Photo: x254

7 interesting things that made the news this week (19th May – 25th May)

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.

Woman killed in unclear circumstances

The only thing that is crystal clear is that Janet Wangui, 41, was killed by police bullets. Her companion, Benard Chege, 26, was injured. The two were shot, this past Sunday, in a failed attempt to speed off from City Park at around 10am. A guard had alerted police over “a suspicious car.” Speeding off was the response police got on inquiry and they opted to shoot at the occupants. The Nairobi County police boss, Tito, made a weak attempt to excuse his boys saying “we are currently on high alert.” A probe has been launched so we will not give legs to all the speculation over what Janet and Chege were,  or were not, doing in the car.

White man found guilty of child rape

A British man used the white man’s savior complex as a front to commit child rape in Kilifi. UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) operations manager, Graham Ellis said, the man, Keith Morris “spent many years integrating himself into the local community in Kenya, making him a trusted figure to the people that lived there.” For some 20 years, the 72 year old man would pretend to assist the victims’ families material needs. The truth, he would invite “groups of children” to his hotel rooms where he abused them. His despicable scheme was discovered in 2017 through audio recordings urging victims to retract the truth. He will be sentenced on 17th July by a court in Leeds, UK.

Too much “licensing” kills business activities

Yeah, sure, we need licensing to keep with minimum consumer health protection. We also need to fight counterfeit to motivate business people. But as we see with the alcohol or brewery sector, business is killed by Government meddling. We’re not buying the “illicit brew” bullying. We’re not impressed with announcement by the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) that not only will “licensed” vendors be the only ones allowed to import and distribute phones, they will also have to send samples for “approval” by CA. “Licensing” created a monopoly in the alcohol business. Vendors will be required to issue 1-year warranties and 2-year after-sale services. Why can’t they let that be a competitive advantage?

Blow for Kenyan manufacturers

7 days ago we thought​ we were onto something. We thought wrong. The Treasury rejected proposals to reduce tax on imported capital goods and instead shift the burden to imported finished stuff. Manufacturers wanted the Import Declaration Fee and the Railway Development Levy scrapped. Because of fears on the impact on Kenyans’ purchasing power, the decision made will be to test tax increase on finished goods and if it works “then later they would consider lowering the rates of raw materials.” This means the proposals will not be part of the Finance Bill 2018 as earlier hoped.

Google Impact Challenge

Google Impact Challenge has been rolled out in a few countries, including Kenya. The best of the challenge will be supported by Google to access funding, mentorship and resources. Application is open to non-profits and social enterprises with innovative proposals. 12 finalists will be selected and, on pitching, judges will pick 3 winners. A 4th winner will be determined by an online public vote on the preferred proposal or project. The 4 winners will then get grants of sh.25 million ($250,000). The other 8, not forgotten, will get grants of sh.12.5 million ($125,000). Deadline for application is 4th June, 2018. Visit the official website to do so.

Kenyan startup gets sh.10 million grant

Selina Wamucii is a platform that connects farmers to vendors. It lists its competitive advantages as shortening the supply chain and paying farmers more. Expo Live awarded Selina Wamucii sh.10 million ($100,000) from its Expo 2020 Dubai innovation and partnership program’s $100 million pool to support creative solutions to problems. The program’s Vice Chair, Yousuf said, “Selina Wamucii addresses all of Expo 2020 Dubai sub-themes (opportunity, mobility and sustainability).” Selina Wamucii, founded in 2015, will use the funds to acquire organic certification and increase it’s sourcing by 2000 farmers.

Africa Day 2018

Beyond the film Black Panther, which only proved that Americans can commercialize anything, Africa Day is commemorated every 25th May. It’s a symbol of “the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation.” It has its roots in the Organization of African Unity (OAU) which evolved into the African Union (AU), which Amina Mohamed fought so hard to lead – but it didn’t happen.

We are obligated to put something African like the song below: