Suspense is high for the three remaining matches of the African qualifiers for the Rugby World Cup 2019 this Saturday, 18th August

The stakes for the last three matches of the Rugby Africa Gold Cup 2018 could not be higher, with a dramatic final between Namibia and Kenya, and a fierce fight between Zimbabwe, Tunisia and Morocco to remain in the Gold Cup

The 2018 Rugby Africa Gold Cup concludes this Saturday, August 18th with three intense matches.


Kenya vs Namibia

In Windhoek, Namibia will host Kenya for the final match of the tournament. With 17 points on the scoreboard, Kenya absolutely needs to win the match to overtake Namibia who already have a total of 20 points. In the event of a defensive bonus point for Namibia, both teams would have a total of 21 points each, and according to the rules, the winner of the match between the two tied teams would win the Cup overall. The suspense remains unabated between these two teams who have not lost a single match in the Gold Cup so far. Namibia has won with large margins and gained several bonus points giving them a good lead, but not enough to safeguard their victory against the Kenyans. The runner-up will have to be satisfied with a place in the international playoffs that will take place in November in France with teams from Germany, Canada and Hong Kong.

In Kampala, Uganda will host Zimbabwe who are still looking for a win in this tournament to save them from relegation. The Ugandans won their first two games at home and are hoping to finish on a high note in front of their many enthusiastic supporters in attendance. Finally, the duel between the fellow North Africans, Tunisia and Morocco, will be held in Jemmel and here, Morocco will be trying to achieve a first victory to stay in the Gold Cup.

In the event of a tie on points after all the matches have been played, the teams will be classified depending on the scores of the matches played. For example, Tunisia having beaten Zimbabwe, would have the advantage over the Sables in the case of a tie. The draw between Morocco and Zimbabwe means that it would be necessary to examine the goal-average to decide between them. The suspense continues to build and the pressure is rising!

The matches will be refereed by Cwengile Jadzewani (South Africa) assisted by Victor Oduor (Kenya) and Nicardo Pienaar (Namibia) in Uganda at14:00 CAT; Egon Seconds (South Africa) assisted by Precious Pazani (Zimbabwe) and Saudah Adiru (Uganda) in Namibia at 16:00 CAT; Thomas Charrabas (France) assisted by Ignace N’dri Kan (Ivory Coast) and Sylvain Mané (Senegal) at 18:00 CAT. All matches will be broadcast live on television by Kwese Sports, also on YouTube in Africa and on the World Rugby website, YouTube channel and Twitter in the rest of the world.

Created in 1986, Rugby Africa (, previously the African Confederation of Rugby (Confédération Africaine de Rugby – CAR), is one of the six regional associations composing  World Rugby (, the international organisation responsible for the governing of Rugby Union and Rugby Sevens. Rugby Africa unites all of the African countries which play rugby union, rugby sevens, and women’s rugby. Rugby Africa organises the Rugby Africa Gold Cup, the qualifying competition for the Rugby World Cup 2019, and Africa 7, a qualifying competition for the Olympic Games 2020. Rugby Africa has 38 members, including 22 membres and associated members of World Rugby, 10 members and associated members of Rugby Africa and 16 new countries collaborating with Rugby Africa.

UAE Exchange Rebrands its Africa Operations as Unimoni

Parent “Finablr” has announced plans to invest USD 100 million to expand its Africa operations over the next decade

UAE Exchange, a leading global money transfer, foreign exchange and payment solutions brand, announced the rebranding of its Africa operations as “Unimoni” ( The announcement was made by Promoth Manghat, Executive Director of Finablr ( and Group CEO, at an event held in Nairobi, Kenya, in the presence of dignitaries, partners and other guests.


(L-R): Allen Semboze, Regional Head Africa of Unimoni, and Promoth Manghat, Executive Director of Finablr.

Short for ‘Universal Money’, the new brand “Unimoni” reflects the company’s aspirations to strengthen its global presence and provide a broader spectrum of innovative financial services to its customers. Following the announcement, Unimoni will be launched across Botswana, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, subject to regulatory approvals. As part of its Africa growth strategy, Unimoni plans to be present in 14 African markets by the year 2020, and has developed a healthy pipeline of digital payment solutions designed to cater to the specific needs of the African customers.

Promoth Manghat, Executive Director of Finablr, said: “Home to some of the fastest growing economies globally, Africa holds tremendous potential and is a critical component of our growth strategy as a group. We will continue to invest in enhancing the breadth of our reach and depth of our operations in the African continent. As a group, we have earmarked USD 100 million in investments to support our growth and expansion efforts in Africa over the next decade. As Unimoni, we will facilitate seamless and connected experiences for our customers and pave the way towards sustainable development and inclusive growth of the various African markets.” 

Through its category-leading brands such as Unimoni, UAE Exchange, Travelex and Xpress Money, the Finablr network extends across 45 African markets. With 29 branches in Africa offering affordable money transfer and foreign exchange services, Unimoni plans to significantly increase its retail footprint over the coming years. Additionally, the brand is also making aggressive investments in customer-focused technology innovations as well as collaborating with ecosystem partners to provide an enhanced service proposition to its customer base.

Speaking about the future expansion plans for its Africa operations, Allen Semboze, Regional Head Africa, Unimoni, said: “The next few years are going to be very eventful for us at Unimoni, as we set out to achieve our ambitious growth strategy. We are in advanced discussions with various ecosystem partners including Mobile Network Operators and aggregators to develop new money transfer solutions. These services will be available in four of our seven markets in Africa by the second half of 2018. We are also working on developing our digital capabilities including an online remittance platform, a white-label solution for our corporate customers and an online forex solution. While we are adopting a phased approach towards our growth in Africa, all these offerings will be live by 2020 across all our African markets.”

The rebranding exercise follows an earlier announcement made by noted UAE-based businessman and philanthropist, Dr. Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty, Founder and Chairman of the UAE Exchange Group. In April 2018, Dr. Shetty launched “Finablr”, a holding company which, subject to regulatory approvals, aims to bring together his global portfolio of category-leading financial services brands including Unimoni, UAE Exchange, Travelex and Xpress Money under one umbrella.

AfDB and the CIF support their first private sector-led geothermal power plant in Kenya

The African Development Bank approved on June 6, 2018 a senior loan of US $29.5 million and a concessional loan of US $20 million from the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) Clean Technology Fund (CTF) to Quantum Power East Africa GT Menengai Ltd.

power plant.jpg

The funding will support the development of a 35-MW geothermal power plant at the Menengai geothermal field in Nakuru County, Kenya, one of three modular geothermal plants in the Menengai field with a combined capacity of 105 MW. The project is part of the CTF Geothermal Concessional Finance Program under the Dedicated Private Sector Program designed to finance programs that can deliver development results, impact, private-sector leverage and investment at scale and can be deployed rapidly and efficiently.

“Kenya has nearly 7,000 MW of geothermal potential, yet only about 200 MW is currently being developed,” said Amadou Hott, Vice-President, Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth at the African Development Bank. He welcomed the approval, noting that “the partnership between the African Development Bank and the CIF to contribute to Kenya’s efforts in scaling up the development of this renewable resource and boost economic growth is commendable. The deployment of CTF funds is directly contributing to unlocking the power of the private sector in driving long-lasting market transformation and mitigating risks in the geothermal power sector.”

Quantum Power-Menengai Geothermal Project, the second geothermal independent power project in Kenya, will strengthen public-private partnerships and enable the country to harness its abundant geothermal resources to provide reliable, low-cost, environmentally friendly base-load electricity. It supports the Government’s Big Four growth agenda and reinforces the Bank’s commitment to its strategy to “Light up and power Africa” and “Industrialize Africa”.

The Government of Kenya is also putting efforts into creating an enabling environment to enhance investment flows from private investors into the energy sector through the implementation of competitive tender processes in an attempt to lower the unit costs of geothermal power generation while lowering the costs of doing business and thus improving Kenya’s competitiveness in the region.

“The African Development Bank has invested considerable resources and time in the development of the Menengai geothermal steam field with the objective of enabling Kenya to find a productive source of steam for on-grid power generation,” said Anthony Nyong, Director for Climate Change and Green Growth at the African Development Bank. “The financial package being extended to this project shows strong commitment towards improving Kenya’s energy sector as well as tangible efforts to curb climate change and encourage green growth on the continent,” he said.

The project will provide positive environmental effects and contribute to green growth by developing renewable energy infrastructure (annual savings of up to 95,100 tons of CO2 equivalent) and increase the base-load, grid-connected generation capacity (potential to serve 48,800 households per year), at a low generation cost of 7 cents/kWh.

In anticipation of this and similar projects, the Bank approved a US $12-million partial risk guarantee in October 2014, to catalyze the participation of independent power projects in generating geothermal power. The guarantee mitigated the risk of non-payment by the state-owned power utility under the power purchase agreement and its non-supply of steam for up to three months.

This will be the first independent power project to which the Bank is providing debt funding as a non-sovereign operation. As the deal’s mandated lead arranger, the Bank is mobilizing all necessary debt funding from other development finance institutions.

Kenya must wake up to the threat of an outbreak of Rift Valley fever

The Conversation

Heavy rainfall in Kenya has left a trail of destruction in parts of the country, leading to deaths and rendering roads impassable. Some rivers have burst their banks and dams have overflown for the first time in many years.
Eunice Anyango Owino
Medical Entomologist at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Nairobi
Disclosure statement
Eunice Anyango Owino is a medical entomologist at the University of Nairobi and consults with the International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology. She has received funds from the National Commision for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) and the International Foundation for Science (IFS).

The heavy rains present an additional danger: a higher chance of outbreaks of Rift Valley fever, a mosquito borne disease caused by a virus that infects both animals and humans and eventually results in death.

Heavy rainfall leads to low-lying grasslands, known as dambos, becoming flooded which in turn leads to Rift Valley fever infected mosquito eggshatching. The emerging infected female adults then initiate transmission to nearby animals which serve as amplifiers, infecting more mosquitoes resulting in outbreaks.

Rift Valley Fever spreads in a number of ways. Firstly people and animals can get it from being bitten by an infected mosquito bite. But the most infections happen when people come into contact with infected animals’ blood, secretions or tissue. This can happen when animals are slaughtered, when they’re being helped to give birth, during veterinary procedures or when food is being prepared.

In the last Kenya Rift Valley fever outbreak in 2006 more than 150 people died and another 700 were hospitalised in the North-Eastern region of the country, placing a significant strain on the already overstretched public health resources. There were also economic costs – an estimated US$ 32 million for vaccinations, trade bans and the loss of livestock.

The outbreak lasted for close to a year before authorities were able to get it under control.

As the rainfall continues it’s important that national and county governments put various measures in place to prevent an outbreak. This includes controlling mosquitoes that spread Rift Valley fever, vaccinating livestock and educating the public on the importance of safe practises when they’re slaughtering or handling sick animals.

Action that needs to be taken

If steps aren’t taken urgently, Kenya will struggle to contain an outbreak when it happens.

The steps that need to be taken include:

  • Using forecasting and climatic models to predict the climatic conditions linked to the increased risk of an outbreak. This was done in 2006. Satellite images and weather forecasting data was used to predict the outbreak.
  • Ensuring that warning as well as animal health surveillance systems are in place for people and animals. This would ensure that new cases in animals were detected early, which in turn could improve disease control.
  • Vector control: using insecticides that target mosquitoes at their breeding sites. This is important because mosquitoes are the initial source of infections. The challenge during floods is that there are too many breeding sites to do this feasibly.
  • Animal vaccination programmes. The challenge is that, to be effective, animals must be vaccinated before an outbreak. If this is left too late it can in fact intensify the outbreak. This is because animals that are infected don’t always show symptoms. If they’re treated and multi-dose vials and re-used needles and syringes are then used on other animals, the virus can be spread.
  • Restricting livestock movement to slow down the spread of the virus.

Measures to prevent the outbreak must be accompanied by public health education initiatives.

The messages should focus on teaching people how to reduce the risk of animal-to-human transmission by safe animal husbandry and slaughtering practices. This includes washing hands, wearing gloves and other protective equipment when handling sick animals or their tissues as well as when they slaughter animals.

It should also discourage people from eating unsafe and partially cook fresh blood, raw milk or animal tissue.

In addition, health care workers caring for patients should implement standard safety precautions. This includes handling blood (including dried blood), all other body fluids, secretions and excretions (excluding sweat), regardless of whether they contain visible blood, and contact with non-intact skin and mucous membranes.

Not the first

The pending threat of a Rift Valley fever outbreak is not the first in Kenya. There have been 11 outbreaks between 1951 and 2007.

Some, like the 1997 outbreak stretched from Kenya to Somalia and Tanzania. In Kenya it killed more than 450 people and affected another 100 000 people.

In the 1950s the outbreak was initially confined to one district in Rift Valley province that is prone to flooding and where livestock were raised close to wildlife. But by the time the 2006 outbreak hit the outbreak had spread to 33 of 69 districts in the province.

This expansion has been driven by several environmental factors including rainfall and temperature, the density and movement of livestock and the presence of competent vector species.

This significantly complicates efforts to prevent an outbreak.

Beyond East Africa there have also been severe Riftvalley fever outbreaks in other parts of Africa, including South Africa in 1951 where 100 000 sheep died and close to 500 000 livestock had forced abortions, Egypt between 1977 to 1979 where more than 600 people died and more than 200 000 others were affected, Mauritania, Senegal, Sudan, Madagascar, and Saudi Arabia and Yemen in the Middle East.

Time is running out for Kenya: if the country wants to avoid another outbreak, national and local authorities need to act urgently.

First published by The Conversation

MARS INC. Supports President’s Uhuru Manufacturing Agend

Victoria Mars, board member and immediate former Chairperson of Mars Incorporated, who recently visited Kenya, met President Uhuru Kenyatta and expressed support for the government’s Big Four Pillars for inclusive growth which includes manufacturing.

MarsMs. Mars who was accompanied by senior Mars executives said its subsidiary, Wrigley, and its global parent firm Mars, Incorporated view manufacturing – one of the Big Four pillars – as a great opportunity to transform Kenya into a competitive global economy and improve the lives of her people.

“Your goal to boost local manufacturing is timely and offers an opportunity to expand employment and business opportunities for Kenyans, while building the country’s position as a leading industrial hub in Africa. As a local manufacturer, we are keen to work with you to achieve this objective,” she said during the meeting held at State House, Nairobi.

Ms. Mars also briefed the President on various initiatives undertaken by her firm to provide social and economic opportunities for Kenyans; including program Maua, which currently has over 700 entrepreneurs; transforming their lives.

The President reiterated his government’s commitment to offering incentives for the manufacturing sector to thrive in Kenya including lower cost of energy and modern infrastructure.

He also commended Wrigley for the continued commitment to investing in Kenya notably the Ksh7 billion sustainably-built factory the company is building in Athi River. President Kenyatta said the new factory will not only create additional jobs but also provide opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises in its expanded value chain.

Ms. Mars added that Mars Inc. was actively supporting social and economic initiatives to expand employment and business opportunities for Kenyans especially in low-income and rural areas. Key sectors of engagement include agriculture, through the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming and the African Orphan Crops Consortium.

Also present were Cabinet Secretary for Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, Adan Mohammed and senior government officials.

The Wrigley Company is the world’s largest manufacturer and marketer of gum – and a leader in the global confectionery business.

It is a recognized leader in confectioneries with a wide range of products including gum, mints and hard and chew candies.

The company started in 1891 by William Wrigley Jr., who was a businessman selling necessities like soap and baking powder. Wrigley noticed that the sticks of gum he was giving away for free as incentives were proving more popular than the merchandise he was he was selling.

Kenya: President Kenyatta says the urban poor should benefit from the Equalisation Fund

President Uhuru Kenyatta has pitched for the inclusion of the urban poor so that they could benefit from the Equalisation Fund like other marginalised communities in the rural areas.


President Kenyatta was speaking on Monday at State House, Nairobi, when he received a report on the ‘Second Policy Identifying Marginalised Areas of Kenya and the Criteria for Sharing Revenue from the Equalisation Fund’.

The report was presented to the President by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA), led by Chairperson Jane Kiringai.

The President said the urban poor – mainly those in informal settlements – lived in precarious conditions and also needed to be accorded equal consideration as other marginalised communities in the rural areas.

The Equalisation Fund seeks to provide services in accordance to what the communities identified as their priorities and which include health, education, infrastructure, energy and water.

The Commission said it would take on board the President’s concerns.

The Second Policy will be used to share revenue from the Equalisation Fund for period ending 2021.

While the first Marginalisation Policy focused on the identification of marginalised counties, the second policy shifts focus to marginalised areas.

To identify the marginalised areas, the Commission used an index of deprivation constructed using information on access to safe water, school attendance, access to improved sanitation and electricity.

The President commended the Commission for producing a good report on how to distribute financial resources to provide services to the poorest communities in accordance to their own priorities through public participation.

The CRA team recommended a comprehensive framework for engaging the beneficiary communities in the implementation of projects in the identified priority areas.


Kenya: President Kenyatta leads Kenyans in mourning Solai dam tragedy victims

SOLAI, Nakuru County, (PSCU)—

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto on Wednesday joined survivors of the Solai dam tragedy in an interdenominational memorial service to honor the 48 victims who perished during the horrific incident in Nakuru.


The memorial service, also attended by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and Mrs Rachel Ruto, brought the country together in grief. The leaders committed themselves to prevent similar tragedies occasioned by man-made water reservoirs.

Thousands of survivors and mourners gathered at the Solai African Inland Church grounds where they recounted the horrendous events of the May 9 night when muddy torrents of water from a burst Patel dam swept through the sleepy Energy village , leaving 48 people dead and property worth hundreds of thousands destroyed.

President Kenyatta reiterated the governments pledge to fully support all victims of water related calamities across the country while other leaders and the church committed themselves to pro-actively protect the environment by supporting Government campaign to plant millions of trees across the country.

President Kenyatta said the floods have caused havoc and destruction not only to the residents of Solai in Subukia, but also has affected residents of Tana River, Kilifi and Migori counties.

“As Kenyans we need to work hard and provide solutions to forestall such occurrences in future,” said the President.

The President committed that the government will rebuild all schools which have been destroyed by the floods.

He further said government would construct roads and provide water apart from other social amenities which have been destroyed by the current floods.

Last Saturday, President Kenyatta announced an extra Ksh 1 billion to be made available to the Kenya Red Cross to continue with its relief work, in addition to the Ksh 1.5 billion already set aside for the purpose of assisting flood victims across the country

Besides the deaths, majority of them women and school children, the Solai tragedy left over 5000 people displaced in addition to massive destruction occasioned by the burst Patel dam waters which flattened the sleepy Energy Village before sweeping through Nyakinyua farm .

The unprecedented calamity also left three churches (PCEA Solai, Full Gospel, and Good Shepherd), and two schools flattened and uprooted electric polls cutting power in the area and hampering initial evacuation.

Apart from darkness that plunged the area, evacuation was further hampered by the poor road whose condition was worsened by the artificial floods from the burst dam.

The President commended the residents of Solai and Nakuru County Government leadership for their prompt response which helped save many lives during the Patel dam tragedy.

“ Your actions showed a true Kenyan spirit. Spirit of brotherhood, spirit of solidarity, we are indeed our brothers keeper,” said the President.

Together with the clergy from various churches , the memorial service was attended by governors, senators and MPs from across the country where host Governor Lee Kinyanjui announced that all counties had agreed to donate Sh 100,000 each to assist the Solai survivors.

The Council of Governors was represented by the CoG chairman Josephat Nanok.

Nakuru leaders led by their Governor paid a special tribute to the Administrator of a local (Solai) clinic , Ms Mary Waruguru, who risked her life during the tragedy and single-handedly saved over 30 lives including a seven-month old baby strapped on the back of her mother who had drowned.

President Kenyatta also assured the residents of Solai and Subukia in general that his government would give them title deeds for their parcels of land.

“ For over 40 years people have waited to get their title deeds. Even some have died while waiting for the promise to be fulfilled. I will return here soon to hand over to you those legal documents ensuring that you legally own your land,” said President Kenyatta.

He also called on the county governments to partner with the national government, to ensure all Kenyans have access to quality healthcare by registering themselves with the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).

Deputy President William Ruto said Kenyans should always seek to provide solutions rather than apportion blame when tragedies occur.

“As Kenyans we should ask ourselves what measures do we need to take to avoid such tragedies,” asked the Deputy President.

Adding: “ At such a moment we are likely to apportion blame, but what we should ask ourselves is what could each one of us done,”

He said the government is processing 1300 title deeds for the area residents noting that as per the President’s directive the government will pay stamp duty of the said titles.