Browsing: Kenya

This year’s progress has been threatened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has caused a global economic shock that has hit Africa at a time when the government’s policy space to respond to it is small to nonexistent.

The rising commodity prices, surging inflationary pressures, and the contracting global financial situation have risked African trade and production capabilities. Moreover, the rising threat of sovereign defaults poses a severe risk to the growth of African trade. Thus, African trade prospects remain unclear, considering the challenging global economic scenario.

The Covid-19, energy and food shortages have hit with the countries having minimal or no policy space to respond. As a result, African countries have fallen into a real risk of debt distress and even possibilities for sovereign debt default.

While Tanzania has approved genetic engineering research and has no issue with the safety of GMOs, across the continent in Nigeria, the story is different. The leading economy in Africa is against genetic engineering and/or the consumption of GMOs.

Stakeholders are calling on the government to revisit its biosafety laws to protect its people from what they describe as the uncertain safety of GM products.

Local media in Nigeria report worrisome findings of a survey by the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), which was conducted across nine major cities in the West African country that revealed over 30 food products found in the Nigerian market are GM products.

The products range from vegetable oils and cereals to ice cream and spices. Ok, so there are various GMOs on supermarket shelves in Nigeria. Is it a crime? No, in fact it is perfectly legal to import, sell and consume GM products in Nigeria.

The connection bypass road launched by the five presidents of the East African Community (EAC) has set precedence in the importance of neighbouring countries undertaking joint projects to improve transport infrastructure between and amongst themselves.

This point is underlined in the World Bank report; “Patterns of shipping, transshipping, and distribution mean that trade depends not only on the quality of infrastructure in the two trading countries but also of that in key third party countries on the trading network.”

The point is that while two countries can come together to improve transport infrastructure, it is not enough because trade, in many cases, goes much further than the border between two countries.

Lake Victoria’s fisheries support more than 3 million livelihoods and bring in US$500 million in revenues annually.

Nile Perch is the main fish caught in Lake Victoria. Fish maw – the air sack that aids the Nile Perch in floating and a Chinese delicacy – has been a major export source. Statistics from the Uganda Ministry of Agriculture indicate an increase in fish maw exports earning from US$27m in 2015, to US$31m in 2016, US$48m in 2017 and US$52m in 2018. These earnings exclude the earnings from Nile Perch and its eggs.

However, the lake has been invaded by water hyacinth – the floating, green mats of waxy leaves with purple blossoms – depriving the waters below of oxygen which makes it hard for aquatic life to survive.

That, plus overfishing which occurs when fishermen use undersized nets that catch fish before they reach maturity, rapid population growth, and pollution by wastewater, agro-pesticides and fertilisers threaten the future of fishing in Lake Victoria.

According to McKinsey published February 23, 2022, transport currently makes up 10 percent of Africa’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This is expected to increase in line with sub-Saharan Africa’s expanding vehicle parc.

South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Nigeria make up around 70 per cent of Africa’s annual vehicle sales and 45 per cent of the region’s population.

The vehicle parc is expected to grow from 25 million vehicles today to an estimated 58 million by 2040, driven by urbanization and rising incomes. As its vehicle parc grows, the challenge for Africa will be to push for more sustainable mobility and avoid the risk of becoming the dumping ground for the world’s unwanted used ICE vehicles.

As far as where to put money is concerned, Kenya has numerous investment sectors with tremendous potential. The prospective stability and economic recovery expected under the new administration will no doubt make way for the realization of huge money investments in the countries.

Recent economic growth and development within Southern and Eastern Africa have created positive opportunities to expand water transportation services. Owing to the impressive growth of the East African economy, where countries like Tanzania and Ethiopia have experienced remarkable growth rates higher than the regional and continental levels, there is a prospect for expanding cargo traffic. A few of the sub-regions ports are experiencing capacity constraints and congestion.