Leaders welcome extension of SGR to Nakuru County

SGR

Nakuru Governor Kinuthia Mbugua has welcomed the move to extend the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to Naivasha from Nairobi. While hailing the move, Mbugua said the railway will expand trade opportunities for residents and Kenyans while easing transport of essential goods.

The Governor said the construction will also boost investor confidence noting that those willing to invest in the area would have an added advantage. Mbugua said the railway will coincide with the planned construction of Industrial Park in the lake side town.

"We thank the President for his wise decision and we promise him that we will do everything possible to utilize the opportunities that come with the railway," Mbugua said yesterday after touring various development projects in Naivasha town and its environs.

"We have already identified land for an industrial park around Naivasha and the new railway line will come in handy especially for investors eager to work in the park," he said.

Read more: Leaders welcome extension of SGR to Nakuru County

Norwegian Investors Angle for Slice of Kenya’s Growing Aquaculture Industry

aquaculture

A few years ago, fish farming was seen as a traditional practice that was the preserve of communities living near the country's lakes and coastal strip.

Now, however, a change in lifestyle has seen more communities embrace eating fish, and the Government's strategic positioning of aquaculture as a viable economic activity has increased both its demand and production.

The turning point came in 2009 when the Government launched an economic stimulus plan that identified fish farming as a key contributor to gross domestic product.

Foreign investors, mostly from Norway, have now taken notice of the potential in the sector.

Read more: Norwegian Investors Angle for Slice of Kenya’s Growing Aquaculture Industry

President Uhuru Kenyatta Invites US Firms to Invest in Lapsset Project

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President Uhuru Kenyatta Tuesday invited American firms to invest in the multi-billion Lamu Port project, arguing that Kenya had taken measures to make it easier for them to conduct business.

Marketing Kenya for the second time on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, President Kenyatta said that the country had opened up opportunities for US multinationals to invest in mega infrastructure projects such as the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia (Lapsset) initiative which links the region.

President Kenyatta said that when US President Barack Obama visited Kenyan July, they agreed to pen up business opportunities for American companies and he was making a follow up to firms with the finances and technology to invest in the country and its neighbours.

"I am here to tell you that Kenya is ready for business and we have taken necessary measures to make it easier for you to invest in Kenya," he said.

Read more: President Uhuru Kenyatta Invites US Firms to Invest in Lapsset Project

European Union Grants Kenya Sh1.4bn to Upgrade Food Testing Facilities

KMC

The European Union (EU) has given Kenya a Sh1.4 billion grant to acquire equipment that will ensure Kenyan goods are fit for sale in international markets.

Livestock Principal Secretary Fred Segor and his Industrialisation counterpart Wilson Songa told a joint press conference that the foreign market for animal products and processed goods has remained untapped for long due to lack of first-rate facilities to inspect and approve goods before export to the European market.

The two spoke when they attended a steering committee meeting at Serena Hotel for the Standards and Market Access Programme (SMAP) which is looking into ways to fast track implementation of the project through training of staff, awareness promotion among stakeholders and acquisition of essential equipment to test for chemical levels in foodstuffs before export.

Read more: European Union Grants Kenya Sh1.4bn to Upgrade Food Testing Facilities

Uhuru confident Tokyo conference will benefit Kenya

Japanese

President Uhuru Kenyatta has exuded confidence that the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), which is set to be held in Kenya in 2016 will be a huge success.

Speaking in a meeting hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the UN Headquarters on Saturday evening, President Kenyatta said the event would showcase Kenya's growth initiatives and expose to Japan the available opportunities for cooperation and investment.

The event is aimed at strengthening the ties between Africa and Japan as well as other global partners in a bid to achieve a vibrant economy in the continent.

Read more: Uhuru confident Tokyo conference will benefit Kenya

Fixing challenges of industrialization, a catalyst for Africa’s future in the next 15 years

Industrialization

It is time for Africa to take the lead and accelerate sustainable industrialisation for the continent.

This, is a catalyst that will drive the African future for the next 15 years, in line with the newly adopted sustainable development goals (SDGs), especially goal number nine.

Goal nine urges countries of the world to build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

Challenges of power, infrastructure and proper financing of the real sector will have to be faced headlong by the African region, if they must achieve the new set of goals .

A high-level sideline event at the 70th United Nations General Assembly, convened by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) on the operationalisation of the 2030 agenda for Africa's Industrialisation, called for an inclusive partnership of African Countries irrespective of income or financial levels.

Read more: Fixing challenges of industrialization, a catalyst for Africa’s future in the next 15 years

Anti-Counterfeit Agency Seizes Sh60m Counterfeit Phones

Fake Phones

Electronics brand Samsung has cited counterfeits in the country as the leading factor to its loss of billions in revenue.

This comes as products worth Sh60 million, mostly mobile phones, were intercepted at several stores in Nairobi following a raid by the Anti-Counterfeit police unit and Samsung Intellectual Property Right owner.

Samsung claims traders have taken advantage of their customers' loyalty to their brand to push fake products. "These electronics are acquired from overseas at very cheap prices then transported to the country. Traders then repackage them with legit Samsung trademarks making it difficult for the customer to notice the difference," said Samsung's Brand Protection Agent spokesperson Peter Mutula.

Read more: Anti-Counterfeit Agency Seizes Sh60m Counterfeit Phones

Seven American Companies Eye Partnerships in Nairobi

Kenya

A group of American investors are in Nairobi for partnership talks with local firms on the supply of health, water and electrical equipment alongside provision of business solutions.

The delegation of seven firms on Tuesday met local firms with a view to striking deals, coming after the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in July headlined by President Barack Obama.

The business visit dubbed 'Trade Winds-Africa' has been organised by US Department of Commerce aims to open new markets in the continent for American firms.

"Africa presents an incredible opportunity for global US companies," said regional senior US commercial officer Donald Nay, the highest-ranking commercial diplomat in sub-Saharan Africa.

Read more: Seven American Companies Eye Partnerships in Nairobi

Capital Markets Authority chief lauds new business laws

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Kenya's capital market regulator is optimistic that a business regulation recently signed into law will spur growth at the capital markets industry.

The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) says the Finance Act has provisions that will catalyse growth in the capital markets by creating a friendly and convenient trading environment.

CMA Acting Chief Executive Paul Muthaura said the Act, which has amended the Income Tax Act to remove provisions on the taxation of any gain on the transfer of securities traded on any securities exchange licensed by the Capital Markets Authority presents a huge opportunity for growth.

"For Kenya to become an investment destination of choice as envisaged in the Master Plan, we need to create an environment that not only supports domestic savings and investment but also attracts international capital in our increasingly competitive global marketplace,'' Mr Muthaura said.

Read more: Capital Markets Authority chief lauds new business laws

KCB Targets SMEs With New Mobile Payment Product

Oigara

KCB has partnered with GoSwift in a deal to offer a new mobile payment facility targeting Kenyan Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) such as taxi drivers, restaurants and schools.

Through a mobile high performance Bluetooth card reader, SMEs will be able to access online commerce while in remote environments.

The mobile point of sale service accepts Visa, MasterCard and JCB.

GoSwift's CEO, Simone Ranucci Brandimarte said: "A time has come when financial institutions— and society's expectations of them— are changing rapidly. We are leading the way in innovating and providing secure payment solutions that help banks and merchants meet the growing demand for digital payments in both emerging and developed markets."

Read more: KCB Targets SMEs With New Mobile Payment Product

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