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Young Kenyan tennis star hit by Youth Olympics delay



Kenyan tennis player Angella Okutoyi in action
Angella Okutoyi is Kenya’s top ranked junior tennis player and had her sights set on the Youth Olympic Games (Photo courtesy Arigi Obiero for Tennis Kenya)

Teenage Kenyan tennis star Angella Okutoyi has said that delaying the 2022 Youth Olympics for four years is set to hit her career.

The lengthy postponement means the 16-year-old will miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime chance, because she will be too old to compete in 2026.

The Youth Olympic Games happens every 4 years and targets boys and girls aged between 14 to 18 years old.

The Senegalese capital Dakar was due to host the Youth Olympics in 2022 but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) now says they will not happen until 2026.

IOC president Thomas Bach explained earlier in July that the fourth edition of the Youth Games was postponed as a result of the “financial consequences” of the current “global health crisis”.

“It’s devastating that I will not (have the chance) participate in the 2022 Olympics because it has been postponed to 2026,” Okutoyi told BBC Sport Africa.

“It that was the only chance for me to participate in it and have the feeling and experience of how the main Olympics feels.

“It would have helped me because I would get some funds from the National Olympic Committee and those funds could have helped me travel, play more tournaments and get some equipment from my preparation.

“The Youth Olympics Games are actually important because, if you are able to be part of it and participate in it why shouldn’t you be able to go on and play in the main (Olympics) and also make it part of becoming a professional?”

Her coach Francis Rogoi added that that depending on her ranking she could also have been entitled funds from the IOC’s Olympic Solidarity fund to help her prepare.

A disrupted year

Kenyan tennis player Angella Okutoyi in action
Kenya’s Angella Okutoyi has already won several events around Africa (Photo courtesy Arigi Obiero for Tennis Kenya)

As well as her longer term plans the global Covid-19 pandemic has meant changing her aims for this year.

“My plans for 2020 was to play a couple of some International Tennis Federation (ITF) competitions to see where my ranking can go,” she explained.

“My goal was to push my ranking to be top 100 by the end of 2020 for me to see if I could play (in the juniors at) grand slams this year and if not possible next year January.”

She is Kenya’s top ranked junior and senior tennis player as well as number two in her age group in Africa according to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) .

Globally she is ranked 240 on the World Tennis Tour Juniors and 1033 on the ITF’s Women’s World Tennis Tour.

Okutoyi has already won several high profile ITF junior competitions with several highlights in 2018, including winning the under-14 singles title at the African Junior Championships in Algeria.

Rogoi firmly believes that Okutoyi has a bright future ahead of her.

“She is a potential Grand slam player with her style of play, she will improve the short comings in her game,” he insisted.

“She is the next Serena. She simply scares the rest; she stands out she just needs to improve physiologically to be able to control flow of the matches to conquer.”

A different focus

Kenyan tennis player Angella Okutoyi in action
Young Kenyan tennis player Angella Okutoyi has used the lack of competitive action in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic to develop her mental strength (Photo courtesy Arigi Obiero for Tennis Kenya)

And Okutoyi is using the interruption to her playing schedule this year to work on the mental side of her career.

“I am able to sit down with the time I have, visualize, try to evaluate myself, and everything since most of the year I hadn’t gotten the chance of doing so,” she explained.

“Lessons that I have picked so far from my learning and evaluation is that I should be patient and there will also be obstacles on your way.”

“What I love about this sport is that it is an independent sport whereby you have to depend on yourself.”

She has already set her sights on other goals now that she will not be getting the to playing at the Youth Olympics.

On her radar now are the 18 and under title at the Africa Junior Championships, playing at a junior grand slam, winning the All Africa Games title and representing Kenya in the global women’s team event the Fed Cup.

“It is just a matter of time and obviously there will be more tournaments I will participate in and if I continue working hard I will finally be able to play in the main Olympics,” she said.

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million



Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe




A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News




Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.

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