Browsing: Kenya

digital agricultural innovation
  • Africa continues to grapple with food insecurity exacerbated by climate change and inadequate access to financing for both startups and food producers alike.
  • In response, innovators and bold entrepreneurs are going digital, devising modern solutions to enhance food production.
  • At the Africa Tech Summit in Nairobi, agri-innovation startups Homemade by Dropp, Koolboks, Samalife, BWS, Hello Tractor, Seabex and ReNile shared their entrepreneurial journey and reasons why they need financing to create value for farmers and consumers.

A number of startups with a focus on digital agricultural innovation in Africa are seeking fresh financing to scale and accelerate their growth across the continent, which is currently under pressure to feed a rising population.

These startups are eyeing opportunities in climate smart agriculture in Africa, the new frontier for business expansion globally.

Currently, agriculture remains the continent’s largest industry and employer. The industry is, however, facing significant challenges across the value chain, …

Opera MiniPay
  • Opera MiniPay Momentum continues following the successful launch of MiniPay in Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana.
  • MiniPay empowers users to save, send, and receive funds instantly on their mobile phones with very low transaction fees.
  • With a mission to onboard millions of users to Web3 across Africa, Celo and Mento Labs aim to provide accessible financial tools through MiniPay embedded in Opera Mini.

In collaboration with Celo and Mento Labs, Opera has announced a significant achievement: surpassing 1 million users of the MiniPay wallet across Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana markets.

This milestone for the global web innovator was marked today at the Africa Money and DeFi Summit, taking place on February 14-15 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Launched in 2006, Opera Mini has unique features such as data compression, offline file sharing, and a built-in ad-blocker. MiniPay is a self-custodial dollar stablecoin wallet seamlessly integrated into the Opera Mini browser for Android …

Kenya's Wealthy
  • Developers targeting Kenya’s wealthy are now pricing the units in foreign currencies such as the US dollar.
  • The continued upward trend in prime residential rents can be partly attributed to the appreciation of the dollar against the Kenyan shilling.
  • Real estate investors are mitigating the emerging risks by deploying their capital in projects that have dollar-denominated returns where possible and in green-rated building.

High-end real estate developers targeting Kenya’s wealthy are now pricing the units in foreign currencies such as the US dollar to cushion them from losses that the devaluation of the Kenyan shilling may occasion.

New revelations contained in a report by property tracker and real estate management firm Knight Frank show that the trend gained traction in the second half of 2023 as foreigners residing and working in Kenya continued playing a pivotal role in driving the country’s upscale real estate market.

Despite economic headwinds, the prime …

Kelvin Kiptum
  • The men’s world marathon record holder, Kelvin Kiptum has died in a road accident aged 24, in Kenya, his home country.
  • Born in the Rift Valley, Kenya’s long-distance running bastion, Kiptum was barely a teen when he began following elite athletes training in the legendary high-altitude region.
  • At just 24 Kiptum was one of the most exciting road-running prospects in recent years.

The men’s world marathon record holder, Kelvin Kiptum has died in a road accident aged 24, in Kenya, his home country. The grisly road accident also claimed the life of Kiptum’s coach, Rwandese Gervais Hakizimana, with a third occupant of the vehicle, Sharon Kosgey, surviving the crash and rushed to hospital.

The police have reported that Kelvin Kiptum, lost control of his vehicle while driving in Kaptagat Uasin Gishu County, in the southwestern part of Kenya, at 11 pm local time.

According to the local county commander, Peter …

cyber threats in Kenya
  • Cyber threats increased by 943 per cent in the three months to December 2023, with 123 million cases detected in the previous quarter.
  • In response to these threats, Kenya’s National Cyber Security Centre issued 8.06 million advisories during the period under review.
  • This represented a 44.4 per cent increase compared to the 5.6 million advisories issued between June and September.

The Communications Authority of Kenya reports that the number of cyber threats in Kenya increased in the three-month period leading up to December 2023.

In its 2023/24 Q2 cyber security report, the regulator notes that the number of cyber threats rose to more than 1.2 billion cases, up from 123 million threats detected in the previous quarter, representing a 943 percent increase.

The increase is attributed to the enhancement of Kenya’s cyber threat monitoring capabilities and the increased exploitation of ‘system vulnerabilities,’ driven by the increased deployment and use of …

the cost of borrowing in Kenya
  • The cost of borrowing in Kenya has been going up since October last year, when it was at 10.50 per cent, before two consecutive raises.
  • This means banks are likely to adjust their interest rates upwards, pushing the cost of borrowing beyond the reach of many.
  • The majority of bank rates are currently above 20 per cent, amid a high default rate as banks struggle with Non-Performing Loans (NPLs).

Higher interest rates to raise the cost of borrowing in Kenya

The cost of borrowing in Kenya is set for yet another rise if banks are to factor in the latest Central Bank of Kenya increase in the base-lending rate.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has raised borrowing costs to highs last seen nearly 12 years ago, as it moves to try and contain the country’s inflation, which has started to pick.

On Tuesday, the Monetary Policy Committee, CBK’s top …

Kenya's distressed debt levels
  • Kenya’s distressed debt levels are pushing the country in a tight spot following years of successive borrowing, the Institute of Public Finance (IPF) says in its latest Macro Fiscal Analytical Snapshot Report.
  • This is compounded by the inability of the private sector to create woefully insufficient jobs for millions of young people entering the job market annually.
  • The report notes that since 2014, persistent high fiscal deficits have resulted in a swift escalation of public debt, now standing at 70 per cent of the GDP.

Kenya risks missing its economic growth targets in the medium-term as the country grapples with high debt distress and a deteriorating macroeconomic operating environment.

According to the Institute of Public Finance (IPF) in its latest Macro Fiscal Analytical Snapshot Report, the country finds itself in a tight spot following years of successive borrowing.

This is coupled with the inability of the private sector to create …

East Africa trade
  • Kenya-DRC and Tanzania-DRC Corridors have been identified as the key links that will drive East Africa trade.
  • Within the Southern Africa region, higher integration will drive its share of total intra-Africa exports to a third by 2035.
  • The MENA Region and the Middle East-East Africa corridors will also be substantial, with combined trade volume expected to reach almost USD200 billion by 2035.

Increased infrastructure interconnectivity by the African states has been identified as the key driver that will lead to success of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Kenya-DRC and Tanzania-DRC Corridors have been identified as the key links that will drive East Africa trade.

This comes after members after some member states expressed concern that the African trade system has failed to grow beyond the estimated 14–15 per cent over the last three to four years.

However, prospects are now positive that intra-Africa trade will grow 3.9 per…

food exports in East Africa
  • EAGC funding seeks to tackle trade challenges directly by removing trade impediments and building food export capacity in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
  • This is across export value chains such as Maize, Beans, Millet, Sorghum, and Rice.
  • Further, a core part of this is to increase the ability of grain producers to export both regionally and to the rest of the world.

Food export competitiveness in East Africa

Through USAID’s Economic Recovery and Reform Activity (ERRA) program, the United States government has awarded a three-year grant worth $2 million to the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC).

The funding is geared towards strengthening the competitiveness of export-oriented staple food value chains in East Africa.

ERRA program is delivered by TradeMark Africa (TMA), with funding from Feed the Future. Via its five-year $75 million program, USAID and TMA are driving transformative trade and investment reforms in the East and Horn of Africa.

This …

EAC COP 28 Climate Summit | Kenya at COP28
  • There is a Climate Funding gap of 40 billion dollars in blue carbon, yet no Kenyan firms are undertaking it.
  • According to the World Bank, Kenya remains vulnerable to frequent climatic shocks that pose significant economic risks.
  • The East African country has been gravely affected by changing weather patterns and a fall in disposable income available for necessities.

Despite their considerable potential, Kenya is foregoing billions of dollars in untapped climate financing opportunities. While many startups are entering this sector, industry experts argue that the current figure remains insufficient to combat climate change adequately.

Pangea Accelerator, an investment platform that provides funding for startups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), says that the region needs to grow the number of startups, fully focusing on the environment. The Founder of Pangea, Jonas Tesfu, says that as a country, Kenya needs to have a lot of innovative businesses join climate change initiatives …