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Kenya has announced that the precious coltan mineral, which is used in the manufacture of cell phones, laptops and other communication gadgets has been found in the country.

Mining and Blue Economy Cabinet Secretary (CS) Salim Mvurya said on Wednesday that adequate deposits of coltan have been found in six counties.

The rare metallic mineral, mostly found in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is mainly used for the production of electronic goods of mass consumption, such as mobile phones, laptops and videogame consoles, and its discovery in Kenya is set to raise the country's profile as a mineral exporter.

Embu is among the counties which have been established to have the precious metal.

Making the announcement at Embu county headquarters, Mr Mvurya said the government is now assessing the economic value of the mineral.

"It is now official. We have coltan deposits in the country and we want to see how we can inspire the investors," he said.

The CS said the government is determined to make mining industry more vibrant for the benefits of the country.

He said more workers will be employed to assist in exploration of the minerals which are spread across counties.

He revealed that so far 970 mineral occurrences have been noted across the country, adding that mining would kick off soon.

He said laboratories will be decentralised to counties for easier testing of minerals.

"We shall be setting up laboratories services in eight regions where we shall be testing samples and declaring the quality of minerals found in a particular region," he said.

Accompanied by Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire, the CS vowed to have illegal miners who have invaded the mining industry weeded out.

He lamented that illegal mining is rampant in the country and the vice must be eradicated.

"Some have been carrying out mining of precious minerals without licences, we shall weed out all those investors who don't follow the law, We want mining to be a business where investors comply with all aspects of the law," he said.

He said a special unit has been set up by the cabinet to enforce compliance.

Embu Governor said she was happy that 20 percent of the mineral proceeds will go to the county and 10 percent will benefit the locals.

She said her administration is partnering with the national government to make the mining of coltan in the region successful.

Mbeere South MP Nebart Muriuki advised residents to stop selling their parcels of land at throw away prices.

"A precious mineral has been found here and if you want to benefit you should not sell your land," he said. - BUSINESS DAILY

 

Tanzania, Rwanda and Somalia are among four countries selected as pilots of a new World Bank clean energy programme that is set to benefit at least 100 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2030.

Sao Tome and Principe will also take part in the rollout of the Accelerating Sustainable and Clean Energy Access Transformation (Ascent) programme, which will be expanded to 20 countries in the region over the next seven years.

World Bank Group President Ajay Banga announced the $15 billion project during the International Development Association's (IDA) mid-term review meeting of its 20th financing round in Zanzibar.

According to Mr Banga, at least $5 billion of the funding requirement will be covered by IDA and the remaining will be from partners.

"We know it won't solve the problem of access to power for the entire continent since there are more than 600 million Africans facing the problem." he said. "But we see it as a start, and also a platform to draw more interest among IDA partners to also join the cause through similar investments."

The Bank describes the Ascent programme as a "game-changer in a region where only 48 percent of the overall population and just 26 percent in rural areas has access to electricity."

“The lack of energy access is the most significant challenge to development progress in the region today (as it) hinders economic recovery and faster progress toward poverty reduction," it says.

Effects

"It also results in significant food spoilage owing to lack of refrigeration, particularly in countries already plagued with food insecurity, and plays a role in poor health outcomes given that less than half of all hospitals in the region have reliable electricity access," the Bank said.

Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank's vice-president for Eastern and Southern Africa, said IDA's $5 billion input will be "leveraged for an additional $10 billion" using resources from the Bank's other lending arms including the International Finance Corporation and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency plus contributions from public and private sector partners.

She said the Ascent programme was designed to speed up efforts to achieve the clean energy transition on a global scale by pooling global and local knowledge with a "menu-based" approach to empowering selected countries to pursue energy access goals.”

"Women, who are often disproportionately burdened by lack of energy access, will benefit the most and will also be provided additional income-generating opportunities to unleash their economic potential," the Bank said.

The programme will involve three main components; developing regional and national platforms to enable economies of scale and cost reduction strategies, expanding grid electrification through investment and technical assistance, and financing strategies to improve energy access for households, enterprises, farmers, schools, health clinics and other social needs. - BOB KARASHANI, The EastAfrican

 

Farmers and entrepreneurs in agricultural and manufacturing sectors are set to benefit from the forthcoming trade expo covering agriculture segments in a bid to boost standards towards growth.

Dubbed ‘AgroFoodpack Exhibition’, the expo will cover segments on agro, dairy and poultry, grains and storage, food and flavors, biscuits, cakes, packaging and processing machines and plastics.

It seeks to create a pathway for technology innovators, producers, suppliers and buyers to exploit up-and-coming opportunities in one of the world’s most attractive business spots.

Slated for October 27th to 29th in Nairobi, the expo is also expected to showcase transformations in the agriculture sector making it less dependent on manual processes, a change hoped to boost export volumes.

Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry-Kajiado chapter CEO Japheth Ogutu while commenting on the forum, said most of our farmers realise losses because they don’t have ready market.

He said the exhibition will help create new markets for Kenya’s products beyond the UAE.

“We are also urging the international exhibitors to take advantage of the industrial parks that are being built by the government, and set up their production plants locally,” Ogutu said.

This he noted, pointing out Kenya among the fast-growing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a huge industrial boom in several sectors, especially within agriculture and manufacturing.

He further noted that the expo is an ideal platform for the chambers’ members to showcase the opportunities available for investors and exhibitors.

On his part, MXM expo organizer Mudasir Mohammed said food security is a major concern across the world, and production has been heavily affected by climate change that continues to have a negative impact on the harvest.

“I believe this forum will play a big role in trying to mitigate such effects, while leveraging on our goal to provide a platform for technology transfer, boosting inter-trade and enhancing the gateway opening between Kenya and other 20 countries from Europe and Asian nations,” Mohammed said.

“We need to ensure that there is value addition for the local farmers and the best way to achieve that is by collaborating with well-developed nations like the UAE that practice modern agriculture to increase food production.”

He further urged Kenyan exhibitors to ensure they create long-lasting partnerships with foreign counterparts through signing of MOUs that benefit both players.

An estimated 1,500 exhibitors from over six countries: Algeria, China, Egypt, Kenya, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, and UAE will participate in the event. - ALFRED ONYANGO, The Star

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