A first of its kind pilot project in Africa consisting of a ground-mounted 500kW solar power generation facility and mobile airport gate electric equipment has been launched at Moi International Airport in Mombasa, Kenya.
By providing pre-conditioned air and compatible electricity that runs on solar energy to aircraft during ground operations, this new solar-at-gate project will eliminate carbon dioxide emissions from aircraft parked at the gate, which currently use their auxiliary power unit (APU) powered by jet fuel or airport ground power units (GPU) fueled by diesel to run on-board systems and cooling before departing for their next flight.
The solar facility, installed by Solarcentury East Africa, will generate 820,000 kWh per year and will avoid at least 1,300 tonnes of CO₂ every year, while the airport gate equipment will serve more than 2,500 flights per year, demonstrating a concrete solution to reduce aviation carbon emissions.
“This also marks the fourth battery storage unit that Solarcentury is installing on the Eastern Africa, after ICIPE Mbita and the two large mini grids in Eritrea.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by more than 150 representatives from all ICAO Member States, including ICAO Council Members, representatives of international organizations and officials from Civil Aviation Authorities, airport authorities, and relevant stakeholders.
“It is not only a transformative development in the aviation sector of Kenya – and of the continent – but it is also an inspiring model of how such change can best be accomplished. I wish that this ‘Solar-at-Gate’ project serves as an inspiration and that we could see its replication in many other States in support of a low emissions air transport,” said Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, President of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
The pilot project was implemented as part of a €6.5 million initiative, entitled “Capacity Building for CO2 Mitigation from International Aviation”, implemented by ICAO and funded by the European Union, which targets 14 States – 12 of them from the African region and two from the Caribbean region – to address carbon emissions in the aviation sector.
Work on the site will take 10 months and the systems are expected to be generating solar electricity by 2019. Solarcentury will provide two years of O&M, and will set up two educational kiosks to provide the public with real-time information on power output and carbon emission reductions over the life of the system will be installed at the terminals of the Airport.
“I would like to acknowledge the financial, technical and strategic support of ICAO and the European Union,” said Capt. Gilbert Kibe, Director General of Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).
The expected savings on electricity as well as reduction in carbon emissions will contribute towards the efficient operations of Moi International Airport.
“Through this initiative, we were able to develop Kenya’s Action Plan to Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Aviation and identify the use of solar energy at airports as a measure to contribute to global efforts to minimise aviation’s carbon footprint. I am pleased to announce to all of you that this project has been an incentive for Kenya Airports Authority to move ahead and adopt a new strategy of green energy at Moi international Airport. Our target will be among other targets, operating on zero-carbon emissions by 2020,” Mr. Jonny Andersen, Managing Director of Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) noted.
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.