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- Tanzania delays nod to Kenya Airways flights resumption
- August 10, 2020
Kenya Airways aircraft at JKIA. FILE PHOTO | AFP Kenya Airways is yet to be granted permission to fly to Tanzania a week after the government announced it had struck a deal with Dar es Salam for resumption of flights.
The airline’s chief executive officer, Allan Kilavuka, said on Thursday they were still awaiting word from the government on when they will resume flights to Tanzania, suggesting that negotiations between the two neighbouring countries have not been concluded.
“On Tanzanian we have not yet resumed, we are waiting for government (of Kenya) to confirm,” Mr Kilavuka told the Business Daily.
The Tanzanian Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) had last Friday cancelled plans to allow Kenya Airways to resume flights citing the decision by Nairobi to exclude Tanzania from the list of countries whose nationals would be allowed entry under revised coronavirus restrictions.
But Kenyan Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia announced the next day that the Tanzanian aviation regulator had lifted the ban and allowed the national carrier to resume flights last Sunday.
Kenya Airways resumed international flights last Saturday, heading to about 30 destinations for the first time since the routes were suspended in March due to the coronavirus.
Tanzania is one of the critical routes for Kenya Airways and the national carrier had planned two daily flights to Dar es Salaam and three weekly flights to the resort city of Zanzibar.
Kenya’s negotiations with Tanzanian are being spearheaded by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) director-general, Gilbert Kibe, who told this paper that Nairobi was awaiting the decision of Dar es Salaam.
“We have been in communication and awaiting the outcome,” Mr Kibe said without disclosing details.
This is in sharp contrast to the optimistic tone of Mr Macharia last Saturday on the flights.
“We managed to clear the issues that we had,” Mr Macharia said in a televised briefing.“We never stopped those flights, they never stopped our flights, and this very, very minor issue has been sorted out. And we believe that if not today, by tomorrow we shall find Kenya Airways flying again.”Kenya Airways resumed domestic flights in mid-July and targeted resumption of international flights on August as part of a recovery plan after losing Sh10 billion in the six months to June.The national carrier had received approval from the TCAA on July 30 to resume Tanzania flights in August.Kenya Airways said for the rest of the year the airline expected demand to remain below 50 […]
- Kenya’s exports to top EAC markets fall 20pc on pandemic curbs
- August 10, 2020
Earnings from goods sold to Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda amounted to Sh20.06 billion in the April-June period, down from Sh25 billion. FILE PHOTO | NMG Kenya’s exports to its three leading countries in the East African Community (EAC) dropped by a fifth in the second quarter to June, reflecting impact of travel restrictions imposed to stem the spread of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Earnings from goods sold to Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda amounted to Sh20.06 billion in the April-June period, down from Sh25 billion.
The 20.2 percent slump was recorded at a time when Kenyan traders experienced lengthy cross-border delays because of the stringent requirement for Covid-19 testing for truck drivers.
The results of Covid-19 tests take at least 48 hours and are only valid for 14 days, thus hurting cross-border trade.
Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda in early May reached a deal for testing of truck drivers for Covid-19 at the point of departure to ease tailbacks at border points after each nation initially insisted on separately conducting mandatory testing.
Long queues of trucks, however, continued to be seen throughout the quarter—particularly at the Kenya-Uganda border towns of Busia and Malaba —as drivers awaited clearance from public health officials, amid rising positive coronavirus cases among truckers.
Lengthy delays also threatened to reignite on-and-off trade feuds between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam mid-May before the ministers for Transport in Kenya and Tanzania intervened.
The provisional Kenya National Bureau of Statistics data indicate the value of goods trucked into Tanzania such as vehicles, pharmaceuticals, soap and lubricants amounted to Sh5.72 billion in three months through June, a 20.23 percent drop compared to a similar period in 2019.
Exports to Uganda — including vegetable oils, fuel, pharmaceuticals, iron and steel as well as paper and paper board— thinned 19.98 percent to Sh12.81 billion, while Rwanda’s orders declined the sharpest at 20.68 percent to nearly Sh5.15 billion.
- Uncertain future for Telkom after Airtel merger collapse
- August 9, 2020
Telkom Kenya and Airtel Kenya last week announced collapse of their planned merger, throwing the future of Telkom and its private equity backers Helios Partners in limbo. This has also left both companies weaker in terms of bottom line and market share than they were last year at the beginning of the merger transactions, giving an edge to market leader Safaricom. Last week, the two companies said they had pulled the plug on the merger owing to regulatory challenges and strategic considerations. “After carefully reviewing available options, Telkom has opted to adopt an alternative strategic direction and will no longer be pursuing the proposed joint venture transaction,” said Telkom Kenya Chief Executive Mugo Kibati in a statement. He said the decision was also influenced by the “challenges experienced in getting all the approvals required to complete the transaction”, a reference to numerous roadblocks that have dogged the deal since last year. Several entities including Safaricom, some former employees, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) had raised reservations on the merger, citing various reasons yet to be addressed. In the case of Safaricom – a company that was once a department within Telkom – objected to the merger citing a Sh1 billion unpaid debt. The EACC had sought to freeze the merger owing to questionable transactions between 2012 and 2014 where taxpayers money is believed to have been lost during recapitalisation of the State corporation. French telecoms firm Orange acquired a 51 per cent stake in Telkom in 2007 with the understanding that both entities would inject money into the new entity, Orange Telkom. Reneged on deal Treasury, however, reneged on the deal and in 2014 Orange emerged with 70 per cent shareholding, prompting the investigation and a parliamentary report recommending State intervention. “The government should either renegotiate with the aim of recovering a higher shareholding of at least 35.1 per cent in line with its contribution of Sh2.5 billion and the recapitalisation and restructuring agreement or the Cabinet Secretary, National Treasury, should ensure that the Sh2.5 billion that was paid is refunded together with interest at market rate backdated to January 1, 2013,” said parliament’s Public Investment Committee in the Special Report on Recapitalisation and Balance Sheet Restructuring of Telkom Kenya. In November last year, Mr Kibati told The Standard that the merger with Airtel had cleared all regulatory thresholds and that […]
- Trump targets Chinese tech giants and their partners
- August 9, 2020
This combination of pictures created on August 1, 2020 shows the logo of the social media video sharing app Tiktok and US President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, DC. PHOTO | LIONEL BONAVENTURE AND JIM WATSON | AFP Trump is forcing the world to choose between China and the US. Now, popular TikTok is being forced into a sale of its US assets to Microsoft.
There have also been crackdowns on other Chinese companies like Huawei.
This led Safaricom, whose network rides on Huawei, to comment about its role in powering M-Pesa and Kenya’s communication networks.
A few years ago our office sponsored a global technology competition. The winner of one of the modest prizes was an activist group in Sudan, a country that was under UN sanctions and US-led international blacklist on financial transactions.
We dared not pay it through our local bank. Even if the payment were allowed, it would put us on a watch list which could jeopardize other relationships. It did not matter that the payment was to reward and encourage good deeds with loads of paperwork to back the prize.
We stayed in touch with the recipient about the delay in remitting their prize, and they understood. While these payment hurdles were new to us, they dealt with them all the time. Meanwhile, other prizes to Afghanistan, Haiti, Liberia and Zimbabwe were paid out.
This weekend, US President Donald Trump fired the latest salvo in his battle with China by banning Bytedance and Tencent, the parent firms of TikTok and WeChat, respectively. While attention is on TikTok, a media darling now, more impact will be from the ban on Tencent, the parent of WeChat.
WeChat, as a payment app and social media channel, is a way of life in China. It is ubiquitous in china in everything – banking, e-commerce, travel, and communications. You link it to your bank, withdraw cash or use it as a virtual currency to pay for money transfers, taxi & trains, groceries, utilities, send money to housekeeper or relatives. It processes one billion daily financial transactions and has 50 million merchants who use it.
It is used for news, social media, movies, games and can even be used for divorce filings .
Another giant platform in China is Alibaba, and both claim one billion users each. Taobao, an Alibaba company, is big in e-commerce, enabling rural farmers to live stream […]
- Michael Joseph appointed Safaricom new board chairman
- August 9, 2020
Safaricom board chairman Michael Joseph. Safaricom has appointed Michael Joseph as its new board chairman.
This follows the retirement of Nicholas Nganga after 13 years at the helm of the board.
Safaricom chief executive officer Peter Ndegwa said Joseph takes over from August 1, 2020 with a mandate to ‘improve customer sentiment, greater brand consideration and to bolster the firm’s digital transformation agenda.’
"He brings a wealth of skills and industry knowledge given his contribution to the growth of Safaricom from very humble beginnings to becoming one of the most innovative, influential and profitable companies in the East African region," Ndegwa said in a statement on Thursday.
The chairman is responsible for the operation, leadership and governance of the Board, ensuring its effectiveness and setting its agenda.
Michael Joseph is the former Chief Executive officer of Safaricom PLC, a position held from July 2, 2019 to March 31, 2020.
He joined the board on September 8, 2008. Joseph is employed by Vodafone Group Services Limited as the Director of Mobile Money.
He is also Vodafone’s Strategic Advisor appointed to the Boards of Vodacom Group South Africa, Vodacom Tanzania and Vodacom Mozambique. He is also the Chairman of Kenya Airways.
Previously, Michael was the CEO of Safaricom Limited from July 2000 when the company was re-launched as a joint-venture between Vodafone UK and Telkom Kenya until his retirement in November 2010.
During his tenure, he steered the company from a subscriber base of less than 20,000 to over 16.71 million subscribers.
This phenomenal growth straddling nearly a decade was motored by the launch of many innovative products and services such as M-Pesa.Today, Safaricom is one of the leading companies in East Africa and one of the most profitable companies in the region.He also has an Honorary Doctorate degree (Doctor of Letters) from Africa Nazarene University, bestowed to him in recognition of his contribution to the growth of Safaricom from very humble beginnings to becoming one of the most innovative, influential and profitable company in the East African region.
- KenGen MD Rebecca Miano joins World Bank Group’s Advisory Council
- August 9, 2020
KenGen MD Rebecca Miano. Kenya Electricity Generating Company PLC (KenGen), Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Miano has joined the World Bank Group’s Advisory Council on Gender and Development. Miano, who is also the brain child of the company’s Pink Energy Initiative becomes a member of the Advisory Council composed of distinguished representatives of government ministries, the private sector, academia and non-profit institutions. Members of the Advisory Council are tasked with looking into progress and constraints to gender equality globally and providing feedback and guidance of the bank’s work on gender equality and women’s voice. Since its inception in 2011, the Council has been instrumental in helping the bank to strengthen its contributions towards closing gaps between men and women. Miano said she was honoured for the consideration and was looking forward to join other preeminent members. The Advisory Council provides an opportunity to members to influence the direction of the work for the institution and ensuring more focus on results and outcomes aimed at reducing gaps between men and women which is necessary for ending extreme poverty by 2030 and promoting shared prosperity. Her appointment to the Advisory Council is for a period of two years starting July 2020. Covid 19 Time Series
- Equity Recognized among the best banks in the world
- August 9, 2020
NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 3 – Equity has been recognized among the top 1000 best banks globally by the Financial Times Banker Magazine.
Equity was ranked at position 754 out of 1000 global banks, a ranking that was based on an array of metrics including the size of the lender, financial soundness, profits on capital, and return on assets.
The lender jumped 90 spots from last year’s position 844.
Equity was ranked position 62 on Capital Assets Ratio and Financial Soundness, which is an improvement of 13 spots, from last year.
The lender also ranked at position 20 overall on Return on Assets, and position 55 on Profit on Capital.
According to the publication, Return on Assets was at 3.35%; Profit on Capital was at 23% and Capital Assets Ratio was 14.56%.
Continentally, Equity was placed in position 22 of the best banks in Africa.
Despite the growth and development of its financial sector, Africa remains a minor player in global banking terms.
In 2019, the continent’s banking industry accounted for less than 1% of global Tier 1 capital making it the smallest regional player, behind Latin America with just over 2%.
Nonetheless, the performance in capital terms of the top five African countries – South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, and Kenya was noted as being impressive.
On receipt of the Financial Times Banker Magazine ranking, Dr James Mwangi, Managing Director and CEO Equity Group said, “We are humbled that despite being a regional bank operating in Africa, we have made it among the top 754 banks in the world and demonstrated our efficiency and quality by being ranked among the top 62 global banks in the most important three parameters; Soundness or Financial Stability, Return on Assets and Return on Equity.”Equity’s steady improvement in the global rankings is a result of a deliberate strategy to improve operational efficiencies, backed by an elaborate digitization strategy that has seen Equity’s over 14 million customers get access to customized, secure and convenient banking solutions aimed at meeting their evolving banking needs.This year, Equity Group Holdings Board has taken a conservative approach that recognizes the emerging unquantified risk of the pandemic and opted to preserve capital in the face of the prevailing uncertainty occasioned by Covid-19.In the first quarter of 2020, Equity’s profit before provisions was up by 10% to Kshs.10 billion from Kshs. 9.1 billion the previous year.However, the Group increased its loan loss provision tenfold to Kshs. 3 billion up […]
- The pain of lost salaries to 227,000 private teachers, the families, and economy
- August 9, 2020
Private Schools Association CEO Peter Ndoro during a transform Kenya forum at Strathmore University. [Beverlyne Musili/Standard] The burden on Jane Wambua’s shoulders has squeezed happiness from her face, replacing it with long and deep wrinkles. The 30-year-old teacher stares blankly in the air and strains to catch an echo of the last question put to her during the interview. Difficult times – even when they are brief, like the three months that she has been jobless – weigh heavily on the conscious. Life becomes plain and uninteresting. It feels like ages since she had a good time with her colleagues at a nearby private school, which she will not mention for fear of recriminations. Until April, Wambua used to teach lower primary pupils how to speak and write English. But now, she stares at uncertainty after she was sent on unpaid leave. She languidly talks of her teaching days as though it is history, or a feat she achieved some decades ago, and whose sweet memories are only in her heart. Right now her thoughts are elsewhere. “The only thing in my mind now is how I will pay rent and feed my two children,” she stops as if that statement does not sum up her financial predicament. “It has not been easy,” she adds with a sigh. In the last two months, Wambua, a single mother, has been a farm worker. She has been a hand for hire. Where she used to deftly hold the chalk, now she grips with all her might the wooden handle of a hoe, as she digs through the tough earth. If only it was her farm! Palm has been flayed Today she understands too well the science behind the ritual of her grandmother spitting into her palms, the wooden handle of the hoe between her thighs, before she embarked on the energy-sapping activity of digging. The skin on her palm has been flayed nonetheless. Wambua is among close to 227,800 workers in private education, according to official data, whose livelihoods have been snatched by Covid-19 pandemic. In public education, there were 369,400 teachers assured of a wage at the end of the month in 2019. Teachers on the payroll of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) will still receive their monthly salaries in their accounts. Private school teachers are not as lucky. But it is not only jobs that Covid-19 has robbed private […]
- Kenyans deserve lower electricity rates than Kenya Power charges
- August 9, 2020
The recent appointment of a new board of directors for Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) should count for something. The new board should herald a new era for an outfit whose fortunes have been on a downhill spiral in recent years. For far too long, Kenyans have bemoaned the runaway bills they have had no choice but pay to a nerveless behemoth. Truth be told, KPLC has, over the years, serially exhibited an annoying complacency – sometimes brazen flippancy – which monopolies are wont to do from time to time. The agony is that not many Kenyans believe they get value for money from KPLC. The situation at hand is made worse by the fact that Covid-19 has led to loss of livelihoods for thousands who may not afford the cost of electricity as they previously did a few months back. For a country that has set its goals on boosting manufacturing as one of its four key socio-development priorities, the cost of electricity should be one of the foremost to address. The other three of the Big Four Agenda are affordable housing, food security and universal health. All the four areas mentioned would distinctly benefit from affordable electricity. It does not take a genius to realise that the reason why Kenyans pay an arm and a leg for the electricity they consume is that the cost of power generation from certain sources remains inordinately high as monthly electricity bills clearly reveal. Principal among these sources is thermal power generation, which is not only expensive but dependent on the increasingly unsustainable and environmentally unfriendly fossil fuels. Kenya is bang on the equator where sunlight is in abundant supply. Besides, recent technologies have optimised the generation capacity of both wind and solar power. Indeed, there cannot be any compelling reason why Kenya should not pitch for most if not all of its entire power supply from green energy sources. Renewable sources According to a 2019 report by the International Renewable Energy Agency, renewable power costs way cheaper than power produced from fossil fuels. Unless a country is incapacitated by climatic reasons from producing renewable energy, there possibly cannot be a reason for a heavy reliance on fossil fuels. The fanfare that ushered in the forward-looking power generation options such as wind and geothermal was informed by the need for sustainable energy sources at affordable prices. This would then lower […]
- Vodacom Partners with AppsFlyer to Enhance Mobile Marketing Analytics
- August 9, 2020
Image Credit: AppsFlyer
AppsFlyer , the global attribution leader, this week announced its move into the African mobile marketing space, with a deal with Vodacom.
With over 900 employees in 18 cities around the world, the move sees AppsFlyer strengthen its global reach by commencing operations on the continent, starting in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya (working with Safaricom).
Working with some of the world’s leading brands, including HBO, Nike, NBC Universal, Minecraft, US Bank and Macy’s, AppsFlyer, provides companies and brands with analytics tools to better inform and measure marketing decisions. Vodacom is AppsFlyer’s first significant collaboration with a leading brand in Africa and will see the team help optimise the telecom company’s marketing activity and increase engagement with the telecommunications group’s more than 110 million mobile customers.
With mobile usage across Sub-Saharan Africa expected to hit 600 million by 2025 , telecoms companies will have increased access to millions of new users. As brands look to engage with new consumers on mobile devices, the market for measuring App ad-spend and marketing performance is expected to grow significantly and having the right mobile marketing strategies will be critical to success.
Daniel Junowicz, Managing Director, LATAM & Africa at AppsFlyer
User retention for Apps is still one of the biggest challenges for advertisers globally and our work with Vodacom will support its marketers in optimising their day to day marketing activities.
Lana Strydom, Executive head for Digital Marketing at Vodacom
Our work with AppsFlyer enables us to have a better understanding of how to maximise our digital marketing activities and where to focus our efforts as we seek to be the leading digital telecoms operator in the marketplace.