14th January 2022 Parliamentary Round Up

SENATE SPECIAL SITTING

COMMUNICATION FROM THE CHAIR

Convening of Special Sittings of the Senate

The House was convened for a Special Sitting for the consideration of the following business: –

  1. The Political Parties (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No.56 of 2021);
  2. The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No.53 of 2021);
  3. The County Hall of Fame Bill (Senate Bills No.9 of 2021);
  4. The Kenya Citizenship and Immigration (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No.33 of 2021);
  5. The Kenyan Sign Language Bill (Senate Bills No.5 of 2021);
  6. The County Oversight and Accountability Bill (Senate Bills No.17 of 2021);
  7. The Heritage and Museums Bill (Senate Bills No.22 of 2021);
  8. The County Governments (Amendment) Bill, (Senate Bills No.38 of 2021); and,
  9. The Inter-governmental Relations (Amendment) Bill, (Senate Bills No. 37 of 2021).

MESSAGE

Passage of the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill, 2021

The House was informed of the passage of the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bills No.56 of 2021) by the National Assembly.

The Bill was published vide Kenya Gazette Supplement No.219 of 26th November, 2021 as a Bill concerning county governments seeking to amend the Political Parties Act (No.11 of 2011). It was passed by the National Assembly on Wednesday, 5th January 2022 with amendments and referred to the Senate for consideration. The Bill will be proceeded with by the Senate in the same manner as a Bill introduced in the Senate by way of First Reading.  

BILLS

  1. The Political Parties (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No.56 of 2021)

The Bill underwent First Reading and was committed to the Standing Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights for consideration. The Bill will be processed in accordance with law and public participation will be observed in the disposal of the Bill.

  1. The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No.53 of 2021)

The Bill was coming up for a Second Reading. The Bill seeks to amend the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority Act, 2013 by deleting the provision that requires county governments to procure drugs and medical supplies from Authority as the first point of call. The repeal of the provision will allow county governments to procure drugs and medical supplies from suppliers other than the Authority thereby ensuring adequate fill rated for both drugs and medical supplies.

The Bill was accordingly read the Second Time and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.

  1. The County Hall of Fame Bill (Senate Bills No.9 of 2021)

The Bill came up for consideration under the Committee of the Whole House. The Bill seeks to provide a means through which exceptional individuals in each County are recognized and honoured by their Counties.

The Committee of the Whole House considered the Bill and approved it with amendments. As such, the Bill was accordingly read a Third Time and passed.

  1. The Kenya Citizenship and Immigration (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No.33 of 2021)

The Bill came up for consideration under the Committee of the Whole House. The Bill seeks to put in place mechanisms for the protection of the interests of Kenyans living abroad and to ensure their active participation in the socio-economic development of the country.

The Committee of the Whole House considered the Bill and approved it with amendments. As such, the Bill was accordingly read a Third Time and passed.

  1. Kenyan Sign Language Bill (Senate Bills No.5 of 2021)

The Bill came up for consideration under the Committee of the Whole House. The Bill seeks to provide for the use of sign language in judicial proceedings, schools and public institutions to ensure that deaf learners are given the same opportunities as all other learners to be productive members of the society.

The Committee of the Whole House considered the Bill and approved it with amendments. As such, the Bill was accordingly read a Third Time and passed.

14th January 2022 Trade & Financial Services Round Up

KENYA

Disquiet as State fails to pay oil subsidy billions
The government has defaulted on fuel subsidy billions that continue to be paid under a cloud of secrecy, sparking disquiet among the oil marketing companies ahead of the fresh pricing review to be effected from midnight.

The Business Daily has learnt that oil marketers are grappling with delays in the compensation after they took a cut for keeping pump prices low.

A number of chief executives who requested anonymity said that the government has not paid a single cent for the December-January review that lapses today in addition to other pending payments for November last year.

Sources at the Oil Marketers Association of Kenya (Omak), the industry lobby, have revealed that they now want the government to pay interest on the delayed funds, in what will come with another cost to taxpayers.

Documents seen by Business Daily show that oil dealers were paid Sh1.753 billion for two shipments in the November-December cycle while two others are pending.

The delays have pushed marketers into cash-flow hitches, especially the independent firms who tap bank loans to pay for the fuel and foot distribution costs.

Industry regulator Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) has since last year cut margins for the oil marketers to keep pump prices unchanged and contain public outrage. The State uses funds from a fuel subsidy to compensate dealers.

Epra will today announce a new pricing schedule for the month to February 14 where dealers look set to take more hits if the State opts to cut their margins and keep prices unchanged.

(Source: Business Daily) 

Shilling decline boosts value of dollar holdings

Rich Kenyans stacked up Sh798.7 billion in dollar accounts in November as depositors turn back to the dollar for higher returns and depreciation of the country’s currency shores up the value of greenback holdings.

Latest Central Bank of Kenya data shows dollar deposits have surged 7.1 per cent from a low of Sh745.4 billion in May.

The movement has coincided with the depreciation of the shilling which has been on a slide since mid-May when it stood at Sh106.40.

The shilling is currently exchanging at 113.4 on the combination of weak inflows and strong dollar demand across sectors.

The shilling has declined to an all-time low against the dollar as importers increase demand for the greenback with the economy recovering from the impact of the pandemic.

The decline of the shilling has been a mixed bag. It is helping to inflate the wealth of rich Kenyans with dollar deposits, recipients of diaspora remittances and exporters while hurting importers and widening the national debt.

The value of Kenya’s diaspora remittances rose by 20 percent to $2.71 billion (Sh307 billion) in the nine months to September compared to $2.27 billion (Sh257 billion) in the corresponding period of last year.

Exporters such as tea and coffee producers are also winners in the shilling’s depreciation, which has the effect of making their products more competitive in the international markets besides boosting their revenue in local currency terms.

(Source: Business Daily) 

TANZANIA


BHP to invest $100m in Tanzania nickel supply

BHP, the world’s biggest mining company, has thrown its weight behind a huge nickel project in Tanzania as it seeks to access the metals and minerals needed for the electrification of the global economy.

The decision to invest $100m in private UK miner Kabanga Nickel, which is developing the project, marks a further shift in strategy for BHP, which has traditionally focused on less risky mining jurisdictions such as Australia, Chile and Canada that have been extensively developed.

Kabanga is regarded as the world’s largest development-ready, high-grade nickel sulphide deposit. However, it is in a remote location in the north-west of the country, close to the border with Burundi and Rwanda, and lacks infrastructure.

The project’s new owner, Kabanga Nickel, anticipates first production in 2025 and says the deposit has the resources to churn out at least 40,000 tonnes a year of battery grade nickel for more than three decades. It will also produce 4,000 tonnes a year of cobalt, another battery metal. 

The 2.7m-tonnes-a-year global nickel market is expected to grow rapidly owing to the increasing popularity of electric vehicles. Demand for the metal, which is used in more powerful EV batteries, is set to grow 19-fold by 2040 if the world meets the Paris climate goals, according to the International Energy Agency.

(Source: The Financial Times)

Tanzania’s trade surplus across East Africa rose to $484 million

Tanzania’s trade surplus across the East African Community region rose to $484.5 million in 2020, from $343.8 million the previous year, according to latest updated Central Bank figures.

The country also reported a highly-improved trade surplus of $1.09 billion with Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries, indicating a further expansion of its sub-Saharan trade network.

Kenya remained Tanzania’s main trading partner within the EAC bloc, accounting for 28.4 percent of intra-EAC exports and 76.4 percent of imports in 2020. Export figures to Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi also rose sharply while imports from those countries dwindled.

According to the Bank of Tanzania’s 2020/2021 Annual Report released on December 31, Tanzania exported goods worth $811.2 million to the EAC region in 2020, up from $678.5 million in the previous year, while imports from the bloc declined slightly from $334.7 million to $326.7 million.

Exports to Kenya were valued at $230 million in total against $249.6 million of imports. Exports to Rwanda hit the $207.7 million mark in 2020, up by over $15 million from 2019, while exports to Uganda and Burundi also registered much improved figures of $190.9 million and $179.1 million in 2020 against $124.4 million and $88.4 million in 2019, respectively.

(Source: The Citizen)

UGANDA

Entebbe Expressway monies to help sort China loan

Payment of user toll fees has started at the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway.

Works and Transport Minister Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala, who launched the commencement of toll collections at Kajjansi, said the collections will be used to maintain and repay a $350 million loan that Uganda used to construct the expressway. The government acquired the loan from the Exim Bank of China in May 2011, to finance the construction of the 51.4km Kampala-Entebbe Expressway.

The four-lane expressway comprises two road-sections– a 36.94-kilometer-long section and a 12.68-kilometer-long link road.

According to the loan agreement, the loan repayment schedule runs from July 21, 2019, to January 21, 2032. In the 13-year repayment period, the government plans to pay 26.8 million US Dollars a year.

Initially, the government had planned to repay the loan through revenues from the road toll on the Expressway upon its completion. However, the road toll system had not been implemented and the road was opened to traffic in June 2018.

Now, with the legal framework in place, Katumba says that tolling roads will be a source of revenue generation to curb borrowing for infrastructure projects.

Users are paying between Ugshs3,000 to shillings Ugshs18,000 per trip with discounted rates for weekly and monthly trips.

The tolling exercise which is implemented by French Firm Egis Operations SPA started from the Kajjansi toll station at 10 a.m., Busega at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. at Mpala tolling station.

It is estimated that 2,000 cars pass through the Mpala tolling station daily. Among these are incoming air passengers, airport taxis, visitors and Entebbe residents.

Joy Nabaasa, the Public Relations Manager of French Firm Egis, which was contracted to maintain the road and collect the toll, says the tolling exercise started without a glitch and that the company will ensure cards are accessible at petrol stations. She is encouraging users to get cards according to their movements so that they avoid making losses for trips not taken. Nabaasa says the trips paid for expire once the paid-for period elapses.

But residents of Entebbe who work, or travel frequently to Kampala have wanted Egis to revise their policy on expired trips.

(Source: The Independent) 

More gloom to taxpayers as public debt raises to Shs 73.7trillion

Coronavirus pandemic induced borrowing has seen Uganda’s public debt rise 3.1% to Ugshs73.78 trillion compared to June 2021, says the Bank of Uganda in its latest report on the status of the economy.

The report released late last month says the increase in debt between June and October 2021 was mainly due to a Ugshs1.67 trillion increase in domestic debt.

“The external debt exposure amounted to Ugshs 45.3 trillion (US$ 12.7 billion) as of the end of October 2021, an increase of 2.7% compared to June mainly on account of increased debt from multilateral creditors and private banks,” the report states.

The country’s total external debt exposure (outstanding stock of disbursed debt and committed but undisbursed debt) accounted for 62 percent of the total public debt in October.  However, the committed but undisbursed external debt stood at Ugshs15.6 trillion (US$4.4billion) as of end-October.

The Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) indicates that external debt burden and public debt indicators remain moderate. This is owed to the fact that although the FY2020/21 fiscal deficit widened to 9.1% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), bringing public debt to 48.3% of GDP from 41.7% in FY2019/2020, and closer to the 50 percent of GDP target, the fiscal target for FY2021/22 reflects post-Covid-19 consolidation, with a fiscal deficit to GDP of 6.4 percent.

However, the debt service to tax revenue ratio gradually increased to 27.1% in October 2021, up from 24.4 percent in October 2020.

(Source: The Independent) 

RWANDA


Corporate moves: Gaga joins Airtel Money from Equity Bank

Jean Claude Gaga has joined the telecom industry as the Managing Director for Airtel Money. He previously served as the Commercial Director at Equity Bank Rwanda where he oversaw product and service innovation among other tasks.

Gaga also previously served as CEO of RSwitch, the national electronic payment processor which was delivering payment interoperability.

Gaga has also worked at MTN Rwanda as a Channel Development Manager for Mobile Money as well as a Mobile Money Sales Manager.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Financial Services from the University of Salford in the UK.

The development comes at a time when many would say MTN Rwanda has a head start in Mobile Money payment and fintech services considering that they have set up an independent subsidiary for Fin-tech as well as have a significant market share.

However, Fin-tech has been billed as a significant opportunity in the finance sector due to its potential in driving up access to financial services especially for the unbanked market segment. 

(Source: The New Times)

ETHIOPIA


National Bank of Ethiopia lifts bank transfer limits

The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) announced it has lifted the limit it put on the number of bank transfers allowed per week. NBE had restricted the number of bank transfers allowed per week to just five per week for a year, since January 2021.

Solomon Desta, NBE’s Vice Governor of Financial Institutions, said the National Bank’s restrictions “have met their target,” adding the decision to lift the restrictions is aimed at addressing “the negative effects” they may have on financial exchanges.

NBE’s restriction of transfers had been effective on all forms of bank transfers, including mobile and internet banking, as well as using ATM and POS machines.

(Source: 2Merkato) 

Ethiopia introduces online air cargo booking platform

Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services, Africa’s largest network operator, announced it has launched a new feature that enables customers to make online reservations for their cargo. 

The platform enables customers to check flight schedules, space availability, loadability of freight and make real-time booking of their shipment in a single and convenient way on https://cargobooking.ethiopianairlines.com/

(Source: 2Merkato) 

ERITREA

Eritrean nationals in Cairo conduct seminar

At a seminar conducted on December 26, 2021, Eritrean nationals residing in Cairo, Egypt, expressed readiness to strengthen organisational capacity and participation in the success of national development and resilience programmes.

Speaking at the seminar, the Eritrean Ambassador to Egypt, Mr. Fasil Gebreslasie, underlining the timeliness of the resilience programs in the prevailing era called for strong participation and contribution of nationals.

Indicating that the timely national programmes include developmental, national security, political, diplomatic, as well as information and cultural programmes, Ambassador Fasil gave detailed briefing on each subject.

Extensive briefing on the objective national situation, regional as well as international developments was also provided, the report indicated.

Participants, finally, expressing their readiness to strengthen participation in the success of the national programmes called for enhanced awareness raising campaigns toward the youth abroad.

(Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea)

SOMALIA


Italy supports Somalia in rebuilding and developing its economy

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abdisaid Muse Ali, received in Mogadishu the Director of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, Luca Maestripieri, to discuss the strengthening of mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.

The director shared views with the Minister on Italy’s development strategy for strengthening Somalia’s relations in the areas of reconstruction and economic development, noting that his visit to Somalia demonstrates the importance of the Italian government’s cooperation with Somalia.

The minister thanked the Italian government for its support and underlined that Somalia is committed to developing bilateral relations with Italy.

(Source: Radio Dalsan)

Jubbaland signs agreement with oil company

The President of Jubaland state, Mr Ahmed Mohamed Islam Ahmed Madobe, chaired a Cabinet meeting which was held in Kismayo today.

The meeting was preceded by a briefing by the President of the House on the overall situation in the country and the ongoing elections to finalize the seats in the Lower House of the Somali Parliament.

The Jubaland Ministry of Health reported on the health situation, informed the council that Covid-19 is still in place, and is continuing to raise public awareness and efforts to control the disease.

The Jubaland Ministry of Security submitted a report to the council on security in Jubaland. She said the security forces were on high alert as the country was in the process of holding elections and would prevent any untoward incidents.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet approved an agreement between the Jubaland Ministry of Ports and Maritime Transport and a Jubaland business company, which will invest in Kismayo port’s oil reserves to develop Jubaland’s economic resources.

The Jubaland Ministry of Livestock and Animal Husbandry said that the drought-stricken areas of Jubaland are still in a state of disarray and that relief efforts are still underway.

(Source: Radio Dalsan)


SUDAN

Northern Sudan farmers protest electricity bills, block road to Egypt

In a protest against an increase on electricity tariffs in Northern State, activists and farmers in Ed Debba yesterday set up a sit-in and closed the Sheryan El Shimal highway to Egypt.

Abde Ali Hussein, member of the Resistance Committees Coordination in Dongola, told Radio Dabanga that “the authorities in the state raised the electricity tariffs without any justification. Farmers in particular are negatively affected.”

In response, the Ed Debba Resistance Committees Coordination organised a sit-in and closed the highway to Egypt for buses and lorries. “Transport of wounded and sick people by ambulances and private vehicles is still possible.”

Farmers and members of resistance committees from all localities of Northern State are participating in the sit-in. “They will only open the road again when the decision to increase the electricity bills is cancelled, and other demands, including compensation for properties lost because of the construction of the Meroe Dam, have been met,” Hussein explained.

Separately, farmers in El Golid met with the locality’s executive director and director of agriculture on Sunday, and gave them 72 hours to cancel the electricity tariffs increase, activist Soheib Osman told Radio Dabanga yesterday.

Last year, the federal Ministry of Finance planned a significant increase in electricity prices for 2022, as it decided to continue with lifting subsidies on consumer goods, in order to meet the demands of the World Bank. In early January 2021, the power tariffs increased by 500 per cent.

(Source: Radio Dabanga)

Meta takes data security a notch higher by launching privacy centre to educate users

As more and more economic and social activities take place online, the importance of data privacy and protection is coming to the fore even as more users voice concerns over security of their private information. 

This points to why Meta launched a prototype Privacy Centre on January 7, 2022 in a bid to enhance user awareness and transparency surrounding privacy practices and controls of the company and its subsidiaries. 

The model Privacy Centre is currently limited to Facebook desktop users in the USA, however, Meta intends to expand access to the service over the next few months by integrating the Privacy Centre into its other applications as well as expand the scope of the programme to accommodate more Meta application users. 

The last 5 years through the privacy lens have been characterised by a universal increase in the regulation and enforcement of data protection laws. An increasingly global appetite for privacy, amplified by the increased recognition of the value of personal data by the average social media user, has compelled social media platforms to critically evaluate and revise their organisational approach to privacy.

Meta’s Privacy Centre demonstrates a clear shift in the organisational mindset of the company, constituting a novel and revolutionary shift in how large social media platforms manage and utilise their users’ data. 

Put simply, Meta is attempting to place more control of data back into their users’ hands. As such, the Privacy Center has been developed to serve as a hub for Meta’s existing and newly developed privacy and security controls. 

The current prototype of Privacy Center has five modules, each containing guides and controls related to the following common privacy topics: 

  • Security: Users are provided with the option of using new account security solutions such as two-factor-authentication or learn more about how Meta fights data scraping. 
  • Sharing: A comprehensive guide for users with questions about who can see what a user posts, or how users can clean up old posts on their profile using tools like Manage Activity.  
  • Collection: Learn about the different types of data that Meta collects, and how users can view that data through tools like Access Your Information.  
  • Use: Users are provided with information concerning how and why Meta uses their data, and explore the controls Meta offers to manage how user information is used.
  • Advertisements: The module provides insights into how user information is used to determine the ads users interact with, and how users can make use of ad controls like Ad Preferences.

As Meta transitions its primary business model into an interactive 3D virtual environment, i.e the Metaverse, the company must remain cognizant of the additional data points that will be collected and processed to improve user experiences in the virtual reality. 

Regulators and privacy activists alike will keenly monitor the latest adaptation of the internet and the future of social media for privacy infringements. However, Meta’s prototype Privacy Centre has the potential to divert regulatory scrutiny away from the company and its various subsidiaries. 

7th January 2022 County Round Up

MERU COUNTYSpeaker of the County Assembly of Meru, Joseph Kaberia, has gazetted notice of a special sitting of the County Assembly that shall be held in the Assembly Chamber on Tuesday, January 11, 2022, at 2.30 p.m.
NAKURU COUNTYCounty Executive Committee Member in-charge of Health Services Nakuru County, Zakayo Gichuki has appointed various persons as members of the Health Facility Management Committees for a period of three (3) years, effective from January 7, 2022.

7th January 2022 Kenya Gazette Review

Acts, 2021

  • The Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering (Amendment) Act, 2021

Legislative Supplements, 2021

  • The Interpretation and General Provisions Act – Revocation of Delegation of Power

JUDICIARY

Appointments

  • Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya, Martha K. Koome, has appointed numerous Judicial Officers to various Small Claims Courts, for a period of twelve (12) months, with effect from the 3rd January, 2022. 

PUBLIC SECTOR 

Appointments

  • Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Planning, Ukur Yatani, has appointed Victor Ochieng Odanga to be a member of the Equalization Fund Advisory Board, for a period of six (6) years, with effect from the 14th December, 2021. 

Extension of Term

  • Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Co-operatives, Peter Munya, has extended the term of the Taskforce committee on the design, development and implementation of coffee and sugar industries price stabilization frameworks. The taskforce was appointed vide Gazette Notice No. 8824 of 2021, and shall serve further period of forty-five (45) days, with effect from the 4th January, 2022. 

TRADE AND MANUFACTURING SECTOR

  • Customs and Border Control Department has gazetted notice that goods entered and removed from the custody of the Customs Warehouse ICDE Nairobi within thirty (30) days from 7th January, 2022 shall be sold by public auction on the 9th February, 2022. Interested buyers may view the goods at the Customs Warehouse, ICDE, on the 7th February, 2022 and the 8th February, 2022 during office hours.

SPECIAL ISSUE 

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority has amended Part II and Part III of the Schedule of Tariffs, prescribing the tariff, charges, prices and rates to be charged by Kenya Power and Lighting Company Limited to the Consumers for electrical energy as listed below. Charges are effective from 1st January, 2022. 

SCHEDULE OF NON-FUEL TARIFFS FOR ELECTRICAL ENERGY SUPPLIED BY THE COMPANY
METHODDESCRIPTIONRATE
METHOD DC1–LIFELINEApplicable to domestic consumers for supply provided and metered by the company at 240 or 415 volts and whose consumption does not exceed 100 units per post-paid billing or pre-paid units purchase periodEnergy Charge of KSh. 7.70 per unit for units consumed
METHOD DC2–ORDINARYApplicable to domestic consumers for supply provided and metered by the company at 240 or 415 volts and whose consumption is greater than 100 units but does not exceed 15,000 units per post-paid billing or pre-paid units purchase periodEnergy Charge of KSh. 12.60 per unit for units consumed
METHOD SC1Applicable to non-domestic small commercial consumers for supply provided and metered by the company at 240 or 415 volts and whose consumption does not exceed 100 units per postpaid billing or pre-paid units purchase periodEnergy Charge of KSh. 7.70 per unit for units consumed 
METHOD SC2Applicable to non-domestic small commercial consumers for supply provided and metered by the company at 240 or 415 volts and whose consumption is greater than 100 units but does not exceed 15,000 units per Post-paid Billing or pre-paid units purchase periodEnergy Charge of KSh. 12.40 per unit for units consumed
METHOD C11Applicable to commercial and industrial consumers for supply provided and metered by the company at 415 volts three phase four-wire and whose consumption exceeds 15,000 units per post-paid billing periodEnergy Charge of KSh. 8.70 per unit for units consumedEnergy charge of KSh. 4.35 per unit for supply metered during off-peak hoursDemand charge of KSh. 800.00 per kVA
METHOD C12Applicable to commercial and industrial consumers for supply provided and metered by the company at 11,000 volts per post-paid billing periodEnergy Charge of KSh. 8.10 per unit for units consumed Energy charge of KSh. 4.05 per unit for supply metered during off-peak hoursDemand charge of KSh. 520.00 per kVA
METHOD C13Applicable to commercial and industrial consumers for supply provided and metered by the Company at 33,000 volts per post-paid billing periodEnergy Charge of KSh. 8.00 per unit for units consumedEnergy charge of KSh. 4.00 per unit for supply metered during off-peak hoursDemand charge of KSh. 270.00 per kVA
METHOD C14Applicable to commercial and industrial consumers for supply provided and metered by the Company at 66,000 volts per post-paid billing periodEnergy Charge of KSh. 7.80 per unit for units consumedEnergy charge of KSh. 3.90 per unit for supply metered during off-peak hoursDemand charge of KSh. 220.00 per kVA
METHOD C15Applicable to commercial and industrial consumers for supply provided and metered by the Company at 132,000 volts per post-paid billing periodEnergy Charge of KSh. 7.60 per unit for units consumedEnergy Charge of KSh. 3.80 per unit for supply metered during off-peak hoursDemand Charge of KSh. 220.00 per kVA
METHOD SLApplicable to public and County Governments meters by the company at 240 or 450 volts per post-paid billing period for supply of electrical energy to public lamps (street lighting)Energy Charge of KSh. 5.5 per unit for units consumed

7th January 2022 Trade & Financial Services Round Up

KENYA

Bond transactions rise to record Sh956 billion

The flight to fixed-income investments in the Covid-19 pandemic period swelled transactions in bonds at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) to a record Sh956 billion last year, nearly seven times the value of equities traded on the bourse.

Both retail and institutional investors have been seeking the higher guaranteed returns available from government securities as earnings from other asset classes such as equities and cash deposits remain low, hence the huge spike in bond turnover.

The State’s high appetite for debt has also fuelled the high trading activity on bonds due to the large amount of new issuances being introduced into the market, raising fears that the private sector is being starved of credit. In the 2021 calendar year, the Treasury sold a net of Sh771.3 billion in new bonds that were subsequently traded actively at the bourse.

“The bonds market outpaced the 2020 numbers by 38.44 percent to Sh956 billion from Sh691 billion registered in 2020; this is a record high in trading activity recorded … Equity turnover declined by 7.58 percent to Sh137 billion from Sh148 billion posted the previous year,” said the NSE.

The rise in bond turnover generated more commissions for the bourse operator and the stockbrokers who handle most of the trades in the debt securities. The bonds market was also seen as a haven for investor cash after the pandemic hit the country and contracted the economy by 0.3 percent in 2020.

(Source: Business Daily)

Kenya and China sign six trade agreements

Kenya and China have signed six trade agreements and promised to form a joint working group to address trade barriers between the two countries to reduce trade imbalances.

During the bilateral talks and the signing of the agreements between Kenyan Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo and Chinese State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi, Kenya expressed optimism that the agreements will increase its export to China and improve the economy of its people.

“The six trade agreements signed on Thursday between Kenya and China will improve trade and deepen relations and collaboration between our two countries. Kenya seeks to increase agricultural exports to China to address trade imbalance between the two countries,” said Ms Omamo.

The two countries have agreed to collaborate on Information Communication and Technology (ICT) to boost the digital economy in Kenya, continue in the development of regional transport for economic hubs on Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and create a market of Kenyan agricultural products.

In the talks, Kenya seeks to export avocado and aquatic products while China intends to continue donating rice to the East African country to assist in humanitarian aid.

(Source: The East African)

TANZANIA

Brela extends the listing of firms’ beneficial owners

The government on January 4,  2022 extended the registration of companies’ beneficial owners for another six months after low compliance and requests from the firms.

Tanzania’s Business Registration and Licensing Agency (Brela) has been receiving the registration since last year.

The minister for Industry and Trade, Prof Kitila Mkumbo, said there were challenges in the registration process and that the companies requested extension of the December 31, 2021 deadline.

“I direct Brela to continue creating awareness among the companies on what is expected of them, its importance and convince them to register their respective beneficial owners,” he said in a statement.

(Source: The Citizen)

New Bank of Tanzania payment system set for February roll-out

The Bank of Tanzania (BoT) is now expecting to roll out its new payment system next month after successful trials that involved banks and mobile operators.

Known as Tanzania Instant Payment System (Tips), the interoperable system allows transfer of payments between different participating digital financial service providers, both banks and non-banks, in real time.

The central bank, BoT, which started operating the pilot project of the system last June, has confirmed that they will be expecting to roll out the system in February.

BoT’s National Payment System director Mr Bernard Dadi told The Citizen that they were supposed to roll out the system last month, in December but they decided to postpone it to February, this year.

The preparations for the use of the system that will operate in card-based payments, mobile banking, e-economy schemes and internet banking, was first put underway in June 2018.

The system will reduce the need to use cash for assorted transactions in the economy.

(Source: The Citizen)

UGANDA

Protests by Northern Corridor truck drivers disrupt cargo transport

Long distance truck drivers plying the Northern Corridor are protesting fresh mandatory Covid-19 testing before entering Uganda, disrupting transport operations.

A traffic snarl-up is building, stretching more than 70km, with the drivers fearing that they will contract waterborne diseases due to lack of basic facilities such as toilets along the highway. Drivers must pay Sh3,600 to get tested and receive a certificate but they have protested against the “exorbitant” fee and the slow clearance process.

Most of the drivers are from Mombasa, Eldoret, Nakuru and Nairobi, transporting goods to landlocked countries in east and central Africa.

The traffic jam had stretched from the Malaba border crossing to Kanduyi in Bungoma County by yesterday, with the drivers petitioning Kenyan and Ugandan officials to resolve the stalemate over the new Covid-19 testing requirements.

(Source: The Monitor)

Inflation stood at 2.2% in 2021

A slower rise in prices of goods and services following reopening of most sectors of the economy in 2021 helped Uganda’s inflation rate to decline in 2021.  

The above development relieved policy makers from policy adjustments to counter the rising inflation while relieving pressure from the general public.  

Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) said on December 31 that the annual average headline inflation for the calendar year 2021 was recorded at 2.2 percent compared to 2.8 percent recorded in the calendar year 2020. 

In the core and non-core inflation for the 12 months to December 2021 increased to 3.0 percent up from 2.9 percent in November 2021.  

The increase in annual non-core inflation is mainly attributed to annual Energy Fuel and Utilities (EFU) increased to 3.2 percent, up from minus 2.0 in November 2021.  

(Source: The Monitor)

RWANDA

RURA cautions retailers for hiking cooking gas prices

Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) has said that a team of inspectors has been dispatched to the field after different people failed to comply with new official prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

The new prices were set at Rwf1, 260 per kilogramme from over Rwf1, 500 in some neighbourhoods.

However, a quick stop check done by The New Times to different city suburbs indicates that gas refill prices are still high for some retailers where for instance a 12-kilogramme can cost between Rwf16,000 and 16,600 instead of the recommended 15,120.

(Source: The New Times) 

Restrictions in movements pose food supplies threat to Kigali

Businesses are facing the risk of reduced supplies as the government enforces vaccine mandates between Kigali and upcountry.

The government is expected to make it mandatory for only fully vaccinated people to travel in and out of Kigali to provinces.

However, there is concern among traders that their suppliers upcountry who yet to get the second dose may be locked out. Currently, Kigali city has the majority of the people who are fully vaccinated.

Business people in Kigali say it could take between three to six months “for many of our suppliers, clients to get fully vaccinated so they can be permitted to return in business,” a Nyarugenge market wholesale trader told Rwanda Today.

Health authorities, however, maintain enforcement of vaccine mandates present no discrimination, especially in Kigali where more than 90 per cent of the population were fully vaccinated.

(Source: Rwanda Today)

ETHIOPIA

Ethiopia Obtains $333.9m from Export Revenues in a Month

Ethiopia has obtained over $333.93 million from exports in agriculture, manufacturing, mining and other sectors during the one month period from November 10 to December 9, 2021, it has been learned, achieving 99.95 percent of the target set for the period.

Compared to the same period last year, the performance has shown an improvement of 42.48 percent.

The export of coffee, oilseeds, spices, flowers, vegetables and fruits, textiles and garments, food and drink, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, construction materials, meat and dairy products, as well as electricity have specifically performed well beyond the target set, the Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration pointed out. 

(Source: 2merkato) 

Ethiopia Launches Its First Integrated Freight Transport Management System

Ethiopia’s first Integrated Freight Transport Management System (IFTMS) has been launched, developed by the Ministry of Transport and Logistics, and Ministry of Innovation and Technology.

In a tweet, Dagmawit Moges, Ethiopia’s Minister of Transport and Logistics, said, “The system provides an end to end solution for freight transport operator’s registration and renewal, competency service provision, cross border entry permit for drivers and assistants, and associated services.” She called it “a new chapter” in Ethiopia’s freight transport.

Modernization initiatives will continue in transport and logistics to enable the provision of quality, efficient, and transparent service to Ethiopian citizens and beyond, Ms. Dagmawit emphasized.

(Source: 2merkato) 

ERITREA

Ministry of Health updates on Covid-19 situation

Thirty-three patients have been diagnosed positive for Covid-19 in tests carried out today at Quarantine Centers and Testing Stations in the Central and Southern Regions.

Out of these, twenty-seven patients are from Quarantine Centers (3) and Testing Stations (24) in Asmara, Central Region. Six patients are from Testing Stations in Dubarwa (4) and Mendefera (2); Southern Region.

On the other hand, twenty-two patients who have been receiving medical treatment in hospitals in the Central (15) and Southern (7) Regions have recovered fully and have been discharged from these facilities. Sadly, a 75 year old patient in the Southern Region has passed away due to the pandemic.

The total number of recovered patients has accordingly increased to 7,841 while the number of deaths has risen to 78.

The total number of confirmed cases in the country to date has increased to 8,161.

(Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea)

SOMALIA

Transport Minister Denies Signing Pact With Foreign Firm To Manage Somalia’s Airspace

Somalia has dispelled reports of signing an agreement with a foreign private firm to control Somalia’s airspace.

Responding to the allegations, the head of Somali Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) Ahmed Ma’alin Hasan termed the agreement as fake news.

The remarks by the head of SCAA came just hours after reports made rounds on social media alleging that the Somali Civil Aviation Authority and the Ministry of Transport signed a discreet agreement with a private US company.

In December 2017, the Somali government took control of its air space after more than two decades.

Air traffic has been controlled by the United Nations from Kenya since 1992.

(Source: Radio Dalsan)

Ministry Of Labor Signs $185 Million Pact With WFP

The Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Abdiwahab Ugas Hussein Khalif, received in his office WFP Representative in Somalia, Elkhidir Daluum, and discussed in depth how to strengthen the ministry’s partnership with WFP.

The meeting focused on expanding cooperation between the two sides, with the signing of a $ 185 million co-operation agreement, which is part of the National Rehabilitation Support for Vulnerable People in Baxanao.

WFP is also playing a leading role in an emergency project to support locust-affected families, assisting the government in responding to the drought.

“We underscore the commitment of the Somali Government and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs to the implementation of the Government’s first WFP Rehabilitation projects, a co-operation agreement we have signed,” said Minister Abdiwahab. spoke to the media after the meeting.

“Efforts by the Government to implement community-based projects are well underway, and the social registration system will be completed soon.”

The meeting was the first between the government’s Minister of Labor and Social Affairs and the WFP Representative appointed for the mission at the end of last year.

(Source: Radio Dalsan)

Petrol shortage looms in the new year following breach in import rules

Kenyans are not likely to rest easy at the pump anytime soon due to the looming threat of fuel shortages and increasing fuel prices. 

The cause of the shortage has been attributed to the unscheduled discharge of a vessel ferrying 30,000 tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS),  commonly known as super petrol, by Gulf Energy Limited on behalf of a few unnamed marketers.

The fuel was shipped in during the festive season, allegedly with the intention of discharging it without the knowledge of other Oil Manufacturing Companies (OMCs).  

The illegal importation has caused much concern in the petroleum industry, culminating in queries on unfair advantage to the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum by Rubis Energy and the Oil Manufacturers Association of Kenya (OMAK).

The delay caused by the unscheduled discharge has affected four vessels that had reportedly gone through the legal importation process. As a result these vessels have incurred approximately Sh100 million in demurrage charges, that is suspected to be passed onto the Kenyan consumers, further increasing the already high fuel prices.

Rubis CEO Jean-Christian Bergerone stated that “Importing cargo that favours only a few OMCs is not only suspect, but creates disharmony among industry players, unfair competition and exposes Jet A-1 players to excessive demurrage, which is not compensated through the pump by Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA)”.

Meanwhile, OMAK has called on the Petroleum and Mining ministry, Kenya Pipeline Company and EPRA to direct that the cargo be shared by all OMCs using the usual ullage formula. OMAK also requested the suspension of the concerned marketers from the open tendering system for importation of oil.

EPRA must adopt a more active role in fulfilling its mandate of regulating the upstream and midstream petroleum subsectors. EPRA should actively enforce the provisions of the Energy Act and Petroleum Act (both of 2019) in a bid to prevent future private importations of refined fuel using state-owned common user facilities. 

The launch and operationalisation of Kipevu Oil Terminal this month has the potential to address delays by vessels in the discharge of their fuel cargo.The Kenya Ports Authority has completed 96% of the Sh40 billion floating terminal that will allow four vessels to discharge at a go, cutting demurrage charges. The modernization of Kipevu Oil Terminal will increase the port’s oil handling and storage capacity of PMS and other petroleum products. 

However, it is yet to be determined if the increased efficiency of port operations shall effectively avert supply chain crises as observed by Gulf Energy’s illegal importation.

17th December 2021 County Round Up

NAIROBI COUNTYSpeaker, Nairobi City County Assembly Benson Mutura has notified Members of the County Assembly and the general public that there shall be special sittings of the County Assembly to be held in the County Assembly Chambers, City Hall Buildings, both physical and virtual, firstly on Friday, December 17, 2021 at 1430 hrs. and secondly, on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at 9.00 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. The notification is dated December 15, 2021.
MARSABIT COUNTYSpeaker, County Assembly of Marsabit Mathew Loltome has notified all members of the County Assembly and the general public that there shall be a special sitting of the County Assembly by the Marsabit County Public Service Board, on Wednesday, December 22, 2021, at 2.30 p.m. at the County Assembly of Marsabit chambers. The notification is dated December 15, 2021.
WEST POKOT COUNTYDeputy Speaker, West Pokot County Assembly Francis Losia has notified members of the County Assembly and general public that the Assembly shall have a special sitting on Tuesday, December 21, 2021, at 10.00 a.m. at the County Assembly Chamber, County Assembly building, Kapenguria.  The notification is dated December 14, 2021.
BUSIA COUNTYDeputy Governor/Ag. CECM Health and Sanitation Moses Mulomi has approved the upgrading of 17 health facilities and pharmacies within the County Government of Busia to higher levels.

17th December 2021 Kenya Gazette Review

National Assembly Bills, 2021

  • The Huduma Bill, 2021
  • The Political Parties (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2021
  • The Public Audit (Amendment) Bill, 2021
  • The Traffic (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Legislative Supplements, 2021

  • The Controller of Budget Regulations, 2021
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY 

Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi has notified members of the National Assembly and the public that special sittings of the Assembly shall be held on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 and on Wednesday, December 22, 2021, (morning and afternoon for both days) commencing at 10.00 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. The notification is dated December 15, 2021. 

JUDICIARY 
  • Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya, Martha Koome, has appointed James Rika to be a member of the Council for Law Reporting representing the High Court, the Environment and Land Court and the Employment and Labour Relations Court, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from November 2, 2020.
PUBLIC SECTOR

Appointments

  • Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Planning Ukur Yatani has appointed various persons as Trustees of the Kenya National Entrepreneurs Savings Trust (KNEST). The appointments were dated 26th November, 2021. 
  • Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communication, Technology, Innovation and Youth Affairs Joe Mucheru has appointed the following persons as members of the National Addressing System of Kenya Pilot Implementation Committee, dated December 6, 2021.
    • Anthony Mbarine— Chairperson
    • Louisa Masinde, 
    • Erick Kiraithe, 
    • Godfrey Cheruiyot 
    • Joint Secretaries:
      • Gimode Chiimbiru
      • Miriam Rahedi
  • Cabinet Secretary for Defence and Chairperson of the Defence Council Eugene Wamalwa has appointed the following to be members of the Kenya Defence Forces Pensions Appeals Committee, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from December 1, 2021:
    • Maj. Gen. (Rtd.) A. M. Ikenye — Chairperson
    • Col. (Dr.) C. O. Ondego
    • Col. S. C. Yator
    • Col. (Rtd.) L. L. Muluvi 
    • Col. (Rtd.) M. M. Nchuurai
    • Elly Ongei — Secretary
  • Cabinet Secretary for Defence and Chairperson of the Defence Council Eugene Wamalwa has appointed the following to be members of the Kenya Defence Forces Pensions Assessment Committee, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from the 1st December, 2021.:
    • Brig. (Rtd.) D. K. Rutto — Chairperson 
    • Col. (Rtd.) P. M. Wang’ombe
    • Jackson Onyancha
    • Col. S. C. Yator
    • Robert Maweu Mutula (Dr.)
    • Paul Mutuvi — Secretary
TRADE AND MANUFACTURING SECTOR
  • Director General of the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Daniel K. Bargoria has provided a notice that all prices for electrical energy will be liable to a fuel energy cost charge of plus 463 Kenya cents per kWh for all meter readings to be taken in December, 2021.
  • Director General of the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Daniel K. Bargoria has provided notice that all prices for electrical energy will be liable to a foreign exchange fluctuation adjustment of plus 73.14 Cents per kWh for all meter readings taken in December, 2021.
  • Director General of the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Daniel K. Bargoria has provided notice that all prices for electrical energy will be liable to a Water Resource Management Authority (WRMA) Levy of Plus 1.74 cents per kWh for all meter readings taken in December, 2021.
  • Customs and Border Control Department  has gazetted notice that goods entered and removed from the custody of the Customs Warehouse Keeper, Kilindini within thirty (30) days of this notice, may be sold by public auction on the 17th January, 2022. Interested buyers may view the goods at CB2, RLC, FOC, CWHSE, FFK on the 13th and 14th January, 2022 during office hours.
  • Managing Director KEPHIS T. Mutu has published the names of the released varieties to be published in the Kenya Gazette within twenty-one (21) days of the National Variety Release Committee (NVRC) meeting. The notice is dated 5th July 2021.
  • Director-General Jacob Chepchieng has gazetted applications to the Communications Authority of Kenya for grant of the licences as below. The notice was gazetted on 8th December 2021.
Name Licence Category 
Bullbar Logistics and Couriers Company LimitedNational Postal/Courier Operator Licence
Gigabit Connections LimitedNetwork Facilities Provider Tier- 3 (NFPT3)

Extension of time

  • Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communication, Technology, Innovation and Youth Affairs Joe Mucheru has extended the term of the National Addressing System of Kenya Pilot Implementation Committee appointed vide Gazette Notice No. 5236 of 2021, for six (6) months, with effect from September 4, 2021.
LAND AND MANUFACTURING SECTOR

Environmental Impact Assessment

  • The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has received an Environmental Impact Assessment Study Report for the proposed dualling of Muthaiga-Kiambu-Ndumberi Road (B32) traversing Nairobi City and Kiambu Counties. NEMA invites members of the public to submit oral or written comments within thirty (30) days from 17th December 2021 to the Director-General, NEMA, to assist the Authority in the decision making process regarding this project.
  • NEMA has received an Environmental Impact Assessment Study Report for the proposed residential development on plot L.R. No. Nairobi BLOCKS98/106/107/108 at Bellevue, Nairobi City County. The National Environment Management Authority invites members of the public to submit oral or written comments within thirty (30) days from 17th December 2021 to the Director-General, NEMA, to assist the Authority in the decision making process regarding this project.

17th December 2021 Trade & Financial Services Round Up

KENYA 

Oil companies to get Sh8bn for unchanged fuel prices

The State will pay oil marketers an estimated Sh8.12 billion ($71.8m) for keeping fuel prices unchanged in the monthly review that will lapse on January 15.

Compensation for diesel will be highest at Sh4.82 billion followed by that of petrol at Sh3.03 billion and kerosene at Sh0.26 billion based on the average consumption of the three fuels.

Industry regulator, Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra), retained the margins for suppliers at zero per litre of petrol, diesel and kerosene in the latest review for the second month running.

It also cut petrol prices by Sh4.57 a litre, diesel Sh7.90 and Kerosene Sh9.43 —keeping the costs of the products unchanged at Sh129.72, Sh110.60 and Sh103.54 in Nairobi respectively.

This was meant to cushion motorists from rising global fuel prices on the back of a speedier than expected economic recovery as vaccines are rolled out.

Without the subsidy, petrol would have hit a historic high of Sh148.04 a litre, diesel Sh132.49 a litre and kerosene Sh127.07 a litre, in what would have reignited public anger over the increased cost of living.

(Source: Business Daily) 

Half of mobile phone borrowers in default

More than half of loans taken through mobile phone platforms are in default in the wake of Covid-19-induced job cuts and business closures that have pushed thousands of people into a debt trap, a new survey reveals

The findings of the household survey by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), FSD Kenya and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS),show that 50.9 percent of the respondents have defaulted on mobile loans.

The mounting defaults emerged in a period digital lenders have flooded Kenya with high interest rates that rise up to 520 percent per year.

The Covid-19 economic hardships also saw an average of 41.8 percent of borrowers default on loans tapped from friends and relatives while 40.8 percent were unable to settle goods borrowed on credit from shopkeepers.

The least default for credit borrowed outside the mainstream banking system was on advances to staff by employers at 11.3 percent, given the ease to recover the cash from monthly salaries.

(Source: Business Daily) 

TANZANIA

Tanzania enters into more joint ventures with mining firms

The Tanzanian government on Monday, December 13, signed an agreement with four mining companies to form joint ventures (JV), a move which is meant to set the stage for Tanzanians to benefit from the country’s natural resources.

The companies born out of the JV – and which are to invest a total of TSh1.755 trillion – are Faru Graphite Corporation, Petra Diamonds Ltd (PDL), Nyati Mineral Sands Ltd and Sotta Mining Corporation Ltd.

The negotiation team’s chairman, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, said in all companies except the PDL, the government enjoys 16 percent free-carried interest.

For PDL, Prof Kabudi said the government had agreed an issue of shares in the mine’s holding company Williamson Diamonds Ltd (WDL).

The deal with the London-listed miner will increase the government’s interest to 37 percent from 25 percent.

This suggests that the deal will reduce Petra’s stake in the mine to 63 percent from 75 percent.

(Source: The Citizen)

How Tanzania plans to spend TSh7 trillion Badea loans, grants

News that Tanzania is eyeing loans and grants amounting to $3 billion (about TSh7 trillion) from the Arab Bank for Economic Development (Badea) in Africa in the next five years was welcomed by some analysts and the business community, all of whom are optimistic that the monies will stimulate economic growth.

The Ministry of Finance and Planning said in a statement that the Arab lender agreed to give the money to finance various development projects, including roads, energy, education, agriculture, and private companies’ capacity-building programmes.

The bank arrived at that decision following talks between Tanzania’s Finance and Planning Minister Mwigulu Nchemba and Badea’s Director-General, Dr Sidi Ould Tah.

The statement went further to explain that the money will be disbursed over five years of implementation of the country’s third Five-Year Development Plan (FYDP-III: 2021/22–2025/26).

“We have had detailed and meaningful discussion with the Tanzanian Finance and Planning minister and his delegation and have decided to dish out $3 billion to cement our relationship with the government of Tanzania,” Dr Tah noted in the statement.

(Source: The Citizen)

UGANDA

Trade dispute: Uganda considers ban on Kenyan produce

Uganda is considering restricting some of Kenya’s raw and processed agricultural products from its market, saying it will be merely reciprocating Nairobi’s continued ban on Kampala’s produce.

Kenya is Uganda’s biggest trade partner. Kenyan exports to Uganda in 2020 amounted to $673.66 million while Uganda’s exports to Kenya stood at $465.55 million during the same period.

Observers say the trade row between the two countries could have long-running implications for imports and exports across the East African region, adding that the restrictions go against a Customs Union Protocol established by the East African Community (EAC) single market.

(Source: The Monitor)

Post Bank becomes Uganda’s 27th commercial bank

Bank of Uganda has granted Post Bank a tier one licence, which effectively completes its transformation into a commercial bank. 

Post Bank, which as of February 2021, operated a branch network of 33 fixed branches and 17 mobile banking units, has been operating as a non-bank credit institution in the tier II category. 

In an email inquiry yesterday, Dr Bazinzi Natamba, the Bank of Uganda acting director of communications, confirmed Post Bank’s elevation, noting the licence had already been issued.

Post Bank becomes the 27th bank to operate in Uganda under the tier one category. In April, 

Post Bank told Daily Monitor it had completed a five-year strategy in which it had sought to transition into a fully-fledged commercial bank.

The completion, Post Bank said then, was part of the large plan through which the bank had upgraded a number of systems to fit and compete with large commercial banks.

(Source: The Monitor)

RWANDA

Sweden donates 8 billion Frw to Rwanda

Sweden has provided Rwf8 billion ($7.7 million) and Rwf900,000 to Rwanda to help with climate change in the Eastern Province.

The funding agreement was signed between Sweden, which was represented by the country’s ambassador to Rwanda, Johanna Teague, and the Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana on the Rwandan side.

These activities include 35 conserved areas, planting trees on 400km of roadsides, 400km on land and on the banks of rivers and lakes, and 8,000 hectares of community farms on which mixed crops will be planted.

The goal is to find a sustainable solution to the ecosystem and to improve performance based on environmental protection. 

Rwanda needs $11 billion to reduce air pollution by 38% by 2030.

(Rwandan Broadcasting Agency)

ETHIOPIA

Ethiopia Secures Over 54Bn Birr from Customs in 5 Months

Ethiopian Customs Commission (ECC) announced it has collected over 54 billion Birr ($1.1 billion) revenues during the past five months. The amount has shown an increase of 8.2 billion Birr or 18.5 percent, compared to the same period last year.

ECC said it plans to secure a collection of 155 billion Birr ($3.16 billion) or more in the 2021/22 Ethiopian fiscal year that started on July 8.

During the previous year, the Commission had collected 112.5 billion Birr, 89.5 percent of the target it set.

ECC has pointed out it has been engaged in cracking down on contraband trade. During the past four months, the Commission related, its officials have seized contraband items worth 1.2 billion Birr. Furthermore, 265.2 million Birr that was to be smuggled out of the country for illicit purposes has been seized, along with 293 related arrests.

The Commission pointed out it has seized contraband items worth 7.7 billion Birr during the past two and half years, and vows to continue its crackdown on contraband trade in tandem with federal and regional security forces.

(Source: 2merkato) 

Ethiopian Electric Power Signs Deal with French, Chinese Companies to Build National Power Control Center

Ethiopian Electric Power has inked a deal with the French General Electric and the Chinese Sinohydro companies to have a national power control centre built.

The deal includes the building of two national power control centers, as well as laying down a control and follow up system with power distribution stations.

Signing the deal were Ashebir Balcha, CEO of Ethiopian Electric Power, Manyazewal Tesfaye, General Electric Head of Sales for East Africa, as well as Tian Hongjun, a representative of Sinohydro.

The project will take three years to complete, and has €57.67 million, in addition to 102 million Birr, budgeted for it.

A third of the project’s expenses is covered by Ethiopian Electric Power while the rest is financed by the French Development Agency, Agence Française de Développement.

(Source: 2merkato) 

ERITREA

11 test positive for Covid-19: Ministry of Health

Eleven patients have been diagnosed positive for Covid-19 in tests carried out today at Quarantine Centers and Testing Stations in the Central, Northern Red Sea, and Southern Regions.

Out of these, six patients are from Quarantine Centers (1) and Testing Stations (5) in Asmara, Central Region. Three patients are from Testing Stations in Ghinda (1), Gelalo (1), and Massawa (1); Northern Red Sea Region. Two patients are from a Testing Station in Senafe, Southern Region.

On the other hand, 41 patients who have been receiving medical treatment in hospitals in the Central (24) and Southern (17) regions have recovered fully and have been discharged from these facilities. Sadly, an 85-year-old patient from the Central region died.

The total number of recovered patients has accordingly increased to 7,490 while the number of deaths has risen to 65.

The total number of confirmed cases in the country to date has increased to 7,686.

(Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea)

SOMALIA 

US $150m Electricity Recovery Project Aims to Help Light Up Somalia

The Somalia Electricity Recovery Project is set to increase access to cleaner, lower cost electricity for 1.1 million households, or approximately seven million people, of which 3.5 million are women. The project also aims to reestablish a stable electricity supply and support regional integration.

Out of a population of about 15 million, nine million Somalis lack access to electricity services, and the cost of power is among the highest in the world. In addition, almost nine out of ten Somali households are deprived in at least one dimension of poverty–monetary, energy, education, or water and sanitation (World Bank (2019) Somalia Poverty and Vulnerability Assessment).

The combined impacts of the pandemic, devastating flooding, droughts, and a desert locust infestation further undermine economic recovery and efforts to reduce poverty.

90% of Somalia’s electricity is supplied through isolated diesel-based mini-grids operated by private energy service providers (ESPs).

The combination of a highly fragmented private electricity sector along with an installed capacity that is inadequate to serve current and future demand, has resulted in an inefficient and expensive supply given the lack of economies of scale. Somalia also has significant potential for using renewable energy for electricity generation, particularly solar and wind energy, as identified by numerous assessments by the World Bank.

(Source: Radio Dalsan)

Despite Election Chaos, Somalia Transition Plan Takes Shape

Somalia’s Transition Plan, one in which the country hopes to start carrying its own obligations more than donors and international partners, has started taking shape.

And in spite of the fiasco surrounding the much-delayed elections, officials have started meeting regularly to discuss possible working cooperation between the federal government and federal member states often known as FMS.

This week, a two-day consultative meeting held in the Somali capital Mogadishu agreed on the inauguration of the Somali Transition Plan Strategic Steering Committee (STP SSC) on Thursday.

The Federal Government of Somalia led the meeting, but attracted representatives from the Federal Member States, Benadir Regional Administration (Governorship of Mogadishu and surrounding areas), the Somali Security Forces and Somalia’s key partners supporting the security sector of the Horn of Africa country.

Various portfolios including the prime minister’s office, the foreign affairs, internal security, interior affairs, chief of defence forces and the police commissioner have all endorsed the key decisions that were reached by the SSC Secretariat on the agreed priorities of the STP for the next quarter.

Somalia’s initiative is to have a transition plan to see the peacekeepers serving under the auspices of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) exit the country completely by 2023, having begun transferring security duties to local authorities from January next year.

(Source: Daily Nation)

What to look out for in 2022

As 2021 draws to a climax, numerous developments on both the national and international sphere will have spillover effects into the new year. 

Below is a summary of 2022’s highly anticipated and potential socio-economic, political and legal impacts: 

  1. Additional Lockdowns and Curfews

Following the latest mutation of Coronavirus into the Omicron variant, the government might decide to reinstitute curfews and social gathering restrictions to curb the spread of the new variant in the new year.

  1. Ruling on Minimum Taxes

Several petitions were placed before the High Court seeking to halt the implementation of minimum tax, on the basis that it was unconstitutional. The minimum tax is charged at the rate of 1% of gross turnover and is applicable where the installment tax payable is lower than the minimum tax payable. KRA in September 2021 appealed against the decision before the Court of Appeal, where it currently sits pending determination.

  1. Implementation of the draft Access to Information Regulations, 2021

Once enacted the Regulations shall provide for the process of proactive disclosure of information by public entities and private bodies and the procedure for requesting access to information pursuant to the Act.  

  1. The draft Capital Markets (Investment Based Crowdfunding) Regulations, 2021

The regulations once passed will apply to investment-based crowdfunding platforms in Kenya. They will also apply to persons who are operating investment-based crowdfunding platforms in Kenya. The regulations can open up opportunities for crowdfunding to boost the local economy, further bolstering Kenya’s position as an economic powerhouse in the region. 

  1. Reduced Electricity Bills

Implementation of  the recommendations of the Presidential Taskforce on Review of Power Purchase Agreements. The recommendations shall reduce power bills by 30% and shall be implemented in two tranches of 15% each; with the first 15% to be reflected in December bills, and a further 15% reduction, in the first quarter of 2022.

  1. Future of Huduma Namba?

Following the High Court ruling rendering the roll out of Huduma Namba illegal, the AG’s office has appealed the ruling before the Court of Appeal, seeking re-validation of the Huduma Namba national identity management system. The outcome of the case is highly anticipated as it may further delay the envisioned roll out of Kenya’s first comprehensive national identity management system. 

  1. Implementation of 3rd economic stimulus package

Implementation of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s economic stimulus package that was announced during the Mashujaa Day Celebrations. The economic measures and interventions his government announced on 20th October 2021 seek to reinvigorate the economy from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The 13 economic strategic interventions will cover: agriculture, health, education, drought response, policy, infrastructure, financial inclusion, energy, and environmental conservation.

  1. Evidence of KRA social media surveillance

The Authority has sought to enhance tax compliance through verification of information shared online vis-a-vis tax returns that have been submitted by particular individuals. As 2022 unfolds, data from the KRA will determine if the efforts to conduct social media surveillance will result in an increase of tax revenue collected.

  1. Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) appeals to Supreme Court 

The Court of Appeal declared the BBI process unconstitutional, null and void. President Uhuru has been adamant that he is in support of the constitutional amendments proposed stating they would have ensured political stability. The BBI Bill recommended the creation of office of the Prime Minister and two deputies in what the proponents said would have ensured fair representation in the Executive.

  1. Elections and NC4

The National Computer and Cybercrimes Coordination Committee (NC4) has been tasked with cracking down on misuse of social media especially as the country approaches the General Election in 2022. The establishment of the NC4 has been heralded as a proactive step towards ensuring the upcoming 2022 General Election is a truly democratic process and free of ethnic violence. However, the following questions will be answered in 2022 as the NC4 performs its mandate: 

  • Should social media companies be expecting summons and data access requests on persons suspected of engaging in hate speech?
  • How will freedom of expression and the right to access information be balanced during the elections?
  1. Enactment of Data Protection Regulations 2021

The highly anticipated enactment of three data protection regulations will operationalise the Data Protection Act and provide the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner with the institutional and legal framework to commence enforcement of the data protection laws. 

The enactment of the regulations is expected to coincide with an increased influx of data protection complaints as data subjects are more likely to lodge complaints to a fully operational regulator.  

  1. Increased Electric Vehicle adoption

Caetano Kenya, the official Hyundai car dealer in the country has announced the arrival of the first new electric vehicle (EV) – the Hyundai KONA Electric to be commercialized in Kenya. This announcement is timely following the recent hike in fuel prices after the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority scrapped fuel subsidies. Furthermore, Opibus and Kiri EV have designed and manufactured local Electric Bikes, while ChargeNet Kenya has begun setting up EV charging stations across Nairobi. The increased adoption of EVs shall assist Kenya in meeting its obligations under the Paris Agreement to mitigate climate change. 

  1. Environmental Social Governance (ESG) Compliance

The Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) has released the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Disclosure Guidance Manual that requires companies listed on the NSE to report publicly on their ESG performance at least annually. The NSE has offered a one-year grace period from the issuance of the guidelines for listed companies to interact and familiarise themselves with the ESG reporting process. Therefore, listed companies shall be legally obligated to publish their reports from mid-2022 

Listed agri-business firm Kakuzi Plc on December 16, 2021 released its ESG report as listed firms begin to adopt NSE guidelines requiring the annual publication of such disclosures.

  1. Central Bank Digital Currencies

Kenya is exploring the use of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) to settle cross-border payments according to the Central Bank Governor, Dr Patrick Njoroge. A CBDC is money that exists solely in electronic form, issued and regulated by the nation’s monetary authority and backed by the government. The adoption of CBDCs can ensure access to legal tender if cash were unavailable and increase the efficiency of payment systems. 

  1. Enactment of a Critical Infrastructure Act

There is a pressing need to develop an Act that would provide for the establishment of an institutional framework for the designation and protection of critical infrastructure, establishment of a national database of critical infrastructures, and undertaking research in order to identify the challenges and vulnerabilities faced, including those from cyber threats. The Act should apply to protection of physical infrastructure like the National Optic Fibre Backbone (NOFBI) as well as virtual infrastructure such as cloud environments.

10th December 2021 County Round Up

LAMU COUNTY Governor for Lamu County Fahim Y. Twaha on the 29th of November 2021 has reassigned the following persons to the County Executive Committee of Lamu:
Abdulhakim Aboud Bwana;
Fahima Araphat;
Abdu Godana
VIHIGA COUNTY There shall be a special sitting of the County Assembly to be held on Wednesday, 15th December, 2021, at 2.30 p.m. for the Afternoon Session at Kidundu Sports ground, next to Vihiga County Assembly, along Majengo—Luanda Road. The business to be transacted shall be State of the County Address (The 4th Annual State of the County Address) by Wilber K. Ottichilo, Governor, Vihiga County. 
SAMBURU COUNTY County Executive Committee Member for Health for Samburu County, Vincent Learaman has gazetted health facilities to be dispensaries across Samburu County.
NAROK COUNTY The Governor of the County Government of Narok, Samuel K. Tunai, shall address a special sitting of the Narok County Assembly on Thursday. 16th December. 2021 at 9.30 a.m. in the County Assembly Chambers, Assembly Buildings for purposes of delivering the Annual State of the County Address. 
NAIROBI COUNTYCounty Executive Committee Member for Finance and Economic Planning, with the concurrence of the Governor have extended the granted 100% waiver of penalties and interest on Land Rates for fourteen 14) days for those who will pay such Land Rates in full within the period of 1st December to 14th December, 2021 inclusive.

10th December 2021 Parliamentary Round Up

The National Assembly and Senate are on recess

10th December 2021 Kenya Gazette Review

National Assembly Bills, 2021  

  • The Sacco Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2021
  • The Political Parties (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Legislative Supplements, 2021  

  • The Sectional Properties Regulations, 2021
  • The Bribery Act Regulations, 2021
  • The Physical and Land Use Planning (Institutions) Regulations, 2021
PUBLIC SECTOR

Appointments

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta has appointed the following to be members of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, dated 9th December 2021:   
    • Alfred Mtuweta Mshimba, Col. (Rtd); and
    • Monica Wanjiru Muiru, (Dr.)
JUDICIARY

Appointments

  • Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya Martha Koome has appointed the following persons to be members of the National Community Service Orders, with effect from the 1st December, 2021, for a period of three (3) years:
    • Hon. Alice Macharia (Dr.); and
    • Hon. Mitullah Benjamin Atiang
TRADE AND MANUFACTURING SECTOR
  • Following the declaration of the drought affecting parts of the country,The Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Planning, Ukur Yatani has granted an exemption from import duty that shall apply in respect of imported raw materials used in the manufacture of animal and chicken feed imported between the 1st November, 2021 and 31st October, 2022 by licensed Millers approved by the Government. The exemption was dated 25th November 2021.
FINANCE SECTOR
  • The Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Planning, Ukur Yatani on the 7th of December 2021 published the Statement of Actual Revenues and Net Exchequer Issues as at 31st November 2021. 
Original estimatesActual Receipts
TOTAL REVENUE3,193,004,859,042.00 1,164,829,371,690.47
Original estimatesExchequer Issues
Total Recurrent Exchequer Issues1,106,555,313,426.00432,647,079,886.35
Total CFS Exchequer Issue1,327,220,068,220.00472,541,665,150.45
Total development Exchequer Issues389,229,477,396.00123,791,175,220.85
Total Issues to National Government2,823,004,859,042.001,028,979,920,257.65
Total Issues to County Government370,000,000,000.00108,457,801,989.00
GRANDTOTAL3,193,004,859,042.001,137,437,722,246.65
Exchequer Balance as at 30.11.202148,671,950,151.95
LAND AND ENVIRONMENT SECTOR

Completion of Part Development Plan

  • PDP Ref 42.17.2021.01 – Existing Sites for: (a) KIHBT (Administration Centre); (b) Directorate of Occupational Safety and Health Services; (c) KIHBT (Student Hostels, Mechanical Engineering School and Laboratories); (d) Kenya Prisons Service; Prison Industries; Timber Kiln Seasoning Centre; (e) Ministry of Mining; Mines and Geological Department; Public Works Division (Offices and Workshop); (g) KeRRA Offices; (h) KURA Offices; (i) KeNHA Offices; (j) Nyayo Tea Zone;
  • PDP No. 332/2020/37 –  Proposed Najnas Farm 
  • PDP No. 332/2021/18 – Formalisation of the Existing Site for Low Density Residential Plots: PDP No. 332/2021/18
  • PDP No. 332/2021/27 – Formalisation of the existing Medium Industrial Plot
  • PDP No. 332/2021/28 – Formalisation of the existing Residential Plot  

Completion of Development Plan

  • R/B/358/2021/01 – Existing Site for Maranatha Pioneer Ministries
  • R/B/328/2021/05 – Existing Site for Residential Development

Environmental Impact Assessment

  • The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has received an Environmental Impact Assessment Study Report for the proposed Kitale Town Sewerage System. The National Environment Management Authority invites members of the public to submit oral or written comments within thirty (30) days from 10th December 2021 to assist the Authority in the decision making process regarding this project. 
  • The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has received an Environmental Impact Assessment Study Report for proposed sewerage network rehabilitation, expansions and interconnections (Last Mile Connectivity works) for Kakamega Town. The National Environment Management Authority invites members of the public to submit oral or written comments within thirty (30) days from 10th December 2021 to assist the Authority in the decision making process regarding this project. 

10th December 2021 Trade & Financial Services Round Up

KENYA

Kenya paid China Sh29bn to ease debt repayment standoff

Kenya wired Sh29.86 billion ($264.4 million) to China in the quarter to September 2021 to ease a standoff over debt repayments that delayed disbursements to projects funded by Chinese loans.

Treasury documents reveal that Kenya paid the billions in a period when Chinese lenders, especially Exim Bank, had opposed Kenya’s application for a debt repayment holiday.

Kenya asked for an extension of the debt repayment moratorium from bilateral lenders, including China, by another six months to December 2021, saving it from committing billions to Beijing lenders. The moratorium started in January 2021.

China postponed the repayments in January, helping Kenya temporarily retain Sh27 billion that was due for six months ending June 30.

China, which accounts for about one-third of Kenya’s 2021-22 external debt service costs, is the nation’s biggest foreign creditor after the World Bank.

Kenya plans to spend a total of Sh117.7 billion ($1.04 billion) on Chinese debt in the period, of which about Sh24.7 billion is in interest payments and almost Sh93 billion in redemptions, according to budget documents.

(Source: Business Daily)

A third of borrowers now on CRBs blacklist

A third of Kenyan loan accounts are negatively listed as defaulted with the country’s credit reference bureaus (CRBs) in an economy where Covid-induced job cuts and business closures have pushed thousands of people into a debt trap.

Data from the CRBs show that the accounts negatively listed stood at 4.6 million out of the 15 million accounts, reflecting a jump from 3.2 million accounts in April last year.

The bulk of the new listings is for mobile digital loans despite the government having frozen the blacklisting of defaulted loans below Sh1,000 from April to December last year.

The suspension was aimed at cushioning Kenyans from the economic fallout that came with Covid-19.

Workers and businesses defaulted on bank loans worth Sh93 billion in the year to February following the imposition of stringent measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows that non-performing loans (NPLs) rose from Sh351 billion in February 2020 to Sh444 billion at the end of February this year — the sharpest one-year increase in recent history.

But this excludes defaults from unregulated digital mobile lenders who were also barred from forwarding the names of loan defaulters to CRBs.

(Source: Business Daily)

UGANDA

Fish exports register 25 percent increase

Fish exports have registered a 25 percent growth, the highest since last year, according to data from Bank of Uganda.

In data contained in the monthly Bank of Uganda commodity performance report, fish earned Uganda $11.4m (Shs40b) up from $8.4m (Shs30b) earned in September. This was a Shs10b or 25 percent increase in earnings during the period. 

According to the report, a total of 1,608 metric tonnes were exported, increasing from 1,139 metric tonnes in September, which represented an increase of 29 percent in volume. 

Mr Sujal Goswami, the Uganda Fish Processors and Exporters Association chairman, said the growth in value and volume had been noticed in October, November and part of December, building on a three-year trend.”

Data from Uganda Bureau of Statistics indicates that Uganda annually exports an average of 14,976 tonnes of fish and fish products.  

The largest exports remain coffee at 364,298 tonnes per annum compared to cotton which contributes 19,595 tonnes. Tea contributes 75,189 tonnes while tobacco stands at 23,038 tonnes. 

(Source: The Monitor) 

URA sets new tax rule for land buyers, sellers

Anyone buying or selling land worth Shs10 million or more must now have a tax identification number, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has said in a leaked internal memo. The requirement will increase URA’s scrutiny of the real estate sector, allow it to go after tax dodgers more easily, and widen the tax base. 

Ms Milly Isingoma Nalukwago, the assistant commissioner for research, planning and development at URA, in the memo said the requirement took effect yesterday.

“This is aimed at registering all the potential taxpayers and widening the current tax base.”

This is the latest move by URA to target the real estate industry after a new tax on rental income instituted this financial year. URA is keen to widen the tax contribution to Gross domestic product (GDP) which has, for over a decade, stagnated at between 12 and 13 percent, which is lower than in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. The tax-to-GDP ratio, which records how much of a country’s output goes to the government in form of tax receipts, is also lower than the sub-Saharan African average of 16 percent.

Government’s five-year domestic revenue mobilisation strategy aims to raise the tax-to-GDP ratio to 16 percent by 2023. In the Financial Year 2020/2021, URA collected net revenue of Shs19.2 trillion, a 14 percent growth from the previous year, which translated into a tax-to-GDP ratio of 12.99 percent. 

In real terms, this reflected a growth in revenue of Shs25 trillion – the highest in four years – and a growth in the ratio by 1 percent.

(Source: The Monitor) 

TANZANIA

US puts Tanzania, five other countries on travel red list

The United States has put five countries, including Tanzania, on its red list, advising its citizens against travel to these nations.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put Tanzania together with France, Portugal, Andorra, Cyprus, Jordan and Lichtenstein under its high risk countries, discouraging American citizens from travelling to these destinations over Covid-19 related risks.

“Avoid travel to Tanzania,” CDC said in its latest notice, adding that, if one must travel to Tanzania, they should make sure they are fully vaccinated before travel.

On Sunday, it emerged that a traveller from Tanzania had tested positive for Omicron variant in New Delhi, India, prompting authorities to ‘start investigations’.

Despite frequent warning alerts from Tanzania’s Health Ministry, public compliance to Covid-19 prevention measure has remained low, the US Embassy said.

(Source: The Citizen) 

Bank of Tanzania gives ‘all-clear’ to fourth bureau de change

The Bank of Tanzania (BoT) has awarded a licence to a fourth bureau de change since closure of most of them in 2018. Fast Forex Bureau joins three others which are currently operating. In September, the central bank said it received five applications which are being scrutinised and the owners will be given operating licences if they meet all the criteria to operate a bureau de change in the country.

Reports show that the BoT had closed down almost all bureaus that were operating in the country by 2018. Subsequently, the central bank conducted a physical supervisory compliance review of the bureaux de change in Tanzania. The review resulted in closure of all bureau de change in the country to pave the way for compliance review and re-licensing.

Several reasons were mentioned for the closure of the bureaux de change. Some bureau de change outlets were said to be sources of money laundering, tax evasion and poor Know Your Customer (KYC) compliance regulations on Foreign Exchange, namely; the Foreign Exchange (Bureau de Change) Regulations, 2019 (GN No. 450 of 2019) published on June 7, 2019.

According to new requirements of operating a bureau de change, any application for a business licence must be accompanied with a written declaration and assurance of availability of not less than Sh1 billion set aside as capital. Any addition of Capital must have Central Bank approval.

A Bureau de change may increase or add its branch network in Tanzania but only upon obtaining a license from the Central Bank.

(Source: The Citizen) 


ETHIOPIA

Ethio Telecom to Pilot 5G Network in Ethiopia

Ethio Telecom is ready to pilot 5th generation (5G) network for the first time in Ethiopia, with its launch expected some time next week. The network is expected to be available on hotspot areas in Addis Ababa, including the area around Ethio Telecom’s Head Office and the premises of Bole International Airport.

Ethiopia’s state-owned telecom giant will use Huawei’s technology for the services, it has been learned. Ethio Telecom has been said to have been preparing for the 5G launch over the last two months.

The 5G technology is expected to be introduced to help facilitate data traffic in dense urban networks, being implemented on the existing 4G infrastructure. The move is set to make Ethiopa an early adopter of 5G network in Africa.

“Ethio Telecom is undergoing network infrastructure and system enhancements to pilot 5G networks soon and we’ve made some of our networks ready for 5G,” Frehiwot Tamiru, the company’s CEO, had said a few months back, speaking on the occasion of Ethio Teleocm’s expansion plans.

(Source: 2merkato)

National Bank of Ethiopia Amends Foreign Exchange Management Directive – Reveals Foreign Currency Allocation, Priorities

The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) issued a new directive, amending an earlier directive in use since October 2020. The NBE explained that the new directive would enable it to carefully manage its scarce reserve foreign exchange and ensure its efficient and proper allocation. The directive also laid out foreign exchange allocations and priorities in Three categories.

The national bank in the amended directive indicated that there is a need to ensure foreign exchange is allocated in a transparent and sound manner to priority and other economic sectors without opening a room for rent seeking behavior and malpractice.

The new directive put as a first priority comprises pharmaceuticals; like medicine, inputs for manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and laboratory reagents, while it has newly inserted inputs for manufacturing of edible oil, that has not been listed in any of three priorities previously is now set in the first category of the priorities in the new directive along with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

As a second priority it put inputs for agriculture and inputs for manufacturing including fertilizer, Seed, Pesticide and Chemicals. Its third priority arrays broader spectrum of listings including motor oil and lubricants; agricultural inputs and machineries; pharmaceutical products; manufacturing industries requests for procurement of machineries, equipment, spare parts, and accessories; import of nutritious food for babies; spare part for construction machineries for own use construction companies whose total values not exceeding USD 50,000 and educational materials. Profit and dividend transfer; transfer of excess sales of foreign airlines and sales from share and liquidation of companies by FDI are also to be prioritized under this category.

(Source: Addis Standard)

RWANDA

MTN Rwanda to invest Rwf40bn ($40 million) in technology in 2022 – says CEO

Mitwa Ng’ambi, the Chief Executive of MTN Rwanda, has provided insights into the year’s progress (2021) including MTN’s growth, financial position, Mobile Money, Connect Rwanda and network expansion. 

The overall business grew quite well, higher than 20 per cent (year on year) as of September and compared to last year. A lot of the growth drivers are not unique to previous years. Voice grew well, by about 12% primarily due to the growth of MTN’s customer base. Mobile Money grew by more than 50%, which is among the fastest growing parts of the businesses. Within Mobile Money, person to person transfers and cash out makeup close to 80 %.

MTN has had to re-think its investment profile, where MTN’s technology investments in 2021 has grown to $32 million from an average of $22 million in previous years. This technology investment will rise to about $40 million in 2022.

The technology investments in 2022 will include a rollout of at least 200 network sites, compared to 140 rolled out in 2021 and 80 in 2020. MTN Rwanda wants to provide customers with the ability to pick up their phones and make calls without interruption. 

(Source: The New Times) 

Rwanda and China sign agreement to abolish double taxation

Rwanda and China on 7th December 2021 signed an agreement to abolish double taxation of goods from one country to another, which is expected to boost investment and trade between the two countries.

The agreement was signed by the Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr Uzziel Ndagijimana, and the Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda, Rao Hongwei.

Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana points out that such agreements as Rwanda will benefit because China is a good and large market, and it will also help prevent tax evasion.

“China is the largest market in the world, and we have a great deal to do with it because it will allow Chinese investors to come and work in Rwanda because we have removed them from coming here in Rwanda and taxing them, returning them home and taxing them,” he said. The agreement states, however, that there is a need to increase the exchange of information on taxation so that no Rwandan tax evader from China, or any Rwandan working there, can be tax evaders. “

Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda Rao Hongwei says the agreement is a key factor in boosting trade between the two countries, and promises to be a catalyst for increasing Chinese investment in Rwanda.

(Source: Rwanda Broadcasting Agency)

ERITREA

Announcement from the Ministry of Health

Twenty-nine patients have been diagnosed positive for COVID-19 in tests carried out today at Quarantine Centers and Testing Stations in the Central, Southern, Anseba, and Southern Red Sea Regions.

Out of these, twenty patients are from Quarantine Centers (8) and Testing Stations (12); Central Region. Six patients are from Testing Stations in Adi-Quala (3), Senafe (2), and Adi-Keih (1); Southern Region. Two are from Testing Stations in Hamelmalo (1) and Hagaz (1); Anseba Region. The last patient is from Testing Station in Assab, Southern Red Sea Region.

On the other hand, forty patients who have been receiving medical treatment in hospitals in the Southern (24), Central (15), and Gash Barka (1) Regions have recovered fully and have been discharged from these facilities. Sadly, sixty years old patient from the Southern Region has passed away due to the pandemic.

The total number of recovered patients has accordingly increased to 7,311 while the number of deaths has risen to 62. The total number of confirmed cases in the country to date has increased to 7,513.

(Source: The Ministry of Information Eritrea)

SUDAN

Central Bank of Sudan: 15th foreign exchange auction worth $50 million

The activities of the 15th foreign exchange auction No. 7/2021 kicked off on 7th December at the premises of the Central Bank of Sudan, with a value of $50 million.

Some 16 banks participated in the auction and the applications received totalled 49 requests.

The number of applications that were allocated for reached 40 requests. The highest exchange rate for allocations reached SDG449.65, and the lowest rate was SDG425.

It is worth noting that these auctions organized by the Central Bank of Sudan come in implementation of the policies of the bank regarding implementation of the flexible managed exchange rate policy and within the framework of the efforts made to stabilize the exchange rate of the national currency.

(Source: Sudan News Agency) 

Northern State begins border trade procedures with Egypt and Libya

The Higher Committee for Border Trade in the Northern State has held a meeting headed by the Secretary General of the Government of the State, Hassan Taj El-Din Ayes, where the meeting received a briefing from the state’s trade commissioner on the arrangements made to initiate border trade procedures between the state and each of Egypt and Libya.

The meeting also discussed defining the paths and securing  Al Mothalas-Kufra-Dongola and Arqin-Dongola roads.

The Secretary-General of the Government of the State stressed that the government relies a lot on border trade in providing goods and services for the benefit of the people of the state.

(Source: Sudan News Agency) 

SOMALIA

PM Roble and UAE Ambassador Discuss Bilateral Relations
Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble has held talks with the ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed Ahmed Al’uthman, PM’s office said in a statement.

The high-level meeting comes years after the UAE severed ties with Somalia following a political wrangle over Mogadishu’s refusal to join Gulf Arab nations in their blockade on Qatar, a key ally and staunch supporter of the Somali government led by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.

“During the meeting, they discussed bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries and ways to develop them and the UAE’s contribution to helping those affected by the drought that hits large parts of the country,” the office of the prime minister said.

According to the prime minister’s office, they discussed with the UAE government how to contribute to the relief efforts for the Somali people affected by the ongoing drought across the country.

Roble’s office did not provide further details on the meeting. The UAE embassy in Mogadishu has not yet commented on the meeting.

In May 2018 Somalia and the UAE severed diplomatic relations after Somali authorities seized nearly $10 million USD in “mystery cash” from a Royal Jet airliner arriving from Abu Dhabi.

The move by the Somali government also ended the UAE’s role in the military affairs of Somalia.

Since then the UAE has developed ties with the Somali autonomous regions of Puntland and Somaliland, as well as providing support to opposition politicians in Mogadishu.

(Source: Radio Dalsan)

Somali, British Governments Discuss Economic Issues

Minister of Finance FGS Dr; Abdirahman Duale Beyle, today met in Mogadishu with the British Ambassador to Somalia Kiin Foster, to discuss strengthening cooperation between the two governments.

The meeting focused on the country’s economic reforms and how to further strengthen the close cooperation between the Federal Government of Somalia and the United Kingdom.

“We have had fruitful discussions on economic reform in Somalia, and we have also discussed the remaining challenges and the way forward,” said Minister Beyle.

UK Ambassador to Somalia Kiin Foster FCDO has lauded the government’s efforts to streamline the country’s economy.

The Minister of Finance, Abdirahman Duale Beyle, thanked Kiin Foster and the United Kingdom for their full support to the people and government of Somalia.

(Source: Radio Dalsan)

The Huduma Bill 2020; Impacts on Private Sector Enterprises

Businesses and the Government will have a symbiotic relationship in the use of citizens’ data under changes to the law proposed in the Huduma Bill, 2020. 

The Bill is among those President Uhuru Kenyatta asked Parliament to expedite and conclude in his State of the Nation address. 

Despite an October 2021 judgment of the High Court declaring the roll out of Huduma Namba programme illegal for non-compliance with the Kenya Data Protection Act, President Uhuru has sought to fast track tabling of the Huduma Bill. The enactment of the Huduma Bill will institutionalize the reforms on the national identity ecosystem through the establishment of the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS). The Huduma Bill will provide the legal framework for the operationalisation of NIIMS. 

NIIMS will serve as Kenya’s primary database for both foundational and functional data from which every other database with personal data of residents in Kenya, such as databases of voters, taxes, and social services, will be built.

The hurried efforts for the constitution of a centralised digital identity database are in the best interests of private sector enterprises. Principally, this will be achieved by improving the ease of conducting business within Kenya, especially by facilitating access to legal documents and licenses necessary for basic corporate regulatory compliance.

Prior to the formation of NIIMS, businesses operating in Kenya were required to make applications and payments to a wide plethora of government agencies. However, the development of NIIMS has sought to make the following consolidated services accessible from a single portal, effectively creating a one-stop-shop for accessing a range of government services:

  • Business Registration applications:
    • Application for Single Business Permit;
    • Search and registration of Business name;
    • Company registration for newly formed enterprises;
    • National Social Security Fund (NSSF) employer registration;
  • Tax applications: 
    • Application for tax compliance certificates;
    • KRA PIN Registration and PIN Update;
    • Tax Return filings and submissions;
  • Applications for business utilities:
    • Application for electricity connection;
    • Application for Water and Sewerage Connection;
    • Payment of water bills;
  • Issuance of Construction/ Building permits;
  • Payment of rent and rates for business premises; and 
  • Application for credit services for women entrepreneurs.

Businesses and Government agencies will profit from an increasingly symbiotic relationship through heightened utilisation of the NIIMS database. Business owners shall rely on their personal data stored on NIIMS to capitalise on prompt service provision from a single portal, while Government agencies will have at their disposal data from NIIMS to perform due diligence on and corroborate that the recipients of services sought are the genuine applicants. 

Furthermore, the Huduma Bill seeks to empower the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Interior to link additional existing databases to NIIMS. The increased data points from the supplementary databases will potentially increase the scope of government services provided via the platform, further augmenting the utility of the database to businesses. 

In addition, Section 48 of the Huduma Bill permits sharing of foundational data of an individual with a private entity (i.e businesses), although only for the purpose of carrying out verification and with approval of the Principal Secretary for immigration services. Considering NIIMS has been developed to be the ‘single source of truth’ on a person’s identity, whether Kenyan citizens or foreign nationals residing in Kenya, businesses that lawfully access foundational data as per Section 48 are better placed to combat potential fraud emanating from both their employees and customers. 

NIIMS currently faces various legal uncertainties, encumbering the realisation of the full potential of the database. It remains to be determined whether the above perceived benefits to businesses will be manifested when the NIIMS database is deployed in its final form. 

Data Protection Commissioner announces opportunities for the ODPC and stakeholders to collaborate during dual data protection report launch

Kenya’s Data Protection Commissioner Immaculate Kassait has asked stakeholders to collaborate with her office to increase awareness of Data Protection laws and simplification of the legal framework. 

Ms Kassait said it is not the sole responsibility of the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner to ensure data protection compliance. 

“The multifaceted data protection stakeholder should engage in awareness campaigns for digital rights agendas, including the designation of data champions amongst both data controllers and data subjects,” said Ms Kasait.

She spoke this week at the launch of Open Institute’s study on Subnational Data Practices in Kenya and Amnesty International Kenya’s Comparative Data Regimes Report on Wednesday 1st December 2021.

Awareness of data protection is needed at a subnational level and amongst rural populations,  with a particular focus on the informal economy, she said, and needs to be spread to vulnerable members of society such as women, children and the elderly. 

She said ODPC also needs assistance in simplification of the current data protection legal framework so that rural and marginalised demographics are well informed of their rights and duties. 

Also needed is the development of sectoral specific data protection impact assessments guidelines. The guidelines shall provide frameworks for the evaluation of data protection compliance, cognizant of the sector specific data considerations.

The office has also asked for support in lobbying efforts for a larger budget for the office to ensure there are adequate human and financial resources to perform its functions and  support for the development of regulations that will expedite the operationalisation of the Data Protection Act. 

The ODPC is financially independent through budget allocation directly from the National Treasury. The ODPC is no longer dependent on the Ministry of ICT to provide funding, and the significantly larger budget from Kshs 24 million to Kshs 270 million will allow the Commission to fulfill its mandate. 

Open Institute (OI) and Amnesty International Kenya (AIK) are jointly running a project that aims to ensure that Kenya operationalizes the Data Protection Act through citizen-responsive guidelines and in line with international best practices.

Open Institute’s (OI) study sought to identify best practices and illuminate barriers in deployment of internationally accepted data protection principles at the sub-national level. 

This was also undertaken in view of the opportunities and challenges offered by the Constitution, the County Government Act, the Access to Information Act, and the Data Protection Act. 

The study covered five counties, namely: Makueni, Vihiga, Kilifi, Bomet and Taita Taveta.

Amnesty International Kenya’s (AIK) comparative study report examined data protection regimes across the world aimed at generating best practices to inform Kenya’s Data Protection Commissioner and her office as they roll out their implementation of the Data protection Act. 

The report maps out the best practices for establishing a financially and functionally independent Data Commissioner’s Office. In addition, it identifies best practices in funding the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner. The report further identifies sets of regulations necessary to give full effect to the Data Protection Act.

During her keynote speech at the report launch, Madam Commissioner lauded the detailed reports by OI and AIK, exclaiming that successful strategic investments are impossible without timely and relevant research. Understanding the existing data protection gaps at the national and subnational level as well as having oversight of international best practices shall propel the ODPC to serve as model Data Protection Authority. 

The ODPC is currently seeking to develop a fund for generating alternate sources of income other than the National Treasury allocation. Currently, regulations are being developed in order to operationalise the fund.

A look at the Critical Infrastructure Protection Policy

Critical infrastructure assets are designated assets or facilities, whether owned by private or public entities which are designated as essential to the provision of vital services to Kenyans for their social and economic wellbeing. These assets, if destroyed, degraded or rendered unavailable, would impact on the social or economic wellbeing of the nation or affect Kenya’s ability to conduct national defense and security.

The 2020 ICT Policy states that the government will identify institutions, organisations and establishments that are of national strategic importance and classify them as ‘Critical Infrastructure’ assets. The draft Critical Infrastructure Protection Policy 2021 identifies these assets as:

  • Energy Sector:
    • Electricity segment; and
    • Oil segment.
  • Transportation Sector:
    • Aviation;
    • Land Transport; and 
    • Maritime Transportation System.
  • ICT Sector:
    •  Fiber Optic Cable;
    • Submarine Cables;
    • Telecommunication Transmission Hubs;
    • Telecommunication lines, posts, masts and towers; and
    • Data Centers.
  •  Water and Sanitation sector.
  • Food and Agriculture Sector.
  • Government Installations.
  • Healthcare facilities.
  • Educational institutions.

The general objective of the draft policy is to provide a national framework for the harmonization and co-ordination of critical infrastructure protection across various sectors. The specific objectives are to provide a framework for the protection of critical infrastructure assets, provide a framework for integrated planning for collective and collaborative approach in construction of critical infrastructure. Other objectives include providing coordinating mechanisms for the security of critical infrastructure, developing guidelines for information sharing and reporting on critical infrastructure protection and promoting and enhancing utilization of shared critical infrastructure by stakeholders.

Upon the implementation of the policy, there will be a coordinated and integrated approach to enhance capability of stakeholders to protect the critical infrastructure leading to minimal disruptions of key services and thus ensuring business continuity which will boost the economy of Kenya. There will also be improved information and infrastructure sharing where stakeholders share information and infrastructure to strengthen security and resilience of critical infrastructure. Successful implementation of the policy will enhance private public partnership in critical Infrastructure protection to ensure all relevant stakeholders from all levels of government, industry, emergency management, private sector as well as security are represented. It will also ensure resilient critical infrastructure that will withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions, deliberate attacks, accidents, or naturally-occurring threats or incidents.

Effects of Government Domestic Borrowing to Private Sector Investment in Kenya

By: John Mburu

The EGCL Institute recently conducted a study on the impact that Government domestic borrowing has on private sector investment in Kenya.

In summary, the study established that Government domestic borrowing can affect private investment negatively by reducing the amount of credit available to the private sector, increasing interest rates, or increasing the moral hazard in the banking sector. On the other hand, government domestic borrowing can affect private sector investment positively through financial sector development, helping banks to diversify risk, or investing in public projects that are complementary to private sector investment.

In essence, the study concluded that government domestic borrowing crowds in private sector investment at lower levels, but crowds out private investment at higher levels. Moreover, the study found that domestic credit to the private sector, annual GDP growth and trade as percent of GDP has a positive and significant effect on private sector investment.

Second, growth in credit to the private sector is vital for private sector investment. Third, the study concludes that economic growth is important for private sector investment as it increases the demand for goods and services. Fourth, trade openness is important for access to the international market as trade openness has a positive effect on private sector investment. The policy implication of the study is that the government should monitor the annual government domestic borrowing and ensure that it does not over borrow in the domestic market. This will help the banking sector to diversify their portfolio and spur private sector investment. Furthermore, the government should focus on developing the financial sector.

The study findings also showed that the effect of domestic credit to the private sector on private sector investment is economically and statistically significant. Hence, financial development which helps increase the amount of loanable funds and efficiency of the banking sector can help spur private sector investment. Lastly, and as a recommendation, the government should focus on increasing access to international marketing and reducing trade barriers. As the study suggests, trade as a percentage of GDP has a positive effect on private investment.

With regards to the optimal level of borrowing, the study estimated that the optimal level of annual government domestic borrowing as a percentage of GDP in Kenya was 3.96 percent. Therefore, the study concludes that first, annual government domestic borrowing as a percentage of GDP below 3.96 percent crowds in private sector investment but beyond this optimal point further borrowing crowds out private sector investment.

On 30th November, 2021, the Public Finance Sector Board leadership at KEPSA in collaboration with the Vellum team at Oxygène and EGCL Institute Fellow Mr. John Mburu hosted a panel discussion to deliberate on these findings where several issues were raised in the plenary notably, concerns over Kenya’s debt structure and how Kenya can leverage on proper fiscal management to attract foreign investors and become a hub of value addition and manufacturing.

Needless to say that Kenya’s debt levels have been news fodder for some time now with focus being on (un)sustainability in comparison to repayment capacity. Moreover, this is not the first research undertaken to establish the impact that domestic borrowing has on the private sector. In 2017, the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) conducted a similar study which sought to investigate the role of domestic borrowing on private investment growth and development in Kenya over the years. The most robust finding of this paper was that, in the short run, government domestic borrowing negatively and significantly affects gross fixed capital formation and hence investment, this however diminishes as in the long run.

Similar findings were found in the current study following a closer investigation of the relationship between private sector investment and government domestic borrowing.

That said, it is crucial that an appropriate monetary-fiscal policy mix would encourage better utilisation of domestic debt for the Government and private sector.

Source: John Mburu Research Fellow at EGCL Institute and PhD student at Kenyatta University, School of Economics. Email: john@egclinstitute.org/mburngugijn@gmail.com 

3rd December 2021 County Round Up

NYERI COUNTY The Governor of Nyeri County, Mutahi Kahiga, has appointed persons to the Nyeri County and Sub-County Alcoholic Drinks Regulations Committee, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from the 1st December , 2021.
KILIFI COUNTY The Kilifi County Assembly has notified members of the County Assembly of Kilifi and the general public that there shall be a special sitting of the County Assembly to be held on Tuesday, 7th December, 2021. at the County Assembly Chambers in Malindi from 9.30 a.m .
TAITA TAVETA COUNTY
  • The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission  has given notice to the public of the completion of the revision of the register of voters for members of Mahoo County Assembly ward in Taita Taveta.
  • The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has given notice to the public that voting for the Member of Mahoo County Assembly Ward By-election scheduled to be held on 16th December, 2021, shall be conducted at the places listed in the Schedule to this notice.

3rd December 2021 Parliamentary Round Up

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

Debate on the President’s Address To Parliament

Communication from the Chair

The Speaker of the National Assembly has been invited to grace a tree-planting event dubbed ‘National Tree Planting’ to be held tomorrow, Friday 3rd 2021.

Petitions

Hon. David Mwalika tables a petition on behalf of Matibo a resident of Kitui Rural regarding irregular and fraudulent trading activities by Dyer and Blair Investment Bank.

Motions

Majority Leader Hon.Amos Kimunya moved a procedural motion on the consideration of certain business received during the recess period.

The House ordered that  during  the  Long  Recess  of  the  Fifth  Session  (3rd  December,  2021  –  24th January, 2022) – 

  1. Should  a  Bill  be  published  during  the  said  period,  or  a  published  Bill become due for First Reading, the Speaker shall, upon lapse of at least three days following the publication of the Bill and following a determination that such Bill is of priority, forthwith refer such Bill to the relevant Committee for  consideration  pursuant  to  the  provisions  of  Standing  Order 127 (Committal of Bills to Committees and public participation) and cause the Bill to be read a First Time upon its next Sitting and the Second Reading may be taken forthwith,  or  on  such  other  day  as  the  House  Business  Committee  may determine;
  2. Should  any  statutory  instrument  be  transmitted  for  tabling  before  the House during the period, the Speaker shall, following a determination that the statutory instrument is of priority, forthwith refer the statutory instrument  to  the  relevant  Committee  for  consideration  and  cause  the statutory  instrument  to  be  tabled  in  the  House  upon  its  next  Sitting  in accordance with the provisions of section 11 of the Statutory Instruments Act (No. 3 of 2013);  and
  3. Should  any  Paper  be  transmitted  for  tabling  before  the  House,  the Speaker  shall,  following  a  determination  that  the  Paper  is  of  priority, forthwith refer the Paper to the relevant Committee for consideration and cause the Paper to be tabled in the House upon its next Sitting.

The House resolved to reduce the publication period of the Sacco Societies (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 55 of 2021) and the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 56 of 2021) from 14 days to 6 days.

Papers Laid

The report of the Committee on Delegated Legislation on the consideration of the Crops (Coffee General Amendment) Regulations 2021.

Reports of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning on its consideration of:

  1. The Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No 39 of 2021).
  2. Petroleum Products, Taxes and Levies (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 42 of 2021).
First Reading
  • The Sacco Societies (Amendment) Bill
  • The Political Parties (Amendment) Bill
Second Reading
  • The Kenya Industrial Research Development Institute Bill
  • The Kenya Roads (Amendment) Bill
  • The National Health Insurance Fund (Amendment) Bill
Committee of the Whole House
  • The Asian Widows’ and Orphans’ Pensions (Repeal) Bill
  • The Provident Fund (Repeal) Bill
  • The Kenya Roads (Amendment) Bill
  • The County Governments Grants Bill
  • The National Health Insurance Fund (Amendment) Bill 
  • The Prompt Payment Bill
Third Reading
  • The Asian Widows’ and Orphans’ Pensions (Repeal) Bill
  • The Provident Fund (Repeal) Bill
  • The Kenya Roads (Amendment) Bill
  • The County Governments Grants Bill
  • The National Health Insurance Fund (Amendment) Bill 
  • The Prompt Payment Bill

**The National Assembly stands adjourned until Tuesday 25th January 2021 at 2:30pm.** 

 

SENATE

Debate on the President’s Address To Parliament

Communication from the Chair

On the 24th November 2021, the High Court delivered its judgment on the appeal. On its judgment, the High Court set aside the decision of the PPDT expelling Sen. Mwaura from the Jubilee Party. The High Court having quashed Gazette Notice No. 4597 by the Speaker of the Senate which declared a vacancy of a member elected by a party-list thereby removing Sen Mwaura as a Senator and further the High Court having quashed Gazette Notice No. 4598 dated 11th May 2021 by the chairperson of IEBC which appointed Samuel Leshore to replace Sen Mwaura as a member of the Senate representing persons with disability. Therefore Speaker Lusaka directed that Sen. Isaac Mwaura remain a Senator in accordance with the Constitution of Kenya and the Senate Standing Orders.

The Speaker received a message from the Speaker of the National Assembly regarding the approval by National Assembly of the Public Private Partnership Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 6 of 2021)

Papers Laid
  1. The Eighth (8th) State of the Nation Address by His Excellency the President delivered at a Special Sitting of Parliament on Tuesday, 30th November, 2021;
  2. The Eighth (8th) Annual Report (2020), on the Measures Taken and Progress Achieved in the Realization of National Values and Principles of Governance;
  3. The Eighth (8th) Annual Report on the Progress made in Fulfilling the International Obligations of the Republic of Kenya;
  4. The Annual Report to Parliament on the State of National Security, 2021;
  5. The Kenya Business Climate Reforms Milestones Report for the year 2020-2021;
  6. 2022 Budget Policy Statement;
  7. 2022 Medium-term debt management strategy;
  8.  The Draft Division of Revenue Bill 2022;
  9. The Draft County Allocation of Revenue Bill 2022;
  10.  The Council of Governors Annual Statutory Report for the year 2020/2021;
  11. State of Judiciary and Administration of Justice Annual Report for the year 2020/2021;
  12. Report of the Standing Committee on National Cohesion, Equal Opportunity and Regional Integration on the ethnicity, diversity and inclusivity at the Kenya Marime Authority and Kenya Ports Authority;
  13. The Fourth Progress Report of the Standing Committee on Health on the Covid-19 pandemic situation and the implementation of the Nationwide COVID-19 vaccine deployment;
  14. Report of the Standing Committee on Health on the National Health Insurance Fund (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bills No. 21 of 2021); and
  15. The Report of the Standing Committee on Finance and Budget on the approval of the Senate Nominee to the Equalization Fund Advisory Board.
Statements
  • Senator Cherargei seeks a statement from the Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights regarding unqualified persons practicing as advocates in various private companies across the country. 
  • Senator Michael Mbito made a statement relating to the activities of the Standing Committee on Health during the third and fourth quarters of the 5th session, 1st July to December 2021.
  • Sen. Okong’o Mogeni made a statement relating to the activities of the Standing Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights during the period July to December 2021.
  • Senator Naomi Shiyonga made a statement on the activities of the Standing Committee on National Cohesion, Equal Opportunities and Regional Integration for the period commencing 1st July 2021 to 30th November 2021.
  • Senator Sakaja Johnson made a statement relating to the activities of the Standing Committee on Labour and Social Welfare from July to December 2021.
  • Senator Paul Githiomi made a statement relating to the activities of the senate Standing Committee on Land and Natural Resources.
  • Sen. Farhiya Ali made a statement relating to the activities of Standing Committee on Finance and Budgeting during the period July to December 2021.
  • Majority Leader Samuel Poghisio gave a Statement on the Business of the Senate for the week commencing Tuesday, 8th February, 2022.

**The Senate is adjourned until Tuesday 8th February 2022 at 2:30pm.**

 

3rd December 2021 Kenya Gazette Review

National Assembly Bills, 2021 

  • The Forest Conservation and Management (Amendment) Bill, 2021
  • The Public Appointments (Parliamentary Approval) (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Legislative Supplements, 2021

  • The National Hospital Insurance Fund Act – Declaration of Hospitals
  • The Water Act – Designation of Basin Areas

Acts, 2021 

  • The Refugees Act, 2021
  • The Law of Succession (Amendment) Act, 2021
  • The Foreign Service Act, 2021
PUBLIC SECTOR
  • The Panel for the selection of nominees for appointment of Chairperson and Members of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights has published the names and qualifications of ALL applicants and shortlisted candidates. The shortlisted candidates will be interviewed at Harambee House, 12th Floor, Boardroom, Harambee Avenue, Nairobi on the date and time indicated in Schedule.
LAND AND ENVIRONMENT SECTOR 

Appointments

  • The Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife has appointed persons as honorary wardens as per the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, 2013.

Completion of Development Plans

The preparation of the below-mentioned Part Development Plan is complete:

  • PDF No. 2728/2021/02 –  Proposed Lafaha Farm 
  • PDF. No. R336/2021/01 – Existing KPLC Substation, Bomet
JUDICIARY 

Nominations

The Principal Judge of the High Court, Lydia Achode, has nominated the following persons as members of the High Court Advisory Committee, for a period of three (3) years with effect from the 17th November. 2021:

  • Hon. Justice Aggrey Muchelule
  • Hon. Lady Justice Ether Maina
  • Hon. Justice Joseph Sergon
  • Hon. Justice Hedwig Ong’udi
FINANCIAL SERVICES SECTOR

Application for Licenses 

  • The following applicants made applications to the Communications Authority of Kenya for grant of the licences dated November 19, 2021: 
Name  Station Identity Licence Category
Kirima Communication Centre Limited Kwihika TV Commercial Free to Air Television
Sussex Media Group Limited Ithaga TV  Commercial Free to Air Television
Mountain Nest Media Limited Mountain of Peace TV Commercial Free to Air Television
Jesus Gospel Power Ministries Gospo FM Commercial Free to Air Radio
Simama Dada CBO Dada Radio Commercial Free to Air Radio
Bishop Kola CBO Good News Radio FM Commercial Free to Air Radio
Ezamoyo Self Help Group Chenda FM Commercial Free to Air Radio
Mediatel Limited Mediatel Radio Commercial Free to Air Radio

 

  • The following applicants made applications to the Communications Authority of Kenya for grant of the licences dated November 30, 2021: 
Name  Station Identity Licence Category
Royal Media Services Limited Ramogi Television Commercial Free to Air Television
Jubilee Community Outreach Jesus at Work TV Commercial Free to Air Television
Media of Praise Media Limited Media of Praise TV Commercial Free to Air Television
Kabaa Digital Resource Centre CBO Ngwatanio FM Commercial Free to Air Radio
Kenya Community Support Centre (KECOSCE) Kecosce FM Commercial Free to Air Radio
Digital Decoders Distributors Limited Gukena FM Commercial Free to Air Radio
Radio Africa Limited Smooth FM Commercial Free to Air Radio
Radio Africa Limited Kiss 100  Commercial Free to Air Radio
Radio Africa Limited Classic 105 Commercial Free to Air Radio
Radio Holdings International Limited Radio Jambo Commercial Free to Air Radio
Metro East FM Limited East FM Commercial Free to Air Radio
Homeboyz Radio 2017 Limited Homeboyz Radio Commercial Free to Air Radio
  • The following applicants made applications to the Communications Authority of Kenya for grant of the licences dated November 23, 2021: 
Name  Licence Category 
Ishakani Enterprises Limited National Postal/ Courier Operator Licence
Wellborn Africa Limited National Postal/ Courier Operator Licence
Onesite Africa Limited Network Facilities Provider Tier-3 (NFPT-3)
Rentco Africa Limited Network Facilities Provider Tier-2 (NFPT-2)
Agape Tech Enterprise Solution Limited Network Facilities Provider Tier-3 (NFPT-3)
Envia Technologies Limited Network Facilities Provider Tier-3 (NFPT-3)

 

  • The Communications Authority of Kenya has revoked the licences of the service providers who have requested for cancellation of their licences, dated 19th November 2021. 
Category A: Network Facilities Providers (NFPs)
Licensee Name Licence Number
Callkey (EA) Limited TL/NFP-T2/00026
Coast Development Authority TL/NFP-T3/00077
Dr. Wireless Limited TL/NFP-T3/00055
Ells Limited TL/NFP-T3/00070
Emerging Markets Communications (K) Limited TL/NFP-T3/00066
Indigo Telecom Limited TL/NFP-T3/00072
Category B: Application Service Providers (ASPs)
Licensee Name Licence Number
Callkey (E.A) Limited TL/ASP/00026
Ells Limited TL/ASP/00070
Emerging Markets Communications (K) Limited TL/ASP/00066
Onenet Africa Limited ASP/00229/M
Sema Mobile Services Limited TL/ASP/00388
Sisi Communications Limited ASP/00194
Geda Limited TL/ASP/00181
Sasa Networks Limited ASP/00259
Category C: Content ServiceProviders (CSPs) 
Licensee Name Licence Number
Sema Mobile Services Limited TL/CSP/00388
Total Tim Kenya Limited TL/CSP/00578
Geda Limited  TL/CSP/00463
Software Group TL/CSP/00308

 

3rd December 2021 Political and Regulatory Round Up

KENYA

Mixed reactions greet Uhuru’s state of nation address 

MPs expressed mixed reactions to President Kenyatta’s State of the Nation Address delivered to a joint sitting of Parliament on Tuesday.

Whereas pro-handshake lawmakers lauded the eighth address as comprehensive and giving hope to Kenyans, their counterparts in Deputy President William Ruto’s camp insisted the speech was underwhelming.

The lawmakers cited the Pandora Papers leak, Kemsa heist and debt levels as some of the national concerns missing from the President’s speech. However, Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga dismissed the Tangatanga team, saying Uhuru’s speech was one of the best to be delivered before the House. The ODM MP said highlighting the President’s achievement was crucial to debunk claims by naysayers that the handshake has derailed Jubilee’s development plan.

(Source: The Star)

TANZANIA

Tanzania 2020 elections were neither free nor fair, says Redet 

The 2020 General Election did not have a level playing ground, affecting the participation of opposition parties, a report has revealed.

The report of the Research and Education for Democracy in Tanzania (Redet) under the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Dar es Salaam, gave the revelation after its launch yesterday following a review on previous elections in all regions with 2,353 observers.

“Opposition parties did not fare well in the last election and the competition was not balanced, it was not fair, so, to some extent it affected the competition and the participation of opposition parties,” said Prof Mukandala.

(Source: The Citizen)

UGANDA

China, Uganda Deny Loan Default-Entebbe Airport Takeover Rumours 

China has denied reports it could take control of Uganda’s international airport should the government in Kampala default on a USD 200 million loan from Beijing.

“The malicious allegation… has no factual basis and is ill intended to distort the good relations that China enjoys with developing countries including Uganda,” a spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Kampala said late Sunday.

The denial followed reports in the Daily Monitor newspaper last week that Uganda could surrender Entebbe International Airport should it default on a 2015 loan from Beijing to expand and upgrade the facility.

Beijing has been criticised in the past for lending too much to poor countries without scrutinising their ability to repay, and its vast loans to cash-strapped African states have fuelled concerns about debt traps.

(Source: NDTV)

RWANDA

Rwanda imposes 7-day quarantine for travellers over new variant 

Rwanda has imposed a seven-day quarantine for passengers arriving in Kigali who have recently been to countries affected by the new Covid-19 variant (Omicron). All direct flights between Rwanda and southern African countries have been temporarily suspended.

The resolutions were made during an extraordinary Cabinet meeting on Sunday, which was called to discuss Rwanda’s response to the new variant. It was chaired by President Paul Kagame.

Rwanda joins the European Union, the United States, Israel, United Arab Emirates, the UK, among others, that have suspended flights to southern Africa.

(Source: The East African)

ETHIOPIA

Ethiopian gov’t says it retook string of towns from Tigray forces 

The Ethiopian government says its forces recaptured Shewa Robit, a town some 220km (135 miles) from the capital Addis Ababa, which was claimed last week by fighters from the northern Tigray region.

In recent days, state media has broadcast images of a uniformed Abiy, who is a former military lieutenant colonel and the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner, in what appeared to be the northeastern region of Afar. On Sunday, state media said the army controlled the lowland Afar town of Chifra, and Abiy said Tuesday such gains would be replicated in the Amhara region, where Dessie lies.

Much of northern Ethiopia is under a communications blackout and access for journalists is heavily restricted, making battlefield claims difficult to corroborate.  Al Jazeera, however, was able to gain exclusive access to Chifra, the first international news organisation to do so.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed, millions displaced and hundreds of thousands have been driven to famine-like conditions, according to UN estimates, since fighting broke out in early November 2020.

(Source: Aljazeera)

ERITREA

Excerpts of the Statement delivered by Ambassador Sophia Tesfamariam during the Annual Ministerial Meeting of the G77 and China, 30 November, 2021 

”For over seven decades, the people of Eritrea have suffered incessant hostilities by successive US Administrations, including diplomatic pressures, sanctions and economic sabotage. This month the US Administration has again imposed unilateral sanctions on Eritrea. Our group must show solidarity with those of us that are being affected by such measures which continue to negatively impact our efforts to respond effectively to the effects of Covid-19 pandemic and other developmental challenges. 

There should not be any hesitation in calling out for the immediate lifting of all unilateral sanctions. We must strengthen our solidarity, enhance our coordination and pursue our common goal to counter policies that intend to break us apart and pick us one after the other. We should say No More to the violations of the UN Charter, to politics of bullying, and external intervention in the affairs of sovereign nations.

Despite the relentless harassment and hostilities, Eritrea will continue its path to ensure an inclusive and people-centred development with the principle of social justice at its core. It has made strides in improving educational and health services, agricultural productivity, and infrastructure with meagre resources. Eritrea will also continue to contribute towards creating a peaceful and collaborative neighbourhood in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea.”

(Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea)

SUDAN

Sudan’s Hamdok to quit if post-coup deal is not implemented 

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok will quit if a political agreement he signed with the military last week is not implemented or fails to receive backing from political factions, a source close to him has revealed.

Opponents say the post-coup agreement favours the military by leaving the army chief in charge of a body, the Sovereign Council, that was meant to pass to civilian control. Hamdok has said he signed the agreement to stop bloodshed and preserve much-needed international financial support.

On 1st December, Hamdok issued a decree replacing most of a group of caretaker deputy ministers that had been installed by the military after the coup. The decree did not include the finance, federal rule, and information ministries.

(Source: Reuters)

SOMALIA

Somalia Election Programme falls short

Somalia was supposed to be conducting indirect elections for the Lower House, part of a bicameral Parliament that also includes the Senate, and which together sit to vote for the next President.

Somali President Mohamed Farmaajo rivals under the caucus of the Council of Presidential Candidates announced they were pulling out of the parliamentary elections which they claimed are rigged.

“The Council of Presidential Candidates will never accept this rigged election,” argued Abdishakur Abdirahman, a member of the Council and leader of the Wadajir party. “The Council’s consultative meetings among its members, and the meetings they will hold with the PM and other stakeholders will focus on every means that would achieve the conduct of free and fair election.”

It was unclear what impact their withdrawal will have, especially since none of the members were contesting for the Lower House seats, but could rely on the outcomes to vet their own chances at the presidency.

The election for the Lower House were supposed to go on until December 26, when all the five federal states should have elected members to the 275-member house. But some Somalis fear rushing through the election could defeat its purpose.

(Source: The East African)

Ending Aids while learning from Covid

This year’s World Aids Day celebrations, coming as the world works to push back the Covid-19 pandemic, have given the scientific and public policy community an opportunity to consider lessons learnt during the latest medical and scientific struggle faced globally. 

As of the end of 2020, an estimated 27.5 million People Living with HIV worldwide were taking ART — two-thirds of the universal treatment target set by UNAIDS.  This has led to significant contributions in the failures that have prevented the world from achieving its global targets despite the progress achieved.

Covid-19 has further exacerbated the situation, with growing inequalities and disparities in access to HIV treatment owing to the disruption in service provision. This has been occasioned by structural and social challenges that continue to impede people from receiving safe and effective HIV prevention tools.

However, despite the adverse impact that Covid has had on HIV treatment, there are a number of lessons that can be borrowed from the Covid vaccines such as provision of a new path forward for HIV vaccine discovery by providing applications for new vaccine platforms, such as mRNA, and novel strategies for rapidly identifying vaccine targets. For instance, using these learnings, there are increasing developments being made in broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) for long- acting HIV prevention. This suggests it may be possible to achieve a HIV vaccine with a high level of efficacy—an almost inconceivable scientific possibility several years ago. 

Further to this, scientists have made significant progress in the anti-retroviral field as well with development of Long-acting ART (cabotegravir) which if achieved would replace daily oral medications, which has been the cornerstone of both HIV treatment and prevention for decades. Long-acting antiretroviral medication via injection will also soon be considered for regulatory approval as pre-exposure prophylaxis.

These, and other lessons, may be used to reduce the Aids burden across the burden and concerns that despite the considerable progress that has been made since the first World Aids Day in 1998, far too many people continue to acquire HIV and die from its related illnesses. 

In 2020, an estimated 680,000 people globally died from HIV-related causes, and roughly 1.5 million people became newly infected with HIV, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). 

Similar to 1988, the rallying call for this year’s World AIDS Day was to end the HIV/AIDS pandemic but at the same time to deal with the inequalities that have dragged the fight back.

As the concurrent battles against the HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 pandemics continue, the critical work needed is to optimize strategies for improving the health of those with HIV, prevent new cases, and achieve a durable end to HIV/AIDS. 

3rd December 2021 Financial and Trade Services Round Up

KENYA

Shilling hits all-time low of 112.5 to dollar

The shilling has declined to a new all-time low of 112.5 against the dollar as importers increase demand for the greenback with the economy recovering from the impact of the pandemic.

Reuters quoted the shilling at 112.45/65 per dollar on Thursday, a record low, after hitting its previous all-time low of 112.30/50 earlier in the week.

Sustained demand for dollars for imports is pushing the shilling downwards with traders projecting further decline against the greenback. The shilling depreciation is set to hit consumers with higher prices of imported goods like cars, electronics and second-hand clothes as well as that of electricity.

The shilling is on shaky ground on demand for dollar for imports, higher oil prices and repayment of dollar-denominated loans against slower recovery of exports and tourism receipts.

Kenya is hoping diaspora remittances and new multilateral loans will help provide the supply of dollars. The Central Bank of Kenya also has dollar reserves of Sh978.7 billion ($8.7 billion) enough to meet import demand for 5.3 months.

The weakening of the shilling has triggered fears of a fresh round of inflationary pressure, which has become a political headache for the government that has recently been forced to offer fuel subsidies to defuse social tension.

(Source: Business Daily)

China signals cuts in loans to Africa after reduction of financing pledge

China has signalled a reduction in loans to Kenya and other African countries in coming years after it cut financial commitment to projects in the continent by as much as a third in the next three years.

Nairobi has been a major beneficiary of China’s loans for the development of mega infrastructure projects such as roads and a modern railway over the last decade, making Beijing the largest bilateral creditor since 2015.

President Xi Jinping on Monday pledged — through a video link to the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Senegal — to invest $40 billion (Sh4.5 trillion) in African countries for three years.

That represents a 33.33 percent drop from the $60 billion (Sh6.75 trillion) the world’s second-largest economy has committed to African countries in the last two FOCAC summits, which takes place every three years.

(Source: Business Daily)

The first Quarterly Economic and Budgetary Review Report (QEBR) for the FY 2021-22 has been published.

Herein below are the key findings:

  1. Improved revenue collection surpassing quarterly target by Ksh 26 Billion;
  2. Expenditure and net lending amounting to Ksh 631 billion against a quarterly target of Ksh 665 billion;
  3. Net foreign financing amounting to Ksh 28.2 billion;
  4. Domestic borrowing increased by Ksh 480 billion from Ksh 3.4 trillion to Ksh 3.9 trillion;
  5. Total external stock debt including sovereign bond amounted to ksh 4.05 trillion;
  6. Total outstanding National Government pending bills amounted to Ksh 423 billion as at 30th September 2021; and
  7. The QEBR lacks information on county transfers during the period under review.  

(Source: National Treasury)

UGANDA

Uganda’s foreign exchange reserve rises to Shs15 trillion ($4.2 Billion)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said Uganda’s foreign exchange reserve level now stands at $4.3b (Shs15.4 trillion) following the disbursement of Special Drawing Rights (SDR).

This indicates a rise in the volume of Uganda’s foreign exchange reserve to cater for future imports of goods and services. Prior, Uganda’s foreign exchange reserve up to June 2021 was at $3.567b.

The IMF resident representative, Ms Izabela Karpowicz, said: “We project that, excluding oil-related financing and investment imports, reserves will remain at about 4 months of imports in the near term before rising to the East Africa Community target of 4.5 months of imports by 2025/26.” 

Uganda imports more than it exports. As a result, Uganda’s wide current account deficit is increasingly financed by the portfolio inflows into government securities.

(Source: The Monitor)

UAE investors to construct tea processing factories in Uganda

The government of Uganda has attracted investors from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who are said to be planning to construct tea processing factories in some of the tea growing districts in western and northern parts of the country.

The executive director and board member of Elite Agro group of the United Arab Emirates Dr Abdul Monem led the investors group that appreciated the tea gardens in Kisoro district and said the construction of the tea processing factory would commence after the necessary paperwork and general survey is completed.

The Minister of Works and Transport, Gen Katumba Wamala has promised to work on the roads connecting to the tea growing sub counties and said plans are underway to extend hydropower electricity to the proposed site where the tea processing factory is scheduled to be constructed. 

(Source: The Monitor)

TANZANIA

Pain at the pump as fuel prices hit record high

Motorists with effect from December 1 have started paying more for fuel, according to the latest price list released by the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA).

The new prices have hit a record high even after the recent interventions by the Energy ministry to strike off certain charges and levies that were considered a burden to the consumer.

With the increase, consumers will pay Sh2,510 per liter of Petrol  in Dar es Salaam, while those  in Tanga and Mtwara will pay Sh2,525 shillings per liter and Sh2,569 shillings per liter, respectively.

According to the statement, the price of petrol at the Dar es Salaam port has increased by Sh84, diesel Sh29, while kerosene sees its price jump by Sh18.

(Source: The Citizen)

CRDB Bank, Visa International unveil new campaign to promote cashless transactions

The CRDB Bank has partnered with Visa International to launch a campaign that is geared at creating a culture of using the cards in making financial transactions.

Dubbed “Tisha Na TemboCARD Visa”, customers stand a chance to win various prizes, including watching Africa Cup of Nations Championship (Afcon) 2022 in Cameroon.

CRDB’s retail banking director, Mr Boma Raballa appealed to the Bank’s customers and Tanzanians in general to actively participate in the campaign by using their TemboCARD Visa cards to make payments while urging them to continue the practice even after the campaign as the aim is to make Bank card use a regular part of payment transactions as a strategy to build a cashless society.

CRDB Bank’s senior manager for card business, Ms Erica Mwaipopo, said to participate, one is expected to use their TemboCARD Visa cards to pay for purchases and services at shops, supermarkets, restaurants, hotels and petrol stations, purchasing equipment (PoS), as well as online payments, including paying for air tickets.

(Source: The Citizen)

RWANDA

KCB eyes total buyout of Rwandan lender 

Rwandan bank BPR Atlas Mara has said it is finalising modalities to allow local shareholders sell their stake in the lender amid interest by Nairobi-headquartered KCB Group.

Managing director Maurice Toroitich said the bank is targeting to finalise the process before end of year to enable Rwandan BPR shareholders to offload up to 23.7 percent of their shares.

The major beneficiary is expected to be KCB Group, which acquired 62 percent of BPR shares from Atlas Mara Ltd in November 2020 and an additional 14 percent from private equity firm Arise in August this year, bringing its ownership in BPR to 76 percent. It now has its sights on the remaining 24 percent minority stake in the hands of local shareholders to claim full ownership of the Rwandan lender.
(Source: The East African)

Rwanda, DR Congo commit to boost trade through transportation

The Minister of Infrastructure, Ambassador Claver Gatete and his DRC counterpart, Cherubin Okende Senga on Wednesday, December 1 held a bilateral exchange on the development of air, road and railway infrastructure projects.

The meeting that aimed at bolstering regional trade services was held on the sidelines of the 33rd plenary session of the African Civil Aviation Commission meeting, currently underway in Kigali.

Officials from both sides were assessing the implementation of agreed on projects in the transportation sector that are meant to improve bilateral relations and how they can be accelerated.

Speaking to the media, Minister Gatete highlighted that their discussions involved measures to perfect and pave the way for the agreements facilitating air and land movements between the residents of the two countries.

(Source: The New Times) 

ETHIOPIA

Ethiopian Pharmaceuticals Supplies Agency Imports Supplies Worth Over 1 Billion Birr ($20.7 Million)

Ethiopian Pharmaceuticals Supplies Agency (EPSA) announced that it has imported medicines worth over a billion birr and they are ready for distribution.

Nahom Gemechu, Medicines and Medical Equipment Purchasing Contract Director at EPSA, said the medicines are stored in the agency’s warehouses. Out of these are, life-saving medicines worth 1.78 billion birr, basic medicines worth 161.5 million birr, and medical equipment worth 2.42 million birr, Mr. Nahom pointed out.

The agency has spent over 1.24 billion birr to purchase the supplies, which are expected to fill the existing demand and supply gap in pharmaceuticals, it has been learned.

(Source: 2Merkato)

AfDB Approves $217Mn Loan to Facilitate Road Transport Among Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) said its Board of Directors has approved $217 million in loans to fund a project that will improve road transport services among Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia. 

The road transport services, primarily in Kenya’s northeastern region, are joined by the Kenyan government’s contribution of $6.3 million. The $223.3 million project covers the 740 km Isiolo-Mandera corridor and will enhance regional integration and trade between Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia. About 867,000 people who reside around the project area are expected to benefit from the initiative, AfDB noted.

The loans comprise $75 million from the non-concessional window of the Bank Group and $142 million from the concessional lending division, known as the African Development Fund, the Bank related. 

The road network, including the 142 km El Wak-Rhamu stretch, is one of the four priority corridors identified under the Horn of Africa Initiative, driven by the governments of Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea and Djibouti. The initiative is supported by the African Development Bank, World Bank and European Union. The road project is expected to contribute to the socio-economic development of communities along the corridor, which is characterized by high poverty levels and prone to insecurity. 

(Source: 2Merkato)

ERITREA

Permanent Representative of Eritrea to the United Nations pledges continued commitment to SDG Agenda 

During the annual Ministerial meeting of the G77 and China, Permanent Representative of Eritrea to the United Nations Ambassador Sophia Tesfamariam pledged its continued commitment to the fulfillment of the SDG agenda. 

Eritrea will continue its path to ensure an inclusive and people-centred development with the principle of social justice at its core. It has made strides in improving educational and health services, agricultural productivity, and infrastructure with meagre resources. Eritrea will also continue to contribute towards creating a peaceful and collaborative neighbourhood in Horn of Africa and the Red Sea.

Ambassador Tesfamariam stated that Eritrea has suffered incessant hostilities by successive US Administrations, including diplomatic pressures, sanctions and economic sabotage. As a result, Eritrea faces challenges in the economic, social and environmental areas and the overarching goal of addressing and eliminating poverty in all its shapes is becoming more elusive by 2030. 

Ambassador Tesfamariam emphasised Eritrea’s readiness to closely work with the sisterly member countries of the Group of 77 to realize the objective of a fair, just, peaceful and equitable global political and economic order.

(Source: The Ministry of Information Eritrea)

SUDAN

Covid-19 ‘Omicron’ – Sudan Imposes Travel Ban on Countries from Southern Africa

The health authorities in Sudan have issued a decision banning entry to travellers arriving from six Southern African countries, due to the outbreak of the new ‘Omicron’ mutation of COVID-19 that was identified in South Africa.

Sudanese authorities say that one case of infection with the new mutation has been reported by Khartoum International Airport, regarding a passenger from South Africa.

The ban, effective from tomorrow until February 27 next year, includes arrivals from South African countries Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, and Lesotho. The decision stipulates that entry to Sudan will not be allowed for people who have been in or passed through those countries over the past 14 days.

Sudan echoes similar bans adopted this week by the European Union, UK, and USA.

(Source: Radio Dabanga)

SOMALIA

Farmajo, Emir Of Qatar Discuss Strengthening Bilateral Relations

President Farmajo and Prince Sheikh Tamim discussed a number of issues related to strengthening relations between Somalia and Qatar and their common interests in order to promote effective and mutually beneficial cooperation.

The President thanked the Emir of Qatar for implementing road construction projects in Mogadishu, Afgoye, Balad and Jowhar, building key government facilities and expanding basic services, noting the efforts of the Somali people and government to build infrastructure. important for the country’s recovery and development.

For his part, the Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad commended the Government and people of Somalia for their close cooperation, unity and solidarity in the recovery of the country, expressing a sense of brotherhood towards the country’s progress and the significant achievements we have achieved in recent years

(Source: Radio Dalsan)

Tough Choices ahead for Public Universities in Kenya

The recent unravelling of major public universities in Kenya points at an urgent need for reforms, with the task likely to be taken up by the next administration. 

Moi University and Egerton University have been the latest tertiary institutions in financial trouble attributed to rapid unplanned expansion and a dip in student enrollment. 

The problem is both financial and managerial. Universities rely on students’ fees and funding from the government, but they used to get a fair share of the revenue from student enrolment through the Module II (self-sponsored/parallel) courses. 

The lucrative degree programme was affected when the number of students meeting the C+ limit for admission to university  government dropped. This drop is attributed to the Education ministry’s changes to the marking and grading of the national secondary education examinations that reduced the number of students meeting the minimum grade. 

With all the students who qualified for university education taken up by the government-sponsored programmes, there was a decline in student numbers in the parallel programme, then the biggest revenue generator for the public institutions besides government subsidies.

Poor financial management, reliance on short-term loans, ethnicity-driven hiring, and unfair labour practices have been noted as some of the factors that have crippled public universities. 

At Egerton University, which was closed indefinitely after the teaching staff went on strike, the head of the lecturers’ union said the management had refused to address the problem of staff salaries, enhancements, and deductions for a long time. An audit report revealed that the university had not been remitting deductions for retirement benefits, insurance, and third-party deductions such as bank loans despite slashing them off staff’s pay.

Other commentators have cited the commercialization of public universities as the root cause of the current mess in higher education. A scholar and a social and political commentator, Dr. Wandia Njoya, argues that the commercialization of public universities poses two main problems. First, lecturers are not adept at business. Second, universities now spend more money on administrative aspects instead of academic and research aspects. Inevitably, this model of running universities was never sustainable, hence the current mess. 

According to Dr. Wandia, the public university ought to be a public good with lecturers serving the public through education and robust intellectual engagement instead of being turned into a revenue-generating resource.

To address the turmoil in the higher education sector, the government is considering introducing a new formula of allocation of funds to public universities. The proposed new formula by the Universities Fund takes into account specific performance measures. The key performance indicators to be considered will be a four-year graduation rate, graduate employability rate (one year after graduation), and research inputs.

The World Bank has also expressed concern with the growing debt and deficit faced by institutions of higher learning in Kenya. In an advisory to the government, the World Bank has called for the merger of state corporations in the education sector which would, in turn, improve the efficiency of public spending on higher education and reduce spending pressures.

This means that the next administration will inherit a myriad of problems in the higher institutions that will need to be dealt with, and its bound to be quite a challenge given the complexity of the matter. 

As Odinga considers his choices, Mudavadi presents a familiar dilemma

Orange Democratic Movement head Raila Odinga is scheduled to make a major announcement on December 10, but observers expect no surprises as he has pointed in the direction already. 

Barring a change of heart, the former Prime Minister will be making official his fifth attempt at the presidency at next year’s General Election. 

After an initial slow start, Mr Odinga has hit the ground running and nowadays, the major political stories of the day are about his tours of one part of the country as Deputy President William Ruto tours another. 

Both Mr Odinga and Dr Ruto are weighed down by the dilemma of who to select as their running mate and how to set up their line-up to go with the ethnic alignments that colour political affiliation in Kenya. 

The Deputy President has arguably the bigger dilemma, as there are expectations from the MPs from Central Kenya that have backed him that he would pick one of them, which makes the question for him who would be the most balanced and at the same time the most strategic pick. 

Mr Odinga, on the other hand, has a less daunting task, seeing as his main partners appear to be the One Kenya Alliance (OKA), whose structure allows for the selection of a leader from amongst them. 

That fact transfers the pressure to OKA, whose current issues revolve around the new-found resoluteness of Musalia Mudavadi, the head of the Amani National Congress. 

Usually seen as a quiet pacifist, Mr Mudavadi has of late taken a more aggressive and defiant stance, choosing the contrarian route and buttressing it by criticizing the Government more than he previously used to. 

He demonstrated it this week with attacks on President Uhuru Kenyatta, where he attacked the President’s suggestion of support for Mr Odinga when he said that leaders should not be judged on the basis of their age. 

Mr Mudavadi has firm grip of his party, but the same cannot be said of his region, where Ford-Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya have significant influence, and both Mr Odinga and Dr Ruto also draw support. 

The ANC leader has sought to rely on his image as “a safe pair of hands” his long tenure in leadership – he was made a minister in his thirties – and his calm demeanour as proof that he is the right man for the job. 

In wooing the OKA team, it has been suggested that Mr Odinga would promise to push forward the changes to the Constitution that would create new posts in the Executive to serve the ethnic interests that have always threatened to break the country apart. 

It would sound like a hard promise to fulfill given the time it would take, but as the season of clout-building ahead of the time limits on coalition-making continues, Mr Mudavadi’s choices and chances remain as narrow as that of his OKA team. 

 

Kenya’s Cybersecurity Priorities in a Post-Covid World

Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) with the support of UK’s Digital Access Programme convened a round table meeting to deliberate on Kenya’s common cybersecurity priorities in a post Covid-19 world and to consolidate the various stakeholder priorities to inform the country’s cybersecurity strategies.

Currently, Kenya has the second most cyberattacks in Africa, demonstrating the growing attractiveness of the Kenyan cyber ecosystem to online malicious threat actors. The main cybersecurity challenges faced are third party misuse of data, data breaches, malware attacks and business disruption, and attacks on IT infrastructure. 

The expected outcome of the meeting held on November 25, 2021, is to establish an up to date and shared understanding of Kenya’s cybersecurity priorities for the coming years. The sentiments of the multifaceted panelists shall inform the development of Kenya’s latest National Cybersecurity Strategy. 

The event was graced by the following panelists:

  • Joseph Nzano – Head of Cybersecurity at the Communications Authority of Kenya and Head of the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Center (KE-CIRT/CC).
  • Dr Paula Musuva –  A lecturer in Forensic Information Technology at the United States International University-Africa where she teaches specialised courses in Information Security. 
  • Mutheu Khimulu – Legal specialist in counter terrorism, cybersecurity and crisis management. 
  • Phillip Irode – Head of Information Security at ICT Authority (ICTA)
  • Dr Katherine Getao – CEO of the ICTA, although to be replaced by Dr Kipronoh Ronoh in the next 2 weeks. 
  • Hon. William Kisang – MP for Marakwet West and Chair for the National Assembly Departmental Committee for Communication, Information and Innovation. 
  • Dr Martin Koyabe – Senior Manager at the African Union Commission – Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (AUC-GFCE) collaboration project. 

The panellists derived the cybersecurity priorities against the backdrop of Kenya’s cybersecurity achievements, such as the enactment and implementation of the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act, establishment of the Office of the Data Protection Commission, development of Kenya’s ICT Policy 2020, and the launch of National Computer and Cybercrimes Coordination Committee (NC4). 

Priorities for the future

Understanding the status quo of ICT in Kenya 

Understanding the current state of cybersecurity will inform Kenya’s strategic cybersecurity roadmap and will guide the prioritisation of programmes and goals to enhance the security of Kenya’s cyber ecosystem. The status quo can be established by: 

  • Conducting studies to determine ICT’s contribution, both direct and indirect, to the Kenyan economy.
  • A risk assessment framework that will identify the cybersecurity threats that exist to the various economic sectors dependent on ICT technologies.

Legislative priorities

  • Enactment of a Critical Infrastructure Bill which would provide for the establishment of an institutional framework for the designation and protection of critical infrastructure, establishment of a national database of critical infrastructures, and undertaking research in order to identify the challenges and vulnerabilities faced, including those from cyber threats. The Bill should apply to protection of physical infrastructure like the National Optic Fibre Backbone (NOFBI) as well as virtual infrastructure such as cloud environments. 
  • Development of a new National Cybersecurity Strategy for Kenya which shall:
    • Incorporate lessons learned from litigation challenges to the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act; 
    • Assure expansive and inclusive stakeholder mapping and engagement to ensure all relevant stakeholders are afforded an opportunity to contribute to a robust, operational, and sustainable policy document;
    • Ensure that the cybersecurity strategies are complementary to Kenya’s ICT Policy 2020; and
    • Account for the adoption of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and blockchain technology. 

People/ Human priorities

The human factor has been recognised as the weakest link in creating a safe and secure digital environment, with research establishing that human error is the cause of 95% of cybersecurity breaches. The human factor can be rectified by:

  • Instilling ethical values – strive for value-based education which incorporates constitutional values such as integrity, transparency, justice, and respect for human rights and dignity. The promotion of these values are meant to reduce the instances of ethical hackers turning into malicious actors.
  • Narrowing the cybersecurity skill gap – address the cybersecurity skill gap experienced nationally and globally by developing affordable, accessible, and relevant cybersecurity educational programmes and certifications. 
  • Induce behaviour change – the adoption of a cyber hygiene mindset while relevant governmental, advocacy and educational institutions proceed with cyber awareness campaigns. 

Development of Internet and cybersecurity standards for informal sectors of the economy

The informal economy accounted for 83 percent of total employment in 2019 while contribution to national income increased from 18.9 percent in 1999 to 33.8 percent in 2015. The growing informal sector is a driver of economic growth, employment creation and poverty reduction, as such, the development of guiding internet and cybersecurity standards. The informal sector actors that possess the capacity to implement the technical standards will benefit from a reduced attack surface from cyber threats. 

Institutional Capacity Building

  • Establishment of sectoral specific computer incident report teams that will conduct their operations in collaboration with national KE-CIRT. The sector specific insights and expertise will promote greater efficiency in management and resolution of cyber attacks.  
  • Development of a robust information sharing framework between governmental agencies to ensure efficient and expedited cyber incident response and resolution.  
  • Strengthen international collaboration and cooperation between response teams, as well as joint investigations into cybercrimes due to the cross-jurisdictional nature of cybercrimes. 

As conversations surrounding the development of Kenya’s National Cybersecurity Strategy intensify, it remains to be seen if Kenya can capitalise on previous gains to ensure the adoption of a progressive and robust cybersecurity policy for the medium term.

 

Elections 2022: Bulk Political Messaging Do’s and Don’ts

Kenyans can expect to receive an influx of political messages as we approach the August 2022 General Election. Most political aspirants and candidates will seek to capitalize on the campaign period through use of bulk political Short Message Service (SMS).

Unlike past experiences, the 2022 campaign period will be conducted against the backdrop of the Data Protection Act, 2019 (the Act) and the operationalisation of the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC). Further, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) in consultation with the National Cohesion and Integration Commission Kenya (NCIC) had previously issued guidelines in July 2017 on the Prevention of Dissemination of Undesirable Bulk and Premium Rate Political Messages and Political Social Media Content via Electronic Communication Networks (the Guidelines). The guidelines apply to all Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), Content Service Providers (CSPs) and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).

The Act is a breath of fresh air when it comes to the protection of personal data relating to Kenyans. It requires the consent of a data subject before processing their personal data. To this end, consent in the form of opting in will be mandatory before sending out political messages to individuals.

Kenyans have in previous election cycles complained of being bombarded with unsolicited political campaign messages sent via SMS. Often, the recipients would wonder how their contact details had been obtained and on what basis they were receiving the political messages. In some instances, hateful and inflammatory political messages aimed at inciting certain segments of the populace would be sent to unsuspecting Kenyans. Given the coming into force of the Act and the requirements outlined in the Guidelines, can Kenyans now expect to see a change in how political messages are disseminated?

We summarise below the Do’s and Don’ts on bulk political messaging as outlined in the Guidelines:

Do’s Don’ts
Political messages must be delivered through licensed CSPs No political message can be sent out bearing an MNO, MVNO or CSP’s name, logo or slogan
Prior to sending a political message, CSPs must make a request to an MNO/MVNO at least 48 hours before sending the message Political messages cannot contain offensive, abusive, insulting, misleading, confusing, obscene or profane language
In transmitting political messages, MNOs, CSPs and MVNOs must comply with all the laws including political campaign periods announced by IEBC Political messages must not contain inciting, threatening or discriminatory language that may or is intended to expose an individual or group of individuals to violence, hatred, hostility, discrimination or ridicule on the basis of ethnicity, tribe, race, color, religion, gender, disability or otherwise
Prior to sending of any proposed political message, an MNO/MVNO must vet its content to ensure compliance with the Guidelines Political messages shall not contain attacks on individual persons, their families, their ethnic background, race, religion or their associations
The MNO/MVNO has the right to refuse the transmission of a proposed political message over its network that it views not to be in compliance with the Guidelines CSPs shall not send unsolicited Bulk or Premium Rate Content to customers who have not subscribed for the service. CSPs shall ensure that all recipients of political messages have opted into the service. Such opt-in will require the express consent of the recipients and opt-out procedures must be clearly notified to customers and kept functional at all times
Where an MNO/MVNO is unable to ascertain through its internal vetting process whether the content of a message is not inflammatory, inciting, hateful or otherwise in violation of the law, they shall refer the content to NCIC for further vetting CSPs shall ensure that prior to subscribing customers to Premium Rate Content, they have notified the customer of the charges, terms and conditions of such subscription and shall provide the customers with a free-of-charge process of opting out of the subscription at any time
In the event and upon determination by NCIC a political message that had already been transmitted elicits an unforeseen negative reaction from the public or any other entity, the MNO/MVNO shall immediately have the right to stop transmission of the message  
Bulk, premium rate messages and political CRBTs must be communicated in English and Kiswahili language only  
Bulk or Premium Rate Content shall only be sent out during the day between the hours of 08:00hrs and 17:00hrs  

 

The ODPC recently faced sharp criticism for taking a ‘soft’ approach when Kenyans took to social media to protest, following revelations they had been registered as members of political parties without their knowledge and consent.

As Kenyans become savvier about their data privacy rights, it remains to be seen how the CA, NCIC and in particular ODPC will react to dissemination of political messages that are non-compliant with the data protection provisions under the Act as well as the requirements under the Guidelines.

No Vaccinations, No Services: Mandatory Vaccination Directive in Kenya

On Sunday, November 21, 2021, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced several strategies that are being proposed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. These strategies are:

  1. Making proof of full vaccination a prerequisite to receiving government services from December 21, 2021.
  2. Counties to ramp up on testing and vaccination. Vaccination drives to be done through outreaches during market days and other approved days.
  3. Players in the transportation sector to require proof of vaccination before offering services to passengers.
  4. Proof of vaccination to be required for admission into national parks and game reserves, hotels, bars and restaurants.
  5. Visitors/tourists/travelers from the European region MUST be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination before entry into the country.
  6. In view of the Emergency Use Authorization by PPB and following WHO recommendation, vaccination of young people with Pfizer commenced on Tuesday, November 23,  2021, lowering the applicable age to 15 years and above. 

While local Covid numbers have been very low, there are worrying trends in European countries like the Netherlands, Austria, France, Belgium, United Kingdom, Australia and the USA, where new COVID-19 surges are being observed despite successful vaccination campaigns. This week, Slovakia went into a two-week lockdown. The Czech government declared a 30-day state of emergency involving early closure of bars and clubs and a ban on Christmas markets, while Germany on Thursday crossed the threshold of 100,000 Covid-19-related deaths.

As the Kenyan government is making vaccination mandatory, the European Commission is proposing that EU residents have booster shots if they want to travel to another country in the bloc next summer without the need for tests or quarantines. As of Thursday, a total of 6,700,134 vaccines had been administered in Kenya. Of these 4,143,379 were partially vaccinated while those fully vaccinated were 2,556,755. The government’s target is 27,246,033 and the overall goal of achieving herd immunity is vaccinating at least 30 million Kenyans before the end of next year.

So far, Kenya has received 10.7 miIlion Covid-19 vaccine doses and is expecting another 8.1 million doses of various vaccines. The government is concerned that only 18% of the elderly population is fully vaccinated and that vaccine uptake has generally slowed down in several counties following the lifting of the curfew last Mashujaa Day. Of particular concern are counties with high population densities such as Siaya, Meru, Bungoma, Busia, Migori, Kakamega and Homa Bay where full vaccination status is below 5%. Citizens in these counties are the ones likely to suffer the most come December 21 when the directives are implemented.

Business community sentiments

The business community suffered due to Covid prevention measures and they will rally behind any measure that will take the world back to pre-Covid times. Many companies around the world and locally have required their staff to get vaccinated as part of their back-to office Occupational Safety and Health measures. Therefore, this directive by the Kenyan government will receive their utmost support.

The recent low Covid numbers have given many businesses an opportunity to ‘resurrect’ and many are looking forward to receiving a kiss of life this Christmas. A Covid surge threat is a threat to their businesses and if vaccination is the solution, then they will support it. For those that need their staff to be vaccinated, they should ensure that they follow the law.

The Law is very clear…

On the issue of mandatory Covid vaccination, the law is not very clear. Whilst most laws respect the principle of personal autonomy, this is usually waived for purposes of public health. Covid has been a public health issue and many fundamental rights and freedoms have been limited because of it. The mandatory vaccination directive opens another discussion on the limitation of rights for health purposes. Kenya has many compulsory vaccinations especially for children and almost all Kenyan adults were inoculated against diseases such as polio. Therefore, the Covid jab will not be the first compulsory jab in Kenya, it will just join the others under Kenya Expanded Programme on Immunisation (KEPI) that are usually given to children.

In Austria, mandatory vaccines for citizens will be introduced from February 2022 and those who refuse to get jabbed and do not have a medical exemption get  fined up to 3,600 euros. The country has the lowest vaccination rate in western Europe, with just 66% of its population fully vaccinated. They join Indonesia, Micronesia and Turkmenistan among countries with national vaccination mandates. In September, France introduced compulsory vaccination certificates for healthcare workers, and a ‘health pass’ became essential in July for access to cafes and restaurants, as well as planes and trains. 

In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandated that businesses with at least 100 employees should require staff to get vaccinated or face weekly tests and face mask requirements. Republicans have successfully stalled the legislative approval of the government-issued mandate that would make vaccination, or weekly testing, compulsory for workers in companies with 100 or more employees from January 4, 2022. The OSHA directive has also been challenged in the American court by many litigants.

In Kenya, a litigant has rushed to court to challenge the Ministry of Health’s directive and on Thursday, Germany reported 73,887 new coronavirus cases. Perhaps as we discuss the issue of mandatory vaccinations, the question is, do they really help?

26th November 2021 Financial & Trade Services Round Up

KENYA

Shilling weakens further on rising dollar demand 

The shilling ceded further ground to the dollar Wednesday, November 24, trading at a new low of 112.38 units amid the end of month demand for dollars from importers even as supply remained low.

It has shed value against the dollar in each of the past 42 trading sessions, triggering concern over inflation going up for households ahead of the financially demanding festive season. Last month, inflation stood at 6.45 percent, having eased from 6.91 percent in September.

The shilling opened trading yesterday at an average of 112.35 to the greenback, before depreciating slightly in the day’s trading as has been the case in the last two months.

Traders said that those holding dollars are reluctant to loosen their positions out of concern about further depreciation, constraining greenback supply that would ease pressure on the local currency.

The shilling has come under pressure following the reopening of the economy last month when the Covid-induced night curfew was lifted, with businesses reporting rising demand for goods that have translated to higher dollar demand from importers.

(Source: Business Daily)

Kenya’s trade deficit up 38pc to Sh988bn ($8.89 billion) 

Kenya’s trade deficit for nine months to September widened 38.57% due to a growing appetite for foreign manufactured goods, fuel and the soaring cost of imports following Covid-19 related supply chain disruptions.

Trade data collated by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows the gap between merchandise imports and exports climbed to Sh988.51 billion in the review period from Sh713.37 billion in the same period a year ago.

The cost of imports has soared globally on persistent disruptions in global supply chains which have increased shipping expenses amid a resurgence in global oil prices for non-oil producing countries such as Kenya.

The provisional data indicate Kenyan traders spent Sh1.53 trillion in the January-September 2021 period on imports, a 28.04 percent year-on-year jump compared to Sh1.2 trillion in the previous period.

Economists reckon that a persistently higher trade deficit slows down the creation of new jobs for Kenya’s growing skilled youth as most revenue is spent on buying goods from foreign factories, raising production and job openings in source markets. 

(Source: Business Daily)

Co-op gets Sh6.3 billion EU bank loan for SMEs lending

Co-operative Bank  has received Sh6.3 billion (50 million euros) from the European Investment Bank for onward lending to small businesses to help them recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Co-op Bank chief executive officer Gideon Muriuki said micro, small and medium-sized (MSME) enterprises with up to 250 workers can apply for the loan.

The long-term loan will be repayable in seven years and will assist MSMEs fund the acquisition of tangible business assets, working capital, development of distribution networks innovation and business research.

Mr Muriuki said the lending is part of the bank’s effort to contribute to the recovery of Kenya’s businesses following the Covid-19 challenges.

The credit facility will be available for up to a maximum of Sh1.5 billion per customer for a maximum tenor of seven years,” he said.

(Source: Business Daily)

TANZANIA

Finance meeting to discuss Covid-19 recovery, cryptos 

Economic recovery from Covid-19 and digital currencies are among subjects which will be discussed during the Conference of Financial Institutions (Cofi).  

Economic experts, financial institutions representatives, government officials and members of the private sector will gather to discuss priorities and policy options on how to accelerate economic growth.

Tanzania was not spared the effects of Covid-19 that disrupted economic activities around the world, with the government saying economic growth slowed to 4.8 percent in 2020 compared to average growth of seven percent in the past decade. Other topics include accelerating digitalisation for sustainable growth and digital currencies, where 300 participants are expected to share experiences and deliberate risks and regulatory issues.

“This year’s topics have been carefully selected in line with the current situation where the global economy is recovering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic experienced since the beginning of 2020, and digital technologies and currencies that are gaining popularity across the globe,” the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) said in a statement.

The meeting, themed “Tanzania Economy: Recovery from Covid-19 Pandemic and Beyond”, is expected to be opened by President Samia Suluhu Hassan.

(Source: The Citizen)

Air Tanzania ups stake for East African skies 

Air Tanzania is set to step up competition in the East African skies with the launch of flights on the Dar es Salaam-Nairobi route from November 26, and plans for Bujumbura later in the month.

The airline’s first flight to Nairobi from Julius Nyerere International Airport will cost $334 for a return trip and approximately $210 one way.

The Tanzanian national carrier began operating three flights a week to Ndola in Zambia and the eastern DR Congo city of Lubumbashi, respectively, from November 18.

The Dar–Nairobi route will also offer competitive pricing for Ugandan flyers who have previously been connecting to various capitals through Nairobi, Addis Ababa or Kigali on Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines or RwandaAir respectively.

“The resumption of Air Tanzania operations between Dar es Salaam and Nairobi, as at the best as a game changer in the bilateral engagement between Tanzania and Kenya,” said the High Commissioner of United Republic of Tanzania in Nairobi John Stephen Simbachawene Friday.

(Source: The Citizen)

UGANDA

Will Uganda finally be able to tax online multinationals? 

Uganda Revenue Authority says the Global Tax Agreement reached recently, presents Uganda with an opportunity to tax companies that have no physical address in the country.

The question now being asked by tax experts and civil society, is whether this could be an onslaught on Uganda’s Taxing Rights and that of the region as a whole?

According to Regina Navuga, a tax analyst with Seatini Uganda,  such global tax agreements eventually impact national and regional tax regimes although EAC countries such as Uganda and Kenya are not part of the 136 signatories to the agreement.

The decision on the global minimum tax rate, according to Seatini Uganda and Tax Justice Network, is critical for developing countries including Uganda due to their heavy reliance on corporate income tax.

As for the taxman, global tax deals present a rare opportunity to tax companies that generate revenue from Uganda but have no physical presence such as Facebook and Google, among others.

“What this global tax deal is saying is that we should be able to tax a proportion of the profits they make from Uganda,” Robert Luvuma, the URA manager of large taxpayers, says.

This is important because the current design of the country’s tax system only caters for taxation of companies that are physically present yet most companies have shifted business online.

(Source: The Monitor)

How SMEs Can Tap Into Oil and Gas as First Oil Nears 

Small and medium-sized enterprises need to enhance their capital base, embrace partnerships and adhere to high corporate governance standards to reap from the upcoming oil and gas sector, sector players said.

Patrick Mweheire, the Chief Executive at Standard Bank Group, Eastern Africa and Chairman of Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, said, during the 2-day East African SMEs Oil and Gas conference held at the Kampala Serena Hotel from November 18-19, that SMEs continue to face big challenges especially in record keeping which among others limits lenders’ ability to support them financially.

Mr. Mweheire cited the Stanbic Business Incubator where SMEs are being supported to bridge their gaps to enable them participate in the oil and gas sector. The Incubator allows small and medium-sized businesses interested in and/or engaged in the oil and gas industry to skill and train in order to address prevalent business challenges in Uganda.

Uganda’s oil and gas sector is expected to benefit SMEs in more than 16 sectors including; transport, security, foods and beverages, hotel accommodation and catering, human resource management, office supplies, fuel supply, land surveying, clearing and forwarding, crane hire, locally available construction materials, civil works, supply of locally available drilling and production materials, environment studies and impact assessment, communications and information technology services and waste management.

(Source: The Independent)

RWANDA

Rwanda’s Economic Growth Revised to 10.2pc for 2021 

Rwanda’s economic growth projection has been revised upwards to 10.2 percent from a previous 5.1 percent set earlier in the year, a recent International Monetary Fund mission noted.

Rwanda’s economy contracted by 3.4 per cent in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The IMF noted that the growth was driven by unprecedented policy support, robust remittances, efforts to step up the vaccination rate as well as progress in structural reforms that are supporting economic recovery in 2021.

The assessment also found Rwanda’s banking system to be stable, liquid, and well-capitalized while non-performing loans remained relatively as a resort of policy support and moratorium measures which had been set up. “The authorities should continue with intensive monitoring of credit risk and prudent loan classification and provisioning,” the post engagement summary noted.

The IMF noted that going forward, Rwanda’s monetary policy should remain data-dependent, guided by inflation expectations, and supportive of the economic recovery.

(Source: The New Times)

BRD and EIB sign € 30 million loan agreement 

The Development Bank of Rwanda and the European Investment Bank, which signed a 30-million euro agreement on Tuesday, November 23, will provide loans to both sides in Rwanda.

It is an agreement based on the bank’s plan to meet the investment and economic impact of the Covid-19 epidemic in the East African region.

The Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana, said the government’s economic recovery strategy was mainly based on advocating for the private sector to help create new jobs.

BRD’s chief executive, Kampeta Sayinzoga, said the money would be added to the capacity of the bank if it continued to build on accelerated development through large-scale projects but also encouraged commercial banks to invest in the private sector with projects that would boost the development of many Rwandans.

(Source: Rwanda Broadcasting Agency)

SUDAN

Five vessels loaded with fuel arrive in Sudan

Five vessels loaded with fuel arrived in Sudan’s main port, the energy and oil ministry said on Wednesday, adding that the country’s fuel reserves are sufficient. Three vessels were loaded with diesel, one with cooking gas and one with petrol, the ministry said.

“The supply situation is very reassuring,” it said, adding that work is under way to implement Sudan’s import plan for December.

(Source: Reuters)

SOMALIA

National Treasury Says Millions of Dollars Stolen From Government Budget 

Somali National Auditor-General Mohamed Mohamud Ali Afgoye has released an annual report on the audit of Somali government departments. According to the report, 25 entities and three embassies have been audited.

The Auditor-General said contracts worth $31 million are not registered with his office and the existence of unauthorised bank accounts outside the Treasury Single Account.

For the first time, they audited the fishing sector and found an under-collection of $56 million in revenue from fishing vessels. In 3 years, the Ministry of fishery issued licenses to 43 domestic companies, 15 cooperatives, 83 foreign companies affiliated to China, collecting only $3.3 million.

According to the report, the 2020 budget was $ 685 million and the audit was $ 287.8 million. The report also states that the cost of the various agencies without proper documentation is $9.1 million.

(Source: Dalsan Radio Mogadishu)

Farmajo Offers COMESA Countries Investment Opportunities In Somalia 

The President of the Federal Republic of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, who attended the East and Southern Africa Market Summit (COMESA) Summit, presented a wide range of investment opportunities in Somalia.

The President pointed out that economic cooperation and trade facilitation of the countries of the region is the basis of plans at the continental level to improve the lives of poor people, eradicate poverty and achieve the goal of inclusive development.

President Farmajo commended the efforts of COMESA Heads of State in the implementation of the Economic Integration Plan, in finding a lasting solution to the scourge that has delayed the lives of the people and recovery from the devastating effects of Covid-19 on their economies.

(Source: Dalsan Radio Mogadishu)

ERITREA

Safe water, safe life 

According to the Director-General of the Department of Water Development and Projects in the Ministry of Land, Water and Environment, Mr. Msghna Gebreslase, sufficient and safe water is one of the pillars in ensuring the health of citizens in a country. Therefore, the main task of the department is to pave the way for citizens to safeguard their health and ensure their continuity by providing them easy access to water especially those who live in remote areas. He added that the government has been working thoroughly in this sector despite eminent challenges over the past 30 years. Building dams in villages can be taken as an example and it has reduced health risks and granted the dwellers access to drinking water. Mr. Msghna added that the department earnestly works, as a priority task, to provide people in all corners of the country access to potable water within their locality.

According to documents from the Department of water, over 80% of the villages in Eritrea have become beneficiaries of clean water. However, to ensure this achievement, many obstacles had to be vaulted. This includes the geographic location of some peripheral villages and the need for the relocation of scattered households and establishing new villages to make the installation of the projects practical.

By making the needed efforts and allocating a total budget of almost 5 billion Nakfa, 1,738 villages became beneficiaries of clean water through the construction of micro-dams, distribution of 285 generators, 479 solar energy sources, and 932 manual water pumps. Mr. Misghna stressed the active participation of the local population in the completion of such projects in line with the government’s commitment towards that cause.

(Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea)

Announcement from the Ministry of Health 

Twenty-seven patients have tested positive for Covid-19 in tests carried out today at Quarantine Centers and Testing Stations in the Central, Southern, and Anseba Regions.

Out of these, 10 patients are from Quarantine Center (3) and Testing Stations in Arbaete Asmara (1), Kehawta (1), Maekel-Ketema (1), Godaif (1), Paradiso (1), Gejeret (1), and Adi-Gombolo (1); Central Region. Sixteen patients are from Testing Station in Adi-Keih (5), Dubarwa (5), Mendefera (4), Senafe (1), and Adi-Gulti (1); Southern Region. The last patient is from a Testing Station in Keren, Anseba Region.

On the other hand, 32 patients who have been receiving medical treatment in hospitals in Central (16) and Southern (16) Regions have recovered fully and have been discharged from these facilities. A 96-year-old patient from the Southern Region and a 93-year-old patient from Anseba Region died of Covid-19..

The total number of recovered patients has accordingly increased to 7,014 while the number of deaths has risen to 57. The total number of confirmed cases in the country to date has increased to 7,250.

(Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea)

ETHIOPIA

Ethiopia Secures $1.1 Billion in Remittance during Past Three Months

Ethiopia has secured 1.1 billion USD in the form of remittance during the past three months via legal channels, according to the Ethiopian Diaspora Agency.

Agency Communication Director Wondwossen Girma told ENA that the remittance being transferred through legal channels from the Ethiopian Diaspora has been increasing from time to time.

Citing that the remittance secured from the diaspora was 3.6 billion USD last year, he said the 1.1 billion USD has been legally transferred from the diaspora to Ethiopia in three months alone which shows significant improvement from previous periods.

 (Source: ENA)

Nation Earns over $1.2 Billion from Export in four Months

Ethiopia has earned 1.28 billion USD over the past four months, which is close to 98 percent of the 1.31 billion USD target, according to the Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration.

During his press conference today, Trade and Regional Integration Minister Gebremeskel Chala said the 1.28 billion USD earned in the past four months is a good indication to achieve the over 5 billion USD plan for the current Ethiopian fiscal year.

“Our plan was to generate 1.31 billion USD and we have earned 1.28 billion USD in four months, which is over 97 percent performance against the target,” he said.

Out of the total earnings, 904 million USD was obtained from agriculture, 157 million USD from manufacturing and 188 million USD from mines, it was indicated.

 (Source: ENA)  

Israel’s Mining Companies “Committed” to Continue Investment in Ethiopia

Senior management of Leica Geosystems, a company headquartered in Israel involved in mining operations in Ethiopia, have met and held talks with Takele Uma, Ethiopia’s Minister of Mines. The company’s management expressed their commitment to continue their investment in Ethiopia.

Mr. Takele has expressed his gratitude to the Israeli mining company for “standing with the Ethiopian people and government”, highlighting that private investments remain highly valued during the current season of turmoil.

Reta Alemu, Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Israel, said the participation of Israeli companies in mining in Ethiopia has been “encouraging”. He further highlighted how the involvement of the private sector can help strengthen the long-standing ties between Ethiopia and Israel.

 (Source: 2merkato)

UDA protest to CJ is louder than it sounds

Chief Justice Martha Koome has been handed yet another test in the form of a protest letter over her membership in a committee connected with the elections.

The protest is from Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance party and was issued after Justice Koome was elected to head the technical committee on election preparedness.

“Whereas we are cognisant that the technical working committee draws its membership from various government agencies and it is indeed a multi-sectoral forum, we opine that your involvement in the consultative meetings of the technical working committee is a clear violation of the Constitution, the Judicial Service Act, 2011, the Leadership and Integrity Act, 2012, the Public Officer Ethics Act, 2003 and the principles and the code of conduct for judicial officers,” said Veronica Maina, UDA’s secretary-general.

The Chief Justice appears to have taken a pragmatic approach to her role at the head of one of the arms of government, but that is bound to be tested by the actions of the Executive as well as by the judges she heads.

Unlike other actors in the Executive and the Legislature, the Chief Justice doesn’t have control of the entity she leads as the judges and magistrates make their decisions independently.

The complaint by UDA came after it wrote to the electoral commission to protest the involvement of several Cabinet Secretaries in politics. That proved ineffective, as neither did the electoral commission take action nor did the Cabinet Secretaries back down, with Interior boss Fred Matiang’i instead oozing defiance. Unlike the politicians, Justice Koome is likely to step away from the committee.

As the President of the Supreme Court, Justice Koome would head the bench presiding over a petition against the presidential election.

The protest will serve as a reminder of the sensitivities around an election and the need to remain, and appear to remain, neutral. She would perhaps want to avoid placing the Judiciary in the same circumstances it was in 2007, when Raila Odinga and his ODM troops declared they would not be seeking justice in the courts as they did not trust them.

UDA’s protest echoes the complaints by Mr Odinga ahead of the last General Election, which culminated in his boycott of the repeat presidential election. The difference is that UDA’s candidate, William Ruto, is leading in opinion polls and continues his cross-country tours to popularise his bid.

The complaints could also serve as a warning shot to civil servants across the board, with the Deputy President’s troops well aware that the boast by Mr Odinga’s supporters that they have the support of the System could mean that the rank and file of the Executive could be mobilised for him.

26th November 2021 Political and Regulatory Round Up

KENYA

CMA bars ailing companies from share buybacks 

The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has barred listed firms with negative equity from rolling out share buybacks, locking out cash-strapped companies from the process largely applied to correct perceived undervaluation of stock.

The regulator has ruled that directors of the companies which intend to repurchase stock from the market should ensure “assets … are equal to or exceed the liabilities of the listed company”.

The directors will rely on the last audited financial statements in determining the solvency status, but should also ensure the numbers are reliable on the date they inform shareholders of the proposed share buyback.

The Guidelines on Buybacks for Listed Companies further require that a listed company should demonstrate the ability “to pay its debts as they come due in the ordinary course of business for a period of 12 months” before it is cleared to buy back shares.

The rules further prohibit listed firms from repurchasing shares from the market within 14 days before disclosing annual or half-year financial performance or have become aware of material information which could affect share prices.

The CMA has also confined firms to complete proposed share buyback within 18 months from the time the proposal is approved by shareholders.

(Source: Business Daily)

TANZANIA

Tanzania’s Samia Suluhu allows teen mothers back in class 

Teen mothers in Tanzania who had been stopped from returning to classes have been allowed back to school, in a big policy shift by President Samia Suluhu’s administration. The change in policy comes four years after late president John Magufuli decreed that pregnant schoolgirls be expelled and teen mothers be blocked from returning to school, a move that drew widespread criticism both locally and internationally.

The government announced that the new policy will also apply to students once stopped from classes due to truancy and family problems.

(Source: The East African)

UGANDA

NSSF Bill – Lawmakers Okay Midterm Access 

Members of Parliament have endorsed a provision in the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) (Amendment) Bill, 2021, to grant members aged 45 and above and who have saved for at least a decade, midterm access to 20 percent of their savings.

The House Gender Committee, which considered the Bill and received public views, has also proposed that persons with disabilities be granted a midterm access of up to 50 percent of their accrued benefits once they clock 40 years as long as they have contributed to the Fund for the preceding seven straight years.

(Source: The Monitor)

RWANDA

Rwanda elects new local government officials 

Newly elected mayors in Rwanda’s 30 districts will assume office after winning against the incumbents in the recently concluded elections. Over 10,000 leaders in local government positions are being replaced in the ongoing polls that had been suspended in February, 2020 due to the pandemic, and are scheduled to officially end on November 26, according to the national electoral commission.

The new leaders brace for pressure to ensure promises under President Paul Kagame’s political agenda are delivered ahead of the presidential elections scheduled in two years.

Previous local government leadership were characterised by instability, following waves of sackings and resignations of officials for reasons ranging from graft allegations, poor performance and internal wrangles.

(Source: The East African)

ETHIOPIA

France, Germany latest countries to urge nationals to leave Ethiopia 

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has gone to the front lines to lead his troops in the battle against forces from the northern Tigray region, state-affiliated media reported. At least one prominent distance runner – marathoner and Olympic silver medallist Feyisa Lilesa – has joined thousands of ordinary Ethiopians keen to follow Abiy’s lead. A separate state media report quoted Ethiopia’s most famous distance-running champion, Haile Gebrselassie, as saying he, too, would fight at the front.

Meanwhile, France advised its citizens to leave Ethiopia “without delay”. Germany also called on its citizens to leave the country on the first available commercial flights, following similar advisories by the United States and the United Kingdom in recent weeks, citing a deteriorating security situation. The United Nations said it was “temporarily relocating” families of international staff from Ethiopia, adding that its personnel would remain in the country.

(Source: Aljazeera)

ERITREA

Week of Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women

Day of activism against all forms of discrimination against women that was organized in cooperation with the National Union of Eritrean Women and the UN Office in Eritrea was opened on 25th November in Asmara.

In her keynote speech, Ms. Tekea Tesfamicael, President of the National Union of Eritrean Women, said that Eritrea is a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women and Convention on the Rights of the Child and has been making strides through relentless efforts to combat and eradicate violence against women and girls, and address the conditions that contribute to such violence. 

Ms. Tekea went on to say that since 2007 FGM has been a criminal offense that is punishable by law and as a result, the FGM that has been affecting 95% of girls in 1995, today has dropped to 12% for ages 5 and under.

At the occasion, briefings were provided focusing on the progress made to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women, the role of teachers, religious leaders as well as the media in combating gender-based violence.

(Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea)

SUDAN

Sudan’s road to civilian rule proves rockier than expected 

Sudan’s military reinstated Abdalla Hamdok as prime minister of the country’s civilian transitional government on November 21 and pledged to release political prisoners following weeks of deadly unrest in the wake of the October coup.

The Troika, European Union, Canada, and Switzerland jointly issued a statement that said they “welcome” the Nov. 21 agreement. The UN’s political mission did the same. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken didn’t stop in Sudan on his current tour of Africa but has said he’s “encouraged” by the new deal.

Many political groups have no confidence in Hamdok’s professions of faith in the deal and accuse him of selling out the revolution. The deal was rejected by the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), which had played a key part, alongside street protesters, in bringing about the long-time dictator Omar al Bashar’s downfall in 2019. The other major protest group, the Sudanese Professionals Association called the deal “political suicide.” A dozen ministers from Hamdok’s cabinet, including foreign minister Mariam al Mahdi, resigned in protest.

(Source: Arab News)

SOMALIA

Dispute Resolution Committee Demands Submission of Complaints 

The Electoral Disputes Resolution Committee has called on the candidates for the Federal Parliament of Somalia to raise their concerns with the Commission, in order to resolve their concerns.

The Dispute Resolution Committee said it was responding to allegations by the Union of Presidential Candidates that the seats in the House of Representatives were being looted and that elections were not taking place.

The committee’s statement came as the Union of Candidates said that the conduct of the parliamentary elections is a matter of looting, and that the looting of the election could result in chaos, war and a bad situation in the country.

(Source: Radio Dalsan)

Kenya’s path to becoming a Green Economy: How this can be achieved?

BY: Aarti Krishnan

The seventh annual Devolution Conference under the theme: Multi-level governance for climate action, has just ended in the beautiful county of Makueni.

Delegates at the conference, including public and private sector players, were all out engaging on climate change and exploring the avenues on sub-national mobilisation of resources in unlocking the full potential of climate action during and after pandemics.

By all means, this was an apt topic for high-level engagement and one that fits in well with climate change and adaptation realities.

Undoubtedly, the looming climate emergency calls for countries to transition to a green economy. These transitions can take place through trading out and up, enabling firms and countries to upgrade (increase value added), whilst simultaneously attaining greener net zero value chains. However, this is a complex task in Kenya. Especially when the unfair global environmental governance policies (like Environmental Good Agreement 2014 and sustainability standards) marginalise participation of Kenya in global value chains.

Why green transitions are challenging for Kenya

Kenya’s participation in value chains is contingent on primary sectors such as natural resources and agriculture. On one hand, these sectors are associated with high environmental costs, such as falling water tables, degraded soil quality and reduced biodiversity. On the other hand, participation in these sectors often occurs upstream in the value chain, thereby engendering, low value addition. Low-value addition is exacerbated by non-trade barriers, such as imposing an array of standards from phytosanitary standards to private international supermarket standards in Europe and the US, to voluntary sustainability standards (e.g. Fairtrade, GlobalGAP) on Kenyan suppliers. For example, research at the University of Manchester shows that farmers exporting avocados and beans are squeezed due to high compliance costs, which outweigh the socio-economic-environmental benefits, in some cases leaving them in debt. Additionally, the introduction and expansion of other instruments such as carbon border adjustments, target several primary sectors, which adds to the precarity of Kenya’s participation.

How Kenya has been excluded from global environmental decision making

Kenya’s voice is lacking in one of the most important global policies, the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA), launched in 2014 by the World Trade Organization (WTO). EGA aims to create tariff free trade, thereby incentivizing green exports. The list of environmental goods has been expanded into a universal list of about 408 goods (WTO 2011), but what products are included, and what/how liberalisation structures are implemented, is skewed towards 46 high and middle-income countries who participated in the WTO negotiations. Furthermore, EGA does not include standards, which are by far the key trade barrier that affects Kenya’s exports. This means the goods part of EGA has an inclusionary bias.

Environmental goods should Kenya consider: Cash cows and sunrise products

One of the most powerful ways to understand green competitiveness is through unpacking the revealed comparative advantage (RCA). RCA is when a country exports more than its fair share with respect to the exports from the rest of the world. The RCA for Kenya is computed yearly between 2016-2020. If Kenya has an RCA every year between 2016-2020, then the product is considered a ‘cash cow’ i.e. a major strength for the country; and if Kenya has had an RCA 3-4 times between 2016-2020, it is considered a ‘sunrise product’ i.e. with potential to expanding exports.

The results in table 1 indicate that Kenya has 300 cash cow products where they have competitive advantage compared to the rest of the world, which totals up to about 13% of Kenya’s total trade. These primarily include roasted coffee, fresh vegetables, beets, molasses, fish, and tea etc. These products are special niches for Kenya, where they are ahead of most of the world. The second category are sunrise products (108) which total to about 1% of trade, these products have potential to expand and turn into cash cows for Kenya. Some examples include meat, fish, foliage, rare gases, and chemicals. However, not a single one of these appears on the list of the 408 WTO universal list of products under EGA.

Table 1: Products where Kenya has a competitive advantage

Total no. of products traded Total Value of Trade ‘000s (2020) No. of products (Cash Cows) Value of Cash Cows ‘000s (2020) Cash Cows % of total trade No of products (Sunrise) Value of Sunrise ‘000s

(2020)

Sunrise as a % of total trade
4980 6023442 300 797833 13.3% 108 59503 1%

While many of these products fall under preferential trade agreements such as Generalised Scheme of Preferences and African Growth Opportunities Act, allowing for tariff free trade reduces non-tariff barriers of standards. Overarchingly, this means for Kenya to transition to a greener economy: there is a need to (a) reduce non-trade barriers on environmental goods to facilitate trade by decreasing the cost of environmental technologies (and therefore investments) (b) to include primary goods within definitions of environmental goods, where Kenya has competitive advantage.

How best to achieve green transitions

To leverage green competitive advantages, Kenya can attempt to ‘retrofit’ cash cow product value chains. Retrofitting involves investing in specific tasks for adding environmental value (greening value chains). As comparative advantage already exists, investments in environmental technologies and production capabilities can engender upgrading possibilities. But to ensure inclusivity, there is a need for a coordinated effort across government, civil society and  the private sector to create equitable industrial policies that not only promote exports, but also complement social-environmental policies to support vulnerable actor livelihoods and protect nature. On the other hand, to develop sunrise products further, value chains can be ‘born clean’, this means governments and the private sector should invest using best available technology and practices at the get-go. Therefore, sunrise products start out ‘green’ and hence provide prospects for Kenya to leapfrog.

About the Author: Ms Aarti Krishnan, is a Hallsworth Research Fellow at the University of Manchester. Email: aarti.krishnan-2@manchester.ac.uk 

President Kenyatta reiterates Kenya’s Commitment to Climate Action

The 7th Annual Devolution Conference focused on climate change, specifically the Multi-Level Governance for Climate Action. The aim of the multi-governance approach is to strengthen sub-national governments to act on climate change through development of more robust and focused execution of mitigation and adaptation strategies.

In his speech, the President reiterated the urgency to act stating that: “climate change is not a future problem but a present and serious threat to all countries across the world.” He added that: “Climate change poses an existential threat to Kenya even though our role in precipitating the problem is negligible – we contribute less than 1% of current global greenhouse gas emissions.”

Kenya is ranked as the 31st most vulnerable country to climate change and its impact leads to a loss of about 3% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually. Presently, 2.5 million people in 23 counties are facing famine because of drought.

Further, the rising water levels of Rift Valley lakes, Lake Victoria and Turkwel Gorge Dam have displaced nearly 400,000 people in 13 counties and affected biodiversity, including flamingos in Lake Nakuru.

Cognizant of the immense threat that climate change poses on the country, the government has adopted a comprehensive set of policies, rules, and procedures to address climate change. This effort has culminated in the development of the following key instruments:

  • The Climate Change Act (2016).
  • The National Drought Management Authority Act (2016).
  • The National Climate Change Framework Policy (2018).
  • The National Climate Finance Policy (2018).
  • The National Climate Change Action Plan (2018-2022).
  • The National Adaptation Plan (2015-2030); and,
  • The Green Economy Strategy Implementation Plan (2016-2030).

These policies are currently being mainstreamed through the sectors in forestry, agriculture, water, energy, waste management and health. It is important to underscore that since most of these functions are devolved under schedule 4(2) of the Constitution, it is critical that the two levels of government work closely to execute them effectively.

Implementing these policies and programmes requires substantial financial resources. Kenya has committed to reduce her greenhouse gas emissions by 32% by 2030. This will cost Ksh. 6,874 billion (US $ 62 billion). Out of this figure, Kenya will mobilize 13% from domestic sources, while the balance of 87% will be funded from external sources.

Kenya will also be seeking to attract green investments such as the electric boda bodas and to tap into innovative finance such as blended financing to de-risk private investment. These efforts will open new avenues for green manufacturing and new job opportunities.

Further, Kenya recently joined the Adaptation Action Coalition and the UN Call for Action on Adaptation and Resilience.

By partnering with these two institutions, Kenya is sending a clear political statement that it will continue to work with other like-minded governments, institutions, business, and civil societies to accelerate action to moderate the negative impacts of climate change, facilitate adjustment to expected climate impacts and strengthen capacity to absorb, and recover from climate change effects.

At the sub-national level, 33 county governments have developed county specific laws on climate change, and a few of them such as Makueni, Wajir, Garissa, Isiolo and Kitui counties have established policies and supporting legislation on climate change. They also have established climate change units; and put into operation a Fund for climate change mechanism. Moreover, several counties, including Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa have started reclaiming green urban spaces. Nairobi has successfully reclaimed Michuki Memorial Park, the Nairobi Arboretum, and the Nairobi City Park.

In his closing remarks, the President restated his support in combating the impact of climate change stating, “I will personally remain in the forefront, to ensure that our desire to achieve a low carbon resilient and prosperous future; is realized.”

Communique at the End of the Seventh and Final Annual Devolution Conference in Makueni County

The Seventh and Final Annual Devolution Conference was convened jointly by the Council of Governors, the Senate, the Ministry of Devolution, and the County Assemblies Forum and was held between 23rd and 26th November, 2021, at Makueni Boys High School, Makueni County.

The Conference made the following resolutions in line with the conference theme, “Multi-level Governance for Climate Action’ and Sub-theme “Sub- National Mobilization in Unlocking the Full Potential of Climate Action During and After the Pandemic,” to guide the National Government and County Governments in combating climate change:

THAT

  1. The National Government and County Governments (hereinafter referred to as ‘both levels of government’) strongly affirm the need to conserve our environment and natural resources for the current and future generations
  2. Both levels of government shall, in the spirit of cooperation, coordination, consultation and collaboration, design and implement practical policies, strategies, laws, regulations and action plans to address climate change.

ACTION: National Government, County Governments, Parliament, Development Partners, County Assemblies Forum.

3. Both levels of government shall in the next budgeting cycle, increase resource allocation towards mitigation and adaptation strategies to enhance County Governments’ preparedness and response towards impacts of climate change and pandemics.

Both levels of government shall build on the robust public finance management legal framework to ring-fence public funds for climate change action, ensure more equitable distribution of resources for climate action and timely availability of the funds to County Governments and other institutions involved in climate action.

ACTION: County Governments, National Treasury, Parliament, Commission for Revenue Allocation, Office of the Controller of Budget, Development Partners.

4. All County Governments shall, in the next one year, enact Climate Change related Acts/Policies/Regulations to provide legal frameworks for rolling out climate change-related programs and projects and participate in public-private partnerships for climate change-related projects.

 ACTION: County Governments, County Assemblies 

5. The National Government shall, in the next six (6) months, redesign the national security strategies that facilitate national and subnational coordination in handling climate- change instigated conflicts.

ACTION: Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, County Governments, Parliament, National Police Service

6. Both levels of government shall strengthen agricultural extension services, including expanding public extension funding, encouraging adoption of farmer and private sector-led extension services, and ensuring access to climate and market information for informed farmer decision- making and adoption of localized climate-smart technologies, paying attention to the vulnerabilities of women, persons with disabilities and marginalized communities.

ACTION: County Governments, National Treasury, Ministry of Agriculture, Development Partners, Community Leaders

7. County Governments shall design and implement public-private partnerships in a manner that can create conducive ecosystems for digital opportunities to enhance farmer access to information, market opportunities and innovate for solutions of future anticipated challenges in the agriculture sector that are gender responsive and inclusive.

ACTION: County Governments, National Treasury, Ministry of Agriculture, Development Partners, Community Leaders

8. County Governments shall use their respective Regional Economic Blocs to achieve climate change commitments and enhance climate action.

ACTION: County Governments, County Regional Economic Blocs

9. Both levels of government should develop a clear government strategy to reduce the cost of agricultural input, promote efficient land use tenure, and strengthen food security monitoring and reporting and respond to the barriers and gaps that prevent women from effectively participating in sustainable agriculture emanating from equal land system ownership and use.

ACTION: County Governments, National Treasury, Ministry of Agriculture, Development Partners.

10. County Governments shall work with development partners, the private sector and civil society organizations to strengthen and create multi- hazard early warning systems and enhance joint participatory scenario planning on disaster management.

ACTION: County Governments, Development Partners, Private Sector, Civil Society Organizations

11. Both levels of government shall promote and increase transparency and accountability at all levels and ensure that there is fair participation of all stakeholders, including the marginalized groups, persons with disabilities, women, youth, and minorities – in the development, implementation, and evaluation of policies to ensure their needs, experiences and aspirations are incorporated in the mitigation strategies for climate change.

ACTION: County Governments, Parliament, County Assemblies Forum

12. There is a need to encourage and nurture honest dialogue on climate change in the political discourse in the country.

The Conference urges political parties to include issues of adaptation and mitigation to climate change in their party and election manifestos.

ACTION: Political Parties, Elected leaders

13. County Governments are encouraged to partner with the Maarifa Centre for information sharing, capacity building, documentation and peer learning on transformative and innovative County models addressing climate change that have worked to accelerate their adoption by other Counties.

ACTION: Council of Governors, County Governments, Ministry of Devolution

14. County Governments shall in the next one year, fast-track the passage of the County Tourism laws to support Counties to develop a legal framework for Counties to take charge of museums, historical and cultural tourist attraction sites.

ACTION: County Governments, County Assemblies Forum, Parliament, Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife

15. County Governments to diversify tourism attractions, promote and encourage domestic tourism, build unique tourism brand identity that can incentivize County tourism, and integrate local communities into tourism and wildlife conservation efforts.

ACTION: County Governments, County Assemblies Forum, County Regional Economic Blocs.

16. The National Government shall support capacity building of County Governments in the manufacturing sector to improve the manufacturing processes based on best practices.

ACTION:  County  Governments,  Ministry  of  Industrialization,  Trade  and Enterprise Development, Development Partners

17. Both levels of government shall work with the private sector to ease the cost of doing business to stimulate economic growth.

ACTION: National Government, County Governments, Development Partners

18. Both levels of government to ensure that 10 million Kenyans are vaccinated by December 2021 and an additional 30 million by December 2022.

ACTION: National and County Governments, Local Community Leadership and the Interfaith Council, and Religious Leaders

19. Both levels of government shall provide an enabling environment for embracing innovation and research as a preparedness measure against future disasters resulting from climate change and other causes.

ACTION:  National Government, County  Governments,  Local Community Leadership.

20. The National Government, in collaboration with County Governments and other stakeholders shall review the National Oceans and Fisheries Policy of 2008 to conform to the Constitution and devolution.

 ACTION: National Government, County  Governments,  Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Blue Economy, Development Partners

21. Both levels of government shall establish structures, systems, and processes for inclusive urban resilience in the cities, municipalities, and towns through strengthening urban entities to better respond to climate change and other disasters.

ACTION:  National Government, County Governments, Development Partners, Private Sector

22. Both levels of government shall, in the next budget cycle, increase investments in health disaster management through stepping up preventive health, planning and risk reduction in an innovative and integrated approach.

ACTION: National Government, County Governments, The National Treasury, Development Partners, Private Sector

23. Both levels of government to integrate and mainstream gender responsive and inclusive climate action policies, legislation, strategies and initiatives.

ACTION: County Governments, County Assemblies Forum, National Gender and Equality Commission

24. Both levels of government shall develop and review regulations and standards to provide an enabling environment for investment in renewable energy including clean cooking and E- Mobility for sustainable and affordable utilization of energy.

ACTION:  National  Government,  County  Governments,  Senate,  National Assembly, Development Partners, Private Sector

25. The Senate to set up a Senate Climate Action Committee in charge of climate change affairs.

ACTION: Senate

26. All sector resolutions shall form part of this Communique. Implementation of the sector resolutions shall be monitored periodically by devolution stakeholders.

26th November 2021 County Round Up

KISUMU COUNTY 
  • The Kisumu County Assembly has notified Members of the County Assembly and the general public that the Assembly shall have a special sitting on Thursday, 2nd December, 2021 at Tom Mboya Labor College at 14:30 hours.
  • The Kisumu County Assembly has approved the extension of the calendar for the Assembly (regular sessions) for 2021 as set out in the schedule.
WAJIR COUNTY 
  • The County Executive Committee of Wajir has established the Leadership and Integrity Code to be observed by and binding upon State Officers in the County Executive Committee. 
ISIOLO COUNTY
  • As per the powers conferred by the Public Officer Ethics Act, 2003, the County Assembly of Isiolo Powers and Privileges Committee has established administrative Procedures for state officers. 
NAIROBI COUNTY
  • In accordance with provisions of the Rating Act, the general public is informed of land rates levied by the Nairobi City County Government for the Year 2022 that shall become due on 1st January, 2022.
KIAMBU COUNTY
  • Notice is given to the general public that the Kiambu County Finance Act, 2021, has been published and can be accessed on the County Government website: www.kiambu.go.ke or at the County Government Offices in Kiambu Town.
KAJIADO COUNTY
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Lands and Physical Planning has appointed the following members of the Kajiado West Sub-County Land Control Board, Kajiado County: 
    • Catherine M. Githinji;
    • Justus K. Manyara; 
    • Ntimama ole Mamaa; and
    • Joel Kisau Sayianka,  

26th November 2021 Parliamentary Round Up

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

Communication from the Chair
  • Public Petition for the Removal of Hon. Paul Kihara, Attorney-General. Mr. Khalifa petitions this House to initiate the process of removing from office the current Attorney-General of the Republic of Kenya, Hon.  (Rtd.)  Justice Paul Kihara Kariuki, on account of his alleged conduct relating to the re-run of the 2017 Presidential Election.
Message
  • The Speaker received a Message from His Excellency the President dated 19th November, 2021 conveying that he intends to deliver the 2021 State of the Nation Address  to Parliament. He notified the House that a Special Joint Sitting of Parliament will take place on Tuesday, November 30, 2021, at 2:30 p.m. in the National Assembly’s Main Chamber, Parliament Buildings.
  • I wish to inform you that last week on Friday, 19th November 2021, the Court of Appeal sitting  in  Nairobi  in  Civil  of  Appeal  No.E084  of  2021  delivered  its judgment on our appeal and set aside the judgment of the High Court.
Papers Laid
  • Reports  of  the  Auditor-General  and  Financial  Statements  in  respect  of  several institutions for the year ended 30th June 2021
  • Reports  of  the  Auditor-General  and  Financial  Statements  in  respect  of  several constituencies for the year ended 30th June 2020
  • Report  of  the  Budget  and  Appropriations  Committee  on  its  consideration  of  the  County Governments Grants Bill (Senate Bill No. 35 of 2021).
  • Report  of  the  Departmental  Committee  on  Trade,  Industry  and  Cooperatives  on  its consideration of the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute Bill, (National Assembly Bill No. 44 of 2020).
  • Special Audits report of the Auditor-General of the NHIF payment platform – (Linda Mama) programme and tender for Civil Servants, Police Officers and Prison wardens
  • Reports of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning on its consideration of the following:
    • Senate Amendments to the Public Private Partnerships Bill 2021;
    • Asian Widows’ and Orphans’ Pensions (Repeal) Bill 2021;
    • Provident Fund (Repeal) Bill 2021;
    • Public  Procurement  and  Asset  Disposal  (Amendment)  Bill 2021; and
    • Public Procurement and Asset Disposal (Amendment) Bill (No.2) 2021.
Questions
  • Question No. 476/2021: Implementation of The Inua Jamii Cash Transfer Programme in Meru County
  • Question No. 489/2021: Installation of communication masts in Wundanyi Constituency
Motions
  • The House  adopted  the  Report  of  the  Departmental  Committee  on Administration and National Security on its consideration of a Public Petition by residents  of  Wajir  and  Garissa  counties  regarding  lack  of  access  to  citizen registration services.
  • The  Senate  Amendments  to  the  Public  Private  Partnerships  Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 6 of 2021) be now considered
  • The House adopted the Tenth Report of the Special Funds Accounts Committee  on  audited  financial  statements  for  the  Local  Authorities  Provident  Fund, the  Unclaimed  Assets  Trust  Fund,  the  National  Environment  Trust  Fund,  the  Land Settlement Fund and the Petroleum Fund
Second Reading
  • The Radiographers Bill
  • The Asian Widows’ and Orphans’ Pensions Bill
  • The County Governments Grants Bill
  • The Pensions (Amendment) Bill
  • The Provident Fund (Repeal) Bill
  • The Kenya Roads (Amendment) Bill
Committee of the Whole House
  • Senate amendments to the Public Private Partnerships Bill
  • The Perpetuities  and  Accumulations (Amendment) Bill
  • The Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill
  • The Kenya Deposit Insurance (Amendment) Bill
  • The Community Groups Registration Bill 
  • The Landlord and Tenant Bill
Third Reading
  • The Community Groups Registration Bill
  • The Landlord and Tenant Bill
  • The Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill
Report
  • Senate amendments to the Public Private Partnerships Bill
  • The Perpetuities and Accumulations (Amendment) Bill

 

SENATE

The House is currently on a short break as Members needed to attend the Devolution Conference to resume sittings next week. Sittings will be up to 02nd December, 2021 after which the Senate will break for a long recess on 3rd December, 2021 to 8th February, 2022

26th November 2021 Kenya Gazette Review

PUBLIC SECTOR

Appointments

  • The National Government Constituencies Development Fund Board has appointed, with the approval of the National Assembly, the members of the National Government Constituency Development Fund Committees for a period of two (2) years, with effect from the 23rd September, 2021. 
JUDICIARY 
  • The Judicial Service Commission has appointed the following persons as Resident Magistrates and Deputy Registrars, with effect from November 1, 2021:
    • Kemei Silas Kandie;
    • Omuga Emacar Andrew;
    • Akida Kassim;
    • Elizabeth Khanali;
    • Koranje Olivia Onyango;
    • Mwera Atamba Lynn;
    • Ng’ang’a Catherine Wanjiru;
    • Muthoni Viola Serfinder Wakuthii;
    • Otuke Shadrack Obure;
    • Getenga Harriet Moraa;
    • Oboge Edward Meshack Otieno;
    • Marienga Tessy Elaine;
    • Thibaru Mercy Kinanu;
    • Wahinya Wa Kugwa; 
    • Kabuteh Irene Wambui;
    • Gaithuma Evelyn Muthoni;
    • Macharia Dominic Maru;
    • Maina Lilian Wangari; 
    • Manasses John Obeto;
    • Asenwa Luova Benta;
    • Munyuny Angela Chepoisho;
    • Endoo Dorcas Chepkemei;
    • Omono Tobias Odongo;
    • Kamau Mary Wangari;
    • Gacheru Julius Maina
    • Mutava Susan Ndunge;
    • Chelimo Eunice;
    • Rono Ivan Kipkoech;
    • Ojwang Jacqueline Muthoni;
    • Murangasia Welamondi Brian;
    • Ndungu Gatambia Samuel;
    • Wanja Naomi Wangui;
    • Amoro Asiago Justine;
    • Kinyatta Rhoda;
    • Wamae Elizabeth Mutile Muindi;
    • Zacharia Kagenyo;
    • Simatwo Gillian Chepchumba;
    • Chelule Emmie Chepkorir;
    • Mutimba Joy Babone;
    • Munene Jane Wangechi; 
    • Sichale Monje Minah;
    • Motari Silvia Kerubo;
    • Serem Getrude Chepng’eti;
    • Manyura Kemuma Sara;
    • Velnah Mochache Mong’ ina;
    • Okurnu Caroline Auma;
    • Nyaga Lisper Gakii;
    • Kemei Jepkosgei Elizabeth;
    • Onchwati Albert Nyakwara;
    • Wayodi Sylivia Adhiambo;
    • Mbugua Tabitha Wanjiku;
    • Cheruiyot Caroline Jeruto;
    • Wanjiru Njuguna;
    • Ouma Rodgers Otieno;
    • Kinuthia Grace Waithira;
    • Ngayo Ben Daniel;
    • Toroitich Beatrice Kemboi;
    • Wakina Kinyua Oscar;
    • Thamara Wambui Irene;
    • Nyabando Lilian Kwamboka;
    • Odhiambo Beniah Okong’o;
    • Okullo Amelea Awino;
    • Imoleit Ismael Stanley;
    • Aswani Dorothy Shitandi;
    • Larabi Stephen Lesantos Fredrick; and
    • Jerotich Emily Cherop
  • Insolvency Petition – Kerongo & Company Advocates has published a notice that they have filed an insolvency petition dated November 20, 2021, against Africa Merchant Assurance Company Limited. The petition will be heard on the 27th January, 2022 at 9.00 a.m at the High Court of Kenya, Milimani Commercial Courts, Nairobi.
LAND AND ENVIRONMENT SECTOR
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife has gazetted the Mara Siana Conservancy Management Plan, 2018-2028.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife has gazetted the Kasigaij Ranch Wildlife Conservancy Management Plan, 2020-2030.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife has gazetted the Olderkesi Conservancy Management Plan, 2018-2023.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife has gazetted the Mara Naboisho Conservancy Management Plan, 2020-2024. 
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife has gazetted the Mara Lemek Conservancy Management Plan, 2018-2023.
TRADE AND MANUFACTURING SECTOR 
  • The Customs and Border Control Department has published a list of goods at Customs Warehouse Kilindini and issued a Notice that if they will not be entered and removed from the Warehouse within thirty (30) days, they will be sold by public auction on December 28, 2021. 
  • The Customs and Border Control Department has published a list of goods at Customs Warehouse ICDE Nairobi and issued a Notice that the goods shall be disposed of by way of destruction on 28th December, 2021, after the expiry of thirty (30) days from the publication of this notice. 
FINANCIAL SERVICES SECTOR
  • The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority has received claims for unclaimed assets from the listed persons claiming as administrators off the estates of deceased persons and agents of the original owners and if no objection has been lodged within thirty (30) days of the date of publication of this notice, payment will be made to the aforementioned persons.

Licence Applications

  • The following applicants made applications to the Communications Authority of Kenya for grant of the licences dated October 26, 2021: 
Name  Station Identity Licence Category 
Urejesho Media Services Limited Urejesho Television  Commercial Free to Air Television Licence
Datafarm Logistics Limited Restoration TV Commercial Free to Air Television Licence
Ability Channel Limited Ability TV Commercial Free to Air Television Licence
Sway Light Media Limited Ikengi TV Commercial Free to Air Television Licence
Paran Africa Limited Paran TV Commercial Free to Air Television Licence
Countryside Communication Limited Urumwe FM Community Free to Air Radio Licence
Sasa Media Services Limited (Oyominto Television Network) Transfer of Licence from Sasa Media Services Limited to Emsam Media Services Limited Commercial Free to Air Television Licence
Sasa Media Services Limited (Kilunda Television Network) Transfer of Licence from Sasa Media Services Limited to Emsam Media Services Limited   Commercial Free to Air Television Licence
Baluzis Delivery Limited National Postal/Courier Operator Licence
Circular Classic Company Limited National Postal/Courier Operator Licence
Bluenile Courier Services Limited National Postal/Courier Operator Licence
Marsabit Parcel Services Limited National Postal/Courier Operator Licence
Zukabit Solutions Limited National Postal/Courier Operator Licence
Iaffordable Limited Network Facilities Provider- Tier 3 (NFP-T3)
Elegance Technology Limited Network Facilities Provider- Tier 3 (NFP-T3)
Konza Technopolis Development Authority Network Facilities Provider- Tier 3 (NFP-T3)
  • The following applicants made applications to the Communications Authority of Kenya for grant of the licences dated November 2, 2021:
Name Station Identity Licence Category
Nice Media Services Limited Nice Television Commercial Free to Air Television Licence
Yahweh’s Media Services Limited Yahweh’s TV Commercial Free to Air Television Licence
009 Television Limited 009 TV Commercial Free to Air Television Licence
The Daesak Media Services Limited Mugambo TV Commercial Free to Air Television Licence
Balozi Media Group Limited Balozi Television  Commercial Free to Air Television Licence
Majira Media Limited Alltime TV Commercial Free to Air Television Licence
Njenga Wyse Media Limited Muugi TV Commercial Free to Air Television Licence
Silver Grip Systems Consult Limited Top Bleeze Radio Commercial Free to Air Radio Licence
Life Point Media Limited Radio Ashe Commercial Free to Air Radio Licence
Iqra Broadcasting Network Limited Iqra  FM Commercial Free to Air Radio Licence
Atrics Media Limited, Radio Atrics  Commercial Free to Air Radio Licence
Transworld Radio Kenya Sifa FM Commercial Free to Air Radio Licence
Wezesha Jamii CBO Jamii  FM Community Free to Air Radio Licence
Gideons International Ministries Kenya Gideons FM Community Free to Air Radio Licence
Jihan Freighters Limited National Postal/Courier Operator Licence
Super Metro Limited National Postal/Courier Operator Licence
Pegira Holdings Limited Network Facilities Provider- Tier 3 (NFP-T3)
Surf Sky Net Solutions Limited Network Facilities Provider- Tier 3 (NFP-T3)
Zoom Broadbands Limited Network Facilities Provider- Tier 3 (NFP-T3)

19th November 2021 County Round Up

WEST POKOT COUNTY

  • John Krop Lonyangapuo, Governor, West Pokot County has appointed Robert Mnang’at Katina to be the County Attorney of the County Government of West Pokot, for a term of six (6) years, from the date of this appointment.
  • John Krop Lonyangapuo, Governor, West Pokot County has appointed Consolata Chepchirchir Arusei to be the Secretary/CEO, County Public Service Board of the West Pokot County, for a term of six (6) years, from the date of this appointment.

TURKANA COUNTY

  • The County Executive Committee Member, Health Services and Sanitation, Turkana County has appointed the persons named in the Schedule as the members of Hospitals Management Committees whose tenure runs for three (3) years from the date of gazettement.
  • The County Executive Committee Member, Health Services and Sanitation, Turkana County has appointed the persons named in the Schedule as the committee members for the listed Health facilities whose tenure runs for three (3) years from the date of gazettement. 

LAMU COUNTY

  • Fahim Yasin Twaha, Governor of Lamu, constitutes the persons hereto to be members of the Lamu County Environmental Committee. The representatives who shall be members for three (3) years and eligible for appointment for one further term in accordance with section 29 (4). 

BARINGO COUNTY

  • The County Executive Committee Member for Health Services has appointed the following persons as members of the designated Sub-county Alcoholic Drinks Regulation Committees, with effect from the 15th November, 2021.

VIHIGA COUNTY

  • The Vihiga County Assembly Standing has notified the Members of the County Assembly and the general public that there shall be a special sitting of the County Assembly to be held at the County Assembly Headquarters on Monday, 22nd November, 2021 at 9.30 a.m. (morning session) and 2.30 p.m. (afternoon session), respectively.

 

19th November 2021 Kenya Gazette Review

National Assembly Bills, 2021

  • The Higher Education Loans Board (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Senate Bills, 2021

  • The Cotton Industry Development (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Legislative Supplements, 2021

  • The Tax Procedures (Unassembled Motorcycles) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations, 2021.
  • The Banking Act—Suspension of Exchange of Certain Aspects of Negative Credit Information.
  • The Special Economic Zones Act— Declaration of Special Economic Zones.
  • The National Hospital Insurance Fund Act— Declaration of Hospitals. 
PUBLIC SECTOR
  • The Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Co-operatives, in consultation with the Council of Governors and the Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee has established the Joint Agriculture Sector Steering Committee.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Devolution has established the Institutional Framework set out in the Schedule hereto to guide the valuation and transfer of the assets of the defunct local authorities and the assets of the National Government relating to devolved functions.
  • The Council of the Institute of Human Resource Management with the approval of the Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizens Affairs and Special Programmes, has issued the Code of Conduct set out in the Schedule to apply in respect of Human Resource Management Professionals.
  • The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission gives notice to the public that the persons listed in the Schedule are validly nominated to contest for the by-election for the member of county assembly position for Mahoo ward in Taita Taveta County scheduled to be held on 16th December, 2021.
  • The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission gives notice to the public that the places listed in the Seventh Column to the Schedule below shall be the tallying centre for the by-election for the member of county assembly position for Mahoo ward in Taita Taveta County scheduled to be held on 16th December, 2021.
TRADE AND MANUFACTURING SECTORS
  • The Competition Authority of Kenya has initiated investigations against PZ Cussons East Africa Limited in relation to compliance with the product information standard KS EAS 346:2013 Standard in regards to Labelling of Cosmetics-General requirements. 
  • The Customs and Border Control Department has published a list of goods at the Customs Warehouse, Taveta OSBP issued a Notice that if they will not be entered and removed from the Warehouse within thirty (30) days they will be sold by public auction on the 22nd December, 2021. 
LAND AND ENVIRONMENT SECTOR

Completion of Development Plans

The preparation of the below-mentioned Part Development Plan is complete:

  • PDP Ref No. KSI/37/2021/03—Proposed Regularization of Existing Site for Residential Plot. 
  • PDP Ref No. KSI/37/2021/04—Proposed Regularization of Existing Site for Residential Plot. 
  • PDP Ref No. KSI/37/2021/02—Proposed Regularization of Existing Site for the Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.
JUDICIARY 
  • The Chief Justice has appointed members to the National Steering Committee for the Implementation of the Alternative Justice System (AJS) Policy, for a period of five (5) years.
  • The Chief Magistrate Court at Kiambu has published a list of records, books and papers that they intend to destroy.

 

19th November 2021 Parliamentary Round Up

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

PAPERS LAID

The following papers were laid at the Table of the House among others:

  • Legal Notice No.222 relating to the Public Finance Management, the National Roads Toll Fund Regulations of 2021 and the explanatory memorandum from the National Treasury.
  • The Kenya Bankers Association Total Tracks Contribution Report for the year 2019 and 2020.
  • The State of the Judiciary and Administration of Justice Report for the year 2021 and Gazette Notice No. 12385 of 2021 on the Report.
  • The Commissioner on Revenue Allocation Recommendation on the basis for equitable sharing of revenues between the National and County Government for the financial year 2022 – 2023 from the commissioner on Revenue Allocation.
  • The Quarterly Economic and Budgetary Review Report for the First Quarter of the Financial Year 2021/2022 from the National Treasury.
  • Annual Reports and financial statements in respect of various institutions including the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner for the financial year 2020/2021.
  •  The Biannual Report for the period January to June 2021 from the Commission on Administrative Justice.
  • Statutory Six Months Preference and Reservation Report for the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA).
MOTIONS

Inquiry Into Complaints of Environmental Pollution by London Distillers Kenya Limited

The House adopted the Report of the Select Committee on Implementation on its consideration of the Implementation Status of the Report of the Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources on an inquiry into complaints of environmental pollution by London Distillers Kenya Limited, laid on the Table of the House on Thursday, September 30, 2021.

Implementation Status of a Report on Land Issues in Taita Taveta County

The House adopted the Report of the Select Committee on Implementation on its consideration of the Implementation Status of the Report of the Departmental Committee on Lands regarding Land Issues in Taita Taveta County, laid on the Table of the House on Wednesday, September 29, 2021.

Extension of Sitting Time

The House resolved to extend its sitting hours with respect to the afternoon sittings for the remaining part of the Session so that the House sits until 9.00 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, with effect from Tuesday, November 23, 2021.

Lack of Access to Citizen Registration Services

The House was given notice to adopt the Report of the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security on its consideration of a Public Petition by residents of Wajir and Garissa Counties regarding lack of access to Citizen Registration Services, laid on the Table of the House on Wednesday, August 11, 2021.

Report on Funds

The House was given notice to adopt the Tenth Report of the Special Funds Accounts Committee on Audited Financial Statements for the Local Authorities Provident Fund, the Unclaimed Assets Trust Fund, the National Environment Trust Fund, the Land Settlement Fund and the Petroleum Fund, laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, August 10, 2021.

BILLS

The following Bills came up for Second Reading:

  • The County Governments Grants Bill (Senate Bill No. 35 of 2021) by the Chairperson, Budget and Appropriations Committee.
  • The Community Groups Registration Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 20 of 2020) by the Leader of the Majority Party.
  • The Asian Widows’ and Orphans’ Pensions (Repeal) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 29 of 2021) by the Leader of the Majority Party.
  • The Radiographers Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 47 of 2019) by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Health.
  • The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 1 of 2020) by the Chairperson, Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee.

The following Bills were read for the Second Time:

  • The Community Groups Registration Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 20 of 2020) by the Leader of the Majority Party.

The following Bill came up for consideration under the Committee of the Whole House:

  • The Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 34 of 2019) by the Hon. Millie Odhiambo Mabona, M.P.
  • Waqf Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 73 of 2019), following which, the House was in agreement to the Committee of the Whole House, was accordingly read the third time and passed.
STATEMENTS

The following Statements were raised on the floor of the House among others:

  • The Nominated Member (Hon. Dennitah Ghati, MP) asked the Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizens Affairs & Special Programmes on the status of construction of Nguruna Gender Based violence and Women Centre. The Question will be replied to before the   Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare.
  • The Member for Marsabit County (Hon. Safia Sheikh, MP) asked the Cabinet Secretary for Education on access to education by children from pastoralist communities in ASAL areas. The Question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Education and Research.
  • The Member for Lamu County (Hon. (Capt.) Ruweida Obo, MP) asked the Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communication & Technology, Innovation and Youth Affairs on the improvement of Mobile Telephony Network Signal and Coverage in Lamu County. The Question will be replied before the Departmental Committee on Communication, Information and Innovation.
  •  The Member for Ol Jorok (Hon. Michael Muchira, MP) asked the Cabinet Secretary for Energy to explain the delay in metering of over twenty-five projects undertaken by the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC) and Transformer Densification Programme in Ol Jorok Constituency. The Question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Energy.
  • The Member for Meru County (Hon. Bishop Kawira Mwangaza, MP) asked the Cabinet Secretary for Education to outline the measures in place to ensure construction of public educational institutions across the country is properly supervised by experts to ensure quality standards are met and that the safety of learners is not compromised. The Question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Education and Research.
  • The Member for Sirisia (Hon. John Waluke, MP) asked the Attorney General to explain measures in place to ensure that the country is ready to meet the 2026 deadline with respect to elimination Gender Based Violence, given the increased cases of domestic violence in the country. The Question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs.
  •  The Member for Kitui County (Hon. Dr. Irene Kasalu, MP) asked the Cabinet Secretary for Education to provide details on the rolling out and uptake of the Adult Education Programme in the Country. The Question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Education and Research.
  • The Member for Mumias East (Hon. Benjamin Washiali, MP) asked the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works to explain why the cost of transporting goods through the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is higher compared to the cost of transporting similar goods by road to other premises in Nairobi. The Question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing.

The following statements were requested on the floor of the House:

  • Hon. Owen Baya, MP (Kilifi North) requested a statement from the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing on the expansion of Malindi International Airport D.C.
  •  Hon. Kipsengeret Koros, MP (Sigowet/Soin), requested a statement from the Departmental Committee on the government’s preparedness on food security.
  • Hon. Qalicha Gufu, MP (Moyale) requested a statement from the Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources on the supply of water to Moyale Town.
  • Hon. Rashid Amin, MP (Wajir East) requested a statement from the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations on the ongoing recruitment exercise of Kenya Defence Forces in the country.

Responses received:

  • The Departmental Committee on Education and Research gave a response to the Statement requested by Hon. Wilson Sossion regarding schools unrest in the country. 

SENATE

PAPERS LAID

The following papers were laid at the Table of the House among others:

  • Report of the Standing Committee on Labour and Social Welfare on the Heritage and Museums Bill (Senate Bills No. 22 of 2021)
  • Report of the Standing Committee on Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations on a Petition to the Senate by Mr. Nashon Ogana, concerning the boundary question between Kisumu, Siaya and Vihiga Counties around Maseno area.
  •  Various reports of the Auditor General on the Financial Statements of various institutions for the year ended 30th June 2020.
PETITIONS

The House was informed of the following Petitions:

  • Petition to the Senate by Mr. Daniel Waturu concerning Radio frequency interference of Sawanga FM by Sidai FM.
  • Petition to the Senate by Bishop Paul Kariuki Njiru and Sister Alice Wambui concerning illegal alienation of a Parcel of Land in Embu Municipality No. 375 (Leasehold) by the Child Welfare Society of Kenya.
MOTIONS

Inquiry into Allegations of Irregularities by KEMSA  

The House adopted the Report of the Standing Committee on Health on inquiry into allegations regarding irregularities in the procurement of various pharmaceutical equipment and products by the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA), laid on the Table of the Senate on Tuesday, 30th March, 2021.

BILLS

Second Reading

The following Bill came up for Second Reading:

  • The County Hall of Fame Bill (Senate Bills No. 9 of 2021) by Sen. Kipchumba Murkomen, MP.
STATEMENTS

The following Statements were raised on the floor of the House among others:

  • Sen. (Dr.) Christopher Langat, MP sought a statement from the Standing Committee on Labour and social welfare regarding claims of discrimination against locals on job opportunities by Bomet University.  
  • Sen. Cleophas Malalah sought a statement from the Standing Committee on Information and Technology, regarding the funding of the Konza Data Centre and Smart City and its construction by Chinese telecoms Company Huawei.
  • Sen. Johnson Sakaja made a statement regarding the operations of the intelligence and strategic operations department of the Kenya Revenue Authority.
  • Sen. Isaac Ngugi Githua, sought a statement from the Standing Committee on National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations concerning the frequent fire incidents at the Gikomba Market and the adverse effect on the micro-businesses.
  • The Chairperson, Standing Committee on Information and Technology, Senator Gideon issued a statement relating to the activities of the committee.
  • The Chairperson, Standing Committee on Energy to issue a statement relating to the activities of the committee.
  • The Chairperson, Standing Committee on Education to issue a statement relating to the activities of the committee.

 

19th November 2021 Trade and Financial Services Round Up

KENYA

CBK Takes Baby Steps Towards Launch of Digital Currency (Source: Business today)

Kenya is exploring the possibility of developing and launching a central bank digital currency (CBDC) to settle cross-border payments, as it seeks to advance the shift to a cashless economy and secure transactions.

The Central Bank of Kenya Governor, Dr Patrick Njoroge, says CBDCs can slash the time needed for cross-border payments in addition to cutting costs significantly. A CBDC is money that exists in electronic form, issued and regulated by the nation’s monetary authority and backed by the government.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Afro-Asia Fintech festival, which was held virtually, Dr Njoroge said that CBDCs can enhance the efficiency of cross-border payments, as long as countries work together. “We see the benefits would be more cross border,” said the CBK governor. “The issue is not to be first, the issue is to do it right.”

Towards this end, Dr Njoroge said that the CBK is in discussions with other global central banks. Many central banks across the world are considering issuing digital currencies to cater to businesses and households seeking faster, safer, easier, and cheaper means of payments.

Uhuru’s budget for new president signals higher taxes (Source: Business Daily)

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s last budget will put his successor under pressure to raise Sh342.20 billion additional revenue to implement his preferred projects, setting up Kenyans for higher taxation.

President Kenyatta’s administration has proposed a budget of Sh3.31 trillion for the financial year starting July 2022, a month before he leaves office at the end of the constitutional two-year term.

The Treasury plans to spend Sh278.81 billion or 9.2 percent more than the budget for the current year in a bid to enhance investments in Mr Kenyatta’s legacy projects under the Post-Covid-19 Economic Recovery Strategy and the floundering “Big Four” Agenda.

Kenya will continue to splurge on infrastructure projects and a stimulus plan to maintain economic growth in the face of the coronavirus crisis, which delivered layoffs and business closures.

The new president, who will take over from Mr Kenyatta, will need to increase ordinary revenue to nearly Sh2.41 trillion next Financial Year against the Sh2.06 trillion estimate for the current year

TANZANIA

Malaysian firm to invest in locomotive assembly plant (Source: The Citizen)

Tanzania will start producing locomotives and wagons within a year if a foot plan by Malaysia’s railway engineering service provider to invest between $40 million (about TSh92 billion) and $100 million (about TSh230 billion) comes to fruition.

SMH Rail has already secured 50 acres of land at Kwala in Kibaha, Coast Region for building of a rolling stock manufacturing plant to manufacture locomotives, wagons and a diesel–electric multiple unit (Demu).

This is according to the company’s representative, Mr Mussa Mansour, who was speaking here yesterday on the sideline interview of an event to handover to the Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC) of the TSh22 billion worth three modern locomotives (H10 series) for the metre gauge railway (MGR).

Mr Mansour said they were expecting to soon start the construction of the factory that is set to create 1,000 direct jobs to Tanzanians.

Tanesco to announce rationing as power generation drops (Source: The Citizen)

Tanzanians should brace for more pains as power rationing looms after Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco) revealed that water levels in many of their dams have reduced.

According to a statement issued by Tanesco on Thursday, November 18, 2021 the utility company said that that situation has affected power generation at some of their stations.

The power supply company stated that the declining water levels have affected stations such as Kihansi, Kidatu and Pangani leading to a deficit on the national grid.

 “The total production deficit is approximately 345 megawatts which is equivalent to 21 percent of total production,” reads part of the statement. “Because there will be shortages in some regions, information will be provided in a timely manner so that clients can plan their activities.” Tanesco says in a statement.

RWANDA

BNR said Covid-19 had given commercial banks the right to renew loans (Source: Rwanda Broadcasting Agency) 

The Central Bank of Rwanda has stated that in the current era of Covid-19, it has given commercial banks the right to reform loans to facilitate the borrowers, as their activities are being disrupted by the epidemic. As a result, the debt is valued at $776 billion, or about 28%.

Private sector lending in 2020-2021 increased by 28.7%, while in the previous year it was at an average rate of 26.4%. Economic analysts point out that this increase in private lending has played a role in bringing together the overall economy of the country, which has been hit hard by the covid 19.

On the other hand, non-performing loans have risen from 5.5% in 2019-2020 to 5.7% in 2020-202 in the banking sector, while in small and medium-sized enterprises the rate has decreased to an average of 6.7%, however in the previous year these unsecured loans were at a rate of 12.8%.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Rwanda, Mr John Rwangombwa, explained to both members of Parliament that it was agreed that the debts of bank customers should be renewed for at least 4 years. Banking profits have continued to rise over the past two years as they rose from Rs 33 billion to Rs 56 billion in the fiscal year ended June 2021.

Rwanda’s export revenues grow by 16 per cent (Source: The New Times) 

Rwanda earned over $1.487 billion (over Rwf1.4 trillion) from exports during the 2020-2021 fiscal year, up from over $1.277 billion during the previous year, representing a 16.4 per cent increase in the country’s export receipts, according to the Central Bank report set to be presented in Parliament this afternoon.

The National Bank of Rwanda (BNR)’s annual report for the financial year 2020/2021 which ended on June 30, indicated that the country’s total export volume increased by 30.2 percent. Overall, the growth of the revenues and the export quantities imply a drop in prices on the international markets.

According to the report, the growth in export revenues reflects primarily a continued recovery of merchandise exports from the Covid-19-induced collapse that reached the lowest point in recent times, during the second quarter of last year.

Specifically, traditional exports (including minerals, tea, coffee, and pyrethrum), non-traditional exports (such as grains, cereals, and horticulture) and re-exports categories increased by 10 percent, 44.4 percent, and 21.9 percent respectively.

UGANDA

Kenya delays trade mission to Uganda to resolve sugar, milk row (Source: The Monitor)  

Kenya has postponed a trade mission to Uganda in which the two countries had sought to resolve the sugar and milk import standoff until December. 

This is the third time Kenya is postponing the matter that has raised questions on whether the two countries are ready to find a lasting solution to the impasse.

Kenya’s Principal Secretary State Department of Livestock, Harry Kimtai, said the November meeting will not take place as planned because the Kenya Dairy Board was not ready.

The delay to resolve the impasse comes at a time when Uganda has been allowed to access the Zambian market, offering an alternative to the country’s commodity.

Pearl Dairy, makers of Lato milk, secured annual supplies of milk to Zambia after the company suffered major losses when Kenya stopped exports of its products in 2019.

The firm is the largest processor of milk in Uganda with a daily capacity of 800,000 litres. 

Banks want taxes on mobile money, Internet scrapped (Source: The Monitor)

Commercial banks have asked Uganda Bankers’ Association (UBA) to lobby the government, particularly Bank of Uganda and Ministry of Finance, to consider removing or reviewing digital taxes. 

The taxes, among them mobile money tax, banks claim, impact digital inclusion thus reducing uptake of digital financial services.

“Lobby for removal of user taxes on mobile money and internet access, to attract more users thus increase both digital and financial inclusion,” banks say in details contained in the proposed regulatory reforms in the banking sector. 

The removal of such taxes, they claim, will lower the cost of popular digital financial services, many of which the government plans to use in the transformation of Uganda’s financial services from cash-based to a cashless economy.

ETHIOPIA

Addis Preparing to Export 60+ Agricultural and Industrial Products (Source: 2Merkato)

Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) announced that Ethiopia is preparing to export over sixty types of agricultural and industrial products to improve its forex earning.

Samuel Assefa, Director of Export Projects Facilitation at EIC, pointed out Ethiopia is already exporting agricultural and industrial products to American, European, Asian, and other African markets. Furthermore, efforts are in full swing to increase such exports and their market reach, undergirded by related market research, he said.

The market research, Mr. Samuel remarked, will help Ethiopia earn more forex while resisting undue economic pressure from certain countries. He also called on the concerted efforts of all stakeholders to do what is expected of them for success to be achieved.

Efforts are underway to maintain quality standards of agricultural and products, Mr. Samuel said, adding that the mining sector has a significant role to play to ensure sustained forex earnings.

Pointing out that Ethiopia has abundant resources but an unmatched low amount of exports, the Director said “a lot needs to be done in the future.”

Ethiopia Collects Over 53.9bn Birr ($1.13 billion) in Revenue in October (Source: 2Merkato)

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Revenues announced that it has collected over 53.9 billion birr in the month of October alone. The amount stands at 95.26 percent of the 56.59 billion birr target set for the period, Lake Ayalew, Minister of Revenues noted.

Compared to the previous fiscal year, the collected amount has shown an increase of 21.82 percent, over 9.657 billion birr. Local tax accounted for nearly 42.8 billion birr of the collection, while customs duties amounted to 11.84 billion birr.

Mr. Lake emphasized this has been achieved despite four of its branches not being functional due to the security situation in some parts of the country, in addition to movement restriction in other areas. He also extended thanks to the staff of his Ministry who he said worked “relentlessly” for the achievement to be realized.

ERITREA

Gerset Farm Project making a difference (Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea)

The construction of Gerset dam, which triggered the transformation of traditional farm practices to advanced irrigation systems, is a stepping stone toward the expansion of mechanized farm projects and change in the living standards of local communities. Farm activities that have been flourishing in Gerset and its surrounding areas are the result of the construction of major dams in Goluj sub-zone.

Gerset farm has been a training centre for young graduates who are now armed with practical experiences that are instrumental in moving the farm project forward. Over 500 professionals, who have over five years of experience in Plant Protection, Horticulture, Agronomy and Agricultural Engineering and other disciplines have been running and making a difference in all major farm activities of Gerset farm. Mr. Amine Tesfamichael, Manager of Gerset Farm, said besides the contribution they have been making to the development of the farm, the graduates are making use of the opportunity provided for them to hone their skills.

SUDAN

Finance minister calls for international aid (Source: Africanews)

Last month, Sudan’s top military leader General Abdel-Fattah Burhan dissolved the government and transitional council, arresting many political leaders and activists, including Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who is currently under house arrest. 

The Oct. 25 military takeover has halted all aid. The United States suspended $700 million (618.6 million Euros) in direct financial assistance and the World Bank suspended aid of up to $2 billion (1.8 billion Euros). Mediation efforts are ongoing with top US diplomat Molly Phee visiting Khartoum.

The Finance Minister Gibril Ibrahim called for continued international support for Sudan’s transition to democracy.

SOMALIA

Milk, meat and might: Camel is king in Somalia’s economy (Source: Daily Sabah)

For many Somalis, the camel is a gift from the gods: a source of milk and meat, a beast of burden in the desert and – as climate change spurs extreme weather in the Horn of Africa – insurance in times of crisis. In this overwhelmingly rural society of 15 million, the rearing of camels and other livestock underpins an economy devastated by war and natural disaster that ranks among the world’s very poorest.

The livestock industry is the main contributor to economic growth in Somalia and in normal years accounts for 80% of exports, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Camels are far outnumbered by sheep and goats, which wander Hargeisa in northern Somalia with their owner’s phone numbers scrawled on their sides, should they get lost and need returning.

But at seven million beasts, there are more camels in Somalia than almost anywhere else, and they don’t just confer respect on their owners – they fetch much higher prices. An impressive specimen can carry a $1,000 (860 euros) price tag. 

19th November 2021 Political and Regulatory Round Up

KENYA

The Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes (Amendment) Bill seeks to bar corrupt officials from public office (Source: Business Daily)

State and public officers convicted of corruption or economic crimes will be permanently barred from vying for political seats or holding public office if the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes (Amendment) Bill becomes law. 

The Bill seeks to hold managers, chief executives and directors of public institutions personally liable for running down their institutions. “A person who is convicted of an offence of corruption or economic crime and who was involved in the management of a public company, institution or state organ that suffered pecuniary loss as a result of the corruption or economic crime, shall be personally liable for such loss,” reads the Bill.

It also seeks to completely bar anyone convicted of an offence under the Act from holding office as a public or State officer. The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) will be empowered to publish the names of those disqualified from assuming public offices in the Kenya Gazette at least once a year.

UGANDA

Police kill five men after suicide bombings (Source: NTV Uganda)

Following deadly explosions in Kampala on Tuesday, November 16, Ugandan authorities have killed at least five people accused of having ties to the Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for the suicide bombings. 

Islamic State claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s explosions, saying they were carried out by Ugandans. Authorities blamed the attacks on the Allied Democratic Forces, or ADF, an extremist group that has been allied to the IS since 2019.

While Ugandan authorities are under pressure to show they are in control of the situation, the killing of suspects raises fears of a crackdown in which innocent people will become victims.

TANZANIA

Regulator Imposes 10-Year Tenure Limit on Bank CEOs (Source: Bloomberg)

Tanzania’s central bank has placed a 10-year limit on the tenure of chief executives officers of banks and banned elected officials from serving on the boards of financial institutions.

CEOs and board members of banks will need to stand down for three years after completing a decade in office before they can be reappointed, the Bank of Tanzania said. The aim of the new rules is to “promote and maintain public confidence in banks and financial institutions” by improving corporate governance.

Banks will also be prohibited from offering commercial loans to employees on terms more favorable than those available to other regular borrowers.

ETHIOPIA

US urges inclusive dialogue in Ethiopia (Source: The East African)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called upon Ethiopia’s warring parties to come to the negotiating table. While on his first trip to Africa, the US diplomat maintained that Washington endorses dialogue with all sides in the ongoing conflict. “It is very important that the differences, the conflicts, be resolved by people sitting down at the table, talking, discussing, negotiating,” Mr Blinken told a joint press conference in Nairobi.

The Ethiopia government has, however, criticized the international community for what it said was propping up a terrorist organisation. In a statement on Sunday, the foreign ministry said the greatest danger to the country and the entire Horn of Africa was the TPLF. 

Ethiopia, which banned TPLF as a terrorist group, has said it will organise a national dialogue, but only invite legitimate stakeholders, including political parties, and not banned movements.

RWANDA

New conservation law to promote fair sharing of genetic resources (Source: The New Times)

Biodiversity conservation experts in Rwanda have welcomed the recently gazetted law on biological diversity and wildlife conservation, saying it will play a role in implementing the Nagoya Protocol. 

The Nagoya Protocol is an international agreement to ensure fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilisation of genetic resources.  It aims to achieve sustainable use of biodiversity.

According to the new law, any person who conducts studies on genetic resources or associated traditional knowledge, accesses or exports them without a relevant permit commits a crime and he or she is liable to an administrative fine of not less than Rwf2 million and not more than Rwf5 million.

In addition to the sanctions, the law also empowers authorities to seize genetic resources on which the offence was committed as well as the equipment used to commit it.

ERITREA

Eritrea responds to sanctions by US (Source: Washington Post and Daily Nation)

The United States has imposed sanctions on the Eritrean military and the country’s ruling party in response to the ongoing crisis and conflict in Ethiopia. According to a press release by the US Department of the Treasury, the sanctions target Eritrean actors that have contributed to the crisis and conflict, which have undermined the stability and integrity of the Ethiopian state.

“We condemn the continued role played by Eritrean actors who are contributing to the violence in northern Ethiopia, which has undermined the stability and integrity of the state and resulted in a humanitarian disaster,” said Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control Andrea M. Gacki.

In response to the sanctions, the Eritrean government maintains that the move is aimed at inculcating suffering and starvation of its civil population. “Its transparent aim is to obstruct enduring solutions that promote sustainable stability in the Horn of Africa in general and Ethiopia in particular and to stoke and perpetuate a vicious cycle of chaos that it will then manage” said Information Minister Yemane Meskel.

SUDAN

15 protesters shot dead in latest anti-coup rallies (Source: Mena)

Security forces shot dead at least 15 anti-coup protesters and wounded many others, according to the Central Doctors Committee. “The coup forces are using live bullets extensively in separate areas of the capital, injuring dozens, and some are in critical condition,” said the committee, whose casualty figures have proven reliable in the past. The total number of protesters killed so far since the October 25 coup is around 30.

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, while on his visit to Kenya has warned that Sudan will only regain access to international aid if the country’s military allows the transition to democracy to continue. So far, the US has suspended USD 700 million in aid to Sudan while the World Bank has also suspended millions in dollars in project assistance.

SOMALIA

Completion of Somalia elections more important than ever: UN envoy (Source: UN News)

Women parliamentarians will account for 26% of the composition of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament. This follows the completion of the indirect elections in the Upper House, which began in July 2021. Fourteen women will be among the 54 Senators. 

The Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia, Mr James Swan, welcomed the completion of the elections but noted that the number of women’s representation fell short of the 30% quota for women participation. “We continue to stress that women’s full inclusion and representation in political life, and in all sectors of life, is key for Somalia’s sustainable peace and development”, said Mr Swan.

Mr Swan further called upon the relevant stakeholders to conclude the Lower House elections before the end of the year so as to pave the way for the Presidential elections.

Buhari signs Nigeria’s Climate Change bill into law

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday signed the Climate Change bill into law.

This was made public by the president’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu.

According to Mr Shehu, the Climate Change Act owes its origin to a bill sponsored by a member of the House of Representatives, Sam Onuigbo, and provides for, among other things, the mainstreaming of climate change actions and the establishment of a National Council on Climate Change.

The Act also also paves the way for environmental and economic accounting and a push for a net zero emission deadline plan in the country.

The president had earlier made a commitment during the world leaders’ summit of the just concluded United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, in Glasgow, UK that Nigeria will cut its carbon emission to net-zero by 2060.

(Source: Premium Times News)

Elections 2022: The ODPC should tame political parties on data privacy breach

On June 18th 2021, the Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu shared a link through which members of the public could verify their political party membership status. Many Kenyans took to e-Citizen to confirm this and what followed was an uproar by people who claimed that they were registered by parties that they were not affiliated to. 

Some Kenyans wrote to the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) who released a statement on Twitter stating that they had received over 200 complaints from individuals. It also stated that it met with the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP’) and resolved that the complainants should be deregistered by the political parties.

By meeting with the ORPP and resolving the issue by deregistering the complainants, the ODPC simply played ‘Bird Box’ with the main issue at hand.

The issue was the unconsented registration of people by political parties. Section 30 of the Data Protection Act states that personal data shall only be processed if at least one of eight legal grounds listed in that Section apply. The applicable legal ground in the case of political party membership registration is consent. Consent as defined in Section 2 of the Act, details the minimum criteria; that it must be:

  • Any manifestation of express, unequivocal, free, specific;
  • Informed indication of the data subject’s wishes; and
  • By a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifying agreement.

Political parties disregarded this and some of the complainants were expecting action from the ODPC on the political parties. Even if it wanted to be non-confrontational, it should have met up with the political parties and maybe have capacity building sessions to bring them up to speed with the provisions of the Data Protection Act. But that was not done and it ignites the fear that when political actors engage in actions that may breach the Data Protection Act, the ODPC will take no action. 

On November 10, 2021, ORPP launched access to political party membership services on e-Citizen. This will make it easier for people to register in a political party of their choice, to check their membership status and to resign from political parties. The ODPC on the other end has published a Guidance Notes for Electoral Purposes. These moves are steps towards the right direction. However, based on trends from the 2017 electoral period where political aspirants sent unsolicited targeted campaign messages to voters, the ODPC has its work cut out for them. Politicians have proved time and again that they will breach data protection law. The unsolicited registration of voters into political parties is a taste of what is ahead. As we head to party nominations and voter mobilisation, ODPC should be fully alert. They should not sit and watch while privacy rights are trampled upon. It will set a bad precedent and hinder the country’s journey to data protection compliance. It should not be afraid to bite.

Kenya’s key economic strategies in 2022 Budget Policy Statement to spur recovery

Kenya’s economy has been on a path to recovery in 2021 following the slump in 2021 occasioned by the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is against this recovery background that Kenya’s 2022 Budget Policy Statement (BPS) is based upon. 

Kenya’s economy rebounded strongly in the second quarter of 2021, with real GDP growing 10.1% supported by the easing of Covid-19 containment measures. The rebound is supported by the continued reopening of service sectors, recovery in manufacturing, and stronger global demand. This is reflected in the robust performance of construction, manufacturing, education, real estate, and transport and storage sectors. 

The 2022 BPS outlines the policy measures that will continue to stimulate resilient and sustainable economic recovery in the short and medium terms. The policies are anchored on the Medium-Term Plan III of Vision 2030 and focuses on creating an enabling environment for businesses and industrial recovery, job creation, and safeguarding livelihoods. Further, the fiscal policy will focus on activities aimed at ensuring successful conduct of the 2022 General Election. As such, the FY 2022/23 budget is being prepared under a revised budget calendar that takes into account the preparations for the 2022 elections. 

To this end, the government will undertake the following targeted strategic interventions to support the realization of the “Big Four” Agenda and achieve a resilient and sustainable economic recovery: 

  1. Economic Stimulus Programme: The government will roll out a third financial stimulus programme that is designed to accelerate the pace of Kenya’s economic growth and to sustain the gains already made. The new Stimulus Programme will be targeting key productive and service sectors in 13 strategic interventions that cover: agriculture, health, education, drought response, policy, infrastructure, financial inclusion, energy, and environmental conservation.
  2. Harnessing the “Big Four” Agenda for Job Creation: The “Big Four” Agenda was initiated four years ago by the government as an economic blueprint meant to foster economic development and to provide a solution to the various socio-economic problems facing Kenyans. The 2022 BPS strives to stimulate job creation by pursuing “Big Four” projects such as supporting the growth of the manufacturing sector, achieving food and nutrition security, providing Universal Health Coverage, and providing affordable and decent housing to Kenyans.
  3. Maintaining a Conducive Business Environment for Employment Creation 
    1. Stable macroeconomic environment, in particular, maintaining the inflation rate within the policy target range of 2.5 to 7.5%, and sustaining fairly low and stable interest rates to support credit access by SMEs distressed by the pandemic.
    2. Deficit financing policy – The government will continue to diversify its funding sources and maintain presence in the international and domestic capital markets, and shall explore the use of green and climate change financing options.
    3. Business regulatory reforms, aimed at reducing cost of doing business in Kenya and encouraging private sector innovation and entrepreneurship for sustained economic recovery.
    4. Enhancing national security for sustained growth and employment – A safe and secure society provides an enabling environment for sustaining economic recovery. Government aims to implement reforms which include a police modernisation programme, training of security officers, and construction and upgrading of police stations.
  4. Infrastructure Development for Inclusive Growth
    1. Expansion of road network – the government targets to construct 6,107 kilometres of new roads, rehabilitate 385 kilometres and maintain 150,788 kilometres of roads over the next medium term.
    2. Rail, marine and air transport– the government shall prioritise maintenance of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and Meter Gauge Railway. Budget allocations will be made to repair, expand and modernize aviation facilities to maintain their competitive edge in the region. Furthermore, the government shall continue to undertake massive investments in various ports and harbours across the country.
    3. Adequate, affordable and reliable energy supply – the government has sought to boost power generation from the current 3,024 MW to over 6,700 MW by end of FY 2024/25 with major sources being renewable geothermal, wind and coal.
    4. Promoting the use of ICT – the government will build on the progress made so far to improve ICT infrastructure and increase ICT skills and innovation in order to drive the attainment of government priorities. strategy will focus on expanding ICT infrastructure connectivity by further rolling out the National Optic Fibre Backbone (NOFBI) Broadband, management and improving cybersecurity, and enhancing ICT skills among the youth to enhance their employability.
  5. Sectoral Transformation for Broad Based Sustainable Economic Growth
    1. Environmental conservation and water supply – the government continues to prioritize sustainable exploitation, utilization, management and conservation of the environment as well as protection of water catchment areas.
    2. Stimulating tourism recovery, sports, culture and arts – the government continues to implement initiatives to support sports development, promote Kenya as the preferred tourism destination through Magical Kenya, preserve Kenya’s natural heritage and cultural identity, and nurture talents and arts.
    3. Sustainable management of land for social-economic development – the government has continued to scale-up investment towards policies and programmes covering land use, security of tenure, access to land title, transparent and secure land registration system. These efforts have increased the scope for enhanced food and nutrition security, growth in investments and industries, and increased household incomes from agriculture.
  6. Expand Access to Quality Social Services
    1. Quality and relevant education for all Kenyans – To improve education outcomes, the government will strengthen implementation of a number of reforms including development of critical education infrastructure, recruitment of additional teachers and scaling up curriculum development.
    2. Strengthening the Social Safety Nets – the government will continue to extend the cash transfers to the vulnerable groups and develop a financing plan for the Hunger Safety Net Programme.
    3. Empowering youth and women for employment creation – the government is implementing initiatives including “Kazi Mtaani” Programme to equip the youth with industry-relevant skills to ensure they are employable and productive post Covid-19 crisis, as well as provide them with income generating opportunities.
  7. Enhancing Service Delivery through Devolution – The National Treasury in collaboration with other stakeholders is in the process of implementing the National Policy to Support Enhancement of County Governments’ Own-Source Revenue (OSR). This is expected to address challenges around OSR collection and administration faced by the County Governments.
  8. Entrenching Structural Reforms to Facilitate Business and Employment Growth
    1. Strengthening governance and the fight against corruption – the government shall continue strengthening the selection, accountability and replacement of authorities, efficiency of institutions, regulations, and resource management. The Government shall also avail resources to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and other institutions to enable them manage the 2022 General Election in a free and fair manner.
    2. Deepening public financial management reforms – the government will continue to strengthen the institutional capacity of the public financial management (PFM) oversight agencies by reviewing legal and regulatory frameworks governing public procurement, promoting accountability in the use of public resources by conducting National and County audits, and expanding the use of e-Procurement platform to all Government operations.
    3. Fostering financial sector developments and reforms – To foster financial stability, the government through the Central Bank of Kenya will continue to monitor and regulate commercial banks and other appropriate financial institutions to ensure that unethical practices are tamed.

12th November 2021 Parliamentary Round Up

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

PAPERS LAID

The following papers were laid at the Table of the House among others:

  • Legal Notice No.163 of 2021 relating to the Retirement Benefits Individual Retirement Benefit Schemes (Amendment) Regulations 2021.
  • Legal Notice No.164 of 2021 relating to the Retirement Benefits Occupational Retirement Benefit Schemes (Amendment) Regulations 2021.
  • Legal Notice No.165 of 2021 relating to the Retirement Benefits Umbrella Retirement Benefit Schemes (Amendment) Regulations 2021.
  • Legal Notice No.212 of 2021 relating to the Partnerships, Limited Partnerships Regulations 2021.
  • The Consolidated National Government Investment Report for the Financial year 2020/2021;
  • Report of the Departmental Committee of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning on its consideration of nominees for appointment as members of the Privatization Commission and the Competition Authority of Kenya;
  • Report of the Committee on Delegated Legislations on its consideration of the Breast Milk Substitutes (Regulations and Controls) (General) Regulations, 2021;
  • Report of the Committee on Delegated Legislations on its consideration of the Environmental Management and Co-ordination Impact Assessment and Audit (Amendment) Regulation 2016 Legal Notice No. 149 of 2016;
  • A list of nominees to the National Government Constituency development fund committee for Kiambaa Constituency;
  • Reports of the Auditor General and Financial Statement in respect of various institutions for the year ended 30th June 2020 and for various constituencies for the year ended 30th June 2019. 
MESSAGES
  • Legal Notice No.163 of 2021 relating to the Retirement Benefits Individual Retirement Benefit Schemes (Amendment) Regulations 2021.
  • Legal Notice No.164 of 2021 relating to the Retirement Benefits Occupational Retirement Benefit Schemes (Amendment) Regulations 2021.
  • Legal Notice No.165 of 2021 relating to the Retirement Benefits Umbrella Retirement Benefit Schemes (Amendment) Regulations 2021.
  • Legal Notice No.212 of 2021 relating to the Partnerships, Limited Partnerships Regulations 2021.
  • The Consolidated National Government Investment Report for the Financial year 2020/2021;
  • Report of the Departmental Committee of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning on its consideration of nominees for appointment as members of the Privatization Commission and the Competition Authority of Kenya.
  • Report of the Committee on Delegated Legislations on its consideration of the Breast Milk Substitutes (Regulations and Controls) (General) Regulations, 2021.
  • Report of the Committee on Delegated Legislations on its consideration of the Environmental Management and Co-ordination Impact Assessment and Audit (Amendment) Regulation 2016 Legal Notice No. 149 of 2016.
  • A list of nominees to the National Government Constituency development fund committee for Kiambaa Constituency
  • Reports of the Auditor General and Financial Statement in respect of various institutions for the year ended 30th June 2020 and for various constituencies for the year ended 30th June 2019.
MESSAGES

Passage of Six Bills by The Senate

Members of the House were informed of a Message from the Senate regarding its passage of the following six Bills:

  1. The Public Private Partnerships Bill (National Assembly Bills No. 6 of 2021),
  2. The Health (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 26 of 2020).
  3. The Investment Promotion (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 2 of 2021).
  4. The Office of the County Printer Bill (Senate Bill No. 13 of 2021).
  5. The Disaster Risk Management Bill (Senate Bills No. 14 of 2021).
  6. The County Boundaries Bill (Senate Bills No.20 of 2021).

The Bills will be scheduled for First Reading and will thereafter be referred to the respective committees as follows:

  1. The Health (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bill No.26 of 2020) will stand committed to the Departmental Committee on Health.
  2. The Investment Promotion (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No.2 of 2021) will stand committed to the Departmental Committee on Trade, Industry and Cooperatives.
  3. The Office of the County Printer Bill (Senate Bills No.13 of 2021) will stand committed to the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security.
  4. The County Boundaries Bill (Senate Bill No.20 of 2021) will stand committed to the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs.
  5. The Disaster Risk Management Bill (Senate Bill No.14 of 2021) will stand committed to the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security. 

The reports of the committees shall assist in guiding the House with respect to the next stages and prioritization of the Bills. 

Appointment to the Equalization Fund Advisory Board

The House was informed of a Message from the National Executive relating to a request for nomination of a person for appointment to the Equalization Fund Advisory Board. This is in accordance with the requirements of the Public Finance Management (Equalization Fund Administration) Regulations, 2021.

The Message was referred to the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning for consideration. The Committee will be required to convert itself into a selection panel and undertake an exercise to competitively recruit and interview suitable candidates and thereafter submit its report on the successful nominee to the House within set timelines for consideration by the House for nomination to the Cabinet Secretary.

PETITIONS

The House was informed of the following Petitions.

  • Petition on restoration of land belonging to Mrs. Teresia Wambui Kesi presented by the Hon. Owen Baya, MP (Kilifi North) on behalf of the family of Mrs. Teresia Wambui Kesi.
  • Petition on the interferences in the matter of revival of the United Insurance Company presented by the Hon. Muriuki Njagagua, MP (Mbeere) on behalf of concerned shareholders, policyholders and employees of United Insurance Company Limited (under statutory management).
MOTIONS

Appointment to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission

The House considered the findings of the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs in its Report on its consideration of Nominees for Appointment as Members of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 and approved the appointment of Col. (Rtd) Alfred Mtuweta Mshimba and Dr. Monica Wanjiru Muiru as Members of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

Appointment to the Privatization Commission

The House considered the findings of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning in its Report on its consideration of Nominees for Appointment as Members of the Privatization Commission, laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, and approved the appointment of the following persons to the Privatization Commission –

  • Dr. Edward N. Kobuthi, PhD – Member;
  • Ms. Irene Njeri Wanyoike – Member;
  • Ms. Celine Anyango Orata – Member;
  • Mr. Salah Adan Abdi – Member;
  • Mr. CPA David J.O. Nyakang’o – Member; and
  • Amb. Wellington Pakia Godo – Member.

Appointment to the Competition Authority

The House considered the findings of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning in its Report on its consideration of Nominees for Appointment as Members of the Competition Authority, laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, and approved the appointment of the following persons to the Competition Authority –

  • Ms. Lena Munuve – Member;
  • Ms. Alome K. Achayo – Member;
  • Dr. David Wanyonyi Wanyama – Member; and
  • Mr. Abdi A. Mohamed – Member.

The Breast Milk Substitutes Regulations, 2021

The House considered Report of the Committee on Delegated Legislation on its consideration of the Breast Milk Substitutes (Regulations and Controls) (General) Regulations, 2021, laid on the Table of the House on Wednesday, November 10, 2021, and approved the Breast Milk Substitutes (Regulations and Controls) (General) Regulations, 2021 published as Legal Notice No. 184 of 2021 with amendments to Regulations 1, 2 and 27(1).

Inquiry into Complaints of Environmental Pollution by London Distillers Kenya Limited

The House was given notice to adopt the Report of the Select Committee on Implementation on its consideration of the Implementation Status of the Report of the Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources on an inquiry into complaints of environmental pollution by London Distillers Kenya Limited, laid on the Table of the House on Thursday, September 30, 2021.

BILLS

First Reading

The following Bills underwent First Reading:

  • The Election Campaign Financing (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 37 of 2021) by the Chairperson, Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee.
  • The Elections (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 41 Of 2021) by the Chairperson, Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee.
  • The Petroleum Products’ (Taxes and Levies) (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 42 of 2021 by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning.
  • The Advocates (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 43 of 2021) by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs.
  • The Health (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bill No. 26 of 2020) by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Health.
  • The Investment Promotion (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bill No. 2 of 2021) by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Trade, Industry and Cooperatives.
  • The Office of the County Printer Bill (Senate Bill No. 13 of 2021) by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security.
  • The Disaster Risk Management Bill (Senate Bill No. 14 of 2021) by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security.
  • The County Boundaries Bill (Senate Bill No. 20 of 2021) the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs.

Second Reading

The following Bills came up for Second Reading:

  • The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 1 of 2020) by the Chairperson, Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee.
  • The Employment (Amendment)(No.2) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 79 of 2019) by the Hon. Gideon Keter, M.P.
  • The Pensions (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 26 of 2020) by the Hon. Didmus Barasa, M.P.

Committee of the Whole House

  • The Waqf Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 73 of 2019) by the Leader of the Majority Party.

Third Reading

  • The Sugar Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 68 of 2019) by the Hon. Wafula Wamunyinyi, M.P.). The House agreed with the Report of the Committee of the Whole House on its consideration of the Bill. As such, the Bill was accordingly read the third time and passed.
STATEMENTS

The following Statements were raised on the floor of the House among others:

  • Hon. (Ms.) Florence C.K. Bore (Kericho CWR, JP) asked the Cabinet Secretary for Lands and Physical Planning on the ownership status and the total acreage of land occupied by the Bomas of Kenya Limited in Lang’ata Constituency, Nairobi County. The Question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Lands.
  • Hon. James Gichuhi (Tetu, JP) asked the Cabinet Secretary for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives on the regulation and certification of animal feeds and drugs. The Question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Trade, Industry and Cooperatives.
  • The Member for Kiambaa (Hon. John Njuguna, MP) asked the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Planning to provide details on ownership and value of transactions of all Paybills and Paybill Numbers registered by Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya used in betting and gaming activities by major vernacular radio stations and more particularly by Inooro FM, Kameme FM and Gukena FM. The Question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning.
  • The Member for Kisumu West (Hon. Olago Aluoch, MP) asked the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development & Public Works to explain why Kenya Airports Authority does not have its own dedicated Search-and-Rescue boats at Kisumu International Airport for utilization in case of emergency plane air crashes into Lake Victoria. The Question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing.
  • The Member for Kaloleni (Hon. Paul Katana, MP) asked the Cabinet Secretary for Education on the mechanisms that the Ministry has put in place to establish the root causes of incidents of arson occurring in public secondary schools.  The Question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Education and Research.
  • The Member for Endebess (Hon. (Dr.) Robert Pukose, MP) asked the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry to explain the circumstances that led to the stoppage of the Community Forest Associations that undertook the Shamba System commonly referred as Taungya System in various forest establishments in the country. The Question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.
  • The Member for Alego Usonga (Hon. Samuel Atandi, MP) asked the Cabinet Secretary for Energy to explain the criteria employed by the management of Kenya Power to engage WPP Scanad Plc, which is a multinational firm, in its operations as outlined in the Report of the Auditor General on the Kenya Power & Lighting Company Plc for the year ended 30th June 2020 contrary to Section 103(1) of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015. The Question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Energy.
  • The Member for Embakasi East (Hon. Babu Owino, MP) asked the Cabinet Secretary for Health to explain the rationale behind the decision to send the entire Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) workforce under the pretext of working from home to undertake investigations concerning the alleged KEMSA Scandal relating to Covid-19 supplies, with over 80% of the affected personnel residing in Embakasi East. The Question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Health.
  • Hon. Aden Duale, MP (Garissa Township), requested for a Statement from the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning on the status of drought management funds for the FY 2021/2022 and the deteriorating drought situation in Northern Kenya.
  • Hon. Wilson Sossion, MP (Nominated) requested for a Statement from the Departmental Committee on Education and Research on Schools unrest in the country
  • The Departmental Committee on Sports, Culture and Tourism responded to the Statement on the measures to revive the Tourism Sector in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic period
  • The Departmental Committee Administration and National Security responded to the Statement on the Lake Victoria Boat Tragedy and the mysterious disappearance and murder of two young men in Runyenjes Constituency

SENATE

PAPERS LAID

The following papers were laid at the Table of the House among others:

  • Commission on Revenue Allocation Recommendation on the equitable sharing of nationally raised revenue between the National and County Governments for the financial year 2022/2023.
  • Report of the Standing Committee on Tourism, Trade and Industrialization on the Start-up Bill (Senate Bills No. 1 of 2021).
  • Various reports of the Auditor General on the Financial Statements of various institutions for the year ended 30th June 2019.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CHAIR

7th Annual Devolution Conference

The House was informed that the 7th Annual Devolution Conference, had been scheduled to take place from 23rd August to 26th August, 2021 in Wote, Makueni County. The conference was however postponed following a Presidential directive issued on 18th August 2021 vide a Public Order No. 5 of 2021 suspending all public gatherings and in person meetings as a measure to mitigate against the spread of the pandemic.

Following consultations between the national executive and the council of governors, the Senate and other devolution players, the Devolution Steering Committee at its meeting held on 18th October 2021 resolved that the 7th Annual Devolution Conference be held from the 23rd to 26th November, 2021 at Makueni Boys high school in Wote Makueni County. The theme of the conference is Multi-Level Governance of Climate Action and the sub theme is Sub-National Mobilization in Unlocking the Full Potential of Climate Action.

PETITIONS
  • Sen. Abshiro Halake, MP notified the House on the Petition by Members of various Civil Society Organizations and Official Representatives of various Political Parties affiliated to the Centre for Multi-Party Democracy concerning a Note Verbale to all Diplomatic Missions and International Organizations issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Report of the Standing Committee on Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations on a Petition to the Senate by Residents of Wajir County concerning governance malpractices in Wajir County Government was laid at the table of the House.
MOTIONS

Inquiry into Extrajudicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances in Kenya

The House was given notice to adopt the Report of the Standing Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights on the Inquiry into Extrajudicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances in Kenya laid on the Table of the Senate on Tuesday, 19th October, 2021.

Alteration of the Senate Calendar for the Fifth Session

The House resolved to further alter its Calendar (Regular Sessions) for the Fifth Session, 2021, in respect of Part VI, to adjourn the Senate on 18th November, 2021 and resume its regular sittings on Tuesday, 30th November, 2021.  This was notwithstanding the Resolutions of the Senate made on 16th February, 2021 (approval of the Senate Calendar), 24th March, 2021, 30th March, 2021 and 25th May, 2021, (alteration of the Senate Calendar). The alteration was in order to allow the Senators to prepare and participate in the 7th Annual Devolution conference.

Delays in the Appointment of Judges of the High Court and the Court of Appeal

The House adopted the Report of the Standing Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights on a statement sought by Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jr. MP, regarding delays in the appointment of Judges of the High Court and the Court of Appeal laid on the Table of the Senate on Tuesday, 19th October, 2021.

STATEMENTS

The following Statements were raised on the floor of the House among others:

  • Nominated Senator (Sen. Falhada Iman, MP) sought a Statement from the Standing Committee on National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations regarding the state of security in Northern and North Eastern counties.
  • The Senator for Nandi County (Sen. Samson Cherarkey, MP) sought a statement from the Standing Committee on Roads and Transportation on the management of road projects by the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA).
  • The Senator for Taita Taveta County (Sen. Johnes Mwaruma, MP) sought a statement from the Standing Committee on Finance and Budget regarding the status of donor and Government funded projects and programs in Taita Taveta County for the financial years 2017/2018 to 2020/2021.
  • The Senator for Machakos County (Sen. Agnes Muthama, MP) sought a statement from the Standing Committee on Finance and Budget regarding the implementation of the provisions of the Kenya Deposit Insurance Act, 2012.
  • Nominated Senator (Sen. Naomi Shiyonga, MP) sought a statement from the Standing Committee on Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations regarding the failure by the National Government to operationalize various Acts to ensure that counties and host communities benefit from the proceeds emanating from mining, energy and petroleum resources.
  • The Senator for Kilifi County (Sen. Stewart Madzayo, MP) sought a statement from the Standing Committee on National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations regarding Kenya’s status of compliance to the African Union (AU) legal instruments and policy frameworks.
  • The Senator for Nandi County (Sen. Cherarkey Samson, MP) sought a statement from the Standing Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights regarding a public apology by the United Kingdom to the Talai Community of Kenya and compensation for the violation of the rights of the Community as ordered by the United Nations Human Rights Council.
  • The Senator for Kericho County (Sen. Aaron Cheruiyot, MP) sought a statement from the Standing Committee on Lands, Environment and Natural Resources on the status of titling of Government Learning Institutions.
  • Nominated Senator (Sen. (Dr) Getrude Musuruve, MP) sought a statement from the Standing Committee on Energy regarding the status of provision of electricity connection in the counties.
  • The Senator for Kericho County (Sen. Aaron Cheruiyot, MP) Sen. Aaron Chruiyot sought a statement from the Standing Committee on Lands Environment and National Resources regarding Land transactions by multinationals without the involvement of national or county governments.
  • Nominated Senator (Sen. Millicent Omanga, MP) sought a statement from the Standing Committee on Land, Environment and Natural Resources concerning the alleged irregular ownership and use of land No. LR 336/64, originally land No. LR 336/12 in Baba dogo, Nairobi City County.
  • Nominated (Sen. Rose Nyamunga, MP) Rose Nyamunga made a statement on the need to classify patients suffering from sickle cell disease as persons with disability. 

12th November 2021 County Round Up

MACHAKOS COUNTY

  • The County Assembly of Machakos has given notice that it shall hold its sittings of the 17th November, 2021, at Athi River Vocational Youth Training Center, Athi River Ward, Mavoko Sub-County, Machakos County (Bunge Mashinani).

KIAMBU COUNTY

  • The County has published the Kiambu County Climate Change Act 2021 and Kiambu County Finance Act, 2021 which can be accessed on the County Assembly website.

LAIKIPIA COUNTY

  • The County has discharged Samuel Mburu Gituara, the Member representing the Kenya Institute of Planners to immediately cease to be a member of the Laikipia County Physical and Land Use Planning Liaison Committee.
  • The County has appointed Robert N. Kariuki, Member representing the Architectural Association of Kenya to be a member of the Laikipia County Physical and Land Use Planning Liaison Committee.

UASIN GISHU COUNTY

  • The County has published the Public Service Board Report to the County Assembly for the Year 2020.

12 November 2021 Kenya Gazette Review

National Assembly Bills, 2021 

  • The Geriatric Bill, 2021

Legislative Supplements, 2021

  • The Public Finance Management (National Roads Toll Fund) Regulations, 2021
PUBLIC SECTOR

Appointments

  • The Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Heritage has disbanded the National Executive Committee of Football Kenya Federation and appointed a Caretaker Committee.  
FINANCE SECTOR
  • The National Treasury and Planning has published a Statement of actual revenues and Net Exchequer issues as at 29th October 2021.
TRADE AND MANUFACTURING SECTOR
  • The National Co-operative Policy Operationalization Task Force has developed a Co-operatives Bill. The State Department for Co-operatives has invited the stakeholders and the members of the public-to-public hearings on the Bill which will be both physical and virtual on the 15th and 16th November, 2021.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Co-operatives has given notification of the grant of Plant Breeders’ Rights; the surrender of Plant Breeders Rights; The withdrawal of Plant Breeders’ Rights applications and the changes concerning applicants and holders of breeder’s rights or their representatives.
  • The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority has published in the Gazette various stations and their electrical energy liable to:
    • a fuel energy cost charge of plus 421 Kenya cents per kWh;  
    • a foreign exchange fluctuation adjustment of plus 73.42 cents per kWh;
    • a Water Resource Management Authority (WRMA) levy of plus 1.81 cents per kWh for all meter readings to be taken in November, 2021.
  • The Capital Market Authority has published the Guidelines on Share Buy backs for Listed Companies.
  • The National Standards Council has declared the specifications or codes of practice to be the Kenya Standards of Chemicals, food, Trade Affairs, Agriculture, Leather & Textile, Engineering and Electrotechnical.
  • The Competition Authority of Kenya has authorized the proposed Acquisition of 51% Shareholding in Siginon Aviation Limited by Nas Africa Aviation Limited.
  • The Competition Authority of Kenya has authorized the proposed Acquisition of indirect control of AutoXPress Limited by Africinvest IV SPV 1.
  • James Finlay (Kenya) Limited, a limited liability company incorporated in Scotland (No. SCO13800) and registered in Kenya as a branch (registration number F. 6/25.) proposes to do a business transfer to Black Tulip Flowers Limited, a limited liability company incorporated in Kenya (No. CPR/20 10/27927) whose registered office is at North Airport Road, P.O. Box 49631- 00100, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • The Agriculture and Food Authority proposes to grant certificates/licenses to a number of applicants and notified members of the public that may wish to provide any objections to lodge them in writing.
  • The Commissioner for Co-operative Development has extended the liquidation period for Hortiflo Sacco Society Limited (CS/8047) ( in liquidation) for another period not exceeding one(1) year and appointed BP Ombuki and Associates Certified Public Accountants, of P.O. B ox 9096- 00300, Nairobi to act as liquidator in the matter of the said Co-operative Society Limited.
JUDICIARY
  • Messers. Kagwimi Kang’ethe & Co. Advocates have issued Notice that they have filed the following insolvency Petitions:
    • An insolvency petition dated the 16th February, 20 17, against Vulcan Lab Equipment Limited. The petition will be heard on the 2nd December, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. at the High Court of Kenya, Milimani Law Courts, Nairobi.
    • An insolvency petition dated the 10th August, 2021, against Nairobi Mamba Village Limited. The Petition will be heard on the 25th November, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. at the High Court of Kenya, Milimani Law Courts, Nairobi.
    • A Bankruptcy Petition dated 27th September, 2021 against Vishal Kochhar of P.O. Box No. 4118-00200, Nairobi. The Petition will be heard on 2nd December 2021 at 9:00 a.m. at the High Court of Kenya, Milimani Law Courts, Nairobi.
  • Mutuerandu Murithi and Company Advocates has published a Notice that they have filed an insolvency petition in the matter of Carron Creations Limited. The Petition will be heard before the High Court sitting at Milimani Commercial Court, Commercial and Tax Division in Nairobi, on 18th November, 2021.
LAND AND ENVIRONMENT SECTOR

Completion of Development Plans

The preparation of the below-mentioned Part Development Plan is complete:

  • PDP Ref No. CKRI353I21/02 relating to land situated within Kagio Township, Kirinyaga County.
  • RIBI328I2021104—Existing Site for Joyland Bible Church of Kenya, Kabarnet.
  • RIBI328I2021104—Existing Site for Joyland Bible Church of Kenya, Kabarnet.

Impact Assessments

  • The County Government of Kakamega, intends to carry out an Affordable Housing Project at Mudiri Estate, Kakamega town. The housing project will consist of six one bedroomed apartments, seven two bedroomed apartments and four three bedroomed apartments, shopping complex, car parking, driveways/paths, landscaped gardens, connection to electricity and local sewer line. The units are as follows; one bedroomed units are 612, two bedroomed units are 816, three bedroomed units are 272 bringing the total number of units to 1,700.
  • Quality Inspection services limited, proposes to establish an asbestos disposal site on appropriately 10 acres of land 2 km buffer from human settlements. The proposed project site is situated along Mariakani-Bamba Road on plot no 3404/Kalumani Mnyenzeni Adjudication section, Kilifi County.
  • Sogea Satom Kenya proposes to set up a hardstone quarry and camp which is located in Elementaita within Ebburu/Mbaruk Ward, Gilgil Sub-county, in Nakuru County. The quarry is intended to supply aggregate materials for the construction of the Rironi-Nakuru-Mau Summit highway (A8).
  • Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (NAMATA) proposes to establish a Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) roads project on the existing Thika Superhighway (A2S and A2S R).
OTHER SECTORS
  • The Kakamega County Water and Sanitation Company has published the approved Tariff Structure for the Period 2021/2022 to 2025/2026.
  • Naivasha Water and Sanitation Company has published the approved Tariff Structure for the Period 2021/2022 to 2024/2025.
  • Thika Water and Sewerage Company (THIWASCO) has published the approved Tariff Structure for the Period 2021/2022 to 2025/2026.
  • Homabay County and Sanitation Company has published the approved Tariff Structure for the period 2021/2022 to 2024/2025
  • The Registrar of Political Parties has given notice that Wiper Democratic Movement-Kenya intends to change its party name, abbreviation and colours to Wiper Democratic Movement (WDM). The proposed colors are Royal Blue, white and earth red. Any person with written submissions concerning the intended change by the political party should within seven (7) days deposit them with the Registrar of Political Parties.
  • The Chairperson, National Hospital Insurance Fund has published a list of hospitals that have changed their current names and also provided their requested names.  

12th November 2021 Trade and Financial Services Round Up

KENYA

Kenya’s economy rebounds 10.1%, first double-digit growth in 4 decades (Source: Business Daily)

Kenya’s economy expanded 10.1 percent in the second quarter of the year on the back of a rebound in economic activity compared with a similar period last year when tough Covid-19 containment measures led to a 4.7 percent contraction. Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) showed the growth in the April-June period was faster than the first quarter when Gross Domestic Product (GDP) slowed to 0.7 percent compared with 4.4 percent in the corresponding period in 2020. The growth recorded was mainly as a result of easing Covid-19 containment measures that facilitated gradual resumption of economic activities,” said Treasury Secretary Ukur Yatani. The data showed that recovery in the second quarter was largely supported by the resumption of learning activities which surged 67.6 percent year-on-year followed by the ICT sector at 25.2 percent. Other sectors with significant jumps in inactivity were services (20.2 percent) and manufacturing (9.6 percent).

Kenyan imports from Uganda down 34% as trade wars bite (Source: The East African) 

The value of imports from Uganda dropped 34 percent in eight months to August as trade wars between Kenya and its neighbour took a toll on the flow of goods. Trade data from the Central Bank of Kenya indicates that the imports from Uganda dropped from a record high of Ksh3.2 billion ($29 million) in February to Ksh2.09 billion ($19 million) in the review period, hitting a seven-month low. The two countries have had trade disputes now running into the second year after Nairobi banned products like milk and poultry from Uganda.

Kenya mulls one-stop border posts to spur trade with Ethiopia, Somalia (Source: Xinhua Net) 

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) plans to establish One-Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) at the common land borders to spur regional trade with Ethiopia and Somalia once construction of a key road project is completed. KRA commissioner for Customers and Border Control Lillian Nyawanda said the body will play a key logistical role in the construction of a major road connecting the Horn of African nations. The road, under the banner Horn of Africa Gateway Development Project (HoAGDP) which connects Kenya to Somalia and to Ethiopia has been launched in Isiolo town in east Kenya. “The establishment of the OSBPs is expected to spur growth in import and export trade and thus facilitate legitimate trade and collect the correct revenue,” said Nyawanda. The Horn of Africa region comprising Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia is growing rapidly with the population expected to reach 250 million by 2030.

UGANDA

Unfair taxes failing Islamic financial services (Source: Monitor)

Unfair and prohibitive taxes are preventing Islamic Banking from taking off six years after the law establishing it was enacted, according to details contained in the Proposed Regulatory Reforms in the Banking Sector. The Muslim community led by Uganda Muslim Supreme Council and the Kibuli-based factions have previously said there was no excuse as to why Bank of Uganda would fail to implement Islamic Banking, noting that Uganda has enough Muslim scholars with the requisite skills to help in the implementation of Islamic Banking. Whereas Bank of Uganda has previously blamed the lack of Sharia scholars for its failure, commercial banks, under UBA say there is need to introduce specific tax reforms to remove prohibitive taxes associated with Islamic finance products, which if compared to those of conventional finance and investment products, are unfair.

Uganda Bankers Association (UBA) states that court case has exposed gaps in laws governing syndicate lending (Source: Monitor)

Early last year Ham Enterprises lodged an application in the Commercial Division of the High Court in which it was claimed that DTB Uganda had provided DTB Kenya an illegal cover to conduct business in Uganda. The case had resulted from a notice in which DTB had indicated it would proceed to sell a number of mortgaged properties over Ham’s failure to repay a $8.3m credit facility. In his judgement Justice Henry Peter Adonyo concurred with the applicant ruling that DTB Uganda had indeed provided DTB Kenya an illegal cover to conduct money laundering by providing financial services in a jurisdiction it was not registered. The ruling, which has since been appealed, was widely debated with UBA describing it then as a “reckless judgment” that had put Shs5.7 trillion worth of syndicated loans at stake. The [Financial Institutions Act] needs to be amended to clarify what a non-Ugandan lender should be subjected to,” UBA recommends, noting it is not clear whether syndicated lending is regulated under Ugandan laws. UBA further recommends that the Financial Institutions Act should be amended to eliminate provisions that require foreign lenders to have a Bank of Uganda license before they can lend in Uganda as well as clarify what constitutes agent banking.

TANZANIA

Zanzibar seeks stakeholders’ views on cryptocurrencies (Source: The Citizen) 

The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar is seeking stakeholders’ views on digital currencies, whose uptake is gaining momentum around the world. Zanzibar’s Minister of State (Economy and Investment), Mr Mudrick Soraga, said “We are seeking views on the matter before deciding whether it is viable or not”. Prof Haji Semboja of the State University of Zanzibar’s Economics Department said given that Zanzibar is a service-based economy, it was the right move for them to start engaging stakeholders on digital currency.Since entering mainstream use globally, travellers and tourists have been using cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin as a form of payment for flights, hotel reservations, transportation, and more.

Tanzania state-owned utility, Tanesco has signed  $30 million deal with an Indian multinational technology company, Tech Mahindra (Source: The Citizen)

Tanesco, The Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited, has signed a deal with Tech Mahindra for the provision of a Cooperate Management System (CMS), which seeks to automate systems of the state-run Tanesco whose management team was recently overhauled. Tanesco is engaged in the entire value chain of generation, transmission and distribution of electricity across Tanzania and is currently transforming itself into a digital enterprise, deploying the full spectrum of technology. The deal valued at $30 Million (Tanzanian Shillings 69.1 Billion) is expected to reduce daily operation costs, increasing capacity to serve both customers and staff, and improve the efficiency and accountability of Tanesco’s billing and reporting capacity. 

Vodacom Tanzania ordered to pay the Tanzania Revenue Authority Sh3 billion ($1.3 Million) (Source: The Citizen) 

The Court of Appeal said Vodacom Tanzania must pay the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) Sh3 billion withholding tax on purchase of a computer software from Siemens Telecommunications (Pty) Limited. The highest court in the land has upheld decisions of the Tax Revenue Appeals Board (TrAB) and the Tax Revenue Appeals Tribunal (TrAT) that had turned down Vodacom’s attempts to escape the tax liability. The two tax appeal bodies had held that payment that Vodacom made to Siemens for the purchase of the software was taxable under the Income Tax Act. The dispute began in 2006 when the taxman conducted a tax audit on the telecom’s operation and splashed the firm with Sh1 billion and Sh1.9 billion respectively as withholding tax and penalties on the services and royalty for the years of income 2001 to 2004.

RWANDA

Central Bank of Rwanda has called on banks to reach out to their customers about worrying loans (Source: Rwanda Broadcasting Agency)

New figures from the Central Bank of Rwanda show that the strategy the bank has continued to implement in financial management has helped reduce the cost of loans between banks and the interest that private banks lend to financial institutions. The Governor of the Central Bank of Rwanda, John Rwangombwa, says this has helped banks increase their lending to the private sector. Although many sectors of the country’s economy have been affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, the Governor of the Central Bank of Rwanda says measures have been taken to prevent the financial consequences of the epidemic. It’s just that there is nothing wrong with that, as Governor Rwangombwa urges bankers to reach out to their customers with worrying loans and work together to find solutions as soon as possible.

Bank of Kigali profit up 33% on income rise (Source: Rwanda Today)

Bank of Kigali (BK) weathered Covid-19 shocks to register a 33 percent growth in net profit for the nine months to September 30, 2021 helped by growth in both interest and non-interest income. The group’s net profit increased to Rwf36.73 billion ($35.66 million) from Rwf27.62 billion ($26.81 million) in the same period last year. Diane Karusisi, the group’s chief executive stated “The economy is projected to rebound in the current year with a positive outlook through to 2022, supported by high infrastructure project spending and a pickup in the manufacturing and service sectors as the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic dissipate”. Net interest income grew by 20.52 percent to Rwf99.56 billion ($96.67 million) from Rwf82.61 billion ($80.21 million) in the period while non-funded income increased by 41.73 percent to Rwf31.59 billion ($30.67 million) from Rwf22.28 billion ($21.63 million).

ETHIOPIA

Ethiopia’s Bahir Dar Industrial Park Begins Exporting Textiles (Source: 2Merkato)

Bahir Dar Industrial Park, located in Ethiopia’s Amhara region, has started exporting textiles. The industrial park, which went operational in October 2020, has so far created permanent and temporary employment for 1,300 workers. Hop Lun Apparel Ethiopia PLC, a company founded in Hong Kong in 1992, has become the first company to export apparel from its production plant at Bahir Dar Industrial Park. The company has exported 75,000 apparel, worth over $570,000, to the US market. Tiruye Kume, General Manager of Bahir Dar Industrial Park, remarked the industrial park will have an important role to play in alleviating the lack of foreign currency as it goes on to operate in its full capacity. Employment, skill transfer, and generating foreign exchange are priority areas the industrial park is focused on, she added.

Italian, Indian Companies Express Interest to Invest in Pharmaceuticals in Ethiopia (Source: 2Merkato)

Bracco S.P.A. Healthcare International Group, an Italy-based company, and Zuvius Lifesciences Pvt. Ltd, an Indian pharmaceutical giant have expressed their interest to invest in Ethiopia. The Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) have held discussions with the management of both companies, during which EIC has briefed the respective company’s management regarding the opportunities in the pharmaceutical and health sector in Ethiopia. EIC’s top management has reiterated the unwavering support of the commission to the companies seeking to invest in Ethiopia.

ERITREA

COVID announcement from the Ministry of Health (Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea)

Ten patients have been diagnosed positive for COVID-19 in tests carried out at Quarantine Centers and Testing Stations in the Central, Southern, and Anseba Regions. Out of these, seven patients are from Testing Stations in Paraduba (2), Embaderho (1), Beleza (1), Kuandeba (1), Asmara (1), and Zigib (1); Central Region. Two patients are from Testing Station (1) and Quarantine Center (1) in Dubarwa, Southern Region. The last patient is from the Testing Station in Elaberet, Anseba Region. On the other hand, thirty-one patients who have been receiving medical treatment in hospitals in the Southern (30) and Northern Red Sea (1) Regions have recovered fully and have been discharged from these facilities. The total number of recovered patients has accordingly increased to 6,826 while the number of deaths stands at 48. The total number of confirmed cases in the country to date has increased to 7,013.

SOMALIA

Somalia will soon announce deadline for maiden off-shore crude licenses (Source: S&P Global Platts) 

Somalia will announce the deadline to bid for its first crude oil offshore licensing round “soon” after receiving interest from international companies to start exploration drilling in the country, as per the Director General of the country’s Ministry of Petroleum & Mineral Resources. The Somalia Petroleum Authority launched the country’s first-ever offshore round in May 2020 offering seven blocks in the offshore which runs into the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden. The seven blocks in the licensing round are estimated to hold more than 30 billion barrels of oil as per the Director General Abdi. Somalia has more than 200 blocks offshore that could potentially hold crude oil, and Somalia is also looking into ways to attract investors in downstream operations including refineries as the country currently imports all of its gasoline from the Middle East, mostly from the UAE and Oman, Abdi said.

SUDAN

Sweden charges Lundin Energy executives with complicity in Sudan war crimes (Source: Reuters)

Swedish prosecutors on Thursday brought charges against the chairman and former CEO of Lundin Energy (LUNE.ST) for complicity in war crimes carried out by the Sudanese army and allied militia in southern Sudan from 1999 to 2003. Prosecutors said the company had asked the Sudanese government to secure a potential oilfield, knowing this would mean seizing the area by force. This made the executives complicit in war crimes that were then carried out by the Sudanese army and allied militia against civilians. Sweden-based Lundin Energy said in a statement that it rejected any grounds for allegations of wrongdoing. It identified the indicted executives as Chairman Ian Lundin and former CEO Alex Schneiter, now a board member. The company, known as Lundin Oil until 2001, sold its Sudan business in 2003. The prosecutors also filed a claim to confiscate 1.39 billion crowns ($161.7 million) from Lundin Energy, corresponding to the profit the company made from the sale of the Sudan business in 2003. The company said it would contest this claim.

Mashreq Bank Hit With $100 Million N.Y. Fine Over Sudan Violations (Source: Bloomberg)

Mashreqbank PSC, Dubai’s third-biggest bank, will pay $100 million to settle allegations that it violated U.S. sanctions by illegally processing more than $4 billion of payments tied to Sudan, a New York financial regulator said on Tuesday. The U.S. imposed sanctions on Sudan in 1997 for supporting international terrorism and human rights abuses. The oldest privately owned lender in the United Arab Emirates processed the transactions from 2005 to 2014 and instructed employees to leave out key details in messages sent between banks that would have linked the transactions to Sudan, according to a consent order with the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS). By concealing those details, the transactions avoided detection from other banks’ compliance departments, which otherwise could have triggered alerts or asset freezes, DFS said.

12th November 2021 Political Round Up

KENYA

Supreme Court directions on BBI appeals

Key dates in summary

  • 4th October to 5th November, 2021: First Mass voter registration
  • 6th to 20th December, 2021: Second Mass voter registration in the diaspora to include South Sudan, USA, UK, Canada, Qatar, UAE
  • 28th February, 2022: Suspension of Voter Registration
  • 1st March to April 14th, 2022: Verification of voter registration details
  • 16th April to 22nd April, 2022: Party Primaries
  • 30th May to 6th August, 2022: Campaign Period
  • 30th May to 10th June, 2022: Presidential Candidate Nominations
  • 20th June, 2022: Publication of the list of all nominated candidates
  • 8th August, 2022: Deployment of KIEMS kits to polling stations
  • 9th August, 2022: General Election Date

Timelines and their implications

The Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s decision that nullified the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Referendum Bill process. The Attorney-General appealed the judgment at the Supreme Court. On November 9, 2021, the Supreme Court gave directions as to the hearing and directed the parties to file and serve their written submissions within 15 days. The hearing is set to run from January 18 to 20, 2022. Going by the Supreme Court Rules, 2020, the Supreme Court is required to deliver the judgment within 90 days of the last day of the hearing. As such, we can expect the BBI appeal judgment to be rendered by the court not later than April 20, 2022.

Scenarios

Scenario 1: Supreme Court disagrees with Court of Appeal and rules that BBI process is constitutional – The Supreme Court ruled the BBI referendum was constitutional and gave the IEBC green light to proceed with the process. Given that the August 2022 General Election cycle has officially kicked off, it is more likely that IEBC may push to have the referendum conducted in 2023. Also, considering IEBC’s recent complaints on its budget constraints, the push to have the referendum conducted later after the General Election is plausible. 

Scenario 2: Supreme Court upholds Court of Appeal decision

The Supreme Court rules referendum is unconstitutional thus maintaining the status quo. Whichever way it goes, the BBI appeal judgment is going to be a major test on the Martha Koome-led bench. The case is arguably the most significant one to be heard by the Supreme Court under the leadership of Chief Justice Koome. Unlike her predecessor Justice Maraga, Koome has been perceived as one to play ball with the Executive. If the Court rules in favour of BBI, Justice Koome is likely to be viewed as dancing to the ‘Reggae tune’. It may very well cement the notion that the Supreme Court is pro-government.

IEBC Voter drive

The IEBC registered a total of 1,519,294 new voters by the end of the Enhanced Continuous Voter Registration exercise that came to a close on November 5, 2021. This number represents 25.3% of the targeted six million eligible voters. Some 421,057 registered voters transferred their details to new centres. The Commission will now target registration of Kenyan citizens living in the diaspora starting from December 6, 2021. The exercise is expected to run for a period of 15 days with the last day of registration being December 20.

TANZANIA

Tanzania may soon have a data protection law in place. Recent statements from the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology indicate that the Ministry is in the final stages of preparing the legislative Bill. According to Mr. Jim Yonazi, the deputy permanent secretary, the new law would require anyone who collects personal data to protect them in accordance with the law.

Clamour for a data protection law in Tanzania is steadily gaining momentum. The Citizen reports that people are increasingly using the internet where there is risk of breach of privacy, yet the process to enact the law has kept dragging on. “We need proper mechanisms for collecting personal data and ensuring our data is safe. We also advocate for the formation of an independent body that will supervise this,” said Jamii Forums founder Maxence Mello. Mello has been championing for the enactment of the data protection law and had filed a case back in 2016 demanding legal protection of privacy.

UGANDA

The Personal Data Protection Office (PDPO) in Uganda has issued a press release dated November 2 on the requirement for every person, institution or public body collecting or processing personal data to register with PDPO. This follows the operationalization of PDPO in August 2021 following the passage of the Data Protection and Privacy Regulations, 2021. Notably, the PDPO has provided a grace period of up to the end of December 2021 for the registration process and intends to roll out non-compliance enforcement measures in January 2022.

Every data collector, data processor or data controller is required to register with the PDPO. The registration validity period is one year and is renewable within three months before the date of expiry of the registration. Failure to register or renew registration is an offence which attracts a fine of not more than USHS 120,000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding three months or both.

RWANDA

A draft law seeks to amend the Rwanda Income Tax law 016/2018 of 13/04/2018. The taxable monthly income amount will be raised from the current Rwf 30,000 to Rwf60,000. The development is in line with reducing the tax burden on low-income formal workers and promote employment.

The draft law also clarifies that a taxpayer is not required to file their annual tax declaration if they have an annual turnover of less than Rwf2 million. Under the new Bill, the number of payments subject to withholding tax of 15 percent, has been extended to cater for gaming activities.

According to the New Times, In order to attract experts and investors within the framework of activities related to Kigali International Financial Centre (KIFC), the draft law provides that a person who works as an expert or a professional directly for an entity carrying out KIFC activities, who was not resident at any point in the five years immediately prior to becoming resident in Rwanda, will be exempted from personal income tax on foreign-sourced income during the first five years following the date of becoming its resident.

ETHIOPIA

With the Ethiopian crisis rapidly escalating, UN political chief Rosemary DiCarlo has said the risk of Ethiopia “descending into widening civil war is only too real”, adding that the political repercussions of “intensifying violence in the wider region would be immense, compounding the many crises besetting the Horn of Africa”. Following the call for Addis residents to take up arms and defend the capital, the Addis police have now extended the private weapon registration time to November 12.

More than 7 million people need humanitarian assistance in Northern Ethiopian and an estimated 400,000 people in Tigray are living in famine-like conditions. Lack of access has forced humanitarians to scale-back aid, just as life-saving humanitarian needs escalate rapidly in the neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions, as large numbers of people flee the spreading conflict.

People are fleeing over the border into Sudan while the U.S. and other countries are urging their citizens to leave Ethiopia immediately. AP News reports that those fleeing the western Tigray communities of Adebay and Humera have described warnings from Amhara authorities against supporting the Tigray forces. The accounts confirm warnings by the U.S. and others that Eritrean soldiers remain in the Tigray region, and they indicate that pressure is growing on Tigrayans of mixed heritage who have tried to live quietly amid what the U.S. has alleged as ethnic cleansing in western Tigray.

According to Reuters, Ethiopian authorities have detained at least 16 U.N. staff and dependents as well as more than 70 outsourced drivers working with the U.N. The reason for their detention is not yet clear although there have been reports of widespread arrests of ethnic Tigrayans in the Capital.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has called upon the two warring sides to stop hostilities and end the suffering of their people. Undoubtedly, Kenya is worried about an influx of refugees and a humanitarian crisis on its doorstep.

ERITREA

Following the release of the Joint Investigation Report into Alleged Violations of International Human Rights, Humanitarian and Refugee Law Committed by all Parties to the Conflict in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia, the Eritrean Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a press statement which in essence found most of the report to be wanting. According to the Ministry, the Report provokes a host of critical legal, methodological and factual issues as well as matters of precedence, and, international norms and practices.

In the first place, Eritrea maintains that the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and particularly its Director, Mr. Daniel Bekele, has a long history of disdain and enmity towards Eritrea.

It also raises issues of legality and propriety particularly on the UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OCHCR) acceptance of invitation from EHRC to participate in the Joint Investigation.

The statement rebukes certain UN Agencies who, according to Eritrea, have and continue to endorse TPLF’s war of insurrection. According to the statement, Eritrea had duly communicated to the UNSG, earlier in the year, its concerns on the unacceptable collusion of some UN agencies with the TPLF.

Eritrea’s response to the Joint Investigation Report is one that calls into question the neutrality and professionalism of those involved in the Joint Investigation. It also questions the validity of the Report and ends by reiterating Eritrea’s full compliance with all the principles and provisions of International Human Rights, Humanitarian and Refugee Laws that it is a signatory of. In conclusion, Eritrea promises to undertake rigorous investigations to ensure accountability in the event of a credible and verifiable violation of these laws by any member of its Defense Forces.

SUDAN

Current developments in Sudan reflect the failing negotiations between Sudan’s army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the ousted civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. Barely a month after the army took control of the government and declared a state of emergency, al-Burhan has appointed a new governing Sovereign Council amid protests that the appointees are former Senior Bashir-era officials. Anti-coup protesters in the east of Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, reacted to al-Burhan’s move by blocking roads and burning tyres, witnesses reported to Aljazeera. The move implies that al-Burhan is tightening his grip on power.

The appointments coincided with a closed meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss the crisis. The U.N. secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, said the developments in Sudan were “very concerning” and called for “a return to the transition as quickly as possible,” his spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, told reporters in New York.

Analysts say that the move to appoint members of the Council deflects attention from Burhan to a wider group that is normally responsible for governing while at the same time consolidating the army’s hold on power.

SOMALIA

A study conducted by the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime (GITOC), a Geneva-based think tank indicates that Guns supplied by Iran to its Houthi allies in Yemen are being smuggled across the Gulf of Aden to Somalia. “Over the course of eight months, GITOC research documented over 400 illicit weapons in 13 locations across Somalia, the presence of which serves as a fingerprint of the spillover of the arms from the Yemen conflict into Somalia,” said the report.

 It is the first publicly available research into the scale of illicit arms smuggling from Yemen into the Horn of Africa country. According to the study, the proliferation of arms related to the Yemen conflict in Somalia has potentially serious security implications for Puntland and for the country as a whole, as well as for neighbouring Ethiopia and Kenya.

The Senate Speaker’s Roundtable 2021. Economic Recovery During and Post Covid-19: Strategies and Opportunities in Building A Better Future Together

The KEPSA Senate Speaker’s Roundtable is a high level platform between the business community led by KEPSA and the Senate, to facilitate a joint review of the policy and legislative environment in the country, identifies crucial legislations to private sector that need to be reviewed or fast-tracked, and addresses any gaps that require new legislative intervention based on the country’s and private sector development priorities. The Speakers’ Roundtable (SRT) process ensures that Parliament passes laws with the input from the private sector, thus ensuring that these laws lead to the desired impact on the business environment in Kenya.

According to KEPSA CEO Ms. Carole Kariuki, significant achievements have been realized over the past one year, most notably:

  1. KEPSA members’ awareness on various legislative interventions available to the public, key being a Petition to Senate on the Closure of Lands Registries and Administration of Key Lands registration processes.
  2. Enhanced cooperation and coordination between the Legislature and Private Sector on the Legislative agenda needed to jumpstart the economy and drive the Big Four development agenda.
  3. The enactment of the County Outdoor Advertising Control Act. With advertising being a key revenue stream for Counties, the Act ensures there is a balance between commercial, environmental and public safety considerations.
  4. The enactment of the Sectional Properties Act which makes it possible for owners of sectional properties to use their properties as security for financing;
  5.  The introduction of the following Bills in Senate:
    • The Start-up Bill 2020
    • The Prompt Payment Bill 2020
    • The Investment Promotion (Amendment) Bill 2020
    • The County Vocational Education and Training Bill 2020
    • The Mung Beans Bill 2020
    • The Parliamentary Powers and Privileges (Amendment) Bill, 2020
    • The Kenya Citizenship and Immigration (Amendment) Bill 2020
    • The Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill 2020
    • The Community Health Services Bill 2020

This year’s event had 6 sessions which discussed various issues. The sessions are:

  • Session 1: Opening
  • Session 2: State of the Economy Pre and Post COVID-19
  • Session 3: Regulatory reforms and processes for community healthcare workers to supplement efforts to combat COVID-19
  • Session 4:Agriculture: Re-Engineering Food Security Through Climate Smart Agriculture
  • Session 5: Revitalizing Industrialization, Trade And Investment
  • Session 6: Strengthening Devolution Through Enhanced Private Sector Investments

Matters arising

Across the various sessions, the following issues kept on coming up:

Cross-county levies
Many business leaders in the panels and in the plenary sessions stated that many county governments have introduced levies which make doing business in the country quite expensive. The senators present stated that they will work on a law that will deal with the multiple taxes.

Ease of doing business and harassment from authorities
The panelists also decried harassment from authorities stating that it makes doing business hard. To add on this, KEPSA advisor Linus Gitahi called for the abolition of non-tariff barriers to trade.

Peaceful elections
The issue of the 2022 elections came up because of its effect on the business environment. Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka called for peaceful elections, a call that was reiterated by other business leaders.

Legislative engagements
On the issue of taxes, Senator Wetangula said that the Senate does not legislate on taxes and that the business community has to engage the National Assembly since there is nothing the Senate can really do.

The Speaker of the Senate Hon. Sen. Kenneth Lusaka, in his remarks said that it will be a tall order to achieve all the things being talked about as the House was “descending.” He also said that this was the last Speaker’s Round Table under the 12th Parliament as there will be elections next year. 

Greening Kenya’s Banking Sector

By Dr. Patrick Njoroge

We have a problem. The recently released State of the Climate in Africa 2020 report, indicates that in 2020, the climate indicators in Africa, were characterized by extreme weather events such as floods and droughts, increasing temperatures and accelerated rise in sea levels. The associated impact was devastating. The report also notes that by 2030, up to 118 million extremely poor people will be exposed to drought, floods and extreme heat in Africa, if response measures are inadequate. Additionally, climate change could further lower gross domestic product (GDP) in Sub-Saharan Africa by up to 3 percent by 2050. And Africa is not alone.

It is against this dire backdrop in Africa and the world that the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26)  is convening in Glasgow, Scotland. It brings together governments, businesses, civil society and citizens with the expectation of commitments to ambitious actions that are needed to counter climate change. Further delays in these commitments or if they are unambitious, would spell doom to our destiny.

In the build up to COP26, Kenya and other countries have been scaling up their climate actions at the sectoral and national levels. It is in this context that the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) issued Guidance on Climate-Related Risk Management (Guidance) to the banking sector, on October 15, 2021. The Guidance is aimed at enabling banks to integrate climate-related risks into their governance, strategy, risk management and disclosure frameworks.

Climate change poses three broad risks to banks. First, the physical risk to the loan portfolio arising from damage or loss caused by climate and weather related events such as floods and drought. Second, the transition risk arising from the changes towards a low carbon (green) economy. For instance, the abandonment of previously well-entrenched energy sources such as coal may lead to banks being left with obsolete stranded assets that were used to secure loans. Third, liability risk that could arise from banks being sued for financing companies whose activities negatively impact the environment.

Nevertheless, efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change also generate business opportunities for banks. These include the adoption of low emission energy sources, development of new products and services, access to new markets, housing and resilient infrastructure.

Finance sits at the center of business, and CBK’s vision is a banking sector that works for and with Kenyans as spelt out in the Kenya Banking Sector Charter of 2019. Banks should not just provide banking services, but should ensure they meet the needs of customers while also being aligned to environmental, social and governance considerations. In the context of the actions to reverse the climate crisis, we aspire for a world where all financial services are green. Three milestones have been reached in this journey.

First, in 2015, the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) launched the Sustainability Finance Initiative (SFI). The SFI aims at raising awareness on environmental, social and governance risks and financing within the banking sector. KBA has set up a comprehensive online training designed to enable banks to create long-term value for the economy, society and the environment. Currently, all 38 banks are participating and over 30,000 bankers have so far been enrolled.

Second, in January 2020, the first corporate green bond in East and Central Africa of Ksh.4.3 billion was issued by the Acorn Group and listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE). The bond was also admitted on the International Securities Market (ISM) segment at the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The proceeds were used to build environmentally-friendly housing for university students.

Third, in November 2020, Kenya’s largest bank, KCB Bank, was accredited by the United Nations Green Climate Fund (GCF) as the first financial intermediary for the implementation of green financing in East Africa. GCF is the world’s largest climate fund, mandated to support developing countries raise and realize their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) ambitions towards low-emissions, climate-resilient pathways.

While acknowledging these milestones, a lot more needs to be done to green Kenya’s financial system, and issuance of the Guidance will quicken the journey for the banking sector. Over the next 1.5 years, CBK will work with banks to build capacity and integrate climate-related risk management in their day-to-day operations. In turn, this will attract global funds that are looking for opportunities to finance initiatives that build climate resilience, and thus position Kenya as a premier green finance hub.

For Kenya and other countries, the time is now to build a truly sustainable financial system that works for and with the people. Ultimately all financing should be green. The stakes are high. There is no planet B.

 

About the Author: Dr. Patrick Njoroge is Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya

USIU-Africa kicks off an international search for a Vice-Chancellor

The United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) has commenced an international executive search seeking to retain a substantive Vice-Chancellor to lead the premier higher education institution.

The process will be spearheaded by a United Kingdom-based firm, Oxford HR, a specialist executive search and organizational effectiveness firm with an impressive depth and breadth of experience working across a broad array of practice areas.

Speaking when she confirmed the international executive search process, Interim USIU-Africa Vice-Chancellor Prof. Freida Brown said the successful candidate would be expected to spearhead and accelerate sustainable growth of programs at the University.

The University, she added, is seeking a dynamic and inspirational leader to help boost the institution’s national, regional and international positioning through commitment to excellence.

“The successful candidate will set out a vision for USIU-Africa’s next chapter and work collaboratively with the Management Board to deliver the current Strategic Plan 2021/2026 with energy, sound judgment, and integrity, thinking creatively about opportunities for growth and income diversification,” Prof. Brown said.

She added that “the new Vice-Chancellor will be expected to bring a track record of successful leadership and academic achievement, as demonstrated in a doctoral degree and ideally at full Professorial level.”

Last August, the University Council Chairman, Kris Ole Senanu, said the global executive search for a new Vice-Chancellor is expected to be highly intense. The process is anticipated to last approximately 6 to 9 months.

About USIU-Africa

USIU–Africa is one of the leading private Universities in Kenya, representing over 70 nationalities undertaking 35 Undergraduate, Graduate and Doctoral programs. It is the only University in the region with dual accreditation in Kenya by the Commission for University Education (CUE) and the United States of America (USA) by WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). https://www.usiu.ac.ke/

Pitch side developments: Football administration in Kenya

The Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage, as widely expected, nay long anticipated, has finally cracked the whip against the Football Kenya Federation leadership.

In a media communique delivered by Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed last Thursday, the FKF leadership has been sidestepped as the recognized football administration body in Kenya with the Government appointing a caretaker team to run football affairs.

This comes at a time when some of the national teams are currently undertaking continental qualification duties.

The action by the Cabinet Secretary will possibly lead to Kenya’s ban as a recognized member of the global football space governed by FIFA. However, many Kenyans appear to favour this outcome to restore our long lost football administration glory.

But who is FKF anyway and why do they enjoy the massive powers? Football Kenya Federation (FKF) is the governing body that runs and manages football in Kenya and is an organization of an associative nature registered in Kenya in compliance with the Sports Act No. 25 of 2013. It was founded as Kenya Football Federation (KFF) in 1960; affiliated to FIFA in 1960; affiliated to the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) in 1961, and affiliated to CECAFA in 1973.

Other than regulating the game, the FKF aims to promote and develop the game countrywide. The Federation is led by an elected President, Nick Mwendwa, Deputy President Doris Petra, and National Executive Committee members (NEC) derived from 8 regions. The Federation’s day-to-day operations are led by a General Secretary/CEO, Barry Otieno, and a management team.

The operations of FKF are currently guided by its new national constitution that was enacted in 2017. This was after the enactment of the National Constitution of Kenya 2010 that introduced a devolved governance system. Many administrative structures were changed to reflect this new dispensation in the General Assembly of the Football Kenya Federation of 2015. Members resolved to review the Football Kenya Federation constitution to reflect this new dispensation and align any other wanting clauses in the constitution to meet the unique needs in administering football in Kenya in line with CAF and FIFA requirements.

 The objectives of Football Kenya Federation are:

  1. To improve the game of football constantly and promote, regulate and control it throughout the territory of Kenya in the spirit of fair play and its unifying educational, cultural and humanitarian values, particularly through youth development programmes;
  2. To organise competitions in Association Football in all its forms at national level, by defining precisely as required, the areas of authority conceded to the various Leagues of which it is composed;
  3. To draw up regulations and provisions and ensure their enforcement;
  4. To protect the interests of its Members;
  5. To respect, and prevent any infringement of, the Constitution, regulations, directives and decisions of FIFA, CAF CECAFA and of FKF as well as the Laws of the Game and to ensure that these are also respected by its Members
  6. To promote integrity, ethics and fair play with a view to preventing all methods or practices such as corruption, doping or match manipulation, which might jeopardise the integrity of matches, competitions, Players, Officials and Members or give rise to the abuse of Association Football, futsal or beach soccer;
  7. To foster friendly relations among the Members, Officials and Players of all football leagues and clubs by encouraging and promoting football matches at all amateur and non-amateur levels and in other ways considered appropriate;
  8. To control football in Kenya by taking such steps as shall be necessary to prevent infringement of the Statutes, Regulations and Standing Orders of FIFA, CAF, FKF and of the Laws of the Game;
  9. To prevent racial, religious, tribal, political or any other reason of discrimination or distinction among players regardless of their status; among other objectives.

New WHO report maps barriers to insulin availability and suggests actions to promote universal access

100 years after discovery, insulin still out of reach for many with diabetes

Geneva, November 12, 2021 – A new report published by WHO in the lead-up to World Diabetes Day highlights the alarming state of global access to insulin and diabetes care, and finds that high prices, low availability of human insulin, few producers dominating the insulin market and weak health systems are the main barriers to universal access.

“The scientists who discovered insulin 100 years ago refused to profit from their discovery and sold the patent for just one dollar,” said WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Unfortunately, that gesture of solidarity has been overtaken by a multi-billion dollar business that has created vast access gaps. WHO is working with countries and manufacturers to close these gaps and expand access to this life-saving medicine for everyone who needs it.”

Insulin is the bedrock of diabetes treatment – it turns a deadly disease into a manageable one for nine million people with Type 1 diabetes. For more than 60 million people living with Type 2 diabetes, insulin is essential in reducing the risk of kidney failure, blindness and limb amputation.

However, one out of every two people needing insulin for Type 2 diabetes does not get it. Diabetes is on the rise in low and middle income countries, and yet their consumption of insulin has not kept up with the growing disease burden. The report highlights that while three in four people affected by Type 2 diabetes live in countries outside of North America and Europe, they account for less than 40% of the revenue from insulin sales. 

Keeping the 100-year-old promise – making insulin access universal, published today to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin, spotlights the main causes for the gaps in global access to insulin as:

  • The global market shift from human insulin, which can be produced at relatively low cost, to the pricier analogues (synthetic insulins) is imposing an untenable financial burden on lower-income countries. In general, human insulin is as effective as analogues, but analogues are at least 1.5 times more expensive than human insulins, and in some countries three times more expensive;
  • Three multinational companies control more than 90% of the insulin market, leaving little space for smaller companies to compete for insulin sales;
  • Suboptimal regulation and policies, including suboptimal pharmaceutical pricing approaches, weak procurement and supply chain management, insufficient financing to cover demand, and overall weak governance are affecting access to insulin and related devices, such as monitoring and delivery devices, in all countries;
  • Insufficient health system capacity and infrastructure, including a lack of service integration at the primary care level, inadequate capacity for providing diabetes care and ensuring supply continuity and infrastructure for information management, supply management, and local production of insulins are widespread challenges in lower-income countries;
  • Research is geared towards wealthy markets, neglecting the public health needs of low- and middle-income countries, which account for 80% of the diabetes burden.

The pricing landscape is also uneven and reveals a lack of transparency in the way prices are set, according to the report. For example, biosimilar insulins (essentially generic versions) could be more than 25% cheaper than the originator product, but many countries, including lower income ones, are not benefitting from this potential saving.

The report suggests several actions to improve access to insulins and related products, including:

  • Boosting human insulin production and supply and diversifying the manufacturing base for biosimilar analogue insulins to create competition and reduce prices;
  • Improve affordability by regulating prices and mark-ups, using pooled procurement and improving transparency in the way prices are set;
  • Promote local manufacturing capacity in under-served regions;
  • Promote R&D centred on the needs of low- and middle-income countries;
  • Ensure that increased access to insulin is accompanied by prompt diagnosis, and access to affordable devices for blood sugar monitoring and injecting insulin;
  • Use health resources wisely by selecting human insulin where possible and allocate adequate funding to provide a full package of care.

WHO has accelerated efforts to address some of the barriers to the availability of insulin and related medicines and health technologies through a series of dialogues with business associations and manufacturers of these products.

Several months after the first dialogue, industry has committed to a number of actions, including:

  • The development of a policy blueprint for improving access to biosimilars of insulin;
  • Participation in WHO’s prequalification programme for insulin, glucose meters, test strips and diagnostic tools;
  • Participation in international/UN pooled procurement or aggregated demand mechanisms, once established;
  • Submission of data on insulin thermostability to WHO; and
  • Participation in the reporting mechanism that WHO will use to register and publish contributions from the pharmaceutical and health technology industry.

The expansion of WHO’s prequalification programme to include glucose monitoring devices, test strips and diagnostic tools, and the inclusion of additional forms of insulin and other diabetes medicines in the latest update of the WHO Model Lists of Essential Medicines are expected to lead to improved access in countries where demand is currently unmet.

Efforts to increase access to life-saving diabetes medicines is just one of the workstreams of the Global Diabetes Compact, launched in April 2021. The Compact is bringing together national governments, UN organizations, nongovernmental organizations, private sector entities, academic institutions, philanthropic foundations, people living with diabetes and international donors to work towards a world where all people at risk for diabetes or living with diabetes can access the care they need.

KRA’s strategy on social media surveillance explained

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) announced that it is monitoring social media posts in a bid to enhance tax compliance and nab tax cheats who have been posting their lavish lifestyles, cars and assets online. The move has elicited mixed reactions from Kenyans. As is typical of Kenyans online, social media users have been fast on posting jokes and memes about the surveillance.

Beneath the camaraderie however, a section of Kenyans have expressed concern on KRA’s approach terming it as invasive and one intended to create fear in the target audience. In a bid to dispel some of the worries and concerns, the manager in charge of Digital Economy Tax Office, Mr Nickson Omondi, sat with Spice FM breakfast show hosts on Thursday morning to break down the social media surveillance conversation.

According to Mr Omondi, what KRA is doing is not novel. Verification and collating of information is a tool that has traditionally been used by the Authority to ensure tax compliance. This approach has simply been extended into the digital space. Compliance checks and tax audits are routinely carried out by the Authority on corporate bodies and other persons. As such, the move by KRA to monitor social media posts is designed to expand the tax base by netting more people in the tax net and ensuring that everyone pays their fair share of tax. KRA is therefore not out to deny Kenyans their lifestyles as may have been misrepresented out there.

He was also quick to address the concern that KRA has a malicious motive behind the social media surveillance. However, according to him, the Authority has been quite transparent with information. KRA announced that it was stepping up efforts by employing technology for social media monitoring. This information was circulated publicly beforehand. In fact, following the announcement, KRA recorded an increase in the number of people accessing the iTax website to verify their tax compliance status. 

But what exactly is KRA looking for and what will it do with the information collected? The Authority simply wants to enhance tax compliance through verification of information shared online vis-a-vis tax returns that have been submitted by particular individuals. For instance, if someone posts a property that they say they own on a social media platform, KRA will want to confirm the ownership details of the property and whether the requisite property taxes have been duly paid by the owner.

Is the Authority overreaching and now conducting lifestyle audits for Kenyans online? According to Mr Omondi, this is far from the case. KRA’s sole objective in monitoring social media is restricted to ensuring tax compliance. Inevitably, this ties with whether a person’s supposed lifestyle as displayed online corresponds with their tax compliance status.

There is also a concern that since a majority of people on social media are youthful and are likely to be in informal settings, such ‘lavish’ social media posts may be sending the wrong impressions as this may not reflect the day-to-day lifestyle of the individuals. Some of the individuals may just be financing that lifestyle through the help of their parents, relatives or older gainfully employed siblings. The KRA may therefore be wrongly targeting them. He says that KRA will be in a position to distinguish actual tax cheats from individuals in such cases. This will be achieved through verification of the information collected online.

As a parting shot, Mr Omondi reiterated that Kenyans and social media users in particular have nothing to worry about (unless you are evading taxes). KRA is not an enemy of the people but rather a partner with taxpayers who share a common objective of ensuring that all eligible persons are contributing their fair share of taxes.

Data Protection Act turns two years but more needs to be done to assure Kenyans

The Data Protection Act, 2019, (the DPA) was assented to by President Uhuru Kenyatta on November 8, 2019, and came into effect on November 25, 2019. This month marks the 2nd year anniversary since the DPA came into force.

As Kenyans become savvier about their data privacy rights, this milestone provides an opportunity to reflect on the impact of the Act 2 years down the road. Since the Act was operationalized, much has happened within the Kenyan data protection landscape. Notably, the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) was set up with the first Data Commissioner, Ms Immaculate Kassait, being appointed on November 16, 2020.

Following the set up of ODPC, the Office has realized a number of achievements towards the realization of its mandate. Some of the notable achievements as outlined in the ODPC’s Strategic Plan for FY 2021/2022 – FY 2023/2024 include the development of 3 sets of draft regulations and guidance notes on conducting data protection assessments, seeking consent from data subjects and processing personal data for electoral purposes. The Office has also developed a draft data protection training curriculum that is currently awaiting stakeholders’ validation and approval. On awareness, the Data Commissioner has held 16 virtual and physical awareness creation and consultation forums with various stakeholders drawn from the public, private sector and development partners. Furthermore, the ODPC has so far issued 9 advisories and guidance notes to data controllers and processors both in the private and public sector.

Despite these notable achievements, much remains to be done to foster public confidence in the ODPC. In June this year, Kenyans took to social media to protest following revelations that they had been registered as members of political parties without their knowledge and consent. They termed the revelations as a breach of the right to privacy and demanded answers from the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties. In response, the ODPC issued a statement indicating that it had met with the Registrar and resolved that the names of the complainants be deregistered by political parties. Public sentiment, going by reactions posted on social media, indicate that Kenyans were generally dissatisfied with the ODPC’s handling of the matter and saw it as a missed opportunity for the Office to flex its muscles. To many, the Data Commissioner was all bark but no bite. Stiffer penalties should have been meted out on the relevant political parties and the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties.

The ODPC is domiciled in the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs. This arrangement has seen the office receive criticism from some quarters as being a bit too reliant on the Ministry thus hurting its independent status. Given the nascent status of the ODPC, its reliance on the Ministry is understandable but more needs to be done to build its institutional capacity and resource mobilization.

As the DPA crosses the 2 year line, the ODPC needs to take stock of the emerging issues around data privacy and position itself to effectively execute its mandate. It is noteworthy that Kenyans are increasingly becoming conversant with their data rights and demanding more transparency on how their data is used. This provides an opportunity for the Data Commissioner to exercise the full range of powers bestowed upon her office.

Enhancing cybersecurity ahead of 2022 elections: Balancing act for new committee

The newly unveiled National Computer and Cybercrimes Coordination Committee (NC4) has been tasked with cracking down on misuse of social media especially as the country approaches the General Election in 2022. Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i unveiled the secretariat at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi on November 4, 2021, where he described social media abuse as a major threat to national security and integration. “As we approach the General Election, our number one challenge is the misuse and abuse of social media,” Dr Matiang’i said. The Kenyan General Elections of 2013 and 2017 were subject to mass interference via social media disinformation campaigns that effectively swayed voter preferences. The timely establishment of the NC4 is being heralded as a proactive step towards ensuring the upcoming General Election is a truly democratic process, free of ethnic violence that has simmered under the surface since the 2007/08 post election violence.

The NC4 has its roots established within the legal framework of the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act (CMCA). The CMCA designates offences relating to computer systems and provides a framework to enable timely and effective detection, prohibition, prevention, response, investigation, and prosecution of computer and cybercrimes. Initially enacted in May 2018, the CMCA was immediately challenged before court by the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) on grounds that the provisions of the CMCA were unconstitutional. In February 2020, the challenged provisions were determined to be constitutional by High Court Judge James Makau. Disconcertingly, the courts have failed to successfully prosecute any individuals suspected of committing offences under the CMCA, despite Kenya experiencing an 11.9% increase in cyber threats since February 2020. 

Overview of the NC4

Principally, the NC4 shall advise the Government on security related aspects of the Kenyan cyberspace and shall report to the Interior CS on matters related to internal security. The NC4 shall receive and and act on reports relating to cybercrimes such as cyber espionage, false publications and publication of false information, computer fraud and forgery, subversion, cyber terrorism and other computer related offences enshrined within the CMCA.

The NC4 is composed of representatives of various governmental departments and agencies. The multi-faceted composition of the committee promises to provide collaborative activities that shall expedite investigation and prosecution of cybercrimes. The CMCA stipulates the Interior ministry Principal Secretary to serve as the chairperson of the NC4. The remainder of the secretariat comprises of designated representatives of the ICT Principal Secretary, the Attorney-General, the Chief of Kenya Defence Forces, the Inspector-General of the National Police Service, the Director-General of the National Intelligence Service, the Director-General of the Communications Authority of Kenya, the Director of Public Prosecution, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya.

Interior PS Karanja Kibicho, the current chair of the NC4, further emphasized that the unveiling of the secretariat will seek to deter rampant abuse and character assassination on social media. However, the secretariat will have to contend with the complex interactive nature of social media networks, where the proliferation and consumption of news is not separable from interaction around news. As such, news is embedded in interpersonal interactions between social media users, whereby reading, sharing, and commenting are considered elements of news consumption.

Anticipated developments following the launch of NC4

The launch of NC4 is expected to coincide with an increase in government requests to social media giants for user data to facilitate investigation and prosecution of cybercrimes. These requests shall take the form of:

  • Legal process requests from governments that are accompanied by a legal process such as a search warrant;  
  • Emergency disclosure requests: Law enforcement may submit requests without prerequisite legal process where a person may be in serious physical danger; and  
  • Preservation requests which seek to set aside a copy of specific information while the relevant government agency applies for legal process to compel the disclosure of the sought after information.

Furthermore, the launch of NC4 has reignited reservations over the criminalisation of defamation, in particular, the conceivability of the CMCA provisions to unconstitutionally limit freedom of expression. Predominantly, concerns emanate from the CMCA’s vague provision on false publications and defamation, and the potential prejudice that social media users, bloggers, journalists, and free speech advocates in Kenya may be subjected to. The NC4 while fulfilling its prioritised mandate to minimize misuse of social media, should remain cognizant of the Jacqueline Okuta & another v Attorney General [2017] case, which affirmed that defamation should remain a civil offence. The petitioners successfully demonstrated that the offence of criminal defamation is not reasonably justifiable in a democratic society. Therefore, criminal sanctions on speech ought to be reserved for the most serious cases that constitute propaganda for war, incitement to violence, hate speech, or advocacy of hatred on discriminatory ground or ethnic incitement. 

It remains to be determined how and if the NC4 can strike a balance between curbing hateful and insightful online content and the right to freedom of expression as we countdown to the 2022 General Election.

Martha Koome casts her lot with the President

Chief Justice Martha Koome has appealed against a ruling by the High Court that the President can be sidestepped in the process of appointing judges, effectively casting her lot with the Executive.

Details of her reasoning will emerge as the appeal progresses, submissions are filed and the case is heard but her decision is going to be seen as indicating, if only partially, her approach in running the Judiciary.

Where her predecessors were an idealist activist in Dr Willy Mutunga and a populist in David Maraga, CJ Koome comes across as more of a pragmatist, at least for now.

It was evident in her decision to agree with the President’s appointment of the 34 of the 40 individuals nominated as judges, and to have them sworn in without delay, even as debate raged and she was urged to reject the decision.

When Dr Mutunga urged judges to go on strike in solidarity with their rejected colleagues, she issued a tersely worded statement saying her predecessor was wrong and acting contrary to his practice while at the same institution.

Like the case against the Building Bridges Initiative, the President has not had many supporters in the situation with the judges as he has defied orders issued by courts and stood firm in his resolve.

How the appeal is decided will determine who is ultimately right, but the CJ’s appeal marks a significant milestone in the story about her time at the head of the Judiciary.

When parties can’t make nomination rules

The electoral commission this week announced that it had rejected the rules to govern nominations submitted by 89 parties, amongst them the two backing the biggest candidates – Raila Odinga and William Ruto.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati suggested the parties had taken a casual approach to the development of the rules and asked them to revisit them.

The rejection of the rules undermines an almost inevitable point of conflict in an election year – the push and pull within parties that is often detrimental to plans for a peaceful election.

The nasty infighting is a common feature of the election season. Ahead of the last General Election, the Jubilee Party had to postpone the nominations for a day after a series of logistical issues caused chaos across the party’s strongholds. Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement is also no stranger to nomination chaos.

The same also appears imminent in Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance, where aspirants have complained that sitting elected representatives have taken control of the party’s grassroots activities and sparked fears that they may be frustrated at the nominations.

The infighting creates interesting dynamics, where some candidates switch to smaller parties or go independent after losing in the nominations. In Jubilee, some of the aspirants would later claim that the party’s leadership had orchestrated their removal at the primaries.

Whether the electoral commission can enforce the creation of proper rules is yet to be seen, but from the activities so far, there is nothing to suggest that the chaos of the primaries will go away in 2022.

5th November 2021 Kenya Gazette Review

PUBLIC SECTOR

Appointments

President Uhuru Kenyatta has appointed: 

  • Michael Nyachae to be the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Kenya Development Corporation,
  • Abdiwahab Abdulahi Abdi to be a member of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.
Notices

The Public Service Commission has published a list of all applicants and candidates shortlisted for the position of Chairperson of the Public Service Commission. 

Judiciary

The Supreme Court Christmas recess shall commence on Tuesday, 21st December, 2021, and terminate on Thursday, 13th January, 2022, both days inclusive. A duty Judge will be available during recess to deal with urgent matters. During this period, the Supreme Court Registry shall be open  to the public from 8.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m., on all weekdays other  than public holidays.

FINANCIAL SERVICES ROUND UP

The Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) has published Audited Financial Statements as at 30th June, 2019.

Insolvency
  • The Principal Co-operative Auditor, Elgeyo Marakwet has appointed joint liquidators for Nitunze Savings and Credit Co-operative Society Limited (CS 3109) for a period not exceeding 1 year.
  • The Commissioner for Co-operative Development has revoked the inquiry order of Tigania Women -Sacco Society Limited (CS/I I 900).
  • Jitesh Dhirajlal Malde Shah filed a petition for bankruptcy on the 31st March, 2021 and the undersigned, Official Receiver, was appointed to manage the estate of the bankrupt by the Court.
  • Yuvraj Thacoor has published a was recognized as a Foreign Representative and therefore appointed as a Foreign Liquidator of the property of the said Company (Zarara Oil and Gas Limited) pursuant to the Recognition Order issued on 3rd of November, 2021 and in accordance with the provisions of the Insolvency Act.
Environmental impact Assessment Study Report
  • Vicrity Limited intends to construct a, 5 storey hospital building comprising main and minor theatre, laboratory and pharmacy rooms, private and semi-private rooms, new-born unit and maternity section with labour rooms, prayer and CSSD rooms, administration with offices and board rooms, laundry, restaurant space, kitchen area, associated facilities and amenities on Plot L.R. No./Kaputioi, North/116481, Milimani area, Kajiado County.
  • Subati Group Limited proposes to set up a variety of hardwood plantation forest consisting of sandalwood, teakwood and rosewood species on approximately 150 Ha for commercial purposes (extraction of oil and other products from seeds, ‘Items and roots).
  • Jiatim (Kenya) Company Limited proposes to construct 1120 MW small hydropower project (SHP) on River Nzoia. ‘The power will be evacuated through a 1133 km long 33kV transmission line connected to Webuye 132/33 kV substation of the national grid with associated facilities and amenities.
  • Maisha Minero) Fertilizer Limited, proposes an expansion of the fertilizer blending plant for making multiple grades of fertilizer within the existing Fertilizer plant in Athi River, Mavoko Sub County. The production will utilize five different raw materials i.e. Limestone, Gypsum, Urea, OAP and MOP.
  • National Cement Company Limited- Kaloleni, proposes a twelve-month process of upgrading of an existing National Cement Company Limited.

5th November 2021 Trade and Financial Services Round Up

KENYA

Equity Bank signals plan to buy stake in local rival (Source: Business Daily)

Equity Group is ready to acquire a local rival if acquisition targets emerge, marking a shift to its previous strategy of seeking organic growth.

Equity Group chief executive James Mwangi said this is part of the bank’s growth strategy in the Kenyan market, an approach that had been focused in other regions such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

Mr Mwangi said the growth strategy through acquisition saw it gain a large market share of 27 percent in DRC, compared to organic growth in Kenya.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed lender, unlike most tier-one banks, has never acquired any lender in the local market, growing through increased customer base and physical branches.

MTN Uganda hits road to promote IPO in Kenya (Source: Business Daily)

MTN Uganda has kicked off a marketing blitz for its Initial Public Offering (IPO) in meetings with Kenyan professional groups and retail investors in Nairobi to bolster subscription.

The 27.6 billion ($250 million) IPO opened mid-last month and closes on November 22, 2021.

“Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has provided its ‘no objection’ for the MTN Uganda Initial Public Offering (IPO) to be marketed in Kenya, allowing the marketing of the shares to both professional investors and retail investors following the opening of the offer in Uganda on 11th October 2021,” the firm said in a statement on Thursday.

Investors can apply for shares through SBG Securities, a subsidiary of South Africa’s Stanbic Holdings Plc and Dyer and Blair which is the lead retail broker.

Kenya on high alert amid strife in neighbour countries (Source: The East African) 

Kenya has heightened security and vigilance along its borders and at critical installations in response to the fluid situation in some neighbouring countries.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Police Spokesman Bruno Shioso said the move is aimed at cushioning the country from the adverse effects of conflict.

“As an immediate neighbour to some of the affected countries, Kenya may be adversely impacted,” said Mr Shioso.

UGANDA

Airtel operating profit up 52% in East Africa (Source: The Independent)

Airtel’s operations in East Africa have recorded an approximate 52% surge in operating profits to US$279 million for the half year period ending September 30, riding on a balanced growth of almost all its product segments.

The company’s East Africa business region includes Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Though Airtel Money recorded the highest growth in revenue (43.9%) to post US$190 million, data and voice revenue remain the biggest contributors of the company’s revenue stream.

The company recorded a 24.8% growth in revenue to US$217million while voice revenues recorded a 20.7% to US$377 million during the same period under review.

Airtel’s operations in the region recorded a 24.7% growth in revenue to US$822 million during the period.

2020/2021 was tough for economy (Source: The Independent)

The financial year 2020/2021 was largely challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic that negatively affected all sectors of the economy, stated the Bank of Uganda annual report for 2021 released on October 19.

Although Uganda gradually eased the lockdown measures during the first half of the financial year, the antecedent global and domestic supply chain disruptions led to a severe contraction in economic activity and a sudden decline in consumer demand,” reads the report in part.

It adds that the contact-intensive sectors continued to be affected by social distancing measures and heightened uncertainty.

TANZANIA

CRDB unveils TSh460 billion facility for financing tech on climate (Source: The Citizen)

CRDB Bank Plc has officially unveiled a $200 million (about TSh459.9 billion) facility to finance climate-resilient and adaptation projects in the country, targeting six million beneficiaries in Tanzania’s agriculture sector.

In November 2019, CRDB Bank Plc was accredited by the United Nations Green Climate Fund (UN GCF) as the financial intermediary for the implementation of green financing in Tanzania, making it only the 4th commercial bank in Africa to obtain such an accreditation, after Ecobank Ghana and Attijariwafa Bank of Morocco.

CRDB Bank Plc said in a statement yesterday that on October 7, 2021, the GCF Board approved a Tanzania Agriculture Climate Adaptation Technology Deployment Programme (TACADTP) proposal that it (CRDB Bank) had submitted through its Sustainable Finance Unit (SFU).

ETHIOPIA

US Suspension of Ethiopia from AGOA Disappointing, Regrettable: Investment Commission (Source: ENA)

The US government decision to suspend Ethiopia from Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is very disappointing and regrettable in many ways, said the Ethiopian Investment Commission.

The commission in a statement indicated that the suspension of Ethiopia from the initiative is against the US’s core principles of human and labour rights and primarily endangers the human rights of hundreds of thousands of the vulnerable as well as discourages investors.

“The suspension is against the core principles of the very initiative itself and its alleged interest to protect human and labour rights in the African continent.”

Ethiopia Earns $42.75m from Manufactured Goods in First Quarter (Source: 2merkato)

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Trade and Industry announced that Ethiopia has earned $42.75 million from the export of manufacturing goods during the first quarter of the Ethiopian fiscal year that started July 8, 2021. The earning has almost hit the $42.85 million target set for the period.

The ministry credited a strong follow-up and support scheme in productivity with manufacturing factories for the 99.8 percent achievement of the target.

Moreover, the ministry is working closely with 14 factories that are striving to raise their level of productivity, as well as following up and providing support for three manufacturing projects currently under construction, it has been learned.

SOMALIA

Somalia, UN open centre to monitor desert locusts (Source: The East African)

Somalia and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations on Wednesday opened a centre to monitor desert locusts in the country.

The National Desert Locust Monitoring and Control Centre, which will be based in Qardho in northeast Somalia, will serve as the national desert locust early warning and control base.

Somali Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation Said Hussein said the government has prioritised control of the desert locust as well as other invasive species, stressing the government is in the process of enacting the required laws that will ensure Somalia is well protected against such pests.

Somalia gives African Union envoy seven days to leave country (Source: Al Jazeera)

Somalia has asked the African Union Commission (AUC) representative in the country to leave within a week after declaring him persona non grata.

In a statement on Thursday, Somalia’s foreign ministry said Simon Mulongo, the AUC’s deputy special representative in Mogadishu, was no longer welcome in the country due to his engagement “in activities [that are] incompatible with AMISOM’s (African Union Mission in Somalia) mandate and Somalia’s security strategy.”

SUDAN

Sudan’s entrepreneurs are early casualties of political crisis (Source: The National News)

The coup in Sudan last week has led to hostility, a deadly crackdown on protesters and an Internet blackout, which are proving costly to the country’s young entrepreneurs and emerging business community.

The political turmoil forced the closure of not just online stores, but also the suspension of contracts with western investors and multinationals, while international aid is threatened again.

Western Union resumes services in Sudan after coup (Source: Reuters)

Western Union Co (WU.N) said on Thursday it resumed services in Sudan on Tuesday, ending a week-long suspension in the wake of a military coup that saw Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok placed under house arrest and top civilians detained. 

“Effective November 2, 2021, the temporary suspension of Western Union services in Sudan has been lifted and we have resumed operations,” a Western Union spokesperson said in a statement.

RWANDA

Rwanda to benefit from £100 million climate finance (Source: New Times)

Rwanda is among five pioneer countries that have been selected to trial and find new ways for vulnerable countries to easily access climate finance.

The country was chosen due to its strong track record of effectively utilising climate finance and its bold vision to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 38 percent by 2030, and become climate resilient and stop carbon emissions by 2050.

The announcement was made at the COP26 UN Climate Change Summit in Glasgow, Scotland.

The taskforce is co-chaired by the United Kingdom and Fiji.

Parliament asks Prime Minister to solve Rwamagana steel factory emission issue (Source: New Times)

The Chamber of Deputies has requested the Prime Minister to solve, within two years, the issue of emissions discharged by SteelRwa – a steel manufacturing factory based in Rwamagana District – which nearby residents complain are harmful to them.

In a resolution passed on Wednesday, November 3, the legislators directed that the Premier presents to the Chamber of Deputies a progress report on efforts to address the problem every six months.

Findings by Parliament indicate that this problem has been affecting the residents for 11 years.

It is to note that Rwanda Environment Management Authority suspended the factory over harmful emissions in August 2019, but it was later allowed to resume operations.

ERITREA

29 test positive for Covid-19: MoH (Source: Ministry of Health Eritrea)

Twenty nine patients have been diagnosed positive for Covid-19 in tests carried out today at Quarantine Centers and Testing Stations in the Southern, Central, Anseba, and Southern Red Sea Regions.

Out of these, sixteen patients are from the Testing Stations in Adi Keih (6), Adi Quala (5), Enda Gergis (3), and Mai-Mine (2); Southern Region. Six patients are from the Quarantine Centers (3) and Testing Stations (3) in Asmara, Central Region. Five patients are from Quarantine Centers in Keren (4) and Adi-Tekelezan (1); Anseba Region. The last two patients are from a Quarantine Center in Assab; Southern Red Sea Region.

On the other hand, three patients who have been receiving medical treatment in hospitals in the Central Region have recovered fully and have been discharged from these facilities.

The total number of recovered patients has accordingly risen to 6,744 while the number of deaths stands at 45.

5th November 2021 Political Round Up

KENYA

Voter Registration Extended to Tuesday, November 9

The High Court in Eldoret issued orders on Monday, November 1, 2021, compelling the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to extend the voter registration exercise until November 9, pending the hearing of a case filed by a voter, Mr Patrick Cherono. The exercise was scheduled to end on November 2, but it was argued by the applicant that the Commission had fallen short of its target of registering about 6 million new voters. According to a press release dated October 25 issued by IEBC on the status update on Enhanced Continuous Voter (ECV) Registration – week 3, the Commission had registered a total of 800,462 new voters out of a projected target of 4.5 million and serviced 125,266 transfer requests from existing voters.

Despite the court order, IEBC stated that it would not extend the voter registration exercise owing to insufficient funds. “The mass voter registration exercise can’t be extended. We can’t start making plans unless we have been assured of funds,” said IEBC Vice Chairperson Juliana Cherera. Consequently, the Commission moved to court to challenge the order contending that it was unable to abide by the order when there were no funds to facilitate the exercise. In the meantime, IEBC has directed that pending the hearing of the case on November 3, the registration process will continue taking place until further advised.

Following the Commission’s move to court, the High Court has lifted the order compelling the IEBC to extend the voter registration exercise with effect from November 5 at 5pm. IEBC, through lawyer Moses Kipkogei, argued that the initial order for extension was obtained through misinformation or concealing of information to the court. Despite closure of the ECV registration, the Commission is still obligated and intends to undertake continuous voter registration at its constituency offices. 

Shock as Kenya Power Suspends Supply Chain Leadership

On March 29, 2021, the Presidential Taskforce on the Review of Power Purchase Agreements was formed to address the cost of electricity, as well as streamline and strengthen the business and the sector.

Six months later, on September 29, 2021, the Taskforce presented a report to the President which contained a raft of proposed measures that would result in reforms within Kenya Power and the energy sector, so as to catalyse a 33% reduction in the cost of the end user tariff by 25th December 2021.

Among the recommendations that were made by the Taskforce was a review of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) in order to lower the cost of purchasing power from Independent Power Producers (IPPs) with the aim of securing the sector’s sustainability.

The Taskforce Report further recommended reforms within the organisation and in particular, the Supply Chain Division, which will include undertaking a forensic audit to identify areas of possible leakages so as to facilitate the implementation of remedial measures as part of the business’ reform and restructuring process.

The goal of the forensic audit, which will be done on the procurement systems, stock and staff, is to enhance the robustness of the Company’s supply chain processes so as to anchor them on the principles of value for money, professionalism and accountability.  

As a consequence, and in compliance with the Taskforce recommendations, Kenya Power has, with immediate effect, suspended the top leadership of the Supply Chain Division comprising 59 members of staff to pave the way for the forensic audit. In the interim, the Company has appointed a team in an acting capacity to ensure business continuity.

Medical Supply chain: KEMSA Reforms Explained. By Mary Mwadime

“You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself into one.” – JAMES ANTHONY FROUDE, ENGLISH HISTORIAN

At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Kenyans woke up to the realisation that their national medical supplies agency, the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA), was reeling from a regrettable corruption scandal.

The days that followed saw a national outcry and the reconstitution of the Board of Directors to provide oversight and policy direction. President Uhuru Kenyatta was acutely aware and concerned that the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority was treading on very thin ice. At the inauguration, the Board was tasked to oversee a rapid results programme that would facilitate transformation of the Authority.

It would never be business as usual at KEMSA, as the organisation was teetering on the brink of a national health care disaster. Media reports and accounts from its own clients, mostly county and national referral hospitals, painted a picture of a misfiring gun.

Evidently, this has endangered the lives of Kenyans and is gravely threatening the realisation of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) goals which are critically predicated on a successful and optimally operating KEMSA.

KEMSA is not just any other State Corporation – it is our only national strategic organisation with a capacity to handle the medical products and drugs supply chain needs of more than 8,000 health facilities countrywide through a critical last-mile delivery service.

However, an independent review of its operating capacity by a local and international panel of experts recently established that KEMSA is grossly underperforming and unable to meet the needs of its clients.

The panel of experts under the KEMSA Immediate Action Plan and Medium Term Reforms Working Committee (KIAPRWC) confirmed that operational challenges at the Authority are borne out of deeply-rooted systemic issues. Some of the issues touch on its core operating fronts, such as the integrity of the Authority’s procurement, warehousing and distribution, Information Communication and Technology (ICT) systems and procedures.

The Committee report indicated that the systemic challenges have gravely impacted the Authority’s ability to meet its obligations. This is demonstrated by indicators such as the declining order fill rate, prolonged order turn-around time, cash-flow crisis, low staff productivity, amongst other indicators.

This week, the Board announced the stepping up of the reforms agenda to get KEMSA back on its feet under a consultative model. The envisaged reforms and restructuring will help reconstitute human resource functions to bring about the much-needed coherence and end-to-end visibility of the Authority to ensure we have an efficiency that facilitates the delivery of KEMSA’s organisational core mandate.

As the review gets underway and complies with legal requirements governing labour management, the Board has already issued general notice letters copied to the respective trade unions. The General Notice letters require all non-core staff members to work from home as the necessary consultations progress to an amicable settlement. Already, the core operating teams under a caretaker management team have been notified, appointed and mobilised to ensure seamless operations in the intervening period.

Ultimately, the Board is optimistic that the restructuring and reforms will herald the dawn of a new KEMSA – an authority that is structurally aligned to industry-accepted standards for a health commodities and technologies procurement and distribution organisation. A KEMSA that maintains global best practices including an acceptable span of control, transparent reporting relationships and command structures, compounding related functions for strengthened accountability, and a re-determination of optimal staffing levels and norms.

A new effective KEMSA is possible; join us in the reforms journey.

About the Author: Mary Mwadime is the Chairperson, Kenya Medical Supplies Authority. She can be contacted via email at:Chair@Kemsa.co.ke

UGANDA

The government of Uganda is keen on raising the country’s per capita income in the upcoming financial year 2022/2023. According to the World Bank, the GDP per capita in Uganda was last recorded at USD 958.19 in 2020. With a goal of improving the income of poor Ugandans, the government now aims to raise the per capita income to around USD 1,049. This is in line with the Third National Development Plan (NDPIII 2020/21 – 2024/25). The plan is the third in a series of six NDPs that will guide the nation in delivering the aspirations articulated in Uganda Vision 2040. The economic growth and jobs strategy in the Plan focuses on: expanding the industrial base of the economy; consolidating and increasing the stock and quality of productive infrastructure; enhancing productivity especially in the agricultural sector; sustainable exploitation of natural resources; and supporting private sector development through providing affordable financing. The main goal of the plan is to increase household incomes and improve the quality of life of Ugandans.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Ramathan Ggoobi has said that the government will prioritize maintenance of available infrastructure, tourism and security, among others in the next financial year. As part of Covid 19 recovery, the government has also pledged to not impose any new taxes on Ugandans so as to cushion them from the impact of the pandemic.

TANZANIA

Starting December 2021, Tanzanians may enjoy reduced and stable fuel prices when the government implements a new system of importing petroleum products. According to reports, the government seeks to cut out intermediaries in the fuel marketing chain through direct importation from refineries owned by crude oil producing countries. Currently, private entities import petroleum products through the Bulk Procurement System (BPS) which is a system established pursuant to the Petroleum Act and the Petroleum (Bulk Procurement System) Regulations, 2017. Under the new proposed system, the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) will be tasked with importing fuel for use in the country. TPDC is a wholly owned Government parastatal through which the Ministry of Energy implements its petroleum exploration and development policies.

The move to introduce a new system of fuel importation follows the directive to reduce the levies, fees and charges on fuel issued last month by President Samia Suluhu after receiving a report from a team of experts drawn from Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (Ewura), Tanzania Revenue Authority and the Ministry of Energy. It is expected that the directive will be followed by a review of various regulations governing the levies, fees and charges.

ETHIOPIA

The Council of Ministers has declared a nationwide state of emergency in Ethiopia owing to the escalating conflict between government forces and Tigrayan forces. The state of emergency will last for six months or as otherwise determined by the House of Peoples Representatives before the expiration of the six-month term. There is a high likelihood of increased media monitoring and state control, restrictions on movement of goods and people, human rights violations and a general slump in economic activity. Residents of Addis have been instructed to register their firearms and prepare to defend their neighbourhoods owing to the impending advance on the capital by TPLF.

The US Embassy in Addis Ababa is urging US citizens to leave the country and has restricted travel for all personnel from leaving the capital, according to a new security alert issued on Tuesday 2nd November, following the declaration of the state of emergency. US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman has consistently condemned the TPLF expansion of the war outside Tigray and continues to call on the TPLF to withdraw from Afar and Amhara. Furthermore, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “is extremely concerned by the escalation of violence in Ethiopia and the recent declaration of a state of emergency”. Guterres reiterated “his call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, unrestricted humanitarian access to deliver urgent life-saving assistance, and an inclusive national dialogue to resolve this crisis and create the foundation for peace and stability throughout the country.”

There are concerns that the escalating violence could potentially spill over and detrimentally affect the wider East African region. On high alert in particular is Eritrea owing to previous tensions which have been thawing. In fact, the Eritrean Government is said to be assisting the Ethiopian Army in the Tigray conflict.

Of particular concern is the influx of internally displaced persons, and with the latest escalation in violence this is likely to lead to a refugee and humanitarian crisis. Recent reports estimate approximately 1.7 million persons have been displaced with 63,000 fleeing to neighboring Sudan, which is also experiencing political upheaval.

SOMALIA

The Charge d’Affaires of the United States Embassy in Somalia, Collen Crenwelge privately met with the Foreign Affairs Minister, Mohamed Mohamud at the backdrop of the ongoing parliamentary elections. According to Radio Dalsan, the two discussed strengthening bilateral relations and cooperation, as well as security and political developments. The meeting also covered the ongoing elections with the US praising the current Somali government for its efforts in the run-up to the elections.

Somalia has an indirect election model where nearly 30,000 clan delegates are assigned to choose 275 MPs for the lower house while senators for the 54-member upper house are elected by Somalia’s five state legislatures. The president is voted in by both houses of parliament once the members are elected and sworn in.

SUDAN

The ousted Sudanese prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok is still under house arrest following the toppling of his government on October 25 by military chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. According to Reuters, Abdalla Hamdok wants detainees released and governing bodies restored before he enters into any dialogue. However, a source close to Hamdok told Reuters mediated talks were ongoing but no deal has been reached. “Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who is detained in his residence by order of the coup authorities, is sticking by the conditions that all detainees be released and constitutional institutions be restored (as they were) before Oct. 25, before engaging in any dialogue,” the office of the prime minister said in a statement posted on Facebook.

Reports indicate that one of the proposals under discussion would see Hamdok given greater powers but with a new cabinet more palatable to the army. The army, on the other hand, would be in charge of the government’s security and defence councils. The US special envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, said on Tuesday the army knows support for Sudan’s economic development and debt relief, as well as World Bank and International Monetary Fund financing, depends on restoring the democratic path.

RWANDA

Rwanda’s Prime Minister, Edouard Ngirente, who is leading Rwanda’s delegation to COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland called for significant private and public sector climate adaptation financing to be quickly made available to developing countries. He was speaking at an event hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson dubbed Action and Solidarity – The Critical Decade, as part of the ongoing COP 26. “Rwanda, like other developing countries, is facing the severe impact of climate change. Adaptation is especially critical for countries that are both vulnerable to climate and bearing the effects of global warming,” Ngirente said. 

According to Faustin Munyazikwiye, the Deputy Director General of Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) who is among government’s negotiators at the conference, developed countries under the Paris Agreement pledged USD100 billion annually to help developing countries including Rwanda build resilience to climate change effects. However, based on latest data, only USD 79 billion was made available in 2019.

Rwanda needs over USD 11 billion to implement measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change between 2021 and 2030. This is according to its recently submitted revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Rwanda leads the pack by being the first country in Africa to submit its NDC revision and it’s committed to implement measures such as green transport, reforestation, green buildings, green cities, water security, floods control among many others.

ERITREA

A joint investigation by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the UN Human Rights Office has found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that all parties to the conflict in Tigray have, to varying degrees, committed violations of international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law, some of which may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. “The Tigray conflict has been marked by extreme brutality. The gravity and seriousness of the violations and abuses we have documented underscore the need to hold perpetrators accountable on all sides,” said Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The report by the Joint Investigation Team released on November 3 found that all parties to the conflict including the Eritrean Defence Force (EDF) either directly attacked civilians and civilian objects, such as houses, schools, hospitals, and places of worship, or carried out indiscriminate attacks resulting in civilian casualties and destruction or damage to civilian objects. The report further notes that unlawful or extrajudicial killings and executions were perpetrated by the EDF and other parties in the conflict. It is reported that on April 2 in Samre, Eritrean soldiers forcibly paraded at least 600 Tigrayan men who were stripped to their underpants or completely naked, through the town.

As part of its recommendations, the JIT report calls upon the Government of Eritrea to take immediate steps to ensure all acts of violence by its forces against civilians cease, while removing from active duty those suspected of committing such acts pending investigation.

A sneak peek at China’s Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL)

On Monday, November 1, 2021, China’s Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) took effect, months after it was promulgated by the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress. This is China’s first comprehensive law in the personal information protection area and it is based on the Constitution. The law in Article 1 aims to “protect the rights and interests of individuals, regulate personal information processing activities,” and “facilitate reasonable use of personal information”.

While the PIPL resembles the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which is hailed as the global standard, it has some provisions that differ from it.

A few notable similarities between the PIPL and GDPR include:

  • They are both extraterritorial.
  • They both define personal data as involving identified and identifiable natural persons.
  • They both use the lawful basis approach to data processing. This is distinct from other Asian privacy laws that use the consent-based approach or an approach akin to the US approach of notice-and-choice.
  • They both have special protections for sensitive data, but they differ on the types of data they recognize as sensitive.
  • They both have a data breach notification requirement.
  • They both recognize many of the same rights.
  • They both require DPOs under certain circumstances
  • They both require data protection impact assessments (DPIAs) in certain situations.

A few notable differences between the PIPL and GDPR include:

  • PIPL has a strong data localization requirement.
  • The PIPL has a post-mortem right for personal data after death.
  • The PIPL requires a representative in China for foreign data handlers.
  • The PIPL has less stringent requirements for cross-border data transfer than the GDPR.
  • Under the PIPL, a data breach notification must be “immediate” unlike the GDPR’s 72-hour deadline.
  • Last but not least, the PIPL has fines of up to 5% of annual revenue. This is higher than  GDPR’s  2% and 4% of annual revenue.
  • The GDPR looks at worldwide annual revenue; the PIPL is unclear about whether the fine is based on annual revenue in China or worldwide annual revenue.

According to the 2021 Digital Economy Report, a Nikkei survey using ITU and TeleGeography statistics showed that, in 2019, cross-border data flows of China – including Hong Kong, China – far outstripped any of the other 10 countries/territories and regions examined, including the United States. China accounted for 23% of global cross-border data flows, while the United States ranked second at 12%. 

This points out to the likely impact the PIPL will have since it is also extraterritorial like the GDPR. China’s approach to the digital economy and cross-border data transfers is that of promoting national and public security, championing digital development. Their policymakers control data and information, not only across borders, but also within the country, so as to maintain social stability and nurture knowledge-based sectors.

With Chinese expansion into Africa through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), it will be interesting to see if the PIPL will have an impact on African nations such as Kenya. China has been exceptionally successful in building its domestic digital sector and the Kenyan ICT Policy shows that Kenya has similar ambitions. In the East African region, Rwanda has also been keen on developing their technology sector and their privacy law has a strong data localisation component as China’s. However, just as it is the case in China, economic interest will eventually prevail and the strong data localisation requirements may be set aside.

Kenya to work with Giants Club in Climate Mitigation

President Uhuru Kenyatta this week announced Kenya’s plan to work with African countries that form the Giants Club conservation group to raise resources for investment in the continent’s climate change mitigation programmes.

While speaking during the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), President Kenyatta  said the plan will create opportunities for the private sector to invest in the restoration of Africa’s carbon sinks including forests, and ensure that governments and host communities reap maximum benefits from climate change mitigation interventions.

The meeting was organised by the Giants Club, a group of African nations consisting of Kenya, Uganda, Gabon, Rwanda, Botswana and Mozambique, who partner in wildlife conservation activities.

President Kenyatta said restoring Africa’s carbon sinks would help the continent generate jobs and business opportunities for its people besides ending illegal wildlife trade and related crimes.

“Restoring and protecting these carbon sinks can help also create hundreds of thousands of critical green jobs, drive enterprises away from destructive forms of land use, can help us tackle poverty, combat illegal wildlife trade and also prevent future pandemics, and ensure that the diversity of life on which we all depend continues to endure,” the President said.

He applauded the Giants Club for its investments in wildlife conservation saying the organization’s efforts had considerably degraded the elephant poaching menace.

I am proud to announce, through the work of the Giants Club, a huge amount of support from around the world, the elephant poaching crisis is no longer what it was, when we started this journey. The Giants Club has invested heavily in the protection and restoration of the natural ecosystems on which our continent’s giants depend. And it does so in ways that resonate with our people,” the President said.

Speaking on Kenya’s forest conservation initiatives, President Kenyatta said the country was implementing an ambitious strategy that will see it set up a USD5 billion tree fund besides planting an additional two billion trees among other interventions.

 “We in Kenya are currently implementing an ambitious National Strategy that seeks to enhance protection of our valued forest resources and to develop an additional two (2) billion trees for our country. My Administration is also establishing a Tree Growing Fund which aims to raise USD 5 billion towards reforestation and I invite all of you to partner with us,” he added.

On private sector participation in Kenya’s forest conservation efforts, the President commended US companies, Apple and Gucci, for financing the restoration of Chyulu Hills in Makueni County, an initiative that earned the two multinationals considerable carbon credits.

Once again, the Head of State regretted that the international community was doing very little to support Africa’s climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.

Today very little investment goes towards nature-based solutions where the greatest emission reduction opportunities for the African continent exist.

” We all know that resources for the Covid-19 pandemic vaccine and response were mobilised in the shortest time possible, though shared unequally. However despite this developed countries have todate, since Paris, not been able to raise 100 billion required to avert a crisis that is far more lasting and permanent than Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

The President of the African Development Bank, Dr Adesina Akinwumi, who also spoke at the sidelines of COP26, said his bank would provide USD 25 billion by 2025 for investment in climate change adaptation on the African continent.

Dr Akinwumi congratulated Kenya for its leading role in climate change adaptation efforts in Africa especially in the uptake of renewable energy, citing the 310MW Lake Turkana Wind Power project as a game changer.

Fine Print of Renewable Energy Sources that Developing Nations are missing

Over the last decade, the top four emitters, China, US, EU and India, have contributed to 55% of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with the G20 members accounting for around 78% of global GHG emissions. Consequently, the G20 members largely determine global emission trends and the extent to which the 2030 emissions gap will be closed. Considering the G20 members account for 80% of world GDP, 75% of global trade, and 60% of the world’s population, should developing countries share equal burden for climate change mitigation? 

On October 30 and 31, 2021, Rome hosted the G20 Heads of State and Government Summit. Significantly, neither China’s President Xi Jinping, nor Russia’s Vladimir Putin were in Rome for the G20 summit, instead joining via video link. The Rome Summit was to serve as an opportunity for G20 members to establish firm targets for climate change mitigation before the COP26 summit in Glasgow, which is underway. US President Joe Biden singled out China and leading oil producer Russia for failing to step up their climate goals in Glasgow, while Beijing rejected Washington’s efforts to separate climate issues from their wider disagreements. The inconsistent commitments and fragmentation between the superpowers casts further doubt on whether the climate change commitments are concrete undertakings or an opportunity to virtue signal the developing world. 

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) form the basis for countries to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement, which sets out a global framework to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. On December 24, 2020, Kenya submitted its updated NDC, with the aim of reducing GHG emissions by 32% before 2030. The cost of mitigation and adaptation of actions is estimated at $62 billion, with Kenya footing 13% of the cost while international support shall raise the remaining 87% of the budget. Despite the ambitious goals of reducing GHG emissions, much controversy surrounds the process of transitioning from carbon-driven economies to sustainable renewable energy-driven economies. These sentiments were raised by Suriname President Chan Santokhi as he remarked: “We see double standards creeping into our thinking, whereby those who have already benefited from carbon-driven economies would like to prevent emerging economies laying similar foundations for their political stability, social development and economic prosperity“. 

Developing nations are grappling with trepidations over the efficacy of renewable energy to meet their economic needs, compared to the certainties of fossil fuel energy sources. The high initial acquisition cost, compared to utilizing the conventional sources, has resulted in a serious setback in the use of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) as an alternative to power generation in developing countries. High cost continues to hamper RES adoption despite an increase in global climate finance flows that have sought to reduce renewable energy technology costs of Solar by 29%, onshore wind by 18%, and offshore wind by 10%. In addition, the majority of developing nations lack favorable government policies on power generation for RES that will be different from the conventional fossil fuel generating sources. These policies should favour reduction or total exemption in tax payment, tariff plan, low-interest loans, subsidies in RES utilization, custom duty waivers, and tax rebates to encourage renewable energy adoption.  

Furthermore, developing nations must contend with expanding storage capacity in existing power generating reservoirs and ameliorate local capacity to manufacture power components and equipment if they are to pragmatically become independent of fossil fuel energy. These efforts will be heavily predicated on making information on renewable resources publicly available  to support investment promotion, decision making and energy planning. In purview of the fact that developing nations cannot satisfy their most immediate needs, what effect will additional foreign aid have on these dependent nations?

As has been demonstrated by Kenya’s latest NDC, developing nations cannot bear the burden of climate change mitigation, and will remain heavily reliant on support from the international community. There remains uncertainty over the form in which aid will be provided. Will climate change mitigation provide the latest facade to further entrench developing nations in cycles of vicious loans and heavily unfavourable aid agreements that serve to only increase reliance on the developed world? Is climate change mitigation the new face of neo-colonialism?

BBI speaks from Purgatory

Kenyans were this week reminded of the Building Bridges Initiative in two ways. 

The first was the publication of a Bill to amend the Constitution being pushed by Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua. One of the main, and controversial, features of the Bill is the provision to split the senator’s vast home county and create a new county. 

The second was the call by governors to peg the revenue share with the counties for the coming financial year to the proposals in the BBI to have it at 35 per cent rather than the 15 per cent minimum in the Constitution. 

With the case on the BBI likely to be stuck in the courts, at least until the Supreme Court makes its decision, politicians appear to have moved on to other projects, and their own ambitions for next year. 

It is likely that the provisions in the proposed amendments might find a way back under the next administration, and in that case, BBI’s proponents might have the narrative that they helped give birth to an idea, or several ideas. 

The restless Ruto keeps going

Deputy President William Ruto is on a mission to visit every constituency in Kenya before the General Election. 

He has, so far, held 133 meetings in 20 counties, which means that he is likely to meet and probably surpass his target. 

The decision to open up the country by removing the restrictions on movement effectively gave politicians the permission to go about their activities. Not that the restrictions had stopped political activity, but it is now clear that the Deputy President is going into high gear with his campaigns. 

Members of his team say they struggle to catch up with him as he tends to stay up late and to hold a large number of meetings in a day and to follow up at the end of the day. 

His critics, like Kieni MP Kanini Kega, say, and perhaps privately hope, that he will run out of steam, and that real campaigns and decisions are made about three months to the elections. 

No doubt the Deputy President has a lot of time on his hands, as he is no longer usefully employed in the Government, but his critics would perhaps be more worried about the size of his financial war chest. 

A presidential campaign is a money-guzzling venture and although the actual amounts spent are hard to verify, the electoral commission’s proposed limit of KSh4.4 billion is a telling sign. 

Unlike Raila Odinga in 2017, the Deputy President does not appear to have many foreign backers whose funding can be restricted by the Government.

5th November 2021 County Round Up

NAROK

A special sitting of the County Assembly shall be held in the Assembly  Chamber,  Narok,  on  Friday,  5th  November,  2021, from 9 30 a.m., for purposes of tabling of the Nurok County Supplementary Budget Estimates I of  the Financial  year 2021/2022 and tabling the name of nominee for appointment as Chief Officer, Information, Communication and E-Government.

ELGEYO MARAKWET

The County Executive Committee Member for Education and Technical Training and with the approval of the Elgeyo Marakwet County Assembly, appoints the members of the County Education Fond Committee.

NYERI

The Nyeri County Assembly  Powers and Privileges Committee establishes the following administrative Procedures: The Nyeri County Assembly Powers and Privileges Committee  Procedures  for Administration of Part IV of the Act

KIAMBU

The Kiambu County Finance Act, 2021 has been published and can be accessed on  the County Assembly  website: www.kiambuassembly.go.ke or the County Assembly of Kiambu Offices in Kiambu Town. 

5th November 2021 Parliamentary Round Up

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

Recess till Tuesday, November 9, 2021

SENATE

PAPERS LAID

The following papers were laid at the Table of the House among others:

  • Report of the Committee on Labour and Social Welfare on the Status of Labour Migration to the Middle East and Proposed Policy Interventions.
  • Amu Sand-dunes Groundwater Conservation Area Order, Legal Notice No. 206 of 2021.
  • Kikuyu Springs Aquifer Groundwater Conservation Area Order, Legal Notice No. 207 of 2021.
  • Dik Dik Gardens Wetland Groundwater Conservation Area Order, Legal Notice No. 208 of 2021.
  • Ngarelen Springs Catchment Conservation Area Order Legal Notice No. 209 of 2021.
  • Lake Kenyatta Sub-Catchment Conservation Area Order, Legal Notice No. 210 of 2021.
  • Various reports of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of various institutions for the year ended June 30,  2019.
COMMUNICATION FROM THE CHAIR

Commencement of Part VI of the Fifth Session

The Speaker of the House welcomed the Senators from the short recess. The House will be commencing Part VI of the Fifth Session of the Senate which will run until Thursday, December 2, 2021. The Speaker noted that at the rise of the House on Thursday, October 21, 2021, the House had outstanding business across a spectrum of legislative business (Bills, Motions, Petitions and Statements). One Bill was scheduled for First Reading, 20 Bills were at the Second Reading stage and 12 Bills were due for the Committee of the Whole House. There are a further 23 Bills which are undergoing the concurrence process pursuant to Article 110(3) of the Constitution. The Speaker urged respective Standing Committees to table reports on the Bills to facilitate speedy processing.

He also noted that there are 50 Petitions which are yet to be reported on by respective Standing Committees that require immediate action while Statements referred to committees also require to be addressed pursuant to the Standing Orders. He also urged the House leadership to ensure that Senators are present to vote during divisions, and to prosecute their Bills, Motions and Statements in a timely manner.

The Equalization Fund Advisory Board

The Speaker informed the House on the nomination by the Senate of a Member of the Equalization Fund Advisory Board. On 19th August, 2021 vide a letter reference number IGFR/EF/01/TY/2, the National Treasury and Planning submitted to the Senate the Public Finance Management Equalization Fund Administration Regulations, 2021 for consideration.

The regulations were tabled in the Senate on Tuesday 7th September, 2021 in accordance with Standing Order No.221(2) and subsequently committed to the Sessional Committee on Delegated Legislation for further consideration. On Tuesday 28th, September 2021, the Chairperson of the Sessional Committee on Delegated Legislation laid on the Table of the Senate the report of the Sessional Committee on the Public Finance Management, the Equalization Fund Administration Regulations, 2021 and thereafter gave Notice of Motion for approval of the regulations pursuant to Section 205(4) of the Public Finance Management Act.

The Speaker is also in receipt of a letter dated 25th October, 2021 from the Cabinet Secretary, the National Treasury and Planning, calling for the nomination, by the Senate, of a member of the Equalization Fund Advisory Board in accordance with Paragraph 4(1)(e) of the Public Finance Management (Equalization Fund Administration) Regulations, 2021. The Equalization Fund Advisory Board is established under Paragraph 4 of the Regulations. The key functions of the Board are to-

  1. Advise and make recommendations to the Cabinet Secretary on the distribution of resources for the provision of the basic services to the marginalized areas under Article 204 of the Constitution.
  2. Appraise and evaluate projects proposed under the work plans submitted by county technical committees to ensure compliance with the Constitution and the recommendations issued by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA).
  3. Oversee, in consultation with the county governments, the implementation of the projects to ensure compliance with the Constitution.
  4. Monitor and evaluate the projects implemented by county governments using equalization funds to determine their impact in addressing the factors contributing to the marginalization of the areas identified in the counties.

Paragraph 4 of the Regulations provides for the composition of the Board and the Senate is required, under Paragraph 4(1)(e), to nominate one person to serve in the Board. Thus, the Speaker directed the office of the Clerk to advertise the vacancy in the membership of the Board and upon the close of the application period, to transmit the names and all documents received from the interested persons to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Budget for short-listing and vetting.

MESSAGES

The Irrigation (Amendment) Bill, 2021

The house was informed of the passage of the Irrigation (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bills No.12 of 2021) by the National Assembly. The Bill was published vide Kenya Gazette Supplement No.65 of 16th April, 2021as a Bill concerning county governments in terms of Article 110(4) of the Constitution seeking to amend The Irrigation Act, 2019, to amongst other things expand the administration of irrigation matters to include management and regulation of irrigation matters. The National Assembly considered the Bill and passed the Bill with amendments and conveyed it to the Senate for consideration. The Bill will be proceeded with by the Senate in the same manner as a Bill introduced in the Senate by way of First Reading.

PETITIONS

The House was notified of the Petition by Mr. Fred O. Sagwe and other residents of Mombasa County concerning the introduction of the Chess Game in the School Curriculum as a tool for education and promotion of good health.

MOTIONS

Status of Labour Migration and Proposed Policy Interventions

The House adopted the Report of the Standing Committee on Labour and Social Welfare on the status of labour migration to the Middle East and proposed policy interventions laid on the table of the Senate, on Tuesday, 2nd November, 2021.

Senators to Serve in the Powers and Privileges Committee

The House adopted the Motion to rescind its resolution made on Thursday, 16th September, 2021 on the approval of Senators to serve in the Committee of Powers and Privileges.

Approval of Senators to Serve in Standing Committees

The House adopted the Motion that the resolutions of the Senate made on 14th December, 2017; 14th February, 2018; 21st February, 2018; 21st November, 2018; 20th March, 2019; 19th June, 2019; 28th April, 2020; and 24th June, 2020 on the approval of Senators to serve in various Standing Committees of the Senate, and approved the following Senators nominated by the Senate Business Committee to serve in Standing Committees of the Senate as follows-

  1. Standing Committee on Energy – Sen. Haji Abdul Mohammed, MP to serve as a Member.
  2. Standing Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights – Sen. Isaac Ngugi Githua, MP, to serve as a Member.
  3. Standing Committee on National Security, Defense and Foreign Relations – Sen. Gideon Moi, CBS, MP to serve as a Member.

Kenya’s Stock of Public Debt

The Senate adopted the Report of the Standing Committee on Finance and Budget on the Status of Kenya’s Stock of Public Debt, laid on the Table of the Senate on Thursday, 14th October, 2021.

BILLS

First Reading

The following Bills underwent First Reading:

  • The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 53 of 2021) by Sen. Naomi Shiyonga, MP.
  • The Irrigation (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bills No. 12 of 2021) by the Senate Majority Leader.
  • The Election Campaign Financing (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 51 of 2021) by Sen. Ledama Olekina, MP.

Second Reading 

The following Bills came up for Second Reading:

  • The Heritage and Museums Bill (Senate Bills No. 22 of 2021) by Sen. (Dr.) Alice Milgo, MP
  • The County Oversight and Accountability Bill (Senate Bills No. 17 of 2021) by Sen. Ledama Olekina MP.
  • The Intergovernmental Relations (Amendment) Bill, (Senate Bills No. 37 of 2021) by the Chairperson, Standing Committee on Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations.
STATEMENTS

The following Statements were raised on the floor of the House among others:

  • The Senator for Makueni County, Mutula Kilonzo Jnr, sought a Statement on the directive by the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage to the Sports Registrar to undertake an inspection of Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and disbursement and administration of funds from the Sports, Art and Social Development Fund during the Financial Year 2019/20 to date.
  • Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot sought a Statement from the Standing Committee on Labour and Social Welfare on the state of stadiums in our country.
  • Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua sought a Statement from the Standing Committee on Education regarding the ongoing students’ unrest and rising cases of fires in secondary schools across the country.
  • Nominated Senator Isaac Ngugi Githua sought a statement from the Standing Committee on Labour and Social Welfare concerning youth and special groups Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) Programme as provided for in Article 55 of the Constitution of Kenya and the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015.
  • The Senator for Nandi County, Samson Cherargei, sought a statement from the Standing Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fishery on the escalation of fertilizer in the country.
  • The Senator for Narok County, Ledam Olekina, sought a statement from the Standing Committee on Labour and Social Welfare regarding the impending mass sacking of employees at the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA)
  • The Senator for Bomet County, Dr Christopher Langat, sought a statement from the Standing Committee on Labour and Social Welfare regarding delayed staff salaries and other unfair labour practices by the Bomet Water and Sanitation Company Limited (BOMWASCO).
  • The Senator for Machakos County, Agnes Muthama, sought a statement from the Standing Committee on Tourism, Trade and Industrialization regarding the liquidation of Drumvale Cooperative Society Limited.
  • Power Purchase Agreements Between Kenya Power and Independent Power Producers: Sen. Cheruiyot requested for a Statement from the Standing Committee on Energy on the power purchase agreements between the Kenya Power and the IPPs. In the Statement, the Committee should-
    • State the number of companies that Kenya Power has signed power purchasing contractual agreements with.
    • Give the dates when the power purchasing agreements were signed and when these agreements come to an end.
    • State the cost at which Kenya Power procured electrical power from each of these IPPs and KenGen in the past 24 months and state the selection criteria used.
    • State the loading policy used in determining consumption times from each of the IPPs.
    • State targeted interventions the company has employed in mitigating the rising cost of electricity to households, businesses, factories and other consumers in the country.
  • Award of Tenders by the National Treasury Under Specially Permitted Procurement Procedure. Sen. Cherargei sought a Statement from the Standing Committee on Finance and Budget regarding award of tenders by the National Treasury under the specially permitted procurement procedure. In the Statement, the committee should-
    • Appraise the Senate on the number and the nature of tenders for Government projects awarded for the FYs 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 under specially permitted procurement procedure.
    • Inform the Senate on the total amount of money committed to tenders awarded under the specially permitted procurement procedure for the two financial years.
    • Explain how the awarded tenders qualify as tenders in the public interest or interest of national security as contained in the procurement law in order for them to have been awarded under this special category.
    • State the role of state security agencies and organs in the award of such tenders.
    • List, if any, tenders for the Government projects under Private Public Partnership like Lamu Port South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor Project that have been awarded through restricted tendering method for the FYs 2019/2020 and 2020/2021.
  • Status of Preparedness for Upcoming General Elections by the IEBC: Sen. Wambua sought a Statement from the Standing Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights regarding the status of preparedness for the upcoming general elections by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). In the Statement, the Committee should-
    • Outline the measures that the IEBC has put in place to guarantee a free, fair and credible general election in 2022.
    • State the firm that has been awarded the tender to print ballot papers and whether due process was followed, including due diligence before awarding the tender.
    • Explain circumstances that led to the IEBC signing a contract on electoral data collection and storage with a French firm without a clause on the right of access or transfer of data after the elections.
    • State the amount of money the IEBC has been paying to the contracted firm to access data for each by-election that has taken place after the 2017 General Elections.
    • Enumerate individuals and/or organizations, if any, that have the rights of access to the Kenyan electoral data.

29th October 2021 Kenya Gazette Review

National Assembly Bills, 2021
  • The Petroleum Products’ (Taxes and Levies) (Amendment) Bill, 2021
  • The Advocates (Amendment) Bill, 2021
Legislative Supplements, 2021
  • The Petroleum Products’ (Taxes and Levies) (Amendment) Bill, 2021
  • The Partnerships (Limited Partnerships) Regulations, 2021

PUBLIC SECTOR

Appointments
  • The President of Kenya has made the following appointments and revocations where applicable:
    • Appointment of Robert Oduor Otieno to be a member of the Selection Panel for the selection of nominees for appointment as Members of the National Gender and Equality Commission and revoked the appointment of Rose Ogwang’ Odhiambo (Prof.).
    • Appointment of Peter Kimathi Kinyua to be the Chairperson of the Kenya Forest Service, for a period of one (1) year, with effect from the 28th October 2021.
    • Appointment of Mark Kosgei Chesergon to be the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Kerio Valley Development Authority, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from 28th October, 2021 and revoked the appointment of Andrew Kiplagat (Dr).
    • Appointment of Sara Talaso Bonaya to be the Chairperson of the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from 28th October, 2021.
    • Appointment of Patrick Kiliku Musyoka (Dr.) to be the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the School Equipment Production Unit for a period of three (3) years, with effect from 28th October, 2021.
  • The Cabinet Secretary, Interior and Coordination of National Government has appointed John K. Cheruiyot to be a member of the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse Authority Board, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from 28th October, 2021.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Planning has made the following appointments and revocations where applicable:
    • Revoked the appointment of Ambrose Weda as Chairperson of the Competition Tribunal.
    • Appointed Kenneth Otiso to be a member of the Board of the Consolidated Bank Limited, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from 28th October, 2021.
    • Appointed Serah N. Gathu (Dr.) to be a member of the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from 28th October, 2021.
    • Appointed Muchiri Mithamo to be a member of the Insurance Regulatory Authority, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from 28th October, 2021.
    • Revoked the appointment of Delilah Ngala as a member of the Board of Directors of the Kenya Ports Authority.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works has appointed — Maryan Hajir Abdikadir, Lilian Waithira Muiruri, James Nthiooi Ngomeli, Joseph Mcdonald Oduor, to be members of the Transport Licensing Appeals Board, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from 28th October, 2021.
  • The Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development has re-appointed Jackson Kimuri as a Director of the National Housing Corporation, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from the 27th October, 2021.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives has appointed Johnson Kazungu (Dr.), Delilah Ngala, Thomas Patrick Lumumba Oyua, Kanainza Daisy Nyongesa, to be members of the Board of the Kenya Fishing Industries Corporation, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from the 28th October, 2021.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Co-operatives has appointed Vincent Marube, Silvana Kaparo, Florence M. Hegarty, Kagiri Kamatu, Joseph Mwago, Komora Mabudi Jilo, to be members of the Board of the Kenya Leather Development Council, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from 28th October, 2021.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Co-operatives has appointed David Kimiti Kasirimo to be a member of the National Cereals and Produce Board, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from 28th October, 2021.
  • The Cabinet Secretary Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Co-operatives has re-appointed Moses Merkalel Amoko, Lucky Jemutai Litole, Rose W. Njeru (Dr.), to be members of the Board of Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from 27th October, 2021.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives has appointed Fauzia Arale, James Mithika, to be members of the Board of the Kenya Veterinary Board, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from 28th October, 2021.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries- and Cooperatives has appointed Moses Kiprop (Prof.) to be a member of the Board of the Kenya Veterinary Vaccines Production Institute for a period of three years, with effect front 28th October, 2021.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture Livestock Fisheries and Co-operatives has appointed Ann. W. Wetangula and Robert M. to be members of the SACCO Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) for a period of (3) years with effect from 28th October, 2021.
  • The Cabinet Secretary, Environment and Forestry has appointed Daud G. Yakue to be a member of the Wildlife Research and Training Institute, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from 28th October, 2021.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for East African Community and Regional Development has appointed Abdullahi Mohamed Abdi to be a member of the Coast Development Authority Board for a period of three (3) years, with effect from the 28th October, 2021 and revoked the appointment of Kirigha Mwanyasi.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Energy, has appointed Hassan Mohamud Haji to be a member of the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from 28th October, 2021.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Energy has appointed John Gicamu to be a member of the Geothermal Development Company Limited Board, for a period of three years, with effect from the 28th October, 2021.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development has revoked the appointment of Allen Gichuhi as the Chairperson of the Industrial Property Tribunal.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development has appointed David Nduhiu (Eng.) to be a member of the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute, for a period of three (3) years with effect from 28th October, 2021.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development has appointed Jackson Kemboi to be a member of the Board of the Kenya Investment Authority, for a period of three (3) years with effect from 28th October, 2021 and revoked the appointment of Nyambura Maina.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Labour has appointed Anne Owuor, Isaac Mbingi Okello, Marion Mutugi Peter Mweleli to be Trustees of the National Social Security Fund Board of Trustees, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from the 28th October, 2021.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and the Arts has appointed Omar Osogo, Abdi Aden Korio, Dr. Eric Ogwora, Tony Wainaina to be members of the National Museums of Kenya Board, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from the 28th October, 2021.
  • The Cabinet Secretary, Environment and Forestry has appointed Peter Leitoro, Jane W. Njuguna, Joel K. Laigong, Peter 0. Wandera and Jaswant Singh Rai to be members of the Kenya Forest Service, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from 28th October, 2021.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry has appointed Ebla Haji Aden to be a member of the Kenya Water Towers Agency Board, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from 28th October, 2021.
  • The Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act, 1999, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry has appointed Lul Abdiwahid, Samson Nyangeso, Charles Wambua Mulila, and Shanu B. Abudho, to be members of the National Environmental Management Authority, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from 28th October, 2021.
  • The Attorney-General has made the following appointments and revocations where applicable:
    • Appointed Faraj Mansur to be a member of the Board of Directors of the Business Registration Service Board, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from the 28th October, 2021 and revoked the appointment of James Muriu.
    • Appointed Joseph Mworia Wamutitu to be the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Kenya School of Law, for a period of four (4) years and revoked the appointment of Patrick Kiliku Musyoka (Dr).
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development has appointed Brig. Rtd. John Kibaso Warioba, Yattane Tiziana Duba and Geoffrey Mahinda, to be members of the Board of Directors of the Numerical Machining Complex, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from the 28th October, 2021.

TRADE AND MANUFACTURING SECTOR

  • The Customs and Border Control Department has published a list of goods in the Customs Warehouse Keeper Kilindini, Lokichoggio, and Forodha JKIA and issued a Notice that if they will not be entered and removed from the Warehouse within thirty (30) days they will be sold by public auction on 1st December, 2021.
  • The Kenya Accreditation Service (KENAS) has published a list of Accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies listed in the register of accredited bodies. The detailed scopes of accreditation of the bodies are provided on the Kenya Accreditation Service website at www.kenas.go.ke.
  • The Competition Authority has authorized the following transactions:
    • The proposed acquisition of the Floriculture Business and certain assets of Oserian Development Company Limited by Bohemian Flowers Limited;
    • The proposed acquisition of the 100% partnership interest in Edenvale Developments LLP by the Acorn Student Housing I- REIT.
    • The proposed acquisition of 18% of the shares and sole control in GEMS Africa Limited from CDC Group PLC by Sunny Varkey.
  •  The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority has received claims for unclaimed assets and has published persons claiming as administrators of the estates of deceased persons and agents of the original owners and noted that if no objection has been lodged at the offices of the Authority within thirty (30) days, payment will be made to the aforementioned persons.

JUDICIARY

  • The Chief Magistrate’s Court at Murang’a has given notice that it intends to apply to the Chief Justice/President of the Supreme Court for leave under Rule 3 to destroy various records, books and papers of the Chief Magistrate’s Court at Murang’a after three (3) months.
  • The High Court of Kenya at Malindi has published the following Notices of Petition of liquidation of Xplico Insurance Company Limited presented to the Court 12th October, 2021 and urged any creditor or contributory of the company desirous to support or oppose the making of an order on the said petition may appear at the time of hearing in person or by his advocate for that purpose and a copy of the petition will be furnished by the undersigned to any creditor or contributory of the said company requiring such a copy on payment of regulated charge for the same:
    • A notice by Mhina Mohamed Hamisi and Regina Mateta Peter (legal representatives of the estate of Juma Mhina Mohamed alias Juma Mhina (deceased) and the said petition is directed to be heard before the High Court sitting at Malindi on the 8th November, 2021.
    • A notice by Agnes Luvuno Kiti and Richami Mdudu Mwakamsha (legal representatives of the estate of David Baya Mdudu (deceased) and the said petition is directed to be heard before the High Court sitting at Malindi, on the 8th November, 2021.
    • A notice by Lucy Zosi Charo and Karembo Harrison Thoya (legal representatives of the estate of Tumaini Kenga Ngala (deceased) and the said petition is directed to be heard before the High Court sitting at Malindi, on the 9th November, 2021.
    • A notice by Juma Mwasemu Mwanyae and the said petition is directed to be heard before the High Court sitting at Malindi, on the 9th November, 2021.
    • A notice by the High Court was on the 12th October, 2021, presented to the said court by Stephen Kiplarigat Chelimo and the said petition is directed to be heard before the High Court sitting at Malindi on the 10th November, 2021.
    •  A notice by Bin Amin Hassan (minor suing through father and next fried Hassan Salat Korike) and the said petition is directed to be heard before the High Court sitting at Malindi on the 10th November, 2021.
    • A notice by Chard Yaa Mangi and Kabibi Chard Yaa (legal representatives of the estate of Festus Mangi Yaa (deceased) and the said petition is directed to be heard before the High Court sitting at Malindi on the 11th November, 2021.
    • A notice by Priscilla Sidi Kitsao and the said petition is directed to be heard before the High Court sitting at Malindi on the 11th November, 2021.

LAND AND ENVIRONMENT SECTOR

  •  The Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Co-operatives is in the process of promulgating the Crops (Miraa) Regulations, 2021 and has requested for comments on the Draft Regulatory Impact Statement and The Draft Crops (Miraa) Regulations, 2021. There shall be two public forum meetings on the 18th November, 2021 at Igembe Central, Deputy County Commissioner’s grounds and on the 19th November, 2021 at Mbeere South Deputy County Commissioner’s grounds at 9.00 a.m.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Wildlife and Tourism has declared an amnesty for declaration and registration/permitting of African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus).
Completion of Development Plans

The preparation of the below-mentioned Part Development Plan is complete:

  • PDP Ref No. MIGI33512021101 (Rongo Town)—Existing Site for Royal Medical Hospital.
  •  PDP Ref No. 33212021/23 — Formalization of the Existing Residential Plot.

OTHER SECTORS

  • The Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Heritage has provided a schedule confirming the buildings to be considered to be of historical interest, to be a monument. 
  • The Chairperson, Selection Panel for the Nomination for Appointment of member of the National Gender and Equality Commission, Nairobi has provided a list of all applicants and shortlisted candidates for the position of Member of the National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC).

29th October 2021 Parliamentary Round Up

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

The National Assembly is currently on short recess and will resume on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at 2:30pm.

SENATE

The Senate is currently on short recess and will resume on Tuesday, November 2, 2021, at 2:30pm.

29th October 2021 Trade and Financial Services Round Up 

KENYA

Kenya slides in credit default rules enforcement survey (Source: Business Daily)

Kenya’s failure to enforce rules to reduce credit default risks locking out local and foreign investors in the financial market and reduce the country’s attractiveness for investment, a report has shown.

The Absa Africa Financial Markets Index 2021 shows Kenya lost 29 points in an index that measures enforcement of rules that reduce defaults for commercial and investment banks, scoring 28 out of 100.

The drop saw the country slip four places in the Africa financial market attractiveness survey—to 11th spot from seventh in 2020.

The measure looks at the enforceability of standard financial markets master agreements that help cut risks and create a better investment environment for investors.

Uhuru Kenyatta to lead climate talks at UN conference (Source: Business Daily)

President Uhuru Kenyatta will lead talks on Africa’s crucial role in tackling the climate crisis at the United Nations Climate Conference (COP26) starting in Glasgow, Scotland, next week.

President Kenyatta and Evgeny Lebedev, the British-Russian tycoon owner of the Evening Standard and The Independent newspapers, will convene a side event to discuss the importance of protecting Africa’s carbon-rich natural landscapes.

The event staged by Kenya, The Independent and the international conservation NGO – Space for Giants – will also discuss how private and public sector investment can help preserve crucial carbon sinks.

State eyes record Sh150bn bond sale to clear debt and fund roads (Source: Business Daily)

The government is set to float a record Sh150 billion infrastructure bond next month, whose proceeds will be used to offset debt to contractors and finance the completion of ongoing road projects.

Infrastructure Principal Secretary Paul Mainga said the Treasury, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), and the Attorney-General had approved the sale of the bond.

“The National Treasury and other government agencies have agreed as a matter of urgency that we float a Sh150 billion roads bonds to pay contactors and complete ongoing works,” he told the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Tuesday, 26 October, 2021.

UGANDA

Complaints against financial institutions decline – BoU (Source: The Monitor)

The level of financial service complaints against supervised financial institutions has significantly declined, according to the Bank of Uganda.

In details contained in the Bank of Uganda June 2021 annual report, the Central Bank said complaints against supervised financial institutions had declined by 33.7 per cent compared to a rise in the same period ended June 2020.

“The decline in number of complaints by 33.73 per cent contrasts with a rise of 6.96 per cent, [which] partly reflects the effects of Covid-19 on financial services usage,” said the Central Bank.

Afreximbank’s platform to promote cross-border trade in Africa (Source: The Independent)

The African Export-Import Bank’s new digital Customer Due Diligence (CDD) platform, called Mansa, is set to promote cross-border trade in Africa, says product head Maureen Mba.

Mba, who spoke during the launch of the platform in the East African Community in partnership with the East African Business Council in Kampala on October 20, said 965 businesses have already been uploaded onto the platform consisting of financial institutions, corporates and the Small and Medium Enterprises across Africa.

Some of Uganda’s institutions on the platform include; Absa Bank, dfcu Bank, Cairo Bank, Opportunity Bank, Ecobank, Finance Trust Bank, NCBA Bank and Tropical Bank.

TANZANIA

Tanzania clears its capital arrears in Shelter Afrique (Source: Standard Media)

Tanzania has cleared its capital arrears in Shelter Afrique after paying $407,284.97 (KSh45 million), Pan-African housing development financier has disclosed.

The move increases Tanzania’s shareholding in the company to 1.72 percent, up from 1.54 percent.

Last month, Tanzania paid $2.7 million (about KSh300 million) in capital injection to the firm, increasing its stake in the housing financier.

Uganda, Tanzania to see 60% increase in FDI due to oil – PSFU (Source: The Monitor)

Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU) has said Uganda and Tanzania will see an increase of more than 60 per cent in Foreign Direct Investment just within the construction phase of East African Crude Oil Pipeline project.

Speaking at the launch of the Tanzania-Uganda Oil and Gas symposium due in Dar-es-Salaam, Dr Elly Karuhanga, the PSFU chairman, said the symposium which will run under the enhancing private sector participation in the oil and gas sector, is an undertaking that is expected to see investment in the oil and gas projects total to $20 billion, with the pipeline alone, standing at more than $3.5 billion.

RWANDA

What should feature in a Rwandan business’s data privacy policy? (Source: The New Times)

In a recent attempt to catch up with the rest of the world with respect to personal data and privacy, Rwanda just gazetted Law nº 058/2021 of 13/10/2021 relating to the protection of personal data and privacy.  This law generally establishes the manner in which personal data shall be processed, stored, shared and what rights the data owner has. 

This law requires anyone who wants to collect personal data to seek the affirmative or informed consent of the data owner which may be obtained through an oral, written, or electronic statement or by a clear affirmative action that signifies agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her.

ETHIOPIA

Lacking Coherent Policy USA is Reacting to Media & Human Rights Reports: American Journalists (Source: ENA) 

Threats of economic sanctions of the US administration have come with no real coherent policy but in reaction to media and human rights reports, American journalists said.

The two journalists working at Break Through News (BT) stated that the US policy and its calculation are not understandable.

They cited the threat of America to destroy Ethiopia’s economy by suspending economic partnerships and sanctioning the government over the conflict with the TPLF, adding that “many are surprised that Washington would go to such extreme lengths to alienate and potentially destabilize a long time ally.”

EthSwitch obtains license to integrate Mobile Money Operators (Source: The Reporter Ethiopia)

EthSwitch obtained a license from the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) to integrate mobile money operators. Issued on October 27, 2021, the license is a key step forward in realizing the launch of a unified mobile money platform EthSwitch has been working on for the past year.

“We have secured the go ahead from the central bank,” Marketing and Business Development director at EthSwitch, Fikru Woldetinsae, told The Reporter.

29th October 2021 County Round Up

NAROK COUNTY

  • The Governor has nominated Charles Kipngeno Langat for the position of County Chief Officer Information, Communication and E-Government.

WEST POKOT

  • The Governor has appointed various people to be members of the West Pokot County Executive Committee and others to be County Chief Officers.

EMBU COUNTY

  • The Governor has appointed Mike Edward Njeru as the Chairman of Embu Level 5 Hospital.

TRANS NZOIA COUNTY

  • The Governor has appointed Charles Walioli Wabwoba as County Attorney for Trans Nzoia County Government for a term of six (6) years with effect from the 22nd October, 2021.
  • The Governor has also appointed Andrew Masinde Musungu to be the County Executive Committee Member for Finance and Economic Planning and revoked the appointment of Boniface Wanyonyi Cosmas.

MURANG’A COUNTY

  • Following the resolution of the Murang’a County Assembly on appointment to the position of Clerk to the County Assembly, made on August 11, 2020 and a resolution of the County Assembly Service Board made in its sitting held on June 10.2021, members of County Assembly and staff of the Murang’a County have appointed Mr. Wilson Kuria Thuita as the Clerk of the Murang’a County Assembly, with effect from June 16, 2021.

Global Push to End Fossil Fuel Funding gains Momentum

With COP26 scheduled to begin in Glasgow between October 31 and November 12, over 50 coordinated finance actions have been planned during which demonstrators shall engage in street marches, hold banners, organize projections, street murals, vigils and other kinds of creative demonstrations to demand that financial institutions end all funding for fossil fuels. Instead, financial institutions should direct resources to support the most vulnerable nations tackling the climate crisis, and deliver a rapid, just transition to a fossil free world. To thrive amid the climate crisis, the imperative is not just about stemming the flow of fossil fuel finance, but it should shifting financial flows towards the kind of development that is just prosperous and equitable and safe.

In Africa specifically, there are a series of 11 planned actions, mostly targeting financial institutions and governments. The actions demand that financial institutions develop a fossil fuel exclusion policy that commits to not investing even a single penny into the fossil fuel industry. The fossil fuel industry is planning to invest over $200 billion in the development of new oil and gas in Africa only within the next decade and this will result in about 62 billion tons of carbon emissions across the globe. The ambition remains that the $200 billion to be committed to developing non-renewable energy sources will still be channeled, to clean, renewable energy that is essentially the most needed.

Insights provided by panellists during COP26 Wave of Actions Press Conference 

In anticipation of the COP26 Summit, 350.org and its allies hosted an online press conference on Thursday, October 28. The panel included renowned climate campaigners and organizers from around the world who shared details of the actions, presented their demands to the financial targets, and responded to questions.

Below is a concise summary of the insightful responses provided by the panelists during the Q&A session: 

  • What is the role of banks in the climate crisis?We are targeting financial institutions because they are the institutions that provide the capital and stipulate the terms of engagement on how the economy works. Currently the global economy is mainly driven by extractives and the fossil fuel industries and we believe that if we shift financial flows away from companies that profit off pollution and the accumulation of greenhouse gases, we would have the resources to actually build the kind of world that is safe from pollution and adverse climate change. The most important factor is that all humans collectively thrive. 
  • What are your demands from the banks?We demand that the banks put real action around not just economic analysis and scenario planning, but that they have actionable steps that are stopping the fossil fuel flows, like the financial flows to fossil fuel companies, and making them account for climate risk and disclosure. 
  • As young activists, what changes do you want to see in the global economic model?We want the funding to go in a just and fair system where nobody is left behind and the system which will lead the most affected people and areas to have their common rights and their basic human rights respected. Furthermore, we would like to see development of a new international economic system that gives the Global South the place that it deserves, and recognizes the region as environmental creditors to the Global North, considering the majority of adverse climate change projects originate from the Global North. 
  • What do you expect from the banks in the climate talks at Glasgow? We want a roadmap that aligns and ensures the goal of reducing carbon emissions will mean prioritizing the development of a fossil fuel exclusion policy, guaranteeing that financiers will not offer any funding to owners of oil projects or related infrastructure. The policy for excluding funding to existing fossil fuel projects should account for equality and justice for those primarily affected, and should be achieved within the timelines needed to meet the Paris Agreement alignment. 

The COP26 Summit offers an intriguing opportunity to discern the ambitions of fossil fuel dependent nations and their level of commitment towards achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The willingness and ability to transition towards sustainable and renewable energy sources, especially from the Global North, shall determine the climatic future of our planet.

Stakeholders Add Their Voice to Draft Strategic Plan by Office of the Data Protection Commissioner during Public Participation Forum

A draft strategic plan by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) in Kenya was taken through a validation forum by stakeholders under public participation.

The ODPC and the UK Embassy held a day’s workshop during which the ODPC Draft Strategic Plan (FY 2021/2022- 2023/2024) was subjected to stakeholders’ validation in a hybrid workshop held on Wednesday, October 27, 2021, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel & Resort in Upper Hill, Nairobi, and online via Microsoft Teams. 

Officials from both the Public and the Private Sector attended the workshop to provide valuable input to the Strategic Plan, whose implementation will determine the policy direction in the regulation of personal data in the country. The draft Strategic Plan is expected to provide a roadmap to improve institutional effectiveness and efficiency as relates to personal data protection, as Kenya embarks on its transition into a digital-based economy.

The Strategic Plan was developed in collaboration with financial support from the UK Government through the existing UK-Kenya Strategic Partnership 2020 – 2025 under the Universal Digital Access Pillar.

The Data Protection Commissioner made a presentation focusing on the highlights of the ODPC Strategic Plan. Below is an overview of the presentation:

  • A situational analysis of achievements realised since the inauguration of the ODPC, and the strategic issues that formed the basis for the formulation of the strategic key result areas, strategic objectives and strategies. 
  • The model that will aid the formulation and implementation of the decisions about the ODPC’s future direction in the next three years, putting into consideration the strategic objectives, key result areas, enablers, and the underlying strategic foundation.
  • Key Result Areas (KRAs) are the critical cornerstones that address the strategic challenges identified in realization of ODPC mandate, mission and values. KRAs for the Strategic Plan include:
    • Institutional capacity development – Build the capacity of the data protection institution and promote partnerships to enhance data processing operations;
    • Regulatory services – Establish policy frameworks to safeguard private data; and
    • Awareness creation – Equip stakeholders with adequate information/knowledge on data protection to promote compliance. 
  • Key enablers towards promotion of effective personal Data Protection regime identified within the Strategic Plan: 
    • Legal and policy framework – Progressively develop and review data protection laws to respond to the changing technologies in the processing of personal data.
    • Institutional framework – Establish an efficient organization that is responsive to stakeholders’ expectations in the provision of services. 
    • Partnership and collaboration – Develop and implement a synergistic data protection foundation that realises valuable partnerships and collaborations.
    • Research – Leverage on research to achieve a growing, dynamic and innovative environment able to assimilate and respond to emerging trends and concepts of data protection.
  • Implementation strategies for the Strategic Plan:
    • Phasing and Sequencing: Acknowledging the limited resources available, the ODPC shall prioritize programmes with the greatest contribution and impact to the office’s core mandate.
    • Results based management: The ODPC shall focus on the key outputs and impacts relevant to the needs of the general public, including facilitating quality service delivery.
    • Institutional Strengthening: The ODPC pledges to continuously improve in order to align with the complexity and diversity of data protection programs and emerging issues;
    • Human Resource development: The ODPC envisions a lean but effective staff. Current staff is 12 but ODPC seeks to establish a staff of 222 (118 Technical and 104 Support services);
    • Financial resource development: Kshs 3.612 Billion budget required for implementation of the Strategic Plan;
    • Resource mobilization: Financing options include the Government of Kenya, internally generated income, innovative funding models (i.e.resource mobilization through partnerships, and strategic alliances with key sector players), and support from the international community. 
  • Monitoring and evaluation obligations that shall examine the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability of the strategies on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. 

The second half of the workshop was an open session, providing an opportunity for the physical and virtual stakeholders in attendance to submit their input on the draft Strategic Plan. Below is a summary of the comments, concerns, and queries raised by the various stakeholders:

  • Critical need to ensure the provision of adequate human and financial resources to the ODPC to facilitate and promote data protection laws. Concerns were raised regarding obtaining the necessary budget for the 3 year strategic plan through the proposed funding sources.  
  • Praise for the development of a data protection curriculum in collaboration with the Kenya School of Government.
  • Reservations about the high cost of training ODPC staff, with the alternative solution being hiring data privacy professionals currently practicing in the private sector. 
  • Awareness programmes to focus on educating the public on the redress measures that may be relied upon for breaches of their personal data rights. 
  • Development of registration requirements for public data controllers and data processors. 
  • Explicit recognition of arbitration as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism for data protection disputes to prevent courts from being overwhelmed.

The ODPC is presently receiving written submissions from the public on the draft Strategic Plan via info@odpc.go.ke until close of business Wednesday, November 3, 2021.  

The Next Chapter for the Internet and Online Social Interactions as Facebook Rebrands

Facebook has rebranded to Meta.

In his presentation at the company’s annual Connect conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg detailed how his company aims to build a new version of the Internet stating that, “We are at the beginning of the next chapter for the Internet, and it’s the next chapter for our company too.”

“We believe the metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet, we’ll be able to feel present – like we’re right there with people no matter how far apart we actually are,” he said in the letter.

It is expected that the next platform will be more immersive — an embodied Internet where people will be part of the experience, not just looking at it; thus the defining quality of the metaverse will be a feeling of presence — like you are right there with another person or in another place. Feeling truly present with another person is the ultimate dream of social technology.

Thus, the three key aspects of the metaverse can be summarized as: presence, interoperability and standardization.

  • Presence is the feeling of actually being in a virtual space with virtual others. This sense of presence is achieved through virtual reality technologies such as head-mounted displays.
  • Interoperability means being able to seamlessly travel between virtual spaces with the same virtual assets, such as avatars and digital items.
  • Standardization is what enables interoperability of platforms and services across the metaverse.

The rebranding comes in the wake of criticism from lawmakers to regulators over the company’s market power, algorithmic decisions and the policing of abuses on its service.

According to analysts, while game creators are early adopters of this platform, there is potential for virtual fitness, workplace, education and others to join the bandwagon. 

Notably, the Meta platforms will retain their brand names, that is, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Collaboration is imperative

The metaverse will not be created by one company. It will be built by creators and developers making new experiences and digital items that are interoperable and unlock a massively larger creative economy than the one constrained by today’s platforms and their policies.

Mr Zuckerberg noted that the company’s role in this journey is to accelerate the development of the fundamental technologies, social platforms and creative tools to bring the metaverse to life, and to weave these technologies through social media apps.

In cognition of the importance of privacy and safety, the CEO highlighted the importance of open standards and interoperability. This will require not just novel technical work — like supporting crypto and NFT projects in the community — but also new forms of governance.

What does this mean for the company?

Commercially, according to Reuters, a few hours after the announcement, Meta Platforms rose 1% to $319.95 in premarket trading, after gaining as much as 4.3% on Thursday.

Shares of MetaMaterials, an unrelated company, rose 4.6% to $4.77 in pre-market trading on Friday. The Canadian company is now worth about $1.33 billion, as of current share price.

Notably, the CEO was keen to mention that the primary objective was not commercial but rather the primary premise was to improve service delivery and improve human interaction. As such, Meta’s mission will remain the same- bringing people together.

However, analysts expect the adoption of FB Family strategy, where minimal fees will be charged over time to maximize the creator economy

In his concluding remarks, Mr. Zuckerberg noted that moving forward that the company will first and foremost be identified as Metaverse and then Facebook for purposes of identity.

He finished by stating that, “We have built things that have brought people together in new ways. We’ve learned from struggling with difficult social issues and living under closed platforms. Now it is time to take everything we’ve learned and help build the next chapter.”

As more analysis is expected in due course, we note that the adoption of metaverse will have a significant impact on how businesses operate and deliver services.

As though predictive, in Kenya, vide amendments introduced to the Companies Act in the wake of the Covid pandemic, the Act was amended to adapt, in the definition of general meetings, physical, virtual or hybrid meetings.

The Act now defines a hybrid meeting as “a company general meeting, where some participants are in the same physical location while other participants join the meeting through electronic means including video conference, audio conference, web conference or such other electronic means.”

Since the Act now allows other electronic means, it means that a company may as well hold its general meeting using the metaverse.

Further, in 2020, the High Court allowed all companies listed in the Nairobi Securities Exchange (public companies) which find it impracticable to conduct general meetings in the manner required by their Articles of Association on account of the Covid-19 pandemic to hold virtual meetings.

Now they don’t need a court order to use the metaverse.

That said, it is expected that as the world of technology continues to share social and business interactions, there will be increased regulations and policy being developed to enable the adoption of the forthcoming future- the metaverse! 

Dr Mutunga tests the Executive again

Going by his latest statements, Dr Willy Mutunga’s stint at the Judiciary was a five-year break from activism, for he is right back where he started, with more fire and actions that will test the leadership of the institution he left.

Dr Mutunga has announced his intention to embark on a journey to bring embattled lawyer Dr Miguna Miguna back to Kenya from Canada.

The exiled lawyer has had success in the courts in his fight to have his Kenyan passport reinstated and his re-entry to Kenya facilitated by the Government but has seen little willingness from the current administration to implement the orders.

Dr Mutunga’s journey to bring him back is certain to cause some discomfort but if the Government continues to insist that the lawyer should abide with the regulations demanded of the bureaucracy, there shall be yet another fruitless confrontation.

This week, Dr Mutunga went down another difficult path when he said that judges ought to go on strike to protest against the President’s refusal to swear in six judges that the court has ordered him to appoint.

The President has refused to appoint the judges and the Attorney General has appealed against the decision of the High Court.

This in essence buys Chief Justice Martha Koome more time as the challenge for her would be whether she chooses to take the path pointed out by the High Court bench that she can swear in the judges if the President refuses to appoint them.

The Chief Justice indicated the direction her leadership would take when she led the 34 judges the President appointed to their swearing-in at State House.

She has also criticized the call by Dr Mutunga, describing in a press statement as “regrettable incitement meant to disrupt access to justice for Kenyans.”

“I urge Judges to disregard this pernicious call and focus on the progressive reforms that we have committed to pursue, central to which is finding mechanisms to reduce case backlog,” she said.

She also indicated the route she would take, suggesting “constructive dialogue” rather than the confrontational approach favoured by activists. The Chief Justice also criticised Dr Mutunga’s approach, pointing out that he was critical of two Supreme Court judges when they were said to have downed their tools in his time in charge, and in fact proceeded to push for their removal from office.

The Chief Justice’s approach to handling the issue will be critical and important because it establishes how the Judiciary relates with the Executive over the time she will be in charge, including the forthcoming General Election.

29th October Political and Regulatory Round Up

KENYA

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD AS TRIBUNAL CANCELS BALLOT TENDER

The electoral commission has suffered a blow in its preparations for the 2022 elections after the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board issued the notice blocking the IEBC from awarding the contract for the supply and delivery of ballot papers and election result forms.

This was after Shailesh Patel T/A Africa Infrastructure Development Company made an application for a review on how the tender was awarded to a Greek firm- Inform Lykos (HELLAS) S.A who beat twelve firms to emerge as the lowest bidder. The commission led by Wafula Chebukati, following an evaluation process, settled on Greece-based Inform Lykos (HELLAS) S.A at 7,172,850 Euros (about Sh925 million) at the exchange rate of Sh129.

In the application to the board, the complainant claimed the award to Inform Lykos was unlawful and did not meet requirements of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act and as such was unfair and uncompetitive.

Africa Infrastructure Development says the respondents provided a grossly restrictive qualification and evaluation criteria in the tender documents, which comprised mandatory requirements to be met by all bidders. The applicant also contends that the respondents contravened section 60 (10) of the public procurement law by failing to prepare clear and specific requirements relating to 40 per cent local content in the tender.

The applicant argues that the respondents failed to give a correct and complete description of application of the 40 per cent local content and that allows for fair and open competition among those who may wish to participate in the procurement proceedings.

Further, the applicant is aggrieved by the respondents’ failure to comply with the obligations under procurement law and the Constitution. Inform Lykos is located in Koropi, Greece and is part of the Printing and Related Support Activities Industry.

YOUTH APATHY HAMPERING VOTER REGISTRATION 

The deadline for voter registration is fast approaching in what will be one of the most competitive Presidential elections in Kenya’s history. 

As at 27th October, the Commission had registered a total of 800,462 new voters out of the Commission’s projected target of 4.5 million. Further, the Commission has serviced a total of 125,266 transfer requests from the existing voters.

According to reports, most youths were demanding handouts before they registered as voters. Lack of National Identification cards has also been cited for low voter registration.

Even as politicians continue to traverse the country calling on citizens to register using different tactics, it is clear that the Commission will most likely not meet its 6 million target by the said deadline. For instance, in the populous Mt Kenya region with over 5 million registered voters currently and now viewed as a swing vote region, new voters have largely shunned the exercise with figures from the IEBC showing that all the counties were below a tenth of the targeted numbers.

Regardless, the Commission has been categorical in its statement that it will not be extending the deadline owing to lack of funds. 

After November 2nd, we will not have money to extend the voter registration exercise. The commission can only afford to conduct mass registration for 30 days,” said Chebukati during a meeting with the Parliamentary Committee on Budget and Appropriations Committee. He further stated that after November 2nd the Commission will be engaged in auditing the voter register which will take up an extra Sh1.3 billion and to meet other expenses.

The electoral body is seeking Sh40.9 billion for next year’s elections with Sh 5.3 billion being allocated to ICT and Sh. 5.9 billion to ballot papers. This is exceptionally high when compared to other countries such as Rwanda which use normal paper for its ballots. 

However, owing to the general mistrust that exists in the electoral process, perhaps this is justifiable. 

That said, many, especially the politicians, will be watching to see IEBC’s final count as they draw up their campaign strategies.

UNPACKING THE PETROLEUM PRODUCTS’ (TAXES & LEVIES) (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2021

To address the concerns raised as pertains the soaring fuel prices, the Kenyan business community submitted petitions to the Government in September 2021 seeking a resolution and aid of some form. The Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning were directed to consider the petitions and were expected to present a report along with a draft Bill proposing legislative interventions. 

The resulting Petroleum Products (Taxes and Levies) (Amendment) Bill, 2021 has now been published and it outlines the measures recommended to meet the tumultuous situation the country is experiencing. The proposals include:

  • Amendments to the Energy Act by introducing a Sixth schedule to aid in governance of petroleum pricing. Additionally, the Bill amends amends Section 198 of the Act by introducing new subsections which give the Cabinet Secretary powers to regulate the pricing.
  • Revocation of LN 196/ 2010 Energy (Petroleum Pricing) Regulations, 2010 which have now been moved to the Sixth Schedule of the Energy Act, 2019.
  • Amendments to the petroleum pricing formula by:
    • Restricting the maximum allowed margins to KES 9.00 from the current amount of KES 12.00.
    • Restricting the maximum allowed operational losses in the pipeline and the depot to 0.01%. 
      • The proposed reduction of the Oil Marketing Companies (OMC’s) margins by 25% from KES 12.00 to KES 9.00 and the restriction of allowable losses in the pipeline & depots to 0.01% will reduce the price of fuel in the country. On the other hand, however, the reduction of the OMC’s margins by 25% could have a tremendous negative effect on the economy and other players in the industry. This is mainly because, OMC’s use a three-pronged approach which engages the whole chain of the petroleum industry.
  • The Bill proposes to amend Section 10 of the Excise Duty Act providing for inflation adjustment on excisable goods attracting specific rate of excise duty by amending the Excise Duty inflation adjustment period from one year to two years.
  • The Bill also proposes to exempt Motor Spirit (gasoline) premium, Illuminating Kerosene, Gas oil (automotive, light amber for high-speed engines) and Diesel oil (industrial heavy, black, for low-speed marine and stationery engines) from the periodic inflationary adjustments.
  • The Bill proposes to anchor the payment of the petroleum development levy into the Petroleum Development Fund Act on all fuels consumed in Kenya. Currently the Minister levies this charge through an order in the Kenya Gazette. This proposed amendment in the Petroleum Development Fund Act engrains the levy in the substantive Act and necessitate Parliamentary oversight.
  • The Bill also proposes to provide for establishment of the Petroleum Development Fund consisting of moneys appropriated by the Parliament and monies received in respect of the Petroleum Development Levy. The amendment further proposes to set the purposes for which the levy shall be used for. These are;
    • Matters relating to the development of the oil industry.
    • Development of common petroleum facilities for distribution/testing of oil products.
    • Stabilization of local pump prices in instances of spikes occasioned by high landed costs above a threshold determined by the Authority.Furthermore, the Bill also proposes to give the Cabinet Secretary power to request for a draw down from the fund to stabilize local petroleum pump prices where he deems it necessary.
  • The Bill proposes the establishment of a Petroleum Development Advisory Board whose main function would be to regulate the withdrawals from the fund. The Advisory Board shall consist of representatives from offices of the Cabinet Secretaries responsible for Finance, Energy, Petroleum and a representative of the Energy & Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA).
  • This Bill proposes to revoke the Petroleum Development Levy Orders, 2020; Legal Notice No.124/2020 and Legal Notice No. 174/2020 to move them from Subsidiary pieces of legislation and engrain them into the Act. 
  • The Bill also proposes to reduce the levy from KES 5.40 per litre to KES 2.90 per litre
  • The Bill proposes to reduce the VAT applicable to petroleum products from 8% to 4% and the VAT applicable to liquified petroleum gas from 16% to 8%

A majority of the proposals are welcome as they will overall reduce the cost of living. However, they may adversely impact the petroleum and oil industry and as such stakeholders will be keen to see how, if at all, a balance will be struck. 

Highlights of the National Tax Payer Day 2021: “Pamoja Twaweza”
  • During his term as President, ordinary revenue has more than doubled, rising from Ksh.707 billion in FY 2011/12, to Ksh 1.669 trillion in FY 2020/21 which represents a growth of 136%. 
  • The 2021 figure of Ksh.1.669 trillion in FY 2020/21 meant that KRA had surpassed its target with a surplus of Ksh 16.8 billion, representing a revenue growth of 3.9% compared with the previous Financial Year.
  • There are 19.6 million registered voters in Kenya while the number of active individual taxpayers currently stands at about 6 million.
  • Kenyans should take advantage of the ongoing Voluntary Tax Disclosure Programme and benefit from the full waiver of interest and penalties. So far, over 393 taxpayers have applied and through this initiative Ksh. 2billion have been collected.

On Friday, October 29, 2021, the Kenya Revenue Authority hosted President Kenyatta and other dignitaries at Safari Park Hotel to celebrate the National Taxpayers Day 2021. Also present was Commissioner -General Githii Mburu, the Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Planning Ukur Yatani and other KRA Commissioners.

In his welcoming remarks, CS Ukur Yatani noted that there are positive signs of economic recovery, beginning with improved revenue performance of above target by Ksh 16.7 billion in the last 3 months translating to annual revenue growth of 26.8 percent.

In his speech, President Uhuru Kenyatta saluted all the taxpayers who have discharged their civic duty by paying their rightful tax dues. He also noted that during his term, ordinary revenue has more than doubled, rising from Ksh.707 billion in FY 2011/12, to Ksh 1.669 trillion in FY 2020/21 which represents a growth of 136%. The 2021 figure of Ksh.1.669 trillion in FY 2020/21 meant that KRA had surpassed its target with a surplus of Ksh 16.8 billion, representing a revenue growth of 3.9% compared with the previous Financial Year.

The President added that improved revenue collection is an integral part of the government’s strategy for building back better and that the Government will spare no effort in facilitating tax reforms geared at mobilizing revenues for inclusive national development. He especially pointed out that there are 19.6 million registered voters in Kenya while the number of active individual taxpayers currently stands at about 6 million. He stated that expanding the tax base is key to bring Kenya to her destiny of a fair, just, inclusive and equitable nation as well as to fuel the nation’s quest to improve infrastructure, service delivery, and access to public goods. 

He urged all Kenyans to take advantage of the ongoing Voluntary Tax Disclosure Programme and benefit from the full waiver of interest and penalties. So far, over 393 taxpayers have applied and through this initiative Ksh.2billion have been collected.

He also stated that Kenya is now benefitting from the Multilateral Convention on Administrative Assistance on Tax Matters, which took effect on 1 st January 2021 which enables Kenya to exchange information on tax with over 130 Jurisdictions, in support of its fight against tax evasion and illicit financial flows. He finished his speech by urging all to embrace the KRA’s motto “Tulipe Ushuru, Tujitegemee”.

ETHIOPIA

According to reports from BBC Tigrinya the latest airstrike on the capital of Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, Mekelle, has killed six people – including three children – and wounded at least 27 others.

Federal forces have been conducting aerial bombardments on the city for more than a week as part of its year-long war with Tigrayan rebels.

This was the sixth airstrike on Mekelle, which has a population of more than 500,000, since last week.

The authorities in Addis Ababa say they were targeting an industrial plant that’s being used by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in its war efforts.

The federal government considers the TPLF a terrorist organisation, though the group says it is the legitimate government of the region, having won local elections there in 2020.

Meanwhile, the head of the International Red Cross (ICRC) has called for an urgent political solution to bring to an end the war in Ethiopia’s northern region on Tigray, as heavy fighting continues to be reported near the strategic city of Dessie.

The situation continues to be tense now out of reach by humanitarian agencies as well after the United Nations suspended all flights to the regional capital of the Tigray region after government air raids forced a humanitarian flight to abort landing in Mekelle earlier in the week.

Owing to the continued instability and instances of human rights violations the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC has delayed the disbursement of a $500million (Sh53.97 billion) loan to finance the entry of the Safaricom-led consortium which received a telecommunications operator licence in Ethiopia in July this year after incorporating a local company, setting the stage for Kenya’s largest telco to start operations in the market of over 100 million people.

The conflict has kept investors on edge, even as it triggered a hunger crisis, leaving millions of people in need of humanitarian aid.

SUDAN

Since the military dissolved the civilian government and arrested the country’s leaders at least 170 people have been injured, and seven persons died following protests that erupted on 25 October, according to the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) and Doctors’ Committee.

According to Reuters, Gen Burhan has said Monday’s coup was justified to avoid “civil war” and that the detained prime minister will be returned to his home on Tuesday. Earlier, he sought to justify the takeover by blaming political infighting.

Both domestic and internal flights out of Khartoum have been suspended and roadblocks have been set up across the city limiting movement. Internet networks are mostly down across the country. In other parts of Sudan, the situation is calm, with some reports of demonstrations but no major incidents. One of the main operators, Zain, is working sporadically with most phone lines down.

Central Bank staff have reportedly gone on strike, and across the country doctors are said to be refusing to work in military run hospitals except in emergencies.

The US has joined the UK, EU, UN and African Union, of which Sudan is a member, in demanding the release of political leaders who are now under house arrest.

Gen Burhan, who was head of the power-sharing council, has however stated that Sudan was still committed to the transition to civilian rule, with elections planned for July 2023.

KEPSA and Stakeholder hold Consultative Forum on National REDD+ Strategy and Investment Plan

The private sector alliance (KEPSA) collaborated with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and UNDP in the organisation of the REDD+ strategy consultation forum that took place at Nyali Sun Africa Beach Resort, Mombasa, on Tuesday, October 19, 2021.  The regional consultation forums were organised for the dissemination of the Kenya Readiness Strategy on Reducing Emissions from Forest Degradation and Deforestation (REDD+) as well as adding the private sector voice to the Forest Investment Plan for reduction of emissions through REDD+ initiatives in Kenya.

As a developing country aiming to benefit from the REDD+ programme through forest conservation, Kenya submitted a Forest Reference Level to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2020 based on data and methods developed in the ongoing National Forest Monitoring System. This strategy has been built on existing REDD+ documents providing a framework of scaling up REDD+ mechanism for a results-based payment programme in conservation and forest-based actions.  It lays a foundation for a Forest Investment Plan (FIP) for the country.

The KEPSA Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Ms.  Martha Cheruto, in her opening remarks, expounded on the alignment of the REDD+ initiative with KEPSA’s strategic pillar of sustainability and public private dialogues on sustainable use of the environment, water and natural resources.  The private sector is key in supporting the Government of Kenya on green growth, circular economy, sustainability and forest conservation while ensuring that economic development is in line with people, planet and prosperity tenets.

Ms. Evelyne Koech, the UNDP team leader on Environment and Resilience, said that UNDP is supporting Kenya through the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to comply with International Standards on Forestry in Kenya.

Mr.  Patrick Twala, the UNPD Safeguard Specialist, provided an overview of the REDD+ as an opportunity for the private sector, especially the small and micro-enterprises to benefit from sustainable business practices. REDD+ is a large-scale payment for ecosystem services aimed at reducing the emission from forest degradation and deforestation while enhancing carbon stocks.  It is in line with Kenya’s constitutional requirement for the attainment of 10% tree cover.

Mr. Twala further elaborated on the consultations that have informed the development of the REDD+ strategy in Kenya including input from Forest Society of Kenya, the Private Sector Regional Forums in Kisumu and Eldoret.   From Mombasa, the engagement will take place in Nyeri and Nairobi.

The forum was attended by private sector members from Environment Institute of Kenya (EIK), Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), Kilifi Plantations, Green by Choice, Agribusiness’ Academy, Kentaste, UNDP Team, county governments  and the KEPSA Team.

Hope for Improved ICT Infrastructure after High Court Orders Implementation of Initiatives to Aid Access to Justice

Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) has for years now been an enabler of Kenya’s economy and development.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020, the government looked at ICT to provide various solutions given that the Ministry of Health had laid out various measures including social distancing, working from home and avoidance of public gatherings as much as possible to combat the spread of Covid-19. 

The Ministry of ICT appointed a Covid-19 ICT Advisory Committee through Gazette Notice No. 3236 on April 21, 2020, to coordinate ICT specific responses to the effects of the pandemic in Kenya.

The courts were not left behind in employing ICT solutions to ensure Kenyans got justice while avoiding public gatherings. In order to mitigate the effect of the pandemic on the Judicial system, the then Chief Justice, Justice David Maraga, instituted the Electronic Case Management Practice Directions, 2020. The Electronic Case Management Practice Directions form part of the Judiciary’s digital strategy under the ‘Sustaining Judiciary Transformation (SJT) Agenda 2017-2021. 

The directions proclaim that in every judicial proceeding, the court and the parties to the case shall employ the use of technology to expedite the proceedings and make them more efficient. However, the directions also accomodate the use of an alternative technology or approve manual filing of any document in the instance a court cannot access any form of electronic media. 

Despite the efforts of the Judiciary to continue administering the law in the midst of a pandemic, the Electronic Case Management Practice Directions have inadvertently engendered undesirable consequences. 

This eventually precipitated the institution of a petition before the Constitutional and Human Rights Division of the High Court in November 2020. The petitioners claimed that the Covid-19 relief measures adopted by the Chief Justice and the National Council on the Administration of Justice had violated the right to access justice and a fair trial. The claim emanated from the entrenchment of an electronic judicial system without the necessary initiatives to cover the indignant and self-representing litigants and to assist them to overcome the constraints of technology in access to justice. Specifically, the petitioners sought orders made for the reinstitution of physical court proceedings as well reopening of court registries. 

The judgement rendered last week Thursday, October 14, 2021, ordered Chief Justice Martha Koome to implement initiatives and programmes, within 90 days, that will ensure access to the courts and services by members of the public and advocates.  The court ruling recognises the former Chief Justice’s speech in July 2021, which called for the establishment of IT support centres at Judicial stations to serve indigent persons who cannot afford fees charged by cyber cafes.  

As Kenya contends with the shift from manual processes, the common Wananchi should not remain an afterthought as seen with the courts. In an increasingly digitized world, access to ICT infrastructure and services is contending to be a crucial human right, critical to the holistic improvement of the quality of life for the average Kenyan.  

That’s why, in August 2020, the Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs developed the revolutionary National Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Policy Guidelines, 2020. The policy sets forth to facilitate universal access to ICT infrastructure and services all over the country. In particular, the policy strives to ensure every Kenyan has access to reliable, affordable, high-speed broadband connectivity, and that Internet access is available everywhere, all the time to everybody and everything via mobile phone, Wi-Fi, cable and other means. 

Despite its ambitious goals, the policy remains cognizant of the challenges of unequal investment and access to ICTs in unserved and underserved areas within Kenya. The challenges manifest in the form of:

  • Inadequate underlying Internet access infrastructure;
  • Lack of consumer readiness (Digital literacy) – Internet penetration currently at 40% of total population (21.75 million Internet users, mostly residing in urban populations);
  • Lack of access to affordable broadband connectivity, and gadgets and devices; and
  • Content and Services – the user interfaces and experiences designed for Internet content and services are not fully compatible with older mobile devices and operating systems. 

The Internet in Kenya is primarily accessed through mobile devices (74.2% through mobile devices and 24.7% via personal computers). Unfortunately, the nature of content and services accessible via mobile devices and the lack of high-speed broadband connectivity, especially availability of 4G spectrum, has marginalised Kenya’s rural population from benefiting from the current efforts made towards universal access. Initiatives such as the provision of E-citizen services, since August 2014, have been marred with concerns over digital exclusion of rural populations despite offering over 350 government services and serving 27.2 million unique customers. 

These challenges were compounded by the onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic, which promulgated a momentous shift towards the reliance on digitised services as public gatherings posed elevated health risks. 

Judiciary wields the only tools it has

The relationship between the Executive and the Judiciary is seen in some quarters to have soured starting September 2017 when the Supreme Court annulled the re-election of President Kenyatta.

That moment woke the current administration to the magnitude of the choices made in not only the leadership of the Judiciary, but the impact of years of reforms initially initiated by former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga.

The years following have featured “fights” between the two arms of Government. The Executive’s tools have been the National Assembly, through which the Judiciary’s budget has been reduced, resulting in complaints by former Chief Justice David Maraga. The Chief Justice also often felt slighted by the Executive, with his relationship with the President deteriorating to the point he complained that his calls would go unanswered and that his official vehicle had not been replaced or repaired.

The Judiciary has in turn wielded the tools at hand – the Constitution and the statutes as well as the State Law Office’s apparent weakness – to full effect. The latest blow came from the three judges who considered a petition by the Katiba Institute over the President’s powers in the appointment of judges. In ruling that the inaction of the President 14 days after nominee judges are submitted for his appointment renders him needless, the judges effectively paved the way for the Judiciary to have ultimate control of the appointment of judges.

On his final lap, President Kenyatta is juggling many balls

From now onwards, every public holiday whose celebrations he presides over will be labelled President Uhuru Kenyatta’s last, and as the end of his term draws closer, the expectations grow heavier.

He spent the most of his Mashujaa Day speech outlining the things done over the last nine years and making more pledges that he plans to fulfill before his time at the helm is over.

Among the most substantive is the promise to reduce the price of electricity by 30 per cent before December and the KSh. 26 billion package to stimulate economic growth. The lifting of the curfew is the first of this as it means that areas that operated for 24 hours, such as the value chain around the entertainment sector, can go back to operating at full throttle, albeit with the threat of a resurgence in Covid-19 cases lurking.

He will be juggling several important things at the same time.

First, politics. Although he has not identified a favourite successor, his actions, and those of the people around him, point at Handshake partner Raila Odinga.

Mr Odinga has not expressly stated his intention to seek the presidency, but has all but said it in action. He has been making forays into the Central Kenya region supported by independents such as former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo, as well as pro-Kenyatta politicians such as Kiambu Governor James Nyoro, Dennis Waweru, Rachel Shebesh and Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi.

Mr Odinga’s allies are confident that he has the backing of the powers that be and the bureaucracy, but know that he is behind Deputy President William Ruto in most opinion polls. This means that he not only must work hard but also consider other factors and areas that can enable him to meet the threshold. 

Second for President Kenyatta is the raft of deliverables, many of which require radical action – such as the promise to reduce the cost of power – and others speedy policy and legislation at a time MPs are more focused on their re-election rather than making tough decisions.

22nd October 2021 County Round Up

KAJIADO COUNTY

A special sitting shall be held at the Kajiado County Assembly Chambers on Tuesday,  October 26, 2021 at 10.00a.m., for purposes of tabling and consideration of the Narok Kajiado Economic Block Bill 2021.

VIHIGA COUNTY

There shall be a special sitting/Bunge Mashinani of the County Assembly to be held on Monday, October 25, 2021, at Luanda, Mumboha Church of God in East Africa (Kenya) in Luanda Sub-County, at 9.30 a.m. The business to be transacted shall be the Debate on conferment of Luanda Sub-County into a Municipality pursuant to Section 9 of the Urban Areas and Cities Act, 2011.

NAROK COUNTY

A special sitting of the County Assembly shall be held in the Assembly Chambers, Narok, on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 from 9.30 a.m., for purposes of tabling of the Narok County Narok — Kajiado Economic Bloc Bill, 2021, and the Narok County Supplementary Budget Estimates I of the Financial year 2021/2022 and consideration of the County Budget Review Outlook Paper 2021 and the Narok County Annual Development Plan 2022-2023.

KIAMBU COUNTY

The Kiambu County Jiinue Fund Regulations, 2021 has been published and can be accessed on the County Government website www.kiambu.go.ke or at the County Government Offices in Kiambu town.

22nd October 2021 Kenya Gazette Review

Senate Bills, 2021

  • The Employment (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
PUBLIC SECTOR
  • The Attorney-General, in consultation with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has issued Guidelines to Assist Public and Private Entities in the Preparation of Procedures for the Prevention of Bribery and Corruption.
  • The Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK) notified the general public that a Regulatory Impact Statement on the proposed Engineers (Scale of Fees for Professional Engineering Services) Rules, 2021, has been prepared to assess the impact of the rules on the public. The main purpose of the rules is to provide a framework for determining the fees to be charged by professional engineers and firms for professional engineering services rendered.
LAND AND ENVIRONMENT SECTOR 

Completion of Development Plan

  • PDP Ref No. MlG133512021101 (Rongo Town)—Existing Site for Royal Medical Hospital.

The national government through the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning and the Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) completed the revision of the Konza Technopolis Phase 1 Action Area Plan on 6th October, 2021. The Action Area Plan relates to part of land registered under L. R. No. 121004, also known as Konza Technopolis, located along Mombasa Road, within Machakos County.

Environmental Impact Assessment Study Report

Lakeside Limited proposes to construct a mining and tailing/ore processing plant which will process gold from tailing remains from colonial gold mining as well as from the ore that will be mined on the same plot and elsewhere within the Mining License area on a 7.1 ha piece of land. The gold ore will be mined using semi-mechanised methods with drilling and blasting. The development on the plot will consist of a concrete base where the CIP gold leaching plant will be mounted, crusher plant, CIP plant, tailings storage area, temporary structures for offices, warehouse, general store, laboratory, engineering workshop, light fuel storage system, power substation, shade for security guards, kitchen and washrooms.

FINANCIAL SERVICES SECTOR
  • The Registrar High Court gives notice to Abdi Mohamed Ali and Saadia Sheikh Osman, that the High Court has issued Forfeiture Orders.
  • The Assets Recovery Agency Director gives notice to Peter Mugi Kamau & another that the High Court has issued preservation orders.
TRADE & MANUFACTURING SECTOR

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority has published a list of applicants for various air service licences.

22nd October 2021 Parliamentary Round Up

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

Communication from the Speaker

Hon. Moses Cheboi (Deputy Speaker, Kuresoi North MP) found that the Committee on Health fell slightly short of the standards required. The committee did not invite the public to participate in its consideration of the Bill.

Questions

Hon. Feisal Bader (Msambweni MP) directs a question to the CS for Petroleum and Mining

  • Could the CS provide details and the amount of royalties collected by the government since the enactment of the Mining Act 2016?
Petitions

The Speaker’s Office has received a Petition signed by  five  representatives  of  livestock  producers  and  animal  feed  manufactures  on  behalf  of  the Broiler World Co-operative Society Limited, the Association of Kenya Animal Feed Manufacturers, Kiambu Poultry Co-operative Society, Pig Producers and Githunguri Co-operative Society Limited, among other stakeholders. The Petitioners have raised concerns regarding what they describe as unprecedented rise in prices of animal feeds in the country. They claim that the increase has been occasioned by policy gaps that have resulted in low production of plant-based animal feed components extracted from soya beans, sunflower and cotton, among others in the country.

Motions
  • The House resolves  to  extend  the  period  for  consideration  of  the  nominees  submitted  by  His Excellency  the  President  for  appointment  as  members  of  the  Ethics  and  Anti-Corruption Commission by a period of fourteen (14) days from 26th October, 2021.
  • The House  resolves  to  extend  the period for consideration of the nominees submitted by the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Planning  for  appointment  as  members  of  the  Privatisation Commission and the Competition Authority of Kenya by a period of 14 days from 6th November, 2021.
  • The  House  adopted  the  Report  of  the  Departmental  Committee  on Transport,  Public  Works  and  Housing  on  the  Ratification  of  the  Bilateral  Air Services  Agreements  between  the  Republic  of  Kenya  and  the  Republic  of  South Africa; and between the Republic of Kenya and the Republic of Botswana, laid on the  Table  of  the  House  on  Tuesday,  28th  September,  2021.
  • The House adopted the Report of the Departmental Committee on  Transport,  Public  Works  and  Housing  on  the  Ratification  of  the  Bilateral  Air Services  Agreement  between  the  Government  of  the  Republic  of  Kenya  and  the Government of the Russian Federation, laid on the Table of the House on Thursday, 30th September 2021.
Bills

Committee of the whole House 

  • The Trustees (Perpetual Succession) (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 23 of 2021). 

Third Reading

  • The Central Bank of Kenya (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 10 of 2021).
  • The Trustees (Perpetual Succession) (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 23 of 2021).
Progress Reported

Hon. David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East MP) submitted the progress report into the inquiry of the various variants in cost of purchasing power by Kenya Power (KP) from KenGen and Independent Power Producers(IPPs).

The National Assembly adjourned until Tuesday 2nd November 2021 at 2:30pm.

SENATE

Motion

Kirinyaga Senator Charles Reubenson Kibiru moved a motion on adoption of the report of the standing committee on Finance and Budget on status of Kenya stock of public debt.

Bills ‘

Second Reading

The Senate has approved Second Reading of the following eight Bills:

  • The Disaster Risk Management Bill (Senate Bills No. 14 Of 2021)
  • The Kenya Citizenship and Immigration (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 33 Of 2021)
  • The Law Of Succession (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 15 Of 2021)
  • The Public Private Partnerships Bill (National Assembly Bills No. 6 Of 2021)
  • The Immigration Amendment Bill (Senate Bill) No.33 of 2021)
  • The Health (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 26 Of 2020)
  • The County Boundaries Bill, (Senate Bills No. 20 Of 2021)
  • The Lifestyle Audit Bill (Senate Bills No. 36 Of 2021)

Committee of the Whole House:

  • The Disaster Risk Management Bill (Senate Bills No. 14 Of 2021)
  • The Public Private Partnerships Bill (National Assembly Bills No. 6 Of 2021)

Third Reading

The Senate has approved the following Bills for Third Reading:

  • The Disaster Risk Management Bill (Senate Bills No. 14 Of 2021)
  • The Public Private Partnerships Bill (National Assembly Bills No. 6 Of 2021)
  • The Health (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 26 Of 2020)
  • The County Boundaries Bill, (Senate Bills No. 20 Of 2021)
  • The Office Of The County Printer Bill (Senate Bills No. 13 Of 2021)
  • The Investment Promotion (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bills No. 2 0f 2021)

The Senate adjourned until Tuesday 2nd November 2021 at 2:30pm.

22nd October 2021 Trade and Financial Services Round Up

KENYA

Auditor queries CBK law breach over board members (Source: Business Daily)

Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu has once again raised concerns over Central Bank of Kenya’s (CBK) legal breach operating with seven instead of 11 directors and the absence of a second deputy governor.

Ms Gathungu said in her latest CBK audit report for the year ended June 30, 2021, the banking regulator has four non-executive directors despite the law demanding that President Uhuru Kenyatta appoints eight of the board members.

She said there has been no amendment to the Central Bank Act to provide for the reduction in the number of directors or deputy governors adding that CBK was therefore in breach of the law. It is the second time the CBK is being faulted for the quorum breach.

The Auditor-General raised the query previously in the audited books of the CBK for the year ending June 2020.

State barred from halting Sh4 billion WB-backed tenders (Source: Business Daily)

The High Court has barred the government from cancelling a Sh4 billion World Bank-funded tender for the construction of classrooms and toilets in 30 counties.

Justice James Makau held that three firms, which were part of the 26 construction companies that participated and won the tender last year, had made a case against the government, with chances of success.

The companies including Samaha Company Ltd, Columbia Developers and Pacific General Works Ltd, argued that the government refused to formally sign the contracts, nearly one year after they were submitted.

Through lawyer Gad Ouma, the companies argued that they won the Sh4 billion tender for the construction of classrooms, laboratories and toilets in selected secondary schools in marginalised areas.

KCB agrees to waive Sh430m penalties on NCPB loan default (Source: Business Daily)

KCB Group has agreed to waive Sh430 million in interest penalties the lender slapped the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) for defaulting on a loan.

The National Assembly’s Agriculture Committee heard that the bank had also committed to temporarily freeze interest chargeable on the Sh3.6 billion loan with effect from July 1, 2021.

The cash-strapped NCPB used its assets as collateral to secure a Sh3.6 billion loan to finance part of the fertiliser subsidy in the year to June 2017, but failed to repay.

MPs reject State bid to control hospital charges (Source: Business Daily)

Parliament has rejected a government-backed Bill that sought to control medical bills and doctors’ fees after health sector lobbies protested that their views had not been taken into account.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi said Thursday that the Committee on Health did not show proof that it considered views from stakeholders and reasons for ignoring their input.

Under the Health (Amendment) Bill, 2021, hospital charges were to be determined and capped by an 11-member council that included the Principal Secretary for Health, the Attorney-General and a representative of the Council of Governors.

This would have seen hospital charges join fuel on the list of essential services that are controlled by the government in the push to make basic items affordable.

Civil society groups back Uhuru snub of Biden tax plan (Source: Business Daily)

Civil society groups have hit out at US President Joe Biden administration’s push for a global minimum rate of tax on multinational companies saying the deal as currently structured will not ensure equity in taxation of multinational firms – a position echoed by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration.

The Tax Justice Network, a group campaigning for transparency criticized the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), for failing to live up to the “original ambition” of the plan, and said that the watered down measures mean that only a “sliver of the profits” of multinationals will become taxable, while incentives to shift profits remain sizable.

UGANDA

Govt to conduct budget review, releases UGSh 5.8 trillion (Source: Daily Monitor)

The Government of Uganda has said it will conduct a budget review that will result in shifting funds to priority sectors of the economy.

While releasing about UGSh 5.8 trillion for the second quarter of the 2021/22 financial year, Mr Ramathan Ggoobi, the Ministry of Finance permanent secretary and secretary to the Treasury, said the release for the 2021/22 second quarter had prioritised health and social protection, agriculture and industry, governance, Uganda Revenue Authority, Judiciary and Legislation.

For instance, he said, out of the total release, UGSh 294.69 billion will go to health institutions and social protection, with UGSh 120.73 billion going to National Medical Stores to procure essential medicines while UGSh 42.45 billion will go to support ministries of Health, Gender, Labour and Social Development.

Five companies issued with electronic money license (Source: Daily Monitor)

Bank of Uganda has licensed five more companies to conduct digital and electronic payments under the new National Payment System law.

The five join MTN and Airtel, which were separately issued with Payment Systems Operator and Payment Service Provider licences in May.

The National Payment System Act, implemented under the National Payment Systems Regulations, seeks to streamline operations of electronic operators.

The five companies include issuers of payment instruments and trust fund operators. Ms Charity Mugumya, the Bank of Uganda director communications, yesterday told Daily Monitor that the five brings the number to seven of companies that have so far been licensed under the National Payment Systems Act.

TANZANIA

Mansa digital platform to boost SMEs in EAC (Source: The Citizen)

Arusha. Mansa digital platform will enable companies and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to trade confidently across Africa. This will cut down the transaction cost of trading under the African Continental Free Trading Area (AfCFTA) with a huge market of 1.2 billion consumers.

This was revealed in Kampala, Uganda, early by John Bosco Kalisa, the executive director of the East African Business Council (EABC) where the facility is set for launch today. The platform is Africa’s centralised customer due diligence digital repository. It derives its name from Mansa Mussa, a former emperor of the Mali Empire in the 14th Century.

He is credited for placing Africa on the world map through his immense wealth of gold which opened the trade routes across the continent. In Uganda, the platform will be launched today by EABC in collaboration with the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU) and Afreximbank.

25-year bond auction affects DSE trading (Source: Daily News)

The Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) activities have been affected heavily by the auctioning of the 25-year Treasury bond to drive the market into bearish mode.

The 25-year bond bids registered a record high after the tender size reached TSh 636.6 billion which was equivalent to 4.45 per cent of the total size of listed Treasury bonds on the DSE.

Thus, the auction of the bond, with the longest tenure in the market, plunged the equity market turnover by 82.50 per cent to TSH 239.74 million last week from TSh 1.369 billion in previous week. Zan Securities said in its Weekly Market Wrap-ups that due to the 25-year bond, the equity market ended on the bearish side to end of last week, despite foreigners dominating the turnover by 60 per cent.

RWANDA

Rwanda files to acquire over 300,000 satellites (Source: New Times)

Rwanda Space Agency has filed a request to acquire two satellite constellations from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), namely Cinnamon-217 and Cinnamon-937, according to an official statement.

The development was communicated by the agency on October 20 saying that the submission is in compliance with ITU regulations and procedures.

The detailed application for the two fleets of craft totals 327,320 satellites.

Francis Ngabo, Chief Executive of RSA, said this progress is in line with making the country a hub for the African space industry.

African Microfinance Week Opens in Kigali (Source: KTPress)

The first African Microfinance Week (referred to as ‘SAM’, the French acronym) has opened in Kigali with a call to microfinance institutions (MFIs) to turn finance access challenges into opportunities.

The meeting, which convened over 600 international inclusive finance professionals, will run from October 19-22, 2021 with a focus around the topic of resilience in the Covid-19 pandemic, sharing Pan-African insights and expertise on all aspects of inclusive finance.

ETHIOPIA

IMF Report Plain Manifestation of Unjust Pressure on Ethiopia: Economist (Source: ENA)

The recent unjust report of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Ethiopia’s economic growth is a clear manifestation of the well-coordinated pressures on the country, an economist said.

Despite being one of the founders of the United Nations and a symbol of African independence, the international institutions, including the UN, are recently undermining and denying Ethiopia’s long-term contributions.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has not released GDP growth forecast for Ethiopia in its latest World Economic Outlook for the next four years.

The recent report of the IMF on Ethiopia is part of the coordinated pressures on the nation by withholding the country’s GDP growth forecast.

Addis Ababa University Economics lecturer, Birhanu Denu told ENA that the report on Ethiopia is not based on facts on the ground.

Investors Operating in Ethiopia’s Industrial Parks Competent in Global Market (Source: ENA)

Investors engaged in different industrial parks of Ethiopia are competent in the international market, according to Industrial Parks Development Corporation.

Industrial Parks Development Corporation CEO, Sandokan Debebe told ENA that foreign investors favour Ethiopia for the availability of abundant and wage competitive labour force, fast growing infrastructures and one-stop services.

The country, according to Sandokan, is looking for additional market destinations besides  the duty-free market incentives provided by the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

He further stated that the investors engaged in the parks have the potential to compete in the international market.

 

22nd October 2021 Political and Regulatory Round Up

Government of Kenya develops Framework for One Stop Shop Service Delivery 

The policy provides the execution framework for the establishment, operationalization, and management of the One-Stop-Shop Government Services. The policy is based on the need to achieve the constitutional principles of ensuring efficient, effective, accessible and citizen-centric services.

The policy has been driven by the realization that the implementation of the Huduma Kenya Integrated Service Delivery Model as envisaged by the Kenya Vision 2030 MTP II and the Gazette Notice No 2177 of 4th April 2014, which establishes the Huduma Kenya Service Delivery Programme Governance Structure, is affected by numerous challenges namely:

  1. Lack of a policy framework for the establishment and implementation of One-Stop-Shop (OSS) platforms;
  2. Deployment and integration of Government services on the OSS platforms;
  3. Inadequate coordination mechanisms among MDACs;
  4. Incompatible ICT infrastructure and systems; and
  5.  Inadequate funding.

It is within this context and requirements for the principles in the Constitution and the Kenya Vision 2030 which bind all public officers to observe the principles of efficiency, human rights and good governance, integrity, transparency, accountability and sustainable development. equality and non-discrimination that the development of this policy has become necessary. The policy is anchored under the Ministry of Public Service and Gender, State Department for Public Service under the Huduma Kenya Secretariat.

The goal for the Policy

The overall goal for this policy is to enable the development of a One-Stop-Shop Government services policy for:

  1. Quality, accessible, dignified, and convenient public services to customers;
  2. A unified front end for public service delivery that is accessible to citizens at their convenience;
  3. Automation and digitization Government services to ensure continuity of Government business amid digital disruptions and pandemics;
  4. Process improvement (Business Process Re-engineering) of government services;
  5. Coordination in the deployment and integration of government services by MDACs;
  6. Human and institutional capacity to ensure transformation of public service delivery; and
  7.  Increase revenue for the government. 

The principles, strategies and approaches in the policy shall apply specifically and directly to all National and County Governments, Independent Bodies and Commissions, Semi-autonomous entities, Ministries, Departments, and Agencies both at the National and County levels of government offering public services.

To further institutionalize the policy, a One-Stop-Shop Government Services Bill has been drafted. It aims to develop a national framework for the establishment and implementation of a one-stop-shop Government service delivery platforms, digitization and automation and business process re-engineering of public services. Therein it establishes the Huduma Kenya Secretariat who shall:

  1. Develop, operationalize, support and maintain one stop shop Government services platforms;
  2. Provide quality, accessible, dignified, and convenient public services to citizens;
  3.  Develop policy and legislation framework for Huduma Kenya Service Delivery Program;
  4. Build human and institutional capacity to ensure transformation of public service delivery;
  5. Establish and sustain partnerships, collaborations and linkages for Huduma Kenya integrated service delivery;
  6. Enhance innovations and research for Huduma Kenya integrated service delivery platforms;
  7. Commission research, innovation development and liaise with entities within and outside Kenya for the improvement of integrated service delivery in Government;
  8. Monitor and evaluate the performance of the Huduma Kenya Service delivery channels; and
  9. Undertake any other functions as may be directed by the Advisory Committee.

Both the policy and legislative proposal have been published and the State Department for Public Service has invited the public to provide feedback on the same. 

 

 

15th October 2021: Parliamentary Round Up

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

Communication from the Chair

Speaker Justin Muturi notified the National Assembly about the passage of five Bills by the Senate:

  1. The County Governments Grants Bill (Senate Bill No 35 of 2021)
  2. The Mental Health (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bill No 28 of 2020)
  3. The Basic Education Bill (Senate Bill No. 4 of 2021)
  4. The County Licensing (Uniform Procedures) Bill (Senate Bill No. 22 of 2020)
  5. The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (Amendment) (Senate Bill No. 31 of 2020).
Petitions
  • Provision by NHIF of access to medical insurance cover by persons living with autoimmune diseases in Kenya reported by the Speaker on behalf of Mr. Mikeson Mugo, Ms. Faith Rotich and Ms. Wacera Maina
  • Malpractices  in  the  licensing of coffee marketers in the country presented by the Hon. Sabina Chege (Woman Rep, Murang’a County) on behalf of the National Coffee Co-operative Federation of Kenya
Papers
  • Reports of the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs on its consideration of:
    • The Waqf Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 73 of 2019).
    • Public petition by Mr. Francis Kimani Kanyora, Javan and Mr. Hilary Baraza regarding amendments to the Advocates Act to allow admission of legal practitioners from the Republics of Rwanda and Burundi to the role of advocates in Kenya.
  • Reports of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning on its inquiry of the following:
    • Public petition No. 39 of 2021 regarding review of abnormal increments in prices and petroleum products in the country.
    • Public petition No. 40 of 2021 on a request to amend the Finance Act 2018 in order to address the drastic increase in prices of petroleum and petroleum products.
  • Report of the Auditor-General and financial statements in respect of the Capital Markets Authority for the year ended June 30,  2021.
  • Annual county governments budget implementation review report for the FY 2020/2021,
Motion
  • Members of the National Assembly rejected a report on a public petition regarding insecurity in Saku Constituency and the larger Marsabit County.
  • Hon. Wangwe moved a motion on further changes to Parliamentary Committee membership. The motion was approved.
  • Hon. Kareke Mbiuki moved a motion on the Sessional Paper No. 1 of 2021 on the National Water Policy.
  • Hon. Kamket Kassait moved a motion on the consideration of the Petroleum Development Levy (Amendment) Order 2021.
Questions
  • Hon. Godfrey Osotsi directed a question to the CS for Energy on why KPLC is operating without insurance of critical assets under public liability.
  • Hon.Aden Duale sought a statement from the Committee on Budget regarding the status of the public debt in Kenya and the National Government Budgetary Allocation for Development Programmes per county from the FY 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17 all the way to 2021/2022.
Bills
First Reading

The Children’s Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 38 of 2021)

The principal object of the Bill is to repeal the Children’s Act 2001, to provide parental responsibility, fostering, adoption, custody, maintenance, guardianship, care and protection of children, to make provision for children’s institutions and give effect to the Constitution of Kenya 2010.

The County Governments Grant Bill (Senate Bills No. 35 of 2021)

To make provision for the transfer of conditional allocations from national government share revenue and development partners to county governments for the financial year 2021/2022.

The Basic Education (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bill No. 4 of 2021)

This Bill seeks to amend the Basic Education Act to ensure that school going children in Kenya are provided with milk.

The Mental Health (Amendment) Bill 2020 (Senate Bills No. 28 of 2020)

This Bill proposes to impose obligations on each level of government to address the issue of accessibility to mental health services.

The County Licensing (Uniform Procedures) Bill (Senate Bills No. 32 of 2020)

The principal objective of this bill is to put in place uniform procedures for licensing of various activities by counties.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bill No. 31 of 2020)

The principal object of this Bill is to amend sections 7 and 9 of the Salaries and Remuneration Act to provide for the notification of the expiry of the term for Commissioners in the Gazette. 

Second Reading

The Basic Education (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bill No. 4 of 2021)

Committee of the whole house

The Sugar Bill (National Assembly) Bill No.68 of 2019.

The Central Bank of Kenya  (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 10 of 2021).

 

SENATE

Statements
  • Sen.  Dullo sought a Statement from the standing Committee on National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations regarding the delay in issuance of national identity  cards to those who  have  attained  the  age  of  majority.
  • Sen. Mwaruma sought a Statement from the Standing Committee on Roads and Transportation on the delays experienced by  users  in  service  provision  by  the  National  Transport  Safety  Authority  (NTSA)  in counties.
Message

The Speaker of the National Assembly sent a message to the Senate regarding  the  passage  by  the  National  Assembly  of  the  National  Health Insurance Fund (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No.21 of 2021).

Motion

Adoption of the Report  of  the  Sessional  Committee on Delegated Legislation on the Public Finance Management (Equalization  Fund  Administration)  Regulations,  2021.

Papers Laid

The Annual County Government Implementation Review Report for the Financial Year 2020/2021.

Bills
Second Reading

The Health (Amendment) Bill 2020

The putting of the question was deferred to another date.

The Heritage and Museums Bill (Senate Bills No.22 of 2021)

The principal object of the Bill is, therefore, to repeal the National Museums and Heritage Act and enact a new Bill that conforms to the Constitution. The Bill proposes to retain the National Museums of Kenya already established under the National Museums and  Heritage  Act  2006;  provide  for  a  national  and  county  Museums;  provide  for  the preservation, protection and management of cultural and natural heritage at national and county levels of government; and, review the National Museums and Heritage Act 2006.

The County Boundaries Bill  (Senate Bills No. 20 of 2021)

The  putting  of  the  question  was  deferred to another date.

The Lifestyle Audit Bill (Senate Bill No. 36 of 2021)

The  main  objective  of  this Bill  is  to  put in place  a  legal  framework  for  undertaking  lifestyle audits  for  public  officers.  In  creating  the  framework,  the  Bill  seeks  to  incorporate  the values  and  principles  of  governance  under  Article  10  and  Chapter  6  of  the  Constitution into the public service.

 

15th October 2021: Kenya Gazette Review

National Assembly Bills 2021

The Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Legislative Supplements, 2021

The Public Order (State Curfew) Order, No. 7 of 2021

Senate Bills, 2021

The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2021

PUBLIC SECTOR

The Selection Panel for Selection of Nominees for Appointment as Chairperson of the Public Service Commission invites applications from suitably qualified persons for consideration for nomination for the position of the Chairperson of the Public Service Commission.

JUDICIARY

The Judicial Service Commission has appointed Mutubwa Wilfred Akhonya, Gad Kiragu, Theresa Chepkemei to be  members of the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal.

LAND AND ENVIRONMENT SECTOR

Environmental Impact Assessment Study Report Call for Comments

  • KIRDI, Research, Technology and Innovation Techno Centre, proposes to put up a Nanotechnology laboratory in Basement four (4) of its center, consisting of the installation and operation of an incinerator, a-boiler, a wastewater treatment plant, an underground oil storage and an LPG Bulk storage in the KIRDI Research, Technology and Innovation Center in South B, OFF Dunga Road in Nairobi County
  • Jambo Cruise Adventures Limited, proposes to develop a Floating Restaurant which will provide recreational and catering facilities for both local and international tourists on Mtwapa Creek in Kilifi County.
  • Tullow Kenya B.V. is proposing to develop six oilfields; Agete, Awning, Ekaies, Etom, Namara and Twiga that will have multiple well pads for oil. The well pads will be connected to a central processing facility adjacent to the Nganria oilfield, via a network of buried flowlines. This area will also include waste management facilities, an engineered landfill and workers accommodation basecamps. The production water will be sourced from Turkwel Dam via a pipeline that is at design level for separate approval. Other associated project infrastructure will include access roads and overhead electrical transmission lines between the oilfields.
  • Lamu Water and Sewerage Company, proposes to construct and rehabilitate facilities of Mokowe Sewage Waste Treatment Decentralised Plant whose activities will include the construction of septic tanks, rehabilitation of existing lagoons, space for trucks to siphon waste to septic tanks, parking bay for track and associated amenities and facilities in Mokowe Town, Lamu County.
TRADE & MANUFACTURING SECTOR

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority has published in the Kenya Gazette electricity tariffs for all meter readings to be taken in October, 2021.

  •  fuel energy cost charge of plus 397 Kenya cents per kWh 
  •  a foreign exchange fluctuation adjustment of Plus 103.92 Cents per kWh
  • a Water Resource Management Authority (WRMA) Levy of plus 1 57 cents per kWh

Insolvency

  • The Official Receiver was appointed as interim liquidator of the said Green Square Limited (In Liquidation) with effect from the 27th August, 2021, pursuant to an order of the court.
  • A petition for the winding up of Clarkson and Southern Limited Company No. (C.4388) by the High Court was on the 30th September, 2013, presented  by Associated Warehousing Limited, of P.O. Box 99139, Mombasa, and that the said main petition is set to be heard before the High Court sitting at Mombasa on the 9th November, 2021.
  • Kereto Marima has been appointed the administrator of Cytonn High Yield Solutions LLP (“The Partnership” or “CHYS” OR “LLP”) Registration No. LLP/2014/106, Cytonn Real Estates Project Notes LLP and all creditors to send in particulars of debt or claims.
  • Vruti Shantilal Shah c/o Stamford Corporate Services LLP, has been appointed as an Administrator of Cape Holdings Limited (Under Administration) effective the 12th October, 2021.
FINANCIAL SERVICES SECTOR
  • The National Treasury and Planning has published in the Kenya Gazette the Statement of Actual Revenues and Net Exchequer issues as at 30th September, 2021.
  • The Board of Directors of the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority have  publishes an extract of the FY 2019/20 Audited results for the Unclaimed Financial Assets Trust Fund.
TECHNOLOGY SECTOR

The Communications Authority of Kenya has gazetted  a list of applicants for grant of the licences

Name /Station Identity Licence Category
Kukumbukwa na Mungu Media Network Limited / Kunamu TV   Commercial Free to Air Radio Licence
Mevans General Supplies Limited / Xavier Television Network Commercial Free to Air Television

Licence

The Daesak Media Services Limited / Daesak TV Commercial Free to Air Television

Licence

Iamlola Limited / Empire FM Commercial Free to Air Radio Licence
Everest Production Corporation Kenya Limited / Ebru Somali

Radio 

Air Radio Licence
Bishop Mark Kariuki Foundation / Majestic City FM Community Free to Air Radio Licence
Mailbros Limited / County FM Transfer of licence from Mailbros FM Limited for a Commercial Free to Air Radio
Wa-Tom Courier Services Limited  National Postal/Courier Licence Operator 
Seaman Courier Limited  National Postal/Courier Licence Operator 
Getit Logistics Limited National Postal/Courier Licence Operator 

 

15th October 2021: Trade and Financial Services Round Up

KENYA

Economy on path to recovery as banks record 53pc profit increase (Source: Business Daily)

Pre-tax profits for banks in the seven months from January to July jumped 53.2 percent and surpassed last year’s full-year earnings, pointing to continued recovery from the Covid-19 downturn with customers stepping up loan repayments.

Latest Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) data shows pre-tax earnings in the seven months hit KSh. 113.4 billion to race ahead of the KSh112.8 billion posted in the full year ended December 2020.

The jump came at a time when banks increased lending and cut the size of non-performing loans (NPLs) due to a rise in repayments and property auctions.

The latest profits translate to a 53.2 percent jump from the Sh74 billion profit that lenders returned in seven months last year, when Kenya imposed Covid-19 restrictions.

Digital lenders risk ban for revealing borrowers (Source: Business Daily)

Rogue digital lenders who share personal data of loan defaulters will be stripped of their operating licences if Parliament passes proposed changes to the law to curb abuse of confidential records.

The National Assembly committee on Finance and National Planning has added a clause to the Central Bank Amendment Bill 2021, granting the banking regulator powers to revoke the permits of digital lenders who breach the confidentiality of personal information to pursue defaulting borrowers.

The proposed law aims to stop a trend where some lenders resort to “debt shaming” tactics to recover loans.

There are reports of debt collection agents pursuing borrowers either by informing their friends and family using contact information scraped from their phones or by threatening to tell their employers.

Relief at the pump as EPRA cuts fuel prices (Source: Business Daily)

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) Thursday cut prices by Sh5 per litre, bringing down the cost of super petrol and diesel to Sh129.72 and Sh110.60 respectively in the monthly review that will lapse on November 14.

The cuts came after State House intervened and directed EPRA to reduce fuel prices despite lack of funds in the kitty that had been used to keep prices low since March.

“The maximum allowed petroleum prices in Nairobi for super petrol and diesel decrease by Sh5 per litre while that of kerosene decreases by Sh7.28 per litre,” EPRA said Thursday while releasing the new prices.

High Court declares Huduma Namba illegal (Source: Business Daily)

The High Court has declared the roll out of Huduma Namba, which the government spent more than KSh10 billion illegal for being in conflict with the Data Protection Act.

Justice Jairus Ngaah ruled that the government should have conducted an impact assessment before rolling out the Huduma Cards. The Judge further ordered the government to conduct the assessment before the rollout, to create safeguards to protect Kenyans’ data, as the cards have already been rolled out

Katiba Institute and law scholar Yash Pal Ghai sued the government arguing that it was wrong for the government to roll out the Huduma Cards, before conducting a data protection impact assessment.

Why Uhuru rejected Biden’s global tax plan (Source: Business Daily)

Kenya withheld backing for US President Joe Biden administration’s push for a global minimum rate of tax on multinational companies because the deal will stop Nairobi from collecting taxes from tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon.

The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which hosted the talks on the overhaul of taxation rules, revealed five days ago that Kenya was missing from the list of 136 countries that have backed the agreement.

Wednesday, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) confirmed that Kenya was uncomfortable with clauses in the agreement that will force it to drop the digital services tax of 1.5 percent of sales.

“Members who join the statement are obliged to withdraw their unilateral measures such as digital services tax and similar measures imposed on non-resident companies which do not have physical presence in the market jurisdiction,” said Terra Saidimu, the KRA Commissioner in charge of Intelligence and Strategic Operations.

NHIF seeks law change to cover against future pandemics (Source: Business Daily)

The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) is banking on Parliament to amend the law to establish provisions on how pandemics and epidemics such as Covid-19 will be covered in future.

NHIF chief executive Peter Kamunyo told Senators that there is no law currently that defines how pandemics and epidemics are to be covered by insurers.

Dr Kamunyo told the Senate Health committee that the NHIF (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which aims to create the appropriate health insurance legal framework for attainment of universal health care should be amended to include the provisions.

Cybercrimes surge by 37pc as usage of Internet increases (Source: Business Daily)

Cybercrimes and related threats have risen this year as Kenya’s Internet and data subscriptions grew to 46.7 million.

The Communications Authority of Kenya data shows 38.8 million cyber-attacks were recorded from April to June, an increase of 37.3 percent between January-March when 28.2 million cyber threats were detected.

According to the report, the increase is due to the significant rise in targeted attacks on Internet of Things devices such as smartphones, home appliances and security systems.

UGANDA

Google’s $1bn Africa investment sparks tax debate (Source: The independent)

Google announced $1bn of investments in Africa’s digital transformation in its first ever Google for Africa event on October 6.

Over the next five years, Google’s investments will focus on improving connectivity, backing African tech startups and entrepreneurs, and renewing Google’s non-profit commitments on the continent, Nitin Gajria, Google’s managing director in Sub-Saharan Africa, told the BBC on October 6.

One of the initiatives is the Google subsea cable project stretching to South Africa, Namibia and Nigeria that the company says will improve Internet access and affordability by next year. The tech giant will also invest $50m in its Africa Investment Fund aimed at growth stage startups.

MTN Uganda set to reveal new growth plans, opportunities (Source: The independent)

Uganda’s biggest telecom, MTN Uganda, is set to reveal its new growth plans and opportunities on Oct. 11 when it publishes its indicative price range ahead of the expected US$1.2billion initial public offering (IPO).

MTN Uganda plans to float 20% of its shares on the Nairobi Stock Exchange for investors in the East African Community to meet the government’s set condition for the recently renewed 12-year national operating license. MTN Group owns 96% of MTN Uganda and the rest of the shares are held by the local businessmen.

The company said on October 5 that it has already secured the required approval by the Capital Markets Authority and Uganda Securities Exchange. “The intention to float announcement is a major step towards delivering on our plan to list on the USE,” said Charles Mbire, chairman of the Board of Directors, MTN Uganda.

TANZANIA

Dar commits to fully explore AfCFTA trade opportunities (Source: Daily News)

Tanzania is committed to use all trade opportunities arising from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement including the acquisition of new markets for agricultural products.

Access to markets will stimulate production, strengthen the value chain of agricultural products involving smallholder farmers of sunflower, cotton, cloves, spices, fruits and vegetables.

This was stated recently by the Minister for Industry and Trade, Prof Kitila Mkumbo, when he attended the seventh meeting of the African Council of African Trade Ministers of the AfCFTA held in a traditional and hybrid network.

Analysts predict oversubscription on 25-year bond (Source: Daily News)

Debt analysts are expecting an oversubscription on a 25-year government bond, with a slight yield drop in Wednesday, October 13 auction.

The analysts’ projection is based on the fact that the 25-year paper has the highest yields among all seven bonds hence drawing a huge appetite.

Also, the previous auctions—the first and the second—were heavily oversubscribed while pinning down yield rates.

Orbit Securities Head of Research and Analytics Imani Muhingo told ‘Daily News’ that the bond is one of the most liquid papers in the market thus investors’ appetite for the paper is still high.

RWANDA

Cabinet approved Covid-19 resolutions

On Wednesday, October 13, 2021, His Excellency Paul KAGAME, the President of the Republic of Rwanda, chaired a Cabinet meeting at Urugwiro village. The Cabinet reviewed existing health measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 and approved the following resolutions which will take  effect  nationwide,  starting October  14 through November 14, 2021:

  • Movements are prohibited between midnight (12 AM) – 4 AM. All businesses must close by 11 PM.
  • Fully vaccinated travelers will no longer be required to quarantine at hotels upon arrival. Covid-19 PCR tests will be required for all arriving passengers.
  • Arriving and departing passengers at Kigali International airport must present a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken 72 hours prior to departure and should comply with health guidelines.
  • Public offices will continue with essential staff at no more than 75%capacity while other employees continue working from home on a rotational basis.
  • Private businesses will continue at full capacity and must comply with Covid-19 preventive measures.
  • Physical conferences and meetings will continue at 50% occupancy. All participants must present a negative Covid-19 test result taken within 72 hours prior to the meeting.
  • Public transport (buses) should not exceed 75% of seating capacity. Bus operators must ensure windows are open for proper ventilation and passengers maintain social distancing.
  • Motos and bicycles are permitted to carry passengers and must comply with Covid-19 preventive measures.
  • Restaurants shall continue to operate with a 50% occupancy limit. Restaurants with outdoor seating services may operate at 75% of venue capacity.
  • Bars shall continue to resume gradually. Recreation/entertainment venues shall resume gradually at 50% maximum capacity. Customers must fully be vaccinated and should possess negative Covid-19 test results taken within 72 hours. RDB will provide detailed guidelines.
  • All services held at places of worship should not exceed 50% maximum occupancy. MINALOC will provide detailed guidelines.
  • Tourism activity will continue in strict adherence with Covid-19 health guidelines. This includes hotels, tour operators and transport services facilitating guests.
  • Individual and non-contact outdoor sports activities are permitted.
  • Gyms and fitness centers will continue to re-open progressively.
  • Swimming pools, massage parlors, saunas, shall re-open gradually. Customers must be fully vaccinated (except persons under 18 years of age) and should possess negative Covid-19 test results taken within 72 hours. RDB will provide detailed guidelines.
  • Attendance at a wake/vigil (Ikiriyo) should not exceed 30 persons at any one time. Funeral gatherings at grave sites should not exceed 50 persons.
  • Civil, religious and traditional marriage ceremonies are permitted. All events conducted in homes should not exceed 50 persons and  local authorities must be informed. Guests must test negative for Covid-19, 72 hours prior to the event and  must  comply with  Covid-19  preventive  measures. The Ministry of Local Government will provide detailed guidelines.
  • Events held in designated/ approved  venues including outdoor tents should not exceed 50% of venue capacity. All guests must possess negative Covid-19  test results taken within 72 hours before an  event, and  should comply with Covid-19 preventive measures (social distancing, hand washing, wearing face masks.)Other events and gatherings (concerts, festivals, exhibitions, etc.) shall continue for vaccinated and tested participants in accordance with RDB guidelines.
  • Gaming activities  shall  resume  gradually  in  accordance  with  detailed guidelines provided by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

ETHIOPIA

Standard Bank Expresses Interest in Investing in Ethiopia (Source: 2merkato)

A team from Standard Bank Group held a discussion with Lelise Neme, Commissioner of Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC), during which they expressed their “willingness and interest” in being involved in the banking sector in Ethiopia, EIC stated.

During their discussion, the team presented and shared their experience of working in the banking sector in several countries. Ms. Lelise and the Standard Bank team also discussed other potential sectors of investment and opportunities in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia Gives Priority to African Agenda, Cooperation Among Countries (Source: ENA)

The Government of Ethiopia will give priority to the successful realization of the African agenda, a senior official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

In an exclusive interview he held with ENA in connection with the 39th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union, Protocol Affairs Director-General Feysel Aliy stated that the necessary preparations for the Councils of African Foreign Ministers meeting have been finalized.

The opportunity given to Ethiopia to host this important meeting signifies the country’s priority for the African agenda, he said, adding that Ethiopia will continue its effort for the success of the continent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electronic Waste Day 2021:Wake up call for Kenya to build capacity

Electronic waste or E-waste describes discarded electrical or electronic devices or appliances that have ceased to be of any value to their owners. E-waste is considered one of the fastest growing wastes in the world, and yet also toxic and non-biodegradable. E-waste is growing at 3 times the rate of municipal waste worldwide. 

In Kenya, the estimated volume of e-waste is not known, as there is very little statistics. As of 2017, the lowest amount of e-waste per inhabitant was generated in Africa at 1.9 kg/inh. The whole continent generated 2.2 million tonnes of e-waste.

The increased number of e-waste volume results from the increasing market penetration of electronics use in developing countries, and the increase in the replacement market due to technology advancement in developed countries. The East African region has also suffered from the importation of used or obsolete Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) in the name of donations, as well as the prohibitive prices for acquisition of new EEE. 

In January 2019, the draft National E-Waste Management Strategy was published and it aimed at addressing E-Waste management through policies, guidelines and standards. The strategy was to put in place E-Waste management infrastructure, appropriate mechanism for collection, transportation and disposal and facilitate the development of an up to date dismantling and recovery facility within the six economic zones in the country. 

The National E-Waste Management Strategy was a five-year plan covering the period 2019/20 to 2023/24. However, its vision and aspiration spans a medium to long term period of about 10 years. It was to be used along with other strategic documents guiding priorities of EACO such as the e-waste model Policy for EACO member states and the EACO strategic plan.

Great intentions without commitment to implement

From the publishing of the draft Environmental Management and Coordination (E-Waste Management) Regulations, 2013, and the draft National E-Waste Management Strategy, one can see that there are plans to deal with e-waste, but the lack of implementation shows lack of commitment to the cause.

Private sector players in the beverage industry such as Coca Cola and EABL already have in place recycling systems that players in the technology sector should consider. Kenya does not have the capacity to handle some types of electronic recycling, however, there should be more effort from technology hardware manufacturers on e-waste recycling.

 

15th October 2021 Political and Regulatory Round Up

KRA ASSURES ON THE INCLUSIVE FRAMEWORK ON BASE EROSION AND PROFIT SHIFTING

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has allayed fears on the possible loss of revenue from multinational technology firms following the signing of an international Inclusive Framework to reform international tax rules.

The fears had been sparked last week, following an announcement from the OECD that significant reform of the international tax system has been finalised, and it will ensure that Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) will be subject to a minimum 15% tax rate from 2023.

Speaking at the just concluded 7th KRA Annual Tax Summit opening, KRA Commissioner General Githii Mburu said Kenya had shared its technical concerns with the agreements and was party to the ongoing developments spearheaded by the OECD and G20 countries.

The introduction of the Digital Service Tax in Kenya, he said, had helped to curb tax avoidance by multinational firms engaged in digital enterprises. With the growing revenues generated from such MNE’s, Kenya, he said will consider the benefits of the Inclusive Framework cautiously.

The OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (IF) has agreed on a two-pillar solution to address the tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy.

The Country he said was actively consulting and has shared a detailed technical proposal with the OECD to ensure a win-win outcome in the ongoing global developments focusing on the taxation of digital sector players.

The Country, he said, will clinically analyse the benefits accruing from the proposed framework and will not rush to forego current benefits arising from the implementation of the Digital Service Tax.

“Although we have not signed on the agreement, Kenya is fully seized of the developments, and I can confirm that we are party to these engagements, as a trendsetter on matters digital taxation. We have already shared our technical concerns on the all-inclusive framework thresholds, and we will continue engaging to ensure that we have a winwin outcome,” Mburu assured.

Kenya’s position on the Inclusive Framework was supported by several speakers including Panama based Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Center of Tax Administrations (CIAT), Mr Márcio Verdi who delivered a keynote address on “The OECD inclusive framework and its impact to Africa: Opportunities for developing countries”.

Nigeria supported Kenya’s position noting that the Inclusive Framework had deviated from the earlier agreed mandate of developing a solution to address tax challenges for the digital economy.

“It was widely held that a multilateral approach would be the most appropriate means of achieving a standard set of coordinated rules which would strengthen the international tax system. However the reality we now faced is a far cry from expectation,” Federal Inland Service Nigeria Group Lead, Special Tax Operations Group Mr Mathew Gbonjubola said.

Last week, the OECD confirmed that 136 countries and jurisdictions representing more than 90% of global GDP had agreed to the all-inclusive framework. The framework focusing of reforming the international tax system is also expected to facilitate the reallocation of more than US$ 125 billion of profits from around 100 of the world’s largest and most profitable MNEs to countries worldwide, ensuring that these firms pay a fair share of tax wherever they operate and generate profits.

Following years of intensive negotiations to bring the international tax system into the 21st century, 136 jurisdictions (out of the 140 members of the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on BEPS) joined the Statement on the Two-Pillar Solution to Address the Tax Challenges Arising from the Digitalisation of the Economy. It updates and finalises a July political agreement by members of the Inclusive Framework to reform international tax rules fundamentally.

With Estonia, Hungary and Ireland having joined the agreement, it is now supported by all OECD and G20 countries. Four countries – Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – have not yet joined the agreement.

On his part, Mburu confirmed to the local and international delegates that Kenya has continued to upscale its capacity to handle contemporary tax revenue mobilisations challenges.

Besides digital tax administration, KRA, he reiterated, has enhanced its capacity to handle illicit financial flows (IFFs), having built up technical capacity and adopted international legal instruments, including ratifying the Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters Convention (MAC).

The Authority, Mburu further assured, is only collecting taxes as outlined in the law. “KRA is a law-abiding institution and is only collecting the taxes prescribed and allowable in law. Not a shilling more as we continue to partner with all government agencies in revenue mobilisation and tax compliance,” he said.

On his part, KRA Chairman Amb Francis Muthaura confirmed that the authority is looking forward to the proposed National Tax Policy, which is currently under formulation by the National Treasury.

The Summit, Amb Muthaura noted, has continued to inspire conversations necessary to accelerate revenue mobilisation.

Anchored on the theme, Revenue Mobilization Within a Rapidly Evolving Taxation Landscape: Global Trends, Analyses & Resolutions, the Summit featured several engagement panels comprising local and international subject matter experts in the tax, national planning and related economic development fields.

The Summit focused on KRA’s readiness to reimagine tax administration past the Covid-19 pandemic, developing tax professionals for the future and tackling illicit financial inflows and their impact on Africa’s development. The Summit will also focus on the role of technology, brand awareness, and tax simplification in enhancing service delivery. The three factors are among the fundamental pillars on which the success of a modern tax administration is pegged.

The deliberations made at the annual tax summits yearly are invaluable to KRA and other players involved in the making and implementation of tax policies. Like the previous tax summit fora, the seventh annual tax summit will provide a platform for sharing tax ideas, innovations, and strategies that have successfully worked in other jurisdictions worldwide.

Notable Strides on the Road to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Workplace

Recently, the Kenya Institute of Management (KIM), Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) and New Faces New Voices (NFNV)collaborated on a project to examine the impact of diversity and inclusion on organisational performance, decision-making, and productivity in the boardroom.

The study sought to explore diversity beyond gender and age, and included other variables such as education attained, professional background, national origin, ethnicity, and religion. The aim of the study was to provide insight into best practices to drive parity by 2030, as enshrined in the Social Pillar of the Vision 2030 Blueprint and to assist in the realisation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5 – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Key findings of the report include:

  • In Kenya, gender diversity in the boardroom now stands at 36%, which is significant progress from 21% in 2017. In comparison, the global average of women holding board positions stands at 23.3% up from 20.4% in 2018.
  • Amongst the respondents, women constitute 21% of the appointed board chairpersons’ whereas the global average is 3.0%.
  • Female representation in C-suite roles in Kenya constitutes 37% compared to 21% globally.
  • The average age of Kenyan board members is 47.6 years, down from 55.8 years in 2017.
  • Boards in Kenya are mostly constituted of professionals from the Accounting/Finance/Audit, Business Management and Development, Human Resources and Legal fields.
  • Gender and age are critical components in driving organizational performance, decision making, and productivity
  • Education level and national origin, to some extent, influence organizational performance.
  • Professional, ethnic, and religion, have a small effect on organizational performance, board decision making process, and productivity.

A report published by KIM on the state of women representation in the public sector in 2012, showed that gender representation was at 21% in the public sector whilst the listed companies stood at 12%. A 2015 report by the AfDB (African Development Bank) showed that Kenya had the highest percentage of women in boards in Africa at 19.8% followed by Ghana (17.7%) and South Africa (17.4%).

In 2017, it was noted that the listed company representation of women on boards was at 21%, surpassing all African peers to become the most gender diverse listed company exchange on the continent. In 2019 a report published by Equileap Gender Equality in Kenya Report assessed 60 listed companies and the findings showed a slight improvement with women accounting for 23% of the board members, however, of note is that this had almost doubled in the five years since 2012.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) are no longer “nice to have” catchphrases in a corporate’s strategy. DEI are mutually reinforcing principles within an organization. A focus on diversity alone is insufficient because an employee’s sense of belonging (inclusion) and experience of fairness (equity) is critically important. A study conducted by McKinsey & Company, evaluated the performance of companies with different levels ofworkplace diversity. They found that companies that exhibit gender and ethnic diversity are, respectively, 15% and 35% more likely to outperform less diverse peers. The same study found that organizations with more racial and gender diversity bring in more sales revenue, more customers and higher profits.

Today we celebrate the progress made to achieve 36% gender diversity in Kenyan boardrooms, however, there is much more to be done to achieve parity. Holding companies to a universal standard aligns the global gender equality movement and allows the adoption of best practices to demonstrate progress and a comparison against international benchmarks.

What next for Huduma Cards after court calls for data protection impact assessment

Data security came to play at the High Court in Nairobi on Thursday, October 14, 2021, after Justice Jairus Ngaah declared that the government’s decision of November 18, 2020, to roll out Huduma Cards was illegal. The judge said the government had not adhered to the provisions of Section 31 of the Data Protection Act, 2019, on data protection impact assessment. The court ordered the government to conduct a data protection impact assessment in accordance with Section 31 of the Data Protection Act, 2019, before processing of data and rolling out the Huduma Cards.

Justice Ngaah also stated that the applicant, Katiba Institute, was not a complainant to the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner as it does not possess the status of a data subject as per the Data Protection Act. 

Case background

The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act, No. 18 of 2018, contained amendments to the Registration of Persons Act. The amendment introduced the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) which is a system of identification for both citizens of Kenya and foreigners registered as residing in the country. 

The reasons for the introduction of this system are in the nature of functions set out in the newly amended section and are, by and large, self-explanatory. The amendment and its implementation were, however, challenged in constitutional petitions respectively filed as Petition Nos. 56, 57 and 59 of 2019 by the Nubian Rights Forum, Kenya Human Rights Commission and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. The three petitions were consolidated and determined together by a three-judge bench of the High Court. In its decision rendered on 30 January 2020, the Court ordered that:

  • The government is at liberty to proceed with the implementation of the National Integrated Identity Management System and to process and utilize the data collected in NIIMS, only on conditions that an appropriate and comprehensive regulatory framework on the implementation of NIIMS that is compliant with the applicable constitutional requirements identified in this judgment is first enacted. 
  • The court also declared that the collection of DNA and GPS coordinates for purposes of identification was intrusive and unnecessary, and to the extent that it is not authorised and specifically anchored in the empowering legislation, it is unconstitutional and a violation of Article 31 of the Constitution.

The government passed the Data Protection Act and necessary Regulations for the roll out of NIIMS. Then on the 18th of November 2020, they announced that they will roll out Huduma Cards. Katiba Institute filed a judicial review at the High Court challenging this decision. Their major bone of contention was that the Huduma Card had been launched without a data impact assessment, contrary to the provisions of Section 31 of the Data Protection Act and is also in defiance of the orders and direction of this court in the Nubian Rights Forum case.

What is a DPIA

A Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) describes a process designed to identify risks arising out of the processing of personal data and to minimise these risks as far and as early as possible. A DPIA may not eliminate such risks altogether but should help to identify and manage them. At its core, a DPIA guides data controllers on the least privacy intrusive means of achieving their legitimate use with the personal data under their control. 

DPIA to be performed before any personal data processing operation likely to result in high risk to the rights and freedoms of a data subject. The subsequent DPIA report is to be submitted to the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) at least 60 days prior to commencement of any processing operation.

High risk parameters warranting the conduct of a DPIA as per ODPC guidance note on DPIAs

  • Collection of biometric data – constitutes sensitive personal data as per the DPA – Sensitive personal data attracts stricter data protection obligations due to the higher risk associated with its processing. 
  • Data processed in large volumes or on a large scale 
  • Data concerning vulnerable data subjects – i.e. segments of the population requiring special protection (minorities, persons with disabilities, asylum seekers and refugees,or elderly patients, children etc.)
  • When the processing in itself prevents data subjects from exercising a right. This includes processing operations that aim at allowing, modifying or refusing data subjects’ access to a service or entry into a contract.

Outcome of DPIA helps identify the appropriate technical and organisational measures to be implemented to uphold the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the data in question. 

Impact of this judgement

Huduma Cards issue delay

The government had planned to phase out the current National Identification cards by December 12, 2021 and  replace them with the Huduma Namba cards to be issued from December 1, 2020. This won’t be the case anymore until the DPIA is done and concluded.

New route for data protection redress?

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner had filed a preliminary objection to the judicial review case on grounds that the applicants had exhausted the remedies provided in the Data Protection Act. Katiba Institute submitted that they are not a data subject and therefore the option of the alternative dispute resolution in the Act is not open to it.

Data Protection lawyer Mugambi Laibuta took to Twitter to air his views. He said that he foresees people sidestepping the complaints mechanisms set out under the Data Protection Act and filing constitutional petitions claiming that they are not ‘data subjects’. In his view, this is worrying for data controllers and processors who will find themselves in court defending a matter that could have at first instance be handled by the controller/processor inhouse failure to which the ODPC mechanism would check in then the High Court.

Lawyer Ochiel Dudley responded to the Tweet by stating that the High Court rejected Prof. Yash Pal Ghai’s complaint and affirmed that he should first have gone to the Data Protection Commissioner even though he had arguments not to. Lawyer Waikwa Wanyoike added that this was a case of systemic failure as it would have been injudicious for the court to order “36” million people to file individual complaints on Huduma Namba.

While both parties are right, it is important to note that the case was filed on November 24, 2020, which was days after President Uhuru Kenyatta had appointed the Data Protection Commissioner. Therefore, it is sufficient to state that the ODPC was not in a position to handle any complaints and Katiba Institute had no choice but to take the case to the High Court. 

The fear of people by-passing the ODPC may also be stemming from their approach to complaints that they have received in the recent past.

Does ODPC have sufficient capacity to perform its duties? 

In August, a Nairobi based advocate sent a letter to the Data Protection Commissioner asking her Office to investigate an alleged data breach at Radisson Blu. The response left much to be desired. This was weeks after the ODPC responded to complaints on the unconsented listing of individuals in various political party registers. These moves have contributed to the erosion of confidence in the Office’s capacity to perform its statutory obligations and it will lead people to find other ways to find recourse.

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner should take action and save its reputation and credibility. It needs to be seen as an office that can be relied on for disputes arising from the Act. 

While the government will most likely appeal the decision, the office in the spotlight is the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner.

Regulating the legal tech space, Bills in the pipeline

Bridging the nexus between technology and the law has proven to be an increasingly tumultuous  domain to regulate. However, this has not discouraged Kenyan legislators from attempting to regulate the disruptive sector. Below is a snapshot of four proposed legislation, at varying stages of approval, that seek enactment before the National Assembly and the Senate.

Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021

CMCA was originally conceived in 2018 to designate computer-related offences and enable timely and effective detection, prohibition, prevention, response, investigation and prosecution of cybercrimes. The amendment Bill was tabled before the National Assembly by Hon. Aden Duale in May 2021. Among the key proposals is to provide an additional function of the National Computer and Cybercrimes Coordination Committee (Cybercrimes Committee) which is to recommend websites that may be rendered inaccessible within the country. Concerns over arbitrary use of the power to render websites inaccessible emanate from the lack of provisions stipulating when the power may be exercised by the Cybercrimes Committee. Furthermore, there is uncertainty regarding which bodies the Cybercrimes Committee shall be making recommendations to render websites inaccessible.

Furthermore, the Bill seeks prohibition against sharing of pornography (defined as sexually explicit conduct) through the Internet. The wide discretion afforded in the interpretation of what constitutes sexually explicit conduct has raised apprehensions about illiberal restriction on the freedom of expression, possibly leading to self-censorship by Kenyan citizens in a bid to avoid criminal liability. In addition, pornography is not a form of expression that may be restricted under international law or under the Constitution of Kenya. Further, grievances pertaining to the right to privacy have been raised based on the surveillance measures and intrusion into the intimate personal affairs of citizens required to investigate and prosecute sharing of sexually explicit conduct. Disconcertingly, the Bill proposes disproportionate and unreasonable sanctions for sharing of pornography, with custodial sentences of a maximum 25 years and fines of up to KSh 20 million. 

Central Bank of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2021

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Act was promulgated to promote financial stability through regulation, supervision and licensing of financial institutions. The Bill was proposed by Hon. Gladys Wanga in April 2021, with the principal objective to amend the CBK Act to provide for licensing and supervision of digital credit service providers who are not regulated under any other law. In particular, the Bill seeks to regulate businesses providing credit facilities or loan services through a digital channel. The current position is that there is no legal framework governing digital borrowing platforms. As such, the Central Bank of Kenya will have an obligation of ensuring that there is a fair and non-discriminatory marketplace for access to credit. 

The CBK shall be empowered to determine the capital adequacy requirements and minimum liquidity requirements, as well as approve the digital channels and business models through which digital credit business may be conducted. The requirements may inhibit growth and stifle innovation of the fintech environment in Kenya as startups may not possess the prerequisite capital base to acquire licenses to operate in the market. 

Information Communication and Technology Practitioner’s Bill, 2020

The ICT practitioner’s Bill was originally incepted and sponsored in 2016 by Hon. Aden Duale, but was not enacted due to potential duplication in regulation and concerns over the prevention of individual talents from realizing their potential. The second reiteration of the Bill was subsequently tabled before the National Assembly by Hon. Godfrey Osotsi in November 2020. 

The Bill proposes the establishment of a legal framework for the training, registration, licensing, practice and standards of ICT professionals in Kenya. The objective is to professionalise practitioners within the ICT sector and to have them governed and regulated, similar to other professions in Kenya such as legal and medical practitioners. This shall culminate with the establishment of the ICT Practitioners Institute, as the body empowered to establish standards of professional competence and practice. Concerns have been raised concerning the fact that the Bill potentially stifles innovation and growth of the sector as numerous ICT practitioners possess the skills but lack formal education and certifications that qualify them to register as ICT practitioners, as mandated under the Bill.

Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill, 2021

The Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Bill was enacted in 2010 to create the offence of money laundering and to introduce measures for combating the offence. The amendment Bill was sponsored by National Assembly Majority Whip Hon. Amos Kimunya in August 2021. Amongst the key proposals is the obligation that legal practitioners, both independent and under employment, to act as reporting persons (whistleblowers) of suspected money laundering activities, particularly in the context of:

  • Buying and selling of real estate;
  • Managing of client money, securities or other assets; and
  • Management of bank, savings or securities accounts.

Furthermore, the Bill contemplates the establishment, membership, functions, committees and procedures of the Asset Recovery Oversight Board. In addition, the Bill recommends the adoption of new provisions that permit limitations on the right to privacy if a person is suspected or accused of an offence under the Act. Specifically, the Bill permits searches of homes and property; allows for seizure of personal possessions; permits revealing information relating to the person’s financial, family and private affairs, and sanctions investigation and interference of the accused’s communications. 

Elections 2022, Another round of proposals to amend Electoral laws

The electoral commission this week gave the National Assembly’s Justice and Legal Affairs a wish list of laws it wants changed to make it easier to manage the General Election in August 2022.

They include provisions to allow a complementary mechanism to transmit presidential election results where technology fails, to align the law with previous judgements and more details on how the results are transmitted.

Wafula Chebukati, the chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, wants the laws changed before the end of the year.

This means that the National Assembly has about 70 days to draft the Bill, take it through public participation and then debate and pass it.

Although the National Assembly has pushed through amends to laws in a hurry before, the results have not always been good. With the elections, the concern over time has been that the process has been made so tedious that any error can lead to an economically expensive cancellation of the results.

There have also been concerns over the expense, which is increased by the need to make the ballot papers as secure as possible, in the end having security features usually used on currency notes.

With the attention of the political class now on alliance-building ahead of the nominations deadline in June next year, the electoral commission will need to manage its stakeholders, especially in Parliament, with a lot more focus than before.

There might ultimately be a need to get the backing of the presidential candidates and their political allies.

Kenya – Somalia Maritime Dispute : Traders and economic relations left hanging in the balance

This week, the International Court of Justice( ICJ)  ruled on the maritime dispute between Kenya and Somalia . The bone of contention was in which direction each of the country’s borders extends into the Indian Ocean.

Somalia said the boundary should run in the same direction as the southeasterly path of its land border, while Kenya on the other hand  argued that the border should take roughly a 45-degree turn at the shoreline and run in a latitudinal line.

The area in dispute is said to be rich in oil and gas.

ICJ Chief Judge Joan Donoghue in her ruling on Tuesday, October 12, stated that there was  “no agreed maritime boundary” and drew a new border close to the one claimed by Somalia, although Kenya kept a part of the 100,000 square-kilometre (39,000-square-mile)

However, Kenya refused to recognise the ICJ’s jurisdiction.

In a statement, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the ruling would “strain the relations between the two countries”.

After years of contention over the waters, in  2009  both nations agreed in a memorandum of understanding, backed by the UN, to settle the boundary dispute through negotiation.

However,  in 2015, Somalia said  the talks had failed and proceeded to the  ICJ instead for further direction on the matter, leading to the ruling this week . 

The dispute has not only strained diplomatic relations between the two countries, but trade relations as well.

Data from the Central Bank of Kenya indicates that earnings from Somalia dipped to a decade low. Currently,  Kenya enjoys earnings from Somalia in miraa exports (khat),  vegetables among other agricultural produce .

The value of exports, largely miraa (khat), contracted  by  KSh 3.24 billion, or 21.51 percent, to Sh11.83 billion in the 12 months ended December, 2019.

The income from sale of goods to Somalia was the lowest since 2009 when they stood at KSh 11.22 billion.

Miraa traders have been taking the biggest hit as Mogadishu has been their primary market for years. However,  business has not been the same thanks to low production and the  long-standing maritime territorial dispute.

Kenya and Somali have been enjoying long-standing economic and trade relations. Data from trade data analysts OEC indicates that In 2019, Kenya exported $116 million to Somalia. The main products were rolled tobacco ($41.2 million), other vegetable products ($13 million), and tea ($5.71 million).

During the same period, Somalia exported $4.32 million to Kenya. The main products exported  were prefabricated building materials ($3.44 million), other electrical machinery ($210,000), and other cast iron products ($210,000).

“During the last 22 years, Somali exports to Kenya have increased at an annualized rate of 31.4%, from $10,500 in 1997 to $4.32 million in 2019,”  OEC trade statistics state..

Apart from economic and trade relations, players in the maritime sector are also on the lookout for development. Part of the contented area is still within the global maritime routes to access East and Southern African ports. However, the port authority says there is no cause for alarm yet as long as there are no incidents of insecurity around the area.

Kenya recently opened the Port of Lamu for business,, while making continuous  expansions at the Port of Mombasa. Sources at the port state that the contention between Kenya and Somalia will not affect shipping routes yet as long as there is security around the area

This comes as Kenyan waters were re-designated from the High Risk Area (HRA) by the global shipping industry earlier in September.

Fishermen in Lamu county also protested against the ICJ ruling, stating that their livelihoods were on the line. Despite Kenya insisting that the area is within its borders, the fishermen have now been caught in between as both countries claim the area. 

“For years now, we have been risking our lives to fish here because all countries claim the waters, but we are risking a lot getting into the waters. Now that we are told it belongs to Somalia we are stuck since this was our source of livelihood,” says Adballa, a fisherman in Lamu. 

The court’s ruling on the maritime dispute has been received with mixed reactions from both countries. Though binding, the court has no enforcement powers and countries have been known to ignore its verdicts.  For now, the world is watching the next steps the countries will take as far as their diplomatic relations are concerned and whether it will get any better.