project concepts – a third of the 15 final winning concepts globally – will now go forward for further development by the AfDB as their CIF implementing partner.

“At AfDB, we went an extra mile through this process, and despite the time and resource limitations we carried out business identification efforts on the ground. We now look forward to working with the seven private sector sponsors in the countries to develop the concepts for full funding by next year,” said Mafalda Duarte, AfDB’s CIF coordinator who spearheaded the African project concept submissions in the competition. “At AfDB, we believe that private sector engagement in climate action is critically important to stimulate markets, increase investment potential, develop climate-friendly business models, and ensure a sustainable shift for effective climate solutions.”

The CIF, along with AfDB and the other MDB partners, undertook the competition in order to help alleviate the large number of risks preventing private sector’s entrance into renewable energy, energy efficiency, forestry, and climate resilience investments, particularly in developing countries. There are upfront risks for early entrants, large capital costs, a lack of suitable financing and insurance products, and a return on investment that is often slower than other better-known investments, such as fossil fuels. Mitigating these factors, along with addressing the lack of understanding of the value of climate investment and the need for new types of investment products, were the underlying reasons the CIF decided to set aside the special funds.

“Going forward, more efforts like the CIF set-asides are needed to raise awareness about business opportunities for potential private sector sponsors in developing countries, particularly for climate adaptation,” added Duarte. “We applaud these initiatives, and efforts like the set-asides must be developed across a broader horizon than the CIF pilot countries, reaching out to a wide swath of the developing world to stimulate large-scale change.”

Selected project concepts under the competition will now be fully prepared and will be presented for final funding to the CIF governing bodies in 2014.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

About the Climate Investment Funds (CIF)

Established in 2008 as one of the largest fast-tracked climate financing instruments in the world, the $7.6 billion CIF provides developing countries with grants, concessional loans, risk mitigation instruments, and equity that leverage significant financing from the private sector, MDBs and other sources. Five MDBs – the African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and World Bank Group (WBG) – implement CIF-funded projects and programs.

Contact: Mafalda Duarte, Chief Climate Change Specialist and CIF Coordinator, ONEC

For further information on the CIF projects supported by the AfDB, visit our January 2013 semi-annual report “Financing Change: the AfDB and CIF for a Climate-Smart Africa” ( and our October 2013 brochure “Growing Green: the AfDB and CIF for a Climate-Smart Africa.(”

About the African Development Bank Group

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) ( is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 34 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 53 regional member states.

For more information

African Development Bank (AfDB)

Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi: AfDB Board commits US $113 million to Regional Rusumo Falls Hydropower Project

From: “News Release – African Press Organization (APO)

AfDB Board commits US $113 million to Regional Rusumo Falls Hydropower Project

The Rusumo Falls project will increase renewable power generating capacity and access to electricity in Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi

TUNIS, Tunisia, November 27, 2013/ — The African Development Bank Group’s (AfDB) ( efforts to improve sustainable energy supply and access in Africa took a leap forward with the Board of Directors’ approval of the Regional Rusumo Falls Hydropower Project. The Bank Group allocated US $97.3 million from the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund for the multinational project, which will support the development of sustainable energy infrastructure. An additional US $16 million grant from the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) window of the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund was recently mobilized by the AfDB Group to help finance part of the Burundi transmission line from the Rusumo Falls power plant.


The Rusumo Falls project will increase renewable power generating capacity and access to electricity in Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. The project has two components: an 80 MW hydropower generation plant and transmission lines and substations. The Bank finances the transmission facilities of Rusumo Falls Hydropower Project. Beneficiaries of the project include the households, industries, SMEs and businesses in Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania,
who will gain access to cheaper, more reliable and clean electricity.
Construction of the transmission facilities is expected to be completed by August 2018; the three countries will share the power generated equally. The project will enhance the process of regional integration by the countries developing and managing the joint assets.

“Rusumo Falls is one of many projects financed by the AfDB in response to a crisis in low-energy access rates, limited infrastructure development in the region and regional projects that enhance regional stability through increased cooperation and integration among countries. Africa has incredible untapped hydropower potential: only four per cent of which has been exploited,” explained Alex Rugamba, Director of the AfDB’s Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department. “Through projects such as the Rusumo Falls project we are looking to leverage Africa’s natural assets for universal access to modern, reliable and affordable energy services on the continent.”

The project will increase hydroelectricity supply capacity to relieve the power deficit in all three countries. It will also allow them to address their low energy access rates. Rwanda and Tanzania will be able to displace some of the energy generated from high cost imported fuel with cheaper hydropower thereby reducing the current electricity tariff. In the case of Burundi, the project will provide 50% of the current peak power demand, which will allow the country to expand access and other economic activities, and reduce CO2 emissions.

The Rusumo Falls project is a Programme for Infrastructure Development for Africa (PIDA) priority project. In 2012, African Heads of State endorsed a set of priority energy projects to be implemented by 2020 as part of the PIDA. Rusumo Falls is one of nine hydropower projects identified for the PIDA energy infrastructure program, which focuses on major hydroelectric projects and interconnects the power pools between countries.

The AfDB’s support to the Rusumo Falls project has spanned several years. In 2006, the Bank provided an ADF grant of US $4 million to the Nile Basin Initiative to finance the technical, financial, economic and social feasibility studies for the transmission lines of the Rusumo Falls hydroelectric plant.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the African Development Bank (AfDB).


Media: Penelope Pontet de Fouquieres, Knowledge Management and Communications, T. +216 71 10 19 96 / C. +216 24 66 36 96 /

Technical contact: Alemayehu Wubeshet-Zegeye, Chief Power Engineer,

About the African Development Bank Group

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) ( is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 34 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states.

For more information:

African Development Bank (AfDB)


Writes Leo Odera Omolo

REPORTS emerging from the Arusha based secretariat of the EAST African Community says that top Ugandan traders operating inside the Republic of South Sudan have moved to the East African Court of Justice and filed a legal suit asking the court to block the impending admission of that country into the East African Community as its sixth member.

The newest African nation had applied to join the regional trading unit. Its application for the entry into the Eac is expected to be top on agenda for the next summit of the EAC Heads of state and government, which is scheduled for April next year.

The businessmen have cited bad governance, lack of democracy, arbitrary and illegal arrests of its members and detention, rape, maiming and confiscation of merchant goods belonging to its members and confiscation of vehicles.

The legal suit is filed by members of the Uganda Traders Association comprising mainly Ugandans who are doing business in South Sudan. The Ugandans claimed that that country does not meet the criteria and lad down the rules stipulating by the EAC Treaty for admission of its membership. Their objection is on the ground that the juba regime does not met the prerequisite condition and requirements for admission into the EAC membership.

South Sudan government, they claimed has failed the test of good governance, democracy, the rule of law, observance of human rights and social justice. They further accused the Juba regime of failing to satisfy foreign investors operating businesses and trade in that country. Their members are allegedly being killed, maimed, raped and brutally beaten up by that country’s primitive and untrained security personnel. They laid claim of approximately 4.9 US dollars owed to them by South Sudan authorities related to unpaid bill on credit line and compensation for financial losses incurred due to the said violation of universally acceptable trade deals.

However, the Ugandan Minister in-charge of the East African Community Affairs Shem Rugena blamed the traders for having rushed to court, saying that they should have forwarded their claims to the EAC Council of Ministers before fling the court cases.

Meanwhile Kenyans arriving home from South Sudan alleged that close to ten Kenyans have died in that country under very mysterious circumstances. Some of them have disappeared without trace suspected of either held in illegal detention camps of killed.

Kenyans, they claimed, expect bare faced mass deportation and are being asked to finance the cost of their deportation. This is sometime exaggerated by the police, put at Kshs 200,200. Whereas the cost of travelling from Juba to the Kenya South Sudan border posts does not exceed Kshs 30,000 . Those under arrests or placed in police custody are tortured and at the same time being asked to pay colossal amounts of money to buy their freedom.



To: jaluo

By Agwanda Saye

Regional lawyers will meet over the sweeping wave of oppressive media laws in East Africa.
The East Africa Law Society (EALS) President Mr. James Aggrey Mwamu said that Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Somalia have adopted a pattern of media suppression.

“Governments in the region are jointly suppressing democratic freedoms by using unconstitutional laws to gag journalists the media,” Mr. Mwamu said.

Mr. Mwamu said that media freedom will be among the core subjects to be discussed in depth at the EALS Annual Conference set for November 15th and 16th at The Whitesands Hotel in Mombasa.

The Conference will bring together practicing lawyers from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. The theme is Raising the Bar: The Changing Environment for the Legal Profession in East Africa.

“We are dismayed that the Kenyan Parliament last week passed into law Acts which suppress freedom of information under Article 35 of the Constitution,” Mr. Mwamu said.

The EALS President regretted that intolerance to media freedom has also intensified in Tanzania with the recent suspension of two newspapers for alleged violation of stringent media laws.

“The Ministry of Information stopped the publication of Mwananchi newspaper and Mtanzania, alleging violation of secrecy and sedition laws,” Mr. Mwamu said.

The EALS President also recalled how The Daily Monitor newspaper was raided and shut down for 10 days in May after allegedly publishing a politically sensitive story in Uganda.

“The Daily Monitor was allowed to reopen on the promise that it would not publish material that might disturb law and order or generate tensions,” Mr. Mwamu said.

The EALS President also regretted that journalists are also reportedly being harassed and intimidated in Uganda when covering political stories like arrests of Mr. Kizza Besigye.

“There are also concerns on violent deaths of journalists, such as that of Thomas Pere in June,” Mr. Mwamu said.

The EALS President said that Burundi President Mr. Pierre Nkurunziza is about to sign into law a media Bill recently passed by the Burundi National Assembly in April.

“The Burundi Senate passed a draft media law despite opposition from journalists and the international community,” Mr. Mwamu said.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the new law would interfere with media independence by forcing journalists to disclose sources and imposing minimum requirements for journalists’ education and experience.

Under the proposed bill, journalists will be required to have at least two years of professional experience in addition to a university-level degree.

Additionally, the media will be banned from covering “sensitive” issues including public security, national defense, and the economy.

The new law repeals many of the provisions for jail terms imposed on violators under the 2003 law, but violations still carry penalties such as steep fines that HRW said most Burundian media outlets would not be able to afford.


To: jaluo

By Agwanda Saye

Regional lawyers have called for stringent enforcement of laws towards containing increasing criminal sexual offences against children in East Africa (EA).

The lawyers decried escalating cases of defilement and under age prostitution leading to a growing number of girls below 14 years old in public maternity wards in the region.

LSK Chairman Mr. Eric Mutua said that lack of prosecution of perpetrators and out of court resolution of criminal sexual offences against children aggravates the situation.

“We must strictly implement or draft stringent laws that would protect children from increasing cases of defilement and childhood pregnancies among others,” Mutua said.

The lawyers, magistrates and probation officers are attending a three day conference on Supporting Access to Justice for Children and Youth in East Africa at Enashipai Lodge, Naivasha.

The conference heard that children are increasingly dropping out of school to be used in cross border trade between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Other children have been infected with HIV/Aids following increased cases of childhood prostitution following involvement in fishing trade and mining in Uganda.

Tanganyika Law Society President Mr. Francis Stolla said that courts in East Africa are not strictly implementing existing sexual offences laws to protect children.

“Tanzanian law provides for up to 30 years in prison for criminals found guilty of defilement…Kenya has similar penalties,” Mr. Stolla said.

Ugandan Advocate Mr. Aaron Bessigye said that defilement cases in the country would attract imprisonment for life or death penalty.

“Ugandan law is strict on aggravated rape whereby the offenders infect their victims with HIV/Aids,” Mr. Bessigye said.

The lawyers said that reported cases of FGM are aggravated over lack of successful prosecution of perpetrators despite legal provisions on the same.

“Tanzanian law provides 15 years imprisonment for FGM perpetrators but the culprits are rarely arraigned in court,” Mr. Stolla said.

Mr. Bessigye said that Ugandan law provides 18 years imprisonment for FGM perpetrators but none is yet to be charged despite increased reported cases on the vice.

Magistrates and Probation Officers attending the conference heard that several village leaders were bribed not to report cases of child sexual offences and FGM.

“Sexual offences against children must never be settled out of court towards bringing the criminals to book,” Mutua said.


Kenya: East Africa Lawyers


By Agwanda Saye

Lawyers from East Africa will converge in Nairobi to deliberate regional constitutional and governance reforms this week.

East Africa Law Society (EALS) President Mr. James Mwamu said that States in the region are experiencing reforms in the wake of electoral cycles.

“East Africa partner States are experiencing constitutional and governance reforms amidst mismatching limitations in democratic practices,” Mr. Mwamu said.

The Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Mr. Isaak Hassan will officially open the two day seminar on Thursday (October 24th) at Laico Regency Hotel in Nairobi.

The EALS President said that other participants include facilitators from the EAC secretariat, the East African Legislative Assembly and Judges from Regional and National Courts.

“National Ministries in charge of EAC Affairs, EALS, Media practitioners, seasoned and accomplished legal practitioners and scholars will be present,” Mwamu said.

The theme of the seminar is “Inclusive and Participatory Electoral Processes; the Role of the National Law Society”.

The EALS President said that there was reducing respect for civil liberties and under resourced political institutions.

“Upcoming electoral cycles in the region from 2015 to 2017 have compelled the legal profession to deliberate ways of ensuring electoral systems and processes are credible,” Mwamu said.

The EALS President said that there should be legal avenues citizens’ population to select and hold their elected leaders to account.

“The objectives of the seminar include building a critical mass of lawyers actively engaged in ensuring participatory and inclusive electoral processes within EAC partner States,” Mwamu said.

He said that lawyers from the region also seek to strengthen the capacity and voice of the profession to foster adherence to democratic principles by the EAC partner States.

“We need to share best practices on the management and conduct of electoral processes across East Africa by the legal profession, including the development of an Election Monitoring and Observation Manual for Law Societies,” Mwamu said.

The EALS works to enhance the rule of law, human rights and good governance with a view to promoting sustainable social and economic development and enjoys formal Observer Status with the EAC and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.