May 29, 2016

America’s Pizza Hut takes over Naked Pizza Kenya


American restaurant chain, Pizza Hut, has taken over local operations of Naked Pizza, marking the global fast food company’s exit from the Kenyan market. The abrupt closure comes three-and-a-half years after franchise holder Ritesh Doshi opened the US chain’s first branch in Nairobi’s Westlands after acquiring Naked Pizza’s licence for East Africa. Mr Doshi said in an interview Tuesday that Pizza Hut will take over Naked Pizza’s Mombasa Road and Westlands branches, as well as a mobile food truck. Pizza Hut will also take in Naked Pizza’s 40 employees. Mr Doshi however declined to reveal details of the takeover or…

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Africa’s Ticking Time Bomb – U.S.$35 Billion Worth of Eurobond Debt


By Trevor Hambayi, University of Bolton The 2008 economic crisis is the single largest factor that has driven developing countries to seek alternative sources of financing for social and developmental infrastructure. This was a result of the drying up of bilateral loans and grants from European and American countries. Some African countries put forward the argument that the funds fromcapital markets, or sovereign bonds, are a cheaper source of alternative financing. A sovereign bond is a debt security issued by a national government known as a Eurobond. It is denominated in a foreign currency, usually the dollar, rather than what…

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Direct US flights to Kenya beckon as Parliament clears last hurdle


Kenya has taken yet another step to securing direct flights to the United States with the tabling in Parliament of a Bill that addresses key concerns such as security and the independence of the aviation sector regulator. The Civil Aviation Amendment Bill, sponsored by National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, is expected to help Kenya meet the last of the long list of conditions the US authorities had set before opening its skies for direct flights from Nairobi. “The principal object of this Bill is to amend the Civil Aviation Act, 2013 to address findings of the International Civil Aviation…

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Kenya fights US push to blacklist its airspace


Kenya could be cut off from the rest of the world – and its economy devasted – if an ongoing campaign by the United States against the country’s airspace wins global aviation support. Key organs of the government concerned with air transport have for the past five months been locked in a frantic diplomatic battle to prevent Kenya’s airspace from being declared a conflict zone. The campaign by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – without making known to Nairobi why it considers the country’s airspace insecure – would result in most airlinesdiscontinuing their flights to Kenyan airports. The move would…

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Kenyan duo builds phone repair shop into a professional, thriving business


Tech Garage is not your usual electronic gadgets repair shop. First, the outlet is nestled in the heart of Nairobi where most phone repair shops are found. And its clients need not visit the company’s physical location to have their needs met — the shop has an active online presence and serves customers from any part of the country. Tech Garage was founded by William Karo and Charles Obonyo with the aim of bringing professionalism in a disorderly phone repair market. The duo, while trying to unlock iPhones they had sourced from America, could not locate a professionally run phone…

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1,000 Kenyan drivers sign up with US taxi-hailing firm Uber


Online taxi hailing company Uber says it has signed up nearly 1,000 Kenyan drivers onto its platform since it began operations in January 2015. The US-based company also announced yesterday that it has clocked eight million kilometres in Kenya since its launch in Nairobi 15 months ago. “Over 100,000 of you choose Uber every month and since launching in Kenya we have facilitated over a million trips through the platform,” said Uber on its blog. The taxi hailing app first launched in Nairobi, and in March this year began operations in Mombasa. It has gained popularity in Kenya due to…

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PSV cashless system in Kenya comes a cropper


Electronic ticketing for public service vehicles in Kenya has failed to take off 18 months after its launch. The cashless fare system was billed as having the potential to generate tax revenues of over Sh182.5 billion ($1.78 billion) per annum. Tax experts say the failure to implement the system makes it difficult for the government to keep track of the revenues generated by the matatu sector for taxation. “I am not sure why this policy has not been implemented. It may be that it was difficult to enforce as it is largely a cash business. If this move is successful it…

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Race for direct Kenya-US flights in home stretch


Kenya’s bid to meet all the conditions set by the United States for approval of direct flights between Nairobi and Washington is set to enter the final stretch with the tabling of the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill 2015 in the House. Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the Bill is currently with the House Committee on Transport and that members have given an undertaking to endorse it in the first week of next month. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires Kenya to have passed this law before it accepts the country’s request for direct flights to America. Mr Macharia…

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US Ice cream company Coldstone Creameries in row with Kenyan musician over lewd video


American ice cream seller Coldstone Creameries has sued a local musician for posting on YouTube a music video that he shot at its Westlands parlour despite its objections to the move. Coldstone has asked the Constitutional and Human Rights court to compel David Oreyo Ngala to pull down the video, which it considers to be sexually explicit, and bar the artiste from making it public, arguing it could destroy the firm’s brand. Mr Ngala, who goes by the stage name Ngalah the Brand, shot the video at the parlour on March 1 with permission from Coldstone, which now says it…

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All cars in Kenya older than four years to be subjected to fresh inspection


All vehicles more than four- years- old will be required to undergo mandatory inspection after the government released rules on the vetting aimed at removing unroadworthy cars from roads. The draft rules, released by the National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA) for public review, require private vehicles to be inspected every two years and commercial vehicles annually. Private car owners will pay between Sh2,600 and Sh3,900 for the checks depending on the vehicle engine capacity. “All private vehicles which are more than four- years- old from the recorded date of manufacture shall undergo a motor vehicle inspection test after every two…

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