Fifth year students of architecture from the Jomo Kenyatta University College of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) have hailed the conservation efforts in place around one of Mombasa’s best kept historical secrets, Old Town and the marvelous architectural supremacy used in putting up Mombasa’s most modern hybrid accommodation facility , Nyali Golf View Residence (NGVR).
The over 30 students who were on a study tour of Mombasa said that they were amazed and inspired at how the ancient architectural prowess used in construction of some houses within Old Town have continued to stand tall.
”Despite using crude building materials, we have seen how traditional architecture has over the years continued to be key in accommodation in this part of the country which is renowned for its rich cultural heritage and conservation,” Lynda Akinyi, a 5th year student who was part of the educational tour said.
She added that the visit to Old Town and NGVR which were inspired by both the millennia of cultural influences from Arabs and modern day architecture were excellent learning pointers.
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Dr Benedict Mutuku, CEO of Goldwyne Consults, the firm managing NGVR said that they were excited at the prospects of having students from JKUAT visit the facility on a learning mission.
”As a country that is fast developing, we need to train more architects to help the Government in its Big Four Agenda that includes among others decent housing and accommodation,” Dr Mutuku said.
He maintained that NGVR has a total of 64 apartment residences and one unique apartment which is the Presidential suite covering the entire top floor of the magnificent structure.
”All rooms are well ventilated with height of rooms higher than ordinary 4 metres and offers enough ventilation for air to circulate freely,” he said.
Since its official unveiling, NGVR has attracted a host of visitors including Deputy President William Ruto, chairman of the Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA) Mr Ngumbao Nyule and a host of local and international celebrities.
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NGVR is built on a one acre piece of land and has a total of 13 floors. The project which is associated with Dr Simon Gicharu, founder chairman of Mount Kenya University (MKU) was commended in 2012 and took six years to complete.
Ms Stellah Ageya, another JKUAT architectural student said that she was inspired by the imposing structure that is now NGVR and was committed to complete her study and venture into architecture.
Anthony Migwi, Fidel Odek and Elmoge Earhia Abdulahi, both architectural students said that they have learnt a lot in their field tour after visits to Old Town and NGVR.
”We are supposed in our practical exercises to erect proposals that are both ancient and modern hence the visit to these two locations,” they said.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
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.
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.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
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.
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.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
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.
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.