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You are here:Home>>All Expert Articles>>Displaying items by tag: Kenya
Displaying items by tag: Kenya
Monday, 23 September 2013 13:15

Kenya Attack, More Pictures

"Kenyan forces assaulted terrorists in Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall on Monday afternoon, killing two and claiming to take control of all floors of the building despite the continued presence of gunmen inside. It was unclear if any hostages remained inside the building, but authorities expect the number to be "very, very minimal," if any remain, Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said at a news briefing. Most had already been evacuated, he said Monday, the third day of the siege. The Kenya Red Cross said that 62 people had died since the siege began Saturday. The agency had previously reported 69 deaths. Some bodies been counted twice, it said on Twitter. Dark smoke seen rising from the building after Monday's assault began was from fires set by the gunmen to distract forces from the assault, Lenku said." - CNN

People run for cover outside the mall after heavy shooting started on September 23.

Kenyan security forces crouch behind a wall outside the mall on September 23.

Soldiers take cover after gunfire near the mall on September 23.

Kenyan paramilitary police officers patrol the area near the mall on Sunday, September 22.

Soldiers from the Kenya Defense Forces arrive outside the Westgate Mall on September 22.

A woman shields a baby as a soldier stands guard inside the Westgate Mall on Saturday, September 21.

A rescue worker helps a child outside the mall on September 21.

People who had been hiding inside the mall during the gunfire flee the scene.

An armed official takes a shooting position inside the mall.

An armed official crouches on September 21.

Bodies lie on the ground inside the mall.

Men help a wounded woman outside the mall on September 21.

Officials carry an injured man in the mall.

Soldiers move up stairs inside the Westgate Mall.

A soldier directs people up a stairway inside the Westgate on September 21.

An injured man is wheeled into the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi.

People run from the Westgate Mall.

A Kenyan woman is helped to safety after the masked gunmen stormed the upscale mall and sprayed gunfire on shoppers and staff.

Crowds gather outside the upscale shopping mall. The interior ministry urges Kenyans to keep off the roads near the mall so police can ensure everyone inside has been evacuated to safety.

source CNN


Ghana and Africa have lost a great poet and diplomat Kofi Awoonor

Kofi Awoonor, the eminent Ghanaian poet, diplomat and academic had been killed  by terrorists in the Westgate Mall in Nairobi,. Awoonor was in Nairobi for the Storymoja Hay Festival.  He was  to play an important role in the festival to  celebrate the rising African poets and  African poetry.  Also his new book, “Promise of Hope: New and Selected Poems,” is to chronicle  the new African Poetry Book Series to be publish in early 2014. 62 people had died and still counting  since the siege began Saturday at Westgate Mall in Nairobi.


The terror is emitted by terroist group known as  Shabab, that came out of Somali. New York Times reported that, " Yet this weekend the Shabab showed that they are as dangerous as ever as a terrorist force, keeping Kenyan forces at bay through two days at the Westgate mall in Nairobi even as the militants mounted a coordinated attack against African Union forces in Mogadishu, according to senior American counterterrorism and diplomatic officials. Some officials warned that the Shabab could be signaling a wider offensive, particularly within Kenya, despite their losses in recent years at the hands of the African Union and Kenyan troops in its home country."


About  Kofi Awoonor

Kofi Awoonor (formerly George Awoonor-Williams) was born in Wheta, Ghana to Ewe parents. His grandmother was a dirge-singer, and much of his early work is modeled on this type of Ewe oral poetry. According to critic Derek Wright, the poetry "both drew on a personal family heirloom and opened up a channel into a broader African heritage." In Rediscovery (1964) and Petals of Blood (1971), Awoonor uses the common dirge motif of the "thwarted or painful return" to describe the experience of the Western-educated African looking back at his indigenous culture. His most famous poem from the first collection is "the Weaverbird." In it he uses the weaverbird, a notorious colonizer who destroys its host tree, as a metaphor for Western imperialism in Africa. He describes the bird's droppings as defiling the sacred places and homesteads. He also blames the Africans for indulging the creature.


Awoonor has written two novels. The first, This Earth, My Brother... (1971) is an experimental novel which he describes as a "prose poem." In it, Awoonor tells a story on two levels, each representing a distinct reality. The first level is a standard narrative which details a day in the life an attorney named Amamu. On another level, it is a symbol-laden mystical journey filled with biblical and literary allusions. These portions of the text deal with the new nation of Ghana, which is represented by a baby on a dunghill. The dunghill is a source of both rot and renewal, and in this way represents the foundations upon which Ghana was built, according to Awoonor.


Awoonor was closely tied to the first president of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah. Shortly after Nkrumah was driven out by a coup in 1966, Awoonor went into exile. During the time he was abroad, he completed graduate and doctoral studies, receiving a Ph.D. in literature from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1972. His dissertation was later published as The Breast of the Earth (1975). He returned to Ghana in 1975. Soon thereafter, he was detained for his alleged involvement with an Ewe coup plot. The House by the Sea (1978), a book of poetry, recounts his jail time.


Awoonor has not written much lately, instead spending his time engaged in Ghanaian political activities. Unfortunately, this emphasis seems to have diminished the quality in addition to the quantity of his literary output. His more recent work has been compared unfavorably to his early material. Derek Wright calls his most recent novel, Comes the Voyager at Last (1992), about an African-American's journey to Ghana, "flat and tired."

One of his poems;

This Earth, My Brother

The dawn crack of sounds known

rending our air

shattering our temples toppling

raising earthwards our cathedrals of hope,

in demand of lives offered on those altars

for the cleansing that was done long ago.

Within the airwaves we carry

our hutted entrails; and we pray;      Read the rest of the poem here


Awoonor Publications

1964 Rediscovery and Other Poems (poetry)

1971 Night of My Blood (poetry)

1971 This Earth, My Brother ... An Allegorical Tale of Africa (novel)

1972 Come Back, Ghana

1973 Ride Me, Memory (poetry)

1975 The Breast of the Earth: A Survey of the History, Culture and Literature of Africa South of the Sahara

1978 The House by the Sea (poetry)

1984 The Ghana Revolution: A Background Account from a Personal Perspective

1987 Until the Morning After: Collected Poems (poetry)

1990 Ghana: A Political History from Pre-European to Modern Times

1992 Comes the Voyager at Last: A Tale of Return to Africa (novel)

1992 The Latin American and Caribbean Notebook (poetry)

1994 Africa, the Marginalized Continent

2002 Herding the Lost Lamb (poetry)

2006 The African Predicament: Collected Essays

Source: Poetry Foundation Ghana

Saturday, 21 September 2013 18:34

Kenya: 22 Dead in Mall Attack (PHOTO)


Kenya Red Cross: 22 dead in upscale mall attack

Gunmen threw grenades, fired automatic weapons and targeted non-Muslims at the upscale Westgate mall in Kenya's capital on Saturday, killing at least 22 people and wounding dozens more, a Red Cross official and witnesses said. Police blamed the attack on terrorists.Kenyan military and police surrounded the mall, which had been hosting a children's day event, and helicopters flew overhead. Gunmen remained inside hours after the attack, although firing subsided.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but an off duty military official identified one of the attackers as Somali. People continued to trickle out from hiding places within the mall, which is frequented by expatriates and rich Kenyans in Nairobi's affluent Westlands neighborhood. It was not immediately known how many people remained inside, and whether they were still alive.

Earlier in the day mall guards used shopping carts to wheel out wounded children, as others emerged crying or clutching their kids. The death toll is expected to rise, said Kenya Red Cross official Abbas Gullet. "We are treating this as a terrorist attack," said police chief Benson Kibue, adding that there are likely no more than 10 attackers involved. Police did not say what group was responsible for the attack.

Somali's Islamic extremist rebels, al-Shabab, vowed in late 2011 to carry out a large-scale attack in Nairobi in retaliation for Kenya sending troops into Somalia to fight the insurgents. Off duty Sgt. Major Frank Mugungu said Saturday he saw four male attackers and one female, and that he could clearly identify one of the gunmen as a Somali, though he could not identify the rest.

The Westgate mall, with shops like Nike, adidas and Bose, has Israeli ownership, and security experts have in the past identified the mall as a possible terror target in Nairobi. The gunmen announced that non-Muslims would be targeted, said Elijah Kamau, who was at the mall at the time of the midday attack.

"The gunmen told Muslims to stand up and leave. They were safe, and non-Muslims would be targeted," he said. Jay Patel, who sought cover on an upper floor in the mall when shooting began, said that when he looked out of a window onto the upper parking deck of the mall he saw the gunmen with a group of people.

Patel said that as the attackers were talking, some of the people stood up and left and the others were shot. The gunmen carried AK-47s and wore vests with hand grenades on them, said Manish Turohit, 18, who hid in a parking garage for two hours.

"They just came in and threw a grenade. We were running and they opened fire. They were shouting and firing," he said after marching out of the mall in a line of 15 people who all held their hands in the air, in an apparent attempt to not be shot.

Rob Vandijk, who works at the Dutch embassy, said he was eating at a restaurant inside the mall when attackers lobbed hand grenades inside the building. He said gunfire then burst out and people screamed as they dropped to the ground.

It appears the attack began at the outdoor seating area of Artcaffe at the front of the mall, witnesses said.

Patrick Kuria, an employee at Artcaffe, said: "We started by hearing gunshots downstairs and outside. Later we heard them come inside. We took cover. Then we saw two gunmen wearing black turbans. I saw them shoot." Some people were shot at the entrance to the mall after volleys of gunfire moved outside and a standoff with police began. Ambulances continued to stream in and out of the mall area, ferrying the wounded who gradually emerged from hiding inside the mall.


A local hospital was overwhelmed with the number of wounded being brought in hours after the attack, so they had to divert them to a second facility.The United Nations secretary-general's office said that Ban Ki-moon has spoken with President Uhuru Kenyatta and expressed his concern. Meanwhile, Britain's Foreign Office urged British nationals to avoid the area, saying it is "urgently looking into" the incident and ready to provide consular assistance in case any British are involved.


Kenya suffered a spate of grenade attacks that killed more than 60 people from October 2011 to March 2013 after al-Shabab threatened attacks. Police attributed the attacks to sympathizers of al-Shabab in Kenya. Authorities said they have thwarted other large-scale attacks targeting public spaces. Kenyan police said in September 2012 they disrupted a major terrorist attack in its final stages of planning, arresting two people with explosive devices and a cache of weapons and ammunition.


Anti-terror Police Unit boss Boniface Mwaniki said vests found were similar to those used in attacks that killed 76 people in Uganda who gathered to watch the soccer World Cup finals on TV in July 2010. Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for those bombings, saying the attack was in retaliation for Uganda's participation in the African Union's peacekeeping mission in Somalia. In January 2012, Kenya said it had thwarted attempted attacks by al-Shabab over Christmas and the New Year.

Photos credit: AP

Kenyan children all smiles while wearing donated Romney/Ryan t-shirts

"President Obama might have ancestral roots in Kenya, but at least one school in Kenya is all about former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.The Knox County Romney Campaign of Tennessee has outfitted some 200 children at the Orbit Village Project in Nairobi, Kenya with leftover Romney campaign t-shirts from the 2012 election cycle."- DailyCaller

Romney shirts
kenya mitt romney shirts
Romney Kenya 2
credits: Daily caller

There are certain points of convergence between Nigeria and Kenya. They are the East Africa's largest economy, ditto for us in West Africa. Only one in every four Kenyans have access to electricity just like it obtains here in Nigeria. Our poverty levels are almost on a par, with ours pegged at 46 per cent while theirs hovers between 44 and 46 per cent.


Notwithstanding these common statistics we share with Kenya, Kenyatta's country seems to be more development-focused than we are. This can be seen from the verity that out of the 186 countries ranked in terms of the Human Development Index(HDI), Kenya was placed at the 143 spot while we were ranked 153.


Another certainty to consider is that while we as a nation was making headlines as the country with the most incidence of out of school children across the globe, kenya is well on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of basic education for all children by 2015.


Given these more positive outlook Kenya has over Nigeria, one expects Nigeria to be more assertive in making moves that would at least better its ratings and improve the quality of life lived in the country. Unfortunately, this is not to be as the Kenyans are beating us to it!


The Kenyan lawmakers used to be among the highest paid legislators in the world. This places them in the same club with their Nigerian counterpart. But they have doff themselves from that club with their agreeing to slash their salaries by $45000.




Consequent upon a public outcry that culminated in over 100 demonstrators protesting outside the parliament building last Tuesday, the lawmakers have agreed to lower their salaries. Some of the protesters had, during the demonstration, tossed fake money at the main gate of the building to symbolise greed of the lawmakers.


Each member of the Kenyan parliament had received $120 000 as remuneration last year, but after negotiations, members of parliament agreed to accept salaries of about $75000 per annum, said the country's Salaries and Remuneration Commission.


Interestingly, this was happening about the same time Nigeria's upper legislative chamber is proposing that the Senate President and the Speaker of House of Representatives alongside their deputies should be entitled to life pensions. It is inconsequential to them that progressive countries are slashing their lawmakers salaries, their concern is in adding to their already over blotted entitlements.


Now you see the extent of our serious-mindedness. I am left wondering why it wasn't the main gate of our National Assembly complex that experienced the tossing of some fake naira notes. For I doubt if there is anywhere else in the world one can find a better definition of greed.


It will be recalled that towards the end of 2010, the CBN governor mallam Lamido Sanusi had told us in his usual blunt manner what we suspected that 25 per cent of our annual budget is consumed by the National Assembly. Nothing serious had come out of that allegation thus confirming its veracity, at least Sanusi didn't recant.


Yet in Kenya where the laudable initiative was taken, only 12 per cent of the nation's gross domestic product was spent on government workers' salaries including the parliamentarians' pay. Still they thought it wise to free up $45000 from their recompense. Pray, when would our public officers begin to think it wise to do what is expedient considering the outrageous inequality in the land.


Maybe it is when we peacefully pay them a visit to their complex to demand their doing what lawmakers in Kenya have done. That is one of the highpoint of democracy- the right to demonstrate that is. Since the National Assembly prides itself as the beacon and pillar of democracy, let's serve them this essential recipe of civil rule.


Of a truth, if the Kenyans hadn't taken their grievance to the door step of the lawmakers, I am pretty sure that their country would continue to pay its lawmakers $120 000 per annum. This is as the country's Salary Commission had earlier this year ordered a cut in parliament's pay only for the lawmakers to turn down the decision by voting to restore their salaries.


Given this scenerio, am afraid nous will never suffix in making our lawmakers do what is expected. For the human nature is such that only an external impulse can make us give up that which we cherish. I need not bore you with what these people cherish as P.J. O'Rourke had averred, "giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys."


For our lawmakers who are proposing life pension for their most senior officers, let them be guided by Socrates' enduring aphorism that, "He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have."


Our National Assembly members should, for a change, put country above their cravings for personal enrichment since it does no country any good. In the eternal words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, "we have always known that heedless self interest was bad morals, we now know that it is bad economics."


There was a time in this country when lawmakers were engaged on a part-time basis with nothing more than sitting allowance as their due. Pundits have continued to canvass that as the way to go. This disposition is given vent to by the fact that most of our lawmakers have made themselves part-time legislators. Hence the vacant sits we see during plenary.


Nontheless, this shouldn't just be just for the lawmakers, members of the executive arm should also take a cue from the worthy example of the Kenyan lawmakers. If they think it a different context, let them be moved by the example of the Malawian President- Joyce Banda who gave up 30 per cent of her salary causing her to earn £26 000 instead of the £37 000 annual salary she was entitled to.


We should grow past the primordial belief that it is only by stockpiling money by way of fat salaries and allowances that our future and those of our families can be guaranteed.


At the moment, the federal government is set to scrap 220 parastatals, agencies and commissions. Their reason for this is to streamline its activities to make for greater efficiency in service delivery and to reduce the cost of governance. But why is this cost of governance not reduced from the very top where the funds lie and are persistently frittered away into private pockets in the name of allowances, salaries, estacodes, security vote, constituency allowance and the likes?


It is so adverse that our public officers cannot be good spirited enough to part with a part of their colossal salaries in order to prevent the scrapping of this high number of government bodies. This is in view of the unemployment that their shedding will generate.


The truth remains that the Oliver Twist in us will always present itself no matter what we are earning at the moment. If this was not to be, there wouldn't have been a proposal pushing for life pension for our most senior national legislators.


The citizens must however be on hand to help these people whose sense of reason may have been overtaken by the bounty they get out of our commonwealth. That way we would be helping them not to be poor like the Uruguayan President Jose Mujica, reputed to be the world's poorest president, lectured: "Poor people are those who only work to try to keep an expensive lifestyle and always want more and more... If you don't have many possessions then you don't need to work all your life like a slave to sustain them."


However, since moral suasion mean nothing to these people, a mild push from we the electorate can make them do something akin to what their Kenyan counterpart have done. This is because the need Nigeria has for a slice of their earnings transcends that which Kenya has for its lawmakers' $45000.


Ugochukwu writes from Lokoja, Nigeria you can follow me on twitter via @ugsylvester

The government is expected to apologise to those tortured during the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya, the BBC understands.


Compensation for the victims is also expected to be announced. UK-based law firm Leigh Day is representing more than 5,000 Kenyan men and women who say they were tortured or otherwise mistreated by the British administration in the 1950s.


The British fought a bitter battle with Mau Mau insurgents demanding land and an end to colonial rule. Victims have been fighting a legal battle against the British government for a number of years to get compensation.


The government had initially argued that all liabilities for the torture by colonial authorities were transferred to the Kenyan Republic upon independence in 1963 and that it could not be held liable now.


But in 2011, the High Court ruled three claimants - Paulo Muoka Nzili, Wambuga Wa Nyingi and Jane Muthoni Mara - did have "arguable cases in law".


Their lawyers allege Mr Nzili was castrated, Mr Nyingi was severely beaten and Mrs Mara was subjected to appalling sexual abuse in detention camps during the rebellion.


After the ruling, the case went back to the High Court to consider a claim by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) that the actions had been brought outside the legal time limit.


The FCO said it had faced "irredeemable difficulties" in relation to the availability of witnesses and documents. But in October last year the High Court ruled the victims had established a proper case and allowed their claims to proceed to trial despite the time elapsed.


At the time, the lawyer for the three claimants said they would be pressing for a trial "as quickly as possible" but they would also be pushing for the government to reach an out-of-court settlement.










Kenya's election commission named Uhuru Kenyatta the winner of the country's presidential election with 50.07 percent on Saturday, but his opponent alleged multiple failures in the vote and said Kenya's democracy was on trial.


Supporters of Kenyatta — a man accused by an international court of helping to orchestrate the vicious violence that marred the nation's last vote — flooded the streets, celebrating in a parade of red, the campaign's color.


Less than two hours after the official announcement, Kenyatta's top opponent, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, said the election process experienced multiple failures and that he would petition the Supreme Court.


Odinga called for calm and asked Kenyans to love one another but said he would not concede because he did not believe he had lost.


"I have stated that nothing could have pleased me more if I had lost fairly," he said, adding: "We have highlighted so many irregularities with the tallying process."


Kenyatta was immediately afforded the state security that would accompany a president-elect, traveling in a shiny black convoy from the tallying center to his election center. In a speech, he thanked Odinga — "my brother" — for a spirited campaign in an address to the nation, according to prepared remarks.


"My fellow Kenyans, today we celebrate the triumph of democracy, the triumph of peace, the triumph of nationhood," he said, adding later: "My pledge to you is that as your president I will work on behalf of all citizens regardless of political affiliation. I will honor the will of Kenyans and ensure that my government protects their rights and acts without fear or favor, in the interests of our nation."


If Kenyatta's victory holds, the son of Jomo Kenyatta will become the fourth president of Kenya since its independence from British colonial rule in 1963.

Poll officials count ballots at a polling centre following Kenya's national elections on March 4, 2013 in the country's western province in Kakamega.

Kenyan election 2013Posters of Presidential campaign  for Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga in the Kibera slum, Odinga's stronghold, in Nairobi, Kenya. (Dai Kurokawa / European Pressphoto Agency / March 8, 2013)

Kenyatta's win could greatly affect Kenya's relations with the West. The president-elect faces charges at the International Criminal Court for his alleged role in directing some of Kenya's 2007 postelection violence. His running mate, William Ruto, faces similar charges.


The United States has warned of "consequences" if Kenyatta wins, as have several European countries. Britain has said it would have only essential contact with the Kenyan government if Kenyatta is president.


A President Kenyatta may have to spend large chunks of his first years in Kenya's highest office sitting in a court room in The Hague, defending himself against allegations of involvement in the murder, forcible deportation, persecution and rape of supporters of Odinga in the aftermath of the 2007 vote.


Government officials have been working for months to avoid the postelection violence that brought Kenya to the brink of civil war five years ago, when more than 600,000 people were forced from their homes. The election commission Saturday held a dramatic midday televised announcement where officials appealed to Kenyans to accept the results with grace.


"There can be victory without victims," said Ahmed Issack Hassan, the chairman of Kenya's Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.


Francis Eshitemi, an Odinga supporter in Nairobi's largest slum, Kibera, said it was clear his candidate had lost in a free and fair election and that he expected him to concede.


"The problem is that Raila doesn't have the numbers. There were a few irregularities, but the gap between Raila and Uhuru is big," he said.


Isaac Khayiya, another Odinga supporter, said: "This time we want postelection peace, not war. We will be the ones to suffer if there is violence. For them — Uhuru, Ruto, Odinga — they have security and they are rich."


The final results showed that Kenyatta won 6,173,433 votes — 50.07 percent — to Odinga's 5,340,546 — 43.3 percent. More than 12, 330,000 votes were cast, a record turnout of 86 percent registered voters.


Odinga said results from at least five of the 291 constituencies were disputed, though he pledged to accept any ruling made by the Supreme Court.


Kenyatta's task was not simply to beat Odinga, but to get over the 50 percent mark and avoid a head-to-head runoff. Eight candidates ran for president.













With the discovery of a large oil deposits in the isolated northern Turkana region of Kenya by Tullow Oil PLC and British Oil, the east African nation has begun its journey of joining the exclusive club of African oil producing nations.


Africa is becoming the gold rush for oil exploration: Oil and gas exploration spots are crowding African landscape. With already older oil exploration spots in Nigeria, Angola, Sudan , Chad and the most recent discoveries in Ghana, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, the continent is over washing with oil and gas.


Kenyan oil discovery is “good news” as was assured by Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga but he was also right when he emphasized that the country’s administration should remained “cautiously optimistic".   History has proven that African oil producing nations have not done right with their oil revenues.


When oil revenue is properly invested and managed, it becomes the foundation and source for further wealth creation and the building block of an economically prosperous nation. Norway has shown that oil wealth can be used for a nation development and the so-called “oil curse” did not apply to Norway.


But take a look at the  African oil producing nations including Nigeria, Angola, Chad, Sudan and others, their oil revenues have not bring much quantifiable and tangible economic turnaround. Majority of their citizens are still living in penury poverty with abysmal existential indices that indicated that “oil blessing” have eluded these nations.  The social infrastructures are neglected without upgrade while health and educational facilities remained deteriorated, while capital flight becomes imminent.  The gap between rich and poor widens, the richer continues to increase in wealth and poor continues to live in squalor.


Invest in Agriculture, Tourism and Infrastructures


The golden opportunity that comes with oil revenue is enormous if Kenya is willing to do the right thing. Kenya source of foreign exchange is grounded in cash crop exports and tourism. The major exports are tea and coffee together with fresh flower export to Europe. Kenya can develop and invest in modern mechanized agriculture.

Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga  picture: africanreview

Kenya should learn from the mistake that Nigeria made. Before the flowing in of oil revenue into Nigerian coffers, the country was the largest producer of palm oil and among largest exporter of cocoa, groundnuts and millet. But Nigeria delayed on investing in agriculture and when they came around it became nearly impossible because oil revenue has weaken the country’s resolve to develop her agricultural facilities.


Kenya should tackle the problem of food preservation and processing to enhance export, which will give them the leverage to negotiate for higher prices without the concern of crops decay.


Another great thing Kenya can do is to invest in its infrastructure – provides road, health facilities, electric light and improve its primary and secondary schools. When it comes to education Kenya must invest in his people for economic growth and development to be sustainable. Kenya must be careful and do a good job in order to train and develop adequate manpower to supply the skill for running the oil hi-tech industry.


Most importantly, Kenya should subscribe to transparency and accountability, anything short of that is a disaster. Kenya must muster the will power to change the story in Africa on oil mismanagement, thereby opening a new chapter for the continent.


Emeka Chiakwelu is the Principal Policy Strategist at Afripol Organization. Africa Political and Economic Strategic Center (Afripol) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it













Kenya, Japan state firms join to survey for oil


The state oil companies of Japan and Kenya have signed an agreement to survey the east African country, which has become a hot spot for exploration after the discovery of oil, and assess its petroleum reserves onshore, officials said on Wednesday.


National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK) and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) agreed to jointly conduct geophysical surveys to help evaluate whether there are commercially viable hydrocarbons in Kenya.


Geophysical surveys help exploration companies determine the areas where drilling is likely to have the most chance of success.


The deal, which will run for an initial year and a half, underlines the interest of international oil companies in East Africa and the Horn of Africa following several major oil and natural gas finds in the region.


In 2006 companies discovered oil reserves in neighbouring Uganda, and this year explorers found large natural gas deposits off the coast of Mozambique. At the end of March, Anglo-Irish explorer Tullow Oil and its partner Africa Oil Corp discovered oil in northern Kenya for the first time.


Tullow and Africa Oil have yet to determine whether their find is commercially viable.


Tullow said on Monday, however, that the thickness of the oil reservoir was greater than initially expected and that it had only drilled to the most shallow depths of the planned well - a significant sign for Kenya's potential as an oil producer.


About two dozen other companies are exploring for oil and gas onshore and offshore Kenya, including NOCK, which is actively exploring the 14T block in the southern part of the country's Magadi Basin. It acquired the block in November 2010.


NOCK and JOGMEC's first survey on 14T, known as a full tensor gravity gradiometry, is planned for June 2012. NOCK also said the companies would complete 2D seismic surveys and electromagnetic studies. It does not have immediate plans to drill on the block.


Companies exploring for oil and gas often sign joint ventures, such as the one between NOCK and JOGMEC, because the cost of surveying and drilling is high, sometimes reaching up to $50 million onshore.


In addition to NOCK's exploration efforts, it operates more than 100 petrol stations, sells its own petroleum products and is charged with helping develop an infrastructure plan to position Kenya as a global oil and gas trading hub.

Chancellor Angela Merkel in Nigeria, Kenya

"German Chancellor Angela Merkel met the president of oil-and-gas rich Nigeria on Thursday after her trip to Angola the previous day sparked controversy over an offer to sell patrol boats. Merkel was expected to discuss energy and African security matters with President Goodluck Jonathan, who won April elections viewed as the fairest since the continent's largest oil producer returned to civilian rule in 1999.The German chancellor was welcomed by a military guard at the presidential palace in Abuja on Thursday morning following her arrival in Africa's most populous nation the previous night." -AFP

Angela Merkel arrives in Abuja accompanied by Minister of State Foreign Affairs Viola Onwuliri at the Nnamdi Azikiwe

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives in Nigeria accompanied by Minister of State, Foreign Affairs Viola Onwuliri at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja..

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, centre, inspects a guard of honor, during her visit to the state house,  in Abuja, Nigeria, Thursday, July 14, 2011. The German chancellor says her country wants to boost energy partnership with Africa's top oil producer. Angela Merkel told journalists at the presidential palace in the West African country's capital Thursday that Nigeria and Germany are to set up a commission primarily aimed at boosting energy partnership between the two nations.

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, centre, inspects a guard of honor, during her visit to the state house, in Abuja, Nigeria, Thursday, July 14, 2011.

ABUJA, NIGERIA - JULY 14:  In this photo provided by the German Government Press Office, German Chancellor Angela Merkel poses with representatives of religious communities (L-R) emir of Wase, Muhammadu Sambo Haruna, catholic archbishop of Jos, Ignatius Kaigama, sultan of Sokoto, Muhammed Sa'adu Abubakar, rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah and imam of the National mosque Sheikh Musa Muhammad on July 14, 2011 in Abuja, Nigeria.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel poses with representatives of religious communities (L-R) emir of Wase, Muhammadu Sambo Haruna, catholic archbishop of Jos, Ignatius Kaigama, sultan of Sokoto, Muhammed Sa'adu Abubakar, rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah and imam of the National mosque Sheikh Musa Muhammad on July 14, 2011 in Abuja, Nigeria

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (R) shakes hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel upon her arrival at the Presidency in Abuja on July 14, 2011  as part of Merkekl's three-nation African tour to strenghten bilateral relations. Merkel said she and President Goodluck Jonathan discussed ways Germany and Africa's largest oil producer could boost cooperation, stressing energy as a particular area of focus, though she did not provide further details.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel reviews the honour guard during a welcoming ceremony at the State House in Nairobi, on July 12, 2011 before meeting with Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki. Merkel is on official visit to Kenya to discuss economic cooperation, specifically in the energy sector.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel reviews the honour guard during a welcoming ceremony at the State House in Nairobi, on July 12, 2011 before meeting with Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki. Merkel is on official visit to Kenya to discuss economic cooperation, specifically in the energy sector.

 German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) shakes hands with Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki at the State House in Nairobi, on July 12, 2011. Merkel is on official visit to Kenya to discuss economic cooperation, specifically in the energy sector.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) shakes hands with Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki at the State House in Nairobi, on July 12, 2011.

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a speech on July 12, 2011 at the University of Nairobi during the second day of her state visit to the East African nation. Merkel on Tuesday urged Kenya to cooperate with the International Criminal Court in the trial of six top suspects in the country's 2007-2008 post-election unrest.'I talked with the prime minister and the president about the fact that it is right to cooperate with the ICC,' Merkel said. Nairobi has challenged the ICC's jurisdiction to investigate six senior allies of President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, and previously sought a delay of the trial.

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a speech on July 12, 2011 at the University of Nairobi during the second day of her state visit to the East African nation. Merkel on Tuesday urged Kenya to cooperate with the International Criminal Court in the trial of six top suspects in the country's 2007-2008 post-election unrest.'I talked with the prime minister and the president about the fact that it is right to cooperate with the ICC,' Merkel said. Nairobi has challenged the ICC's jurisdiction to investigate six senior allies of President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, and previously sought a delay of the trial.

credits:  AP, AFP

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