Africa Business Communities

[Kenya Business Week] Flying into new opportunities

With the landmark open skies agreement that African countries have been championing for to make intra Africa trade and movement cheaper and faster, airlines have been positioning themselves to harvest the gains as more countries warm up to this arrangement.

 The agreement, it has been argued, would open the continent to more trade opportunities, create jobs, boost tourism and grow national economies.

Kenya has been on the frontline of promoting the open air pact. This week its national carrier Kenya Airways announced that it was introducing daily flights to Somalia as it looks to link cities and facilitate movement of people. This, coming weeks after the airline launched direct flights to the United States.

In energy, the country has reiterated its commitment to attain 100 per cent transition to green energy by 2020 as it scales up investment in renewable energy to address the climate change challenge concretely. Reports have posited that creation of the right framework and clear policy is critical in Kenya’s renewable energy deployment and usage. A clean energy revolution has been taking shape in Kenya is being driven by citizens and institutions as appetite for renewable energy rises to new highs. Organizations that have been at the forefront of championing this renewable energy drive include Crossboundary GroupGreenpactOrb Energy and JinkoSolar among others. 

On the other hand, The Ministry of Environment and Forestry and members of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) have this week been holding a forum to discuss a harmonized approach to tackling plastic bottles menace. The lastest session is a build up to previous ones as government and private sector players look at lasting solutions to plastics despite past resistance from some quarters. Corporates like Safaricom have thrown their weight behind sustainable businesses practices that support the environment.  

In the tech space, Telkom Kenya this week appointed Mr. Mugo Kibatias its new Chief Executive Officer to take over from Mr. Aldo Mareuse who is moving on to pursue other interests having led the company from mid-2016. This comes weeks after the telco announced plans to send home 500 employees as part of its workforce restructuring exercise. Last year, the company announced inclusion of independent members to its board and appointment of new executives which it said was meant to align business with transformation agenda.

 Twiga Foods, a company in the agriculture sector unveiled a platform that allows farmers to earn more and sell to vendors for less ensuring a harmonized value chain. The company last year raised $6.3m in equity and $4m in debt instruments to reach more farmers and vendors through tech. 

In matters partnerships, Azuri Technologies, a provider of pay-as-you-go solar power in conjunction with APA Insurance, announced the launch of HospiCash, a low-cost micro-insurance product for Azuri solar power customers across Kenya. The entry into the insurance market by Azuri increases its partnership portfolio. The company has previously partnered with UnileverStartimes and Zuku.


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