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State woos French investors for Nairobi renewal : The Standard

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The government has invited French investors to put their money in two projects aimed at expanding Nairobi’s central business district and “remodeling” Eastlands.
Through public-private partnerships, government is seeking Sh28 billion for Railway City and Sh358 billion for the Eastlands Urban Renewal Project.
Pitching the projects, Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga urged a delegation of French businesses to increase their investment as he outlined the opportunities in the projects.

SEE ALSO :Strike looms in 20 counties over unpaid July salaries

The lobbying is ahead of an Africa-France Summit next year themed on “sustainable cities and territories”. 
Mr Hinga cited land as a headache for investors, hence the reason the government had opened up over 400 acres for the Railway City to private sector.
“There will be various components that will be available to French investors to come and engage us … The entire 400 acres will not be given to just one person, we want to engage with serious people who can put the balance sheet behind their mouth,” he said.

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The French companies are involved in construction, architecture, energy and IT, and include Tactis, Ragni Groupe, Architecture Studio, Archetype Group, Interhydro and Elydan Ryb.
They are part of Business France, an agency that promotes French firms internationally.

SEE ALSO :Sh16.5 million to boost farming in Meru

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Railway City is expected to be completed in the next 20 years and will involve three phases: Railway infrastructure will gobble up a huge chunk of the project at Sh17.5 billion followed by water supply and construction of roads and pavements that will take Sh3.9 billion and Sh2 billion respectively.
In Eastlands, the Housing ministry and Nairobi County Government plan to construct 117,000 houses to replace the existing 15,000 in the area that houses about 55,000 households.
Since last year’s State visit by French President Emmanuel Macron, companies from the European country have increased their activities in Kenya. with deals worth three billion Euros in the pipeline.


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Blows exchanged as man finds wife in bed with businessman ▷ Kenya News

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A businessman from Ukambani identified as Kimeu escaped death by a whisker after he was cornered while ‘drinking water from his neighbour’s cistern’.

The husband of the woman he was munching, landed on him in unprecedented, furry filled assault-style.

He said he had for long been hunting for the man that he claimed ‘has made his bae lose interest in him’.

The suspect would arrive at the woman’s house after 10pm while her hubby was away. He works with an NGO within Ukambani.

Throughout this time, there were whispers that the two were having a good time though they tried to keep it secret.

After unsuccessfully trying to ambush the duo, the aggrieved husband sought the services of native doctor Mwikali Kilonzo to help burst them.

Days later, while in the city, he received several calls from neighbours informing him that his wife and the stranger were stuck while doing the unthinkable on their matrimonial bed.

He swiftly set off to his home and it took him four hours to arrive.

“I thought this was just hearsay, I shouldn’t have trusted you in the first place, even after giving you everything you wanted…you have the courage to bring another man in my house?” The NGO man fumed as he descended on them.

He rained kicks and blows on the young man in rapid succession as the ‘thief’ pleaded for sympathy.

The fight was quelled after the security personnel from the nearby police camp intervened.

The show was in no way different from the several other instances of cheating spouses ending up glued together during adulterous missions.

The two were later separated from agony and the man has since summoned his in-laws to discuss the matter.

Apart from netting cheating partners and bring peace in troubled homes, herbalist Mwikali Kilonzo has unique means to influence promotion at work and can spin court cases.

Additionally, she has powerful medicine that can cushion homes from spiritual and physical attacks. She is able to paralyse thieves and recover stolen items.

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Contact her on 0722901790 and find a solution for your problem.

She is available in Mbitini Kitui county, Bungoma Town, Kitale and Kenyatta Market in Nairobi.

Why Kenyan men are travelling long distance to meet this woman | Tuko TV.

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Kenya losing African export markets to China as manufacturing shrinks : The Standard

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Export of manufactured goods has declined sharply, with Kenya losing its African export market to China and India.

In the last eight years to 2018, the country has watched helplessly as the market for some its key products including textile, glassware, cement, wood and carbon dioxide shrunk leading to massive job losses.
Struggling cement industry has seriously affected export earnings of the product which dropped by 80 per cent to Sh1.5 billion in 2018 from Sh7.5 billion eight years ago.
Cement manufacturers have been struggling with some of the companies downsizing in response to a turbulent environment. For instance, ARM Cement was placed under receivership then sold to Devki Steel when it fell into financial trouble. East African Portland Cement Company recently sent home most of its workers as it struggled to remain afloat as the cement industry faced headwinds with the slowdown in the construction sector.

SEE ALSO :Kenyans to pay billions to use JKIA-Westlands road

Export of wood products has also suffered, plunging 65 per cent with the country earning Sh225 million a drop-down from Sh648 million earned in 2010.
Other manufactured goods that have been hit include export of textile yarns and made-up textiles, a low-lying fruit under President Uhuru Kenyatta’s job creation ambition, which fell by a third.
And with some glass-making companies shifting base to neighbouring countries, export of glassware reduced by half with the country getting Sh927 million from Sh1.9 trillion eight years ago.

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Export of machinery and transport equipment, aluminium and metal containers have also shrunk as the country continues to lose its competitiveness in manufacturing. Manufacturing sector’s contribution to the economy or gross domestic product has dropped from 10 per cent in 2010 to 7.7 per cent last year.
As a result, Kenya’s export market in the East African region and Comesa, dropped as countries in the trading blocs either found ways to manufacture their products or new trading partners such as China and India that are more competitive than Kenya. Even as exports to African countries have declined, imports have increased with Kenya’s trade surplus narrowing.

SEE ALSO :New wave of payouts as expressway tears through Uhuru Park

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Uganda, for example, has seen its exports to Kenya rise nearly three-fold to Sh49.4 billion in 2018 compared to Sh19.3 billion in 2016.
Other countries that have since brought more goods to Kenya, mostly as a result of being in the same trade bloc, include Egypt.
The loss of export market has also led to job losses, according to Statistical Abstract 2019.
Data from the national statistician sounded a warning bell to those engaged in the manufacture of vegetable and animal oils and fats, as this sub-sector shed a staggering 12,743 jobs between 2014 and 2018. The job losses touched 18 manufacturing sub-sectors in what has been blamed on the increased cost of production, including the high cost of electricity, punitive taxes, bureaucracy and high cost of credit, a big blow to one of Uhuru’s Big Four Agenda.
The affected sub-sectors include textile, manufacturing, fish, vegetable and fruit processing that have been identified as part of Uhuru’s job creation ambition under the Big Four Agenda. Manufacturing is expected to create one million jobs by the time the President leaves office in two years.

SEE ALSO :Pushed to build new railway for China, Kenya is paying the debt

Current figures could even be worse given that the other affected sub-sector, sugar manufacturing, for example, has seen even more job losses owing to the closure of Mumias Sugar, once the country’s biggest sugar miller.
Experts note that one of the reasons Kenya is losing out is because it does minimal value addition. “We do very little value-addition on tea and coffee,” says Timothy Njagi, a research fellow from Tegemeo Institute, a public policy think-tank affiliated to Egerton University. Dr Njagi says that most of the Kenyan tea is used for blending.


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I want African nations to have more say in standards body : The Standard

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On January 1, 2019, Eddy Njoroge will take over the presidency of the International Organisation of Standardisation (ISO).
He will be the first African to lead the global standards body, the entity that sets the bar for products and services across different industries. While he could have opted for an office in Geneva where ISO is headquartered, he has opted to have the ISO president’s office in Nairobi.
And even before he sets foot in the office, he is clear what success will look like at the end of his tenure – bringing Africa and other developing countries to the table where standards are made. He expects to reverse a scenario where these countries have been what he terms just ‘standard takers’ but also become ‘standard makers’.
For two years, Njoroge will chair the ISO Council, which works like the board of a company, made of 20 countries represented by their respective standards’ bodies. Membership to the council is rotating and any of the 164 countries that are members of ISO can be council members. There are, however, countries which have permanent representation including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, France and China.
Success, Two-fold
The council oversees the governance of the Geneva-based organisation.

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“Success will be two-fold for me – if there is more involvement of developing countries in making of ISO standards and getting more people on the street to know about standards. If I achieve these two, a lot will fall in place,” said Njoroge, who has in 2019 been serving as president-elect after he was elected unopposed last year.
Currently, only a handful of countries from the developing world are involved in the making of standards, and even then, they are barely audible. This has put them at a disadvantage, as in many matters, they are required to implement standards that they did not play a part in developing. This sees many countries unable to meet these standards and hence locked out of many opportunities including global trade.
“When you look at standards today there is realisation that there are not many developing countries involved in standards, especially making of standards,” he said.
“I felt there is need to get developing countries participate more in the making of standards. One of the ways of doing this is to get involved at the governance level of ISO especially at the top and that is how I offered myself for the presidency.”
Elected unopposed
Njoroge has a challenge in his backyard, where Kebs, where he is a board member, appears to always be putting out fires every other day, all of them seemingly due to poor enforcement of standards as well as governance challenges at the entity. The scenario is no different from the standards bodies across many African countries.
The former KenGen boss was elected unopposed during last year’s ISO General Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. He had, however, missed the presidency two years earlier, when in 2016, Njoroge had vied but lost to the current president John Walter.
Njoroge had been nominated as a candidate by Kebs. This is usually the case for the ISO presidential candidates – they have to be fronted by their home country’s standards body. The 164 ISO members – which are countries represented by their standards bodies – then vote for their preferred candidate. In 2018, Njoroge was unopposed.
“I had offered myself for the presidency in 2016. Then I was completely green but I sold the story of what I wanted to do and there was quite a lot of support. I lost by one vote and many people thought I should come back. In 2018, I went back and was elected unopposed to the president-elect this year and takeover next year for a two year period,” he said.
Past ISO presidents have all been from the developed countries, except in three instances where there was one from Brazil and two from India.
“We have not had anybody from what you can truly call developing countries,” noted Njoroge.
“That is why I want to be the voice of the developing countries and get them more involved. We have over 300 technical committees within ISO, which are the developers of standards but we have very few developing countries in these committees.”
“We must sit at the table to safeguard our interests. What mostly happens is that standards are developed and while we, as developing countries have not participated, have to take them when they are adopted as global standards. I would want more countries to participate.”
While participation in the committees is critical, there are usually cost implications which limit them. It involves a lot of travel, as in many instances the committee members have had to meet physically, which comes with a lot of commuting.
“One of the things that we are trying to do is where committees have to meet physically, we will try and fundraise to help developing countries. Within ISO, we are going to look into how we can have a bigger budget to support developing countries in their participation in technical committees. I am also trying to engage donor agencies who would be keen to get more people to participate in the technical committees,” Njoroge said.
“The other way is encouraging the use of technology among committees. People do not have to meet physically and this makes it easier to participate. But we need them to come out and offer themselves.”
Bringing the developing world to standards’ development table is one of the four agenda items that Njoroge has for his presidency. His other goals will be to deepen understanding of standards to the common person, use standards to catalyse industrial growth in an era of technology and employ standards in redressing trade imbalances. The latter, being critical for countries in the developing world.
“I intend to champion, promote and lobby for the use of international standards whenever possible as a basis for technical regulations. This will not only ease the regulatory burden to countries but will also ensure a mutual acceptance of both domestic and imported goods,” he said.
ISO has a four year strategy (2016 – 2020) whose rallying call was ‘standards used everywhere’. And while this will be coming to an end as his presidency begins, Njoroge said he has adopted this as one of his key agenda as the leader of the global standards body.
“I feel that ‘standards used everywhere’ is something that we should still aspire to,” he said.

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