[Kenya Business Week] Towards sustainable businesses, public private partnerships and courts to the rescue
Kenya’s business landscape has this week continued to register mixed fortunes with key sectors, including banking, agribusiness, horticulture and insurance featuring prominently.
From mergers, court cases and public private partnership in fostering sustainability, the country continues to capture regional and international attention.
The week opened with Private equity fund AfricInvest investing a 14.3 per cent stake in financial services company Britam has officially become a shareholder in diversified financial services company Britam after acquiring a 14.3 per cent stake. This latest deal has now pushed Nairobi Securities Exchange market capitalization to a historical high of Sh2650 billion from 2640.55 billion.
It is a week that also the expansion of International coffee outlet, Gloria Jean’s Coffees to Africa with Kenya being the first base in the continent to set up shop. Gloria Jean’s Coffees is Australia’s leading speciality coffee house, with close to 900 outlets throughout the world in 50 markets.
And in what rubberstamps Kenya as being a strategic investment destination for international companies, Freshworks, a global provider of cloud-based business software this week also announced its expansion into the African market with a special focus on Kenya. This, inspired by data from IDC that predicts the overall African IT spending to reach $33.4 billion in 2018, with Kenya being one of the top contributors.
Public private partnership has featured predominantly this week as government and the private sector seek to foster sustainable ways of doing business. In one of the most historic developments, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, KAM, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and National Environment Management Authority, NEMA, have announced a cooperation agreement towards holistic management of plastic bottles in Kenya.
In an effort to promote responsible and sustainable management of waste PET bottles, industry has committed to initiate eco-friendly strategies and develop comprehensive recycling schemes guided by circular economy principles.
But it is also a week that has seen the embattled flower firm Sher Karuturi get temporary relief as the High Court stopped CFC Stanbic Bank from selling the farm’s assets. CFC Stanbic, through its receiver managers had advertised for sale of some of the movable assets which include 14,00 greenhouse irrigation equipment, generators, cold storage units, farm tools, motor vehicles and IT equipment. The high court had in January given the bank the green light to auction Karuturi assets if the owners fail to clear Sh1.8 billion debts owed to the lender in 90 days.
On the agribusiness front farmers have a reason to smile after telecommunication company Safaricom opened a digifarm depot as part of the company’s efforts to encourage more smallholder farmers to transition into agribusiness by creating opportunities for them to access high quality inputs and sustainable markets. This landmark step will allow farmers to purchase these inputs via M-PESA or credit payable between 30, 60 or 90 days depending on the credit package a farmer gets.