Author: Nairobi Business Monthly Reporter

By David Wanjala Even before the August 28 plastic ban kicks in, there is already skepticism as to whether the hefty penalties imposed on offenders will guarantee its success. According to the Environmental Management and Coordination Act, the ban will see convicted offenders face a period of between one and four years imprisonment or a fine of between Sh2 million and Sh4 million. While the hefty punishment could make a case for deterrence, it’s not difficult to see why skeptics are adamant that this could open fresh avenues for corruption. For starters, the new guidelines have been poorly advertised. The…

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Masoko, the plural form of market Swahili, will soon be a common word in Kenya’s retail sector, thanks to Safaricom. Kenya’s leading mobile services operator plans to introduce an e-commerce platform in the next eight months targeting formal retail and informal online trading. The platform has already been branded Masoko, in line with the company’s culture of using local Swahili or slung names for its products and services. Masoko will offer products ranging from electronics to beverages and cosmetics and will provide a tool for people to buy and sell goods on social-media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The…

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BY NBM WRITER To appreciate the troubles Nakumatt supermarket is going through, just walk into its Moi Avenue branch in Nairobi. It’s a hungry store, literally, with its shelves yawning at shoppers, who trawl them for products that are fast disappearing. Across Moi Avenue, Tuskys, Nakumatt’s rival in the budget segment, is doing big business, happy to welcome the hundreds of shoppers who can’t find commodities at Development House. “I wanted to buy tissue but can’t find a single piece,” said Becky Kerubo, who runs a career consultancy on Development House, which houses Nakumatt on the ground floor. “I have…

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BY BENARD AYIEKO Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an age-old corporate-custom. Since 1960s, CSR has attracted the attention of businesses and stakeholders with regard to its meaning and benefits. It has partly blossomed in the recent decades because of the lessons learnt from the devastating effects of corporate social irresponsibility. You will recall that the global discussions on transition to the low-carbon economy spurred by the 2015 Paris Agreement and the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals lays emphasis on the need for corporate responsibility in the fight against global warming. Innovative initiatives from businesses are part of the global…

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BY DAVID ONJILI It is not in me to hog another’s parade. In the month of July, Kenya ‘successfully’ hosted the World U18 Athletics Championships, immediately President Uhuru Kenyatta scrapped entry charges, resulting in a surge in spectator numbers and record crowds. Kenyans and their government are happy, and rightly so. A crowd of 55, 000 for a sporting event is no mean fete, especially in a developing country. But there in lies the real problem that faces local sports. From football to athletics to boxing to rugby to motor sports, our competitive edge as a nation is on a…

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By C. M. Rubin “We need courageous cathedral builders! We also need to address traditional experts’ biases clinging to their narrow domains, parents’ old personal experiences biasing their views, and teachers’ and administrators’ lack of training and leadership, respectively.” — Charles Fadel All around us we are witnessing disruptive automation that is changing lives and taking away the jobs many have relied on to make a living. According to a recent report by PwC, within 15 years, artificial intelligence (AI) will take over 38% of U.S. jobs. But will this trend continue even further, and to what extent does AI…

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The electricity industry in Africa is undergoing massive transformation and the old linear model of conducting electricity affairs is being challenged and tested, as new models are emerging with far reaching impact. Available technology today can be employed to create reliable, sustainable, localized and more efficient energy networks. That was the message that George Njenga, GM, Steam Power Systems for Sub Saharan Africa delivered to delegates while making his keynote address at the opening session of this year’s Power-Gen Africa and DistribuTech event in Johannesburg. “Distributed generation, smarter & cleaner steam power, renewables, smart grids, storage, prosumers, innovative financing, evolving…

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BY PETER WANYONYI You can take this to the bank: at some point on the 7th of August or in the early hours of the 8th of August, the Government of Kenya will shut down internet access to most parts of Kenya. Every indication is there that the government, through the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), has put in place all the technical devices and processes required to pull the digital plug and leave Kenyans in internet darkness as the General Election takes place. As this happens, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the organ charged with overseeing and…

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BY MOHAMMED BASHEER The Petya ransomware attack that hit computers around the world recently, the second in two months, is yet another reminder that computers play key roles in most enterprises, and that it does not take much to disable those computers. Irrespective of how robust your information security systems are, users are still the weakest link in your company’s cybersecurity. It’s a business cliché that staff are a company’s greatest asset and potentially its greatest risk. And while that has always been true in the area of customer relations, it’s now equally applicable to data security. Users are the…

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By Rick Holland Late on June 27, the New York Times reported that a number of Ukrainian banks and Ukrenergo, the Ukrainian state power distributor, had been affected by unidentified malware, which caused significant operational disruption. Multiple security vendors and independent researchers subsequently identified the malware as a wormable ransomware variant with functional and technical similarities to Petya. Based on these similarities and continuing confusion, the malware has been dubbed Nyetya, Petna, ExPetr, and NotPetya, among others. It has been linked with a large number of infections, a significant proportion of which (around 60% according to statistics published by Kaspersky)…

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