One of Ghana’s active maker spaces is the recently created Kumasi Hive in country’s second city. Russell Southwood spoke to co-founder Anna Lowe about its start-ups, the problem of finding angel investors and her desire to create new manufacturing jobs.
Kumasi Hive’s co-founder Anna Lowe came out of manufacturing and the supply chain sector:”I was getting medicines across borders in Africa and there were plenty of challenges. I was aware of the Maker Movement and digital manufacturing and got interested in producing things locally.”
Kumasi Hive’s other co-founder and CEO of the organization George Appiah ran a group of hackers and makers in Ghana’s second city, Kumasi that he had started in 2010. As Lowe tells it:”A lot of education in Ghana is very theoretical. There’s a need for people to get involved in hands-on projects. I came to Ghana for another social project and was interested in (George’s) maker space. I set up a whole lot of meetings and George was one of them.”
At that stage, it was a student network of practical projects but they had no real equipment to use. As a result, it was hard to do prototyping:”They had great ideas but no way of turning them into businesses.” They were sharing parts and each time something was created it was taken apart and cannibalized to provide the next idea.
So they joined forces to create Kumasi Hive and one of the first things it ran was an incubator programme, which was a general training in both technical and business skills.
The space itself is a large house that has been repurposed to create a maker space and rooms that are used as co-working spaces:”There are now 12 start-ups in our incubator programme and well over 100 people have come for the incubator training programmes.”
The start-ups combine maker skills with an entrepreneurial eye for possible opportunities. Dext makes science kits for High School students:”It’s addressing a practical education problem and allowing young people to do experiments.” Klack 3D is making 3D printers and Pasgid Robotics is making low-cost robotics sets for education institutions.
Although Kumasi Hive has only been going for a year, it has attracted new students to its work. It runs a Saturday Club and 3D design courses for local students:”We do programmes aimed at different sectors, particularly agriculture and run an agriculture hardware hackathon in the north of the country sponsored by a local agricultural company. We’ve been looking at the rice supply chain and our focus has been to find innovators.”
So why set up in Kumasi rather than in Ghana’s capital Accra?:”There were a number of reasons. Creativity Group which was founded by George was in Kumasi and it had 6 chapters in different communities. There’s also quite an artisan culture in Kumasi. There were already several hubs in Accra and nothing in Kumasi at the time.”
Kumasi Hive have expansion plans:”With our existing site, we want to grow our programmes and encourage more successful businesses and also to do more work with young kids in schools. We also hope to open Hives in other places in Ghana. We’re looking at Tamale, where we ran the agriculture hackathon and we might also open in Accra in partnership with an existing hub.”
So what has been the hardest thing in doing all of this?:”The hardest thing is funding and it’s not just for our activities but helping fund the businesses we find. The first proof of concept might cost US$500-2,000. Then the next tranche up takes you into angel territory, somewhere between US$50,000-100,000. There are fewer people who understand hardware in this context. Software just needs a laptop. Hardware needs materials.”
So far it’s been possible to cover programmes with grant funding but harder to find investment for the start-ups:”There’s potential to raise money locally but we’ve not seen much yet. There’s an Angel Investor Club in Accra but not one in Kumasi.”
Lowe is passionate about the potential for makers to create manufacturing jobs:”For me, it’s one of the main reasons to do this. Hardware innovation will leads to manufacturing locally, which will create jobs. Ghana basically exports raw materials and imports goods. It’s got to start to add value. A start-up like Dext is the beginning of that journey. The start-ups might create anything from hundreds to the low thousands of jobs but it’s really only in the early stages. Lots more needs to be done.”
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Apr 28 2017 | Posted in Technology
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By Moses Havyarimana
Burundi’s main opposition leader and Deputy Speaker of Parliament Agathon Rwasa has claimed his life is in danger following attacks of several of his supporters by unknown people.
He said the attacks and a plot to assassinate him are linked to the coming elections in 2020.
Mr Rwasa pointed an accusing finger at members of the ruling party, Council for the Defence of Democracy – Forces for the Restoration of Democracy, CNDD-FDD, and the police.
Mr Rwasa is one of the few opposition leaders who have remained critical of President Pierre Nkurunziza’s government. Several of his supporters have lately been killed and others kidnapped and he says these incidents have left him fearing for his life. But the government has dismissed the claims, saying he had not even made an official complaint.
“We suppose that he is well protected by the police and the army because he hasn’t yet reported any abnormal situation of his security,” said Burundi police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye.Video footage surfaced on social media showing the ruling party youth wing Imbonerakure jogging while chanting that they would “impregnate” opposition members so as they “could give birth to Imbonerakure.”
The video stirred up reactions from the international community, with the latest condemnation coming from the UN human rights office.
“The grotesque rape chants by the young men are deeply alarming, particularly because they confirm what we have been hearing from those who have fled Burundi about a campaign of fear and terror by this organised militia,” said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.The ruling party condemned the Imbonerakure, saying it was contrary to the “rules and the mission of the party.”
“CNDD-FDD condemns the use of that language and the disciplinary commission is investigating and whoever involved will be sanctioned,” a statement read from the ruling party.
Efforts have been made by the East African Community to put an end to the political crisis that continued to dog the country since 2015, although the regional mediated dialogue under the facilitation of former Tanzania president Benjamin Mkapa is yet to produce tangible results.
“We had said this before and we will continue saying it that the Burundi government will not sit on the same table with the coup plotters… they only have to face justice,” said Will Nyamitwe, special ambassador of Burundi.
As the country steadily gains stability and the focus turns to the 2020 general elections, the ruling party CNDD-FDD is said to still have the upper hand. The absence of main opposition leaders and weak opposition justifies the dominance of CNDD-FDD.
The intra-Burundi dialogue commission (CNDI) released a report on the findings in the six-month period on what could restore peace.
According to the findings, Burundians called on their lawmakers to scrap term limits that can see the incumbent stay in power.
Burundi is relatively gaining stability after the violent protests in 2015 that led to more than 500 people losing their lives. The country’s Constitution has been at the centerstage of the political crisis the country has faced since the 2015 polls.
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Apr 28 2017 | Posted in Burundi
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analysisBy Hartmut Winkler, University of Johannesburg
A South African court has ruled that critical aspects of the country’s nuclear procurement process are illegal and unconstitutional. The outcome is a significant setback for a network of entities that had been aggressively promoting a 9.6 GW nuclear expansion programme in the face of popular opposition.
Over the past four weeks controversy over the proposed nuclear build has reached new highs. This was sparked by a major cabinet reshuffle in which President Jacob Zuma ousted both his finance and energy ministers, replacing them with individuals regarded as pro-nuclear.
The reshuffle prompted some of the largest and most diverse street protests since the dawn of the country’s democracy in 1994. While many factors contributed to the outpouring of public anger against the president, the nuclear question was a common motif in the protests.
Opposition to the nuclear expansion programme centred on two points: the first was its prohibitive costs – some estimates put it at R 1 trillion which is roughly equivalent to the government’s total annual tax revenue.
The second is that it has become contaminated by allegations of corruption, with evidence pointing to politically connected groups and individuals benefiting handsomely from it.
Back to the drawing board
The court’s ruling in effect means that the planners will have to go back to the drawing board.
The case in the Western Cape High Court was brought by two civil society organisations, Earthlife Africa and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environmental Institute (SAFCEI).
The most far reaching aspects of the judgment were that it overturned ministerial proclamations made in 2013 and 2016 that enabled the development of 9.6 GW of nuclear power. It furthermore invalidated the intergovernmental nuclear collaboration agreements South Africa had signed with Russia, the US and South Korea.
The court’s ruling on the promulgations was damning and unambiguous.
South Africa’s Electricity Regulation Act requires the Minister of Energy to promulgate any energy generating capacity expansion through the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA). The regulator is required to vet the proclamation to ensure that it is in the public interest.
The Minister of Energy issued two promulgations to establish 9.6 GW of nuclear energy generation. The first one was concluded in 2013 but only made public two years later. The second one, which delegated the nuclear procurement to the state electricity utility Eskom, whose leadership is strongly pro-nuclear, was hurriedly and stealthily implemented in 2016 on the eve of the first sitting of Western Cape High Court on the matter.
Neither of these proclamations allowed a public participation process.
The court ruled that both promulgations were illegal and unconstitutional. It found that the regulator had failed to carry out its mandate because it had endorsed the minister’s directives uncritically and hurriedly. In doing so it had not allowed public input nor had it considered the necessity of the nuclear build or the consequences of its delegation to Eskom.
The court was equally clear on the collaboration agreements. Unlike the relatively vague agreements concluded with the US and South Korea, the Russian agreement had a great deal more detail in it. It specifically committed South Africa to build nuclear power plants using Russian technology, set out a timeframe and placed specific liabilities on South Africa.
South Africa’s constitution stipulates that international agreements that will have a substantive impact on the country must be approved by parliament. The agreement with Russia clearly falls into this category and therefore needed to be submitted to parliament for debate and approval.
The judge was unequivocal that by slipping the Russian agreement through parliament as a routine matter for noting, the former Energy Minister Joemat-Petterssen had committed a gross error. In his judgment he said:
It follows that the Minister’s decision to table the agreement in terms of section 231(3) was, at the very least, irrational. At best the minister appears to have either failed to apply her mind to the requirements of sec 231(2) in relation to the contents of the Russian IGA or at worst to have deliberately bypassed its provisions for an ulterior and unlawful purpose.
This could open the door for further action against the minister as well as Zuma, who, according to the court papers, instructed her to sign the Russian agreement.
The US agreement was concluded in 1995 and the South Korean agreement in 2010. But they were only presented to parliament in 2015. The court declared them invalid in view of the inexplicable time delay.
The medium and long term impact
A judicial appeal is widely expected. But it’s unlikely that the government will succeed in overturning the essence of the judgement. And an appeals process will delay any legitimate future nuclear power procurement.
Any attempt to re-initiate a nuclear build would have to start from scratch. Based on the judgement it can safely be assumed that the regulator can only endorse nuclear expansion if it can demonstrate that it’s necessary and that it’s a better solution to any other energy option.
But given the prevalent suspicion around the nuclear expansion, the regulator will be hard pressed to show that the nuclear option is in the public interest.
It is therefore unlikely that any nuclear development will succeed in the foreseeable future.
Hartmut Winkler receives funding from the NRF. He is a member of Save South Africa and OUTA, but writes this piece in his personal capacity.
Apr 28 2017 | Posted in Energy
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By Taiwo Adeniyi
Medical experts have said good personal and environmental hygiene is necessary in reducing the spread of malaria in Abuja.
A World Health Organisation certified level one expert malaria microscopist, Colonel Adeoye Abayomi (rtd), advocated for the continuous use of insecticides treated mosquito nets among measures for preventing malaria.
He said this during a malaria sensitisation and advocacy programme organised by a non-governmental organisation, Health Initiatives for Africa Safety and Stability (HIFASS), in Kado Kuchi.
At the event, held in collaboration with the Nigerian Ministry of Defence-Health Implementation Programme (NMOD-HIP) and Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), treated mosquito nets were distributed to residents while malaria screening was also done.
“We can only reduce malaria through the cleanliness of our environment. Once we don’t get rid of the dirty areas we are not fighting malaria. Cover your windows to ensure that mosquitoes do not come in and sleep under treated mosquito nets,” he urged residents.
“Government should ensure the collection of refuse from where they are dumped,” he also said.
The Director-General, NMOD-HIP, Brig-Gen. Nurudeen Ayoola(rtd), called for more partnership with health care providers to reduce the spread of malaria.
Ayoola, who was represented by Commander Johnson Alabi, said more education and awareness would reduce the spread of malaria.
There’s No Boko Haram Resurgence, Nigerian Military Assures
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Apr 28 2017 | Posted in Health
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By Henry Karmo
Monrovia — The National Oil Company has presented a check of US$100,000 to the Liberia Center for Outcome Research in Mental Health (LICORMH) as support to government, in an effort to reduce drug addiction and substance use disorder in Liberia.
The money has been provided in partnership with TGS NOPEC’s an oil exploration company exploring Liberia for oil in commercial quantity.
The US$100K project will be implemented in Montserrado and Margibi Counties. According to NOCAL the objectives of the project is among many things to address the rising rates of addiction in Liberia through provider capacity development.
The project aims to train a cadre of addiction specialist in Liberia, build a multi-specialty center for mental health disorders and addiction that includes short-term crisis stabilization and treatment, and preventing the primary and secondary substance use disorders and addiction among adolescents and young adults.
The rationale of the project according Mr. Ambulah Mamey NOCAL’s Public education officer is to develop a short term plan to address issues of substance use disorders in Liberia.
He said currently there is no specialized center in Liberia to offer complete standardized treatment for persons with substance use disorders (PSUD).
Mr. Mamey believes Liberia’s weak law enforcement capacity, porous border control and proximity to major drugs transit routes contributes to an uptick in drug trafficking to and through Liberia.
“The number of addicts and people with substance use disorder in Liberia keep increasing.”
“There is very limited scientific and evidence based approach to treatment, care and reduction and prevention,” he said.
Mr. Mamey claims that repeated efforts by the Liberian National police to raid addicts and drugs user off the streets has failed to adequately address the problem because the approach is wrong.
“The lack of specialized center in Liberia that offers evidence-based standardized treatment for people with addiction problems has been another major challenge,” he added.
Liberia has one psychiatric hospital that provides treatment to persons with mental health and substance use disorder, and he believes that center has limited accommodation.
“The project is linked to the government of Liberia’s National Mental Health Policy and strategic plan which calls for the construction of wellness units in the 15 counties.
Under this project one wellness unit will be constructed and furnished,” he added.
The project provides short-term crisis stabilization and treatment for people with mental illness and will also train 10 addiction specialists to international standard, thus increasing the number of the internationally certified addiction specialist in country.
Drugs addicts (Zogos or Zogese) as they are commonly called occupy a unique place in Liberian history and in our contemporary national life.
The legacy of the civil war and the discrimination and stigma that they continue to face is a stark reminder of their lowly social and economic standing in Liberian society.
Clearly, numerous studies have continued to link mental health problems and the risk of suicide as well as alcohol and drug use disorders.
In the case of Zogos, it is fair to say that no such evidence exist of their mental illness, although their possible drug use and alcohol abuse and the linkages to mental health issues is inferred.
This does not excuse people in the general Liberian population who themselves are at risk of suicide given the pervasive use of illicit substances in the society, and the unresolved traumas from the war and other incidents of violence and communal deaths.
But here, the focus is on Zogos given that they are understudied and their lowly socioeconomic status, which explains the gross neglect that they face.
The death of Zogos and Zogese in Greater Monrovia and Harbel respectively, possibly as a result of suicide could mean that the society has a looming epidemic on its hands.
The time has come for the society to ask: Why are many Zogos dying from a possible suicidal fate?
Apr 28 2017 | Posted in Health
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Ms. Soukeyna Kane,World Bank’s Country Director for Mali, Guinea, Niger and Chad.
BAMAKO, April 26, 2017 —Ms. Soukeyna Kane, a Senegalese national, is the new Country Director for Mali, Guinea, Niger and Chad. She will be based in Bamako, Mali.
Ms. Kane, joined the Bank in March 2003 as a Senior Financial Management Specialist and has held several positions in the Africa Region, Operations Policy and Country Services (OPCS) and Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
Prior to joining the World Bank, she was the Principal Internal Auditor at the African Development Bank. Her extensive experience in the private sector includes the position of Administrative and Financial Director in Assurances Generales Senegalaises (AGS), as well as manager and senior auditor with ERA Audit et Expertise, AEG Paris and Ernst & Young. Ms. Kane is a Certified Public Accountant and has a Master in Accounting and Finance. She graduated from Institut Commercial Supérieur in Paris.
Ms. Kane was most recently the Practice Manager, Governance – Europe and Central Asia (ECA) for the Bank.
In her new position, Soukeyna Kane’s top priorities will be to provide strategic leadership for formulating programs that support the World Bank’s twin goals: eradicate extreme poverty and improve shared prosperity in Mali, Guinea, Niger and Chad and the Sahel region more broadly; and maintain portfolio quality by working with internal and external partners for better results.
Ms. Kane’s appointment is effective May 1, 2017. She will be visiting Mali 1-5 May 2017 and meet with the national authorities.
In Bamako: Habibatou Gologo, +223 92 14 31 37, email@example.com
For more information on World Bank activities in Mali, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/mali
For more information about the World Bank’s programs in Africa visit: www.worldbank.org/africa
For more information on IDA: http://ida.worldbank.org/
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Apr 28 2017 | Posted in Banking
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By Phillimon Mhlanga
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s embattled administration has for the first time admitted printing money in the form of a virtual currency through the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), acknowledging this cannot be backed by United States dollar bank notes imported by local banks, the Financial Gazette’s Companies & Markets (C&M) can report.
Finance and Economic Development Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, made the disclosures in Parliament. He said: “Government funds its employees’ salary accounts through electronic transfers over the Real Time Gross Settlement platform. On the contrary, employees would want to obtain physical cash from the banks. This misalignment is the greatest cause of queues at banks for cash as both the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and banks would be required to withdraw foreign exchange from their nostro accounts to meet local cash demand.”
Nostro accounts are accounts held by local banks with offshore financial institutions. They are used predominantly to settle international obligations, including import of goods. Banks have used their nostro accounts to import US dollar bank notes but these have always been used to support real US dollar bank balances for local deposits.
Government had always been denying that it has been creating or printing its own money to pay wages and salaries for its strong workforce of more than 300 000. The salary bill is gobbling more than 90 percent of revenue, leaving very little for infrastructure development.
The printing of money through the RTGS platform can only be backed by local currency, rather than foreign currency which has to be earned through exports of other foreign currency receipts. It would therefore appear the introduction of bond notes, despite public protestations, was meant primarily to fund the virtual currency, which has been described by some analysts as phantom money.
The reason for government resorting to creation of money in the domestic economy has largely been its huge budget deficits, which it started incurring following the collapse of the inclusive government in 2013.
During the inclusive government, then finance minister, Tendai Biti, insisted that government would only spend what it collected in the form of revenue under his famous “we eat what we gather” policy.
He managed to keep government expenditure under check, despite protestations from colleagues, ensuring stability in the economy.
But since the collapse of the inclusive government, the budget deficit problem, which largely funded recurrent expenditure, emerged. In fact, the size of the civil service suddenly shot up, increasing the salary and wage bill.
Although Chinamasa has tried to curb this cost by reducing the size of the civil service through retrenchments, he has faced opposition from Cabinet colleagues.
Chinamasa has indicated that government employment costs are currently at over 93 percent of tax revenue. When government’s debt of over 40 percent of tax revenue is added to this cost, government expenditure far outstrips revenue.
“This shows that we are living beyond our means through borrowing from the market by way of Treasury Bills that translate into government overdraft at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on maturity,” Chinamasa said.
There is indeed an increasing risk that the country may now be drifting towards an inflationary crisis.
Zimbabwe’s inflation was in deflation since October 2014, but since last year, especially after introduction of bond notes, there has been a significant increase in basic food prices.
Annual inflation rate went into positive territory for the first time in over two years in February this year, gaining 0,71 percentage points on the January 2017 rate of -0,7 percent to 0,6 percent.
It went up to 0,21 percent in March, sparking fears among economists of a return to the previous hyperinflationary period that saw inflation reaching a peak of 231 million percent in August 2008.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that the country’s inflation is likely to hit three percent this year and 6,6 percent next year. Given the situation on the ground, this could be a generous assessment from the IMF because it could get worse.
Economists told C&M that the situation is likely to worsen because of the impending elections set for next year.
Prosper Chitambara, an economist with Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe, said: “The economy is in a roller coaster. It’s in a crisis which will require bold structural reforms. Government knows what’s needed to be done but the will and commitment does not exist.”
He said there were foreign currency leakages because hard cash was going out of the country and not coming back.
“Businesses that are looking to receive money from outside the country are opening accounts outside the country because they have no confidence in government policies and the banking system. With elections coming up next year, we are going to see acceleration of leakages. Inflation, it’s a reflection of bond notes or it pushes inflation factors. In fact, there is a lot of temptation to print more bond notes outside the US$200 million threshold,” he said.
He was referring to the announced $200 million limit in bond notes by the central bank, whose basis is an alleged US$200 facility from the African Export and Import Bank to support exports.
The liquidity squeeze in the country has left many companies unable to pay foreign suppliers, driving many out of business.
According to the IMF, Zimbabwe’s economy is likely to grow by two percent this year.
In March this year, government reviewed Zimbabwe’s economic growth projection from 1,7 percent announced in the 2017 National Budget to 3,7 percent, on the back of a good agricultural season and firming metal prices.
An independent economist, Tinashe Masunda, said: “Zimbabwe has run out of foreign currency resulting in the country completely losing the ability to pay for imports. This means that productivity will continue to suffer as companies fail to access vital inputs because there’s no foreign currency to pay for them. As long as government continues to do things that discourage both local and foreign investment into the productive sector, the situation can only get worse.”
The country abandoned the Zimbabwean dollar in 2009 and adopted a multi-currency regime to escape hyperinflation.
But the foreign currency has been disappearing from the financial market, prompting the central bank to introduce bond notes last year. However, the bond notes appear to be disappearing from the banking system as well.
The severe cash crisis has resulted in banks limiting the amount of cash depositors can withdraw. Most banks have also suspended dispensing money through automated teller machines. In some cases, depositors spend days in bank queues but fail to access cash.
The situation is likely to persist until government urgently fixes the country’s economic fundamentals.
Chinamasa told Parliament that one of the reasons for the shortage of bank notes was that businesses were not banking cash. This, he said, has resulted in long queues for cash at banks.
“This indiscipline is counter-productive and cannot continue to be tolerated. Money is like blood, it needs to circulate for the economy to survive. Money should be circulating in order to deal with queues at banks,” said Chinamasa.
“To date, three traders have been hauled before the courts for not banking their sales proceeds in line with the laws of the country from as far back as June 2016. They have all pleaded guilty to the offence and they now await their sentences,” he said.
Chinamasa implored depositors to make use of plastic money. This, inevitably, would ensure that there is no pressure for the RBZ to print more bond notes to support cash it is creating through the RTGS.
He said: “The factors underpinning cash challenges are beyond banks. Banks find themselves in a difficult position where they are compelled to ration cash withdrawals in order to meet their customers’ demands. Banks have therefore continued to explore pragmatic measures to meet their customers’ demand for cash.
“Government, through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, is advocating for the use of plastic money in order to ameliorate the mismatch or gap between electronic salary transfers and the demand for cash from banks. Embracing plastic money preserves foreign exchange in the nostro accounts for use for foreign payments whilst at the same time mitigating against non-banking of cash by traders.
Apr 28 2017 | Posted in Banking
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By Brian Ngugi, Business Daily
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has licensed the Dubai Islamic Bank – owned by the United Arab Emirates’ largest Shariah lender Dubai Islamic Bank – to carry out operations in the country.
CBK said in a statement that DIB intends to exclusively offer Shariah compliant banking services in Kenya.
“It becomes the third fully Shariah compliant bank to be licensed in Kenya, after Gulf African Bank Limited in 2007 and First Community Bank Limited in 2008,” said CBK Friday.
The lender has a presence in Bosnia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sudan, Turkey and the UAE.
End of licensing freeze
DIB’s entry into the market marks the end of a moratorium imposed by the CBK on licensing of new banks.
“CBK welcomes the entry of international brands such as DIB into the Kenyan banking sector. DIBs entry will expand the offerings in the market, particularly in the nascent Shariah-compliant banking niche,” said the regulator.
Central bank said its entry signifies long-standing economic ties between Kenya and the UAE.
As at September last year, the Emirati bank had an asset base of $47.6 billion and capital of $7.4 billion.
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Apr 28 2017 | Posted in Kenya
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Photo: Timothy Kisambira/The New Times
Both Rwandan and Ethiopian flags sway at Kigali International Airport.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn who is on a three-day state visit to Rwanda will open his country’s first embassy in Rwanda.
The news was announced by Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo at a State Banquet hosted by President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame in honour of Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and First Lady Roman Tesfaye who arrived in the country yesterday.
Ethiopia has been carrying out its diplomatic relations with Rwanda through its embassy in Uganda. Rwanda opened its first embassy in Ethiopia in 1978.
Prior to the embassy opening slated for this evening, Premier Hailemariam and his delegation will hold talks with their host President Kagame on how to further strengthen and deepen relations between the two countries.
The two leaders are expected to discuss regional cooperation, trade and investment ties, and how the two nations can learn from each other’s experience in peace and security. Delegations from both countries will ink agreements in new areas of partnerships.
On the first day of his visit, the Ethiopian Prime Minister visited Ntebe Integrated Model Village in Rwamagana District, Eastern Province where he commended Rwanda’s move to promote modern settlements in rural areas to improve citizens’ welfare focusing on poor families.
Concluded on Tuesday, 25 April 2017, a Joint Permanent Commission involving experts from Rwanda and Ethiopia identified new areas of cooperation. These include tourism and education.
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Apr 28 2017 | Posted in Rwanda
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By Dan Wandera
Luweero — Democratic Party leaders in Luweero District have vowed to defy a police directive stopping the planned meeting for party leaders in the area scheduled to take place at their offices in Wobulenzi Town on Friday.
Mr Erasto Kibirango the Democratic Party Chairman for Luweero District says the police cannot be serious to direct them from holding the meeting simply because an education institute located three miles away is holding a graduation ceremony.
He says such directives indicate that the force has lost its mandate of protecting its citizens and now acts in the interest of some individuals.
“We shall not honor the police directive stopping our planned meeting on Friday. We informed the police in time. We are surprised that the Luweero District Police Commander is referring us to his boss the IGP for clearance,” Mr Kibirango said on Thursday.
He said they have “important matters” to discuss as members of DP in Luweero District.
“There is no law that bars us from inviting the party leaders from other parts of the country which possibly explains the police panicky behavior. We have already informed our party leaders in and outside Luweero to remain vibrant and engage in peaceful party activities,” he said. “We shall defend our constitutional rights to assemble in a peaceful way. We played our part by informing the police and not seeking permission. It’s incumbent upon the police the DPC to inform his boss and not the party officials in Luweero District.”
The Daily Monitor has seen a copy of a police letter addressed to Luweero DP party leader where Mr Paul Wataka the District Party Commander directs DP leaders in Luweero to seek clearance from the office of the IGP.
The same letter states that Friday is not suitable for the planned meeting since the police will be busy at a graduation function for Bukalasa Agriculture College.
In an interview with this reporter, Luweero DPC Mr Wataka confirmed writing a letter to Luweero DP leaders on what they are supposed to do.
“The message is very clear. It is not true that we are partisan as they claim, Mr Wataka said on Thursday.
On Sunday the Police in Masaka District blocked a rally organised by a section of DP leaders in Masaka District.
Equatorial Guinea’s Obiang Tells Museveni to be Careful With Oil
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Apr 28 2017 | Posted in Uganda
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