The Place Of Presidential Executive Orders In Fixing A Collapsing Economy

The executive orders are important tools providing an avenue to codify decisions and directions made by the president in the course of running a government. The said orders are made pursuant to Articles 132(3) (b), (c), 132(4) and 135 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and other enabling provisions of law found in different parliamentary legislations and specific Articles of the Constitution.

Article 132 (3) (b) and (c) grants authority to the president to direct and coordinate the functions of ministries and government departments. The president is empowered to publish his decisions assigning responsibilities towards the implementation and administration of any Act of Parliament to a Cabinet secretary. Such decisions should not be inconsistent with any Act of Parliament.

Tentatively, Article 132(4) allows the president to perform any other executive function provided for in the constitution or any other national legislation by way of establishing an office in the public service in accordance with the recommendation of the Public Service Commission. In addition, Presidential directives which will have a greater impact or change in organization structure in government are issued through codified executive orders pursuant to Article 135 of the Constitution of Kenya which requires such decisions to be in writing and bear the seal and signature of the president.

The current president of Kenya Dr. William Samoei Ruto got into office as the albatross of huge public debt and high costs of living hang heavily around Kenya’s neck. The president is set to utilize his powers of issuing executive orders to restructure the government for purposes of achieving his manifesto and improving the country’s economic situation. His first executive order issued in the year 2022 is the restructure of cabinet portfolios, state departments and creation of the new cabinet position of a prime cabinet secretary who will assist in coordinating state departments and parastatals to deliver the intended service.

President Ruto is set to issue numerous executive orders aimed at turning around the economy including reforms in the KRA, trade, cooperatives and the operationalization of the hustler’s fund among others. Executive orders are subject to court scrutiny whereby they can be challenged via a constitutional petition and if successful can be declared unconstitutional. Executive directives are one of the ways the president exercises the sovereignty will of the people hence public participation as espoused under the constitution is key before making certain decisions.

Projected Outlook Of Kenya’s Economy In 2023

Economic prosperity is what every country longs for, a stable economy translates to a healthy nation. Contrarily Kenya is yet again to face economic growth shockwaves and instability in the coming years Global financier and lender World Bank, during its Horn of Africa Economic update, Kenyasn Economic growth will downgrade to a magnitude of 5%   from 5.5% as earlier projected for the fiscal year 2023-2024.High inflation rates, foreign depts and food insecurity are the core factors and triggers which has seen the changes in the growth base. The prices of consumable commodities like wheat, milk and flour have recently escalated at an alarming rate strangling the feeble economy and majority of households recovering from economic hardships left by covid-19 pandemic and Russian – Ukraine conflicts.

According to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) report the inflation rate as of August 2022 had hit 8.5 per cent in August 2022 up from 8.3 per cent in July 2022. World Bank has warned that if there is no checks and balances on inflation rates the economic growth could downgrade further from projected outlook. Currently the Horn of Africa (Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, and Ethiopia) is experiencing the worst drought over decades. This has greatly affected the production of consumable products especially in Agricultural sector which has always been deemed as backbone of in Kenyan Economy. Over 20 million people are facing starvation, hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.

World Bank on its updates as well indicated that the Global head wings will have an impact of Kenyan economic outlook. Kenya is risking stagnation amid high-interest rates and debt which has forced the Kenyan government to make difficult choices as they try to protect jobs, purchasing power and infrastructural gains. According to the National Treasury, Kenya alone has been penalized kes 1.312 billion shillings for the fiscal year ended June 2022 of which it has adversely hindered the deliverables of Kenyan Government. Technically World Bank analysis shows that economic Growth in the Horn of Africa will slow down to 3.3% for the fiscal year 2022 from 4.1 % recorded in the year ended 2021.

The Monk Who Sold His Ferari- Robin S. Sharma

Only 15% of the world’s one billion full-time workers are actively engaged in their work, according to a Gallup survey, and the other 85% are dissatisfied with their positions. There are many justifications given, including those pertaining to the employer and the nature of the work, but what if the justifications were intrinsic rather than extrinsic?

Robin S. Sharma starts with a tale of a distinguished trial lawyer, Julian Mantle, who is at the height of his career and whose outrageous courtroom antics consistently made it to the front of the newspaper. He had acquired everything he had ever wanted, including a Ferrari, but on the inside, he was filled with emptiness and lacked enthusiasm for what he was doing. He had a sudden heart attack in the courtroom, which was the turning point. He sold all his belongings and embarked on a journey to the Himalayan Mountains to seek out wisdom of the Sivana sages.

Robin compares the mind to a magnificent garden in his analogy and emphasizes the need to guard our minds and ensure that only good thoughts enter. Nurturing and cultivating the mind makes it flourish beyond expectations. Worry is a misuse of the mind because it saps the mind of a lot of its power and eventually damages the soul. Check your thoughts to see if any negative ones are the root of your dissatisfaction. Perhaps it’s not your job that’s the issue.

The second analogy which involves a towering lighthouse, teaches one to know and follow their purpose. Consistency of purpose is the key to success, and the purpose of life is a life of purpose. In this century, many people are looking for their life’s purpose; some have found it, while others are still searching. When you find your life’s work, it brings long-lasting fulfillment. Setting specific personal, professional, and spiritual goals is essential, as is having the courage to carry them out. The art of self-leadership, how to develop and live with discipline, respecting time, selflessly serving others, and finally embracing the present are all covered in detail in this book.

The greatest take away more so from our generation is adopting the death bed mentality. Every morning, ask yourself what you would do if this were your last day. Think of how you would treat your loved ones, friends, and coworkers if it were your last day to carry the best energy to your place of work. Finally, this book offers simple techniques for discovering one’s purpose and living a balanced life.

Go Formal: It’s Time To Outsource Your Accountant

Dear entrepreneur, congratulations for a good take off! You are building a business that stands equal chances of survival and failure. In this column, I wish to discuss the survival side. That side of the coin that bears your portrait with your head wearing the heavy crown of responsibility. While you sell and drive operations, do not forget to formalize your financial reporting and management procedures. Professional management of finances is good to the entrepreneur, second parties like employees and third parties who include suppliers and the taxman. You also have the advantage of technology to automate most of your accounting procedures under the supervision of a competent accounting firm. My notes in this column will highlight the advantages of outsourcing an accountant over hiring them. For smaller companies, outsourcing is the way to go.

The first advantage of having an accountant in your business is professional management of your books. This saves you from losses that would otherwise arise from inefficiencies of financial management. Such losses include tax penalties on late filing, high cost of debt and bank overdraft where loans are not properly planned for. Losses due to lack of running bank statement analysis and reconciliation of cash books with bank statements, poor asset management, lack of financial reports to inform management decisions and disorganized records for lack of proper librarianship of financial records will also be corrected by a good accountant. Other advantages of outsourcing your accountant include cost saving, access to business intelligence through advisory and adoption of automation technologies like QuickBooks and Tally Prime in managing financial records.

iGrand Business Plans Limited is a firm led by a team of certified accountants who are willing to help you set up an accounting department. The team brings the best of both worlds from tech and finance into your business to formalize reporting and financial management. You will enjoy a better relationship with the revenue collector as your accountant will take up the role of managing your tax portal and handling tax related correspondences in a more professional manner. Other than accounting, you will benefit from business consultancy in areas such as maintenance of your company in the ecitizen portal, short and mid-term business planning and compliance with sector regulators. Your accountant compliments you from the other side of the entrepreneurship coin. To access outsourced accounting services from iGrand Business Plans Limited; send an email to relations@igrandbp.com to get a service quote.

Digital Marketing Strategies- Hosted By The University Of Vermont On January 2021

The Continuing and Distance Education Department prepared this webinar following the observation that digital marketing has pivoted (in some cases) dramatically since Covid-19 hit the globe. Lead Instructor Eric Harbison and email Expert Liz Willits led this discussion. In this webinar, emphasis was laid on four areas of digital marketing; Digital Communities, Newsletters and Email Marketing, Audio and Video Marketing and the use of Voice Search. Generally, marketing strategies thrive when one is intentional about building a community based on authentic relationships, providing value rather than marketing only for sales and being creative and unique.

Why do email Marketing strategies and platforms like Finimize, Daily Skimm, and Morning Brew continue to work when there are other channels such as social media? Email marketing will probably remain an effective digital marketing strategy because; one has more control since they are not dependent on algorithms like some social media pages, email marketers own their email list and do not need to buy followers. Research shows that consumers love email promotions from brands they have opted into. Email Marketing is an effective way to get personalized attention from customers. Marketers use email because it drives revenues, as it is the best platform to sell, launch and boost products.

YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google and Podcasts. A video alone gives a more personal touch on one’s customers. A video is any outlet that allows you to provide sight and sound in motion. The big question is, how are you optimizing your video content? What are the YouTube searches that have increased in the last year? Optimization is key for traffic visibility.  Turn Frequently Asked Questions into the content. 80% of shoppers will consolidate shopping to make fewer trips than in previous years. Searches for “available near me” have grown globally by more than 95% since 2020. 67% of all shoppers plan to confirm online that an item they desire is in stock before going to buy it. Voice search is therefore a marketing strategy that one can also consider exploring.

In summary, find more ways to connect and develop virtual communities, build a community and then provide value and treat marketing like a relationship. Remember podcasts offer the opportunity to perform hyper-targeted marketing and finally, create content that addresses the intention of your customers; respond to commonly asked questions, showcase clear product details and provide easy how-to steps.

Awareness: Stop Breast Cancer Through Early Detection

According to WHO-2021 Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer globally, accounting for 12% of all new annual cancer cases worldwide? In Kenya, it is the second leading cause of death among cancers, with increasing incidences and mortality rates as years unfold. In 2020, GLOBOCAN highlighted that BC accounted for 7% of overall mortality, with 42,116 new cases and 27,092 deaths in Kenya.

Late detection and treatment of breast cancer (BC) remains the big obstacle to the fight against this overwhelming epidemic. Across sub-Saharan Africa, BC is mostly detected in the advanced stages, because most patients with symptoms delay to seek healthcare early enough. In an article published by Lancet global health in 2018, more than 40% cases of BC in Eastern Africa have delayed diagnosis by more than 12 months from symptomatic presentation to diagnosis. Preliminary data from the Kenya National Cancer Registry (KNCR) show that 7 out of 10 cancers are diagnosed at advanced stages (stage III and stage IV).

Breast cancer is killing thousands of Kenyans and millions in the world every year, not because it cannot be treated, but because it is detected too late. Early detection and treatment of breast cancer has shown tremendous results in reducing its morbidity and mortality. A survey published by Lancet showed a decrease of BC deaths by 36% between 1989 and 2012 in the US due to the combined improvement in early detection and adjuvant systemic therapy. With early detection and right treatment, there is a likelihood of beating the disease. However, what could be causing the delays? An article published in 2020 in the European Journal of Health highlighted a strong link of delays to patient psychology and behavior. The article notes that shorter delays attribute to patient fear of BC outcomes, practicing self-examination, higher education levels and support from family and friends.

The critical component of breast health awareness is “Knowing your normal”, WHO. Know the risk factors, signs and symptoms, and how to practice self-examination. The belief that breasts disfigure during diagnosis, and that BC is an incurable disease is a lie.  Early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer allows for less invasive treatments and the majority of patients recover after treatment to live healthy and productive lives. Advanced cancer demands more extensive therapies that are more likely to metastasize to other organs at which point they no longer can be cured.

CASE AGAINST GMO IN A HUNGER STRICKEN AFRICA

Despite some progress over the past 20 years, there has been a rise in global hunger, with data from 2016 showing that more than 800 million people worldwide are malnourished. GM crops are plants that have had their DNA sequences altered using genetic engineering to add a desirable trait. By increasing crop yield, for instance, genetic engineering can increase the amount of the target crop produced. Additionally, scientists can create pest-resistant crops to help local farmers better withstand environmental hazards.

Early in October, Kenya lifted a 10 year ban on the GMO products. It however encountered mixed reactions; on the one hand, scientists were happy as they argued that it could be a big step in combating hunger while on the other hand, the anti-GMO activists strongly opposed the move saying it will pose a health risk to Kenyans. Due to concerns about food safety, morality, environmental risks, biodiversity loss, and a lack of regulations, Africa is hesitant to adopt GMOs. Arguments that GMOs cause allergies in some people and that using GMO products may have long-term effects have not yet been proven. GMO adoption is a Trojan horse. It might be used as a quick way to produce food, but this decision might have unfavorable economic consequences. It is known that some nations still forbid the use of GMO products, and as a result, they will impose bans on goods from Kenya, which will lower our exports. The requirement for local farmers to purchase seeds from specific companies when using GMOs could result in the extinction of the organic products we so admire. Other options to improve food security and lessen hunger may include ecological re-engineering of agriculture, expanding crop production areas given that Africa has a large amount of arable land, and subsidizing input costs for agricultural products.

Sadly, GM food is not the panacea for hunger that Africa needs. Hunger can’t be eradicated with a single solution, and doing so would be far more difficult than focusing only on food availability or quality. Goal 2: “Zero Hunger” of the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development aims to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.” This objective lays the groundwork for the multifaceted strategy that will be used to combat hunger including political action, the reduction of violence, technological advancements in agriculture and other fields, efforts to end poverty, and educational programs.

Cometh The Hour, Cometh The EconomistProf Njuguna Ndung’u

Prof Njuguna Ndung’u

With Kenya’s economy teetering on the edge, it was only natural that one of the Cabinet positions whose nominee was much awaited, with near bated breath, was that of Cabinet Secretary National Treasury and Planning. And so, on September 27 when the list of cabinet nominees was released, a one Professor Njuguna Ndung’u had been nominated as cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Planning effectively thrusting him in what is literally a hot seat. But the Professor isn’t any new to high profile positions. If anything, positions he has held before suggest that he is a man made for such an office. Or rather, such positions are made for people like Njuguna Ndung’u.

Prior to his nomination as Cabinet Secretary for Treasury and National planning, the Associate Professor of economics at the University of Nairobi had served as Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya between March 2007 and March 2015. Serving as CBK Governor is arguably the most defining position of his illustrious career thus far if the highs and lows of his tenure there are anything to go by; while at CBK’s helm, the Kenyan economy grew 2.7% in 2009 before posting a record growth of 8.1% the following year. However, in 2011, Kenyan parliamentarians sought to sack Professor Njuguna Ndung’u through a censure motion on the back of a plunge in the shilling’s value and galloping inflation. He however survived by a whisker and was able to stay on to the end of his tenure with the shilling’s recovery.

Other notable positions he has held before include director of training at the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), executive director of AERC, Principal Researcher at the Kenya Institute of Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) and also served on the advisory board of the annual Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2019.

Njuguna Ndung’u boasts of a vastly rich education background with both a B.A and M.A in economics from the University of Nairobi and a PhD in economics from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. If successfully vetted by parliament and appointed as Treasury and Planning Cabinet Secretary, Professor Njuguna Ndung’u will play a major role in determining the growth and stability of Kenya’s Economy. He will chart the path for Kenya’s debt conundrum, managing the soaring costs of living and working with the CBK governor to re-organize financial systems in the country especially on matters borrowing and lending by banks.

THE CONTROVERSIAL NATURE OF DIGITAL MEDIA SPACE

TIME TO REGULATE DIGITAL MEDIA IN KENYA

Unlike the mainstream media which has sufficient regulatory framework, digital media which entails social media lacks a straightforward and precise regulatory framework. The Kenya Information and Communication (Amendment) Bill, 2019 seeks to amend the Kenya Information and Communication Act for purposes of regulating digital media in Kenya due to its constant misuse and abuse.

Bloggers continue to publish fake, scandalous and unverified news and online content about individuals and institutions. Some of this biased and fake information has proven injurious to some of the business institutions hence occasioning them enormous losses. The victims of the unregulated digital media space only remain with litigation recourse whereby they bring suits under defamation and compel the offenders to pull down the fake information and apologize in public. Some of the damage incurred is incurable or takes time to recover hence causing the aggrieved persons and organizations irreparable harm.

As a result of the above risky nature of unregulated digital media space, the above-mentioned private members Bill commonly known as “the Social Media Bill” was tabled in Parliament on 2nd of October, 2019 seeking to regulate the digital media. The Bill proposes a mandatory requirement for bloggers to be licensed by the Communications Authority of Kenya. The Bill also requires a social media license to be obtained in respect of a social media platform which is accessible in Kenya by a particular social media platform operator. The license is subject to revocation where the set requirements under the Bill are not met by the operator.

The Bill does not propose a penalty or any sanction for failing to obtain the said license hence unclear on whether the license is mandatory or not. The term “social media” has been given a wide definition in the Bill hence captures any online medium that allows for online content creation and social networking. To cure the current ills of digital media space, the Bill requires social media users and content creators to ensure that their content is accurate, verifiable and unbiased among other things.

The information to be published should be one that does not intimidate the recipients of the content. The Bill if assented to law will have far reaching implications on digital media operators hence changing the business and social networking environment. Sanity will be restored in digital blogging thus minimizing the risk of online maligning and image destruction of both natural persons and legal entities.

Kenya, Managing Debt Crisis

It is no longer a secret that Kenyan debt is scaling at alarming rates. The   current Kenya public debt clouds at 8.4 trillion, 4.2 trillion covering external and domestic debt, respectively. According to data from Economic and Budget Review (QEBR) and Central bank of Kenya the public debt grew from 7, 9966.30 billion to a magnitude of 8,206.74 billion in the last quarter of 2021.

Kenya has continued to struggle amidst the ever-growing deficit in provision of decent and affordable housing for its citizens, cost of living is becoming unaffordable, basic commodities are now becoming a dream to achieve. Then how do we mitigate this surging debt crisis? Does good governance have anything to do with quality debt capital? Recently the Kenyan parliament raised the debt ceiling to Kes 10 trillion which forced the amendment of section 50(2) of public finance Management regulations 2015 which requires that the public debt shall not exceed 10 trillion. This has not only triggered an inflated cost of living but also made life unbearable for low-income earners. In mitigating the high debt crisis, the government of Kenya reconstituted the debt borrowing procedures.

Institutionalize the right governance, process systems and tools that involves designing and incorporating a best fit management structure that helps in driving strategy and instituting robust and appropriate performance on set objectives of debt control. Managing shocks and crises especially caused by external issues should be a key priority. A high proportion of Kenyan debt is in foreign currency hence the economy is vulnerable to this and hence any slight fluctuations will have a direct impact to Kenyan Economy. The government incorporated capital management techniques like debt like foreign debt restructuring external loans.

Implementation of government standing orders will for the first time require the parliament to consider the report of the committee on Public debt and Privatization of Debt Management Strategy before the report of the Budget and Appropriations Committee (BAC) on the budget policy statement can be deliberated upon. This will not only be a measure of Quality debt but also mitigate the rationale of debt uptake. The National Assembly amended its rules to establish the committee on public debt and privatizations which will be tasked as an oversight body to counter check the debt management strategy without overstepping its mandate