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Karen Calabria

Kenya pioneers ‘mobile money’ in African first

Eyeing his cellphone with a mixture of suspicion and amazement, Paul Kangethe reads and rereads the SMS he has just received. ''I've never seen anything like this before,'' Kangethe says of the alert that instructs him to report to the nearest cellphone shop to retrieve money his brother-in-law sent him just moments ago. Kangethe is one of more than 65 000 registered users of M-Pesa, a mobile money-transfer system.

World Social Forum: ‘World ignores African issues’

Anti-globalisation activists marched on Saturday through Africa's largest slum, calling for an end to conflict and a new war on poverty at the start of a major protest against global capitalism. Nearly 5 000 delegates attending the World Social Forum trekked from Kibera, the slum featured in the 2005 film The Constant Gardner.

Stigma remains hurdle in Kenya’s fight against Aids

<img src="" align=left>Awareness campaigns have succeeded in reducing Kenya's HIV/Aids prevalence rate to 6% in 2006 from 10% in the late 1990s, according to a United Nations report. But HIV-positive Kenyans, like Akinyi, are often stigmatised by strangers and family alike who remain ignorant about the transmission and symptoms of the disease.

Environmentalists hopeful after US Democratic victory

Environmentalists on Wednesday hailed Democratic victories in United States congressional elections as a possible harbinger of change in the global-warming policies of the world's top polluters. But they said there was little chance the power shift would alter US President George Bush's opposition to binding caps on greenhouse-gas emissions.

UN: Climate change threatens world’s heritage sites

Rising sea levels and ocean temperatures, floods and other calamities linked to global warming threaten hundreds of natural and manmade cultural sites around the world, the United Nations said on Tuesday. The effects of climate change are imperiling countless sites revered by millions, it said.

Somalia’s woes grow in Kenyan refugee camps

Mohammed Abdi Guhad sits idly in the shade of a makeshift wooden kiosk, explaining his plan to return to Somalia and fight for the country's powerful Islamist movement. "I would rather kill than stay here doing nothing," he says, rubbing his hands in anticipation of leaving a dusty United Nations refugee camp in north-east Kenya where he has lived since fleeing unrest in his native land six years ago.

‘Lunatic Express’ rides troubled rails of privatisation

Known as the "Lunatic Express" for its exorbitant construction cost and the perilous dangers of disease and tribal and wildlife attacks its original builders faced in the late 1800s, the 104-year-old Kenya-Uganda Railway has fallen on hard times, falling deeper into debt and decrepitude as its rolling stock grows rustier by the day.

Kenyan skaters flock to East Africa’s first ice rink

Eager for a dose of winter, Kenyans are stepping out of blazing equatorial heat into the chill of East Africa's first ice rink for halting forays into sports normally associated with colder climes. Would-be Kenyan hockey stars and figure skaters have been flocking to the Solar Ice Rink in Nairobi since it opened this month.

Kenyans vote on draft Constitution

Kenyans voted peacefully on Monday in a constitutional referendum amid fears of violence after a bitterly contested campaign for the first major change to the country's charter since independence. Long lines were seen at polling stations as up to 11,6-million voters queued to cast ballots on the draft.

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