Friday 23 June 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 05/09/17)
Now onto his third job since finishing high school a decade ago, Festus Chege is hoping his latest venture as a water vendor in Githurai, a growing suburb to the south of Kenya's capital Nairobi, will pay off. Like many young people from poor families, the 30-year-old passed his high-school exams but lacked the funds to pursue his studies, confining him to work in the city’s fast-expanding informal sector. Kenya’s current drought, which is affecting some 3 million people across the East African country, has led to a drop in water volumes in reservoirs serving Nairobi residents. The city authorities have been forced to ration water services, giving priority to critical facilities like hospitals, as well as manufacturers. Taps in...
(BBC News Africa 05/09/17)
The US has suspended $21m (£16m) of funding to Kenya's ministry of health due to concerns over corruption and weak accounting procedures, the state department said. But this amounts to a "small portion of the overall US health investment exceeding $650m annually," it added In response, Kenya has said it is strengthening its auditing processes. Corruption allegations have dogged successive Kenyan governments for many years. The health ministry itself has been accused of corruption. Last year, it was alleged that the ministry misappropriated $50m by awarding contracts to politically-connected business people for inflated amounts. In a statement, the US said that the move is intended to ensure that "health care spending reaches those in need, and to protect US taxpayer...
(Daily Nation 05/08/17)
Kenya has abandoned its annuity roads financing model citing inflated costs and the slow pace of project approvals despite support from the World Bank. Transport Secretary James Macharia said contractors frustrated the programme, which the Jubilee administration had initially said would add an additional 10,000 kilometres of medium-grade urban and rural roads during its first term which ends on August 8. “The annuity programme was very slow because it involved many parties like financiers, legal teams and contractors who had to agree on every aspect,” Mr Macharia said last week. “The 10,000km of low volume seal roads will now be funded through the national budget.” Under the annuity model, private contractors were expected to design, build and maintain the public...
(Xinhuanet 05/08/17)
Senior government and UN officials from across the world are due to meet in Nairobi from Monday to discuss ways of accelerating sustainable urban development, the UN-housing agency said on Friday. Delegates who will attend the 26th Session of the United Nation's Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat) Governing Council will also deliberate the climate change and its impact on cities. "The Governing Council will be attended by government ministers, senior officials and other representatives of governments making up the Council as well as UN-Habitat partners who will deliberate on these issues as well as climate change and its impact on cities," UN-Habitat said in a statement issued in Nairobi. The Governing Council meets every two years to examine UN-Habitat's work plan...
(Daily Nation 05/08/17)
Nairobi County government staff may not receive their salaries after Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) had monies transferred from the county government’s account to the taxman’s to cater for arrears of up to Sh1 billion. In a suit filed on Monday, the Nairobi County government faulted the Central bank for directing funds totalling Sh1,017,393,208 from its recurrent account and having it credited to Kenya Revenue Authority’s Domestic Taxes income tax payer account. According to Nairobi County, the transaction is illegal and is calculated at sabotaging as well as blackmailing the Evans Kidero-led government to outrageous uneconomically sustainable demands. “The funds herein were illegally transferred to KRA’s account yet they were solely meant to cater for the due salaries of the...
(The East African 05/08/17)
The 26th Governing Council of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) opens in Nairobi Monday. A statement from the Office of the President in Kenya said the meeting will run till Friday. It will be the first since the UN-Habitat III council gathering in Quito, Ecuador in October, 2016. Political tone President Uhuru Kenyatta will attend the meeting. The theme of the conference is; “Opportunities for the effective implementation of the New Urban Agenda”. The conference is expected to set the political tone and shape the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. The Governing Council serves as the decision-making body for the UN-Habitat and approves the agency's biennial work programme and budget. Human settlements GC is also responsible for...
(Capitalfm Business 05/08/17)
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday held talks with the President of the United Nations General Assembly Peter Thomson, on the need for the UN to increase funding for the efforts to stabilise Somalia. President Kenyatta said the UN should do more to support the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) so that the force can play a bigger role in supporting the government of Somalia and neutralise the terrorist threats in the country. He said the UN also needs to give more funds to the government of Somalia so that it can do more to ensure the safety of its people. He said the European Union has supported AMISOM forces and the UN should do more to help Somalia. “The...
(APA 05/08/17)
Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday underscored the need to reform the UN-Habitat to create smart towns and cities that are economically viable, socially liveable, environmentally resilient and politically stable settlements. He said the capacity of the UN-Habitat should be strengthened to enable it to serve as a focal agency for sustainable urbanisation. “That is why we must empower UN-Habitat with the resources it needs – and these resources must be adequate and predictable,” he said while he opened the 26th Session of the Governing Council of the UN-Habitat at the UN offices in Nairobi. The President also welcomed the recent appointment – by the UN Secretary-General – of a high-level panel of experts to conduct an evidence-based and independent...
(AFP (eng) 05/06/17)
Reigning Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya narrowly failed in his attempt to complete the distance under the previously insurmountable two-hour mark, finishing in a time of 2hr 00min 24sec on Saturday. The time, which smashed the world record of 2hr 02min 57sec set by Dennis Kimetto of Kenya, will not enter the record books largely because of the non-compliant system of pacemaking used in the attempt, made on the Monza National Autodrome racing circuit. For the entire attempt, Kipchoge ran behind a six-man pacesetting team which trailed a time-keeping vehicle by less than 10 metres. Despite narrowly missing the mark, Kipchoge said he believed it was possible and that he could make
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
Logistical challenges and disputes during Kenya's primaries last month have raised concerns about the nationwide polls in August and how best to avoid a repeat of the deadly post-election violence in 2007. When poll results are contested, the final decision often lies with the courts. "Electoral cases cannot be treated in the same way as other matters that come before the courts, because of their inherent political sensitivity, the high public interest in their outcomes, the intense bursts in which electoral petitions are filed and the short time limits within which they have
(AFP (eng) 05/05/17)
The beach looks ready for war: in the sparse lakeshore shade hundreds wait, sweaty from the heat, weapons at their feet. In Kenya's hot, dry and lawless north even the fishermen are armed, but guns will not save them. They live on Lake Turkana, the biggest desert lake on earth and a World Heritage Site, but the lake is threatened and so is their way of life. "There are fewer and fewer fish," said 41-year-old Maurice Echerait, sitting next to handmade nets with discarded plastic bottles for floats by the ramshackle row of improvised shelters that make up Nayenae camp. The reason, he says, lies 600 kilometres (370 miles) northwards up the Omo River, Turkana's main tributary, and rises 243...
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as the “agripreneur.” Agricultural economist Paul Makube, with South Africa’s First National Bank, told VOA it makes sense to talk about farming when discussing building competitive markets, and boosting innovation and technology. “For business to prosper, you need a situation where...
(Xinhuanet 05/04/17)
Kenya's capital market regulator has noted a positive trend in the bond market following the Chinese economic rebound, which it hopes would have a positive impact on the bond market to help finance infrastructure projects. Capital Market's Authority (CMA) CEO Paul Muthaura said on Wednesday during the release of the first quarter Capital Markets Soundness Report that Beijing's economic performance would have a positive impact on Kenya's bond market, whose demand for infrastructure finance currently faces a gap of 2 to 3 billion U.S. dollars. CMA officials said given China's role in financing infrastructure projects in Kenya, the Chinese economic performance has a bigger bearing on Kenya's infrastructure prospects.
(Voice of America 05/04/17)
Kenya’s electoral commission is appealing a court ruling that poll results announced at the constituency level are final. The electoral body says that opens the way to manipulation. The bad blood between the Kenya's political opposition and its electoral commission has been taken to the corridors of justice three months before the August poll. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is appealing a high court ruling that bans the commission chairman from making the official announcement of presidential vote totals from each constituency. The court ruled that vote totals announced at polling stations and the constituency level are final. The Kenya country director of the Johannesburg based non-profit Electoral Law and Governance Institute in Africa, Felix Odhiambo, says previous electoral...
(Bloomberg 05/04/17)
EFG-Hermes Holding SAE, the Cairo-based investment bank expanding into frontier markets, plans to start operations in Kenya in the second half as regulators prepare to approve the lender’s brokerage license. The company will begin by offering institutional trading and research, Ali Khalpey, the chief executive officer of EFG-Hermes Frontier, said by phone from Dubai on Wednesday. A license will probably be granted in the “very near term” once formally cleared by the Nairobi Securities Exchange, Paul Muthaura, CEO of Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority, said in an interview in the capital, Nairobi. “The first step is a brokerage license and as we establish our presence on the ground we will expand into investment banking,” Khalpey said. “We are talking to people...
(The East African 05/04/17)
The United States government has cleared the sale of 12 new America-made light attack helicopter gunships to the Kenyan government as the East African nation continues to build up its military arsenal in the face of mounting security challenges. The US State Department said the deal, which has been approved despite opposition to an earlier weapons purchase deal Kenya had sought from the US government, is estimated to be worth $253 million and includes the provision of MD 530F 'cayuse warrior' light attack helicopters, 24 HMP 400 machine gun pod systems, 24 M260 rocket launcher systems, and assorted ammunition. The Business Daily has learned that the US Army Security Assistance Command is now expected to send Kenya a formal letter...
(Xinhuanet 05/04/17)
The following are the news highlights in Kenyan media outlets on Thursday. -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta's Jubilee Party is warming up to smaller parties that support his bid for re-election. Last year, tens of smaller parties that formed the Jubilee coalition on which he came to power folded up to form one outfit. But as elections draw closer, dozens of smaller parties have emerged again which Kenyatta is now courting in A bid to marshal up votes for himself. On Wednesday, he met leaders of a little-known political outfit from Northern Kenya which emerged early this year, signaling he was willing to embrace the parties backing its campaign. (The Standard) -- The Kenyan government is hostile towards human rights...
(Xinhuanet 05/04/17)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa Competitiveness Report 2017 released in Durban Thursday called for urgent policy reforms if the continent intends to create more jobs for its growing young population. According to the report issued at the 27th WEF on Africa, fewer than one-quarter of the 450 million new jobs required in the next 20 years will be created if current policies remain unchanged. The report called for structural reforms in the economies to create more jobs for the youth entering the market. African countries have to prioritize improving infrastructure, skills and adoption of new technology and quality of institutions. To improve competitiveness in the short term Africa needs to increase housing construction through investment, better urban planning and...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/03/17)
Outside Lucy Ndungu's Nairobi office, the line of angry aspiring politicians snaked down the stairs, out of the door and into the adjoining beer garden as hundreds lined up to register as independent candidates for Kenya's elections. Ndungu, the country's registrar of political parties, said unprecedented numbers were registering as independents as political parties raced to process appeals from failed candidates before a May 8 deadline, and her office was getting overwhelmed. "It is a record number of people and we did not budget for this," she said, as six police officers kept order while sweating candidates clutching folders of papers jostled for position.
(The Standard 05/03/17)
Kenya needs to have more 2 million low-income homes to be able to realise economic growth, an April 2017 report by World Bank reveals. The report which is titled ‘The Kenya Economic Update: Housing—Unavailable and Unaffordable’ explains how an increase in low-income earning homes will lead to the relative increase in economic growth. In 2016, the country’s economic growth stood at 5.9%. This represented an increase of 0.03% from the previous year’s figure. Nonetheless, the report adds that Kenya’s economy lags behind when compared to other peers within the East African Community region. The report which is also known as the Kenya Economic Update ties this economic surge to various situations in the market. “Unlike oil exporting countries whose economies...

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