200 African Firms to Participate in Africa Asia Business Forum

Published on 16th January 2007

Sixty Kenyan firms are among 200 companies from Africa expected to participate in the Tanzania Business forum set for February 12 to14 2007 in Dar es Salaam. This is the forth forum to be held under the auspices of Africa-Asia Business Forum (AABF) sponsored by United Nations Development Programme under its SME financing Unit. The purpose of the form is to attract investment into Africa and to increase trade between the two regions. AABF forums have been held in Malaysia (1999), South Africa (2001) and Senegal (2004).

Germany President Criticizes Europe Experts

German Federal President, Mr. Horst Kohler, while speaking at the Africans head of state conference in Ghana, lambasted experts from Europe who are quick to come to Africa with their own ready made concepts to attract money from donors. He called for a renewed partnership with Africa and admitted that previously, implemented plans hardly benefited Africans instead they merely ensured money was released for projects. 

Dr. Martin Luther King’s Anniversary 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Annual anniversary was celebrated on January 15, 2007. It was a time to remember the injustices that he fought for. A time to remember his fight for the freedom, equality, and dignity of all people and races. Born on Jan 19, 1929, in Atlanta Georgia, Dr. King often most influential and well-known public address is the I Have A Dream speech, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C 

Uganda Implements Free Universal Secondary Education

Uganda has begun implementing a free Universal Secondary Education (USE) programme in 700 public and 280 private schools. The scheme is aimed at making education accessible to all. Because of budgetary constrains, vocational and technical training institutions have been excluded from the initial stage of the programme.

Death Penalty Ban 

Dr Asha-Rose Migiro, United Nations Deputy Secretary General, has vowed to push for the elimination of death penalty among the UN- member states. She says she is in good position to advocate for peace stability, poverty eradication and other challenges currently facing the region and the continent at large.  

African Economy to Grow by 5.9 Percent in 2007 

According to Rodrigo Rato, MD - International Monetary Fund, Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy should grow by more than 5 percent this year. This is attributable to high commodity prices, debt relief and a favourable world trade environment. The IMF was forecasting, late last year, a growth of 5.9 percent for sub-Saharan Africa in 2007 following a projected 5.4 percent in 2006. Mr. Rato said economic growth in the world’s poorest continent was still not strong enough to keep it on track to meet the so-called Millennium Development Goals.  

East Africa to have One Currency 

The East Africa member countries will operate under one currency in three year’s time. According to Mr. John Koech, Kenya’s East African Community Minister, the community’s committee on fiscal and monetary affairs is working on a roadmap to have one currency for East Africa by December 2009.

New ‘Pound’ Currency in Sudan

Sudan has introduced a new ‘pound’ currency to replace the ‘dinar’ at a cost of $150 million. The new currency, which is already in circulation, was agreed under a north-south peace deal. The dinar will be withdrawn by June 30 after a gradual introduction of the ‘pound.’ The new currency will be used in both northern and southern Sudan. One Sudanese pound is equal to 100 Sudanese dinar.  

Talks to Lure Tanzania into COMESA 

Negotiations have begun to lure back Tanzania into the Common Markets for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) trading bloc. Kenya’s Trade and Industry minister, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, said that the Kenyan government had initiated discussion with the Tanzania Business Council on the idea to enhance trade relations between the two countries. However, he added, it is up to Tanzania to decide on whether to join COMESA and Kenya has no control to influence it.  

Serena Group in Rwanda

The hospitality group Serena has concluded a takeover deal extending its regional presence to Rwanda. The group has signed a long-term lease with Rwandan Government to operate the Kigali Inter- continental Hotel and Kivu Sun Hotel. According to the Group's Managing Director for Africa, Mahmud Jan Mohamed, "This is an encouraging step for the SERENA group of Hotels to have presence in Rwanda and it calls for more partners to ensure more investment potential are identified." He said the major objective was not to take over hotels but rather have presence in Rwanda and improve the country's hotel industry. The group comprises 25 hotels, resorts and safari lodges in eight countries 5 of them in Africa.

AU to Finalize Plans for Peace Keeping Force

Africa Union officials have arrived in Somalia to finalize plans for a peacekeeping force. Somalia interim government wants African peacekeepers to be deployed as soon as possible after its troops backed by Ethiopian forces ousted Islamists.


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