Photo: Housing Finance Africa

7 interesting things that made the news this week (14th Apr – 20th Apr)

Didn’t have time to catch up with all of the week’s stories? Relax, follow HerBusiness commentary of the most interesting items that made the news headlines, every week.

Visa Everywhere Initiative

Visa Everywhere Initiative offers startups an opportunity to solve commerce challenges of the future. This, while also enjoying access to funding, mentorship, exposure and resources availed by Visa. It has a Sub-Saharan Africa edition that was launched in March. This week, participants of the Nairobi Tech Week are getting a shot at Visa Everywhere Initiative by competing in a hackathon by Visa. Visa is also part of discussions on Fintech, Cyber Security and Technology in Industries at the Nairobi Tech Week – the biggest tech gathering in the region.

Kenya is Africa’s 9th biggest economy

It’s a little underwhelming, no? Kenya has a nominal GDP of $77 billion at 9th in Africa. It’s sandwiched between Ethiopia and Tanzania with GDPs of $93 and $52 billion respectively. Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy at $581 billion. These stats are from African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Africa Economic Outlook 2018. The document’s latest theme is infrastructure. It also revealed that Eastern Africa is Africa’s fastest growing region at 5.6%, which is too low.

This flagship AfDB report was released in Hausa, Arabic and Swahili for the first time – each language spoken by over 300 million Africans. Find it here.

Soon: TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa 2

TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa is a competition for tech startups, in the continent, that was held in Nairobi in 2017. The whole thing was won by a Kenyan logistics solutions provider and we got a chance to interview one of its team players – read that here. A second edition is in the works as informational events are already happening in Lagos and Accra. Reportedly, the competition will be held in West Africa this year. Rely on HerBusiness to alert you when invitation for applications is opened.

Half of all Kenyan jobs could disappear because of technology

And there’s very little we can do about it. One, we can invest in “locally engineered solutions” and create new opportunities. Kenya is already troubled by high youth unemployment and the Future of Jobs and Skills Report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) says 52% of jobs are at risk to automation. We’ve already seen how bank branches gave way to mobile money + bank agents. Some of the solutions fronted include, thinking about education differently and promoting grassroots-based development. One of our contributors had a good input on this ‘industrialization 4.0’.

Affordable home ownership

Home ownership is one of the ultimate life goals for most Kenyans. The Government has gone on to include it as one of it’s ‘big 4 plan’ focus. Kenya is launching the Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company (KMRC) to establish primary and secondary mortgage markets in the country. It has sh.1.5 billion in seed capital. Also, the bill to eliminate stamp duty on first-time property buyers moved to Parliament. Stamp Duty is 2% (rural) and 4% (urban) of the market value of your property. Aden Duale said the move to exempt first time home buyers is “an incentive.” This will be one of the wins we advocated for Kenya’s finance sector.

SGR to handle conventional cargo

Are you eyeing export business? You should read this. You should also be aware that the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) will be handling conventional cargo from August. These are goods not put in containers like grain and fertilizers. Kenya Railways Managing Director, Atanas Maina confirmed that works by the Chinese to connect this functionality with the Port of Mombasa are happening. “Its completion expected in four months’ time. The bridge is intended to connect SGR to berth number one to ten.”

Biggest achievement in Kenyan football in 14 years

Football is the most popular sport in Kenya. Even so, there’s very little to write home about it. This week an achievement not experienced since the optimistic days of Narc (remember that? haha) was experienced. Gor Mahia reached the ‘money stage’ of Africa’s second tier continental competition for football clubs. They overcame a South African side, unironically called Supersport United (yes, yes, they have something to do with THAT Supersport). They are guaranteed a minimum of sh.27 million in prize monies.