Author: NBM CORRESPONDENT

By Darrel Orsmond The insurance industry is facing its very own Kodak moment. Forty years after the once heart-warming 1970s ad slogan became part of popular culture, it now reminds one more of Kodak’s spectacular failure to act in the face of massive industry-wide disruption than it does to capturing special moments. One of the world’s most dominant market leaders was virtually wiped out because it simply could not adapt to a changing consumer and business environment. Insurance providers across the world are facing increasing pressure of costs, the ability to grow revenues and their contact with customers. Generally, they…

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An analysis of seat capacity for travel to the top ten international airports in Africa reveals that Lagos is seeing substantial declines in both domestic and international capacity mainly because Arik Air is cutting 53% of its seats for the rest of 2017. During the coming five months, August – December 2017, there will be 16% fewer airline seats on domestic routes and 9% fewer on international routes to and from Lagos. Most of the other airports in Africa’s top ten are seeing a healthy growth in capacity, which is more international than it is domestic. However, the most notable…

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In a move expected to tackle unemployment and also as part of social corporate responsibility, Gulf African Bank (GAB), a signatory of the United Nation’s Women Empowerment Principles and a champion of the fifth principle of the WEPs which is an implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women, has entered into a partnership with The Law Society of Kenya with an aim of building capacities. The two parties are expected to rewrite the rules not only in legal aspects but also on finance accessibility and financial management by linking women and youth to financial, legal and…

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Anne Mutahi was recently appointed as a non-executive director of the board at investment firm, TransCentury, becoming the second female to join the male-dominated board since the departure of Carol Musyoka two years ago. She joins up with Shaka Kariuki, the TransCentury chairman and Kuramo Capital chief executive and chief investment officer, Wale Adeosun and Ng’ang’a Njiinu, TransCentury’s CEO. TransCentury, listed on NSE, has been lagging behind in terms of gender diversity in its board, and the appointment of a lady is seen as a move to step into the game and start correcting this long-standing imbalance. The gender imbalance…

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Solarcentury and Cross Boundary Energy, two of the best solar-related organizations in Africa, have entered into a partnership with the aim of offering financed solar solutions to a portfolio of different customers who are operating in the continent. As solar power continues to be more popular around the globe as the least costly source of electricity, it is changing the energy landscape in Africa. Since it reduces operation costs for businesses, it gives them the chance to compete efficiently on the global market. However, to be able to succeed there is need for a proper solar project, which is characterized…

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In what may turn out to be a radical shift in the investment arena, small business enterprises and salaried workers who nurture the ambition of delving into entrepreneurship may find it more difficult than before after Kenya’s leading bank in terms of customers, Equity Bank announced that it was scaling down on unsecured and micro loans effective next year. The directive, Equity Group CEO James Mwangi said, takes effect in January 2018 to coincide with the compliance of a new set of global accounting rules on loan loss covers. At a packed investor briefing in Nairobi, the Equity boss said…

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BY VICTOR ADAR Wanja Mwangi is very calm, a wife, a mother and an auditor. About four years ago, her hubby got a job in West Africa and made a dress for her, then bought different fabrics for their mums, sisters and other relatives as a gift. With a tip of Sh20,000 from a guest, this man opted to appreciate and empower his wife in style. He purchased 12 pieces of Vitenges, a fabric that is currently popular as Ankara. “Our friends saw the fabrics and the dresses and started asking if I could ask my husband to send them…

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In a bid to tap into the burgeoning youth population in the Kenyan market, Chinese based mobile phone maker Tecno mobile is poised to introduce into the market a new pocket friendly device, a Smartphone that will retail for less than Sh9, 999. The aim, according to the firm, is to reach more young people who are tech savvy by providing them with advanced gadgets but at affordable prices. The new device boasts of special features such as 13MP rear/ 8MP front, F/2.0 dual cameras. The standard edition of the new series device will also come with a fingerprint sensor,…

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Kenya’s immigration department has finally started to issue citizens with the new e-passports after holding off for two years. The new passports will allow freer movement and faster clearing at ports of entry and exit. The e-passports will differ from the old ones on the basis that they are going to have chips incorporated in them that will hold the passport holder’s biometric information. Holders of the old passports are allowed to use them for the next two years before they switch to the new generation ones. The upgrade will therefore first apply to those who are applying for the…

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The National Bank of Kenya (NBK) and one of the leading digital money transfer services in the world, WorldRemit have entered into a partnership that will look to help Kenyans in the diaspora to make transfers back home much easier. The partnership will enable users of WorldRemit to make deposits straight to NBK accounts irrespective of whether they are held in Kenyan shillings or in US dollars. It also allows the users to be able to send money, which can be picked up from across the bank’s extensive branch network in terms of Kenya shillings. Ismail Ahmed, founder and CEO…

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