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7.1 million Kenyans connected to electricity

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7.1 million Kenyans are connected to the national electricity grid an increase of thirty percent from last year.

According to the latest data from electric power distribution company Kenya Power, an additional 440,000 electricity consumers were connected to the national grid in the period.

The company’s acting CEO Engineer Jared Othieno said that they were committed to increasing their customers by 600,000 every year.

Othieno noted that they were committed to meeting to the government envisaged universal electricity connection by 2020.

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“The government has rolled out countrywide measures to make sure that all parts of the country are connected to electricity and currently we have 7.1m connected to the national grid,” he said.

The CEO at the same time noted that electricity demand during the peak stood at 1,882mw and hence the need to increase production.

Othieno was addressing the press in Naivasha during a four day retreat for the company senior managers.

He at the same time admitted that in the last couple of months they had a challenge with the token system which had affected their customers.

He was however quick to add that this had been addressed after they harmonized their tariffs which had seen customers placed in two groups depending on their electricity consumption.

“We had some challenges last year in the token system which has since been consolidated and the issue of delay has been sorted by our service delivery Safaricom,” he said.

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Othieno admitted that there was variation on the amount of units customers got for the same amount of money every month due to changes in fuel cost and user category.

“We have a new app that a customer can use to know his electricity consumption and we have robust customer service keen to address all pending issue of tokens,” he said.

The company acting general manager Business Strategy Engineer Thagichu Kiiru said that fuel cost, foreign exchange and VAT rates determined the cost of electricity every month.

He said that the cost of electricity usually rose during dry periods and hence the variation in the number of units received by customers buying tokens.

“The accumulated standing charges which affected electricity bills were shelved and the cost of units matter from month to month on customers who jumped from one group to the other in terms of electricity connection,” he said.

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Nokia 4.2 receiving Android 10 update

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That German blogger was spot on!

The Nokia 4.2 has started receiving its Android 10 update.

News of the update hitting the device came just a day after another Nokia smartphone, the Nokia 3.2, started receiving its update.

Like the Nokia 3.2, the Nokia 4.2 has been available in Kenya since May last year when it arrived running on Android 9 Pie. Thus, like the 3.2, this is its first major update since launch and one more major update remains,

With both devices’ Android 10 updates underway around the world, the list of devices from HMD Global that are yet to receive their Android 10 upgrades has shrunk to just 4.

The 4 are: Nokia 2.3, Nokia 3.1 Plus, Nokia 6.2 and the Nokia 8 Sirocco.

The Android 10 update for the Nokia 4.2 arrives with the March 2020 security patch.

The update clocks in at 1.38 gigabytes.

As was the case with the Nokia 3.2, the update is rolling out first to a number of first-wave markets in Europe and Asia and should be available to users in Kenya in coming days.

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Drones Are Officially Legal In Kenya

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The Civil Aviation (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Regulations, 2019 Act has been approved, which means Kenyans have won the legal right to own and operate drones. Previously it was technically illegal for anyone but the military to have a drone in the country.

This win helps businesses and individuals who require the devices for photography or content creation, mapping or rescue missions among other things. For a long time, the law derailed drone programs from major players including Facebook, Uber Google, and the Kenya Red Cross. There has been an extensive history of getting drones approved for public use.

In 2016, drone enthusiasts insisted on a licensing system so they could use them in the country. This was easily granted, and in February 2017, Kenya became the second African country after Rwanda to approve the use of non-military drones. Regardless, the rules were still relatively strict, limiting the times and even models that could be flown.

Things took a turn in June 2018 when the Kenyan Parliament invalidated drone regulations from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA). Flying a drone became punishable by a prison sentence of up to 12 months. These were due to several concerns, including a lack of public participation, insufficient attention to personal privacy, and inconsistencies in the application of fines.

However, in 2019 progress was made when Parliament considered revised rules, that have since been approved on the 30th of March 2020.

In determining whether to register a drone or issue any authorization licence, the Authority shall consider the following:

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  • The national security of Kenya,
  • Terrorism or organized criminal activities;
  • Preservation of regional peace, security and stability;
  • Risk of diversion of UAS to unauthorized end user or end
    use;
  • Risk to public safety;
  • If applicant is subject of investigations in ongoing criminal
    or civil proceedings related to national security; or
  • If applicant is subject to administrative investigations by the
    Authority.

A person shall be eligible to own a drone if that person is –

  • A Kenyan Citizen or resident in Kenya of minimum age of
    eighteen years;
  • A company registered in Kenya: or
  • The national government or County government

A certificate issued by the Authority shall be valid for 12 months.

Exporting and Importing 

  • A person shall not import a drone or a component thereof without a permit issued by the Authority. Before issuing a permit , the Authority shall seek and obtain the necessary security clearance and approval from the Ministry for the time being responsible for matters relating to defense.
  • A person who intends to export a Kenyan registered drone shall notify the Authority in writing and obtain a deregistration certificate.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Hummingbird is raising $24M to back impactful tech ventures in Africa

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Hummingbird Impact, a for-profit and impact-driven tech venture fund launched recently by the Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB Canada) at its Global xChange 2020 Conference, is raising $24m for startups in Africa.

Hummingbird Impact, banking on EWB Canada’s nearly a decade experience delivering talent and seed capital to early-stage, for-profit social ventures in Africa with a track record of 11 investments, will operate autonomously though it’s supported by and affiliated with EWB Canada.

The fund is $20M blended-finance impact fund to invest in scalable, tech-enabled social ventures at the pre-Seed, Seed and Series A stages. The $4M will be a technical assistance facility to accelerate the growth and impact performance of its portfolio. 

According to Boris Martin, CEO of EWB Canada, “Spinning off a business unit has precedence at EWB. We do it when it allows us to reach sustainable impact at scale. In this case, Hummingbird will allow us to catalyse both philanthropic and commercial capital towards a shared mission.”

Hummingbird, a gender-lens investor, will focus on bringing a holistic approach to business practices that promotes women’s economic participation, leadership and entrepreneurship. The fund will contribute to the sustainable development of the continent by leapfrogging growth obstacles. By proving the financial and impact potential of investing in diverse teams, Hummingbird will be working both private and public investors to address inequality and promote empowerment by dedicating capital towards women-led and locally founded African startups. 

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“Gender equality and women’s empowerment are key to reducing global poverty. Research also shows that gender and ethnically diverse teams are positively correlated with higher impact and profitability than their peers. Hummingbird will therefore commit 100% of its proceeds towards these underserved, undervalued and undercapitalised ventures,” says Muthoni Wachira, Founding Partner for Hummingbird. “It is my personal ambition to even out the funding landscape and see more gender and ethnic representation at the investor and investee levels. It is not only our moral imperative, it is smart economics,” she concludes.


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