President Ruto saves Airtel Kenya, Amazon from forced stake sale

  • 31 Mar 2023
  • 3 Mins Read
  • 〜 by The Vellum Team


President Ruto saves Airtel Kenya, Amazon from forced stake sale

Airtel Kenya has been saved from forcibly selling a third of its stake to local investors after US tech giant Amazon successfully lobbied President William Ruto to drop the foreign ownership rules as a condition for setting shop in Nairobi.

Dr Ruto on Thursday announced Kenya will drop the ownership rule introduced in April 2021 that gave telecoms firms up to March 2024 to ensure local ownership of at least 30 percent.

He reckoned that the rule had become a hurdle for large tech firms like Amazon wishing to open operations in Kenya, denying the growing number of skilled youth decent job opportunities.

Airtel Kenya will emerge as the biggest beneficiary of the policy shift after the firm started the difficult task of seeking Kenyan investors to buy a 30 percent stake (Business Daily)


Airtel, Letshego partner in digital saving campaign

Dubbed Airtel Money ‘Vimba na Timiza Akiba Ushinde’, the campaign will see Airtel Money customers win Bajaji, Motorcycles, Flat TV screens and cash prizes whenever they make savings.

The Airtel Money ‘Timiza Akiba’ is a digital service, which allows Airtel Money customers to make savings. Speaking during the launch, Airtel Tanzania director of communications Ms Beatrice Singano said the promotion aims at encouraging Airtel Money customers and the public on making savings digitally.

(The Citizen)


Uganda has lowest share of commercial debt in EAC

Uganda holds the least share of commercial debt in East Africa, according to the Ministry of Finance Status of Uganda’s Debt report. 

The report, which highlights different aspects of Uganda’s financing, including sustainability, stock and source of public debt indicates that whereas the share of Uganda’s commercial debt, as opposed to bilateral and multilateral debt, has been growing, it remains lower compared to other East African member states.

For instance, according to the report, during the period ended September 2022, out of $20.33b (Shs76.5 trillion) total stock of public debt, the share of commercial debt stood at 10.4 percent, which was lower than any other East African member state.

(The Monitor)


Rwanda signs global agreement on tax transparency

Rwanda, on Tuesday, March 28, signed the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA); a framework that provides an efficient mechanism for information exchange among member countries of the Global Forum (GF) on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.

With 166 members, the Global Forum, run by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), is the world’s leading international body working on the implementation of global transparency and exchange of information standards. (The New Times)


Ethiopia, Latvia agree to cooperate in key bilateral areas

Ethiopia and Latvia have agreed to cooperate in several key bilateral and multilateral areas, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia said. Director-General of Europe and American Affairs Ambassador, Eshete Tilahun held political consultation with the Under-Secretary of State – Political Director at the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Andzejs Vilumsons on ways of enhancing cooperation at bilateral and multilateral venues.

During the deliberations, Ambassador Eshete briefed Vilumsons on current affairs including the ongoing peace process and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. He said, Latvia plays an important role in the European Union as well as the Baltic Sea region stressing the need for Ethiopia and Latvia to work closely to elevate their relations. The consultation was concluded with the two sides agreeing to cooperate in key bilateral areas such as air service, agriculture, education, ICT, tourism and water resource management, the ministry of foreign affairs said.



‘40 percent of gum Arabic’ smuggled out of Sudan into Egypt and Chad

Sudan’s Economic Alliance Forces state that 40 per cent of *gum Arabic production is being smuggled through Egypt and Chad, with only $139 million of total exports in the past year coming through official channels.

In a press conference held by the economic alliance yesterday, Dr Hossam El Din Hassan highlighted that approximately “200 trucks loaded with livestock are smuggled to Egypt each week”. He added that the “trucks can carry up to 30 heads of livestock each” and that the purchases are being made in local currency. This illicit trade generated revenues equivalent to at least two per cent of Sudan’s total exports last year.

Sudan has experienced a significant decline in cotton exports due to poor productivity and production, with cotton exports worth $383.8 million in the past year, constituting only nine per cent of the nation’s exports. In contrast, sesame exports generated $488 million last year, accounting for 11 per cent of Sudan’s total exports.

(Dabanga Sudan)