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Kenyan President Meets Japan Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi

The Japan Minister also briefed the Kenyan President on the planned Japan-Kenya Business Dialogue which will be held in Japan later in the year and extended Prime Minister Yoshide Suga’s invitation to President Kenyatta.

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President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, at the statehouse today in Nairobi, met visiting Foreign Affairs Minister of Japan Mr Toshimitsu Motegi.

During the meeting, Mr Motegiwhi who is on a two-day visit to Kenya, expressed his country’s continued commitment to supporting Kenya’s development programs particularly key infrastructure projects.

The visiting Foreign Affairs Minister singled out the expansion of Mombasa Port and the development of the Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zone (SEZ, which is still ongoing, as some of the projects that his government is keen on seeing through.

“This visit will see our two countries strengthen our relations. Japan sees Kenya as a key partner and a gateway to Africa thus prioritizing investment in the country,” Mr Toshimitsu told President Kenyatta.

The Japanese Minister also briefed the Kenyan President on the planned Japan-Kenya Business Dialogue which will be held in Japan later in the year and extended Prime Minister Yoshide Suga’s invitation to President Kenyatta.

President Uhuru Kenyatta acknowledged Japan’s continued support for his country’s development programs saying Kenya will continue to work on deepening its long and historical ties with Japan.

“We truly appreciate your support that has been visible in several sectors of our economy, and we look forward to a more intentional partnership even as the world continues to face the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic,” President Kenyatta said.

During the two-day visit, Japan’s Foreign Affairs Minister and his delegation held several bilateral meetings with their Kenyan counterparts. The basic purpose of these meetings was to explore ways of expanding economic collaboration between Kenya and Japan in the post-COVID-19 era and beyond.

Cabinet Secretaries Raychelle Omamo (Foreign Affairs) and Ukur Yatani (National Treasury) as well as Head of Public Service Dr Joseph Kinyua and State House Deputy Chief of Staff incharge of Strategy Mrs Ruth Kagia. All joined President Kenyatta in the meeting.

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East Africa News

Seychelles Reopens to Tourists Who Have Received Covid-19 Vaccine

The Minister for Tourism Sylvestre Radegonde told a press conference that added to receiving the vaccine, the traveller must also produce a negative PCR test taken within the prior 72 hours.

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The island country of Seychelles on Thursday re-opened its doors to visitors from anywhere in the world as long as they have taken both doses of the COVID-19 vaccination, a top tourism official said.

The Minister for Tourism Sylvestre Radegonde told a press conference that in addition to receiving the vaccine, the traveller must also produce a negative PCR test taken within the prior 72 hours.

Tourists to the island country of Seychelles must provide an authenticate certificate which serves as proof of receiving the vaccination. With all these in order, the visitor will not need to go into quarantine upon arrival.

In the last several months, Seychelles had put restrictions on which country’s tourists were eligible to travel to the island nation because of the surge in COVID cases experienced by many countries.

“We hope that this will open up the tourism industry for the locals, primarily for the small hotels who are struggling on La Digue, Praslin and also on Mahe. And also provide the kick that our economy desperately needs,” Radegonde explained.

Come mid-March, visitors to the islands will only be required to produce a negative PCR test as the country hopes to have vaccinated 70 percent of its local population, achieving herd immunity.

As of Thursday, close to 2,000 vaccinations had been administered in the country since the programme rolled out five days ago.

According to Kathleen Cecile, the head of the National Technical Working Group for COVID-19 vaccination, the programme had a slow start, but by Wednesday 938 people had taken the vaccine, bringing the campaign close to its target of 1,000 doses per day.

“Based on today’s figures we can confirm that one team reached its target of 200 vaccinations per day, and another team exceeded 100 vaccinations by midday today, and we except all the teams to reach the target of 200 vaccination per day as of today,” said Cecile.

To date, there have been no reports of serious adverse side effects of the vaccine on any person, Cecile said.

When the campaign began, there were four vaccination centres on the main island of Mahe, namely at the Yellow and Green Roof at the Seychelles Hospital, the ICCS and Anse Royale.

The fifth team of health professionals was covering the islands of Praslin and La Digue. However, since Sunday, the country’s health ministry revised its deployment plan to include more vaccination centres.

“We want to ensure that we remain on track of our March target of 70 percent coverage to achieve herd immunity, so we are now stepping up the campaign”, explained Cecile.

The new centers for vaccination have been set up in five workplaces which were already operating a daily clinic for their staff and which fall under the group of essential workers. This includes the military, the civil aviation, and the Indian Ocean tuna canning factory.

The Sinopharm vaccine is being given to persons within the ages of 18-year-olds up to 60-year-olds in the island nation. 50,000 doses of the vaccines were donated by the United Arab Emirates government which will cover 25,000 individuals in Seychelles.

According to Florida Bijoux, the manager for Extended Programme for Immunization, the first doses can be administered within two weeks.

“We have managed to organise nine teams, with a target of 200 vaccines per day, meaning 1,800 vaccines per day. If we get the other vaccines needed for the remainder of the campaign, in the coming weeks, we can easily vaccinate 44,000 people within a month,” she said.

People working in the tourism industry will also make up part of the list of essential workers wo will receive the vaccines.

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Zambia Recieves 23 Million Euro EU Grant for Increased Access to Electricity

While speaking at the function, Minister of Energy Mathew Nkhuwa, said he was excited that the project was aimed at increasing modern energy services targeting rural areas in particular.

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The Zambian Government has received a 23 million Euros grant from The European Union (EU), towards the 62.5 million Euros Increased Access to Electricity and Renewable Energy Production (IAEREP) project under the Rural Electrification Authority (REA).

ZANIS reports that during the virtual grant signing and launch of the project held today in Lusaka, the Zambian capital, Secretary to the cabinet Fredson Yamba signed on behalf of the Zambia government while the ambassador of the European Union delegation to Zambia and COMESA, Jacek Jankwoski signed on behalf of the EU.

While speaking at the function, Minister of Energy Mathew Nkhuwa, said he was excited that the project was aimed at increasing modern energy services targeting rural areas in particular.

The support provided by the European Union could not have come at a more opportune time with provision of 23 million Euro grant funding to various private developers in the off-grid space, the minister said.

Nkhuwa further said it is gratifying to note that implementation of the off-grid projects would provide access to electricity services to more than 50 thousand people and 500 Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) across the country.

He went on to say that with this project, poverty will be further reduced and rural economic growth will be promoted through women involvement in order to promote gender equality.

The minister urged private companies who were awarded the grants to ensure that the intended benefits from the programme trickled down to the targeted rural communities who are the final beneficiaries.

And Ambassador Jacek Jankwoski expressed gladness to see that the clean energy development project is one of the key priorities for the Zambian government as stated in the seventh national development plan.

He said massive investment in the renewable sector are key to the realisation of the European Green Deal’s political priority.

Ambassador Jankwoski said projects like these will be a unique opportunity to stimulate the emergence of viable business models for decentralised solutions that will attract private capital for promoting affordable and sustainable energy services.

Meanwhile the Chief Executive Officer of Rural Electrification Authority (REA), Clement Silavwe said the authority was grateful for the support it is receiving from co-operating partners and directly from the Zambian government.

Mr Silavwe pledged the full commitment of the authority to work with all stakeholders and submit reports as required.

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East Africa News

Bobi Wine’s Phones Blocked as Voting Closes in Uganda

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Foremost opposition candidate in Uganda’s Presidential election, Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wne) has revealed that his phone has been blocked, as he’s unable to make or receive calls again after the close of voting.

Bobi Wine, of the National Unity Platform, also revealed that the same thing has happened to his wife’s phone.

He made these revelations in tweets posted via his official Twitter handle.

“Like my wife’s, my phone has been blocked and I am unable to recieve or make regular calls. I know this is to stop me from communicating to our agents and coordinator. I encourage you comrades to be vigilant as I try to devise ways of reaching out to you.”

Meanwhile, voting has closed officially in the country with minimal troubles recorded by the Police. In comparison to the heated campaign that came before the election, voting was relatively peaceful across the country with few cases of violence.

The Ugandan Police announced it arrested some CSOs who have set up their own tally centres. The Police said the Electoral Commission of Uganda has the sole right to play such roles.

Read: Uganda Goes To The Polls Amid Internet Shutdown

According to local media reports in the East African country, the counting of votes has commenced.

The electoral commission had previously revealed that winner of the election will be announced after 48 hours.

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