Business highlights – We have connected 5.9 million homes to the national grid, says Kenya Power amid conflicting reports

We have connected 5.9 million homes to the national grid, says Kenya Power amid conflicting reports

  • Kenya Power has confirmed that 5.9 million customers have been connected to the grid through the ongoing national electrification program
  • Acting Chief Executive Officer Ken Tarus says the number of connected households is at 63% of the national coverage, with a target of 70% by the end of 2017, and universal access by 2020
  • The utility company has refuted media reports that claim the number of connected homes was overstated by a million customers based on the fact that they had not purchased tokens since the meters were installed and activated

Tarus explained that all prepaid meters come with preloaded units, which account for the long time taken by customers before they commence vending, especially in low-income households.

An estimated 3.5 million of these customers are on prepaid meters, as the company shifts to advanced technology that makes it easy for customers to purchase electricity.

READ ALSO: Kenya Power to replace oil with gas in its transformers to curb vandalism

Tarus says the number of customers connected to the national grid has been growing steadily over the last five years.

Kenya opens trade negotiations with Britain as UK moves to leave European Union

  • Kenya has started informal negotiations with Britain to maintain its market share as the latter prepares to leave the European Union (EU).
  • Principal Secretary of International Trade, Chris Kiptoo said formal discussions will start once UK formally exits EU
  • Kenya exported goods to EU market worth Ksh145.9 billion in 2015, out of which Ksh40.6 billion went to the Britain alone, according to a report dubbed the Economic Survey 2016

Britain occupies Kenya’s fourth-most important export destination for local goods after Uganda, the Netherlands, and the United States. Out of the total Kenyan exports to the EU market, Britain enjoys a 20% share, underscoring the need for the Kenyan government to renegotiate the trade deals.

Anti-Brexit protesters in London

Kenya exports to the EU market flowers, French beans, cowpeas, coffee, and tea. Currently, Kenya is the main supplier of cut flowers to the EU with about 40-percent market shares, beating Colombia, Ecuador and Israel.

READ ALSO: Brexit will slow down trade between Kenya and Europe

Kenya exported a total of 133,658.3 tonnes of cut flower, earning Ksh70.8 billion, or 70% of the 2016 horticultural earnings.

Implement strong legal policies to support mining sector, World Bank tells Kenya

  • The World Bank has urged Kenya and its regional counterparts to enforce strong, sound legal policies in order to support the growth of the continent’s mining industry
  • The global lender has argued that a broad legal framework is crucial for the proper governance of Africa’s mining sector
  • The directive comes as Kenya is exploring revamping its gold mining sector

Access to and knowledge of the evolving legislation of many African countries has not kept pace, the bank said in a statement issued this month. A number of African countries, including Kenya, have worked to adopt or revise their mining codes, seeking comparative information and guidance on benchmark practices in the process.

Kenya’s mining sector stakeholders, for instance, are working fast to revamp the sector and cash in on new opportunities just as the price of gold is expected to jump in the coming months.

Acacia Mining, a mineral exploration company, is in early talks about a possible merger with Canadian gold miner Endeavour Mining Corp. Acacia, which operates mines and exploration projects in Kenya, Tanzania, Burkina Faso and Mali, noted in January that there was no certainty of a deal but did not deny the possibility of an agreement between the two firms.

READ ALSO: UK mining company invests Sh1.2 billion in Kenya gold exploration drive

Meanwhile, the Bank states that there is an absence of comparative data on mining laws and suitable templates for the African mining industry.

 

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