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What Next For Real Estate? Buyers Cant Afford Homes

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According to the Kenya Bankers Association House Pricing Index (KBA-HPI), house prices continued to decline in the first quarter of 2020 completing the deceleration path for the fifth consecutive quarter.

The real estate sector finds itself in a spin as realtors remain stuck with houses that Kenyans are unable to buy despite the glut in the industry piling downward pressure on prices.

According to the Index, house prices decelerated by 0.54 percent in the period under review, marginally reversing the decline by 0.07 percent from the 0.61 percent negative growth rate reported in the fourth quarter of 2019.

‘’While the market remained largely depressed, the marginal easing was supported by the supply-demand interaction with a leaning towards more demand in a relative context,’’ the KBA-HPI indicates, adding that demand shifts in the quarter were based on concluded sales, which rose by 13.95 percent.

Affordability remains the sector’s achilles heel with bungalows accounting for a 33 percent demand increase while the demand for bungalows and maisonettes went down by 95.9 percent and 57.1 percent respectively during the quarter which represents the inability of Kenyans to afford the houses they would have otherwise preffered.

‘’The decelerating price trend is evidence of a property market with a distinct lack of momentum and characterized by a sign of normalization of house prices as the market comes into balance after a prolonged period of sustained price growth,’’ noted KBA Research and Policy Director Mr. Jared Osoro.

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The key drivers of property prices included geographical region with houses in upmarket areas like Loresho and Kitisuru attracting higher prices compared to middle-class areas like Lang’ata, Ngong Road, Ruaka and Kahawa Wendani.

” Homeowners sought a larger plinth area (size), more bedrooms, and bathrooms, which attracted higher prices,” reads the Index.

While the presence of a back-up generator and other amenities attracted higher prices, homebuyers preferred low-density buildings.

Unlike previous quarters where apartments dominated house demand, townhouses were the most preferred in quarter one of 2020 at 45 percent followed by apartments ( 33 percent) and maisonettes (12 percent).

See Also>>> Pressure Mounts on Government to Reopen The Economy

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Kitchen gadget: Slow juicer – Eve Woman

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Food By


Rose Kwamboka

Its low speed prevents oxidation and preserves the live enzymes, nutrients and essential vitamins (Photo: Shutterstock)

This juicer works by squeezing as opposed to the traditional spinning method. This allows for more juice per fruit/vegetable and allows more of the nutrients to be preserved during extraction.

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Kitchen gadget: Fruit baller

Its low speed of 47 RPM further prevents oxidation and preserves the live enzymes, nutrients and essential vitamins destroyed by friction or heat.

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The 2-in-1 juicer comes with a mincing attachment to make nut butters, sauces and sorbets. You could also make nut milk using this machine.

The juice cap prevents leaks and drips while switching juice containers and is detachable for easy cleaning. 

It is available on Amazon.

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Six killed in Somalia restaurant attack, officials have said

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Somali
In Mogadishu, a vehicle exploded when security forces shot at it as it attacked a police post

A bomb explosion at a restaurant in the southern Somali town of Baidoa has killed six people, officials have told the BBC.

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There has also been a suicide bomb attack close to the port of the capital, Mogadishu, which injured at least seven.

Militant group al-Shabab said it was behind both incidents.

The UN-backed government has been battling against al-Shabab for control of the country for more than a decade.

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The militants, who are allied to al-Qaeda, said that in Baidoa they were targeting tax collectors, who were holding a meeting at the restaurant, and soldiers.

They added that two soldiers died in the attack but officials said the victims were all civilians.

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Al-Shabab said it was behind both the attack in Mogadishu (pictured) and in Baidoa

According to the police, Mogadishu officers opened fire on a vehicle after it failed to stop at a checkpoint.

The suicide bomber driving the car is said to have tried to hit a police post in front of the port but the security forces shot him and the vehicle exploded.

Two police officers and five passers-by were wounded.

“Metal debris fell all over us inside the port and we heard gunfire,” a port worker told Reuters.

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Insiders Remain Biggest Threat to Company Security

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The number of insider-related cybersecurity incidents in East Africa has increased by 55% in the last three months as most companies lacking active monitoring of their IT infrastructure transitioned to remote work occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Dimension Data, the sudden spike has resulted from attackers taking advantage of publicly available weak systems and most security controls designed to capture activities failing to keep up as they are intended for traditional on-premise infrastructure, thereby leaving security control gaps as more employees remotely connect to company resources from mobile devices and external networks. 

Ignorance defence

The Financial Services Industry (FSI) remains the most targeted sector because of the immediate monetary gain.

Speaking during the launch of Dimension Data Intelligent Security business in East Africa, the unit’s Head – Ishmael Muli said although insider threats are largely attributed to malicious employees and contractors, statistics from the company’s Threat Intelligence Centre shows that most incidences in the region originate from employee negligence and other close associates ignoring corporate cybersecurity policies, misuse of data, and installation of unauthorized applications, among others.

Dimension Data’s Intelligent Security unites all the capabilities and security offerings previously managed by its subsidiary brands Dimension Data East Africa and Internet Solutions into one business and will offer world-class solutions from global partner NTT Ltd whilst developing locally relevant solutions tailored for protecting organizations in East Africa.

“Across East Africa, we are seeing insiders take advantage of organizations that lack visibility or the ability to investigate successful cyberattacks due to limited access controls to detect unusual activity once someone breaches their network. Some of these attacks involve manipulation of transactional data, tampering of logs to limit tracing, as well as framing legitimate users – all of which make forensic investigations difficult,” Mr Muli said.

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“Cybersecurity plays a critical role in any business within emerging markets like Kenya. We plan to focus on local skills development specifically in the threat intelligence space,” he added.

Current attacks within East Africa are being linked to hackers employing smarter methods to distribute their server networks and occasionally purchasing command and control systems in other countries, with traffic being routed through myriad systems making it difficult to trace its origin.

According to the Communication Authority (CA) Annual Report 2018/2019, malware attacks were the most prevalent threats accounting for approximately 78% of all cyber threat detections by the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team – Coordination Centre (National KE-CIRT/CC). Web application attacks and botnet/denial of service threats accounted for approximately 11% and 9%, respectively, of detected cyber threats. 

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Moving forward, cyber criminals will increasingly automate cyberattacks.

Ishmael Muli, Dimention Data

The first half of the year has also seen an increase in reconnaissance attacks accounting for 40% of all observations in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region according to NTT Ltd Global Threat Intelligence Report 2020.

A rise in Web Application attacks on common Content Management Systems (CMS) such as Joomla and WordPress accounted for over 20% of observed attacks. While service-specific attacks increased by 40% targeting known vulnerabilities that may have remained largely unaddressed by various organizations.

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The current COVID-19 crisis has seen an upsurge in the use of technology as many companies adopt work from home and bring your own device policies, increasing organizational risk as cybersecurity etiquette shifts to end-users. As a result, the most prevalent attacks include phishing and social engineering.

Mr Muli advised organizations to invest in threat intelligence services to gain regular visibility of what is happening in their internal networks – to automatically detect and remediate stealthy attacks that would otherwise be missed. He urged organizations to conduct insider risk assessments on their critical business functions that could be leveraged by Insiders for fraud.

“Moving forward, cyber criminals will increasingly automate cyberattacks,” Mr Muli said. “This requires organizations to automate a lot as well with intelligence analysis and orchestration tools, especially in terms of incidence response, to reduce the average remediation time. The future is going to be all about how to recover fast from an attack as networks, systems and processes get more sophisticated for integration.”

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