Friday, 7 April 2017

Kenya to set up online portal for Investors seeking to Invest in the Country



Better access to information on investments opportunities in the country is going to strengthen Kenya as a preferred investment destination in Africa with the establishment of the One Stop Centre (OSC).

The center will be operational from April as announced by Henry Rotich, the Finance Minister during to parliament during the reading of the fiscal year 2017/18 budget.
Rotich also announced that the Government has established e-regulation and will soon be establishing the e-Opportunities to enable investors interested in Kenya to search for investment opportunities available in Kenya from the comfort of their homes.

“These initiatives, in addition to the existing Huduma Centres, will provide comprehensive information to investors on licenses, permits and approvals that are currently offered in a multiplicity of Government agencies located in different parts of the city, further sustaining increased FDI inflows in the country,” said Rotich.

For a long time, access to information on investment opportunities in the country has been inadequate especially to the Kenyan diaspora and investors who would want to invest.

However, Kenya wants to attract more investors after ranked third most reformed country in the world in World Bank Ease of Doing Business index by the Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All Report. The country was ranked 136 to 92, largely due to reforms in getting credit, getting electricity and ease of starting a business.

As result, Treasury reports that the foreign direct investment (FDI) has risen from about US dollar 0.514 billion in 2013, to at least US dollar 2.3 billion in 2016.

With a projected steady economic growth for this year at 5.9 percent in 2017.

In 2016, the real estate sector emerged as the best performing asset class delivering returns of on average 25.8 percent against an average of 8.5 percent for equities, 0.2 percent on the NSE FTSE bond, and 11.6 percent for the 364-day bill.

Further, economists, have projected impressive growth forecast across many key sectors in sub-Saharan Africa including power generation and infrastructure, mobile technology, financial technology, agriculture, welfare, insurance, banking and tourism.
Kenya through the Finance Minister says,:

“Our economy is growing at twice the pace of global growth and more than twice that of Sub Saharan Africa. We are also growing faster than both Nigeria and South Africa whose growth is projected at 0.8 percent in 2017 for each country.”

This is an opportune moment for the diaspora community to be motivated to invest in the country.


Kenya is set to significantly benefit by capitalizing on their links with its Diaspora with the effectiveness and implementation of the measures to design policies and legislation to create an enabling environment for the Diaspora to participate fully and contribute to the development of their country.

The number of Kenyans abroad is estimated to be about three Million and is continuously on the rise.

For instance, diaspora remittances have maintained an upward trend in the country over the recent past thus contributing significantly to the country’s foreign exchange inflows.


Most of the money sent by about half a million Kenyans living in the Diaspora, according to the World Bank, is used to fund investment projects, a move that has attracted local companies, especially in the banking sector.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Hopelessness among Kenyan youth a time-bomb


If you ask any youth now what they would want to become in the future, be sure to get a variety of replies, some strange and unbelievably outrageous at their age.

I asked one boy a similar question and I cocked my head to the side waiting for his response. He was only about 12, but he looked mature for his age. His face was firm and his lips looked parched. At one point, I wished I had a bottle of clean water to give him.

The slums of Manyatta in Kisumu city from where he was growing up, had limited supply of electricity and the sanitation services were not as good as the kind I grew up with. Dirty puddles of water in the middle of the roads, shanties patched by polythene and cardboards, the conditions were not even fit for a pauper to live in.

The murky sleepy slum with dilapidated infrastructure including a makeshift primary school was his world. But out there beyond the indistinct legal boundaries of this cursed people, there is another world, a world with better choices, a world where the likes of this boy, are not welcome.

I posed the question carelessly, expecting an answer a boy his age would give without a doubt, but his reply made me pause and wonder what was really going on in his head.

“I want to be like my dad,” he replied. He was serious. I knew the father fairly from the times I went off-beat in the slums, in fact he was one of my sources when I interned as a reporter with Nation Media Group. Besides tipping me when something happened in the slums, he was an unskilled, casual laborer who always smelled of cheap booze and was always hustling for people like me for some loose change.

Of all my thoughts at the moment I could only think of what in the world did this child admire in his father? And what was it that he wanted to emulate?

 The inference from the response was both disconcerting and tricky. The boy was looking up to the leader in his life; the role model who would effectively shape his future. I argued out that he was on the path that would lead him to become a riff-raff in the society and a foe to the ‘other’ world.

As innocent as he looked at the time, his face would soon change, hardened by the realities of deprivation. It will not matter that there is a new constitution that speaks of human dignity and promotes basic human rights like the right to life and liberty, the rights to a decent standard of living, the right to work and the right to education.

I wondered why the young boy was in such a dipshit and not me as I made my way out of the slums. I also wondered if I was in Peter Pan’s world to think that Kenya, on its own, will re-organize itself for the sake of the likes of this little boy and others like him growing up with no hope of ever enjoying the freedoms that some of know.

Is the new constitution really an anchor of safety and security for people like him? Or is it just another document for intellectuals like me to discuss and debate about in the office with my boss and colleagues?

I realized that something is amiss. Something is seriously wrong with a country that boasts of economic growth and celebrates almost 50 years of independence, and yet it does nothing at the pathetic situations the slum boy and his generation face, a generation of total despair and self-destruction.

Have you looked at the number of young adults reported to have succumbed from consumption of illicit brew i? It is mind-boggling. The same goes for slum dwellers and low income persons who died trying to siphon fuel from a leaking pipeline and tankers.

I do not mean to be mean but the likes of the little end up in places like Sinai, Kibera and Mukuru when they leave small slums like Manyatta to search for ‘greener pastures’. A dead end when they realize life is harder than where they actually came from.


No one can solve the problems of millions of disillusioned young people of this generation considering the high birth rate of children in poverty stricken areas. I cannot pretend to have a ready solution for the boy and his generation but my country does. The answer lies with the politicians, if they could change their attitudes, opinions and root for the best in the people who placed them in power.

Written by Robert Kondigo

Monday, 20 March 2017

What it Means to be a Cytonnaire - New Age Millonaire



When it comes to investing, I am reminded of Aesop’s fables about a miser who sold all that he had and bought a lump of gold, which he buried in a hole in the ground by the side of an old wall and went to look at daily.  One of his workmen observed his frequent visits to the spot and decided to watch his movements.  He soon discovered the secret of the hidden treasure, and digging down, came to the lump of gold, and stole it.
The Miser, on his next visit, found the hole empty and began to tear his hair and to make loud lamentations.  A neighbour, seeing him overcome with grief and learning the cause, said, “Pray do not grieve so; but go and take a stone, and place it in the hole, and fancy that the gold is still lying there.  It will do you quite the same service; for when the gold was there, you had it not, as you did not make the slightest use of it.” 

Indeed, the true value of money is not in its possession but in its use.

But, how does one amass wealth?

Smart investing is all about growth through diversification and informed decision-making.

Cytonn Investments has taken this deliberate approach in the investments it is making by launching its 2017 investment brand campaign as part of the company’s continued drive to be the business destination of choice.


The campaign, Cytonnaire.

This is about, 

“Individuals who are not measured by a figure in the bank, but by a mindset that sets them apart. They create wealth by thinking and investing sharp.

They look at property and  investments through the eyes of experts because they know that creating wealth is not a game of chance, it takes steady investment with the right advice,” reads the announcement on its Social feed.









Mr. Maurice Oduor,an Investment Manager at the company  says, “The current disruption  being witnessed in the financial sector due the Banking Amendment Bill that caps  bank interest rates at 4 per cent above the Central Bank Benchmark Rate, banks are laying off due to reduced profitability, the forthcoming elections which have forced some investors to hold back.

But, for Cytonn, we are taking a deliberate decision to investments that we are making.”

The Cytonnaire campaign will showcase the vast ways where investors not only go to Cytonn but where how people make investment decisions.

In 2016, the company had, ‘Sharp is the new smart’.

Cytonnaire campaign positions Cytonn Investments as the only brand that has coupled up real estate finance and real estate development onto one platform as the home of impressive and surprising creativity, expertise, innovation, quality with greater focus to its clients.

In the end, a true investor will not be like the miser who buried his gold, like other investors who don’t make mistakes in their life having a desire to change in to what is hype today, looking for high returns with low risk or putting all investments in one asset class but one who used their money to acquire things that offer the potential for profitable returns, either through interest, income, or the appreciation of value.
A true Cytonnaire follows the golden rules of investment, they invest first and spend later.”
First published on SokoDirectory


Monday, 13 February 2017

Your vote, the solution to Kenya’s obstacles hindering progress


Today, we cannot expect our political leaders to turn us into their responsibility, unless we join hands in implementing the new initiatives that were brought forth by the 2010 Constitution to make a brighter and promising future for the youth, women and children.

August 27, 2010 was a month Kenyans made a great milestone, ushering in a new regime, our country was reborn. It was a real opportunity for us as a nation to forge a forward motion by trying all we can in rebuilding this nation.

As we head towards August 8, 2017, we ought to remember that have paid dearly in our journey this far, many have died along the way and we are fortunate to reap the fruits of the struggle.

However, we are yet to fully unburden ourselves from that tribal tag as we head to the polls. An election as a vehicle for democracy is therefore, a leeway to accountable and legitimate government as well as socio-economic progress.

History shows us that every time elections are in the offing, there are always political skits being played by politicians to have their way back into power. They are out to form strong and powerful political parties or alliances to get them back on the platform of change. That change has however, remained elusive for long.

We, the electorate the same way we did our best to usher in the new constitution, we have another chance to chart a new path, a new destiny for the nation. We have to go out there and register as voters.

Many Kenyans have become habitual lamenters, in our homes, and places of work of how bad the leadership is, how we cannot get employed, how badly off we are to put bread on the table not only or ourselves but also for the family and how each and every day is a struggle.

By registering as voters during the ongoing voter registration period, we shall fully participate in the political determination a key component in the maintenance and deepening of democracy. It is an obligation laying on our shoulders and not a favour granted by the government.

Our constitution has already engendered the necessary mechanisms and institutions at all levels to ensure peaceful transition from one regime to another.

As registered voters, we shall be able to sieve and chose credible leaders and at the same time provide an opportunity for the outgoing leaders to be able to continue a decent and meaningful existence and to contribute further to national, regional and international development.

Always, the power is with us the individuals and not the leaders to decide on what we want for the good of everyone. Not the norm that, “In Kenya, the obstacle to progress is the notion of ‘vote against' as opposed to 'vote for'”.

With our vote, we shall have an opportunity to ensure positive transformation of voting in democratically constituted leaders, who agents of principles of participation and representation.


Leaders who are accountable and whom we shall demand the same, from time and again as rudiments of individuals who will be given the responsibility at the community, regional and national level.