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Guterres names Safaricom sustainability head as UN Global Compact boss

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Guterres names Safaricom sustainability head as UN Global Compact boss

Sanda Ojiambo
Ms Sanda Ojiambo. PHOTO | COURTESY 

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Friday named a Kenyan as the new Chief Executive of the United Nations Global Compact.

Sanda Ojiambo has been the head of sustainable business and social impact at Safaricom #ticker:SCOM, Kenya’s most profitable company.

She joined Safaricom, now ranked as the tenth most valuable firm in Africa, in 2008 after an 11-year stint working for non-government organisations as well as with the UN.

Should her appointment be confirmed, she will not only be making a comeback to the global agency but also become the second Kenyan – and the first Kenyan woman – to held a UN global agency.

Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, the Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development, was the first Kenyan to head a global UN agency. He has been at the helm of UNCTAD since 2013.

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At Safaricom, Ms Ojiambo was the head of the Sustainable Business and Social Impact Department which coordinates the integration of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with Safaricom’s mission.

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The department is also responsible for the company’s sustainability reporting, technology for development products as well as the Safaricom and M-Pesa Foundations, the philanthropic arms of the conglomerate.

Safaricom was the first Kenyan company to report on its sustainability. The second was KCB.

Her work on sustainability at Safaricom – as well as its size as a corporate – likely influenced the UN to tap her for the global position.

Should she be confirmed tonight, she will succeed Lise Kingo, the current CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. Mr Guterres is the chair of the agency. Ms Bola Adelsola, a Nigerian, is the Vice-Chair.

Ms Kingo has been the head of the agency since 2005. She was tapped for the position for spearheading the integration of sustainability into the heart of the Novo Nordisk A/S business. Novo Nordisk A/S is a Danish multinational pharmaceutical company.

The UN Global Compact has over 13,500 signatories in 170 countries around the world.

By committing to sustainability, business that sign up with the UN pledge to do their business responsibly by aligning their strategies and operations with human rights, labour relations, environmental protection and anti-corruption practices.

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Chandaria Capital joins Sh250m game funding

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Chandaria Capital joins Sh250m game funding

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Chandaria Capital has stakes in automaker Mobius among others companies. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya’s Chandaria Capital has joined equity investors in raising Sh250 million that will enable game developer Carry1st to launch commercial operations in Kenya and across Africa.

Without revealing the amount raised by the Kenyan firm, it said the fundraising round led by CRE Venture Capital included Perivoli Innovations, Lateral Capital, Transsion’s Future Hub and Kam Kronenberg III, among others, now brings the total seed capital raised to Sh400 million.

Chandaria Capital has stakes in automaker Mobius, cooking fuel vendor Koko Networks, real estate app Doorsteps, beermaker Savanah Brands and job search site Lynk, among others.

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Carry1st said they would use the funds to hire staff, improve the platform as well as invest in the development of new games and mobile apps.

Launched last year, Carry1st saw its Carry1st Trivia free-to-play Android game top the ranks in Nigeria and Kenya and was named the Best Media and Entertainment Solutions in last year AppsAfrica Award fete held in South Africa.

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“Social gaming is the largest and fastest-growing form of mobile media entertainment, grossing more than three times all other app categories combined. Our mission is to bring this world of interactive content to Africa,” said Carry1st chief executive Cordel Robbin-Coker.

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Food inflation down but Covid keeps prices high

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Food inflation down but Covid keeps prices high

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The growth in food prices, however, remains high relative to that of other items on the inflation basket. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Food inflation was lower by a percentage point in May than the previous month as favourable weather reduced the cost of some food items. However, supply chain disruptions meant that Kenyans were unable to benefit fully from the improved production.

Official numbers show the cost of food items in the inflation basket went up by 10.6 per cent last month, compared to 11.6 per cent in March and April, and a high of 14.8 percent in February.

The growth in food prices, however, remains high relative to that of other items on the inflation basket, where food carries the highest weight of 32.9 percent.

Overall inflation last month stood at 5.47 percent, compared to 5.62 percent in April.

“Despite the favourable weather conditions the prices of some food items remained elevated because of the supply disruptions arising from the Covid-19 containment measures,” Central Bank of Kenya said in its latest weekly bulletin.

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Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) on inflation for May showed that onions, tomatoes and beans recorded the biggest price increase per kilogramme year-on-year, while potatoes, carrots and spinach had the biggest drop.

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The price of a kilo of onions rose by 21.8 percent last month compared to May 2019, tomatoes went up by 15.9 per cent while a kilo of beans was 10.9 per cent costlier.

On the other hand, carrots saw a price drop of 22.5 percent, spinach by 16.8 percent and Irish potatoes by 10.5 percent year-on-year.

The sharp rise in food inflation in recent months has, however, contrasted with that of the other categories of measuring the cost of living.

Last month, fuel inflation stood at three per cent, while non-food-non-fuel (core) inflation was 1.8 per cent, respectively reflecting low global crude prices and muted demand-side pressure in an economy where purchasing power has been eroded by the income losses associated with the Covid-19 disruption.

As a result, private sector players, banks and analysts expect Kenya’s inflation to remain within the preferred CBK target of five percent plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for the rest of the year.

Respondents polled in CBK’s market perceptions survey of March expect inflation at between 6.0 and 6.3 percent this year.

Banks and microfinance banking institutions projected 6.1 percent in the next year, while non-bank firms see it at 6.3 percent.

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Anglican Church suffers setback in city land suit against NLC

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Anglican Church suffers setback in city land suit against NLC

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There is a pending dispute between KeNHA and the church involving the same piece of land. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A court has dismissed an application to overturn a decision of the National Land Commission (NLC) to revoke title deed held by the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) for a piece of ‘public’ land in Langa’ta.

Justice Elija Obaga found that before the church’s title was revoked in July 2017, the commission had invited the church for a hearing and to give its views on the land dispute but did not appear.

The NLC revoked the title for the plot measuring one-and-half acres occupied by ACK church of Good Shepard following a claim filed by the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA).

While rejecting the application by the Church Commissioners of Kenya, Justice Obaga also noted that there is a pending dispute between KeNHA and the church involving the same piece of land.

He directed the church to pursue its interest on the parcel of land in the case that is pending determination at the Environment and Land Court where the issue of the legality of title can be ventilated. On the pending case, the church has an order of temporary injunction against KeNHA until hearing and determination of the suit.

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In its application, the church narrated that it was issued with an allotment letter for the property by the Commissioner of Land on February 7, 1983.

The land in Lang’ata next to Civil Servants Estate, measures 0.76 hectares.

As the plots in the area had not been properly surveyed, the Commissioner of Land issued the church with a fresh letter of allotment in 1984 but the acreage was reduced to 0.60 hectares.

The church accepted the allotment a letter dated January 27, 1984, after which the requisite fees was paid. It went on to put up a church known as ACK Church of Good Shepard.

It was issued with a title to the property on July 13, 2013, under registration LR No.Nairobi/Block 72/2256 and it constructed a sanctuary, Sunday school, office block and a nursery school.

But in July 2017 NLC directed the Chief Land Registrar to revoke the title on grounds that the land was public property.

The church contended that it was not served with any complaint by KeNHA despite the NLC claiming that it invited the affected parties through national dailies to give their views during the review process of the grants in question.

According to the church, it should have been notified through physical service as NLC was aware of its location.

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