The new Kenya: President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga are optimistic about the future of the eastAfrican country. (Image:pbs.org)Khanyi MagubaneFollowing the post-election violence in December 2007, Kenya is to host a peace conference in February to help salvage its tainted image.Announcing the plans on 8 January, Prime Minister Raila Odinga said the forum, which will be held in the first week of February, will play a role in bringing together more than 2 000 delegates, including local and international branding and peace experts.The three day conference is scheduled to take place from 2 to 4 February and will be instrumental in charting a way forward for the east African nation.“We have had many occasions to look back in the past, usually through task forces and commissions, the result has largely been to assign blame on who did or did not do what,” he said. He emphasised that the aim of this conference, however, will be to help the country map a way forward for itself. “We will be meeting to lay the foundation of the nation we want the next generation to build on,” he added.A South African delegation has also been invited. Those attending include; businessman Cyril Ramaphosa, Former Organisation for African Unity Secretary General Dr Salim Salim and former Minister of Public Service and Administration Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi.Themed “One Kenya, One Dream: The Kenya We Want”, Odinga said that among those expected to deliver keynote addresses will be former and current world leaders including former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Bin Mohammed and Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade.Former Mozambican President Joachim Chissano is also expected to address delegates at the conference.The prime minister added that the expected outcomes of the conference, including findings and recommendations, will strengthen on-going efforts in national reconciliation and inter-group harmony, which he said, is the central goal of the grand coalition government.He also said the forum will be used to demonstrate to the world that Kenyans are determined to solve their problems peacefully through open debate.“We want to sit down as a nation and discuss tribalism or negative ethnicity as a problem. The intention will be to create strategies of promoting national unity out of the diverse ethnic groups that make what we call Kenya.”Learning from past mistakesA special tribunal is to be held in the east African country to bring to book those responsible for instigating the violence.The concept of the tribunal came about after one of the recommendations, made by the Commission of Inquiry into the eruption of post-election violence, which rocked the country at the beginning of the year.The commission, led by top legal eagle Justice Philip Waki, gave the Kenyan government a December 2009 deadline to form the tribunal, failing which; the matter would then be taken to the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Netherlands.The United State’s ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger says the American government welcome a request for them to supply investigators for the special tribunal.“We are prepared to commit US$1.5 million (R10-million) to support electoral reform, and we would welcome a request to provide investigative experts for the Special Tribunal.”Ranneberger said Kenya’s reformation should form part of the implementation of both the Waki Report and that of the Kriegler Commission, also set up to investigate the post-election violence.Both the Kriegler and Waki reports recommended that the discredited Electoral Commission of Kenya be replaced and that a special investigative council be set up.Annan has already been handed a secret envelope containing the names of the principal suspects involved in instigating the latest violent outbreak.The envelope is currently being kept at an undisclosed UN office for “safekeeping”.The government has also formed a cabinet sub-committee mandated to work on the implementation of the Waki Report.The violence revisited The period of violence followed the disputed 27 December 2007 presidential elections in which both presidential candidates at the time, the now President Mwai Kibaki and then opposition candidate Raila Odinga (now prime minister), claimed victory in the elections.The violence which followed the election shambles left over 1 300 people dead and about 350 000 others displaced.The unrest tore apart Kenya’s political parties and ethnic groups as they fiercely disputed the results of the elections in which President Mwai Kibaki allegedly defeated opposition candidate Raila Odinga.Due to the violence, traffic on highways from the port of Mombassa to Nairobi was restricted, causing massive delays in delivery of various goods.The retail sector also took a knock, with commercial shops eventually being forced to close their doors to the public. In some cases shops were plundered or destroyed.The pockets of Kenyans were hardest hit as the price of food across the country sky-rocketed due to insufficient supplies.In smaller towns milk and bread became an expensive luxury and the price of fish (one of Kenya’s staple foods) tripled in the town of Kisumu, while the price of flour doubled.In urban areas, such as Nairobi, fuel prices increased significantly with a litre of petrol costing around £1 (R15) and in some cases £2 (R30).Do you have any comments or queries about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at: email@example.com Related articlesKenya on the mendAfrican leaders unite economiesAfrica catches investor’s eyesUseful linksGovernment of KenyaRaila Odinga biographyMwai Kibaki president
Over 3.22 lakh girl students of Class IX in Rajasthan will get bicycles during the current academic year with the State government devising new methods to facilitate their access to schools. The government senior secondary schools opened at all panchayat headquarters have reported a large number of admission of girls.State Education Minister Vasudev Devnani, who distributed bicycles to the girl students of the Government Jawahar Higher Secondary School in Ajmer on Saturday, said the dropout rate of girls after the middle school’s education was earlier very high because of lack of resources to continue the studies.“The education scenario in Rajasthan has made a turnaround with the State improving its rank from 26th to second in the country in this field during the last four years,” Mr. Devnani said. The Minister represents the Ajmer North constituency in the Assembly.‘Schools upgraded’Mr. Devnani said as many as 7,000 schools across the State had been upgraded as part of the drive to improve the standard of education. “After the promotion of teachers and an increase in the enrolment of students, the parents want to send their children to the government schools and get benefit of new resources and high standard of education,” he said.
The first song from Priyanka Chopra’s much-awaited film Mary Kom is out.Ttitled Ziddi Dil, the song features Priyanka and is composed by Shashi Suman and sung by Vishal Dadlani. Ziddi Dil talks about the never-say-die spirit of Mary Kom that she displays during her journey of being a World Champion boxer. The song is penned by Prashant Ingole. Directed by Omung Kumar, it is slated for a September 5 release.The video shows journey of Mary Kom from a girl in Manipur to world champion boxer.Co-produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, Mary Kom shows Kom’s journey from an athlete to a boxer, opposition faced by her father to take up the sport as a profession, training with men, her fearless nature, marriage and so-called end of her boxing career.Directed by Omung Kumar, it is slated for a September 5 release.
WILMINGTON, MA — A chair to honor America’s prisoners of war and missing in action will be installed at Wilmington Town Hall this November.The chair will be located in Room 9, where the Selectmen and many other town boards hold their meetings.The chair was built and donated by Shawsheen Tech students.“The Tech has been a great resource to our Department over many years and the POW/MIA Chair is just the latest example of the partnership we, as a town, have with them,” said Wilmington Veterans Director Cimaglia.Cimaglia will come in front of the Selectmen at its November meeting to explain the Chair and its significance.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedShawsheen Tech Builds & Donates POW/MIA Chair To Town Of WilmingtonIn “Education”SELECTMEN NEWS: Town Accepts Flag Pole Donation For Silver LakeIn “Government”SELECTMEN NEWS: Big Issues To Be Discussed At November 26 MeetingIn “Government”
India Inc. is expected to spend a whopping Rs. 20,000 crore on advertising, marketing and promotion in the four-month festive season that is underway, clocking an increase of 12 percent over the same period last year.The highest likely increase in marketing expenditure of about 10 percent makes consumer durable companies the largest spenders.”We expect a good festive season this year with a growth of 12 percent over the last year. The sectors which advertise for tier-II, tier-III cities such as two-wheelers, consumer durables and others are expected to spend. The estimate spend during the four months from September to December is Rs 20,000 crore,” Ashish Bhasin, CEO South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network, was quoted saying by the Economic Times.The festival season starting with Ganesh Chaturthi and Onam in September and peaking through Diwali to Christmas contributes to 40 percent of annual sales of various consumer products ranging from phones and clothes to vehicles and jewellery. Media planners chalked up the positive consumer sentiments to good monsoon and higher salaries and pensions with the implementation of the 7th Central Pay Commission recommendations.However, some media planners said that they are uncertain about consumer spending.”The quarter with festive season will definitely be better than other quarters, but whether it will cover the deficit of the rest of the year is a question,” Anita Nayyar, CEO India and South Asia at Havas Media, said. E-commerce bluesSimilar questions are also being thrown regarding spending by e-commerce companies. Spending by e-commerce retailers, some of the biggest advertisers during the previous two festive seasons, dropped to Rs. 394 crore in the first half of 2016 from Rs. 629 crore in the first half of 2015, according to the 2016 Mid-Year Advertising Report by Madison World, the company that buys media for Snapdeal and ITC, among others.Even though the report said advertisers in India will increase spending by about 13 percent to Rs. 49,812 crore in 2016, Sam Balsara, chairman of Madison World, suggests that sluggishness in spending by e-commerce will be met by handset makers, automobiles and FMCG companies and Reliance Jio Infocomm, the new mobile phone operator.”The worry is not how much the big three e-commerce companies will spend as much as the 50 others who have packed up. Jio is the new kid on the block and will also spend heavily,” Balsara said.Funding for e-commerce companies has reduced and several smaller platforms do not have enough money to spend on advertising. But big online retail platforms â€” Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal â€” are expected to run aggressive campaigns. Snapdeal recently announced a budget of Rs. 200 crore for advertising during the festive season.”The larger players are expected to spend heavily during the festive season. But there will be fewer advertisers in the e-commerce category as compared to the last festive season,” Bhasin of Dentsu said.”While television and print both see an uptake in demand during the festive months, it is skewed slightly towards the print media. Sectors such as e-commerce, handset makers and automobiles bank heavily on print, increasing the demand by up to 25-30 percent as against the regular months,” Mallikarjun Das, Group CEO of Starcom India, said.
Sci-Fi fans: Here’s the irresistible invitation to play with fire you’ve been waiting for. Meet Pyro, literally the hottest wearable on the market right now. It’s a wrist-worn gadget that lets you shoot fireballs from your hand.We repeat: It lets you shoot balls of fire from your hand. Real, hot, dangerous — and dangerously magnificent — burning balls of fire. The kind Mom said never to play with.Related: A ‘Smart’ Belt Automatically Adjusts to Keep Your Pants UpStrapped onto your mere mortal wrist, Pyro blasts balls of fire up to 30-feet into the air, almost as awesomely as fire-bending Zuko on Avatar: The Last Airbender.Sound too cool to be true? Check out the highly stylized promotional video:You’d think this would go without saying, but, before you get too excited, you should know that Pyro is not a plaything. In the words of its inventor, veteran New Hampshire-based magician Adam Wilber: “This is not a toy. This is a badass professional device that allows you to launch fireballs from your open palm.” Indeed, pro illusionists are who this $174 wearable is specifically targeted to.The somewhat bulky Pyro wrist cuff (which looks a bit like a parolee anklet) contours to the underside of the brave wearer’s wrist. A notched fastener strap allows the unit to be tucked up your sleeve, while “keeping it out of the way of the flaming shots.” Oh, good.Related: Why This Entrepreneur Dreams of Living on MarsSimply push the matchbook-sized remote control trigger, held in your other hand and — boom — goodness, gracious, great balls of fire!Image credit: PyroYou can fire off four fireballs before reloading. How it works: Specially treated, highly flammable cotton and paper packs come with the Pyro wristband, which houses a quartet of individually triggered barrels. When the remote control trigger is activated, the cotton and paper come into contact with a heated “glowplug” inside of the device, igniting them. Pressing the remote a second time shoots the fireballs out, one by one.Pyro fireball blasters are available for purchase (for those 18 and older) over at Ellusionist, an online magic supply retailer. Now what was that you said, Mom, about not playing with fire?Image credit: PyroRelated: Look Ma, No Hands: Drones You Can Pilot With Your Mind 3 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now March 12, 2015 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Enroll Now for Free