AUC and AMISOM organize workshop on Electoral Boundaries Delimitation for Somalia

The Department of Political Affairs (DPA) of the African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has organized a training workshop on electoral boundaries delimitation for the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) from 23 to 25 April 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya.


The multi-stakeholder training workshop drew Somali participants from the NIEC, Ministries of Constitutional and Interior Affairs, the Boundary and Federal Commission, Office of the Prime Minister, among others. 

The capacity building workshop on electoral boundaries delimitation is in response to the request from NIEC to the DPA to provide electoral assistance in implementation of its 5-Year Strategic Plan (2017-2021).   Pursuant to Chapter Seven of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, the AU has a mandate to provide electoral support to Election Management Bodies (EMBs) of Member States. Support to NIEC is one of the priority EMBs identified by the DPA in providing sustainable electoral-cycle based technical assistance.

The workshop is conducted at a crucial moment when Somali stakeholders are engaged in constitutional-making process and development of the legal framework for the general elections based on universal suffrage scheduled to take place in 2020-2021. This is the second capacity building initiative by the DPA targeting NIEC and other electoral stakeholders in Somalia, which builds on the training on electoral systems which was conducted in July 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Electoral systems design is inextricably related to the process of electoral boundary delimitation. Collectively, electoral systems and electoral boundary delimitation are crucial in shaping the type of electoral architecture for any country. This training is therefore crucial in contributing to the sustainability of democratic governance, peace and political stability in Somalia. This is in line with AU Agenda 2063, The “Africa We Want”, specifically Aspiration 3 which envisions “An Africa of good governance, democracy, and respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law.”

Kenya: NIC Bank bets on the Coast with 4 new branches

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The new branches will carry a full array of financial products and services to target the business community in the area. The Bank is eyeing the growing tourism sector at the Kenyan Coast, foreign deposits, asset finance, corporate and SME banking among other drivers.

In addition to the branch expansion, NIC Bank continues to leverage technology to enhance customer experience, especially on its innovative online and mobile banking platforms.

Samsung Continues its Commitment to Sustainability by Providing Eco-Friendly Stoves to Homes in Kenya

Harmful smoke and ash rising from homes and street-food stalls is a common sight in Kenya, where the majority of people use charcoal to cook their food.

Addressing the need for a cleaner way to cook, Samsung’s recent partnerships with Green Development SA and Rural Development Solutions have helped to deliver 20,000 bioethanol stoves to residents of Mombasa, the second largest city in Kenya, and the Kakuma Refugee camp, in northern Kenya. Samsung has stepped in to subsidize the costs of the cook stoves, allowing them to be sold at a reduced price of 1,995 Kenyan shillings (approximately US$19.80).

These eco-friendly stoves provide an affordable and sustainable substitute for the traditional method of cooking on charcoal. By using bioethanol cook stoves instead of charcoal, the risks to the environment and to physical health are significantly reduced.

Choosing Charcoal

Charcoal is the most popular fuel in the cities of Kenya: according to a study from the Stockholm Environment Institute, over 80% of the urban population rely on charcoal. In comparison to other popular sources of fuel – such as liquid petroleum gas and kerosene – charcoal is less expensive and safer to use.

However, producing and burning charcoal have considerable drawbacks for the environment. Production is very inefficient, with 1 metric ton of wood yielding just 100kg of charcoal. As a result, demand for charcoal has led to rapid deforestation, animal habitat destruction and soil erosion.

Moreover, when burned, charcoal also generates toxic fumes which contribute to global warming and have damaging effects on human health. It is estimated by the World Health Organization that over 4 million people around the world die prematurely from illness attributable to the household air pollution from cooking with solid fuels (such as charcoal).

The Benefits of Bioethanol

Bioethanol is a renewable, clean energy source and an attractive alternative to charcoal and burns six times more efficiently.

In Kenya’s poorest regions, price is a major obstacle to replacing charcoal, but the lower cost of purchasing bioethanol could change this. Per day, it costs a total of 60 Kenyan Shillings (approx. US$0.60) to provide one family with three meals cooked on charcoal. By contrast, the amount of bioethanol required would cost just 20 Kenyan Shillings (US$0.20), making the eco-friendly fuel significantly more affordable for many households.

It is relatively inexpensive to produce bioethanol. A byproduct of sugar refinement, bioethanol is made by fermenting molasses that are wasted from sugar refineries. What is more, there are many sugar factories in Mombasa and so, in time, the production of bioethanol can help to stimulate the local economy by providing an additional source of income.

Fueling Change

Samsung is committed to mitigating climate change and improving public health through its initiatives. Bioethanol stoves are already improving lives through their reduced impacts on the environment and on health. Perhaps this small change in Kenya will spark widespread interest in eco-friendly cooking methods.

Kenya: NIC Bank inks car financing deal with Simba Corp for Mitsubishi vehicles

NIC Bank has renewed its partnership with Simba Corporation Ltd to offer corporates, fleet owners, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and individuals a unique financing opportunity.

NIC-Bank-Car-DealUnder the new arrangement, Simba Corp customers will be able to get up to 95% financing from NIC Bank when they purchase a Mitsubishi vehicle. The deal will also see customers enjoy an extended 60-day repayment holiday.

Speaking during the official signing ceremony, Simba Corp Group Chief Executive Officer, Dinesh Kotecha emphasized that partnerships are in line with the firm’s strategic agenda aimed at growing its footprint and increasing its customer base by offering solutions that will help customers.

“There is need to look at customers and understand their needs.  Most want to grow their business.   Giving them transport solutions that enable them to access growth opportunities is the best we can do for them. Our range of trucks are the best in the market and as Simba, we endeavor to partner so that customers can have access to financing that allows them to purchase with comfortable payment terms. This will grow our customer base as the customers grow their businesses,” said Kotecha.

NIC Bank’s Executive Director, Alan Dodd, said, “This offering presents a strong value proposition to customers who are keen on expanding their businesses and buying new assets but face strained cash flows due to the difficulties we experienced last year. Through this partnership we will further cement our position as the leading bank in asset finance in the country, a well-known heritage, as well as enable us to reach out to new markets, especially the areas of Malindi, Watamu, Kilifi and Diani, where we have recently opened branches.”

Data indicates that sales of heavy commercial vehicles still account for about 26.8% of the market share and it is believed that construction projects in the country will fuel sales in the heavier segments in coming years.

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC), one of Asia’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturers, cooperating with Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt. Ltd. (DICV) under the umbrella of Daimler Trucks Asia (DTA) has for decades worked with Simba Colt the official distributor of Fuso Trucks in Kenya in building trucks that meet the needs of local consumers.

President Kenyatta jets back from AU summit

President Uhuru Kenyatta jetted back into the country from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he attended the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly.


The plane carrying the President and the First Lady Margaret touched down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airports shortly after 5:00 pm.

On arrival the President inspected a quarter guard mounted by a detachment of Kenya Airforce.

Deputy President William Ruto and Chief of Defence Forces, General Samson Mwathethe led senior government officials in receiving the President at the airport.

At the AU summit, African leaders focused on reforms and moves towards a free trade area.

The reform measures, crafted by a panel led by Rwandan President Paul Kagame, are around enhanced financial contributions as well as ensuring greater efficiency at the AU Commission in Ethiopia. Kenya is broadly supportive of the reforms.

“Kenya strongly supports the Reforms at the African Union, as that is the surest way to ensure the Union, its Commission, Organs and Agencies are fit for purpose and well equipped to deliver on the ambitious aspirations of the African People as spelt out in Agenda 2063,” said President Kenyatta at the summit.

Leaders also spoke against terrorism and signalled the urgency to combat the menace that has become a major threat to peace, security and development. They assured that peace and stability will continue to be given priority in the continent.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was working on strengthening the partnership between AU and UN, especially in peace and security in Africa.

In South Sudan, Mr Guterres said the UN has aligned its position with the AU and IGAD, saying the partnership is important to building a safer world for all.

“UN fully supports Africa’s initiatives for peace and reconciliation across the continent. We support is rooted solutions that are Africa-owned, Africa-driven and Africa-led,” Mr Guterres said.

On the side-lines of the summit, President Kenyatta met UN Secretary-General António Guterres and discussed peace initiatives in South Sudan and Somalia.

President Kenyatta and Mr Guterres reviewed progress in efforts to bring sustainable peace to South Sudan and Somalia.

Mr Guterres acknowledged the South Sudan peace initiatives spearheaded by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and encouraged member states including Kenya not to give up their efforts.

He particularly wanted President Kenyatta to return to the forefront of the continent’s efforts to secure a lasting solution in Kenya’s northern neighbour.

The President assured Mr Guterres that the African Union Summit provides an opportunity for IGAD leaders to meet and discussed ways of rejuvenating the peace process.

“In essence, it is about Kenya working with the region, and partners like the United Nations, to secure peace in South Sudan. It is a subject that concerns us, as much as it does the United Nations,” President Kenyatta said.

The President also outlined gains achieved by APRM in a report on Africa’s peer review efforts covering the last two years as the 30th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly came to a close yesterday.

President Kenyatta expressed satisfaction that a continental instrument for monitoring performance has made great strides in fostering improved governance as a vehicle for accelerated development in the last two years.

He said the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), which he has chaired for the past two years, is now more rejuvenated than it was before.

University Student Hostels to Be Built& Maintained on a PPP

Kenya is holding its first Investor Conference on the development of University Hostels by Public Private Partnerships (PPP) to showcase to investors the many exciting opportunities of investment in the public universities student accommodation.


The one-day conference brought together more than 100 local and international investors keen on securing investment opportunities in the University PPP Hostel Program. The first phase of the program seeks to develop 25,000 bed capacity in three public universities namely Moi, Embu and South Eastern University of Kenya (SEKU).

The Investor Conference cum Pre-bid Meeting held today follows issuance of Request of Qualification (RFQ) on December 11th2017 to commence the competitive procurement. The RFQ closes on 28th February, after which the pre-qualified private firms will be invited to submit financial and technical bids for the projects.

Each project will be procured separately though prospective investors, who are allowed to bid for more than one project as long as they can demonstrate sufficient capacity to undertake the projects.

According to Eng. Stanley Kamau, the director for PPP Unit, most public universities have expressed interest in developing various education facilities through the PPP Model.

“The PPP Model has attracted most public institutions in the country keen to attract private investment in a context of competing public needs. The PPP model is also preferred mainly due to its ability to tie in the operation and maintenance aspect of an infrastructure asset, meaning facilities developing are able to remain in a great condition for the entire life of the contract” said Kamau.

The vice-chancellors for Moi University, Embu and SEKU told investors in the country there is a huge demand for quality accommodation all around their universities.

“If you’re at Moi for instance, when you add up the hostel capacity in the university and that developed by the private sector around our university, there is still a huge demand, which we hope will be plugged through the PPP Model,” said the Moi University Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Nathan Ongechi.

According to the Ministry of Education, universities are facing a major bed capacity shortage, which is a hindrance in availing access to higher learning both within the public and private sector. Kenya has 72-chartered private and public universities with an estimated bed capacity of 300,000, against a total enrolment of over 770,000 students.

There has been a steady rise in student enrolment in universities in the last four years. In 2017, about 88,000 students were enrolled to public universities compared to 50,000 in 2013. Currently, the 31 public universities are only able to accommodate 25% of all the students enrolled forcing thousands of students to seek alternative accommodation arrangement some of which have had a negative impact on students.

Due to the shortage in bed capacity, universities have had to extend courses and put in place student rotation to accommodate more students. The net effect has been on students who have ended up taking longer to graduate from public institutions.

Under the PPP agreement, Moi University will boost its bed capacity by an additional 15,000 beds, SEKU by 5,400 beds and Embu University College by an additional 4,000 beds.

Kenya Airways and Air Mauritius Extend their Codeshare Agreement

Kenya Airways and Air Mauritius have signed an MOU to extend their collaboration in a bid to offer their customers more possibilities for connections at their hubs in Nairobi and Mauritius.


The two airlines already have a longstanding code-share agreement under which Kenya Airways place its code on the three weekly flights operated by Air Mauritius on the Mauritius – Nairobi route.

Air Mauritius uses Nairobi as a hub from where it offers connections to a number of destinations in Eastern and Central Africa through KQ network. Kenya Airways also uses Mauritius as a platform to connect on the Air Mauritius network.

Commenting on the partnership, Kenya Airways Group Managing Director and CEO Sebastian Mikosz said: “Kenya Airways is working towards strengthening its network and consolidating Nairobi’s position as a leading hub in East Africa. The networks of both our airlines are complementary and we are confident that this agreement will allow us find the synergies for us to grow our respective networks.”

“This agreement is in line with the country’s Vision 2030 and our network strategy to tap into the emerging opportunities in Africa. Kenya Airways is a strong player on the continent and has a solid network that can give us better access to East Africa, Central Africa and very soon to the USA. We value our partnership with Kenya Airways and are looking forward to take it to another level.” stated Somas Appavou, Air Mauritius CEO.

The agreement was signed by the CEOs from both airlines and witnessed by Mike Seetaramadoo, EVP Commercial & Resource Optimization at Air Mauritius and Vincent Coste, Kenya Airways Chief Commercial Officer.