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Kenya to Conduct Survey on Diaspora Remittances
The first-ever survey of its kind, will be conducted in February and March, and will be spearheading by the the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
Kenya will next month commission a survey on remittances from its citizens in the diaspora as it seeks to increase the inflows’ support in development and economic growth.
The first-ever survey of its kind will be conducted in February and March and will be spearheaded by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
Kenya’s apex bank will work closely with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and other stakeholders.
“The Survey on remittances aims at collecting valuable information on remittance inflows to Kenya to help guide policy, with the objective of boosting the role of remittances in supporting the economy and livelihoods,” CBK said in a statement on Friday.
The valuable information includes; the efficiency and cost of alternative remittance channels, challenges encountered in remitting cash or non-cash transfers, the availability and flow of information to Kenyans in the diaspora about investment opportunities in Kenya and the usage of remittances received.
Remittances are an important source of foreign exchange and they play a pivotal role in socio-economic development of recipient countries.
Despite the devastation by Covid-19 in the source countries, remittance inflows were strongly buoyant in Kenya in 2020.
The CBK notes that remittances rose to a record high of $3,094 million (Sh340.5 billion) in 2020, from $2,796 million (Sh307.7 billion) the previous year, an increase of 10.7 per cent.
In just of December 2020 alone, remittances reached a historical peak of $299 million (Sh32.9 billion).
“This remarkable growth of remittances has been supported by financial innovations that provided Kenyans in the diaspora more convenient channels for their transactions,” governor Patrick Njoroge has said, on behalf of the CBK.
The Survey on remittances will be an online program conducted in two parts—the first phase will focus on the sources of remittances (remitters and the source countries), while the second phase will target the households that receive remittances.
TheCBK said a link with more information concerning the survey will be circulated widely through various communication channels and will also be available on CBK’s website
North America and Europe make up over 70 per cent of where the diaspora inflows to Kenya are from.
Kenya’s National Treasury has for a while been eager to tap the diaspora market to support economic growth through investments in the country, with a keen focus on the capital market in rising infrastructure development funds.
South Sudan Ready to Mediate Between Sudan, Ethiopia to end Border Conflict
On Thursday, Chairman of Sudan’s Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan met with Tut Gatluak, South Sudan’s presidential adviser on security affairs
Sudan’s Sovereign Council says President Salva Kiir of South Sudan has expressed willingness to be an intermediary between Sudan and Ethiopia to end their ongoing border conflict.
Chairman of Sudan’s Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan met with Tut Gatluak, South Sudan’s presidential adviser on security affairs, who conveyed president Kiir’s message verbally, the council said in a statement.
“President Salva Kiir has expressed readiness to mediate between Sudan and Ethiopia to reach a political and diplomatic solution according to the recognised international borders in preservation of the fraternal ties between the two countries and the peace in the region,” Gatluak was quoted by the statement as saying.
Al-Burhan stressed “the friendly and fraternal solution” for the border dispute between the two countries, Gatluak added. Since September 2020, the Sudan-Ethiopia border has been witnessing rising tensions and violent clashes with accusations and counter accusations between the two sides.
Sudan’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday, that an Ethiopian military plane penetrated the Sudanese airspace in what it termed “a serious and unjustified escalation.”
Sudan accuses Ethiopian farmers of seizing Sudanese lands at Sudan’s Fashaga area along the border and cultivating them since 1995, claiming that the farmers were backed by armed forces.
On December 16 last year, the Sudanese army said its troops were ambushed on the Sudanese side of the border, by Ethiopian forces and militias.
Then on December 19, the Sudanese army said it had deployed strong reinforcements to the Gadaref State on the eastern border with Ethiopia. Khartoum then announced the retaking of what it terms as “the seized lands.”
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.
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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