Kenya launches bid to host 2022 World Chamber Congres

Kenya has stepped up its bid to host the 2021 World Chamber Congress. The event brings together global trade bodies, chambers, businesses and high profile government officials to share best practices, develop networks and learn new areas of innovation.

The congress is held on a rotational basis every two years.
A delegation of private sector players last week, led by Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) leader Kiprono Kittony, spearheaded the lobbying at this year’s congress in Sydney, Australia.

Kenya’s bid received a boost after Africa chamber leaders attending the meeting agreed to settle on only one bidder from the continent.
“At the close of the forum, Kenyan Chamber delegates held bilateral talks with Ethiopia and resolved to settle on one bidder from Africa once an agreement is reached at a meeting to be held in Djibouti in December this year,” said the lobby in a statement.
“This will build a strong case for Africa to win a bid for the World Chamber Congress in 2021.”
Previously, the forum has been held in France, South Korea, Canada, South Africa, Turkey, Malaysia, Mexico, Qatar and Italy.

Sao Paulo, Brazil, will host the next conference in 2019.

The 2021 congress is earmarked to take place in either Middle East or Africa. Bidding countries include Kenya, Ethiopia, Dubai, Oman, Jordan and Iran.
“The purpose of such a congress is to allow participants to benefit from networking opportunities. It provides an unparalleled opportunity to connect and strengthen relations with a diverse and international group of individuals representing more than 100 countries,” said the statement from KNCCI.

The Kenyan chamber said the congress would open doors to vast international business opportunities. “Professionals in Kenya would be able to forge meaningful partnerships and connections. This is a fantastic chance to showcase Nairobi and the country at large to positively stimulate the economy,” it said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta backed Kenya’s bid to host the meeting during a visit made by Mr Anthony Parkes, World Chambers Federation (WCF) director.
At the same time, small and medium enterprises are set to benefit from training and financial support to improve their businesses and access markets for their products, according to a new arrangement.

The first phase of the project, a partnership between Equity Bank and KNCCI, Nairobi chapter, will cover thousands of owners of small companies over one year.
It will entail financial literacy, start-up development, advisory services, research assistance, mentoring and networking.
The new initiative follows a meeting between the chamber’s officials and Equity bank, led by chief executive officer James Mwangi last week.

The training, which will primarily target the youth, women and owners of SMEs, will equip participants with skills to start and grow their businesses. Participants will also be taught how to export and import products, succession planning, appropriate staffing and finance sources to grow their ventures.

“The partnership aims at helping these businesses. It will not end at the training phase; we want to grow with them, and help them win at least 30 per cent of tenders in the 47 counties,” said KNCCI Nairobi Chapter chairman Richard Ngatia.

To achieve this, business lobbies and the bank will liaise with various county governments and the national government to offer 30 per cent of tenders to businesses owned and managed by the youth, women and the disabled in line with the national policy.
Poor access to loans has been cited as one of the biggest obstacles to the growth of small companies in Kenya, with lending institutions making prohibitive demands such as provision of title deeds as security, among other documents.

The programme will also focus on management of capital and investments to improve the financial health of targeted businesses.
The bank is a patron member of KNCCI and runs specific programmes targeting SMEs across the country.

Meanwhile, the World Bank will provide support to enhance the investment climate in counties. The support will range from consultancy to improving the counties’ ease of doing business. This was agreed upon during a meeting between the bank’s representatives and KNCCI Nairobi chapter CEO Nemaisa Kiereini.

Source: Business Daily

Kenya’s Entertainment and Media industry worth Sh216.9 billion – PwC

This is according to PwC’s Entertainment and Media Outlook report 2017.

The report forecasts revenue to grow at an 8.5 percent Compound Annual Growth Rate over the next five years, hitting the Sh309.9 billion in 2020 and totaling to Sh330.5 billion in 2021.

“Amid shifting consumer preferences, rapid advances in technology and ongoing disruption to business models, the new strategic imperative for E&M companies is to turn customers into fans – by innovating to create the most compelling, engaging and intuitive user experiences,” it says.

The growth will be backed by internet access, which is singled out as the most established industry within the Kenyan market, boasting the largest revenues and one of the highest growth rates by 2021.

“The internet sector will also be the first sub-segment in which revenues will hit US$1 billion, which it will reach in 2020,” reads the report.

Mobile internet access is the main revenue driver, as smartphone adoption increases in popularity. Over the forecast period, high-speed mobile internet connections are expected to rise to 84.9 percent Compound Annual Growth Rate, while subscriber numbers are set to double over the next five years reaching 33 million in 2021.

“To thrive in a marketplace that is increasingly competitive and crowded, companies are focusing on implementing strategies and building capacities to engage with consumers.”

The outlook analyses consumer and advertising spending across five countries that include Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana and Tanzania.

Source: capitalfm

iHub buyout raises Nairobi status as Africa tech capital

iHub Limited, a company that runs an innovations incubation laboratory for techies, has been acquired by venture capital firm BSP Fund LLC for an undisclosed sum.

BSP Fund LLC, associated with controversial investor Miguel Granier, is also acquiring majority stake in Gearbox, a company that provides equipment and space for developers of hardware and electronics.
Mr Erik Hersman, one of the former shareholders of I-Hub, in an interview Wednesday said the transaction has been completed.

Transaction value
Mr Hersman had 49.95 per cent stake in I-Hub prior to the deal.
The other major shareholder was Mr Josiah Mugambi, also with 49.95 per cent stake, while Ms Juliana Rotich and David Kobia had minority interest of 0.05 per cent each.
Mr Hersman declined to reveal the value of the transaction, describing it to have been nominal.
Regulatory filings with the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) show the combined turnover of I-Hub and Gearbox to have been Sh299.1 million in 2015, putting the combined business in the range of a medium sized enterprise.

“The share valuation was pennies, on purpose. We had built this up for the community… we felt it would be unfair if we took some monetary gain from it,” said Mr Hersman.
“… the Competition Authority of Kenya (CA) excludes the proposed acquisition of the entire issued capital of I-Hub and majority share capital of Gearbox by BSP Fund LLC from the provisions Of Part IV of the Act,” said the CA director-general Mr Wang’ombe Kariuki in his approval of the deal, arguing that the deal would not affect competition.

Both Mr Granier and Mr Hersman have hit headlines recently as some of the petitioners in a legal dispute in which shareholders of the cloud services firm, Angani, are fighting for control.
The iHub was established in 2010 as a working space for Kenya’s budding tech industry.
It subsequently developed research, consultancy and event-hosting as sources of up to 70 per cent of its revenue. Last year, the iHub said that it was changing strategy as it seeks 100 per cent self-funding.

Part of this business strategy was acquiring an investor who would inject the capital needed to drive growth.
Mr Granier was initially floated as one of four interested investors, including former ICT Principal Secretary, Dr Bitange Ndemo.

Source: Business Daily

Diaspora inflows rise 5.35pc to hit KSh 107.45bn in July

Kenyans abroad remitted Sh107.45 billion in the seven months to July, a 5.35 per cent jump compared to a similar period last year, new data by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows.

The performance cements the position of Kenyans living abroad as the country’s top foreign exchange earner ahead of tea exports, tourism, horticulture and coffee.  

There was however a second successive decline in the monthly remittances in July — breaking a trend from May when the inflows from abroad hit a monthly record of Sh16.69 billion.

The inflows in July were captured at Sh15.74 billion, the third highest monthly value on record although a marginal 1.66 per cent lower from June’s Sh16 billion.

CBK governor Patrick Njoroge said last week the remittances have been a major driver of the relative stability of the shilling against the US dollar this year. 

“The remittances have been resilient.  They have just been climbing, climbing, climbing. There’s a balanced (foreign exchange) market on the whole and we see it as something that we support,” Dr Njoroge said.

The shilling has held ground against the greenback and has depreciated by a marginal 0.81 per cent since the beginning of the year through Thursday morning.

Aly-Khan Satchu, the CEO of investment advisory firm Rich Management Group, said on Thursday the actual value of remittances may be underestimated by up to two and a half times.

Source: Business Daily Newspaper.

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