7 interesting things that made the news this week (16th Mar – 22nd Mar)

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.

Public jobs allocation by tribe

Distribution of public resources is always a “charged” topic for Kenyans. When everything was centered around Nairobi, being close to the action was crucial (physically and having “your own” in the right chairs). The demons were unleashed again through a Kenya Power report on ethnic composition of their human resource.

It turns out that 4 ethnic groups hold 63% of the jobs at Kenya Power. In fact, the CEO has never been from any of the other communities save the 4. This is a problem because Kenya is composed of +40 ethnic groups. Also, the country has a diversity policy where public employment opportunities are not supposed to exceed the proportionate population size. Central Kenya region was found to have the highest of this disparity, with 8% more share of jobs than it’s proportionate population size.

M-Akiba 2


The mobile-money bond had a 79% subscription rate, raising sh.197 million of the targeted sh.250 million. Despite the defeatist headlines, this rate was much improved from 2017 when it was only 24%. Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) went on to list it in its secondary market. This means you have a chance to buy the bond from someone else, if you missed out, and even sell it. NSE CEO, Geoffrey Odundo was hopeful, “The 79 percent subscription rate is a clear indication of Kenyans’ investment appetite and an affirmation of the need for more innovative finance products in the market.”

M-Akiba was launched to improve financial inclusion, allowing Kenyans to purchase Government bond with as little as sh.3,000. The interest earned is 10% every 6 months and maturity of investment is September, 2020.

Fuliza in other African countries

Fuliza has grown so successful so fast that it is to be launched in other African countries. These are places where M-Pesa services also exist: Tanzania, Lesotho, Ghana, DR Congo and Mozambique.

You should know just how much Fuliza can help you run your business. It’s an automatic overdraft facility.

Meru Bamboo forest trick

Meru County has chosen to be innovative in their reforestation efforts. The County has a goal to reach 25% forest coverage by 2022, up from 18%. This will be aided by planting Bamboo trees in 416 hectares of land. The project will be done in partnership with the Minsitry of Energy and, NGO, Greening Kenya Foundation. Meru Environment Executive, Caroline Kagwiria added that the work will incorporate farmers. “This will protect rivers, prevent soil erosion and pollution.

“The alternative we are giving is Bamboo as a cash crop due to it’s ability to protect riparian land and earn good income for farmers.” She identified firewood, construction, textile and paper as some industries the business opportunities lie, for Bamboo.

Smart Duka

Non-profit organization, TechnoServe has partnered with Moody’s, of financial services, to train 1,000 shop owners. The program is called “Smart Duka.” They will be trained on business and financial management. Other issues shop owners will taught to deal with include: long periods of closure, limited inventory, stock deplation and low incomes. TechnoServe Regional Program Manager, Alice Waweru outlined goals of Smart Duka, “The project will promote targeted support, which will enable micro retailers to reduce costs, increase profits and drive economic growth in their communities.” The shop owners will be trained in 2 cohorts of 500 individuals each.

World Cup money

Remember when you catered for MPs and Senators trip to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, in Russia? Well, 2 of them could be forced to refund money. Auditor-General, Edward Ouko called out 2 MPs for receiving irregular payment. The unnamed duo got sh.2.5 million from the National Sports Funds instead of, the intended, Parliamentary Service Commission. It’s the small wins. It’s what we’ve been reduced to.

Family Businesses

The PwC Kenya Family Business Survey 2018 was released. It captures the state of family businesses over a particular period of time. Some of the highlights of the report include the fact only 17% of such businesses in Kenya have solid succession plans in place – documentation, communication, etc.

Family businesses in Kenya also singled out corruption as their biggest challenge. Others include cost of raw materials, lack of required skills, international competition and the need for innovation. Get the full report here.