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10. News.........................................................10 Energy....................................................12 Oil....................................................28 Infrastructure ............................................. 34 Technology............................................37


Feature...............................................48 Readers Contribution ....................................52 Students.....................................................60






A Definitive Publication of Engineers in East Africa & Beyond, since 1972


Editorial Committee: A A McCorkindale – Chairman F W Ngokonyo - Vice-Chairman N O Booker J N Kariuki Prof M Kashorda Allan Muhalia A W Otsieno S K Kibe M Majiwa J Mutilili Editorial Assistant: Peninah Njakwe Editors: Articulate Edits Design & Layout: Daniel Wakaba Ndung’u Sales & Marketing: Roseline Okayo Joyce Ndamaiyu Phylis Muthoni Anastacia Kodi Oliver Elman

Editor’s Note The role of engineering in the development of a country, in our case Vision 2030 cannot be overemphasized. The new Government has a task not only to ensure successful completion of ongoing projects but also initiate others that are geared towards realization of the vision 2030. With the new county dispensation, Kenya Engineer will keep an eye on engineering works in all the 47 counties and keep you in the know. What’s contained in this issue:Energy: KenGen searching for investors to develop the 560MW geothermal power station at Olkaria fields; Ksh12.9 billion wind power project to be set-up in Kinangop adding to the national grid 60MW power and the country makes a step towards realizing nuclear energy for Kenya. Oil: Feasibility study of the 2000km Kenya-S.Sudan pipeline going on; Tullow announces successful flow test of the Ngamia-1; Camac Energy begins exploration for oil and natural gas on two blocks in Lamu. Investment in Liquid Petroleum Gas goes up. Technology: The role Technology will play in the development of the county. Considerations to make before Outsourcing your IT services. Infrastructure: KPA adopts a digital way of dealing with clients; Commissioning of berth 19 expected soon as works are completed. Events: The IEK Conference is scheduled to take place from 8th - 10th May at Tom Mboya Labour College, Kisumu. A A McCorkindale – Chairman Editorial Committee Next issue will be out by 1st July 2013

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Correspondence should be addressed to the Institution. Kenya Engineer is published every two months. Views expressed in this Journal are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect those of the Institution.

©Copyright: Reproduction of any article in part or in full is strictly prohibited without written permission from the Institution of Engineers of Kenya.




20th Engineers’ International Conference “Innovative Engineering Solutions for Industrialization”


hat consistent use of engineering, science, technology and innovation has led to dramatic economic growth of Newly Industrialized Countries worldwide cannot be overstated. Indeed Kenya has been ranked 50th out of a scale of 144 countries in the area of innovation in the Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013 and 66th in the category of availability of scientists and engineers. The Institution of Engineers of Kenya has taken cognizance of the fact that Engineers must sustain the spirit of innovation in order for this country to remain relevant in the global economy. In this regard, the Engineers Conference is intended as the premier Kenyan Event for emerging technologies that promise to enhance technological and socioeconomic innovation and growth in the counties. The Institution of Engineers of Kenya, in realization of the important role of innovative engineering solutions in industrialization and to complement the national efforts to achieve economic growth in line with vision 2030, has organized the annual international



conference for 2013.The Conference features state-of-the-art technical presentations selected on basis of technology relevance, innovative edge, business approach and practical applicability. The wide selection of topics below allow participants an opportunity to share experience and articulate how their presentations fit in the process of industrialization of counties through innovative engineering solutions. • •

• • • • • • • • •

Innovative Policy and Management I n n o va t iv e n e w m e t h o d s f o r Engineering (design, project management, smart systems etc) Emerging Technologies (Technology transfer to industry and counties) Financing and Commercializing Innovation Organizational Innovation Ethics in Innovation Education Mineral exploration, mining and processing strategies Industrialization strategies for vision 2030 Sustainable research strategies Industrial processes performance, control and maintenance

All the above topics are cross cutting in a number of key sectors of the economy such as Energy, Transport, Information & Communication, Water, Housing, Health, Environment, Agriculture, Security, Finance etc. The International Conference on Innovative Engineering Systems is going to be a very novel and innovative effort of a conference where the focus will be on the need for innovative engineering systems because of their impact on the quality of life. We therefore invite you to participate in presenting papers, exhibiting products and services, sponsoring and supporting the conference in order to bridge this gap and develop the 47 counties moving forward towards an industrialized Kenya. I look forward to meeting you in Kenya in May 2013. DATE: 8th-10th May,2013 VENUE:Tom Mboya Labour College,Kisumu

»Eng. J.M Riungu

Chairman Institution of Engineers of Kenya

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Kenya at Phase one of implementing Nuclear Electricity


enya’s quest for energy security is the seed which germinated into the desire for the use of nuclear technology for electricity generation in Kenya. It served as the catalyst for the formation of the Nuclear Electricity Project Committee in November 2010. Almost two years to the day, NEPC was transformed into a statutory body under the State Corporations Act (Cap 446). This was through Legal Notice No. 131 of 16th November 2012. It was renamed Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board (KNEB). The organization’s functions include: to promote and expedite the development of nuclear electricity in Kenya, develop policies and propose legislation necessary for the successful implementation of a nuclear power programme as well as undertake public education and awareness on Kenya’s nuclear power programme. In addition, KNEB has the responsibility to identify, prepare and facilitate the implementation of a roadmap for a nuclear power programme and in collaboration with relevant Government agencies. It is also charged with developing a comprehensive legal and regulatory framework for nuclear electricity generation in Kenya and the human resource capacity to ensure Kenya has the requisite manpower to successfully establish and maintain a nuclear electricity programme. KNEB further has the job of identifying appropriate sites in Kenya for the construction of nuclear power plants and related amenities, entering into collaborative programmes related to nuclear electricity research and development with other international and national organizations besides the establishment of a library and information center on nuclear science and technology. Pre-Feasibility Study KNEB is currently conducting a pre-feasibility. The objective of the study is to enable the government to make a knowledgeable decision regarding the



nuclear power program. The pre-feasibility study is being undertaken with input from the following institutions: JJ Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology JJ Kenya Power and Lighting Company JJ Kenya Electricity Generating Company JJ Kenya Electricity Transmission Company JJ Energy Regulatory Commission JJ Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute JJ Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) JJ Kenya Bureau of Standards JJ Radiation Protection Board JJ Ministry of State for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 JJ Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources JJ Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute The pre-feasibility study is based on the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA guidelines. This approach uses 19 so-called “infrastructure issues.” These are the elements which are essential in the setup and development of a nuclear electricity programme

ENERGY The prefeasibility study will feed into a feasibility study. The latter will examine all aspects related to the development of a nuclear power programme in Kenya in greater detail. This includes a study of areas zeroed into as candidate sites to host the nuclear electricity plant(s). Besides the technical study, KNEB is currently in the process of developing a legal and regulatory framework. This entails formulation of policies, audit of existing laws as well as drafting and enactment of legislation by parliament. Kenya’s national energy policy is in the process of being reviewed to include nuclear electricity generation. Legislation will also pave the way for the establishment of a robust and independent regulatory body to ensure safety, security and safeguard of the Nuclear Power Program.

from its conception to decommissioning - an average lifespan of 60 years. These are: 1. National position 2. Nuclear safety 3. Management 4. Funding and financing 5. Legislative framework 6. Safeguards 7. Regulatory framework 8. Radiation protection 9. Electrical grid 10. Human resources development 11. Stakeholder involvement 12. Site and supporting facilities 13. Environmental protection 14. Emergency planning 15. Security and physical protection 16. Nuclear fuel cycle 17. Radioactive waste 18. Industrial involvement 19. Procurement

Public acceptance is a key consideration in setting up a nuclear power program. KNEB is tasked with the responsibility of educating the public and other stakeholders on all matters related to Nuclear Power generation. Thus far, this has included engagement with stakeholders including Parliamentarians and COTU, Academia including Egerton University and professional bodies such as the Consumers Federation of Kenya COFEK, Kenya Association of Manufacturers and The Institution of Engineers of Kenya IEK. Furthermore, KNEB’s publicity and advocacy has included mass media engagement encompassing print, electronic and online media. KNEB is vibrant on social media such as Twitter: @nuclearkenya, Facebook: @nuclearkenya and on the web portal The organization has also been active in Expos and Trade Fairs including the 2012 Nairobi International Trade Fair where KNEB had an exhibition stand. A Nuclear Power Program is knowledge intensive. A typical NPP - such as that envisioned for Kenya - comprises three main institutions: a Promoter (KNEB), Operator (entity which will run the nuclear power plant that produces electricity) and a Regulator. These three organizations require personnel with various skills and professional competencies. KNEB has commenced the training of such personnel. Currently 28 students are pursuing Masters Degrees in Nuclear Science at the University



ENERGY of Nairobi under the sponsorship of KNEB. A further 10 students are undertaking post graduate degree courses in Nuclear Engineering in South Korea. It is anticipated that Kenya’s First Nuclear Power Plant producing up to 1000MW of electricity will begin service in 2022. By 2030, that would rise to 4 nuclear power plant producing a total of 4000MW of electricity. However, this will be determined by the outcome of ongoing technical studies whose findings and recommendations will inform the model and capacity of reactors that will be used for Kenya’s nuclear electricity generation.

yellow cake Conversion: After mining and milling and extracting, the solid uranium oxide concentrate (yellow cake) the uranium (U308) actually needs to be in the form of a gas before it undergoes the next process - enrichment. It is converted into uranium hexafluoride (UF6) which is a gas at relatively low temperatures. Enrichment: After the uranium is mined, separated from the ore and converted into the gas hexafluoride, it needs to be enriched. Uranium contains only 0.7% of the fissile isotope U-235. The hexafluoride

Electricity Generation Several hundred fuel assemblies make up the core of a reactor. For a reactor with an output of 1000 megawatts (MWe), the core would contain about 75 tonnes of low-enriched uranium.In the reactor core the U-235 isotope fissions or splits, producing a lot of heat in a continuous process called a chain reaction. A nuclear power plant produces steam using the heat produced by splitting atoms in uranium fuel through a process known as fission. These fragments strike other atoms, releasing energy. The steam produced, drives a turbine to produce electricity. Spent Fuel Storage After 18-36 months the used fuel is removed from the reactor. When removed from a reactor, the fuel will be emitting both radiation, principally from the fission fragments, and heat. It is unloaded into a storage pond immediately adjacent to the reactor. In the ponds the water shields the radiation and absorbs the heat, which is removed by circulating the water to external heat exchangers. Used fuel is held in such pools for several months and sometimes many years. It may be transferred to naturally-ventilated dry storage on site after about five years.

Uraniu m is a n atural ly occurri ng radioactive element classified as a metal and used as a fuel for nuclear power plants. It is a common metal that can be found throughout the world. Uranium is about 500 times more abundant than gold and about as common as tin. Milling: The mined uranium ore is sent to a mill which is usually located close to the mine. At the mill the ore is crushed and ground to a fine slurry which is leached in sulfuric acid to allow the separation of uranium from the waste rock. It is then recovered from solution and precipitated as uranium oxide (U308) concentrate or


gas contains both the isotopes U-235 and U-238 in the ratio of 0.7 to 99.3. The enrichment process increases the concentration of U-235 to about 3.5% or slightly more. Fuel Fabrication: The enriched uranium, which has been milled to separate it from the ore, converted and enriched, is now sent to a fuel fabrication plant where it is changed into uranium dioxide powder. The powder is pressed into small pellets, which are then put into metal tubes, forming fuel rods. These fuel rods are put together to form a fuel assembly. The uranium fuel is formed into ceramic pellets.


Reprocessing Used fuel still contains about 96% of its original uranium, of which the fissionable U-235 content has been reduced to less than 1%. About 3% of the used fuel comprises waste products and the remaining 1% is plutonium (Pu) produced while the fuel was in the reactor and not ‘burned’ then. Used fuel contains both radioactive waste products and unused nuclear fuel. In fact, the vast majority of the nuclear fuel remains unused when the fuel rod must be replaced. Reprocessing separates the unused nuclear fuel from the waste products so that it can be used in a reactor again. Managing Radioactive Waste Each year, nuclear power generation facilities worldwide produce about 200,000 m3 of low- and intermediatelevel radioactive waste, and about 10,000 m3 of high-level waste (HLW) including

ENERGY used fuel designated as waste. If used reactor fuel is not reprocessed, it will still contain all the highly radioactive isotopes, and then the entire fuel assembly is treated as HLW for direct disposal. It too generates a lot of heat and requires cooling. Final disposal of high-level waste is delayed for 40-50 years to allow its radioactivity to decay, after which less than one thousandth of its initial radioactivity remains, and it is much easier to handle. Canisters of vitrified waste, or used fuel assemblies, are stored under water in special ponds, or in dry concrete structures or casks, for at least this length of time. The ultimate disposal of vitrified wastes, or of used fuel assemblies without reprocessing, requires their isolation from the environment for a long time. The most favored method is burial in stable geological formations some 500 metres deep.

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Cost of Electricity Increased


he increase of fuel prices and a higher forex charge has seen Kenya’s electricity consumers paying more than what they have been paying.

The forex charge went up to Sh1.69 per KWh in March from February’s Sh1.04, while the fuel adjustment cost went up to Sh6.21 from Sh5.38. This means an increase in the cost of electricity for 50 units or KWh from an average of Sh564 in February to Sh638 in March, representing a 13.2 per cent increase. The cost of fuel was revised upwards by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on March 14, with the price of diesel going up by Sh2.27 a litre. This was attributed to a weak shilling during the December/January imports window, coupled with an increase in crude oil prices. The monthly cost of electricity had reduced marginally since December, following optimum power generation from hydro sources, which reduced reliance on thermal electricity generation. Kenya’s interconnected installed capacity stood at 1,672MW in January, of which 120MW is from the expensive emergency thermal power. A further 1,248MW is projected to be injected into the grid by 2015, from both state-owned and independent thermal power producers.

Government of Kenya

Despite the short-term reprieve expected with the rainfall, the long-term picture is less enticing for industries and home users with more thermal generators coming onstream and Kenya Power pushing for a tariff review. Another upward review of the fixed rate would be effected on July 1 to Sh250 and later to Sh300 in 2015.




Construction of country’s largest wind power firm expected later this year


n an event held on February where Lake Turkana Wind Power project signed a memorandum of understanding with the government, investors of the project expressed confidence that the project could begin later this year. “The LTWP consortium comprising of Aldwych International, KP&P Africa, Industrial Fund for Developing Countries (IFU), Wind Power A.S. (Vestas) and Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund) are now confident that they will start construction later this year.”, press release.

60MW Wind firm to be set up in Kinangop


he country’s energy grid is expected to get a 60.8 mega watt power increase following a 12.9 billion wind power project to be set-up in Kinangop. The project, Kinangop Wind Park Ltd by Aeolus is set for ground breaking before the end of this year’s first quarter. US conglomerate General Electric will install 31.8 megawatt turbines on the site. General Electric is already implementing a similar project in Kajiado through its energy subsidiary GE Energy. The subsidiary owns Kipeto Energy Limited which will install the 100 megawatt of wind power in Kajiado County.

The project which is so far the country’s largest single private investment began in 2005. The project aims to provide 300MW of reliable, low cost wind power to the Kenya national grid, equivalent to approximately 20% of the current installed electricity generating capacity. The wind farm site, covering 40,000 acres (162km2), is located in Loyangalani District, Marsabit West County, in northe a s t e r n Ke nya , approximately 50km north of South Horr Township.

According to a report by Genghis Capital, the estimated wind energy potential is between 4,000 megawatt and 10,000 megawatt but only 5.1 megawatt of this has been harvested and fully exploited so far. Transaction advisers CFC Stanbic Bank said that they are finalising on arrangements where Sh8.6 billion would be in the form of a loan extended by Standard Bank. The remaining Sh4.3 billion would come from two equity investors. The process is expected to be complete in 30 days. Listed utility KenGen already has a footing in the niche with a planned 25.5 megawatts plant in Ngong. The project has already received a Sh1.32 billion interest-free loan from Belgium and a Sh2.38 billion credit line from the Spanish government. The latest in this race of tapping in the country’s wind power is the Kenya Forestry Service who have invited investors to develop a 100 megawatt wind station on a 560 hectares piece of land in Ngong. Investing in power is needed in this country to save the consumer from high energy prices. Kenya Power earlier announced a move to raise the fixed charge to Sh200 from Sh120. The variable cost for a kilowatt per hour (Kwh) will also go up.



A concession area of 150,000 acres has been leased from the Government of Kenya for a 99 Year term. Whereas the footprint of the wind farm will comprise 40,000 acres, the other area will act as a buffer around the wind farm site. The 365 wind turbines (each with a capacity of 850 kW) will occupy 23 acres, the switchyard will occupy 39.5 acres and the village including workshop will occupy 25 acres amounting to a physical land take not including internal roads of only 87.5 acres. The Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (Ketraco), with concessional funding from the Spanish Government, is to construct a double circuit 400kv, 428km transmission line to deliver the LTWP electricity along with power from other future plants to the national grid. KETRACO will own the transmission line and have a tolling arrangement with Kenya Power. The turbines will evacuate the power produced via overhead medium voltage (33kV) electricity collector grid system and associated step-up transformers (33/400kV) located in the switchyard. From the switchyard, power will be evacuated through a double circuit high voltage bus bar and associated circuit breaker system to the proposed 400kV transmission line.

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Operation of LPG facility in Mombasa haulted


perations in a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) distribution terminal in Maritini, Mombasa are faced with a hurdle following the call by a firm to terminate the contract.

Unispan, the firm contracted by owner, African Gas and Oil to construct the sh1 billion terminal has moved to court claiming that African Oil and Gas had refused to pay for a certificate that ought to be issued by the project engineers thus exposing them to risk of loss and damage. An injunction was since issued against the oil company from using the LPG facility pending the hearing and determination of the case . Construction of the 14,000 metric-ton liquefied petroleum gas discharge tank in the port city of Mombasa begun in mid 2011. The storage plant is part of the firm’s $125 million plan. In their second stage of their plan, they intend to build 16 storage facilities with the capacity to hold 28,000 tons of LPG. Unispan’s actions comes in the backdrop of analysts’ reports that Investment in Kenya’s liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) supply business is set to rise this year, as companies rush to meet the growing demand. Hunkar Trading, Addax Kenya, Hass Petroleum, the National Oil Corporation of Kenya (Nock) and listed oil marketer KenolKobil are expected, in total, to spend over Ksh1.7 billion ($20 million) to build new, or expand existing LPG plants. The Petroleum Institute of East Africa (PIEA) has projected a sharp rise in gas usage, as more households abandon traditional sources like firewood and charcoal. Last year, Total Kenya installed two bulk LPG storage tanks at the company’s depot in Industrial area in Nairobi, effectively



doubling the storage capacity from 150 to 300 metric tonnes (MT). Kenya used 62,499 MT of LPG in 2011, with Vivo Energy, previously Kenya Shell, commanding the biggest market share at 28.5 per cent between January and September 2012. PIEA’s data shows Total had 22.3 per cent, Oil Libya 18.3, KenolKobil 11.5, Hashi Energy 5.1, Cape Suppliers 3.3, and Addax Petroleum and Hass Petroleum 2.3 and 2.1 per cent respectively. By the end of April 2013, Hunkar Trading hoped to have completed automation of a cylinder-filling plant, and expansion of an LPG storage facility from 50 to 200 MT at a cost of Ksh80 million ($919,540). The plant is located on Mombasa Road in Nairobi. Chairman Jackson Kariuki said Hunkar has erected a weighbridge for tankers delivering gas in bulk to clients. He said standardisation of cylinder valves has encouraged new players to enter the LPG market. The Energy (LPG) Regulations Act of 2009 requires gas to be packaged in standardised vessels fitted with 20-millimetre valves. To create order in the supply chain, the LPG Exchange Pool Secretariat has been facilitating the exchange of cylinders of three, six and 13kg among marketing firms, since October 2009. Hass Petroleum plans to invest $5 million for the construction of cylinder-filling plants in the next two years, and the firm is looking for sites in Nakuru and Kisumu to start work before the end of the year. “It will serve our local and transit market needs. We are already in the Kenyan market and plan to introduce branded cylinders of six and 13kg in Uganda this year,” said Hass managing director Issa Mohammed. Hashi Energy has put up cylinder-filling facilities in Mombasa, Nairobi and Eldoret at a cost of $6.5 million Nock plans

to introduce mobile units that allow partial filling of cylinders with gas according to what the consumer can afford. Managing director Sumayya Athmani said, “Nock is working on setting up a modern high capacity LPG plant at its Industrial Area depot in Nairobi. The recruitment process for the contractor is at the tender stage.” By May 2013, Addax Kenya hopes to have completed a new LPG depot with a capacity of 200 MT, and a cylinder-filling plant, all at a cost of $4.7 million. The plant is located at Syokimau on the outskirts of Nairobi. Edward Rutto, the projects and assets manager of Addax, said storage capacity of the terminal, occupying five acres, of land will be increased to 400 MT. Construction of the terminal started in October 2012 and the gas will be transported from Mombasa by road tankers. Kisumu, Kenya’s biggest town on the shores of Lake Victoria, is set to host KenolKobil’s Ksh120 million ($1.4 million) LPG depot and cylinder-filling plant. The absence of a bulk depot in the region has pushed up the price of cooking gas.

KenGen seeks foreign Investors to fund 560MW power project


he Kenya Electricity Generating company KenGen is engaging foreign energy firms, mostly from Japan and South Korea, to develop 560 megawatts of geothermal power at its Olkaria fields under a public–private partnership deal. KenGen has shortlisted Asian power firms such as Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), Daewoo to help fund the Sh172.5 billion ($2 billion) project due in 2016. The development will help to increase the proportion of

ENERGY steam power to a third in Kenya’s energy mix and cut the cost of electricity. Geothermal is one of the cheapest sources of power. Chinese Exim Bank has already advanced KenGen Sh33.3 billion ($386 million) to fund the ongoing drilling of 80 wells that will provide the steam necessary to generate power. “Given the high capital cost associated with drilling steam wells and building power plants, we plan to explore the public– private partnership route,” said KenGen’s managing director Eddy Njoroge at an investor briefing Thursday. “It will be undertaken as a joint venture through a special purpose vehicle,” said Mr Njoroge. Cushion investors Under the deal, KenGen will drill the wells and deliver the steam for electricity generation in a bid to cushion the foreign investors from risks associated with geothermal exploration. The strategic investors will fund the setting up of power stations to be built at the Olkaria geothermal fields, located in Naivasha, about 120 km northwest of the capital Nairobi. The State-owned power generator said it costs an average of Sh215 million ($2.5 million) to produce one megawatt of electricity, depending on the source. The listed power producer accounts for 80 per cent of Kenya’s installed capacity which stands at 1,708 megawatts, where geothermal sources make up 13 per cent of the total. KenGen estimates that to provide the 19,586 megawatts target by the year 2030, Kenya needs to invest at least Sh345 billion ($4 billion) annually for the next 17 years. KenGen plans to provide 3,000 megawatts of power by 2018 and 10,000 megawatts by the year 2030, mostly composed of renewable energy sources such as geothermal, wind and hydro. Mr Njoroge said the firm has engaged a consortium of consultants to help raise $5 billion in the next two years through a mix of debt options mainly bonds and engaging multilateral development finance institutions such as Japan International Cooperation Agency and Germany’s KfW.






ver the past decade, global use of renewable energy sources (solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal, biomass, and biofuel) for generation of electricity has grown significantly, reaching 19% of total power generation in 2010 compared with 14% in 2002. The rise in the use of renewable energy has mainly been driven by increased awareness of effects of climate change and governments’ incentive programs aimed at enhancing the development and the use of green energy. Africa, however, still lags behind other regions of the world with regard to electricity consumption and generation. Electric power in many African countries is still inaccessible, unaffordable, and highly unreliable. About 90% of the rural population in Sub-Saharan Africa has no access to electricity, with Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali and Sierra Leone among the most severely underpowered. Some USD23 billion per annum (AfDB, 2010)* is needed to meet existing and future demand in this sector. In the absence of massive investments, the continent’s future development is under threat. Yet Africa is rich in renewable resources and could benefit from the increasing use of renewable energy,



such as hydro-power (potential estimated around 1,750 TWh) and geo-thermal energy (estimated at 9,000 MW). Over 80% of the continent receives about 2000 kWh per square meter of solar resources per annum and a solar generating facility covering just 0.3% of North Africa could supply all the energy requirements of the European Union. These energy sources offer a clean alternative to traditional sources of energy, particularly fossil fuels. Thus, the adoption of renewable energy sources for electricity generation in Africa would signal a shift to lowcarbon development in the continent. Various African countries have set targets for the share of renewable energy sources. For instance, the governments of Egypt, Ghana, Madagascar, and South Africa respectively set targets of 20%, 10%, 75%, and 13% by 2020 for the share of electricity from renewable sources (Renewable Energy Policy Network, 2009). Potential benefits of renewable energy to Africa Renewable energy sources offer numerous benefits ranging from contributing to economic growth through the creation of new enterprises and jobs to mitigating the effects of climate change and providing electricity to rural areas.

ENERGY The fast global growth of the renewable energy industry would foster economic growth mainly through investment and direct and indirect jobs creation. According to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), 26% of the total reduction in carbon emissions worldwide in 2010 was on account of efficiency gains in renewable energy sources. Increasing the share of renewable energy as a source of power generation will likely accelerate further reductions in these emissions. In rural areas, the transmission and distribution of power generated from fossil fuels is very costly. Therefore, using off-grid renewable energy sources in rural areas will help increase access to basic services, including lighting, communications, and water pumping. The use of these increasingly affordable technologies would facilitate the integration and development of African rural populations. Impediments to the development of renewable energy in Africa Many factors may compromise the development of renewable energy in Africa: • Subsidies on fossil fuel-based energy coupled with insufficient access to finance make the adoption of renewable energy sources challenging. • Given the low load factor and the high marginal cost of renewable energy plants (compared to other power plants), access to the electricity grid is also restricted and the use of incentivized feed-in tariffs for priority of access to the grid is still limited. • Inadequate regulatory and institutional environments in most African countries further impede the development of the renewable energy industry. • Moreover, there is still a huge knowledge gap on the potential benefits of renewable energy and many countries consider it a less-reliable energy source compared to traditional fossil fuel power plants. The renewable energy industry is capital-intensive, with heavy funding requirements for development. In order to catch up with other emerging countries that have succeeded in developing the renewable energy sector, the main priority for African countries would be to gain access to affordable and sustainable financing to develop the industry in its early stage. New innovative financing instruments and public-private partnerships will help stimulate investment in the renewable energy sector. This may require provision of incentivized tariff schemes and adoptions of new regulations allowing for priority of access to the electricity grid. Public awareness campaigns on the attractiveness and beneficial effects of renewable energy as a clean source of electricity should also be undertaken.

Kenya one Step closer to Africa nuclear dream


orea and Kenya forged ahead with plans to build a nuclear power plant and make the East African nation the second to have nuclear power on the continent. Kenyan Ambassador to Korea Ngovi Kitau participated in a ceremony lauding the 2013 incoming class of Kenyan nuclear engineers and other professionals on March 4 at KEPCO’s school for nuclear power professionals in Ulsan. Kenyan-Korean cooperation on development in the East African country has led to the opening of this new school to train future nuclear engineers, the KEPCO International Nuclear Graduate School (KINGS). There are currently 54 students enrolled in KINGS, including 22 international students, half of whom are from Kenya. Last year, six students from Kenya were admitted: two to study power generation, two for power transmission, and two for radiation safety. Five more students were admitted this year. Some 300 more nuclear power plants will be built worldwide by 2030, KINGS forecast on its website. This surge in nuclear power will bring greater demands for many more engineers, scientists, technicians and other nuclear power professionals. The school estimates that, in fact, about 100,000 more nuclear engineers and 10,000 other leadership-level nuclear experts will be required in the near future. The World Nuclear Association estimates about 45 nations around the world are “actively considering embarking on nuclear power programs.” Of the 45, 12 are from Africa. Kenya has advanced furthest in its plans to generate electricity from nuclear power, with a 1,000-megawatt reactor planned for 2022. “Kenya now has 11 students undertaking master’s courses in nuclear engineering in preparation for 2022, when Kenya will start using nuclear energy,” said Kitau. Last year’s six were from different institutions, namely: Kenya Nuclear Energy Board, Kenya Power and Lighting Company, and Kenya Radiation Protection Board. Kitau said the two countries are currently discussing admitting two additional students into KINGS.




Kenyan oil well releases 281 barrels per day in test drill

It said that the well holds a potential of producing up to 5,200 barrels of oil per day if pumped using high efficiency equipment. Elsewhere, British oil explorer Tullow Oil Plc has completed a testing program for the Twiga South-1 well with results showing that the well has a cumulative flow rate of 2,812 barrels of oil per day (bopd).


In a statement, the oil explorer said that the well holds a potential of producing up to 5,200 barrels of oil per day if pumped using high efficiency equipment.

In a statement released on its Twitter handle, the oil company said the drill test at Ngamia-1 well in Block 10BB proved the commercial potential of oil reserves in the northern part of the country.

“The testing program at the Twiga South-1 oil discovery has now been successfully completed with a cumulative flow rate of 2,812 bopd, constrained by surface equipment. With optimised equipment, these flow rates would increase to a cumulative rate of around 5,200 bopd,” read the statement in part.

ne of Kenya’s six oil wells has been releasing 281 barrels of oil a day (bopd) in a drill test conducted by British explorer Tullow Oil.

“At the Ngamia-1 well in Block 10BB in Kenya, the first of six drill stem tests has now been completed. The test was carried out in the Lower Lokhone formation. The well flowed 281 barrels of 30 degree API oil per day using a Progressive Cavity Pump,” the statement said. “The results from the first flow test at Ngamia are also very encouraging and prove the first potentially commercial flow from the Lower Lokhone reservoir section. The remaining tests in the Auwerwer reservoir units will give us a fuller indication of Ngamia’s production potential, ” said Angus McCoss, Exploration Director of Tullow Oil plc. In February the British explorer announced it had completed a testing program for the Twiga South-1 well with results showing that the well has a cumulative flow rate of 2,812 barrels of oil per day (bopd)

Tullow expressed optimism of encountering similar or better results in the forthcoming testing program at the Ngamia-1 well that is scheduled to kick off in March and end in May. The results are the first to be released since the British firm encountered oil deposits in Kenya in March last year and industry analysts say that they are an indicator of potential commercially viable oil deposits in the country. Since the March 2012 oil discovery at the Ngamia-1 well which was followed by two other discoveries of oil and natural gas at the Twiga South-1 well and at offshore Block L8 in the Lamu basin, Kenya has attracted increased attention from international exploration companies. Test results of the Ngamia-I well, expected to be released in May will give a further indication on whether the country is headed to the list of oil producing nations.



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Lamu Basin may hold 3.7bn barrels of oil: Pancontinental


he Lamu Basin which is on the coast of Kenya could contain up to 3.7 billion barrels of oil, Pancontinental, an Australian oil and gas prospecting company has said. The company, which owns a 40 per cent interest in the L6 block which is also known as Kifaru and Tembo, said that the estimates had been derived from data after new 3D and older 2D seismic surveys were done. “The L6 area has potential to contain approximately 3.7 billion barrels of oil or 10.2 trillion cubic feet of gas prospective resources on a gross, un-risked, best-estimate basis according to an assessment by operator FAR Limited,” said Pancontinental in a trading statement released to the press. FAR Limited, the other Australian oil and gas prospecting company which holds a 60 per cent interest in the block said that the 3D data shows that Tembo, Kifaru and Kifaru West prospects in the L6 block have prospective resources of 327, 178 and 130 million barrels of oil respectively. FAR Limited also said that the three prospects could also be containing 807,517 and 388 billion cubic feet of gas respectively.

Barry Rushworth, chief execuitive officer and executive director, Pancontinental. The East African region has become a hotspot for oil and gas exploration after Uganda discovered oil and Tanzania discovered gas. British explorer Tullow Oil recently said that tests done on the Twiga South-1 oil well in Kenya confirmed it could produce up to 2,812 barrels of oil per day at a constrained rate and up to 5,200 barrels per day at an unconstrained rate. Tullow however said that the Ondyek-1 exploration well In Uganda, did not encounter hydrocarbons. “While it is still early days for our exploration campaign in Kenya, these flow tests results at Twiga South-1 are an important step on the way towards understanding the commercial potential of the two discoveries we have made so far,” said Angus McCoss, exploration director, Tullow Oil. Mr McCoss said that while the Ondyek-1 well in Uganda did not encounter hydrocarbons, it had contributed to the understanding of the limits of the EA-1A block.

The company said that chances of a discovery of the three prospects have been assessed to be 21 per cent, 19 per cent and 18 per cent respectively. “The new resource estimates are a further step in unlocking the commercial potential of one of Pancontinental’s areas offshore Kenya. With these initial resource estimates, and mapping of the new 3D seismic well advanced, we are in a position to select a site for our first well in L6,” said



...........the three prospects could also be containing 807,517 and 388 billion cubic feet of gas respectively.


Oil exploration begins in Lamu


S-based firm, Camac Energy, is commencing exploration for oil and natural gas on two blocks in Lamu. Camac has a contracted Canadian firm Sander Geophysics Limited to undertake geophysical surveys on the L1B and L16 onshore blocks in Lamu. Meanwhile, Sander Geophysics will do an airborne gravity and magnetic geophysical surveys that are expected to give data on the land formation in the region. The data acquisition will cover the entire 12,197 sq kms in Block L1B and the entire 3,613 sq kms in Block L16, exceeding the first exploration period’s gravity and magnetic survey requirements for each Block. The process of gathering data is expected to commence in the second quarter of this year, and initial results in third quarter of this year.


“This is an important milestone for our Kenya exploration program,” said the Senior Vice President of Exploration and Production, Segun Omidele. “These gravity and magnetic surveys will satisfy the first requirement of the first exploration period, and most importantly, will allow us to delineate an optimal 2-D seismic program on the Blocks. This is the first step to unlocking the high potential value of our onshore Kenya acreage.” Camac Energy is among the global energy firms flocking to the country with hopes of striking oil. The firm in mid 2012 signed Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) with Kenya’s ministry of energy for 4 blocks in Kenya with one licence still pending. Under the agreement, the company is the named operator with 100 per cent net interest on all of the blocks, but the


Government has the option to participate at 20 per cent upon development. In addition to the two onshore blocks L1B and L16, the firm also operates L27 and L28 offshore blocks that are off the coast of Lamu. Omidele said the results of the airborne gravity and magnetic survey will be used to optimise the placement of 2-D seismic lines by identifying faults, basement structures and intra-sedimentary volcanic layers and/or intrusions. Airborne gravity and magnetic data combined with 2-D seismic has been utilised to identify successful exploration targets in East African Rift Basins by firms that have interests in the various blocks though to have deposits of oil and natural gas. These include Heritage, Tullow and Africa Oil.


South Sudan to build pipelines from Lamu-Juba via Djibouti


outhern Sudan has announced that it is pressing ahead with studies into new oil pipelines to Kenya and Djibouti following a deal to restore exports through onetime civil war foe Sudan. The country has hired German firm, ILF consulting Engineers to assess the feasibility of pipelines to Lamu in Kenya and through Ethiopia to Djibouti. The pipeline to Djibouti will serve large potential oil reserves in eastern Jonglei state - a remote region struggling with an insurgency and violent tribal clashes. The pipeline between Lamu and Juba measures 2000 kilometers and is expected to cost $3 billion. It will be supported by a Japanese car maker, Toyota Tsusho Corporation (Toyota Tsusho). Construction is expected to begin in June this year and last for two years. The pipeline will transport between 700,000 barrels and 1 million barrels of Southern Sudanese crude per day. The new state has 7 billion in proven reserves. Sudan and South Sudan earlier this month agreed to resolve bitter border and security disputes, a deal which would let Juba restart oil production and export through pipelines in Sudan. The landlocked state had shut down its 350,000 barrel-per-day crude output in January last year in a row with Sudan over pipelines fees as well as claims its northern neighbor confiscated millions of barrels of crude. In February 2012, Djibouti, South Sudan, and Ethiopia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to build a pipeline, railway and fibre optic cable line from Djibouti to Juba via Ethiopia. The country has dismissed concerns that the project was unfeasible due to high costs, as well as claims the moves were only meant to cut oil links with Khartoum. Juba also recently agreed to build roads through Ethiopia to Djibouti to transport crude in trucks.




Works at berth 19 complete, commissioning expected in May


he Kenya Ports Authority is expected to receive berth 19 by the end of April after works on the project are fully completed. The berth whose construction begun in July 2011 is set for commission in May 2013 after the handover. The 240 metre long berth is expected to boost container handling operations at the port as well as the increased capacity. The berth will have an annual capacity of 200,000 20-foot equivalent container units (TEUs).It will see ship quay area at the port container terminal extended to 840m and a container staking yard increased by about 15 acres. The port which handles cargo for Kenya and her neighboring countries had the traffic grow by 9.9 per cent last year. According to statics by KPA, the port handled 21.92 million tonnes of cargo last year up from 19.95 million tonnes handled the previous year. The Mombasa port is increasingly becoming a favorite importation door thus increasing activity there. The Mombasa recently underwent dredging to create room for bigger vessels. The Kilindini harbor channel was deepened by 15 metres and widened to 500 metres to accommodate larger vessels. The channel will allow the port to handle ships of up to 4,500 TEUs.

Mombasa Port operations go digital


ervices at the Mombasa port are expected to improve and speed up following Kenya Ports Authority’s switch to a new operational system. KPA adopted the Systems Applications Products (SAP) System late March and is now in full operation. According to a statement released by the authority, this development puts the port of Mombasa at 70 percent in the journey towards becoming an Electronic/Paper-less port. “KPA is the leading organization in the region to deploy more than one new solutions and functionalities in SAP Systems at ago. These include the Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) an online portal where Suppliers can transact with KPA”, said Head of Information Communication & Technology, Ms. Fatma Nabhany in a statement. The SRM portal allows Suppliers to receive Purchase Orders and participate in Tendering process online. The Financial Supply Chain Management (FSCM) enables customers to request for services, receive invoices, make payments, lodge claims/disputes, and receive statements of accounts electronically. There’s also an Employee and Manager Self Service (ESS/ MSS) - portal enables staff to access and update own HR data. Employees will also be able to request and process leave electronically. The manual paper based processes are being replaced with electronic automated processes which in turn are expected to result in a significant reduction in errors and the cost of procuring paper documents. “Our processes will be completed faster and more efficiently Improved transparency, traceability and visibility in the Tendering process”, said KPA in a statement.




Collision and Damage of Overpasses by overheight tracks Is your vehicle over height?


n Sunday 31st March 2013, along Juja road, east of Nairobi City, an over height truck brought down a pedestrian overpass at Pangani Girls High School. Eight school girls who were walking on the bridge sustained injuries as it collapsed onto the road beneath week later, on Saturday 6th April 2013, another over height truck collided with the railway overpass connecting the port of Mombasa along Moi Avenue on road A109. The bridge collapsed on the cabin of the truck, injuring the driver and disrupting traffic on the highway for more than ten hours. Several other incidences of overpasses damaged by over height loads or trucks have been recorded in the past. The pedestrian footbridge along Highway (A104) at Nakuru town was hit and destroyed by truck carrying construction equipment on 9th March 2011. Fortunately,the incident happened in the middle of the night when no pedestrians were using the bridge and therefore no injuries were reported. The bridge was demolished and replaced at a cost, which was borne by the owner of the truck. The Kamandura Bridge located at the interchange of Nairobi - Nakuru highway (A104) and Rironi – Mai Mahiu (B3) Highways was also severely damaged by a truck laden with over height Load. The Bridge, the damage did not cause catastrophic failure. It was assessed by the Highway Authority and repaired. The vertical clearance was also increased. With the development of many bridges, underpasses and overpasses especially on the major highways across the

»Plate no. 2: Collapsed pedestrian overpass at Pangani School on Juja Road

country, to improve flow of traffic at intersections and to enhance the safety of the pedestrians, there is an increased risk of having more occurrences of such collisions, which may not only result to injuries or fatalities, but also costly damage to the structures and disruption of traffic flow. It is therefore important that road users with over height loads, road authorities and traffic law enforcement units to work together to avoid such incidences. What is an over height vehicle? A vehicle is over height if, together with its load, it is more than 4.2 metres high above the road surface The Traffic Act cap 403 laws of Kenya (of 2009) schedule 12, limits the overall dimensions of vehicles, including width, height and length. Part 1 of The 12th schedule, section 3 (b) of the Traffic Act cap 403 Laws of Kenya, prescribes that; ‘the maximum overall height of a motor vehicle or combination of vehicles, either laden or unladen, shall not exceed 4.2 metres measured from the road surface’ The statutory height limit for general access vehicles is 4.2 metres. This allows vehicles 4.2m and under unrestricted access to the road network. It is however important to note that some over-road structures such as cables, railway overpasses, tunnels etc. may be less than 4.2m high. Truck drivers should therefore exercise caution and always watch for signs indicating the height of structures over the road. Due to vandalism, it is possible that signs may be missing on approaches to these structures. Drivers must also be careful since all bridges on the highways do not have a uniform vertical clearance.

»Plate no. 1: Damage to bridge girders on the Kamandura Bridge at A104/B3 interchange

Vertical Clearance of overpasses and bridges Most overpass bridges that were constructed before 1990 have vertical clearance of between 4.6m and 4.9m.



INFRASTRUCTURE However older bridges especially those that carry rail transport may have a reduced clearance, due to standards used at the time of the railway. As a result of change of bridge standards, the Highway Authorities require that all new bridges must have a vertical clearance of 5.5m. Permits Vehicles more than 4.2m high are over height and subject to special conditions. A specific permit, from the respective Highway Authority ( KeNHA, KURA or KeRRA) is required for vehicles more than 4.2m high. The permit must be carried at all times during the journey. In addition, the driver must keep to the designated approved route. The permit may require escort vehicles and travel during specific times. Penalties or prosecution in court may result from noncompliance of conditions set out in the permit. Responsibilities of the road user If you are driving an over height vehicle, you have extra responsibilities on the Highways. Your vehicle could have a huge impact on other drivers and the maintenance of overpasses, bridges, tunnels and roads if something goes wrong. You must therefore; • Know the height of your vehicle, by itself as well as with its load before you leave the loading point. • Plan your route carefully. Make sure you only travel on authorised routes. • Obtain the necessary permits before embarking on your journey • Obtain any necessary information such as clearance limits at overpasses and bridges, sections of road under construction etc. from the Highway Authority. Both the road users and the Highway Authority must take positive steps to prevent a breach of road transport laws, including fatigue, speed, mass, dimension and load restraint laws. All those with responsibility for activities that affect compliance with road transport laws may be held legally accountable if they do not meet their obligations. Designated over height vehicle routes Over height vehicles may only travel on designated routes. These routes are stated on the permits issued and it is the responsibility of the drivers to strictly stick to them at all times. Eng. Daniel S. Cherono, R.Eng, MIEK works at the Kenya National Highways Authority and comments on engineering matters. Twitter: @dcsacho



Canadian firm gets nod to mine rare metal


enya is set to start exploiting high value mineral used in the production of steel products. This follows the issuance of a mining licence to a local subsidiary of a Canadian firm. The Department of Mines and Pacific Wildcat Resources Geology issued Cortec Mining Kenya – a subsidiary of Pacific Wildcat resources (PAW)with a license to mine high grade niobium at Mrima Hill in Kwale County. Niobium is a high value metal used to strengthen high performance steels and production of steel products such as aircraft turbine blades and vehicles. Cortec Mining said it would start small-scale mining by end of this year and set up a processing plant by end of next year. David Anderson, Cortec Mining managing director, said the license cleared way for the firm to start commercial exploration on the 142-hectare site on Mrima Hill. The firm was in 2007 issued with a license to prospect and explore for the metal. The 21-year license would see Kenya tap into the top ten largest Niobium deposit globally. Kenya will be one of largest producers of niobium in Africa.“We expect to begin small scale mining by the end of this year with the main mining commencing for the pilot plant, subject to financing, by the end of 2014,” said Anderson. “Initially, we aim to produce 50 per cent niobium pentoxide concentrate. This concentrate itself can be sold as it is.” He added that Cortec Mining plans to put up a niobium concentrate plant to process the resources, both in the Kwale district as well as in the area of Mombasa in the future. The firm has already commissioned preliminary designs for a ferroniobium, a product with a huge global market. The firm’s initial plan is to process 750,000 tonnes of ore. This will produce high-grade Niobium concentrate for the next 15-16 years. The resource in Kwale County is estimated to be worth about Sh250 billion but has remained untapped mostly owing to political interference as well as dissent with the local community. Cortec Kenya is expected to pay the Government a three per cent royalty on the gross sales of niobium and five per cent for rare earth as per its obtained permit. Niobium is a metal used in the production of steel, rocket turbines, magnets, car parts, television set elements, lamp filaments and jewellery. Only few countries in the world among them Brazil, Canada, Australia, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Burundi and Mozambique produce the metal. Rare earths are used in the manufacture of high-tech electronic products like super conductors, miniature magnets among others. Niobium is used in high-temperature alloys for jet engines and to strengthen steel for cars, buildings and oil pipelines. Alloys from niobium and steel are also used in the creation of welding rods and several stainless steel products used in homes. Niobium has also become popular in the production of optical lenses.


Samsung Galaxy S4 Arrives on the Scene


or those excited about the latest high-powered Android smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is probably one of the most highprofile, thrilling releases of the year. Samsung’s latest labour of love, the 5-inch-screen-equipped smartphone with specs that make not-so-old computers blush, is clearly targeted not just at power users, but those who want a luxury technology experience that sits alongside Apple’s famous ease of use. Samsung have pitched this phone as their best work, with a dramatic but well-rehearsed presentation that showcased many of its features - some of which will most likely give the jitters to phone manufacturers who are about to release new models. One of the highlights for Galaxy S4 owners will be the eye-tracking feature that the phone uses to detect whether or not you’re looking at the phone itself. No, really - this isn’t science fiction. Watching a film on the phone and get distracted? Your phone notices you looking away and pauses the film, hitting “play” again only once your eyes have returned to the screen. It’s

forward-thinking tech like this that has placed Samsung head-on against Apple for the race to the next big innovation. A replaceable battery is an obvious plus, as some phones make replacing an old, dead battery very difficult. Wireless charging, however, is a more modern feature that’s so far been seen only as a mooted concept in a few phones. To be able to charge your new appendage (let’s be honest) without having to fiddle around with cables is a great idea that will provide you with a charger on your desk you can simply place your phone onto while you get on with anything that isn’t figuring out which side up your micro USB cable is (usually the wrong way up the first time, we’ve found). Then again for those who aren’t interested in this, it’s actually an optional hardware upgrade that comes in the form of a new attachable back casing for the phone, so those who don’t want to pay extra for the feature don’t have to. Expandable storage space is back, which is a relief, as many phones (such as Google’s Nexus 4) puzzlingly don’t

offer this feature despite the highestend model only offering 16GB of storage space. The Galaxy S4 however allows you to simply stick a microSD in and expand your storage to your heart’s content (allowing for the current limits the consumer tech market, of course). What’s likely messing with the minds of the competition is the sheer amount of software the phone comes with, a lot of it centring on the handset’s use as a digital camera. This includes Dual Shot mode, Eraser (yes, erasing bits of photos while on your phone, so that photo-ruining idiot friend of yours will suddenly vanish Back to the Futurestyle before your eyes and under your finger) and of course the quality of the camera itself, which should handle video and photo work very well. It’d be foolish to call this year’s market in favour of the S4 just yet, but it’s also pretty difficult to ignore its potential, given its considerable feature set and Samsung’s history of making great phones. Did we mention the 1080p Super AMOLED screen? No? Well, there it is!




Chip technology to curb ATM fraud


ommercial banks’ expected migration from Magnetic strip ATM cards to the ones with Chip technology is expected to put an end to ATM fraud. The Kenyan Bankers Association (KBA) in partnership with the Central Bank announced a road map that will see all commercial banks switch to the Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) Chip and PIN technology. This transition is to happen by end of September 2013 and is expected to cut cut down incidences of ATM and card frauds by a big margin. By meeting global standards for credit and debit card payments, Kenyan banks will be able to materially deal with the ATM theft. While ATM theft cases are on the rise, the banking industry has kept silent and therefore information about its extent is scanty. What this has done is discourage the public from signing up for plastic money. EMV is a joint effort between leading card operators Europay, MasterCard and Visa and was developed to ensure security of the card systems and ease of payment globally. “ATMs remain the most convenient way for bank customers to access their money,” said Habil Olaka, KBA Chief Executive Officer. Commercial banks have been working to make cards safer for their customers with several players already using chip technology on their plastic products. Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) data shows that there were more than 10.7 million ATMs, credit and debit cards in circulation by end of 2012, representing a 6 per cent increase over the previous year. The value of all ATM transactions alone during the same period in 2012 was Sh 156,891 million, up from Sh 140,825 million in 2011. Olaka said KBA is working with its member banks to migrate their ATM machines and credit and debit cards to the Chip and PIN technology by the end of the third quarter of this year.




Samsung ditching android


amsung Electronics Co, is set to release Tizen open-source powered smart phones between August and September this year.

The South Korean electronics giant said the device will be the best product equipped with the best specifications. Tizen is an open source operating system developed by Intel and Samsung and promises thousands of applications for users to choose from. Bloomberg report, cites an interview with Y.H. Lee, executive vice president of marketing for Samsung’s mobile business who says: “The Tizen phone will be out in August or September, and this will be in the high-end category.” According to the report, there are no Tizen devices on the market but over ten firms including Samsung, Intel, Sprint are moving to Tizen, away from Google’s Android. The Webkit-based operating system is built on the Linux kernel and provides an alternative to Android, Google’s operating system found in the best-selling Samsung Galaxy line-up of phones and tablets. The development of Tizen has come at a time when the smartphone is already dominated by Google’s Android and iOS with Windows OS , BlackBerry OS and Firefox OS also finding their niche. China’s Huawei Technologies Co. is also developing its devices for the Tizen operating system.



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Thinking IT Outsourcing? 10 Considerations to make


lobally, the IT outsourcing market has grown over the last few years as more organizations begin to entrust elements of their infrastructures to ‘expert’ partners. There are, of course, many cost and efficiency benefits to be realised with this model, not to mention lower risk and guaranteed service levels. But the road there isn’t always without its pitfalls. Beware a lack of strategy It may seem obvious, but it’s important to know what you want to outsource, where and why. Organisations often understand the need to outsource, as well as the potential advantages and disadvantages, but still haven’t formulated a sound sourcing strategy that’s consistent and makes sense across their organisations. What level of control does the business want to retain, and for which parts of its environment? How does that align with the strategic value of that service to the organisation? Also critical is an understanding of how the internal service organisation currently supports the business, and how it would need to change to incorporate the new model. So, a clear and detailed sourcing strategy is of the utmost importance before entering into any outsourcing arrangement. It will help the business choose the right outsourcer to complement its internal capabilities. Ask your outsourcer: can you help us build an outsourcing strategy which considers all sourcing models – insourcing, outsourcing or multi-sourcing combining on-premise or cloud-based models – and identifies which model, or which combination, is best for our business? Beware a hazy view of your internal costing model Few questions can lead to an emotional discussion as quickly as who’s to pick up the bill. It’s also true in IT outsourcing. Many organisations enter into outsourcing arrangements without fully understanding how the cost will be charged back into their business. Often, it’s IT that signs the contract, yet it’s different business units that consume the services to varying degrees. It’s therefore critical that the organisation has a clear view of aspects such as units of measure, how and where the benchmarks must be set and, eventually, who will

pay for which parts. Ask your outsourcer: can you give us advice as to how we should split your bill internally to be fair and clear to all parties who’ll be using your service? Or can you work with us to define and agree the internal charge-back model to all parties who’ll be using your service? Beware the aggregators’ aggregator and the overclaiming outsourcer When your business needs in-country or technologyspecific capability in certain areas, it’s critical to understand your outsourcer’s level of capability in that geography or technology. It’s a risk to outsource to an organisation that only delivers 5% of the services and sub-contracts the rest to businesses over which you have no direct control. On the other hand, some outsourcers aren’t transparent enough about their true geographical reach or technical skills and claim to provide all services themselves in all territories and technologies, which is often not the case. The ideal model strikes a careful balance between using services from the outsourcer directly, and trusting the outsourcer to aggregate services from other providers on your behalf so that you still retain a single point of contact. Transparency is key. Ask your outsourcer: how do your geographical footprint and technology capabilities match my own – country by country, and in practical terms? Beware a confusion of roles and responsibilities When organisations move from a single-sourcing model with one large outsourcing partner handling all aspects of the engagement, to a multisourcing model in which the environment is split among various providers, they often have a muddled view of who’s responsible for which facet. The same problem creeps up when businesses move into outsourcing for the first time, having handled their environment entirely in-house before. Roles and responsibilities need to be clearly defined upfront during the transition phase of the outsourcing engagement. This will help avoid fruitless finger-pointing later on when incidents occur. The effect of not having clearly defined responsibilities could be negative on both sides of the relationship: the business would have to cope with poorly delivered services, while the service provider



TECHNOLOGY would incur unnecessary costs in delivering that service. Ask your outsourcer: exactly where and when do your responsibilities end and ours begin for each of the services you’re proposing to offer? Beware a cost versus quality imbalance Cheaper isn’t always the same as lower cost. It’s critical to understand the benefits-to-cost ratio in making use of standardised services from off-shore providers based on contracted deliverables, versus a purely value-based delivery partnership. Many organisations fall into the trap of exclusively aiming for a lower price point and end up with dissatisfied business users as an outcome. They are then forced to incur additional costs to improve service levels, or deliver additional services to meet business expectations. The opposite may also be true: too much of the budget is spent on outsourcing services at levels that aren’t aligned with how critical they are to the organisation. Neither extreme is ideal. It’s important to understand that true cost savings only occur through evolving your operational maturity to arrive at the optimal mix of on-shore, off-shore and near-shore service delivery. In an operationally mature organisation, functions and responsibilities are defined and documented clearly enough so that the business is able to move forward independent of the people who perform these functions. In other words, the business can make substitutions and replacements easily and quickly when it needs to, and is robust enough to handle critical incidents and transitions smoothly. An operationally mature organisation also learns from previous incidents in order to improve its processes and performance each



time. This is why they’re far better equipped to recognise processes that can be outsourced at low cost, versus those that need to remain in-house. Ask your outsourcer: are you able to help us evaluate and evolve our level of process maturity across the business, and map that against the ideal off-shore, on-shore or near-shore outsourcing combination? Beware a unstructured transition process It’s also important that the outsourcer should be able to plot its own transition and onboarding processes against your organisation’s level of maturity. A mature outsourcer shouldn’t push its partner into an arrangement that it’s clearly not ready for, but should be able to structure the transition and onboarding process – the so-called ‘sprint’ before the ‘marathon’ – according to the partner’s capabilities. This is where a proper due diligence process is again critical in determining what the onboarding processes should involve, as well as its scope and time scales. Ask your outsourcer: what does your transition process involve and will it match our level of maturity and capabilities? Beware ‘ring-fenced’ delivery models Many large outsourcers have inflexible service delivery models to which their clients are obliged to subscribe. Inflexible models don’t always cater for all types of business in the best way possible. For example, parastatals and government organisations may have important requirements for data sovereignty, which could prevent them from using a shared services model delivered from other regions. But these issues may be


different for a large financial services organisation that already operates globally. So, there should be a degree of flexibility on the service provider’s side in order to structure its delivery model by building on a basic, standard foundation. This will help ensure the maximum benefit for the client’s business. Ask your outsourcer: how flexible is your delivery model in order to match my organisation’s specific requirements? Beware a misunderstanding of ‘innovation’ ‘Innovation’ is easily the most over-used word in the IT outsourcing arena and, while it may sound progressive, it’s often of little substance. It’s necessary to discuss the detail around the intention to innovate during the contractual stages of the engagement. Innovation may include anything from how the outsourcer intends to evolve its delivery models to how it will embrace new technologies. The point is to define precisely what it means, so that there’s a clear and concrete strategy attached, which will meet your expectations. Ask your outsourcer: what do you mean by ‘innovate’? Can you describe your innovation strategy in clear and concrete terms and insert those into our contract? Beware of over-complicated contracts Mature service providers and client organisations are able to ensure that there’s an appropriate level of contracting that governs the relationship. A contract that doesn’t provide adequate cover for both parties may sour the relationship if there’s constant disagreement when incidents occur. But more often than not, the opposite is true. ‘Over-lawyering’ can lead to unnecessary spend on legal services that deliver little value, as well as

time wasted on producing contract documentation that covers scenarios which are highly unlikely to occur. Unnecessary legal fees erode the outsourcer’s margins, and damage the client organisation’s business case. Ask your outsourcer: to what extent is your master services agreement standardised in order to provide a legal basis that would save us legal costs and contracting time? Beware ignoring the opinion of independent analysts A question to pose to your own IT team is how well they’ve researched all the available information about proposed or potential IT outsourcing partners. The decision to partner shouldn’t be based necessarily on existing relationships, but also on which outsourcer’s skills, experience, capabilities and global footprint match your business needs. In order to gain an independent view, it’s best to consult with industry analysts that conduct research about a wide range of outsourcers and engage with their clients in a variety of ways to form a clear picture of their capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. It’s not about partnering with the largest or most well-known outsourcer – but about finding the partner that suits your business in the best possible way. Ask your outsourcer: have your skills and capabilities been evaluated by independent market analysts and, if so, how did they compare you with your closest competitors?

»Samuel M. Eyinda



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Adaptation of Technology


he subject of industrial technology has received significant attention in various international dialogue on economic development issues. This has been due largely to the gradual understanding of the vital role of industry in economic growth and the recognition of the role of technology in the process of industrial development. Technology Technology may be described as a matrix consisting of a set of techniques, each of which is associated with a vector of characteristics. These characteristics include the nature and specifications of the product, the input use, the scale of production, associated managerial techniques etc. The characteristics are designed to fit in with the economic, institutional and technical circumstances of the economy for which they were designed. In a general sense, technology includes choice of material, methods, machinery including equipment and tools, money (amount of sources), for a market (given or potential) appropriate to a country depending on its raw materials resources, availability of labour (level of skills and numbers), climate conditions, other human factors and level of social economic development at any given point of time. The technical know – how is not static, but is a continuous process of growth. For any country, developed or developing, it is not possible to remain in complete isolation. There is a prevailing lead – between developed countries which in some areas like electronics is quite high. Developing countries cannot afford to reduce this lead – time by indulging in own R & D programmes starting from the basics. Any disproportionate effort and money spent on grass root research with a view to catch up with developed countries will only increase the existing lead – time. This lead time can be shortened only by importing the technology

initially and then using adaptive research to modify the performance. Even developed countries import technical know-how backed up by an intensive follow up Research and Development activity. Choice and acquisition of technology Choice of technology is a very important factor for the planned and balanced development of any sector of the economy. The investments made in an obsolete or old technology which may look very cheap and attractive to begin with, would prove very costly in the long – run due to high cost of production and non availability of spare parts. On the other hand, the input of very high and sophisticated technology would be costly and would also require a very large scale of production to be economically viable. A phased programme of indigenous manufacture with increasing self reliance and based primarily on domestic market needs is considered essential. Obsolescence of technology Obsolescence occurs with economic development and technical change, and is the product of the interaction between the two. There are many sources of obsolescence: generally speaking, the relevance of the source of obsolescence varies according to the nature of the economy. Some sources of obsolescence tend to make the technique obsolete in any society while others only apply in so far as other changes are occurring and may be applicable to developed countries and not to developing or underdeveloped countries. Obsolescence may be one of the methods of production to produce a given product. This is called product obsolescence associated with changes in the economic structure – obsolescence which would not occur without such changes; and obsolescence associated with increase in efficiency that



TECHNOLOGY makes previous technique obsolete irrespective of economic changes. In addition there is obsolescence independent of economic changes and of changes in the efficiency of substitute techniques, such as occurs with changes in the technology used in use in the rest of the system. Transfer and development of technology The process of assimilation of new techniques of industrial production and their adaptation to the condition prevailing in a particular country entails far more than the introduction of new equipment and the training of staff to operate it. The country’s technological capability is developed to other sectors of the economy and to society as a whole. The benefits are maximized if technology is transferred in such a way that the recipient country develops a capacity to modify and improve the technology in the future. The government of a developing country faces two main policy issues in connection with the transfer and development to technology for industrialization. The first is the extent to which policies and institutional arrangements are needed to ensure that the technology of modern manufacturing processes used in industrially advanced countries is adapted to the special needs and circumstances of developing countries using those processes. The second is the extent to which the Government should rely on imported technical know-how and, the nation’s technological capability. Insufficient attention has in the past been paid to the development of new types of technology for use by industrial enterprises in developing countries. Each developing country has different resource endowments and it is therefore usually worth while creating a national industrial research institution to tackle this and other problems encountered in adapting technological processes originally developed in industrial advanced countries with different resources endowments. In the industrially advanced countries, many branches of industry have formed research organizations on their own initiative and at their own expenses. It is difficult to say at what stage of the development of a branch of industry this form of organization will be appropriate in a developing country. However in those branches of industry where a government is especially desirous of developing a national and self supporting process of technological development, some initial financial support from government might be considered. Role of engineering education in generation & transfer of technology It has been argued that one of the major sources of bias in the generation and choice of technologies used in developing countries is the character of the education received by their engineers. Many of the engineers from developing world still receive their education in the universities of industrialized countries, because resources for their training and the technical assistance received for their establishment



are often strongly influenced by the intellectual patterns of the industrialized countries. It is claimed, therefore, that engineers from developing countries trained in the molds receive “inappropriate education”. Absorption and adaption of technology The absorption and adaptation of technology can be described as a three-stage process after a foreign collaboration agreement has been entered into. Depending on the type of collaboration agreement and management decision, these three stages may start simultaneously or they can follow in a sequence. During the first stage, the emphasis is on setting up plants and facilities and leaving to manufacture the given product for which the collaborator supplies the complete set of drawings and manufacturing technology. Initially some of the components requiring complex production processing or proprietary technology may be imported from the collaborator, but the complete assembly is carried out at the local plant. The second stage of technology absorption starts when the local firm learns to design either new products or carry out alterations in the basic product design supplied by the collaborator following the design know-how and principles supplied by the collaborator. During the final stage of technology absorption, the local firm generates its own design know-how and principles based on indigenous research and development in the product areas, as well as in the basic sciences or engineering applicable to the product. If developing countries are to choose and effectively adapt technology, they must have available range of choices. First and foremost developing countries’ priority problem has been to find employment for large reserves of manpower by investing in industries which were sometimes of doubtful profitability and often based on the wrong choices of technology. In addition the engineering farms commissioned to make the techno-economic studies are often connected with plant manufacturers and slant their reports towards the choice of certain processes and types of plant.

»Eng. Martin Nzomo FIEK

Dean, Kenyatta University School of Engineering and Technology Cell: +254 722 516 125 Email:


Shadrack Maina Mambo Doctoral Student, Tshwane University of Technology, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment Cell: +278 4777 3864 Email:

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he World Telecommunication Day, which marks the founding of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), is observed on May 17, since its inception in 1865. It draws attention to the work of ITU and the challenges of global communication. In March 2006, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed May 17 as World Information Society Day to recognize the efforts made to advance communication and ITU’s role in helping people connect around the world. The UN’s first World Information Society Day took place on Wednesday, 17 May 2006. Prior to World Information Society Day, people and organizations such as ITU celebrated World Telecommunication Day, which was first held in 1969, on May 17. Many now refer to this day as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, taking into account the UN’s observance of World Information Society Day on the same day. World Information Society Day is celebrated each year to remind the world of the vision of the World Summit



on the Information Society to build “a people-centered, inclusive and development-oriented information society” based on fundamental human rights. The purpose of this observance is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the internet and other information and communication technologies could bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide. The Day is used also to promote people’s awareness of the power of information and communication to build societies in which they can create, access, use and share information and knowledge to achieve their full potential. Organizations such as UNESCO and CCK –Communications Commission of Kenya actively take part in the day by inviting people to engage in various activities to promote campaigns centered on this event like workshops. Theme 2012: “Women and Girls in ICT” In Kenya last year, World Telecommunications day was marked through a workshop dubbed ‘harnessing the potential for women and girls in ICT’. The workshop hosted by Communications Commission of Kenya at the Nairobi Safari Club was in line with the international theme for

FEATURE Theme 2013: ICTs and improving road safety ITU Council adopted the theme “ICTs and improving road safety” for World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2013, in accordance with Resolution 68 (Rev. Guadalajara, 2010). The theme is also in line with the UN General Assembly Resolution (A/RES/64/255) on improving global road safety, which proclaims the period 2011-2020 as the “Decade of Action for Road Safety”. According to the Report of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) released by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, 1.3 million people die each year in traffic related accidents and another 20-50 million people are injured mainly in developing countries around the world. As a result, Governments and individuals suffer an estimated USD 518 billion in global economic loss. Road traffic safety is a global concern not only for public health and for injury prevention but also in improving efficiencies in traffic management.

2012 that was ‘women and girls in ICT’. Women are the spine of our societies. Yet gender inequalities remain deeply entrenched. Women and girls are denied access to basic health care and education and to equal opportunities at work. They face segregation in economic, political and social decision-making and often suffer violence and discrimination. ICT must be used to improve the state of existence of the women in the society through improved service delivery and provision of information.

ITU has been leading worldwide efforts in developing stateof-the-art ICT standards for Intelligent Transport Systems and driver safety that utilize a combination of computers, communications, positioning and automation technologies, including in-car radars for collision avoidance. ITU has also been developing standards for safe user interfaces and communication systems in vehicles as well as optimizing driving performance by eliminating unsafe technologyrelated distractions while driving. ITU has been leading worldwide efforts in developing stateof-the-art ICT standards for Intelligent Transport Systems and driver safety that utilize a combination of computers, communications, positioning and automation technologies, including in-car radars for collision avoidance. ITU has also been developing standards for safe user interfaces and communication systems in vehicles as well as optimizing driving performance by eliminating unsafe technologyrelated distractions while driving.



FEATURE Road safety a Global enterprise On World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2013, ITU calls upon all stakeholders that is policy makers, regulators, operators and industry in general to take practical steps to further national and domestic policies, programmes and educational initiatives in the use of ICTs to improve road safety. Taking into account the risks associated with the unreasonable use of ICTs and driver distraction, as well as the benefits of ICTs and vehicular safety technologies, in order to improve global road safety and traffic management. Telecommunications impact on economies an Overview B e s i d e s t h e I T U i n i t i a t ive s t o m a r k t h e wo r l d telecommunications day, Telecommunications play a huge part in the global and national economies. The world is rapidly moving toward an economic system based on the continuous and ubiquitous availability of information. Recent advances in telecommunications technology have been an important vehicle in permitting information exchange to develop as a valuable commodity. Countries and sectors equipped with the requisite telecommunications systems have been rapidly moving into post-industrial, information-based economy growth. For the developing world like Kenya, a modern telecommunications infrastructure is not only essential for domestic economic growth, but also a prerequisite for participation in increasingly competitive world markets and for attracting new investments. In the advanced industrial countries of Europe and North America, universal telecommunications services have penetrated every sector of society. In many developing countries, the limited availability of service is constraining economic growth. Economic development policies in the industrial countries increasingly include telecommunications as an essential component of the economic infrastructure. This realization has been initiated by industry’s demand for advanced telecommunications equipment for competitive reasons. The lesser developed countries have begun to recognize that inadequate telecommunications services will be a disincentive to new investment and place existing industry at a

competitive disadvantage. This is valid for a range of activities including improved farm production, animal husbandry, export marketing for the mining industry, bank transfers and tourist arrangements, which all vital sectors for the developing countries like ours. Th e p r i m a r y e c o n o m i c b e n e f i t o f i m p r o v e d telecommunications is improved efficiencies in other productive sectors. Over 80% of the telephones in the lesser developed countries are connected to businesses or government agencies. Few domestic businesses and no international activities could operate competitively without modern Telecommunications. Services like M-pesa and M-banking have become a driving force in our economy, improving and stimulating businesses in colossal ways besides creating employment directly to merchants and vendors/ attendants. The primary benefits of telecommunications include reduced transport costs, reduced transaction costs, improved marketing information and increased efficiency of industrial production. In all economic sectors-- agriculture, manufacturing and services--advanced telecommunications systems are becoming an integral part of business operations. The lesser developed countries must accelerate their application of telecommunications technology or fall further behind in economic competitiveness. Telecommunications and the counties As we embark on developing our 47 counties that resulted from the Kenya constitution 2010 the following points with regards to telecommunications must be taken into consideration: • A positive relationship exists between economic development and infrastructure investment, including telecommunications in particular. • Even with a strong positive correlation between telecommunications investment, it alone is not sufficient to ensure economic growth. However, lack of telecommunication investment can prohibit or significantly constrain economic development. • Investment in telecommunications infrastructure can not only increase general business efficiency but also increase the impact of other infrastructure investments in the counties. • Investments in new types of telecommunications infrastructure will result in greater benefits than marginal improvements to existing infrastructure. • Maintenance of the telecommunications infrastructure is necessary to obtain the full economic development benefits. • Lack of telecommunications infrastructure clearly inhibits economic development in the counties but other economic, political and social factors also inhibit economic development. Some of the questions that pundits must seek to answer include; how do ICTs affect economic development in low-



FEATURE income counties? How do they affect poor people in these countries and in rural areas in particular? What policies and programs facilitate their potential to enhance development and the inclusion of poor constituents? The authorities and researchers’ must also seek to present answers for the following five critical questions with respect to the newly created counties. • What link exists between ICT growth and economic growth? • Do weak institutions block effective use of ICTs? • Have ICTs been adapted to low-income counties, and have they had an impact on SMEs? • Does household access to ICTs remain constrained? • Can ICTs play a role in providing pro-poor public goods and services? The conclusion of specialists elsewhere and the global consensus is that yes, ICTs do have the potential to serve and empower the poor by linking them to commercial and social networks, cutting transaction costs, and making the delivery of public goods like education and healthcare more efficient. But these benefits can accrue only when the supporting infrastructure is in place and when ICT policies take into account not only questions of connectivity but also of capability (how to help poor people use the new tools) and of content (what is relevant and in what form). Without coherent strategies and the right regulatory policies there is the very real likelihood that scarce resources will be misallocated and that ICT-induced growth will remain elusive. But again with the current crop of leaders in the country like the president expressing their identity as the Digital team and bold initiatives like the provision of laptops by the government to all school going Kenyans put in place, Telecommunications and related infrastructure might just take the centre stage in economic planning where it belongs. Telecommunications infrastructure investment can lead to economic growth in several ways. Most obviously, investing in telecommunications infrastructure does itself lead to growth because its products - cable, switches, etc. - lead to increases in the demand for the goods and services used in their production stimulating the various industries and providing employment let alone the revenue to the government. In addition, the economic returns to telecommunications infrastructure investment are much greater than the returns just on the telecommunication investment itself. Where the state of the telecommunications system is rudimentary, communications between firms is limited. The transactions costs of ordering, gathering information, searching for services are high. As the telecommunications, system improves, the costs of doing business fall, and output will increase for individual firms in individual sectors of the economy. Thus, telecommunications infrastructure investment and the derived services provide significant benefits; their presence allows productive units to produce better.

The ability to communicate at will increases the ability of firms to engage in new productive activities. Moreover, the importance of this effect increases as the information intensity of the production process increases. Thus, telecommunication investments might lead to benefits in other sectors. In suggesting that a county’s telecommunications infrastructure has strong effects on economic growth, it has been argued that telecommunications investments have important spillovers and create externalities. Telecommunications policies affect not only telecommunications, but also the economic development and social, cultural and political growth. Many counties’ must decide how to best allocate scarce resources for improved economic development. An ITU study of telecommunications and development, The Missing Link, concluded that “telecommunications can increase the efficiency of economic, commercial, and administrative activities, improve the effectiveness of social and emergency services and distribute the social, cultural and economic benefits of the process of development more equitably throughout the country.” Although it is recognized as an essential catalyst for growth, however, improved telecommunications generally has not been a central investment focus for developing countries. As stated earlier, neither investment in infrastructure generally nor investment in telecommunications infrastructure is sufficient for economic growth. Other conditions must be present. The region must have the human and capital resources as well as other infrastructure investments to obtain greater benefits from telecommunications infrastructure investment. The timing of the investment and the type of telecommunications investment relative to other modernization factors may well be of great importance. In addition, installing new equipment that can provide a broader array of services will have a greater impact than marginal expansion of an existing network, providing that preconditions for modernization of other sectors of the economy are present. Quality of service is an important variable in determining the strength of the relationship between investment and growth. Quality of service includes minimizing outages and blockages as well as the ability to expand to meet new demands.A critical constraint is the enormous investment requirements needed to provide the population with adequate telecommunications and shortage of adequately trained technical and managerial personnel. The primary objective of this review is to present the interaction between telecommunications and economic growth, and affirm the central role of telecommunications for the counties even as we celebrate world telecommunications day.

»Kevin Achola



Readers Contribution

Project Management and the Construction Management


he term project is used in project management to refer to an organization, usually a matrix one, which is different from an existing line-hierarchy. This reference is situating and the project serves as an alternative approach to achieving goals. The term ‘project ‘used in general project management is different from that used in construction. In construction, the client is neither internal nor external .This is because the functional departments to be coordinated -design team, contractors, suppliers, consultants etc ,are not in most cases, part of clients organization. Consequently, it is difficult for the client to delegate fully the performance responsibility and authority to a construction project manager. The construction project: - a special case The construction project has the characteristics described as necessary in project definition. It however differs in many aspects from other types of projects. The role of the client, although similar to that of top management of an institution

commissioning a project, is rather unique. The client does not control the designing and the constructing firms administratively. It is the conditions of the contract between that regulate their relationships. In the construction industry, the project approach is a normal way of doing business! Structures of project organization constitute independent architectural, engineering, and quantity surveying practices as well as construction firms. A fully established construction industry indeed exists only for the purpose. This makes the construction project, compared with other types of projects, a unique case. As an investment good, the projects product (capital good) contributes significantly to the gross capital formation of an economy. Governments, directly as clients and indirectly through the fiscal and monetary policies, use construction industry to regulate their economies. This is necessary in order to influence solvency, employment, economic growth, and control inflation.

No doubt, the “project “ implied in general “project management” theory faces different circumstances from those faced by a construction project. The nature of a construction product and the process of making decisions during its planning and construction differ very significantly from those of other sectors. Due to the different ion of the services offered by the design and construction teams, the construction project is mainly coordinative. Design and construction are performed by different organizations. This temporal and organizational separation does not, in the operations, favors economies of scale, or, in the leadership, support the unity of command. The same has, within the professionals, led to a build-up of parochial royalties to their professions which threaten the co-operative effort of the project organization. It is surprising that management methods have not established themselves in this area where, in the author’s opinion, they are most required. The industry is faced with the challenge to develop a professional with the technical knowhow of the industry and a specialist in its managerial, economic and legal aspects. The engineer’s approach, which emphasizes on the tools, though a recommendable attempt, is not adequate. Tools and techniques are technology based and become obsolete with the technology. Management principles, on the other hand, provide a reliable and an all-time knowledge base.

In the construction industry, the project approach is a normal way of doing business!

»Symon A. Kwatsima 42


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Readers Contribution



university is defined simply as a place of universal knowledge; where knowledge is developed, disseminated and stored. It is a place where thought is allowed freedom to flow as it may, on the unknown waters that knowledge rides on as it progresses. It is a place where the purity of academic practice exists to protect knowledge and its value. The universality of knowledge existent in a university demands that all therein apply themselves in broad manner to knowledge. Narrow minded pursuits of specific knowledge do not therefore have a place within a university. Neither do dictums and isms. A sojourn in a university is expected to impact this universality in character, action and thought. A properly constituted university creates a culture of inquiry, thought and continuous learning; characteristics that are critical in today’s world, where competition and growth are all predicated on knowledge and its proceeds. Institutes of Technology deserve mention here as they represent the wing of tertiary education that translates the scientific theory emanating from universities to technology that is then brought to bear on society. Thus while the frontiers of knowledge are expanded within universities, technology is grown within institutes



of technology. Neither of these two categories of institutions is more important in today’s world than the other, their roles being complimentary. It is this complementary role however, that must be understood properly by government, industry, business, students and academic staff in order to make the institutions work well for society and the individual as well. Contrary to the demands by industry players over the past years, universities are not places to offer narrow education that is focused on specific industries. Rather they are places where systems of study and inquiry, as well as problem solving kills, are trained into students, who are also given broad enough exposure of knowledge in their respective disciplines; in order to ensure they can adapt to and thrive in various working environments and demands. Thus the utterance, “… given power to read”, on graduation of undergraduate students. It is expected that once faced by a problem in industry, a student trained this way will be able to research and investigate the problem, in order to develop a rational and acceptable solution to it. Such students are also expected to study their respective work environments in order to adopt and develop working systems that are best suited to each.

Readers Contribution FORMING A UNIVERSITY It is apparent therefore, that the process of forming a university is not an easy or routine task as many are want to imagine. It requires deliberate application in order to ensure the establishment of an environment where thought is given free rein, and one where knowledge can exist, grow and be transferred without restraint. Following are a number of issues that require consideration in this process. The issues addressed here are not exhaustive but are helpful in working towards the goal. The Name What is in a name, other than a means of identifying a person or thing? Does a name give character and life to a person or thing? Universities the world over have variously borne the names of individuals, places, and recently themes, or a combination of all for a varied number of reasons. Persons may adopt mannerisms that are commensurate to the names they carry as a reaction to the attitudes and expectations of society or their own. Institutions may focus on certain areas of strength in pursuit of the name they bear. The names given to institutions may be arrived at in order to give them a focus on a desired goal. This latter one is very true in the world today and in particular here in Kenya, with the plethora of, “Institutes of Technology”, “Universities of Technology”, “Institutes of Agriculture”, “Institutes of Science and …”, and so on. While the names may keep focus on a desired goal from afar, it is not evident that they do actually purpose achievement of the goals. At least not in the country and its environs, otherwise the nation and its environs would have industrialised a long time ago. This is not to say that the practice of adopting thematic names is wrong, but is more a statement of the limitations of implementers to achieve the desired goals. It is more a case of the dreamer stop at the dream without moving on to implementation. Clearly while a lot of thought must go into selecting a name for a university, much more deliberation must go into establishing systems and mechanisms of ensuring maximum and sustained value for the institution thus set up. Justification It is necessary at the onset to lay down a good justification for the setting up of a university. The best justification is a demand for a growing body of knowledge to serve the needs of society. At the lower end on the other hand, is the need to have degree holders in a country at various levels. The former establishes in the university, structures and systems for growth, storage and dissemination of knowledge;

and by training and association duplicates the same in students. This then creates an interdependent system of needs and solutions that serves as the basis for intelligent existence and growth of society. The latter is of no value as it only serves to create dependence of the institution on others that are set correctly, and of the graduating students who do not internalise a proper understanding of the rudiments of development of knowledge and therefore its value. The extremities of these two outcomes is such that proper thought must be put into ensuring good justification exists before setting up a university. The Best Physical Location for a University This consideration is important as a university and the knowledge, it generates, stores and disseminates, targets a consumer market that is largely external to itself. This consumer market exists in the form of the incoming supply of students and staff, the outgoing flow of students, as well as businesses, industry and the public sector. The ideal location of a university must be one that eases access for all if not most of this market. Because of the natural aggregation of human beings and their various activities in urban centres, urban centres are a natural choice for setting up universities. The fact of their being hubs of modern services is an added incentive. However, because of the noise and visual pollution prevalent in urban centres, in addition to the shear preponderance of numbers, alternative locations that are easily accessible by the urban dwellers are more ideal. Such alternative locations provide quiet (a premium for universities, these being places of thought) and uncongested environments with a lot of land to expand. It is important to note that the rules in the country demand ownership at least 50 and 100 acres of land by any proponent private or public university, respectively, before charter can be given. Political, social and economic reasons do also come into play. Universities have a lot of visibility and are symbols of esteem. They act as magnets for large numbers of people, thus serve as nuclei for aggregation of population with the attendant economic benefits. While these are bad reasons for setting up a university in any locality, they cannot be ignored or wished away, since the world is ruled by politics, social sensibilities, and economics. The Primary and Secondary Source and Destination Markets The primary and secondary source and destinations markets for a university must be clearly identified, and their character, volume and value to the institution all clearly established. This helps planning for facilities, staff and budget in terms of numbers, needs and paying capacity.



Readers Contribution in public universities should then be based on this agreed upon fee. Fees are a source of income is the short term and are insufficient to manage the affairs of a university. The long term, large financing for universities is always best obtained from industry, business and the public sector, that sponsor research and other programs that they expect will in turn generate benefits for them. Another approach that works and which universities in the country and region must adopt is one where they treat each of their students as industry and business, and work towards their emergence as such while still at the university. If universities take on the responsibility of growing industry and business in their students, then they will this way establish long term linkages with growing industry and business, and serve their catchment areas well in growing real wealth.

Primary markets may be broadly defined as those that occur within the immediate catchment area of the institution, while secondary markets then exist beyond. For instance in the case of emerging universities that are based in counties, the primary source market for support staff and students is the county. The secondary market for such institution occurs in the surrounding counties, the country, the region, and beyond. At start up, planning should be done on the basis of the primary market in the county and the secondary market in the surrounding counties, for reasons of ownership of the institution and ease of access by the market. The wider secondary market may only be factored into planning once an institution establishes its name, as the commitment for students in this market is greater in terms of finances and dislocation.

Conclusion Universities that are properly constituted and run are an integral part of any modern society that is knowledge based. Their establishment and management must be the result of carefully deliberation and planning in order to ensure they achieve the desired end. It is necessary to ensure that the structure of such institutions, appointment as well as sustenance in them is advised purely by their stated objectives, as well as quantifiable productivity. Focus must at all times be kept on their core terms of reference of developing, dissemination and preserving knowledge. A clear distinction must be created between institutes of technology and universities.

Both the primary and secondary source markets serve both the members of staff and the incoming students. Immediate and Long Term Financing of Universities The large capital required to get university institutions off the ground will normally require government funding at the onset. Even where land and buildings are available, the approach has been adopted in this country where the government underwrites capitation for such institutions. A system must be adopted in the country in which all courses and programs are costed carefully and then submitted to government for vetting, and on to a third independent body; subject to whose approval then fees can be set. The financial support offered to students



Maina Maringa, Ph.D., CEng & MIMechE Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Acting Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment The Technical University of Kenya 7th March 2013


Interesting facts About Nuclear Power •

In 1905, Einstein discovered that mass could be changed into energy and vice versa. In 1918, Sir Ernest Rutherford showed that atoms could be split. By 1942, the world had its first nuclear reactor. Today, 104 nuclear plants supply about 20% of the United State’s electricity. The oldest plants have been operating since before 1979. While nuclear power plants themselves do not create carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, or nitrogen oxides, the mining, enrichment, and transportation of uranium generates harmful fossil fuel byproducts. Fossil fuels supply about 90% of the world’s electricity. These fuels emit dangerous gasses such as carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide, which create acid rain and may contribute to global warming. Nuclear energy does not directly add harmful gases to the atmosphere, but nuclear plants are expensive to build and create radioactive materials.

G l o b a l l y, t h e r e a r e o v e r 4 3 0 commercial nuclear power reactors in 31 countries. There have been three major nuclear power plant disasters: the Chernobyl disaster (1986), the Three Mile Island accident (1979), and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (2011). The world’s first nuclear power plant to create electricity for a power grid was USSR’s Obninsk Nuclear Power Plant, which opened on June 27, 1954. Nuclear power plants use nuclear fission (the process of splitting an atom in two). Nuclear fusion (the process of combining atoms into one) has the potential to be safer energy because it is produced at a much lower temperature. However, nuclear fusion technology has not yet be developed to operate within a large power plant. Nuclear energy comes from uranium, a nonrenewable resource that must be mined. Every 18 to 24 months, a power plant must shut down to remove its spent

uranium fuel, which has become radioactive waste. 13 percent of the world’s electricity comes from nuclear power plants that emit little to no greenhouse gases. Nuclear power facilities can produce energy at a 91 percent efficiency rate 24/7, while maintaining the method with the lowest emissions. The building of new nuclear facilities creates between 1,400 and 3,500 jobs for construction workers, and after the facility is built maintains 400 to 700 permanent positions paying roughly 36 to 44 percent more than the average salary of the surrounding area. Nuclear energy facilities are able to produce abundant and affordable energy because they use an enriched form of uranium for fuel. The low and stable cost of nuclear energy helps reduce the price of electricity paid by consumers.




Engineering Students showcase their projects


very year, engineering students present their final year projects as part of the requirement for their degree program. This year is no exception either and interesting ideas have come up in the solution of various problems and making life easier in the daily experiences in the engineering field. Some of the outstanding projects include the simple electronic tachometer and ‘smart’ low voltage circuit breaker. Electronic tachometer with LCD Display, by Davies Segera.

The advantage of this implementation over the market available tachometer is the reduced cost and the high precision which goes to an accuracy of 0.1. Another advantage over analog tachometers is that it is safe since the user measures the speed from a distance. The microcomputer system enables this tachometer system to be connected to a personal computer which makes it an intelligent measurement module since the results can be stored and the speed performance of the motor monitored. This idea can therefore be implemented commercially to make low cost tachometers with high precision and accuracy for the market. Intelligent Circuit Breaker, by Edwin Simiyu. A circuit breaker is a mechanical device capable of making, carrying, and breaking currents under normal circuit conditions and also making, carrying for a specific time and breaking currents under specified abnormal circuit conditions e.g. short circuits. Depending on the type of circuit breaker, various methods are applied in th e switching, e.g. for a Miniature Circuit Breaker (MCB) the method of thermomagnetic operation is used.

A tachometer is a device that measures the rotational speed of any shaft or disc, usually in revolutions per minute. Tachometers find usage in a variety of applications including engineering laboratories, aircrafts, automobiles etc. With the emerging development of microcontroller technology, one can design a simple, low cost digital tachometer with high resolution and precision. Davies Segera, a fifth year student at the University of Nairobi has designed and built a simple electronic tachometer with LCD display. The tachometer is built on the time-based classical digital method of measuring rotational speed. It incorporates a reflective infrared sensor whereby the receiver of the sensor detects reflections of the transmitter’s infra-red rays from a white reflective material stuck on the rotating shaft. The output of the receiver is analyzed by a microcomputer and then displayed on an LCD screen.

However, a common shortfall with most conventional low voltage circuit breakers is the lack of intelligence in their operation. As a result, they are supposed to be switched back on manually whenever they trip. This why Edwin Simiyu, a fifth year student of Electrical Engineering at the university of Nairobi has come up with a better switching mechanism for low voltage circuit breakers. It employs the use of a servo-motor controlled by a microcontroller that is able to facilitate intelligent switching. This makes it an intelligent switch that can switch currents off and back on as may be required. The advantage if this implementation is that it can achieve isolation of voltage since the motor is operated by voltages in the range of 3-5V which is isolated from the main circuit being switched. It also uses a very simple microelectronic circuit hence it easily lends itself to commercial production. Further improvement on the device is that a chip can be incorporated which can then facilitate connection to either GSM or Wi-Fi connection so as to aid in remote switching. Fredrick Kitsao 5th Year Electrical Engineering Student





POSITION NAME Chairman Eng. J M Riungu 1st Vice Chairman Eng. R K Kosgei 2nd Vice Chairman Eng. M E Okonji Hon. Secretary Eng. M Shiribwa Hon. Treasurer Eng. R K Chepkwony Member Eng. H J Nyaanga Member Eng. W R Okubo OGW Member Eng. R Kung’u Member Eng. C Ogut Member Eng. H S Amaje Member Eng. J Mutilili Member Eng. C Juma Retiring Past Chairman Eng. D M Wanjau Chairman Mombasa Branch Eng. Z Anganya Vice Chairman Mombasa Branch Eng. M Owuor Branch Sec/ Treasurer Mombasa Branch Eng. J O Odumbe Chairman Western Branch Eng. P M Wambua Vice Chairman Western Branch Eng. S K Mahanu Branch Sec/Treasurer Western Kenya Eng. I Chebii

FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION Eng. J M Riungu Chairman Eng. M.Shiribwa Member Eng. R Chepkwony Member Eng. R K Kosgei Member Eng. M E Okonji Member MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE Eng. M E Okonji Eng. M Shiribwa Eng. S N Charagu Eng. Rosemary Kung’u Eng. W Okubo Eng. John Nyaguti

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DISCIPLINE AND ARBITRATION COMMITTEE Eng. Francis Ngokonyo Member Eng. Shem O Noah Member Eng. E Mwongera Member Eng. W Okubo Member TRAINING COMMITTEE Eng. J Riungu Eng. S Ouna Eng. C Ogut Eng. G. Njorohio Eng. P Okaka JOURNAL COMMITTEE A A McCorkindale F W Ngokonyo N O Booker J N Kariuki Prof M Kashorda S M Ngare Allan Muhalia A W Otsieno S K Kibe M Majiwa

Chairman Secretary Member Member Member

Chairman Vice-Chairman Member Member Member Member Member Member Member Member

WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT Eng. R Kosgei Chairman Eng. D M Wanjau Member Eng. J Riungu Member Eng. A Kosgei Member INDUSTRIALIZATION AND DEVELOPMENT Eng. H.S Amaje Chairman Eng. M.E .Okonji Vice Chair



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Kenya Engineer Journal, May-June 2013  

2013 May June Issue of the Kenya Engineer Magazine

Kenya Engineer Journal, May-June 2013  

2013 May June Issue of the Kenya Engineer Magazine