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Govt sets aside Sh 15.8bn for HELB as TSC gets Sh281bn in 2021/22 Budget

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NAIROBI, Kenya, June 10 – Treasury Cabinet secretary Ukur Yattani has set aside Sh202.8 billion to support several programs in the education sector so as to recover time lost during the COVID-19 pandemic while ensuring safe in-person learning.

Out of the proposed allocation in the 2021/22 budget, Yatani said Sh12 billion will cater for free primary education, Sh2.5 billion on recruitment of teachers, Sh 62.2 billion for free day secondary education and Sh 4 billion for examination fees waiver on primary and secondary school candidates.

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Another sh1.8 billion was set aside for the school feeding program.

“I have proposed an allocation of Sh1 billion for the Competency-Based Curriculum and Ksh 420 million for the Digital Literacy Programme and ICT Integration in our Secondary Schools,” he added.

Other proposed allocations in the education sector include Sh 281.7 billion for the Teachers service commission, Sh 15.8 billion for Higher Education Loan Board,  Sh 76.3 billion for university education, Sh  633 million for youth employment and vocational training promotion, and 323 million for the research fund.

“To support infrastructure development and ensure safe learning in our schools, I have proposed an allocation of Sh4.2 billion for Primary and Secondary schools’ infrastructure and Ksh 1.8 billion for construction and equipping of Technical Training Institutes and Vocational Training Centres,” he added.

Further, Sh1.1 billion has been set aside to increase access and improve the quality of Technical and Vocational Education and Training programs under the East Africa Skills Transformation and Regional Integration Project.

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Business

East Africa celebrates top women in banking and finance

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The Angaza Awards for Women to watch in Banking and Finance in East Africa took place Online via Zoom on 8th June 2021.

The event was set to celebrate the top 10 women shaping banking and finance across East Africa. The 2021 Angaza Awards, which will be a Pan-African Awards program, was also announced at the event.

Key speakers at this webinar were Dr Nancy Onyango, Director of Internal Audit and Inspection at the IMF; and Gail Evans, New York Times Best Selling Author of Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman and former White House Aide and CNN Executive Vice President.

Dr Nancy Onyango advised women to deep expertise in their fields, spend time in forums and link with key players in that sector.
“Gain exposure with other cultures by seeking for employment overseas and use customized CV for each job application,” said Dr Onyango.

According to Gail Evans, women should show up and be fully present in meetings and not be preoccupied with other issues.
“Be simple and avoid jargon. Multi-tasking only means that you are mediocre Smart people ask good questions in a business meeting. Most women face drawbacks due to perfectionism, procrastination and fear of failure, said Evans.

She advised women to play like a man and win like a woman, be strategic, and intentionally make their moves to get to the top.

“For us to pull up businesses that have been affected by effects of COVID-19 pandemic, we need to re-invent business models, change the product offering and make more use of digital platforms,” said Mary Wamae Equity Group Executive Director.

Mary Wamae emerged top at the inaugural Angaza awards( East Africa) ahead of other finalists.

While women continue to excel in banking and finance, the number of that occupies top executive positions is still less.

“There is a gap for women occupying C suite level and it continues to widen in the finance sector. At entry level, there is still an experience gap for women,” said Nkirote Mworia, Group Secretary for UAP-Old Mutual Group.

She said that at the Middle Management level, women do not express their ambition. For this reason, UAP-Old Mutual has developed an executive sponsorship program to help women get to the next level.

Mworia added that most women hold the notion that top positions in management have politics and pressure.
“One needs leadership skills and not technical expertise to get to the top,” said Mworia.

According to Catherine Karimi, Chief Executive Officer and Principal Officer of APA Life Assurance Company, women need to focus on the strengths and natural abilities that they already have.

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“Take risks and raise your hand to get to the high table. Find mentors along the way and develop your own brand and not compare yourself with others Focus on your strengths because it will make you move faster in the career ladder,” said Karimi.

Lina Mukashyaka Higiro, a Rwandan businesswoman and chief executive officer of the NCBA Bank Rwanda since July 2018, has three lessons for women who want to excel in banking and finance.
“Always spend at least 20 minutes each day reading, seeking genuine feedback from other staff members and widen your network,” Higiro told the webinar.

Women picked for Angaza awards

Mary Wamae, Executive Director, led this year’s Top 10 Women in Angaza Awards, Equity Group (Kenya)(2)Catherine Karimi, Chief Executive Officer, APA Life Insurance Company (Kenya)(3)Lina Higiro, Chief Executive Officer, NCBA Bank (Rwanda)(4)Elizabeth Wasunna Ochwa, Business Banking Director, Absa Bank (Kenya)(5)Joanita Jaggwe, Country Head of Risk and Compliance, KCB Group (South Sudan)(6) Millicent Omukaga, Technical Assistance Expert on Inclusive Finance, African Development Bank (Kenya)(7)Emmanuella Nzahabonimana, Head of Information Technology, KCB Group (Rwanda)(8)Judith Sidi Odhiambo, Group Head of Corporate Affairs, KCB Group (Kenya)(9)Rosemary Ngure, ESG & Impact Manager, Catalyst Principal Partners (Kenya) and(10)Pooja Bhatt, Co-Founder, QuantaRisk and QuantaInsure (Kenya).

The Kenyan Wallstreet, a financial media firm, partnered with Kaleidoscope Consultants to raise awareness of seasoned women shaping and influencing the sector through their organizations.

The Angaza Award criteria included assessing the applicants’ area of responsibility and contribution to firm performance. Professionals in Banking, Capital Markets, Insurance, Investment Banking, Fintech, Fund Management, Microfinance, and SACCOs were invited to submit their applications or nominations via the Kenyan Wallstreet Award Web page.

ALSO READ: Angaza Awards Top Finalist; Mary Wangari Wamae

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IFC in New Partnership to Develop Affordable Housing in Mombasa County

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 14 – International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed a new deal in support of affordable housing in Kenya.

The corporation has partnered with Belco Realty LLP, to develop a mixed use affordable living complex that will consist of 1,379 residential units and over 4,500 square meters of retail and commercial spaces in Kongowea, Mombasa County.

Together with the Kenyan firm, IFC says the partnership will help meet surging demand for housing in Kenya.

Under the agreement, IFC will help identify suitable international strategic partners to invest equity of up to $12 million, or Sh1.3 billion in Belco and to provide the company with the necessary technical support to develop the project.

The development, known as Kongowea Village, will be developed to foster inclusive and affordable community living within the city.

Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC’s Regional Director for Eastern Africa says the project, which will be located on eight acres within the heart of Mombasa city, will aim to be a catalyst for wider city regeneration.

The project will be developed to meet IFC EDGE certification requirements and will incorporate the latest technologies in passive cooling, energy efficiency and water conservation to support sustainable urbanization.

 Kongowea Village is expected to create 1,160 jobs and business opportunities during the three-year construction period and many more after completion of the project within the themed retail arcade.

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 “Access to quality housing is a growing problem in Kenya and across Africa,” said Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC’s Regional Director for Eastern Africa.

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“Developers often target the high end of the market, but this project is aimed squarely at the lower-income bracket. Helping Belco identify the right partners for this project is expected to attract more developers to Kenya and other parts of Africa to help meet rising demand for housing.”

 IFC‘s engagement with Belco will help Kenya support its rapidly growing and urbanizing population by increasing access to affordable housing. The problem is similar across most of Africa, where population growth and demand for quality housing are combining to outstrip supply.  We are pleased to partner with a company such as Belco that is committed to contributing to solving this challenge,” said Emmanuel Nyirinkindi, IFC‘s Director for Transaction Advisory Services.

 IFC’s partnership with Belco is part of its broader strategy to support better access to affordable housing in Kenya.

In 2020, IFC invested $2 million in equity in the Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company (KMRC) to help increase access to affordable mortgages and support home ownership in the country.

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Uganda focuses spending on defence, energy and transport sectors

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By BERNARD BUSUULWA

Defence, energy and transport sectors ate big while allocations to fiscal stimulus programmes and settlement of domestic arrears received “humble pie” in Uganda’s budget blue print for financial year 2021/22 in an attempt to steer economic recovery through additional investments in ongoing infrastructure projects.

The works and transport sector was allocated Ush5.1 trillion ($1.4 billion) for integrated transport infrastructure investments with a provision of Ush400 billion ($113 million) meant for road maintenance works in an arrangement intended to benefit current road construction projects in the Albertine region as the country ramps up preparations for commercial oil production anticipated to commence in 2023.

“The huge allocations made to the transport sector are meant to speed up construction of the road network in the Albertine region and facilitate initial production of first oil by international oil companies. A combination of increased expenditure on these projects and early investments done by the oil companies will indirectly expand economic activity and boost the economy in the short term,” said Dr Albert Musisi, Commissioner for Macroeconomic Policy at Uganda’s Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

The defence and security docket received Ush6.9 trillion ($1.95 billion), an amount that secured a lion’s share of the country resource envelope meant to bankroll planned military operations in South Sudan and in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a mineral rich trade hub that borders parts of Western and Northern Uganda and also accommodates the Allied Democratic Forces rebels, a terror group hostile to the Ugandan government.

So far, Ugandan troops are reported to have entered parts of Eastern DRC in preparation for a military offensive but the duration of this military campaign remains unclear. A portion of the defence budget allocation will be spent on construction of 30,000 housing units for military personnel.

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The energy sector was allocated Ush1.1 trillion ($310.9 million) for infrastructure development, with Ush622 billion ($175.8 million) provided for expansion of rural electrification programmes. This budget allocation seemingly promises sweet opportunities for energy industry contractors and modest financial relief for Umeme Ltd, which is owed more than Ush200 billion ($56.5 million) in unpaid bills incurred on subsidised power connections done in rural areas since 2018.

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New judges

In comparison, budget allocations made to the judiciary rose from Ush199 billion ($56.2 million) in 2020/21 to Ush377 billion ($106.5 million) in 2021/22 in a drastic move intended to support recruitment of new judges, enhancement of judicial officers’ salaries and allowances, construction of new courts and purchase of new courtroom equipment among others. The High Court judicial circuit is served by roughly 80 judges compared to a targeted requirement of 150 judges.

In contrast, a sum of Ush103 billion ($29 million) was allocated to the Uganda Development Bank (UDB) in additional capital meant for lending to distressed small businesses affected by the Corona virus pandemic following widespread business closures that have affected thousands of Small to Medium Enterprises(SMEs) since last year.

Around Ush400 billion ($113 million) was allocated towards payment of domestic arrears during financial year 2021/22 compared to Ush773 billion ($218.4 million) spent on clearing domestic arrears in the current financial year. The total value of accumulated domestic arrears is estimated at Ush3 trillion ($847.9 million) to date, according to government records.

“The new budget is mainly guided by historical thinking and not a Covid-19 pandemic planning mindset. This explains the increased budget allocations made to the transport and energy sectors which are supposed to cater for ongoing infrastructure projects inspite of changing economic realities,” argued Dr Fred Muhumuza, a local economist.

The overall resource envelope for financial year 2021/22 is estimated at Ush44, 778.7 billion ($12.7 billion) while the tax collection target was raised from Ush19 trillion ($5.4 billion) in 2020/21 to Ush22.445 trillion ($6.3 billion) for 2021/22, according to Ministry of Finance data. Total domestic borrowing is projected at Ush2 trillion ($565.2 million) during 2021/22 while total public debt stood at $17.69 billion by end of May 2021. The economy is projected to expand by three percent in 2020/21 and is forecast to grow by 3.3 percent in 2021/22.

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