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Markus

Markus
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" One of the most important assets of a comunity is information"

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Germanys Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier´s journey to the African continent concluded with a visit to Kenya. He was welcomed to Nairobi by Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed and subsequently met President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Key topics during his visit were the state of regional cooperation in East Africa and development of bilateral relations. Steinmeier and Mohamed also met with German and Kenyan business representatives to discuss and promote trade and tourism relationships between the two countries.

German Foreign Minister with Kenian counterpart and German Ambassador Peschke (left) and Kenyan State Secretay Kibicho (right).

German Foreign Minister with Kenian counterpart and German Ambassador Peschke (left) and Kenyan State Secretay Kibicho (right)

 Steinmeier furthermore met with representatives of the political opposition for a stronger understanding of the internal situation in Kenya. The German Foreign Minister finally presented the concept for the Berliner Humboldt-Forum, which, among other things, is meant to promote cultural exchange with Africa.

Following Steinmeier´s visit to Rwanda, Kenya was the last stop on the Foreign Minister´s visit to Africa. He was met at Nairobi Airport by fellow Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed. Both already knew each other as Mohamed had visited Berlin a year ago to discuss the state of bilateral relations with the Steinmeier. Back then, Steinmeier named Kenya as a prime example for an Africa continent that was quickly outpacing old European perspectives.

 Promoting regional cooperation
Steinmeier met President Uhuru Kenyatta for political talks. At the centre of the consultations was how to strength regional cooperation. Subsequently, Steinmeier took the opportunity to introduce Kenyatta to the high-level economic delegation accompanying him during his visit to Africa.

Steinmeier together with Kenya´s president Kenyatta.

Steinmeier together with Kenya´s president Kenyatta

In the course of his stay Steinmeier also met with representatives of the opposition for talks concerning the internal situation of Kenya, among them former vice-president Kalonzo Musyoka.

The nation´s role in promoting cooperation in the region also featured prominently in the Foreign Minister´s talks with Minister Mohamed. Steinmeier described Kenya as an anchor of stability during a joint press conference. He added that the country counted among those states which were driving forward regional cooperation in East Africa – a process Germany is happy to support.

 Support for Somalia
The Foreign Minister also paid respect to Kenya for sheltering 500,000 refugees from Somalia while simultaneously supporting political development in the neighbouring country. He also highlighted the role Germany was playing in training Somalian security personal. He added that Germany was looking forward to advising the country concerning the future development of its political system, as well as sharing Germany´s experiences with decentralisation to support this process in Somalia.

Steinmeier and Mohamed in dialogue with German and Kenyan business representatives.

Steinmeier and Mohamed in dialogue with German and Kenyan business representatives

Dynamic economic relationships
Steinmeier also stressed that the already strong cooperation ties between Germany and Kenya should be developed further. To this end, he was accompanied by a high-level delegation of economic and cultural representatives.

Economic relationships were established early on during the visit. Steinmeier and fellow Foreign Minister Mohamed talked at length with German and Kenyan business representatives. A range of German enterprises is based in Kenya and both countries showed a huge interest in developing economic relationships further.

Steinmeier explained the idea of the Humboldt-Forum in Nairobi.

Steinmeier explained the idea of the Humboldt-Forum in Nairobi

 Cultural Exchange
Another key topic on Steinmeier´s agenda was cultural exchange. He and fellow Minister Mohamed visited the national museum in Nairobi, where they were greeted by Culture secretary Hassan Wario, Education Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi and curator Ahmed Yassin. Steinmeier and the head of German Foreign Ministry´s cultural division, Andreas Görgen, presented the concept for the Humboldt-Forum, to be established next year in Berlin´s City Palace. Comprising of a museum, a library and housing parts of Berlin´s Humboldt-University as well as a convention centre, the Forum will serve as a meeting place for people of all cultures and ages.

Steinmeier described the Humbold-Forum as a market place for ideas, an Agora, which is going to promote discourse between science, nations and cultures. “I am sure that the Humboldt-Forum will act as a large and inviting place for ideas from all around the world. Only the open dialogue among societies, among our citizen, scientists, young musicians, architects and authors will enable us to nurture lasting trust and understanding across all borders.”

German Foreign Minister Steinmeier in an interview:

What brings you to Kenya?

As a regional power in Africa with a thriving economy, Kenya is important to us. It has one of the 10 strongest economies on the continent and achieved middle income country status in 2014.

We are following the implementation of the Constitution with great interest. We support devolution as our experience with the decentralisation of power and responsibility in Germany has been positive. We regard ourselves as a close partner of Kenya in development and modernisation, not only politically but also economically, culturally and in the sphere of academic exchange.

I have, therefore, not come alone but with a delegation comprising many prominent representatives of major German companies, and the cultural and academic community. We want to strengthen our trade and economic integration. We are also seeking more cooperation in the academic and cultural spheres. And we want people in our countries to have more contact with each other.

What is your assessment of Germany’s diplomatic relations with Kenya? What can be done to improve the ties?

Germany was the first country to officially recognise Kenya after independence. We have enjoyed close bilateral relations based on mutual trust for decades. Today, we are working closely together to master the global challenges we face.

Kenya plays an active and constructive role when it comes to regional and international security, the fight against terrorism and drugs, and environmental and climate protection. I appreciate that, just as I do the momentum President Uhuru Kenyatta has generated with regard to further integration in the East African Community (EAC). Support for regional cooperation is a cornerstone of Germany’s policy on Africa. New fields of collaboration are opening up here.

How much is Germany’s investment in Kenya and in which areas? Are there any plans to increase it?

Bilateral trade was at its highest level to date — 415 million euros — in 2012, while German investment in Kenya stands at around 100 million euros. Some 100 German companies are operating in Kenya and that number is set to rise. Kenya is already an attractive market.

The oil and gas deposits found in the north, the improved infrastructure, and modern telecommunications provide new opportunities for cooperation. That is why I am accompanied by officials from major German companies. The German Government has of late been providing export credit guarantees — Hermes guarantees — for goods and services of German companies to Kenya’s public sector.

The first East African-German Business Summit, intended to enhance economic ties with Kenya and the entire EAC, took place under the chairmanship of Deputy President William Ruto and the former Federal President, Dr Horst Köhler, in 2014.

In terms of trade, how much has Germany opened its market to Kenya exports? Are there any moves to give Kenya special consideration in terms of exports since it imports more than it sells?

EAC member states have free access to the European Union’s single market. As a leading member of the EAC, Kenya, thus, has access to the market in Germany, a member of the EU. Tea, coffee and flowers from Kenya have a good reputation in Germany. Many of the red roses lovers in Germany gave each other on Valentine’s Day last week came from Kenya.

I am pleased that the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and the EAC was finally signed in October 2014 after many years of negotiations. That is a great success. Economic partnership agreements foster regional integration and sustainable development.

Kenya has embraced devolution, a system of governance that is well established in Germany? How has Germany supported devolution in Kenya?

Germany supports the implementation of the Kenyan Constitution, particularly the devolution anchored in it. During the last 60 years, our experience of devolution, which we call federalism, has been very good. Devolution is a great opportunity to take administration and development closer to the people.

We are assisting Kenya on the basis of our own experience. We are helping to establish structures in counties, and train State and county officials. The situation in which Kenya finds itself as it establishes a devolved state is a huge task.

Germany has, on one or more occasions, made clear its position on issues of governance and democracy in Kenya. What is your comment on the current government?

The Constitution has given Kenya a blueprint to establish one of the most modern democracies in the world. In 2010, the majority of the population voted in favour of this groundbreaking reform of their State.

Its implementation is a herculean task. We have great respect for all the institutions involved — government, Parliament, counties and civil society. In light of the terrorist threat, the balance between security and freedom has to be found in Kenya, too. We believe that security and freedom belong together.

Resolute action against terrorists, development and greater social responsibility belong together. The stronger and more creative civil society is, the stronger, more creative and stable a country is.

Kenya, through the African Union, is pushing for the establishment of an African court to try crimes of war and crimes against humanity instead of the International Criminal Court? What is Germany’s position on this matter?

We believe the plan by African states to establish such a court is a good idea. African problems should be resolved first and foremost by Africans themselves. We in Europe also have special regional tribunals. We consider such efforts to be complementary to strong international penal justice, as is guaranteed by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which also has our full support.

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Last week the Eyes on Kwale facebook page crossed the 15.000 Follower mark – what a great achievemnt !!!

15000 Likes

We want to thank all of you for your support and your trust in our Eyes on Kwale project, which is online now for about one year. The constant growth of our fans have proved the concept of having an independent county journal, that is not following the mainstream media trends. Our aim is different. Whenever possible we want to dig into the topic and get “ the story behind the story “ .

From day one onwards we have been very critical with the common strategy of political announcement’s, which have no fulfillments at the end. We try to have an eye on the follow-up. We are counting to achievement’s not on promises.

In the years to come you can count on us – that’s our promise !!

 

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Eyes-on-Kwale had the chance to get a first copy of the new Kwale County Budget 2014 / 2015 which is in place already since 1st of July 2014. This is the second budget of our current county government and it was developed within the full cycle of the our new constitution.

While the first county budget was a kind of transition framework – this actual one is showing the significant input of our Governor and his team.

We will start today a small series of budget analysis that will highlight the details of the 5.6 Mio Schilling spending plan. At first find hereafter the total budget separated by departments and entities. It shows how much we spent in total – means the spending includes cost for employees, rent, electricity etc. – PLUS – the development cost.

Kwale County Budget 2014-2015 - Information

Very obvious is the focus on Health and Water with a total spending of far beyond 1.000.000 Schilling. Our Government plans very ambitious improvements in the health and Water-Infrastructure arena – A GOOD MOVE !!!!

Surprisingly is the planed low investment is the Tourism and ICT department. With below 200 Mio is nearly the lowest investment at all. It looks too low compared to the thousands of jobs participating from it.

Kwale County Budget 2014-2015 - Information-2

 

As said – this is the first little overview of the new Kwale County Budget 2014 / 2015. In the coming days we will look into each department more closely and will provide details about it.

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If we have a look into the official documents of the “ Office of the Controller of Budget „ – we can clearly see that our Kwale County Government has received from July 2013 till end of March 2014 a total of about 960.000.000 Schilling for Development Projects.

Think about this number for a minute: 960 mio Schilling = about 11 mio US Dollar – Really a significant amount of money to change our county to the better.

But – if you look what our Government has spent – the frustration comes immediately. Only about 160 Mio of the available funds have been utilized. The remaining 800 Mio are sitting on the treasurer bank account waiting to be spent.

When our Governor Mr. Mvurya and his team started last year to change Kwale to the better, they had come up with a development budget of 1.500 Mio – which was agreed on.

Kwale County Budget

We have talked to many citizens of Kwale county and we got a strong message of frustration about their actual situation of life. Honestly NOBODY ( we talked to )has experienced a change – a positive change !!!

There is a very obvious question:

Why is our County Government NOT able to implement their COUNTY INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT PLAN ?

Our Answer – They don’t have a Plan !!!

Since months we are claiming that our County Government is not publishing the KWALE COUNTY INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT PLAN. By constitution it should be a rolling 4 years plan that must be the basis of agreed projects. What we all got are just verbal statements and little fragments of initiatives.

Many times we got the info this plan exists but we never got it. So either the Government is afraid to make it public to avoid discussions about it – or – it simply doesn’t exist.But without a clear development strategy by department filled with clear activities and projects nobody could succeed.

But it´s even worse

In these days we have heard about rumors that counties have to return unused development funds to the national government. Immediately all county governors were shouting FOUL and came up with the story of a hidden agenda to kill the Kenyan Devolution Process. Our Governor Mr. Mvurya told us:

“ There is a plot by some people in the country to confuse Kenyans by diverting the attention to counties and forget about billions of cash remaining with the national government without being monitored. The controller of budget office is being used by some people who want to kill devolution by first demoralizing citizens who vehemently voted for the new constitution in 2010 “

Well, well, well – a nice try Mr. Governor.

In fact budget processes around the government-world are more or less the same.

First you submit a budget with projects and plans
Second you get approval
Thirdly you start implementing it

And last but not least … all approved funds ( within one budget year ) that have NOT been spend or NOT committed in real projects – will not been send to the counties or worst-case have to be reversed.  Here is the problem. Our County Government has not spent enough and has not started / committed available funds into real development projects. It’s a Kwale County Government problem – nothing else.

Dear Mr. Governor,

as we have already started in your second year of being our leader, let us tell you: We know it´s difficult – We know you are lacking professional people around you – We know you can not be an expert in all areas – We know even central Government is not straight forward – this all we know.

We are sitting in the same boat. Stop acting like an actor. Let us know your problems and will help. Show us your plans and we will plan with you. We have enough potential in our County – only – you must have the courage to ask for it.

 

 

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From January till March 2014 our Kwale County Government spent a total of Kshs. 1.2 billion – of which only 11% ( 142 mio ) were spent for development projects. Take your time and recap this figure slowly – ONLY 11% for development – that is a absolutly too low.

Befor we go into the details of spending – have a look at this chart which shows the differences of spending between Machakos County and Kwale County. Machakos spend over 40% of its budget in Development !!!!

Kwale County Budget Review - vs - Machakos Beudget Review
Analysis of Kwale´s recurrent expenditure reveals that the County spent Kshs. 484 million on personnel emoluments which translates to 44 per cent of the total recurrent expenditure while Kshs. 604 million was spent on operations and maintenance, accounting for 55 per cent of the total recurrent expenditure. The personnel emoluments include Kshs. 289.7 million that was reimbursed to the National Government for salaries paid to staff performing devolved functions.

Only 142 million were spend in some development projects that the County implemented during January till March 2014 –  included; a food security program of Kshs.122.3 million, Kshs.7.4 for purchase of medical supplies, and Kshs. 8 million for land resource mapping.

Analysis of operations and maintenance expenditure for the County reveals that Kshs. 98.3 million (17.3%) was spent on domestic & foreign travels, Kshs. 36.7 million (6.5%) on office furniture & general equipment, Kshs. 31.8 million (5.6%) fuel and oil and lubricants, Kshs. 28.9 million (5.1%) on purchase of motor vehicles, Kshs. 24.3 million (4.3%) routine maintenance of assets. Other operations and maintenance expenses included; Kshs. 21.8 million (3.8%) spent on printing, advertising & information supplies, Kshs. 11.8 million (2.1%) on conferences and hospitality, Kshs. 9.5 million (1.7%) on utilities supplies and services, Kshs. 9.3 million (1.6%) on communication supplies and services and Kshs. 5.3 million (0.9%) on training.

The County spent Kshs. 35.2 million for payment of sitting allowances for the 33 MCAs against a budget of Kshs. 40 million – an average of Kshs. 118,506 per MCA per month. In Machakos its only Kshs. 67,657 per MCA per month.

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There were big hopes in our Kwale County last year, when the new County Governor Salim Mvurya was elected. First time ever the election run under the new constitution, which devoluted a lot of functions and responsibilities into the county governments. In easy words each county gets it´s own “ little “ government.

The fathers of the new Kenyan Constitution empowered the counties in the big believe that local governments could respond much stronger to local needs than the central administration from Nairobi could do. They believed that a strong county discussion process would start – from Kwale County Government to its citizens and from Kwale citizens to Kwale Government.

Our elected governor – Mr. Salim Mvurya – worked before for years with PLAN INTERNATIONAL a worldwide operating NGO, where he was the dead of the Coast operations. He definitely must has learned how important a communication process is for the success of a company. We have hoped that he could have the capacity to transfer his knowledge to his new “ job “ – as our governor.

Unfortunately – till today – the communication strategy of his government is not really existent – it’s a disaster !!!!

Kwale WebsiteOur government has no existing county website at the moment – as you can see at http://kwale.go.ke

It looks like it went offline a few weeks ago.

The one that was existing before was a skeleton website with absolutely no important information’s in it and has never been updated.

 

Our government has an official Facebook Page – sounds good ?Kwale Facebook Page

Well – have a look at it and make up your mind at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kwale-County-BriefingsUpdates/619996524681174?ref=ts&fref=ts

 


So – how does the governor communicate with his citizens who have elected him ?

He personally does not !!!!

Either his personal assistant or his newly appointed Principal Information Officer are posting some “ information’s “ and pictures into Kwale Facebook groups. If you are not member
of Facebook or not member of these groups – you will not see any information’s.

Please Mr. Governor – Please Mr. Mvurya – stop this unprofessional communication strategy. Don’t make us feel or believe you are doing it to hide information’s from us. We want a digital platform where we can see your plans, your budgets, your achievments.

The times of bushdrums and management by information-hiding are over.

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Chlidren dead at birth - 2We have heard about a shocking high rate of babies dying after or during birth in Msambweni County Government Hospital. The rumors are talking about 1 out of 5 new born´s would not reach the next morning, which would be much higher than the Kenyan average.

Together with Dr. Stan Kinsch we were investigating if this is a rumor or reality.

 

Here are the facts of Msambweni Hospital:

Deliveries:          395 – of which 80 were delivered via Caesareans

Live birth:           379

Death delivery:     12

Maternal death:     0

So the neonatal mortality rate was at 3% and clearly not at 20% as spread in above rumors.

Let us say – every child who dies before or during birth is one too much – but the Msambweni Hospital is doing good. The national infant mortality in Kenya was in 2013 at 7,7%.

So the 3% in our County Hospital could be seen as a very good achievement.

Unfortunately – while the world has made significant progress in gains in curtailing maternal and child deaths, such advances have been painfully slow in Kenya.
Barely two years to the deadline of the millennium development goals (MDGs) Kenya is still way off target on child and maternal scores.

Chlidren dead at birthThe mission to save mothers has been inching forward, sometimes one step forward, two steps back. For instance, the number of women who died from pregnancy related causes was higher in 2005 than 15 years earlier. In 1990 maternal deaths stood at a ratio of 400 per 100,000 live births before rising steadily to peak at a ratio of 450 in 2005. It then dropped to 360 last year, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The picture of children’s well being is only marginally better with WHO data revealing that the child death rate dropped from 98 per 1,000 children in 1990 to 73 in 2011. There is still a long way to go: To reach the targets of MDG goal four and five the child death rate needs to drop to 33 per 1,000 and the maternal death rate to 100 per 100,000. A review of data reveals major disparities across the country among different economic classes. Perhaps this is one of the major issues Kenya can focus on as it seeks to make amends to maternal and child health.

Additionally, with the top causes of child and mothers death being easy to prevent and treat diseases such as malaria, infection from germs, diarrhoea, bleeding during pregnancy and unsafe abortions, expert analysis reveals that boosting primary healthcare could save thousands of lives every year and make Kenya a friendlier place for women and children.

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    Citizen Journalist for Eyes-on-Kwale – We are looking for YOU !!

     

    Eyes on Kwale is a new County Journal project that is publishing on the Internet since middle of 2014. Since the beginning we have found a steadily growing group of readers and Facebook followers ( nearly 2000 now )

    Now – based on our success – we are looking for Citizens of Kwale who have passion in joining our team.

    We need you Eyes on Kwale is different. We are not interested in being the political announcement board that flashes on a daily rhythm un-reflected news through the media.

    We have our own agenda

    We are investigating, we are questioning, we are writing names and publish pictures, we are consistently monitoring progress and come back with updates and last but not least:

    We have an opinion.

    We would be more than happy to find Kwalenians who are ambitious to write about different Kwale topics that are tackling our life’s, such as Health, Education, Agriculture, County Government, Tourism, Human Rights, Business Successes and much more.

    You want to join – be welcome

    Before you contact us you should know about our ethics:

    We are not in favor of any political party or politician – we measure on results against plans

    We are not in favor of any religion – our opinions are based on the human rights granted by our Kenyan Constitution

    We are not in favor of any tribe – tribalism is for us an old historical bondage – we are all Kenyans

    We are investigative but 100% fair – we know what we are writing and can prove at any time what we are saying

    We are posting pictures and write involved names – but at any time we are not harassing or blaming people.

    You can sign this ethic principles ? You feel passion in investigating and writing ? You are somehow equipped with Laptop, Desktop, Smartphone and/or Camera ?

    If YES – maybe it could be your call to join the EYES on KWALE team and work on a new way of citizen Journalism ….

     

    Please use this Contact Form to contact us !!!!

     

    We need you in Kwale County

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    A few weeks ago, East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie has formed a Consultative Tourism Recovery Strategy Committee to examine the challenges facing Kenya’s tourism industry. One of the major issues to be addressed by the nine-member committee is insecurity which she said has in the recent past posed a threat to the industry.

    We here on Southcoast put some hope in this committee that they would come up with a national campain that would also have a big protion of marketing projects for the Kenya Southcoast Toursim Industry, which main target grpoug since decades are Germans, Austrians, Italians plus some Dutch and a rising numbers of Polish and Czech Tourists.

    Sofar nothing has happend !!!

    The new Global marketing camgaign which has an ambrella “ Why I Love Kenya “ has started a few days ago but this will bring nearly no tourists to the Southcoast.

    You ask WHY ?

    The new campaign is started as an viral, digital campaign using the sozial networks – motivating all Kenya Lovers to send in their reasons and pictures why they love Kenya. It sounds good – but for southcoast it isn´t. This campaign was created under the preshure of the several travel warnings, of which the Britsh one hurts Kenya the most. Obviously the Tourism Recovery Strategy Committee wants to make preshure on the Britisch ( and other ) Governments to change their mind.

    So they started this campaign which is sofar happening at about 95% on Twitter – using the Hashtag #WhyIloveKenya. Only our Southcoast Tourists doesn´t use Twitter heavily – in Germany its still a niche. Lets have a look on twitter use for various countries:

    Twitter in countries

     

    On top of that ourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie hired a UK firm, National Review, who has been contracted by the KTB to carry out the online reputation campaign at a cost of Kshs 10 million ($118,000). The online campaign aims to push positive news ( in english only ) on search engines to the first page and hold them there for at least six months.

    But according to Johann Jensen, the chief executive officer of African and Mideast hotel booking website Sleepout.com, online reputation alone cannot be enough to bring back the tourists. “In tourism, it’s hard to think of online and offline reputations as separate. With the amount of information available to travellers online today, a country’s online reputation is or at least will soon become their offline reputation. Doing tourism well means building trust with visitors. Countries must really match or exceed their visitors‘ expectations,” Jensen said.  He added that successful public relations activities need to be done in the targeted markets on the ground.

    So – Last week – there was a big series of meetings all over the country, mostly lead by Kenyan Toursim Board, to discuss the possibilities of recovery. Sofar we could not get any information about the concret plans for the Kenyan Southcoast Clients. Even the PR agency responsible for Germany, Austria and Switzerland could not confirm their furture strategies.

    Tourism Executive Member Kwale County - Adam SheikhUnfortunatly – our Kawale County Tourism Executive Member, Adam Sheikh, did not lift HIS secrets about his planed campaign “Go  South Destination Kwale” that should be implemented to the tune of Sh87million out of which Sh52million will be used for promotional and tourism management activities with Sh30million dedicated to Television and Radio publicity and advertisements. Needless to say: It hasn´t started yet !!!!!

     

    Last but not least Kandie also disclosed this week that the National Treasury had not disbursed money for marketing Kenya as a tourist destination as was directed by the President. President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that about Sh200 million would be used to promote the country as a tourism destination.

    “I do not know exactly how much we shall receive. We shall know when we get it,” Said Kandie.

     

     

    For refernce: The Tourism Recovery Strategy Committee members are:

    Chairperson Kenya Tourism Federation, Lucy Karume
    Background: General Manager Indian Ocean Beach Club, Chief Executive Officer Kentucky Association of Highway Contractors Inc,
    General Manager Beach Club Jacaranda Hotels Ltd

    Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers Chairman, Jaideep S. Vohra
    Managing Director of one of the biggest hotel and lodge group in Kenya. ”Sarova Hotels and Lodges”

    Chairman of Kenya Association of Tour Operators, Adam Jillo
    Managing Director of Nature Expeditions Africa Ltd.

    Kenya Tourism Board Managing Director, Muriithi Ndegwa
    CEO of the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB)

    Chris Modigell who will represent South Coast Stakeholders
    Director of Absolute Kenya Ltd as Project Manager and Management Consultant at Leopard Beach Resort & Spa

    Roberto Marini representing Malindi Stakeholders
    Managing director of Ocean Beach Resort and Spa

    Philemon Mwavala to represent Watamu Stakeholders
    Managing Director Southern Sky Safaris

    Donald Kipkorir
    Lawyer and Partner at Kipkorir , Titoo & Kiara

    Cecil Miller
    Managing Partner of Miller & Company Advocates

     

    The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has launched a plan to restore the country’s image online following a series of terror attacks and animal poaching incidents.

    The board announced it plans using over KSh 200 million ($2.3 million) to kickstart a campaign to counter a mass exodus of tourists from Kenya, after governments from countries such as the UK have warned citizens about travelling to the country.

    The warnings have come amid a series of gun and grenade attacks in Nairobi and Mombasa. The attacks have been blamed on Somali militant group al Shabaab, which is fighting to get Kenyan troops to withdraw from an African peacekeeping unit in Somalia.

    UK firm, National Review, has already been contracted by the KTB to carry out the online reputation campaign at a cost of Kshs 10 million ($118,000).

    The online campaign aims to push positive news on search engines to the first page and hold them there for at least six months.

    – See more at: http://www.itwebafrica.com/ict-and-governance/256-kenya/232969-amid-terror-attacks-kenya-attempts-repairing-image-online#sthash.S7AY6ZwY.dpuf

    The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has launched a plan to restore the country’s image online following a series of terror attacks and animal poaching incidents.

    The board announced it plans using over KSh 200 million ($2.3 million) to kickstart a campaign to counter a mass exodus of tourists from Kenya, after governments from countries such as the UK have warned citizens about travelling to the country.

    The warnings have come amid a series of gun and grenade attacks in Nairobi and Mombasa. The attacks have been blamed on Somali militant group al Shabaab, which is fighting to get Kenyan troops to withdraw from an African peacekeeping unit in Somalia.

    UK firm, National Review, has already been contracted by the KTB to carry out the online reputation campaign at a cost of Kshs 10 million ($118,000).

    The online campaign aims to push positive news on search engines to the first page and hold them there for at least six months.

     

    But according to Johann Jensen, the chief executive officer of African and Mideast hotel booking website Sleepout.com, online reputation alone cannot be enough to bring back the tourists.

    “In tourism, it’s hard to think of online and offline reputations as separate. With the amount of information available to travellers online today, a country’s online reputation is or at least will soon become their offline reputation. Doing tourism well means building trust with visitors. Countries must really match or exceed their visitors‘ expectations,” Jensen told ITWeb Africa.

    He added that successful public relations activities need to be done in the targeted markets on the ground.

    He also said that having diverse online campaigns such as social apps, use of social media and games competitions could help activate the millions of Kenyans showcase their country’s beauty.

    “These online solutions could reach out to the millions of tourists planning their trips already and have a realistic chance of changing their minds and generating much needed content to counter the barrage of bad press,” he said.

    “SleepOut, for example, is currently working with KTB and the World Bank to support the accommodation sector in building the most complete database of the country’s hotels, resorts, lodges and guest houses yet there is much more that needs to be done.”

    During the last month, the country has seen a sharp decline in tourist numbers from traditional source markets including the United State, United Kingdom and Australia due to travel advisory resulting from runaway insecurity.

     1 0 7

    – See more at: http://www.itwebafrica.com/ict-and-governance/256-kenya/232969-amid-terror-attacks-kenya-attempts-repairing-image-online#sthash.S7AY6ZwY.dpuf

    The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has launched a plan to restore the country’s image online following a series of terror attacks and animal poaching incidents.

    The board announced it plans using over KSh 200 million ($2.3 million) to kickstart a campaign to counter a mass exodus of tourists from Kenya, after governments from countries such as the UK have warned citizens about travelling to the country.

    The warnings have come amid a series of gun and grenade attacks in Nairobi and Mombasa. The attacks have been blamed on Somali militant group al Shabaab, which is fighting to get Kenyan troops to withdraw from an African peacekeeping unit in Somalia.

    UK firm, National Review, has already been contracted by the KTB to carry out the online reputation campaign at a cost of Kshs 10 million ($118,000).

    The online campaign aims to push positive news on search engines to the first page and hold them there for at least six months.

    But according to Johann Jensen, the chief executive officer of African and Mideast hotel booking website Sleepout.com, online reputation alone cannot be enough to bring back the tourists.

    “In tourism, it’s hard to think of online and offline reputations as separate. With the amount of information available to travellers online today, a country’s online reputation is or at least will soon become their offline reputation. Doing tourism well means building trust with visitors. Countries must really match or exceed their visitors‘ expectations,” Jensen told ITWeb Africa.

    He added that successful public relations activities need to be done in the targeted markets on the ground.

    He also said that having diverse online campaigns such as social apps, use of social media and games competitions could help activate the millions of Kenyans showcase their country’s beauty.

    “These online solutions could reach out to the millions of tourists planning their trips already and have a realistic chance of changing their minds and generating much needed content to counter the barrage of bad press,” he said.

    “SleepOut, for example, is currently working with KTB and the World Bank to support the accommodation sector in building the most complete database of the country’s hotels, resorts, lodges and guest houses yet there is much more that needs to be done.”

    During the last month, the country has seen a sharp decline in tourist numbers from traditional source markets including the United State, United Kingdom and Australia due to travel advisory resulting from runaway insecurity.

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    – See more at: http://www.itwebafrica.com/ict-and-governance/256-kenya/232969-amid-terror-attacks-kenya-attempts-repairing-image-online#sthash.S7AY6ZwY.dpuf

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    Diani Rules 2014 at Forty Thieves Beach Bar raised 550.000,- for Kwale Eye Center

    FDiani Rules 2014antastik 550,000Ksh raised this weekend, which will enable the Kwale Eye Center for many Operation.
    ( The money raised by last year’s Diani Rules paid for 88 cataract operations )

    Over  twenty years of fundraising have achieved thousands of poor Kenyan people and their families have literally been given the Gift of Sight. The commonest cause of blindness in Kenya- cataract- can be surgically removed so the patient can see again!

     

     

    Diani Rules 2014-3A big thank-you goes to the organizers:  Event Organizer-´- Iain Leckie,  Raffle Prize Coordinator – Catherine, Team/Official Organizer – Kathy Robertson, Sponsor/Corporate Coordinator – Iain Leckie

    Sponsors and teams include Heineken, Safaricom, DT Dobie, Civicon, Satao Camp, Base Titanium, Oserian, Swahili Beach and South Coast Backpackers. Hotels and local companies gave prizes for the raffle or auction and a percentage of the drinks was donated to the charity.

     

    EYES FOR EAST AFRICA

    Eyes for East Africa (UK) is a registered charity [No. 1053222], which was registered on 23rd  February 1996.  Its objects are: „To promote the relief, care and treatment of blind and partially-sighted people who are treated by Kwale District Eye Centre, Kenya“.

    KWALE DISTRICT EYE CENTRE

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    The Kwale District Eye Centre operates in a poor rural district on the Kenya Coast.  It was founded in 1993 by UK trained ophthalmologist Dr Helen Roberts. The aim of the Eye Centre is to provide affordable, accessible eye care to combat the totally unnecessary rate of blindness that occurs in the area.  No patients are refused treatment. Donations are required, particularly to allow poor patients to undergo surgical procedures.

    There are many cases of child and youth blindness, mainly preventable and symptomatic of poor diet and parental ignorance.  The most common cause of blindness is cataract, for which treatment is by surgery and the insertion of lenses.Since 1993, 72,000 new patients have been registered at the Centre’s base. This figure does not include all the patients seen, as many need to return for ongoing follow up and care. Many thousands of patients are still receiving support and eye care services both at base, in schools and in the field.In addition to the patients seen at the clinic, over 320,000 patients have been seen in the field. Over 30,000 eye operations have been performed most of which were sight restoring cataract operations. In remote parts of Kenya 24,000 patients have been treated . No patients are refused treatment. Donations are required, particularly to allow poor patients to undergo surgical procedures.

    In addition to caring for patients, the Eye Centre also carries out research and training.  It is an official training centre for the University of Nairobi, Department of Ophthalmology.  

    Community Work

    The centre is not just a clinic and operating theatre but runs an active „outreach“ service into the community…. particularly in the remote areas. This work is done by volunteers such as the village health committee members who are trained in recognising blindness and counselling those afflicted to attend for treatment.

    The main barrier to people seeking help for their poor sight is an almost total lack of awareness that it can be treated and that treatment is available. People are also very afraid of any form of medicine – often preferring to see the witch doctor and reluctantly considering conventional medicine only when that fails. Poverty is also a major problem.

    Despite this, last year over 10,000 patients were seen in screening clinics in remote „bush“ areas. The community based workers are now responsible for finding and referring half the cataract patients treated by the clinic. Patients often walk up to four hours to reach a field screening station. KDEC operates a variety of vehicles including two minibuses, two four-wheel-drive vehicles, nine motorcycles, a tuk-tuk and several bicycles. The four-wheel-drive vehicles are essential for reaching many areas of the District where there are no roads.

    HELEN ROBERTS – VISIONARY – KENYA

    Dr Helen Roberts MBE is the mastermind behind Kwale District Eye Centre.  Kwale Eye Centre has grown over the years into an Eye Hospital thanks to the drive and commitment of Dr Helen as she is known to everyone. Its an remarkeble story of this English ophthalmologist who has restored sight to around 1,500 people each year.  When not in the Eye Centre Dr Helen and her team go into the bush to visit patients and to screen potentially blind people in remote areas.