Browsing: Central Bank of Kenya


Micro financing is the go to solution for small businesses as banks tighten lending conditions to stifle Non Performing Loans (NPLs). In Tanzania, as elsewhere, NPLs are no longer a problem for individual banks, rather a national economic problem managed by the Central Bank.

The Bank of Tanzania (BoT) now provides guidelines for banks to curb NPLs and to help, it has created what is referred to as Credit Reference Bureaus. These bureaus are meant to protect banks against bad credit or more directly, to protect them against bad debtors.

In Tanzania, there are now two credit reference bureaus both meant to protect banks from crippling NPLs. Rather than deal with recovery of bad loans, the bureaus are meant to keep banks from lending to potentially ‘bad debtors.’

Unchecked NPLs could bring a bank to closure, that means affecting all other bank customers, now multiply that across several banks and …


In the backdrop of Tanzania’s Central Bank announcing a stimulus package for commercial banks, loans advanced by banks have shot up significantly over the last year and the stimulus package is expected to sustain if not increase lending.

The Central Bank, the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) has this week released its Consolidated Zonal Economic Performance Report which shows lending by commercial banks have increased considerably in the last year.

The report shows that the highest amount of growth in bank loans was parallel to ongoing national infrastructure development works. The highest increase in loans was to companies operating in the central and south eastern zones owing to increased construction projects and to trading activities, respectively.

This would explain reduced lending in the commercial capital of Dar es Salaam. Lending in the bustling port city actually fell 1.6 percent compared to the same period last year.  However, despite the percentage decrease, …


There are now more than 100,000 mini-grid stations across Africa, these little power generation stations are serving to bridge Africa’s rural power gap and Tanzania is no exception.

While the country leads Africa in rural electrification efforts, there is still huge gap between demand and supply and the solution to cover it lays in mini-grids, small power stations that generate power at localized remote points.

To date, Tanzania has well over 100 mini-grids that provide electrical power to over 250,000 people in remote corners of the country. These mini-grids provide close to 200 MW using biomass, fossil fuel and solar systems as well as hybrids of these energy sources.

Tanzania’s national policies also support adoption of renewable energy technologies. Off-grid electrification using renewable energy technologies can offer a power solution to rural and remote areas. These efforts are inline with the global Sustainable Development Goals.

SDG number 7 calls for …

Tanzania $500m Water Aid

More than ever before, Tanzania and the rest of Africa need to employ rain harvesting technology. Global climate changing is drastically affecting weather patterns, rains are heavier or missing completely, droughts in otherwise tropical areas, cyclones and tornadoes ravaging through coastlines. Weather is now less predictable than ever before.

For both economic and social reasons, Tanzania needs to make the best of the rains when they come, Tanzania needs to harvest rain water.

While at national or even city levels, there are some sophisticated equations involved in rain harvesting, like building reservoirs and purification sites, but all in all, the science of rain harvesting technology is not all that complicated at all. It’s a simple three step investment, collect, store and purify.

Since economies rely on water for production and households depend on clean and safe water for daily survivor, harvesting rain water should not even be optional, it should …


When it comes to extractive industries, Tanzania is one of Africa’s richest countries. From minerals to marine resources, Tanzania has it all. It is the World’s only source of Tanzanite, a blue gem said to be 1000 times rarer than diamond. It is home to the highest mountain on the continent and Lake Tanganyika, the World’s deepest lake.

How to manage the extractive industries is an insurmountable task that has seen many countries plunge into endless civil wars. At the center of this strife is a matter of much deliberation but one word can describe the complex mechanisms that are required to efficiently manage the extractive industries, transparency.

Transparency in this case is a very touchy subject after all, who wants to let the world know the details of the 100 years renewable contract that they have signed with a multi-national corporation?

However, that is exactly what transparency demands, stifle …

East African Trends: Trade, Investments, Forex and Policies –2020

The first quarter of 2020 has had mixed results for the economies of East Africa. The weather, a key determinant of inflation rates, has been good. Forex rates have remained stable in the region as a balance between dollar demands and diaspora remittance has been easily reached. Eastern Africa is one of the regions in Africa with the highest growth rate and this has remained so in the first two months of the year, with Ethiopia and Rwanda still in the driver’s seat. In terms of foreign direct investments, Kenya and Ethiopia are still the leading pack, with Kenya receiving investments in ICT and manufacturing while Tanzania is receiving investments in mining. Rwanda is a leading conference destination and Uganda is receiving investments in renewable energy as well as in oil and gas.

Kenya and Rwanda are still leading in developing policies that promote trade and investments, while Ethiopia is …

Kenya relaxes rules on Mergers & Acquisitions

Africa has seen a sharp rise in mergers and investments over the last decade.  The total deal value of merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions in Africa increased by 32%, rising from US$16 billion in H1 2018, to US$21 billion in H1 2019 according to different wheel dealers in Africa.

The appetite for African share has been born out of an economy that is showing one of the fastest growths in the world. Also, the continent has launched various initiatives to lure foreign direct investment into the continent. These initiatives include the Africa Continental Free Trade Area as well as individual country policies. Rwanda and Ethiopia, for example, have been introducing reforms that have made other partners in the region rethink their positions.

According to UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), out of the total $9 billion invested in the region, Ethiopia took the biggest amount while Rwanda showed increased …

Egyptian bank plans entry to Kenya with eye on East Africa

Banque Misr, Egypt’s second-largest bank, has announced plans to enter the Kenyan market as it seeks lending deals in East Africa and serving Egyptian firms operating in the region.

To fund the Kenya expansion the state-run bank plans to borrow $250 million from international lenders this year. The Kenyan expansion will also coincide with planned entry into Somalia and Djibouti.

“We are in talks with two international institutions on loans with competitive interest rates,” said Mohamed Eletreby, Banque Misr chairman.

Mr Eletreby added that Banque Misr could enter Kenya through setting up branches or representative offices.

Also Read: Absa Kenya’s US$ 100 million kitty for women entrepreneurs

The bank has branches in the UAE and France, as well as units in Lebanon and Germany and representative offices in China, Russia, South Korea and Italy.

The Banque Misr announcement marks the latest declaration of interest by an Egyptian lender to enter

After dropping Barclays tag, Absa digs in big money to hold on Africa

Barclays Bank Kenya has successfully changed its name to Absa Bank Kenya marking an end to centuries of the domination of the banking sector by British banks. This follows the acquisition of Barclays Plc operations in Africa in 2017 by Absa Bank of South Africa in restructuring by the London-based lender.

These are some of the changes experienced in several countries across Africa as the Absa brand cements its presence in the continent, a market that was firmly held by Barclays brand for almost a century. Similar changes have happened in Ghana, Botswana, Seychelles and Tanzania.

With these changes, the bank is knocking doors in one of the biggest global lenders, the Multi Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) with an aim of creating a broader investment base for individual banks in several African countries.

Different Central Banks in the region require commercial banks to have a minimal investment base to enable …

Loans will become expensive in Kenya after repealing the rates cap law. Borrowers are at the mercy of the banking sector and Kenyans should brace themselves for expensive loans.

Three years after the Banking (Amendment) Bill, 2016, became law, it is time now for Kenyans to brace themselves for expensive loans.

The law dictated that commercial lending rates could not be more than four per cent above the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) benchmark rate.

But now, borrowers are at the mercy of the exploitative banking sector after regaining the freedom to vary lending rates.

MPs desert parliament for law to pass

On Tuesday, November 5, 2019, parliamentarians deserted Kenyans giving President Uhuru Kenyatta a victory in his decision to repeal the interest rates cap.

As is the tradition when important matters affecting Kenyans are being discussed, only 161 MPs were present to vote. It is a constitutional requirement that any law that needs amending has to have at least 233 MPs supporting it for it to pass.

By failing to overturn Kenyatta’s reservations on the Finance Bill, 2019, …