Expert to address Red Alert: Regulation of food and drugs in Kenya

The use of controlled chemicals to preserve foods such as beef and milk has been rising in Kenya and reported by the media, including by NTV Kenya’s investigative feature on how rogue traders and supermarkets are using Sodium Metabisulfite to keep meat looking fresh. Indeed, consumer investigations have revealed a myriad of illegal additives and chemicals now going into foodstuffs sold in our local markets.

 

Yet, even as it becomes a top priority to ensure the full enforcement of the country’s chemicals and food regulations, a private member of parliament has introduced a Kenya Food and Drugs Authority (KFDA) Bill that will fragment the country’s food regulations and raise severe additional dangers in regulating our food safety.

 

The bill is currently with the parliamentary committee of health for review ahead of its second reading.

 

Prof Andrew Edewa, Food Safety Specialist at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), is available to respond the questions on food safety and regulation in the country.

Key issue arising 

  • Kenya is looking at merging of food and drugs regulations as other leading economies are moving away from this model e.g. Tanzania, South Africa and USA (FDA). The US has stated explicitly that the FDA’s remit was undermining and compromising food safety for consumers.
  • Food safety requires experts who have mastered the risks posed by food hazards and understand the requirements necessary to manage them across the entire food chain.
  • The private member’s bill will also remove County responsibility for ensuring the safety of food traders, in breach of the constitution.
For interviews requests, contact
Daniel Mbugua
0706279454
daniel@africanlaughterpr.com
In case you missed it, here’s NTV’s Investigative piece #RedAlert: How supermarkets use chemicals to ‘preserve’ meat

Safaricom gives Kes 5M Boosts Towards Afro-Asia Fintech Festival

Safaricom has announced a KES 5 Million sponsorship towards the inaugural Afro-Asia FinTech Festival 2019- ‘Fintech in the Savannah’ which will be co-hosted by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

The two day festival themed “Sustainable Finance; Inclusive and green” will be held at the Kenya school of Monetary studies on 15th and 16th July 2019. This will be the first of its kind in the region and will provide a platform for connections, collaborations and exchange of ideas between Africa and Asia and also seek to explore sustainable financial services innovations from emerging Afro-Asian Markets.

The festival is a great platform for us as it presents opportunities to showcase the progress that Safaricom has made over the years towards financial technology as well as interact with peers in FinTech across the globe,” said Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Chief Financial Services Officer, Safaricom.

Two years ago, we opened up our Daraja API portal giving over 16,000 developers an opportunity to integrate their businesses with M-PESA seamlessly. This is in line with our strategy to deepen financial inclusion and give developers a chance to come up with new innovations,” said Sitoyo.

We are indeed delighted to host such a unique event which shows where we are as an African country in the spectrum of Fintech, we are at the front. We are the pacesetters and we are not just excited about technology but the difference it is making for millions of people in Africa and billions around the world,” said Dr. Patrick Njoroge, Governor, Central Bank of Kenya.

The event which seeks to bring together over 5,000 participants, policy makers, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators and researchers across the world is modelled after the Singapore FinTech Festival. It will provide a platform for players to exchange ideas, forge partnerships and nurture thriving Fintech ecosystems.

Some of the topics that will be discussed include Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Cyber Security, Technology risks, Social impacts (SME Financing, financial literacy and inclusion, Sustainable finance and spirit of innovation among other key areas in Fintech.

Kenya is one of the African countries that has grown significantly in technology and is seen as a lucrative market for FinTechs. Last year, two Kenyan companies Cellulant, and Tala emerged among the Top 50 emerging Fintech companies in the world in the KPMG FinTech100 report.

KICD learns from community service learning geared towards developing the CBC curriculum at secondary level

The Ministry of Education and KICD, in partnership with Educate! is running a program on Community Service Learning to learn how best to design the new learning area for senior secondary in the CBC curriculum. The aims of the learning area are to empower youth to create jobs, increase youth engagement in community problem solving, and enhance personal value and life skills among leaners. The first phase of the program has held closing exhibitions in 10 counties

Nairobi, 8th July 2019: The Ministry of Education and the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) in partnership with technical advisor Educate! have this weekend completed a Community Service Learning Program across 65 secondary schools in 10 counties, with the aim of learning how best to develop the new learning area for the CBC curriculum at secondary level.

“The Community Service Learning we have been testing applies concepts students have learned in the classroom to real-life situations and enhances entrepreneurship, social awareness and responsibility,” said Dr Julius Jwan, Director and CEO at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development.

The program follows global research into community service learning that has shown it delivers a rapid and significant change in students’ attitudes and skills.

According to a study of 1,500 US students published in the Michigan Journal of Community Learning, the learning area changes students’ personal values within just six months, significantly raising the chances of students entering careers that help others, and raising their levels of volunteering and community leadership.

It has also been shown to increase students’ belief in their ability to solve community problems and their sense of connection with the community.

“We have, furthermore, run the Kenyan program under the theme of ‘Igniting the High School Social Entrepreneur’ to equip students to create livelihoods while also solving local problems,” said Diana Mwai, Educate!’s Kenya Program Director.

This emphasis reflects the KICD’s commitment to achieving a more relevant curriculum that will address the issue of high youth unemployment, which was running at 26.2 per cent in 2017, according to the United Nations Development Programme.

Educate!, which aims to impact 1 million students across Africa, has advised on curriculum reforms and run similar programmes in Rwanda and Uganda. These were found to nearly double the earning power of participants, increase the use of learner-centred teaching methods, and deliver a greater focus on community issues.

The program has already transformed the lives of Kenyan learners too, both through community engagement and through the entrepreneurial skills gained.

Kwirenyi Secondary School in Kakamega County wanted to improve community health, so it taught community members how to treat water and keep it safe for drinking, whilst also running a sensitisation campaigns on preventing malaria and cholera.

The program has also taught learners how to connect the knowledge they are gaining from other learning areas to their entrepreneurial ventures. Students from Agoro Sare school from Homabay County applied what they learned in chemistry and biology to create a bio-gas business, using kitchen waste and cow dung from the school herd to create bio-gas fuel. The business intends to provide the school with a source of low-cost and sustainable fuel.

Likewise, students from Mbitini Girls Secondary School in Kitui County started a rabbit project after learning about diabetes in class. The business aims to sell and promote the consumption of white meat in the community.

In addition to benefiting learners, a key goal of the program is to produce research to be used by curriculum developers. Professor of Teacher Education at Moi University, Dr. Charles Ong’ondo, has led the 18-month, qualitative research project, in collaboration with the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development and MOE. The research team conducted three rounds of research, beginning with a needs assessment before the program began. The research team is now in the process of collecting final data, which will lead to a summative research report. The research will be shared with national stakeholders at KICD’s curriculum conference in August and will inform how to best design this new learning area, as KICD prepares for the development of the secondary curriculum.

“Our aim is to deliver powerful skill sets that prepare students for individual success and to tackle youth unemployment,” said Diana, in targets that tie with Kenya’s Vision 2030, which places emphasis on the link between education and the labour market.

The results of the Community Service Learning programme have been exhibited by participating schools for assessment by the Ministry of Education (MOE), Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC). The exhibitions were held on June 29th and 30th in Taita Taveta, Kitui, Garissa, Homabay and Kisii counties. Schools in Nairobi, Kakamega, Uasin Gichu, Kiambu and Embu counties held their exhibitions on Saturday July 6th, closing the first phase of the Community Service Learning program.

Safaricom Rolls Out “Reverse Call” Feature To All Customers

Safaricom has today announced the availability of its “Reverse Call” feature enabling its more than 31 million customers to pay for calls for loved ones. The service enables a caller to transfer the cost of a call to the receiver by adding ‘#’ before the number they are calling. For instance, to transfer the cost of the call to 0722000000, a customer will dial #0722000000.

“At Safaricom, we maintain our commitment to always provide our customers with relevant products in line with their needs. This innovation is in line with this commitment and has been tailored to mirror the relationships between our customers with a goal of empowering them to always remain connected with their loved ones,” said Sylvia Mulinge, Chief Customer Officer, Safaricom.

A customer receiving a reverse call request will see the caller’s details appear on the screen as normal, but once they pick the call, they will receive a voice prompt asking them to key in “1” to accept the reverse call. The cost of the call will be equivalent to the receiver’s normal call cost.

The service is only available for on-net calls and will not be applicable for off-net, roaming and international calls.

The Reverse Call feature complements Safaricom’s existing “Please Call Me” service which enables a customer to send five free messages to other customers requesting for a call back.

Kenya Airports Authority to Host Routes Africa Conference 2019

Kenya Airports Authority has won the bid to host the 13th Routes Africa, an intra- Africa routes development forum 2019.

Routes Conference and Exhibition is the longest -standing and established aviation forum bringing together leading Airlines, Airports, and Tourism players globally to discuss Air Services to and in Africa for over a decade.

The event is scheduled to take place from 8th to 10th December, 2019 at the PrideInn Paradise, Shanzu Beach in Mombasa. 2019’s edition of Routes Africa will see 250 delegates come together to experience the Routes African conference programme and to take part in around 600 face-to-face meetings over the course of two business days.

Jonny Andersen Managing Director/CEO, Kenya Airports Authority said, “Kenya is the regional aviation powerhouse. Our geographical location gives us an advantage in connections to most international hub cities in world. Kenya’s centralized proximity to Europe, Asia, Middle East, Americas and the rest of Africa makes this a profitable aviation route. Our status as a trade and tourist regional hub also makes Kenya an attractive destination.

“Routes Conference and Exhibition provide an excellent platform for the aviation industry to meet and make business decisions. The forum will be an opportunity to showcase Kenya’s available facilities and attractions. We are proud to host Routes Africa 2019 and look forward to welcoming delegates to magical Kenya”.

The 2019 edition of Routes Africa will see delegates including Airlines CEO’s, top level speakers from across spheres of aviation come together to discuss the future of aviation within Africa and the most pressing issues facing the industry,

During the event ASM Global, the world’s first provider of route development courses, will deliver their Route Development Accreditation course. This course, developed exclusively for Routes Africa, will provide attendees with tools and techniques to help them attract new routes and increase existing services, and all delegates attending will benefit from a certification of attendance.

Steven Small, Brand Director for Routes, said: “We’re so excited to be returning to Africa in this beautiful city. We are sure that hosting Routes Africa 2019 will help the Kenya Airports Authority in achieving their goals, and we have no doubt that our delegates will enjoy this unique location and have a memorable time in Mombasa.”

The Central Bank of Kenya Governor announced the unveiling of the New Generation Banknotes. Old generation one-thousand shilling banknotes will need to be exchanged by October 1, 2019, after which they cease to be legal tender.

After taking into account views received from the public, CBK adopted concepts to symbolise the drivers of a prosperous Kenya.

The front of the banknotes bear the image of Kenyatta International Conference Centre, one of the most iconic and recognisable landmarks in our country. A dove is also shown to symbolise a peaceful Kenya.

The images on the back of the banknotes symbolise green energy, agriculture, social services, tourism, and governance. The designs are also more accessible to visually impaired persons.

These banknotes will circulate alongside those previously issued and not withdrawn.

Here’s how to identify the notes.

  1. When you run your fingers over the genuine note, you should and can feel the word Kenya and the Value of the currency
  2. When you run your fingers again along the edge over the genuine note, u should feel the number of bars in tandem with the value of the currency as follows:
    a. KES 50 –    1 bar
    b. KES100 –  2 bars
    c. KES 200 – 3 bars
    d. KES 500 – 4 bars
    e. KES 1000-5 bars
  3. When you hold your genuine note to the light and from both sides, you should see the watermarks of a perfect lion’s head, text CBK and the value of the banknote
  4. Security thread of a genuine banknote appears as a continuous line.
  5. If you tilt your bank note at an angle , the security thread changes from Red to Green.
  6. For KES 200, 500, 1000 there is an additional Rainbow color.

View the New Generation Banknotes Pamphlet here.

 

Government moves to solve LPG cylinder crisis

New LPG regulations attack counterfeit market and create safety guarantees to draw consumers off firewood that is driving respiratory disease as Kenya’s biggest killer

The government has approved new LPG regulations to restore safety to the LPG market by closing down opportunities for illegal refilling, illegal rebranding, and counterfeiting of gas cylinders. The changes come as part of a government drive to position LPG as Kenya’s primary cooking fuel to end the health and environmental problems caused by cooking with firewood and charcoal.

Unveiling the new regulations today, Mr Pavel Oimeke Director General of the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) said it will no longer be mandatory for LPG retailers to swap any brand of cylinder.

“The mandatory interchange of LPG cylinders has seen brands lose track of 90 per cent of the cylinders they had invested in, stalling investment in further cylinders, and seeing legal checks set aside as nameless refillers resold cylinders, but could not be made accountable for safety breaches,” said Mr Oimeke.

LPG brands will now be responsible for guaranteeing the safety of every cylinder. The brands, which will only swap their cylinders for new ones through their own branded retail points, must also now add safety instructions onto each cylinder, including guides on what to do if consumers smell a gas leak.

“Elsewhere in the world, LPG dominates in rural areas as a clean and safe fuel. Moving to regulations that will see the end of illegal cylinder refilling in Kenya will open the way for a projected seven-fold increase in LPG usage,” said Mr Olagoke Aluko Chairman of the Petroleum Institute of East Africa (PIEA).

The PIEA, which represents the country’s oil and gas industry, is now working with government and regulators to achieve a widespread switchover to LPG, at a time when more than 70 per cent of Kenyans are still using firewood and charcoal for cooking.

“The pollution that dirty cooking fuels are creating in the home is killing tens of thousands of Kenyans a year,” said Mr Aluko. “Estimates suggest some 21,650 Kenyans are dying every year from air pollution, and 40 per cent of childhood deaths are being caused by respiratory diseases triggered by indoor cooking pollution.”

The country’s dependency on firewood and charcoal, which has remained larger than for other countries in Africa as a result of the recent disorder in the Kenyan LPG market, has also eroded the country’s forests, with illegal logging damaging its main water catchment forests, and the nation now suffering a 16m m3 shortfall in its wood supply each year.

“LPG is actually a cheaper cooking fuel than firewood, charcoal or kerosene on a meal-by-meal sum and gets families back to clean homes and good health, saving our forests and our water supply too,” said Mr Aluko.

Government, industry and regulators are therefore now working to make LPG the primary cooking fuel in Kenya. In addition to the new regulations, government plans to increase LPG imports and storage at Mombasa, while the industry is increasing its investments in LPG cylinders six-fold.

“To this end, the EPRA will no longer tolerate any gas cylinder that has not been properly checked between refills and is not fully labelled for safety and traceability,” said Mr Oimeke.

Mama Earth Products in Kenya

A new online shopping website, Mama Earth Products, that features Kenya’s locally-made organic brands has been launched to sell organic products.

Everyone is looking to go green these days, whether with packaging, food or skincare. And why not? Organic products have been proven to be better for both you and the environment. The question is, where can you easily find what you’re looking for?

Mama Earth Products whose online shop is now available at www.mamaearthproducts.com have good news!  You can now get your favourite natural brands all under one roof.

What’s in store

Skincare

MamaEarth has everything ranging from cleansers, moisturizers, facemasks and even bath salts.  The website features great brands like:

  • Kara Sidai- for superfood luxury soaps.
  • Chebe hair butter for all the naturalistas out there who want to grow their hair.
  • Fluffy buttah– which is whipped body butter that moisturizes your skin. It also comes in three flavours that smell like heaven.
  • Liku bath salts– Imagine coming home from a long day of work to a hot, therapeutic bath with tingly salts. Yes please!

 

Food

If you’re looking to be clean and green on the inside, there are also food products you can get.

  • Beehappyke honey – This is raw forest honey with a variety of interesting flavours including ginger, cinnamon and chilli!
  • Flavour infused jam- Did you know you could have dark chocolate and raspberry in your breakfast spread? Neither did we!
  • Absolute chocolate– This locally-made chocolate brand is to die for. They have a whole range of creative flavours including Mexican chilli chocolate, peppermint crisp and sorrento orange.

 

What we love about this is that each local brand gets recognized. Next to each product is a snippet of the individual company so that you can know the story behind it.

Shipping is only 300 bob and happens every Thursday.

Nairobi, 16th May 2019: Liquid Telecom Kenya, part of the leading pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom, has today launched a Microsoft Cloud service in East Africa that offers a step-change in cybersecurity for the region’s most sensitive databases.
The new Azure Stack service will allow companies to run a private Microsoft cloud within East Africa, rather than at one of Microsoft’s 54 public data centres located outside the region. This means users benefit from the cutting-edge security protocols developed and run by Microsoft on its cloud platforms, while holding their data locally, which makes data uploading faster for databases that can be as large as one terabyte or more.

 

The service will be available from today across East Africa, hosted in private cloud nodes in Kenya and Tanzania, which makes it possible to replicate databases at different locations to increase reliability and flexibility.

 

“The data transmission time to Europe is around 200 milliseconds, and for the closest Microsoft cloud server, in South Africa, 55 milliseconds. But the new Azure Stacks in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam will mean data transfer speeds of less than 20 milliseconds for all users within East Africa,” said Winston Ritson, Group Head of Cloud Services for the Liquid Telecom Group.

 

This increase in speeds will transform back-ups and uploads from previously lengthy processes to swift data exchanges. Globally, companies have reported that this has transformed their operations, with one logistics company in California achieving a 50% improvement in service delivery on increased data speeds.

 

Using Azure Stack also opens the way to a level of cybersecurity that few organisations have the capacity to develop.“Microsoft spends some $1bn a year on ensuring the security of its Azure platforms. This is a scale of spend and professional attention that companies cannot match or surpass in securing their data,” said Winston.

 

This comes as East Africa’s data security continues to deteriorate. In 2017, Kenya lost over Sh21bn to cybercrime. But the nation’s losses are forecast to rise further on new cyber threats, including attacks on built-in Windows IT admin tools, Powershell files and Windows Scripting executables.

 

“Developing the Azure Stack in East Africa has required intensive development and co-operation between Liquid Telecom and Microsoft,” said Adil El Youssefi, CEO East Africa, Liquid Telecom. “However, we believe that in offering a now unequalled level of cybersecurity, it has delivered yet another vital pillar to the economic development of Kenya and East Africa.”

 

About Liquid Telecom

 

Liquid Telecom is a leading communications solutions provider across 13 countries primarily in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa that serves mobile operators, carriers, enterprise, media and content companies and retail customers with high-speed, reliable connectivity, hosting and co-location and digital services.

 

It has built Africa’s largest independent fibre network, approaching 70,000km, and operates state-of-the-art data centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Nairobi, with a combined potential 19,000 square metres of rack space and 80 MW of power.

 

This is in addition to offering leading cloud-based services, such as Microsoft Office365, Microsoft Azure and innovative digital content provision including Netflix and Kwesé TV across our fibre footprint. Through this combined offering Liquid Telecom is enhancing customers experience on their digital journey. www.liquidtelecom.com
Kenya Airways Delta Airlines Codeshare

Kenya Airways and Delta Airlines have signed a code partnership to offer enhanced connections to North America  to 11 United States of America and 4 Canadian cities.

The arrangement is an opportunity for travelers to connect from New York,using the  direct  flight  from  Nairobi,  to  their  cities opening many more opportunities at more competitive fares.

Besides the new codeshare services and more convenient flight connections, guests will have the opportunity to earn and redeem miles on the entire network operated by both airlines.

Beginning June, Kenya Airways is expected to increase its frequency to New York from 5 days a week to 7 days a week.

United States of America

Chicago O’Hare
Illinois
Houston
Texas
Denver
Colorado
Orlando
Florida
Miami
Florida
Raleigh Durham
North Carolina
Phoenix
Arizona
Columbus, Ohio
Kansas City
Missouri
Charlotte
North Carolina
Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania

Canada

Toronto
Ontario
Montreal
Quebec
Ottawa
Ontario
Alberta
Edmonton