TICAD Goes Underway

Published on 27th May 2008

The Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development (TICAD) is underway in Japan at Pacifico Yokohama Conference Centre. The conference will see Heads of State and Government hold bilateral talks with Japanese officials. TICAD seeks to strengthen recent positive trends in Africa in both political and economic areas and deliberations shall be centered on the theme “Towards a Vibrant Africa: A Continent of Hope and Opportunity.” Japan also seeks to support Africa in various sectors such as infrastructure targeting regional road networks and electric power, small and medium enterprises, tourism promotion, agriculture, health and education.

Nigeria May not Feel Food Price Influx

Contrary to widely held views that the global food crisis has affected Nigeria, the minister of agriculture and water resources, Dr. Abba Sayyadi Ruma, has said the disaster may not be felt as heavily in Nigeria. He said that Nigeria does not suffer from a food crisis but from rising cost of a particular food item - rice. He said rice is closely associated with the upper class and that it is now a problem because of the over-dependence on the food item by many upper class Nigerians. He contends that the rise in the price of rice has affected other staple food items, but that the nation can cope. He noted the government’s dedication to food security terming it a priority.

Another Islamic Bank For Kenyans

Kenyans of Muslim faith can now enjoy a variety of Sharia compliant Banking with the entry of First Community Bank, an Islamic bank licensed by the Central Bank of Kenya. The bank is a second entrant in the country after Gulf African Bank opened its doors in January this year. Competition in the Islamic banking business is set to intensify. "We welcome both Muslim and non-Muslim clients to our services driven by ethics," Nathif Adam, said the bank’s Chief Executive Officer. He went to state that the bank, seeks to expand from the initial three branches to 17 in the next three years.

Botswana: No South Africa Night Train

Botswana Railways (BR) has stopped trains traveling from Botswana to South Africa at night following two incidents in which a BR train ferrying cargo to Mafikeng was attacked by a stone-throwing mob. As a result of these incidents, BR has resolved to run its train going to South Africa only during the day. During the last week’s incident two BR officers were injured and the train’s windscreen smashed. It is however not known whether the train attacks were linked to the current attacks on black foreigners in South Africa.

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