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Kenya ‘raring to go’ on free trade deal with US, Uhuru says

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Kenya’s negotiations with the US on an unprecedented two-way trade deal are on schedule to begin on July 7 despite difficulties posed by the coro-navirus pandemic, President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Friday.

“Our team is raring to go,” he assured an online forum sponsored by the Washington-based Corporate Council on Africa.Kenya is aiming to create “sustainable jobs for our people” through what would be the first bilateral free-trade agreement between a sub-Saharan country and the nation with the world’s biggest economy, the President added.

The US also has much to gain from concluding such an arrangement, Mr Kenyatta suggested.Kenya is part of a continent that “requires everything from toothbrushes to machine tooling,” he said.

Mr Kenyatta also sought to allay concerns that a bilateral deal with the US could undermine the African Con-tinental Free Trade Area that is due to be implemented at the start of 2021.The Africa-wide initiative is “very important to us,” the President said, noting that Kenya has worked hard to ensure its success.

He suggested that a Kenya-US bilateral pact can complement the continental trade agreement and could serve as a model to be replicated by other individual countries.

“If we are successful in these negotiations, Kenya can act as a lead or guide,” the President said. “We will be the guinea pig so that many other African countries can follow suit.”

READ ALSO:   Domestic flights to resume 'soon'

But Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo, who also spoke at Friday’s forum, said the US has paid more attention to the possibility of a bilateral deal with Kenya than to the multilateral Africa trade agreement that will soon come into force.

While hailing the significance of a US-Kenya trade deal, Mr Akufo-Addo lamented that “the emphasis of America on exploring opportunities on the continent has not been quite as intense as some of us would have wished.”

Florizelle Liser, chief executive of the Corporate Council on Africa, said in an interview following the forum that the US has in fact worked to facilitate the Africa-wide trade agreement.A bilateral deal with Kenya is not an impediment to Africa’s efforts to forge a multilateral free-trade grouping, she added. The US side “understands that Kenya is part of the EAC,” Ms Liser said.

“They’re already looking at ways they can pull in other East African countries.”It could take as long as two years to conclude a Kenya-US trade deal, she added.

President Kenyatta noted in his remarks to the forum that Kenya was especially keen to start bilateral negoti-ations with the US because the existing multilateral preferential trade package known as Agoa is due to expire in 2025.

READ ALSO:   Kenya Airways names Kilavuka acting CEO as Mickosz departs

But President Akufo-Addo is not prepared to acquiesce to that projected termination date for Agoa. African countries that have benefited from Agoa should “look at the possibility of extending it,” he said.

Ms Liser, whose 27-year-old association includes most US companies operating in Africa, pointed out that it is up to the US Congress to decide whether Agoa’s scheduled expiration in five years will actually come to pass.The still-spreading pandemic is in-tensifying Africa’s need for increased trade and investment, the Kenyan and Ghanaian heads of state agreed.

Kenya managed to save many lives through swift implementation of virus-containment measures, Mr Kenyatta noted.

But, he acknowledged, those moves led to a sharp economic contraction and widespread loss of livelihoods.President Akufo-Addo pointed out that Ghana has recorded one of the lowest virus-related death rates in the world.His country has counted 15,473 cases of coronavirus, resulting in 95 deaths.Kenya has reported only about one-third as many cases but has seen 135 lives lost to the pandemic.

At the same time, Kenya Airways (KQ), grounded for the past three months by the coronavirus pandemic, will resume domestic flights in “the next couple of days,” President Kenyatta said.

The return to in-country service will coincide with the lifting of Kenya’s lockdown on travel between counties, Mr Kenyatta noted.The government will soon set a date for KQ to resume flying internationally, the President added.

READ ALSO:   KQ starts production of face masks

“We’re doing everything we can to make sure we are back in the skies,” Mr Kenyatta said.“We’re eager to open up, but we have to make sure we all stay safe.”

The President’s announcement came on the same day that KQ chief executive Allan Kilavuka revealed that the airline has lost an estimated $100 million so far this year due to the pandemic and related lockdowns.Losses could approach $500 million by the end of 2020, Mr Kilavuka added.KQ had been struggling financially long before the coronavirus emerged.

It lost about $122 million in 2019, compared to $71 million the previous year.

By Sunday Nation.

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Africa

‘I love you plenty!’ Emmy Kosgei’s 62-year-old hubby showers her with love on 40th birthday

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Award-winning gospel artiste Emmy Kosgei has turned 40 years old.

The Taunet Nelel hitmaker is 22 years younger than her Nigerian pastor husband Anselm Madubuko.

The couple is so much in love and while celebrating her birthday, Emmy posted,

HELLO 40! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! WHAT SHALL I RENDER TO JEHOVAH!! 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Emmy Kosgei

The 62-year-old General Overseer of Revival Assembly Church penned a sweet message to his lifetime partner on her special day.

Happy birthday 🎂 🥳 🎉 my nubian Queen! I love u plenty! Keep increasing on all sides in Jesus love 💘

Emmy Kosgei

Check out birthday wishes from Emmy’s followers

terryannechebet Happiest Birthday my sister!!!! Welcome to the 4th floor!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

alicekamande 40 looks fab. Happy birthday Emmy , to many more blessed, fruitful years 🔥

joyceomondi Happy birthday beautiful!! ❤️

njeshqabbz Happy birthday @emmykosgei love the emerald green

mercymasikamuguro Happy birthday Madam Emmy💕

ladybee_254 Happy birthday siz🎂

annisiahgatwiri Happy Birthday Emmy n welcome to 4th floor

84123nk Happy birthday our sister may God bless every gift that he has purt in you and he continues to use you to do the work in Jesus name ❤️❤️

judietamira Happy Birthday jaber life begins at 40 be blessed

By Mpasho.co.ke

READ ALSO:   KQ starts production of face masks
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Africa

Kenyan Netflix exec on producing during a pandemic and amplifying Africa’s creative potential

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BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA

Kenyan entertainment veteran and film producer Dorothy Ghettuba who is the head of Netflix’s African Original Programming has said she is keen on  amplifying Africa’s creative potential and producing during this pandemic.

Speaking to CNN in an exclusive interview, Ms. Ghettuba said even as the pandemic is throwing a lot of the plans off-kilter, she is finding good stories in Africa adding that this is the best time to find stories.

“What we are doing is we are betting forward. We haven’t slowed down. It’s been about me speaking to writers, looking at scripts, looking at stories and finding the best stories to tell out there,” she told CNN’s Eleni Giokos in a video interview.

Ms. Ghettuba also said she was happy that during this pandemic period there has been an uptick of  people streaming Netflix  to entertain them when they’re at home.

Asked how Netflix approaching content production during times of lockdown and a health crisis she said: I think this crisis has made everybody pause and now we really have to relook at how we produce. Productions take place in pretty intimate, high-touch environments with hundreds of artists, people and creators all together in close quarters. So for us in the short term, these practices will have to be changed.

READ ALSO:   Kenya Airways names Kilavuka acting CEO as Mickosz departs

Ms Ghettuba also said Africa as a continent did not necessarily need to export its talent as they can be great even here in the continent by producing the best shows and having them watched all over the world.

Watch the video interview here

 

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Africa

Kenyan with big heart lines up for Sh10m Global Citizen Awards

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A Kenyan is among the 10 finalists in this year’s Waislitz Global Citizen Awards an award that seeks to celebrate individuals who make extraordinary contributions in the society.

Umra Omar is the founder of Safari Doctors, an organization that delivers primary medical care and health education by boat, air and land to Bajuni and Aweer communities in Lamu, Kenya.

The Waislitz Global Citizen Awards are annual cash prizes totalling Sh25 million ($250,000) that recognise the excellence of individuals in their work to end extreme poverty.

The grand prize is Sh10 million ($100,000) with three additional prizes for Sh5 million ($50,000) each, for a total of four prizes.

The awards are presented by the Waislitz Foundation and Global Citizen.

“Ending extreme poverty is not a choice, it’s an obligation. My hope is that it will inspire many thousands of people around the world to do what they can to improve the living standards of those in dire need,” Chairman and Founder of the Melbourne-based Waislitz Foundation, Alex Waislitz, said.

Raised in Kenya, Omar had earned degrees from two prestigious American schools, completed graduate school and was working full-time in Washington, D.C. But she says cubicle life wasn’t for her; she was longing to return to her native country.

READ ALSO:   Kenya Airways names Kilavuka acting CEO as Mickosz departs

Omar said she was compelled to come back because it was her town of origin, but also because she felt the desire to give back.

She had pursued a bachelor’s in neuroscience and psychology before completing her master’s degree in social justice in intercultural relations.

“I was so fortunate, to be given the scholarships and the opportunity I’ve had, being a woman, being from Kenya. You know, when you’ve been given the world, you have the give the world back,” she told Global Citizen in a phone interview.

In addition to the cash prizes, the four winners will be profiled in editorial pieces that will be featured on the Global Citizen platform and social media.

However, due to Covid-19, there will be no award ceremony in 2020.

In 2016, she was nominated for the year’s CNN Hero of the Year, an award that seeks to celebrate individuals who make extraordinary contributions in the society.

You can vote for her here; voting closes on Monday, July 20, 2020.

By NN

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