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new era in fight against corruption new law with punitive measures aimed at private sector chiefs fuelling graft takes effect today


after president uhuru kenyatta signed it into law last month


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Nairobi water shortage to last up to April


airobi residents have cautioned to use available water sparingly with the biting drought that has reduced water level in Ndakaini dam is expect to continue until April. Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa said the water levels in Ndakaini and Sasumua dams, the two main water sources for city residents, have significantly reduced due to the drought. “My appeal to all is they should not waste even a drop of water and should recycle where applicable. The rains are expected sometime in April and, therefore, every one of us must use water responsibly,� Mr Wamalwa said. He was speaking during a press conference at his Maji House office in Nairobi yesterday when they updated the country on the drought situation. He however assured city residents that the government has put in place measures to curb persistent water shortages as well as mitigate adverse effects of drought. Only last month, Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company Managing Director Philip Gichuki said that Ndakaini Dam, which supplies most of Nairobi tap water, is only at 48 per cent full hence residents should brace themselves for rationing until April. Gichuki said since October to date the dams have received only 250 mm of rain as opposed to 1000 mm of rains expected. He added that they expected Ndakaini and Sasumua dams to fill during the second rain season but that did @sam_x254 not happen.

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Make sure you enrol as voters, Kenyans urged

Scores of people in Kibera queuing to cast their votes on 04 March 2013. Kenyans have been urged to register in large numbers as they get ready to cast their ballots again in the August general election. PHOTO/EPA STORY ON PAGE 2



Political parties in passionate appeal for Kenyans to register

Kenyans have been urged to come out in large numbers and register as voters in readiness for this year’s general election to be held on August 8. Leaders of the opposition on Wednesday snubbed earlier calls for mass protests and instead directed their aspirants to lead the search for new voters as enlisting kicks off next week. The ruling Jubilee coalition today joined the calls and asked their supporters to ensure everyone is registered as parties ready themselves for the elections. President Uhuru Kenyatta who has been in India for the last two days was expected to jet in and head straight to Kasarani Stadium where he was to launched Jubilee members’ registration drive. The move is targeting more than five million voters across all the 47 counties. The opposition had been expected to declare beginning of weekly protests to demonstrate against the amended election laws. But Cord leader Raila Odinga asked their supporters to instead concentrate on the mass voter registration. “We will deal with election laws. That we promise you. But you must all go out, in every town, village, home, church, school, bus stop every single day and not rest until everybody you meet is a registered voter. Mr Odinga told opposition delegates

Opposition leaders in a show of unity during their meeting at the Bomas of Kenya on Wednesday. Political parties have asked Kenyans to come out and register in the voter listing from Monday.

that gathered at the Bomas of Kenya on Wednesday. The scramble for voters has opened yet a new battlefront for the two coalitions with IEBC reporting that up to nine million potential voters remain unregistered. Rift Valley region leads in the number of potential voters with ID cards but who are yet to be registered with the IEBC. The region has some 1,804,376 people with ID cards who are not enrolled as voters. It is followed by Eastern with 1,426,455 and Nairobi in third with some 1,276,912 people with IDs not registered.

Other regions with potential voters are Nyanza, (1,274,894), Western (1,107,524), Coast (1,047,831), Central (1,025,296) and North Eastern with 166,983. These numbers have created the new battlefront with the opposition keen to ensure maximum registration of voters in their strongholds to counter the tyranny of numbers through which Jubilee rose to power. “We have not convened to deploy for mass action as Jubilee had hoped. That remains on our radar but not in the next thirty days. The challenge is to bring change through the ballot. But we can only vote if we register.

The last time the IEBC enlisted people before elections in 2013, it went all out to deny our people the chance to register by deploying fewer kits in perceived CORD areas than in Jubilee strongholds. Another final registration before elections begins in five days’ time,” Mr Odinga said. Some of the counties with the biggest numbers of unregistered voters include Nairobi (1,276,912), Kakamega (417,033), Kiambu (373,870), Mombasa (343,544), Kilifi (342,923), Meru (327,571), Nakuru (313, 435) and Kisii (304,631). @peter_x254

Opposition got it right with appeal to voters: Analysts Political analysts have praised opposition leaders that converged at Bomas of Kenya on Wednesday for their good message of calling on their supporters to register as voters for the August 8 general elections. Regular Political commentator Barack Muluka said the opposition got it right as far as the message to their supporters was concerned. “It was a good decision to call off the mass action and instead embark on mass registration. This coming election will be won by numbers and not protests hence it was a good message,” Muluka said. Muluka said the opposition should now make whatever they said a reality by ensuring that people especially from their strongholds come out next week and register as voters. “The leaders should even personally monitor and urge the people to come out and register,” Muluka said. Eric Mokua said it was highly expected especially by the government that the opposition would call for mass action and not mass registration. “The highly likelihood outcome of the Bomas meeting was mass action, the change of the tact by the opposition was good and caught the government off-guard,” Mokua said. Mokua said despite the opposition not having a presidential candidate, the unity call mentioned by every speaker at Bomas was a good move. Another political analysts Geoffrey Andati said that was the only message that the Jubilee administration would have taken seriously and the not mass action. “That was the golden opportunity for the opposition to send a strong message to Jubilee that they are ready to dislodge them form power,” Andati said.

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The government has appealed to the striking doctors to soften their hard stance and resume to the negotiation table in an attempt to end the ongoing crisis in health sector. While addressing journalists at his Afya House office, Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu (pictured) hsaid that the two levels of government were ready to continue with negotiations with the striking doctors. Mailu has said attempts to end the stalemate yesterday evening after the court ruling which ordered the medics to resume talk, flopped as the KMPDU officials withdrew in protest claiming that the government was offering ‘nothing.’ “I personally called the officials after the court ruling back to the negotiating table. They came and later withdrew saying we were not offering them anything. This hard stance will not yield any solutions,” Dr Mailu said. He maintained that the talks must be within the law and laid out structures by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission. And on the employment of foreign doctors to replace those on industrial action, the minister dismissed the claims saying that the state did not have such powers as doctors are county government employees. “We cannot sack or hire foreign doctors.

They are the employees of the county which are run by the County Public Service Boards,” added Mailu. However, the union officials led by Secretary General Ouma Oluga claim that the government is not keen on ensuring that the ongoing impasse bedeviling the health sector is resolved accusing the state of playing games with an interest of privatizing the health sector. While maintaining that the doctors will not be coward by the courts or sack threats by the county governments, Dr Oluga questioned the motive behind the government intentions to employ foreign doctors instead of addressing issues raised by the union.

“There are forces behind the collapse of the sector. Investors in private sector want to make sure public health sector collapses so that they can make more money. Kenyans should be quick to question why the government want to sack Kenyans and employ foreigners,” he told X News. He insisted that they are fighting to improve health care in the country, not just improve their pay. “Why should one think we are after our salaries only? We must improve our working condition including the doctor patient ratio,” Dr argued adding that the country needs to employ more than 1000 new medics to meet the World Health Organization standards. Only yesterday, the Employment and Labor Court ordered the doctors to resume work within 14 days or face a month long jail term. But the defiant have maintained they will not accept anything short of the 2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement despite the court dismissing it as non-existent. “We want to make it clear. The CBA must be registered and implemented in full. We are not going back to work until that CBA is implemented,” asserted Oluga. @wilson_x254


New era in war against graft The war against corruption takes a new direction today as a new law aimed at tackling the menace in the private sector takes effect. The Bribery Bill 2016 signed into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta last month comes into effect today with punitive measures aimed at eradicating private sector bribery, especially in dealings with government and public agencies by making it a criminal offence to abet, give, or receive bribes. The law imposes the stiffest penalties yet for corruption, estimated to cost Kenya a third of its budget according to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC). Former EACC Chairman Philip Kinisu last year said that the country loses up to Sh608 billion annually in graft thereby frustrating development projects crucial to the attainment of the country’s economic blueprint Vision 2030. The law was drafted by former Central Bank of Kenya board chairman Mohammed Nyaoga and tabled in

Parliament by House Majority Leader Aden Duale. The Bill, a brainchild of contributions from the private sector and government officials, has many deterrent consequences, including careerthreatening sanctions for directors of corrupt corporations. Penalties prescribed for various offences under the Bribery Bill include imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or a fine not exceeding Sh1 million or both, seizure of five times the amount of proceeds from graft and a ten year ban for non-natural persons from transacting business with the national or county government. Company executives also found guilty are liable to a Sh5 million fine and a 10year embargo on their firms. The Bill seeks to space specific requirement on private companies to ensure that there are measures in place to prevent bribery as they are considered the biggest suppliers to the public sector. “A commercial organization is required

to have in place procedures, appropriate to its size and scale and to the nature of its operations, for prevention of bribery,” the law states. Apart from criminalising the issuance and receipt of bribes, it also imposes a duty on every person to report to the EACC any instance of bribery within twenty four hours of becoming aware or suspecting an instance of bribery. Attachments area

Retired Arcbishop Eliud Wabukala who has been nominated to become the new EACC chairman. @harrison_x254


Two people killed in Langata road crash

Two people were today morning killed in an accident involving two cars on Lang’ata Road near the Carnivore Restaurant. According to the Nairobi Traffic Commandant Leonard Katana, both cars were moving on same direction when the accident happened at around 4.45 am. He stated that one of the cars was carrying seven passengers and the driver lost control before he hit the other car that was ahead of him forcing it into a ditch. “The accident occurred early this morning and the surprising thing is that there was no traffic when it happened. The driver must have been speeding,” he said. He says five other passengers were injured in the incident. He encouraged motorists to always drive within the speed limits to reduce accidents. “You know, you do not have to be monitored by a police man for you to obey traffic laws. We must all be vigilant all the time and ensure that we adhere to the traffic rules,” he stated. Two other people were killed in Kayole and one along the Eastern bypass on yesterday.




Obama surprises Biden with top US honour WEEKEND EDITION, JANUARY 13-15, 2017

President Barack Obama has awarded an emotional and surprised Joe Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest US civilian honour. Mr Obama praised his vice-president for his “faith in your fellow Americans, for your love of country and your lifetime of service”. The award comes as both men prepare to leave office when Donald Trump is inaugurated on 20 January. Mr Biden has said he plans to stay active in Democratic Party politics. A visibly emotional Joe Biden stood by as Mr Obama heaped praise on what he called the “best possible choice, not just for me, but for the American people”. The medal was awarded with distinction, according to the New York Times. That additional honour has been reserved in recent administrations for just a handful of recipients, including Pope John Paul II. Mr Obama joked that the internet would have one last chance to mock the pair’s “bromance”. Mr Biden said he was “part of the journey of a remarkable man who did remarkable things”. He said that he had had no idea the award was coming.

Mr Biden has said he plans to work on policy issues at institutes at the University of Delaware and University of Pennsylvania, and continue his efforts tackling cancer, which claimed his son Beau in 2015. Mr Biden gave an hour-long interview with media outlets on Thursday in which he strongly criticised Mr Trump for his condemnation of the US intelligence services. “It is really very damaging in my view to our standing in the world for a president to take one of the crown jewels of our national defence and denigrate it,” Mr Biden said. “It plays into, particularly now, the Russian narrative that America doesn’t know what it’s doing.” However, he was full of praise for his successor, Mike Pence, saying he had sent him memos on how to handle certain situations.

“I had no inkling. I thought we were coming over to Michelle for you, Jill and Barack and I and a couple of senior staff to toast one another and say what an incredible journey it’s been.

“Mr President, you got right the part about my leaning on Jill but I’ve also leaned on you and a lot of people in this room. “Mr President, I’m indebted to you.

I’m indebted to your friendship. I’m indebted to your family.” Mr Obama said that Mr Biden’s career was “nowhere close to finished” both at home or abroad.

US President Barack Obama (Back) awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to US Vice President Joe Biden (Front) in the State Dining Room of the White House, in Washington, DC, USA, 12 January 2017. PHOTO: MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA

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Government to ease budget deficit with sale of 15-year Treasury bond

Kenya will sell a reopened 15-year Treasury bond worth Sh30 billion this month, allowing investors to cash in on the income-generating vehicle , the Central Bank has said. In a statement issued earlier today, the CBK aid the bond will have a 13.5 per cent coupon. It will take bids until January 24 and auction the bond on January 25. A Treasury bond is a debt security issued by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) on behalf of the government to raise funds to support the budget. It is a long term investment ranging from 2 to 30 years. When a customer invests in a Treasury bond, they are usually lending money to the government and they earn interest on it. The sale comes at a time when investor concern ahead of Kenya’s general elections has turned the country’s stocks into the worst-performers of 2017, and driven valuations to the weakest on record. The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (a market cap weighted indicator consisting of all the securities on the NSE) has fallen 6.9 per cent to the lowest since September 2013. The polls, slated for August 8, have sparked concerns of a repeat of the postelection violence experienced in 2007. As such, foreign investors, who account for 60 percent of NSE trading, are putting their money elsewhere. Treasury bonds are a secure, medium- to long-term investment that typically offer

Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Henry Rotich participates in a panel discussion titled Frontier Economies: The Next Generation of Emerging Markets during the IMF World Bank Annual Meetings 2013 in Washington, DC. The Central Bank will take bids for the bond up until January 24, 2017.. investors interest payments every six months throughout the bond’s maturity. The Central Bank auctions Treasury bonds on a monthly basis, but offers a variety of bonds throughout the year, so prospective investors should regularly

check for upcoming auctions. Most Treasury bonds in Kenya are fixed rate, meaning that the interest rate determined at auction is locked in for the entire life of the bond. This makes Treasury bonds a predictable,

USAID urges Kenya to build regional partnerships as part of Sh7.7 billion polio eradication project The United States Government, represented by the Agency for International Development (USAID), Global Health Bureau (GH), Office of Maternal Child Health and Nutrition (MCHN), has urged Kenya to partner with its regional counterparts in the fight against polio. The group is offering Sh7.7 billion in funding and is seeking applications from eligible entities for the implementation of an initiative dubbed the “NGO Polio Eradication Project”. “The overall objective of this program is to provide continued and uninterrupted support for NGO efforts to eradicate polio in Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, and South Sudan and for crossborder coordination efforts in the Horn, including Kenya and Somalia,” the group said in a recent statement. “In the long-term, activities should contribute to increasing population immunity in these countries, increasing acceptance of immunizations and improving the sensitivity of

surveillance for Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP). The objectives are in line with the USAID’s polio eradication framework development objectives,” added the group. The initiative seeks to build effective partnerships between PVOs, NGOs, and international, national and regional organizations involved in polio. It aims to support PVO/NGO efforts to strengthen national and regional immunization systems to achieve polio eradication. The drive intends to support PVO/NGO involvement in national and regional planning and implementation of supplemental polio immunizations. Subject to funding availability, USAID intends to provide up to $74 million (Sh7.7 billion) in total funding over a five-year period. “The period of performance for the award will be five years in duration from the date of award, subject to availability of funds,” the organisation explained in its statement.

long-term source of income. Individuals and corporate bodies can invest in Treasury bonds via commercial or investment banks or directly through the Central Bank. @Dennis _x254

MEAN BUY SELL 103.8283 103.7283 103.9283 125.7658 125.6294 125.9022 108.8556 108.7372 108.9739 7.4663 7.4553 7.4772 34.9135 34.8317 34.9953 21.3815 21.3128 21.4503

Nakumatt revamps branch as retailer continues with restructuring drive Regional retailer Nakumatt Holdings has revamped its Kisumu Central Business district supermarket branch as part of an ongoing customer experience enhancement programme. The retailer has shifted its long-standing Nakumatt Nyanza Supermarket branch to a more spacious location within the revamped Mega Plaza, along Oginga Odinga road, in the heart of Kisumu city. Speaking when he confirmed the shift, Nakumatt Holdings Managing Director, Atul Shah said the move to a more modern environment had allowed the retailer to make much needed in store upgrades for its customers benefit. Similar projects geared at modernizing several Nakumatt branches in other locations, Shah said are already underway. At Nakumatt Nyanza, the changes include the consolidation of all departmental stores on one level away from the previous setup. At the re-invigorated Nakumatt Nyanza Supermarket, sitting on a 35,000Square feet shopping floor space, customers will enjoy a richer shopping experience, the retailer said in a statement. Customers will also enjoy the convenience of an expanded four level parking silo with ample secure parking for more than 400 cars. “After more than 19 years operating at the old location, the reinvigorated Nakumatt Nyanza now features a more modern in store layout including wider aisles and ambient lighting on a single level,” Shah explained, adding that, “similar projects will be undertaken at several other local branches to enable us meet our customer demands.”

Small scale miners set to benefit from new Mining Act Small-scale miners across the country are set to get licences this year via a more streamlined approach once the new Mining Act comes into effect, Mining Cabinet Secretary Dan Kazungu has said. The CS says the Ministry has embarked on a fourmonth exercise, which aims to create county licensing committees that will be responsible for the licensing of small-scale miners in a new strategy geared at streamlining the sector. “We want to help millions of Kenyans who have been blocked from mining...using a fast tracking exercise as we have elected representatives to sit in those committees and address their needs,” said CS Kazungu. The board is mandated to oversee licensing and leasing and is expected to reduce the time taken to process an application via the recently-launched mining registration portal. Under the new arrangement, an artisanal mining committee in every county will be made up of eight members chaired by a representative of the area’s governor. The secretary will be a representative of the

Director of Mines. The move comes after investors and sector players complained of delays in commissioning the Mineral Rights Board, which they claimed has been stalling issuance of mining and prospecting licenses. The government set up a Mineral Rights Board in August 2016, which replaced the Licensing Advisory Committee. Hundreds of applications have piled up at the Ministry since a new law requiring the board to review and approve licenses came into force in May 2016. According to Section 31 of the Mining Act 2016, the board will advise and give recommendations to the CS on the grant, rejection, retention, renewal, suspension, revocation, variation, assignment, trading, tendering, or transfer of mineral rights agreements. The Ministry has further announced plans seeking to curb illegal mineral trade fuelled by smuggling syndicates by roping in key agencies including the Central Bank and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) as well as granting generous tax incentives to traders.


Banking sector shifts focus to acquisitions as industry spends Sh23bn on new deals WEEKEND EDITION, JANUARY 13-15, 2017






Central Bank of Kenya acquisition deals worth about Sh23.3 (CBK) Governor, Patrick billion in the last three years. The Njoroge speaks during acquisitions, which had an average South-South mechanisms takeover rate of 77 per cent, were to tackle vulnerabilities and spurred by a tough operating build resilience in regional, environment as the regulator continues monetary integration and to tighten monetary policy, a report innovative finance forum at the ongoing Fourteenth by financial services group, Cytonn Session of United Nations Investments has revealed. Conference on Trade and During the period under review, Development (UNCTAD 14) Mauritian Bank SBM Holdings in Nairobi, Kenya, 19 July acquired a 100 per cent stake in 2016. Fidelity Commercial Bank, Tanzanian EPA/DANIEL IRUNGU Bank Bank M acquired 51 per cent of Oriental Commercial Bank, GT Bank acquired Fina-Bank, Mwalimu SACCO acquired Equatorial while I&M Holdings acquired Giro Bank. Meanwhile, Centum investments acquired 66 per cent stake in Sidian Bank formerly K – Rep Bank while Chicago-based private equity fund Equator Capital Partners LLC, under its ShoreCap II fund bought 15 per cent stake in Jamii Bora Bank. Analysts predict an increased appetite for the Kenyan market among foreign banks. “Consolidation in the banking sector will only gather pace going forward, with weaker banks being forced to merge or acquired. Local stable banks

TCdata360 to bolster trade, economic growth and competitiveness in Kenya The World Bank Group has launched TCdata360, a public data source aimed at providing policymakers, development practitioners, academics, investors, and others with free and open access to data on trade and competitiveness. The online platform is part of a broader effort to leverage the power of open data to help low- and middleincome economies grow by developing strategies that boost trade integration, enhance investment climates, and improve sector competitiveness, and foster innovation and entrepreneurship. It pulls together constantly updated data from multiple sources in an interactive, easy-to-use platform that provides quick access to data on trade and competitiveness. New research reveals that a lack of access to information is slowing economic growth not only in Kenya but among other poor African nations. Thomas Verbeet, an analyst with the WTO’s Economic Research and Statistics Division said the TCdata360 is a remarkable new data initiative that will allow sourcing new insights from multiple data sources providing timely and valuable facts for trade policymakers. “I particularly liked the data mining visualization tool, creating new understandings by connecting billions of data points,” he said. “A remarkable new data initiative by the World Bank Group’s Trade

& Competitiveness Global Practice, combining thousands of indicators across countries and over time, easy to use, and well referenced. This new online interface allows sourcing new insights from multiple data sources providing timely and valuable facts for trade policymakers,” he added. The initiative comes at a time when high-quality data is essential in enabling policymakers to identify economic growth opportunities, formulate appropriate policies, and design development interventions. Big data is poised to transform the way countries, institutions, and businesses tackle development challenges by offering new and more user-friendly sources of information. Advances in data science are transforming the range of evidence that can be drawn from big data in support of evidence-based decision-making for trade and competitiveness. Advances in data science are transforming the range of evidence that can be drawn from big data in support of evidencebased decision-making for trade and competitiveness. “TCdata360 addresses these issues by bringing together all the relevant data in one platform, ensuring it is kept up to date, and providing tools that make the information easy to use,” said Klaus Tilmes, Director of the Bank Group’s Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice. @enock_x254

will also seek to acquire banks aligned with their strategies, as witnessed by I&M Holdings’ acquisition of Giro. The likely candidates for mergers will be banks with common significant shareholders,” said Cytonn in a recent statement. Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Patrick Njoroge had said banks from eight countries are looking to enter the Kenyan market owing to the high returns compared to other African countries, however, the new interest rates cap regulation complicates pricing. Following the enactment of the Banking Act (Amendment) 2015, banks have lowered the rates charged on loans to 14 per cent, which is 4 per cent above the Central Bank Rate (CBR), while interest paying deposits are at a minimum of 70 per cent of the CBR. Banks expect a compression in net margins in 2017, following reduced yields on assets and increased cost of funding. “With Net Interest Income constituting 72 per cent of the total revenue of listed banks, we expect this to result in reduced profitability, and effectively reduced return on equity. To remain profitable, banks are resorting to cost containment initiatives, including laying off employees,” Cytonn added.

Weak infrastructure hampering economic growth, IMF warns Kenya should build more infrastructure to strengthen its growth, reduce its poverty levels and boost economic development, a new IMF analysis has said. The clock is now ticking on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and while investment has been rising in recent years among low-income countries, weak infrastructure is still hampering growth, said Vladimir Klyuev, Deputy Chief of the Developing Markets Strategy Unit in the IMF’s Strategy, Policy, and Review, and IMF Deputy Managing Director, Tao Zhang. Governments need to make significant improvements to lay foundations for flourishing economies: roads to connect people to markets, electricity to keep factories running, sanitation to stave off disease, and pipelines to deliver safe water. For that reason, upgrading and expanding transport, telecommunications and utilities is a key pillar in many countries’ national development strategies. With the sharp adjustment in commodity prices now into its third year, many commodity exporters,

notably fuel producers, remain under significant economic stress, with sluggish growth, large fiscal imbalances, and weakened foreign reserve positions. This, according to IMF analysts, is a worrisome trend, especially for countries like Kenya, which is fasttracking plans to become a fuel exporter later this year. “Countries with a more diversified export base are generally doing well, although several have been hit by declines in remittances, conflict and natural disasters, and the contractionary impact of macroeconomic stabilization programs,” stated a January 2017 IMF Policy Paper. The IMF report adds that widening fiscal imbalances, in both commodity and diversified exporters, have resulted in rising debt levels, with severe financing stress emerging in some cases. Meanwhile, financial sector stresses have emerged in many Low Income Developing Countries (LIDCs), with expectations that these strains will increase in many commodity exporters over the next

12 to 18 months. Kenya’s rising debt levels may present further distress to tax collection, which fell Sh69 billion below target for the nine months to March 2016. Last year, the government said it was seeking to spend Sh466 billion on public debt repayments in the financial year, effectively committing a fifth of the budget to repay loans. The World Bank has since raised concerns over Kenya’s rapid rise in borrowing from China with the loans said to be coming at a heightened cost to taxpayers. By the end of 2016 large infrastructure projects had doubled public debt burden to Sh3.56 trillion in September. This rising debt levels will see Kenya spend Sh618.56 billion on public debt repayments in the fiscal year beginning July 2017. This is up 39 per cent from this year’s Sh446.4 billion. The IMF has said that while Kenya’s public debt remains sustainable, the margin for further debt accumulation is narrowing at an rapid pace. This, states the lender, will expose Kenya to potentially difficult times ahead if the borrowing spree is not tamed.



Consumers lobby slams government over credit for completed projects WEEKEND EDITION, JANUARY 13-15, 2017

The Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK) has rebuked the government for claiming that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration is responsible for a raft of completed infrastructure and development projects. The Federation this morning issued a statement claiming that Kenyatta’s administration was taking credit for completed projects without disclosing cost and quality concerns that have plagued these state-led initiatives. COFEK cited the development of Kenya’s famous Standard Gauge Railway, which had faced delays in previous years. Kenya Railways briefly suspended the construction of parts of the 609km single-track railway between the port city of Mombasa and Nairobi about two years ago before lifting the suspension in 2015. Construction of the railway line began in October 2013 and is scheduled to be completed by December 2017. At the time, the company said the suspension of work followed concerns raised by the project’s supervisory consultant over the design of the line’s culverts. Kenya Railways added that the suspension allowed for a harmonisation of standards and has now resumed after main contractor China Roads and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) adhered to the set requirements and submitted the requisite information and documents. The Mombasa-Nairobi phase of the project was estimated to cost Sh327 billion. China Exim Bank was to

President Uhuru Kenyatta attends the signing of the Standard Gauge Railway agreement with China at the State House in Nairobi May 11, 2014. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged “no strings” support for Africa’s development saying the world’s second-largest economy would not meddle in the continent’s internal affairs. EPA/THOMAS MUKOYA

provide 90 per cent of the financing while the remaining 10 per cent would be contributed by the Kenyan Government. COFEK said this morning that it was “sad” that after sinking hundreds of

AuthorAID offers local researchers grants worth Sh156,000 each AuthorAID, a global network that provides support, mentoring, resources and training for researchers in developing countries, is offering local innovators up to Sh156,000 in funding as part of its latest grants programme. The organisation, which helps researchers in developing countries to publish and otherwise communicate their work, has announced its travel and workshop grant initiative for 2017. It also serves as a wider global forum to discuss and disseminate research. AuthorAID will offer travel grants worth $ 1500 (Sh156,000) each for early-career researchers to present their research at an international conference. “When applying for a travel grant their proposal/abstract should already have been accepted for presentation at an international

conference and they should be a first-time presenter,” the organisation said in a statement. The AuthorAID community includes over 15,000 researchers from around the world. Their latest call for applications covers a wide range of countries, including Kenya, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea and Ethiopia among others. AuthorAID refers to a number of initiatives that provide support to researchers from developing countries in preparing academic articles for publication in peerreviewed journals. AuthorAID’s call comes at a time when the global community has feted Kenya for its prowess in drafting development policies. Kenya has howver been criticised for failing to implement many of its otherwise well-constructed reforms.

millions into State House Summit sessions, the President’s administration was claiming credit for a number of soon to be completed projects. The Consumers Federation has, in the recent past, been critical of Uhuru’s government. Mid-last year, COFEK urged President Kenyatta to sign the Banking Amendment Bill 2015 into law. COFEK

Secretary General Stephen Mutoro who spoke to the public in August, argued that the government must take its rightful space on banking regulations. “Banks cannot have discretion of choosing which laws suits them. Central Bank of Kenya has failed consumers on this front,” he said. Mutoro says the recent collapse of several banks revealed a huge rot of

insider-trading and outright theft from consumers and the fact that the affected bank directors are walking free confirms missing political goodwill to stem the rot within the banking sector. He said even if banks set aside a reserve fund of whatever magnitude the cost of the same will be passed onto borrowers in one way or the other because commercial banks are not charitable. @Dennis _x254

Kenyan startup to compete for Sh104 million prize in Los Angeles Sanivation, a Kenya-based start-up, has been selected as one of 30 startups from across the world as a finalist of Chivas Regal’s ‘The Venture’ competition, a global search to find and support the next generation of innovators. The Naivasha-based social enterprise will represent Kenya in the upcoming Chivas The Venture global final in Los Angeles on July 2017. The 30 finalists from across six continents will have a chance to pitch for a share of a $1 million (Sh103.9 million) fund in front of an expert panel of judges who are looking for businesses that can offer scalable and sustainable solutions to real world issues. “We are honoured to be Kenya’s Finalist for The Venture Competition. At Sanitation, we work hard to provide cost-effective sanitation services to

realize sustainability in urbanizing communities, what UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has described as one of the most important aspects of the post-2015 development framework,” said Dickson Ochieng, Director of Government Relations at Sanivation “Should we win the global competition, we will scale our work and reach 1 million people over the next five years, help tackle the sanitation crisis in Kenya and shift the paradigm about sanitation,” he added. According to the jury, Sanivation is a truly scalable social impact business and addressed huge health and environmental challenges that are currently faced by millions of people all over the world. “We look forward to see them compete with social startups from across the

world,” said Eat Out Director, Mikul Shah, who spoke on behalf of the judges. Ahead of the global final, the competitors will take part in Chivas’s Venture Accelerator Week, hosted at the University of Oxford by The Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship. Embedded within the world-renowned Said Business School at the University of Oxford, The Skoll Centre has created an inspirational and transformative programme featuring opportunities for the finalists to develop leadership skills, take part in practical workshops and be inspired by global experts on critical topics that affect social enterprises. With over $1 million (Sh103.9 million) in funding and resources, Chivas the Venture inspires entrepreneurs seeking to make positive change to pursue their ambitions and realise their potential. @enock_x254



Watch out Africa, Phy is coming for you! The singer and instrumentalist recently had a little chat with XACCESS about her process, her passion and the story behind the monster hit ‘Taboo.’ She also dishes a few tidbits about herself that might prove to be a surprise.


escribe your personal style? I’d say edgy, experimental, forever evolving. Most of the time I come up with looks myself but I’ve occasionally worked with a

stylist. How do you create on-stage looks? I just love to shop! It’s an addiction, I’m sorry I love to shop [laughs]. So yeah that’s just basically how I do it. I heard you grew up in the bundus, upcountry Imagine I’m not a city girl. I don’t know why people keep thinking I’m this city girl. But I was actually born and raised in Sotik, that’s where I grew up. [Enthusiastically]It’s been my home, I rep that town and I’m so damn proud of where I’m from. How did you end up in Nairobi? My mom works in Nairobi so I ended up coming to stay here after high school. How did you spend New Year’s? I was so clueless man [laughs]. On 31st [December] I had no plans whatsoever. Even my mom was like ‘ata mimi nimeenda, nikona plans zangu’. I eventually found plot but midnight found me driving from Kikuyu to Mombasa Road. So basically that’s how I spent New Year’s, in the car. Where do you get inspiration from while crafting music? Everything, everything around me inspires me. I’m an observer, sometimes I can be a melancholic, I sit down and watch what people do, what they say or how they go about life and that inspires me to just create something. What is your creative process like? It’s very random, it’s not so much a set process. I write a lot so I


ast African rap sensation of the moment Darassa, who has shot to fame in Tanzania and across the East African region has revealed that he is working on an album that he will release before the end of this year. Currently topping charts in Tanzania with his hit song dubbed ‘Muziki’ featuring Ben Pol, the rapper now says this year he is set to release more music that will culminate into an album. “I am ready for this, it has been a long time coming and I can tell you for sure that it is my time to shine,” said the 255 champion.

Darassa to release album this year

Soul Phylosophy Facebook: Phyasco Twitter: @phyascomusic Instagram: Phyasco

have so much content in terms of writing. I come up with ideas way before I even do them. I wrote ‘Taboo’ two years ago and it came out last year. I can think of an idea for a video long before I write a song and then the video could end up inspiring the song. Which artistes have influenced your sound? They are so many. Growing up, my family would listen to a very diverse set of music, we used to listen to a lot of music. My parents are music lovers and my grandmother is actually a musician. She has 3 albums out, she’s a Kikuyu gospel singer. So my influences were almost everything. My dad would listen to Zilizopendwa and my mom would be all about the soul and jazz. But I would say my music is heavily influenced by soul, Neo-soul, RnB, hip hop and reggae. So, what was the story behind ‘Taabu’? Just as the song says, taboo. I was with someone and

along the way someone else came to bring confusion, so it actually is a real story. Which African artiste would you love to get in studio with? Wizkid, if it’s not Wizkid, it’s not happening [laughs]. I would really love to work with him, he’s really dope and good at what he does. Sometimes I feel like I have to compete with other artistes who are around my age from all over the world, so I look at him and what he does and I just try and play at the same level. So I have a long way to go, because Wizkid is killing it at 26. What are you working on currently? I recently released my EP ‘Biography’ which is a compilation of old school Kenyan hits done in my own way. It’s been working out amazingly so far. Other than that I want to start off the year with a bang. I’m planning on doing more videos for my album and putting out more music. My plan is just to conquer Africa! What would people be surprised to know about you? I do my own laundry. I heard Yemi Alade say she does her own laundry and I was like ‘yes me too!’ Every week I take my batch of dirty clothes, go to my balcony na nafua.




espite heavy criticism, Tanzanian singer and Wasafi Records CEO Diamond Platnumz has vowed to fly the Tanzanian flag high at the AFCON opening ceremony this weekend in Gabon. The award-winning artiste was handed the Tanzanian flag by Tanzania’s Minister for Communication, Culture, Sports and Entertainment Nape Moses who has defended the act saying any citizen of Tanzania can represent the East African nation but it was important for to it be Diamond because he had been selected to perform at the opening ceremony, to fly the flag even higher before Tanzania gets to play. A number of people felt that the flag should have been handed to the Tanzanian football team.

Diamond vows to proudly fly the Tanzanian flag


ela records founder cum producer Visita has entered into a partnership with a Tanzanian recording label. The artiste, who set up his own record label after he was allegedly kicked out of Grandpa Records, made the announcement on social media. Hela records will merge with Tanzania’s Steps Studios to create a new sound that the producer promises his fans will be a game changer in the music industry. The new outfit will be based in Nairobi.







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Gabon captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates after scoring for his team in a past match. The Borussia Dortmund forward will lead his country’s campaign in the AFCON from tomorrow. PHOTOS:EPA

The continent’s deadliest striker to lead hosts Gabon in quest for first ever glory

Africa Cup of Nations: How family ties fuel Africa’s deadliest striker Aubameyang


abon will take on Guinea-Bissau in the opening match of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations which kicks off in Libreville, Gabon tomorrow evening. The host are looking up to striker Perre-Emerick Aubameyang in their quest to lift the continental trophy for the first time. But beyond the patriotic duty on the Borrussia Dortmund forward, Aubameyang who is Africa’s deadliest striker is also fueled by family ties as he wants to emulate the glory days of his father and win something in appreciation. The two men are not only bound by blood ties. Father and son have history when it comes to the two defining moments in Gabon’s football past. Twice “Les Panthères” have made the quarterfinals of the Africa Cup of Nations. Twice they have played out 1-1 draws before going out on penalties. Both times, the team representing this African nation of around 1.8 million people starred a man named Aubameyang. “He was captain, now I’m captain, and I’m proud to lead this national team,” Aubameyang tells CNN, 16 years after his father’s team lost to Tunisia. The 27-year-old knows plenty about carrying the weight of a nation’s expectations. Gabon’s only other appearance in the last eight of the AFCON came when it co-hosted the competition with neighbor Equatorial Guinea

in 2012. While it was a success on a personal level for Aubameyang - he scored three goals during the tournament - it was ultimately his miss in the penalty shootout against Mali that meant his team fell short once again. He walked back to the halfway line before collapsing to the turf in tears and, as the stadium emptied, father and son were left to reflect upon another opportunity lost. This year’s tournament offers a chance of redemption. Gabon might only be 110th in the FIFA world rankings -- below the likes of Swaziland, Rwanda and Sierra Leone -- but in star man Aubameyang, it boasts one of the world’s deadliest strikesr. And, with Real Madrid legend José Antonio Camacho coaching the team, the 2017 AFCON host nation has real cause for hope. “I think it’s a really important challenge,” says Aubameyang. “We have a good team ... Why not win this trophy for the first time?” Born in France and invited to play for Italy’s Under-19s following a spell at AC Milan, Aubameyang might never have represented Gabon at all, had it not been for the influence of his father, known during his playing days as Pierre “Yaya” Aubame. “It’s my culture,” shrugs the Dortmund star, reflecting on their close relationship. “He taught me so many things about this country

as captain of the national team. I lived all the time in France but it’s like I was born in Gabon. “For me, this choice was easy because my father was my first favorite player. I was in the stadium watching him for the first time when I was maybe three years old, and straight away I knew I wanted to do it like him. That’s it.” Like his father, Aubameyang spent his formative years in French football - cutting his teeth at Dijon, Lille, Monaco and eventually Saint-Etienne in a succession of loan deals from parent club AC Milan. ut while the career of his Dad would eventually fade into relative obscurity - comprising stints at Colombian club Atlético Junior and a season back home in his native Gabon - the same cannot be said of the Dortmund forward. When he broke Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure’s four-year hold on the award in 2016, Aubameyang became the first ever Gabonese player to be named African Player of the Year. His peers in Germany football voted him the Players’ Player of the Year last season after he scored 25 Bundesliga goals. And, with 16 league goals in 15 appearances so far this campaign, he’s leading the charge for the European Golden Shoe, previously won by football greats such as Gerd Muller, Marco van Basten and Cristiano Ronaldo. If Aubameyang succeeds, he will become the


first ever African winner. Already his nation’s top goalscorer and a 2016 Ballon d’Or nominee, he’s even challenged Usain Bolt to a race. It’s enough to make any father proud. “He told me already that he wants me to continue the way I’m going,” smiles Aubameyang, the youngest of three brothers who have all spent time on the books of AC Milan, but the only one to break into the big time. “I think he’s happy but every time he tells me ‘You can do it better, you can do it better’ and so that’s the way.” If Aubameyang has gone from strength to strength, can Gabon go toe-to-toe with Africa’s football powerhouses? First up, the hosts need to navigate a group that comprises Burkina Faso and Cameroon as well as Saturday’s opponents Guinea-Bissau. “Every time, we get the best teams,” laments Aubameyang. “It’s crazy! “Cameroon are big and it will be a hard game for sure. But we did well against Burkina Faso last year so I think we have our chances. “It’s another year but like I said before we have a good team -- young players, but talented players, so for sure we have to advance past the first round.” His father will be watching on hoping he does just that.




Stars pooled with Ghana in Cup of Nations qualifiers National football team Harambee Stars have a taunting task against four time champions Ghana, neighbors Ethiopia and Sierra Leone in the qualifiers for the 2019 African Cup of Nations according to Thursday’s draw conducted in Libreville, Gabon. Stars are hoping for a return to the most coveted football tournament on African soil for the first time since 2004 and though the draw looks tough on paper, Stanley Okumbi and his charges might fancy giving it a try. Due to improved ranking, Kenya will this time round avoid the tedious two legged preliminary round. South Sudan, Sao Tome, Comoros, Mauritius, Madagascar and Djibouti will contest for three places from the preliminary round. Kenya has mixed history with Ethiopia, but the most recent

meeting was during the 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers in 2015 which Ethiopia won. The previous meetings at CECAFA Senior challenge levels have always ended in Kenya’s favor. Kenya does not have recent competitive meetings with either Sierra Leone or Ghana. The Ghanaians have however played neighbors Uganda and Rwanda in previous qualifiers and Kenya can rely on their struggles in the region to pounce. Having failed to nail a slot in the 2017 edition at the expense of minnows Guinea Bissau coach Okumbi vowed to lead the Stars into the 2019 edition and he now has his work cut out. Uganda drawn against Tanzania, Lesotho and Cape Verde Neighbors Uganda and Tanzania have been locked in the same group.

Harambee Stars players celebrate a team goal in a recent international friendly match. Stars have been paired against heavyweights Ghana for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

They will be up against Lesotho and Cape Verde in Group L. The cranes qualified for the 2017 edition for for the first time in 39 years and may as well fancy their chances for 2019 in a group that looks manageable. Group J will also be an interesting one

to watch as it pits 2004 champions Tunisia against fellow North African rivals Egypt. They will be joined by Niger and Swaziland. Group E will also see two giants clash with Nigeria and South Africa pooled together. Seychelles and Libya will compete in this group as

well. The preliminary round matches will be played in March while the group stage matches kicking off in June. Group winners from the 12 pools alongside the three best second placed teams will join hosts Cameroon for the final tournament.

Mou rallies United fans ahead of Liverpool clash Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has told fans Sunday’s Premier League match against fierce rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford will “not be a visit to the theatre”, and instead invited them to “come and play with us”. United beat Hull City 2-0 in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final on Tuesday thanks to second-half goals from Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini. However, Mourinho said everyone must improve against Liverpool. “It’s a special match for us,” he said. “If we play enthusiastic football the fans come to the pitch and play with us. When we don’t play with great intensity it is normal that the fans are not so vocal. “But we have absolutely amazing fans, fans who push us and get behind us. “Everybody likes big games - players, managers, fans. Everyone loves big matches so let’s go for that one on Sunday.” United host Liverpool at 7pm Sunday looking to extend their run of successive wins to 10 in all competitions. Liverpool have lost just twice all season, their last defeat a 4-3 loss at Bournemouth on 4 December. Jurgen Klopp’s men are second in the Premier League, five points ahead of United in sixth and the same distance behind leaders Chelsea. United were without 13-goal striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic against Hull because of illness, but Mourinho said the Swede should return on Sunday. “Zlatan is ill so I think no problem for Sunday,” he said. “I think he will be fine.”

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho salute fans at the end of a past Premier league match. He has urged the fans to come out in large numbers and support the team when they take on rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday. PHOTO: EPA




Ahmad to vie for CAF presidency Ahmad Ahmad, the head of Madagascar’s FA, says he will challenge long-standing Confederation of African Football (Caf) ruler Issa Hayatou in March’s presidential elections. Ahmad, a member of the Caf Executive Committee, is currently in his third period of office with Madagascar. Hayatou, who has ruled the African game since 1988, is seeking an eighth term. The 70-year-old was re-elected unopposed during the last Caf presidential elections in 2013. The Cameroonian had previously stated this term would be his last until a change of regulations altered his stance. In 2015, Caf voted to change the statutes which previously stopped officials serving past the age of 70. This paved the way for Hayatou, who turned 70 last year, to stand in the election. Ahmad has told the BBC that his candidacy has been accepted by Caf, although the African football body has yet to confirm this. The elections will take place in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa as the organisation celebrates its 60th year of existence. Whoever wins the election will be limited to a maximum of three terms in office after Caf amended its rules last year. Only members of the organisation’s 15man executive committee can contest the presidential election.

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