| Africatime
Friday 24 March 2017
(Bloomberg 03/16/17)
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said he’ll rectify a decline in bank lending to business caused by his decision in August to impose a limit on commercial lending rates. Kenyatta in August capped rates at 4 percentage points above the central bank rate, fulfilling a campaign pledge he made before coming to power in 2013 to lower the cost of credit. The ceiling has failed to stimulate lending, with growth in loans to the private sector slowing to 4.3 percent in December, the weakest pace since at least 2005, from 18 percent a year earlier, according to central bank data. “It’s unfortunate that the unintended consequence was a slowdown in credit to small- and medium-sized enterprises,” Kenyatta, who will seek a...
(Usa Today 03/16/17)
A 100-day doctors' strike that has created a health crisis for millions of Kenyans neared an end Tuesday, when government and union officials signed an agreement to improve pay and work conditions, the union announced. The country's 5,000 public-sector doctors will resume work on Friday, said Ouma Oluga, secretary-general of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union, according to the Associated Press. Doctors, who were once on call at all times, will now work 40 hours a week and be compensated for extra time on the job. Thousands of doctors walked off the job Dec. 5 to protest the government’s failure to make good on a 2013 agreement to double salaries and hire thousands of new doctors to fill...
(Standard Digital 03/16/17)
Kenya plans to roll out e-passports to Kenyans from September 1, 2017. The Immigration department announced the postponement of the exercise from April to September. Immigration Services Director Maj Gen (rtd) Gordon Kihalangwa said the postponement was due to unforeseen circumstances. "Due to circumstances beyond our control, the launch will now happen as stated," said Mr Kihalangwa in a statement. To get the e-passport, applicants will be required to apply for a replacement passport and return their current passports. Information from the department says the e-passport will have an electronic chip holding the same information as the old model passport, alongside a biometric identifier, digital photograph of the holder and security features to prevent unauthorised use and forgery. Details of...
(Standard Digital 03/16/17)
Being in possession of a plastic bag for whatever use could soon land you in trouble with the authorities. This follows the announcement that the Government will beginning September ban the use of plastic bags. In a gazette notice dated February 28, Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu said the ban particularly targets carrier bags, plastic bags with handles as well as flat bags - those without handles - all used by consumers to carry goods, especially from retail outlets. “In exercise of the powers conferred under section 3 and 86 of the Environmental Management and Natural Resources Act, it is notified to the public that the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources has with effect from...
(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
China's aid to the education sector in Africa is helping boost teacher training, a key component in skilling the population to fast track development, a UN official has said. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in an interview recognized China's contribution to Africa's education sector over the years. "We value the initiative in teacher training in Uganda and other countries in Africa. This will revitalize the teaching profession," she said. China through UNESCO donated equipment to three teacher training institutions in Uganda on March 3. Figures from the Chinese embassy here show that 137 tutors were trained and 272 pieces of Information Communication and Technology and studio equipment...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Africa will host a Commonwealth Games one day despite the blow of Durban being stripped of hosting the 2022 edition, David Grevemberg, the chief executive of The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told AFP. Durban lost the right to host the Games on Monday -- just 18 months after being awarded them -- when it failed to meet criteria laid down by the CGF, primarily over costs. "I wouldn't want to make a judgement call," Grevemberg told AFP on the sidelines of a briefing by 2018 Games hosts Gold Coast on Wednesday. "Durban has hosted some great events, it is a fantastic city and are wonderful warm hosts with bright ambitions and great aspirations. "However, it takes more than a municipality,...
(AFP (eng) 03/15/17)
Kenyan doctors signed a deal on Tuesday to end a strike over pay and working conditions that has crippled public hospitals for 100 days. The government had threatened repeatedly to fire the strikers and hire foreign doctors, and union officials were even briefly jailed in a bid to end the country's longest-ever medical strike. Poor salaries and working conditions -- such as a lack of vital drugs and equipment -- have pushed Kenyan doctors to flee the public sector or go to other countries where there are better opportunities. The deal, signed at a ceremony broadcast on television, followed intense negotiations brokered by religious leaders.
(AL Jazeera 03/15/17)
Thousands of physicians call off 100-day strike over pay and working conditions after dozens died without care. Thousands of doctors working in Kenya's public hospitals have agreed to end a 100-day strike after reaching a deal with the government on Tuesday that aims to address their grievances. More than 5,000 health workers calling for nearly a 300 percent increase in pay went on strike in December, but it was not clear how much of their demands were met. The government and union officials signed a deal to address pay and other issues in dispute, said Ouma Oluga, secretary-general of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union. Oluga said the biggest achievement in the agreement is that doctors now will...
(Xinhuanet 03/15/17)
As Kenya focuses on increasing production and use of clean and renewable energy, women are prioritized as key agents to achieving the targets. Women are primary managers of fuel for cooking in the households in Kenya. And for years firewood and charcoal has been the major source of cooking energy for millions of households in the country but which World Health Organization (WHO) considers a health hazard due to the loss of lives its costs families. At least 2,000 people die annually in the East African nation due to air pollution contributing to the WHO's global estimation of 1.5 million dying yearly from complications associated with the use of atmosphere impurifying biomass. Daniel Wanjohi, Eastern African Regional Representative for Global...
(Xinhuanet 03/15/17)
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Kenya on Wednesday signed a Technical Cooperation Program (TCP) agreement that will provide immediate assistance for drought affected pastoral and agro pastoral households in the country. FAO Representative in Kenya Gabriel Rugalema told journalists in Nairobi that under the deal approximately 2,000 smallholder agropastoralists' households will receive emergency support that will improve their access to water. "We plan to install 30 community water tanks in the northern counties of Isiolo and Marsabit to enable 10,000 livestock breeding stock to receive vital water supplies," Rugalema said. In addition, FAO will deliver 294.2 tonnes of animal feed and 196 tonnes of high-fibre ranch cubes to 545 smallholder pastoralist and agropastoralist households in the drought affected...
(Xinhuanet 03/15/17)
The Kenya shilling lost ground against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday to close the day at a low of 102.8, data from Central Bank showed. The local unit had started Monday on strong footing at 102.5 against the dollar but eased, with analysts attributing the fall to a surge in dollar demand from oil and general goods importers. On Tuesday, the currency fell 0.05 percent to close at 102.67, according to the apex bank. The decline was a continuation from Monday where the shilling had slide by the same margin. It is not only against the dollar that the shilling is losing ground. The Kenyan currency has declined against the British Pound, going down 0.07 percent on Monday to stand...
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations in banking, real estate, infrastructure and technology. Edited excerpts follow. MR. KEELER: What about innovation in Africa? Khanyi, what sort of things are you seeing that are inspiring you? MS. DHLOMO:There’s a lot of innovation happening in Africa. But it’s...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/17)
Vietnam police seized more than 100 kilograms of rhino horn smuggled into the country in suitcases from Kenya on Tuesday, the latest illegal haul in the wildlife trafficking hub. Vietnam is a hot market for rhino horn, believed to have medicinal properties and is in high demand among the communist nation's growing middle class. The country is a popular transit point for illegal animal products, which often move from Africa through Vietnam to other parts of Asia. The latest haul of the prized animal parts at Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport were found hidden in luggage on a flight from Nairobi, according to the official publication of the Hanoi police department. "After scanning and checking, customs officials discovered the two...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/17)
A Kenyan court on Tuesday remanded a suspect in custody over the murder of a British man who was shot dead on his ranch earlier this month. Samson Lokayi, 25, was detained on Sunday. He will remain behind bars until March 28, pending investigation into Tristan Voorspuy's killing on March 6. Thousands of herders -- some armed with spears, others with AK47s -- have invaded private ranches and wildlife parks with their livestock, slaughtering animals and destroying property in central Kenya's Laikipia, as they go in search of pasture in the drought stricken-country. Voorspuy, a British citizen who was born in South Africa, had gone to inspect damage on his ranch caused by the raiders when he was killed. "We...
(Standard Digital 03/14/17)
The government has signed an agreement with Tullow, Africa Oil and Maersk to allow exportation of oil on pilot basis beginning June this year. Tullow, which has had wild success in exploration in Kenya, has in the past estimated that there are about a billion barrels of oil in the Southern Lokichar area. The estimates are based on wells the firm has so far drilled in the region, but expects the quantities to go up as it continues drilling as well as doing further tests on previously drilled wells. The plans to go ahead with oil production are also on the back of what the firm said was a substantial reduction in exploration budget for the country.
(Xinhuanet 03/14/17)
An institute has opened shop in Kenyan capital of Nairobi to train local start-ups on negotiation skills to help them tap an influx of foreign investment capital and linkage with U.S. investors. The African Negotiation Institute and the Chartered Academy of Negotiators (ANICAN) seeks to give leaders soft skills to handle a variety of important tasks with confidence and solve each problem with expedience. ANICAN Group President Professor Alexander Moses told a forum in Nairobi on Monday the Institute will mentor, train, coach and guide both emerging and existing African entrepreneurs to be better negotiators and deal closers. "We all negotiate and one of the skills that is lacking in Africa and among African professionals as well as entrepreneurs with...
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
The Land Policy Initiative (LPI), a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched a pilot project to track progress in implementing in the AU Declaration on land issues in Africa. This was revealed by the ECA in a press statement dated March 7. In collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the project will assess progress made in implementing the key decisions and commitments of the AU Declaration on Land adopted in July 2009 by the General Assembly of the pan-African institution. “We are to a large extent in unchartered waters given many of our Member...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
The Kenyan government has struck a deal with one of two unions representing striking university lecturers, the union said, bringing the government closer to ending an embarrassing standoff ahead of elections in August. A second union will continue the strike, which has shut down classes in many public universities since January. Doctors in public hospitals have also been on strike since December. The strikes come amid fierce criticism of the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is seeking re-election in August when the East African nation holds presidential and parliamentary
(Capitalfm Business 03/13/17)
A Bill seeking to amend the elections law to compel the State to fund the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to conduct political parties primaries will on Tuesday be formally introduced in the National Assembly. The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill sponsored by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee Chairman Samuel Chepkonga (Ainabkoi) has been listed for the First Reading in Tuesday’s National Assembly Order Paper. In one of his key amendments, Chepkonga proposes to introduce a new provision to Section 31 of the Elections Act that will provide that; “Parliament will be required to appropriate monies for the effective implementation of this section.” “Where the Commission receives multiple requests, the Commission shall conduct and supervise the nomination of candidates...
(Bloomberg 03/13/17)
East African Breweries Ltd. plans to raise 6 billion shillings ($58.5 million) in a sale of five-year debt, breaking a 17-month drought of corporate-bond issuance in Kenya. The securities, the second and final portion of an 11 billion-shilling program, offer a fixed annual rate of 14.17 percent until maturity on March 28, 2022, a 64 basis-point premium over the benchmark five-year government bond. The initial offer attracted 12.25 percent. “The second and final domestic medium-term note will seek to provide EABL an opportunity to match its borrowings with its medium-to-long-term capex and working capital investment aimed at building capacity and optimizing operations within the brewhouse and packaging,” Dorcas Ngure, head of communications at EABL, said an emailed response to questions...

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