CNN International recently met the innovators leading the charge in Africa’s renewable energy revolution.
Renewable energy sources are increasingly being explored as a solution to power the continent. Erick Donasian Massawe, M-Kopa’s Director of Sales and Customer Retention, discusses the potential for Africa to become a key player in green energy, “The potential for Africa to become a leader in the energy trade is huge. Sub Saharan Africa alone represents more than 600 million people who don’t have access to energy, basic electricity, so if you think about that in terms of the market size it’s really big.”
Nairobi-based M-Kopa launched in 2010 with a vision to ensure everyone has access to high-powered energy, and they started by rolling out pay-as-you-go solar power across Kenya. Massawe speaks about the company, “Our mission is to finance progress, and really financing progress of our customers. And that is perhaps one of the most exciting parts about M-Kopa, because it is actually touching development aspects of every individual person here. So, as we offer them solar products, we are powering their lives, we are giving them access to power.”
Kenya is at the heart of the renewable energy revolution, as sustainable natural resources are increasingly being used to fuel business, industry, and the country’s entrepreneurial spirit. Chalker Kansteiner, founder and CEO of GridX Africa explains why Kenya is ideal for renewable energy companies, “I think Nairobi is emerging as a bit of a hub for the entire continent when it comes to tech start-ups and clean energy. So, in that way we’re surrounded by really amazing sort of peers in the space, and there’s a huge amount of demand for our business here. It’s a great jumping point to reach the rest of the continent. I think the opportunity to grow here is better than anywhere else.”
GridX Africa Project Manager George Mosomi talks about how solar power is changing lives across the country, “We have communities now being able to feed themselves through solar-powered irrigation. Communities able to power themselves through microgrids, the communities able to have a longer day through more security through solar-powered lights.”
The programme joins Mosomi as he conducts a site visit with Bernard Njoroge, one of Kenya’s most successful entrepreneurs and the Managing Director of the telecommunications company Adrian Kenya. Njoroge describes why he endeavours to use renewable energy, “The biggest thing in African companies, in manufacturing, is the source of the power. I must be able to use sustainable energy because it’s natural.”
Njoroge believes that entrepreneurs across Africa can use sustainable methods to empower and inspire others, “The most important thing is that, I believe, problems all over Africa will be solved by Africans.”
Inside Africa also looks at how hydroelectric energy is being used to power communities in Kenya. In Muranga County, John Magiro, founder of Magiro power, uses the flow of the river to harness kinetic energy and transforms it into electric energy utilising an innovative small-scale hydropower plant he designed and built himself. He discusses the impact on the local community, “Right now, I have connected about 608 households and it is around 2,500 people that are using Magiro Power.”
Growing up in Muranga County, Magiro says access to power was expensive and unstable. This inspired him to come up with this alternative supply of energy for his community, “I think on my side I can propose mainly focusing off renewable and green energy in Africa. Because even if you have energy and it is not renewable, I think you are not going somewhere. But if you have the clean and renewable and affordable energy, the continent of Africa will be impressed.”
Renewable energy is powering up and empowering communities across Africa. Mosomi sums up the continent’s innovative role, “I see this as a big opportunity for the rest of the world to learn from what’s happening in Africa.”
Absa Partners With Mi Vida to Offer Affordable Mortgage Financing Targeting Middle Class Earners.
- Absa has partnered with property developer Mi Vida to provide preferential mortgage benefits to prospective and existing customers, with an aim of making it easy for middle income families to buy quality homes.
- 25-year tenor is the longest repayment period in the market
- The units being financed will include 1, 2-and 3 bedroom apartments with prices ranging from Sh8.8 to 15.7 million.
Wednesday, 16 June, 2021… Absa Bank Kenya has introduced a 25-year mortgage facility targeting middle income families seeking affordable homes within Nairobi.
The proposition seeks to increase mortgage uptake by prospective homeowners, offering options towards home ownership such as construction loans and home loans for self-employed individuals (SMEs) with a dedicated a team of experts who will walk customers throughout every step of buying or constructing their dream home.
Absa customers will also benefit from established partnerships with players in the home ownership value chain such as property developers, furnishing partners and home appliance partners, who will offer homeowners a wide range of benefits among them great discounts.
This was announced as the bank signed a financing partnership with Mi Vida Homes where customers will enjoy a discounted rate of 12.5% p.a with up to 90% financing.
Speaking during the signing of the Absa-Mi Vida partnership, Peter Mutua, Absa Bank Customer Network Director, urged both existing and prospective customers to invest in the lengthened payment period and low interest rates of the Absa – Mi Vida mortgage proposition to own their dream homes.
“As a truly African bank, we understand that home is where the heart is. This is why we have availed the Absa – Mi Vida mortgage facility to employed and self-employed customers, presenting a lifetime chance to own ready-to-move-in homes. As a bank, we believe in developing sustainable financing models for our customers, we are offering up to 90% financing within market rates, over a period of 25 years to service their loans,’’ says Mr. Mutua.
The proposition is one of the bank’s contributions towards the government’s housing pillar under the Big 4 Agenda and aims to provide quality family homes with sociable amenities and green spaces that enhance quality of living spaces to potential homeowners.
“We have a team of dedicated experts that will walk the journey with customers using our financial and non-financial expertise to provide credible information, services and solutions throughout every step of acquiring their dream home.” adds Mr. Mutua.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Mr. Antony Kambiriri, Chief Financial Officer Mi Vida, said, “We are delighted to partner with Absa Bank Kenya as it brings us closer to our goal of addressing the shortage of middle-income housing in Kenya. There is a huge demand for affordable and middle-income homes and through this partnership, we will bridge the gap in this market to exceed customers’ expectations.”
Mi Vida’s project at Garden City, is a first of its kind with the development centred on green space and family living. Phase 1 at Garden City offers 1. 2- and 3-Bedroom Apartments. Launched in 2019, under construction and on course to be complete by March of 2022.
Besides the Mi Vida proposition, Absa’s mortgage flexible offers different options towards home ownership such as financing land purchases and disbursing construction loans as well as home loans for self-employed individuals.
Forests Are The Life Of The Earth – BM Foundation
We need the earth more than it needs us. This is the message that runs down through the veins of BM Foundation who have been leading the way in ensuring that the earth has additional trees as they strive to make it better.
BM Foundation was founded in 2017 as part of BM Security’s commitment to be a responsible corporate citizen.
“BM Security is cognizant of the importance of the community and environment we work in and are thus committed to programs that will impact positively on the same. BM foundation drives all initiatives by BM Security geared towards improving our society,” said (Michelle Morgan, BM Security Executive Director).
Focusing on Health and Wellbeing, Social Impact, and Climate Change, the Foundation believes that the only way to make sure that the earth has more trees is by planting more.
In one of its recent events, the Foundation was hosted by the Kenya Forest Service, Friends of Karura, and attended by over sixty dedicated volunteers from the BM fraternity planted over 500 trees in Karura Forest.
The participants showed up with their family members marking BM Foundation’s pledge to contributing to a sustainable environment and ecosystem geared toward enhancing livelihoods through environmental and social initiatives.
During the event, the BM Foundation fraternity was guided on the best practice of tree planting by the KFS with Ceremonial trees planted in honor of Bob Morgan planted by Chief Executive Officer Neil Morgan and in honor of Managing Director Cedar Morgan planted by Executive Director Michelle Morgan led by the Station Manager, Paul Musembi.
“The goal of halting deforestation and restoring forests, as set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is an attainable objective if we continue our efforts. This goes a long way towards achieving KFS’ Presidential and in turn constitutional mandate of 10 percent Tree cover,” said (Peter Kinyua, the Chair of the Kenya Forest Service).
According to the Foundation, there is a need for organizations to help in reducing carbon emissions across the country and the world in general. The Foundation says it is striving to stamp its carbon footprint and through initiatives such as this seeks to leave a legacy of a sustainable future.
“We ask individuals to join the cause contributing to a sustainable environment and ecosystem geared toward enhancing livelihoods through environmental and social initiatives,” added (Nicole Gitau- BM Foundation Manager).
‘Reggea to Continue’ Uhuru Breaks his silence on BBI
The 2021 Toyota Urban Cruiser launched in Kenya
Motor distributor Toyota Kenya has launched the Urban Cruiser in the Kenyan market, the latest SUV in the Toyota Kenya product line-up that will start retailing from KES2.7 million inclusive of VAT.
Toyota Kenya Managing Director, Arvinder Reel said the Urban Cruiser, which is the youngest SUV in the Toyota family, embodies Toyota’s quality, durability, and reliability promise, with the vehicle designed for customers looking for SUV comfort, the latest technology at an affordable price point.
“Toyota Kenya has always operated on the premise of giving our customers the best. And we as continue growing our small car segment offering, we continue introducing new and innovative products that offer value for money and will see more Kenyans drive brand-new vehicles,” said Mr Reel.
Despite the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, Toyota Kenya recorded a 4% share growth in the market, excluding truck and buses. “We are therefore optimistic that the small car segment will continue performing well as we progress in the year.”
The Urban Cruiser is an attractive SUV with a combination of design, performance and technology offering consumers the comfort and sophistication required from an SUV. It has a fuel-efficient and responsive engine that gives quick pick up on speed, the best technology that includes Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) – a further advancement of the ABS, and generous interior space including a luggage space of 328 litres and a 60/40 rear split.
To assist Kenyans to acquire the Urban Cruiser, Toyota Kenya has partnered with major financial institutions in Kenya that offer various financing options.
The Urban Cruiser will be available through Toyota Kenya’s network of branches and dealerships countrywide, with customers enjoying a 3 year/100,000 km manufacturer warranty. We endeavour to offer an unforgettable Toyota Kenya Experience through comprehensive After Sales support as well as the provision of genuine spare parts.
We would love to hear car enthusiasts argue out on which car rivals this.
“Do Not Loan Us!” Kenyans On Twitter react to IMF’s 254bn shillings loan
On April 2, 2021, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved 38-month arrangements under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for Kenya in an amount equivalent to 254.41 billion shillings to support the next phase of the authorities’ COVID-19 response and address the urgent need to reduce debt vulnerabilities. Approval of the ECF/EFF enables the immediate disbursement of about 307.5 million dollars, usable for budget support. This follows Fund emergency support to Kenya in May 2020, 100 percent of quota, equivalent to 739 million dollars at the time of approval.
The IMF Executive Board has approved a three-year financing package of US$2.34 billion to support Kenya's pandemic response and economic reform program. More here: https://t.co/zsMzCe2szY #IMFAfrica pic.twitter.com/iwa37ncaEK
— IMF (@IMFNews) April 2, 2021
The IMF announcement was met with an online uproar with many online users wondering why the government would take up more loans when they are already feeling the debt burden. A section of politicians also took to the online platforms, questioning the government’s decision to request for funds to combat the Covid-19 pandemic while counties had hardly received any monies.
Good Morning Mr. President? Why did Kenya borrow Ksh 214Billion to fight Covid-19 yet only 7billion was sent to 47 County Governments in total?
— Sen. Ledama Olekina (@ledamalekina) March 31, 2021
Kenya’s public debt stood at Sh7. 6 trillion as of June 2020, according to the 2021 Budget Policy Statement. The IMF however maintains Kenya’s debt is sustainable but it was at high risk of debt distress, and authorities should focus their near-term agenda on urgent structural policy challenges. “The program supported by EFF/ECF arrangements with the Fund provides a strong signal of support and confidence. It is also subject to notable risks, including from uncertainty about the path of the pandemic, and steadfast pursuit of the program objectives will be essential also considering the upcoming political calendar. The Kenyan authorities have demonstrated a strong commitment to fiscal reforms during this unprecedented global shock, and Kenya’s medium-term prospects remain positive” Ms. Antoinette Sayeh, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, stated.
Here are some picks from the Trending hashtags since Friday.
— Bullet_🇰🇪 (@ButterBullet_) April 5, 2021
Kibaki left a public debt of ksh630B in 2013.Since Uhuru took over,our current debt is at Ksh11.9T including parastatals debts. In 9years Uhuru has borrowed Ksh9.6T i.e Ksh1.07T per year&Ksh88B per month on average. All that money is in people's pockets #stoploaningkenya pic.twitter.com/WzFycoliqq
— DON ALI (@Kimanzi_Don) April 5, 2021
— Bullet_🇰🇪 (@ButterBullet_) April 5, 2021
I believe your organization doesn't endorse corruption but by lending money to the Jubilee administration, you're funding corruption. The President confessed his government steals ksh. 2B daily. Stop funding corruption.
— BRAVIN YURI (@BravinYuri) April 5, 2021
Kenya isn't poor BUT poorly-governed!
Kenya isn't asleep BUT governed by drunken idiots!
Kenya doesn't borrow to invest BUT to fatten her greedy pigs!
Plz,leave the pigsty! Let our pigs feed on what we have!
Loans are burdening our descendants!#stoploaningkenya
— Wa-akili 👨⚖️ (@realThuranira) April 5, 2021
One Jefferson Murray has started a petition to the International Monetary Fund Board and is urging Kenyans to join in signing it. Part of the petition reads “Our President, Uhuru Kenyatta, is even on record as saying that Kshs.2 billion is lost daily to corruption in Kenya. The same President recently approved a luxury car grant bribe to junior lawmakers to pass controversial changes to the Constitution, punching another hole to an already strained budget. Some of the President’s close allies have been adversely implicated in the so-called “Covid Billionaires” scam, where billions of shillings from international donors was lost in irregular tenders for PPE at the height of the first wave of the Covid -19 pandemic. Nothing ever came out of the President’s commissioned probe into the scam. We are therefore calling on the IMF to suspend the disbursement of the loan package it recently approved until proper accountability mechanisms to ensure it will be prudently managed and accounted for are put in place!”
You can find the petition here: http://chng.it/qVr7QsyRVt