7 interesting things that made the news this week (3rd Mar – 9th Mar)

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Busy week didn’t give you time to catch up with all of the interesting news items? Relax, HerBusiness will be summarizing all these things that made the news every week.

Is the Government of Kenya broke?

Technically, Governments cannot go broke. But the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Henry Rotich said that his ministry will be slashing close to sh.80 billion in money allocations. County Governments will receive sh.18 billion less while the National Government gets sh.60 billion less. Rotich blamed KRA for not meeting revenue targets and therefore “Austerity will continue.” Austerity does not work though…

Auditor-General’s Report for fiscal year 2015/2016

In summation, some sh.40 billion cannot be accounted for. And it’s brilliant that it came off the back of the Finance Ministry’s back and forth on the Government’s financial health. Where is your money? It’s the typical Kenyan stuff – there were over-payments because conflict of interest, there was payment to phony suppliers because collusion, there was outright looting because nearsightedness,and general financial irresponsibility. The health ministry, which has been under fire recently, couldn’t account for sh.11 billion.

More layoffs in the financial sector

More bad news. First, National Bank of Kenya’s Wilfred Musau was quoted by Bloomberg on the upcoming closure of a decent number of its 85 branches. The announcement will come in Q2. He said, “this is a decision based on the strategic position and profitability of a branch.” Following, Britam also announced its plans to layoff 100 employees. Their aim is to remain, “responsive to changing market conditions.” Things will only get worse in this space, actually.

Lecturers in Kenya went on strike, again!

Two bodies, University Academy Staff Union (UASU) and Kenya University Academic Staff Union (KUSU) called for another strike, in public universities. On their end, they accused the Inter-Public Universities Council Consultative Forum for not engaging in negotiations. It had failed to table a counter-offer on their wage demands despite five opportunities to do so, as recently as February 2018. Learning remains paralyzed in the affected institutions.

SMEs to be trained on data

Mu data analytics institute, German, and the Micro and Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA) have partnered to train 1000s of Kenyan SME owners on data mining and analysis in their businesses. This is possible thanks to funding by, another German organization, the Centre for International Migration (CIM). The program kicks off in July with Eldoret, Uasin Gishu, Nakuru, Nyeri, Mombasa and Nairobi counties selected as the first to benefit. Read on the importance of data science for women entrepreneurs in Kenya.

Kenya to benefit from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation $170 million

The organization is investing the sh.17 billion across 8 countries over the next four years to advance women’s economic empowerment in developing countries. Kenya is among those targeted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Focus areas will include; family planning, nutrition and financial inclusion – which was our topic for Women’s Day special article.

Simmers Bar and Restaurant closed its doors for good

A long standing feature of Kenyatta Avenue, 21 years to be precise, Simmers bar was brought down this week. The bar was owned by, a former MP, Suleiman Murunga was was left reeling over the loss. An auctioneer promised that “something new and better will be constructed in a few months time.”

RIP Simmers Club

You can read the history of Simmers here.

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