Tag Archives: East Africa

Kenya Opens New Railway from Nairobi to Mombasa

By MCNS Staff

170531140341-kenya-nairobi-mombasa-raliway-exlarge-169Last week, a new Diesel train line was constructed from Nairobi to Mombasa, Kenya. The new railway is designed to improve commerce and mobility from the capital (Nairobi) to the port city of Mombasa.

Though many Kenyans are overjoyed, it is not without controversy. The $3 billion project was financed by a Chinese company. A Chinese company will also operate the train line for the first five years.

This is one of many African infrastructure projects financed by China in an attempt to build stronger economic

US Defense Secretary Mattis visits Djibouti

By Shujaa Kwanzaa

 

djibouti_political_mapAccording to international reports, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived on Sunday, April 23, 2017 for a short visit to the east African country of Djibouti.

Djibouti is a strategically important country on the Horn of Africa because it is home to the United States’ only permanent military base in African called Camp Lemonnier.

Camp Lemonnier is home to about 4, 000 US soldiers and contractors. It is vital to the US efforts in Somalia against militant groups like al-Shabaab. It also provides support for US operations in Yemen, where special forces regularly carry out drone strikes against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

China is also in the process of establishing its first overseas military base in the small port country just a few miles from the US camp. This establishment is reported to raise concerns in Washington.

Mattis is scheduled to meet with Djibouti’s President Ismael Omar Guelleh during his trip. He will also meet with General Thomas Waldhauser, commander of US troops in Africa.

A senior defense official speaking on condition of anonymity, also played down any concerns about China’s base construction.

Waldhauser assured the US Senate’s armed forces committee in March that he had spoken to Guelleh “and expressed our concerns about some of the things that are important to us about what the Chinese may or may not do.”

With a population of 875, 000 people, Djibouti lies on the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, a gateway to the Suez Canal, one of the world’s busiest shipping routes.

Helium Found in Tanzania

By Shujaa Kwanzaa

tanzania_political_mapHelium may best be known as the lighter-than-air gas used to fill party balloons, but it’s also key to medical applications like MRI scans and for nuclear power.

For years, there have been global shortages of the element with several nations suspending the sale of helium filled balloons to conserve the gas.

In international reports this conservation is about to change due to the discovery of what researchers are calling a “world-class” helium gas field in Tanzania’s East African Rift Valley.

A group of researchers from Oxford and Durham universities, working with the Norwegian helium exploration company Helium One, have discovered what they believe is a vast supply of the element in an unlikely place.

“Their research shows that volcanic activity provides the intense heat necessary to release the gas from ancient, helium-bearing rocks,” according to a statement from the University of Oxford. “Within