4th September 2020 Trade & Financial Services Round Up

September 4, 2020 - Reading Time: 5 minutes - By The Vellum Team

Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) Meeting

The next meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will be held on Tuesday, September 29, 2020.

SME Credit Pro from Cameroon win the Virtual African Hackathon 2020 competition

SME Credit Pro from Cameroon were crowned the winners of the Virtual African Hackathon 2020 competition on August 31, 2020. The second place was taken by MizaA2F Platform from the United Arab Emirates/Tunisia and MobiCash from Libya came third.

The theme of the Hackathon was “Harnessing Fintech in addressing COVID19 effects on healthcare, digital payments and economic recovery.”

SME Credit Pro will participatein the Global Fintech Hackcelerator at the Singapore Fintech Festival(SFF) scheduled for December 2020. The 15 finalists will benefit from training, mentorship and collaboration opportunities from some of the Hackathon’s partners.

Governors threaten to shut county services

Governors have threatened to shut down county services and send home staff in two weeks if the Senate fails to resolve the Revenue Sharing stalemate. Counties are facing a cash crisis after senators failed to strike a deal on the formula for sharing Sh316.5 billion among the 47 devolved units.

The stalemate has resulted to a three-month delay in release of the equitable share, making it impossible for counties to pay salaries and allowances for health workers amid the covid-19 pandemic.

Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) asks Foreign Electronic Certification Service Providers to register

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has published a public notice asking all foreign Electronic Certification Providers are required to apply for recognition within 30 days. This follows the enactment and operationalization of the Business Laws (Amendment) Act 2020 early this year. The Act, which has a positive impact on the country’s ease of doing business, has led to the following:

  1. Recognition of electronic signatures, documents and registries
  2. Reduction of formalities, increasing transparency and protecting businesses

This amendment has brought into sharp focus the role of Electronic Certification Service Providers (E-CSPs) in Kenya. 

The Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998 mandates the Authority to license E-CSPs to issue digital certificates. A digital certificate is a record issued by a Certification Service Provider for the purpose of supporting a digital signature. A digital signature confirms the identity or other significant characteristics of the person who holds a particular key pair; identifies the certification provider issuing it; names or identifies the person to whom it was issued; contains the public key of the person to whom it is issued and signed by a responsible officer of the Certification Service Provider issuing it.

In exercise of its powers, the Authority wants any Foreign Electronic Certification Provider operating in the country to apply for recognition of their services with the Authority within 30 days. 

Recall of the Draft Proceeds Of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering (Criminal Assets Recovery Fund) (Administration) Regulations, 2020

The National Treasury and Planning has published a notice recalling the public notice on the draft Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering (Criminal Assets Recovery Fund) (Administration) Regulations, 2020. This is to allow further consultations with the key stakeholders.

Ministry of ICT request for comments on the Draft Digital Economy Strategy for Kenya

The Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs has developed and published the Digital Economy Strategy for Kenya and is inviting all stakeholders to submit their inputs and comments.

The Ministry hopes to develop a comprehensive Strategy that seeks to leverage internet, mobile and other technologies to grow Kenya’s vibrant Digital Economy and ensure its optimal contribution to the national development, socio-economic growth, employment and public welfare after the stakeholders’ consultation. The Strategy will act as an instrument that will guide the country in the adoption and adaption of new technologies to reap the benefits presented by digital transformation thus ensuring that no-one is left behind.

Interested members of the public and private organisations are invited to submit substantive comments with specific proposals for amendments to the Draft Strategy to (desk@ncs.go.ke) by close of business on 30th September 2020.


Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda proposes reopening of Entebbe airport

The Covid-19 National Taskforce has proposed the reopening of Entebbe airport, borders, places of worship and universities for final year medical students.The taskforce proposed that the ministries of Education and Health should look into the possibility of reopening the schools. The proposal says that worship places should reopen but the number of worshippers should not exceed 70. In the same proposal, the team dropped the consideration for a lockdown in Kampala city. The taskforce recommended that Entebbe airport and borders should reopen on October 1.

Last Saturday, President Museveni directed the taskforce to discuss reopening of schools across the country in a phased manner starting with candidate classes. On Monday, the taskforce headed by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda maintained the closure of schools, bars and public gyms, among others.

Uganda’s economy recovering faster than expected

Uganda’s economy is now recovering at a rate of 4.9% of GDP after dropping to about 2.9% during the COVID-19 lockdown. The Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Amelia Kyambadde has revealed that Uganda’s economy is recovering at a faster rate than predicted. The Minister noted that Uganda’s economy is now recovering at a rate of 4.9% of GDP after dropping to about 2.9% during the COVID-19 lockdown.


UmojaSwitch teams up HaloPesa to provide ATM cash-out service

Halotel’s haloPesa have teamed up with UmojaSwitch to provide ATM cash-out services. No extra fees will be imposed on customers who withdraw cash at UmojaSwitch ATMs but existing charges remain in place with respect to the market’s fees when making cash withdraws at HaloPesa agents.

With this new service along with over 50,000 HaloPesa Agents who are well distributed across the country, the telco will continue to serve over two million customers based both in rural and urban areas.

Major Airlines Increase Flight Trips to Dar

Tanzania’s resilience to the novel Coronavirus disease seems to be paying off after three major airlines increased their flight frequencies to the country. Ethiopian Airlines has increased its frequency to 14 flights a week, from the initial four landing and departures from Tanzania. Other major airlines that will be following a similar suit, include the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, which added a number of its flights from one to four a week and Qatar Airways which increased its flights from two to 14 a week.


World Bank Rwanda gets new Country Manager

Rolande Pryce has been appointed the new World Bank Rwanda Country Manager. Rolande replaces Yasser El Gammal who served in the same position since February 2016. Rolande Pryce is a Jamaican national and she has worked for the bank since 2006. She has represented the Bank in operations in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as Sub-Saharan Africa and the Pacific Islands.

Her experience on the continent includes serving in the Africa Energy Practice Group where she was responsible for quality and portfolio management of what was at that time a $10 billion portfolio.

UNFPA Rwanda secures Rwf5bn for youth reproductive health and rights

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Rwanda has secured Rwf5 billion to advance youth rights to sexual and reproductive health through a three-year joint venture. UNFPA is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency and it is being funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in a project that intends to empower adolescents and young people in Rwanda to realise their human right to equality, sexual and reproductive health and freedom from violence and discrimination.


Ethio-Germany Energy Cooperation Launches Competition on Energy Solutions

“Decentralized Energy Solutions for Ethiopia’’ aims at supporting  national efforts being carried out in Ethiopia to enhance rural community’s access to electricity through decentralized energy solutions. The innovations to be presented for the competition should be environmental friendly, reliable, sustainable and available with affordable price, the ministry indicated.  

They are also expected to be more beneficial to the development of key social sectors including water, health and the prevention of COVID-19 pandemic. Ethiopian students, researchers, entrepreneurs and innovators are invited to partake in the competition.

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