CS meets KAM board to discuss Manufacturing challenges
Mombasa Business coalition meets County Executive to discuss Cess/Entry Fee
Mombasa Business coalition meets County Executive to discuss Cess/Entry Fee
The business community sought yesterday (8 Aug) met with County Government of Mombasa to discuss the recent revocation of the waiver on Entry fee by the county of Mombasa. The team from county Government was made up of the CE for Trade, Energy and Industrialization, Mr. Mohamed Abdi and his counterpart County Secretary Hamisi Mwaguya. The meeting was attended by members from Krystal line Salt, Coca cola, Milly Glass, Polucon Services, Mombasa Maize millers, Bamburi Cement, KNCCI representative and KATO representatives.
Member’s present raised concerns about the County charging a cess fee for goods. Cess taxes are usually charged for agricultural products and this is normally done at the source. A case scenario was given of Bamburi cement that pays Cess for clinker at Kilifi and when it reaches Mombasa they are still required to pay the cost. This results in double taxation. The question of the legality of the entry fee has been disputed since last year, when it first appeared in the Finance Act 2013. In the past, this entry fee was meant for Kongowea market in the now defunct Local Authority, but the County Government included them in the bill and thus creating trade barriers at Shanzu and Miritini.
Mohamed Abdi mentioned that the waiver was revoked because it did not follow the proper procedure for giving of waiver; however he mentioned that the manner in which it was revoked through a newspaper advert before consulting with the Business Community was not proper.
Speaking at meeting the Coast Chapter Chairman, Mr. Munir Thabit said that most businesses operate on orders that they receive to manufacture and such a directive puts businesses in a lot of anxiety. He proposed a nullification of the tax and the establishment of a working committee constituted of County and Private sector members to come up with proposals on how levies are to be charged.
Mr. Abdi promised to consult with the Finance Executive of the county and agreed that having a working committee comprising of private sector and County will be a better way going forward. Local Business Membership Organisations were tasked with identifying five people from each business association to form part of the working committee.
Mr. Abdi also said the county is in the process of coming up with the Finance Bill 2014 and that the working committee which will be established will be part of the team working on the new bill.
Mombasa County Priority Business Agenda launched
Mombasa County Priority Business Agenda launched
The Mombasa Business Coalition made up of Kenya Association of Manufacturers, Kenya Transport Association, The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Mombasa County Community Based Association, Kenya Association of Tour Operators, Mombasa and Coast Tourist Association (Kenya Coast Tourist Association), East Africa Tea Trade Association, Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers, Container Freight Station Association, KIFWA, Ujamaa and PERAK, today met with the various County Executive members to launch the Mombasa County Priority Business Agenda and to discuss various issues that affect business in the Mombasa County at Nyali Beach Hotel. The issues discussed included; Infrastructure, land, Environment, Water, Health, Education, Security, Trade & business levies.
County government officials included Mr. Mohamed Abdi, the County Executive for Trade and Industrialization. Ms. Millicent Odhiambo, the Mombasa and Coast Tourist Association Executive officer who said that the document should be like a Bible to be used as a reference point to ensure implementation of the recommendations by the Business community.
In order to foster a spirit of Public Private Dialogue, the County was asked to consult with business when a new directive or change is coming, for better business relations as well as harmony in the county. A scenario was given where a notice placed in the Star Newspaper dated back to 8/8/2014, revoked the waiver on CESS charges for manufacturers and transporters. This charge would have seen an increase in cost of doing business for manufacturers.
Speaking during the handing over, the Mombasa Business Coalition Chair, Ms. Monika Solanki, reiterated that the publication needs to be kept alive by reviewing it constantly to see what has been achieved, what has not been achieved, come up with solutions and recommend way forward. She called for a timeline to track achievement of the pending issues. "We look forward to engage with the County to review the publication together once they have gone through it with their counterparts," she said
Mr. Abdi said that the published document will be a good reference point for them as the county government as they will use it to deliver to the business community who are the taxpayers. He however requested the Private sector to drive the process and continue engaging the county government. He also urged the Business communities to be the watchdog and ensure that clear timelines are set by the county Government to achieve all the mentioned issues while the media was asked to make the County Agenda their Number one priority and report on positive issues happening in the County and not just the negative ones. “This is a great milestone in the process of Public Private Dialogue being documented," he said.
Concerns were also raised about the congestion at Kibarani and plans that the county has to create alternative exit and entry points that are not entirely dependent on the causeway. Mr. Abdi stated that the plans to explore alternatives such as water transport are at an advanced stage. Members requested him to enforce the rule to keep on the left at the causeway since trucks were no longer following the directive. He also spoke of plans to come up with a second 'Nyali Bridge' though this may take time since it’s a National project. Mr. Abdi also mentioned the upcoming Finance Bill 2014 and urged members to participate fully by giving their proposals when they get invitation to attend the forum.
Download a copy of the Mombasa Priority Agenda here.
Local manufacturers seek ways to gain from the Standard Gauge Railway
Local manufacturers seek ways to gain from the Standard Gauge Railway
August 5, 2014, NAIROBI:
Private sector representatives yesterday (Aug. 4) asked Kenya Railways t to ensure that the 40% local content agreement is met by ensuring that a catalogue of all locally available content is presented to the company constructing the railway and negotiating for inclusion of more items and services.
The Standard Gauge Railway Consortium (SGRC) held a meeting on at the Railways headquarters to decide how the private sector can leverage on the 40% local content agreement that has been reached with the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) which will construct the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). Dr. Manu Chandaria, Chairman of Comcraft Group who chaired the meeting also called on sectors to work together since not all will be able, for example, to provide supplies throughout construction e.g. some companies might be able to provide support in Mombasa but not in Nairobi. Companies interested in tendering were also asked to do so using prices that are competitive internationally and not to look for protection using duty remission schemes. The private sector has advocated for the use of a PPP model to construct the railway line from Mombasa to Nairobi so that local content is used and local skills are developed.
The first phase will see the railway built from Mombasa to Nairobi starting this year. The project is expected to end in 2017. The second will extend that line from Nairobi to Malaba and Kisumu. Already Kenya is in talks with Uganda, Rwanda and Sudan to extend the lines for regional interconnectivity. This is due to concerns that most of the cargo traffic will be from Mombasa to Nairobi but not vice versa. Kenyan and other EAC exports need to go through rail to create down traffic to the port and justify the project.
CRBC is going to bring in about 5000 people to work here but it is expected to use a local workforce of about 30,000. While language issues are of some concern, local universities have been offering chinese language lessons and are expected to fill this skill gap. These skills are expected to come in handy in phase 2 of the project and in other subsequent phases. Kenyans will benefit the railway construction through skills transfer and by becoming a regional hub for all things railway. The government is looking into ways it can cut down the time needed to complete the project without cost escalation.
A 5-year EPC contract has already been signed by the government and CBRC has come up with a list of goods that they would like to source locally. Cement manufacturers and other local companies felt there was need to catalogue all that is available locally so as to engage CRBC to accept an extended list. Manufacturers also asked for a list of standards and quantities of what CRBC will source locally for planning purposes.
KAM represents 750 members in the manufacturing industry and the manufacturers arguably contribute about a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product. Over a million people are employed in the sector and millions others are supported in downstream activities. The manufacturing sector is the country’s backbone and if this sector is not well supported the country stands to lose a lot of revenue and millions of jobs may also be at stake.
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New KAM Board
Meet the New KAM Board
Chairman: Pradeep Paunrana
Pradeep is the Chairman of Kenya Association of Manufacturers. He is also the Chief Executive of Athi River Mining, a large cement manufacturing company in Kenya. In 2010, Pradeep was awarded the Africa Business Leader of Innovation in Washington DC by the Africa Investor Group. Pradeep has been invited to share his experiences in building businesses in Africa at various international forums, industry conferences and business schools.
Pradeep plays an active role in several policy and advocacy institutions, and has chaired and participated in government task forces in the energy, environment and agriculture sectors. He is a Trustee of the Tree Biotechnology Program, Chairman Nairobi National Park Greenline Trust, and actively champions several charities, including the Company's Rhino Cement Foundation, which makes social investments in education, health and environment - an innovative program empowering company employees to manage corporate social responsibility.
He holds a MBA from New York University Stern School of Business. When not working, Pradeep enjoys birding, photography, cooking, family adventure holidays and golf.
Vice Chairlady: Flora Mutahi
Flora Mutahi is the founder and CEO of Melvin Marsh International Ltd with extensive local and international experience in strategic leadership, business development and market penetration and marketing. Proven ability to innovate, conceptualize and implement products and business solutions and to lead and mentor others to achieve company and personal goals.On a personal level Flora is married with three children. Flora holds an MBA from the University of Cape Town, BSc Finance and Accounts from the UK and is a Certified Public Accountant. She also serves on the Board for Seed Hope.
Athi River Chapter | July 2014
TREE PLANTING IN MACHAKOS COUNTY
KAM members on 22nd May 2014, together with the Machakos County Staff came together to make good the resolution to improve the environment within which they operate by planting trees. This initiative was informed by the agreement as members that we would look for alternative ways to engage with the County. The trees were graciously donated by Athi River Mining (ARM) and East African Portland Cement EAPCC). A number of member companies joined in this initiative and together we managed to plant 1000 trees in the areas of Mlolongo, Athi River and Chumvi.
Many other members contributed in terms of merchandise and water for the participaints. In attendance, members represented included Heritage Foods, African cotton, Mabati Rolling Mills, East African Portlands Cement, Athi River Mining, Nation Group, Sanpac, Kapa Oil and London Distillres, to mention but a few.
During his speech, KAM Machakos Chair Gideon Aswani thanked members of the public as well as KAM members for participating in the exercise. He said that manufacturers had felt the need to help improve the environment within which they operate from since Mlolongo had grown in leaps since the inception of the KAM chapter as a neighbourhood association. He pointed out that the fact that the town had more buildings than trees called for immediate need for trees to be planted in order to green up the town. According to him, it was counterproductive for manufacturers to offer employment to a population that would suffer the effects of industrialization in a situation that could be helped by simply planting trees and nurturing the environment. He asked members to own such initiatives as they and their communities as well as children would be the man beneficiaries in the future. Mr Aswani thanked the Machakos Government for working with KAM and reiterated the need to further work together to ensure thatthe residents enjoyed the fruits of government working with corporate. Finally, the thanked the Machakos government for beautifying the highway. In closing, he urged everyone to plant a tree.
The Director of Image, Machakos county, Ms Diana Tarichia thanked KAM for the noble gesture as well as for the initiative. She said that it was through such initiatives that the government would be able to deliver its mandate to the people.
A spot check two weeks ago revealed that many of the tree survived are are watered by the County government. Members resolved to continue doing such work for the community.
Uasin Gishu County | July 2014
County Government Focuses on Infrastructure Improvement
The County Government of Uasin Gishu has recently focused on developing and improving infrastructure within the County. On roads, over 900km of roads have been graded and murraming is being done. The roads in focus include; improvement of link roads that join the main highway. Completion of the Kapsoya road will also ease traffic congestion along the highway and the CBD. There has also been on-going improvement of street lighting and drainage works in Eldoret town alongside tendered for tarmacking of major streets in Eldoret town (64 St, Muliro and Gen. Kago). Furthermore the County Government has embarked on development of walkways for pedestrians along Iten Road and Uganda Road.
Apart from this, development of a new fire station has been tendered at Maili Nne to enhance rapid response by fire and the disaster management team within the region. The County has also focused on increased capacity in roads and survey divisions for efficient delivery of service.
Traffic Congestion on the rise within Eldoret Town
The Nairobi-Malaba Highway passes through the heart of the Central Business District of Uasin Gishu County. Traffic Congestion along Nairobi-Malaba Highway at the Eldoret CBD. Due to the reduced use of the railway line to Uganda, there has been an unprecedented upsurge in the volume of road traffic, particularly heavy haulage trucks passing through the town. The road network itself is an inheritance from the colonial period, coming with a narrow gauge. It is evident that the size of road cannot sustain the volume of traffic passing through the town; let alone the resident traffic that has also grown over the last decade. This congestion’s is compounded by the fact that there is encroachment resulting from construction on road reserves. This further constricts the space for road expansion. Under the County Integrated Development Plan (2013-2017), there are plans for development of a by-pass to divert transit traffic away from Eldoret CBD. Several inlets and outlets to the CBD will also be constructed for ease of traffic flow within the town.
Nakuru Chapter | July 2014
Nakuru County in energy deal with GDC
Nakuru County Government and the Geothermal Development Company (GDC) have agreed to form a joint stakeholders committee that will look into all possible ways that energy generated by the firm can benefit the people of Nakuru.
This was after a daylong consultative meeting held 23rd July 2014 between the County Government, GDC and the Nakuru Business Community.
Nakuru Governor Kinuthia Mbugua said the partnership will give great impetus to the development of Nakuru County and reiterated that the County stands to be immensely transformed into a major investment destination with enough potential to attract much needed investments from local businesses and from abroad.
“As a County we need to be proud of this resource that GDC has presented to us because of its uniqueness and ability to turn around this County in unimaginable ways,” said Governor Mbugua.
KAM Nakuru Chapter Chairman Rajen Shah will head the committee which will include at least three members from various groups, including the GDC, Nakuru County Executive, the county Assembly, and the Nakuru Business Community.
Some of the issues to be addressed by the committee include:
Investments in the energy sector
Employment – directly and indirectly
Business opportunities creation
Tenders and local supplies
Development of industrial park
Exploitation of water resources from GDC
Governor Mbugua added that his government fully recognizes the role GDC will play in the County and assured stakeholders of full co-operation from all the relevant arms of the government.
“We as leaders recognize the efforts placed in achieving this feat and the progress made. There is a lot of potential for investments and we look forward to partnering with you in making this a reality,” he said.
Governor Mbugua was accompanied by the CEC in charge of Energy and Natural Resources Richard Rop and other County Executives and officers alongside Members of the County Assembly.
Governor Mbugua addressing stakeholders during the consultative meeting at Merica Hotel
GDC boss Dr. Silas Simiyu highlighted the key areas that the County stands to benefit including grain silos - drying of grains and cereals and other farm products including pyrethrum, green houses, chemical & medicinal plants processing such as Aloe Vera, dairy industry cooling plants, pasteurization and Recreation – hot bath/swimming pool, treatment of hides and skins, honey processing, cooking oils production among others.
He challenged the County leadership to invest in power generation to provide cheaper power for investors in Nakuru saying that was not the preserve of the National Government.
“Both the National and County Governments are mandated to generate and distribute power. It is up to the County Government to come up with legislation and bankable projects to generate power for own use and in this way provide cheaper power locally for investors,” said Dr. Simiyu.
He further indicated that once the Menengai Geothermal project is fully operational a lot of clean water will be available for potential investors to take advantage of. “We generate 8 tonnes of water per hour per megawatt, so by the time we are doing 5000mw we shall be producing a lot of water which could be used for irrigation and other uses,” he said.
Asked about the viability of transmitting energy to industries in far flung areas, Dr. Simiyu said steam could be transmitted within an area of 10km radius and hot water within 70km radius.
“Now that plans to create Industrial Parks and Special Economic Zones are taking shape. We will be able to transmit as long as the industrial zones are in close proximity to our source,” he said.
GDC has successfully completed drilling 24 wells in Menengai with the current production capacity standing at 80 Mega Watts.
Central Chapter | July 2014
Central Chapter Kenya
Central Chapter holds AGM
The Central Kenya Chapter held its second AGM since the launch of the chapter on 26th June 2014 at the Thika Gymkhana. The well attended AGM was graced by KRA officials who sensitized members on the full roll out of the Single Customs Territory.
Chapter Chairman Rajan Shah of Capwell Industries gave a detailed report on the engagements and activities that the chapter had embarked in the past one year. These include among others engagements with the County Government, Kenya Power, security agencies and engagement with the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA).
The following were elected to the chapter committee:
1. Rajan Shah Chairman Capwell Industries Ltd
2. David Percival Vice Chairman Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers
3. Bimal Shah Treasurer Broadway Bakery Ltd
4. Nimeet Dodhia Committee Member Spinners & Spinners Ltd
5. Souvik Kamar Committee Member Booth Extrusions Ltd
6. Stergios Gkaliamoutsas Committee Member Delmonte Kenya Ltd
7. Anup Bid Committee Member Jetlak Foods Ltd
8. Kranti Kumar Committee Member Blue Nile Ltd
9. Suhash Shah Committee Member Kenrub Ltd
Chapter members at the Thika Gymkhana during the AGM
After the AGM business was completed, KRA officials made a presentation on the full roll out of the Single Customs Territory (SCT) which commenced on 1st July 2014.The chapter is organizing to have the KRA officials engage more with members on the SCT. A session about the budget 2014 will also be conducted. The date and venue will be communicated.
Nyanza/Western Chapter | July 2014
County in Sh4bn deal to end waste collection crisis
The Kisumu County Government has signed a Sh 4.5 billion garbage collection agreement with two foreign companies. The deal signed with the American-based Global Waste 2 Energy and the Integrated Basic Infrastructure System of the Netherlands will also help the county recycle its waste for energy.
City Manager Doris Ombara says Kisumu collects more than 473,000 metric tonnes of waste per day. Speaking during the signing of the contract on Friday, Ms Ombara said urgent measures are needed to help improve collection of garbage, which has become an eyesore.
She said that the cleaning and relocation process, which is expected to take 15 months, will be done once the deal is approved by both the national and county Governments. “We will produce bio-fuels. We expect the approval process to take at least one month,” she said.
Kisumu Bio-Energy and Climate Change chief officer Lorna Omuodo said they intended to produce bio-fuels from the project. The current energy tariffs, she said, scare away potential investors.
“We, for instance, pay power bills similar to those of profit making organizations, yet the county government provides services to residents,” she said. “The project will assist the county produce about 200 megawatts of power daily, ” she added.
Kisumu is probably among the few cities in the region with dumpsites in the central business district, posing a health hazard to residents and inconveniencing businesses across the fence.
There have been concerns about the dumpsite by the Airports Authority, Kenya Wildlife Service, security agencies and the Moi Stadium management.
Lack of land and conflict of interest on the use of waste byproducts has hindered efforts to relocate the town’s dumpsite. Leaders and residents could not agree on an alternative site to dump the city waste.
Kisumu’s Mega City shopping mall, the largest in the town and housing a number of hotels and colleges, is affected by the uncontrolled dumping.
The recently upgraded Moi Stadium cannot host games because of the dumpsite with the stench affecting other neighboring Organizations, including Kisumu Polytechnic.
The chairman of the Kisumu County Business Coalition, Mr. Israel Agina, said that urgent action needs to be taken by the minister in charge of environment to close the dumpsite permanently. “We cannot boast of a growing investment profile when our city cannot collect waste efficiently,” he said.
Coast Chapter | July 2014
>> Salt sector holds multisector forum
>> Mombasa Traffic lights reinstalled
Salt sector holds multisector forum
The Salt sector held a multisector meeting in Kilifi attended by various stakeholders including Community Based organizations, the private sector and Government agencies,
Speaking during the meeting KAM Salt Sector officer Eunice Mwanyallo, mentioned that there is need to have dialogue between all parties so as to have peaceful co-existence and that Government participation is key in achieving this agenda.
The main objective of this forum is to enhance joint solution and greater collaboration among various stakeholders. I appreciate National and County Governments’ representation and we look forward to your support of monthly meetings in the next 12 months,” said Eunice.
The stakeholders present were taken through details, of historical, injustices and how locals in the Coast regions were dispossessed of their land by subsequent Governments up to Independence by Eunice Adhiambo of Ujamaa.
“Injustice includes gross violation of human rights, environmental degradation, labour related issues as well as health issues,” said Eunice.
However it was noted that most of these injustices mentioned are yet to be proved due to lack of research.
“There have been court cases both from the community as well as the salt companies, and this is not a viable solution since it creates bad blood between the two parties. We have to solve issues amicably with the future in mind,” added Adhiambo .
Stakeholders present were briefed on the progress made since the time His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta visited the region and ordered for investigations on the circumstances on the ground through the office of Regional Coordinator.
Stakeholders were informed that there is a need to reflect on the future since perpetrators of historical injustices may not be alive to resolve them; hence the newly commissioned Taskforce on Historical injustices should assist this process on issues of land.
Compliance by companies through the guidance of KAM will ensure global standards are met on human rights, environment preservation, labour and health issues.
Stakeholders were also urged to embrace conflict resolution through dialogue instead of the court process.
Speaking during the forum the Deputy County Commissioner Mr. Karani, said that the road to Robinson Island which was crucial to providing security to the beach population has been blocked by illegal salt harvesters. “It’s necessary to evict them from that particular road,” he said.
Mr. Godfrey Wafula of NEMA reported that dialogue enhancement through the office of the Regional coordinator has worked very well and salt companies have been advised on usage of alternative source of fuel instead of firewood. He further indicated that some of the salt companies have contracted some farmers to plant trees on their behalf.
“Some companies have presented their Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports and were allowed to return water passage to its original course, this is very positive progress,” said Wafula.
Stakeholders from both sides agreed that any intention to expand should be preceded by submission EIA reports by all companies to NEMA. All applications for cutting trees will be submitted to Kenya Forest Service for approval.
Mombasa Traffic lights reinstalled
Mombasa County Government has restored traffic lights that had not been working for a long time. The rehabilitation of the traffic lights is one major achievement among the issues that key stakeholders had raised during the last Governors Round table, held in August 2013.
The areas that needed the traffic lights installed were Saba Saba junction, Kingorani, and Buxton area. The installation of the traffic lights has eased flow of traffic in the Central Business District and brought some sanity on the road.
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