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Standard Bank SA to Incorporate Blockchain in FX Payments

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South Africa’s Standard Bank has said it will incorporate blockchain solution to ease foreign exchange payments for its importer clients.

According to Richard de Roos, head of foreign exchange for Standard Bank, the platform is meant to boost the security of documents related to trades and payments.

“Problems in the making foreign exchange payments are most commonly encountered in the first mile, so the bank decided to build a blockchain around what doesn’t work,” he said.

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The blockchain platform will also provide an independent and much safer cloud-hosted record of all documents and steps, instantly available in real time to all parties involved.

The platform will be cloud-based and built on the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain platform which is compatible with the bank’s existing foreign currency trading application, dubbed Shyft.

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Treasury Releases Funds to Counties Showing Acceptable Plans to Clear Pending Bills

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A statement from the National Treasury shows that 18 counties that showed acceptable plans to clear pending bills received reimbursements for November.

Acting Treasury CS, Ukur Yattani, says that the 18 counties received Ksh. 11 billion.

The counties include; Baringo, Bomet, Embu, Garissa, Isiolo, Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Kitui, Machakos, Meru, Migori, Mombasa, Nandi, Narok, Taita Taveta, Tana, Tharaka Nithi, Vihiga.

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A further Ksh.7 billion was disbursed to 12 counties that had cleared their pending bills. These include; Elgeyo Marakwet, Homabay, Kajiado, Kericho, Kilifi, Kwale, Laikipia, Makueni, Nyamira, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Uasin Gishu.

Related; Treasury to Withhold Funds for 15 Counties

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Business

Kenyan to Steer Dalberg as Global Managing Partner

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Dalberg Advisors has announced the appointment of Edwin Macharia as Global Managing Partner for a 3-year term. Edwin term commences on 1 January 2020 and succeeds Yana Kakar who had been at the helm since 2013.

Prior to his appointment, Edwin has been with Dalberg for 11 years serving various roles. For instance, he founded Dalberg’s first office in East Africa in 2008, established Agriculture and Food Security Practice, and serves two terms as the Regional Director for Africa.

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“Edwin has spearheaded a lot of innovation into the new business lines within the Group. That will serve him well as he steps forward to lead Dalberg’s biggest and longest-standing business” noted Henrik Skovby, Dalberg’s Founder. 

Dalberg Advisors is a global consulting firm specializing in inclusive and sustainable business, policy, and investment strategy. Moreover, the firm combines strategy consulting, design thinking, big data analytics, and research to address complex social and environmental challenges.

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Business

Maize prices drop in Kitale : The Standard

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Maize prices have continued to drop gradually in Kitale as preparation for the Christmas season kicks in.

The decline in price has been blamed on the continued heavy rains that have characterised huge post-harvest losses.
Some farmers who lack proper storage facilities are selling their grains hurriedly to avoid losses due to high humidity during the rainy season.
A survey by The Standard indicated that a 90-kg bag that previously sold at Sh3,000, now fetches Sh2,600, with fears that it might drop further. This has seen the middlemen take advantage of the challenges facing farmers to dictate the market price.
Delays in the opening of the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) for the current season crop has also exposed farmers to massive exploitation.
Small scale farmers hit by lack of storage facilities and facing other financial obligations are forced to sell their produce at lower prices as set by traders.
“I have been forced to sell our maize to avoid more post-harvest losses since NCPB has not started buying the crop,’’ said Fredrick Rono.

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“The State is insensitive to the plight of maize farmers. The State has exposed us to exploitation by traders,’’ he added.
Some farmers are selling their maize to plan for the Christmas celebrations and also raise money for their children’s school fees at the beginning of next year.
“I have disposed of part of my harvest to meet the Christmas requirements as well as to get money to pay fees for my children,’’ said Francis Koti.
Tom Nyagechaga, the secretary-general of the Kenya National Federation of Farmers, blamed the national government for the price drop, saying the delay in opening the NCPB stores had opened windows to middlemen to exploit farmers.
Heavy rains have also frustrated farmers who are yet to harvest their crops.

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Maize pricesNational Cereals and Produce BoardNCPB

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