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Archive for October, 2014

Sending money to Kenya, Safely.

29 Oct

The main reasons to send money to Kenya via an online money transfer service are undeniable: Online money transfer is fast, convenient and safe. Numerous safety measures are in place to ensure that your money goes exactly where it needs to go. Multiple layers of data encryption are used for online money transfers. That way, if by chance the data is stolen or hacked en route to the recipient, it’s all coded multiple times so that it’s illogical, illegible jibber-jabber. It’s money on a screen to you, but once you hit send on a secure money transfer Web site like Mukuru.com, it goes out into the Internet as coded data, and once it’s received by the recipient’s bank or service, it’s decoded and deposited as currency.

Online and mobile banking as well as mobile money have been targeted greatly with the continued popularity of Mobile money adoption in the region has attracted criminals who are now targeting this new money transfer channel and with many financial institutions are introducing vulnerable web and mobile applications.

All online banking transactions, including online money transfer services, are processed by the Automated Clearing House (ACH), an independent agency that offers secure financial data transmission. The various services offer other levels of protection to guarantee your money will be sent and your bank accounts won’t be compromised. Safety for the user is of paramount importance. OK, so it’s safe for you, and for the person that needs money.

Safety of the sender and receiver is of paramount importance as advancements in modern technology have helped countries develop and expand their communication networks, enabling faster and easier networking and information exchange. Did you know that there are nearly 2 billion internet users and over 5 billion mobile phone connections worldwide. Every day, 294 billion emails and 5 billion phone messages are exchanged. That is a lot of information being passed around and that means people are at risk of cyber-crime. Kenya is in advanced stages to assemble a cyber-crime laboratory for police in Eastern Africa States to arrest Internet crime with the innovation able to detect internet based fraud, hate crime, child pornography and illegal money transfer. This is the result of an An analysis of international trends of crime point to increase in organized crimes that are invariably trans-national in nature. Prominent amongst these threats are terrorism, the use and trafficking of narcotics, money laundering and cyber-crime. It has been realised that to successfully combat cyber-criminal activity – there is a need for organizations to rethink cyber security and adopt an Integrated Approach to fighting cyber-crime.


The growing Film industry

23 Oct

When it comes to Kenya the immediate focus is on its tourism attractions, its sports personalities in running and sevens rugby, its people and its coffee. There is a sleeping giant with it comes to products from Kenya that is slowly awakening and if the indications are correct Kenya could have a film industry that could potentially rival that of Nigeria with its famed Nollywood. Are we in for Kollywood?

The first indications see the featured films moving away from documentary type films to more fictional content that saw a larger attraction of customers lapping up the new content. This was a show of relief from the documentaries that often related to conditions of the people and poverty that people were subjected to in the main cities. This saw a big increase in production of local feature films albiet still low budget and small scale. The producers will still able to reap some rewards from these mass produced films like “dangerous affair” and “R2 Security” because they sold them at a relatively low price which allowed customers to buy the dvds original and bring down piracy which could have negatively affected revenue.


Critics have stated that without funding there is little to no chance of a “Kollywood” emerging any time soon. The film industry is lacking largely in private sector funding despite its detailed growth in the past few years. The Kenyan government has stepped in yo assist and established the Kenyan Film Commission. The KFC aims to promote the industry not only within the country but to raise international awareness and interest from potential investors. The commission falls under the Ministry of Information and Communication. The Ministry of Education introduced film production in schools, colleges and universities drama festival. The Kenya film industry is expected to grow leaps and bounds say the more optimistic, with the government having committed 10% of its GDP to the creative industries. Film production in Kenya has increased exponentially in recent years. But industry insiders say there’s lot of room for improvement. They site competition from Nollywood as one of the reasons behind the slow progress of Kenya film but are confident that with time public will embrace local productions more.

A big hit on the Kenyan screens is sex comedy “The house of Lungula” which has gripped the nation. Crossing the taboo divide in a comical way reflecting on everyday ordinary Kenyans sexual encounters, showing that the Kenyan film industry has enough creativity to leave a large footprint in the film industry.house of lungula



Visit Kenya from Kenya and beyond

20 Oct

Tourism is a major contributor to the Kenyan economy through visits from millions of people from all over the world. There is a plethora of attractions Kenya offers to visitors and in that same breath the Kenyan government has been making strides in boosting Domestic tourism. The idea is that Kenyans can also support the industry in exploring their nation and taking up the wonders it has to offer. The government has set up the Domestic Tourism board aimed at promoting local tourism and also attracting Kenyans abroad to come visit Kenya’s tourist attractions at local prices. The government looks to tap the increasing the increasing local disposable income levels. The ever expanding economy has resulted in more Kenyans having extra income to do what they please with. The government has stated that Domestic Tourism has become a significant form of tourism in Kenya where it is found that it can cushion off the tourism industry during low periods of international tourist arrivals.

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With the aggressive promotion of the domestic sector, local tourism business is expected to increase significantly as Kenyans disposable income gradually increases.

The aims of Kenya Domestic Tourism are to:

  1. Encourage Kenyans to become active participants in domestic tourism to boost the sector
  2. Create a network of stakeholders who will contribute to its growth and to organise forums where they could exchange ideas
  3. Maintain a constant flow of information and data on local tourism
  4. Produce tourism media — electronic and print
  5. Organise exhibitions
  6. Aggressively market local tourism through product investigation and analysis. Facilitate access of local to products and educate Kenyans on local attractions.
  7. Negotiate with stakeholders to subsidise the rates for Kenyans throughout the year

Objective 7 is the most important. While the local GDP is rising it has not quite got there to be warrant a national percentage that is described economically well off. The idea behind it is to increase the number of local tourists and locals from abroad too who may have a higher spending power because they are bringing back with them strong currencies like the US dollar and the British pound. rino-kenya-300x187Domestic packages discounted to attracted a large up taking will probably make more economic sense than  charging premium prices that only a few can take on, especially like mentioned before, during periods of low international arrivals. The government has taken active steps towards this with President Uhuru Kenyatta announcing a raft of measures including tax free holidays aimed at enticing Kenyans to visit tourism sites. Uhuru also said that the government will allow corporate and business entities to pay vacation trip expenses for their staff on annual leave in Kenya and deduct such expenditures from their taxes and he is hoping this measure will lead to at least 25,000 Kenyans going on a week’s holiday every monthly at the expense of their employers. The government hopes the initiative will bring over 300,000 additional Kenyan guests in hotels throughout the country. The measures announced by the president come on the backdrop of a meeting held with tourism sector stakeholders in which industry players had also made recommendations aimed at reviving the industry.



Kenya : The next big oil exporter?

16 Oct

Oil and Gas, one of the most lucrative industries in the world, known to transform deserted regions to spectacular developed cities. The United Arab Emirates comes to mind, once sparsely populated then rapidly transformed into a multi billion dollar success powered by the global thirst for petroleum products. Inevitably oil exploration entered into overdrive and leaving success tales along the way for some countries and disaster for some depending on how one looks at the turn of events. The economies of country’s like Norway and Venezuela has grown leaps and bounds and the discovery of oil in some has seen significant improvements in the GDP of countries like Angola. Countries like Nigeria are also large oil exporters but continue to suffer from one crisis to another due to a multitude of problems of a political nature. We shall not get into that in detail though.

When it comes to new oil and gas frontiers, today it’s all about Africa. And more specifically, it’s all about the eastern coast, with Kenya the clear darling — not just because it’s outpacing neighbouring Uganda by leaps and bounds, but also because despite some political instability hiccups and the threat of militant al-Shabaab, it’s still one of the safest venues in the region. Kenya is blessed to have potential in both offshore and onshore oil deposits. Both small independent companies and the large international corporations are competing for exploration rights and currently Tullow Oil—the British explorer behind Kenya’s oil discovery début in 2012—announced another oil find that will extend the already proven South Lokichar basin. Earlier this year, in May, Tullow and partner Africa Oil Corporation left a hefty impression on the market with the announcement of the country’s first commercial oil discovery worth $10 billion, in this basin. The Basin is part of the East African Rift system, a long line of geologic faults where plate tectonics is working to tear the eastern portion of Africa away from the rest.  The area in Kenya now being worked by Tullow saw a small discovery in 1992, but low prices made development uneconomic. Adding to that is the quality of oil in Lokichar crude is the “light and sweet” variety meaning it is relatively pure oil lacking impurities and can be readily and easily refined therefore meaning the costs of production are significantly lowered increasing profit margins.

Kenya stands at the heart of the East African oil powerhouse that is rising, The combination of Kenya’s oil discoveries and the large discoveries in Uganda and the existing fields in South Sudan which could easily have 3 billion barrels in reserve and the fact that Kenya is extremely well placed for that as well with its LAPSSET project, an ambitious plan to develop a transport corridor from the new port of Lamu through to Garissa, Isiolo, Mararal, Lodwar and Lokichoggio to branch at Isiolo to Ethiopia and Southern Sudan. The existing infrastructure and  the potential developments makes Kenya well placed to lead Africa in oil and gas production.

So, when looking for an oil and gas play in Africa to sink your teeth into, consider Kenya. The country has got a lot of very valuable crude oil, several neighbours who need a way to get their own crude to market, and a port that will soon be a new nexus of the oil trade for all points east of the Suez Canal, including the thirsty Asian giants India and China.  From an investment perspective, an onshore opportunity like this is not likely to come again any-time soon.