The much-awaited Sh28 billion Nairobi Railway City has started taking shape after the formation of the Railway City Development Authority (RCDA), a special purpose vehicle.
The first phase of the 20-year project that is set to change the face of Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) will kick-off this year.
Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Director-General Mohammed Badi said that the Authority was established in May and formation of an implementation committee was underway.
This follows a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta in March for NMS to work closely with relevant institutions to establish the Authority and identify anchor projects and investors for the project.
“A gazette notice establishing the Railway City Development Authority was published on 13th May 2020 as Legal Notice No. 88 of 2020,” said Major General Badi.
“The implementation will spearhead the operationalisation of the Authority, develop framework for actualising the railway city, identify anchor projects and investors,” he added.
The iconic multi-modal urban development project, which is part of the Nairobi Integrated Urban Development Plan, will be implemented on a 425-acre piece of land stretching from Haile Selassie Avenue, Uhuru Highway, Bunyala Road, Commercial Street and Landhies Road.
The plan includes building of a new railway station that allows for the integration of BRT and other public transport modes as well as other commercial developments including skyscrapers, residential flats, a cultural centre and a museum.
On March 13, a moratorium on any development in the area was issued for one year to facilitate planning.
The project is divided into three components with the first component entailing the construction of facilities for meetings, incentive conferences and exhibitions which will be located along Bunyala Road.
The next will be an economic zone comprising hi-tech industries and small and medium enterprises. It is projected to create over 200,000 new jobs.
The final component, the East core, will comprise a residential complex – including a school, park and affordable housing units – to accommodate approximately 28,000 residents and it will be built in Landi Mawe and Industrial Area.
The Nairobi Railway station area will be developed into an iconic nerve centre for the city’s multi-modal transport system with a world class new central station incorporating mixed use commercial developments, housing and inter-modal facilities.
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.