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VIDEO: Trump meets Uhuru at White House, announces plans to negotiate Trade Agreement with Kenya

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President Donald Trump met Thursday with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta at the White House and announced the United States plans to initiate trade agreement negotiations with the Republic of Kenya.

Kenya continues to be a vital partner to the United States in Africa and beyond. Since President Kenyatta’s August 2018 visit, when the two leaders established the United States-Kenya Bilateral Strategic Dialogue, the two countries have expanded partnership across many areas.

“President Trump looks forward to building on this momentum and discussing new opportunities to advance cooperation and trade,” said a statement from the White House.

“Kenya is a recognized leader across the continent, an important strategic partner of the United States, and there is enormous potential for us to deepen our economic and commercial ties,” said U.S.Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. “Under President Trump’s leadership, we look forward to negotiating and concluding a comprehensive, high-standard agreement with Kenya that can serve as a model for additional agreements across Africa.”

Kenya is strategically important to the U.S., as the U.S. tries to offset the influence of China. China eclipsed the U.S. as Africa’s largest trading partner more than a decade ago.
Kenyatta’s visit to Trump’s White House is rare for an African head of state. Kenyatta met with Trump once before in August 2018, when as the White House said Thursday, “the two leaders established the United States-Kenya Bilateral Strategic Dialogue.”


Trump has not shown much interest in African countries since he has been in office. The U.S. has free trade pacts with 20 countries, but none in Africa.

The U.S. State Department announced Wednesday, however, that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would visit Africa for the first time from Feb. 15 to 19, with stops scheduled in Angola, Ethiopia and Senegal.

Trade between the U.S. and Kenya stands at about $1 billion a year.  Over 70% ($466 million in 2018) of Kenya’s exports to the U.S. entered under African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga were on Wednesday the key note speakers at a luncheon organised to mark this year’s US National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC.

The President recounted the distabilising impact post-election conflicts have had on the country’s growth over the last thirty years saying the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is aimed at finding a homegrown solution to the divisive nature of Kenyan politics.

A poster announcing the invite to the White House. PHOTO|FILE

 

He noted that divisive politics and the resultant ethnic tensions negatively affect the country’s development trajectory saying, “once the election comes, everything stops…business stops one year before an election and restarts one year after an election”.

“It is impossible to bring prosperity and longterm economic stability that’s required for a nation to develop and grow without stable peace.

“Everybody used to plan their businesses around the election cycle,” President Kenyatta told the international audience that comprised mostly of senior American officials.

President Kenyatta, who retraced Kenya’s history of electon related ethnic conflicts since the adoption of multiparty democracy in the early 90’s, said his coming together with his main political challenger Raila Odinga was motivated by the realisation that the disruption of the economy by electoral tensions every so often was not sustainable.

He narrated the tense and long process leading to the “handshake” with Mr Odinga saying they went against the hard-line positions held by their supporters.

“We sat in a room and it took almost six hours for us to even begin talking anything…it was, what you call, excruciating silence because nobody wanted to be the first to say anything,” President Kenyatta said.

The Kenyan leader expressed satisfaction that millions of Kenyans have joined and are participating in the BBI process saying democracy cannot thrive in an environment of political uncertainty.

“We shook hands and embraced and that one single moment changed the whole country. Because nobody would ever have imagined that we would shake hands and embrace,” the President said.

He continued: “Since then, we have walked as brothers, we have brought onboard (Kenyans) and said that this process that we’ve started is not a political process but rather a process that seeks to entrench our democracy.”

The President said through the BBI, Kenya had began the process of reconciliation and national healing adding that his greatest desire is to leave a peaceful and united country.

“The greatest gift that me and my brother (Raila Odinga) can possibly ever leave the people of Kenya is the gift of peace, the gift of love and unity of all our people. And that’s the mission that we are on,” he said.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga said he shares the President’s determination and committment to achieve national cohesion through the BBI process by building trust and unity among Kenyans.

The opposition leader said BBI is a historic journey to a united and stable Kenya adding that the process will also help address several challenges facing the country including youth unemployment, corruption and negative ethnicity.

“We discovered that there were no national ethos. We talked about shared prosperity or disparity in terms of regional development, ethnicity as a factor that divides our people. We talked about issues of corruption as a cancer in our society,” Mr Odinga said.

President Kenyatta was introduced to the distinguished audience by Senator Christopher Coons who is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on African Affairs of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The Delaware Senator spoke glowingly of President Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga saying the determination by the two Kenyan leaders to unite their country by reaching out to each other and closing ranks makes them global role models.


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Africa

Fearless girl asks mum to start doing house chores, says she’s tired

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A video has emerged on social media in which a young girl could be seen arguing with her mother over house chores.

The girl expressed her dissatisfaction over the house chores her mother left for her. She asked why her mother does nothing in the chores and leaves everything for her.

She said she lays bed, cleans and arranges the house and told her mother to learn how to do these chores.

Young girl challenges mum over house chores

She told her mum not to kill her with house chores, adding that because she gave birth to her does not mean she should do nothing in the house. @mediagist/Instagram
Source: UGC

The girl told her mum to give birth to another child, adding that she would stop doing house chores in the house.

She said because her mother gave birth to her does not mean the latter would do nothing in the house.

By Tuko.co.ke


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Africa

Kenya has the most expensive schools in Africa costing over Sh3M a year per student

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The International Schools Database 2020, has ranked Kenya’s cluster of schools as the most expensive in Africa.

According to the report, the most expensive international schools in Kenya charge an average of Ksh 3,245,932 in school fees per year.

Kenya has a well-established private, international schools sector serving both expatriates and local elites, with schools clustered around Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru and Kisumu.

The vast majority teach in English and offer a British curriculum but International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes are increasingly popular.

International Schools Report 2020.
International Schools Report 2020.
FILE

There are six IB World Schools in Kenya, all of which are authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

Three IB programs are offered by Aga Khan Academy schools in Nairobi and Mombasa, while Braeburn Garden Estate School, which is part of the home-grown Braeburn education group, offers the IB Diploma alongside A-levels.

The Braeburn group runs seven schools in Kenya of which four are based in and around Nairobi, with the others are in Mombasa, Kisumu and Nanyuki. The schools follow the English national curriculum leading to A-levels and IGCSEs and two of them offer weekly boarding.

Other international schools in Kenya include: Kenton College Preparatory School, GEMS Cambridge International School, German School Nairobi, Greensted International Schools, St Andrew’s Senior School among others.

In late 2017, St Andrews Turi become the talk of social media after its fees structure and menu were leaked to the public.

Year 7 and 8 full board students were recorded as paying Ksh 730,000 in school fees per term.

In the latest International School Fees report 2020, South Africa had the lowest maximum prices for international education in Africa (Ksh 627,798).

Kampala in Uganda was highlighted as the most affordable city in Africa for international schooling with the lowest minimum international school fees of Ksh 67,303 per year.

Below are the most costly schools in Kenya:

  • In Kenya, Education is seen as the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. However, in Kenya, some of the ‘passports’ come at a cost that is enough to buy you a parcel of land and set up a nice bungalow upcountry.


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Africa

Kenya Airways to resume NY direct flights on 29th November 2020

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Kenya Airways will resume direct flights to New York on 29th November 2020 after a seven-month hiatus occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, the airline was slated to commence the New York direct flights on 31st October 2020 but has since extended the resumption date due to increased cancellation of flight booking to the city.

According to CEO Allan Kilavuka, early bookings for the October 31 flight had registered a 40 percent cabin factor load. The airline plans to operate two weekly flights on Sundays and Wednesdays and gradually increase the frequency to three flights subject to demand.

In this case, Kenya Airways says that the three flights will run on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The direct flights to New York launched in 2018 and by October 2019 had completed 594 trips to and from New York and flying 105,084 passengers.

Kenya Airways has been keen to resume its former routes following opening of international flights in major cities across the globe. For instance, the airline resumed the Nairobi to Mumbai flights plying the route thrice a week.

The onset of the pandemic saw the airline’s revenues fall due to travel restrictions and lockdowns that reduced network activities connecting the home market to key cities. In the first six months of 2020, total income fell by 48 percent to Ksh30.2 billion compared to Ksh58.6 billion recorded in the six months to June in 2019.

The effect of the pandemic was evident in the 55.5 percent reduction in passenger numbers to 1.1 million in the six months compared to 2.4 million in a similar period last year. The drop in revenue saw loss for the period rise from Ksh8.5 billion in H1:2019 to Ksh14.3 billion in the H1:2020.


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