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Central Chapter | May 2014

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CENTRAL CHAPTER

Kiambu County Government lifts ban on change of land user

The Kiambu county government has lifted a ban on change of land use that had been issued last year. The ban was lifted after a successful completion of the land use zoning to guide proper utilization of land.

Through a public notice issued by Administration Executive Wilson Maroa, developers were advised that all applications (subdivisions, building plans, laying of Fiber Optic Cables, Change and Extension of User, Extension of Leases) etc. must be submitted for vetting at respective Sub-county Planning offices and that advertisement for the Change of User shall be undertaken at the instructions of the County Government and at the applicants’ cost.

kiambu county

Kiambu Lands Executive Esther Kaloki, Deputy Governor Gerald Githinji and Land Development and Governance Institute chairman Ibrahim Mwathane

The county government had halted all change-of-land-use transactions until they designate agricultural and commercial areas. The County Executive Committee Member in Charge of Lands & Physical Planning Eunice Kaloki said that the temporary stoppage of change of user was aimed at safeguarding tea and coffee which had quickly been taken over by the booming housing sector in the county.

The Institute of Surveyors of Kenya had last month denounced the move by some counties including Kiambu, Elgeyo Marakwet and Kajiado to halt the transactions as they sort out the mess in their land records and master plans. However, Kiambu has established a ward-based service delivery structure to help with prompt service delivery across the county.

 

Kiambu County Business Agenda validated

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Kiambu Couty Deputy Governor H.E Gerald Githinji and Central Kenya Chapter Chairman Mr. Rajan Shah during the breakfast meeting

The Kiambu County Business Agenda was validated on 15th April 2014, at the Windsor Golf Hotel & Country Club during a breakfast meeting attended by officials of BMO’s in Kiambu County. KAM Central Chapter Chairman Rajan Shah reiterated the need for a conducive environment for business.

“The business community only requires an enabling environment from the County government and we will do the rest of the work. Regular dialogue and constant conversations are the only way out to foster collaboration on the county’s business agenda,” said Rajan.

The County Executive Committee members (CECs) present each gave a presentation on the progress in their dockets. The CEC for Roads & Infrastructure informed the meeting that they had already graded 500 KM out of the 5000KM of roads in the county and work was ongoing. However the issue of quality was raised which she responded by saying that they were ensuring high quality of the work done.

The newly elected County Assembly Speaker Mr. Gathii Irungu said that he is keen on public participation and assured the private sector that for any new laws and policies, the assembly will seek the opinion and input from the stakeholders as required by law.

The Deputy Governor in his closing remarks thanked the business community for their continued support and reiterated that the county government is doing all it can to provide a conducive business environment.

Uasin Gishu Chapter | May 2014

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ELDORET CHAPTER         

Kenya Power Unveils its Plan for North Rift Region

Kenya Power has unveiled plans to improve the quality of power supply in the north rift region. Plans are underway to reduce the cost of energy through generation of 5000 megawatts of power the bulk of which will be from geothermal and wind to replace the current energy from diesel.  North Rift Region has over 146 000 customers. The county of Uasin Gishu is also focusing on energy as a priority for Industrial Development and attracting investors.

According to Mr. Jackson Mandago, Governor Uasin Gishu County, the economy of this county is to a largely extent driven by manufacturers. Therefore the intervention measures which Kenya Power is putting in place will ensure optimum productivity hence increase revenue for manufactures and also for the county. “We are engaging Kenya power to help us establish the County Power Master Plan. Our focus is not only to use power for lighting purposes but also for industrial purposes therefore creating employment in the urban and peri-urban areas.” Said Mandago.

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From left: Mr. Jackson Mandago (Governor, Uasin Gishu Chapter), Dr. Ben Chumo (MD-Kenya Power) and Kennedy Mohochi (Chief Operations Officer-KAM) during a press briefing  at the KAM/KENYA POWER BUSINESS DINNER at Boma Inn, Eldoret

KAM Eldoret Launches The Uasin Gishu County Business Agenda


KAM Eldoret Chapter together with other Business Membership Organizations (BMOs) recently launched the Uasin Gishu County Business Agenda. The development of the County Business Agenda was largely contributed by the business community in Uasin County; these included; Kenya Association of Manufacturers, North Rift Tourist Association, East African Grain Council, Kenya Sports Foundation, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Keino Sports House among others.

The Uasin Gishu County Business Agenda is meant to act as a tool for business advocacy for the business community in Uasin Gishu County. The Business Agenda will also be useful to the Uasin Gishu County Government in identifying key initiatives and areas of improvement towards creating a conducive business environment to ensure that Uasin Gishu County lives to its fame of being “the champions.”  In order to address issues affecting businesses with a common voice, it is important for the business community in Uasin Gishu County to join relevant business membership organizations to facilitate the formation of a business coalition.


The Business Agenda adopts a sectoral approach in its identification of issues of interest to the business community. However, recommendations proposed in this Business Agenda cut across different thematic areas, while retaining a sectoral focus.

Machakos Chapter | May 2014

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MACHAKOS CHAPTER

Consumers threatened by feuding service providers

The ongoing dispute between the Mavoko Water and Sewerage Company (MAVWASCO) and the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) whose escalation into a board dispute has put consumers between a rock and a hard place in terms of being threatened with disconnection to the main sewer line by an entity that they do not pay their water and sanitation bills to.

KAM members recently held a forum with the EPZA and MAVWASCO leadership, together with other stakeholders including Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA) and National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) at the EAPCC sports club where it was established that the Kinanie sewerage plant is heavily polluted and overwhelmed.

The Chapter Chairman Mr. Gideon Aswani reiterated the need for members to fill in and submit the Effluent Discharge Control Plan (ECDP), which is a mandatory requirement. MAVWASCO reported that the Machakos County Government had set aside 20M shillings for de-sludging ponds and appointed a consultant for the same. They also reported that another sewer line will be built from Mlolongo to Athi River.

The main entrance to the EPZA

The dispute arose from the fact that the EPZA contended that running the infrastructure incurs costs for them which must be offset. They also claimed ownership of the sewerage assets. MAVWASCO on the other hand argued that according to the Water Act they have a mandate to manage effluent discharge.

It was eventually agreed that the matter of ownership be put aside and the two organizations to focus on service delivery issues. MAVWASCO agreed in principle to share revenue with EPZA. A team comprising a representative from MAVWASCO, EPZA, WARMA, NEMA, TaNAthi and Machakos County Government and chaired by Mr Gideon Aswani of KAM was formed to work out a revenue sharing agreement between the two organisations and its Terms of Reference (TOR) set as : (a) Determine the costs of running the infrastructure per month (b) Agree on percentage due to EPZA.

The meeting regrettably failed to achieve its primary objective because of absolute positions adopted by both EPZA and MAVWASCO during the meeting. On a positive note MAVWASCO committed to pursue funds from Machakos County Government for the immediately required de-sludging exercise.

Both EPZA and MAVWASCO agreed to keep the matter alive and strive to find an interim solution pending resolution of then contentious matter of who owns what and who does what. Escalation of this situation would leave WRMA with few alternatives but to prosecute the two offending organizations, and this could ultimately result in disruption of business depending on the outcome of determination of the matter.


EPZA then wrote to members asking them to pay 80% of their sewerage bills to them and the rest to MAVWASCO. During the Chapter meeting of 24th April 2014, members resolved to pay their bills to MAVWASCO, with whom they have a contract to take care of their effluent. It was agreed that should they be disconnected, they would sue the agency they signed a contract with.

In the past week, members received letters again from EPZA rescinding the billing of sewerage charges, due to a pending court case. We urge affected members to give us any further feedback arising from this issue. 

Nakuru Chapter | May 2014

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NAKURU CHAPTER

Motorists to pay heavy fines for damaging street lights

The Nakuru County Government has warned motorists in Nakuru town over damaging street lights saying offenders will pay hefty fines. The county government has been installing streetlights to improve security in Nakuru town.

Speaking recently in Nakuru, Governor Kinuthia Mbugua said motorists should be keen while driving to avoid damaging the town's newly installed lights. “If they hit or damage the newly installed streetlights, they will pay hefty fines to the county government before they are even charged in court,” said Kinuthia.

Mbugua said his government wants Nakuru to be a 24-hour business town to double revenue collections. He urged the residents to protect the infrastructural developments aimed at improving security and promoting a 24-hour economy in the county.

The governor also warned residents against vandalizing the new streetlights in estates and towns saying the county government spent millions of shillings to install them adding that this is a setback to development.

''The police are alert and will arrest anybody found destroying the high mast lighting establishments or the electricity posts,'' said Mbugua.

He added that crime in Nakuru has reduced since the installation of streetlights, saying the improved security situation is likely to attract more investors.

Street lights on a section of Nakuru town


Nakuru residents to pay more for water

Rift Valley Water Services Board has reviewed its tariffs upwards in efforts to service the African Development Bank loan and meet the high operation costs.

In a May 7, 2014 gazette notice, the board notifies its potential and existing customers of the new changes, which will be effected from June 1.

“Rift Valley Water Services Board hereby gives a one-month notice to both the existing and potential customers that the current tariffs have been adjusted upwards and the new tariff takes effect in the next 30 days,” read the gazette notice.

Under the new tariff structure, domestic users consuming from zero to six cubic metres of water will pay Sh288 from the current Sh200 while industrial users consuming the same units will pay Sh318 from Sh200.

At the moment, domestic consumers spending between zero and six cubic metres of water part with Sh33 for each unit, while those using between seven and 20 units pay Sh50 per unit. Consumers of between 100 and 300 units pay Sh100 per unit.

With the new rates, the cost of water will be expensive for the Nakuru residents who are already grappling with the spiral effects of the increased taxes from the county government of Nakuru.

According to the board’s chief executive officer, Japheth Mutai, reviewing the tariffs upwards was necessitated by the need to repay one percent interest tagged loan from the African Development Bank.

“The African Development Bank gave us a loan which we used to drill 15 more boreholes to boost sustainable water supply for the Nakuru residents. We are required to repay the loan for 25 years with a one percent interest,” said Mutai.


“And as a result, the interest rate on the borrowed money has pushed up our operation costs, necessitating the review of the tariffs upwards,” he added.

Investments discussed at the Business Leaders Conference

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The Cabinet Secretary for Industrialisation and Enterprise, Mr. Adan Mohammed, today said that the government was working on improving the local business environment by looking into ways of reducing the no. of days needed to start a business and through a new company act that parliament has promised will be ready by the end of June this year. Mr. Mohamed was speaking at the Business Leaders Conference which was held at Crowne Plaza hotel today where he gave the Keynote Address. 

Top 200 power consumers to get dedicated power lines

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Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary, Mr Davis Chirchir (centre), shares a light moment with Kenya Power Managing Director, Dr Ben Chumo, and Mr Neil Nathwani of Apex Steel during the meeting with industrial executives in Nairobi today.


The Cabinet Secretary for Energy and Petroleum, Mr. Davis Chirchir today outlined energy expansion plans to the country’s biggest industrial power consumers at a forum organised in Nairobi by Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) for the top 100 consumers and promised the top 200 industrial consumers dedicated power lines that will be exclusively for their use. He also promised more reliable power with Geothermal power coming into the grid soon. “We want to give you better base load power – power which is available at all times – like now there have been failed rains,” he said adding that expensive energy was running down the country’s industrial sector.

Industrialists consume 60% of electricity generated in the country. The meeting is part of a series of road shows held by Kenya Power Ltd around the country in the last few months on upcoming energy plans. Average consumption ranges from Kshs. 200 million and the top ten consumers use 10% of the power generated every day in the country.

He said a matrix had been developed to ensure that the two upcoming coal plants which will produce 960 MW each in Lamu and Kitui would not be a threat to the environment. “Because of our Geothermal advantage in Kenya we are fairly green with 61%  renewable energy. We deliver fairly clean power without endangering the environment,” Mr. Chirchir said.

Ms. Betty Maina, CEO of the KAM pointed out that economic growth was being hampered by expensive power.  “Manufacturing has been contributing to GDP growth at around 13% but in recent times this has gone down to 8.9% and the absence of the expansion in the sector has been constrained by energy. No country has experience rapid industrialisation and poverty eradication without energy.  The retail sector on the other hand has grown due to informal jobs which we know are precarious, so we need a backbone for this industrialisation which is manufacturing, ” she said.

The event was sponsored by Kenya Power Ltd whose CEO, Dr. Ben Chumo said they were working to enhance the Nairobi South Region which comprises of many industrial consumers. “We have specific areas of focus that we are currently rehabilitating our existing network starting with where we get the most of our revenue and where the economy would hurt most if energy were to fail. That is why we started with the Nairobi South Region,” he said adding that the network serving this area would have one more shutdown before the end of the month to finish the rehabilitation plans. He also outlined ongoing developments around the country adding that; “In Nairobi we have 14 new substations. Nairobi is the hub of the economy and your major investments are based here, nine are in western Kenya,  six in mount Kenya region and two in the coastal region.” Other developments include the move to smart grids which will help Kenya Power staff identify problem spots and solve problems faster and two way transmission meter to help detect tampering.

Representatives of cement companies welcomed the move saying that if the cost of electricity went down, they guaranteed that the cost of cement would also go down. Since 2013, Bamburi Cement Ltd, Kenya Powers biggest consumer has lost a total of 382 million to power outages and surges.

Conference on Childrens Rights and Business Principles held in Nairobi

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The 2nd Global Children's Rights and Business Principles Conference was held in Nairobi yesterday at the Southern Sun Mayfair hotel. The conference organised through a collaboration of efforts between UNICEF, Save the Children and UN Global Compact had over 150 participants drawn mainly from african countries such as Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, etc. Childrens rights are increasingly taking centre stage in investment decisions as investors want to know if child labour is involved in the supply chains of goods. This is due to more awareness amongst consumers who don't want to buy goods which involve child labour. 

Ms. Betty Maina, the CEO of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers gave the opening remarks followed by reflections on progress made last year by governments and business. KAM Panel sessions included one by local ICT companies and included panelists such as Joe Mucheru, the Google Sub-Saharan Africa Ambassador and East Africa Lead and Sanda Ojiambo, the head of Corporate Responsibility at Safaricom. Safaricom recently made a decision to support childrens rights in the country. 

KAM Chairman meets Chinese Premier

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Premier of the Republic of China Li Keqiang shakes hands with Kenya Association of Manufacturers Chairman, Polycarp Igathe. Manufacturers welcome investments by the Chinese Government in infrastructure projects such as rail, energy and security which enable competitiveness in Kenya.


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