Tapping Opportunities Of Kenyan Labour Export To The Middle East

Government set to initiate reforms in labour laws and policies to protect migrant workers

Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar are among the largest importers of labour globally. A thousand migrant workers leave the country annually to seek opportunities as domestic service workers in Saudi Arabia due to the Kafala system which makes the process affordable. The female migrant workers do not incur migration costs since they migrate on a sponsored visa and air ticket funded by the employer. The kafala system is however disadvantageous on the employees since upon arrival they are held in slavery-like conditions.

In 2020, the diaspora remittances surpassed the income obtained from the traditional sources such export of agricultural products. Therefore the government saw the opportunity in exporting labour to the gulf countries and more so Saudi Arabia which has bilateral agreement with Kenya on labour matters. The government through the ministry of labour has introduced several reforms through policy frameworks while other reforms are underway in bills of parliament and draft policies that are yet to be concluded. Among the key reforms introduced to reduce distress from ladies traveling to Saudi Arabia, is compulsory pre-departure training conducted by licensed home care training institutions in Conjunction with National Industrial Training Institute (NITA). The changes were introduced amid the increased mistreatment and death rate of domestic service workers.

To ensure that ladies can always be saved from distressed conditions and be airlifted back to the country through the assistance of the embassy, the Ministry of labour through the National Employment Authority (NEA) requires all migrant workers going to Saudi Arabia and other GCC member states to pass through registered and licensed Employment Agencies which are listed on NEA website. The CS for labour, Simon Chelugui has asserted that migrant workers stuck in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Countries were sneaked out of the country by unscrupulous employment agents. Among the key reforms to come in the future is the establishment of a safe house for distressed migrant workers, provision of social welfare packages such as medical cover, overtime pay and leave days for the migrant workers. Philippines is the largest exporter of Domestic service labour in the Middle East due to its improved labour laws and policies that protect its migrant workers. Kenya is reviewing its labour laws and policies progressively towards achieve such as status.

The 5 Am Club By Robin Sharma

A frustrated artist and a haunted entrepreneur find themselves at a motivational talk by The Spellbinder that leaves them alive and hungering for more. Each finds hope when he says that the place of one’s greatest discomfort is also where one’s largest opportunity lives. When a seemingly homeless yet vibrant and knowledgeable man invites them for a get-away to re-discover themselves, they hesitate only for a minute. Armed with the curiosity and willingness to join the 5 AM Club as he called it, the journey to Mauritius where their previously ‘homeless’ billionaire mentor awaited.

Every 5 AM for the next few days they would learn the kind of mindset and lifestyle that makes the top 5%. One of them is The Four Focuses of History-Makers: Capitalization IQ. Be committed to improving the talents that you have, freedom from Distractions. Prioritize your life and thin out the areas that are less important. A few successes are better than many mediocre achievements. personal Mastery Practice. Create a positive, creative and healthy mindset, heart set, health set, and soul set, day Stacking. Having the bigger picture in mind, focus on having a day oriented towards it and making progress every day.

An important protocol that the billionaire shares with our explorers is The Habit Installation Protocol. This is the process it takes for one to incorporate a new habit into their normal routine. The first 22 days are termed as the destruction phase, obviously so, since old habits are being destroyed. The second 22 are the installation stage, the hardest stage, often characterized by frustration. The last 22 days are the integration phase, where the habit becomes automatic. In summary, every change is hard at the beginning, messy in the middle and glorious at the end.

Just in case you are wondering what you actually do at 5 AM, fear not, that is not left out. It would be quite a shame for you to be convinced to wake up so early and waste the entire time! The idea brought forth here is defined as The 20/20/20 Formula. Each 20 minutes is used on Exercise, Meditation, and Learning respectively. After this, the next 90 minutes are advisably used on the most important activity of the day.

Rest, determination and many more aspects are tackled in this world-class book that I believe can catapult anyone from ordinary to extraordinary. Remember, Triumph Loves the Relentless!

Elegant Fashions By Jemmy’s & Young Selection

As a little boy growing up, I remember looking forward to holidays away from school. There was so much to be eager about when the festive season of Christmas began. I knew it was the time to meet my cousins on safaris that had been planned for a long time. Other days my grandfather would slaughter one of his turkeys and invite his large family to feast. We also recited Christmas carols and made presentations in church during a Sunday school service. Such are the memories of December holidays from my days in primary school. It’s a time for refreshment to both young and old. Savings of the year would be spent by adding new pieces of clothe to the wardrobe and attending events of the season. In one of my favorite travel destinations, Turkana County, Tubong’ulore cultural celebrations are opening the chapter of a December holiday in North Western Kenya. A lot more will be happening and each of these celebrations call for different tastes of fashion.

In Lodwar town, one of the best boutiques I have ever visited is run by an entrepreneur who stands out through her ability to bring to the market products that are current and relevant to buyers. Jemmy has been in the fashion industry for more than a decade and her Lodwar shop is well stocked with pieces of clothes for all age groups. Her shop, Jemmy’s and Young Selection, is a gallery of everything fashionable. She also sells cosmetics, bags and shoes. Her customers get an opportunity to walk through aisles in her shop choosing for themselves from a variety of products that are on display. Decency and dignity can be earned from how we groom. This is why you need to always dress for your next occasion. If you are going to work, dress for the job. When your children are reporting to school ensure they have school shoes that befit them. At Jemmy’s and Young Selection you have an opportunity to do your window shopping before making your purchase. Visit Jemmy’s shop along KCB road from Lodwar prisons roundabout in Lodwar town for endless varieties of elegant fashions. Jemmy’s and Young Selection is also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and on WhatsApp via 0727309111.

Driving Change In Communities Through Financial Education.

Hosted By Banking Transformed On 1st September, 2021

“If everyone, including political leaders, is given the opportunity to learn the essential principles to smart money management, it will enable them to better plan ahead and keep their financial house in order and help others to do the same” Michael Ochieng Nyawino (2019). What the Executive Director at Christian Community Healthcare Foundation says was the heart of the webinar that was presented by Industrial Bank in collaboration with EVERFI.  

According to the Global index report; women in the developing nations, such as Kenya, have a 20% less likelihood of owning a bank account in a formal financial institution and 17% less likely to formally borrow money; deficiency in their financial literacy is one of the causes. Financial literacy is basically an individual’s comprehension of concepts such as debt, investing and saving which then contributes to their general definition of financial well-being; it begins with the awareness of matters concerning money.

For Industrial Bank, the aim is always to make a difference in the lives of their customers and employees even as they impact economic development in communities. Over time, they have achieved this by creating unique products and services that meet customers where they are and also supplementing the teachings of financial empowerment while still making money for the bank and mitigating risks. This is worth emulating in attempting to transform communities.

Information and a person’s ability to make sound decisions go hand in hand. Any business owner should therefore ensure that their customers can visualize and understand the elements of financial literacy. The simplest form of education to offer is how customers can save, invest and/or spend their income by clearly distinguishing their needs from wants. It is important to note that financial education should not be limited to schools and churches but other uncommon avenues such as jails and shelters. This is because financial literacy crosses all spectrums of age, sex, income, social status among others. Above all, in this COVID-19 era, the most can be attained by adopting digital approaches to financial education. 

Finally, there is a very strong association between financial literacy and social issues. It is said that financial literacy is a great equalizer in the battle against social justice. It contributes to the general decrease of stress levels in individuals and reduces chances of family discord. There is therefore an increasingly urgent demand for financial literacy in communities.

Why you need to maintain a healthy weight.

Have you ever been told “you look thin” or “you look fat?” how did you feel about it? What is a healthy weight and why is it important to maintain it?

What does a healthy weight mean?

Research has attempted to define healthy weight based of parameters that measure body fat composition. In this article, we will use two parameters: the Basal Metabolic index (BMI) and the Waist Circumference (WC).

BMI is determined by your weight and height. It doesn’t measure body fat but correlates with direct measures of body fat. A higher BMI tends to indicate higher body fat, and a lower BMI indicates lower body fat. BMI is calculated by taking your weight in (kgs) divided by height in M2 and interpreted based on standard values. BMI <18.5Kg/m2 indicates Underweight, 18.5- 24.9Kg/m2 is a healthy weight, 25- 29.9 Kg/m2 shows one is overweight and obesity correlates a BMI>30kg/m2.

BMI is however a screening method rather than a definitive measure of a person’s body fat. Moreover, it doesn’t work in isolation nor replace guidance from a medical professional. It gives a general idea of a person’s body fat, but it is not a diagnostic tool for disease risk. Being within a healthy weight range doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re healthy. Being underweight or overweight doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re unhealthy either.

Waist circumference (WC) screens for health risks associated with carrying excess body weight. Fat tends to settle around the waist rather than the hips. This indicates an elevated risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The risk level increases for women with WC >35 inches, and for men with WC >40 inches.

Why it’s important to maintain a healthy weight.

It’s not safe to be underweight or overweight. Underweight is associated with mineral and vitamin deficiencies, immunodeficiency, vitamin D deficiency, osteoporosis, and anemia. On the flip side, being overweight or obese is linked to most lifestyle diseases such as sleep apnea, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, lower quality of life etcetera.

Many weight management experts have over the years focused on the outward goal of measurable weight gain or weight loss. Whereas this has been quite beneficial, research proves it unsustainable. Focusing on individual behavior change proves beneficial and sustainable, than just losing kilo over a period of months. Whatever size you are, you need to appreciate you can be healthy at that. You need to modify your health behavior(s) to achieve good metabolic fitness i.e. blood pressure control, increase physical activity levels and have a better psychological status in pursuit of maintaining weight.

Is Kitui Kenya’s Next Industrial Hub?

The MADE IN KENYA narrative that aims at producing goods locally is not possible without building industries to process and manufacture what we consume. This year in the devolution conference 2021, various counties had exhibition booths where they showcased produce from local industries with the aim of mobilizing support from partners and expanding markets for their locally made goods. For counties with something to showcase, the conference is a huge platform to let their local industries known. Kitui County is one of the counties that has a variety of locally made goods gaining market acceptance thanks to the devolution conference.

Kitui County through partnerships with private investors and other government agencies is shaping up to be Kenya’s next industrial hub outside of Nairobi metropolitan area and traditional white highland regions as mapped by the British colonial government. Two of the most prominent companies in the Kitui’s industrialization story are Kitui County Textile Centre (Kicotec) and the Kitui Pharma Industry. Musyi Development and Tecnofin Limited have also formed a joint venture to construct 2,000 housing units in Kitui County. There are other investors who are developing interest in Kitui County thanks to a demonstrated commitment by the county’s leadership to promote industrialization in its rural and urban centers.

Industrialization in Kitui county cuts across from food and leather processing to construction and tourism. The county government is building a 30.9-acre Kalundu Eco Park in Kitui whose amenities will include a dry-land beach, a floating restaurant, kayaking and jet skiing. Some of the produce of Kitui County include locally brewed wines, honey, yogurt, fumigants, hand sanitizers, hand wash, methylated spirits, sporting balls and livestock products.

The making of an industrial hub requires huge investment into energy supply, capital goods such as machinery for processing raw materials, moving equipment such as trucks and conveyer belts, mobilization of skilled labour, availing raw materials for processing into consumable goods, infrastructural investment in factory buildings, internet and roads, a vibrant service sector to help in branding, banking and research and a sound policy environment to regulate production of goods. In devolving industrialization to counties, there is need for county governments to create enabling environments for factories to be set up through various policy, infrastructural and leadership interventions. Kitui County seems to have gotten this right but there is a huge room for improvement.

Is fuliza beneficial to Kenyans?

There has been a remarkable increase in the number of Kenyans utilizing the Safaricom overdraft facility service of fuliza. It was introduced in the year 2019 to aid the customers who required urgent cash that is below 2000 and it has gained popularity among the Kenyans as they can complete their transaction and buy what they need as much as they may be having less cash in their account.

The rate of borrowing from this facility has increased greatly by 1.34 billion daily in the last six months. The number of Kenyans signing up daily for fuliza is 700,000 making the total number of active fuliza users be 1.7million. Fuliza has brought stiff competition to other mobile loan lending facilities such as the KCB M-PESA of the Kenya Commercial Bank and M Shwari of the NCBA bank. They have had a decline in the number of customers utilizing their loan facilities as opposed to when fuliza had not been introduced yet. I think it is a win-win situation for them as these two loan lending facilities have a share in the Safaricom fuliza overdraft service. It is also an advantage to them as fuliza always has a 99% rate of repayment because immediately the debtor receives cash in their mpesa account the loan they had of fuliza is immediately repaid.

Is this Fuliza helping us? I think that it is only providing short-term aid to us but in the long run, we are training ourselves to be a country and citizens that live in debt. Fuliza loan is very addictive. We have been carried away by this easy way of acquiring cash such that some people have gone to the extent of getting several sim cards which are signed up for fuliza and are actively using the services in all these sim cards, at the end, when they work and get paid, all the money goes back to the credit lending facility.

The culture of saving and investing is slowly being chocked by fuliza. A high number of Fuliza users are Kenyans who live below the poverty line. He who feeds you controls you and no doubt Kenyans are being controlled by fuliza. It’s a wake-up call to Kenyans that we need to find something extra to do so that our cash flow may be increased if we keep on borrowing in this overdraft facility we are getting ourselves into a rat race that we may never be able to exit.

A Man Of Invention, Re-Invention, And Stamina – Reed Hastings

A worldwide household name, Wilmot Reed Hastings Jr. was born in Massachusetts in 1960. He graduated from college in 1983 with a BA in Mathematics, after which he joined the Marine Corps. He however did not finish his training and instead joined the Peace Corps. Drawn by the thrill and adventure, he spent two years in Swaziland, teaching Mathematics. He then proceeded to earn a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1988.

Hastings worked at Adaptive Technology up-to 1991, when he founded his first company, Pure Software. Up to this point, Hastings had been involved in product development and its technicalities and had no idea how to maneuver through the intricacies of management. For this reason, his company started failing and he asked to be replaced as CEO. The board refused. Pure Software then merged with Atria Software to form Pure Atria, which was sold to Rational Software in 1997.

Following his experience with Pure Software, Hastings took a two-year break to strategize on the way forward. In 1997, he at one time was late in returning a movie cassette and was fined highly. And thus his next venture was birthed. Together with a former employee of his, he founded Netflix, which was then a movie-rental service. People would order their movies on a website and the DVDs would be delivered by mail. A subscription service was later launched, where customers would pay a specific fee for access to an unlimited number of DVDs. This idea was carried on when internet streaming services were launched in 2007. Today Netflix is also involved in content production and its subscriptions are at over 200 million households.

Based on Netflix’s culture, Hastings co-authored a book: No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention. In an interview on the same he explains why he thinks the best CEO is the not-busy one. “You want to be able to know what’s going on in all kinds of places, but not making decisions,” he goes on. For a CEO, it means having the bigger picture in mind and planning long-term. For an employee, it means taking everything into consideration in decision making, knowing full well that the buck stops at you.

One of the many things Hastings has learned over the years is portrayed quite loudly, especially through Netflix: It is better to do one product well than two products in a mediocre way.

Impact of 5G Network on Kenya’s Economy

We are living at a time when speed matters a lot in our daily business activities. When it comes to the internet, they say slow WIFI is worse than no WIFI. COVID has taught us that companies can still work remotely and deliver 100% service to their clients. This is only possible with good connectivity of the internet. The 5G future is here. Years in the making, the long-buzzed-about fifth generation of wireless connectivity has become a reality, ushering in an era of radical new possibilities in many industries.

Innovative use cases such as autonomous drones and smart city ecosystems promise increased efficiency and productivity for governments and businesses in a post-pandemic world, and pervasive benefits across the globe. Faster internet also opens up fresh opportunities for businesses by enabling them to leverage online marketplaces and tap into new customers and operating morals to grow their revenues.

Why 5G? The promise of 5G has been echoed throughout the business world for years.5G’s faster speed, lower latency, and ability to connect vastly higher numbers of devices than previous generations of mobile technology offered executives a glimpse of a more efficient and productive future. By providing the basis for ubiquitous ultra-fast broadband, 5G opens up possibilities far beyond the reach of 4G or Wi-Fi 6. This promise has only grown more critical today, as managers consider how best to repair, rethink and reconfigure their business for the post–COVID-19 world.

Kenya’s leading mobile network provider Safaricom in March 2021 launched 5G network powered partly by Huawei, a move seen as a show of confidence in the Chinese multinational technology company. With the launch, Safaricom became the first in Kenya and East Africa to offer the new service. It also makes Kenya just the second country in Sub-Saharan Africa to roll out 5G after South Africa. 5G will also enable the deployment of advanced digital technologies such as virtual reality, crowd gaming, autonomous drones, industrial automation, and a wide range of IoT devices. 5G technology will usher increased internet speeds and capabilities for millions across the country, laying a strong foundation for a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.

As leaders contemplate the decade ahead, 5G demands strategic attention—both to where and how it can create competitive advantages and to the implementation and integration imperatives that must be met for it to generate value.

How can Capital Markets Support Climate change interventions?

Climate change poses an existential threat to mankind with developing countries set to face the toughest impacts that come with it. To put this into perspective, in the current year, the prolonged drought situation in Kenya has predisposed close to 2.1 million people (from the ASAL regions) to food insecurity. Other than prolonged droughts, the rainfall patterns have also changed resulting in low rains in the food-producing counties. Also, torrential rainfalls and floods experienced across East Africa in 2019 and 2020 could be attributed to climate change. The threat to our people’s livelihoods is real despite Africa having contributed only 3% of historical carbon dioxide emissions. This calls for urgent solutions which can finance can provide since all interventions call for funding.

The role of finance in averting the impending climate catastrophe has been discussed by many scholars in different forums. In 2020, President Kenyatta presided over the cross-listing of Kenya’s first green bond at the London Stock Exchange with Acorn realizing an 85% uptake. Issuing instruments linked to sustainable investments will play a key role in mitigating climate change. Therefore, Kenya’s capital market has provided a framework for green finance.

As an incentive, the capital market, in partnership with the government have exempted these green finance instruments from tax thus attracting both local and international investors. With the cross-listing option, Kenyan companies are set to access adequate funding from developed markets given the premium ratings these instruments have received in the past.

The capital market has also offered guidelines in sustainable reporting by listed firms. This has seen more and more firms report their ESG (ENVIRONMENT, SOCIAL, AND GOVERNANCE) as part of their annual reports providing both qualitative and quantitative measures with regards to their climate change mitigation initiatives. To this end, most listed firms are incorporating their sustainability efforts. Therefore, the markets ought to offer guidance in ESG reporting and even make it compulsory for new listings to promote the net-zero goal as enshrined in the Paris agreement.

The effects of climate change are massive and a lot has to be done to avert the worst outcome. As players in the world order, African exchanges and capital markets have to play their roles as investment gateways even as governments seek more funding in international forums. With collaborative efforts, climate change provides new and innovative investment avenues that are not only profitable but also sustainable.