The World Economic Forum (WEF) convenes in South Africa starting this week in Cape Town. The event to be attended by about 800 business and political leaders from more than 50 African countries, including at least six heads of state, will focus on ‘Capitalising on Opportunity’. Besides President Thabo Mbeki will be African National Congress president Jacob Zuma, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga. James Shikwati, IREN’s Managing Director and CEO of The African Executive will facilitate three of the eight main forums.
Growth at Mombasa Port
The port of Mombasa has recorded increased business for the first quarter despite struggling with congestion arising from non-movement of cargo due to the post-election violence in the country early this year. The port has seen a rise in cargo handling in the past months of this year compared with last year’s performance. According to a report by the Kenya Ports Authority, the port handled a total of 4.2 million tonnes between January and March this year, compared to 3.8 million tonnes over the same period last year. This was an increase of 398,559 tonnes or 10.5 per cent. However, the port’s delivery systems - road and railway - were still underperforming. The waiting period for vessels to be cleared at the port has been on an average of 10 days.
Ban Ki-moon says Opportunity Ripe for Agriculture
The United Nations Secretary General has given revitalization of agriculture an upper hand as a way forward in dealing with the current crippling food crisis that has seen thousands go hungry, food protests world wide and sky rocketing food prices. Speaking during a UN-sponsored summit in Rome, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged nations to seize the “historic opportunity to revitalize agriculture” as a way of tackling the food crisis. He said the solution to the food crisis is seeing it as an opportunity to develop agriculture hence making access to food for the world poor affordable.
Rwanda to Issue Electronic Driving Licenses
The government of Rwanda is set to issue new electronic driving licenses that will replace the old ones that are currently in service. The issuing of new driving licenses is in line with the process of issuing new electronic National Identifications. While addressing traffic police personnel about the new license, the Secretary General in the Ministry of Local Government, Eugene Barikana said the move will streamline the sector which has suffered from issues ranging from different types of driving licenses in circulation some of which are issued from neighboring countries while others are forged. He called on the Police to play a major role in transforming the society’s mindset towards issuing of new electronic identifications.
Lagos May Ban Smoking in Public
Lagos State government may soon outlaw smoking of cigarettes on the streets of Lagos and the use of mobile phones by drivers while driving. The Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, said smoking in public could be banned if responses from the residents of Lagos suggest so. According to the Speaker, the media would be used to verify the opinions of Lagos residents about smoking in public places. Nairobi is one of the leading cities in Africa to have successfully banned smoking in public. The city council has designated smoking ‘zones’. Smoking outside these places is a criminal offence.
Another Laureate For Kenya
Kenya’s Professor Miriam Were has been awarded The “Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize” for medical services. The award was established by the government of Japan in July 2006 in memory of Dr Hideyo Noguchi whose contribution to medical advancement and self-sacrifice in activities in Africa remain a model of medical professionalism. Prof. Were’s efforts to bring basic medical services and health rights to women and children in the villages of East Africa has been a beacon of hope for millions of people in Africa and the world. She becomes the second African woman to receive such a prestigious award after her compatriot Prof. Wangari Maathai, who is the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Winner.