Browsing: Kenya

  • A rising number of informal women traders in border towns are resorting to corruption to survive.
  • Corruption, harassment, and sexual bribes is threatening the success of enterprise between African economies.
  • The World Bank estimates small-scale cross-border trade provides income to 43 percent people in Africa.

Small-scale trade remains vital in securing livelihoods in East Africa, but rampant cross-border corruption is posing a serious threat to a vital cog in this enterprise—thousands of informal women traders.

This is unlike during pre-colonial period when African communities used to travel long distances, crossing today’s “borders” to barter their goods with traders from a different ethnic group.

Why informal women traders resort to corruption

Today, enterprising communities—mostly informal women traders—at border towns resort to corruption to survive, the World Bank explains. Quite often, official border posts are marred with service delays and congestion, the perfect fodder for cross-border corruption.

With suppressed cross-border trade …

  • WHO, CDC launch joint unit to improve disaster preparedness.
  • JEAP has a mandate for disaster response across Africa.
  • JEAP prioritises readiness, and collective efforts to fight public health emergencies.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) have launched a partnership to tackle challenges arising from humanitarian crises associated with disasters.

Dubbed Joint Emergency Preparedness and Response Action Plan (JEAP), the unit is a five-year strategic collaboration to boost the continent’s overall emergency preparedness and response.

JEAP has the mandate to operate across Africa to ensure among other things, disease outbreaks during humanitarian crises are managed efficiently.

Power of partnerships in global health

“The JEAP underscores the shared vision of Africa’s two leading public health institutions – to strengthen the emergency preparedness and response and health systems on the continent,” reads a press communique shared at the turn of the week.

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Shukran digital platform
  • Service industry activities accounted for 61.1 percent of Kenya’s GDP in 2022.
  • A digital tipping platform pioneered by Shukran SACCO seeks to harness service tips to grow savings among members in the service industry.
  • Kenya’s restaurant service industry provides jobs to over 80,000 people.

Digital tipping platform Shukran has devised a way to instantly turn tips into savings, a move aimed at boosting the savings culture among workers in Kenya’s vast service industry. The new platform will see restaurant workers directly receive and save their tips to earn dividends as well as seek loans. 

Service industry’s significance in Kenya’s GDP

According to data by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), service activities contributed about 61.1 percent of Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022.

The digital tipping platform, through the newly formed Shukran SACCO, is looking to capitalise on the industry’s might and significance to grow savings

  • Eldohub platform Sasakazi is addressing barriers to decent employment, including the availability of skilled employees among the youth.
  • Sasakazi is providing support to young tech professionals in acquiring practical work experience. 
  • Eldohub Founder Magdalene Chepkemoi says Africa is in dire need of tech talent. An increasing number of firms in Africa are embracing technology to accelerate economic growth.

Kenyan Tech Startup Eldohub has launched a new platform to link Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to young tech professionals as demand for tech talent skyrockets.

The platform dubbed Sasakazi addresses barriers to getting decent jobs. This is by pairing available skilled employees especially among the youth with businesses ready to hire.

Sasakazi offering support to young professionals

The platform occupies a central position between SMEs and tech talent pool. It provides support to young tech professionals in acquiring practical work experience. This way, young professionals are in a position to launching

  • The Horn of Africa has been grappling with the most severe drought in 40 years since late 2020.
  • Rain-fed agriculture in parts of Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia worst hit as harvests drop to 70 percent of normal standards.
  • A United Nations-backed conference raised $2.4 billion on May 24th to address famine in the Horn of Africa.

The worst drought in a-half-century is causing severe economic hit on economies in the Horn of Africa. This is due to the economies’ heavy reliance on agriculture, and other climate-vulnerable resources.

Drought has led to reduced rainfall and water, severely reducing agricultural production. Crops failed, and pasturelands dried up. As a result, millions of heads of livestock died due to a lack of water and fodder. Millions of farmers are experiencing significant crop losses and decreased livestock productivity. Consequently, huge populations are grappling with thinning incomes and food shortages.

Agricultural losses, food insecurity

Rain-fed …

International Monetary Fund
  • An IMF team was in Nairobi from May 9 – 22, 2023, for the fifth review of Kenya’s economic program.
  • After engagements, Kenya secured a $544.3 million loan from the International Monetary Fund. 
  • The parties also agreed to extend the duration of the EFF/ECF arrangements by 10 months to April 2025.

Kenya has secured about $544.3 million loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) representing 75 percent of the country’s quota. The deal follows staff-level agreement between IMF staff and the Kenyan authorities on economic policies and reforms. It marks conclusion of the fifth reviews of Kenya’s Extended Credit Facility and Extended Fund Facility arrangements.

In the deal, Kenya secured an extension of the program and augmentation of access under those arrangements. The credit is also anchored on a set of reforms under a 20-month Resilience and Sustainability Facility.

Kenya’s economy, the largest in East Africa, has been strained by …

  • An estimated 90 percent of African women do not use the internet, UNICEF reveals.
  • UNICEF report says millions of girls are less prepared for the digital revolution in Africa.
  • Governments in Africa urged to increase women’s safety online

While the digital revolution is believed to be reducing gender inequality globally, in Africa, the internet is largely a preserve of men. According to UNICEF, up to 90 percent of African women do not use the internet yet their male peers are twice as likely to be online.

Titled “Bridging the Digital Divide: Challenges and an Urgent Call for Action for Equitable Digital Skills Development” the survey warns that girls in Africa “are being left behind in the digital world and are the least likely to have the opportunities to develop the skills needed for 21st-century learning and employment.”

Girls less likely than boys to access internet

Released on the International Day …

Idorenyin Obong and Femi Aghedo
  • Grey’s expansion in the East African Market follows $2 million seed funding of the West African company.
  • Grey CEO AIdorenyin Obong says the Kenya office will help the firm navigate its planned operations across East African Community. 
  • The company has also privately launched Grey Business, a borderless business banking for startups. 

Nigerian Fintech startup Grey has picked Kenya as its East African hub as it expands operations into the largest economy in the East African Community. The move follows $2 million seed funding the West African company raised as it eyes Uganda and Rwanda in the near future.

Already, the firm’s platform is live in Tanzania and Kenya with over 300,000 users. Grey CEO AIdorenyin Obong says opening offices in Kenya will help the firm navigate the markets in the East African Community. 

“Kenya’s Diaspora remittance is very vibrant as remittance inflows to Kenya have increased tenfold in the last

Potatoes Africa
  • The average potato yield in Sub-Saharan Africa stands at 7.8 tonnes per hectare.
  • This is too low compared with India at 23.7 metric tonnes per hectare and a global average of about 21 tonnes.
  • Whereas many African countries with vast agricultural potential import the crop, Egypt is an exception.

With the exception of Egypt and South Africa, the continent is a net importer of common food crops including potatoes despite the huge potential of many countries to grow the tuber that can tackle Africa's food crisis.

Grown in over 125 countries and consumed by at least a billion people every day, potatoes are arguably one of the world's most important root crops.

According to FAO, the average potato yield in Sub-Saharan Africa stands at 7.8 tonnes per hectare. This is too low compared with India at 23.7 metric tonnes per hectare and a global average of about 21 tonnes. Data…

Afreximbank to pump $3 billion into Kenya’s economy over three years.
  • The three-year $3 billion programme will support viable trade and related investments in Kenya in both private and public sectors.
  • It will be implemented using loans, guarantee facilities, trade services, investment banking and advisory services.
  • The financing will also go to the creative arts sector through the Kenyan government’s youth empowerment programme.

The Afreximbank is rolling out a $3 billion program aimed at spurring Kenya’s economic growth. The three-year programme by the African Export-Import Bank will support viable trade and trade-related investments in Kenya’s private and public sectors. 

The financing will be implemented using several instruments including loans, guarantee facilities, trade services, investment banking and advisory services.

The memorandum was signed on 2 May 2023 in Nairobi by National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Professor Njuguna Ndungu alongside Afreximbank Chairman Professor Benedict Oramah in the presence of President William Ruto. 

Digitise government services

“This programme is a step forward in our economic