Category Archives: CNBC

Idea Exchange: TED Global, Richard Branson, Student Opportunities

The 2011 Africa Awards ceremony take place in Nairobi on December 8 and reward entreprenual excellence & efforts. This year the odds are strong that the winners of the total $400,000 of funding prizes won’t be Kenyans as the nominees shortlisted are soleRebels, – Ethiopia, Unique Solutions – Gambia, Expand Technology – Mauritius, Chocolate City Group , FASMicro, and Pepperoni Foods (3 from Nigeria) Cellular Systems International – Senegal, Victoria Seeds – Uganda, Securico – Zimbabwe and InvesteQ – Kenya.

The Awards are held in conjunction with Convergence Africa also in Nairobi on the same day and which features Richard Branson among other speakers and leaders.

Africa Leadership Academy: The world famous school in South Africa is taking on the next crop of students leaders. Application details are online and the Deadline is 12 December 2011.

Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund: Has a new round of financing for renewable energy and climate adaptation technologies. It is aimed at for-profit companies with eligible projects in the East Africa region and Funding will be in the form of grants and repayable grants of between US$ 250,000 to US$ 1.5 million. Details here.

Google Photography Prize: Google + is seeking photographs submitted in ten categories (main ly by university students). More details.

NetFund: Identify individuals, educational or community institutions with project, initiatives or campaigns that contributes towards environmental management and are worthy of an award. Details here and deadline is January 30 2012.

Reuters Business News Workshop Fellowships: This is a five-day course in London next year, that is open to as journalists or regular contributors to print, broadcast or online media organizations. D/L November 25 (Found at Yipe)

TEDGlobal 2012 takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland in June 2012 with 50-plus speakers and performers from all over the world. See registration details.


Australia Awards: The Government of Australia has scholarships to Kenyans in priority development sectors. They include masters levels (D/L Feb 28) and short term professional development (D/L 16 December). More details here.

Chevening Scholarships: The Chevening Scholarship Programme for Kenya 2012-13 is now open for applications. It facilitates post graduate study program in the UK available for up to 12 months or for short courses or research. details here and the deadline is Jan. 23, 2012.

CNBC Africa: Top Trader is a new reality television show that will in 2012 follow the trials and tribulations of Africa’s top amateur traders> The competition is now open to public; there are more details on CNBC Top Trader and the D/L is Jan 21.

FiveByTwenty program of the Coca Cola company to create five million women entrepreneurs in the coca cola ecosystem by 2020. The pilot had 100 young women trained in Nairobi in financial & distribution training and become sales partners and more are invited to apply to coca cola 5 BY 20 technoserve as producers, suppliers, farmers (project nurture) etc. if they meet some criteria.

Google Africa Internships: This is a continuation of their summer internship program, now open for new applicants, and more Google Internship details can be found at the Africa blog.

Pasha: Latest round of funding from the Kenya ICT Board. Details here and D/L is Dec 3.

CNNMultiChoice African Journalist 2012 Awards. Details here and D/L is Jan 26.

Farewell CNBC Africa?

From July 2010, my favourite TV channel CNBC Africa is no longer available on free TV in Nairobi. CNBC Africa is not going away, just that it will be harder to find and more costly to reach.

A twitter message from the company shows that All Kenyan viewers should be advised that @cnbcafrica is completely exclusive to @DStv on Channel 410

So no more free broadcasts of the channel, only on for DSTV subscribers. Having CNBC in Kenya was a great addition to our local airwaves. It provided a forum for business talk, almost 24 hours a day, refreshing counter-programming e.g. on Sunday morning when every other free TV channel feels that it has to broadcast a noisy church sermon.

Many will miss the range of investor & industry analysis, business news and interviews from around Africa (South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria), Asia, Europe and the USA. Still the video’s of the day from the channel can still be found at the ABN Digital site that’s updated with fresh content on a daily basis.

Other reads: Business reporting is ‘hot’ in Africa with CNN market place Marketplace Africa and last weeks edition of the Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards now in its seventh year. Also here’s a profile of CNBC Africa Nairobi anchor Terry Anne Chebet and another story from South Africa that gives an interesting insight to the underbelly of the profession.

IM The Bank!

Kenya’s I&M Bank has made two bold moves in recent days:

1. The second was the purchase of a stake in a Tanznian Bank, after their venture last year into Mauritius. It will probably be similar to the bank buy by NIC in Tanzania that they (NIC) revealed to their shareholders. But expert analyst @coldtusker points out that it has taken six years for I&M’s foray to bear fruit in Tanzania.

Also, Ratio Magazine just published a timely Tanzania Country Brief which has this comment on the banking sector;

…Tanzania is already home to 25 banks – none of which have managed to bring down the country’s high interest rates (many banks charge up to 25%). There is much opportunity to court new customers, as only 10% of Tanzania’s 40 million people have access to formal banking services. But scarce human resources that have plagued other foreign entrants will also be a challenge…

From ABN Digital: On 27/01/10 CNBC Africa’s Alishia Seckam spoke to Suprio Sengupta from I & M Bank

2. The first was the was the partnership with partnership with VISA that may place I&M at the forefront of the e-commerce banking in Kenya, which though it still has a small debit and credit card base, these consumers now have the access and a platform to make online payments as well as for local merchants to sell their goods, and receive payments, online.

AGOA week in Kenya

The 8th AGOA forum is to be held this week in Nairobi.

Ugandan insomniac posted some charts on AGOA’s impact in East Africa and the outlook is bleak. CNBC’s East Africa show over the weekend reported that of the 6,400 products that are eligible under AGOA, Kenya exports just 20. The conference comes just a few weeks after Delta Airlines maiden flight to Nairobi was canceled at the last minute and even Businessman Chris Kirubi was on KTN a few days ago lamenting the obsession with a faraway US market, instead of building regional trade links trade within Africa especially to South Africa.

So there will be a high powered delegation in Nairobi this week, led by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, with 300 business leaders in tow. We wait and see what impact they will have and I hope Hilary Clinton gets to see Kenya, unlike when her predecessor when Condi Rice came to Kenya last year, and never ventured outside her security/US Embassy cocoon. The 300 business people should mix and mingle with some local SME and business leaders outside the conference.

Here are the official Kenya and US sites for the AGOA forum

other non-related AGOA opportunities include

One Africa Award: The OneAfrica Award celebrates individual or organizations s that are succeeding in helping African countries achieve millennium development goals. Closing deadline is August 21, and the prize is $100,000

Maker Faire Africa conference is about to kick off in Ghana where the GO Ingenuity Award will also be launched.

UN Photo: There is s a UN photo contest for Africa.

Ignore the financial news

Retail investors should ignore the financial news – and focus on their stockbrokers competence instead

The Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) is at a low point the year, yesterday it was the US markets, and today its markets across Asia (Japan, Korea) that have all dipped more than 5% in a single day. This is a concern for fund managers, pensions, and insurance companies, large local and foreign investors who actively trade to make profits,, surpass peers and meet targets [e.g. NSSF (bought KCB, stanchart) Kenya Re (bought KCB) ICDCI (bought KCB , sold EABL), ICEA (bought NIC, sold ARM, Total), Heritage (sold ARM, Serena), Old Mutual (sold NIC, Stanchart, EABL)]

But does it affect the average investor and should they even care about the NSE up’s or down’s? This is the retail investor crowd; The people who queue around the block for each IPO, who often make their first foray to the NSE on the back of IPO’s like Barclays, Kenya Airways, Kengen and Safaricom?

Through recent first time investors have gone into IPO’s with some unrealistic expectations (and which have perhaps fueled the sour mood in regards to Safaricom), retail investors are still largely buy and hold investors, who don’t watch CNBC or read blogs or the financial press.

They don’t actively trade in and out of their shares. They value dividends, splits, bonus shares, and of course goodies that are dished out at annual general meetings (AGM’s) like t-shirts and umbrella’s. A share looks good the first time they buy it, and they will stick with it. Year to year performance, sales and profits matter less than a consistent dividend. They are concerned about costs, but often in an us versus them scenario where a company should be able to pay more dividends if it cut its management/employee or administration costs.

The NSE companies they invest in are not dependent on their shares for borrowing, and so a drip in price ala Safaricom does not make their banks come calling. So just as bad news should not concern retail investors, neither does good news unless it involves a dividend or split.

Broker Issues:
(i) If Discount Securities (with 20+ branches) and other brokers who opened offices to serve (Kengen, Mumias) IPO crowds, then find later that these customers don’t trade (and generate commissions & income) how long would this position be sustainable? Brokers were better off using banking halls, supermarkets and other abodes to process IPO applications (as happened with Safaricom)
(ii) Went to my broker yesterday, and they are now marketing the Mabati Bond which has projected income of between 10 – 12% p.a. from the bond, but the minimum application amount of Kshs. 1 million ($13,700) is out of reach of most individuals, and not as affordable as the earlier Barclays Bond
(iii) Initially the regulators (CMA/NSE duo) attributed the problems at Discount to the global market collapse. But new media reports blame owner disputers for problems at the broker and a leading agent.