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Stephen Muchiri Auto-Alcoblow, an alcohol detection and monitoring system in this years edition of #MyLittleBigThing

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Stephen Muchiri former student of JKUAT won this year’s edition of My little Big Thing. He came up with Auto-Alcoblow, an alcohol detection and monitoring system The system measures blood alcohol levels by analyzing a driver’s breath and prevents ignition of a car engine by an intoxicated driver. It also switches off the vehicle in the event that a driver begins consuming alcohol while driving.

Ruth Wanjiru, a 22-year old student in her fourth year at JKUAT took the second place. She came up with Power in Plastics project aims to encourage the reuse and recycling of plastics, and empower low income communities.

Another lady Nkanai Cynthia, 19, from Kenyatta University came in third, with her Keep A Child Warm project. Using easily available local materials such as sisal fibre, recycled gunny bags and traditional lesos, Cynthia makes improvised blankets for distribution to street families, whom she also mentors.

“We recognise the broadness of the goals. We have therefore taken a thematic approach to enhancing SDGs capacity among university communities. Judges consider viability of the idea, adaptability and originality,” said Muthoni Kanyana, CEO, MK-Africa.

#MyLittleBigThing invites undergraduate students from universities across the country to submit innovation ideas around the first five SDGs, which are: No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education and Gender Equality. This year, entrants were required to submit a 2-3 minute YouTube video as well as a 200-word essay describing scalable and commercially viable ideas related to these goals.

“We are in a position to be the change we want to see, from a corporate and individual level. The youth can create sustainable solutions to the challenges we face, and that is what I find most inspiring about this forum. I hope that through initiatives such as this, we can inculcate sustainability thinking into our DNA and make it a way of life,” said Steve Chege, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer – Safaricom, when he spoke at the event.

 

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How to Avoid Buyer’s Remorse and Litigation by Conducting Real Estate Due Diligence

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While investing in or buying real estate property, one of the biggest risks is that you are also buying the seller’s problem. However, you can avoid future problems by conducting due diligence. This process not only gives you, the buyer-investor, an opportunity to receive full disclosure of the facts and conditions of a potential asset, but also a chance to determine whether you can trust the seller.

Due diligence stretches beyond the basic inspection report that you should review before deciding to purchase a property. It allows you to obtain as much information as possible about the property developer. And with the majority of mixed-use properties purchased off-plan, or at least early on in construction, the importance of due diligence cannot be stressed enough.

Having a due diligence checklist on your real estate partner ensures that you are in a position not only to protect your investment or property but also to protect yourself from various risks including future litigation while also protecting future occupants from harm.

Choose a Company with a Proven Track Record

A well-established development company with a proven track record and projects already brought to fruition will give investors and buyers some instant peace of mind.   Therefore, before you venture into a real estate transaction, investigate the standing, reputation, and track record of your real estate partner.

Not only may this indicate a less-than-scrupulous transacting partner, but the reputation of a company may also hurt the property and future earnings if you are an investor.

Where are the real estate company’s offices located? What projects have they successfully done? What type of projects do they handle? How many title deeds or relevant documents have they issued? Do they have valid identification for the business and their staff? These are some of the questions that should be answered while conducting due diligence on the real estate partner.

Check the Reviews

It also pays to determine what the customers say about the property developer. Take time to investigate and go through testimonials on social media, their website, and the contents they prepare. Luckily, it has become easy to research and look for news stories online. Search online to see if there is some good press on the development company, new or current developments.

Also, listen to what other like-minded investors have to say about their experiences. This will give you a feel for the company, its delivery, and customer service.

Ask for Project Details

It is also equally important to check who owns the land on the project you are considering as well as the project details. If you are an investor, find out how well your deposit is covered and how your deposit monies or stage payments are ring-fenced.  Ask how project-cost management is controlled and if there is a contingency plan by the developer for any shortfall of any kind.

Making the Decision

Every real estate transaction is different and requires a unique due diligence plan. Moving too quickly — and failing to perform comprehensive due diligence — can create problems for even the most experienced investors. Fortunately, there are real estate partners that can walk with you through your journey while maintaining transparency.

A good example is Mi Vida – a fully capitalized homebuilder conceived through a KES 12 billion joint venture between Actis and Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate. Actis is responsible for some of the most notable mixed-use real estate projects in Kenya including Garden City Mall, Garden City Residentials, and the Garden City Business Park. Other projects developed by the builder in Nairobi include The Junction Mall and the Nairobi Gate industrial park.

Both Actis and SPRE have a proven track record of over 220 years in combined real estate and have developed over 1 million square feet of real estate globally. Their determination to bring affordable housing solutions to sub-Sahara Africa saw the birth of Mi Vida, a real estate partner you can trust. By anchoring on the expertise of the partnership between Actis and SPRE, Mi Vida has maintained its solemn promise of on-time delivery and exceptional quality, even through the Covid-19 period.

Since its inception, it has sold over fifty percent of the first phase of the construction, and it continues to sell today as it inches closer to completion by Q2 of 2022, having begun construction in March 2020. The company currently offers 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments from KES 8.8m next to Garden City, off exit 7 Thika Superhighway. Visit www.mividahomes.com for more information.

 

By: Ciru Okobi

Commercial Director – Garden City

cokobi@gardencity-nairobi.com

 

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Mi Vida Home Builders Achieve 1 million Man-Hours Incident Free

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Residential developer Mi Vida homes has achieved a major safety milestone after surpassing more than a million work hours without a reportable accident. This hallmark achievement has been attributed to the developer’s strong focus on health and safety by instilling strict values and targets within the wider network of workers on its construction sites. This has been quite commendable especially in a country that experiences high rate of accidents and loss of life among workers.

 

In 2017, a report by the Directorate of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) recorded 237 construction-related accidents in four years, with about 115 men aged 21 to 40 being seriously injured, some of them sustaining lifetime disabilities. The accidents include electrocution, falls from roofs, injuries caused by falling debris, explosions, and fire-related accidents, among others.

Mi Vida project Director Mayur Sancheti said controlling accidents in large construction sites is a challenge but they can be preventable if the right safety measures are implemented. “This milestone is a credit to the diligence of the Mi Vida construction team, Eco-Hub Services Ltd and Esteel Construction team, where a strong field leadership and excellent craft workers engage safety measures on each project on daily basis”, Sancheti added.

Mi Vida was created through a joint venture between Actis, a leading growth markets investor who have been active in the region for over 70 years and Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate (SPRE), the real estate arm of one of India’s largest conglomerates aims to complete the first phase by the second quarter of 2022. The company currently offers 1-,2- and 3-bedroom apartments from KES 8.8m next to Garden City, off exit 7 Thika Superhighway.

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Actis and SPRE, Two Industry Giants with Commitment to Shape Africa’s Real Estate Landscape

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Arabella Townhouses developed by SPRE in Dubai.

In mid-2019, Actis, a leading investor in growth markets across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate, the real estate arm of one of India’s largest construction conglomerates, with a group presence in over 70 countries and with projects today across fifteen countries in Africa, created Mi Vida, an institutional homebuilder through a 12-billion-shilling joint venture.

The joint venture was formed with the sole purpose of building middle-income homes across Africa; a move aimed at solving today’s issues around quality, affordability, and delivery within the middle-income housing sector.

The project, which began with Mi Vida Homes in Kenya, was particularly well received in the country where affordable housing remains a challenge. Kenya has a housing demand of 200,000 units every year but the market can only deliver 50,000 units.

With the area of focus being the Sub-Saharan region, Mi Vida is a culmination of Actis and SPRE’s international expertise, brought together to provide quality affordable homes.

Investing in a home is an important life choice and that’s why Actis and Shapoorji promote confidence for those investor buyers who recognize the value of a good track record and the commitment to delivering real estate projects on time and to the highest standards.

The two have over 220 years of collective experience behind them, building iconic and award-winning properties globally. From palaces in Oman to high-rise offices, hotels, airports, and railway stations in China, India, and across Africa, Actis and SPRE have invested in and built over 20 million square meters of real estate.

Currently, Actis manages the largest real estate private equity fund focused on sub-Saharan Africa. Some of its real estate projects include Garden City mixed-use project encompassing retail and residential units in Kenya. The project includes the Garden City Mall, Garden City Residentials, and the Garden City Business Park. Other projects developed by the builder in Nairobi include The Junction Mall and the Nairobi Gate industrial park.

Like other Actis projects, Garden City has sustainability at its core and was the first mixed-use development in East Africa to gain LEED’s green certification. It was also awarded Vision 2030 status by the Kenyan Government in recognition of its economic growth impact shortly after breaking ground in July 2013.

Other Actis real estate projects in Africa include Heritage Place, a world-class development situated in Lagos’ commercial and retail area; and Nigeria’s world-class shopping destinations such as The Palms, Ikeja City Mall, Jabi Lake Mall, and Twin Lakes Mall.

These malls follow in the footsteps of other retail and office spaces developed by the builder: Accra Mall, One Airport Square, and The Exchange residential and retail property in Ghana; Capital Properties in Tanzania;  l’avenue, the first, large scale, institutional quality offering in Douala, Cameroon; Racegame, Maputo’s first A-grade shopping center in Mozambique; and York Commercial Park in Zambia.

While SPRE has developed 14 residential and 4 commercial projects in India, its joint venture with Actis for the development of Mi Vida marked a continuation of a journey for Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate in the sub-Saharan African Region.

Currently, there is a huge demand for affordable and middle-income homes in Africa. The current housing backlog in the continent accounts for at least 51 million units, with large variation across countries. Some countries in the sub-Saharan region such as Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, and South Africa, have housing backlogs of at least 2 million units. This is part of the reason why Actis and SPRE serve to bridge the gap in the market and bring solutions to ensure the region’s growing population matches its infrastructure.

A look at the population growth in the region is a key trend for real estate development. According to the United Nations, by 2100 there will be four billion people in Africa, one billion of whom will live in Nigeria. In 2015, 42% of Africa was urban. By 2050, this figure will be 62%.

These stats show the urgent need for good-quality and affordable housing. The demand for housing units and office spaces and an extreme lack of supply has made cities such as Nairobi some of the most expensive markets with prime rents remaining awfully expensive.

Luckily, the long-term prospects of real estate investment in Sub-Saharan Africa are appealing thanks to industry giants such as Actis and SPRE. The two have developed more than 1 million square feet of real estate globally. In Kenya they bringing world class mixed-use developments that incorporate green spaces.  These features allow a symbiotic relationship that allows the best use of spaces while reducing the impact on the environment.

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Mi Vida Holds a Second Successful 2-Day Open Day Event next to Garden City.

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Mi Vida sales representative Alice Wanjiru with Dr.Kimani (client) during the Mi Vida Open Day Weekend

Kenya’s new leading real estate company, Mi Vida, held its second open day event in partnership with Absa Bank Kenya on the 3 rd and 4 th of July 2021. The event happened both physically and online allowing prospective customers globally to learn more about their project at Garden City and receive updates on construction Launched in 2019, Mi Vida Garden City Phase 1 is located next to Garden City Mall, off exit 7 Thika Superhighway. The project is centered on sustainability, green space, and family living, offering attractive amenities within the development. Their Sales experience center and show apartments are open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm and Saturday 10am to 4pm.
Earlier in the month Mi Vida signed an MOU with Absa Kenya Bank to introduce a 25-year mortgage facility targeting middle-income families seeking affordable homes within Nairobi. According to both entities, the partnership will enable Kenyans to own 1-, 2- or 3-bedroom apartments at Mi Vida Garden City through mortgage financing by the lender at a discounted rate of 12.5 percent per year.
The success of Mi Vida’s open day weekends this year has shown that there is still a strong demand for quality homes, even amidst economic uncertainty. Mi Vida’s projects aim to assist in answering to the shortfall of quality affordable homes within the market, and the lack of trust within the real estate industry.
Backed by Actis and Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate, Mi Vida brings expertise and partners who have over 220 years of combined experience in global real estate.

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Absa Partners With Mi Vida to Offer Affordable Mortgage Financing Targeting Middle Class Earners.

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  • 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.

 

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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.

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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.

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