7 interesting things that made the news this week (10th Mar – 16th Mar)

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.

Safaricom’s plan to empower business women

The International Women’s Day was this week. We marked it with a good article on financial inclusion. Safaricom, on their part, came out with a plan to help women entrepreneurs in Kenya. The listed company has set for itself a goal to more than double the amount of business they source to women-owned businesses, to 10%. This will include focus on capital intensive sectors, with good money too, that are male-dominated. Already, 51% of the staff at Safaricom are women.

Kenya’s rank in the World Happiness Report 2018

Just like we all suspected, it turns out that Kenya is one of the unhappiest places to live in on the planet. Kenya was ranked, a lowly, 124 out of the 156 countries surveyed by the Gallup World Poll between 2015 and 2017. Eastern Africa in general is not happy. Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Burundi all trailed Kenya. Mauritius was the top ranked African country, at position 55. Finland is the happiest country in the world. You can read the full report here.

All Mombasa CBD buildings to be repainted

The actual notice read in part, “The buildings should be in white with Egyptian blue border on the edges and windows above without any written sign on the wall or canopy.” Everyone has 14 days to comply with preparation since the directive was issued early in the week. There will be 30 days given to fully comply with this rule to serve as some restoration activity and a boost to Mombasa’s image. A city in Africa with such uniformity is Algiers.

M-Kopa lays off 150 workers, secures sh. 1 billion in funding

M-Kopa Solar is a solar power provider for 600,000 homes. It made the choice to restructure by laying off 150 of its over 1000 workers. The company decided to outsource functions to “capable and cost-competitive partners.” A few days later the firm secured, a reported, sh. 1 billion ($10 million) in investments from FinDev Canada. M-Kopa defends itself from criticism by saying the lay-offs affected Kenya the least. The company is considered Kenyan but its funding and senior management are foreign, an issue that raises eye-brows. It also outsourced some functions to a firm founded by its acting CTO (Chief Technology Officer), John Kattenhorn.

Court rules KRA’s new excise tax unconstitutional

Remember the order to non-alcoholic beverage manufacturers to comply to KRA’s excise stamp directives? Here is the story. The High Court had suspended it but has now termed it unconstitutional; stating that the “legal notice was not promulgated in a manner that conforms to the law.” Kenya Revenue Authority was hoping to not only increase its revenue collection but also corner the counterfeit products in that sector. Omtatah had challenged the director, with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers expressing reservations over KRA’s move.

10 telecom companies apply for 4G licences

The Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) has been evaluating application for 4G licences since December. These were made by 2 consortia (consortiums is too much for me, haha) of 5 companies each for the 700 MHz frequency band that became available after Kenya’s graduation to digital tv. You will gain from high-speed internet. CA Director-General, Francis Wangusi said, “…we give them spectrum on trial for one year. Then if they are successful, they pay the $25 million.”

Diamond Platnumz launched his latest album in Nairobi

The 28 year old artiste was joined by, American, Omarion for his event at the Kenyan National Theater. Also present were a number of Kenyan curtain-raisers and Diamond Platnumz’s family. The album is titled ‘A Boy from Tandale’. Tandale is an administrative ward in Dar-es-Salaam.

Obligatory, here’s one of the jams from the 18-track album: