Kenya Railways imports special SGR engines

Kenya Railways Managing Director Athanas Maina told The Standard yesterday that the locomotives are being transported by heavy duty trailers to Mtito Andei and Emali from where the laying of the rail track will start.

The Chinese contractor, China Road & Bridges Corporation (CRBC), announced that laying of the track between Nairobi and Mombasa will begin in two places in November. Officials say the exercise will start from Mtito Andei’s Kathekani area towards Mombasa while the other works towards Nairobi will start from Emali.

The MD said that all, save for only five per cent of land on the entire rail track corridor from Mombasa to Nairobi, has been procured. On the issue of land around the Nairobi National Park, where the SGR will pass through, Mr Maina said a joint team from Kenya Railways and the Kenya Wildlife Service has started reviewing various aspects of conservation on the project.

CPI and Inflation Rates for August 2015

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics hereby releases Consumer Price Indices (CPI) and inflation rates for August, 2015. These numbers have been generated using data collected during the second and third weeks of the month under review.
The CPI increased by 0.21 per cent from 160.57 in July 2015 to 160.90 in August 2015. The overall inflation rate stood at 5.84 per cent in August 2015

August inflation eases, offering Kenya’s economy much-needed kick

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) says overall inflation rate slowed down to 5.84 per cent in August, down from 6.62 per cent a month earlier. This now becomes the lowest inflation since February. The lowest inflation this year was recorded in January where the cost of living stood at 5.61 per cent
This was mainly due to favourable weather conditions, which prevailed in recent months and the main reason for decreases in prices of several food items
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IFC invests Sh5 billion in Turkana oil

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has thrown oil exploration in Northern Kenya a much-needed lifeline with the injection of Sh5 billion in Africa Oil, one of the majors operating in the region.

The Canadian explorer said the IFC, World Bank’s private sector lending arm, made the $50 million investment in a private placement that will see the lender secure a 6.83 per cent stake in the explorer.

The new funds will go towards exploration in Lokichar where its partner Tullow Oil has in the past struck a series of promising wells.

Flower exports rise by 12 per cent

Kenya’s cut flower exports rose by 11.7 per cent during the first quarter of this year to 136,601 tonnes. This was a remarkable growth for the sector at nine per cent in volumes and 18 per cent in value compared with the same period last year. Vegetable exports, however, declined by 3.3 per cent from 16,600 tonnes to 16,1000 tonnes during the period under review. The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector on the other hand, expanded by 4.4 per cent compared with 2.2 per cent last year. This growth was reflected in the increased use of agricultural inputs during the quarter.

According to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (Knbs), the country’s horticultural sector earned Sh100.8 billion last year, a six per cent growth in comparison with Sh94.7 billion earned in 2013. Kenya remains one of the top three exporters of cut flowers in the world. The major markets are the EU, America, Australia, Russia, and Japan. Ngige said increased demand for fertiliser, a key input for agriculture sector, was notable as reflected by its import which grew by 18.4 per cent from 224,000 metric tonnes in first quarter 2014 to 265,9000 metric tonnes in the first quarter of this year.

Kenya’s first oil export expected in October 2022

Kenya’s push to start oil production by 2017 will be delayed by at least five years going by the detailed design and construction timeline for the proposed crude oil pipeline connecting Uganda and local oil fields to Lamu. The Toyota Tsusho design released yesterday shows that the flow of the first oil is expected in October 2022 at the earliest. This will come after the commissioning of the oil pipeline in the last quarter of 2020.

Barclays unveils Sh30bn credit line for SMEs

Small and medium enterprises would soon have easier access to credit as more banks pledge financing commitments to the business segment.
Barclays Bank of Kenya has stepped in with a Sh30 billion loans commitment to SMEs. Barclays Managing Director Jeremy Awori said the bank would continue to support the sector as part of its plan to help in accelerating economic growth and providing market-specific products

Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES)

The 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) will be held in Nairobi Kenya, on July 25-26 2015. It will be the sixth annual gathering of entrepreneurs at all stages of business development, business leaders, mentors, and high-level government officials. GES is a global platform connecting emerging entrepreneurs with leaders from business, international organizations, and governments looking to support them.

Co-hosted by the Government of Kenya,the 2015 GES will mark the first time that the event will take place in Sub-Saharan Africa.

It will be graced by His Excellencies Uhuru Kenyatta -President of the Republic of Kenya and Barrack Obama-President of USA.

Local SMEs beat large companies in tech uptake

Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) firms have overtaken large companies in the use and adoption of technology in East Africa. PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Kenya revealed in a survey that over 60 per cent of respondents during the CIO100 Survey 2014 said most technologies were being used in projects for the first time.

The report further notes that innovation was mostly executed in mobile or wireless technology, databases or data warehousing and virtualisation of servers. Speaking during the announcement Muchemi Wambugu, partner/director PwC said unlike others, the survey says most companies — especially the SMEs have increased their investments in, and uptake of, technology — in a bid to have an edge in business processes.