Kenya Economy – Mombasa Info Wed, 23 Nov 2022 15:06:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Kenya Economy – Mombasa Info 32 32 The Kenyan central bank hikes interest rates to tame inflation Wed, 23 Nov 2022 15:06:00 +0000

By George Mwangi

Specially for Dow Jones Newswires

NAIROBI – Kenya‘s central bank raised interest rates on Wednesday in a bid to tame inflationary pressures.

The central bank raised its key interest rate by 50 basis points from 8.25% to 8.75%, the monetary policy committee said in its policy statement.

“Noting the ongoing inflationary pressures, heightened global risks and their potential impact on the domestic economy, the committee concluded that there is scope for further monetary tightening to anchor inflation expectations,” the bank said.

Kenya’s inflation rate accelerated to 9.6% in October from 9.2% in September, on the back of higher food and fuel prices, it said.

Food inflation rose to 15.8% in October from 15.5% in September, mainly due to prices of corn and milk following reduced supply due to poor rainfall, and cooking oils and wheat products due to the impact of international supply chain disruptions, it said.

Fuel inflation rose to 12.6% in October from 11.7% in September, mainly due to reductions in fuel subsidies, electricity price hikes due to higher tariffs and increased transportation costs, it said.

The committee will meet again in January but stands ready to meet again sooner if necessary, the bank said.

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]]> Tech layoffs hurt workers in developing countries Tue, 15 Nov 2022 19:07:00 +0000

AAcross Silicon Valley, tech companies are shedding their workforces to cut costs in anticipation of a global economic downturn.

Social media giant Meta announced earlier this month that it was laying off 11,000 of its employees, or 13% of its workforce. Since being acquired by Elon Musk in October, Twitter has laid off about 3,000 employees, or about half of its workforce. Meanwhile, Amazon is reportedly preparing to cut 10,000 jobs. And Microsoft, Lyft and Stripe also recently announced smaller cuts.

But it’s not just programmers with six-figure salaries and free lunches in sunny California who are affected. In a sign of how globalized the tech economy has become, tech workers who are now making just dollars a day in parts of the developing world are also losing their jobs as outsourcing companies that have relied on Silicon Valley clients begin to cut their workforces to stay afloat. Most of these people earn a fraction of their US-based counterparts, and some worry that the slowdown in the tech industry could push them below the poverty line.

Continue reading: In Facebook’s African Sweatshop

Over the weekend, the tech-focused newsletter Platformer reported that Twitter had laid off 4,400 of its 5,500 employees at contractors, including content moderators, many of whom are employed by third parties in the Philippines.

Among the other workers affected by recent industry cuts are hundreds of workers at CloudFactory, an outsourcing firm with offices in Kenya and Nepal, which counted Microsoft among its 600 customers, according to its Nov. 14 website. The company told employees it would cut about 12% of its workforce on Nov. 9, according to internal filings obtained by TIME, which were previously unreported.

“The changing economy is affecting many technology companies, including our customers,” CloudFactory CEO Mark Sears wrote in a message to all employees verified by TIME. “Sales are way below target, we’re losing money and we need to cut our costs significantly to save cash and improve our operational efficiencies… I was overly optimistic about our client’s [sic] Willingness to continue spending on our services even when the economy is declining.”

The memo said exiting employees would be offered a severance package, but didn’t specify the amount.

On November 15, CloudFactory’s website said it employs more than 7,000 workers in Kenya and Nepal. CloudFactory declined a request for comment on the story on Nov. 14, but said Microsoft is not among its customers. The following day, the Microsoft logo no longer appeared in the customer list on CloudFactory’s website. (Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)

An employee in Kenya, who spoke to TIME on condition of anonymity out of concern for future job prospects, said his job, which makes less than $50 a day, has been affected.

“Right now in Kenya it’s hard to find work… I see a lot of people going into depression because the situation in Kenya is really bad right now,” the worker told TIME. “I’m one of those people.”

In Nepal, where labor laws offer fewer protections for workers, affected CloudFactory employees were fired almost immediately, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. In Kenya, where workers are better protected, affected employees were asked to submit an “expression of interest” if they wanted to remain employed at the company and await a decision scheduled for November 17.

“I still have bills to pay, I have rent, I need food. It’s going to be really tough,” said the Kenyan employee involved. “Some of my colleagues have loans from banks. How are they supposed to serve them without jobs?”

Continue reading: Behind the TikTok Boom: A Legion of Traumatized Moderators for $10 a Day Content

The layoffs at CloudFactory reflect the rapid growth of the online outsourcing industry — known as cloudwork — in which tech companies assign simple but important tasks to workers in countries with high unemployment, low wages, and often lax health and safety regulations.

“The tech world extends well beyond Silicon Valley and its directly employed workers,” says Jonas Valente, a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute’s Fairwork Project. “There’s a planetary workforce doing all sorts of jobs for tech companies. Full-time or part-time workers in outsourcing companies, particularly in countries in the Global South, typically have worse working conditions and worse contracts than those in big tech companies.” Valente adds that workers in countries with less protective labor laws often have little bargaining power and end up easier Targets for dismissal decisions can be.

According to the latest company reports, CloudFactory’s mission is to “connect 1 million talented people with meaningful work online”. The Kenyan employee involved was drawn to work at CloudFactory in part by the company’s focus on ethical and social values, but believes the company acted against them without warning in conducting this week’s layoffs. “We used to feel like family,” the person said. “All of this falls outside of the culture and principles that CloudFactory claims to have.”

The recent layoffs suggest that CloudFactory’s goal of connecting one million people to decent digital work is now further than ever. “It shows the precariousness of these jobs, but also the precariousness of the story that has been told, that these companies provide sustainable work,” says Phil Jones, a senior researcher at Autonomy, a think tank focused on the future of work. “In fact, much of this work is very volatile and can change as these companies evolve.”

More must-reads from TIME

write to Billy Perrigo at

Kenya travels to West Africa for Arab International SMEs Conference and Expo » Capital News Sat, 12 Nov 2022 14:42:26 +0000

Nairobi, 12 November – Five Kenyan SMEs are exhibiting at the Arab International SMEs Conference and Expo (SMEX ALGERIA), which will be held from the 12th to the 14thth November 2022 in Algiers, Algeria.

This follows an invitation from the Arab Union for Industrial Exports Development to the Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency (KEPROBA) inviting SMEs from Kenya to be sponsored to attend the SME Expo. KEPROBA thus facilitated sponsorship, mobilized and coordinated SMEs in selected sectors to represent Kenya at the Expo.

The event is organized by the Arab Union for Industrial Exports Development (AUIED) and the Algerian Fairs and Exportation Company (SAFEX) with the aim of building a “display, trade, exchange and cooperation” platform for SMEs at home and abroad, to improve understanding, strengthen cooperation, expand exchanges and seek common development for Arab SMEs and their overseas counterparts.

The five companies selected and promoted include Mathara Holdings, which exports coffee; Ohana Family Wear, which makes humble swimwear ideas for Islamic countries; Miyonga Fresh Greens, which exports fresh and dried fruits, herbs and vegetables; Stawi Foods and Fruits, which specializes in milling grains and dried fruit to create nutritious pre-cooked and fortified flours; and Melvin Marsh International, known for tea exports.

Criteria for selecting participating companies include the suitability of a company’s products or services for target markets; Business potential of the company on the market and compliance of the applicant company’s goals and objectives with the specified scope of the event.

While KEPROBA aligned the SMEs to the West African market, she also informed the exhibitors on how to best represent Kenya and seize the opportunity to expand their market access and open up more opportunities for more exports to West Africa.

“This expo is indeed an opportunity for you to increase your market share in West Africa and for us it is an opportunity for Kenya to increase its brand awareness and recognition. You have the opportunity to use this expo to build new partnerships and networks and improve your market access in the region,” said Dr. Wilfred Marube, CEO of KEPROBA, during the exhibitor briefing session.

Kenya maintains good bilateral relations with Algeria. The country’s export to Algeria was below USD 1 billion in 2017-2021.

“This gives us the opportunity to explore the Algerian market and its untapped potential,” added Dr. Marube added.

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The Arab International SMEs Conference & Expo (SMEX Algeria) is expected to bring together approximately 60,000 business owners and bring potential investors and buyers together in one place, creating business-to-business interactions and transactions and promoting emerging SMEs

“We as Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency will continue to support you with relevant training and export market information to enable you to enter such markets,” said Dr. Marube.

Macro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) contribute around 40% to Kenya’s GDP, although most of them fall into the informal sector. Of the 7.41 million MSMEs in Kenya, only 1.56 million are licensed while 5.85 million are unlicensed.

The high number of unlicensed SMEs is an indication of the favorable environment that Kenya creates for emerging businesses with the aim of making them productive and profitable at local, regional and international levels. SME-specific strategies in Kenya will open up small businesses in the short and medium term.

KEPROBA supports SMEs with training courses on export readiness, market access and involvement in international markets.

The agency is currently developing an exporters directory listing all exporters in Kenya, their contacts, key products, key export markets and everything to facilitate buyers’ access.

International trade fairs such as the Arab International SMEs Conference & Expo (SMEX Algeria) offer up-and-coming SMEs in Kenya and Africa the opportunity to compare their products with other SMEs. SMEX Algeria is specifically tailored for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by serving as a networking and product showcase platform while opening and expanding new market boundaries in today’s competitive world.

IMF Approves Sh52.7 Billion Financial Aid To Kenya » Capital News Wed, 09 Nov 2022 10:28:03 +0000

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov. 9 (Reuters) – Kenya is expected to receive US$433 million (Shh52.7 billion) from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as part of the US$2.34 billion (Shh284.8 billion) facility approved last April.

The agreement is subject to approval by IMF management and the Executive Board in the coming weeks.

“Upon completion of the Executive Board review, Kenya will have access to US$433 million, bringing the IMF’s total financial assistance under these arrangements to US$1,548 million,” the IMF said in a statement.

The funds will help Kenya meet external financing needs stemming from the drought and difficult global financing conditions.

“The Kenyan economy has shown resilience in the face of a challenging environment. Food insecurity has increased due to severe drought in parts of the country. Higher food and energy prices have pushed up inflation and put pressure on the external position,” the IMF said.

The multilateral lender noted that the peaceful conclusion of the country’s elections has removed uncertainty and lending to the private sector is increasing.

The IMF forecasts growth of 5.3 percent in 2022 amid domestic policy tightening and a global slowdown, both of which are expected to weigh on growth in 2023 as well.

The medium-term outlook remains favourable, supported by proactive reform efforts by the new government.

“There has been good progress on the fiscal adjustment needed to address debt vulnerabilities, although pressures remain elevated. The headline deficit on a cash basis declined from 8.2 percent of GDP in FY2020-21 to 6.2 percent of GDP in FY2021-22,” the IMF said.

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Despite the improved fiscal adjustment, the IMF noted that a constrained borrowing environment for the country meant planned external commercial financing failed to materialize.

“The lack of funds contributed to 0.7 percent of GDP in unpaid commitments carried over to FY2022/23. Significant unscheduled spending in the first few months of this fiscal year, much of it for fuel subsidies, poses an additional challenge,” it said.

Looking ahead, the IMF expects Kenya to continue with its structural and governance reforms.

This includes the completion of ongoing efforts to release beneficial ownership information for government contracts awarded, which will be an important step towards greater transparency and accountability.

The key is reforming financially troubled state-owned companies – including Kenya Airways and Kenya Power and Lighting Company.

Chebet and Lokedi claim New York wins as Kenya seals marathon sweep Sun, 06 Nov 2022 21:46:18 +0000

EVANS Chebet capped a brilliant Kenyan win at the world’s major marathons with a superb win at the New York Marathon on Sunday as her compatriot Sharon Lokedi took the women’s crown in her first long distance race.

Chebet – who also won the Boston marathon in April – patiently waited for Brazilian leader Daniel do Nascimento to implode before tying in the lead at the 20-mile mark.

The 33-year-old seemed in complete control of the closing stages, and confidently held off Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata’s challenge to win in a time of 2 hours 08 minutes 41 seconds.

Kitata finished in second place, 13 seconds back, while Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands was third.

Chebet’s victory means Kenyan runners have won all six of this year’s major marathons – the first time since the circuit was expanded to include the Tokyo Marathon in 2013.

“Boston was actually tougher, but it was good preparation to win in New York,” Chebet told ESPN after his win over an interpreter.

The men’s race had gotten off to a dramatic start as the Brazilian do Nascimento flew off the field early on at a pace that always looked like an untenable one.

The 24-year-old from Sao Paulo covered half of the course in a breathtaking 1:01:22 – putting him firmly on course for a course record.

But although he was leading by more than two minutes at the 15-mile mark, he began to slow down as Chebet broke away from the chasing group to give chase.

Brazilian collapse

Do Nascimento made a portable toilet break at the 18-mile mark, costing him 18 seconds, and then collapsed at the 20th mile, stopping and walking before collapsing to the ground where he needed treatment from paramedics.

Chebet passed the Brazilian when he was injured and never looked back on a win. He became the first man to win both the Boston and New York Marathons in the same season since 2011.

In addition to winning the men’s race, Chebet’s win also completed a Kenyan double in New York after debutant Lokedi won the women’s race.

Lokedi showed excellent tactical performance to win in a time of 2:23:23.

The 28-year-old bided her time after pulling away a few miles from the finish alongside 2022 World Champion Gotytom Gebreslase of Ethiopia and World Championship bronze medalist Lonah Salpeter of Israel.

After Gebreslase was dropped off en route through Central Park, a duel ensued between Lokedi and Salpeter.

Lokedi picked up the pace in the final mile to create a gap of about 20 yards before charging home to take the tape.

“I’m at a loss for words, so happy, really excited – I just won,” Lokedi said afterwards.

“I do not know what to say. I’m so happy to have made it here – it’s just a great day, a great race. The track was fantastic, the cheering, everything, I’m just grateful.”

Salpeter was second in 2:23:30, Gebreslase was third.

This year’s New York Marathon marks the first time since 2019 that the race will be run at full capacity, with an estimated 50,000 runners taking part.

The race was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic and significantly scaled down in 2021. – AFP

NYOKABI KIMARI – Snake Farming: Roots Party is up to something Fri, 04 Nov 2022 11:00:50 +0000
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We are a little over a month into the new administration of President William Ruto. At this early stage we can see that some things have changed, others not so much.

One definite change is that our new President’s speeches were much more politically-heavy than we might have been used to. In his inaugural speech, he mentioned increasing judicial allocations, campaigned for the appointment of the six appeals court judges (which he promptly did), made the inspector general of police accountant (done again), as well as mentioning fuel subsidies, fertilizer costs, youth unemployment, financial inclusion and a number of other important policy issues.

But it is the President’s speech during the opening of the 13th Parliament that I want to draw attention to. It was just as politically-heavy, spending little time on the just-concluded elections and more time on the President’s legislative agenda. This is very important. Past presidents who have sailed into the State House with a super-majority legislative vote may not have recognized the opportunity the time has presented them. The current President seems fully aware that his ambitious legislative agenda will have to be approved by a Parliament where his coalition does not have the overwhelming majority of recent years. The president presented his legislative goals to the bicameral parliament very early on. I list some of the President’s stated goals below.

The President explained that under his administration he is keen to see agricultural productivity – of farmers, fishermen and pastoralists – increase “dramatically”. He also stated that Parliament should do its duty by supporting the allocation of land for affordable housing. Perhaps most memorable, he announced his intention to change the tax system by taxing wealth, consumption, income and commerce, in that order. And he lamented the land fragmentation caused by Kenyans who wanted to buy 50×100 plots of land for themselves and were successful.

Underlying each and every one of the issues that the President mentioned in the paragraph above is the country’s vital and essential issue. Questions of its availability, its productivity, its cost, and the alternative uses to which it can be put are unavoidable and inescapable in enabling the President’s agenda to be achieved. In terms of productivity, large chunks of productive land lie fallow and unused—’owned’ by those who don’t want to use it. The state will find it difficult to buy land for affordable housing – because land is far too expensive precisely where housing is so urgently needed. I’ve lived in a house where the door to the shower wouldn’t open fully because at some point that door would bang on the shower head when opening. The price of the land, dear reader, is written in this shower room. There are numerous blocks of flats in Nairobi where if the hood of the car parked first doesn’t fit snugly under the stairs to the apartment, the gate just won’t close. The price of the property, dear reader, is written in the parking lot of this apartment – and somewhere else in the apartment, I’m sure. (In fact, the price of land is so high that it has proven and will continue to prove an obstacle to improving the country’s infrastructure; land leveling, for example, cost KSh 33 billion during the construction of the standard-gauge railway.) And the land fragmentation that the President attributed to What is rightly regretted is a combination of these two factors: the fact that large tracts of land are unavailable to a public that would otherwise have put them to more productive use; and the fact that land prices are high and rising so that it is viewed as a more permanent commodity in which to invest family savings, so that smaller and smaller plots of land are of increasingly higher value. In short, solving the land problem in Kenya is now fundamental to the success of any government. A day of reckoning must come soon, and it is better to anticipate it.

The state will find it difficult to buy land for affordable housing – because land is far too expensive precisely where housing is so urgently needed.

There is a simple solution to each of these problems, although I must qualify this statement by saying that “simple” does not necessarily mean “simple”. Land is a natural resource; it is not made by anyone. There are schools of economic thought that state that taxing such natural resources for national benefit is the best way to realize their value in the interests of the people. Let’s examine this thinking further with a thought experiment.

For example, imagine that there is a flat tax rate for land of say 1,000 KSh per acre per month or 12,000 KSh per year.

(It would be important that such a new tax be offset by a corresponding cut in the income tax, in order to stay within the President’s stated principle of taxing wealth before income.)

We will now examine the impact of this tax on Family A, who own the quarter acre on which they built their family residence. Such a tax would be 250 KSh per month or 3,000 KSh per year. In all likelihood, Family A could pay them, even without crediting income tax. But let’s now examine the impact of this tax on family B, who own 100 acres of land. Such a tax rate would be 100,000 KSh per month or 1.2 million KSh per year. As mentioned earlier, since this amount is deductible from that family’s income tax, such a family would do so only unwilling to pay this tax unless they already farm the land or otherwise get it to produce at least the KSh 1,000 (per acre per month) required to pay the tax. In other words, only the owners of idle land (or rather, the idle owners of productive land) would be troubled by this tax regime change.

(It gets even more interesting when the tax rate is a flat percentage based on the value of the property. Let’s say the tax rate is 2 percent per annum. A property worth 1 million KSh would have an annual tax of 20 KSh entail, 000. A package worth KSh 100m would yield a rate of KSh 2m per year This is even fairer, all because an empty lot in Nairobi city center loses us a lot more productivity than an acre of land in Samburu This is what is known in economics as a land value tax and is the holy grail of tax policy.

If a property tax were introduced, one of three things would happen in a very short period of time. Families like family B could sell their land. The immediate availability of large lots for sale in order to avoid the tax would have the economically salutary effect of driving down the price of land fairly quickly, Use it for careful planning. We would have to be careful to avoid the mistakes of the past, when planning for the use of this most important resource was largely non-existent and land allocation fell victim to corruption. Even if newly available land is to be bought by a new owner, it should be carefully allocated to those who would actually farm it productively, and such allocations should not be corrupt. Japan achieved this by having local land committees make these decisions, and this fair redistribution of land ushered in the nation’s economic prosperity.

Alternatively, Family B could lease the land at the tax rate or slightly more. Although theoretical, a land lease rate of KSh 1,000 per acre per month is fairly fair and would allow a good farmer to use the land – the youth unemployed of our day. (Such an approach, while helpful, would not be a silver bullet and would need to be accompanied by advisory services, the provision of capital, market development assistance and other support.) This would immediately help reduce unemployment – the number one economic problem of our time – and to achieve the goal of increasing national agricultural productivity that the President spoke about in his speech.

An empty lot in downtown Nairobi loses us far more productivity than an acre of land in Samburu.

Eventually, Family B could use the land as it should have been used all along to generate the KSh 1,000 per month needed to pay the tax – and keep the land.

All of these outcomes, provided they are performed correctly, are beneficial. In China, for example, grain production increased by 70 percent in the decade after land redistribution. However, to differentiate and isolate these beneficial outcomes from typical Kenyan venality, property tax must be inevitable. It may be necessary to provide public information as to whether or not tax has been paid on a property. Also, land redistribution should involve the public, as was the case in Japan. In addition, the institutions responsible for these processes should be staffed with people who are beyond any doubt. It is also important to note that a certain reading of Article 209 of our Constitution could potentially prevent the national government from levying such a property tax. As such, sound legal advice should be obtained before proceeding with these changes.

Dear Mr. President, Please tax the country and not your people.

Inflation hits 65-month high as subsidies end Mon, 31 Oct 2022 21:01:55 +0000


Inflation hits 65-month high as subsidies end

Beatrice Bahati arranges sweet potatoes at City Park Market on July 25, 2020. FILEPHOTO | NMG

Kenya‘s cost-of-living measure hit a 65-month high in President William Ruto’s first full month in office on runaway food prices, fuel and household equipment and appliances, the statistics agency reported on Monday.

Inflation – a measure of the cost of living over the last 12 months – rose to 9.6 percent in October from 9.2 percent in the previous month.

The rise in the cost of basic necessities will further constrain the shopping baskets of households, which have already been forced to cut non-essential spending given negative real wage growth.

The rise in the cost of living last month was the fastest since May 2017, when inflation stood at 11.7 percent.

According to the Kenya Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), consumers spent on average 15.8 percent more on grocery purchases than a year ago, while transport costs rose by 11.6 percent.

On the other hand, the average price of household appliances and furnishings increased by 10.9 percent year-on-year, while housing, water, electricity and fuel cost 7.1 percent more than in October 2021. The prices of alcoholic beverages such as beer and whiskey also increased by an average of 6.7 percent percent after the Kenya Revenue Agency raised the consumption tax by 6.3 percent in line with average price growth for the fiscal year ending June 2022.

Kenya is battling its worst drought in 40 years, affecting food production in a country where agricultural activities largely depend on rainfall.

Reduced production of foods like corn usually increases the overall cost of living, as groceries account for nearly a third of household budgets, according to the KNBS.

Kenyans last experienced a sharper increase in the cost of living more than five years ago, when the country similarly suffered from prolonged dry weather conditions. Back then, the Ministry of Finance allowed for several months subsidies and waivers of import duties to make it easier to buy essential commodities such as corn, rice and milk powder from abroad.

Attempts in mid-July to subsidize the price of a two-kilogram pack of cornmeal by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s previous administration failed as consumers struggled to access the commodity in retail outlets, although it cost taxpayers more than 8 euros Billions Sh in a month.

dr Ruto, who pledged during the presidential campaign to bring the cost of a two-kilo pack of cornmeal to under Sh100, has ruled out costly flour consumption subsidies, saying they are unsustainable.

The President has instead opted to cushion farmers against high fertilizer costs by releasing 1.3million 50kg sacks of key input at Sh3,500 per sack, compared with an average Sh6,500 previously.

“The false consolation of a financial bandage must end because we are risking short-term comfort instead of long-term sustainability,” emphasized Dr. Ruto last Friday as he outlined his policy of removing consumption subsidies for cornmeal.

The President has also eliminated subsidies for gasoline, but cut the cushion for diesel and kerosene.

KNBS data shows a kilogram of sugar rose 36.3 per cent year-on-year to an average Sh154.95 last month, two kilograms of cornmeal rose 33.5 per cent to an average Sh177.66, while Irish potatoes rose 32.6 percent to Sh 90 per kilogram.

The cost of diesel, used mainly to run farm machinery and transport, rose the fastest by 47 per cent to an average of Sh163.92 per liter, while kerosene – used mainly for lighting by poor rural households – rose at retail was Sh147.87, an increase of 41.6 percent.

“A second round of inflationary pressures could continue into 2023 from October due to higher electricity prices, higher domestic fuel pump prices and the increase in excise duty,” said Mulalo Madula, an economist at South Africa-based Standard Bank, Stanbic Bank’s parent company, wrote in im Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) report for September.

“In fact, this could dampen consumer spending in the near term.”

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Tantrums will not solve the tea maker saga Fri, 28 Oct 2022 21:33:29 +0000

Workers pick tea with a tea harvester at a farm in Kericho. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

All is not well in the South Rift, where the teacup storm is brewing over the introduction of mechanized farming.

Tea companies are accused of mechanizing operations at the expense of manpower. Just a few days ago they were told to leave Kenya “like yesterday” if they so wished.

Local leaders say they’re fed up with the “blackmail,” and when push comes to shove, they’ll seek new investors to play along. The clash is uncomfortable and could have complex ramifications if mismanaged politically and emotionally. While it’s imperative to get a win-win response, it doesn’t help when parties in the line throw tantrums. In the end, those who suffer are the little ones, hustlers, if you will. And in the same breath, using public forums to target investors is a blip. They need us and we need them badly. In an era of economic globalization, bashing the investor for whatever reason is throwing the baby out with the bath water. Investors must also fully comply with internationally best business practices.

Along with politicians, unions abhor tea picking machines. The mechanization program is accompanied by job losses. However, proponents argue that it increases efficiency and value. In Kericho County, the standoff has sparked ugly scenes, including violence and the burning of harvesters. do we really need this? For whose benefit?

In any case, in the 21st century it is impossible to fight technology. Instead of making Kenya’s agricultural sector seem notoriously rigid, we can create a dynamic economy by not only allowing dialogue, but also by exploring diverse innovations and tried and tested systems.

Politicians in counties can embark on bold programs that lead to diversification and more job opportunities, rather than taking the easier route of fighting change through clever populism. We can scratch our heads and find creative ways to revitalize low-income areas and ensure social stability without getting stuck in the past.

Technology is seen as the future of industrial productivity. If we love innovation in pharmacy, politics, communications and all other fields, we have no reason to look the other way when technology catches up with us right on the farms. For a country basking in global fame thanks to breakthroughs like MPesa, the e-citizen platform, one-stop Huduma centers, and many ed-tech and fin-tech creations, it’s a contradiction of monumental proportions to reject mechanized agriculture.

All over the world, agriculture has become high-tech. Farmers look for markets online. Importers and exporters do their thing on the web. For a struggling country whose economic future largely depends on agriculture, we cannot entirely reject ideas whose time has come.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) describes mechanization as a critical input to production. With small farmers growing nearly 80 percent of Africa’s food through manual labour, the need for mechanized farming has never been more urgent as the continent faces a population explosion that will nearly double over the next 30 years. The Malabo Montpellier Panel, a group of experts who guide countries’ policy decisions towards progress, suggests that African countries should set realistic investment plans in agricultural mechanization to increase agricultural productivity. Kenya must not be missing.

Researchers suggest that machine integration reduces stress and burnout among farm workers. Political opportunism, therefore, should not prevent us from becoming a developed nation led by “digital” leaders.

South Rift counties and tea investors should sit down and talk to each other in all honesty. Perhaps a gradual introduction of mechanization would suffice for the time being. The national government should speak up and hope for political goodwill in resolving the dispute. But we cannot bury our heads in the sand like the proverbial bouquet when technology revolutionizes the world.

The author is an editor at The Standard. Twitter: @markoloo

First Lady Rachel urges leaders to work together to meet Kenya’s challenges Capital News Mon, 24 Oct 2022 07:05:43 +0000

ELDORET, Kenya, Oct. 24 — First Lady Rachel Ruto has called for teamwork among leaders to address the challenges facing the country.

Rachel said the country’s current harsh economic hardships, famines devastating some parts of the country and environmental problems require collective responsibility for their resolution.

Speaking at Kamagut Africa Inland Church (AIC) in Uasin Gishu County, during a thanksgiving service organized in honor of President William Ruto, the First Lady called on leaders to work together in the service of Kenyans.

“I want to encourage that we work together to address the challenges Kenyans face. We are fortunate that we have a good country that is blessed with godly leaders who are committed to exploring ways to solve such problems,” she said.

At the same time, the first lady urged leaders to encourage capacity building among women and youth groups to leverage the Hustlers Fund, which is scheduled to launch later in the year.

Ms Ruto said that although the majority of those contributing to socio-economic development are women and youth, they need to be empowered through capacity building.

“As we prepare to receive the Hustlers Fund, capacity building must prepare our employees to develop business ventures that can benefit from the money,” Ms. Ruto said.

The first lady, who was accompanied by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s wife, Dorcas, urged Christians to keep praying for leaders to keep the promises they made to Kenyans.

Ms. Gachagua said she is optimistic that God will solve the country’s problems.

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“As a country, we must always be thankful to God for what he has done for our country. I am sure that God will see us through this difficult time,” she said.

Present were Uasin Gishu Governor Jonathan Bii, his counterpart from Elgeyo Marakwet, Wisley Rotich, MPs Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu), Janet Rotich (Turbo), Samuel Chepkonga (Ainabkoi), Prof Phyllis Bartoo (Moiben), Abraham Kirwa (Mosop), Joseph Wainaina (nominated), Cynthia Muge (Nandi), Caroline Ngelechei (Elgeyo Marakwet), Gideon Kimaiyo (Keiyo South), David Kiplagat (Soy), Adams Kipsanai (Keiyo North) and Julius Rutto (Kesses).

Others included former AIC Bishop Silas Yego, President Ruto’s mother Sarah Samoei and Fr. Thomas Kigen and Rev. Luka Maiyo.

Mr Mandago thanked the people of Uasin for embracing peace during and after the last general election.

Gov. Bii and Rotich urged area residents to develop business plans to benefit from the Hustlers Fund, which was launched later in the year.

]]> Linda Oguttu Claims KRA Beat Her With KSh 2M Back Taxes: ‘Mkuje Mnitembele Jela’ Fri, 21 Oct 2022 14:32:11 +0000
  • Linda Oguttu claimed that the Kenya Tax Authority’s iTax system indicated that she owed the tax officer KSh 2 million
  • The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Administrators Committee Secretariat said it had visited KRA’s offices to resolve the issue
  • KRA said it would pursue Kenyans and companies that don’t submit returns in a cleanup to boost sales

Veteran journalist Linda Oguttu has revealed that she has been hit with KSh 2 million in tax arrears by the Kenya Tax Agency (KRA) iTax scheme.

Linda Oguttu claimed she had outstanding tax arrears. Photo: Linda Oguttu.
Source: Facebook

Through a tweet shared on her Twitter profile on Friday, October 21, the head of the secretariat of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Janitors’ Committee said she panicked after learning of the huge crowd.

Linda said she rushed to the KRA offices to try and resolve the matter.

“System ya @KRACare says I owe 2 Mirrions… my friend ile mbio nimeenda nayo ofisi zao… Lakini KRA can give someone a heart attack. Anyway, here I am… let’s see where this will end. Mkuje mnitembelee jela pris,” she tweeted.

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The journalist did not reveal whether she submitted her tax returns.

When When he asked her for comment, she didn’t give details of the tax arrears.

“Have a nice evening,” she said.

KRA tries to catch tax cheats

In September, the tax officer launched a raid to catch tax fraudsters.

The agency said it will target Kenyans and companies that don’t file tax returns in a clean-up to boost revenue.

In a statement signed by Evans Nyakango on behalf of the Commissioner for Domestic Taxes, KRA said taxpayers who have never filed a value-added tax (VAT) return and those who have consistently not filed any returns do not have new or amended VAT returns may submit .

“A significant number of taxpayers with VAT obligations are on the taxpayer register but either do not file their monthly VAT returns or do not file VAT returns consistently.

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William Ruto urges Kenyans to pay taxes

President William Ruto recently said all Kenyans must pay their share of taxes to run the government.

The leader of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) announced that he had spoken to the KRA about expanding the tax base.

“I have already discussed with the Kenyan tax authorities how the revenue can be increased. I pledge that we will work with you to enable Kenya to live within its means,” Ruto said.

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