MOMBASA, 27 March 2019 (PSCU)
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Kaguta Museveni have expressed satisfaction with the level of cooperation between Kenya and Uganda in areas of mutual benefit.
Addressing the press at State House, Mombasa, after the two Heads of State led their delegations in bilateral talks, President Kenyatta commended the two delegations for ensuring that the inaugural session of the Joint Commission for Cooperation is a success.
“I am particularly pleased with the progress we’ve made in recent years in the areas of trade promotion, the free movement of goods, services and people across our borders, and the people-to-people interactions,” President Kenyatta said.
The Kenyan delegation at the bilateral meeting included Deputy President William Ruto, Cabinet Secretaries Monica Juma, Najib Balala, Peter Munya, Farida Karoney, James Macharia, Eugene Wamalwa and John Munyes.
President Kenyatta noted the success of the One Stop Border Post at Busia and the ongoing improvement of infrastructure and processes at Malaba and Lwakhakha Border Points.
He called for an increase in the number of one-stop-border-posts to promote the free movement of goods and people between the two countries.
On his part, President Museveni commended President Kenyatta for enhancing efficiency at the Port of Mombasa by modernising infrastructure and re-engineering systems, interventions that have increased the speed of cargo clearance.
“During his first term in office, President Kenyatta took the perennial problem of delays at the port head-on,” President Museveni said.
President Museveni pointed out that the enhanced efficiency in handling of cargo at the port and in the movement of goods along the Northern Corridor has been of great benefit to the economies of both Kenya and Uganda, and for the other countries that depend on the Port of Mombasa for their import and export business including Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
He commended President Kenyatta for the rapid development of infrastructure in Kenya.
“While we are still waiting for the railway (in Uganda), the Kenyan Government has already moved and is now constructing modern jetties and petroleum pipelines,” President Museveni said.
“That means that in the coming years, a lot of cargo will move from the roads to the railway and fuel will move from the roads to the pipeline and across the lake through tugboats which can carry the fuel across the lake cheaper, faster and safer,’ he added.
President Kenyatta commended the Government and the people of Uganda for their trust and continued use of the Port of Mombasa.
“I wish to express my Government’s full commitment to continue improving service delivery at the Port. I am pleased to report that the time taken to transport cargo between Mombasa and Nairobi has significantly reduced with the full operationalization of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) between Mombasa and Nairobi,” President Kenyatta said.
The Kenyan leader invited his Ugandan counterpart to join in the joint development of the SGR to ensure that the line continues all the way to Kampala as envisioned.
On Migingo, President Kenyatta said Kenya and Uganda were working together to address the issue.
“Lake Victoria is an important transboundary resource that has continued to support the livelihoods of our people, not just in Kenya and Uganda but the entire East African region,” President Kenyatta said.
President Kenyatta also spoke on the bilateral relations between Kenya and Uganda, saying the two countries shared a strong and principled commitment to multilateralism and the reform of the institutions of global governance, including the United Nations Security Council.
“It with this background, that Kenya presented its candidature for a non-permanent seat of the United Nations Security Council for the term 2021-2022. Kenya, Your Excellency, counts on the support of Uganda and her East African sister nations to make this aspiration a success,” President Kenyatta said.
President Kenyatta announced that President Museveni will tomorrow travel to Nairobi using the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), making him the first visiting Head of State to use Kenya’s modern train.
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.