Tuesday 24 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Forty-four African countries have signed an agreement establishing a free trade area seen as vital to the continent's economic development, the head of the African Union said Wednesday. "The agreement establishing the CFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area) was signed by 44 countries," said Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the AU commission. The creation of a free trade area -- billed as the world's largest -- comes after two years of negotiations, and is one of the AU's flagship projects for greater African integration. However, the agreement will still have to be ratified at a national level, and is only due to come into force in 180 days. The full list of countries which did...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/18)
Kenya's government cannot account for $400 million in public funds, according to a damning report from the auditor general highlighting the country's failure to crack down on graft and misuse of state resources. The report for the 2015/2016 financial year describes a litany of misspending and poor accounting under President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is several months into a second term after an election in which he again vowed to tackle graft. Less than a third of financial statements of ministries, departments and agencies that were scrutinised were clean, according to the report presented to parliament last week. Auditor general Edward Ouko noted that this was however an improvement, with only six percent of financial statements...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
About 224 million people are suffering from malnutrition across Africa as climate change and conflicts heighten food insecurity across the continent, a top UN food agency official said Monday. The official, speaking at a conference on Africa organised by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said the situation was a "cause of concern" as the continent's population was expected to reach 1.7 billion by 2030. "Under-nourishment appears to have increased from about 21 percent to nearly 23 percent between...
(Xinhuanet 01/24/18)
The Kenyan shilling on Wednesday advanced against the U.S. dollar to clock a level last seen some 12 months ago. The shilling traded at an average of 102.50 per the dollar, a year-high from 102.75 in the previous session on Tuesday. The Central Bank of Kenya quoted the local currency at 102.55 during the session up from 102.79 in the Tuesday trading. On the other hand, commercial banks in the East African nation placed the shilling at between 102.30 and...
(Xinhuanet 01/24/18)
Kenya plans to prioritize private sector investment in infrastructure development due to constrained government resources, officials said on Tuesday. Stanley Kamau, Director of the Public Private Partnerships (PPP) unit at the National Treasury, told journalists in Nairobi that a number of regulations are already in place to ensure that the private sector helps government to reduce the infrastructure deficit. "Kenya will tap into the private sector to accelerate infrastructure development in the country," Kamau said. He said that government is...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/09/18)
KIPIPIRI, Kenya (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sitting on a rickety bench at his home in Kipipiri, in central Kenya, Samuel Macharia pulls a piece of paper from his pocket and proudly points to the signature at the bottom. “This paper means I get paid on time for my potatoes, even when the weather is bad,” he said. The precious document is a farming contract Macharia signed in March with the East African Potato Consortium. It says he will sell at...
(Reuters 01/03/18)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya’s telecoms regulator has ditched a proposal to break Safaricom up into separate telecoms and financial services businesses due to its dominant size, Kenya’s Business Daily newspaper said on Wednesday. An initial draft report on boosting competition in the sector, which was leaked in February 2017, had recommended the break up of the firm that is Kenya’s biggest by market value. Business Daily reported the proposal had been dropped from a revised version of the report, which...
(Xinhua 12/20/17)
Kenya's Tana River Basin is expected to see a 43 percent increase in rainfall due to climate change, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) said on Tuesday. In a report issued in Nairobi, the IWMI said the basin, which has been grappling with erratic rainfall patterns coupled with severe droughts, is set to experience downpours in the near future thanks to global warming. "The rainfall in the basin will likely increase over the rest of the 21st century with a...
(The Associated Press 12/20/17)
Kenya’s economy has suffered after months of political turmoil that saw a presidential election nullified and a repeat vote boycotted by the opposition. The Kenya Private Sector Alliance says businesses had lost about $7 billion by November as a result of the instability that also left dozens killed. The World Bank this month lowered Kenya’s growth forecast for this year to 4.9 percent, the worst in five years. Tourism in East Africa’s economic hub has been hurt. Simon Kabu, chief...
(Xinhuanet 11/17/17)
The level of loans given by Kenyan banks has been assessed to be healthy in a new briefing by the Nairobi-based regional investment house Standard Investment Bank. Economic growth in Kenya has slowed in the last four months because of the general elections and a repeat of the presidential election last month, causing some borrowers especially the small scale entrepreneurs to defer servicing loans, banks said . "The level of non-performing loans is yet to mushroom to become a systemic...
(Reuters 11/17/17)
Kenya Airways reduced first-half losses by 20 percent, helped by cost cuts, and will start flights to New York next year, its new chief executive said on Friday as the company presses ahead with its turnaround. Kenya Airways' Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, with a sitting capacity of 400 passengers, arrives at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, file. REUTERS/Noor Khamis The airline, part-owned by Air France KLM, completed a $2 billion debt restructuring this week as part of turnaround plans...
(Xinhuanet 11/17/17)
Sino-African relations have entered a new development stage of win-win cooperation, according to the fifth Biennial Conference of China-Africa Industrial Forum (CAIF) that opened here Thursday. Supporting Africa's industrialization and capacity cooperation are of vital importance in the next five years and Sino-African trade is likely to total 180 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, said CAIF secretary general Cheng Zhigang in the opening speech. Sino-African economic and trade cooperation has great potential, said Cheng. China has been Africa's largest trading...
(The Associated Press 11/14/17)
Kenya’s Supreme Court is poised to hear petitions challenging President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election in a repeat presidential poll. The court made history when it nullified Kenyatta’s re-election in August. It cited irregularities and illegalities in the vote count and the electoral commission’s failure to allow scrutiny of its servers to dispel opposition leader Raila Odinga’s claim of fraud. It then ordered a new vote. There are concerns about intimidation after the court failed to find a quorum to consider a...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
KIGALI (Reuters) - The global airline industry has $1.2 billion blocked in nine dollar-strapped African countries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday. The global commodities price crash that began in 2014 hit economies across Africa hard, particularly big resource exporters such as Angola and Nigeria. Low oil and mineral prices have reduced government revenue and caused chronic dollar shortages and immense pressure on local currencies. The fiscal slump has meant governments have not allowed foreign airlines to...
(Xinhuanet 10/31/17)
Jane Mukami was rattled when the skies opened, paving way for torrential rains that threatened to destroy 50 kilograms of rice she had just harvested in her farm in central Kenya. Having lost her entire harvest in previous heavy downpours, Mukami had to be innovative enough to cushion herself from a similar predicament that not only sapped her energy but also depleted her revenue base. At the same time, selling her rice immediately after harvesting is not an option for...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Economic growth is expected to rise to 3.4 percent in sub-Saharan Africa next year from 2.6 percent in 2017, the IMF said in a report on Monday, but warned that rising debt and political risks in larger economies would weigh down future growth. Nigeria and South African are the biggest economies in Africa south of the Sahara, but both nations have been clouded by political uncertainty linked to the tenure of their leaders. The IMF said a...
(Xinhuanet 10/19/17)
The use of mobile money in Kenya declined by the biggest margin in August, pointing to jitters related to East African nation polls first held on Aug. 8. Kenyans transacted on mobile phone 2.8 billion U.S. dollars during the month, down from 3 billion dollars in July, Central Bank of Kenya data showed Wednesday. It was the biggest fall since the start of the year, with mobile money transactions recording rise and decline in use in separate months during the...
(Xinhuanet 10/19/17)
Kenya's travel agents on Wednesday appealed to political leaders to find a solution to the current poll standoff, saying prolonged electioneering period is taking a great toll on business travel in the East African nation. The Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA) said whereas the industry was able to withstand the aftermath of the Aug. 8 general election, the ongoing political uncertainty punctuated with violent protests is threatening to bring business to a grinding halt. "Overall air ticket bookings from...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Rent-a-room giant Airbnb said Tuesday that it had provided accommodation for 1.2 million visitors to Africa over the last year -- double the previous year as tourism expands across the continent. The website now offers more than 100,000 accommodation options in Africa, global public affairs director Chris Lehane said on a visit to Johannesburg. "It's an incredibly rich and diverse continent, an incredibly dynamic place, certainly a big part of our future," Lehane told AFP. Airbnb was founded in 2008...
(Xinhuanet 10/17/17)
Kenya's plantation union on Monday denied reports that flower farmers are relocating to Ethiopia due to frequent labor unrest in the east African nation. Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (KPAWU) Assistant General Secretary Meshack Khisa rejected reports made by county officials as alarmist and reckless. He said that workers in the sector had the right to agitate for higher pay due to the high cost of living which had pushed up the price of basic commodities. "The governor's statements...

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