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Brexit, Trade And Security Are All On The Agenda During May’s Kenya Visit

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May's Kenya Visit

British Prime Minister Theresa May is visiting Kenya as part of a trip to Africa that also included stops in two of the continent’s largest economies – South Africa and Nigeria. The Conversation Africa asked Kenyatta University’s Leah Barasa to unpack the key issues that will shape talks between May and Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, and why the British leader placed Kenya on her itinerary.

What is the context of May’s visit to Kenya?

May’s visit symbolically reaffirms the UK’s leadership role in Anglophone Africa. At the same time, it aims to strengthen trade links as her country prepares to leave the European Union.

During her speech in Cape Town this week – the first stopover on her African tour – May set a target for the UK to become the leading G7 business investor in Africa by 2022. This is part of her bid to promote a post-Brexit agenda.

British direct investment in Africa was USD$55 billion in 2016, just behind the US’s USD$57bn but ahead of USD$49bn from France and USD$40bn from China. May’s visit comes amid increased interest by China and France.

The UK has a long history of direct investment in Africa. But it has recently faced growing competition from China.

Trade and investment are on the agenda during May’s visit. What are the likely highlights?

The UK is Kenya’s second most important export destination. Kenya mainly exports tea, coffee and horticultural products. The UK accounts for 27% of Kenya’s fresh produce exports and 56% of its tea exports. Motor vehicles, printed materials, machinery and chemicals form the bulk of imports to Kenya from the UK.

Kenya exported a total of 133,658.3 tonnes of cut flowers, earning 70.8 billion shillings, or 70% of the 2016 horticultural earnings. The UK is also the second largest source market for Kenya’s tourism. Kenya is therefore likely to bring up its dissatisfaction with frequent UK travel advisories which affect arrivals.

Currently, there are over 300 British companies based in Kenya making the UK the largest European foreign investor in the country.

The UK’s investment agenda will be particularly good news for Kenyatta, who is in his second and final term. The visit offers an opportunity to promote investments in Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda. This places affordable housing, universal health care, food security and manufacturing growth at its heart.

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Ghana Opens First Round Of Bidding For Exploratory Licenses

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Ghana Opens First Round Of Bidding For Exploratory Licenses

President Nana Akufo-Addo announced the opening of the country’s first open and competitive round of bidding for energy exploration licenses, with three offshore blocks being offered. Previously, Ghana had awarded leases through a closed negotiation process.

All of the blocks are located in ghana’s central basin. To undertake the exploration and extraction.

Bidders have to show financial capacity and technical expertise and present a timetable for their exploration and development program.

President Akufo-Addo also announced a review of all licensing agreements covering blocks that were inactive, where concession holders had not undertaken the required exploratory or development work.

This move could see a number of blocks re-enter the market, either through competitive bidding or direct negotiations, generating further interest in the upstream component of the industry from both independent operators and major players.

Although the development of these offshore sites will require significant investment, rising international oil prices could well justify the expense.

Development of major offshore oilfields is set to boost export earnings and stimulate investment inflows.

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Namibia National Council Chairperson Tasks MPs On Safe Driving

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Namibia National Council Chairperson Tasks MPs On Safe Driving

As the Namibian National Council adjourned for the holidays on Thursday, chairperson margaret mensah-williams gave an unusual advise to members of parliament. She asked them to take the lead by being safe drivers and obey traffic rules.  She especially harped on obeying speed limits.

She referred to some highways in the country that have historically recorded high numbers of accidents, some of which had involved members of parliament.  One of such fatal accidents recently occurred on the country’s b-one highway.

Mensah-williams advised everyone to be responsible drivers this holiday season, asking drivers to be more patient on the roads.  She said it is unacceptable that road accidents have become the leading causes of death in the country.

She warns against drinking and driving and gender-based violence, appealing to namibians not to rape, kill or abuse their partners and children in anyway whatsoever.

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Angola Admitted Into Gas Exporting Countries Forum As Observing Member

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Angola Admitted Into Gas Exporting Countries Forum As Observing Member

Angola has been admitted into the Gas Exporting Countries Forum as an observer member. GECF is an international governmental organization based in Doha, Qatar.

The group brings together the world’s leading gas producers and supports the sovereign rights of member countries over their gas resources.  It also helps them with their rights and capability to manage, develop, use and conserve those resources in a way that is sustainable, efficient and environmentally friendly.

Executive Chairman of African Energy Chamber, N.J. Ayuk said this is a step in the right direction for Namibia, and it’s in line wth the country’s  economic goals and projects.  He also said this would help in expanding economic diversification.

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