Africa is abuzz with possibilities following the commencement of trading within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on January 1, 2021. AfCTA creates a single market for goods and services to increase trading among African nations. The excitement generated by AfCFTA crystallizes Africa’s dream to exploit its full potential in trade as one bloc for the progress of its economies, enterprises, and livelihoods.
The African story has often been marred by stories of war, disease, political instability, and corruption. It these stories, by and large, that have led to the continent being derogatively referred to as the dark continent or a 3rd world economy. This perception has been furthered by African countries over relying on or begging for aid in cash or kind from the West for its economic survival and to feed its population. On the flip side, humanitarian aid to Africa persists as an oxymoron considering that Africa is spread over a wealth of natural resources whose raw materials fuel most of the world economies. With 65% of Africa comprising of uncultivated arable land, it is puzzling that Africa is a net importer of food and of agricultural products, despite this agricultural potential. (more…)
Mother’s Day is observed every year with dates varying across different geographical areas. This day is set aside to celebrate the gift that is motherhood and the people who bear this name directly or indirectly. Mothers have often been described as the epitome of love and sacrifice and set the pace for the rest of their children’s life. A mother’s influence over her child is seen both in the tangible and intangible attributes. For instance, it has been asserted that children get their intelligence from their mother. This is argued on the basis that the genes responsible for intelligence are contained on the X chromosome. The mother carries 2 X chromosomes and as such contributes one X to the child while the father donates either the X or Y chromosome which will also determine whether the child is male or female. The mother’s influence is also reflected in the child’s weight, temperaments, dominant hands, vulnerability to certain diseases, among others. (more…)
Kenya’s vision to move to a middle-income economy driven by industrial transformation is hinged on its ability upscale the manufacturing sector and offer products that are competitive into the market. The Kenyan manufacturing sector has often agitated for solutions to the challenges the industry faces primarily, regulatory inefficiencies, high production costs, logistics, cash flow and liquidity challenges. These have been aptly summarized in the Kenya Association of Manufacturing (KAM) Manufacturing Priority Agenda 2021. (more…)
Mark Twain a renown American writer said, “Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.” This quote asserts that age is best seen in wrinkles caused by smiles due to the warmth and joy shared with oneself and others over time.
This maxim is indeed true on a personal level and can also be extended to corporate entities. With every corporate anniversary achieved, the best way to reflect and celebrate on the milestones achieved is seen in the wrinkles etched in the hearts and lips of the people who engage with the company as employees as well as customers. Companies that focus on delivering smiles set a series of activities going in the hearts and minds of their people. Some of these include loyalty, repeat business and advocacy. It is interesting how forgiving people become when their best brand suffers a slip up, the people form a loyal army championing for quick resolution and return to normalcy so that they may continue to enjoy their services as they have known. This level of advocacy from the people is often rare, in a market that is teeming with alternatives, however it is not uncommon. (more…)
African Business Magazine in its May 2020 issue ranked the top 250 African companies. The listing captured various sectors in a ranking that is often dominated by companies in Media, Banking, Metals & Mining. As expected, companies from Africa’s leading economies of South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt and Morocco took a lead in these rankings with Kenya’s Safaricom leading the Kenyan enterprises at position 10. The time is ripe for more and more African enterprises to tap into the opportunities within Africa and contribute to the continents growth and sharing with the rest of the world Africa’s resilience in spite of the challenges that have challenged our economies, threatened our peace and put to question our political choices. (more…)
Players in the essential services sector play a critical role in keeping economies going as the world is engrossed in the COVID-19 battle. Essential services are derived from a broad spectrum of sectors notably, healthcare, transport and logistics, banking, food suppliers, governments, among others. It is therefore safe to say these are the warriors on front-line in the war against the pandemic. These sectors ensure populations have sufficient access to; medical supplies, PPEs, pharmaceuticals, food among others. The logistics sector plays the critical role of ensuring these key supplies are imported and distributed to the destinations in a timely manner and in the requisite state. As such, logistics providers in cargo transportation, warehousing, port, and customs clearance pass the baton to other front-line sectors with much needed supplies through the supply chain. (more…)
Players in the Transport and logistics sector continue to keep economies afloat and play a leading role in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Since its outbreak in January 2020, the virus continues its spread with infections going into millions across the globe.
Various government restrictions have been implemented to control the spread of the virus through lock downs, containments, and curfews among others. However, certain essential sectors of the economy have been allowed to continue their operations – such as the logistics sector- to ensure delivery of much needed shipments such as; food, medical supplies and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to not only to ensure populations are well resourced with key supplies but also support medical practitioners and governments in the war against the COVID-19 virus. (more…)
The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a massive blow to the global economy. On the supply side, factories and businesses have been forced to close temporarily due to the shortage of input materials from suppliers and the need to protect workers. Demand is declining, too, as consumers stay home and face the prospect of a large-scale economic downturn.
Against this backdrop, the March 2020 purchasing managers’ index (PMI), which reflects the economic health of the manufacturing sector, slumped to a 92-month low in the Eurozone and also decreased significantly in most Southeast Asian countries.
The world is today grappling with the Corona Virus (COVID-19) that has continued to snuff out the life of thousands across the globe. This newly discovered infectious disease has threatened human existence as its infection rates soar from different corners of the globe. Having initially began in Wuhan, a Port City in China the COVID -19 has rapidly spread to other parts of the world paralyzing economies, trade and human safety of countries affected. As a response to battle the spread of the disease, countries have taken necessary measures such as closing of border points, lock downs, quarantine and curfews to encourage social distancing as well as limit movements to forestall further spread of the disease. With these interventions, trade and businesses have been paralyzed pushing economies to the brink of collapse and crashing of stock markets globally.
The transport and logistics sector is a major victim of the COVID-19. The industry, which is driven by facilitating cargo movement to or from different geographical locations, supports key economic sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, aid and relief, construction, education amongst others. However, the interventions to stop the spread of the COVID -19 have made it challenge if not impossible to move goods from point A to B thus affecting trade between regions. (more…)
“The rose is a flower of love. The world has acclaimed it for centuries. Pink roses are for love hopeful and expectant. White roses are for love dead or forsaken, but the red roses, ah the red roses are for love triumphant. “– Unknown
The month of February is here with us, and for the lovers among us, 14th February is the prescribed day to express love to each other as we celebrate Valentine’s Day. In many parts of the world, Valentine’s Day is the celebration of romance and romantic love. The celebration is incomplete without the exchange of gifts usually, chocolates, wine and teddy bears. I dare say, Valentine’s celebrations are incomplete without red roses. The demand for red rose is at its peak at various points of sale across the globe during the Valentines season.
Kenya is a key player in bring to reality those valentines’ moments. As a leading world exporter of flowers, Kenya ensures that global Valentine celebrations are well supplied with red roses to fit the occasion. The demand for cut flower exports peak in January to meet the annual demand that comes with the Valentines season in February. Flower sellers across the globe cash in on sales of red roses especially during Valentines period. Clement Tulezi, the Director of the Kenya Flower Council states, that Kenyan flowers are sold in more than sixty countries, mainly in the European Union, Russia and the United States. He links the popularity of Kenyan flowers to the grower’s compliance to high standards, which has positioned Kenya as a producer of top-quality flowers. He adds, “One of the main reasons of the consistent growth of our industry is the quality of our flowers”. Consequently, Kenya is today the third largest exporter of cut flowers in the world and the horticultural sector plays a major role as a foreign exchange earner for the Kenyan economy.
The Kenyan rose has endeared itself to the global market due to its colours, varieties, size of the head as well as its availability all year. Kenya experiences favourable weather due to its location adjacent to the equator. The Kenyan climate does not suffer extreme high or low temperatures as is common in the markets Kenya serves. In addition, the Kenyan government and private sector players have invested heavily in logistics infrastructure that enable swift movement of flowers from the farm and onwards to the international markets. Today, the road networks to and from the farms have been well maintained and developed allowing for swift movement a factor that contributes to preserving the flower quality at the prescribed temperatures. To maintain the cool-chain, logistics players use refrigerated trucks and cold rooms that ensure the flower temperatures are maintained from the farm, truck, warehouse and onwards to the market. (more…)