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VIDEO: Kenya’s first ever Airport hotel opens at JKIA, has 144 beds and cost $30m to build



Kenya’s hospitality industry was the main focus of President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday as he opened a hotel in the capital city and laid the foundation for what will become the tallest building in Africa.

Kenya’s first airport hotel has begun welcoming guests, seeking to cash in on the growing passenger, cargo, and airline numbers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

The 144-room Lazizi Premiere Hotel is located on First Freight Lane inside the JKIA.

It is targeting transiting passengers, airline crews, and business executives on the go.

“This is very strategic because there is no other airport hotel here. We are also targeting those who work in the airport and in the vicinity who can walk in for lunch,” said Kiran Patel, owner of the hotel.

Mumbai-based hotelier Sarovar runs the hotel under a management contract. It currently has a portfolio of four hotels in Kenya including Heron Portico, Zehneria Portico, and the upcoming Tetezi Hometel, owned by lawyer John Mburu.

The four-star Lazizi airport hotel sits on a 1.5 acre plot. It features three conference rooms targeting business meetings, as well as a rooftop pool, spa, gym, coffee shop, bar, café where guests can while away as they wait for their flights.

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Lazizi has employed 165 staff, Mr Patel said. Satya Roychowdhur, an ex- Carlson Rezidor executive, is the general manager at Lazizi.

JKIA passenger traffic grew 9.7 per cent to hit 7.1 million travellers in 2016 according to official data. International travellers – the captive market for airport hotels – make up three quarters of the total passenger traffic according to data from Kenya Airports Authority.

Hilton Garden Inn, another airport hotel located next to JKIA, was expected to open in March 2016, but construction work is yet to be completed.

Airport hotels also profit from events such as flight delays, reschedules or cancelled journeys, which at times force airlines to offer accommodation to distraught passengers.

Alex Mwangi has more on the massive investments towards the tourism industry.

Source: Business daily

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VIDEO: Vote for our very own top Diaspora Gospel Artiste Naomi Karanja



It’s back.

The 2019 edition of Groove Awards with Safaricom event is officially here. As was the case last year and years before that, the awards will celebrate excellence in Gospel music in Kenya and across Africa.

Celebrated Gospel Artiste Naomi Karanja from Atlanta, Georgia, is one of the finalists in the Diaspora Artiste of the Year Category. Please take a little of your time to vote for here here.

Since 2004, Groove Awards with Safaricom has celebrated excellence in gospel music in Kenya and across Africa. The awards, entering their 14th year in Kenya (and 6th in Rwanda), are this nation’s most prestigious and recognized Gospel music awards event, enjoying regional resonance and relevance.

Groove seeks to promote gospel music as a message of hope and an avenue to address issues affecting young people across the African continent with a key focus on its main objective – “Shaping culture through positive content and entertainment.”

Groove Awards has seen over 1,800 artists/groups nominated and almost 400 Groove statuettes presented to gospel musicians in Kenya and beyond.

The Venue and date for this Year’s Gala will be communicated in due course.


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Embassy in US writes to Kenyan comedian inviting him to perform in Baltimore, Maryland



Apopular Kenya comedian has been invited to the United States to perform at this year’s   Makadara Day celebrations, organized by the Diaspora Baltimore Community.

In a letter by Deputy Chief of Mission, David Gacheru, the comedian is invited to The Hermes Center of St.Demetrios 2504 Cub Hill Road, Parkville, 21234 to perform to the Diasporans on June 8, 2019.

“To have you as one of our guests would be an honor to the people who will be there and the whole organization,” read part of the letter.

According to the embassy,  the event is attended by a huge number of Diasporans every year.

An excited Omondi took to his social media platforms toannounce the development.

“We need private jet guys!!! Baltimore see you in two weeks,” he wrote.


In Kenya, the Madaraka Day celebrations will be held at the Narok stadium, where the committee chairman, PS Karanja Kibichio, had visited over the weekend.

He was visiting the place to inspect how prepared the County was ahead of the celebrations which will be held on June 1, 2019.

The Principal Secretary assured the public that the stadium would be ready by next week.

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VIDEO: 32 BRT buses arrive in Nairobi as local manufactures protest



A photo of one of the buses to be used in Nairobi’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service has emerged.

The image of the high-capacity bus imported by the government from South Africa has been obtained by The Star.

Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia says that the first batch of the vehicles has already arrived in the country.

The large buses are painted yellow and dark blue and are written NaMATA on the side.

The publication says NaMATA stands for Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority.

BRT, also called a busway or transitway, is a bus-based public transport system designed to improve capacity and reliability relative to a conventional bus system. Typically, a BRT system includes roadways that are dedicated to buses, and gives priority to buses at intersections where buses may interact with other traffic; alongside design features to reduce delays caused by passengers boarding or leaving buses, or purchasing fares. BRT aims to combine the capacity and speed of a metro with the flexibility, lower cost and simplicity of a bus system.

“The first batch was 32 buses. What we are now trying to do is fast track the construction of stations and other supporting infrastructure so that as the buses come, we shall have proper infrastructure,” says CS Macharia.

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“We are just contracting and it will be done very quickly… maybe one or two months to make sure we have proper support infrastructure.”

Macharia notes that the government has already set aside Sh1.2 billion for setting up of BRT supporting infrastructure.

The rollout of the BRT system is part of the government’s bid to reduce traffic congestion in the city and revamp the capital’s public transport system.

In January this year,  Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) criticised the importation of vehicles for the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT), saying the move defeats the Big Four Agenda.

In a statement, KAM said manufacturing, as a key pillar in the Big Four Agenda for the country, means that local sourcing towards the growth of the sector and the consequent provision of jobs to our citizens cannot be understated.

“In our endeavour to grow the sector at 35% per year to achieve the desired 15% GDP contribution by 2022, the Buy Kenya Build Kenya Strategy should be rigorous and should prevail for both the short and medium term. This is especially so for products that can easily be manufactured within the country,” it said.

According to KAM, as the largest procurement entity in the country, the Government, where possible, ought to direct its spending on locally manufactured goods with a view of supporting the Big Four Agenda.

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Currently, it said the manufacturing sector’s contribution to the GDP is 8.3%, with a registered growth of 0.2% growth in 2017. Favouring imports over local content, as seen in the recent importation of 64 BRT buses from South Africa, bypassing the local bus assemblers and body builders, goes against the agenda to boost the sector’s ability to provide employment locally and increase its GDP contribution towards the country’s economic goals.


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