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World Bank Group : Kenya’s Bold Move to Improve Performance in Delivery of Judicial Services, By 4 Traders, 16 November 2012


WASHINGTON, November 15, 2012-Kenya has embarked on a major transformation of its judicial system to improve key functions to promote better administration of justice and delivery of quality legal services to court users.

“Kenya’s new constitution has created a window of opportunity for the judiciary to address the problems that have for many years frustrated the delivery of justice, especially to the poor,”says Johannes Zutt, World Bank Country Director for Kenya. “Through this project, the World Bank will support the government to strengthen the capacity of the judiciary to deliver justice in an effective and efficient manner”. The project comes at a time of growing public confidence in the judiciary, following recent major institutional and managerial changes pursuant to the new constitution, which Kenyans overwhelmingly voted for in a referendum in August 2010.

Through the Judicial Performance Improvement Project, the Judiciary will improve court administration and case management, including automating the courts and clearing a backlog of court cases, training of its judicial officers, and improving court infrastructure by constructing new courts and rehabilitating existing ones.  These activities are reflected in the Judiciary’s Transformation Framework 2012-2016.

“In approving the project, the World Bank’s Board of Directors indicated its belief that there is a real opportunity to undertake judicial reforms in Kenya.  Since this is the first stand-alone and largest project to the judiciary in Africa, its success will be a model for other countries in the region. The challenge is to scale up the important legal and institutional reforms that have already been initiated to deliver quality and timely judicial services to the public.  The project will need to improve the rule of law and the climate for doing business in Kenya,” says Nightingale Rukuba-Ngaiza and George Larbi, Task Team Leaders of the project.

The project is financed by the Bank’s International Development Association (IDA)* under its standard terms, which include a term of 40 years with a grace period of 10 years.

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Kenyan Law to Ban Bride-Price Payments , BBC via Kabibi , 10 November 2012


Kenya’s government plans to ban bride-price payments, legalise polygamy and consider couples co-habiting for more than six months to be legally married.

The controversial proposals were approved by the cabinet, but will not become law until passed by parliament.

The cabinet said the bill aimed to offer legal protection to all forms of marriages in the country – Christian, Islamic, Hindu, civil and traditional.

It is intended to give women and children protection under the law.

‘Come-we-stay’ relationships

The BBC’s Muliro Telewa in the capital, Nairobi, says the decision to stop the age-old custom of bride price is one of the most contentious of the proposals to harmonise the East African nation’s marriage laws.

Bride prices are commonly paid by most of Kenya’s more than 40 ethnic groups.

Current customary law stipulates that a marriage is not considered legal unless a bride price has been paid, usually in the form of cows.

Read more at Kenyan Law to Ban Bride-Price Payments

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Obama second term: What it means for Africa, Andrew Harding, Africa correspondent, BBC, 7 November 2012


Some people on this continent expected more from the son of man who grew up herding goats in a village in western Kenya.

President Barack Obama made only one, cursory trip to sub-Saharan Africa during his first term, and at the time made it fairly clear that he would not be smothering the continent with attention.

“Africa’s future is up to Africans,” he said in Ghana, in a speech that quietly acknowledged the limitations of American influence in a region that now trades more with China than the US.

So how much will change in Mr Obama’s second term?

That question was, perhaps understandably, barely mentioned in an election campaign that focused on pressing domestic issues and the Arab uprisings.

In his victory speech, Mr Obama again made only passing reference to “a decade of war” and to “people in distant nations… risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today”.

Behind the scenes US diplomacy will no doubt continue to be furiously in demand.

No ‘Obama doctrine’

In the first term, the focus was on headline-hogging conflicts in Ivory Coast, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan and even a close-run election in Zambia.

The start of the second term is likely to be preoccupied with more of the same: International efforts to remove al-Qaeda-linked rebels from the north of Mali – by force or negotiation or both – and efforts to ensure that Zimbabwe and Kenya avoid repeating the violence that wrecked their last elections.

If Kenya pulls off a free and fair vote, expect a fairly prompt visit to Nairobi by Air Force One.

So far, there is no sign of a grand “Obama doctrine” for Africa – and perhaps that is a good thing given the diversity and complexity of the continent.

Mr Obama has left it to others to warn about the dangers posed by an insatiable China.

But his second term may give him an opportunity to move away from the distorting, “war on terror” preoccupations of Mali and Somalia, and focus on the broader issues – trade in particular – that he raised three years ago in Ghana.

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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