East Africa biz news and bytes
– Communities are already benefiting from oil exploration done by oil companies in Hoima and Bulisa regions.
– Government to audit/evaluate NGO’s in the north with a view to weeding out briefcase organization, those with an anti-NRM (government) message, or harming the peace talks in Juba
– Simba (a nationwide telcom dealer with 22 shops in Kampala) has partnered with USAID to launch Simba cash a money transfer service available at its stores nation wide. It targets the rural poor who don’t have bank accounts and they can send as little as 10,000 shillings (Kshs. 400)
– Diesel shortage expected to ease following the clearance of four companies – Caltex, Kobil, Total and Tamoil to be allowed to ship diesel from Mombasa by trucks. Demand for diesel and petrol in Uganda has grown to exceed the capacity of the pipeline which reached Eldoret. Previously only shell was allowed to do this is it was supplying diesel for Agrekko’s thermal energy project. The Kenya Revenue Authority has been blocking this move citing fears of illegal dumping of fuel in Kenya and had insisted that the companies should pay full taxes on fuel before they collect it at Mombasa to be refunded after they cross into Uganda, but the companies refused, claiming that KRA already owes them about $6 billion in unpaid refunds.
– From July 2, the Bank of Uganda will stop clearing cheques 20 million shillings (~Kshs. 800,000) thus requiring bank customers to use RTGS or EFT which are more efficient and less risky alternatives for large payments.
– Barclays to enhance its retail presence by purchasing Nile Bank for $120 million.
– Government plans to buy a new Gulfstream G5 (budgeted at $50m) for the President replacing the current G4 when it completes lease payments in November.
Uganda telephone companies may soon be required to share infrastructure (masts, switches, networks). There are 3 companies now (MTN, Celtel, Uganda telcom) and will soon be joined by a fourth (Hits to launch in November) and fifth.
– A bill covering the USE is before the cabinet which has been slow to approve papers/make decisions. This would allow setup of a CDS system here, and also eliminate capital gains tax for foreign investors (does that cover stanbic shares?)
– President Museveni (M7) frequently writes lengthy articles in the newspaper and comments on matters especially where he feels he has been misquouted. The First Lady has also taken to similar writing as well.
– AON has introduced medical cover for people living with HIV. It targets company employees in productive careers & life stages (35 – 44 years).
– Madonna in Malawi perhaps to adopt another baby?
– Kenyan businessmen at athi river, rongai and kiserian are colluding to lower the prices of livestock bought from Tanzanian livestock dealers
– Dar es Salaam university closed after students riot about plans to introduce cost sharing
– RVF on the increase in Dodoma and soon expected to breach Dar
– Tanzania breweries will build a factory that will use seawater to make beer. (This paper was published on March 31 – could it be an April fools teaser?)
– President Kikwete has a monthly state of the nation speech that is broadcast live on radio
– Plans are at an advance stage for a women’s commercial bank in Tanzania
– A newspaper reports that the Tanzania tourism board quotes an ABC news program that identifies the Serengeti Park as one of, and – only African location – among the seven wonders of the world.
It’s amazing what you discover about Kenya in other countries newspapers
– Kenya Airways shelved plans to fly to the US owing to safety & security issues. Also the airline will in May receive two leased Embraer jets to replace the Saab 340’s turboprops.
– Mobile phone taxes will be lowered in the budget this year
– Nakumatt to open stores in Kigali, Dar and Kampala
– NSE to start providing live prices to SNBC, and maybe even reuters and bloomberg one of the benefits of automate trading introduced in 2006 is that they will be able to provide instant and delayed reports, in addition to the current end of day and weekly reports.
– The Nation has started publishing reports from the Kenya gazette, a great, and for too long underutilized, source, of inside information on the government.
– GTV a satellite TV service comes to Kenya and Uganda next month as a low cost rival to DsTV