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Online system cuts business registration to 3 days

The adoption of an online system for business registration has reduced the number of days it takes to register a company to three days.

The Online Company Registration System, under the Business Registration Service, enables users to search and secure a business name, get necessary government documents like KRA Certificate, NSSF and NHIF at the comfort of their office or home.

Acting General Director of Business Registration Service, Kenneth Gathuma, says the integration with e-citizen has been instrumental in reducing the time taken to registers a company.

“The payment of this services is done under the Government digital pay system to ensure all payments to Government are done in a transparent and efficient manner,” said Gathuma, while updating the Private Sector on the Ease of doing Business in Kenya.

However, Gathuma admits the system is far from flawless, saying there are still hiccups in the system that may see some users take longer to register a company.

“Sometimes the system is down or there is a bit of back and forth with the register of companies which we see as birthing problems, but in a couple of months, we should be seeing this process reduced to two days at the most,” Gathuma says.

Through the e-citizen portal, the Government can track applicants and create a rich database on who is registering businesses in the country through the digital footprints in the system.

Source: Capital FM Kenya.

Danish brewer signs distribution deal with Kenyan firm

Danish company Royal Unibrew has signed a deal with Kenyan firm WOW Beverages for the local distribution of Faxe Beer.

Royal Unibrew, Denmark’s second-largest beer maker with a global presence, sells and distributes beverages with a focus on branded beer, malt beverage, soft drinks, cider and long drinks.

WOW Beverages CEO Chris Lucas in a statement on Monday said the new partnership will enable it to meet growing demand for international beer brands in Kenya.

“This partnership is a strategic step towards the growth of our beer category and goes a long way into our broader strategy of offering a complete portfolio of brands across the consumer chain,” said Mr Lucas.

The tie-up will enable Royal Unibrew to benefit from WOW Beverages’ market footprint in Kenya founded on the firm’s national distribution network.  

“We were looking for a company with a robust and extensive national distribution network to enable us to serve our Kenyan consumers nationwide,” said Mr Patrick Gathara, Royal Unibrew country manager.

Faxe beer portfolio includes Faxe Stout, Faxe 10 per cent and Faxe Premium available in 500ml cans. Established in 1992, WOW Beverages (formerly Wines of the World) is part of the business portfolio of businessman Humphrey Kariuki.

Source: Business Daily Newspaper.

Coffee earnings up 21 per cent in March auctions

Coffee earnings in April improved 21 per cent compared with the same period last year even as the volume traded at the auction declined marginally.

Statistics from Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) indicate that the value of Kenya’s coffee moved from Sh11.6 billion ($112.5 million) to Sh13.9 billion ($135.3 million) in the period under review on account of higher auction prices.
“The volume traded at the auction reduced by about two per cent compared with the same period last year. This can be attributed to the fact that much of the coffee was pushed to the market early in response to the remarkable prices witnessed in the first quarter of the year,” said NCE in a statement.

The average price per 50 kilogramme jumped from $193 last year to $236 in April this year, marking one of the best prices to be realised in 2017.
The decline in volumes can also be attributed to the drought that hit the country last year and the better part of this year.
The auction has taken a break as the main crop from Central Kenya came to an end, which saw a sharp decline in the quality of coffee at the auction.

NCE chief executive officer Daniel Mbithi said the auction will be resuming in the third week of July when the second crop, mainly from Eastern Kenya is expected in the market.

“The main crop has now come to a successful end and we expect the second crop next month at the auction,” said Mr Mbithi.
He said NCE expects the prices to pick up when the auction resumes given that the crop will be of high quality.

“We are looking at better prices coming next month which will majorly be driven by high quality crop from farmers,” he said.
About 85 per cent of Kenyan coffee is sold through the auction with the balance sold direct to buyers overseas.
The government has been pushing for direct sales to enable growers earn more from their crop by eliminating the middlemen who exploit farmers through the auction.

Source: Business Daily

Eyeing growth boost, Kenya opens Chinese-built railway

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday inaugurated a Chinese-built railway, the country’s biggest infrastructure project since independence that is aimed at cementing its role as the gateway to East Africa.

Dancers and a military band entertained passengers and dignitaries from Kenya and China shortly before they, and Kenyatta, were to take the maiden journey from a gleaming new terminal in the port city of Mombasa to Nairobi.

The five-hour journey will take less than half the time to drive between the two cities, a hair-raising trip on a one-lane highway clogged with lumbering trucks and where accidents claim dozens of lives each year.

“Today we celebrate one of the key cornerstones to Kenya’s transformation to an industrialised, prosperous, middle-income country,” Kenyatta said at the launch.

The passenger train, dubbed the Madaraka (Freedom) Express, can carry 1,260 passengers, and replaces the so-called “Lunatic Express” – a railway built more than a century ago by colonial Britain which was known for lengthy delays and breakdowns.

“This is the best thing that has happened to our country, I am happy to witness it and be part of the first passengers on the first train,” said Rahab Wangui before the train set off.

– Chinese workers in charge –

Kenyatta on Tuesday flagged off the first cargo train, set to cut the cost and time involved in transporting goods to the capital.

It is also part of a “master plan” by east African leaders to connect their nations by rail, with the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) planned to eventually link Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, Burundi and Ethiopia.

The $3.2 billion (2.8 billion euro) railway project is financed 90 percent by China’s Export Import Bank, while the Kenyan government is providing the remaining 10 percent.

The new railway has courted controversy, with accusations of corruption dogging construction, concerns over the impact on wildlife and the eventual tax burden on Kenyans.

Transport Minister James Macharia said the government expects the railway to boost GDP by 1.5 per cent, allowing them to pay back the loan “in about four years”.

“I think that is a little bit of wishful thinking,” said economist Kwame Owino, questioning assumptions about the volume of cargo available to be carried, while warning high growth rates in east Africa were beginning to moderate.

The railway will be managed by the Chinese contractor for five years, with 610 Chinese workers in charge, while Kenyans are trained to take over. 

Source: Capital FM Kenya.

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