7 interesting things that made the news this week (15th Sept – 21st Sept)

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Didn’t have time to catch up with all of the week’s news stories? Relax, follow Herbusiness summary and commentary of the most interesting things that made the news headlines in Kenya.

Kenya’s finances

A development theory. When a country’s leadership pays more attention to tax from the public, they will invest in the public to collect even more money. Let’s hope it works out. The President said, words, he will commit to “proper utilization of public resources.” This week a revised Finance Bill was passed, with all those taxes. The fuel VAT was reduced, by half, to 8%. Formally employed Kenyans will pay 1.5% tax to the Housing Plan. Betting companies will now pay 15% of gross revenue as tax, down from 35%. But winning bettors (as if) will give 20% of their winning to the long arm of the Government.

Excise tax on internet and data services (15%) and on money transfer fees (20%) are things we’ll have to live with. Tax with inefficient use of money, how do to live with that? The President also recommended an “anti-adulteration” tax on kerosene of sh.18 per litre. He did the same on confectioneries, recommending sh.20 excise tax per kilo.

Photo: PSCU

Budget proposal with sh.37.6 billion slashed was also passed. Emergency road repair, schools’ laptop project and last mile electricity are some areas that will work with less. The Government is working, among other things, to meet IMF’s fiscal targets.

M-Akiba is coming back

M-Akiba allows Kenyans to invest in infrastructure bonds by mobile money. It starts from sh.3000 and pays, 10% interest per year, every 6 months. While the M-Akiba pilot was successful, a second call underperformed. Treasury head, Henry Rotich assures that they’ve learnt from the failings. He said, “Now we have fine-tuned the processes and very soon…we should now come to the market and ensure that we have an M-Akiba that will be sustainable.” Treasury is looking to avail it before June 2019. The bond lasts for 3 years to fit short term investors.

Is Kenya getting better?

It’s getting worse even as meat consumption, spending on cosmetics and the like go up, across income segments. Makes you think, no? It also turns out that Kenyas’s HDI score has gone up. HDI – Human Development Index – combines measures of life expectancy, education and income to rank countries. The new rankings were released in UNDP’s Indices and Indicators Statistical Updates 2018. Kenya is still in the “medium development” tier but now has a HDI of 0.590. This puts us at 142 out of 189 countries. Other African countries in this tier are South Africa, Egypt and Morocco. There are no African countries in the “very high development” category but a few, like Seychelles and Algeria, make the “high development” tier, a step above Kenya.

Africa is just…

Nairobi is also highly ranked among the wealthiest cities in Africa. Make of that what you will. Growth or Inequality? Nairobi has privately held wealth valued at sh.5.4 trillion. The city is only behind Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Cairo and Lagos. In comparison, Dar and Kampala have privately held wealth valued at sh.2.5 and sh.1.6 trillion respectively. This came from a New World Wealth and AfrAsia Bank study. Nairobi was praised for its ease in capital flows.

Eliud Kipchoge

One prominent Kenya put on a good face for the country. Eliud Kipchoge broke the marathon record by more than a minute to a new time of 2 hours, 1 minute and 39 seconds. He said, “I am really grateful and happy to smash the world record.” Yes, he used the word smash. He was winning a marathon in Berlin for a third time. In fact, the dude has only lost once and is considered a modern-day marathon great. Another reason to hate him, he kept to his character of “quiet” returns home. Eliud was congratulated by the President, compatriots and Kenyan public. We congratulate him too, some days late.

Redsan drama

So Redsan’s real name is Mohamed Swabri. Heh. Things took a turn for worse after his “Baddest” Album launch. The launch featured Demarco and Tiwa Savage (who had her own thing going). Later, an audio recording emerged of Redsan beating (fighting?) his producer, “Sappy.”

We don’t know Sappy’s real name. We know that he said the fight was over copyright issues. Sappy had refused to hand Redsan the master copy of his latest album. Resultantly, Redsan was unable to perform some of his latest songs at his own album launch.

Rafiki

The high court temporarily suspended the ban on this movie ‘Rafiki’, elapsing on 30th September, 2018. You will be able to watch it as a “willing adult.” The movie is about a romantic relationship between two teenage girls, one opposed by family and community. Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) banned it for “promoting homosexuality.” Lifting of the ban, importantly, means it can now be nominated as Kenya’s entry in the Foreign Language Film category of the Oscars Awards. The movie was directed by Wanuri Kahiu.

Top 40 Under 40 Women

The Top 40 Under 40 Women feature, by Business Daily Africa, is for those showing “promise of excellence in corporate leadership, professional services, enterprise, sports and the arts.” The final list of 40 is picked by judges from a greater number of nominees. Who were the Kenyan women recognized in 2018? One, Liz Lenjo, once interviewed by this very website, made the list. Hope she footnotes us if she gives a speech somewhere.

Check out a handful of the women doing awesome things. Work hard and join them soon.

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