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Chinese trains received in port Mombasa

Beyase

Quoted from China daily news on January 11, 2017.

Six locomotives that arrived at the port of Mombasa from China on Monday are expected to be received by the government of Kenya this morning. Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development James Macharia is expected to receive the cargo on behalf of the government during a ceremony at Mombasa Port’s Port Reitz Station, which is the starting point of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) of Mombasa-Nairobi line, built by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC).

Four of the machines are freight locomotives compatible with the Chinese railway system, with the locomotive power of 3,100 KW and a maximum speed of 100 km/h.

Once the SGR is operational, these locomotives will become the main force serving the freight transportation needs of the entire railway, which runs from Mombasa in the east to Nairobi, Kenya. Two shunting locomotives with 1,550 KW of power are also expected, which will be used for marshalling and dispatching locomotives and rolling stocks within stations.

According to the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor CRBC, there will be a total of 56 locomotives manufactured by CRRC Corporation. The next critical segment of the project, said Li Qiang, general manager of CRBC EAC Head Office, involves the construction of high-quality stations, signaling, communication and electricity, to ensure the SGR line can contribute to Kenya’s socio-economic development and prosperity.

China helping rural Kenyans access healthcare

Beyase

Quote from China Daily.

Four modular container clinics donated by the Chinese government will be used to provide healthcare in remote parts of Kenya. The donation made possible by the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, is valued at 2.75 million Yuan ($400, 000) to the Kenyan government.

At the official handover ceremony in Nairobi on Dec 7, Guo Ce, the economic and commercial counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, said the new clinics would bring medical access to Kenyans, especially those living in remote areas, where health facilities are few.

“The containers have been customized into mobile grass-roots general clinics in order to offer convenient daily healthcare, screening, basic medical treatment and public health-care services for the rural residents,” he said.

He noted that the clinics were made using well-established Chinese technology and designed in accordance with the African nation’s healthcare needs.

Guo said the donation, was a concrete and practical action taken by the Chinese government to help African countries improve basic medical and healthcare facilities and conditions. “The project will help to further deepen the scientific and technological cooperation between the two governments,” he said.

China to build Africa’s biggest university library in Tanzania

Beyase

Text originally from Xinhua news-Chinadaily

DAR ES SALAAM — Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Thursday laid the foundation stone for the construction of a new library at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) to be built at a cost of about 40 million US dollars funded by the Chinese government.

President Magufuli said the Chinese government’s 100 percent-aided project had come at the right time as the government was working hard to improve the country’s education standard.

He said once completed, the state-of-the-art facility will boast a space of 20,000 square meters and house over 800,000 books.

The planned mega-library will also be able to accommodate 2,600 university students at any one time, officials said.

The ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the library was also attended by former president Jakaya Kikwete, who is the chancellor of the UDSM.

He appreciated the efforts by the Chinese government to fund various development projects in the country.

The Chinese ambassador to Tanzania, Lyu Youqing commended Tanzania’s efforts towards the promotion of its economy which grew at high rate in the last 10 years.

Lyu commended President Magufuli’s speedy transformation of the east African nation which aims to fulfill the Development Vision 2025 that would see the country developing into a middle class economy.

President Magufuli said his government had been providing 9.4 million US dollars every month to fund free education.

“Increased enrollment in primary schools have left us with challenges of shortage of classrooms and desks. We request education stakeholders to keep on supporting the government,” said the President.

China, Kenya agree to push forward pragmatic cooperation

Beyase

Quoted by BEYASE—Article Origionally from Chinadaily

NAIROBI – China and Kenya agreed to push forward bilateral pragmatic cooperation, as top Chinese legislator visited the East African country from Wednesday to Saturday.

During the official goodwill visit, Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC), held meetings with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and parliament speakers in the capital city of Nairobi, and inspected China-Kenya cooperation projects in the coastal city of Mombasa.

China and Kenya should seize the opportunities arising from implementation of the landmark China-Africa summit in December, and push forward cooperation in construction of projects of rail and port infrastructure as well as in industrial development and special economic zone building, Zhang told Kenyatta on Thursday.

Zhang’s current three-nation Africa visit, which also took him to Zambia and Rwanda, is aimed at pushing forward implementation of the outcomes of the FOCAC summit and pushing forward cooperation projects with relevant countries.

Kenya is a role model of China-Africa cooperation, Zhang said, noting bilateral cooperation has witnessed fruitful results since both sides have always respected and trusted each other.

The major plans announced by Xi highly accords with Kenya’s development strategy, Kenyatta said, expressing willingness to enhance pragmatic cooperation with China and learn from China’s experience in development and governance.

Speaking at a conference with Chinese investors in Kenya earlier in the day, Zhang called on them to stick to a balanced approach to friendship and interest, promote common development and bring greater benefit to Chinese and African peoples.

When holding separate talks with Kenya’s Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro and National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi on Thursday, Zhang called on the legislative bodies of both countries to expand exchanges and create more favorable conditions for China-Kenya cooperation in production capacity.

Zhang and Muturi signed a Memorandum of Understanding on establishing a parliamentary exchange mechanism between the two countries.

WHO declares western Africa free of Ebola again

Beyase

Reused news

GENEVA — The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday declared Sierra Leone free of a recent flare-up of the Ebola virus, marking the second time western Africa rids itself of Ebola.

As of Thursday, two incubation cycles of the virus, 42 days, have passed since the last person confirmed to have Ebola virus disease in the country was tested negative for a second time.

WHO said this marks another milestone in the country’s effort to defeat Ebola, hailing its government, partners and people on the effective, swift response to this latest outbreak.

However, WHO continues to stress that Sierra Leone, as well as Liberia and Guinea, are still at risk of Ebola flare-ups, largely due to virus persistence in some survivors, and must remain on high alert and ready to respond.

 

Relations resumed with Gambia

Beyase

Quoted by BEYASE originally from China Daily.

Beijing has resumed diplomatic ties with Gambia, the West African country that cut “diplomatic” relations with Taiwan in 2013.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his visiting Gambian counterpart Neneh Macdouall-Gaye signed a joint statement on Thursday to resume diplomatic ties at ambassadorial level.

“Gambia recognizes the importance and reality of the one-China policy, national reunification and peaceful reunification,” Gaye said at a joint news conference with Wang.

Wang said upholding the one-China principle is the prerequisite and political foundation for China’s diplomatic relationship with any country.

“For more than two years, Gambia has demonstrated sincerity and determination and has made the right choice on this matter,” he said.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a regular news briefing on Thursday that the resumption of ties is “not targeted at any other side”.

He said there is no change in Beijing’s policy on pushing forward relations across the Taiwan Straits.

China formed diplomatic ties with Gambia in 1974. But in 1995, Gambia cut these ties and shifted to Taipei.

Chinese Language and culture center aims to boost Sino-Kenya ties

Beyase

Work started on the China-backed International Language and Culture Center at Kenya’s Kenyatta University on Tuesday in Nairobi. The center is aimed at enhancing the Sino-Kenya relationship and will strengthen the university’s language research ability and collaboration with other institutes.

Liu Xianfa, Chinese ambassador to Kenya and Olive Mugenda, vice chancellor of Kenyatta University, participated in the ground-breaking ceremony.

The center will house the Confucius Institute, the Institute of Africa Studies, local and foreign language laboratories and international cultural center. Funded by interest-free credit from Chinese government, the center will cost 1.2 billion Kenya Shillings ($1.18 million), according to Mugenda.

Liu Xianfa said the center “will surely become another example of our solid and deep friendship” between China and Kenya.

Referring to the center as a “happy bond” at Kenyatta University between the two countries, he said the center will “help the Kenyan youth get to know every aspect of the Chinese society through learning the Chinese language” and “facilitate the Chinese people to understand Kenya more so as to promote in-depth communication between the two countries”.

Mugenda said: “Once complete, Kenyatta University International Language and Cultural Center will expand and combine teaching and testing of different languages with research and professional service provision, including the accreditation and translation.”

Namibian president hails cooperation with China

Beyase

WINDHOEK — Namibian President Hage Geingob has hailed cooperation with China.

Cooperation between Namibia and China has made huge strides in areas as diverse as education, health, agriculture, trade, investment, and technology transfer, said the president while receiving a courtesy call from outgoing Chinese Ambassador to Namibia Xin Shunkang on Monday.

Geingob said this is a testimony of the all-weather Namibia-China friendship.

“I challenge all other colleagues from the international community to emanate what and how the Chinese friends are showing and helping in many ways,” said the president.

Xin said China values its friendly relations with Namibia, and the Chinese government attaches great importance to the mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.

“China has done its best to support and assist Namibia in its economic and social development with the implementation of a series of projects,” said the ambassador.

These, amongst others, include the Defense Academy Project in Okahandja, the Northern Road Upgrading Project, China-aided schools in the Khomas and Omaheke regions, reconstruction of Aquaculture Center in Hardap Region, and the Youth Training Center in Grootfontein.

To help Namibia in its capacity building, China has been providing 15 Namibian students every year with full government scholarships to pursue their degree studies in China.

China also helps train Namibian government officials and technical personnel from various sectors.

China and Namibia established diplomatic ties in 1990.

Chinese-built modern railway unleashes huge benefits in Kenya

Beyase

Partially quoted  by Beyase

NAIROBI — The construction of a modern railway line connecting Kenya and its East African neighbors has unleashed multiple benefits that include jobs creation, technology transfer and vital lessons on ecological protection, a senior official said on Friday

Atanas Maina, Managing Director of Kenya Railways Corporation, told Xinhua during an exclusive interview in Nairobi that Chinese expertise in railway technology will have a durable impact on the Kenyan society and ecosystems.

China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) has fast-tracked the implementation of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project that is expected to transform regional economies.

Maina hailed Chinese expertise in railway technology alongside ecological consciousness that have stood out as the construction of the high speed railway enters homestretch.

“The quality of work, workmanship and the speed at which the SGR project is being undertaken is commendable. We have never seen anything like this before,” Maina said.

It is anticipated the modern railway line will be completed mid next year. Besides creating an estimated 25,000 jobs for Kenyans, the SGR project has opened new opportunities for entrepreneurs dealing with construction material.

Maina noted that skills transfer has been the most pronounced benefit as the implementation of SGR project gathers steam.

He added that in the last decade, Chinese expertise in development of transport infrastructure and real estate has won admiration from Kenyans, noting that the implementation of the SGR project has not interfered with the health of iconic wildlife and plant species in the Kenyan countryside.

“About 150km of the SGR project pass through Tsavo and Nairobi National Parks, but the contractor developed underpasses to ensure animal migration routes are not disrupted,” Maina told Xinhua.

Chinese construction firms are darlings of East Africa

Beyase

Audit and financial advisory firm Deloitte is to release its fourth Africa Construction Trends report on Wednesday.

Prepared by the international firm’s Southern Africa office, the report monitors progress on capital intensive infrastructure projects in the continent. Transport and energy projects have dominated previous reports but last year saw an increased focus on the former, which governments view as key catalyst for economic growth.

In the third report released in early March last year, Chinese firms came out as the darlings of East African countries by building 31 percent of the 51 projects under review in the region. This translated to about 16 projects while European and Americans companies build only nine.

China surpassed Western firms who previously clinched top position in 2013. This translated to about $19 billion worth of projects.

Deloitte Director for Infrastructure and Capital Projects (Kenya) Gabriel Ouko termed China’s jump from 19 percent in 2013 a big increase.

“The Chinese government and companies have increasingly looked at the African market as an attractive and fast growing market with good returns for their investment and large surpluses. Africa has some of the fastest growing economies in the world and will remain attractive for anyone looking for a good return,” he said.

While noting a decline in the number of total projects from 322 in 2013 to 257 in the year under review, the total value of projects under construction had increased by 32 percent to $326 billion from $223 billion in 2013.

For projects to qualify, they must be valued at more than $50 million and have broken ground, but not been commissioned as at 1 June 2014.

Overall, European and Americans continued to dominate the African construction sector. The 2014 report showed that Western countries dominated in funding, ownership and were responsible for building projects worth more than $50 billion.

International development finance institutions accounted for 26 percent of funding, the United States 10 percent, China 7 percent and Europe 3 percent.

In ownership of such projects, African governments accounted for 52 percent, Western countries 13 percent and domestic private companies 24 percent, double the figure in 2013, suggesting indigenous firms are coming of age. Chinese concerns had a total stake of 1 percent in the 257 projects reviewed.

Analysts predict China’s visibility in the construction sector to grow. According to Kwame Owino, chief executive of the Institute of Economic Affairs, an economic think tank in Kenya, China is a late comer that has smartly capitalized on Africa’s infrastructure deficit. “It was not until the 1990s that its companies ventured out of their country. They immediately identified Africa’s construction sector as an easy target or low-hanging fruit,” said Owino.

Mary Kipkemoi, an economic lecturer at Strathmore Business School, said looking east has been more lucrative to the region. “China offers man power, funds and even builds and operates the assets,” she said.

 

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