22nd July 2022 Political & Regulatory Round Up

July 22, 2022 - Reading Time: 5 minutes - By Kennedy Osore

Venezuelan found with IEBC stickers detained at airport 

Preparations for the upcoming elections were Thursday thrown into confusion after customs officials at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) detained suspicious election material from a foreigner who had just arrived in the country.

Venezuelan Comarco Gregoria had just landed from London, and while being cleared at 12p.m., airport officials noticed, through screening machines, that he had items resembling stickers belonging to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in his luggage.

IEBC officials were then called to the airport to say if they were expecting to receive any election-related material Thursday and why airport security had not been informed of the impending arrival.

Officials from the electoral agency, already on the spot for lack of transparency on how it is preparing for the elections, stood their ground, insisting that the manner in which the materials arrived in the country was above board.

(Source: Daily Nation)


Tanzania confirms outbreak of leptospirosis 

Tanzania has confirmed 20 cases of leptospirosis, a bacterial infection that has claimed three lives, in the southern region of Lindi.

Health minister Ummy Mwalimu said test results from samples of patients in Ruangwa were positive for the disease.

Last week, samples of people presenting with fever, nosebleeds, headache and body fatigue tested negative for Covid-19, Ebola and Marburg, the ministry said, calling for calm as it worked to detect it.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), leptospirosis is a bacterial infection caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira.

The bacteria are transmitted from animals to humans through cuts or abrasions in the skin, nose, or eyes that come in contact with water or soil contaminated with the urine of infected animals. But, the disease cannot be transmitted from one human to another.      

(Source: The East African)


Shift to electric cars, Museveni tells Ugandans

President Museveni has urged Ugandans to shift to electric cars as the country joins global powers to contain a looming recession amid climate change concerns world over.

“This is the answer. The correct way is to start moving away from petrol to electric cars and we have already started,” Mr Museveni said.

A hybrid 5-seater Ugandan made Kiira Electric Vehicle (EV) costs over UgShs100 million in a country whose GDP per capita just hit $1,046 at the start of FY2022/23, government data shows.

“Electric vehicles are cheaper, cleaner, have no pollution and apparently have less maintenance cost,” he observed.

(Source: Daily Monitor)


Asked how the East African Community (EAC) can attain open skies and hence liberalise air transport, Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente on Thursday, July 21, noted that political will, and the removal of all restrictions in air transport services, is his simple answer.

Ngirente was speaking in Arusha, Tanzania, as EAC Heads of State held a high-level retreat on the now seven-member bloc’s Common Market. They were, among others, taking stock of the progress of implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol, the second pillar of the bloc’s integration agenda.

A 2010 World Bank study explained how liberalised air transport would deliver improved safety, lower fares, and increase traffic in Africa.

According to the study, Open Skies for Africa – Implementing the Yamoussoukro Decision, part of the reason for Africa’s under-served status is that countries restrict their air services markets to protect the share held by state-owned air carriers.

The Summit, held under the chairmanship of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, noted that the Common Market was the best way to increase intra-regional trade and spur economic growth in the region.

(Source: The New Times)


Ethiopia, Sudan border solution will be ‘local’ 

Ethiopia and Sudan have pledged to discuss their border row for the long term, based on local realities.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) says it pushed parties to the table, but it will be entirely up to the two sides to draft an agreement to resolve lingering border tiffs.

But the border tiff in al-Fashqa and Amhara regions of the countries has been pending for decades. Communities occasionally clash during harvest seasons. Since November, Sudan has deployed troops ostensibly to protect local farmers from ‘invasions’ from Ethiopians.

Ethiopia had raised concerns earlier when Sudanese troops were sent too close to their border but there had been fewer direct confrontations between the two.

Ali Al-Sadiq, Sudanese, the Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs-in-charge suggested the border dispute has been influenced by changing weather patterns but promised the two sides will “face these challenges together.”

(Source: The East African)


Eritrean delegation takes part in high-level political forum on sustainable development 

During the first weeks of this month, an Eritrean delegation led by Ambassador Sophia Tesfamariam took part in the 2022 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), convening under the theme, “Building Back Better from the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) While Advancing the Full Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

In late September 2015, Eritrea, alongside all other 192 member states of the United Nations, adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the United Nations General Assembly. This global initiative is a powerful call to action for all countries – large and small, developed and developing – to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people are able to enjoy peace, equality, and prosperity.

Eritrea’s completion of a VNR and its participation in the HLPF process are a powerful testament to the country’s enduring commitment to achieve its multifaceted development goals and tangibly improve the lives and general wellbeing of all of its people.

(Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea)


EU envoys call for dialogue to resume democratic transition in Sudan 

European Union (EU) diplomats to Khartoum Wednesday reiterated the need for an agreement paving the way for the resumption of the democratic transition process and reaffirmed their readiness to support Sudan.

However, the EU and the international community say the resumption of economic and financial support would only resume after the restoration of a civilian-led transition.

The Sudanese Foreign Ministry added that the meeting discussed the resumption of the Sudanese-European dialogue to enhance relations and reach constructive understandings that serve the interest of the two sides.

(Source: Sudan Tribune)


Somalia renews push to join East African Community 

Somalia has renewed interest in joining the East African Community (EAC), cementing the desire of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to stabilise ties with neighbours.

President Mohamud, who won the presidential polls in May, was expected in Arusha on Thursday as a special guest to attend the 21st Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State. And Villa Somalia, his official residence, said his trip would also be about renewing his push to join the regional bloc.

Mr Mohamud had attempted joining the EAC in his first term between 2012 and 2017, but the bloc initially refused the application, citing sporadic conflict and weak institutions in Somalia. But Mogadishu got back its hope after an equally troubled South Sudan was admitted in 2016.

In 2019, then President Mohamed Farmaajo reapplied alongside the Democratic Republic of Congo. Last February, the bloc decided to begin admitting Kinshasa but delayed a decision on Mogadishu, pending verification by a team of experts to determine Somalia’s readiness.

(Source: The East African)

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