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  •  President Uhuru Kenyatta has challenged the Kenya Tea Development Agency Holdings KTDA to initiate an elaborate plan that would ensure value addition to 90 percent of tea grown in the country before it is exported The president emphasized that tea growers will get the most out of their work if more value is added to hellip
    President Kenyatta Urges Kenya Tea Development Agency Holdings (KTDA) to Facilitate Increased Value Addition to Kenyan Tea
     President Uhuru Kenyatta has challenged the Kenya Tea Development Agency Holdings KTDA to initiate an elaborate plan that would ensure value addition to 90 percent of tea grown in the country before it is exported The president emphasized that tea growers will get the most out of their work if more value is added to hellip
    President Kenyatta Urges Kenya Tea Development Agency Holdings (KTDA) to Facilitate Increased Value Addition to Kenyan Tea
    Africa9 hours ago

    President Kenyatta Urges Kenya Tea Development Agency Holdings (KTDA) to Facilitate Increased Value Addition to Kenyan Tea

    President Uhuru Kenyatta has challenged the Kenya Tea Development Agency Holdings (KTDA) to initiate an elaborate plan that would ensure value addition to 90 percent of tea grown in the country before it is exported.

    The president emphasized that tea growers will get the most out of their work if more value is added to the tea they produce rather than selling it raw.

    “The true future of tea is adding value to 90 percent of our tea and finding direct markets from the farm to the one who drinks the tea in a cup. That will be the long-term solution and that solution is up to you to lay the groundwork,” said President Kenyatta.

    As well as increasing the income of tea growers, President Kenyatta said value addition will also help create more jobs for the country's youth.

    The Head of State spoke on Saturday when he addressed the directors of the smallholder tea sub-sector where he also announced that this year the tea industry recorded its best performance in the last five years.

    It noted that the profits of small tea farmers increased by 42.4% from Ksh 44 billion in 2021 to Ksh 63 billion in 2022 after the reforms initiated by the government.

    “This is approximately an additional Kshs 18.74 billion to be paid to tea farmers courtesy of the interventions that we as a government have made to revitalize this sub-sector.

    The president said the extra income, to be paid to tea farmers, increased by 44.6%, from an average profit of Kshs 34.71 per kg of green leaf in 2021 to an average of Kshs 50.18 in 2022. .

    “With this performance, the average bonus payment per kilogram of green leaf in 2022 will increase by 76% from Kshs 21.07 earned last year to Kshs 37.11 in 2022,” said President Kenyatta.

    Noting that the 76% increase is an average, the president emphasized that each tea factory will pay specific fees based on their performance and some of the factories will pay more than others.

    President Kenyatta expressed his optimism that the improved performance of the tea subsector this year will boost hope for the more than 650,000 smallholder tea farmers and the roughly 30% of Kenyans who are employed in the agricultural sector in general.

    “I am confident that once the ongoing reforms are fully implemented, the tea industry will be fully revitalized for the benefit of tea farmers and the country,” said President Kenyatta.

    The President highlighted several key interventions that contributed to the rise in tea sub-sector profits, including the establishment of the minimum reserve price at the Mombasa tea auction in July 2021, which led to an increase in export profits from tea from Kshs 120 billion in 2020 to Kshs 136 billion in 2022.

    "Monthly payments to tea growers are also made in the first week (the 5th of every month) instead of the third week," President Kenyatta said.

    To further boost the income of tea growers, President Kenyatta directed Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture Peter Munya to ensure that the fertilizer subsidy is increased from 1 billion Kenyan shillings to 3 billion Kenyan shillings.

    Speaking during the occasion, CS Munya said that the Government, in collaboration with the KTDA, is implementing many other programs to improve the competitiveness of the tea sub-sector and improve the livelihoods of tea farmers in Kenya.

    The Chairman of the Kenya Tea Board, Dr. David Kiarie Mburu, thanked the Government for mitigating the impact of the global economic downturn on the Kenyan tea sector by stabilizing fuel prices and lowering electricity rates.

    “Going forward, the Board will continue to work closely with other relevant agencies to ensure the sustainability of tea farming as a significant source of livelihood for tea farmers in the country,” said Dr. Mburu.

    KTDA National President David Muni Ichoho also spoke during the meeting which was also attended by the Chief of Public Service.

  •  Pastor Henry Akasili Executive Director of A Smarter You Academy a non profit organisation has called on African leaders to implement policies that would create an enabling environment for initiatives capable of motivating the youths Akasili made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on the sidelines of the launch of hellip
    Cleric tasks African leaders on policies, youth motivation
     Pastor Henry Akasili Executive Director of A Smarter You Academy a non profit organisation has called on African leaders to implement policies that would create an enabling environment for initiatives capable of motivating the youths Akasili made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on the sidelines of the launch of hellip
    Cleric tasks African leaders on policies, youth motivation
    General news19 hours ago

    Cleric tasks African leaders on policies, youth motivation

    Pastor Henry Akasili, Executive Director of “A Smarter You Academy’, a non profit organisation, has called on African leaders to implement policies that would create an enabling environment for initiatives capable of motivating the youths.Akasili made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on the sidelines of the launch of the academy on Saturday in Lagos.The academy is powered by Africa for Africa Youth Initiative, also an international non profit organisation.It is a Pan African initiative that is positioned to produce a breed of young minds with renewed inspiration, motivation and a greater future.According to Akasili, the youths are an embodiment of great  innovatons and ideas, all rearing to go.He, however, said that lack of motivation and good policies had remained  a major hinderance.“When you talk about young people, you look at people with innovation and skilks. Their energy, if well harnessed, could accelerate the much needed nation building as well as change the narrative about Africa as a continent.“Today, we could see them involve in cyber crimes and other negative vices. They have sharp minds and this can be corrected.“I can assure you that if they are guided right and an enabling environment put in place, they will channel these skills to things that will be of great benefits to all.“A major responsibility of all heads of governments in Africa in advancing the course of reeducation of the African youths is to ensure that the right policies are put in place to create that enabling environment for initiatives such at this ‘A Smarter You Academy ‘ to thrive.“Such policies will ensure that regulatory bodies do not prevent or stifle the activities of initiatives such as this one,” he said.The Technical Director of the academy, Mr Ugo Dibia, noted that the academy was the solution to the multifaceted challenges facing the the continent.He said that the challenges facing Africa were not entirely as a result of bad leadership but rather the educational system.According to him, the academy is one of such initiatives put in place by the Africa for Africa Youth initiative to reengineer and retool the youth across the continent.“It is because we saw the gap in our educational system that we decided to come up with this academy.“We want to be able to produce thinkers and  not just have people go to school and on graduation, will not know what to do with themselves.“This academy is here to help change that culture, by training the mindset of our youths so that on graduation from school, they will not only be good administrators, but also good producers.“We train them to be effective in the job place and be creative enough to produce and start up businesses of their own. So,  that is how we move between entrepreneurial skills and employability skills.“If they chose to work in a company, we teach them how to be effective in that company and if they decide to stay on their own, we also teach them how to be effective business owners and ultimately a  global player.“This academy has indeed come to stay and it is the game changer for African challenges,” he stated.He added that the academy was open for registration to undergraduates of universities, graduates of other tertiary institutions,  and secondary school students.According to him, the academy is situated in all major cities in Nigeria and Africa.He listed how to start up a business, how to generate business ideas, how to improve on personal character and basic communication skills, as some of the courses that would be run in the academy.Others include Managing Personal Finances, Marketing Skills, Digital Marketing and Website development.“Each course has a different duration, but our goal is that in six months, it will be through with any course chosen by the individual.“We are looking forward to involving or partnering with the Federal Government and other interested stakeholders.“Remember we have over 200 million youth across Africa and so we want to see how these programmes could be inbuilt in the educational curriculum, especially in the universities and other tertiary institutions.“This will go a long way to change the narrative of Africa especially in the area of productivity.“So, we will also be happy if we can get other stakeholders to partner with us too in building more of this academy across Africa, so we can impact more youths,” he stated.Mr Sharpman Olumatin, Country Manager, Africa for Africa Youth Initiative said that the organisation, through its expansion and entrepreneurial programmes, intends to reeducate the African youth and inspire them in finding solutions to the socio-economic and political challenges in Africa.“What we want is for our youth to play active roles in the development of an egalitarian African society, as well as foster Pan Africanism.Mr Fortune Nkweke, Head of Operations, Africa for Africa Youth Initiative said that the organisation had over 80,000 members across 25 countries in the continent.He noted that the organisation was mainly to empower African youths as well as  change the stereotype that had been associated with Africa.“This organisation, established in 2018, is to ensure that the story of Africa is told the way it is and not the way some people perceive it to be.“Africa has more virtue interns of the youth population with a lot of them into technology, many others with great innovations, ideas and we do not see them out there.“A lot of them go out to the diaspora because they feel Africa does not provide the enabling environment to thrive.“So, the organisation is creating systems and platforms throughout the various programmes and initiatives that we have, to ensure that every youth in Africa has the mindset to look out on ways to contribute their quota to the development of their respective nations and Africa as a continent,” he stated.NAN reports that over 50 youths from across African countries,  including Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa,  were present at the launch of the academy.NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  President Uhuru Kenyatta held talks today with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba Bruno Rodr guez Parrilla who paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Nairobi During the meeting President Kenyatta and Mr Parrilla discussed a wide range of issues of bilateral importance to Kenya and Cuba including the safe return of hellip
    President Kenyatta Holds Talks with Cuban Foreign Affairs Minister
     President Uhuru Kenyatta held talks today with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba Bruno Rodr guez Parrilla who paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Nairobi During the meeting President Kenyatta and Mr Parrilla discussed a wide range of issues of bilateral importance to Kenya and Cuba including the safe return of hellip
    President Kenyatta Holds Talks with Cuban Foreign Affairs Minister
    Africa1 day ago

    President Kenyatta Holds Talks with Cuban Foreign Affairs Minister

    President Uhuru Kenyatta held talks today with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, who paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Nairobi.

    During the meeting, President Kenyatta and Mr. Parrilla discussed a wide range of issues of bilateral importance to Kenya and Cuba, including the safe return of Cuban doctors kidnapped in Kenya by Al Shabaab in 2019.

    President Kenyatta assured the commitment of the Government of Kenya to ensure the release of Cuban doctors held captive in Somalia.

    At the meeting, the Head of State and Minister Parrilla greeted the fraternal relations between Kenya and Cuba.

    Thanking Cuba for its support in the training of Kenyan doctors, President Kenyatta reiterated that Kenya values ​​its cooperation with the Caribbean nation.

    “I just want to say that we value your support and reiterate that Cuba has a true friend in Kenya. We will always stand in solidarity with you in any forum at the multilateral level,” said President Kenyatta.

    For his part, the Cuban Foreign Minister thanked President Kenyatta for his commitment to strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.

    Mr. Parrilla, who was accompanied by the Cuban Ambassador to Kenya, Juan Manuel Rodríguez Vázquez, said that the two countries will continue to work together to strengthen their bilateral ties at all levels.

    He delivered to President Kenyatta a special message from Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel.

    The Chief of Public Service Dr. Joseph Kinyua, the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Raychelle Omamo, the Chief Administrative Secretary for Health Rashid Aman and the Director in charge of the Americas and the Caribbean Division, Mr. Patrick Nzusi, were present.

  •  Nature is in crisis and time is running out The latest round of negotiations for a new Global Biodiversity Framework GBF have just concluded in Nairobi Kenya This was set to be a critical step on the road to the biodiversity convention s Conference of Parties in December in Montreal COP15 hosted by China With nature hellip
    Nairobi’s Nature Deal Negotiation talks stall
     Nature is in crisis and time is running out The latest round of negotiations for a new Global Biodiversity Framework GBF have just concluded in Nairobi Kenya This was set to be a critical step on the road to the biodiversity convention s Conference of Parties in December in Montreal COP15 hosted by China With nature hellip
    Nairobi’s Nature Deal Negotiation talks stall
    General news1 day ago

    Nairobi’s Nature Deal Negotiation talks stall

    Nature is in crisis and time is running out. The latest round of negotiations for a new Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) have just concluded in Nairobi, Kenya. This was set to be a critical step on the road to the biodiversity convention’s Conference of Parties in December in Montreal (COP15), hosted by China.With nature declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history, with grave impacts particularly on vulnerable people and countries, a consensus has emerged that we must halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity by 2030. We need to have more nature at the end of the decade than at its start - a nature-positive world for people and planet - with governments, businesses and society combining to ensure that biodiversity loss is reversed.The text on the table at the end of these negotiations is inconclusive and woefully inadequate. We are leaving with many of the elements for a strong global deal on the table but needing further negotiations with difficult decisions still to come. We had hoped for more and nature needs more; however, we are far from the path towards a transformative deal at COP15.Agreeing and adopting a truly transformative and inclusive GBF is a once-in-a-decade opportunity that should not be missed. A chance for all of us to be part of a historic moment, for nature and people, considering the precarious state of our planet’s biodiversity.“The world needs to understand how critical it is that an ambitious agreement is adopted at COP15. Climate change and nature are inextricably linked – nature is impacted by climate change but is also part of the solution. We call on leaders to give the nature crisis the attention it requires.Most key elements of an ambitious framework are on the table and consensus is being built - but difficult choices remain, and ambition must build from Nairobi on the road to COP15 for a nature-positive deal that the world needs,” notes Melanie Heath, Director of Science, Policy, and Information at BirdLife International.“Governments and stakeholders have no better chance than now to put in place a framework that will transform the harmful way in which we live, to the detriment of biodiversity and ultimately ourselves. A business-as-usual approach is not an option. The new framework must contain bold, transformative elements including increased, predictable funding to support implementation,” notes Ken Mwathe, Policy and Communications Coordinator, BirdLife International Africa.“The post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework truly takes into account knowledge gathered from science and stakeholders over the last decades. This meeting in Nairobi, billed as a crucial avenue to get our acts together before COP15 in Montreal, provided a chance for Parties present to truly move past sentiments, and replace talk with action by producing text that is ambitious in all ramifications. Unfortunately, this remains to be seen,” says Yemisi Fawibe-Oke, Policy & Advocacy Manager, Nigerian Conservation Foundation (BirdLife Partner in Nigeria).Human activities have led to the loss of 83% of animal species and 50% of plant species since the dawn of civilization. Nature-positive means halting and reversing species loss, and BirdLife International has been at the forefront of addressing this on the African continent. An example is Morocco, where the Griffon Vulture is now breeding after 40 years, thanks to efforts by the BirdLife Partner organization in the country. In Southern Africa, BirdLife Partners are working to save vultures whose populations have declined by up to 97%. Linked to this is the conservation of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) which contribute significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity, across terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems.Agriculture is a critical sector in Africa, employing over 60% of the continent’s workforce. Biodiversity is one of the major drivers of biodiversity loss in Africa. Thus, an effective Global Biodiversity Framework should look at nature-friendly farming methods, which include reducing harmful pesticides and regenerative agriculture, while protecting useful organisms including pollinators and birds.BirdLife International is calling for an ambitious framework in four areas in particular. First, we are calling upon the global community to put in place a framework to halt species extinctions and increase the abundance of species populations, through addressing factors that drive species towards extinction. Such action should reverse species declines so that we are nature-positive by 2030. Secondly, there is a need to effectively manage a scaled-up system of protected and conserved areas covering 30% of the planet’s land and ocean areas by 2030, which focus on KBAs and other areas of importance for biodiversity.Linked to this is the critical role of Indigenous People and Local Communities (IPLCs), who number about 476 million people, approximately 6% of the global population, but inhabit about 85% of areas proposed for biodiversity conservation. Thus, IPLCs are critical partners in helping achieve ecosystem protection, conservation and restoration. By working with Partners and local communities through our ’local to global’ approach, we have demonstrated significant conservation success, and therefore welcome acknowledgement of the rights and critical role played by IPLCs in the Nairobi talks.Finally, the new framework must have an effective mechanism and means for implementation. This includes a clear monitoring and reporting framework and scaled-up predictable financing. Africa faces a huge shortfall in financing biodiversity conservation, estimated at about 700 billion dollars every year, so addressing this finance gap is critical.Given the slow pace of negotiations witnessed in Nairobi, far more commitment and political support at the highest level is needed ahead of Montreal. Tackling biodiversity loss requires ambition, leadership, cooperation and political will from countries, without which the world would be staring at a bleak future. The clock is ticking, and the alarm is set: we must use the coming months wisely to work together to make sure that the final negotiations are a success.

  •  By NJ Ayuk Executive Chairman African Energy Chamber www EnergyChamber org After the dramatic post COVID slowdown in 2020 21 2022 is turning out to be a banner year for the African oil and gas industry The industry is poised to grow in the second half of this year That is the forecast presented by the upcoming State of hellip
    2022 Is Turning Out To Be A Banner Year for African Oil & Gas (By NJ Ayuk)
     By NJ Ayuk Executive Chairman African Energy Chamber www EnergyChamber org After the dramatic post COVID slowdown in 2020 21 2022 is turning out to be a banner year for the African oil and gas industry The industry is poised to grow in the second half of this year That is the forecast presented by the upcoming State of hellip
    2022 Is Turning Out To Be A Banner Year for African Oil & Gas (By NJ Ayuk)
    Africa2 days ago

    2022 Is Turning Out To Be A Banner Year for African Oil & Gas (By NJ Ayuk)

    By NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber (www.EnergyChamber.org)

    After the dramatic post-COVID slowdown in 2020-21, 2022 is turning out to be a banner year for the African oil and gas industry. The industry is poised to grow in the second half of this year.

    That is the forecast presented by the upcoming State of African Energy Q2 2022 report, to be published by the African Energy Chamber this summer. According to the report, increased oil and gas activity and a record number of new discoveries have set the stage for significant industry growth in the second half of 2022.

    In Namibia alone, for example, two groundbreaking discoveries, Shell's Graff and Total Energies' Venus-1X, have opened a frontier oil field on land. Industry experts estimate that Venus-1X may contain recoverable resources of about 3 billion barrels of recoverable oil, making it the largest oil discovery in sub-Saharan Africa's history.

    Namibia, in fact, has led the way in new oil and gas activity this year and is emerging as an exploration hot spot. In northeastern Namibia and northwestern Botswana, ReconAfrica has authorized operations for the recently discovered 8.5-million-acre Kavango Basin, one of the largest undeveloped land basins in the world.

    This is great news for our industry, which was hit especially hard by COVID and has struggled to regain momentum. The energy sector was affected by historically low volumes in 2020 and 2021, creating an even more critical need for new exploration.

    And Namibia is just one example of the new discoveries being made across Africa. The Q2 2022 report outlines a number of new developments across the continent.

    Eni discovered the Baleine field in the Ivory Coast last year, which contains up to 2 billion barrels of recoverable oil and almost 2 Tcf of gas offshore. This is a big problem for Côte d'Ivoire, which has so far been producing around 34,000 barrels of crude per day in four blocks.

    In Angola, TotalEnergies is drilling for the first time since 2018 and has signed a sale and purchase agreement with state-owned Sonangol for two blocks in the offshore Kwanza basin. Other large companies, including ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP and Eni, are also active in Angola.

    More than a dozen high-impact wells are forecast in the next 18 months in Libya, Ghana, Mozambique, South Africa, Equatorial Guinea, Morocco, Egypt and others. Egypt alone has awarded eight oil and gas exploration blocks to Eni, BP, Apex International, Energean, United Energy, Enap Sipetrol and INA.

    And after long delays due to COVID, licensing rounds are planned, open, or under evaluation in more than a dozen countries, including Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Gabon, and Congo. The results are expected to be announced this year.

    Increased spending on new facilities is also forecast as more projects get the green light. In Kenya, for example, large investments are expected in the greenfield development of Tullow's South Lokichar Basin in Turkana County. With an estimated 585 billion barrels, this is widely considered to be one of the last large conventional onshore projects in the world.

    These discoveries and others referenced in the Chamber's Q2 2022 report are tremendously exciting. And if we manage them properly, we can make significant progress towards our goal of a just energy transition: alleviating energy poverty, stimulating economic growth and improving the lives of Africans every day.

    Environmental activists may be up in arms, insisting that we leave oil and gas where it is and ditch all hydrocarbons in favor of renewable energy. Obviously, we recognize the tremendous opportunities that renewable energy represents for African nations, and we are taking decisive action to seize those opportunities. But there are enormous challenges associated with the premature abandonment of fossil fuels. For Africa to grow and diversify its economy, build capacity and establish its rightful place as a global energy hub, we must fully utilize our oil and gas.

    This does not mean ignoring renewable energy and making climate change a low priority. It doesn't mean just using fossil fuels. Instead, it means using those resources to pave the way for universal electrification and the gradual introduction of renewable energy over time. It means starting with fossil fuels and looking for ways to strike a balance, creating a new template for the success of the energy transition.

    The State of African Energy Q2 2022 report outlines an unprecedented level of new oil and gas discoveries on the African continent. Again, this is exceptionally good news, especially in the post-COVID environment, but only if we take the right steps to harness the potential of these resources.

    The simple and staggering fact that more than half of sub-Saharan Africans lack access to electricity means that ending energy poverty must remain our priority. With Africa's population projected to exceed two billion by 2040, our generating capacity will need to double by 2030 and increase fivefold by 2050.

    Oil and gas are the lifeblood of Africa and the foundation of our economic development. Our future depends on maintaining the longevity of our industry. And with such large amounts of oil and gas available, we should increase our production accordingly and use those resources to benefit Africans.

    The wealth of new oil discoveries in Africa is not only an opportunity to recoup some of the devastating losses we have suffered in the last two years, it represents an opportunity to achieve an energy transition that benefits all Africans. It is our responsibility to make the most of it.