Bureau Chief, East Africa, Nairobi
David's Feed
Sep 29, 2011

Kenyan government steps in to save shilling

NAIROBI, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Kenya formed a team of key
officials on Thursday to halt the slide in the shilling and will
unveil new measures early next week, the latest move to try and
restore confidence in the east African country’s ailing
currency.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s office said in a statement
that efforts by the Central Bank of Kenya had not been
sufficient to stop the rot and further action was needed.

Sep 26, 2011

Kenyan Nobel winner Maathai, savior of trees, dies

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize for her campaigns to save Kenyan forests, died in hospital on Sunday after a long struggle with ovarian cancer.

Maathai, 71, founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977 to plant trees to prevent environmental and social conditions deteriorating and hurting poor people, especially women, living in rural Kenya.

Sep 15, 2011

Singer N’Dour weighs in on Senegal election

DAKAR (Reuters) – Senegalese superstar Youssou N’Dour has stepped up his drive to hold politicians in his West African country to account ahead of February elections that could fuel resentment against President Abdoulaye Wade’s 11-year rule.

In a speech broadcast on the singer’s television channel TFM (Television Futurs Medias) late on Wednesday, N’Dour said he wanted to stop politicians believing they could govern with impunity once in office.

Aug 31, 2011

Kenya gets grip on rates but faces confidence crisis

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s central bank has managed to cool sky-high money market interest rates with its latest policy adjustment, but analysts say it still faces a struggle to restore market confidence and stem weakness of the Kenyan shilling.

Policymakers have been on the defensive since January when the central bank cut its benchmark lending rate in a bid to keep interest rates down — just as inflation started to surge.

Aug 8, 2011

Exclusive: Somali pirate ransoms skirt U.S. directives

NAIROBI/MOGADISHU (Reuters) – A $3.6 million ransom seized in Somalia in May was destined for a pirate boss subject to U.S. sanctions, an illustration of how a criminal enterprise that costs the global economy billions of dollars pays scant heed to policy directives from Washington.

Documents obtained by Reuters and multiple sources in Somalia show the bungled payment was meant to free the Chinese vessel MV Yuan Xiang, and that a pirate gang working for kingpin Mohamed Abdi Garaad was behind the seizure of the ship.

Jul 28, 2011

Factbox: U.N. Monitoring report on Somalia, Eritrea

NAIROBI (Reuters) – A U.N. Monitoring group report seen by Reuters on Thursday said Eritrea was behind a bomb plot in Ethiopia and that the Red Sea state bankrolled Somali al Shabaab rebels.

The report also said networks run by Kenyans in east Africa’s biggest economy were channeling funds to al Shabaab fighters in Somalia.

Jul 28, 2011

Eritrea behind AU summit attack plot – U.N. report

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Eritrea was behind a plot to attack an African Union summit in Ethiopia in January and is bankrolling al Qaeda-linked Somali rebels through its embassy in Kenya, according to a U.N. report.

A U.N. Monitoring Group report on Somalia and Eritrea said the Red Sea state’s intelligence personnel were active in Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya and Somalia, and that the country’s actions posed a threat to security and peace in the region.

Jul 28, 2011

Exclusive: Eritrea behind AU summit attack plot: U.N. report

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Eritrea was behind a plot to attack an African Union summit in Ethiopia in January and is bankrolling al Qaeda-linked Somali rebels through its embassy in Kenya, according to a UN report.

A U.N. Monitoring Group report on Somalia and Eritrea said the Red Sea state’s intelligence personnel were active in Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya and Somalia, and that the country’s actions posed a threat to security and peace in the region.

Jun 29, 2011

Kenyan central bank surprises with sharp rate rise

NAIROBI, June 29 (Reuters) – Kenya’s central bank ramped up
overnight lending rates to 8 percent on Wednesday in a surprise
move described by analysts as a step in the right direction
towards curbing inflation in east Africa’s biggest economy.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has been widely accused this
year of not tightening its benchmark rate fast enough as
inflation raced into double digits, the shilling slumped
to record lows and short-term yields surged.

Jun 21, 2011

Analysis: East African shillings to remain under pressure

NAIROBI (Reuters) – East Africa’s currencies will remain under pressure unless interest rates rise to a level where real returns can attract capital flows into largely import dependent economies suffering from high inflation rates.

The currencies in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda all fell to record lows against the dollar on Tuesday. The Kenyan shilling has led the way this year and hit a low of 91.68 against the dollar, a fall of 13.9 percent since the end of 2010.