Business highlights – 2.3 million jobs were created during my term in office, says Uhuru as he seeks re-election in August

 

2.3 million jobs were created during Jubilee term, says Uhuru as he seeks re-election in August

  • Up to 2.3 million jobs were created during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s term in office, the head of state has said
  • Kenya, however, lags behind countries such as Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa in attracting foreign investment in its floundering manufacturing sector
  • The President told Parliament that the economy had expanded by an annual average of 5.9 per cent in the last four years, supporting the creation of new jobs

Kenya’s public debt, much of which is owed to China, currently stands at about 50 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) and the country has not been in any danger of defaulting on its loans, Kenyatta said on Wednesday.

Kenya’s debt ratio has grown from 42.1 per cent of GDP in 2012/13 to 55.1 per cent of GDP in 2015/16.

Kenyatta said that every year since the start of his administration, the government has made adequate budgetary provisions to service the debt. He assured Kenyans that at no point has the country been at risk of default.

READ ALSO: Government moves to create 2 million agriculture sector jobs

The World Bank has raised concerns in the past in regard to Kenya’s somewhat exuberant borrowing from China with the loans said to be coming at a heightened cost to the taxpayer.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is seeking re-election in August.

Kenyatta has, however, assured the public that the funds will improve the investment environment while leading to job creation and poverty reduction. He said the debt from the domestic and international creditors was being used to finance infrastructure projects, increase access to electricity and improve security to sell Kenya as a preferred investment destination.

Uber bows to drivers’ demands as management increases Nairobi taxi fares by Ksh100

  • Uber Kenya has bowed to pressure from its drivers to increase its fares following a strike that nearly crippled its operations late last month
  • The taxi hailing service’s management has raised Uber’s minimum fare to Ksh300 from the previous Ksh200 in Nairobi
  • Per minute fare charges will however, remain unchanged at a standard rate of Ksh3. Base fare in Nairobi will also remain unchanged at Ksh100

Under the new arrangement, passengers in both Nairobi and Mombasa will now pay Ksh42 per kilometer, up from the previous Ksh35. In Mombasa, passengers will pay a Ksh200 minimum fee, up from Ksh150.

Uber said in a statement issued on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 that prices are designed to encourage more riders on the road, to help increase trips for drivers and also make sure the basic economics of drivers are sustainable.

READ ALSO: Nairobi Uber protest turns ugly as drivers turn against each other (PHOTOS)

Uber’s management said it made its decision using statistically proven methods to determine pricing.

On February 20, 2017, a section of Uber taxi drivers went on strike demanding higher rates months after the taxi hailing service cut prices by 35%. The drivers marched to Parliament, demanding a revision of rates.

UK accounting firm targets 1,500 SMEs in Kenya

  • Sage, a UK-based financial services company, is targeting 1,500 Kenyan small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with web-based accounting services as it seeks a larger market share in the country
  • The system allows business owners to remotely work on their invoices and tax returns and assess their business performance in the office or at home
  • Regional director East Africa Nikii Summers said the softwares targets the large number of small firms that have the potential to scale up, but are held back by accounting decisions

The group, which is based in Newcastle, is pitching its new Sage software accounting products as a simple, secure, low cost way to manage finances using an online system.

Sage Managing Director and Executive Vice-President, for Africa & the Middle East, Anton van Heerden said Sage’s vision is to empower entrepreneurs and business owners to spend less time on administration. Summers added that the firm plans to launch Sage One payroll product, which has capabilities to process payrolls online by end of March.

READ ALSO: Kenyan SMEs among those set to benefit from free technical training courtesy of AfDB

Summers noted that lack of financial literacy had dealt a blow to the life of many Kenyan small businesses hampering scaling up.

A survey released last year by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) showed that about 2.2 million Micro Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) have shut down in the last five years. The report said businesses closed at the average age of 3.8 years.

 

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