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Coast economic bloc gets Sh2.5b : The Standard

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Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya (right) and his Mombasa counterpart Hassan Joho with guests during the official opening of the Jumuiya Agribusiness and Investment Conference in Malindi. [Maarufu Mohamed, Standard]

The six Coastal counties have resolved to pool resources and end perennial hunger and joblessness in the region.

Yesterday, Governors Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Salim Mvurya (Kwale), Amason Kingi (Kilifi), Fahim Twaha (Lamu), Deputy Governor Majala Mlaghui (Taita Taveta) and representatives of Tana River counties revived the unity of the six counties.

Put differences

Under the the Coast economic bloc, Jumuiya ya Kaunti za Pwani (JKP), the governors vowed to put aside political differences, invest in agriculture and the blue economy, to solve problems faced by their people.
The governors attending the second Jumuiya Agribusiness and Investment Conference at a resort in Malindi, Kilifi County, announced that the economic bloc had received Sh2.5 billion from the European Union (EU) to fund blue economic projects under the Go Blue programme.

SEE ALSO :President Uhuru has let down Kenya: Ghai

“We want to tell critics that the train has already left the station. The blue economy and agribusiness projects are going to touch the lives of the people at the Coast,” said Mr Mvurya.
Devolution Chief Administrative Secretary Hussein Dado noted that although JKP was the first regional bloc to be launched in the country, it had been overtaken by the Lake Regional Economic Bloc. He attributed this to past differences between Joho and national government.
“JKP programmes may have been slowed down by the past differences between the Mombasa governor and national government leaders,” he explained. Mr Dado is a founder member of JKP, which was formed in 2015.

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Dado pledged the ministry’s commitment to resources for the JKP through the public-private sector partnerships (PPP).
At the same time, Joho, Kingi and Mvurya used the forum to champion for land reforms, which they said would empower locals economically.

Title deeds

SEE ALSO :Governor Joho’s entire cabinet out of office

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Kingi said unless national and county governments expedited the issuance of title deeds to the locals, Coast residents would continue to face difficulties in accessing capital for businesses.
“We need to urgently resolve the problem of access to land because it is difficult for squatters to invest. Residents cannot use land as collateral to access capital for their businesses. Without land you cannot invest in the sky,” Kingi argued.
Mvurya said it was crucial that the region ensures residents get title deeds to aid investment. “As a region, it is important that our people get title deeds. It is good that we enjoy the goodwill of the president,” he said.  
Twaha cited high interest rates by financial institutions and high cost of energy, which he said should be addressed to attract investments.
Italian Ambassador to Kenya Alberto Pierre expressed support for the Go Blue projects, saying his government would fund a major infrastructure project at Ngomeni in Malindi, and which would include the fisheries sector.

SEE ALSO :Counties bag deal for extra funding

“We are going to fund an infrastructure project at Ngomeni and support the blue economy,” said the envoy.


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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021

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World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.

“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.

He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.

The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.

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People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.

For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.

Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.

“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.

ALSO READ:Global Economy Plunges into Worst Recession – World Bank

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Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans

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The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.

“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”

According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.

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Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans

The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.

Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.

Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.

SEE ALSO: Central Bank Unveils Measures to Tame Unregulated Digital Lenders

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Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options. 

This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.

The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.

The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.

The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).

The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.

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The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour;  Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).

The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.

Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”

He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.

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