Friday 21 July 2017
(Voice of America 07/21/17)
Kenya’s minister of health has ordered two top hotels in Nairobi to shut down after they were linked to a cholera outbreak. The minister, Cleopa Mailu, said the hotels had supplied food to an event where cholera was reported. The order for Nairobi’s San Valencia and Jacaranda Hotels to shut down follows allegations cholera may have been transmitted through the hotels’ catering services. This is after several delegates attending a trade expo catered by the hotels this week were hospitalized with symptoms of the waterborne disease. Two Cabinet ministers attending the expo were also affected. The Ministry of Health said this week that 336 possible cases of cholera have been reported in Nairobi County since...
(Bloomberg 07/21/17)
EFG-Hermes Holding SAE, the Cairo-based investment bank expanding into frontier markets, plans to begin operations in Kenya early next week after the country’s market regulators awarded it brokerage and trading licenses. The company targets a market share of 5 percent in its first year of operation and up to 15 percent by the third year, Ali Khalpey, the chief executive officer of EFG-Hermes Frontier, said by phone from London. EFG-Hermes will begin offering research for Kenyan and sub-Saharan African banks and consumer stocks by September and plans to expand its research coverage afterward. Slow growth in many developed and emerging markets spurred EFG-Hermes to hire Khalpey in January and build a unit focused on frontier markets. In six months, Khalpey’s...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Questions about the integrity of Kenya’s electoral authority along with perceptions of impunity are among factors that have raised the risk of violence erupting after elections in the country next month, the Washington-based Africa Center said. The vote will be one of the most competitive in the country’s history, with unrest already having been reported during political-party primaries in April, the U.S. Department of Defense agency said in a report on its website. “Combined, these factors heighten the risk that...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Kenya’s best bond rally in at least five years has less to do with faith in the sovereign than finding a place to hide. An index of the government’s local-currency debt has advanced for 67 straight days, the longest run since Bloomberg began tracking the data in 2012, as an increase in non-performing loans and high charges on investments by insurance companies outside of government debt boost demand for the bonds. Investors are buying three-month Treasury bills even though the...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
About two-thirds of Kenyans say they’re worse off economically as the nation prepares to hold elections in three weeks, pollster Ipsos said. Almost half of the population cite the cost of living and hunger as the most serious problems they grapple with daily, followed by unemployment, the Nairobi-based firm said in an opinion poll published on Wednesday. The survey found that voters in the western Nyanza region, an opposition stronghold, are the most aggrieved about the high cost of basic...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30...
(Bloomberg 07/18/17)
Kenya vowed tough security measures after suspected al-Qaeda-linked militants stepped up attacks around the East African nation’s coast and northeast. President Uhuru Kenyatta said security forces had intensified their hunt for al-Shabaab militants in Lamu’s Boni forest, according to an emailed statement from his office. “Fire must be met with fire,” Kenyatta said. “We shall bury them.” The militants have increased raids in Lamu, Garissa and Tana River counties during the past weeks. In the latest incident, the Ministry of Public Works Principal Secretary Maryam El Maawy was wounded in a July 13 attack. “We have to deal with these terror-mongers,” Kenyatta said.
(Bloomberg 07/18/17)
In less than a month, Kenya’s Jubilee party will bid for a second term in office after ruling East Africa’s biggest economy since 2013. President Uhuru Kenyatta is seeking a renewed mandate to see off a challenge from former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Jubilee has promised to boost investment in public infrastructure and technology to transform Kenya into a middle-income nation, and the five-party opposition coalition pledged possible tax cuts to woo foreign capital. Whoever wins the Aug. 8 vote...
(Voice of America 07/15/17)
Five countries in East Africa face dire food insecurity after a third poor rainy season in a row, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said Friday. Areas in five countries - Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda - received less than half of their normal seasonal rainfall. "The current phenomenon encompasses an area of about 1 million square kilometers, which is roughly twice the size of France," FAO economist Alessandro Costantino told VOA's Africa division. The extended drought along with a pest called an armyworm has drastically reduced crop yields, leaving millions in East Africa without
(Voice of America 07/14/17)
Kenya is less than a month from nationwide voting, and the electoral commission remains under pressure. The commission is appealing a High Court order that would allow the reopening of bidding for printing presidential ballots a week before the general election was set to start, even as the opposition prepares to take the commission to court on another issue. Meanwhile, the voter registry continues to spark debate and confusion. When Kenya's Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission opened a short message...
(Bloomberg 07/13/17)
Less than a month before Kenyans are due to go to the polls, electoral authorities are behind on everything from printing ballot papers to finalizing a voter list. That risks a disputed outcome and unrest a decade after post-election violence engulfed the East African nation. While the Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission says the vote will take place Aug. 8, there has been a court appeal over the ballot papers and the electronic system to transmit results is still being...
(Voice of America 07/12/17)
The Law Society of Kenya says attempts by politicians to undermine the judiciary could destabilize the country during elections next month. Candidates from the ruling Jubilee Coalition, including President Uhuru Kenyatta, have accused the courts of bias in favor of the opposition. Law Society of Kenya President Isaac Okero says rhetoric against the courts must stop. “They are being attacked on account of some decisions that have been made where they are sitting on a panel.... This can only undermine...
(Bloomberg 07/11/17)
Kenya’s internal-security ministry imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in three districts it described as “dangerous and disturbed,” after violence including the beheading of nine people by suspected Islamist militants. The curfew was imposed in the eastern counties of Lamu, Garissa and Tana River, acting Interior Secretary Fred Matiang’i said in a statement posted on the ministry’s Twitter account. Sixteen areas within the counties have been designated as dangerous, he said in a separate statement. On July 7, attackers suspected to be members of the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab group attacked a village in Lamu and decapitated nine people, the Nairobi-based Standard newspaper reported
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
Severe food crises are growing in Kenya and Somalia, as the Horn of Africa continues to receive below-normal rainfall, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network. The hunger-tracking group says 2.9 million people in Kenya and 3.2 million in Somalia are experiencing Phase 3 or higher on the network's five-tier warning scale, with Phase 3 being the crisis stage and Phase 5 being a full-fledged famine. The numbers represent a jump of 800,000 in Kenya and 300,000 in Somalia...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta drew criticism from the chief justice and the nation’s top legal body after he questioned the independence of the judiciary over a court ruling in favor of the main opposition. Kenyatta on Sunday said the courts were “increasingly getting entangled” in what he said was the opposition’s attempts to delay elections scheduled for Aug. 8. Chief Justice David Maraga responded by insisting the judiciary is independent, while the Law Society of Kenya described Kenyatta’s comments as...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Kenyan opposition presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, was discharged from hospital after receiving treatment for suspected food poisoning at a hospital in the coastal Mombasa city, spokesman Salim Lone said. The former prime minister was back in the capital, Nairobi, and will undergo further medical tests on Monday before resuming political campaigns ahead of the Aug. 8 elections, Lone said by phone. “It’s possibly food poisoning, dehydration and exhaustion,” Lone said. “He is much better now. There is no cause for concern.” Odinga is leading a five-party coalition that’s seeking to stop President Uhuru Kenyatta from securing a second term at elections.
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa,...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/07/17)
Hamara Hujale tries to keep an eye on two squirming children and a pot of simmering ugali – a white doughy dish – as she reaches for her buzzing phone. After speaking a few words, she hangs up and scribbles in a wrinkled notebook. "My driver has found another customer so won't be back for another 30 minutes," she says with a satisfied smile. Hujale, who lives in the northeast Kenyan town of Wajir, used to make and sell kitchen...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely...

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