31 October, 2016

I&M Bank Allocates Sh300m for Social Investment This Year

October 31, 2016: I&M Bank has set aside Sh300 million for investment in project that empower members of the community in which it operates, the Bank’s Executive Director Mr. Sarit S. Raja Shah has said. 
Sarit Shah -Executive Director I&M Bank

Speaking during the launch of a two day free medical camp at St Martins Kibagare Primary School in Loresho, over the weekend, Mr. Shah said the Bank was reaching out to the under-privileged population in three social pillars of health, education and environment.

“Each year, I&M Bank sets aside 2% of its pre-tax profits which is kept under a fund to support various social initiatives in the areas of health, education and environment,” Mr. Shah said.
Mr. Shah noted that, in addition to the health initiative, the bank was constructing St. Ann’s Suresh Raja Shah Girls Secondary School, Kairi, at a cost of Sh200 million which is expected to be completed next year.  The bank also set aside Sh4.5 million and Sh3.5 for environment and health initiatives respectively.

“We have broken ground for the school project and the construction is going on,” Mr. Shah said. “We are also actively involved in the conservation of Karura Forest where our staff plant trees and clean Karura River every year.”

The bank has recorded growth in pre-tax profits over the past four years.  In 2015, the Group’s profit before tax reached Sh8.6 billion, Sh7, 480,487 in the years 2014, Sh5, 987,131 in the year 2013, and Sh5, 301,608 in the year 2012.

19 October, 2016

Ringier to Partner with Ghafla

As part of its continued expansion, Ringier Africa Digital Publishing (RADP), Ringier Africa’s publishing company, will work with Kenya’s top entertainment website ‘Ghafla’ . The partnership sees Kenya’s leading entertainment platform relaunch and enhance its editorial output, by diversifying Ghafla’s content to include current affairs, news and analysis.

With this partnership and relaunch, Ghafla will now also become a regional publisher aimed at providing innovative, insightful and entertaining content targeting the wider East African market, and will have footprints in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia.

Since it first launched in 2009, Ghafla has led the way in publishing up to the minute, youth-oriented entertainment news for East Africa, known for breaking top stories and building an active community of mobile-savvy followers across the continent. The partnership with Ringier  and relaunch consolidates Ghafla’s position as Kenya’s top entertainment news brand, as well as signals a new strategic direction in terms of expanding the editorial scope to include more politics, current affairs and international news stories, to further increase the popular platform’s followership. The redeveloped platform will also look to significantly increase its video and new media content, across all content sections and channels.

Ringier Africa & Asia CEO, Robin Lingg said Ringier is constantly reaching for new opportunities to strengthen its position as an innovative and leading publisher; “We are excited to welcome Ghafla as a new partner of our business in East Africa, seeing a lot of great potential in the product and its further growth opportunities.The inclusion of Ghafla into the Ringier family comes at an exciting time for our publishing company, as we continue to invest in building out a fast-moving, pioneering, credible and truly pan-African publishing network.”

Ringier Africa GM, Leonard Stiegeler said that Ghafla’s partnership with Ringier’s publishing arm also fits well into Ringier Africa’s overall strategy to build out leading digital businesses throughout the continent in four key verticals: content, classifieds, e-commerce and digital marketing; “Ghafla will benefit from being part of a leading pan-African digital media group and able to tap into connections from across the continent.”

Ghafla is also expected to benefit from Ringier’s 180+ years of experience and knowledge in the media industry, to become a leading East African online news platform and media publisher as well as to bring new exciting products and offerings to its existing and new advertising clients.  

Tim Kollmann, Ringier’s Managing Director of RADP adds, “Working with the Ghafla team, we will be settting new standards in the regional media space, offering up-to-date information at any time of the day, directly to East Africa’s media consumtion tool of choice; the mobile phone.”

Commenting on the partnership, Ghafla’s founder, Samuel Majani, who will continue as Co-CEO of Ghafla, notes that his mission from day one was to get news to Kenyans online. He adds, "I am very proud that Ghafla, which started in a Kenyan bedroom seven years ago, is now partnering with one of the largest African media enterprises. This partnership will give us access to international know-how and will ensure that we can learn from and apply the global expertise that the Ringier team brings with it".

Lake Turkana Wind Turbine Farm-Loiyangalani

Green Energy, Clean energy is no longer an alternative but a choice. I was pleased to recently visit Loiyangilani District in South Hor ,Turkana /Marsabit County and witness the  single largest private investment in Kenya’s history, The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project( LTWP)  a wind power harnessing project using large turbines  in  a stretch estimated to cover 162 square kilometers.

The wind farm is expected to  provide 310MW  low cost wind power to Kenya’s national grid, equivalent to approximately 18 per cent of the country’s current installed electricity generating capacity. The project will comprise 365 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 850 kW .

Most important though is the socioeconomic and environmental impact to the communities living along this arid/semi-arid region.for one, due to the project previously impassable ,rough terrain dirt roads have now been leveled and  murram added making the almost 200 km drive from Laisamis to the interior somewhat tolerable.

Communication infrastructure is slowly improving due to the contractors on site necessitating the installment of cell phone masts.It is obvious that this is changing the fortunes of the communities that were previously neglected.

What was perhaps disconcerting is that cattle rustling is still carried out between the Samburu and Turkana communities. But with this infrastructure projects coming up,economic growth and the exposure that results it is hoped that  such things will soon be history as community efforts are directed to other activities.It is also important to note, that cattle rustling or insecurity is not the main story of this region.The communities have existed and flourished in peace for many decades, unfortunately its selective media that only highlights the troubles of the region and forgets the good. Indeed if it bleeds it leads mantra has created a negative connotation for many regions and as Africans we know how unjust that can be.

With roads, infrastructure, electricity and supporting businesses  , this is the area to watch. Much of its potential is still untapped. Just driving up the road we were able to see a lot of wildlife for free...Ostriches,Giraffes,Gazelles,Antelopes, Oryx, Hyena's...etc.As the photos show Turkana is a beautiful place with beautiful people and it is projects such as the above that will expose this beauty to the outside world.


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