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AFRIK-IT  June 1995

AFRIK-IT June 1995

Subject:

LATEST ONLINE AFRICAN NEWS

From:

mukiri wa githendu <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

African Network of IT Experts and Professionals (ANITEP) List

Date:

Fri, 16 Jun 1995 09:06:13 CDT

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (349 lines)

KENYA Donors, business community hail Kenya budget
 
    By Buchizya Mseteka
 
    NAIROBI, June 16 (Reuter) - Western aid donors and local business
    leaders on Friday hailed Kenya budget proposals they said ensured
    continuity of tough economic reforms.
 
    ``We welcome the budget. Its main highlights fit in with our
    expectations,'' Walter Mahler, resident representative of the
    International Monetary Fund (IMF), told Reuters.
 
    A European diplomat said Finance Minister Musalia Mudavadi,
    appeared determined to push on with reforms before a donors'
    conference in Paris next month.
 
    But the real challenge was whether Kenya, notorious for its
    economic policy turnabouts, had the political will to follow the
    rough course, the diplomat added.
 
    Mudavadi unveiled the 1995/96 budget on Thursday promising zero
    deficit, a sound investment climate and a commitment to the
    reforms.
 
    He told parliament better tax collection would help more than
    triple the gross recurrent revenue to $5.9 billion in the year
    starting July 1.
 
    Mudavadi also announced new regulations easing restrictions on
    foreign investment in the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) and said one
    third of 146 cash-strapped state corporations would be fully
    privatised by the end of 1995.
 
    The ceiling on foreign ownership of shares in any listed stock was
    raised to 40 percent from 20 percent, and the limit on individual
    foreign investors' ownership of any stock would be raised to five
    percent from 2.5 per cent, he said.
 
    ``We are glad that the budget has recognised the developments in
    the stock market and the policies announced to invigorate it,'' NSE
    Chairman, Jimnah Mbaru, said in a statement.
 
    Mbaru said the measures would help expedite Kenya's privatisation
    programme and also elicit support from investors.
 
    Opposition leader Michael Wamalwa described the proposals as a
    ``perfect IMF budget'' saying: ``It was just the right thing for
    those who will attend the Paris meeting.''
 
    But Wamalwa cautioned President Daniel arap Moi against turning
    back on the proposals as it has done in the past.
 
    ``I hope the government will show its commitment to the Structual
    Adjustment Programmes and stop showing mixed signals they have been
    sending out recently,'' Wamalwa said.
 
    After two years of economic reforms, Moi's government has seen
    foreign praise turn to criticism from some donors, led by the
    United States and Germany.
 
    Germany has cut aid and other donors had threatened to do so
    because of alleged human rights abuses, harassment of the
    opposition, corruption and backsliding on economic reforms.
 
    Mudavadi cut taxes on raw materials, capital equipment and animal
    feeds to spur investment and boost economic activity.
 
    He said the economy was forecast to grow by 2.0 percent in 1995
    going up to 5.0 percent and 5.6 in 1996 from 3.0 percent last year
    after twp years of stagnation.
 
    Economic analysts doubted whether Mudavadi would gain the backing
    from the country's rulers to implement reforms such as cutting the
    272,000-strong civil service by 20,000 jobs.
 
    ``That's a tough one politically because it hits the
    under-priviledged, the very people politicians depend on for their
    stay in office,'' an economist said.
 
 
 
Transmitted:  95-06-16 02:30:36 PDT
KENYA Kenya shilling weakens against dollar
 
    NAIROBI, June 16 (Reuter) - The Kenyan shilling weakened against
    the dollar at Friday's opening session of trading but strengthened
    against the pound, commercial bank traders said.
 
    The shilling was quoted at a commercial bank mean rate of 53.45, 10
    cents down from Thursday's mid-rate of 53.35.
 
    The shilling, however, strengthened against the pound at a
    commercial bank mean rate of 85.49 from 85.96 on Thursday.
 
    Banking sources said neither Thursday's budget speech nor the
    Central Bank's intervention on the same day had any impact on
    trading.
 
    ``Central Bank intervention just met the requirements that were
    asked for so there was no impact,'' one trader said.
 
 
 
Transmitted:  95-06-16 02:30:36 PD
AFRICA Togo lets passengers leave crippled ship
 
    By Apedo Amah
 
    LOME, June 16 (Reuter) - Togo has let 250 passengers leave a
    crippled Nigerian ship rescued off the Ghanaian coast, but maritime
    officials said on Friday the ship may take several days to repair.
 
    Togolese authorities, maintaining tight controls on migrant
    workers, initially would not let the passengers off the boat but
    Territorial Administration Minister Kodjo Sagbo told reporters on
    Thursday night President Gnassingbe Eyadema had intervened.
 
    ``Once he was told about the plight of these unfortunate
    passengers, General Eyadema did not hesitate to authorise their
    disembarkation for humanitarian reasons,'' he said.
 
    The passengers were allowed off the ship on Thursday night to be
    fed and receive medical care. One was taken to hospital with
    malaria.
 
    An spokeswoman for salvage agents Atlantic Maritime Agency of Togo
    (AMATO) said on Friday the passengers were back on the boat and
    their embassies were deciding what should be done with them. Most
    are Nigerians but there are also a handful of Gambians, Ghanaians
    and Liberians.
 
    In February Togo refused to allow other nationals to disembark in
    Lome from ships carrying them from Gabon during a crackdown on
    migrant workers.
 
    The Princess Olayinka left Lagos on Saturday. Nigerian newspapers
    said the 727 passengers heading for Liberia had standing room only
    and port officials had expressed concern about safety.
 
    The boat developed engine trouble off Ghana on Tuesday. Most
    passengers were transferred to other ships and the vessel was towed
    into Lome port at midday on Thursday.
 
    There were conflicting reports about the number of passengers but
    most officials said there were 264 people left on board, including
    17 crew.
 
    Ghanaian sources said the passengers were refugees returning to
    Liberia and traders who shuttle along the West African coast.
 
    The captain of the tug which rescued the boat said on Thursday it
    was probably a converted fishing trawler and was far too small to
    carry so many passengers.
 
    Monty Jones, a Welshman who runs salvage agents AMATO, told Reuters
    the ship was just 55 metres long and had been disastrously
    overloaded.
 
    ``The vessel was really a wreck. It was disgusting to load 700
    people,'' he said. ``I'd say she was a converted Korean fishing
    trawler.''
 
    The AMATO spokeswoman said repairs to the boat would take some time
    to organise. ``They've not yet found the owner, it seems he's in
    Nigeria and people have been sent to find him,'' she said.
 
 
 
Transmitted:  95-06-16 04:23:00 PDT
AFRICA Respite for Africa's children of war
 
    By Nicholas Phythian
 
    MONROVIA, June 16 (Reuter) - At 13, Seko Kamara is a veteran of one
    of Africa's most vicious conflicts -- the Liberian civil war that
    has killed 150,000 people.
 
    He doesn't like to talk about the war. All he wants to do is go to
    school.
 
    Richard Duo, aged 10, does not like to talk about the war either.
 
    Each has tasted its bitter fruit. One from behind the barrel of a
    gun, the other on the receiving end of a swipe with a machete.
 
    Neither knows that Friday, June 16 -- the Organisation of African
    Unity's Day of the African Child -- is his special day.
 
    Like other children from a string of conflicts from Liberia to
    Rwanda and Angola to Somalia, with the help of churches or
    international relief agencies, they are trying to recapture what is
    left of their childhood before it is too late.
 
    ``In the shelters we have kids who were fighters and kids who were
    victims,'' said Father Joe Glackin of the Don Bosco Roman Catholic
    missionary order.
 
    He and other members of the order, with backing from the U.N.
    Children's Fund (UNICEF), provide temporary homes, hot meals and
    training in basic skills and literacy for children from as young as
    six to 20 plus.
 
    ``We deliberately mix the group so that no one can say these are
    fighters,'' said Glackin, adding: ``The child soldiers are afraid
    as much as the children they used to terrorise... because they know
    what they have done.''
 
    Young Seko Kamara marched on Monrovia with Charles Taylor's
    National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) in late 1992.
 
    Today he lives in the Francis Xavier shelter, next door to the Pray
    for Peace restaurant and behind the Red Light market.
 
    It's a simple building with bare floors and basic cooking
    facilities in the backyard, but for Seko and 16 other youngsters
    it's home -- for the time being at least.
 
    Liberia's warlords, faction leaders and politicians seem unable to
    end the war, launched by Taylor in December 1989.
 
    Repeated efforts by regional leaders to broker peace have foundered
    on squabbling over power sharing.
 
    At the Benedict rehabilitation centre, Richard Duo -- dressed in a
    pink shirt and shorts -- shakes hands, tells his age and then
    lapses back into a world of his own.
 
    Richard was only three when he survived a massacre of 600 people by
    members of the former national army in a Monrovia church in 1990,
    but he lost a leg to an attacker with a machete.
 
    Today he goes to school. ``He's good at his lessons and he's fine
    when he is in the centre,'' said Stephen Manley, UNICEF's officer
    for children in especially difficult circumstances.
 
    But the scars run deep. Any talk of problems in Liberia and Richard
    clams up. ``He goes mute,'' said Manley.
 
    Seko, who walks with a limp, was among child soldiers caught and
    handed over by a Nigerian-led African peacekeeping force which
    twice halted Taylor's march on the capital.
 
    ``I want to go to school,'' he said, a look of hope passing across
    his face. ``I like graphic art,'' he added, overcoming his initial
    reserve.
 
    Seko is not the only child soldier in the shelters. ``Their parents
    don't want them. A lot of parents are afraid of their children if
    they were fighters,'' said Glackin.
 
    Those who work with the child soldiers often notice a dramatic
    change as they start to rediscover their childhood.
 
    One of them was Major George, aged 10, an officer in the NPFL's
    Small Boy Unit.
 
    ``When the kids come in fresh from the front, they have a big
    ego,'' Manley recalled. ``He wanted his food brought to him and
    wouldn't reply unless he was called major or sir but after two or
    three months he was deflated. He would even report on those who hit
    him.''
 
    Glackin agreed. ``For a lot of them being in a normal home helps
    them rediscover themselves,'' he said.
 
 ^REUTER@
 
 
 
Transmitted:  95-06-15 16:12:08 PDT
 
AFRICA Reuters African Highlights
 
    BUJUMBURA - Tanzanian troops stopped up to 10,000 Rwandan war
    refugees attempting to cross the border from troubled northeastern
    Burundi, U.N. officials said. They told Reuters the exodus of
    refugees from Mugano camp in northeastern Burundi started on
    Wednesday. By Thursday night the numbers had swelled to between
    8,000 and 10,000 on the road and at the border.
 
    ``The Tanzanian security forces and the refugees are clearly within
    eyesight of each other at the border and the Tanzanians have made
    it very clear these people are not welcome,'' said Paul Stromberg,
    spokesman for the U.N. refugee agency in Bujumbura.
 
    Mugano camp is inhabited by thousands of Rwandans who fled civil
    war last year in which up to a million people were killed.
 
    - - - -
 
    LOME - Togo has let 250 passengers leave a crippled Nigerian ship
    rescued off the Ghanaian coast, but maritime officials said on
    Friday the ship may take several days to repair.
 
    Togolese authorities, maintaining tight controls on migrant
    workers, initially would not let the passengers off the boat but
    Territorial Administration Minister Kodjo Sagbo told reporters on
    Thursday night President Gnassingbe Eyadema had intervened.
 
    ``Once he was told about the plight of these unfortunate
    passengers, General Eyadema did not hesitate to authorise their
    disembarkation for humanitarian reasons,'' he said.
 
    - - - -
 
    CAPE TOWN - President Nelson Mandela, marking South Africa's first
    national holiday for children, sent an envoy to New York to affirm
    ratification of a U.N. pact on childrens' rights.
 
    The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Mandela
    called ``the most comprehensive expression of what the world wants
    for its children,'' was ratified by parliament.
 
    ``I am very proud to announce today...that the instrument of
    ratification will be deposited today at the United Nations
    headquarters in New York,'' Mandela told reporters.
 
    ``The convention recognises that children are individuals with the
    right to develop physically, mentally and socially to their fullest
    potential and to express opinions freely,'' he said.
 
    - - - -
 
    CAPE TOWN - Gerry Adams, leader of the IRA's political wing Sinn
    Fein, said white-ruled South Africa's state arms agency had
    supplied pro-British Irish loyalists with weapons including rocket
    launchers in the 1980s. Adams is visiting the post-apartheid
    country at the invitation of the ruling African National Congress.
 
    - - - -
 
    FREETOWN - Rebels in Sierra Leone are holding seven Lebanese
    hostages, including a woman and her three daughters seized a week
    ago, the Lebanese community. A community spokesman said the latest
    abduction was on June 8 when guerrillas of rebel leader Foday
    Sankoh seized the woman and her daughters during an attack on Port
    Loko. He said three Lebanese businessmen were killed in the attack,
    bringing the number of Lebanese killed since the war began in 1991
    to six.
 
 
 
Transmitted:  95-06-16 05:29:16 PDT
 
 
---
mukiri w githendu
[log in to unmask]

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