7 interesting things that made the news this week (9th June – 15th June)

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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.

AECF to invest sh.30 billion in the rural economy

Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) has committed to invest sh.30 billion to positively impact 25 million people in rural Africa. This was announced during launch of AECF’s first conference. The conference was graced by, Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary, Margaret Kobia. The fund will support businesses in renewable energy and in agribusiness. More, AECF promised to integrate gender analysis in its investments to promote equal access to financing between the two genders. This is an important point because the rural economy in Kenya, and the rest of Africa is dominated by female participants.

AECF is one of the top startup early-stage investors in Africa. It’s a development finance institution that supports innovative businesses, which enable the rural poor to prosper. In 2017, its work impacted 16 million people in 24 countries.

Kenyan startup wins Merck Accelerator contest

We love follow-ups and Kenyan entrepreneurs winning things. HerBusiness shared the call for application in March, 2018. The program would award financing, a trip to Germany and one year membership at Mettā Nairobi’s entrepreneurship club. Tambua Intelligent Diagnostics wins all that after topping 7 other Kenyan startups and 1 each from Uganda and Tanzania. Tambua is a mobile app that can diagnose TB and Pneumonia using sound waves and deep analysis.

Parents should pay their children

Benjamin Cheboi, chair of Agricultural Development Corporation, okays it if parents make their children work in farms. He was speaking at a consultative meeting of agricultural bodies in Mombasa. “We need a law mandating parents to pay their children whenever they work for them in the farms.” He is concerned that farming is becoming a preserve of the old yet it’s possible to incentivize young people into farming like this (also kids deserve the money). While this is partly correct, it’s also a fact that the cost of being a newcomer in farming is prohibitive for young people. Maybe the law is too much but it can work in keeping young people running farms in Kenya. What do you think?

Bank halls to become cool again?

No. And no, telling people Uhuru Kenyatta once worked as a teller means nothing in the scheme of things. Only rich people used to bank in Kenya (what next? you went to school barefoot back when shoes were a luxury? context). Speaking of the rich, Equity Bank wants to step a gear on its “Supreme Banking” project. It wants to double to 20 the number of outlets that serve richer customers by 2020. Presently they are in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret. To bank here you need to maintain a minimum deposit of sh.200,000. Then you will benefit from free internet, a personal relationship manager, extended banking hours and the choice to operate your account in local or any of the major currencies. The outlets have been described as “classy” and “centers of excellence.” Equity is also targeting high growth small and medium-sized business for “Supreme Banking.” What stage of capitalism is private banking? I’m kidding, capitalism works.

Boob job gone awry

A boob job is a cosmetic procedure that involves silicon implant or fat grafting (where they put fat from another part of your body into the breast, and you win) in the breast. June Wanza developed complications, for presumably undergoing the latter, and sadly passed on. She is said to have been cut in her intestines and waste spread to some of her abdominal organs. The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPD) wrote to the clinic involved asking for explanation of events leading to June’s hospitalization and demise.

Kenya’s sh.3 trillion budget

Here is something, Kenya has a sh.3 trillion ($30 billion) budget while Ethiopia has a sh.1.3 trillion ($13 billion) budget. No more talking up Ethiopia, okay?!

Henry Rotich, Treasury Cabinet Secretary, had proposals for Parliament that did not go down too well with Kenyans. He wants to levy 16% tax on a bunch of basic commodities, like unga and kerosene, while also pushing for toll roads, more mobile money transfer charges and increased licensing fees for small businesses (if you support anti-counterfeit war, you support this). Mr. Rotich also wants to okay stashed stolen public money to be sneaked back home with a “tax pardon” arrangement. He did propose for sh.16 billion to go towards developing curriculum and employing instructors at technical schools and import duty on steel and paper products to promote local manufacturing. Parliament will decide on the budget proposals.

Kenyan model, Olivia Sang

Photo: Olivia Sang Official Instagram Page

Olivia Sang once came under attack from conservative Kenya (it’s not bad or good to be conservative) for nude photography. This past week she spoke to BBC Africa’s One Minute Stories about prejudice against darker skin tone in her field of work. What’s up people? In fact skin lightening/bleaching is recognized as a major social and health problem in Africa. 

Olivia Sang expressed pride about her skin color saying, “If I had to come back in another life, I would still choose to come back as a black girl.” 

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