Category Archives: Econet

Digital Roadmap launched in Nairobi

The Pathways for Prosperity Commission launched a new Digital Roadmap report in Nairobi outlining steps that developing countries, especially in Africa, can follow to prepare for a future that will be vastly different thanks to rapid digital developments.

The Report outlines broad recommendations on issues like digital identity and payments while ensuring all citizens are included and have their rights protected. It emphasizes how physical infrastructure and connectivity are essential and how they are combined with continual educational processes to build flexible skills that young people can adapt to different careers of the future.

It encourages developing countries to come up with their own localized digital governance structures and not import these wholesale from developed countries. Collaboration should see all participants in government work with the private sector and civil society. Governments should break down silos, and also make rules that allow for technological innovation by not being too rigid. Also, of some relevance to Kenya, is the need to consider county governments in planning for a digital future.

“We have seen the impact of mobile money on Kenya, but in the digital ocean coming to hit Africa, mobile money is a toe in the water,” said Strive Masiyiwa (Econet) who, along with Melinda Gates (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), serves as a Co-Chair of the Pathway’s Commission

He added that the world was at another moment like it was at the start of the internet era, around 1995, and with artificial intelligence poised to add $16 trillion to the world economy, African countries should aim for a tenth of that and grow their continent’s GDP from its current $2.5 trillion. 

The Commission also launched a Digital Manifesto with 10 steps to transform economies. Some of the measures proposed include empowering all citizens, securing their data, developing digital identity & digital financial systems, providing social safety nets, and enabling investment environments suitable for different countries. New ways of finance include deploying pension funds as local venture capital, and nurturing patient angel capital groups such as the ones in Nigeria and South Africa that have sprung up to finance other young entrepreneurs. 

Countries also need to use technology to build resilience. One potential roadblock cited was the possibility that incumbent giants in different countries would use their governments to seek protection from new technologies.

Coop Bank IPO is Next

NSE is overweight with financial shares, and may get heavier with the listing of Co-operative Bank later this year. The listing is expected to raise 10 billion shillings ($150 million) for growth and expansion. The shareholders transferred the assets and liabilities of the bank to a limited liability company (from a co-operative socirty) last week. – and their class B shares (par value Kshs. 100 shillings will be split into shares of par value Kshs. 1)

However as a long suffering customer of the bank, I may not add to might already overweight basket of financial stocks.

edit – Co-Op IPO opens October 20 2008



Kenya Airways; are offering a novel business trip package – 4 trips for $1,000 to be completed by March 2009 for trips to Dubai, Bangkok, honk Kong, Guangzhou
– Delta airlines open a Nairobi office
Railway destiny in local hands
– The Government wants Rift Valley Railways to increase capacity, lay more tracks, and transfer cargo ASAP. ICDCI looks at RVR as a long term investment, but they hope to get return on the investment within 4 years. They own 10% of the company and will acquire another 10% from IFC over the next four years.

Zain will increase share capital by 75% (raising $4.5 billion) from its Kuwaiti shareholders for expansion in Africa. They are already advertising to put up base stations and adding dealers in Kenya
good to know Econet has the most subscribers in Zimbabwe.. That’s an ARPU in millions?

Dividend cycles
how long goes it take some NSE companies to pay declared dividends?

One month: Standard chartered (interim), Kenol (interim)

Two months: Barclays, BAT, Olympia

Three months Crown Paints, TPSEA (Serena), Jubilee, Nation Media, Total, HFCK, Diamond Trust, Pan Africa, NIC, Standard Chartered (final), Bamburi (interim)

Four months: Centum (ICDCI), Standard Newspapers, Access Kenya, Eveready, Bamburi (final)

Five months: Kenya Re, Kenya airways, Express, Rea Vipingo

E-government and privacy

Online IPO Registrations I applied online for my Safaricom IPO shares.

There’s the official site for the IPO registration that is very easy to use. Just type in your CDS number and ID number and ID/ passport number (that you used to open the CDS account) to get started ( it’s an indictment for investor education initiatives by the CMA that there are leaders and executives who still don’t know what a CDS account) – and you get all your information like contact information, select your stockbroker, how you want your refunds and dividends to be handled etc.

Some Kenyans may find it unnerving to see their information in an online public database, like having Safaricom know where you are . The Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) enabled online verification of vote registration (I checked and confirmed mine online, but it was missing from the voting day roll) in one of the many positive things they did before the election, and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) which utilizes the internet for some clearing & forwarding processes ahs also promised to enable online tax filing and driver license.

Econet hiring Econet mobile has promised to launch services by August 2008, with new partners Essar. They even advertised for some jobs in the Friday paper, something they have done several times before. Hopefully, the company will become operational and the jobs materialize

NBK and Econet restructure

National Bank: was the first bank to release half year results with assets up 25%, deposits up 22% and profits up 35% from June 2006. The big transformation comes from Kshs. 20 government bond plan which have now been absorbed in the bank’s financial statements. What does it do? While government securities are up 6X (from Kshs. 3.96 to 23.57 billion), it also chops 2/3 of loans off their books (drop to 27.34b to Kshs. 7.34 billion). The restructured balance sheet also helped profits as NBK reduced provisions from Kshs. 1b last June to Kshs. 350m at this half year.

But NBK is not out of the woods yet. While the gross non performing assets from 34b to a more manageable Kshs. 5 billion this is still about 75% of NBK’s loan book which, as the MD mentioned at the AGM many cases are still stuck in court.

Econet: After three years of being persona non grata, Econet has been given the green light by the government to roll out operations and its network. In the three wasted years that Econet has wrangled with shareholders and the government, much has changed. Celtel has engaged super-profitable Safaricom in a war for customers even as Telkom wireless has become a viable alternative to an extent that the need for a third mobile operator may have passed. Also what happened to anyone who applied for jobs there? For Econet, not going to be easy to assert themselves and with networks so expensive and unless they get new shareholders and partners with investment resources and regulatory muscle.

Equity muscle: strong back to get heavy hitters like the Minister of Finance, the Central Bank of Kenya and the Nairobi Stock Exchange to come to your defense. Econet should talk to them

Investor outreach: Following in the steps of the Suntra – Postbank partnership, stockbroker Ngenye Kariuki has partnered with K-Rep bank to offer stockbroking services at the banks branches.

Happenings in North Eastern Kenya: The Kenya Revenue Authority sets up shop at Wajir Airport as the Kenya power & lighting company plans to open up stations in Mandera, Wajir, and Garissa.

Who needs e-mail? : The postal corporation of Kenya plans to increase the cost of corporate mail boxes and sending most letters (small/mid size envelopes), to reflect the increased cost of doing business.

Takeovers: James Finlay takes over Homegrown (flowers), and Krystalline Salt acquires the Mombasa salt works company

Government pork : Jaindi Kisero points some out uncertain projects that are going to be funded by tax revenue including 1.3billion to purchase a ranch in Nyeri District to settle squatters, 400 million to settle hawkers, 200 million to purchase shares in De La Rue, Sh 140 to buy shares in Panpaper, 641 million for coffee debts, 664 million for pyrethrum debt, and 15 billion for Telkoms’ tax arrears

Teachers over-borrowing: The Teacher Service Commission (TSC) has told banks it will stop allowing check-off loans. They fear some teacher have over-committed themselves i.e. borrowed so much that they take home less than 1/3 of their salary after all deductions are made. (One teacher is not happy about the change)
Universities: Two new universities to open soon – KCA University at Ruaraka and Presbyterian University at Kikuyu. Also both Kenya Methodist University and University of Nairobi will open campuses in Mombasa as Kenyatta University opens one in Kitui

– MP Jakoyo Midiwo has sued to wind up the Kenya Times (Media Trust)
– Former managing director of Mugoya, James Mugoya Isabirye, is wanted by the Kenya police. The receiver manager has also offered a generous reward
– Why does the High court have a summer vacation (from 1 august to 15 September)?

Action Aid: head of finance Somalia
Equity bank: credit managers, bank managers. E-mail by 28/7
First community bank: IT product specialist, audit offer, business relationship officers, corporate relationship assistants, private banking officers, credit administration officers, trade finance assistant managers, tellers, head tellers, customer service representatives. Apply to by 30/7
Knight Frank: senior valuer, property manager, residential sales manager, site acquisition agent. Email by 27/7
– Sub editors at the Nairobi Star newspaper: Apply to by 31/7
Spencon: head of internal audit, senior internal auditor, internal auditor, business analyst, marketing & communications assistant, group contracts manager, contracts manager, IT/ERP professionals. E-mail by 10/8

Ecofade II

Part I

Econet Wireless fired off another long letter to the Minister for Information and Communications this week in addition to printing it (2 pages long, badly worded, with typos) in the Nation to explain why they have not rolled out almost two years since they were awarded the third mobile license.

The company which has a history of big talk blames red tape and invisible forces who have continued to manipulate the license process.

Econet’s MD writes that they want (then) Minister Raphael Tuju to retract his unauthorised statement cancelling Econet’s license and also wants the CCK to issue them with network codes. They claim CCK and various officers have been pushing them to renegotiate with KNFC (an entity who could not pay for 5% of their purported 82% ownership), and also lend money to KNFC to enable them to pay for their $12m portion of the license fee.

Econet claims to have already spent $40m on the process (also what happened to applied for jobs at Econet?

Air news

Early Bird offer from Kenya Airways has round-trip flights to Mombasa at 5,000/= if you take the 6:45 a.m. flights.

– Kisumu Airport should reopen next week when repairs should be done.

– Qatar Air Cargo to serve Nairobi and Eldoret from next year.

December 9 Opportunities


Corporate affairs group leaders (2) at Celtel. apply to by 15/12

Internal audit manager at East African Portland cement. D/L is 22/12

East African tea trade association
– finance/investment analyst
– project management office director
Apply by 22/12 to

Power economist at the Electricity regulatory board. D/L is 29/12

Multi-lingual flight attendants at Kenya Airways – (both male and female) – fluent in Hindi, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, German, French and Portuguese aged 21 – 30 (in addition to the other similar flight crew requirements). D/L is 20/12 for applications to the group human resource director.

Director treasury at Kenya commercial bank. Apply through Hawkins associates

– education sales consultant
– middleware pre-sales consultant
More details their site and apply to by 15/12

Retail, sales & marketing – area business managers (2) at Shell. Apply to by 11/12

Urgent cargo
– chief operating officer
– general manager – freight
Apply to by 18/12


Aga Khan Foundation young development professional (YDP) program a 1 year leadership and management development program – accepting two streams this year (i) development management (ii) arts, media, or culture management web link here and deadline to is 20/12

Kenya Oil Company (Kenol) management trainees preferably who are fluent in Portuguese or Spanish. apply by 18/12 to the human resource manager.