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Sudan grants Kenyan tea one-year extension

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Sudan grants Kenyan tea one-year extension ahead of new pact on standards

tea factory
A tea factory in Othaya, Nyeri. Sudan is one of the major buyers of Kenyan tea. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya’s tea has once again been given a one-year extension to access the Sudanese market without restrictions.

This follows the lapse of the previous one-year window as the two nations continue to address the issue of quality.

The two countries have been at loggerheads in the last three years over the expiry date of the Kenyan tea, a move that prompted a joint scientific research to determine the actual sell-by date of the beverage.

Whereas Kenya argues that its tea take three years on the shelf before it expires, Sudan has maintained that the duration of the sell-by date is one- and-a-half years.

The joint research is being conducted by Sudan Standards and Metrology Organisation and the Kenya Bureau of Standards.

In a letter addressed to Kenya’s ambassador to Sudan, the director general of SSMO, Awad Sokrab, said his country has approved tea export to Khartoum this year.

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“Reference to the above subject matter and your letter requesting a reprieve on the requirements for tea exports from Kenya to Sudan, we are pleased to inform you of the approval to renew for third year during 2019,” said Dr Sokrab in the letter dated March 21.

Officials from Kenya visited Sudan last month to discuss the matter where the country requested for an extension of more time for the Kenyan tea to continue accessing Khartoum market as the five-year research is being conducted.

Sudan is one of the major buyers of Kenyan tea.

Deputy President William Ruto and Sudan President Omar El Bashir met in Sudan last year where they discussed the long-standing trade barrier requiring Kenya to seek a permit every year for exporting the commodity to that country.

s and January this year it bought 1.14 million kilos of tea, which was a double-digit growth from 631,859 kilos that it bought in corresponding period last year. The value of the tea, using January 2019 average price of Sh230 a kilo, is Sh262 million.

Sudan in 2017 suspended the decision to cut the shelf life of Kenyan tea to allow the research the outcome of the ongoing research.

Kenya has been pushing for the reversal of the directive by the Sudanese government through diplomatic means.

Kenya in 2017, through a Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) meeting between foreign ministry officials from both countries, urged Khartoum to reverse its decision.

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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021

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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.

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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.

ALSO READ:Global Economy Plunges into Worst Recession – World Bank

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Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans

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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.

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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.

SEE ALSO: Central Bank Unveils Measures to Tame Unregulated Digital Lenders

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Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets

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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.

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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.

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