Author: Victor Adar

Victor Adar holds a Diploma in Mass Communication, Print, from Technical University of Mombasa. He has worked before for Reuters, Go Places travel magazine and Aden Associates International. As one of the old hands at NBM, having joined the team in 2012, Victor is one of the most reliable writers in the editorial team. He writes more on enterprise, corporate affairs, HR and technology.

The Kenyan shilling continues to fall against the US currency spelling trouble for businesses in the country. Over the last 10 years, it has depreciated at a 10-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7% to an all-time low of Sh125.6 as at February 17, 2022 from Sh87.3 over the same period in 2013. This is attributed to various factors such as an ever-present current account deficit, increasing debt levels and the rising prices of commodities such as crude oil prices as Kenya remains a net importer. The economic disruptions occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 significantly caused volatility…

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Kenya’s sugar sub-sector plays a vital role in the agricultural sector and economy at large. The industry contributes to food security, employment creation, regional development and improved livelihoods for more than 8 million Kenyans. It is a source of income for over 500,000 small-scale farmers who supply over 90% of the milled cane. However, the sector continues to face challenges that hinder its effectiveness as an economic and social catalyst. Antony Mwangi, CEO of Kenya Association of Manufacturers, weighs in on the industry. What are the measures that exist at KAM to address challenges that the millers/industry face?We continue to…

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Production costs determine whether the sugar industry can compete with duty-free and quota-free imports from the COMESA Free Trade Area (FTA). The average price of producing one tonne of cane in Kenya is Sh62,875 ($500), while that of neighboring competitors (Uganda and Tanzania) is as low as Sh23,892.50 ($190) per tonne. The average cost of producing a tonne of sugar in Kenya is Sh109,402.50 ($870), or Sh88,025 ($700) exclusive of finance charges, compared to Sh44,012.50 ($350) in Malawi, Sh50,300 ($400) in Zambia, Sh56,587.50 ($450) in Swaziland/Egypt/Sudan and Sh37,725 ($300) in Brazil, making Kenya’s cost of production among the highest in…

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Every year, kenya needs 160 million tonnes of sugar, a production quota the country does not currently meet. Why are local sugar companies inefficient and bedevilled with myriad challenges? BY VICTOR ADAR Kenya has 14 sugar factories with a total milling capacity of 41,000 tonnes of cane per day, according to a sugar industry strategic plan by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) from 2021 to 2025.In the blueprint, manufacturing experts break down challenges facing the sugar industry, key among them high-cost of production, acute cane shortage, low productivity, inefficiencies across the value chain, weak regulatory framework, high indebtedness, weak…

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Dry conditions highly likely to continue over the Horn of Africa during the March to May 2023 rainfall season The IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) on Wednesday, February 22, reported that below-normal rainfall is anticipated throughout the majority of the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) over the next three months. Delegates attending the 63rd GHA Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF 63) in Nairobi, looked at the projection for the March to May (MAM) 2023 season, which predicts low rainfall and high temperatures. This could be the sixth straight failed rainfall season in the most drought-stricken regions of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia,…

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BY SILAS APOLLO Superior Homes Kenya has entered into a partnership with the Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Coordination Authority (NCTTCA) in a bid to improve road safety along the Northern Corridor.The move is also aimed at addressing what the company said was driver fatigue experienced by long-distance transit drivers using the road by developing additional roadside stations. In a press statement to newsrooms, Superior Homes said that it intends to tap into the market gap of inadequate and informal truck stop facilities in Kenya by providing self-contained service and rest point areas to truck drivers. This it said, will be provided along…

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When data is at the heart of everything teams do, they will drive better decisions and business performance We’ve all been in a team meeting where creative ideas flow left and right, but are overridden by the loudest, and most influential or highest-ranking individual in the room. The ‘because I said so’ approach to decision-making doesn’t do anyone any good. It overlooks team members’ thoughts and ignores any input from crucial business data. Data is essential to decision-making because it adds a neutral yet well-informed voice to the conversation. Nearly everything we do daily is influenced by data in some…

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Dr. Samuel Kinyanjui, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Country Director has called on the Government to adopt policies that will make condoms more affordable and accessible, to roll back the rising cases of sexually transmitted diseases among young adults. Dr. Kinyanjui cautioned that a person living with HIV/AIDS will cost the government an estimated Sh25,000 annually, while the government’s investment in the availability of condoms to prevent HIV infection will cost the Government a paltry Sh1,200 per person. “Currently condoms in Kenya are being taxed because they are categorized as a medical device. We are urging the policy makers and regulators…

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Local non-bank finance solutions firm, Sanlam Kenya, has committed to improving facilities in three schools located in Kitui and Nyeri counties to boost learning outcomes for over 700 students.Kalatine Primary School and Kakululo Secondary School in Mwingi, Kitui County and Birisha Primary School in Mweiga, Nyeri County, will receive Sh21.1 million in infrastructure support under the Sanlam Kenya Schools Project in partnership with World Vision Kenya, which will be the implementing partner for the project. Speaking at the partnership’s launch, Sanlam Kenya Group CEO Dr Nyamemba Tumbo affirmed company’s commitment to improving access to quality education for Kenyan students.“We will work in partnership with…

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Agricultural company, Kakuzi Plc has confirmed plans to double avocado exports to China following an engagement with Dalian Yidu Group, a major Chinese importer of fresh fruits and vegetables.The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) listed firm recently hosted a high-powered delegation from the Dalian Yidu Group at its Makuyu, Murang’a County, orchards and packhouse, who were in the country on a three-day familiarization visit. Speaking when he conducted the tour, the firm’s managing director Chris Flowers said the company is all set to enhance its exports to China once the harvest season opens late next month. The company, Mr Flowers said,…

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