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Kenya makes Kshs 115b emergency loan request – KBC

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The governor says going forward, policy action will focus on three areas; strengthening of the healthcare system, protection of affected workers and business and those that will support recovery.

Kenya has made request to international financial institutions for emergency funding to the tune of 115 billion shillings to support healthcare system and budget.

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Central Bank of Kenya Governor Dr Patrick Njoroge says the first funding to help in containing Coronavirus spread is expected by end of April.

However, borrowers should not expect immediate adjustments in lending rates even after Monday’s rate cut by the Monetary Policy Committee.

The governor says going forward, policy action will focus on three areas; strengthening of the healthcare system, protection of affected workers and business and those that will support recovery.

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With suppressed economic activities which has chocked revenue the government has turned to Bretton woods institutions for budgetary funding.

A request amounting to Kshs 5 billion in emergency to combat Covid-19 has been submitted to the World Bank.

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Additional CBK has made a request to the World Bank and IMF for emergency assistance to the tune of Kshs 110 billion shillings for budgetary support.

According to CBK, the current account deficit is projected at 4 to 4.6 per cent of the gross domestic product this year, but the outcome will depend on the duration and intensity of the pandemic.

Economic experts project the account to widen further as the demand for export like coffee, tea, and horticulture falls.

Already the tourism industry is feeling the impact with thousands of hotel and flights cancellations.

The governor through an online briefing also said they are working with other relevant stakeholders to outline an emergency stimulus package to support the economy.

The bank has also lowered the cash reserve ratio for banks to 4.25 percent, in a bid to release 35 billion shillings to the economy.

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Africa CDC, Cc-Hub Partner to Sensitize the Continent on COVID-19

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Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is collaborating with the Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB), to launch a call, for innovative communication projects on COVID-19 based on indigenous African languages targeted at the semi-urban and rural population across Africa.

The communication projects are expected to help counter disbelief and misinformation, catalyse citizens actions and solidarity as well as combat stigmatization.

The collaboration will focus on projects delivering vetted critical information from Africa CDC to Africans in remote areas using innovative and culturally sensitive messaging.

This involves educating the public and ensuring fact-based information reaches even remote locations through such approaches like comics, animation, illustrations, infographics, interactive SMS, Mobile apps etc.

The selected teams will be supported with grant funding of up to $5000 for research and design support. Proposed projects can be focused on one African country or multiple countries across the continent. Africa CDC Joins Forces with Co-Creation Hub to use Smart Ways to Educate and Sensitize the Continent on COVID-19

Dr. Benjamin Djoudalbaye, Head of Policy, Health Diplomacy, and Communication at the Africa CDC stated that the collaboration is to “enhance efforts of the Africa CDC towards educating the public and ensuring that the right information reaches even remote locations across the continent to avoid unnecessary panic and misinformation.”

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With a track record of collaborating with key players to explore the application of technology to solve Africa’s systemic problems in Public Health, Education, Governance in the continent, CcHUB through its internal research and development unit, CcHUB Design Lab, based in Kigali, Rwanda, will collaborate with innovators to provide technical support using innovative digital and non-digital methodologies to ensure the mass messaging on Coronavirus reaches the semi-urban and rural population across Africa.

Bosun Tijani, CcHUB’s Co-founder and CEO, said “This is a critical time where tech in Africa should be used in smart ways to ensure broader citizen awareness and understanding of COVID-19 response strategies and precautions”.

This collaboration is supported by the Joint African Union – German Cooperation on Citizens Engagement and Innovative Data Use for Africa’s Development programme implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). A Call for Projects- Solve for Coronavirus (COVID-19) for creative teams working on a project or have an idea, with the capability to build out the solution could be accessed through the link: bit.ly/solve-for-covid19.


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Relief for Kenyans as they start paying lower VAT of 14pc

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Kenyans have started paying a lower Value Added Tax rate of 14 percent that was implemented Wednesday.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

This follows President Uhuru Kenyatta directive that the National Treasury  reduce the VAT from 16% to 14%, with the directive to take effect on April 1.

The law allows National Treasury Cabinet Secretary to effect tax changes of up to 25 percent without approval from parliament.

Other tax measures such as lower income tax announced in March are expected to be ratified by the national assembly during a special sitting slated for next week.

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The cost of commodities and services have slightly reduced following implementation of the 14 percent VAT on Wednesday, down from the previous rate of 16 percent.

The aim of the lower VAT was to give Kenyans a stronger financial capability to counter a slow economy.

Companies have started informing customers of the change in pricing. For instance pay television company DStv and GOtv have informed customers of lower pricing effective today (Wednesday).

Safaricom has also told customers that airtime purchase will earn the customer two percent extra airtime.

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In the event that a customer tops up with Ksh 100 for example, they will be entitled to receiving Ksh 102 airtime.

Unlike the VAT however, other tax measures such as abolishing the 30 percent tax band will have to wait for the national assembly’s nod for implementation.

Already national assembly majority leader Aden Duale has written to the speaker to recall the house for a special sitting next Wednesday to consider among others the new tax measures.

That the National Treasury was also directed to implement the following immediate reliefs and increase disposable income to the people of Kenya, through:

I. 100 % Tax Relief for persons earning gross monthly income of up to Ksh. 24,000.

II. Reduction of Income Tax Rate (Pay-As-You-Earn) from 30% to 25%.
III. Reduction of Resident Income Tax (Corporation Tax) from 30% to 25%;

IV. Reduction of the turnover tax rate from the current 3% to 1% for all Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs);

V. Appropriation of an additional Ksh. 10 Billion to the elderly, orphans and other vulnerable members of our society through cash-transfers by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, to cushion them from the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic;

VI. Temporary suspension of the listing with Credit Reference Bureaus (CRB) of any person, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES) and corporate entities whose loan account fall overdue or is in arrears, effective 1st April, 2020.

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Peter Ndegwa Takes Over as Safaricom’s First Kenyan CEO

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Peter Ndegwa reports today as the new Safaricom CEO. Ndegwa was appointed in the position in October 2019 following the demise of the companies CEO Bob Collymore in July 2019.

He takes over the position from the interim  CEO Michael Joseph. Mr Ndegwa will also become Safaricom’s first Kenyan CEO.  Taking up the position when the world is undergoing a critical moment with the coronavirus pandemic.

Businesses have closed down globally and even locally some struggling to stay afloat during the Coronavirus pandemic. Which might affect his first period in office. He believes that the pandemic will change the way Kenyans interact with one another. And it will create opportunities in Agriculture, health and education.

Before his appointment at Safaricom, Peter Ndegwa was the managing director of Continental Europe at Diageo. Managing the spirits and beer business across 50 countries in Western and Eastern Europe and Russia.

He has worked for Guinness Nigeria a subsidiary of Diageo as the company’s CEO. Has served for eight years in senior director role at the East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) a subsidiary of Diageo. He started his career at the PWC where he worked for 11 years before joining Diageo.

Mr Ndegwa is an Alumnus of the Starehe Boys Center. He holds a bachelors degree in Economics at the University of Nairobi and an MBA at the London School of Business. He is also a Certified Public Accountant and also a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK).

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Speaking on his strategy, Mr Ndegwa plans to do things more differently despite the COVID-19 crisis. “It is time to serve my country. There are two things that I value most, which are humility and integrity. He talks on Integrity as doing what you say and humility as knowing that there is always more that you can do,” said Mr Ndegwa.

As he takes over the new position, he asks Kenyans to expect him to help Safaricom define its next phase of growth adding that his DNA is getting things done. The company currently boast of about 60 billion in profits per year and revenues of about Sh250 billion annually.

Deploying the 4G network across the country is one of the company’s strategies as he takes over the new position.


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