[Kenya Business Week] Blazing the trail in economic growth
At a time when the rest of Africa continues experiencing suppressed growth occasioned by drought, political upheavals and low private sector activity, East Africa has been in the headline this week with two reputable reports indicating it will outperform its continental peers with growth of between 5 and eight percent this year. Kenya as one of the regional economic powerhouses has featured prominently in one of the report as a key economic growth driver.
This week, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Zambian counterpart Edgar Lungu held bilateral talks focusing on ways to enhance economic and security cooperation between Kenya and the Southern Africa nation. It is one of the many charm offensives the country has been involved in, to streamline trade relations with partners including one recently held with South Africa. The president has also been on several investor-meet forums to market Kenya.
In the banking beat, Kenya Commercial Bank, KCB, has been rated the most attractive bank in the country according to the 2018 quarter one Banking Sector Report by Cytonn Investments. It is a position the bank has retained since 2015, supported by a strong franchise value and intrinsic value score. Other reports have hailed its strong sound liquidity position, innovative products and brand positioning as reasons why it is a frontrunner. Its investments in entrepreneurship, agribusiness, mobile money and job creation have always paid off.
Public utility company Kenya Power, in its drive to connect more households to the national grid has set aside an approximated $16 million to finance various projects aimed at strengthening the distribution network in North Rift region, to provide adequate and reliable power supply. It recently unveiled a modern sub station to improve power supply in the capital and has been working with the private sector to lower industrial energy cost.
And in a country where entrepreneurs oil the engines of economic growth but still struggle with access to vital services, the World Bank this week approved a $50 million International Development Association credit to increase scale innovation and productivity amongst enterprises. 33,050 individuals and 2,393 firms would benefit from the initiative. Past interventions targeting enterprises and chaperoned by Safaricom, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce, Kenya Bankers Association among others have breathed new life to these businesses.
Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) in partnership with the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) have also this week launched an audit report establish compliance with the Human Rights Principles and Standards by salt manufacturers.
Strategic partnerships also continued dominating the Kenya business scene this week. Real estate financial technology company Land LayBy Technologies announced a deal with Strathmore Institute of Mathematical Sciences to enable researchers embed themselves into Land LayBy’s Technology, study, contribute and offer constructive critique to the start-up’s ecosystems and processes. The company has been rolling a unique business model of land purchase especially targeting diaspora clients.
One of Kenya’s largest flower producers and exporters, Oserian Development Company has also this week inked a deal with French flower breeder George Delbard to set up shop at the newly established Oserian Two Lakes Flower Park. This, following a recent announcement by the company to diversify into real estate.