October 1, 2016

[VIDEO] Kenyan motorists to be charged for using roads if proposal is approved

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Road users will pay Sh5 for every kilometre travelled from Mombasa to Mau Summit interchange in Nakuru if proposals made to the government are adopted. Under the proposal, which has to get Cabinet and Parliament approval before it is effected, a private firm will upgrade and maintain roads. The government will award a contract of between 25 and 30 years to a private company to upgrade the affected highways into dual carriageways, maintain and charge road users. This means that a motorist driving from Nairobi to Nakuru, a distance of 157 kilometres, will pay Sh785. Driving from Nairobi to Mombasa,…

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Now CS Macharia says first direct flight from Kenya to US in November

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The first flight to fly directly from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to the United States is expected to take off in November. This is after the Ministry of Transport and the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority met all the conditions set out by the United States federal aviation administration (FAA). Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said an audit team from the FAA will be in the country next week for a final audit before JKIA can be granted category 1 status. “Out of the 149 conditions set, we have met all 149 of them and we have nothing outstanding….

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Kiambu investors tailor-making homes for middle class

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In the past few years  the property market in Kiambu County has grown tremendously. However, those who wanted property in the county, which is regarded as one of  Nairobi’s dormitory towns, have had  to pay between Sh25 million and Sh40 million or more for a unit. The high asking prices have put the houses effecively locked out the middle-and low-income earners. But some developers are now tailor-making products for the middle class with a view to making the most of the growing population that has continued to create a huge demand for homes. For instance, Chrisfield Developers Ltd has put…

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US firm likely to fund Nairobi-Mombasa six-lane freeway

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Talks on funding the construction of a six-lane highway got off on the right foot after the Kenyan and US government and an engineering firm held a successful meeting. Finance Minister Henry Rotich and Elizabeth Littlefield, head of the US government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic), signed a “letter of interest” regarding the Nairobi-Mombasa highway project on the sidelines of the US-Africa Business Forum in New York on Wednesday. California-based Bechtel, one of the world’s largest engineering and construction companies, is also involved in the financing discussions. The US Export-Import Bank is simultaneously working with Bechtel to secure investment for…

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How Imperial Bank bosses stole billions from depositors

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Former Imperial Bank managers, Naeem Shah and James Kaburu, were the key players in the multi-billion shilling fraud scheme that enabled long-serving chief executive Abdulmalek Janmohammed to siphon out depositor funds and use fictitious accounts to cover it up, a forensic audit report by American firm FTI Consulting says. Imperial Bank’s receiver managers say in court papers that FTI’s investigators had found that Mr Shah, aside from authorising the transfer of funds between fictitious bank accounts, was also in charge of ensuring that fish firm W.E. Tilley did not appear in the lender’s financial records. The audit also revealed that…

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Yahoo says ‘State-sponsored actor’ hacked 500 million accounts

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This is nothing to say “Yahoo” about. Yahoo confirmed today a massive security breach impacting 500 million users and said it believes a “state-sponsored actor” is behind the hack. The internet company is currently in the process of being acquired by Verizon. “Based on the ongoing investigation, Yahoo believes that information associated with at least 500 million user accounts was stolen and the investigation has found no evidence that the state-sponsored actor is currently in Yahoo’s network. Yahoo is working closely with law enforcement on this matter,” Bob Lord, Yahoo’s chief information security officer said in a statement. The stolen…

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Kenyan techies’ app wins Sh101million in Clinton-backed fund contest

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Developers of Magic Bus Ticketing, a mobile phone application that enables booking of public transport, have secured a Sh101 million ($1 million) grant from a Bill Clinton-backed fund after emerging top out of six finalists. The Hult Prize finalists were crowned overall winners of the startup funding for their idea of digitising booking, pre-payment and on-board payment of fare for commuters in Kenya. The idea was borne out of a challenge for the Hult Prize, funded by Clinton, whose contest this year was the creation of a better model to connect people to goods and services in crowded urban spaces….

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US quartet turns poop to fertiliser in Nairobi slums

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Fork-to-farm: that is what a team of four American techies have ventured into by turning human poop into food. Yes, the quartet is challenging the conventional farm-to-fork movement by making it a 360-degree affair: producing fertiliser from human waste collected in their chain of latrines located in Nairobi’s slums. The fertiliser venture is a value add to their firm Sanergy, founded in 2011 — a network of small-scale sanitation centres across slums — to create a waste collection network and convert human waste into fertiliser and other by-products. The latrines and now the bio-fertiliser are the brainchild of Massachusetts Institute…

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Meet the 39 year old Kenyan CEO making Sh16.7 million a month, Sh201 million a year

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Centum Investment chief executive James Mworia is corporate Kenya’s best paid manager with an annual compensation of Sh201.1 million or Sh16.7 million per month, according to the latest financial reports. The pay, which incorporates a performance bonus, places Mr Mworia ahead of his peers, who lead Kenya’s five largest companies by market capitalisation at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, including telecoms operator Safaricom and East African Breweries Limited (EABL). Mr Mworia’s compensation is disclosed in Centum’s latest annual report, which covers the year ended March. The 39-year-old corporate executive has mainly benefited from his company’s generous bonus scheme that rewards employees…

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Visa introduces mVisa taking on the world’s largest mobile money platform MPESA on its home turf

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Visa Inc., the world’s largest payments network, introduced a mobile-phone application to enable cashless transactions in Kenya, where the majority of wireless payments are being done through the nation’s biggest telecommunications company, Safaricom Ltd. The mVisa app will initially facilitate transactions for people with accounts at four banks, including KCB Group Ltd. and Co-operative Bank of Kenya Ltd., according to Visa Emerging Markets Senior Vice President Uttam Nayak. Africa had 557 million mobile-phone users at the end of 2015, according to the GSM Association, an industry group. The company estimates 84 million of them still pay by cash.  “Those can…

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