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  • February 2008
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  • RSS BBC News – Africa

    • Nigeria schoolgirls 'still missing' April 18, 2014
      Nigeria's military rows back on an earlier statement that most of the teenage girls abducted by suspected Islamist militants had been freed.
    • UN outrage at South Sudan attack April 19, 2014
      The UN expresses outrage at a deadly attack on one of its bases in South Sudan, saying it could "constitute a war crime".
    • Algeria's president gets fourth term April 18, 2014
      Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who suffered a stroke last year, wins a fourth term in office taking more than 81% of the vote.
    • ICC calls Kenya Ruto trial witnesses April 18, 2014
      The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague summons reluctant witnesses to testify at the trial of Kenya's Vice-President William Ruto.
    • I deserve more recognition - Toure April 18, 2014
      Manchester City's Yaya Toure thinks he is not regarded as one of the best players on the planet because he is from Africa.
    • French troops free Mali aid workers April 17, 2014
      French troops in Mali free five aid workers who were kidnapped in the north of the country by suspected Islamist militants in February.
    • Pistorius forensic tests challenged April 17, 2014
      The tests carried out by a forensic expert for Oscar Pistorius' murder trial are rigorously challenged by the state prosecutor in South Africa.
    • Senegal's Karim Wade 'to face trial' April 17, 2014
      A Senegalese court rules that Karim Wade, the ex-president's son, should stand trial on corruption charges over his wealth, an official says.
    • Guinea-Bissau run-off to pick leader April 17, 2014
      Officials in Guinea-Bissau say a run-off vote will be held next month after no candidate won an outright victory in Sunday's presidential election.
    • Remittance fees 'hurt Africans' April 16, 2014
      Communities in sub-Saharan Africa are being "hurt" by high fees charged by money transfer operators, charity Comic Relief says.
    • UN mulls medal for peacekeepers April 16, 2014
      The UN Security Council hears a proposal to create a medal for bravery in UN peacekeeping, to be named after a Senegalese soldier who saved lives during the Rwandan genocide.
    • Head of oldest African park shot April 16, 2014
      The Belgian director of Africa's oldest national park - Virunga in the Democratic Republic of Congo - is shot and wounded in an ambush.
    • VIDEO: Nigeria 'should do more' on abductions April 19, 2014
      Nigeria's military has admitted that most of the teenage girls abducted by suspected Islamist militants have not been freed as it earlier stated.
    • VIDEO: High security at S Sudan UN camp April 18, 2014
      South Sudan's government has sent troops to provide security at a United Nations base where at least 48 people were killed in an attack.
    • VIDEO: Abducted schoolgirls 'still missing' April 18, 2014
      The Nigerian military has admitted that most of the 129 girls abducted by Boko Haram Islamists from their school in the north-eastern state of Borno are still missing.
    • VIDEO: Pistorius trial day 24 - in 60 secs April 17, 2014
      Forensic tests carried out by an expert for Oscar Pistorius' murder trial have been rigorously challenged by the state prosecutor in South Africa.
    • AUDIO: 'Killing books' in Libya April 15, 2014
      Libyan author Mansour Bushnaf says Libya does not have much of reading culture because under Col Muammar Gaddafi, people were afraid of books.
    • VIDEO: At site of Nigeria bus station blast April 14, 2014
      A powerful bomb blast has ripped through a crowded bus station on the outskirts of Nigeria's capital, Abuja, killing at least 71 people.
    • VIDEO: Cleaning up Cairo's waste system April 14, 2014
      The Egyptian government is turning to its traditional rubbish collectors - the Zabaleen - to revolutionise Cario's waste disposal industry.
    • VIDEO: Pistorius trial shown prosthetic leg April 17, 2014
      The prosthetic leg belonging to Oscar Pistorius has been shown to the court during his murder trial. He denies murder, claiming he mistook Reeva Steenkamp for a burglar.
  • RSS BBC News – Home

    • 'Two months' for Korea ferry salvage April 19, 2014
      South Korean officials say a rescue operation at the capsized ferry may take two months, as divers battle strong currents to reach the missing.
    • Ukraine calls Easter truce in east April 19, 2014
      Ukraine suspends operations against pro-Russian militants occupying government offices in the east over Easter, but the stand-off remains.
    • Man held over NI dissident murder April 19, 2014
      Police in Northern Ireland arrest a 26-year-old man over the murder of former dissident republican leader Tommy Crossan.
    • Family car catches fire among lions April 19, 2014
      A family is left with nowhere to run when their car catches fire - in the lion enclosure at Longleat Safari Park.
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      The NUT conference is to hear calls for a campaign of industrial action and classroom walk-outs over pay and workload.
    • Burnt boy in 'critical condition' April 19, 2014
      A seven-year-old boy who was badly burnt in an incident in Aberdeen is in a "critical" condition in hospital, police reveal.
    • HMRC 'plans to share personal data' April 19, 2014
      Taxpayers' personal financial data could be shared with private firms and researchers, Revenue & Customs says, despite concerns over privacy and security.
    • Syria-held French journalists freed April 19, 2014
      Four French journalists held captive in Syria for months have been freed and are in "good health", says President Francois Hollande.
    • Plane search at 'critical juncture' April 19, 2014
      The search area for the missing Malaysian plane has narrowed and will be at "a critical juncture" in the next two days, says the transport minister.
    • Three missing in Everest avalanche April 19, 2014
      The search resumes for three missing local guides after an avalanche kills 13 Sherpas on the slopes of Mount Everest.
    • Former Radio 4 presenter dies at 88 April 19, 2014
      Former BBC presenter Derek Cooper, who founded Radio 4's The Food Programme and presented a number of other shows, dies, aged 88.
    • Rapper debuts album 23 years late April 19, 2014
      Manchester rapper MC Tunes' second album is to get its public debut, 23 years after it was due to be heard.
    • 'War Horse farm' opens up museum April 19, 2014
      A Devon farm which features in Michael Morpurgo's book War Horse opens a museum dedicated to the story.
    • Moores named as new England coach April 19, 2014
      Lancashire coach Peter Moores will lead England for a second time, succeeding Andy Flower who resigned in January.
    • Hamilton takes stunning pole in China April 19, 2014
      Lewis Hamilton takes his third pole position in four races with a stunning performance in qualifying at the Chinese Grand Prix.
    • 'Martinez-charmed Everton will not welcome Moyes' April 18, 2014
      Man Utd boss David Moyes will not get a warm welcome back at Everton, whose fans have fallen under Roberto Martinez's spell, writes Phil McNulty
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      Fulham's relegation worries heighten as they lose at Tottenham to remain two points from Premier League safety.
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      Ronnie O'Sullivan makes two century breaks on his way to a 6-2 lead against Robin Hull on day one at the Crucible.
    • 'Rogue directors' crackdown planned April 19, 2014
      People convicted of commercial crimes overseas could be banned from running UK firms in an attempt to tackle "rogue directors", Business Secretary Vince Cable says.
    • VIDEO: UK could become 'nation of renters' April 18, 2014
      Almost half of Britons believe the UK will become a nation of renters within a generation, research suggests.
  • RSS Reuters: Politics

  • RSS – Africa

    • Luxury shoes made in Ghana April 15, 2014
      Fred Deegbe was standing outside a shop window five years ago, marveling at the shiny pair of wing-tip Oxfords he'd just bought, when he started wondering whether such beautiful designer shoes could ever be produced in his country, Ghana.
    • Meet Nigeria's 'Mark Zuckerberg' April 3, 2014
      At 23, many people around the world are still at university -- at that age, Gossy Ukanwoke had already started one.
    • Why we need more geek girls April 3, 2014
      "It was like taking a big leap of faith."
    • 'Uncle Ebo' revives Ghanaian theater April 15, 2014
      African Voices meets James Ebo Whyte a passionate storyteller with a series of successful plays to his credit.
    • How medics saved lives at Westgate April 9, 2014
      When gunmen stormed into Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall, Abbas Gullet was one of the first emergency responders on the scene. As head of Kenya's Red Cross, he was in charge of coordinating services for people in need.
    • Embracing Ghana's natural beauty April 1, 2014
      She started her business with just £100, lugging her beauty bag from door to door, but some 25 years later Grace Amey-Obeng has built a multi-million dollar cosmetics empire that's helping change the perception of beauty for many.
    • Africa's most endangered April 16, 2014
      Africa is home to much unique wildlife, but many of its iconic species are threatened. Find out more about its most endangered animals.
    • Secrets of 'gorilla whisperer' March 25, 2014
      Zain Verjee visits Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park -- the home of half of the world's endangered mountain gorilla population.
    • Savannah from the sky March 13, 2014
      It's almost impossible for a photographer to find fresh visual perspectives these days. Brooklyn-based Zack Seckler had to travel to a different continent and strap into an ultra-light aircraft to find one. His Botswana series presents the country from between 50 and 500 feet, providing a unique and captivating view of the savannah.
    • Why you should fear Boko Haram April 17, 2014
      Boko Haram's lethality is indisputable.
    • You gotta try South African BBQ April 17, 2014
      Grilled zebra anyone? Peri-peri warthog? This is how to barbecue, South Africa style.
    • Inside an Ebola isolation ward April 16, 2014
      Dr. Sanjay Gupta goes into an ebola clinic to find out what life is like for the patients inside.
    • Rating Pistorius's defense April 16, 2014
      After five days of intense cross-examination, has Olympian Oscar Pistorius helped or harmed his defense that he did not intentionally kill his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkam?
    • Pop art condoms saving lives April 15, 2014
      The Center for African Family Studies in Nairobi has teamed up with Kenyan artist Michael Soi to create eye-catching condom wrappers to promote safe sex and raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among young people.
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      It took only moments to feel the impact of what was happening here.
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      A South African carpenter lost his fingers in an accident -- now he's making mechanical fingers and hands for others.
    • Kenya double in London Marathon April 13, 2014
      World record-holder Wilson Kipsang completed a Kenyan double at the London Marathon Sunday as home hope Mo Farah disappointed on his debut over the 42km distance.
    • Pistorius at mercy of 'bull dog?' April 11, 2014
      He's known as the "bull dog" in South Africa's legal circles, and just two days in to Gerrie Nel's merciless cross-examination of Oscar Pistorius, it's easy to see why.
    • 'Now is the time for Afro-realism' April 11, 2014
      Over the last 20 years, the narrative on the African continent has shifted from Afro-pessimism to Afro-optimism. The truth lies somewhere in between. Now is the time for Afro-realism: for sound policies based on honest data, aimed at delivering results.
    • Africa's tastiest street food April 11, 2014
      Here are your photos of the tastiest -- and most unusual -- African street food.
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Chief executives and promotion agencies applauded – Speech by Secretary General – EAC

Posted by African Press International on February 24, 2008

api-correspondent-odera-omolo.jpg<From Leo Odera Omolo in Arusha
Welcome to Arusha and even though we are meeting in a hotel I still would want to welcome you to the East African Community Headquarters. It is an honour and a privilege for me to open this inaugural meeting of Chief Executives of our Investment Promotion Agencies and those of our major business associations. We meet today against a worrisome regional backdrop.
The Kenyan political impasse imposes a difficult and complex environment for the EAC; for investment promotion and for business players alike in the region. Following the Kenyan political situation, trade flows have been negatively affected and so have exchequer and business revenues. Movement of raw materials and fuel has also been seriously impacted, threatening not only industrial competitiveness but also the retention of existing jobs. Tourism in particular has suffered greatly. Thank goodness, there is a silver lining before us. Kenya is quickly returning to normalcy.

However, there are serious lessons that we must all learn from what has happened in Kenya in the context of promoting our region as a destination for investment and tourism and, in particular, in our quest to promote the EAC region as a single investment and tourism destination. We have also seen, for example, that whilst poor infrastructure has all along constituted a major barrier to doing business in our region, and thereby eroding our competitive edge, civil strife has a devastating economic impact even where infrastructure is good.
The lesson we learn is that we can only promote and attract investments sustainably as well as assure effective intra-regional trade, if we have enduring peace and stability.In turn, it is the core values that underpin peace and security that assure sustainable development.
These values embrace democracy, good governance, rule of law and respect for human rights. In other words, we can no longer afford not to address these core values that need to be commonly shared in all the EAC countries as we continuously deliberate on how best to work together as promoters of investment and as business actors.  In April this year, from the 10th-11th, the East African Community and the East African Business Council will stage the Second East African Media Summit in Dar-es-Salaam, hosted by IPP Media of Tanzania, and the core theme will be on these particular issues.
My friends,
Let me also underline that the Kenyan political situation has heightened the importance of addressing the key strategic factors that constitute the bedrock of business confidence and competitiveness. In this area, the availability of reliable and robust infrastructure, in alternative routes in our region, is of critical importance. At the EAC level, steps are already underway to address our infrastructural deficitsin railways, ports and harbours, roads, energy, civil aviation, and lake transportation both on Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika. The EAC Master Plans for roads, railways and energy are under review in order to mainstream Rwanda and Burundi in the Master Plans. Progress is also at an advanced stage in promoting an East African Civil Aviation Regime that meets international standards in air safety and security oversight.
All this work is being done in the realization that good infrastructure is what unlocks the potentials for economic growth and development. In as much as our governments, in some Partner States, have concessioned the railways and ports, this remains inadequate as experience has shown. What is at stake is the injection of investments in improving the railway permanent ways and the handling capacities of our ports.
In view of the challenges that lie in these infrastructure areas, the EAC has decided, over the next four months, to give them central attention. Thus the Retreats for Permanent Secretaries and Ministers of our key strategic ministries will be held in Mwanza early March and in Kampala in April, respectively.
My friends,
Globalization has been the driving force behind market-driven economic integration in the world.  The challenges of globalization are best responded to and mastered when efforts toward regional cooperation and integration are undertaken. The reason is simple.
Regional integration assures better sharing of opportunities as well as management of risks. Since the onset of the EAC Customs Union in January 2005, our region has reaped benefits through the growth of intra-regional trade and business confidence.As a result, we have also witnessed growth in intra-regional investments.
Indeed, the liberalization of the capital account in Kenya and Uganda and part liberalization in Tanzania, has catalysed growth in the shares market through the process of cross-listing of company shares in the three stock exchanges. There are efforts to extend the process to Rwanda and later to Burundi.
More importantly, the EAC is fast moving towards the promotion of an East African Capital Market with a Central Stock Exchange.The international Finance Cooperation of the World Bank is funding a major project in this regard and work is in progress. Once developed, the East African Capital Market would act as a spur and a catalyst of vibrant mergers and acquisitions and of greenfield investments that reflect an East African character.  Already, we are seeing a growing Initial Public Offering (IPO) activity as well as a Bond Market in the East African Partner States.
The cumulative effect of these innovative financial products and instruments is improved liquidity in our region that can be available to fund capital investments and grow our various businesses. This is as it should be because the urgency to forge public-private partnerships, especially in the field of capital investments, in areas such as infrastructure development is real and critical.
Our governments are well focused on creating the enabling environment to support PPPs and the business sector, so well represented here by the investment promotion agencies and the leaders of private sector business associations.
The centrality of PPPs could not be overemphasized at a time where there is growing concern, especially in Tanzania, about the letter and spirit of mining contracts. The jury is still not out on the exact character of these contracts. Suffice to state, that the ethos of economic empowerment of our citizens in the EAC region is growing in importance and sensitivity. Ownership by the citizens of their national economic resources, even whilst we seek to forge closer collaborations with foreign capital, technology and skills, is what economic liberalization is all about. I was thus moved by a report published in the Daily News of Tanzania yesterday which reported that Mbeya has huge deposits of high grade phosphate able to produce 30,000 tonnes a year.
The Mbeya authorities, quite rightly and commendably, are moving in the direction of floating an IPO to raise funds for investing in the exploitation of the deposits and the production of fertilizer.  In my view, this is the correct route to take towards achieving the economic empowerment of East Africans. It is a route that our Investment Promotion Agencies and our indigenous private business sector should pursue and develop. Moreover, it is a route that will importantly mitigate the presently heightened fears and concerns about corruption and malfeasance in the high circles of the government, public sector and business. In sum, it is the best route that can create the enabling conditions for a broader ownership of our resources on an East African scale.
My friends,
As I mentioned earlier, our region must quickly move towards creating a platform for the mobilization of peoples savings that can go towards funding not only strategic infrastructures but strategic businesses as well such as that represented by the Mbeya phosphate and fertilizer case. My friends, what I have so far said points to the importance of our working together and, I believe, that this we can attain through joint investment promotion conferences and forums. Two years ago, we were about to start an annual East African Investment Conference. It was slated for Nairobi, Kenya with the collaboration of the Commonwealth Business Council.  It did not take place for reasons that are now historical. Now we are better focused and organized.
Thus, the first annual East African Investment Conference will take place in Kigali, Rwanda from 26th-27th June this year. Contacts are being made with the EABC, the Investment Promotion Authorities and all business associations in our region to ensure that we have a successful inaugural investment conference. The Commonwealth Business Council has already been approached to render a helping hand. We also plan to use the Leon Sullivan Business Summit which President Jakaya Kikwete is hosting in Ngurdoto Arusha from 2nd 6th June as a platform for promoting our own Investment Forum slated for Kigali.
My friends,
You have a unique opportunity before you to discuss how best we can work together in our region in order to achieve the EAC vision of promoting a secure, competitive and prosperous East Africa. I have every trust and confidence in your wisdom, experience and commitment in making this vision possible. As the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere put it, it can be done, play your part. The EAC will extend to you every support in this important venture. I wish you well and every success.
Published by Korir, API
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