Kenya To Build $14.5bn Konza Technology City

President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya has launched a $14.5bn (£9.1bn) project to build an IT business hub named Konza Technology City.

The new city dubbed “Africa’s Silicon Savannah,” located 37 miles from the capital; Nairobi will take 20 years to build.

Despite Kenya’s usually divisive politics, the project which has the backing of all political parties is expected to create more than 20,000 IT jobs by 2015, and more than 200,000 jobs by 2030.

Konza, a part of the government’s ambitious Vision 2030 will take advantage of the growing number of software developers in the East African nation.

“It is expected to spur massive trade and investment as well as create thousands of employment opportunities for young Kenyans in the information communications technology (ICT) sector,” President Mwai Kibaki said at the ceremony to launch the construction, adding it would be a “game-changer” for the country’s development.

He called on domestic and foreign investors to take advantage of Konza’s “tremendous opportunities”.

According to the Konza information website, the city wants to attract business process outsourcing, software development, data centres, disaster recovery centres, call centres and light assembly manufacturing industries.

A university campus focused on research and technology as well as hotels, residential areas, schools and hospitals will also be built.

Konza Technopolis Development Authority has been charged with the responsibility to oversee the building of the IT hub, which will be built in four phases.

Pope urges end to Boko Haram killings

Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday prayed for “concord in Nigeria”,as he lamented the “savage acts of terrorism” that frequently target Christian churches in Nigeria, during his traditional Christmas message.

The Islamist extremist group Boko Haram has often targeted churches in its bloody insurgency against the Nigerian government killing about 3,000 people since 2009 when the insurgency started.

The violence is now worsened with the emergence of another terror group, the Ansaru that claimed to have kidnapped French engineer, Frances Colump, in Rimi Katsina, Katsina State last week.

Pope Benedict also called for an “end to the bloodshed” and “a political solution” in conflict-wracked Syria in a traditional Christmas message that touched on several other of the world’s conflict zones.

“There is hope in the world … even at the most difficult times and in the most difficult situations,” he said, praying that “peace spring up for the people of Syria, deeply wounded and divided by a conflict which does not spare even the defenceless and reaps innocent victims.”

More than 44,000 people have been killed in Syria since the outbreak in March 2011 of an anti-regime revolt that became a bloody insurgency after a brutal crackdown, a rights group said last week.

The Pope’s annual “Urbi et Orbi” (To the City and the World) message, heard by some 40,000 pilgrims in St Peter’s Square, also pointed to hotspots across Africa and urged religious freedom in China, and as usual called for peace in the Middle East.

The Pope prayed for “help and comfort to the refugees from the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo,” where a rebel campaign caused tens of thousands to flee their homes, and peace in Kenya, “where brutal attacks have struck the civilian population and places of worship”.

He also urged peace in Mali, where Islamist insurgents have occupied large swathes of the desert north since a March coup.

He also prayed for “Israelis and Palestinians (to be granted the) courage to end long years of conflict and division, and to embark resolutely on the path of negotiation.”

Turning to China, the German Pope called on the new leadership to “esteem the contributions of the religions.”

Speaking of “the high task that awaits them,” the Pontiff said he hoped the new leaders unveiled in November would “help build a fraternal society for that noble people and of the whole world.”

China and the Vatican severed diplomatic ties in 1951 after the latter recognised the Nationalist Chinese government in Taipei, a rival to the communist regime in Beijing.

Although Beijing and the Vatican have improved relations in recent years as China’s Catholic population has grown, they remain at odds over which side has the authority to ordain priests.

About 5.7 million Chinese belong to the state-run Catholic Church, according to official figures. Independent estimates say 12 million Chinese Catholics worship in unauthorised churches and are loyal to the pope.

Ethiopia’s Abebe Dinkesa reclaims Obudu mountain race title

Ethiopia’s Abebe Dinkesa, has emerged the winner of the 8th Obudu Ranch International Mountain Race which was concluded today in Obudu, Cross River state, making this his third victory at the annual race.    

The Ethiopian came ahead of others in 1hr 03mins to clinch the top place and a cash prize of $50,000 while Kenyan’s Macdonald Ondara was second in 1 hr 06 mins and his compatriot Chemosin Robert came third in 1hr 07mins.

Dinkesa had in 2008 set a race course record of 41:45 minutes when he won his first title.

He reclaimed the title, in 2010 and today, became the first man to win the men’s title three times since the race’s inaugural edition in 2005.

The distance of the men race, which until last year was 11.25 km, is now 12km.

In the women’s race, it was yet another East Africans dominance as Etenesh Diro Neda of Ethiopia won the first position in 1hr 03mins, winning the $50,000 prize money and Kenyans again that took the second and the third position.

Bisuenei Rita Jeptoo crossed the line in 1hr 02.45mins and in third place was Kipoech Paskalia in 1hr.04mins.

 

 

PAST WINNERS OF THE OBUDU MOUNTAIN RACE

Year         Men’s winner    Time(m:s)                      Women’s winner        Time (m:s)

2005         Ben Dubois (AUS)         48:44          Anna Pichrtová (CZE)         55:46

2006         Francis Kibiwott (KEN)     42:26          Rehima Kedir (ETH)         53:26

2007         Habtamu Fikadu (ETH)    42:50          Rita Jeptoo (KEN)             51:42

2008         Abebe Dinkesa (ETH)    41:45          Andrea Mayr (AUT)            51:14

2009         Habtamu Fikadu (ETH)    42:03          Mamitu Daska (ETH)          49:12

2010         Abebe Dinkesa (ETH)    42:21          Meselech Melkamu (ETH)     48:57

2011         Hunegnaw Mesfin (ETH)    41:50         Genet Yalew (ETH)         48:45

 

 

 

Nigeria is now home – Prezzo

He has been seen at a number of social events in Lagos with Nigeria’s Pop Princess Goldie Harvey, but Kenyan rapper and second runner-up at the last Big Brother Africa Star Game, Prezzo has revealed plans to settle in Nigeria and build a career in the nation’s fledgling entertainment industry.

The Kenya trained and certified pilot turned rapper stated on Channels TV Sunrise that “my purpose of visiting Nigeria is to broaden my musical career and work with a couple of producers here.”

“Nigeria will be my second home from now on and I don’t want to feel like a tourist when I come to Nigeria, so Nigeria will be home” he stated, adding that “fufu and Eba makes one live longer and stronger” as he showed his reverence for Nigerian local meals.

On which city in Nigeria he will be settling, the Kenyan artiste who also sings in Swahili said “most definitely in Lagos. I think Lagos is a beautiful place.”

“I just love the aggression of the people out there. I love the hustle” he stated about the daily struggle of residents in Nigeria’s most populous city.

According to him “Nigeria is the leader of Africa’s music industry and for me to achieve my goal, I have to JFK” he said, defining JFK as – “Joining Forces with the Kings”.

“So I have come to join forces with my Nigerian brothers and sisters” he added.

“I love the positive energy in Nigeria and I feel it is the kind of positive energy I want to be part of.”

When asked who his choice producers in Nigeria are, Prezzo replied “I am very inspired by the Nigerian music industry as a whole. It is a big industry and I am willing to work with anybody. I don’t need to use anybody as a stepping stone.”

The musician also revealed plans to make a foray into Nollywood.

Prezzo is expected to drop a single, on Monday ahead of his forthcoming album.

When questioned on his famous relationship with Goldie, with whom he has being seen at various events in Nigeria and abroad in recent weeks, Prezzo cheerfully grinned saying “Goldie is busy. I have seen her just once since my arrival. ”

“She’s been very busy” he stated, adding that “Goldie is a beautifully person, both inside and outside.”

Prezzo had a stormy relationship with the Nigerian participant in the Big Brother Africa House and that they have both evolved to be great friends since the reality show ended.

PART 2

Jonathan calls for more intra-African trade

President Goodluck Jonathan has called for more trade and investment among African countries, to strengthen relationships and for the promotion of the welfare of citizens.

The president was speaking to the outgoing High Commissioner of Botswana to Nigeria, Clifford Maribe, who paid a farewell visit to the State House, Tuesday.

President Jonathan said African businessmen must take advantage of the many investment opportunities available in the continent, thereby improving economic and political relations.

He welcomed the report that the business forum held in Gaborone, Botswana during his visit last month had started yielding positive results, as exploratory business visits between Nigerian and Botswanan businessmen have commenced.

The outgoing High Commissioner of Botswana to Nigeria told President Jonathan that the business forum held in Gaborone, Botswana, during the Nigerian leader’s visit last month generated interest among participants.

Mr Maribe said his tenure in Nigeria had led to stronger relations between the two countries, including high-level visits by the leaders of both countries, and expressed appreciation for the cooperation he enjoyed during his stay.

During a similar audience, President Jonathan told the outgoing Kenyan High Commissioner, Francis K. A. Sigel, that the warm political relations between the two countries should be strengthened through more high-level visits.

He congratulated Mr Sigel for completing the construction of Kenya’s Chancery and staff housing, describing this as ‘a mark of your confidence in us and our relationship’.

The President said there was the need to improve economic relations between Nigeria and Kenya.

In his remarks, Mr Sigel said he enjoyed his stay in Nigeria.

Attackers kill 32 in clashes over land in Kenya

Attackers killed 32 villagers and burnt more than 150 houses in Kenya’s coastal region on Monday, the Red Cross said, the latest tit-for-tat attack in a long festering dispute between communities over land and water.

About 100 people have been killed in the last three weeks as the violence between the Pokomo and Orma communities escalates.

“There was a fresh attack in the Tana Delta this morning. As of now we have established 32 people are dead,” Abbas Gullet, head of the Kenyan Red Cross, told Reuters.

The violence follows deadly riots in Kenya’s main port of Mombasa after the assassination of a radical Muslim cleric. The two events were unrelated but exposed deep social, political and sectarian divides that could lead to more violence ahead of a presidential election next year.

Efforts by top government officials – among them Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who visited the area after an earlier attack – have so far failed to defuse the tensions.

The Red Cross said Monday’s dead included seven police officers, 12 male civilians, eight children and five women.

South Africa’s Keagan wins BigBrother StarGame

South African Housemate Keagan has won the Big Brother StarGame!

After 91 long days in the house, the 22 year old intern manager, has finally hit the jack pot, winning the prize money of $300, 000.

His journey started in Downville with partner Lee who was evicted on the same night he was upgraded to Upville.

This means that South Africa has won Big Brother for the first time.

The South African housemate managed to beat off stiff competition from 34 other housemates including strong contenders from Upville.

Kenya’s Prezzo was the runner up and was rewarded with a ONE Campaign ambassador slot.

He was also told that he would be attending Jay Z’s concert in the United States soon.

Here’s how Africa voted for the finalist:

Angola: Keagan

Botswana: Keagan

Ghana: Keagan

Kenya: Prezzo

Liberia: Keagan

Malawi: Wati

Namibia: Lady May

Nigeria: Keagan

South Africa: Keagan

Sierra Leone: Talia

Tanzania: Prezzo

Uganda: Kyle

Zambia: Talia

Zimbabwe: Lady May

Rest of Africa: Keagan

 

Total: Keagan = 7; Lady May = 2; Prezzo =2, Talia = 2, Kyle = 1, Wati = 1. (Total: 15 Votes)

LONDON OLYMPICS: Nigeria is out of men’s 4x400m relay

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Tuesday confirmed that Nigeria’s 4x400m men’s relay team will not compete at the London Olympics.

This is contrary to the statement by the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) on Monday which listed the team among the country’s contingent to the Games.

The Nigerian 4x400m relay team is made up of Saul Weigopwa, Abiola Onokoya, Isah Salihu, Tobi Ogunmola, Segun Ogunkole and Godday James.

The team ran 3:02.39 to win the gold medal at the just concluded 18th African Athletics Championships on Sunday in Porto Novo, and they were wrongly informed that the team made the cut for the Olympics.

However, the IAAF on Tuesday released the list of 16 teams that have qualified to participate in the event in London and Nigeria was not included in the list.

According to the IAAF report, “the qualification period for the men’s and women’s 4x100m and 4x400m relays at the Games of the XXX Olympiad, London 2012 ended on Monday 2 July. The IAAF is pleased to confirm the following 16 teams, per each of the four relays, which have qualified to compete, are as follows…”

Until the victory in Port Novo, Nigeria was ranked out of the top 20 nations but moved to the 18th on the list following last Sunday’s personal season’s best performance in Benin republic.

South Africa and Kenya will be flying the continent’s flag in the London games which will kick-off in a few weeks.

Meanwhile Nigeria still stands a chance to make the games if two of the qualified countries drop out of the event at the quadrennial Games on their own volition.

Nigeria will thus not be competing in the men’s 4x400m relay at the Olympics.

Victory in past relays have accounted for some of the nine medals Nigeria has won in the athletics event of the Olympic Games.

Attacks on Kenyan churches kill 17

Masked attackers killed at least 17 people on Sunday in gun and grenade attacks on churches in a Kenyan town used as a base for operations against al Qaeda-linked insurgents in Somalia.

Policeman walks from the scene of an explosion after a grenade attack at a church in Nairobi

At least 45 people were wounded in the simultaneous attacks on Garissa, in the north of the East African country which has suffered a series of blasts since sending troops into Somalia last October to crush Somalia’s al Shabaab militants.

“We have 17 bodies at the mortuary so far,” regional medical officer Abdikadir Sheikh told Reuters.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Police said they suspected the attacks could have been the work of al Shabaab sympathisers or bandits, but it was too early to say. Inside Somalia, al Shabaab declined comment.

“The goons were clad in balaclavas,” regional deputy police chief Philip Ndolo told Reuters from Garissa.

He said a total of seven attackers hurled grenades inside the Catholic Church and the African Inland Church and then opened fire with guns. They struck the churches, which are 3 km (two miles) apart, at around 10.15 a.m. (0715 GMT)

Two policemen were among the dead.

They were the latest attacks on Christian worshippers in Kenya after two people were killed in grenade blasts in March and April.

But Sunday’s coordinated attacks on churches resembled the tactics of Nigeria’s Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which has killed hundreds of people on the other side of the continent.

Other blasts in Kenya have hit nightclubs and bus stations in the capital Nairobi, the coastal city of Mombasa and areas near the Somalia border.

Although a majority of Kenyans are Christian, Garissa is more heavily Muslim.

The town of around 150,000, a market centre for the trade in camels, donkeys, goats and cattle, is largely populated by ethnic Somalis.

“You can imagine for such a small town how the police and medical services have been stretched trying to deal with this,” the police’s Ndolo said.

Garissa is about 100 km (60 miles) from Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp, where gunmen kidnapped four aid workers and killed a driver on Friday before fleeing towards the border with Somalia.

Last Sunday, three people were killed in a grenade attack at a night club in the port city of Mombasa, a day after the U.S. embassy in Kenya warned of an imminent attack on the city.

REUTERS

Helicopter crash: Kenya govt minister among 7 dead

Kenyan police say a cabinet minister who once served as Kenya’s vice president has been killed in a helicopter crash near the capital.

The officials said Internal Security Minister George Saitoti was one of seven people killed in the crash on the outskirts of Nairobi.

Saitoti, an American-trained economist and mathematician, was one of the most visible figures in Kenyan politics.

He announced last year that he would seek the Kenyan presidency in 2013.

Iraq, six other nations build embassies in Abuja

Seven countries, Egypt, Iraq, Kenya, Turkey, Benin Republic, Serbia and Cote d’Ivoire, have started building their permanent embassies at the Diplomatic Drive, a street allocated to them in Abuja.


The Iraqi Ambassador to Nigeria, Ali Al-Amery, says the new embassy would be completed by April next year. According to  Al-Amery, a local construction company is n charge of the project which would cost about three million dollars.
On the other hand, the Ambassador of Serbia, Mr Rifat Rondic, says their construction project which would end at 2014 is being handled by Energo company, a Serbian firm.
Some embassies – Ghana, China, the United States, Niger, Angola, Sudan, Ethiopia, Cuba and Liberia – are already operating from the Diplomatic Drive.  Others are Palestine, North Korea, Brazil, Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso.
Meanwhile, apart from the embassies, the Diplomatic Drive area also houses a government agency, a church and an automobile dealership and this has led to criticisms by security experts.
“If government has designated the area for the embassies, no other agency should be situated there; it is called Diplomatic Drive; I believe the aim is to have a number of the diplomatic offices in one location.
“This is not only for easy access, but also for security reasons,” Mr. Emmanuel Ekpu, a security expert, said.
The UN House, attacked by the Boko Haram sect in August 2011, is also located on the Diplomatic Drive.

African stars listed for 2012 Samsung Diamond League

channels_television_diamond_leagueFour top athletes from Africa Vivian Cheruiyot, Pamela Jelimo, Kenenisa Bekele and Genzebe Dibaba were named among the major players for the 2012 Samsung Diamond League comprising of 14 meets taking place at Doha, Qatar and will be starting Friday 11 May.

more info central Samsung Diamond League website and the Doha meeting website.

The press conference for the meets was where it was announced by the organisers in Doha.

 

 

Profile

Bekele hails from Ethiopia and she is the World record holder for both 500 and 10,000m with 16 world titles from track and cross country in her kitty crowning with the being the reigning champion at both distance races.

Dibaba who is from Ethiopia had her first senior World title over 1500m in Istanbul, Turkey and she ended up putting up superb display this was after junior career World championship victories.

Cheruiyot from Kenya is the World Cross Country Champion and also the reigning World champion for the 500m and 10,000m as she put up a remarkable performance for the 2011 season.

Another Kenyan Jelimo is the 2008 Olympic 800m champion who bolted back fully from injury creating so much uproar at the past indoor season as she excelled at the World Indoor Championship which took place at Istanbul Turkey in March.

Abubakr Kaki a Sudanese who is two-time World Indoor 800 m champion who in Doha; Qatar clinched the silver medal was confirmed too and will do battle with 2007 World champion and Moroccan record holder Amine Laalou and Alfred Kirwa Yego from Kenya.