The Copyrights (Amendment) Act 2021

A Big Win For Artists In Kenya

Kenyan artists now have a big relief after the Copyrights (Amendment) Bill 2021 was signed into law on 4th April 2022. Section 2 of the Act defines ring-back tunes to mean subscription music or a tone that is played by a telecommunication operator to the originator of a call. The Act also contains a new revenue sharing formula between the artists and other stakeholders in the industry. Pursuant to section 30C of the Act, the parties to a ring-back tune are to share the net revenue from the sales of the ring back tunes at different percentages with the artists getting the larger percentage. The premium rate service provider will get a share of 7% while the telecommunication operator is to get 16%. The artist or the copyright holder will get 52 % of the revenues earned. 

The new law establishes the National Rights Registry as an office within the copyrights board to perform duties such as digital registration of rights holders and digital registration of copyrights works among others. The registry is in the form of an online portal that will allow any person to access the copyrighted works upon payment of the prescribed fees whereby such amount is channeled to the rights holder. According to the promoter of the Bill which has become a law, Hon Gladys Wanga, the main objective of the law is to amend the Copyright Act of 2001 to provide a fair formula for sharing revenue from ring back tunes between the artists who are the copyrights holders and the telecommunication companies such as Safaricom and Airtel. Pursuant to the new law, the artist is made the main beneficiary by getting a greater share of revenues collected. The Act also repeals provisions on takedown notice in case of copyright infringement incidences, removes the ambiguity in the role of internet service providers, provides for application for injunctions to cure copyright infringements and align the Copyrights Act with other existing legal remedies. The changes introduced by this new law will stabilize the creative industry and increase income for the artists hence boosting the economy at large. Artists will utilize the improved income to set up various businesses and platforms such as established music records and labels that will sign in other upcoming artists on a contractual basis. The overall effect will be a source of employment for young and talented youths who are currently jobless.

The Debits And Credits Of President Kibaki

Many Kenyans believe that Kenya’s economy was at its best during the reign of the late President Mwai Kibaki. Dr. Mwai Kibaki who was an economist from Makerere University in Uganda excelled in managing Kenya’s economy between 2002 and 2013 thanks to his academic and professional background and sufficient experience in national treasury prior to his presidency. During Kibaki’s reign, there was a global recession which began in the United States as a result of deregulation of the financial industry. There were also internal civil wars in the country which were fueled by tribalism in Kibaki’s government, unevenness in sharing national resources between regions and mistrust among politicians in the then ruling party. Despite all these challenges in Kibaki’s 10-year tenure as the country’s chief executive, the gentle Kenyan politician managed to place Kenya in the top 12 list of Africa’s largest economies with a moderately low appetite for foreign debt yet with fairly significant investment in infrastructure.

Just like John Myriad Keynes, a great classical economist whose ideologies are taught in business schools today, Kibaki believed in free markets and in liberalization of the economy through policy interventions. President Kibaki opened up commercial lending in the country by providing sound regulations of the money markets through the Central Bank of Kenya. Kibaki also grew revenue collections by expanding the tax collection base. He borrowed from the West and the East based on affordability of loans and reasonableness of terms and conditions. Kibaki’s success in public debt management went a long way in managing inflation levels and stabilizing the shilling against other currencies. Unemployment rate and poverty index of Kenya compared to other East African countries was slightly higher throughout Kibaki’s regime indicating that the gap between the rich and the poor existed at very wide margins. This could be attributed to the capitalistic nature of Kenya’s economy whose seeds had been sowed by Presidents Moi and Jomo Kenyatta in Kenya’s years of infancy. In my qualitative analysis of Kibaki’s performance as briefly summarized in this column, I found a leader who understood economics of the country in theory and in practice. The consummate economist set the stage for Kenya to take off as an economic powerhouse in Africa and as a significant participant in global trade. His policies on management of the economy are widely admired across political divides, private sector leaders and the electorate of his time.

The Leader Who Had No Title – Robin Sharma

This is a modern fable on real success in business and in life. The author delivers his work in a fictional story involving a hero, Blake Davis who is a student to his mentor, Tommy Flinn who then introduces him to four teachers, who teach him profound leadership insights in form of conversations summarized by acronyms. The main theme of the book is summarized by the letters LWT i.e. Lead Without a Title. While titles and structures help to maintain order, each one in any team ought to always assume personal responsibility, by becoming the CEO of their own roles and leaders within their current positions.

There are four natural powers and five rules that one needs in order to lead: The power to go to work each day and express their absolute best. The power to inspire, influence and elevate each person they meet by the gift of a great example. The power to passionately drive positive change in the face of negative conditions. The power to treat all stakeholders with respect, appreciation and kindness and in so doing raise organizations culture to best of breed. The five rules are summarized by the acronym IMAGE: Innovation, Mastery, Authenticity, Guts and Ethics.

Turbulent times build great leaders, an old saying goes, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” One cannot reach the place of breakthrough without breaking down. SPARK was the acronym for this conversation. Leading without a title has so much to do with being a light in a dark and turbulent world. S for speaking with candor, P for prioritize, A for adversity breeds opportunity, and finally K- always remember to offer Kudos.

The deeper your relationships, the stronger your leadership. The main business of business is to connect with and add value to people; money follows contribution. It is all about people! One cannot afford not to be spending time relating with the people they spend most of their working hours with. HUMAN acronym comes in handy to remember this concept: Helpfulness, Understanding, Mingle, Amuse and Nurture.

To be a great leader, first become a great person. You cannot energize anyone around if you have no energy yourself. Personal leadership has seven fundamentals: learning, affirmations, visualization, journaling, goal- setting, exercise and nutrition. The acronym for this conversation was SHINE i.e. See clearly, Health is wealth, Inspiration matters, Neglect not your family and Elevate your lifestyle.

The Checklist For Choosing Your Next Home

What questions do you ask yourself when buying chocolate or a favorite snack? Are you fascinated by the colour, packaging, taste and how it is displayed in the candy shop? At what point do you evaluate the prices? How do you feel when you try a new brand that is highly priced but delivers little or no satisfaction? Your answers are not different from mine. In my explanation, a rational person is a utility maximizer. This is why we sometimes find ourselves moving from one shop to the next to just get a pair of black leather shoes. When looking for a home to buy or rent, the work of moving from one property to another could be tedious and without sufficient advice, it may not help the buyer to make a decision. This is why you need an advisor you can trust. One that listens to your specifications, offers the best advice and helps you to meet your goals.

When choosing your next home, you need to have clear priorities on what you want in a house. You will first need to know what the market is offering in terms of available standards and prices. Market prices are often determined by forces of demand and supply. This means that prices will go up when there are few houses available and a high number of willing buyers. Secondly, scrutinize the property thoroughly to grasp a full understanding of it. This works best through an inspection that can be done physical or virtual on a video call. Get to know hidden expenses that may arise and how well it suits your taste for a home. The third box in the checklist is an appraisal of market price in comparison to the price given in a valuation report. Look at comparative sales in the area, affluence of the location, legal description, improvements made and land use.  It is also key to investigate the title and transaction documents of the property and check for government regulations affecting the property. Government regulations maybe inform of zoning forest areas, flood zones, road reserves and compliance with construction regulations.

Fairview Realty is a Nairobi based firm that understands how real estate brokerage functions. It has brought creative property marketing through clarity of communication, building on a tradition of trust and putting the customer first. Reach Fairview Realty via +254736579665 or on social media platforms and their website;

Ethics, Self-Care And Burnout Prevention

Hosted by Dr Dawn Elise Snipes on 11th July, 2019

Paulo Coehlo’s quote, “When you say ‘yes’ to others make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself,” summarizes the theme of this webinar. Over and over again, ethics and self-care need to constantly be at the top of our to-do lists otherwise our productivity in any business will be compromised. We need to intentionally and deliberately pursue behaviours that not only match our moral codes but those that promote our well-being too. Burnout is associated with suboptimal care and reduced mental and physical health care. It was first spotted among those in the “helping profession” but it is now also reported among workers and other professionals who develop depression-like symptoms often due to stress-related to their vocational roles.

Some signs and symptoms include physical and emotional exhaustion, insomnia, impaired concentration or memory loss, physical symptoms e.g. hypertension, absence of positive emotions, substance use, cynicism, lack of resilience/patience and forgoing important personal activities. Consequently, this impacts one’s health, their interaction with customers, co-workers and family, their attitude and general life satisfaction. The causes of burnout maybe and are not limited to excessive workload, emotionally draining work, lack of support, resources, rewards or control, unclear or ever-changing requirements, pessimism and perfectionism, value conflict, reluctance to delegate, high achieving type A personality, work-life imbalance and unpleasant working environment. Malasch Burnout Inventory (MBI) is commonly used for self-assessment exploring three components: exhaustion, depersonalization and personal achievement.

There are individual and system strategies that may aid to curb burnout: periodic self-assessment, enforcing realistic boundaries, mindfulness and meditation, healthy breaks and exercises, journaling, planning and to-do lists, practicing deliberate gratitude, being aware of personal negative feelings towards certain clients, identifying what upsets you about them and appreciating that it may not mean you are bad- remember all behavior is a form of communication. Organizations and institutions need to: grant their employees paid time off, increase staff capacity and provide a reasonable workload for each, organize frequent retreats, improve communication, perform efficiency audits, ensure proper work-life boundaries are maintained, increase staff input on changes and decisions and have an efforts-reward balance. 

It is good to note that burnout occurs through stages: honeymoon, onset of stress, chronic stress, burnout and habitual burnout. When one is self-aware, they can notice unusual changes in their body or environment and rectify them before burnout becomes habitual.  Burnout work environments are a reality but burnout doesn’t have to be.

Market Inflation Cripples Kenyan’s Food Security

Many Kenyans are currently caught in the grip of heightened food prices engendered by the currently market inflations that have steadily been escalating. Kenyans have protested on social media about the high cost of living using the #LowerFoodPrices in vain. They criticize the government for failing to stem the rise in the prices of everyday items. In March, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) reported a 9.2% food inflation rate, which is predicted to increase further with the increase in fuel cost. This means a greater majority of Kenyans are and will be unable to put food on the table.

In 2021 Kenya was ranked 87/116 qualifying countries on the 2021 Global Hunger Index. In the same year, 2.6 million Kenyans were said to be in a food insecurity crisis. This is termed a ‘serious’ food and nutrition insecurity situation. Food and nutrition security means that all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life. In the whole country, prices of basic food items like milk, bread, sugar, and maize flour have spiked sharply in recent months, making it difficult for Kenyans to afford the recommended three meals per day. While these frustrations on social media are collective, the financial squeeze is more painful on a personal level.

Those hit hardest by these increased costs are the vulnerable. The pressure to shift to cheaper, sugary, salty and fatty food alternatives in order to have enough to eat may be enormous. Those who need to manage their diets to control diabetes, heart conditions and so on may face the prospect of worsening health. If, as expected, these food price rises become the ‘new normal’, even fit, healthy people would risk developing chronic disease as a result. Moreover, there can be poor educational attainment, poor mental health and social isolation, or increased mortality rates. Both short-term and long-term policies that have been enacted by the government should be implemented. Some households might require emergency food assistance by the government and donors, food subsidies, cash transfers, food for work and school feeding programs, adjustment of trade and tax measures, enhancement of agricultural production by providing agricultural input subsidies etcetera. At a household level, families need to budget, cut on junks, enrich foods and preserve the leftovers, and invest in kitchen gardening. 

Remaking Twitter & Becoming Elon Musk

In the just ended decade, big names in digital media ownership included Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Larry Page of Alphabet, Bill Gates of Microsoft and Jeff Bezos of Amazon. These among others in big-tech companies have shaped how information is organized and consumed around the world. They have also added impetus to conversations around data privacy, freedom of speech and e-commerce from their innovative applications such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Amazon that bring communities together. These companies have grown their shareholder’s equity majorly from advertisements and selling of data. Between 2011 and 2020, most of these companies were in their growth stages implementing subscription strategies and clearing barriers from governments to operate in different jurisdictions. From 2021, the oligopolistic big tech sector is witnessing change of strategies and business models from most of these companies. Facebook for instance rebranded to Meta in a bid to regain trust from the public on its commitment to uphold data protection laws and to offer better the experience of using its products.

Starting January 2022, a new kid has come to the block with a mission to democratize freedom of speech on social media and to make social media work for its users rather than for government policy makers and a few board members running the company. Elon Musk disclosed his 9% stake in twitter through a statutory filling with the US. Securities and Exchange Commission. This also implied that Elon Musk was the largest non-institutional shareholder of twitter and deserving a seat on twitters board. Musk however turned down an offer by twitter’s CEO Parag Agrawal to join the board. Since the start of April 2022, Elon Musk has publicly engaged twitter users on how they want twitter to function. He thinks twitter should not only depend on income from advertisement but also innovate to earn revenue.

Elon Musk’s strategy to take over twitter from public listing to private ownership is timed and fueled by his wealth and influence in corporate governance. With immense success in Tesla, SpaceX, The Boring Company, Starlink and OpenAI, Elon Musk who is currently the world’s wealthiest person has attracted trust from leading lenders like Morgan Stanley Bank in purchasing twitter shares at premiums as high as 38%. His negotiation skills and mastery of organization politics has earn him credits in convincing twitter board to lift “poison pill” defense strategies from his hostile takeover plan of twitter.

Save Like A Rich Man In Babylon

A strong saving culture and financial responsibility are key to a better tomorrow. Most people know these words by heart but have scanty knowledge on how to go about building their wealth and attaining the ultimate financial freedom. Wealth is defined not just as the riches that one has but the amount that can be able to sustain you after your job is lost or income stops flowing. As much as savings is a topic that is becoming a cliché, I would like to bring it into a new light. Research has shown that countries with a high savings rate can withstand financial shocks and channel more funds toward the critical sectors of the economy. 

Georges Clason’s book, the richest man in Babylon, he states a law of wealth that I find very relevant today that he who does not spend all his money but keeps a certain amount of it gold comes more easily to him unlike he who spends all his income does gold avoid. Similarly, Warren Buffet says “always pay yourself first.” The percentage of savings is a variable but it should not be less than 10% of all your income. In my opinion, saving is an intentional discipline. Information on hidden rules about the social classes’ notes that the poor people think that money is to be spent, the middle class thinks money is to be managed and the rich think that money should be invested. Human wants are insatiable, we can discipline ourselves to utilize the 90% to meet our needs effectively once we have developed this culture it will no longer be a strain and we will not lack anything we used to have before we started saving. 

Budgeting for your finances helps you find loopholes where your money is leaking. Budget for all your expenses and strictly stick to it as it will help you control your expenditures and be more financially responsible. Savings should not be buried underground rather they ought to be multiplied. You can choose to save in financial institutions such as banks and SACCOs. When saving, remember that you save where your principal amount is safe, reclaimable, and earning a good interest for you. Finally, only take advice from people who are experienced in handling money, do not experiment with your treasure. I believe a man’s wealth is not in the purse he carries think about that.

Of Trailblazing Legacies! – Sanda Ojiambo

Ms. Ojiambo comes from a family of achievers, but not just any kind; the trailblazing ones. Her late father, Dr. Hillary Ojiambo, was Kenya’s first cardiologist. Her mother, Prof. Julia Ojiambo, was Kenya’s second female elected Member of Parliament and the first female assistant minister. Sanda has three siblings consisting of a doctor, a lawyer, and a consultant management trainer. She speaks highly of her upbringing and attributes the support and inspiration she received to her success, now being the first African CEO of the UN Global Compact.

Sanda did her O levels in England and proceeded to pursue a BA in Economics and International Development at McGill University. After that came an MSc in Public Policy and Development Economics from the University of Minnesota. Her career decision was also majorly influenced by her experience growing up in Kenya, as she would get involved in various community development programs.

After her master’s degree, Sanda worked in Somalia for five years. She worked with CARE International and the UNDP office in Somalia as a Program Coordinator and Consultant respectively. She then joined the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 2002 and two years later moved to the International Planned Parenthood Federation. She served as the Director of Programs in the Africa Regional Office, reaching over 40 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2008 Sanda joined Safaricom and worked with the company for 11 years. Among her key moments during the period was the inauguration of the M-Pesa Foundation Academy. At Safaricom, she also got exposed to sustainability as the Head of Sustainable Business & Social Impact and worked together with the UN Global Compact when Safaricom became a member company.

As the CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, Sanda works with businesses the world over to bring to realization the Sustainable Development Goals. She proposes that businesses must embrace working together to achieve these goals. Specifically for African Businesses, she puts forth that it would be impossible to survive should they choose to act unilaterally. She also emphasizes the need to move from ambition to action and accountability. Through the UN Global Compact, she can provide businesses with a system that helps them in this transition by allowing them to set goals and provide feedback on the same. According to Sanda, having a purpose-driven profit mindset is what will help businesses contribute to the SDGs and the 2030 vision.

Making It Rain At The NSE – An Overview Of Banking Sector Performance

In late December 2021, Kenyan banks reported record profits and dividends making them one of the best-performing companies on the bourse. To put it into context, the sector recorded Kes.197.6 bn net income with the total issued dividends topping 51.7bn. One might wonder how this is possible owing to the fact that the economic effects of Covid 19 are still being felt across every sector. This issue delves deeper into why this performance has been so impressive that many wonder whether they (banks that posted massive profit declines in the prior period) operate in an economy different from that of the other players.

Even before the pandemic, the world economy had shrunk with large economies experiencing an economic slowdown. With the pandemic, credit was frozen and most loans proved uncollectible. As per IFRS 9, banks had to foresee credit default thereby, passing huge provisions for loan losses. This saw the banks post a net cumulative profit of 107.3bn. As the restrictions eased, customers continued servicing their loans, allowing them to lower these provisions (by as much as 70%). The net effect was increased net income.

Another reason could be attributed to income diversification. Most banks have leveraged on technology to meet the ever-changing customer needs. As such, banks have strived to increase non-interest income. This has seen the income growth over time, becoming an element with a significant impact on their mandate. Also worth noting is that these banks have developed an insatiable appetite for government debt. This has guaranteed a constant stream of income at a time when our government has become a net borrower.

Cost reduction has also played a significant role in boosting profitability. In comparison to 2020, banks cut their operational costs by as much as Kes.42bn. This is seen in the transition to online platforms as well as soft mobile phone loans. Banks have been closing unprofitable branches in a move that has saved lease costs. With mobile and internet penetration growing daily, most branches are set for closure. 

Over the years, the Kenyan market has been the major contributor to the sector’s mandate. With the EAC now connecting the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, local banks have been on an expansion spree. This has seen regional entities contributing more revenue and profit. For instance, Equity Bank’s expansion into the DRC has seen to it that one third of the revenues came from one of Africa’s most populous countries where they are ranked second in terms of assets. This growing trend will see the exposure of our locally owned banks reduce as regional entities’ contributions increase

The banking sector has always played a crucial role in the success of any economy and its performance is a good indicator of economic success. Going forward, banks should increase lending to SMEs to guarantee a significant impact on the general economy.