Kenya now becomes a middle income economy while armed conflict pulls down South Sudan

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By Fridah Nkibugah

Kenya has now joined the lower-middle income countries according to the latest World Bank estimates of Gross National Income per capita (GNI).

The bank says Kenya now joins Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Tajikistan that have continued to show improved economic performance.

Mongolia and Paraguay move from lower middle-income status to upper middle-income, a group with yearly income levels of $4,126 to $12,735.

Beset by civil war and a national oil industry at a standstill, South Sudan has fallen out of the lower middle-income classification and back into low-income status, where average per capita incomes are $1,045 or less.

The new GNI per capita rankings show that Maldives and Mongolia were the highest movers in the rankings – up 13 and 8 places, respectively. Oman and Timor-Leste fell most from their 2013 ranking – down 15 places for both.


Trade protectionism on the increse across the world, says EU Report

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By EA Trade Review Reporter and Agencies

Many countries across the globe are still using illegal methods to protect their market from competition, says a report released by the European Union

The report says global efforts to battle trade protectionism need to be reinforced to help shield the fragile economic recovery across the world.

In a report released last week, the European Commission identified about 150 new trade restrictions introduced over the last year, whereas only 18 existing measures have been dismantled.

The 10th “EU Report on Potentially Trade-Restrictive Measures" provides the latest state of play regarding potentially trade-disrupting measures implemented by the EU's main trading partners between 1 May 2012 and 31 May 2013.

The report covers 31 of the EU's main trading partners, including the G20 countries. These are Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, China, Ecuador, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia and Japan.

Others are Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, and Vietnam.

A total of almost 700 new measures have been identified since October 2008, when the European Commission started monitoring global protectionist trends.


Politics likely to dominate next week tourism conference in Zimbabwe

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By Fridah Nkibuga and Agencies

Over 500 diplomats and dignitaries from 150 countries are expected to attend the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) conference at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe starting Monday next week.

The forum is expected to turn global attention to tourism in Africa and more so the Eastern and Southern Africa where poaching menace is threatening to wipe out the entire elephant and rhino population.

Most affected countries like Kenya are expected to take advantage of the meeting to lobby for total ban on ivory trade but analysts say political developments in Zimbabwe might take the centre stage.

Already the United Kingdom and Canada have opted out of the fete, raising concerns that many more countries may boycott the event that mark UNWTO 20th General Assembly.

And the non-governmental advocacy group UN Watch have welcomed reports that Britain and Canada will not be sending any representatives to the global UN tourism conference.

"Amid reports of election-rigging and ongoing human rights abuses, Zimbabwe is the last country that should be legitimized by a UN summit of any kind," said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.


Former Kenyan Trade Minister Mukhisa Kituyi to head the UN Conference on Trade and Development

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By Fridah Nkibuga.

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has finally appointed Kenyan Dr Mukhisa Kituyi to be the next secretary-general of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) after the approval by the UN General Assembly Monday.

The former Trade Minister Dr Kituyi becomes the first Kenyan to head a UN body. Efforts by former UN assistant secretary Ms Amina Abdalla to ascend to the helm of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) early this year failed after she lost in the last round. She was later appointed Kenya’s Foreign Affairs cabinet secretary.

Kituyi obtained a BA in Political Science and International Relations from Makerere University in Kampala. Uganda, graduating with honours and a PhD in Social Anthropology, a Master of Philosophy in Development Studies and a Diploma in Science, Comparative Production Systems, all from the University of Bergen. Norway. Prior to joining Parliament, Kituyi worked as Director at the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), Nairobi and as Programme Officer at the Norwegian Agency for International Development (NORAD), also in Nairobi.He is expected to serve a four-year term beginning September 1, 2013.


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