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EDITORIAL: Probe border wall fiasco

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Safaricom eyes new markets for M-Pesa : The Standard

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Safaricom is looking to introduce M-Pesa in new markets across the developing world in a move that is likely to boost the firm’s market share in the mobile payments sector across the world.
This follows the completion of the re-organisation that brings the M-Pesa brand under the full control of Safaricom and Vodacom.
“This is a significant milestone for Vodacom as it will accelerate our financial services aspirations in Africa,” said Vodacom Group Chief Executive Shameel Joosub yesterday.

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“Our joint venture will allow Vodacom and Safaricom to drive the next generation of the M-Pesa platform – an intelligent, cloud-based platform for the smartphone age.”
The announcement is a culmination of the process that began in 2017, when parent company and majority shareholder UK-based Vodafone Group decided to move part of its shareholding to its South African unit.
The transaction saw Vodafone Group move 226.8 million new ordinary shares in Safaricom valued at Sh268 billion to South Africa-based Vodacom Group Ltd, the firm’s local subsidiary.

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Part of the rationale behind the transaction was to give M-Pesa more autonomy as a brand and to facilitate its expansion to other countries, an expansion Safaricom is banking on to grow market share across the region.
“For Safaricom, we’re excited that the management, support and development of the M-Pesa platform has now been relocated to Kenya, where the journey to transform the world of mobile payments began 13 years ago,” said outgoing Safaricom Chief Executive Michael Joseph.

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“This new partnership with Vodacom will allow us to consolidate our platform development, synchronise more closely our product roadmaps, and improve our operational capabilities into a single, fully converged Centre of Excellence.”
There are more than 28 million active subscribers on M-Pesa, with over Sh1.7 trillion in transaction value, accounting for 99 per cent of Kenya’s local mobile money market.
The telecommunication firm is hoping to replicate this success in other countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa with relatively underdeveloped fintech sectors.
“M-Pesa is hugely successful and enables millions of unbanked people in Africa to transfer money, pay bills and trade,” said Vodafone Group Chief Executive Officer Nick Read.
“With the rapid increase in smartphone penetration, the evolution into financial services and the potential for geographical expansion, we believe the next step in M-Pesa’s African growth will be more effectively overseen by Vodacom and Safaricom.”

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SafaricomVodacomChief Executive Michael JosephM-Pesa

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Danish fund acquires Kenyan firm : The Standard

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Danish firm AP Moller Capital has completed the acquisition of IberAfrica, one of the country’s top thermal power producers.
AP Moller Capital, which focuses on infrastructure in growth markets, acquired the entire issued share capital of the 52.5 megawatt (MW) independent power producer (IPP) from Spanish power and gas utility firm Naturgy.
The Copenhagen-based firm had earlier set aside Sh20 billion for the acquisition deal and other investments in Kenya through its Africa Infrastructure Fund (AIF).
Lars Jakobsen, a senior partner at AP Moller Capital, said the acquisition provided the Danish firm with a platform to advance its “investment commitments” in Kenya, and laid out further plans to invest in greenfield (where it builds its own facilities from the ground up) and brownfield (where it buys or leases existing facilities) power and energy infrastructure assets.
“Kenya is one of our focus countries with its sizeable, growing and well-diversified economy, as well as its strategic location in East Africa,” he said.
“The transaction represents AP Moller Capital’s first investment in Kenya, where we are planning to be an active long-term partner in the energy transformation, creating employment and driving foreign investments to advance the development and growth agenda.”

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AIF is targeting infrastructure projects within energy and power sectors, including transmission, roads, rail and distribution centres. IberAfrica, whose oil-fired plant is based in Nairobi’s Industrial Area, sells electricity to Kenya Power under a long-term power purchase agreement that will expire in 2034.
Plans by AP Moller to acquire IberAfrica came to light in November last year, following a collapsed deal to purchase it by South Africa’s AEP Energy Africa for Sh6.2 billion.
One of IberAfrica’s power purchase agreement lapsed last year, slashing by half the amount of power that it can feed to the grid.
IberAfrica posted revenue of Sh6 billion in the year to December 2017, with a net profit of Sh580 million.

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Africa Infrastructure FundDanish firm AP Moller Capital

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Meat costs rise as virus bites key suppliers : The Standard

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A man roasts meat at G8 Resort in Embu. The price of meat has started going up due to a strain on supplies as demand dips. [File, Standard]

The sound of knives being sharpened at the country’s many nyama choma joints is almost absent as Kenyans keep off entertainment spots following government directives on social distancing.

These nyama choma outlets have long doubled as bars and night clubs, entertainment spots that have been forced to closed their doors owing to measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
Eateries and butcheries in neighbourhoods have also been ravaged by the disruption, recording fewer customers.
The average Kenyan’s consumption of livestock products is estimated at 16 kilogrammes of meat. But Covid-19 is now threatening the livestock industry, whose turnover hit Sh146 billion in 2018, an 8.3 per cent rise from the previous year, according to official data.

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Due to the disruption in demand caused by the pandemic, meat prices at Nairobi’s Dagoretti slaughterhouse, one of the cheapest sources of meat supplies in the country alongside Kiamaiko also in the capital city, have started going up by Sh100.
A spot check by The Standard found that a kilo of goat meat was retailing at Sh370 up from Sh270, while a kilo of beef now costs Sh350 from Sh250.
Neighbourhood butcheries sell a kilo of beef at an average of Sh400 and a kilo of goat meat at Sh550. Consumers who want large amounts of meat or prime cuts, and those in the food industry source their meat from abattoirs due to the pocket-friendly wholesale costs.

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Now, with most barbeque grills lying idle, numerous dependents who made their daily wages from the spots along the country’s major highways and by-pass towns, such as Ruiru and Ruaka, like many parts of the country, have been rendered jobless.
They include meat dealers, musicians, hawkers, vegetable sellers, water vendors and cleaners.

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And for almost two weeks since the State instituted tough measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, including a dusk-to-dawn curfew, social distancing and stay-at-home orders, only a few bar owners are keeping nyama choma joints open for takeaway orders.
Even the popular Kamakis along the Ruiru bypass now has only about two meat dealers open to cater to the few customers. Mwaura, a meat dealer in the area, said they have scaled-down meat buying owing to reduced demand.
“We are hanging on by a thread here,” he said.
He sources his meat from Kiamaiko, and says supplies from pastoralists has gone down.
The livestock bred for meat is largely procured from arid and semi-arid areas whose economies are set to be hit even harder by the continued ravaging of the coronavirus.

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Mwaura says the abattoirs that normally source their goats from Kajiado and Narok have had to find alternatives from Laikipia and Nyahururu.
Njenga from the Dagoretti abattoir said they barely slaughter 100 goats a day now compared to a previous average of 500.
Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows that the number of livestock being slaughtered has been increasing in the last few years. Beef tops the list of meat most consumed in a year in Kenya.
According to KNBS, the number of cattle slaughtered rose by 7.4 per cent from 2.6 million heads in 2017 to 2.8 million heads in 2018.
The goats and sheep delivered to slaughterhouses rose by 11.3 per cent to stand at over one million in 2018, while the number of pigs slaughtered was over 388,000 in 2018, an increase of 7.8 per cent from 360,000 in 2017.

SEE ALSO: Travelers to be screened for ‘Chinese’ coronavirus- Government


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coronavirusCovid-19coronavirus pandemic

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