January 31, 2015

New date for toll stations on major Kenyan roads released


Motorists travelling on major highways in Kenya would from March start paying to use them as the government finally makes good its plan to introduce toll levies. Infrastructure Principal Secretary John Mosonik on Wednesday said plans are at advanced stage to contract a transaction adviser to implement toll stations scheme. The funds collected would be used for road maintenance as Kenya embarks on an ambitious plan to construct 10,000 kilometres of roads by 2017. “Toll roads scheme will completely be a private-public partnership and we hope to get a transactional adviser by next month to roll it out. Mombasa-Nairobi-Nakuru highway,…

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How savvy Kenyans get luxury cars on a budget


Not too long ago, cars with luxury badges were a preserve of the super-rich. Not anymore. Kenyans with a few million in the bank are increasingly playing catch-up through purchases of used Mercedes, BMW, Range Rover and Toyota brands at a fraction of their showroom price tags. This has expanded the level of equality, at least on the road. And who are helping the middle class match the consumption of top professionals, entrepreneurs, politicians and wheeler-dealers? Second-hand car dealers and individuals have mastered the art of sourcing the luxury vehicles from countries like the UK and Japan. Citizens in these…

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Kenya’s billion shillings estates


The growth of suburbs such as Athi River, Mlolongo and Syokimau has been attributed to many factors. According to Haroun Nyamboki, the MD of Moke Gardens in Lukenya, some of those factors include proximity to Nairobi’s central business district and availability of land at relatively low prices. The construction of Syokimau Railway has also increased real estate investment in the area. “The railway station and expansion of Mombasa Road as well as Katani Road, off Mombasa Road, is a plus to these areas,” says Nyakundi. Many people have opted to live in Syokimau and its environs as the train takes…

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Kenya named Africa’s best investment hub


Kenya has been named the best African emerging economy to invest in due to accelerated infrastructure development and a stable political and macroeconomic environment. Ian Bremmer, president of global political risk research and consulting firm Eurasia Group, writing in the February issue of Fortune magazine said the attractiveness arises from a diminished threat of political and economic turmoil that has affected other large African economies such as Nigeria and South Africa. Mr Bremmer said Kenya’s combination of enhanced state security bureaucracy in the wake of recent terrorist attacks and the decision by the International Criminal Court to withdraw charges against…

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American exports to Kenya more than double to Sh137bn


Kenya’s imports from the US more than doubled last year, marking the fastest growth in trade with the world’s largest economy in Africa. US exports to East Africa’s largest economy rose to $1.5 billion (Sh137.46 billion) from $594.5 million (Sh54.4 billion) the previous year — representing a 165.3 per cent growth, according to newly released data from the US Department of Commerce. The growth, which was the highest among America’s top 10 trading partners in Africa, enabled Kenya to dislodge Ghana from position eight by value of imports. The rapid growth of exports to Kenya is set to catch the…

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I hawk charcoal with my Economics degree, says Kenyan man


As thousands of young people throng urban centres to seek employment, one graduate from Majengo Estate in Narok has put away his Bachelors of  Economics degree and ventured into a totally unrelated field – making environmentally-friendly charcoal briquettes. After tarmacking for one and a half years looking for a white-colour job, the 26-year-old graduate from Kenyatta University, George Ngari, decided to put aside his academic papers and rolled up his sleeves to start a charcoal manufacturing business. And five months into the business, the young entrepreneur says he is not ready to leave his charcoal business for any other job….

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How a Kenyan business started under a tree in 2010 and became one of the top 100 firms


An aggressive spirit to see projects done and passion for what he does are some of the principles that have seen Ben Omolo run a successful logistics business. His wife of 21 years is the other partner in the company which he says started on a tight budget using personal savings. At one point, he was compelled to transact business deals from under a tree at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi because an office he had booked was not ready for tenancy. When he started Polygon Logistics Limited in 2010, the entrepreneur had gone through some hard times…

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Nairobi’s Burger Dome closes doors after 15 years


The owner of Burger Dome Restaurant has filed a notice to dissolve the company, marking the end of one of Nairobi’s popular eateries that has been in operation for more than 15 years. The Registrar of Companies has given a notice of Burger Dome’s intended dissolution, inviting persons who have any claims on the business to come forward. Burger Dome, which was located on Kimathi Street in the Old Mutual building, closed down the outlet in November. The space it occupied has been taken over by Hot Dishes restaurant, an upcoming African-themed restaurant chain. “It is notified that at the…

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Bid family, Broadways invest in Sh1bn Thika real estate project


The Bid family, which unsuccessfully tried to buy Rea Vipingo Plantations, is investing over Sh1 billion in a Thika real-estate project in partnership with prominent local investors. The residential and business development is dubbed Albizzia Downs Estate and will be carried out in phases, with the first one kicking off in March according to the Bid family. Bread maker Broadways, Dawa Ltd and manufacturer Capwell Industries are the other parties in the consortium. The group has set aside 105 acres along the Thika-Mang’u road to host phase one of the project. It borders the Braeburn Imani International Schools. Although the development…

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Nakuru’s most sought after address


Fifteen years ago, Naka Estate was a lush green expanse of vegetation suitable for grazing animals. It attracted a large number of pastoralists who drove their animals here in search of water and pasture. Today, Naka is one of the most sought after residential address in Nakuru County with modern and attractive homes. Sandwiched between Hyrax Hills Museum to the north, and Lake Nakuru National Park to the south, residents in the estate enjoy a panoramic view of the pink-stained edges of Lake Nakuru. The lake’s shores are reminiscent of the sandy beaches commonly associated with the Coast. The estate…

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