7 interesting things that made the news this week (6th Jan – 11th Jan)

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.

Your kids will speak Chinese

Following in the footsteps of others, like South Africa, Kenya is preparing to teach Mandarin in schools. Mandarin is standard Chinese and the most spoken language in the world. The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) intends to roll out a syllabus in 2020. It will be taught to children from grade 4 (10 years old). Head of KICD, Julius Jwan said, “The place of China in the world economy has also grown to be so strong that Kenya stands to benefit if it’s citizens can understand Mandarin.”

I guess it depends on how you view things. You could say this is foresight to better ties with the biggest economy in the world (GDP PPP is the true measure). Or China is ramping up it’s intention to dominate things by encroaching into the cultural domain. America did it, no? None of you complain being brainwashed by Hollywood (haha).

Power consumption drops in Nairobi

Maybe the construction industry tells about the future prospect of a country. Real estate returns are in the longer term after all. Electricity consumption should therefore reveal how all of us are fairing by the day. And it doesn’t look so good for Nairobi. Electricity indicates living standards (consumption) and production activities. Kenya Power stats revealed that electricity consumption in this part of Kenya dropped for the first time in 5 years. From 3.913 billion kWh (kilowatt hours) to 3.88 billion kWh. Nairobi’s share of total electricity consumption in Kenya also fell to below 50% and at latest data stands at 48.5%.

Fuliza M-Pesa

Did you know that almost 60% of M-Pesa transactions can’t be completed because of insufficient funds? Something has been done about it. Safaricom introduced a continuous overdraft facility to help fulfill Lipa na M-Pesa and Send Money’ transactions. You need to dial *234# to register. To know more about how Fuliza is relevant to entrepreneurs, read this.

Women leaders embrace

It finally happened. The top female politicians in the country seemed to come out in one voice. Now, you may not really like what they held a presser about. The Governors, MPs and Women Representatives unveiled an initiative called “Embrace Women Building Bridges Kenya.” It’s a project to promote unity, healing and those sorts of things in Kenya. Prominent women politicians from both Government and Opposition side of the divide were present, in the spirit of “the handshake.” Yes, yes, I agree. Make it stop.

CBK, Media communication breakdown

It was embarrassing. Both the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and some major media houses couldn’t clear up information on issuance of the new coins. They eventually did but they already messed up. CBK had sent a circular directing banks to limit issuance of the new coins to sh.100 per person. The story ran on media houses as recently as this past week. CBK then distanced itself from this with a release dated 8th January, 2019. The new stance was that there was no cap on how many coins could be given to bank customers. And that in fact, they only said that as a brief measure to allow wide distribution of the coins.


Guys, let’s slow our roll before giving fake news legs. We don’t want a situation where Kenyans confirm the Mombasa Port is gone when nothing of that sort is happening.

Tampon shortage

See? This wouldn’t happen if manufacturing was given prominence by the Government. Shortage of this female hygiene product is to persist for another month. Manufacturers, traders have blamed the situation on slow movement of cargo from the Port in Mombasa. This is a result of the Government’s agenda to fight back against, so-called, fake products. This has added a layer of bureaucracy to the process like being issued with a Certificate of Inspection (COI) in the country of origin.

Flipflopi boat

Flipflopi is a traditional dhow made from plastic garbage to raise awareness about pollution. The trash to make the boat was collected from Kenya beaches and towns at the coast. The project was supported by UN Environment’s Clean Seas Global Campaign, among others. The boat is set to make it’s voyage from Lamu to Zanzibar. Founder of the project, called Plastic Revolution, is Ben Morrison.

He said, “The Flipflopi project is about encouraging change in a positive way, make people smile first and then show the very simple message that single-use plastics really don’t make sense.”