Category Archives: housekeeping

BAKE – Kenya Blog Awards 2017

The Bloggers Association of Kenya – BAKE Kenya Blog 2017 Awards are on again. The nominees,  in 22 different categories, were announced on April 3. Nominees include long time great reads and past winners like Moses Kemibaro, Owaahh, iHub, Mutua Matheka, Niaje, Wandia Njoya,  Mummy Tales, Mzalendo, and Graduate Farmer, with lots of interesting new blogs as well – such as Magunga, Otherwise Podcast,  Daniel Ominde, Penstrokes, and Kenyan Wall Street. The short-listed blogs came from 10,000 submissions, an increase from 4,800 the year before, and the winners will be announced on May 13 in Nairobi.

Voting runs up to May 9, and the 2017 awards are sponsored by, among others, Safaricom, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford, Xpose, EatOut, Vivienne Tea, and the Kenya Human Rights Commission. Please vote for Bankelele in the best business blog category.

Bloggers Wanted

  • Seeking people who can write on topics of interest in banking, business, finance, economics, investments, agri-business – and anything that revolves around money in this part of Africa.
  • Contact bankelele_at_hotmail_dot_com to discuss sending in original pieces of your own work. Regular contributors may be invited to attend and write on other corporate events of interest with the possibility of compensation.
  • Writing length and style should resemble other posts in this blog and may be edited to fit this, but you will be credited with your twitter handle and or a link to your own blog.
 

Hello WordPress

After almost 9 years of blogging on Google /Blogger, the blog has finally been migrated over to WordPress.

This is still a work in progress and I am still learning all the fun stuff on WordPress (and dealing with new volumes of spam) and all the new features on that I was never keen on, as I was focused on content, first.

The good folk at Angani have patiently walked me through the (ongoing) migration progress, coming over to visit and answering numerous newbie queries.

Over the next few days

– More features will be added

– Themes may change

– The (popular) reading list of other blogs will be restored

Feel free to suggest WordPress plug-ins and other business tools to add and also send in information of gaps in the site to fix

Agriculture not only improves Food Security but creates Wealth for Africans

An open letter to African Union Heads of State by Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of the United Nations rural development agency, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
Judging from the daily outpouring of commentary, opinions and reports, you would think that there were two African continents. One of them is the new land of opportunity, with seven of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies, offering limitless possibilities to investors. There is, however, this other image: a starving and hopeless continent, hungry and poor, corrupt and prey to foreign exploiters.
As Africans, we are tired of caricatures. But we are also tired of waiting. Waiting to be led toward the one Africa we all want: the Africa that can and should be. We know the real Africa, filled with possibilities, dignity and opportunities, able to face its challenges and solve them from within. Never has the time been more right for us to finally realize our full potential. It is within our grasp.
As a scientist, I am always interested in facts. Africa is a land rich in resources, which has enjoyed some of the highest economic growth rates on the planet. It is home to 200 million people between the ages of 15 and 24. And it has seen foreign direct investment triple over the past decade.
As the head of an institution whose business is investing in rural people, I know that you also need vision and imagination. At the International Fund for Agricultural Development we have banked on the poorest, most marginalized people in the world, and over and over again these investments have paid off. For people, for communities, for societies. And more than half of the people we invest in are Africans.
More than 10 years have passed since the Maputo Declaration, in which you, as African leaders, committed to allocating at least 10% of national budgets to agriculture and rural development – key sectors in the drive to cut poverty, build inclusive growth and strengthen food security and nutrition.
Today, just seven countries have fulfilled the Maputo commitment consistently, while some others have made steps in the right direction. Ten years is a long time to wait. In less time I have seen projects turn desert into farmland.
In just a few days in Malabo at the 23rd African Union Summit, I will join those of you, African leaders, who will gather to discuss this year’s focus of agriculture and food security. This is my call: Don’t just promise development, deliver it, make it happen now. Make real, concrete progress toward investment that reaches all Africans. Investments that prioritize rural people.
Our biggest resource is our people. To squander this is worse than wasteful. If we don’t act now, by 2030 Africa will account for 80% of the world’s poor. Is this the legacy that we want to leave for future generations?
The AU declared 2014 as the year of Agriculture and Food Security. And this is the year we look beyond the deadline of the Millennium Development Goals to a post-2015 world with new goals and targets to reach. I hope that this means that we will be dedicating ourselves fully to making agriculture a priority. GDP growth due to agriculture has been estimated to be five times more effective in reducing poverty than growth in any other sector, and in sub-Saharan Africa, up to 11 times. Ironically, it is countries that lack lucrative extractive industries and that have had to invest in agriculture who have found out what is now an open secret: agriculture not only improves food security but creates wealth. Small family farmers in some parts of our continent contribute as much as 80% of food production. Investing in poor rural people is both good economics and good ethics.
A full 60% of our people depend wholly or partly on agriculture for their livelihoods, and the vast majority of them live below the poverty line. It’s not pity and handouts that they need. It’s access to markets and finance, land tenure security, knowledge and technology, and policies that favour small farms and make it easier for them to do business. A thriving small farm sector helps rural areas retain the young people who would otherwise be driven to migrate to overcrowded cities where they face an uncertain future. Investing in agriculture reinforces not only food security, but security in general.
In an Africa where 20 states are classified as fragile and 28 countries need food assistance, the need for a real rural transformation backed by investment and not just words is critical – I have often said that declarations don’t feed people.
Investments must be focused on smallholder family farms. Small farms make up 80% of all farms in sub-Saharan Africa. And contrary to conventional wisdom, small farms are often more productive than large farms. For example, China’s 200 million small farms cover only 10% of the world’s agricultural land but produce 20% of the world’s food. The average African farm, however, is performing at only about 40% of its potential. Simple technologies – such as improved seeds, irrigation and fertilizer – could triple productivity, triggering transformational growth in the agricultural sector. It is estimated that irrigation alone could increase output by up to 50% in Africa.  Rural areas also need the right investments in infrastructure – roads, energy, storage facilities, social and financial services – and enabling policies backed by appropriate governance structures that ensure inclusiveness.
If we look at the countries that have met the Maputo commitment, we see that investing in agriculture works. Given that agriculture has become lucrative for private investors, and about 60% of the planet’s available uncultivated agricultural land is in Africa, there is no mystery why we hear about so-called ‘land grabs’. Opportunity draws foreign investors. There is nothing wrong with foreign investment. But it has to be managed, to the benefit of all.
What is a mystery is why, with such a vast potential and a young population just waiting for a reason to seize it, our African leaders do not announce that they will redouble their efforts to drive an inclusive rural transformation, with concrete commitments, that will make Maputo a reality. I hope that after the Malabo meeting, that will be a mystery no longer.
African economies have grown impressively. But it is time to stop focussing on GDP figures and instead focus on people. The majority of our people are engaged in agriculture, and the neglect of that sector must stop if we really want to realize the healthy, peaceful and food secure Africa that we know can be. It is not a dream; it is a responsibility.

Idea Exchange: Bank, Literature, Journalism, Opportunities, and Win a Free Phone

The Africa AgriBusiness Challenge from Enactus Kenya and Syngenta seeks out youth to generate creative business ideas to improve the agricultural productivity of certain crop value chains. Deadline is June 10.

The 2014 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship will have five awards to celebrate entrepreneurs at different stages of the entrepreneurial life cycle; lifetime achievement, transformational business, outstanding mature business, outstanding growing business and outstanding social entrepreneur.

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. Details here .. via @calestous.

@AfriCOG Investigative Journalism Fellowship Programme 2014. Deadline is 30 May. 

Anthemis Fellowship seeks out entrepreneurs, executives and thought leaders who are passionate about building an improved financial services industry fit for the digital age. The Anthemis Fellowship program includes 4 months at the Anthemis London office, 4 months with one of their portfolio companies and 4 months with a major financial services firm. It also comes with a monthly stipend of EUR2000 and an invitation to attend the Anthemis #HackingFinance Retreat from July 10-13, 2014 in Meribel, France. Deadline is June 1. 

@APO_Source has had a scholarship for an African journalist to to attend the 2014 annual meetings of the African Development Bank.

Bloomberg Africa ‏@BBGAfrica – seeks Swaziland, Eritrea, Djibouti, G.Bissau, Cape Verde, Eq. Guinea, Sao Tome stringers – Please e-mail asguazzin@bloomberg.net

Citi Africa Management Associate Programme Citi in Africa is  looking for ambitious graduates with strong academic backgrounds, maximum of two years’ work experience, leadership, teamwork, and excellent communication skills.

The 2014 CNN/MultiChoice African Journalist Awards will recognise excellence in culture, economics & business (NEW), energy & infrastructure (NEW), environment, health & medical, news impact (NEW), photography, press freedom, sports, language general news, Francophone news and also Portuguese news. Details here and the deadline is 30 May.

EABL Foundation scholarships for needy students who have gained admission to Kenya public universities. Deadline is June 6. 

Etisalat Prize 2014 for African literature is now open with a top prize of £15,000 and a fellowship at the University of East Anglia, while winner and shortlisted writers also receive a sponsored two city tour promoting their books. Details here and the deadline is 8 August.

The Golden Baobab Prizes for Literature include awards for a picture Book (targeting readers aged 6 – 8 years), early chapter (targeting readers aged 9 -11) and rising writers (for a young African author under the age of 18 who demonstrates the talent and drive to become the next great African author for children). Details here and the deadline is June 29.

Jalada / @KwaniTrust seek 3 best Afrofuture submissions for a second anthology. Deadline is D/L 15

Japan Government scholarships  in research, teacher training, technology, and specialized training .. via @njathika

Want to be a Jameson brand ambassador? Here’s how to apply (via @uqweli ) oops – deadline also passed.

KCB: The region’s largest bank has ongoing internships, management trainee and management exchange programs. Sourced from @RookieKE blog.
 
Kenya Revenue Authority –  KRA graduate trainee program 2014

The Kenya StartUp Cup is open to all Kenyan youth entrepreneurs who can apply to win Kshs 1 million (~$11,500). Details from the @prepaid_africa blog and the deadline is May 20.

KenyaTop100 seeks successful companies with turnover of Kshs 70 million to Kshs 1 billion (~$12,000)  with 3 years audited accounts to compete and be among @kenyastop100 

Kijabe Forest Trust @KijabeForest  is seeking a new logo design.

Kuona Trust has internship opportunities for students at their offices in Hurlingham, Nairobi. 


The Kwani Trust 2014 fiction workshop seeks to develop new contemporary fiction writers between the ages of 18 and 24 and from outside of Nairobi. To apply, check the website, and send email to submissions_at_kwani.org by May 26.

Orange  has launched the 4th edition of the Orange African Social Venture Prize which will award prizes to four projects; three with grants of 10,000 EUR, 15,000 EUR and 25,000 EUR, and a new special prize of 10,000 EUR. It’s open to all entrepreneurs or legal entities that has been in existence for fewer than three years at the time of the competition and the deadline is 19 September.

Power Africa Off Grid Energy Challenge from @USADF and @GeneralElectric Africa offers up to $100,000 to 100% African owned and African managed firms that seek to power up under-served parts of rural Kenya. Deadline is June 20.  

School of Data: Become a School of Data Fellow as they are currently broadening their efforts to spread data skills around the world, and are seeking people who are data savvy, understand the role of NGO’s, are interested or experienced in working with journalism and/or civil society, or enjoy community-building.  Deadline is 1 June.


Standard Chartered Bank Fast Track Program: The bank is looking for young graduates to join their management trainee program in several African countries, including Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and several international locations. Sourced from @RookieKE blog

 
The Stanford University Africa MBA Fellowship Program pays for tuition and associated fees (approximately US $145,000) for citizens of African countries with financial need who wish to obtain an MBA at Stanford GSB. Stanford will award up to eight Stanford Africa MBA Fellowships annually. Details here and the deadline is 13 June.


Strathmore University @StrathU scholarships from @imbankke for 10 needy students pursuing various Finance related degree programmes.

Swedish Institute Management Programme‏ The Swedish Institute is launching a new leadership programme for progressive leaders from Kenya,Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Zambia – offering a combination of theory and practice in the area of responsible leadership and sustainable business.  Details here and the deadline is June 6.

Total Kenya Graduate Management Trainee Program. The company was is looking for young dynamic graduates.  Also sourced from @RookieKE blog but the deadline was 7 May  
The Wall Street Journal @WSJ looking for entrepreneurial reporter to cover the most entrepreneurial of Africa beats–business, from Nairobi. Apply to @pwonacott

Submit your wikimedia proposals to be included at Wiki Indaba 2014 in Johannesburg. Details here and the deadline is 15 May.
The World Bank Young Professionals Program 2014 seeks highly qualified and motivated individuals skilled in areas relevant to the World Bank’s operations such as, economics, finance, education, public health, social sciences, engineering, urban planning, and natural resource management. Details here and the deadline is 30 June.
 
Win a Nokia Lumia 1320: There are very few comments on the blog here despite the number of daily readers, and many of the comments are from spammers promoting products from far off countries. To stimulate comments, I’m giving away a brand new Nokia Lumia 1320 phone (worth about $400/Kshs 35,000) to the person who engages the most on the site. The phone was an excellent, but unexpected, prize awarded to the winner of the best business blog at the recent 2014 Kenya Blog Awards ceremony. During the month of May, readers to the blog and it’s archives, can make as many comments as they want, and I’ll respond on some. 
Rules 
1. There are no rules about winning.
2. It’s about serious comments, not volume – and blog comments only, not tweets/tags
3. This is personal, and the promo has nothing to do with Nokia  or Nokia East Africa.
4. @Coldtusker is excluded 🙁
5.
An announcement will be made on June 14, and there may not be a winner  if no one is deemed to be worthy.