POLICY ANALYSIS

One in eight people are now living with obesity

A study released by The Lancet showed that in 2022, more than one billion people in the world were living with obesity.  Worldwide, obesity among adults has more than doubled since 1990 and has quadrupled among children and adolescents (5 to 19 years of age).

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You can run, but you can’t hide: As Kenya adopts CRS, calls for balancing tax transparency with data privacy concerns emerge.

Kenyan commercial banks have started implementing the Common Reporting Standards (CRS), a tax procedures regulation of 2023. This regulation requires all Kenyan banks, trusts, and other financial institutions to report and share information about foreign account holders with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) as the

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CBK agriculture survey: Sector shows resilience, expects price decline despite challenges.

The Central Bank of Kenya released the Agriculture Sector Survey for January 2024,  highlighting the sector’s significant contribution to the country’s economy. Accounting for an estimated 33% of the GDP, agriculture serves as the backbone of Kenya, playing a vital role in generating foreign exchange

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Navigating Voluntary Tax Disclosure Programmes: A Guide for Businesses.

In the dynamic landscape of taxation, businesses often find themselves grappling with complex tax compliance requirements. In response to this challenge, tax authorities around the world have introduced voluntary tax disclosure programmes (VTDPs) to incentivise taxpayers to come clean about previously undisclosed tax liabilities. These

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CBK surveys point to optimism despite inflationary pressures: MPC raises interest rates.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) conducts a Market Perceptions Survey before each Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting to gather insights from banks and non-bank private sector firms regarding various economic indicators such as inflation, economic growth, credit demand, and exchange rates. The survey aims

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Driving compliance in Kenya: Public and private sectors should collaborate to navigate low compliance levels.

Compliance is a critical imperative for both the public and private sectors, although the nuances of implementation vary significantly between them. The distinct approaches taken by both sectors are largely influenced by the inherent differences in organisational structures, objectives, and accountability mechanisms. The differences notwithstanding,

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AfCFTA competition protocol: Balancing opportunities and challenges for digital platforms in Africa

The vision of a united Africa is realised through the establishment of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the world’s largest Free Trade Area (FTA), encompassing 55 countries and representing all African Union (AU) member states. The practical implementation of the AfCFTA has the

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 Bridging the revenue deficit: Kenya’s quest to explore diverse international markets

Kenya’s economy was hit by global shocks, including the COVID-19 pandemic and geo-political issues, such as the Ukraine-Russia conflict, over the past two years. This has been exacerbated by the ballooning debt obligations owing to the downward trajectory of the shilling against the dollar. As

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When policies do more harm than good: Unpacking the impact of regulatory changes in the face of EABL’s profit  decline

The release of East African Breweries Limited’s (EABL) half-year results has sparked debate on the adverse impacts of regulatory and policy changes on the business environment. EABL’s profit after tax declined by 22 per cent to Kshs 6.8 billion, a downturn attributed to macroeconomic-driven cost

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Conflict and crisis reveal the tip of the iceberg the world’s vulnerable face in accessing their right to health

Seventy-five years ago, in the ashes of World War II and the unprecedented human suffering it caused, nations laid out a way to build “the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world” by ensuring the fundamental rights of everyone, everywhere. This principle was

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WHO releases AI ethics and governance guidance for large multi-modal models

The World Health Organization (WHO) is releasing new guidance on the ethics and governance of large multi-modal models (LMMs) – a type of fast-growing generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology with applications across health care.   The guidance outlines over 40 recommendations for consideration by governments,

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Key legislative and regulatory policies set to shape Kenya in 2024

The year 2023 saw the introduction of several legislative and regulatory updates in Kenya. Notably, as the year ends, various notable legislative and regulatory policies and strategies are scheduled to be implemented in the coming year.  Implementation of these proposed changes in law will likely

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Legislative and policy changes that shaped the economic and regulatory landscape in 2023

The year 2023 has been marked by significant legislative and policy developments in Kenya, shaping the landscape for both private and public sectors. As we conclude this year, let’s revisit the key highlights and milestones that unfolded, with a particular focus on insights covered by

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When two dogs fight, a third enjoys the bone: Kenya angles to reap from US-China trade tensions

On November 15, 2023, Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden held their first face-to-face meeting in a year at the Filoli Estate in San Francisco. This was the second time the two leaders have met during Biden’s term as president, although the

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Trade and Financial Services Round-Up

Kenya  IMF rescues Kenya from $2bn Eurobond scare The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has moved to rescue Kenya from plunging into a financial crisis after the global lender confirmed that it was mobilising funds to help the country repay its $2 billion Eurobond maturing in

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WHO launches commission to foster social connection and address loneliness as a health threat

The WHO has announced a new Commission on Social Connection, to address loneliness as a pressing health threat, promote social connection as a priority and accelerate the scaling up of solutions in countries of all incomes. Co-chaired by US Surgeon General, Dr Vivek Murthy, and

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President Salva Kiir to assume chairmanship of EAC as Burundi leader completes tenure

South Sudan President Salva Kiir is set to take the position of Chair of the East African Community Regional Intergovernmental organisation. This comes as Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiye steps down after the end of his one-year tenure.   South Sudan takes the mantle amid great

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State visit goodies: Kenya and Czech Republic solidify commitment to boost trade and investments

Celebrating a 30-year bilateral diplomatic relationship, the Czech Republic and the Republic of Kenya embarked on a promising era of corporate diplomacy, solidifying their commitment through the establishment of a business hub in Kenya. Positioned as a gateway, the hub is expected to catalyze opportunities

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Africa needs an informed approach to tap opportunities and navigate challenges in the global carbon market

The global carbon market is growing at a rapid rate and is currently valued at about $909 billion, almost a trillion dollars. Due to the lucrative nature of the market, African countries are angling themselves for a bite of the cherry. As the continent primes

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On World Cities Day 2023, WHO calls for increased financing for a sustainable, healthy urban future for all

In the context of the current global economic downturn, World Cities Day 2023 focuses on increasing public investment to finance urban development. With numerous converging global crises, it is critical to find more sustainable and innovative ways of financing the health and well-being of 55%

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Tax education should complement automation of revenue systems to enforce compliance

For a country to attain its developmental goals, it has to generate revenue to fund these goals. A significant portion of a country’s revenue is generated through taxation. Despite the crucial role taxation plays in a country, issues of non-compliance persist and remain a pressing

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Tobacco Harm Reduction: Navigating the intersection of policy and THR products through evidence-based regulations for health

In a world where personal choices often conflict with public health concerns, Harm Reduction has emerged as an alternative path to minimising the negative implications of drug use.  Harm reduction principles entail the policies, programmes and practices that aim to minimise the negative health, social

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Significant Political Sentiment – Kenya explores new infrastructure financing opportunities with Beijing

On Wednesday, October 18, China’s President Xi Jinping held a meeting with President William Ruto who was in China to attend the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.  This was his maiden trip to China, a visit which was keenly watched by diplomatic

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The race towards achieving Universal Health Coverage

This year’s Mashujaa Day theme is premised on universal health care. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines universal health coverage (UHC) to mean all people having access to the full range of quality health services needed without financial hardship. It covers the full range of

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Brian Mwenda’s case sparks debate on the practicality of implementing recognition of Prior Learning policy in Kenya’s tightly regulated professions

The case of Brian Mwenda has ignited a critical discussion on the practicality of implementing the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy in Kenya, particularly within tightly regulated fields like law. This case underlines the challenge of incorporating non-traditional learning into formal frameworks, showcasing the

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Charlatans taking advantage of data security challenges to masquerade as professionals

In the current era, technological advancements have yielded innovative solutions and numerous challenges. Some of these challenges are data protection infiltration, misinformation and disinformation and cybersecurity breaches. There have been instances where non-professionals access information with the intent to impersonate and steal their identity for

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Integrating AI in policing to combat crime and fraud

Minority Report is a film about a police officer working in a department that can detect crimes before they occur, utilising Precogs—mutant beings plugged into machines that possess the ability to predict the future. For many years, humans have been intrigued by the possibility of

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World Road Congress: Electromobility is the way to go in the decarbonisation agenda

In the heart of Prague, the World Road Congress 2023 brought together the world’s foremost minds in transportation and infrastructure. This gathering of experts delved into the ever-evolving landscape of mobility and infrastructure. At the forefront of their deliberations were the promise of electromobility, autonomous

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Plastic Credits: A promising solution for a sustainable and plastic-free future

Plastic waste pollution is steadily increasing, with an overwhelming amount of research showing that the human population generates over 400 million tonnes of plastic each year and that this figure is expected to triple by 2060. Of this, only 10-15 per cent is collected and

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Cybersecurity October: Strengthening our defences against cyber threats — A call to action

In an era where digital interconnectedness defines our world, the importance of cybersecurity cannot be overstated. October, designated as Cybersecurity Awareness Month, serves as a timely reminder for individuals, businesses, and governments to unite in the face of escalating cyber threats. Kenya’s recent encounter with

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Assessing the Feasibility of Kenya’s Proposed Unemployment Insurance Fund

Kenya is currently grappling with a challenging economic landscape characterised by a high cost of living, and the recent introduction of a housing levy has added to the financial burdens of employers and employees. Amid these economic challenges, the Unemployment Insurance Authority Bill, sponsored by

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Putting a leash on AI – Tech industry leaders endorse regulation in US Congress meeting

Artificial intelligence is developing at a rapid rate across the globe, discovering various innovative applications. Already, ChatGPT has found many uses that make work easier due to its capabilities.  That is why a meeting at the US Senate comprising AI advocates and leaders of big

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An analysis of the proposed tax measures outlined in the draft Medium-Term Revenue Strategy

In the wake of economic challenges and declining domestic revenues, the National Treasury has unveiled an ambitious Medium-Term Revenue Strategy (MTRS) that promises to reshape the country’s tax landscape. The MTRS not only seeks to enhance revenue administration efficiency but also aims to foster economic

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Africa’s potential gains for climate as AU joins the G20 Global Biofuel Alliance

The G20 Summit was recently concluded with its members including the African Union meeting in India’s capital city New Delhi. The climax of this year’s G20 Summit was the G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration which recognized the importance of sustainable biofuels in zero and low-emission

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Protecting sensitive personal health data: An examination of Kenya’s Digital Health Bill

In Kenya, the Digital Health Bill for 2023 has emerged as a crucial stride in safeguarding sensitive personal information and ensuring the responsible handling of health data. Yet, just like with any set of rules, it’s vital to carefully examine its contents in relation to

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Data Commissioner ruling on the right to access personal data: An in-depth examination of your rights over collected data

The right of access to personal data has been a subject of discussion globally with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) devoting an entire article to outlining this concept. It is nonetheless crucial to define personal data as follows:         The GDPR

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Exit NHIF and enter three health funds: Fresh bid to accelerate universal healthcare for Kenyans

The National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) will be dismantled to pave the way for three funds that will be managed and administered separately for efficiency. On Tuesday, the Cabinet approved the proposal to scrap NHIF to create the Primary Healthcare Fund, Social Health Insurance Fund,

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DANCING THE TANGO WITH THE 30% ICT RULE

Policies pegged on local/foreign shareholding of companies in Kenya have been mired in controversy since 2006 when the local shareholding of foreign companies was reduced to 20% to attract foreign investments. This allowed investors to retain up to 70% of their equity, demonstrating the government’s

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Fueling economic growth: The rise of Kenya as a global outsourcing hub

In an era characterised by globalisation and technological progress, Africa is swiftly emerging as a dynamic player in the outsourcing landscape, with Kenya leading the charge. As countries on the continent establish their positions on the global outsourcing map, the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector

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Vellum Health: WHO convenes first high-level global summit on traditional medicine to explore evidence base and opportunities to accelerate health for all

  The World Health Organization (WHO) is convening the Traditional Medicine Global Summit on 17 and 18 August 2023​ in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India. Co-hosted by the Government of India, the Summit will explore the role of traditional, complementary, and integrative medicine in addressing pressing health

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Vellum Green: Kenya’s ‘Green Army’ initiative to advance tree planting and ecosystem restoration

  To address environmental challenges and advance sustainable forestry practices, the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry has launched an ambitious endeavour called the ‘Green Army’ initiative. This initiative aims to recruit 4,000 unskilled individuals as tree nursery attendants, kickstarting a national tree-growing and

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Safeguarding the digital sphere: The crucial role of content moderation for public interest and consumer protection

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, content moderation has emerged as a critical defence against harmful and inappropriate online content. As the internet becomes an integral part of our lives, the need to ensure a safe and informative online environment becomes paramount. The digital age

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Zoom’s AI data controversy: The role of consumer rights and advocacy in safeguarding digital interactions

  In today’s digital era, the rapid advancement of technology has brought unparalleled convenience and connectivity to our lives. As video conferencing became a lifeline during the pandemic, Zoom emerged as a leading platform, enabling people to work, learn, and socialize remotely. However, recent developments

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Matatu fare control: An analysis and feasibility of the proposed legislation

Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa has introduced the National Transport and Safety Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023 that seeks to amend the NTSA Act, 2012. If passed,  the Transport Cabinet Secretary will have powers to put caps on bus fares for public service vehicles (PSVs) in proposed

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Significant Political Sentiment: President Ruto’s take on the new tax measures and the need to curtail borrowing

The government’s spending on various initiatives ranging from affordable housing, healthcare, and support for farmers and small businesses, will be footed by taxpayers following approval of the budget and the Finance Act of 2023.  This outcome stems from the government’s implementation of comprehensive tax measures

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KENYA WEEKLY MARKET WRAP

EQUITY MARKET COMMENTARY • The benchmark indices sustained their downward trajectory, with the NASI, NSE 20 and NSE 25 declining 4.8%w/w, 2.2%w/w and 4.4%w/w respectively on the price drop of most large caps. • Market activity surged five-fold to USD 30.4m – highest in four

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World Breastfeeding Week: Joint statement by UNICEF executive director and WHO director-general

    Statement by Catherine Russell and Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus   In the last 10 years, many countries have made significant progress to increase exclusive breastfeeding rates. Yet even greater progress is possible when breastfeeding is protected and supported, particularly in the workplace.  

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Worldcoin craze in Kenya: Beyond the free money to financial security and data privacy concerns

Worldcoin is an iris biometric cryptocurrency project. Worldcoin was founded with the mission of creating a globally-inclusive identity and financial network, owned by the majority of humanity. Worldcoin consists of a privacy-preserving digital identity network (World ID) built on proof of personhood and, where laws

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Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative sets off food crisis alarm in East Africa

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently pulled out of a renewal agreement deal entered into on 22nd July 2022. The deal, witnessed by UN President António  Guterres, is between Russia, Ukraine and Turkey on the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI). The deal enabled Ukraine to resume

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Combating money laundering: Setting the Criminal Assets Recovery Fund in motion will tighten the noose around the vice

The effect money laundering has on a country’s economy is both severe and extensive. Not only does it impact businesses and the economic health of a county but also has far-reaching implications for the financial sector, a critical component of a country’s economic growth and

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Driving growth in ICT by removing barriers to foreign investment and fostering innovation

The proposal to remove the 30% minimum local shareholding requirement for foreign entities operating in Kenya’s ICT sector marks a significant milestone in the country’s efforts to encourage foreign direct investment and drive growth and innovation in the digital economy. This decision comes after acknowledging

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Unraveling the implications: Analysing the proposed increase of reporting thresholds in anti-money laundering and proceeds of crime regimes

The Cabinet issued a dispatch on 18th July after considering various legislative proposals, policies, and programs towards the implementation of the bottom–up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA). This followed the just concluded fifth appraisal by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after the approval by the World

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Africa CDC, WHO and RKI launch a health security partnership to strengthen disease surveillance in Africa

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) launched a Health Security Partnership to Strengthen Disease Surveillance and Epidemic Intelligence in Africa on 18th July, 2023. The partnership aims to strengthen Africa’s

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The fly in the ointment of Threads hype is data privacy and competition concerns

Meta’s recent launch of the Threads app has captured substantial attention, stemming not only from its rapid user adoption but also from the growing concerns over potential data privacy and competition issues it may raise. Threads gained over 100 million users within a week of

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AI and privacy: Navigating the intersection of privacy rights and AI advancements while safeguarding businesses from liability

Earlier this month, Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet, was accused of misusing substantial quantities of personal information and copyrighted material in the training of its artificial intelligence systems. The complaint, filed in San Francisco federal court by eight individuals seeking to represent millions of internet

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A reprieve to Kenyans but dire consequences to the exchequer after suspension of the Finance Act 2023

After President William Ruto assented to the Finance Bill, 2023, on June 6, the bill became law. This meant that some of the provisions of the law were to take immediate effect from July 1, 2023, while some would become effective in September and others

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Silicon Savannah: Re-Imagining Kenya as a hub for the booming global ICT service industry

Understanding the service industry From an economic standpoint, economic activity revolves around two broad categories, goods and services. Goods-producing industries refer to those that produce a tangible item that forms the basis of commerce. They include agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and construction, among others. Service industries,

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Edible oils manufacturers seek government support for sustainable growth

The edible oil manufacturing sub-sector of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, last week (3 July) released a statement urging government support for its continued growth. Through a new initiative dubbed ‘the Agriculture for Industry (A4I) Initiative’ the sector called for a collaboration with national and

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Unveiling the new NHIF rates: A closer look at the strategic focus and implications

From the manifesto, Kenya Kwanza emphasised its commitment to realise the constitutional right to health in the shortest time possible by delivering a Universal Health Coverage (UHC) system. This was meant to be built on three pillars. The first pillar is a fully publicly financed

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President Ruto’s address at the Global Financial Pact Summit in Paris: A comprehensive review

President William Ruto attended the New Global Financial Pact Summit held in Paris, France. The summit sought to address a a range of objectives, including but not limited to the following: Restoring fiscal space to countries facing short-term difficulties, especially the most indebted countries. Promoting

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Unlocking Kenya’s ICT Industry Potential: Empowering Business Process Outsourcing Contracts

Kenya’s ICT sector has experienced remarkable growth over the past few decades. This has positioned the country as a leading technology hub in East Africa. With the vision of becoming a top off-shoring destination in Africa, the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and IT-Enabled Services (ITES)

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Examining an alternative perspective: Meta’s stance on content moderators and the implications of the court ruling

The recent ruling by the Employment and Labour Relations Court regarding the employment status of content moderators has ignited significant debate and scrutiny. While the ruling determined that Meta (formerly named Facebook) should be classified as the employer of these moderators, it is crucial to

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The European Commission and WHO launch landmark digital health initiative to strengthen global health security

The World Health Organization (WHO) and European Commission on 5th June 2023, announced the launch of a landmark digital health partnership.   In June 2023, WHO will take up the European Union (EU) system of digital COVID-19 certification to establish a global system that will help

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Boosting corporate sponsorship: The importance of involvement in sports

April 17, 2016, is a day that remains etched in the memory of Kenyans. The Kenya Rugby Sevens team had broken the ceiling and lifted the country’s first major trophy in the World Rugby Series Circuit. At that point in time, the future did look

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Unpaid hospital and mortuary bills: Analysing proposed amendments to the Health Act

Discharged but confined in hospitals; deceased but detained in mortuaries. These are the prevalent harsh realities facing families unable to clear medical or mortuary bills. The situation is an infringement on human dignity and basic freedoms as enshrined in Articles 28, 29 and 39 (1)

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WHO’s annual assembly ends with agreement on funding, and an array of health topics

WHO’s 76th health assembly closed Tuesday, May 30, having addressed a vast array of issues, including behavioural sciences; best buys for non-communicable diseases; diagnostics; disabilities; drowning prevention; emergency, critical and operative care; food micronutrients; indigenous health; infection prevention and control; maternal and child health; medical

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Progress in Kenya-US Bilateral trade talks: United States Trade Representative’s proposal on key agreement areas

As negotiations for a bilateral trade agreement between Kenya and the US under their Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (STIP) continue, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has released summaries of texts proposed on the areas covered by the agreement.  One of these, the Services

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Key takeaways from Africa’s Private Sector Dialogue on the AfCFTA

The Africa Private Sector Dialogue on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) was hosted by the Kenyan government, under the 3rd Kenya International Investment Conference (KIICO) from Monday 29th to Wednesday 31st May 2023 at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, bringing together

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Dangote’s New Refinery in Nigeria and Kenya’s Quest for Energy Independence

In a significant development this week, Aliko Dangote, a prominent Nigerian businessman, inaugurated Africa’s largest petroleum refinery. With a daily processing capacity of 65,000 barrels of petroleum, this privately owned refinery is set to revolutionise Nigeria’s fuel industry. The country, despite being an oil producer,

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Regulating Artificial Intelligence: Kenya needs to establish AI rules as usage grows

As AI continues to grow, it is being utilised more and more in Kenya. AI has the potential of boosting the country’s economy and solving prevalent problems across various sectors. Its application can transform the delivery of government services, improve the healthcare system, increase food

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Rethinking energy in the wake of climate change and sustainability

Earlier this month the High Court in London dismissed a climate-based lawsuit against the Board of Directors of Shell company for failure to act responsibly in strengthening the company’s energy transition strategy. The court in its ruling argued that the principal role of directors is

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Revitalising Kenya’s Tax System: Introducing the National Tax Policy and Its Transformative Impact

  Since gaining independence in 1963, Kenya has made significant progress in developing its tax system. The government introduced various laws to broaden the revenue base, including legislation on income tax, sales tax (later replaced by value-added tax), excise duty, and customs duty. However, the

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Analysing the government’s justification behind the Finance Bill

The Finance Bill 2023 proposes a raft of tax measures, some of which appear to have explored some uncharted territory. This is the first Bill under the new regime and it is grappling with several challenges. A good number of the proposals are aimed at

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Unveiling the fallout: An Analysis of Kemsa scandals and Health PS termination

In the past decade, the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) has been involved in one scandal after another. Every other year, Kemsa is embroiled in what are mostly procurement-related scandals. It, therefore, came as no surprise when on Monday, May 16th 2023, Health Cabinet Secretary

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Analyzing the Pros and Cons of Exchange Rate Fluctuation

In a recent visit to Kenya, IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva held discussions with President Ruto and members of the Cabinet on possible policy recommendations concerning Kenya’s recovery from the exogenous economic shocks the country is experiencing. In a bid to address economic growth and

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TRADE ROUNDUP

KENYA M-Pesa deepens share in Safaricom revenue as voice stutters The share of M-Pesa in Safaricom mobile service revenue has deepened to 41.5 percent as earnings from voice and text messaging came under pressure from applications such as WhatsApp. Safaricom’s mobile service revenue in the

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Lifesaving solution dramatically reduces severe bleeding after childbirth

A new solution, known as E-MOTIVE, could provide a major breakthrough in reducing deaths from childbirth-related bleeding according to a landmark study by researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the University of Birmingham. Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) – defined as the loss of more

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Exploring the Evolution of Excise Duty in Kenya: From Sin Tax to Revenue Generation

Excise tax is a levy applied selectively on particular goods and services.  The main aim of this levy is to raise substantial revenue for the government at relatively low administrative or compliance costs.  Excise taxes are mainly levied at relatively high rates on a few

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Tax Appeals: Examining the Impact of ‘Pay to Play’ on Access to Justice and Cash Flow Constraints for MSMEs

‘Pay to play or pay to be played?’ Sections of the Finance Bill 2023 have caused a buzz amongst them the amendment of Section 32 of the Tax Appeals Tribunals Act to cause taxpayers who seek an appeal on the Tribunal’s decision at the High

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A solution or a grasp at straws? Assessing the Feasibility of the Proposed National Housing Development Fund

As per the last census, conducted in 2019, the total population of Kenya was 47,564 million people. 31% of this total population resides and lives in cities and urban areas, with most of the country’s population still residing in rural settings. Despite that being the

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Unveiling the Economic Ramifications: The Impact of 16% VAT on Fuel and Fuel Products

The recent proposal to increase the Value Added Tax (VAT) imposed on petroleum from a rate of 8% to 16%, is bound to impact fuel prices and is poised to reverberate across various sectors of the economy. The VAT rate of 8% on petroleum products

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Finance Bill 2023: Is it the Breaking Point for Overburdened Kenyan Taxpayers?

The Finance Bill, 2023 which has got many tongues wagging across the country was tabled before the National Assembly on Thursday, May 4, 2023, by the National Treasury. The Bill proposes an array of tax changes geared towards expanding the tax base and raising revenue

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Rearranging the payment systems landscape: Exploring how banks and telecoms can deeply disrupt payment systems

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), on Wednesday, May 4, 2023, launched the Kenya QR Code Standard, in an event that was graced by leading players in the telecom and banking sectors. The implication is that going forward, payment service providers like Safaricom, alongside leading

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Focus on kidney health is key in fighting non-communicable diseases

The enormous negative impact of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) on public health systems across the sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region today is receiving much more attention on the policy agenda than it did two decades ago. Amid this commendable progress, however, there is an emerging risk that

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Curbing Alcohol Abuse in Kenya: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Government Measures and Proposed Solutions

Alcohol abuse is a prevalent issue in Kenya, and the government has implemented various measures to tackle it. These measures comprise policies, programmes, and regulations to reduce alcohol abuse, enhance treatment and rehabilitation, and promote responsible drinking habits. This article analyses the government’s efforts to

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Kenya should take action to control declining agricultural production and curb food imports

Kenya recorded a decline in the growth of the agricultural sector last year, on account of unfavourable weather conditions that led to a reduction in both crops and livestock performance. The production of maize in 2022 was 3,204,000 tonnes, which is a drop, compared to

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Artificial Intelligence Index Report 2023: An overview

The AI Index Report tracks, collects, distills, and visualizes artificial intelligence data. It aims to give unbiased, rigorously validated, widely sourced data to policymakers, researchers, CEOs, journalists, and the general public to enable them to build a more thorough and nuanced knowledge of the complicated

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Taifa-1: Kenya’s leap into space exploration and utilization for food security and beyond

The successful deployment of the Taifa-1 satellite into orbit will signify Kenya’s most significant stride into the realms of space exploration and utilization. It will be a testament to Kenya’s growing capabilities in the space industry and its commitment to leveraging space-based technologies for the

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What happened in the counties this week?

Migori county Jeremiah Ekamais Lomorukai Napotikan, Governor, Turkana County, conferred the status of Municipality to Kakuma Town following the grant of Municipal Charter on the 30th March, 2023. Bungoma County Kenneth Makelo Lusaka, Governor, Bungoma County, appointed persons to be members of the recruitment panel

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President Ruto called for a bi-partisan engagement in Parliament to solve the issues raised by the Opposition.

President Ruto called for a bi-partisan engagement in Parliament to solve the issues raised by the Opposition. Opposition chief Raila Odinga stood down the planned demonstrations for seven days pending proposed talks.  President William Ruto maintained his position that there will be no ‘handshake’ between

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What happened in Parliament this week?

  The National Assembly    The House is on a short recess and  will resume on 11th April 2023.   The Senate  The House is on a short recess and is expected to resume on 11th April 2023.

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A look into some of the appointments for this week

Legislative Supplements, 2023         The Public Order (Turkana, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, West Pokot, Samburu and Laikipia Counties) Curfew Extension Order No. 3 of 2023;         The Public Order (Turkana, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, West Pokot, Samburu and Laikipia Counties) Extension

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Use of multiple bank accounts declines to 48pc

The number of Kenyans using multiple accounts fell further to 48.2 percent last year, down from 62 percent in 2021 as customers cut back on the costs associated with more banking relationships. A Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) customer satisfaction survey found that 48.2 percent of

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Ruto, Raila headed for fresh battle over Parliament talks

Kenya Ruto, Raila headed for fresh battle over Parliament talks President William Ruto and Opposition leader Raila Odinga are on a new collision course barely two days after calling a political ceasefire amid countrywide mass protests. Mr Odinga yesterday spurned an offer by the Head

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1 in 6 people globally affected by infertility: WHO

Large numbers of people are affected by infertility in their lifetime, according to a new report published Tuesday by WHO. Around 17.5% of the adult population – roughly 1 in 6 worldwide – experience infertility, showing the urgent need to increase access to affordable, high-quality

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Greening Africa’s judiciary: Promoting climate justice and gender equality

Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing Africa today, with far-reaching impacts on human livelihoods, food security, health, and the environment. According to the United Nations, Africa is one of the region’s most vulnerable to climate change, with the potential to affect up

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BRICS at a glance: Funding opportunities for Africa and the risks

The new world order known as BRIC, a group acronym referring to Brazil, Russia, India, and China, has been trying to take over economic dominance from the West and have more sovereignty and autonomy.  The acronym BRIC created in 2001 was predicted to be one

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PSC lauds public institutions for improvement in compliance

The Public Service Commission has commended public institutions for improvement in terms of their compliance. According to a report released by the Commission, the overall compliance index of various public institutions for the 2021/2022 financial year was 41.7%. Public universities were ranked the best performing

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Oil prices set to surge after producers announce plans to cut production

Prices for petroleum products are set to go up after the major oil producers announced plans to cut their production up to 1.15 million barrels per day from May until the end of 2023.  Saudi Arabia announced the biggest cut among Organization of the Petroleum

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Expected changes in the fiscal policy to attract investment in Kenya

The current administration is committed to bringing legislative amendments to the fiscal policy through the Finance Bill, 2023, and the Budget Policy Statement. President William Ruto noted that the changes in the fiscal policy would introduce the National Tax Policy within the next three months

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