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July 2015 - Posts

Africa is on the move, says Obama
President Obama sits alongside his step-grandmother, Mama Sarah (left) and half-sister Auma Obama

July 25, 2015 (Nairobi)US President Barack Obama has praised Africa's economic and business potential in a speech in Nairobi on the first full day of his visit to Kenya.

    Obama, Mama Sarah, Auma Obama

"Africa is on the move... People are being lifted out of poverty, incomes are up (and) the middle class is growing," he told a business summit.

Later, he will visit a memorial to the 1998 US embassy bombing, before talks on security with Kenya's president.

He arrived on Friday for his first visit as president to his father's homeland.

The trip has been described as a "homecoming" by Kenyan media, and crowds cheered Mr Obama's motorcade as it travelled from the airport.

In Nairobi on Saturday morning, the US president was presiding over the opening of a Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

He will then visit the memorial park on the site of the US embassy attack.

More than 200 people, including 12 Americans and 34 local embassy staff, died in the blast which was blamed on al-Qaeda.

A simultaneous attack on the US embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killed 11 people and wounded 70.

Later, Mr Obama is expected to hold bilateral talks with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

BBC East Africa correspondent Karen Allen says it is security and Kenya's counter-terrorism efforts that are likely to dominate the talks.

Kenya has been targeted by the militant Somalia-based Islamist group al-Shabab which killed at least 67 people in an attack on Nairobi's Westgate shopping complex in 2013.

The group also staged an attack on the university in Garissa, northern Kenya, earlier this year in which 148 people died.

Although trade and security are featuring strongly in Mr Obama's visit, he has also pledged to deliver a "blunt message" to African leaders about gay rights and discrimination.

Security is tight for Mr Obama's visit with about 10,000 police officers deployed in Nairobi, major roads closed and US military planes patrolling overhead.

On his arrival at Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, he was hugged by his half-sister Auma and later, at dinner, the president was joined by more relatives including "Mama Sarah", who helped to raise his late father.

Our correspondent says Mr Obama's visit would have been diplomatically impossible three years ago when President Kenyatta faced charges at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The case against Mr Kenyatta has since been dropped and the way seems clear for a restoration of ties, she adds.

After his visit to Kenya, Mr Obama will travel on to Ethiopia where he will become the first US leader to address the African Union.

US-Africa ties

"I'll be the first US president to not only visit Kenya and Ethiopia, but also to address the continent as a whole, building off the African summit that we did here which was historic and has, I think, deepened the kinds of already strong relationships that we have across the continent."

Giving the young opportunities

"A while back, when we started looking at strategies to reach out to the Muslim world, to reach out to developed countries, a common theme emerged, which was people are not interested in just being... patronised. And being given aid. They're interested in building capacity."

On China

"We welcome Chinese aid into Africa. I think we think that's a good thing. We don't want to discourage it. As I've said before, what I also want to make sure though is that trade is benefiting the ordinary Kenyan and the ordinary Ethiopian and the ordinary Guinean and not just a few elites."

On discrimination

"As somebody who has family in Kenya and knows the history of how the country so often is held back because women and girls are not treated fairly, I think those same values apply when it comes to different sexual orientations." 

 

Southern Sudan TV Live :: SSTV :: شاهد تلفزيون جنوب السودانSudan TV Live :: SUDAN TV :: شاهد تلفزيون السودان
Google expands free Google Play content to Sudan
free apps on Google Play to users in Sudan

Friday, Jul 17, 2015 at 5:01 pm EDT- Google announced today that it has expanded access to free apps on Google Play to users in Sudan for the first time, allowing even more users to check out what Google Play has to offer. From Google:

As part of a commitment to helping more people around the globe use technology to communicate, find and create information, we're announcing the availability of free apps and games on +Google Play in Sudan for the first time!

Google says that this is part of an effort to bring access to more Google services on a global scale, and follows similar rollouts to Cuba, Myanmar, and Iran last year. It's unclear if and when paid content may make it's way to Sudan, but this is good news regardless.

Southern Sudan TV Live :: SSTV :: شاهد تلفزيون جنوب السودانSudan TV Live :: SUDAN TV :: شاهد تلفزيون السودان
US embassy in Khartoum resumes processing of immigrant visa
U.S. embassy in Khartoum

July 8, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - The United States embassy in Khartoum has on Wednesday announced resumption of immigrant visa processing in Sudan for the first time in nearly 20 years.

“Starting in July 2015, applicants for all categories of Immigrant Visas, including Immediate Relatives (IR) Non-Preference Family, Fiance’s (K visas) and Diversity Visa Lottery winners will be able to interview and process their visas in Khartoum, Sudan”, said the US embassy in a statement released on Wednesday.

It should be mentioned that residents of Sudan have been required to travel to the US embassy in Cairo to process their immigrant visas, which entailed a great deal of time, expense, and effort.

The US has included Sudan since 1993 on the list of states that sponsor terrorism and later imposed economic sanctions which Khartoum argues that it has affected vital sectors such as aviation and rail transport and incurring losses exceeding $40 billion.

Washington calls for the resolution conflicts in the Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Darfur as a prerequisite for normalizing ties.

The move is announced weeks before the arrival of the UN special envoy Donald Booth who will conduct talks on ways to normalize relations.

Southern Sudan TV Live :: SSTV :: شاهد تلفزيون جنوب السودانSudan TV Live :: SUDAN TV :: شاهد تلفزيون السودان
Saudi prince to give away $32bn
Saudi Arabia

July 01, 2015 (Riyadh) Saudi tycoon Prince Alwaleed bin Talal on Wednesday promised his entire $32 billion (28.8 billion euro) fortune to charitable projects in coming years, in one of the biggest ever such pledges.

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal answers questions during a 2011 press conference in Riyadh
   

The pledge is "maybe... the first such big announcement" of its kind in the region, and is modelled on a charity established by Microsoft founder Bill Gates in the United States, the prince told reporters.

Alwaleed said his charity "will help build bridges to foster cultural understanding, develop communities, empower women, enable youth, provide vital disaster relief and create a more tolerant and accepting world."

The money "will be allocated according to a well-devised plan throughout the coming years", he said, but stressed there was no time limit for the donation to be spent.

Alwaleed said he would head a board of trustees tasked with spending the funds, which would still be used after his death "for humanitarian projects and initiatives".

The 60-year-old magnate belongs to the Saudi royal family and is a nephew of king Abdullah, who died on January 23.

In the conservative Muslim kingdom, Alwaleed, who holds no government rank, is unusual for his high profile and periodic comments about economic issues.

"We are clearly in very close coordination with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation", which is already working with Alwaleed on a polio eradication project, he said.

"This is very much separate from my ownership in Kingdom Holding," and there should be no impact on the publicly listed company's share price, Alwaleed told reporters on the 66th-floor headquarters of the firm which he chairs.

- 'Dramatic and drastic'-

But he said his charitable commitment would provide even more incentive for his business investments to be profitable.

As well as media stakes, Kingdom Holding has interests ranging from the Euro Disney theme park to Four Seasons hotels and Citigroup.

Alwaleed is constructing a tower in the Red Sea city of Jeddah that is to rise more than one kilometre (almost 3,300 feet) to be the world's tallest building.

Earlier this year, he opened a pan-Arab news channel in Bahrain but authorities there shut the station after less than 24 hours on air and a new home is being sought.

Alwaleed last week in Paris signed a letter of intent with France's CDC International Capital to create the first French-Saudi investment fund, worth up to $400 million.

A separate deal saw a French consortium and CDC IC invest about $150 million in Kingdom Holding.

Alwaleed told reporters he has already donated a total of $3.5 billion over more than 35 years through his Alwaleed Philanthropies.

The charity has distributed houses and provided electricity to isolated Saudi communities, while supporting other projects around the world.

He said he announced his pledge now, after years of preparation, to institutionalise the process "so they can continue after my lifetime".

Flanked by his son Prince Khaled and daughter Princess Reem, he said they will be president and vice-president of the charity after he dies.

"I believe that a person should take dramatic and drastic decisions at his peak," Alwaleed said, proclaiming himself to be in good shape.

"I'm very healthy, enough to bike every day three hours," he said. "I assure you my health is good."

Southern Sudan TV Live :: SSTV :: شاهد تلفزيون جنوب السودانSudan TV Live :: SUDAN TV :: شاهد تلفزيون السودان