Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

 

maji

This week has been one of those weeks Nairobians have spent hours in traffic.  Reason? Heavy rains that made roads in some parts of Nairobi impassable. Photos circulating online show what can only be described as a disaster, flooded roads and cars being washed away were the scenes we saw yesterday.

Sad thing is, even the Central Business District is one of those affected areas.

So here is the thing, why I am talking about this? I should have just gone straight to the point. #NairobiFloods was the hashtag that was trending on Twitter for the better part of yesterday evening. It should be trending today too. Kenyans took to social media attacking the Nairobi County Government led by The Governor Evans Kidero for its failure to protect these floods from causing the kind of havoc it caused yesterday.

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Photo Credi: Lewis Bett (@MrLewisbett on Twitter)

During the last rains which worse than what we are seeing now, the County Government set aside a huge chunk of money for repairs.

To be exact, Kidero sets aside Sh50m to unclog Nairobi drainage. The government described the allocation as  emergency recovery fund for clearing blocked drains in a bid to avert a repeat of flooding and power blackouts experienced during the heavy rains.

We are now experiencing the same rains and the flooding is just bad. The effects are the same, from the flooding, the blackout just to mention a few. How was the Sh50m used? We don’t know…Was the unclogging done?..Well, maybe yes… Remember during the previous rains, apart from Kidero’s Sh.50m allocation,  the Ministry of Devolution also deployed 100,ooo National Youth Service servicemen to help  clear trenches.

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Back to yesterday. We threw all manner of insults at the County Government, what we failed to understand is that we also have a role to play here. Early this year we had a huge online debate on how we Nairobians have become so careless and are littering all over. We don’t care about the environment…the future. It is until disaster happens, when we start feeling the effects of us contributing to this mess. It is then that we remember oooh..we have the County Government that should have done this and that…oooh Kidero should explain to us how the El Nino disaster funds was utilised….Ooooh Corruption is why Nairobi County has poor drainage. Yes we have a right to ask all these questions, I mean Kidero is the governor and he needs to be accountable for every penny spent. But why are forgetting our roles in this? Or we just don’t care….

Questions

Do we need more accountability from the County Government? Yes, money was allocated and we need to know where and how it was used.

What can we do? As much as we are blaming Kidero we should stop littering. We are the biggest contributors here too.

So Governor Kidero do your job and show us how our money was used. Nairobians help keep the city clean to avoid seeing the scenes we are seeing now. Even if we have a good drainage but we have all these plastic bags and bottles being thrown all over, what difference is that going to bring?

 

 

 

April 28, 2016

nic

”I am very pleased to address you this morning, and to inform you of an important milestone in our country’s industrial history.

When the Jubilee Administration took office three years ago, we promised to improve the lives of our people. As a Government, we were, and remain convinced that empowering the private sector is the surest way to hasten economic transformation, and to achieve this noble goal for every Kenyan. Uchumi and usawa, are indeed, our watchwords.

Our manifesto didn’t confine itself to promoting only local investors but also sought to position Kenya as the continent’s manufacturing and technology hubby tapping from the international investors.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is our strategy to make Kenya the preferred gateway to Africa for investors; and the natural home for a thriving army of local and international entrepreneurs.

Then, as now, that meant that we needed to attract fresh investment. It also meant that we would have to take full advantage of the growing demand for manufactured goods in the region.

That is the ambition that drives our efforts to reduce the cost of doing business, as well as to address every challenge that holds back our innovators. That’s why my Administration has put in place elaborate programmes to make Kenya’s business environment more attractive and globally competitive.

Some of the initiatives we are implementing include: the 40-month programme to substantially expand power generation, largely from environmentally friendly and less expensive sources in order to reduce its cost. Other important measures worth mentioning, is the fast tracking of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project; and the 10,000km road and infrastructure programme.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today marks a major milestone in that journey to industrialization and prosperity.

This morning, I have been briefed by Price Waterhouse Coopers, who are the joint receivers of Pan Paper Mills, about an agreement they have reached with a strategic investor to purchase the assets of a plant that would have otherwise been to waste.

The agreement provides not just for the purchase of the mill, but also for the revival of an industrial icon in western Kenya, a major source of livelihood for our people from this region.

For Kenyans born in the 60’s and 70’s, Panpaper represented a symbol of Kenya’s progress. Webuye was a vibrant town, with a diligent, productive population of workers, traders and their families. Over the years the mill suffered a number of business set-backs — in spite of spirited efforts by the previous Administration, which injected billions of shillings. This took a toll on the economy of the region and rendered many of our people from this region without reliable source of livelihood.

Today is a great day marking the start of the revival of this Mill. Gathered here with me today are representatives of the people of Western Kenya, including Members of Parliament, the Governor of Bungoma, Government officials and private sector players — all of whom join us to witness the first step of the revival.

This mill has for the last decade been plagued by massive debt, and improper management, all of which have conspired to deprive Bungoma, and Western Kenya more widely, of the jobs and prosperity it deserves.

The handover of the Mill to the new investor is scheduled to happen next week; and plans are to re-start its operations within the next three months.  The investor has also pledged to inject over the next few years 60 million US dollar, which, at the current exchange rate, is about 6billionKenya shillings.

I am informed this investment will yield close to 1,500 jobs for the people of Bungoma and Western Kenya within the next 3 years. The good news also is that the investor has given an assurance that former employees of Pan Paper Mills will be given priority as the initial employees to be re-absorbed into the business.

I would like to add that the people of Western Kenya can be certain that my Government will be at hand to support them as they reclaim their jewel.

Indeed, the Jubilee Administration will fully support the revival of the mill. In this regard, I direct all relevant agencies of Government to expeditiously play their role in the process.

Let me close by setting out the next major step of the revival. The Cabinet Secretary for Industry, Investment and Trade, together with other stakeholders, will convene a further briefing session in the coming days to share more details on this great and important milestone.

I also want to thank the Investor for the confidence he has shown our country and the economic policies and structural reforms we are implementing to promote private sector. I also wish to reassure the people of Western Kenya that this Administration stands for them, and that we will continue to support them throughout this process.

God bless you all. God bless Kenya.”

Rao

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has finally unveiled the much awaited list of people he claims were involved in the Eurobond Saga.  The CORD principal made the announcement today a a press conference at Serena hotel accompanied by leaders from his party.

Here is the list of the eight people the CORD leader says are ‘persons of in interest’ in the saga

  1. Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich
  2. Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thuge
  3. Former Central Bank (CBK) Governor Njuguna Ndungu
  4. Central Bank Chairman (CBK) Jairus Nyaoga
  5. Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua
  6. CBK Acting Director, in charge of Financial Markets department  John K. Birech.
  7. Moses Muthui
  8. Benard Ndungu.

Raila Odinga also wants JP Morgan and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to provide information on the Eurobond “lest they find themselves implicated”. He termed the Eurobond saga as theft that has never seen before in our country saying the Eurobond money has been stolen in an elaborate scheme led by Kenyan government.

“We expect top Treasury officials to step aside and an international forensic firm appointed to investigate the Eurobond transactions,” he said.

He added that the eight should take responsibility for the Sh250 billion Eurobond money which cannot be accounted for.

 

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Ms Diarietou Gaye, World Bank Country Director for Kenya.

 

By Nixon Kanali 18th June 2013

A World Bank Report released on Monday has projected that the Kenyan economy will grow by 5.7% in 2013 supported by higher investment and low interest rates.  According to the report, the growth is attributed to a stable macroeconomic environment, the peaceful elections in March 2013, and smooth transition of political power.

Speaking during the launch of the report, World Bank Country Director for Kenya Diarietou Gaye said the government needs to create an enabling environment for private sector-led growth by continuing to invest in infrastructure, increasing domestic energy production, removing bottlenecks to doing business and sustaining sound monetary and fiscal policies.

The report also highlighted some Kenya’s economic inequalities. While the average Kenyan is healthier, more educated and receives better infrastructure services than a decade ago, it stated that  a large fraction of the population continues to live in fragile conditions with sub-standard access to water, sanitation and energy especially in the north and north east.

It further stated that, Kenya has the opportunity however to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030 if it reduces poverty by two percentage points each year.

The Bank urged the government to focus on job creation, enhanced productivity of smallholder farms, strengthening cash transfer programs and targeted public spending programs to reduce poverty. On employment, the report said: “Desirable jobs are scarce and to have them rationed by connections, bribery, and tribal affiliation exacerbates the anguish young people face in seeking employment.” It says discrimination works against the poor and women. This has been the trend for a long time now making educated young Kenyans getting locked out of the job market simply because they do not have connections, they cannot offer bribes or are not affiliated to a particular tribe.

These are just some of the problems that the Uhuru Kenyatta government should be fighting to address. Poverty, unemployment continues to be a very big hindrance to our country’s growth and sustainability. As a country, we should be focusing on poverty eradication which will help us reach the World Bank’s projections of  a 5.7 % growth.

The report also revealed how Kenyans pay some of the highest prices for maize and sugar in the world. Last year alone, Kenyans paid almost double the global prices for maize and sugar. This is a very worrying state of affair for poor struggling Kenyan as they end up spending a large chunk of their income on food. It is also increasing Kenya’s macro-economy vulnerability by increasing inflation; this is according to the report.

Despite the positive assurance by the World Bank, the government needs to fix the loopholes and address the concerns raised in the report especially regarding poverty, unemployment and treat them with the urgency it deserves