Business briefs

Barclays pledges Sh18bn to boost continent’s development through Shared Growth Strategy

Barclays Africa has reaffirmed its commitment to economic and socio-economic growth on the continent through its Shared Growth Strategy, pledging more than Sh18 billion in development funds. The financial services group has pledged $93 million (Sh9.4 billion) to improve skills development and access to quality education. The group has also pledged to raise $89 million (Sh9 billion) to help small and medium-sized African businesses succeed and grow, and to ensure that more people have access to digital and non-digital financial services across the continent.

Speaking at a press briefing in Johannesburg this week, Barclays Africa Group Chief Executive Maria Ramos said the lender is applying its substantial resources to provide innovative commercial products, services and partnerships to build a more equitable and prosperous Africa for the next generation. Commenting on the drive, Barclays Bank of Kenya Managing Director Jeremy Awori said the lender was proud to partner with industry leaders such as Technoserve, Junior Achievement, International Youth Foundation, Shining Hope for Communities and Care Kenya who will play a role in ensuring their contributions are meaningful and that their impact is sustainable.

Weetabix first food manufacturer to be certified and accredited by KNDI

 Weetabix East Africa Limited has become the first food manufacturer in Kenya to be certified and accredited by the Kenya Nutritionists & Dietitians Institute in compliance with the amended KNDI Act of 2015 assuring Kenyans of high quality products from the company. The accreditation is the second step in a three part process that saw Weetabix undergo a stringent assessment of its factory and processes to ensure that they were up to standard.

The key 14 areas of inspection by KNDI during the assessment are: facility and equipment, availability of references and resources, utilities, raw materials, ingredients and trusted products, production of food, packaging & label delivery, quality assurance, quality control, quality related events, quality improvement activities, personnel on site, standard operating procedures, implementation of standard operating procedures and marketing, labeling and nutrition claims. The Act states that KNDI must inspect and certify all premises that prepare and sell food and food supplements, register all food manufacturers, analyze samples of food or food supplements to ascertain the composition. The Act among other things ensures high quality foods that meet the institutes’ standard and prohibits the sale of unwholesome, poisonous or adulterated food or food supplements.

Kenya to help implement inter-regional timber trade agreement

African member states will establish a secretariat to oversee the effective implementation of the Zanzibar Declaration and Bilateral Timber Trade Agreements, with Zambia also becoming a signatory. Member states of the declaration are Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Madagascar, mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar, under the umbrella of Southern African Development Community and the East African Community. They agreed that a secretariat should effectively manage the day-to-day activities pertaining to implementation. The Head of Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network (TRAFFIC) Julie Thomson, said the action points were arrived at after analyzing common challenges faced by countries involved in timber trade.

The announcements came following a meeting hosted by the Kenya Forest Service and Worldwide Fund of Nature (WWF) to build on the commitments made in the Zanzibar Declaration on Illegal Trade in Timber and Forest Products that was finalized and signed in September last year at the 14th World Forestry Congress in Durban, South Africa. Establishment of a Steering Committee composed of high-level officials with the capacity to ensure political and government buy-in to implement the agreed declaration actions was also among the agendas agreed.

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