[Kenya Business Week] New energy frontiers, more business deals
It has been another busy week for anchor sectors in Kenya with more investors, landmark deals and strategic partnerships pointing to Kenya as the investment destination for the region.
President Uhuru Kenyatta was on a business tour to the United States where he witnessed the signing of two agreements that will see two US companies invest $238 million worth of projects in Kenya as he urged the US government to facilitate the operations of US businesses Africa. This as USTDA’s Director of Congressional and Public Affairs, Thomas R. Hardy, joined President Kenyatta at a roundtable discussion with U.S. businesses hosted by the Business Council for International Understanding in Washington, D.C. Kenya has previously bolstered its trade relations with Zambia, South Korea, South Africa, India among other trading partners.
In matters energy, Azuri Technologies and Unilever Kenya have announced a partnership to bring solar home solutions to millions more off-grid homes across Kenya. This marking another milestone for Azuri in reaching out to off grid customers in Kenya. It has previously partnered with Startimes and Zuku as it seeks to grow its PayGo solar market. Other players making a market in the solar power space in Kenya include Mkopa, SolarNow and JinkoSolar.
This, as Kenya’s power sector continues showing promising opportunities for grid digitization according to a 2018 white paper on the “Digitization of Energy Transmission & Distribution in Africa by General Electric.
This week has also seen global companies open offices in Kenya. LG Electronics launched its first showroom in Nairobi to showcase the vast array of its B2B products and solutions. This, as it seeks to take on established giants like Samsung.
On the other hand, Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) has opened its first office in Africa in Nairobi. The Kenyan capital has been a magnet for international investors looking to establish regional and continental offices. Other companies that have set us regional base in Nairobi include GSMA, Truecaller, Intelsat, Hurricane Electric, Showmax, Africa Data Centre among others. Numerous studies have pointed to Nairobi as the preferred investment destination for global investors.
TMX Global Coin, the global blockchain logistics company, has also announced plans to launch in Kenya to serve the growing demand for this service in Africa.
Nopia Ride, the first ever full electric mobility service in East Africa has launched its cab services in Kenya through Finnish firm EkoRent Africa.
In aviation, Kenyan travelers are set to enjoy Emirates web virtual reality technology following introduction of 3D seat models on emirates.com, making the airline the first to introduce web virtual reality (VR) technology on its digital platform.This and the launch of extra flights to Kenya and increased baggage allowance has been geared at winning more passengers in the competitive market.
Kenya Airways this week released its financials reporting a Sh4b loss after tax for the first six months of 2018 from Sh5.6 billion recorded same period last year. Having been on a loss making streak over the years, the airline has been trying new strategies to remain afloat including converting government loan into equity, entering the road transport with new shuttle buses and sub leasing aircrafts to other airlines.
IBM scientists in Kenya have unveiled a Water Management Service Platform (WMaaSP) to address the needs for safe water in remotes parts of northern Kenya. To deepen digital transformation in Kenya, IBM has also worked with local companies across various sectors including Sidian Bank, Bidco Africa and universities.