Business & Economy News Highlights Round-Up This Week

  • Ethiopia pulled out from trilateral negotiation with Egypt and Sudan on Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam scheduled to take place in Washington D.C. from February 27-28, due to unfinished consultation with national stakeholders.
  • Centum Investment subsidiary, Tribus-TSG, has secured a KES 137 million (approx. USD 1.4 million) from the Mastercard Foundation to build ten job hubs known as Ajiry Centres. The fund will finance employee wages and equipment installations in ten counties of Wajir, Kisumu, Bungoma, Nakuru, Nyandarua, Laikipia, Meru, Nairobi, Machakos, and Kilifi.
  • Kenyans may have to pay more for sugar as industry players mull a consumption tax to bankroll affordable credit to cane farmers in a raft of turnaround measures. Almost four years after the Treasury scrapped the Sugar Development Levy, the task force formed to revive the industry has proposed its return at a steeper rate of 7% on both imports and ex-factory prices.
  • Car importers and clearing agents have asked the government to do cost benefit analysis before renewing the contracts of Pre-import Verification of Conformity programme contractors. The importers say Ugandans are getting a raw deal since second-hand vehicles that come into the country do not meet roadworthiness yet traders pay a lot of money for inspection for conformity before they are imported into the country.
  • German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Monday held bilateral talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta on the second day of his State visit to Kenya at a time companies in the European country are facing a challenging environment. Mr Steinmeier who was hosted by Mr Kenyatta at State House vowed to push for economic and security co-operation with Kenya. His visit comes at a time when German companies in Kenya are battling headwinds arising from increased competition from Chinese firms and German trade with Kenya is dwindling.
  • Kenya’s exports to the United Kingdom could increase by nearly KES 1.59 billion (approx. USD 15.8 million) from next year after the latter’s exit from the 27-member European Union trading bloc in December, a UN trade agency study has projected.
  • Kenya’s tea exports to Ireland continue to rise with volumes growing more than three-fold in the first month of the year as a result of direct purchases of the commodity after Brexit. Data from the Tea Directorate indicate that volumes bought by Ireland in January rose to 433,440 kilogrammes from 133,071 kilogrammes in the corresponding period last year, an increase of 226%.
  • The Coronavirus is considered to be one of the major shocks affecting the global economy and could have consequences on the domestic economy, economists have warned. Globally, economists predict that some of the pinch could be felt in the growth of the aviation industry and tourism as well as access to markets. For Rwanda, economists say, some of the impact could be felt in the sourcing of products and goods used for the local market. National Bank of Rwanda Governor John Rwangombwa said that an estimated 20 per cent of Rwanda’s imports are sourced from China.