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According to a Global Environment Outlook report by UN Environment Programme (UNEP) today, the ever rising sea levels, increased frequent natural disasters, major waste and pollution challenges and weakening family structures around the globe require a fresh round of innovative solutions.

The solutions range from economic diversification to island-based technological and cultural innovation to regional and global policy initiatives.

In particular, it recommends action as part of a “blue-green economy” outlook, which offers the prospect of environmentally sound, socially inclusive growth with a lower level of indebtedness, transparent financial systems, food security and enhanced disaster preparedness.

A blue-green economic strategy is socially inclusive, carbon neutral, resource efficient and clean technology plan that supports a healthy environment and help conserve resources.

Transitional policy instruments need to be in place for a blue-green economy to focus on public investment and spending, development of market-based instruments and encouragement of private sector involvement.

A blue-green economy outlook requires the development of economic tools to improve the management of biodiversity, using indigenous and local knowledge in decision-making and monitoring.

“As the world enters the post-2015 era, improvements in line with the blue-green economy would include, economic diversification, economic approaches to improve the management of biodiversity, resource efficiency, and sustainable consumption and production,” says UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner.

Finally, a blue-green economy consist of increased awareness of resource efficiency and innovative eco-product design as well as fostering sustainable consumption and production patterns and integrated waste management strategies.

 

 

 

Meru University of Science and Technology confers Equity Boss with his fifth Honorary Doctorate degree

Kenya is not only in ‘war’ with Somalia over terrorism but the oil factor has also emerged in the picture. Somalia has filed a suit against Kenya at the U.N.'s highest court, seeking to resolve a long-running dispute over lucrative oil reserves in the Indian Ocean.

Somalia asked the International Court of Justice in The Hague to determine the maritime boundary between the coastal nations, which disagree about the rights for exploration and collect revenue from oil discoveries.

Somalia asked the court to intervene, saying "diplomatic negotiations, in which their respective views have been fully exchanged, have failed to resolve this disagreement," a statement issued by the court early Friday said.

Somalia has said the row risks deterring multinational oil companies from exploring for oil and gas offshore east Africa.
Kenya recently identified eight new offshore exploration blocks available for licensing, and all but one of them are located in the contested area.

The row could threaten exploration rights that Kenya has granted to oil and gas companies, which have already started exploring in the area.

Read also: Uganda faces challenges toward oil production

Extracts from Reuters

                       

As the East African region works towards integrating energy, the Kenya-Tanzania interconnection has made a step forward with the completion of the feasibility test for the project.

The Kenya-Tanzania interconnection project will involve the construction of a total 507.5km of 400kV high voltage alternative current (HVAC) transmission line in double circuit. The transmission line will run from Isinya substation in Kenya, to Singida substation in Tanzania. The transfer capacity of the interconnector is designed for 2,400MW where 93.1km of the line is in Kenya and the other 414.5 lies in Tanzania.

The associated substation works include; extension of the existing Isinya and Iringa substations to include 400kV transformers and also, the construction of a new 400kV substation in Arusha.

According to the study, approximately over 200 persons will be involuntarily displaced in each country.”The affected properties and number of households in Kenya are 158 and 790 project affected persons (PAPs) while in Tanzania, 253 households and 1265 persons will be affected.”, states a report on the feasibility study seen by Kenya Engineer. The report goes on to state, “A full Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) has however been prepared.”

Due to the technical nature of the network construction and operation, the line requires a right-of-way (ROW) varying from 70m to 90m.Between Namanga and Arusha, the 400kV line will run parallel to the existing 33kV.

Other than this, Kenya is also working on another power interconnection with Ethiopia. This will see Kenya import 2000MW from Ethiopia’s mega dam, Reinsurance Dam.

 

 

 

        

Kenya Airway's first Boeing 787 (Kenya Airways)

Kenya Airways yesterday, 28 August 2014, received its fourth Dreamliner Boeing 787 at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airports grounds. The first certified black female pilot, Captain Irene Mutungi, launched the  state-of-the art aircraft.

The manufacturer, Boeing Corporation, Assembly Site in Charleston, South Carolina delivered the wide-bodied plane to Kenya Airways’ Nairobi hub.This adds KQ’s fleet count to 37 planes in active operation.

Boeing 787 will operate on the Nairobi-Bangkok-Guangzhou route and Nairobi-Bangkok-Hong-Kong route every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

With the arrival of the fourth Dreamliner, Kenya Airways will unveil two other Dreamliners in October 2014 in a bid to renew aircraft fleet to guarantee cost efficiency in delivery of services.

The crew delivering the aircraft included a female flight purser, load master and cabin crew.

BASF Chemical Factory opening in Mlolongo,Nairobi (Kenya Engineer)

In efforts to increase demand and production capabilities of construction chemicals across Eastern Africa, BASF, a chemical company yesterday unveiled a new branch in Mlolongo area, Nairobi. The KES 1.2 billion plant will manufacture concrete admixtures which are ready to use across Kenya and the East African region.

With BASF’s new admixture technology, contractors will enjoy quality concrete production with high strength compression, high workability retention, inhibits paste drain down, offers easy discharge from truck and overcomes placement challenge.
In addition, the admixture has great enhancement qualities in that it can be used as air containers, corrosion inhibitors, crack and shrinkage reducers, viscosity modifiers and waterproofing admixtures.

Laurent Tainturier (L), BASF Senior Vice President ,Middle East and Africa, Amb. Amina Mohammed (C) and Graham Dean (R), BASF Country Manager at the opening (Kenya Engineer)

Speaking at the launch, head of BASF Regional Business Unit Construction Chemicals Middle East, West Asia, CIS and Africa, Dick Purchase said, “The plant will facilitate rapid supply of admixtures to all cement and aggregate customers whether their construction projects are located in urban areas or other distant sites.”

 “This chemical plant will target upcoming rail, road and airport construction projects in Kenya. We would be happy to be major suppliers of chemicals for the railway construction running from Nairobi to Mombasa, Olkaria Geothermal plant in Naivasha, Garden city along Thika road and the Two Rivers mall development in Runda,” reports Graham Dean, Country Manager Kenya and Eastern Africa.

“This new production will meet demands for multi-story buildings, long-lasting infrastructural constructions and more energy efficiency in construction techniques,” remarks Laurent Tainturier, BASF Senior Vice President Europe East, CIS, Middle East and Africa.

Also in attendance was Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ambassador Amina Mohammed, who was also the chief guest said, “BASF will further contribute to the building of sustainable structures in Eastern Africa and will create employment opportunities and expertise to the region’s construction sector.”

BASF, which began its operations in Kenya in 2011, deals with a range of products from plastics, performance products and crop protection to oil and gas. It is set to open a new branch in Nigeria towards the end of the year.

 

China is set to have its own operating system by October 2014. The operating system will help its domestic industry get a hold of imported systems such as Microsoft’s Windows and Google’s mobile operating system, Android.

The operating system will first appear on desktop devices then on the smartphone and lastly on mobile devices.

The operating system comes after the Central Government Procurement Center issued a ban in May 2014 on installing Windows 8 on Chinese government computers. This operating system will protect domestic firms and reduce dependence on foreign technological expertise.

Previously in April 2014, Microsoft put an end to its security updates and technical support for Windows XP, which is widely used in China. Windows XP is a compatible operating system for personal computer and desktop computers and its services had been delayed for long in China.

Meanwhile, in January 2014, the Institute of Software at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISCAS) together with Shanghai Liantong Network Communications Technology launched the new China Operating System (COS), a Linux-based operating system designed especially for mobile devices.  But this still doesn’t make China independent because it still relies on Linux though its user interface and system services are independently designed.

In conclusion, Kenya should widely invest in tech savvy individuals that our universities or institutions create to reduce over reliance on either Microsoft Inc. or Apple Inc. operating systems.


 

                     

Simba Energy Inc, one of the oil exploring firms in the country, recently announced the results of the high resolution Gravity Gradiometry(TM) by Bell Geospace on their oil Block 2A which they term as “very encouraging”.

"We're pleased to report that these very encouraging FTG results have increased the level of interest in Block 2A considerably." remarked Robert Dinning, President & CEO.

The results have identified five structural features with independent closures varying in size from 30kms to +100kms in both the Mandera and Anza basins that compare favourably to earlier discoveries in the region. As a result the Company is planning a more focused 2D seismic acquisition program to further delineate drilling locations.

It is noted that significant activity is underway directly surrounding Block 2A (Simba at 100% interest), with three wells scheduled to be drilled and completed this year: Sala-2 (Africa Oil, 50% interest), Badada-1 (Premier Oil, 55% interest), and Khorof-1 (Afren, 80% interest) which speaks highly to the area's exploration potential.




 

 

 

Sub-Saharan Africa will add more renewable energy projects in 2014 than it has in the last 14 years, according to research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

As Bloomberg reports, Africa is expected to add about 1.8 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity, a category which includes geothermal, wind, and solar but excludes major hydroelectric power plants. According to the statement from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the rise in renewable energy in Africa has occurred due to the fact that there’s a growing need for power in Africa and the fact that wind and solar energy costs have dropped significantly in recent years. Due to this price drop, renewable energy can serve as a less expensive alternative to things like diesel, coal, or gas-powered plants.

Compared to the rest of the world, 1.8 gigawatts of energy is small — China, for instance, installed about 11.3 gigawatts of solar alone in 2013. But it’s more renewable energy capacity than Africa added between 2000 and 2013, and some countries in Africa are forecast to keep up the momentum on renewables. Between 2014 and 2016, South Africa is expected to install 3.9 gigawatts of renewable energy — mostly wind and solar — and Kenya is expected to install 1.4, according to Bloomberg.

“What is different now is the breadth of activity, with wind, solar and geothermal exciting interest in many different countries, and the potential for further growth,” Victoria Cuming, a Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst, said in a statement.

Africa has been singled out in the past for its potential to increase its share of renewable energy. In 2008, a World Bank report noted Sub-Saharan Africa’s “huge technical potential for clean energy projects,” and this year, the International Renewable Energy Agency said that, if “substantial flows” of investments are directed toward Africa, the continent’s renewable energy capacity could quadruple to about 120 gigawatts by 2030. Also this year, information company IHS ranked South Africa as the “world’s most attractive emerging country for solar energy,” due to South Africa’s goal of installing 8.4 gigawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity by 2030 and its success so far in securing funds toward that goal.

Africa has struggled for years to provide electricity to its population of more than 1 billion. As of 2011, the total installed generation capacity of Sub-Saharan Africa was 68 gigawatts — about the same as Spain’s, a country dwarfed by Africa in size.

This need for electricity has prompted investment from other countries — in 2013, President Obama announced the Power Africa plan, which aims to double electricity access in Sub-Saharan Africa and includes a $7 billion pledge from the United States. The plan aims to bring “clean, efficient electricity generation capacity” to Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania, and part of the plan is focused directly on renewable energy.

OPIC and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency pledged up to $20 million in grants to develop renewable energy projects. China, too, has pledged substantial amounts of money to Africa for use in the power sector, renewing a loan offer last year of $20 to “help African countries turn resource endowment into development strength.”

Source: ThinkProgress

 

 

 

A pupil learns how to operate a laptop(mwakilishi.com)

A student learning how to operate a laptop(mwakilishi.com)

For pupils to have access to laptops, the must requirement is electricity connection in school.  But controversies rose in May 2014 when the Ministry of Education revoked Oliver Telecommunication commitment of KES 24.6 billion to deliver the laptops.

Another controversy as reported by a local daily is that 6,065 primary schools don’t have access to electricity whereas about 15,157 are connected to the national grid as the government intends to proceed with the project.     

Laptop project was one of Jubilee projects highlighted in their manifesto. It is one of the big projects that will help children live up and fit in this world run by everyday emerging technologies.

Rural Electrification Authority intends to finish up connecting the rest of the public schools.

The project is set to see Standard one pupils in rural and urban areas taught on how to operate a machine through course provision.

Source:www.businessdailyafrica.com

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Somalia filed a suit against Kenya at the United Nation's highest court, seeking to resolve a long-running dispute over lucrative oil reserves in the Indian Ocean. Somalia asked the International Court of Justice in The Hague to determine the maritime boundary between the coastal nations, which disagree about the rights for exploration and collect revenue from oil discoveries.

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