Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has been declared the winner of this year’s Babacar Ndiaye’s African award on transport and road infrastructure.
In a ceremony in Dakar, Senegal on Friday the Africa Road Builders said Kenyatta won the 2018 award for Jubilee’s projects in railway, road, air as well as a nationwide street lighting.
Kenyatta will be presented with award on 23 May in Busan, South Korea, during the African Development Bank annual meeting.
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Babacar Ndiaye was an economist and a former president of the African Development Bank. He died last year at the age of 82.
The President of Media for Infrastructure and Finance in Africa Adama Wade cited the Mombasa–Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway as major project that has had immense impact.
“The SGR has reduced costs of travelling between the two cities by half and at the same time taking half of the time for the trip,” he said.
“We thank and congratulate the AfDB and its President Dr Akinwumi Adesina for putting the issue of roads and transport high on its agenda through its ‘High 5 to Transform Africa’ programme,” said Mr Wade.
The General Commissioner of Africa Road Builders Barthélemy Kouame noted that transport networks, like blood vessels, must not be clogged.
He congratulated Kenya for the efforts to improve transport and to foster regional growth through such projects as the Lamu Port.
“We note the crucial role Kenya is playing as a commercial hub of East and Central Africa and the investment in big infrastructure projects to live up to the status,” he said.
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EFF demands the sacking of South Africa’s finance minister Nene.
South Africa’s political players are headed for a collision course over the fate of the finance minister, who the Treasury on Tuesday said is traveling to Indonesia for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting.
Pressure has been piling on finance minister Nhlanhla Nene to resign, following his disclosure to the state-capture inquiry commission, that he had met the Gupta brothers between 2010 and 2013.
The Business Day on Monday reported that Nene had asked president Cyril Ramaphosa to relieve him of his duties as finance minister.
Ramaphosa’s office responded and said they were not aware of Nene’s request.
And on Tuesday, Treasury spokesman Jabulani Sikhakhane said the finance minister was expected to arrive in Indonesia on Wednesday.
Nene is also expected to read the mid-term budget later this month.
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The news that Nene is continuing with his duties is likely to anger opposition supporters including the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), whose leader, Julius Malema on Monday asked Ramaphosa to sack Nene.
In a written letter to Ramaphosa, Malema argued that the country, whose economy is in recession, had very serious challenges that needed a credible finance minister to address them.
‘‘Public servants at all spheres and levels of government will have no obligation to responsibly manage state fiscal resources under a compromised minister of finance,’‘ Malema said.
He then added that that Nene can no longer inspire much needed confidence to revive the economy.
‘‘The Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS)‚ which is supposed to be a statement to build confidence amongst all important economic role players‚ cannot‚ and should not‚ be delivered by a minister who was part of the Gupta criminal syndicate.”
For the EFF, Nene’s position as finance minister is no longer tenable and they are determined to win what they are now calling a battle.
Malema had threatened on Sunday that streets protests might be organised to demand for the removal of Nene as finance minister.
The Gupta brothers are accused of using their friendship with former president Jacob Zuma to influence government decisions including unfairly winning state contrcats.
Both Zuma and the Guptas have denied any wrongdoing.
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South Africa: Ex-minister reveals Zuma’s Gupta deals.
South Africa’s Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said on Wednesday he was fired by former president Jacob Zuma for refusing to approve contracts that would financially benefit the Gupta family, friends of Zuma accused of corruption.