Business

Sonarwa settles Rwf 3.79bn claims

Sonarwa Life and Sonarwa general insurance paid a total of Rwf 3.79bn in net claims last year, up from Rwf 2.22bn in 2012. The companies had a net production of Rwf 8.2bn up from Rwf 7.6bn in the same period. Speaking in an interview, Allen Karungi Gatete, the corporate communications manager, said that in spite of the increase in under-written policies, there was still need for people to buy insurance products because they are affordable. “People have misconceptions that insurance isn’t affordable or that only certain things are supposed to be insured,” she said. Emphasising the importance of insuring property, Karungi said that if one bought cover at Rwf 60,000 for an asset worth Rwf 10m, they can be assured of replacing it in case something went wrong with it. Insurance penetration levels remain low in Rwanda with many only going for the mandatory medical and motor vehicle insurance covers. According to Jean Pierre Majoro, the Rwanda Association of Insurers executive secretary, it’s up to the 10 players in the market to tussle it out and see that they diversify and offer more products and services in order to attract more clients.

Read More »

Reed Travel Exhibitions announces details of its Hosted Buyer Programme for Africa Travel Week

Africa Travel Week event organisers Thebe Reed Exhibitions in conjunction with Reed Travel Exhibitions have announced further details of the Hosted Buyer Programme for Africa Travel Week, taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from 28 April to 3 May 2014. The week comprises three co-located shows – International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) Africa; Incentives, Business Travel ...

Read More »

Mombasa to host first free trade zone

Kenya: The Cabinet has approved the establishment of Free Trade Zone in Mombasa. The move sets the stage for the Ministry of Industrialisation to roll out the country’s first Free Trade Zone where goods will be duty free. “This will be the first free trade zone in the region. It will spur economic opportunities for the country and open up trade in the region,” a statement from the Cabinet said Thursday. The Cabinet further approved the Budget Policy Statement, the Division of Revenue Bill, and the County Allocation of Revenue Bill. Approval Cabinet Secretary for Treasury Henry Rotich is required to present the documents to Parliament latest by Saturday, according to the set timelines. Parliament will have to look into the policy statement and the other two documents for approval. The policy statement is a summary of the state of the economy where Cabinet noted that the global economic prospects are improving with the US economy registering 6 per cent growth. Regionally, sub-Saharan economies are also doing well, according to the document. It is thus expected that the country will have a stable macro-economic environment. According to the document, the Government targets to achieve a higher annual growth rate through creation of a pleasant business environment for employment. The policy paper has outlined ways to improve governance in medical supplies, free tuition in schools, public works, National Police Service, revenue administration, procurement, immigration and lands. Housing units Another priority area for the Government is security. The policy paper recognises the key role security plays in national development. The Government will construct at least 18,000 housing and building units for the National Police Service, partly through private-public-partnership framework. This initiative will be expanded in the medium-term to cover the Kenya Defence Forces and the Prisons Department. The state will lease at least 1,500 motor vehicles and three aircraft and other security equipment per year to boost patrols. By Kurian Musa, The Standard

Read More »

Kenya wants East African Portland Cement Company case dismissed

Nairobi, Kenya: The Government wants the case filed against it and the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) by East African Portland Cement Company dismissed as it does not represent the position of the company’s leadership. The Government says the case that was filed to challenge the decision by CMA to suspend resolutions passed during the company’s annual general meeting held on December 17 last year was not properly placed before the court as it was signed by three directors out of the six. Kamau Karori, who is representing the Ministry of Industrialisation in the case, said the resolution to file the case before Justice Mumbi Ngugi was signed and passed by a minority of the directors as opposed to the four majority that are required by the Articles of Association governing the company. He said some of the directors who swore the affidavits before the court had not been authorised by the company’s Chief Executive Officer Kephar Tande and that the alleged fourth director was subject to suspension by the capital markets regulator. Kamau said the appointment of Didier Tresarrieu as a director to replace Hamish Keith, who had opted to resign, was part of the resolutions reached during the AGM, yet he had been suspended. By John Muthoni, The Standard

Read More »

Employee welfare key in security matters

With the recent surge of insecurity in Kenya, private security companies have been brought to the limelight as a supplementary means of boosting security. Tony Sahni One lingering issue that has always plagued the sector has been the welfare of the security guards who have been tasked with the weighty responsibility of safe-guarding lives and property. Industry players and responsible security providers have continued to champion the rights of the security guard as a means of bolstering security in the country. Speaking on the issue, outgoing Kenya Security Industry Association (KSIA) chairman Tony Sahni, claimed the association has been in the forefront of ensuring all their member companies pay their guards the proper wages as dictated by law. Mr. Sahni who is also the Group Managing Director of Securex Agencies East Africa, insists that private security companies have had to pull up their socks when it comes to employee welfare. Mr. Sahni was speaking at the official unveiling of the Securex Scholarship Program. The program will see the security company pay for the secondary school fees of five bright children of employees who have been with the company for over ten years. The first recipients of the funds were Dickson Masinde, Timothy Wekesa, David Cheruiyot, Tom Lubega and Godfrey Milimo. “We felt the need to say thank you to those employees who have been with the company for such a long period,” said Mr. Sahni, “and this was our way of also giving back to the community, because we get to educate a child, who may as well transform the society in future,” he concluded.

Read More »

Uganda: Mobile money rates for paying utility bills increase

MTN Mobile Money has increased its transmission charges for payment of utility bills. The affected bills are those for National Water and Sewerage Corporation and Umeme electricity. For bills between sh500 to sh2500, the charges increased from sh110 to sh190 while for those ranging from sh2,501 and sh2,500 the customer will be charged sh330, a sh190 increment from sh140. The charges took effect February. Before, it cost a customer sh500 to pay bills ranging from sh5,000 to 45,000. Now they will pay sh1,000 for the first sh5001 to sh15,000 then pay sh1,600 for the next sh15,001 to sh30,000 and finally pay sh2,000 for the final sh30,001 to sh45,000. Bills ranging from 45,001 to 60,000 will now cost sh2,650 from sh550 to pay while those ranging from 60,001 to sh125,000 will cost the customer sh3,500 up from sh660. For bills ranging from sh125,001 to sh250,000, they will be paying sh3.950 up from sh950 while bills of 550,001 to sh500,000 will cost the customer sh5,050 up from sh1,250. For bills from sh500,001 to sh1m, the rate was increased from shsh3,200 to sh10,700, and for those paying bills of sh1m to sh2m the charges are sh20,500 from sh5,500. Bills of sh2m to sh4m will cost the client sh40,000 up from sh10,000. MTN Uganda’s chief marketing officer, Ernst Fonternel explained that this was done because the utility companies were reluctant to pay MTN for the transactions. He said in the circumstances, the clients of the utility companies must shoulder the cost. “The companies no longer pay us for the collection of their monies. So we recoup our share from the customer,” he said. By Billy Rwothungeyo, The New Vision

Read More »

Uganda: MV Kalangala set for private operator

The Government is looking for a competent company to manage and operate Marine Vessel (MV) Kalangala. The vessel which plies Nakiwogo landing site in Entebbe and Lutoboka in Kalangala, was assembled in 2005 as fulfilment of President Museveni’s pledge to the people of Kalangala for eased water transport and connectivity to the mainland. It was initially managed by M/S Mulowooza and Brothers between 2006 and 2010 but when the three-year contract expired, the works and transport ministry took over its management to date. The vessel is currently in Mwanza, Tanzania where it is undergoing the annual repairs to meet the international maritime safety requirements. Susan Kataike, the works and transport ministry spokesperson said the procurement process for the private operator for the vessel is ongoing. However, Kataike warned operators of private boats who are taking advantage of the absence of MV Kalangala to dangerously load passengers to and from Kalangala via Entebbe landing site. Last week a locally built boat loaded with over 70 passengers from Entebbe landing site to Kalangala got stuck on the lake after its engine stalled but they were rescued by the marine Police. Bernard Khabakha, a senior inspector of vessels with the ministry, said all passenger boats are supposed to be inspected to ascertain their seaworthiness before they are licensed to operate but many operators do not heed this. Fred Badda, the Bujumba MP said the Government should avail alternative and safe transport means to Kalangala via Entebbe whenever MV Kalangala is taken for annual inspection and repairs. By Samuel Balagadde, The New Vision

Read More »