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Archive for September, 2012

Kenya ranked in Africa’s top 17

28 Sep

The country has excellent connectivity to major world-wide hubs, a deep pool of educated and skilled manpower, a huge potential for exploration and exploitation, and to top it up, it has the most developed stock market in the Eastern and Central African region

These factors among others are why Kenya has been ranked as one of the top 17 most attractive countries in Africa for investment over the next five years. This was published by Earnest & Young in its 2011 Africa attractiveness survey. They survey identified a selection of countries with good potential for good investment over the next five years and Kenya was ranked as one of the top 17.

According to the survey, Africa has become critical in sustaining the growth of emerging market investors. As it becomes more attractive, the growth prospects for the continent have become more attractive with capital investment set to grow to about US$150b in 2015.

According to this research, doing business in Africa is not a “should I” question but rather a “how should I” question for anyone who is serious about making a sustainable and meaningful investment. It is simply a matter of looking at the various opportunities that the continent provides especially by means of its natural resources advantage, and the availability of labour at reasonable costs.


Dealing with exchange rates

24 Sep

When is the best time to send money back home?

I am sure that is a question that any remitter ponders on. With the unpredictable rates fluctuating every single day, one does not know how to predict or make a trend out of them.

So how do you make the exchange rate work for you?

Don’t waste time speculating!
An exchange rate is in a way like the stock market, unpredictable, and risky! So anticipating exchange rates is a loser’s game. Currency rates are affected by forces like GDP, inflation, and employment; of which, the average person doesn’t have the ability or information to predict which way a currency is headed.

Instead, use the investing technique of dollar-cost averaging to protect your money.

This basically means sending equal amounts of money home, say once a month, this will ensure that you  gain money when the exchange rate is in your favour; but you won’t lose as much when it’s not, because you won’t be sending that much money home. This technique won’t allow you to maximize your earning potential, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing you won’t be on the losing end of a bad exchange rate.

So in response to that question “When is the best time to send money back home?” I guess the answer to that is “small amounts regularly!”


Nairobi makes top five destinations in Africa

21 Sep

According to MasterCard’s Index of Global destination Cities, Nairobi should receive the third highest number of total visitor arrivals in 2011. Nairobi, together with five other African cities made the top ten rankings of the broader Middle East and Africa category.

Nairobi is also set to experience a 20.8% growth rate in visitor expenditure from last year.

Here are some attractions & activities that tourists can look forward to, not only in Nairobi but also in Kenya.

  • Wildlife & game reserves – EG; the Maasai Mara – Elephants, Rhinos, Lions
  • Coast Eg: Mombasa – White sand beaches and coral reefs
  • Stunning scenery – savannahs and plateaus – Eg: The Rift Valley
  • Mt Kenya –Africa’s second highest peak
  • Agreeable climate with temperatures over 20 degrees all year, lots of sunshine.
  • Relatively good roads, good rail links, air transport.
  • Motorised & walking safaris,
  • Beach holidays,
  • Balloon/air safaris,
  • Water sports,
  • Walking/climbing,
  • Cultural tours of local tribes,
  • Fishing

Besides creating jobs in the country, increased tourism provides a major source of income for foreign exchange earnings.  Helps to protect wild animals & scenery and develops facilities. It also promotes understanding of culture and finally helps improve other related industries and the infrastructure.


growth of the resilient

19 Sep

Experts say growth prospects remain firm and are projecting a 4.5 percent growth up. The forecasts are based on positive trends being witnessed among key economic segments.

Increased foreign investments, good rainfall and radical reforms in key socio-political and economic realms are some of the important factors that have driven meaningful economic growth in the country.

Good rainfall that was received across the country will result in good agricultural yields, while ongoing investments are injecting direct foreign capital into the economy as major reforms shake up governance. According to Renaissance Capital Kenya, this will in turn restore the country’s goodwill and confidence among strategic trading partners.

Kenya’s stuttering economic growth has been a causing a nightmare to its citizens, investors alike, who will certainly be relieved by these projections. The economy has shown resilience from the effects of the debilitating 2007/8 post election rukus which pushed it to the precipice.

Aftershocks of the global economic meltdown also trickled down to key economic segments occasioning cash crunch and liquidity challenges.

This, coupled with a prolonged drought recently made more than 10 million Kenyans depend on relief food and forced the government to seek international support to raise Ksh30billion for food.


The perception of a better life

14 Sep

Last time we explored very briefly, some of the reasons behind the fact that almost half of Kenya’s migrants have chosen to settle in the UK. What images and perceptions have acted as pull factors in attracting us to the UK?

• Colonial ties

An important consideration in this regard for most of us has been the fact that English is our official second language and so we can definitely cope in an English environment as opposed being in Germany or France where we have to take on a new language.

Second point to consider is that our traditional culture is mainly British influenced to the extent that even our language is loaded with a lot of English terms.

• Landscape and culture

High Buildings, White streets and the Tower Bridge of course. These are some of the images that immediately come to mind when we think of the UK.

• Welfare benefits

Might not seem like an important one but the fact of the matter is, there is an effective benefit system as long as you are legal. Most people have the mentality of  ” I’ll get there, scrub the floors and just work” . Truth is this, as simple as this plan is, it actually does not always work out that way, but the silver lining is  if you really need the assistance the government is ready to help.

In a nutshell we all came here in pursuit of a better life not only for ourselves but also for our families back home in Kenya to whom we send money. If we are to be honest this life we pursued so enthusiastically is in so many ways not exactly what we expected. In some ways we possibly feel we have been too ambitious in our goals upon arrival. In many ways, we have also been blown away by the vast opportunity to em-better the lives of our loved ones back in Kenya.


Destination Uk

11 Sep

Our backgrounds are always varied, our stories, although similar are unique in some way. And yet we have all ended up in the same country thousands of miles away from home with same goal- or maybe different versions of the same goal.

It is quite interesting to note that almost half of the emigrants from Kenya have decided to settle in the UK.  The question as to why can be answered by the classic “globalization 101″ idea of push and pull factors, with the main pull factor being that the quality of life life in the UK is much better than back home in Africa. To put it differently, we all pursue the promise of :

1. Better jobs in the UK
2. Education
3. Safety
4. Higher wages
5. Social security

Weather or not this promise has been delivered is quite arguable and we could possibly explore that in the future.