The World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2014 set an ambitious goal towards reversing losses in the HIV and AIDs pandemic globally. Amongst a raft of targets, an initiative dubbed the 90-90-90 strategy was crafted.
This sought to have 90 per cent of the population tested for HIV virus infection and to know their status, have 90 per cent of those testing positive on HIV treatment and finally viral suppression in 90 per cent of those on antiretroviral treatment, rendering them incapable of transmitting the virus.
All three were to be achieved by 2020. Already as we start winding up 2018, it seems a rather ambitious timeline given lessons from similar previous global calls for action — the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Taking stock of the global and Kenya’s progress status as per August, there seems to be a fear that unless additional energy is injected, this rallying call too will end up being off target like the above two.
Progress seems to have been made, but to a large extent, the biggest risk seems to be that the initiative has been placed in the hands of the government solely. Sadly, a seemingly recurring theme across many health interventions, begging the question whether the private sector has a role to play in such endeavours.
Across the private sector, valuable learning points can be gleaned that governments lack expertise or do not deliver in an efficient way.
What seems to be clear is that many firms are not keen to give money to governments directly but can offer time and skills in their area of expertise as a contribution. Why and how can the private sector participate?
The private sector has a history of research development and innovation that are missing in the public sector.
Most are enterprise-driven and have high levels of optimisation as well as intelligent data analytics to guide and shape their business models.
A realisation that they are part of the social fabric and must participate in public health concerns is emerging and we can leverage such strengths and expertise towards turning the tide?
Company A sells and delivers 500,000 products daily for the last three decades. Firm B handles a million transactions across its system and knows each individual transaction’s history. Firm C designs data architecture and storage. Company D has global awards in product marketing and client ‘persuasion’.
What if these skills united in the HIV/Aids war?
Fortunately, many private sector industry captains now see the need to support public health problems both as individuals and also as organisations. We must accept this goodwill and utilise the proffered expertise in our approaches.
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.