Posts tagged as: report

How Police Tried to Stop Recording of Brutality Against Nasa Supporters – Report

By Sam Kiplagat

Rights groups and journalists were attacked as they documented police brutality in the aftermath of August 8 polls.

In a report, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International on Monday accused police of smashing phones and cameras used to document their brutal acts.

BRUTALITY

The report, titled Kill Those Criminals says, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) documented cases of at least 10 journalists countrywide who reported being harassed and being prevented from doing their job during the election period.

The report notes that threats of arrest after the elections from the Nairobi police chief also played a part in intimidating journalists and disrupting their work.

“Police smashed the camera of well-known international photographer, Neil Shea, in Kibera when he tried to photograph a youth leader being beaten,” the report reads in part.

In Mathare, an activist who tried to capture police on film had his camera snatched and smashed by police.

They then beat him for the attempt.

He said the police told him: “If you film us, it can be used as evidence; we can lose our jobs.”

PERMIT

Such experiences were common during the protests, the HRW and Amnesty International researchers say.

In Kibera, police obstructed and ejected from the area journalists who were covering protests.

KTN journalist Duncan Khaemba and cameraman David Okech were arrested for not possessing a permit for their protective clothing, while Wall Street Journal correspondent Matina Stevis was hit with a stick and told to leave the area along with others.

Police also threatened human rights defenders.

Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) said officers were not cooperating with them in their investigations into police actions in the post-election period.

Kenya

Police Killed Over 33 During Demo – Report

Kenya police killed at least 33 people in Nairobi during demos sparked off by August 8 presidential poll results,… Read more »

Rights Groups Say 33 Killed in Poll Aftermath, Demand Probe

By Margaret Njugunah

Nairobi — Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have called for investigations into police brutality following protests after the August 8, 2017 elections.

In a new report, the organisations say Kenyan police have killed at least 33 people, although the figure is being disputed by Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet.

Dubbed Kill Those Criminals’: Security Forces’ Violations in Kenya’s August 2017 Elections, the report documents excessive use of force by police, and in some cases other security agents against protesters and residents in some of Nairobi’s Opposition strongholds after the disputed elections.

“Researchers found that although police behaved appropriately in some instances, in many others they shot or beat protesters to death,” the organisations say in a statement.

The report comes two days after three protesters were shot dead in Bondo as Opposition supporters clashed with police in Western Kenya, with hundreds defying a ban on rallies to express their anger over the October 26 presidential election.

President Uhuru Kenyatta earlier Sunday warned Opposition leader Raila Odinga that he will face the full force of the law if he continues to cause violence in the pretext of demonstrations.

He said the Opposition should stop playing with the lives of Kenyans pretending to hold demonstrations while his actual intention is to cause chaos so that he can get to power through the back door.

Kenya

Police Killed Over 33 During Demo – Report

Kenya police killed at least 33 people in Nairobi during demos sparked off by August 8 presidential poll results,… Read more »

Kenya:SA Hotel Chain’s Sh384 Million Locked in Chase Bank

By Victor Juma

South Africa’s hotel group City Lodge has Sh384.8 million locked up at Chase Bank, the international hotels chain has disclosed.

City Lodge, which owns Nairobi’s Fairview Hotel and Town Lodge, says in its latest annual report that the deposit was significant enough for its recoverability to be considered a key audit matter.

“The group, through a wholly owned subsidiary, has deposits with Chase Bank (Kenya) Limited amounting to Sh384.8 million at year-end,” City Lodge says in the report.

“The group’s ability to access the deposits is restricted and due to uncertainty about whether the deposits are fully recoverable given the receivership process, an impairment of R24 million (Sh182 million) has been recognised at year-end.”

The multinational, which is also building another hotel at the Two Rivers Mall shopping complex, says the amount written off is an estimate of recoverability of the deposit based on available information about the progress of the receivership as of June.

City Lodge’s external auditor, KPMG, says the locked-up cash was considered a key audit matter because of the level of judgment involved in determining the recoverable amount of the deposit and the subsequent impairment.

The multinational has since classified the cash deposit as “other investments” in its financial statements.

Chase Bank went into receivership on April 7, 2016 and re-opened on April 27, 2016 under the management of the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) recently announced that Mauritius’ SBM Holdings has made an offer to acquire the lender, raising hopes that depositors could recoup their cash.

SBM has reportedly proposed to assume liability for 75 per cent of the deposits, with payments expected to start in January. The payouts will, however, be staggered over the medium term.

“CBK … assesses that SBM’s non-binding offer represents a viable proposal for the substantial resolution of Chase Bank, for the benefit of depositors and the strengthening of the Kenyan financial sector,” the regulator says in a statement.

“If agreed, it is expected that the proposed transaction will be concluded by the end of 2017.”

Ex-Chase Bank chair accuses Deloitte of insider loans error

Kenya

Police Killed Over 33 During Demo – Report

Kenya police killed at least 33 people in Nairobi during demos sparked off by August 8 presidential poll results,… Read more »

World Bank Says Sub-Saharan Africa to Record Modest Recovery in 2017

The World Bank has projected that Sub-Saharan Africa would record modest economic growth recovery of 2.4 per cent in 2017 after the region grew by just 1.3 per cent in 2016.

In its new Africa’s Pulse, a bi-annual analysis of the state of African economies, the World Bank however warns that the pace of the recovery remains sluggish and will be insufficient to lift per capita income in 2017.

Albert Zeufack, World Bank Chief Economist for Africa, said most countries do not have significant wiggle room when it comes to having enough fiscal space to cope with economic volatility.

“It is imperative that countries adopt appropriate fiscal policies and structural measures now to strengthen economic resilience, boost productivity, increase investment, and promote economic diversification,” Zeufack said in the report released in Nairobi.

The World Bank said the economic rebound is led by the region’s largest economies.

In the second quarter of this year, Nigeria pulled out of a five-quarter recession and South Africa emerged from two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

The Pulse says improving global conditions, including rising energy and metals prices and increased capital inflows, have helped support the recovery in regional growth.

“Growth continues to be multispeed across the region. In non-resource intensive countries such as Ethiopia and Senegal, growth remains broadly stable supported by infrastructure investments and increased crop production,” says the report.

The Africa’s Pulse notes that headline inflation slowed across the region in 2017 amid stable exchange rates and slowing food price inflation due to higher food production.

It says fiscal deficits have narrowed, but continue to be high, as fiscal adjustment measures remain partial.

“As a result, government debt remains elevated. Across the region, additional efforts are needed to address revenue shortfalls and contain spending to improve fiscal balances.”

The World Bank said Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to see a moderate increase in economic activity, with growth rising to 3.2 per cent in 2018 and 3.5 per cent in 2019 as commodity prices firm and domestic demand gradually gains ground, helped by slowing inflation and monetary policy easing.

However, growth prospects will remain weak in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) countries as they struggle to adjust to low oil prices.

The report says economic expansion in West African Economic and Monetary Union countries is expected to proceed at a strong pace on the back of solid public investment growth, led by Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal.

“The outlook for the region remains challenging as economic growth remains well below the pre-crisis average,” said Punam Chuhan-Pole, World Bank Lead Economist and lead author of the report.

“Moreover, the moderate pace of growth will only yield slow gains in per capita income that will not be enough to harness broad-based prosperity and accelerate poverty reduction.”

According to the report, growth is forecast to firm in Tanzania on a rebound in investment growth and recover in Kenya, as inflation eases.

Ethiopia, the report says, is likely to remain the fastest-growing economy in the region, although public investment is expected to slow down.

Analysis shows that rising capital accumulation has been accompanied by falling efficiency of investment spending in countries where economic growth has been less resilient to exogenous shocks.

This suggests that the inefficiency of investment, which reflects insufficient skills and other capabilities for the adoption of new technologies, distortive policies, and resource misallocation, among other things, will need to be reduced if countries are to capture fully the benefits of higher investment.

The report says investing in the foundational skills of children, youth, and adults is the most effective strategy to enhance productivity growth, inclusion, and adaptability simultaneously.

“Thus, all countries should prioritise building universal foundational skills for the workers of today and tomorrow,” says the report, which also notes that as African countries seek new drivers of sustained inclusive growth, attention to skills building is growing.

NAN

Reforms to Attract Investors in Mining Sector Under Way

By Dorothy Nakaweesi

Kampala — In a bid to attract new investments in Uganda’s mineral sector, government has embarked on major regulatory and legal reforms for sustainable development.

To this end, a new Mining Policy 2016, is under review to emphasise policies and programmes that will increase value addition in the mining sector, both at the community level for individual mines and at the regional or national level for the sector as a whole.

According to Ms Irene Muloni, the minister of Energy and Mineral Development, the policy goal is to develop the mineral industry through increased investment, value addition, national participation and revenue generation.

“These developments are destined to contribute significantly to substantiate socio-economic transformation and poverty eradication in the country,” Ms Muloni shared recently.

She added that the provisions in the policy are expected to cater for research development enhancement, local content and value addition, regulation of commercially exploited building minerals, regional and international cooperation.

“Such changes are most likely to contribute to increased revenues, export earnings, employment opportunities, infrastructure development especially in rural areas, and transfer of technology to the country,” Ms Muloni said.

In order to facilitate investments in the sector, recent discoveries by the Directorate of Geological Survey and Mines (DGSM) of the ministry of Energy have provided strong evidence of significant mineral deposits and a great potential for the sector to contribute much more to the economy.

As a result, several potential areas for detailed exploration of different mineral commodities have been identified ranging from precious metals (gold, base metals, PGMs, Rare Earth Elements, Uranium and a number of industrial minerals such as limestone).

According to Mr Edwards Katto, the director DGSM, Uganda’s mineral potential is very high given the existence of a variety of geological formations, many of which have yielded exploitable mineral deposits.

“The mining history of the country also testifies to this potential considering the long list of minerals which have been produced both metallic and nonmetallic,” he said.

Licences

According to the Energy and Mineral Sector Performance Report FY 2016/17, as at June 30, 2017, a total of 692 licences and certificates were operational.

Out of these, the report states, there were 150 prospecting licences (PL), 374 exploration licences of which eight were for geothermal exploration, four retention licenses (RL), 49 location licenses (LL), 39 mining leases (ML), and 76 mineral dealers’ licenses (MDL).

The reports further state that the value of mineral produced was Shs99 billion and Non-Tax Revenue (NTR) was Shs6.9b as compared to Shs101 billion and Shs8.7 billion for value of mineral production and NTR for F/Y 2015/16.

“Such disclosures have led to increased transparency in the mineral licensing and awareness about the mineral potential areas to both local and international investors,” Mr Katto noted.

Artisanal miners

Ms Muloni said that government acknowledges the role Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners (ASM) play in the economy.

To date, more than 5,000 ASMs have been trained on issues related to environment, community, and health and safety in the mining sector, states the Energy and Mineral Sector Performance Report FY 2016/17.

“Though they are informal in nature and on the whole un-mechanised operation generally results in low productivity, the sector represents an important livelihood and income source for the poverty affected local population,” Ms Muloni stressed.

However, without data, it is difficult to accurately determine how much the ASM sector plays in the economy and rural development.

The ministry believes that with better data the true story of the sector’s social, environmental and economic impact can be told.

Uganda:Reforms to Attract Investors in Mining Sector Under Way

By Dorothy Nakaweesi

Kampala — In a bid to attract new investments in Uganda’s mineral sector, government has embarked on major regulatory and legal reforms for sustainable development.

To this end, a new Mining Policy 2016, is under review to emphasise policies and programmes that will increase value addition in the mining sector, both at the community level for individual mines and at the regional or national level for the sector as a whole.

According to Ms Irene Muloni, the minister of Energy and Mineral Development, the policy goal is to develop the mineral industry through increased investment, value addition, national participation and revenue generation.

“These developments are destined to contribute significantly to substantiate socio-economic transformation and poverty eradication in the country,” Ms Muloni shared recently.

She added that the provisions in the policy are expected to cater for research development enhancement, local content and value addition, regulation of commercially exploited building minerals, regional and international cooperation.

“Such changes are most likely to contribute to increased revenues, export earnings, employment opportunities, infrastructure development especially in rural areas, and transfer of technology to the country,” Ms Muloni said.

In order to facilitate investments in the sector, recent discoveries by the Directorate of Geological Survey and Mines (DGSM) of the ministry of Energy have provided strong evidence of significant mineral deposits and a great potential for the sector to contribute much more to the economy.

As a result, several potential areas for detailed exploration of different mineral commodities have been identified ranging from precious metals (gold, base metals, PGMs, Rare Earth Elements, Uranium and a number of industrial minerals such as limestone).

According to Mr Edwards Katto, the director DGSM, Uganda’s mineral potential is very high given the existence of a variety of geological formations, many of which have yielded exploitable mineral deposits.

“The mining history of the country also testifies to this potential considering the long list of minerals which have been produced both metallic and nonmetallic,” he said.

Licences

According to the Energy and Mineral Sector Performance Report FY 2016/17, as at June 30, 2017, a total of 692 licences and certificates were operational.

Out of these, the report states, there were 150 prospecting licences (PL), 374 exploration licences of which eight were for geothermal exploration, four retention licenses (RL), 49 location licenses (LL), 39 mining leases (ML), and 76 mineral dealers’ licenses (MDL).

The reports further state that the value of mineral produced was Shs99 billion and Non-Tax Revenue (NTR) was Shs6.9b as compared to Shs101 billion and Shs8.7 billion for value of mineral production and NTR for F/Y 2015/16.

“Such disclosures have led to increased transparency in the mineral licensing and awareness about the mineral potential areas to both local and international investors,” Mr Katto noted.

Artisanal miners

Ms Muloni said that government acknowledges the role Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners (ASM) play in the economy.

To date, more than 5,000 ASMs have been trained on issues related to environment, community, and health and safety in the mining sector, states the Energy and Mineral Sector Performance Report FY 2016/17.

“Though they are informal in nature and on the whole un-mechanised operation generally results in low productivity, the sector represents an important livelihood and income source for the poverty affected local population,” Ms Muloni stressed.

However, without data, it is difficult to accurately determine how much the ASM sector plays in the economy and rural development.

The ministry believes that with better data the true story of the sector’s social, environmental and economic impact can be told.

Africa: How to Eradicate Rural Poverty, End Urban Malnutrition – a New Approach

By Baher Kamal

Rome — Population growth, increasing urbanisation, modern technologies, and climate change are transforming the world at a fast pace. But what direction are these transformations headed in? Are they benefitting the poor and the food insecure? And will the food systems of the future be able to feed and employ the millions of young people poised to enter labour markets in the decades to come?

These are some of the main questions posed by the just-released State of Food and Agriculture 2017 report, which argues that a key part of the response to these challenges must be transforming and revitalising rural economies, particularly in developing countries where industrialisation and the service sector are not likely to be able to meet all future job demand.

“Unless economic growth is made more inclusive, the global goals of ending poverty and achieving zero hunger by 2030 will not be reached,” Graziano da Silva.

“It lays out a vision for a strategic, ‘territorial approach’ that knits together rural areas and urban centres, harnessing surging demand for food in small towns and mega cities alike to reboot subsistence agriculture and promote sustainable and equitable economic growth,” says the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in its report, issued on 9 October.

One of the greatest challenges today is to end hunger and poverty while making agriculture and food systems sustainable, it warns, while explaining that this challenge is “daunting” because of continued population growth, profound changes in food demand, and the threat of mass migration of rural youth in search of a better life.

The report analyses the structural and rural transformations under way in low-income countries and shows how an “agro-territorial” planning approach can leverage food systems to drive sustainable and inclusive rural development.

Otherwise, the consequences would be dire. In fact, the world’s 500 million smallholder farmers risk being left behind in structural and rural transformations, the report says, while noting that small-scale and family farmers produce 80 per cent of the food supply in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, and investments to improve their productivity are urgently needed.

“Urbanisation, population increases and income growth are driving strong demand for food at a time when agriculture faces unprecedented natural-resource constraints and climate change.”

Moreover, urbanisation and rising affluence are driving a “nutrition transition” in developing countries towards higher consumption of animal protein. “Agriculture and food systems need to become more productive and diversified.”

Catalytic Role of Small Cities, Towns

According to the report, small cities and towns can play a catalytic role in rural transformation rural and urban areas form a “rural-urban spectrum” ranging from megacities to large regional centres, market towns and the rural hinterland, according to the report. In developing countries, smaller urban areas will play a role at least as important as that of larger cities in rural transformation.

“Agro-territorial development that links smaller cities and towns with their rural ‘catchment areas’ can greatly improve urban access to food and opportunities for the rural poor.” This approach seeks to reconcile the sectoral economic aspects of the food sector with its spatial, social and cultural dimensions.

On this, the report explains that the key to the success of an agro-territorial approach is a balanced mix of infrastructure development and policy interventions across the rural-urban spectrum.

“The five most commonly used agro-territorial development tools -agro-corridors, agro-clusters, agro-industrial parks, agro-based special economic zones and agri-business incubators – provide a platform for growth of agro-industry and the rural non-farm economy.”

A Clear Wake-Up Call

Announcing the report, FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva said that in adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development two years ago, the international community committed itself to eradicating hunger and poverty and to achieving other important goals, including making agriculture sustainable, securing healthy lives and decent work for all, reducing inequality, and making economic growth inclusive.

With just 13 years remaining before the 2030 deadline, concerted action is needed now if the Sustainable Development Goals are to be reached, he added.

“There could be no clearer wake-up call than FAO’s new estimate that the number of chronically undernourished people in the world stands at 815 million. Most of the hungry live in low-income and lower-middle-income countries, many of which have yet to make the necessary headway towards the structural transformation of their economies.”

Graziano da Silva said that successful transformations in other developing countries were driven by agricultural productivity growth, leading to a shift of people and resources from agriculture towards manufacturing, industry and services, massive increases in per capita income, and steep reductions in poverty and hunger.

Countries lagging behind in this transformation process are mainly concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Most have in common economies with large shares of employment in agriculture, widespread hunger and malnutrition, and high levels of poverty, he explained.

1.75 Billion People Survive on Less than 3.10 Dollars a Day

According to the latest FAO estimates, some 1.75 billion people in low-income and lower-middle-income countries survive on less than 3.10 dollars a day, and more than 580 million are chronically undernourished.

The prospects for eradicating hunger and poverty in these countries are overshadowed by the low productivity of subsistence agriculture, limited scope for industrialization and -above all- by rapid rates of population growth and explosive urbanisation, said Graziano da Silva.

In fact, between 2015 and 2030, their total population is expected to grow by 25 percent, from 3.5 billion to almost 4.5 billion. Their urban populations will grow at double that pace, from 1.3 billion to 2 billion.

In sub-Saharan Africa, the number of people aged 15-24 years is expected to increase by more than 90 million by 2030, and most will be in rural areas.

“Young rural people faced with the prospect of a life of grinding poverty may see few other alternatives than to migrate, at the risk of becoming only marginally better off as they may outnumber available jobs in urban settings.”

Enormous Untapped Potential

The overarching conclusion of this report is that fulfilling the 2030 Agenda depends crucially on progress in rural areas, which is where most of the poor and hungry live, said the FAO Director General.

“It presents evidence to show that, since the 1990s, rural transformations in many countries have led to an increase of more than 750 million in the number of rural people living above the poverty line.”

To achieve the same results in the countries that have been left behind, the report outlines a strategy that would leverage the “enormous untapped potential of food systems” to drive agro-industrial development, boost small-scale farmers’ productivity and incomes, and create off-farm employment in expanding segments of food supply and value chains.

“This inclusive rural transformation would contribute to the eradication of rural poverty, while at the same time helping end poverty and malnutrition in urban areas.”

A major force behind inclusive rural transformation will be the growing demand coming from urban food markets, which consume up to 70 per cent of the food supply even in countries with large rural populations, he added.

The FAO chief explained that thanks to higher incomes, urban consumers are making significant changes in their diets, away from staples and towards higher-value fish, meat, eggs, dairy products, fruit and vegetables, and more processed foods in general.

The value of urban food markets in sub-Saharan Africa is projected to grow from 150 billion dollars to 500 billion dollars between 2010 and 2030, said Graziano da Silva.

Urbanisation thus provides a “golden opportunity for agriculture”, he added. However, it also presents challenges for millions of small-scale family farmers. “More profitable markets can lead to the concentration of food production in large commercial farms, to value chains dominated by large processors and retailers, and to the exclusion of smallholders.”

Small-Scale Producers

According to the FAO head, to ensure that small-scale producers participate fully in meeting urban food demand, policy measures are needed that: reduce the barriers limiting their access to inputs; foster the adoption of environmentally sustainable approaches and technologies; increase access to credit and markets; facilitate farm mechanisation; revitalise agricultural extension systems; strengthen land tenure rights; ensure equity in supply contracts; and strengthen small-scale producer organisations.

“No amount of urban demand alone will improve production and market conditions for small-scale farming,” he said. “Supportive public policies and investment are a key pillar of inclusive rural transformation.”

The second pillar is the development of agro-industry and the infrastructure needed to connect rural areas and urban markets, said Grazano da Silva, adding that in the coming years, many small-scale farmers are likely to leave agriculture, and most will be unable to find decent employment in largely low-productivity rural economies.

Agro-Industry Already Important

In sub-Saharan Africa, food and beverage processing represents between 30 per cent and 50 per cent of total manufacturing value added in most countries, and in some more than 80 per cent, he said. “However, the growth of agro-industry is often held back by the lack of essential infrastructure – from rural roads and electrical power grids to storage and refrigerated transportation.”

In many low-income countries, such constraints are exacerbated by a lack of public- and private sector investment, FAO chief explained.

The third pillar of inclusive rural transformation is a territorial focus on rural development planning, designed to strengthen the physical, economic, social and political connections between small urban centres and their surrounding rural areas.

In the developing world, about half of the total urban population, or almost 1.5 billion people, live in cities and towns of 500,000 inhabitants or fewer, according to the report.

“Too often ignored by policy-makers and planners, territorial networks of small cities and towns are important reference points for rural people – the places where they buy their seed, send their children to school and access medical care and other services.”

Recent research has shown how the development of rural economies is often more rapid, and usually more inclusive, when integrated with that of these smaller urban areas.

“The agro-territorial development approach described in the report, links between small cities and towns and their rural ‘catchment areas’ are strengthened through infrastructure works and policies that connect producers, agro-industrial processors and ancillary services, and other downstream segments of food value chains, including local circuits of food production and consumption.”

“Unless economic growth is made more inclusive, the global goals of ending poverty and achieving zero hunger by 2030 will not be reached,” warned Graziano da Silva.

Follow @https://twitter.com/Baher_Kamal

Rwanda Again in Top 10 Investment Nations

By The Independent

Rwanda has re-entered the Top 10 list after having just missed it the past two years, according to Rand Merchant Bank’s latest ‘Where to Invest in Africa report for 2018’, released on Sept.18.

The theme for ‘Where to Invest in Africa 2018’ is “Money Talks” and this edition “follows the money” on the African continent to evaluate aspects crucial to each country’s economic performance.

In this edition of Where to Invest in Africa 2018, RMB’s Investment Attractiveness Index, which balances economic activity against the relative ease of doing business, illustrates how subdued levels of economic activity have diluted several scores on the index when compared to last year, resulting in some interesting movements within the Top 10.

The report focuses on the main sources of dollar revenues in Africa, which allows it to measure the most important income generators and identify investment opportunities. The 2018 report also balances economic activity against the relative ease of doing business.

Rwanda came in at 8th position in a report in which the East African region managed to capture four of the top ten spots.

Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia were the other countries which made it into the top ten from the East African region.

Uganda was, however, the only surprise absentee from the East African region since South Sudan, Somalia, and Burundi are war-ravaged basket case economies.

The research shows, furthermore, that Uganda is steadily closing in on the Top 10 though market activity is likely to remain subdued after a tumultuous 2016 marred by election-related uncertainty, a debilitating drought and high commercial lending rates.

Rwanda’s re-entry is the more dramatic because, according to the report, market size is a key consideration in the report’s compilation methodology.

The report, for example, points out that countries like Botswana, Mauritius, and Namibia that are widely rated as investment grade economies, they do not feature in the report’s Top 10 mostly because of the relatively small sizes of their markets.

Brink of disaster

Generally, the report notes: “From a global perspective, African countries are still at the lower end of the global-performance spectrum, which continues to be dominated by the US, UK, Australia and Germany”.

One of the conclusions of the report is that Africa could find itself hovering on the brink of disaster if it continues to depend on its current economic fundamentals and does not usher in economic diversification. This involves understanding the need to adapt to the prolonged slowdown in commodity prices and sluggish levels of production growth.

“Some countries have been more nimble and effective than others in managing shortfalls,” explains Nema Ramkhelawan-Bhana, RMB Africa analyst and an author of the report.

“But major policy dilemmas have ensued, forcing governments to balance economically prudent solutions with what is politically palatable.”

RMB Africa analyst and co-author of the report Celeste Fauconnier adds that over the past three years, some African governments have had to implement deep and painful budget cuts, announce multiple currency devaluations and adopt hawkish monetary policy stances – all as a result of a significant drop in traditional revenues.

“The last three years have sounded an alarm, amplifying what is now a dire need for the economies of Africa to shift their focus from traditional sources of income to other viable alternatives,” says Neville Mandimika, RMB Africa analyst and contributor to the report.

Another RMB Africa analyst and co-author, Ronak Gopaldas, emphasises that there is no quick fix to infuse into such a complex situation. Gopaldas expects traditional forms of revenue to remain a reality for many years to come.

According to the report, Rwanda’s re-entry into the top 10 was helped by being one of the fastest reforming economies in the world, with high real growth rates and making a continuing attempt to diversify its economy.

In terms of ranking, Egypt has made history by knocking South Africa from its long-standing top spot regarding investments in Africa.

This is the first time SA has not been in top spot since the report was initiated seven years ago.

Nigeria, on the other hand, has for the first time not featured in the Top 10. This is due to the erosion of its short-term investment appeal by recessionary conditions, according to the report.

Egypt displaced SA largely because of its superior economic activity score, while SA has shown sluggish growth rates, which have deteriorated markedly over the past seven years.

While the report found that SA also faces mounting concerns over issues of institutional strength and governance, some things still count in the country’s favour. These include the rand, equity and capital markets, which the report points out are still “a cut above the rest” compared to many other African nations facing liquidity constraints.

Morocco retained its third position for a third consecutive year, benefiting from a greatly enhanced operating environment since the “Arab Spring” which began in 2010.

“Surprisingly, Ethiopia, a country dogged by socio-political instability, displaced Ghana to take fourth spot, mostly because of its rapid economic growth, having brushed past Kenya as the largest economy in East Africa,” according to the report.

Ghana’s slide to fifth position was mostly due to perceptions of worsening corruption and weaker economic freedom.

Kenya came in at sixth position. According to the report, despite being surpassed by Ethiopia, investors are still attracted by Kenya’s diverse economic structure, pro-market policies and brisk consumer spending growth.

At the same time, the report found that “a host of business-friendly reforms aimed at rooting out corruption and steady economic growth” helped Tanzania climb by two places to number seven.

At number nine, Tunisia has made great strides in advancing political transition, according to the report. An improved business climate has also been achieved by structural reforms, greater security and social stability.

Cote d’Ivoire slipped two places to take up the tenth position, while Algeria slipped from tenth to fifteenth place.

“Although its business environment scoring is still relatively low, its government has made significant strides in inviting investment into the country leading to a strong increase in foreign direct investment over the years resulting in one of the fastest growing economies in Africa,” states the report.

Kenya Scores Poorly in Skills Development, Says New Study

By James Ngunjiri

Kenya performs poorly in development of future skills and know-how, says a new assessment on human capital, throwing a huge challenge on policy making to the government.

The report ranks Kenya 78 out of 130 countries surveyed, with an overall score of 59.48.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) Human Capital Report 2017 says the country is doing relatively well in deployment, but paints a worrying picture for a nation that aspires to become a tech hub in Africa.

In development of future skills and know-how, Kenya is ranked 101. The report places the country at position 74 in use of specialised skills at work.

Released on Wednesday, the report looks at 130 countries against four key areas of human capital development. These are, capacity: largely determined by past investment in formal education.

Deployment: the application and accumulation of skills through work. Development: the formal education of the next generation workforce and continued up-skilling and reskilling of existing workers. And know-how: the breadth and depth of specialised skills-use at work.

Countries’ performance were also measured across five distinct age groups or generations: 0-14, 15-24, 25-54, 55-64, and 65 and over. The report says its aim is to encourage governments to adopt a completely new strategy for developing talent.

“The fourth industrial revolution does not just disrupt employment, it creates a shortfall of newly required skills. Therefore, we are facing a global talent crisis. We need a new mind-set and a true revolution to adapt our educational systems to the education needed for the future workforce,” said WEF founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab.

Last year, the forum said there were jobs today that did not exist 10 years ago.

It predicted that at least 65 per cent of children entering primary school will ultimately end up working in completely new jobs that aren’t on the radar yet, owing to rapid advances in technology.

“Countries’ strategies for developing human capital should vary according to demographic structure. However, every country risks creating lost generations if they fail to adopt a more holistic approach to nurturing talent that takes into account a proactive approach to managing the transition from education to employment and to ongoing learning and skills acquisition,” said WEF head of education, gender and work, Saadia Zahidi.

The report indicates that 62 per cent of human capital has been developed globally.

Only 25 nations have tapped 70 per cent of their human capital or more, with the majority of countries averaging 50-70 per cent of their human capital. Fourteen countries remain below 50 per cent.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the lowest-ranked region in the index. Rwanda (71), Ghana (72), Cameroon (73) and Mauritius (74) have developed more than 60 per cent of their human capital.

South Africa (87), the region’s second largest economy, comes towards the middle in the region. Nigeria (114) ranks in the lower midfield and Ethiopia (127) is the lowest performer, fourth from the bottom on the index overall.

According to the Kenya Economic Outlook 2017 by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), in 2016 the economy generated a total of 832,900 new jobs, of which 85,600 were formal while 747,300 were informal.

The 2017 Human Development Index by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) shows that nearly four in every 10 Kenyans of working age have no jobs — the worst level of unemployment in the region.

The UNDP report states that 39.1 per cent of Kenyans of working age are unemployed, warning that soaring unemployment in the region, especially in Kenya, could breed runaway crime and violence.

Workers ‘At the Mercy of Employers’

By Louis Kolumbia

Dar es Salaam — Tanzania must address various challenges in the labour industry if its people are to benefit from the country’s industrialization strategy, a new report by Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) suggests.

The issues include employment contracts, knowledge of labour rights and obligations and compliance with compensation demands, according to the Human Rights and Business Report 2016.

Other challenges are freedom of association and active engagement of registered trade unions, gender issues at workplaces as well as issues of discrimination in the labour and employment industry.

The fifth LHRC report – which was conducted in 14 regions across Mainland Tanzania – found out that 37.82 per cent of surveyed workers didn’t have employment contracts while 62.18 per cent had contracts.

Presenting the report findings, LHRC researcher from the unit of human rights and business, Mr Pasience Mlowe said while 61.60 per cent have written contracts, 38.40 per cent have oral contracts.

The findings further show that only 40.11 per cent said they had an opportunity to negotiate terms of contracts with employers while 59.89 per cent said they were denied the opportunity.

While the Employment and Labour Act 2004 requires employees to be given copies of contracts they have signed, some employers opted to remain with copies.

According to him, workers have been working under different job descriptions contrary to the one stipulated in contracts they have signed.

“Study has found some companies preferring short term contracts, normally three to six months. Such contracts enable the companies to recruit new employees upon their expiry, thus they are exploitative,” he said.

The trend, according to Mr Mlowe, is purposely done to avoid having workers who might demand rights that skilled workers are entitled to.

Furthermore, he said, the report also revealed poor engagement of employees in salary determinations, with 50.72 per cent of respondents saying salary was determined by employer while only 18.62 per cent said employer negotiated with trade union as 10.03 per cent did personally engage in negotiations with their employers.

Generally, employees were reported to have little knowledge of labour laws, putting them in doubt whether they could advocate their rights in the process of fulfilling their obligations.

“Analysis shows that 79.94 per cent of respondents have said they did not have the basic knowledge of labour laws governing the country and obligations stated therein,” he said.

However, the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (Tucta) and the Association of Tanzania Employers (Ate) have started awareness campaigns through radio programmes and provision of flyers to workers in some areas.

Companies are also reported to poor working condition thereby threatening the health of workers in production lines.

In the same vein, a number of companies violated Article 2 of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention and section 19 (1), (2) of the Employment and Labour Relations Act (ELRA), 2004 requiring employees to work not more than eight hours a day and 45 hours a week.

Similarly, a number of employees are still not contributing to social security funds and Workers Compensation Fund (WCF).

This is despite the fact that employers do deduct such monies from employees’ monthly salaries.

Employees, the study shows, are generally ignorant of the presence of the WCF.

Enacted in 2008, the WCF seeks to compensate employees suffering occupational injuries or who have contracted occupational diseases through handsome compensation that would enable their rehabilitation to full recovery.

Trade unions

While 64 per cent of the respondents believe trade unions were doing a good job, the report found out that the idea had not been well entrenched in the employment system.

“The current challenge with trade unions is that they lacked enough personnel at regional and district level rendering them to be very weak instrument in advocating workers’ rights,” the report reads.

Subscribe To Our Mailing List

* indicates required
/ ( mm / dd )

Featured Links

    Search Archive

    Search by Date
    Search by Category
    Search with Google
    Log in | Designed by Gabfire themes