Thursday 17 August 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 08/14/17)
Kenya's opposition called on people to stay away from work on Monday in protest at last week's declared election result, but response to the call was limited with many businesses re-opening after being closed during the tense election period. Many shops opened up again in the capital, Nairobi, and in the western town of Kisumu for the first time in days, and cars and buses were moving around on streets that had been deserted even before the result was announced of the Aug. 8 presidential election. In Kibera, Nairobi's biggest slum where opposition support is strong, minibuses and taxis were also plying their trade through the rubble-strewn streets, and some food stalls and phone and...
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
Winning a second disputed election may have been the easy part for Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. Now he needs to tackle daunting economic challenges ranging from slackening growth and runaway government spending to an unemployment rate that tops 40 percent. Kenyatta resoundingly won an Aug. 8 rematch of a 2013 contest against former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who alleged he was cheated of victory. Opposition protests largely fizzled out over the weekend after a security crackdown and Odinga’s five-party coalition is still deciding whether they will challenge the results in court. East Africa’s largest economy boomed during most of Kenyatta’s first term, expanding an average of 5.7 percent a year as it benefited from new road and rail links and...
(Business Daily 08/09/17)
Kenya’s electricity imports from Uganda have grown 281 per cent in the six months to June as drought cut local generation of hydro-electric power by a third or 615.69 million kilowatt hours. Kenya imported 131.6 million kilowatt hours (kWh) from Uganda in the first half of this year compared to 34.5 million units in the same period last year — marking a 281 per cent growth, according to official data. This is a departure from last year when Kenya cut...
(Business Daily 08/09/17)
Less than two hours after stating that Madaraka Express trains would be suspended until further notice, the Kenya Railways Corporation has sent out another statement to newsrooms retracting the move. The earlier statement had cited the current political climate and security concerns for passengers as the reason for the indefinite suspension. "Following a security meeting and review, Kenya Railways will resume all services on both the Madaraka Express and the Nairobi commuter rail service," the State agency said Wednesday. The...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The key indices of the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) defied political jitters resulting from a disputed presidential election and rose on Wednesday, the first day of trading after Kenyans went to polls on Aug. 8. The NSE 20 Share Index rose 31.86 points to stand at 3,850.13 boosted by increase in prices of various large stocks. Similarly, the All Share Index (NASI) ended 1.71 points or 1.1 percent higher to stand at 160.54 while the NSE 25 Share Index added...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Nervous Kenyans stockpiled food and water on Monday and police prepared emergency first aid kits as families headed to their ethnic heartlands on the eve of an election many fear could descend into violence. Opposition leader Raila Odinga, 72, who lost elections in 2007 and 2013, has already said President Uhuru Kenyatta, 55, can only win if his ruling Jubilee party rigs the vote, a stance that increases the chances of a disputed result and unrest. Opinion polls before Tuesday's...
(Xinhuanet 08/04/17)
East Africa's largest financial institution, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Group and the Chinese financial service giant UnionPay International, on Friday entered into a partnership to boost digital payments in Eastern Africa. KCB Kenya Head of Channels Dennis Njau said that the collaboration will see the issuance of UnionPay Prepaid Travel Mate cards in the Eastern Africa region. "The cards will enable the digitalization of payments at retailers, large and small, to take advantage of one of the world's fastest payment...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/03/17)
The new railway linking Nairobi to the port of Mombasa was supposed to be the crowning achievement of an infrastructure bonanza propelling President Uhuru Kenyatta to victory in Kenya's Aug. 8 polls. Instead, more than two months after Kenyatta inaugurated it to great fanfare, the Chinese-built line is plagued with administrative problems, particularly the ticketing process that has made it impossible to buy tickets online or on the day of travel, for example. The problem, critics say, is that the...
(APA 08/03/17)
The Ivorian government has announced the appointment of two new general managers to the country's main cocoa and cotton boards. The appointments followed Wednesday’s cabinet meeting chaired by President Alassane Ouattara, According to Minister and government spokesman Bruno Nabagné Koné, MM. Yves Ibrahim Koné was appointed Director-General of the Coffee-Cocoa Council. Adama Coulibaly has been named as Director-General of the Cotton-Cashew Council. Koné is taking over from Massandjé Touré-Litsé, who was sacked on Tuesday. Coulibaly was confirmed in his new...
(Bloomberg 08/03/17)
Safaricom Ltd. of Kenya plans to introduce an e-commerce platform within eight months targeting formal retail and informal online trading in East Africa’s biggest economy, directors at the company said. Known as Masoko, Swahili for markets, it will offer products ranging from electronics to beverages and cosmetics, and provide a tool for people currently buying and selling goods on social-media platforms such as Facebook, Director of Enterprise Business Rita Okuthe said in an interview. The portal is currently undergoing in-house...
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Trade between China and Africa reached 85.3 billion U.S. dollars in H1, surging 19 percent year on year as the two sides strengthened cooperation in a wide range of areas, official data showed Thursday. The data reversed the negative growth trend since 2015, according to Gao Feng, spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce. During January-June, Chinese imports from Africa, including minerals, agricultural products and fruits, amounted to 38.4 billion U.S. dollars, jumping 46 percent from the same period last year,...
(AFP (eng) 08/02/17)
The timing was perfect. Two months before Kenya's August 8 vote, President Uhuru Kenyatta inaugurated the nation's biggest infrastructure project: a railway connecting the capital Nairobi and the port of Mombasa. With pomp and ceremony Kenyatta touted the railway as proof of his campaign promises on the economy, yet at the same time the price of maize flour, a Kenyan staple, was rising fast, stoking anger, especially among the poorest. Rising food prices constitute a crisis on the eve of...
(The East African 08/02/17)
Kenya Airways's restructuring plan could suffer a blow after one of its key creditors hinted at seeking legal redress, which could effectively block its passage at a special general meeting the airline has called for next week. The management of the Kenyan national carrier has been hoping to bring all its 11 local lenders on board while pushing its restructuring programme, which would see it swap debt for equity in the firm. However, The EastAfrican understands that Ecobank, Equity and...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Julien Ochala can’t live without his morning cup of Joe. But not just any coffee will do. For the past five years, the 37-year-old physiology lecturer at King’s College London has visited the same store every week to grab a pack of his beloved Kenyan brew. And he’s not put off by the cost: at 37 pounds a kilogram ($22 a pound), it’s more than double a similar supermarket product. "I take Kenyan coffee every morning," said Ochala, who buys...
(APA 08/01/17)
Kenya's overall inflation rate dropped from 9.21percent in June to 7.47 percent in July, the country’s statistics bureau disclosed on Monday. The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) further pointed out that food and non-alcoholic drinks’ index decreased by 2.05 percent, with the drop caused by significant falls in the prices of several food items arising out of good weather conditions in some parts of the country. “As a result, the year-on-year food inflation dropped from 15.81 percent in June...
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands...
(AFP (eng) 07/31/17)
The butcher is closed, metres of shelves are empty save for a single brand of shampoo and, worst of all, the toilet paper is out-of-stock. Once a Kenyan success story, homegrown Nakumatt supermarkets are grappling with product shortages so severe even the country's best-known cartoonist has taken notice, lampooning the company's slogan in a recent drawing as, "You need it, we don't have it". The dizzying fall of East Africa's largest retailer has been blamed on a combination of bad management, misguided expansion plans and increased competition, and many industry insiders say the damage wrought on the company...
(Bloomberg 07/31/17)
Kenya’s election authority said a high-ranking official who went missing three days ago was found dead, a week before the East African country holds its presidential vote. The body of Chris Msando, an ICT manager at the Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission, was found on Monday at a mortuary in the capital, Nairobi. The commission is working with the police to ensure his killers are caught, its chairman, Wafula Chebukati, told reporters outside the facility. “There is no doubt that...
(The East African 07/28/17)
The long-running cross-border trade spat between Kenya and Tanzania has resumed barely four days after the two countries signed a pact removing restrictions that had cost traders billions of shillings by the time it was resolved last Sunday. The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) yesterday said Tanzania had maintained a number of restrictions that existed before the Sunday truce, making it hard for Kenyan products to access its market. Kenya's Foreign Affairs minister, Amina Mohamed, and her Tanzanian counterpart, Augustine Mahinga, announced last Sunday that the two neighbouring states had agreed to end the import restrictions after ironing out long-standing trade differences.

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