In a kindergarten meeting, a teacher asks parents to role-play a PE lesson, so that they get a feel of what their children learn in school. It is awkward, more so for older parents. A few fathers and mothers in the late 40s and 50s complain about the “childish exercise” while the younger parents giggle as they remove their high-heels to play with their children on grass.
As Kenyans delay having children, with some starting parenthood in their mid-40s, playgrounds and kindergartens are having older parents who sometimes find it hard to fit in.
Yvette Waswa had her second child after she clocked 40. Having suffered from severe nausea, vomiting and weight loss during her first pregnancy she was hesitant to have another child as it would interfere with her career.
Now aged 43, Yvette says her perspective on late motherhood has changed and she is even contemplating getting another baby.
“I had my daughter through elective C-section at 39 weeks of pregnancy because people around me including doctors freaked me out with tales of the danger,” says the mother-of-two whose career is in public relations.
There are many reasons why women are choosing to have babies in their 40s. Yvette says she was establishing a career before embarking on parenthood, some remarry and want to have children with new partners while others are not sure when to start and age catches on.
She says she is not the only one in her 40s with a toddler. Last year alone, she attended four baby showers of women who are her age mates.
At school functions and other social gatherings, her saving grace, she says, has been her young looks, making it easy for her to easily mingle with younger parents.
She is part of a growing community of Generation X women around the world for whom motherhood began at 40-plus.
Peter Muraya of Victoria Kids Care in Garden Estate, Nairobi says a majority of mums at the kindergarten are working parents aged under 40 years. “Of the 70 children we had last year, 20 per cent were from women aged over 40 years most of who are businesswomen or self/employed,” he says.
The Generation X mums, he says, exhibit no difficulty mingling with their younger counterparts during school open days.
However the ones who are over the 50 have abit of difficulty holding and keeping conversations with the younger mothers.
“These are the ones that do not even check e-mails,” says Peter.
Linda Matoke who manages a children nature adventure playground in Nairobi notes that Generation X mums featuring at the park is nothing new.
She is quick to add however that the older mums are mostly foreigners who delayed child birth because perhaps they were not ready before 40 years or they lacked the desire to have children but changed their minds later on.
Prof Halimu Suleiman Shauri, a sociologist explains improvements in healthcare coupled with women empowerment as being some of the contributors to delayed parenthood.
“Most of the women are realising they are not in this world for the sole purpose of bearing children but also to enjoy themselves,” he said.
Prof Shauri notes that the idea of getting a child is becoming more of a personal choice than a communal one as was the case traditionally.
Traditionally, the community attached a lot of premium on children and went as far as dictating the age at which a woman ought to have started bearing children.
“But westernisation, globalisation and modernisation have brought to the fore the issue of gender empowerment, allowing women to enjoy a right to control their decisions in life,” he said.
Improved healthcare has meant that older, rich women can now conceive through science and go through pregnancy under monitoring by good gynaecologist.
Child birth is no longer a game of chances as was the case in the past.
Aside from conceiving naturally, the 40-plus can opt for donor eggs or IVF — an assisted reproductive technology used for infertility treatment and gestational surrogacy.
Kenya has the least fertility rate in East Africa, data by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) shows, pointing to a drop in number of children in modern homes.
The report, dubbed The Power of Choice: Reproductive Rights and the Demographic Transition, shows that on average a Kenyan family has three children — the least when compared to that of other countries in the region.
The fertility rate is higher in rural areas, at four children, compared with urban women’s two children.
Since the 1970s, when a Kenyan woman had an average of more than eight births, family size has been shrinking, according to UNFPA.
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.