Kenya’s economy has recovered from a recession of 0.3 per cent in 2020 to grow by 7.5 percent last year driven by growth in all sectors of the economy only with the exception of agriculture following the easing of Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.
This is the fastest economic growth in 11 years since the country achieved a real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 8.1 percent in 2010 driven by a strong growth in key sectors of the economy especially manufacturing, construction, trade, transport and accommodation. By Brian Ambani, Daily Nation
Kenyan health tech startup Zuri Health has launched a WhatsApp chatbot for its users in Kenya. Known as Vera, Zuri says the new chatbot will help to connect patients to healthcare services in Kenya, where 97% of all internet users are using WhatsApp as of 2021, according to the GlobalWebIndex.
Zuri Health is a virtual hospital that enables users in Africa to access first level primary healthcare services where they can talk to doctors, book appointments, book lab tests and order medication from pharmacies.
It has platforms on its website, its mobile app ‘Zuri Health’, and SMS platforms in Kenya and Senegal.
“We understand that to democratize access to healthcare, various channels have to be created. Apart from our website, mobile app and SMS service, we saw a need to add on Vera for audiences that prefer WhatsApp as a means of communication, even for healthcare services.” Zuri Health Founder Ikechukwu Anoke said.
Vera, Zuri Health’s chatbot will work 24/7 to provide quick responses and services in real-time to patients and connect them to healthcare services and products. Vera can handle multiple questions simultaneously which is different from waiting in line at a hospital, for example. She also currently responds in 3 available languages; English, Swahili, and French.
Users will be able to book lab and diagnostic tests, buy medication and schedule doctor appointments.
To access Vera on WhatsApp and get chatting, users can send a “Hi” or “Hello” to the Whatsapp number +254756551551 or use the link https://wa.me/254756551551 and she will respond, answering to a few sign-up prompts, before verifying the user’s email address to begin the conversation. The user will then have access to healthcare services available.
Kenya is seeking billions of shillings to purchase guesthouses and luxury vehicles for visiting presidents and other dignitaries, underlining the burden of running the country’s foreign affairs on taxpayers.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the acquisition of the guesthouses is aimed at cutting reliance on five-star hotels and guaranteeing availability of accommodation for the foreign dignitaries.
It also plans to splash additional millions on limousines and other high-end cars for local travel of what it calls VIP State guests.
This will add to the growing burden of running the Foreign Affairs ministry, which is spending billions of shillings to host Kenyan diplomats in foreign capitals.
The ministry did not disclose the budget for the guesthouses and luxury vehicles in the plan tabled in Parliament for MPs’ review.
"The ministry seeks to acquire suitable guesthouses for high-level dignitaries visiting the country. This will cut costs of hotel accommodation and ensure there is always availability of accommodation and reduce dependency on hotels," says Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo in a report to Parliament.
"This will also ensure security and confidentiality."
The government spends millions of shillings on reception and entertainment of visiting State guests in top-notch hotels.
For instance, a night for a presidential suite at Villa Rosa Kempinski costs about Sh1.74 million ($15,000) and a premium room goes for KSh 578,500 ($5,000) per night in the same hotel, according to rates posted on the website of the luxury hotel. By Edwin Mutai, Daily Nation
Deputy President William Ruto has come out to defend Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka over a "humiliating interview" for the position of a running mate in the Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya Coalition.
In a post on his social media accounts on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, Ruto termed the planned interview as impunity and political deceit.
"Though we are competitors, to subject HE Kalonzo to some humiliating 'interview' is impunity. We must unite to eliminate the culture of political deceit, the hallmark of some politicians. Whatever the circumstances, every leader deserves some dignity and respect. Heshima si utumwa," Ruto wrote.
This comes hours after Kalonzo announced publicly that he was not going to attend the interviews organised by Azimio to search for a suitable running mate for Raila Odinga.
“I want to tell all Kenyans that I will not attend the said process. I find the entire thing demeaning to my person and will therefore distance myself from it,” Kalonzo said.
Kalonzo has been angling for the position terming himself as the best-suited candidate amongst his competitors, who include NARC Kenya leader Martha Karua, Kitui governor Charity Ngilu, former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth, and Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya.
Last week, Azimio formed a seven-member committee that would interview candidates wishing to deputise Raila in case he wins the August 9 polls.
The committee includes Bishop Peter Njenga, Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth, Senator Enoch Wambua, Michael Orwa, Dr. Noah Wekesa, Sheikh Mohamed Khalifa, and Beatrice Askul Moe.
MPs allied to Kalonzo have already declared that they will not allow him to attend the interviews which starts today, terming the process as demeaning.
"Our position as the followers of the Wiper Party, the third leg of Azimio-One Kenya is that the Hon Kalonzo Musyoka should not apply to the committee that was set up to interview for the position of the deputy president of Azimio-One Kenya," Makueni Member of Parliament Daniel Maanzo said.
Maanzo said the first and only qualification of a running mate is the number of votes he is bringing to the table.
Presidential candidates are expected to submit the names of their running mates to IEBC by May 16. By Francis Muli, People Daily
Persistent rains that started on Friday have displaced 800 families so far in eastern Uganda, according to authorities on Wednesday.
The police in Kween district said that Ngenge sub-county and Sundet sub-county in Kween district have been greatly affected by the floods that left over 2,000 people from 800 families homeless.
The floods also destroyed 1,000 acres of planted maize, sorghum, and beans and killed a lot of livestock.
"Apart from destroying homes, the floods have killed an unspecified number of chickens and goats and I don’t know what will happen since the rains are still continuing," local council secretary for Ngenge sub-county, Joel Cherop, said in an interview.
Bena Chemutai, one of the village's health team members in Ngenge sub-county told Anadolu Agency that the situation is "terrible" and the affected people are now staying in classrooms and verandahs of schools.
"We have fears that many children are likely to fall sick from malaria since they are sleeping in the open without mosquito nets," said Chemutai.
Albina Awor, the chief administrative officer in Kween, has appealed for support from the office of the prime minister. Source: Anadolu Agency
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