- The Kenyan government has finally conceded to repealing the repressive clause in the country's media law, but the decision is yet to be approved by parliament.
"The disputed section will be effectively expelled as soon as a Statute Law Bill published by Attorney-General Amos Wako on May 9, 2009 is passed by the Parliament," the Africa Free Media Foundation (AFMF) said in a statement today, saying the government has published amendments to the Communications Act seeking to dispel the controversial clause that empowers the State to raid broadcasting stations.
In 2008, the Ministry of Information and Communication drafted and presented to Parliament the Section 88 of the Kenya Information and Communications Act which enables the state to raid broadcasting houses and destroy or confiscate equipment in order to safeguard public safety which could otherwise be compromised by the populaces' reaction to the media reports.
The Bill was passed by parliament and President Mwai Kibaki signed it into law on 2 January 2, this year, despite protests by the media industry and freedom of expression supporters.
According to the AFMF, the proposed amendments will also get rid of provisions granting the government power to scrutinize and control content broadcast on TV and radio. "This task will now fall under the Broadcast Content Advisory Council. Members of the proposed Council will include the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication and six other members to be appointed by the information minister. Two of the six members will be picked by the Media Council, one from the Law Society of Kenya and one will be nominated by the attorney general," AFMF noted.
The statement also noted that the attorney general has also proposed amendments to the Media Act 2007 requiring the Treasury to provide funding to the Media Council, saying the funds will be audited yearly by the controller and auditor general in line with the Public Audit Act.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.