Saturday, November 30, 2013

African Development Bank aims at zero HIV in Africa

AfDB president, Donald Kaberuka
Africa has made significant progress in fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In the past seven years, AIDS-related deaths declined by 32%.The number of people contracting the HIV infection declined by 25% in the past 10 years. The rate of mother-to-child transmission of HIV has also declined from 35% in 2001 to 26% in 2010. Ten years ago, we had fewer than 50,000 people on ARV treatment; today we have over 6 million receiving treatment. A few years ago, Senegal and Uganda were the only success stories for their outstanding results and containment of HIV; now we have 25 countries that lowered HIV infections by more than 50%. A lot has been achieved; however, the risks are far from over. Indeed, new infections are a threat. It is time to raise, not to lower our vigilance.

Recall, 30 years ago, when the first HIV-positive case was reported; 24 million Africans have lost their lives. Africa still bears the heaviest burden of the disease globally and accounts for 91% of the world’s children with HIV, 89% of HIV orphans and 69% of people living with HIV. Each day, 3,500 Africans die of AIDS and millions of others and their families and communities go through economic, psychological and social traumas. HIV-related stigma still hurts people, in society, in their workplaces and homes. Women in Africa are more severely affected than men. In 2012, 58% of people living with HIV were women.

HIV/AIDS continues to have a huge detrimental impact on the most important resource of our continent: our people. It robs the continent of vitally needed skilled workers and deprives families of their incomes. It has hampered our ability to educate and build our human capital. Kenya lost an estimated 1.7% of its teachers between 2000 and 2010 due to HIV/AIDS.

For the African Development Bank, in partnership with governments, international organizations, civil society and the private sector, the future of HIV/AIDS agenda is about ‘getting to zero’. Zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. Getting there is not easy and the Bank aims to support African countries to, first, take ownership of the AIDS response. It is time for Africa to take bold steps to reduce dependence on external donors and work towards more sustainable domestic solutions. According to UNAIDS, Africa will require between US $11 billion and $12 billion for its AIDS response by 2015. Yet international funding to HIV is dwindling, putting our progress at risk.

Second, the Bank supports African countries in increasingly applying ‘value for money’ and ‘solidarity’ principles to strengthen social systems. The way HIV resources are mobilized and spent needs to change. The vertical approach may no longer be appropriate and cost-effective in many contexts. There is a need to mainstream AIDS-related services into the general healthcare delivery systems and to support the local production of ARVs.

Third, the Bank supports the building of inclusive health systems to fight stigma and discrimination. Let us all tackle stigma and discrimination by building a supportive and caring culture both in their communities and workplaces. We cannot leave the victims of HIV/AIDS and their families behind.

Finally, the Bank, through its inclusive growth agenda, aims to support the reduction of women’s increased vulnerability and prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission. Addressing the gender dimension is an important priority in the response to the epidemic. Recent progress suggests that the solutions are in our hands. 

We can reduce gender inequalities by empowering women with information and services to prevent and treat HIV. Strategies to counter and manage gender-based violence can be effectively included in HIV-prevention programs. Effective treatment to reduce mother-to-child HIV transmission now needs to be scaled up and made accessible to those who need them, regardless of their socioeconomic status. Training health workers to provide gender-friendly counseling and services must also be prioritized. Most importantly, we need to sensitize men and elicit their involvement to create a supportive environment for reducing women’s vulnerabilities to the epidemic.

Getting to zero starts with us. It is time for Bank staff to take care of themselves and their families by taking advantage of HIV/AIDS services the Bank’s Medical Centre provides. These include Anonymous Voluntary Confidential Counseling and testing available to all Bank staff and their families.

I also want to stress that the African Development Bank is a workplace of zero discrimination and that we must support each other in our communities and workplace. Our fight to get to zero is producing results. Let’s continue in order to give the next generation of Africans – our children, our sons and daughters -- an AIDS-free life ahead. Zero has a value!

Friday, November 29, 2013

GROHE means business in Africa

GROHE, the world leading German manufacturer in sanitary fittings is entrenching its foothold within the African market through continued expansion and dedicated commitment to bringing pure water enjoyment to all. GROHE is renowned world-wide for their innovative technologies, ground-breaking designs and firm commitment to environmental sustainability.

Not content with their European growth After third quarter of 2013: GROHE Group delivering sustained strong results

Sales once again well past €1 billion nine months into year/German market growth continues/positive trend likewise in America and the Middle East/Africa region, GROHE has its eyes set on Africa.

With GROHE sales offices established in East and West Africa and a fully functional stocked warehouse and office in Johannesburg to serve RSA and SADC, the continent has the full support and commitment required for a continued aggressive expansion plan. Already fully engaged in partnerships with countries as follows:

West Africa: Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana

East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania

South Africa and SADC: Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia

GROHE currently has over 370 retail outlets throughout the continent and are expected to solidify and increase that footprint to over 700 retail outlets by the end of 2014.

Despite negligible growth in the economy and market segment GROHE has seen double digit growth in RSA for the last 4 years and continues to focus on steadily increasing its valuable footprint with reliable partners within the industry. With a current market share of 6% GROHE is continually growing year on year.

GROHE will continue to build on current partnerships and relationships, continue its commitment to service excellence and delivery on promises whilst offering a trained and experienced sales force, all of which will ensure that GROHE continues to build on its current network and garner iconic projects such as Samsung Head Office, and Sandton Skye.

KQ increases flights to Malindi, Mombasa, Kilimanjaro, Gaborone, Accra, Paris for Dec 2013

Kenya Airways has announced increased frequency to 11 destinations during the month of December as the airline prepares for an anticipated surge in demand on these routes during the festive season.

Among the domestic destinations to which Kenya Airways will fly to frequently are: Malindi, to which it will fly seven times every week, up from the current six times; and Mombasa, to which it will fly 88 times, which is 11 frequencies more than it does currently.

Regionally, the airline will increase flights to Kilimanjaro in Tanzania from the current five times to seven times weekly; and to Juba in South Sudan from the current 12 every week, to 19 times.

Further afield, Kenya Airways will now be flying to Gaborone in Botswana five times a week, up from the current three times; to flights to Antananarivo in Madagascar seven times weekly, up from the current four times; and to Seychelles four times a week from the current three times.

The airline will also begin flying a wide body Boeing 767 aircraft to Accra in Ghana either through Freetown four times weekly or through Monrovia three times a week.
The frequency of flights to Paris, France has also been increased to six times every week, up from the current five times.

Kenya Airways’ Chief Operating Officer, Mbuvi Ngunze said that the increased frequency is meant to meet heightened demand during the festive season.
“As an airline, we are committed to consistently deliver world class experience, which includes availability of capacity throughout the year. This is the reason we are boosting our frequencies on these routes so that our guests can travel whenever they want to,” Mr. Ngunze added.

At the same time, the airline announced that it will be commencing the fog schedule for flights between its Nairobi hub and Delhi. Under this schedule, Kenya Airways will fly four times to Delhi – on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. On these days, it will depart from Nairobi at 0220 hours local time to arrive in Delhi at 1220 hours local time. The return flight will leave Delhi at 1405 hours local time to arrive in Nairobi at 1855 hours local time.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Street Child World Cup welcomes first ever Kenyan Team

Kenya has joined those countries taking part in the Street Child World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in March 2014.  The tournament takes place alongside a unique international street children’s conference demanding street children receive the protection and opportunities that all children are entitled to. Kenya will join 20 countries from across 5 continents challenging the negative perceptions and treatment of street children around the world.
The Kenyan team are from across the country and are part of Glad’s House, a charity working with street children through education and safe reintegration.
Cliff Ferguson, Chairman of the charity, said: “Being part of the Street Child World Cup is fantastic for us – we hope to use this opportunity to change people's perception of street children and to show how they can be reintegrated into society. We’re delighted to be involved and can’t wait to get started with training sessions.”
Glad’s House has a history of using football to enrich the lives of street children, helping them leave street life behind. They have worked with thousands of street children in Kenya, providing lasting ways for kids to turn their lives around through enterprise and schooling. Their ultimate goal where possible is reuniting children with their families and reintegrating them into society.   Accountancy firm Ernst & Young are the teams main sponsors.
Street Child World Cup Teams Coordinator Karin Joseph said:
“Glad’s House is already using the power of sport to change the perception of street children in Kenyan society. This team will become a symbol for street children in Kenya to reach their potential away from the streets."

Gina Din Group crowned 2013 Public Relations industry champions

Gina Din Group was feted as the best PR firm in the country during the 2013 Public Relation Society of Kenya (PRSK) annual awards held in Nairobi.
Gina Din scooped the overall award in the PR campaign of the year category. It bagged four other awards in the eight entries, emerging as the most feted PR firm in Kenya.

"We are excited at this awards that signify the efforts placed in doing our best for our clients. As an agency we take excellence as a critical part of our service offering especially coming in the wake of our recent rebanding. " said Eddie Ndegwa, CEO, Gina Din Group.
Gina Din Group made six entries into the annual awards cutting across various sectors.

The street dance dubbed Orange Beat Ya Street won in the Technology category while the Chagua Peace campaign that championed for peace during the March General Elections in March won the Public Sector Campaign category.  The group bagged  the PR event of the year award following the successful rebranding. The group through Angela Bor won in the student category.

These awards come hot on heels of the recent rebrand that saw the formation of Gina Din Group through a partnership between Gina Din Corporate Communications and Imagine IMC, providing the market with a wide range of integrated services in the expanding communication industry. The partnership saw it expand its regional footprint.

Gina Din Kariuki, Group Chair, Gina Din Group expressed the firm's commitment to contributing to the growth of the industry.

"Gina Din Group stands for excellence and we are keen on using our expertise and creativity to not only achieve client objectives but to also build the ever growing PR industry in Kenya and the East African region."

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

AADFI holds 2013 annual forum for CEOs in Kenya

A group photo of the 2013 Annual AADFI Forum for CEOs
The Association of African Development Finance Institutions (AADFI) officially opened its 2013 Annual Forum for CEOs, in African Development Banking and Finance Institutions, at the Serena Beach Hotel & Spa, Mombasa, Kenya, today, Thursday, November 14th, 2013. The forum will continue until tomorrow, Friday, November 15th, 2013.

The official opening of the forum was presided over by Prof. Njuguna Ndungu, Governor, Central Bank of Kenya on behalf of Honourable Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury of Kenya, Mr. Henry K. Rotich. In his address, he noted that the time is ripe to strengthen African DFIs, acknowledging that Africa's economy is moving forward. He emphasized the need for the DFIs to adequately set themselves up to seize the opportunities that are now available to them.

Mr. Gabriel Negatu, the Regional Director of the African Development Bank, was present and gave an address on behalf of Dr. Donald Kaberuka, President of the AfDB. He seconded Mr. Ndungu adding that the growth and changes being noted in Africa are notably positive, saying, "The growth rate of the continent’s low-income countries was well above 4.5% in 2012 and is projected to remain above 5.5% in the coming years." Summing up, he assured member countries and their national DFIs, and sub-regional DFIs, that they would be supported in the pursuit of efficiency and prudence in DFI operations.

The AADFI Chairman and Managing Director of TIB Development Bank Limited, Tanzania, Mr. Peter M. Noni, who is also attending the event, cautioned against the wanting positioning of National DFIs in financing infrastructure and SMEs, specifying that only the well governed, capitalized and supervised will be able to fulfill the mandate.

Ministers responsible for DFI Supervision of some African countries, Central Bank Governors and other key officials will also be addressing the more than 100 participants from Africa and throughout the world who are attending the forum.

The Forum was organized in association with the African Development Bank (AfDB) as co-initiator of the DFIs Prudential Standards, Guidelines and Rating System (PSGRS) Project. It is a bilingual program in English and French on the theme: “Strengthening African DFIs with Appropriate Standards and Guidelines: 3rd Peer Review & Rating of AADFI Member-Institutions”. The Forum is being hosted with the collaboration of the Kenyan member-DFIs including Industrial Development Bank (IDB) Capital Ltd, Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC), Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC), Kenya Industrial Estates Ltd (KIE) and Tourism Finance Corporation (TFC).

The objective of the 2013 Forum is to provide opportunity to CEOs of Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) to review with all stakeholders, namely Director Generals in the DFIs supervisory Ministries, Governors and Heads of relevant Departments in the Central Banks, the implementation and application of the PSGRS Mechanism in DFIs after the 2rd Peer Review of member-institutions with the AADFI PSGRS conducted in November 2011.

The Forum will also examine member-institutions’ PSGRS Summary Ratings Score Sheets and Self-Assessment Results and will enable participants to address any institutional weaknesses identified from the completed assessment forms and find ways and means for implementing proposed reforms in their respective DFIs. Furthermore, it will enable participants to build and strengthen the application of the PSGRS, evolve strategy to sustain Stakeholders’ commitments on the PSGRS Mechanism, evaluate current procedure for conducting the Peer Review with a view to recommending areas of adjustments and improvements and review the effectiveness of implementation of the PSGRS in member-institutions and share success stories.

The forum will further identify aspects of the PSGRS Mechanism that need to be revisited and suggest strategies on how the application of the PSGRS in DFIs could be strengthened. Finally, the Forum will serve as a platform to share experiences of regulatory authorities in supervising DFIs with the PSGRS, network among CEOs and Stakeholders in development financing, discuss the way forward with the Peer Review and discuss other current issues pertaining to the DFI Sector in Africa.

In addition to CEOs, their Deputies and Senior Management Staff in National and Sub-regional DFIs, the target participants are the Director Generals in the DFIs supervisory Ministries, Governors and Heads of relevant Departments in the Central Banks, e.g. Departments responsible for supervising DFIs and/or NBFIs as well as Chairmen of Boards of DFIs, Representatives of Multilateral Banks/ Organizations including the World Bank, the UN, the AU, ECOWAS, CenSad, SADC and bilateral donor agencies.

Tourists head to Lamu for Cultural Festival

(image: )
Scheduled flights landing at  Manda airstrip in Lamu are in full capacity as visitors throng the region ahead of this year’s Lamu cultural festivals slated for 21st to 24th November .
Accommodation facilities have equally reported impressive bookings with majority recoding 100 percent visitor booking.
Manda Airstrip manager Mr. Mohammed Lippi says the airport records almost 200 passengers to Lamu in a day in readiness for the annual cultural festivals.
"The scheduled flights such as Air Kenya, East Africa,  Safari Link and Fly 540 are in full capacity and we receive and average of between 180 and  200 passengers at the airstrip  daily " says the airport manager .According to  the Manager, the airport is also recording an increase of private aircrafts with an average of six recorded daily.
He said the festivals and increased marketing of Lamu as a tourist attraction has made the airstrip  more busy in the recent past .
"With increased tourism and other economic activities, the airstrip  run way has be extended by a kilometer in addition to recent opening of a passenger terminal to handle the expected increase of aircrafts into Lamu, says the Manager
A sport check on the reservations indicates that the majority of the accommodation facilities within and without the old Lamu town are fully booked with both the domestic and international tourists.
"At the moment we are at 75 percent , but with the last booking, we hope to surpass this number" says Lamu House Hotel and Beach Club director Frank Feremans.
He at the same time appealed to the airline operators to consider increasing their scheduled flight to Lamu during the festivals period to ease the challenge of access to the region.
Kenya Tourism Board Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa says increased marketing in Lamu and entire coastal region is paying off. “We expect higher participation this year owing to our aggressive marketing and improved security in the island" says Ndegwa .
He said the annual festival showcases diversified tourism products Kenya has to offer through cultures, heritage and other unique attractions in line with the tourism diversification strategy.
The four-day festival showcases traditional dances, display of handicraft and unique competitions on water and land. Visitors will also be treated to Swahili poetry, donkey races, dhow races, henna paintings and Swahili bridal ceremony show.
Foreign embassies such as France, Britain, Poland, Germany, and some European union member countries have continued to support the festivals whose sponsorship is also from government agencies and the private sector.

Kenya Tourism Board announces "eyeing new markets" in Kuwait

Kenya's President, Uhuru Kenyatta (left) in Kuwait
Kenya’s tourism industry is now targeting new markets with a view to fulfilling the desire to grow the number of tourists visiting Kenya from the current average of 1 million to 3 million by the year 2015.
Speaking in Kuwait, the Principal Secretary for the East African Community, Commerce and Tourism Dr. Ibrahim Mohamed said the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) and private sector players are also changing tact in how they sell Kenya as a destination to the new and potential markets.

He said one of the new marketing approaches that is already under implementation is the introduction of tailor-made packages that are informed by the specific areas of interest that people from a specific country look out for when they venture out as tourists.

“The numbers we are receiving today from Kuwait and the region are not as high as they should be. This is mainly because there is no proper awareness about Kenya’s distinct tourism products. Today, people are going to other destinations which have the same facilities and attractions we have in Kenya,” he said.

Dr. Mohamed added that the new marketing approaches that will be carried out by KTB, partners such as Kenya Airways and private sector players, will also deepen the understanding of attractions in Kenya, thereby positioning tourism on a rapid growth plan.

The Principal Secretary is among those accompanying President Uhuru Kenyatta on his first official trip to Kuwait, to attend the 3rd Africa Arab Summit, which is a forum where 71 Arab and African leaders have been exchanging views on how to boost the Arab-African cooperation in the fields of investment, security and agriculture.

Addressing the media in Kuwait, KTB’s Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa said KTB will use its Market Development Representatives to carry out continuous research that will ensure that Kenya remains relevant to potential tourists from Kuwait.

“As Kuwaitis become more and more aware of the various travel opportunities available and as their appetite to explore new destinations grows, we see a positive situation where more Kuwaitis begin to explore Kenya as their new destination.” he said.

Muriithi added, “We expect a real leap in the number of visitors from the region in the coming years. We also look at ways of setting the ground for creating more awareness about our products and destinations, so that people can increasingly visit our destinations.”

Although there are no direct flights between Kenya and Kuwait yet, the two countries are interconnected Kenya and Kuwait are well served national carrier Kenya Airways, as well as several Gulf carriers such as Emirates, Qatar Airways, Air Arabia and Etihad.

The tourism industry is one of the major contributors to Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP), which is currently estimated to be around 12 per cent. The GDP rate has been steadily increasing and it has a spill over effect on other segments of the economy as well.

Monday, November 18, 2013

DHL and Engen announce major African retail partnership

DHL Express, the world’s leading international express services provider and Engen, Africa’s leading multinational fuel retailer and provider of convenience services, have signed a retail partnership, in a bid to provide customers with better access to global express services. 

A consumer looking to send documents or parcels overseas can simply walk into an Engen service station to send their shipment, ensuring greater convenience and accessibility to the powerful global network which DHL offers. This includes all domestic and international shipments to major centres across over 220 countries and territories worldwide. 

The project, which will pilot at four Engen service stations in the Namibian capital Windhoek, will then be rolled out in phases. Botswana, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Tanzania are earmarked for the second phase. 

Consumers will also be able to take advantage of DHL’s new product offering, Express Easy, at the Engen outlets. Express Easy provides an easy way to send documents or parcels, as consumers can choose an envelope or one of seven box sizes and enjoy a fixed price for that size, rather than paying a rate based on the weight of the parcel. Consumers are simply able to pick their box, pay the fixed rate and send their document or parcel to any of DHL’s global destinations. 

Sumesh Rahavendra, Head of Marketing for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa, welcomed the news, saying that it would have a great impact on consumers across the continent. 

“The express logistics industry, and specifically retail services for consumers and small and medium enterprises, are becoming hugely important in Africa. For us to better service this market and open up global opportunities for students, small business owners and general consumers, we needed to both increase access to our express products but, simultaneously, make it easier and more affordable to use them. Engen is therefore an obvious partner for us – they are not only a solid African business but have an extensive retail network across the continent, which can benefit consumers. ” 

“As one of Africa’s leading energy companies, we consistently look for ways to deliver on our brand promise of ‘With us you are Number One’,” said Nangula Hamunyela, Managing Director of Engen in Namibia “Partnering with DHL means that we can extend our capabilities and give our valued customers the access and affordability around express services that they need.”

The Namibian pilot includes four sites – Jan Jonker, Bonsmara, Eureka and Klingenberg. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Kenya Tourism Board to showcase conferences in Barcelona

Kenya will be joining other competing destinations in the world in showcasing her diversity in tourism through Meeting Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) exhibition in Barcelona, Spain next week.

The Exhibitions for the Incentive Business, Travel and Meetings (EIBTM) is the leading global trade fair for the meetings and incentive industry with hosted buyers and trade visitors.

Slated to begin from 19th -21st November, the event brings together over 15,000 MICE industry professionals keen on access to a dynamic business environment for networking and business deals.

“This is yet another opportunity for us 
to educate the MICE clientele on the destination’s ability to host incentive groups, events, meetings and conferences in line with our tourism product diversification strategy” says Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa.

KTB will be leading some a number of travel trade and industry players including the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) for the three-day event.

MICE tourism is one of the growing segments that KTB has continued to market in line with the strategy of product diversification and has presented Kenya with an excellent opportunity to establish competitive advantage within this niche segment.

According to KTB Managing Director, MICE are widely acknowledged as a lucrative industry, which enables destinations to create employment opportunities and benefit from foreign exchange earned.

Kenya is ranked second in conference tourism in Africa and 58th globally in the Country and City ranking 2012 report by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA)- a worldwide umbrella body for international conference and conventions.

According to the report, Kenya hosted 29 international conferences with KICC hosting a majority of them.

Nakuru County appeared also appeared in the ranking after hosting two international conferences making it a very important emerging city destination in Kenya.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

DHL opens facility and air infrastructure in West Africa,

DHL has announced an investment in both a facility and air infrastructure in West Africa, to meet the demand for express and freight services in the region. The recent investment includes the launch of a new airside facility in Dakar, Senegal, and the addition of 3 aircraft – a Boeing 757 and two ATR72s.

Over the last few years, we’ve increasingly seen the importance of up scaling our facilities in the various regions within the continent,” comments Oliver Facey, Vice-President - Operations for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa. “As multinationals turn to Africa, and as smaller African enterprises look to trade cross-border, regions like West Africa need increased infrastructure and capacity to cope with the rising demand for the transportation of goods across these markets.”

The express operator, which already boasts a large hub and gateway in Lagos, Nigeria, opened the facility in early November, to handle transit volumes. The facility will enable the handling of material destined for Senegal and transit material through Dakar to help with the improvement of the service quality delivered to a market with ever increasing activity, consistently under time pressure.
We have expanded our operation at Dakar as a natural location for feeding in traffic to West Africa,” says Facey. “The Dakar facility receives a new return flight from Brussels and it will be serviced once a week by a Boeing 757 200 SF with a capacity of over 25 tons.”

The two ATR 72’s, each with a capacity of 7 tonnes, will connect countries including Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Mauritania. These aircraft are ideal since they have large cargo doors and provide a fully palletized loading capability, making them more efficient for handling.

He continues, “These investments mean that we can offer increased dedicated capacity in West Africa and generally have less dependency on limited commercial airlines uplift for volumes along the west coast of Africa. This increased capacity supports both DHL’s express and freight products, especially perishable goods, which has always been one of the easier ways for African businesses to gain access to European markets and now DHL can better support players in this market.”

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Kenya assures UK of safety as 2013 H1 arrivals drop

East African Affairs, Commerce and
Tourism Cabinet Secretary
Mrs. Phylis  Kandie
greets Chris Modigel,
Director  Leopard Beach Resort &Spa,
during her tour of Kenyan exhibition stand 
at World Travel Market  (WTM),
UK where Kenya is
showcasing her tourism products.
Looking on  is Kenya Tourism Board
 (KTB) KTB Managing Director
Muriithi Ndegwa.
Kenya yesterday seized the opening of the four-day long World Travel Market (WTM) in UK to re-assure international tourists of their safety while in Kenya.
Cabinet Secretary for East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism Mrs. Phylis Kandie who is leading over 50 companies from the local travel and hospitality industry re-assured travelers that Kenya remains a safe country despite the recent Westgate attacks by terrorists.
“We are here to now re-affirm our resilience and that Kenya is safe for our tourists, the government has put in place a raft of security measures to scale up security for both the visitors and tourists alike,” says Kandie.
The Kenyan delegation is among the over 5,000 suppliers of travel and tourist products who are meeting to discover and negotiate the latest travel industry trends and opinions, at the WTM, one of the largest tourism fair in the world.
Kandie said the Kenya tourism stand themed ‘The best of Kenya’ resonated well with the campaigns the tourism sector has stepped up to restore the arrival numbers that dropped  in the 2012 – 2013  financial year to about  8.8%  to record 1,167,741 International arrivals compared to 1,280,314 in the same period in 2011/12 financial year.
She said while the country was focusing on Emerging and Regional markets, key traditional source markets such as UK continue to top overall albeit its drop in numbers as witnessed in the past couple of months.
As per recent statistics, the UK market is the leading visitor market contributing 13.8% of the total inbound traffic with 68,676 arrivals, going by the half year 2013 (January to June) arrival figures.

The market however shows a decline of 17.8% compared to the same period in 2012 which posted 83,504 arrivals.

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa expressed his optimisms of reversing the down-ward growth following a number of marketing strategies KTB has put in place.
“WTM is one of the platforms of showcasing Kenya’s destination, product diversification strategy, global campaigns and the renewed confidence on destination that is  expected to boost our numbers  from the market” he said.
He said the renewed vigour exhibited to reposition Kenya as a preferred tourism destination at a time when there is increased competition from other destinations and dynamic shifts in source markets will definitely bear fruits.
Among key discussion featuring during the WTM meet include stimulation of jobs and investment in the industry, elimination of barriers to travel such as visa restrictions, taxation, and outmoded infrastructure systems.

Ghana Water Facility Turns Waste into Commercial Fertilizer and Energy gets €1 million Grant

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The African Water Facility (AWF) ( signed a €1 million grant in favour of the Ghanaian NGO Training, Research and Networking for Development (TREND) to support an innovative sanitation scheme. The project, which is a tripartite collaboration among TREND, Safi Sana Ghana Limited and the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly, is designed to turn waste into bio-fertilizer and energy, whilst providing affordable and sustainable sanitation services for the unsewered urban poor communities of Ashaiman district of Accra.
Specifically, the AWF grant will finance the construction of a waste treatment plant that can produce about 500 tons of fertilizer per year, and can generate about 580,000 kWh per year of electricity from the biogas produced from the process. The project will also contribute to improving the hygiene, health and the quality of life of an estimated 125,000 underprivileged urban dwellers by providing them access to new, safe sanitation services through the expansion of the Ashaiman Municipality’s sanitation coverage.

“The African Water Facility supports resource recovery projects because it has shown to solve so many problems at once, especially where resources are scarce and access to affordable fertilizers and energy is low,” said Akissa Bahri, Coordinator of the African Water Facility. “While resource recovery systems help minimize environmental pollution, waste converted and sold as fertilizer provides much-needed affordable soil nutrients for farmers and families; and used as biogas, is a safer, cleaner and more affordable source of energy for more economically disadvantaged communities; it’s a clear win-win for the urban poor, the private sector and the environment.”

Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, Resident Representative of the African Development Bank in Ghana, underscored the Bank’s commitment to promoting innovative interventions and renewable energy in Africa. She invited all stakeholders to support the project’s tripartite arrangements to ensure the project’s successful implementation, for the realization of project outcomes and potential replication in other municipalities in Ghana and beyond. 

It is anticipated that the project will contribute to increasing private sector investments in the sanitation sub-sector, and to boosting business and economic development by promoting attractive, replicable business models for improved sanitation service delivery. With the ever-dwindling natural resources and the increasing oil and food prices, thinking innovatively is inevitable, and turning waste to bio-fertilizer and energy is poised to be very profitable business.

The project’s innovative aspects include:
• The recovery of energy and nutrients from fecal and organic waste;
• The establishment of market opportunities for the sale of products derived from waste;
• The involvement of the private sector in the sanitation business and the generation of income for all operators and their staff part of the service supply chain, from waste collection, to transport, treatment and reuse;
• The opportunity to demonstrate how Ghana’s new energy bill can be implemented through small strategic investment projects with the participation of the private sector and civil society;
• The promotion of improved sanitation services and hygiene behaviour change.

The project was officially launched following the grant-signing ceremony held in Accra, Ghana, on Thursday, October 31, 2013, which was attended by representatives from the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly, the AWF, the AfDB, the Energy Commission and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Safi Sana Ghana Limited, and TREND.

Kenya Airways operating performance July - September 2013

The company put into the market place a total capacity of 3,643m seat kilometres which represents a 4.6% year on year decline. During this quarter the airline successfully launched flights into Abu Dhabi, the second destination in the United Arab Emirates (UAE); and Blantyre, the second point in Malawi. These two are in addition to Livingstone via Harare operations introduced in the first quarter.

Capacity offered into Europe shrunk by 7.8% compared to the same quarter prior year arising from the withdrawal of all day flights to London occasioned by reduced traffic demand due to the Euro zone crisis. The introduction of daily operations to Guangzhou via Bangkok coupled with the commencement of services to Abu Dhabi spurred the growth of Middle East and Far East regions combined by only 1.7% compared to same period last year.  This was the result of capacity rationalization in the Middle East region that saw the replacement of the larger B777s operations to Mumbai with the B767s and reduced frequencies to Delhi and Jeddah.

In the region of North Africa, the addition of a third daily frequency to Juba was diluted by cancellation of operations to Cairo prompted by the ongoing political turmoil in Egypt resulting in 27.7% capacity reduction in the region compared to prior year.  The capacity offered in East Africa region grew by 7.0% from the additional early morning departures to Entebbe as well as increased Dar-es-salaam frequencies including daily night stops.

Extra night time operations into Lusaka and Lilongwe, in addition to the introduction of Livingstone via Harare route saw Southern Africa capacity go up by 8.0% compared to prior year.  Dwindling demand in the West and Central African regions occasioned by changing market dynamics as well as civil unrest in some markets resulted in the suspension of Bangui, Ouagadougou, N’Djamena and Libreville destinations, with a consequent capacity reduction of 18.1% on same period in the prior year.

On the Domestic front, capacity grew by 21.5% compared to same quarter last year due to the re-launch of Eldoret with double dailies; a further two daily flights into Kisumu including a night stop, together with additional E190 operations to Mombasa.

Passenger traffic measured in revenue passenger kilometres at 2,649m reduced by 4.8% compared to the same quarter last year in line with capacity cutbacks alluded to above.  The total passenger carrying at 1,012,176 was at par with last year achieving a cabin factor of 72.7% equal to prior year performance.

Passenger uplift to Europe was 129,006 with a decline of 3.9% compared to last year, on the back of 7.8% capacity reduction.  The achieved seat occupancy level of 85.5% is higher than that of prior year at 82.7%.

In the Middle East and Far East regions, uplifted passenger traffic at 146,091 showed a 6.3% decline on prior year.  However, the achieved cabin factor of 73.8% was 0.9% percentage points better than last year.

Within Africa but excluding Kenya, 500,117 passengers were uplifted, showing a 2.4% decline riding on an 8.0% capacity reduction compared to same period prior year.  The achieved passenger cabin factor of 63.3% was 2.7 points lower than that of prior year.

Passengers uplifted within Kenya at 232,962 grew by 17.2% with a reduced cabin factor of 73.9% that was some 6.0 percentage points lower than prior year.

Belly cargo capacity measured in Available Tonne Kilometres (ATKs) reduced by 3.0% leading to a reduction in uplifted volumes by 7.5% compared to same period last year. The introduction of the second regional freighter in July improved the hub de-feed capacity and should continue to drive a consistent and reliable delivery of service in this area.