Category Archives: Mombasa

East Africa Property Expo

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This weekend, there is an East Africa Property Expo at the Sarit Centre in Nairobi – and what was interesting to see the presentation of several of properties being developed at the Kenya Coast for investors to sign up. Some noted, include:

The African Collection introducing fractional ownership with 1 and 2 bedroom houses in Malindi at Kshs 12.7 million (~$150,000) and Kshs 17.7 million respectively is now 60% sold.
Cowrie Shell  Beach apartments  in Bamburi are expected to be completed in November 2012 
Golden Sand Resort from Elegant Properties will have  1, 2,3  bedroom apartments, hotel and shopping mall in Diani Beach. 
 Milele Luxury Apartments is a development by the Presbyterian foundation (PCEA) near Haller Park, Bamburi, and it has fully furnished apartments including 2 bedroom ones for  sale at Kshs 21 million (~$247,000) 
Ocean 7 developer drawing
Ocean7Kenya is a massive Miami-style development in Mtwapa by the Sun N Sand Group and 3 bedroom apartments are on sale for Kshs 30 million ($352,000).
  
Willow Creek Ranches  are selling 5, 25, 50, and 100 acre land parcels at Kshs 90,000 (~$1,060) per acre for development. The property has  18KM of River Galana running through and other developments like an airstrip and University property nearby.
For more Mombasa and coast area property listings, check out MySpacePropertiesKenya.
The next edition of the expo will be held in Kigali, Rwanda.

Ship Repair in East Africa

There’s an old company located near the port of Mombasa called the African Marine and General Engineering Company Limited – (AMGECO) which is a dry dock ship repair facility, and one of its kind on the East Coast of Africa.

The company has a long history in East Africa, and has gone through ownership and management changes over several decades, but the core investment is the Lloyd’s certified giant facility & dry dock which carries out all manner of ship repairs including steel & metalwork, engine servicing, mechanical, electrical, cabin/woodwork, refrigeration/air conditioning and hull-cleaning among others. They also re-stock ships with provisions like food and water.

pic from their website

The facility can handle repairs of various ships including cruise liners, military , cargo, tankers and others in its 40 metre wide berth, and currently they are repairing one of the old Kenya Likoni ferries.

The skilled work and scope of repairs is fascinating, and ranges from light repairs of lifeboats to heavy ship re-building in their dry dock – and it makes for an interesting place to visit in Mombasa if you get the chance

The road to Mombasa

That’s what friends are for
I called in a huge favour last week and was able to snap up some tickets on a Coast bus to Mombasa, two days before Christmas. Most bus companies are fully booked this time of year, and the seats I got were on one of the extra buses added to meet the holiday demand. On this trip, I took a bus ride down and drove back in a small car. Another option I considered was to make both legs of the journey by overnight train.

Shopping jam
Because of the last-minute shoppers, and increased number of buses & matatus waiting to travel, there was huge traffic jam in the city on Friday. As a result, it took over an hour to clear the city limits and we were passing JKIA (Nairobi airport) more than 1 ½ hours later, despite having left on time at exactly 10:30.
Good road

The 500 kilometre (300 mile) road to Mombasa is one of the smoothest and most pleasant roads to drive on – for at least 200 miles or (2/3) of the journey. There are long stretches of road that never seem to end, meandering through flat, mostly dry, low hills and plains. It’s been dry in most of Kenya for several months now, but one goes though parts of Ukambani where it has not rained for years and the drive is made beautiful in that you don’t have to stop here, and are only passing through at high-speed. The road is mostly new from Sultan Hamud onwards, and even though there are some diversions where the road is still being constructed, they are well paved and you don’t lose any time.

All those people who nurse their Subaru’s, BMW’s, and other high performance cars thought Nairobi’s daily traffic jams should consider giving their cars a treat and drive down to Voi, or even on to Mombasa. The roads are so good that one can easily get carried away, until they look at the speedometer and realise how fast they are driving on the many long stretches of road that never seem to end. But, if you have an older, troublesome or weak car, the drive can be frustrating because it appears you’ll never reach your destination, and keep getting demoralized as you’ve overtaken by faster cars, buses and even trucks.

Speaking of trucks they really hit top speed on the highway with trailer trucks cruising at 80 – 90 km/h. When one drive you (going in the opposite direction) the turbulence it produces can blow other light vehicles (with inexperienced drivers) off the road.

There are supposed to be some speed traps on the highway, but I did not encounter any. Police on this road are more concerned with ending a series of attacks by highway robbers who have been operating on the road for the last two years.

Bad road

Near Mombasa is short stretch of road that is reason enough not to drive to Mombasa. The road one of the worst you will find in Kenya, and is so unbelievably bad, it’s a national shame. It takes about 1 – 2 hours to cover the 20-kilometre section between Mariakani and Miritini on the outskirts of Mombasa. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a land cruiser or humvee – high speed will cause a puncture or you to leave some vehicle parts behind. Power steering is a must, as you must literally dance your car around a huge endless sea of potholes, which are either huge craters or sharp-edged ditches.

Several prominent companies located in the area such as Mabati have complained and threatened to move their businesses elsewhere if the road is not improved – but to no avail. Mombasa residents say the road is actually better than in years past, and have faith that repairs will be done in 2006. You won’t believe how bad it is until you try it, but you should only attempt to drive through in the daytime. A nighttime drive though will expose you to severe vehicle damage and a possible robbery attempt.

For security purposes I was told that if you get a puncture in this area, or other parts of the highway (and especially at Night), it is advisable to block the whole road with your vehicle. This forces other vehicles to stop and support you while you carry out you repair your puncture. People who pull to the roadside are often attacked.

Nearer Nairobi (between the Athi River and Machakos turnoffs) the road is also slowly deteriorating as no maintenance is being done.

Banking
Pesa Point have installed an ATM at Mtito Andei (halfway point of journey) in what is arguably the town’s busiest location – the Caltex petrol station where Coast bus make their rest stops. KCB also has some branches along the way, but most Banks only have branches in Mombasa

Wildlife
I saw a giraffe near Sultan Hamud, baboons, and three herds of Zebra who appear to have permanently settled on the roadside just after Mtito Andei. Also saw two elephants approaching the road near Manyani, and I almost ran over a four-foot monitor lizard that wanted to cross the road near Mariakani. Oh, and some cows grazing at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi under the close watch of Masai herdsmen.

Summary
Overall it’s a good drive, whether going to or from Mombasa but only if you leave early enough to tackle the bad roads (at either end) with plenty of time and daylight left – it’s also advisable to go in a convoy of vehicles. Next time I go to Coast, I will try to take the train, as it is the only mode I have not recently used. The Kenya Airways flights take one hour and are unremarkable except for a clear view of the disappearing snow atop Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Lazy tender job blog day

What about them? It is was hypocritical of the US and Britain to call for the resignation of Kenyan Minister Chris Murungaru, while retaining their own scandal ridden leaders like Dick Cheney and David Blunkett

Give them a chance: James Shikwati argues that indigenous Maasai should manage Amboseli Park which is their own land and resources – not outsiders.

Running in America: Paul Tergat will tackle the New York marathon for the first time on Sunday.

Remember Econet? Econet who seem to spend more time in court than on telecommunications will list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in May 2006, in a bid to raise $500 million.

We want oil: Kenya continues her search for oil and doesn’t care who finds it.

Tenders

Free trade at Mombasa: The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has invited firms to set up a free trade zone at the Mombasa port via a 33 year build-operate-transfer (BOT) concession. Interested bidders should submit a business plan for the project via December 21 to kpamd@kpa.co.ke after obtaining detailed tender documents form KPA.

Airport expansion: The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport modernisation and upgradation project has invited firms to construct a passenger apron at terminal 4, taxiways, car parks and associated facilities. Documents should be submitted to the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) by November 10.

Separately, in Parliament a Minister said that the Government plans to build a second runway at the airport after recent incidents should how necessary this move was.

Airport repair: The KAA has also invited a tender for emergency rehabilitation work at Moi international airport (Mombasa) involving reconstruction of 175 metres of pavement and installation of drainage & electrical systems (including flood lights). Tenders to be submitted to KAA by 1st December.

Bank software: Consolidated Bank invited bids for the supply, installation and commissioning of a credit risk and debt management system (closing November 22)

Elsewhere K-Rep Bank, a micro finance institution just installed a similar solution – Temenos T 24 at a cost of 102 million shillings.

Jobs

The Communications Commission of Kenya is hiring:
– Manager procurement
– Manager new technologies
– Assistant director standards & type approval
– Assistant director compliance & consumer affairs
– Statistics officer
– Economic analysis officer
– Economist/ communications services
– Legal officer
– Radio engineers (5)

Telkom Kenya is hiring:
– Manager call centre
– Distribution manager
– Head of customer service
– Regional sales manager

A remittance company
IRNet Coop Kenya (ICK), a company setting up remittance services with an international partner is hiring:
– General Manager; Must have MBA, and IT exp would be a plus and 3 to 5 years management experience in banking, finance, telecom or retail industry.
– Operations manager; must have 3 to 5 years of administrative/accounting experience in banking finance, telecom or related field.
For both: Applicants must be aged between 28 – 35, and have business degrees in finance, accounts or engineering and experience with integrated accounts software as well as good analysis skills and knowledge of local market. Apply to IRNet Coop Kenya box 73236-00200 by 7 November.