11 more Ethiopians were arrested at a house in Kayole, Nairobi, as they waited to be smuggled out to South Africa. This follows a renewed operation by officials from the Transnational Organized Crime Unit targeting the aliens.
Head of the Transnational Organized Crime Unit George Mutonya said the new group was in a house waiting to be shipped out when they were informed. The suspects were expected in court on Wednesday to face smuggling charges.
The police, who had been tipped off, said they are looking for human smugglers behind the incident. “We urge those coming here to try and use legal methods. They can register as refugees for processing or obtain other legal documents,” Mutonya said.
This comes as a court at Kahawa West ordered the detention of 41 other Ethiopians for six more days to enable police to complete their investigations on human smuggling.
The court ordered that the men be detained at the Kayole police cells while two others, a Kenyan and an Ethiopian, be detained at the Muthaiga police cells for six days pending the probe. The 41 aliens were arrested at the Baraka estate in Mihango.
Ethiopian Airlines explores Malta’s potential
Talks are underway for Ethiopian Airlines to launch nonstop flights to Malta, as well as flying onwards to destinations in the US.
Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela hosted his Ethiopian counterpart, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, in Valletta, Malta’s capital, where the two discussed ways to enhance cooperation between the countries, particularly in aviation.
Abela noted that Ethiopian Airlines is progressing with plans to launch operations between its Addis Ababa (ADD) hub and Malta (MLA), as well as flying from Malta to cities in the US. He highlighted that the proposed network expansion would help increase foreign investment in Malta.
Ethiopian Airlines currently operates six routes to North America: five to the US and one to Canada. All of the carrier’s outbound services need to stop en route to refuel because of Addis Ababa’s high elevation of 2,334 m (7,625 ft) above sea level.
Daily service from ADD to Washington Dulles (IAD) operates via Dublin (DUB), alongside 5x-weekly routes to Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and Toronto Pearson (YYZ). It also serves Newark Liberty (EWR) and Washington Dulles three times per week, and New York John F. Kennedy (JFK) twice a week via Togo’s capital Lomé (LFW).
Saudi Arabia to resume hiring Ethiopian house workers soon
The recruitment companies and offices in Saudi Arabia are gearing up to resume hiring domestic workers from Ethiopia in the near future.
Based on a directive from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, the Federation of Saudi Chambers (FSC) sent a circular to all chambers of commerce and industry in the Kingdom in this regard.
The Ministry directed the FSC to send an urgent circular to the Saudi recruitment firms asking them to communicate with employment offices and agencies in Ethiopia to activate their accounts with the Saudi embassy there in order to expedite the launch of the recruitment process from Ethiopia.
The federation urged the stakeholders and officials of the recruitment companies and offices to initiate contact with the Ethiopian offices with regard to the resumption of the recruitment procedures. The Ministry’s directive paves the way for the resumption of the recruitment of workers from Ethiopia after a three-year hiatus.
During the past period, Ethiopia was removed from the Ministry’s Musaned electronic platform, which handles the hiring of domestic workers from various countries. The Ministry had also halted the visa issuance procedures for the African country.
UN refugee commissioner wants better Ethiopia funding
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has appealed for more international aid to help Ethiopia’s war-displaced, saying only half of their required funding was met last year.
While visiting Ethiopia this week, the high commissioner said that addressing the needs of Ukrainian people affected by Russia’s invasion must not mean the needs of the rest of the world are neglected.
“Last year, UNCHR’s program in Ethiopia was only half funded,” Grandi said. “This is not acceptable, and I hope that this year, after the peace agreement, there will be more attention and more support given to our programs.”
During his first visit to Ethiopia since the November peace deal was reached between Ethiopian federal forces and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, the high commissioner visited Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray region, where he met with people displaced by the two-year war.
“I want to make a strong appeal here. Where there is an opening created by the peace process, it is absolutely important that all necessary resources are mobilized to sustain the peace agreement,” he said.
The high commissioner also visited the new refugee site in Alemwach, in the Amhara Region, which shelters 22,000 Eritreans.
Sudan urges UNSC to lift sanctions
Sudan has called on the UN Security Council to lift the sanctions imposed on it since 2005.
The demand was made by Sudan’s acting Foreign Minister, Ali Al-Sadiq, when he met with the ambassadors of the permanent and non-permanent member states of the Security Council, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The Minister said that Sudan demands an end to the sanctions imposed on it under Security Council Resolution 1591 in 2005.
“The situation in Sudan today is completely different from what it was in 2005, when the sanctions were imposed,” Al-Sadiq said.
“The current developments in Sudan necessitate the international community supporting the efforts of the Sudanese parties towards a smooth transition to democracy and the lifting of these sanctions,” he added.
The Sudanese Minister further asked the ambassadors to inform their governments of Sudan’s position, expressing hope that this position would find support when the matter is discussed at the Security Council.
The sanctions on Sudan include an arms embargo, a travel ban, and an asset freeze for persons involved in the conflict in Darfur.
Rwanda needs $30 million for mobile, internet coverage
Rwanda needs at least USD 30 million to expand cellular and internet networks to 300 sites identified across the country, Paula Ingabire, Minister of ICT and Innovation, said.
Ingabire said this while responding to lawmakers’ ICT-related queries during a plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies.
There have been complaints of poor networks from different service providers, such as Irembo, where it is hard to carry out information updates and some public document applications, as well as poor mobile service networks across different areas of the country.
“From an assessment we did last year, we need about 300 network poles installed in different parts of the country, but when we go back to our budget, we never exceed at least 80 poles per year. Depending on our budget, it ranges between 50 and 70 poles,” Ingabire explained.
She noted that they tried looking for an alternative solution—to divert sources of funding from the contributions of telecommunication companies—by visiting the national treasury to make the required 300 instalments at once.
Despite the government’s strides in boosting connectivity in Rwanda, there are still a number of issues to tackle to achieve the intended target of digital transformation.
(The New Times)
Kenya’s data market to hit Sh12.5 billion by 2027
Kenya’s data center market is expected to generate over USD 100 million (12.5 billion shillings) by the end of 2027, driven by the country’s growing e-commerce, a new report says.
The Kenya Data Center Market Outlook to 2027 report released by research and advisory firm Ken Research reveals that the growing demand from SMEs coupled with increasing internet penetration has placed the country’s data center market on a growth trajectory.
The report further says that an improvement in network connectivity, government support, and targeted growth in the adoption of big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) are some of the factors that can be tapped to speed up the growth.
A data center is a facility that centralizes an organization’s shared IT operations and equipment for the purposes of storing, processing, and disseminating data and applications.
Among notable names in the local market are Africa Data Centers (ADC), Pan African IX Data Centers Kenya Limited (PAIX), IX Africa, and icolo.io.
New entrants are set to significantly accelerate market expansion in the coming years by meeting the demands of regional businesses and cloud service providers, according to the report.
Uganda refuses to renew mandate for UN rights office
The Ugandan government has refused to renew the mandate for the UN’s human rights office, a decision condemned by campaign groups and the opposition.
The foreign ministry said the operations of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) should end as its services were no longer needed.
In a letter to the OHCHR, dated February 3, it said the government was committed to “the promotion and protection of human rights.”
Its decision reflected “the prevailing peace throughout the country coupled with strong national human rights institutions and a vibrant civil society with the capacity to monitor the promotion and protection of human rights throughout the country,” the letter said.
Human rights defender Livingstone Sewanyana says the decision does not come as a surprise and raises questions about the government’s commitment to human rights. He says monitoring of human rights issues can still be done, but the absence of the OHCHR creates a dent in expertise and resources.
The UN office in Uganda was established in 2006 with the initial mission of monitoring human rights in conflict-affected areas in the north and north-east of the country.