Photo: Afrolia

7 interesting things that made the news this week (24th Mar – 30th 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.

Home Ownership Made Easy

Investment bank, Genghis Capital and, property developer, Paradigm Projects unveiled their partnership this week to make serve developers and Kenyans aspiring to own a house. HOME (Home Ownership Made Easy) will serve the liquidity need of real estate developers by underwriting projects while buyers will be able to acquire homes through long-term monthly payments at prevailing rental prices. This initiative kicks off in July, 2018.

Columnists quit!

8 Nation Media Group (NMG) quit over what they termed increased meddling by Government and loss of media freedom. Part of their statement read, “A worrying pattern has emerged where it appears the exectutive is able to influence who works for or contributes to NMG.” Rasna Warah and Maina Kiai are some of these prominent columnists who made the move. Earlier this year, NTV was among station’s shut down by the Government.

KNBS releases more Kenyan stats

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) revealed to us what we all suspected, and confirmed that some 50 years centralized governance flopped in distributing resources. Counties located in the central regions of Kenya and a few other isolated urban centers in the periphery had the least share of poor people. Nairobi had 17 persons in 100 living in poverty. Turkana and Mandera, with 79 and 78 persons in 100, were among the 10 poorest. Interestingly, KNBS set the poverty line at sh.5,995 a month in urban areas and sh.3,252 in rural areas. This, more or less, aligns with the global $1-2 a day metric that definitely needs to be revised. You can check out more stats on inequality, unemployment, literacy, etc of The Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey on the KNBS website.

Boda boda confirmed out of Nairobi CBD

A suit by, Starehe MP, Charles Kanyi against the order to ban boda boda from the Nairobi CBD was lost. Kanyi, also called Jaguar, had argued that the riders’ economic rights were violated. But the court found he could not demonstrate this. Justice Roselyn Aburili also schooled everyone on being used and duped by politicians. She said politicians “must not create any legitimate expectations in the minds…that they will not enforce after the election.” Haha, we agree with her.

Is microfinance good or bad?

Once the greatest idea ever, microfinance has taken hits over not really transforming lives but driving the poor into debt. A study on mobile loans by FSD-Kenya, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Central Bank of Kenya and Consultative Group to Assist the Poor arrives at a similar conclusion. “The rise of the digital credit market has raised concerns about the risk of excessive borrowing and over-indebtedness among lower-income households.” The study is titled ‘The Digital Credit Revolution in Kenya: An Assessment of Market Demand, 5 Years On’. You can find it here.

Nairobi MCAs do good

MCAs in Nairobi opted to allocate 32% of the County’s 2017/2018 supplementary budget to development. This sh.5.6 billion boost will increase the development budget to sh.13.3 billion. This money will go towards joint-projects with neighbouring counties and that national government. Some of these include: improvement of hospitals, rapid mass transport and increased water supply. Robert Mbatia, chairman of the budget and appropriations committee, said, “This is a development-centered budget which mainly focuses on water, health and infrastructure.”

Kitenge as the official wear?

It’s so nice to finally see someone attack that piece of cloth on your neck (tie) that has little to do with productivity. Lilian Awinja is the Executive Director of the East African Business Council (EABC). She asks, “Why should Africans wear…suits yet we have our kitenge? We are requesting the EAC governments to make Kitenges the official wear for Fridays.” This would be the beginning of a fight-back to rebuild textile industries in Kenya. She’s not calling for a ban on imports but a nudge by the Governments to support local. What is your opinion on this? (the suggestion, not the photo below).