Features

Prestigious Journalism Award for Al Jazeera Trio

Greste accepted the award for fellow journalists

By James Mwambai

Rwanda President Paul Kagame has commended President Uhuru Kenyatta for his visionary leadership that has re-energized the East African Community (EAC).

President Kagame, rx http://debbiehowes.com/wp-content/plugins/events-manager/classes/em-category.php who commissioned the 140 MW Olkaria 1 Geothermal Power Plant in Nakuru County, more about http://coupon-ads.com/wp-includes/comment.php said President Kenyatta’s exemplary leadership has led to tremendous progress and benefit not only for Kenya but the whole region.

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He praised President Kenyatta and the Kenya Government for playing a leading role in the improvement of infrastructure, http://cosmeticluxus.com/wp-includes/class-oembed.php energy and port services.

The Rwandan leader assured President Kenyatta that his country is a genuine and reliable partner of Kenya in its transformational and visionary agenda for the East African residents.

He thanked President Kenyatta for effectively steering the East Africa Community during his tenure as chairman of the regional bloc.

“Kenya continues to make tremendous progress since you assumed leadership with your team of leaders. Your coming to office has re-energized all of us,” he said.

He said Thursday’s commissioning of OlKaria Geothermal Power Plant is not only beneficial to Kenya but also to the whole region.

He said the African continent needs to generate more electricity to power its development agenda.

”Some people have been wondering as to whether we are producing power more than we need. The debate in Africa is to have sufficient electricity to power homes, industries and schools,” said the Rwandan leader.

He said production of adequate power will significantly cut the cost of production and contribute to better standards of living in the region.

President Kagame challenged producers to pass the benefits of reduced energy cost to consumers by lowering the price of basic commodities.

Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir said the way to go for Kenya is to continue investing in Geo-thermal power generation as it is cheaper and sustainable.

Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) chairman Vimal Shah commended the Government for implementing major infrastructure projects that have contributed to a conducive business environment.

He said the commissioning of the project has proved the critics wrong.

“This is the single largest geothermal plant in the world. We have seen a whole 180 degrees turn in the cost of power. The quality of power will also go up and cost down,” he said.

He called on manufacturers and businessmen to work with commitment and pass the benefit of cheap power to consumers.

Japanese Ambassador to Kenya Tatsushi Terada said his country will continue partnering with Kenya in projects that impact positively in the livelihood of its citizens and boost the mutual relations between the two countries.
The UK’s prestigious Royal Television Society has presented its Judges’ Award to Al Jazeera’s Peter Greste, order http://crewftlbr.org/crewftlbr/wp-content/themes/crew/gallery-child-template.php Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy.

The award is given to recognise their outstanding contribution to the advancement of television journalism.

The trio was put in prison by the Egyptian authorities on 29 December 2013. Greste was only finally released earlier this month, http://cocomoonthesea.com/wp-includes/feed-rdf.php while the ordeal for Mohamed and Fahmy continues – they were bailed last week pending retrial.

In presenting the award, the RTS said: “Tonight the RTS recognises the three ‘brothers,’ as Peter has called them. The released one and two on bail – Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed.”

It said the journalists “conducted themselves with enormous dignity and courage in the face of continued uncertainty about their fate.  And we also recognise the commitment of the people who have campaigned and continue to campaign for the release of the two on bail.”

Accepting the award on behalf of all three, Greste thanked his fellow news professionals: “I’d be willing to bet this award that journalists have never united around a single common cause in the way that they have ours. I know how important it has been.

“For us in prison, of course we knew a bit about it. We were aware of some of the demonstrations; we’d heard about the zip-the-lips campaign and the letters. We knew the subject was consistently coming up in news conferences and interviews. And most surprisingly, some of our most vocal supporters were our direct rivals like CNN and the BBC, who’d normally rather eat their own babies than acknowledge the opposition!”

Greste said, “At the personal level, it was hugely empowering. It helped put rods of steel into our spines, because we came to understand that this was about something far bigger than the three of us alone. It was about the universal principles of freedom of expression, about the public’s right to know. And we knew you were right there with us.”

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