Assist women suffering silently from fistula – Margaret Kenyatta


 

Margaret Kenyatta

 

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has asked women hiding under the shame of fistula to be assisted in seeking medical help so that they can continue with their normal lives.

She said those suffering from Obstetric Fistula are usually hidden away to suffer negative emotional and psychological effects due to humiliation from their smell and inability to perform their family roles.

“I urge that we seek out more of our mothers who are hidden away while suffering from this condition and encourage them to seek help”, Margaret said on Monday.

She was speaking when she opened an International Conference on Reproductive Health at Kenyatta University, Nairobi.

The three-day conference, under the theme of “Ending Obstetric Fistula in a Generation” is part of the commemorations to mark the World Fistula Day, observed today.

Other related activities include an ongoing Fistula screening and medical intervention of the condition at Gatundu Level 5 hospital.

Obstetric Fistula is a devastating and demeaning condition caused by prolonged obstructed labour, leaving a woman with insufficient voluntary control over urination. It also causes suffering, indignity and disability. The condition is preventable and treatable.

Strong smells occasioned by this condition forces many affected women to remain in hiding away from any public interactions including being shunned by insensitive family members. Separation and divorce are some of the other consequences of the condition.

Globally, an estimated 2 million mothers suffer the stigma of Obstetric Fistula while giving birth.

In Kenya 3,000 new cases of the condition are reported annually although there are fears many more mothers could be suffering in silence and seclusion due to shame and public humiliation.

“This situation is unacceptable and should not be allowed to persist,” Margaret said.

She said childbirth anywhere in the world is a time for celebration, yet in many cases in Africa (including Kenya), childbirth ends with serious and tragic life-threatening complications that bring untold suffering to women.

“This forum (the conference) presents us all with an opportunity to seriously reflect on the challenges that continue to impede us from achieving our national maternal and child health targets”, she said.

The First Lady is the patron of the innovative Beyond Zero campaign whose key goals include addressing challenges of maternal health, new-borns and children.

She said the current generation must commit itself and find ways to end Obstetric Fistula.

“We have come together to refine our strategy, renew our commitment and put all necessary measures to ensure that we are the generation that will end obstetric fistula”, Margaret said.

She said the campaign to end the condition has enhanced the visibility and knowledge of Obstetric Fistula worldwide but observed that this campaign is still under-resourced and requires far more financial and human resources to achieve its goals.

“More needs to be done to prevent labour and delivery complications”, Margaret said, adding that prevention is the key to ending fistulae.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) aims to eradicate fistula across the world.

“Ensuring skilled birth attendance at all births and providing emergency obstetric care for all women who develop complications during delivery would make fistula as rare in developing countries as in the industrialized world”, says UNFPA in one of its statements.

The First Lady said other issues that need to be addressed include access to health services and education, including gender equality, bringing child marriages to an end and eradication of marginalization of women and girls.

She said if these issues are properly addressed, maternal disability and death could be reduced by 20 per cent.

Margaret thanked Kenyatta University for hosting the conference adding that its theme—ending Obstetric Fistula in a generation-fits within the agenda of the conference on Reproductive Health.

She was received at the university by among others, the convener of the conference Prof Margaret Keraka, Principal Secretaries Julius Korir (Health), and Colleta Suda (Education), Acting UNFPA Country Representative Gift Malunga and Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Paul Wainaina.

The Conference brings together both regional and international health partners and delegates from all over the world including Canada, United Kingdom, Pakistan and Somalia.

 

Courtesy The Star Magazine Kenya

China’s ChemChina acquires Syngenta for $43M


‘Syngenta’ helps humanity face its toughest challenge: how to feed a rising population, sustainably. They apply world-class science and the most productive research and development in the industry to achieve a step change in agricultural productivity. In more than 90 countries around the world, their employees enable millions of farmers to improve global food security by making better, more sustainable use of available resources.
With Syngenta’s $12 Billion in annual sales Not profits, the Chinese government is using the company ChemChina to ensure food security by creating such mega mergers . here is the extract from nyt.com:

LONDON — The Chinese government wants to make sure its food supply is reliable and safe as it works to feed a rapidly growing middle class. So it was a coup on Wednesday when a Chinese company won approval to take over one of the world’s largest suppliers of seeds and pesticides.

By clearing the deal with European Union regulators, China National Chemical Corporation is close to the $43 billion takeover of Syngenta, the Swiss farm chemical and seed company. It would be the largest Chinese takeover of a foreign company and is one of three proposed mergers in a stop-and-go international race seeking greater influence over the world’s food supply.

“China has been trying to develop its own seed industry — and agricultural chemicals as well — for decades, and the progress has been slow,” said Fred Gale, a senior economist at the United States Department of Agriculture. “This is an attempt to upgrade productivity.”

The deal between China National Chemical Corporation, a state-owned company known as ChemChina, and Syngenta comes as trade relations between China and the West have become increasingly tense. The situation has been made worse by President Trump’s sharp talk on the issue.

Syngenta’s clearance from the European Union is part of an international competition that includes Dow Chemicals and DuPont, who are still working to close their merger. Though best known as chemical companies, Dow and DuPont, both based in the United States, also have huge agricultural businesses.

Bayer AG, the German industrial conglomerate, is also trying to complete its multibillion takeover of Monsanto. That deal would give Bayer control of the company most closely associated with the rise of genetically modified foods.

And ChemChina’s takeover of Syngenta would give Beijing more influence over many of the seeds and chemicals it needs to feed its swelling population.

If all three deals are completed, they would reshape the global agricultural chemical business, reducing competition in the industry.

It is an important play for China, which has struggled to maintain and upgrade its food supply in recent years. China hopes to better feed its increasingly affluent population, but several food scandals have made Chinese citizens suspicious of domestic supply chains.

Those scandals have fueled anxiety about genetically modified food, even as China wants to use the science to increase production. Although China has poured money into research, it still bans cultivation of genetically modified food for human consumption, and knowledge about genetically modified organisms is limited.

The ChemChina deal could bolster China’s efforts to become a major player in genetically modified food. But Mr. Gale said Chinese consumers would probably remain wary.

“The general public has become very suspicious of seeds,” he said. “That will be an obstacle to Syngenta becoming a pipeline for G.M.O. seeds in the China market.”

ChemChina will have to sell prized assets to take control of Syngenta.

To appease European officials, it must sell substantial parts of its European businesses that make pesticides and substances that stimulate or slow plant growth.

“It is important for European farmers and ultimately consumers that there will be effective competition in pesticide markets, also after ChemChina’s acquisition of Syngenta,” Margrethe Vestager, the European Union commissioner in charge of competition policy, said in a statement. “ChemChina has offered significant remedies, which fully address our competition concerns.”

The European Union granted its approval a day after ChemChina received the go-ahead from the United States Federal Trade Commission. The F.T.C.’s approval hinged on ChemChina selling parts of a subsidiary’s business in the United States to an agricultural chemical company based in California. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which focuses on national security issues and was also regarded as a significant potential obstacle, cleared the deal in August.

The ChemChina deal for Syngenta is part of a spate of consolidation in the agricultural chemical industry globally, as companies have tried to meet the challenge of falling crop prices.

Their efforts to win new customers are being made more difficult by consumer resistance. Widespread suspicion of genetically modified foods in Europe means that protests against Monsanto can draw thousands, and several European countries ban their cultivation.

The approval of antitrust agencies would be seen as promising for others seeking deals, said Dale Stafford, the head of mergers and acquisitions for the Americas at Bain & Company, a business consultancy.

“This sends a strong signal that even though there needs to be concessions, with the right strategic deals, they can happen,” Mr. Stafford said.

The ability to complete another agricultural chemicals deal, however, could be diminished by the huge deals that have been done.

“As markets get more concentrated, the impact on competition gets amplified,” said Elai Katz, who leads the antitrust practice at the law firm Cahill Gordon & Reindel. This could make it harder to get deals past agencies or to find buyers for divestitures.

In recent years, Chinese companies have been on an acquisition binge, buying major strategic assets like copper mines and oil deposits, and investing in flashier, if less economically or geopolitically important, deals for marquee names like the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan.

Lately, there have been signs that the shopping spree might be ending. China has tightened limits on how much money it is allowing past its borders, and that has threatened purchases that some Chinese officials have criticized as frivolous.

Far fewer overseas acquisitions by Chinese companies have been announced this year than by this time a year ago. The value of these deals has also fallen to about $31 billion this year compared with $87 billion at the same point last year, according to Dealogic, the financial data company.

American and European companies alike have criticized China’s ambitious plan to build up its own technology industries, which the overseas businesses worry could create global competitors and potentially weaken their business in the big Chinese market.

And in the United States, takeover watchdogs have blocked several deals that they say could affect national security, while some lawmakers are calling for even tighter reviews.

Yet Chinese companies have shown a willingness to be aggressive when it matters. And for China, food matters.

“On one hand they want to have the best technology, but at the same time they don’t want their markets to be dominated by international companies like Monsanto, Dupont or Bayer,” Mr. Gale said. “So that’s the fastest way to do it, buy the technology. That seems to be China’s strategy now.”

 

Regards from April.

 

The Africa Innovation Challenge


“As part of its longstanding commitment to Africa, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) today announced the launch of the Africa Innovation Challenge, an initiative to support Africa’s vibrant and growing innovation ecosystem and to help develop important and locally sustainable consumer health solutions.  The challenge is the latest initiative in the company’s comprehensive approach to advancing health and innovation worldwide. The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies’ presence in Africa dates back more than 80 years and includes business operations, public health programs and corporate citizenship.”

Johnson and Johnson

Throughout Africa, we are looking to drive entrepreneurship and help advance promising consumer health-care solutions. Chosen applicants will receive a combination of awards including funding up to US $100,000, potential lab space in Africa and/or business and technical mentoring from some of the brightest minds at Johnson & Johnson to help bring their idea to life and create meaningful change in their community or country.

More about the application process

The submitted consumer health care solutions will be evaluated based on their ability to meet the following criteria:

  • Idea submission addresses at least one of the three challenge categories:
    1) Promoting Early Child Development & Maternal Health in Africa,
    2) Empowering Young Girls in Africa,
    3) Improving Family Well-being in Africa
  • Idea submission is innovative and creative
  • Idea submission is scalable
  • Idea submission outlines how the award would help them reach a critical milestone within the time frame of a single year and provides a full commercialization plan

You have to sign up for an account to get started, and you will receive an email to activate your account. You will be guided through the application process which will include signing our general Terms and Conditions Agreement, filling out your application form and uploading your non-confidential project plan.

Deadline to apply is January 17th, 2017
Winners will be announced by the end of February 2017

Apply_Here

Merger Updates


In the past 6 months, A few banks changed ownership and a few other things. Here is a break down.kenya-chinese-trade

Stanbic: Eight years after the merger between Stanbic and CFC banks, which created CFC Stanbic, Stanbic has rebranded and removed the “CFC” name completely from the bank. The 2008 merger created the number 4 bank in Kenya, and today it is about number 7 in assets with 25 branches and listed on the Nairobi shares exchange. The Stanbic brand will now be common in the 20 countries across Africa.

Bank M (of Tanzania) published a statement, denying they are the majority owners of the former Oriental Commercial Bank in Kenya – now known as M Oriental since June 2016. It states that MHL is a Kenyan entity that is promoted by some shareholders of Bank M, but that it does not have direct ownership.

QNB: Qatar National Bank continues to run quarterly newspaper ads on it’s size in Kenya without being linked to any Kenyan bank. Today’s newspaper which touts them as the largest financial institution in the Middle East and Africa region, with September 2016 assets of $196 billion (up 37%) and profits of $2.7 billion (up 11%).

Courtesy: Bankelele

Trump breaks Facebook and twitter record in first debate


The first televised showdown between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was the most-tweeted presidential debate ever, according to Twitter.

The social network provided the receipts, as millions of tweets were sent out during as the two candidates duked it out during the 90-minute debate.

Trump was the most talked about candidate on both Facebook (79% of the conversation) and Twitter (62% of the conversation)—not that all of that chatter was positive.

The Republican also had the top moment on social media: when he exclaimed that his best quality was his “temperament.” That remark, and Clinton’s response, was the most talked about moments on both social networks.

Other top moments include Trump’s comments on New York City’s now defunct stop-and-frisk policy and an exchange with Clinton on a plan for defeating ISIS.

(c) Daniel white – Time

 

Introducing Akua Naru – Nag Champa GOLD //”Live & Aflame Sessions


Born Latanya Hinton and raised in New Haven (USA), Akua Naru’s journey to internationally acclaimed hip hop artist has led her from the city’s Newhallville section to Cologne, Germany where she currently resides and creates music. Along this female wordsmith’s journey, there have been many stops – Philadelphia, China, and Ghana, among others – all of which informed the wisdom and perspective which is evident in her music. The next step on this journey takes here to sub-Saharan Africa where she will perform in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Ruanda, Uganda and Kenya.


The Goethe-Institut Kenya and The Alchemist are proud to present this unique Hip Hop artist. Check out her exemplary live skills here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9tgfx68rac

After the concert, Blinky Bill will keep the show going with a DJ set.Courtesy twitter.com/nevillekgb

 

Admission: KSh 500

Bikeshare Programs Confessions From Kenya


Dani Simons, Director of Marketing and External Affairs with NYC Bike Share explains the process of using the bicycles, in this case returning a bike,  at a dock and lock station at the Brooklyn Navy Yards Sunday, May 12, 2013 in New York. The expanding bike share system allows those who join to ride bicycles and return them from the same or different docks in parts of New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Dani Simons, Director of Marketing and External Affairs with NYC Bike Share explains the process of using the bicycles, in this case returning a bike, at a dock and lock station at the Brooklyn Navy Yards . The expanding bike share system allows those who join to ride bicycles and return them from the same or different docks in parts of New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

The call for bike enthusiast and stakeholders to participate in a Bicycle sharing business brainstorming by the Nairobi Innovation week has made me excited and hyped up for the discussion and subsequent presentations. In 2014, we sat down as colleagues enjoying trying out a bunch of stuff, with the goal of starting an activity that would keep us busy and at the same time generate an income for us.

We went on a browsing spree looking the coolest ideas in the startup world. It took a few months and finally we hit the jackpot. We got an idea which was pretty easy to start and ultimately easy to manage. What we thought.

Armed with our low risk venture, hoping to get high in returns. BikeshareKE was the name. We had managed to save some crowdfunding capital that we got from our online campaign in partnership with M-Changa and 1% club. So capital wasn’t the problem what so ever.

After acquiring 3 bicycles and starting the “money making making venture”.  we started out on a roll. We even had time to come up with those cute infographics that startups are popular with. The reception was amazing. and we were drunk it.

there are many reasons for startup failure. It might not be my job to lie to you that I know all of them. That’s why Google is still King in this web mess of banking on someone’s information. Maybe its because they turn the mess into mess-age. Back to my contemplations. For starters, we forgot the classic reason why bikes go missing, that’s because they get easily stolen.

Going through the positive feedback that we had with our loyal customers. We had to be cautious on winding up/closing shop and also to see how we could retain the klout’ that we had gathered over the months. Sometimes failure doesn’t need to have a  gentleman’s excuse. Ask Kenya airways, they can’t explain their losses and they manage fleets of aero-mobiles.

Still, we are hopeful that the innovation week( https://twitter.com/InnovWkNairobi) will help those interested in Bikeshare programs to be able to compete in teams for the winning idea. The winning idea will then go through training and mentor-ship at the ( https://twitter.com/c4dlab). There might be seed funding from the organizers United Nations, C4dlab and University of Nairobi. Opportunities are still coming up for innovators in this retro-based cycling exercise.

Western Sahara state


On may 25th,

A handfull of Kenyans mainly youths and academia

marked the African Liberation day at the newly renovated Kenya National Theater.  The theme for the 2016 event was African Women and Youth on the Frontline: Revolutionary Pan-africanism is the only Solution. African Liberation Day is usually marked each year around different parts of the continent. It marks Africa’s progress against imperialism and the determination for the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation.

Moving on to the plight of the remaining African colony seeking for independence in africa. This being the Western sahara state. Read more about the states facts  state. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Sahara

Listening to the presentations being made by the enthusiastic speakers motivating the audience of the possibilities available for the “United states of Africa”. I came to learn of the struggles of this Spanish colonized state in the outskirts of the NW Africa. This got me thinking of what happened to Tibet and if China really gave them independence?

With this dilemma, I lay this Monday to rest.

 

Israel, Kenya Innovation Connect


Start Tel Aviv Website Pic

 

“If you haven’t met the Israel ambassador to Kenya, you are missing out. As an individual, he is quite a character. “

The university of Nairobi has joined forces with the Israel embassy to launch the start Tel Aviv challenge. they had earlier set some agreements on innovation in 2015. this challenge is the latest effort by the Israel govt to include Kenya in its start up community.

The challenge is open to everyone. This is a fact that most Kenyan citizens don’t really know especially since the University of Nairobi operates a public innovation center that is open to the public. so once a challenge is launched at the university of nairobi and you see the c4dlab logo at the bottom know you and your startup can automatically apply for the opportunity unless stated otherwise. The challenge is also sponsored by UN Women and iHUb.

The key criteria for judging the winners of the challenge are

  1. Involvement of women in the startup
  2. visibility
  3. Quality
  4. Innovation

There is financing option for the winners in the local challenge. The winners will get a chance to present their startups to the Israel community later in the year. The trip will be fully financed for the winners.