Kwale County is this month launching free street Wi-Fi in Baraza Park and Ukunda and an online services portal, KwalePay, following an investment project by Liquid Telecom in high speed Internet to the county, which is one of Kenya’s poorest.
The county is launching KwalePay as a one-stop online gateway to all the county government’s services, meaning residents can get business licences, pay land rent and access council services from their mobile phones, home computers and cybercafés.
The new Internet services from Kwale County Government follow Liquid Telecom Kenya’s delivery of a 25Mbps fibre network connecting the county government headquarters and regional offices, and servicing Kwale’s new street Wi-Fi and digitalised services.
“The county’s Revenue Management System (RMS) will enable residents do all payments online, cutting long queues at the headquarters, and enhancing revenue collection and transparency,” said Juma Kingi the County ICT Director.
“In this, ICT is removing the human interface from revenue collection. We have developed a payment solution and integrated an SMS platform that will send reminders to residents to pay their renewals fees before their due dates, in a system we believe will now double our revenue collection,” said Kingi.
Liquid Telecom has also installed a Wide Area Network (WAN) for the county government, connecting its headquarters with its regional offices in Msambweni, Matuga, Lunga Lunga and Kinango via a 36km-radius network.
The installations now see Kwale join 39 counties across Kenya that have rolled out digitalised systems offering their services online, but the county is among the first few – notably including Nakuru and Kiambu – to additionally develop free street Wi-Fi.
“Our aim is to make county services accessible on mobile phones and in grassroot cybercafés, saving the residents time and money spent travelling to our headquarters. This will cut out long journeys, for instance, from Lunga Lunga to headquarters saving residents about Sh440 on transport alone,” said Anthony Mwamunga the Kwale County Government Chief of Staff.
The new network has also meant county staff are now able to use staff emails, where previously they had only personal Gmail or Yahoo accounts. “The county is also working on installing a call extension service across its offices to cut down its mobile phone calls costs,” said Kingi.
The development of high-speed Internet in Kwale has additionally opened up the county to new business opportunities and enabled residents to access services previously only available in Kenya’s major cities and towns.
Equity Bank, for instance, has launched 231 bank agencies across the county, in a move that has created jobs and saved further costs for residents, who are now able to access and transfer money with ease.
“We genuinely believe in the role that Internet connectivity plays in developing the economic prospects of a region through job creation and greater ease of doing business. This has been seen all around the world. But taking these services into some of Kenya’s must unequal counties is a mission of which we are very proud, and one that we shall continue to pursue with vigour,” said Adil Youssefi, CEO of Liquid Telecom Kenya.
Tilisi, the mixed-use megaproject set at the meeting point of Tigoni, Limuru, and Sigona, on the outskirts of Nairobi, has today announced the sale of 49 acres of its light industry zone to Africa Logistics Properties (ALP).
The sale accounts for over half of the project’s phase 1 build, for which Tilisi is selling fully serviced plots for light industrial/ logistics use, with paved roads, street lighting, water, electricity and ICT reticulation, sewage treatment plants, matatu stops and recreational facilities for workers within the warehousing zone.
“With the administrative and approval process now complete for Tilisi, and the legal agreements signed, we are delighted to announce this sale to this dynamic and professional logistics developer. Construction of our infrastructure for phase 1 will commence in July,” said Ranee Nanji Co- CEO of Tilisi.
Tilisi Logistics Park is set to create more than 1,000 local jobs on completion, and will be set on the southern spur of its 400-acre mixed-use development, which is one of Kenya’s leading real estate developments, creating a new satellite town on the city’s outskirts.
Tilisi is the nearest megaproject to Nairobi’s city centre, located close to the junction of Nairobi’s new southern bypass, the Northern by-pass and just off the Nairobi – Nakuru Highway, which is the main road cargo route from Mombasa port to western Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda, currently being upgraded to a six-lane highway by China Wu Yi Construction Company Ltd. “Being set on major arterial roads on the West of Nairobi and within easy reach of the airport was a critical factor in the design of the Tilisi masterplan,” said Kavit Shah, Co-CEO of Tilisi.
Tilisi’s location also makes for an easy reach from Kenya’s main airport, which remains one of Africa’s biggest airports for cargo. With a cargo capacity of 20.3m tonnes, according to the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is a major hub for regional traders, especially in the global flower business, which requires rapid transport.
The location additionally allows tenants and future owners to bypass the congestion through Nairobi, resulting in more efficient logistics in terms of time and cost.
ALP, which is developing Africa’s first grade A warehouses for rental occupiers in Nairobi, has bought its largest land purchase at Tilisi.
” The 49-acre site we are acquiring from Tilisi will be the location of our second modern grade-A logistics and light industrial park in Nairobi which will give strategic access to both Nairobi and the Western Kenya corridor for companies who operate from our facilities,” said Toby Selman, CEO of ALP.
Tilisi has dedicated 90 acres to warehousing in its first phase of development, with a further 41 acres remaining after its 49-acre sale to ALP. ALP will develop 80,000 square metres of international standard grade-A logistics and light industrial warehouse space for rental occupiers, while the remaining Tilisi plots are available for sale and are designated for owner occupiers to build their own units.
“ALP and Tilisi have complimentary business models, offering multinationals and domestic Kenyan producers a choice of an ownership model or rental model.” said Kavit Shah.
Africa Logistics Properties (ALP) has today announced the launch of Kenya’s first ever grade A logistics and distribution parks for the international and local occupier rental market in order to improve much needed supply chain infrastructure in the country.
The company today announced two land purchases situated in the North and West outskirts of Nairobi, unveiling the purchase of 22 acres at Tatu City, in Ruiru, and 49 acres from Tilisi, towards Limuru.
The two warehouse parks will offer international standard warehousing to multinational and local regional companies in the logistics, retail, light industrial, FMCG and e-commerce sectors.
Kenya is among many African nations suffering losses on inadequate warehousing facilities, with the cost of moving goods in Africa estimated to be up to three times higher than in developed countries, accounting for as much as 75 per cent of retail prices.
“Economic development in Africa now rests significantly on the development of modern grade A industrial and logistics warehouses, which we are moving to build across targeted African capital cities, beginning with Nairobi,” said Toby Selman, the Co-Founder and CEO of Africa Logistics Properties (ALP).
“We have now started construction at the Tatu site, while the construction of infrastructure and road junctions at our western Nairobi site is due to commence in the coming months.”
The design specifications for the ALP warehouses conform with international building standards. “Once complete, the units will also be managed to international property management standards by ALP’s team,’ said Selman.
The company expects to create up to 500 jobs in each of its new warehousing parks.
At Tatu, ALP will be creating 50,000 sqm of grade A warehouse space, to be called ALP North. It has, this month, also agreed terms with an international company for the park’s first rental lease, for 14,000 sqm of warehousing, in Kenya’s largest industrial lease to date.
Each warehouse will provide raised loading bays, 12m high operating eaves, large column grids of 12 x 24 metres, high load capacity, laser levelled flooring together with large high capacity truck yards and parking.
“These specifications enable operators to store up to eight pallets vertically, leading to lower storage costs and overall higher operating efficiencies,” said Selman.
Occupier service charges will also be lower than traditional ‘godowns’, thanks to environmental features such as solar power – with mains and generator back up – and rainwater harvesting.
ALP recently completed the first closing of its oversubscribed initial fundraising, raising $50m from CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution, and from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.
Other institutional investors include Maris, a Nairobi based private investment business focused on sub-Saharan Africa, and Mbuyu Capital Partners, an African focused UK based asset manager. ALP also announced last week a $4m investment by DOB Equity, a leading Dutch family office, closing its initial round of equity investments.
The scale and speed of the investor engagement has been driven by the expected economic impact of ALP’s investments and the ALP’s team deep sector experience and execution capability.
“ALP helps to drive down logistical costs by providing grade-A warehousing facilities that deliver built-for-purpose supply chain infrastructure. This infrastructure will create efficiencies that should lead to lower prices for consumers. It will also help both international and local companies to focus on their core business growth instead of having to construct, finance, manage, and maintain warehouses on their own,” said Selman.
ALP’s management team has 40 year experience in developing modern warehousing across emerging markets, having previously built 1.5 million square metres of modern warehousing across Eastern Europe.
An under supply of A-grade quality warehouses, and high demand by tenants for quality spaces, has presented a number of new opportunities for development in East Africa.
In Kenya, the industrial scene is slowly starting to grow and it is soon expected to change the landscape of the country, largely due to key logistics developments like the Africa Logistics Properties (ALP) developments in Tatu City and Tilisi, Actis’s new foray into the sector, as well as Infinity Industrial Park.
According to the Broll Kenya Market Report H1 2017, to be launched on 5 April at the EAPI Summit in Nairobi, key challenges within the industrial market still comprise an undersupply of A-grade quality warehouses, lack of multiple access points from warehouses to major highways, increased levels of traffic in and around Nairobi, and incomplete government projects which are meant to boost the manufacturing sector.
“Kenya’s strategic location makes it a critical transportation hub for logistical warehousing,” said Gordon Bell, Director and Head of East Africa Operations, Broll Property Group.
Unpacking this growing trend, this year’s EAPI summit will once again feature leading real estate development and investment companies from over 23 countries, including representation from all country members of the East African community.
“This year’s EAPI Summit agenda focuses on unlocking new areas of growth for East Africa’s real estate markets. In keeping with the growing interest and opportunities in the regions’ logistics industry, we have been able to bring together the sector’s largest investors, developers and operators. CDC, Emerge Developments, The IFC, Actis, ALP, Improvon, Chandaria Group and Bollore Logistics will all share their views on how to tap into East Africa’s lucrative industrial sector,” said Kfir Rusin, Managing Director of API Events.
The cost of moving goods in Africa is estimated to be on average two or three times higher than in developed countries and transport costs can count for as much as 50-75 per cent of the retail price of goods. The recent announcement by the CDC Group, in partnership with the IFC, to invest in ALP’s Nairobi developments, shows growing investor support for development on the continent and in particular Kenya.
“The existing logistics and supply chain industry across Africa is extremely fragmented and inefficient due to a lack of quality fit-for-purpose infrastructure. This has hampered the development of much needed supply chain and distribution operating efficiency improvements, said Toby Selman, CEO Africa Logistics Properties.
“Africa Logistics Properties is addressing this by developing the first pan-African portfolio of built-for-purpose modern grade-A logistics and distribution centres across key target Africa capital cities for the occupier rental market. Our first two projects will be in Nairobi and our pipeline stretches across Sub-Saharan and North African cities,” he said.
The lack of quality international standard warehousing space has long been a constraint on business growth and economic development. Such new developments now aim to improve operational efficiencies by reducing waste from poor storage, increasing the speed of product delivery and improving product security.
Commercial property development within Sub-Saharan Africa has, over the last decade, been concentrated on both the retail and office sectors, while logistics development has been side-lined, often due to uncertainty over market demand.
With volumes increasing, so has the demand for high quality space from retailers and consumer goods manufacturers seeking to expand their African operations and improve distribution networks and supply chains. A number of logistics and industrial parks are in the pipeline as part of wider urban developments such as Rendeavour’s Tatu City near Nairobi and Roma Park in Lusaka. Well situated near main ports, these locations have been identified as hotspots for logistics developers.
It is yet to be proven, however, that occupiers can be attracted in large numbers into the new developments:
“Although clearly dissatisfied with their existing accommodation, occupiers need to accept that gaining the efficiencies of modern space could mean moving further out of town and may lead to rent increases of up to 50 per cent. This will be the big test for Actis and ALP,” said James Hoddell, MD of Emerge Developments.
“Looking at the rapid growth of demand for warehousing in East Africa, the future of the African logistics sector is a topic we can no longer ignore. There are important questions that need to be answered, as affordability is still a problem. Can the industry adopt technology to bring the building costs associated with warehousing down? In terms of return on investment, how does warehousing compare with commercial and retail sectors? These discussions will be important for the future growth of this sector on the continent,” said Rusin.
With more than 400 delegates registered to attend, this year’s summit will also discuss the move into Kenya’s counties, new infrastructure projects, student housing, retail oversupply vs opportunity, as well as the growing role of pension funds in East African real estate.
The two-day conference will be held from the 5-6 April at the Radisson Blu, in Nairobi, Kenya.
Some of the notable companies in the industry attending include Fusion Capital, Africa Logistics Properties, The IFC, Old Mutual, Sanlam, Mara Delta, Stanlib, Jones Lang Lasalle, Stanbic Bank, The NSE and Safaricom Pension Fund.
Uber has announced that in Kenya, where it is available in Nairobi and Mombasa, it is raising fares upwards to satisfy the demands by its drivers for a fair pricing model.
The full statement from Uber on Thursday reads as follows-:
“Uber works when both riders and driver-partners are benefiting. Riders need safe, reliable transport and drivers need to keep earning. We believe that riders and drivers should have transparency and certainty around our prices.
Prices are designed to encourage more riders on the road, to help increase trips for drivers, but equally, you want to make sure the basic economics of drivers are sustainable. We have always promised to closely monitor driver-partner’s economics, keeping cognisant of how inflation and fuel prices can affect drivers using our app. We continue to stand by that promise because Uber succeeds when our partners succeed.
That is why today we are raising our prices in Kenya. We believe driver-partners will earn more as a result of these changes and that riders will continue to enjoy access to a safe, affordable and reliable service.”
poa! Internet in partnership with Liquid Telecom Kenya has launched a new Internet model into the Kibera slums, drawing thousands of subscribers in just a few months.
Delivered using solar powered hotspots and company has also provided free Internet access to Kibera schools, health centres, churches, mosques and youth centres.
Established in August last year in Kenya, poa! Internet is now employing 25 staff, mostly young people, the majority of them from Kibera, selling Internet for as little as Sh10 for 25MB.
The company’s aim is to bring millions of East Africans online over the next years, using innovative technology and ‘kidogo’ product pricing.
“We are selling internet to individuals in Kibera at affordable prices, and have also provided free Internet to more than eight health centres, 20 schools, and 20 cyber cafes’ in the area” said Mr Andy Halsall, CEO of poa! internet.
poa! is using Liquid Telecom Kenya’s fibre infrastructure, known as a local loop, from a connection near Kibera, to supply the internet to residents of Africa’s second largest slum.
“Liquid Telecom is our partner in ensuring that the less privileged population of Kibera access the same services and quality of Internet as their counterparts in other parts of the country, and at an affordable cost”, he said.
The partnership is making a swift and visible difference, he said.
“Internet has made life much better, with more youths engaging in businesses, such as cyber cafes, and shops where they are selling bundles. This has had a positive impact on these individuals and put great potential in their hands”, he said.
The cost of accessing the internet using poa! ranges from as low as Sh10 for 25 MB to Sh3,000 for 20 GB, in bundles that do not expire. “We have ensured that anybody in Kibera wanting to use high speed, high quality Internet can do so for just a few bob” said Andy.
poa! also provides its customers with free access to a wide range of digital content, including educational and healthcare and other socially beneficial materials as well as sports, entertainment and news. “We want to ensure that the people of Kibera can get access to the latest information even when they don’t have cash in their pocket”, he explained.
Andy raised seed funding in the UK to launch the business, on the basis that East Africa still holds huge potential for internet consumption.
“We are targeting millions of subscribers in this region, if our plans go as scheduled,” he said. “East Africa is highly educated but still not everybody has access to internet.”
This vision has seen Liquid Telecom Kenya name poa! internet as an outstanding example of last mile development of the group’s East African infrastructure.
“The launch and rapid rise of poa! Internet in Kibera represents a fulfilment of our own purpose and vision too, after we invested heavily in the new Nairobi metro network so that it can provide up to 20 times more internet data across the city with high quality and reliability,” said Mr Ben Roberts, CEO of Liquid Telecom Kenya.
He said Liquid telecom was looking forwards to supporting poa! internet as their business expands and rolls out to other areas.
Think Business Africa’s Investment Awards has honoured Dyer and Blair Investment Bank’s Chairman Jimnah Mbaru with the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions to the securities exchange and investment sector in Kenya and the region.
The 8th Annual Investment Awards 2016 dinner gala, held on Friday 11th November 2016 at the Radisson Blu Nairobi, feted Mbaru for achievements that have spanned the founding of stock exchanges in six African nations; the founding of the African Stock Exchanges Association; and his long-term leadership of Dyer and Blair Investment Bank, which also won the Think Business Africa Investment Award for Best Investment Bank.
With more than 30 years’ experience in investment banking, Mbaru has led many landmark transactions since first becoming chairman of Dyer & Blair in 1983, including the Safaricom IPO, KenGen Rights Issue, Kenya Power Rights Issue and the Centum Bond. Under his leadership, Dyer and Blair has brought to market more transactions that any other firm in Kenya.
Mbaru is also the current chairman of the Kenya Association of Stock Brokers and Investment Banks (KASIB), which he played an instrumental role in creating, and represents KASIB as a board member of the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), where he previously served as the chairman twice, between 1992 – 2001 and 2006 -2008.
While serving as Chairman of the NSE, Mbaru oversaw the move from the Open Outcry trading system to electronic trading, and also helped set up the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) and Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE). He additionally wrote the blueprint for the establishment of the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE) and worked with Ghana, Namibia and Botswana on the establishment of their exchanges.
Dyer & Blair Investment Bank was also named in the awards as the Best Investment Bank, Best Lead Transaction Advisor, the Best Bonds Dealer of the Year, and won the overall investment industry Customer Service Award. In addition, it won three runners up awards, for Best Stock Broker, Best Equities Dealer, and Best Research Team.
“These awards, and our position as the country’s Best Investment Bank, alongside all the associated awards that go into securing that accolade, represent the fruit of our ongoing innovation and leadership, technologically and in the calibre of our teams,” said Mr Jimnah Mbaru, Chairman of Dyer & Blair Investment Bank.
Among many recent milestones, the bank was the first in Kenya to introduce a mobile share trading app. The Dyer & Blair Edge, which allows users to trade shares from their phones, has already drawn more than 1000 downloads, and additionally enables investors to track their investment portfolios, develop a watch list, and receive research information. The app is available in both Android and IoS for Apple on Google Play and Apple Store. Dyer & Blair was also the first bank to launch an Online Share Trading platform and integrate MPESA as a payment method.
The Think Business Africa awards recognise and confer merit on companies leading the dynamic and fast-paced changes in the securities exchange and investments sectors in Kenya. The judging process involves research into key areas of performance, including corporate governance, financial soundness, product and systems innovation, and customer services.
For Dyer & Blair, the new awards follow from being named in the EMEA Finance African Banking Awards 2016 as the Best Broker In Kenya and Best Equity House, while in the Bankers Africa 2016 awards, Dyer & Blair was named as the Best Investment Bank in Kenya.
Small and Medium Enterprises in Eldoret are set to benefit from high speed affordable internet connectivity from as low as Shs 5,000 per month.
This is after Safaricom, through its Enterprise Business Division, kicked off its second phase of fibre optic network rollout.
The rollout follows successful deployment of fibre in Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa with the current focus now on other major towns in the country.
Fiber technology provides unlimited bandwidth capabilities and offers the fastest high-speed data connectivity.
Businesses that sign up by 31st of December will get one month free connectivity.
Speaking during the launch of the second phase in Eldoret town Safaricom’s Head of Enterprise Product and Innovation, Geoffrey Wandeto said that the network would offer businesses connectivity at affordable and flexible rates, enabling them to grow and thrive.
“Safaricom wants to offer a solution that will open up businesses into a new digital world. It is our hope that we will be your partner in this space,” said Mr Wandetto.
The move which is part of Safaricom’s continuing strategy to be a leader in broadband provision aims to connect every part of the country in the coming years to deliver quality service to customers.
Earlier in the year, Safaricom launched Ready Business, a business solution aimed at making SMEs’ operations easier. The ‘Ready Business’ solution bundles together various technology and advisory services to empower entrepreneurs tackle challenges of a rapidly changing business landscape.
Safaricom Enterprise offers a variety of communication and connectivity services to its customers across Kenya. Key among these services is internet connections and telephone landlines. These services can in turn be delivered via different technologies like Fiber Optic cables as well as wireless technologies like microwaves, WiMax & Satellites.
Society of Grownups, a financial advice firm in the US, has conducted a survey that answers how grownups are planning financially for their goals today.
The great revelation from the survey was that a good number of grownups (representing 35% of those polled) still depend on their parents for upkeep beyond college.
While the survey was targeted at Americans, the results seem to reflect on the financial trends witnessed among young growups in developed and developing nations across the world.
According to the research which was conducted in partnership with Wakefield Research, most of grownups are seen to be going back to school, getting married, planning to pay off student debt, and they eventually want to buy houses and consider having kids. And those are in addition to other big goals, like taking a trip, pursuing freelance work, and purchasing a car.
In Kenya, like the world over, most parents especially those who are financially stable are seen to play a major role in the lives of their children beyond basic education. Paying for higher education and even expensive weddings for their children is not uncommon.
The research explains this trend as a necessary evil that is a as result of the Great Recession. Even grownups with families are also dipping into the pockets of their parents which means that the arrangement can last for decades. Companies such as Society of Grownups, based on the research are willing to provide education and tools to help individuals become independent.
The good news is that this group is willing to pay it forward, to the benefit of younger generations.
In case you are wondering about the classification of generations, the following table is precise-:
born (range, loosely)
characterizing features typically described (loosely)
The Lost Generation
The term reflects the unthinkable loss of human life in the First World War- approaching 16 million killed and over 20 million wounded. This happened in just four and five years (1914-1918). We cannot imagine this today.
The Interbellum Generation
Interbellum means ‘between wars’, referring to the fact that these people were too young to fight in the First World War and too old to fight in the Second.
The Greatest Generation (The Veterans)
These people are revered for having grown up during the Great Depression and then fought or stood alongside those who fought in the Second World War (1939-45). As for other generations of the early 1900s, life was truly hard compared to later times.
The Silent Generation
Characterized as fatalistic, accepting, having modest career and family aspirations, focused on security and safety. These people experienced the 1930s Great Depression and/or the 2nd World War in early life, and post-war austerity in young adulthood. They parented and provided a foundation for the easier lives of the Baby Boomers.
Equality, freedom, civil rights, environmental concern, peace, optimism, challenge to authority, protest. Baby Boomers mostly lived safe from war and serious hardship; grew up mostly in families, and enjoyed economic prosperity more often than not. Teenage/young adulthood years 1960-1980 – fashion and music: fun, happy, cheery, sexy, colourful, lively.
Acquisitive, ambitious, achievement-oriented, cynical, materialistic (a reference to the expression ‘keeping up with the Joneses’). Generation Jones is predominantly a US concept, overlapping and representing a sub-group within the Baby Boomer and Gen-X generations.
Generation X (Gen-X)
Apathy, anarchy, reactionism, detachment, technophile, resentful, nomadic, struggling. Teenage/young adulthood years 1973-2000 – fashion and music: anarchic, bold, anti-establishment.
MTV Generation is a lesser-used term for a group overlapping X and Y. Like Generation Jones is to Baby Boomers and Gen-X, so MTV Generation is a bridge between Gen-X and Y.
Generation Y (Gen-Y or Millennials)
1980-2000 and beyond (?)
Views vary as to when this range ends, basically because no-one knows. Generational categories tend to become established some years after the birth range has ended. Teenage/young adulthood years 1990s and the noughties – fashion and music: mainstream rather than niche, swarmingly popular effects, fuelled by social networking and referral technology. Also called Echo Boomers because this generation is of similar size to the Baby Boomers.
Generation Z (Gen-Z or perhaps Generation ADD)
Too soon to say much about this group. A name has yet to become established, let alone characterizing features. Generation Z is a logical name in the X-Y-sequence. Generation ADD is less likely to establish itself as a name for this cohort – it refers ironically to Attention Deficit Disorder and the supposed inability of young people in the late noughties (say 2005-2009) to be able to concentrate for longer than a few seconds on anything. Gen-Z is difficult to differentiate from Gen-Y, mainly because (as at 2009) it’s a little too soon to be seeing how people born after Gen-Y are actually behaving, unless the end of the Gen-Y range is deemed to be a few years earlier than the year 2000. Time will tell.
Source: Generations nicknames and groupings theory (businessballs.com)