[East Africa Business Week] Bob Koigi: Region bets on $91.5 million budget to drive economic integration
03-06-2022 13:15:00 | by: Bob Koigi | hits: 5811 | Tags:

This week, The East African Community has tabled before the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) the budget estimates for the 2022/2023 Financial Year totaling $91.5 million.

The budget that is themed ‘Accelerating Economic Recovery and Enhancing Productive Sectors for Improved Livelihoods,’  would focus on 10 priority areas, They include Peace and Security; Private Sector Development and Participation; Economic Integration; Improvement of productivity, Value addition and promotion of regional supply chains; EAC Digitalisation Agenda; Health; Implementation of the roadmap of the EAC Monetary Union, Infrastructure Development, and; Institutional strengthening and transformation.  

The tabling of the budget comes at a time when the rising commodity prices, especially fuel and food, are impacting negatively on the welfare of East Africans and the world alike.  

In what could redefine horticulture growing, production and export in East Africa, The Government of the Netherlands and Kenya Flower Council have signed a Framework of Cooperation on adoption of sea freight for perishables in Kenya. The Ambassador of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mr. Maarten Brouwer and the Chairman of the Kenya Flower Council board Mr. Richard Fernandes signed the framework during the opening of the International Floriculture Trade Exhibition (IFTEX) at Oshwal Center in Nairobi, Kenya.

The signing of the framework of cooperation between the Kenya Flower Council and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is set to strengthen the efforts in adoption of sea freight for perishables in Kenya. To realize this, a fulltime position of an agro-logistics coordinator has been developed to coordinate the initiative. The incumbent will be based at Kenya Flower Council for two years.

In the transport sector, MetroTrans East Africa has invested Sh 389 million in a fleet of new FUSO buses aimed at meeting the door to door transport demand in the Kenyan Market. 

The investment is a lease partnership between National Bank of Kenya (NBK) and Simba Corporation as they seek to meet demand for public transport which has continued to rise over the years as population increases. 

And Bolloré Transport & Logistics was recently in charge of a logistics operation to organize the first direct shipment of coffee from Kenyan producers to South Korea without going through a coffee broker. This has been made possible by sectoral reforms by the Kenyan government, which now allow farmers to market their products directly in order to get a better price.

In the financials, The World Bank has appointed Dr. Albert G. Zeufack as the new World Bank Country Director for Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Sao Tome and Principe effective July 1, 2022.

Dr. Zeufack will lead the implementation of the World Bank’s program in the four countries, which includes an active portfolio of 84 national projects totaling $8 billion financed by the International Development Association (IDA) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), as well as regional projects and initiatives funded by trust funds.

At the same time, Global multi-asset broker Exness has recently obtained its licence from the Capital Markets Authority of Kenya (CMA). The company is now authorised to operate as a non-dealing online broker in the African country.
The new licence will allow Exness to offer trading products to its Kenya-based clients under a secure regulatory environment. It will strengthen the broker’s presence in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In other news that made headlines in the region, Safaricom and Visa, the global plalyer in digital payments, have introduced the first M-PESA GlobalPay Visa Virtual card. The launch of the new M-PESA Visa virtual card opens global shopping for Kenyan consumers, allowing secure cashless payment.

Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s airline, is set to start thrice weekly operations to Chennai, India as of 02 July 2022. 
Chennai will join the vast Ethiopian network as a fourth destination in India after New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. Ethiopian started its service to India with a debut flight to New Delhi in 1966, just 20 years after the airline was founded. nts at merchant locations in over 200 countries through Visa’s global network.

Finally, Vertiv, a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions, announced a distribution partnership with Tech First Gulf (TFG), an IT infrastructure and security value-added distributor, to accelerate market presence in East Africa. With this partnership, Vertiv will enhance TFG’s existing portfolio with its robust power and IT infrastructure solutions for data centres and edge applications.

Bob Koigi is the East African Region Editor at Africa Business Communities