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First ever Laundromat opens in Kenya

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Kenyan entrepreneurs interested in the laundry industry are set to benefit from the launch of commercial laundromat by Alliance Laundry Systems, the US-based world leader in commercial laundry.

The world leader in commercial laundry is targeting entrepreneurs from major urban centres in the country who will receive full laundromat store concepts with all operational and technical support.

According to Jean-Paul Mailhac, Regional Sales Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa from Alliance, a fast growing demand for laundry services and products, combined with a booming economy and annual growth of more than 6%, makes Kenya the ideal place to start a laundromat.

“We have already witnessed that Kenyan entrepreneurs are passionate about a laundromat. Kenya is the country from where we have received the most inquiries by far. It is quickly becoming a need in this society as people spend a lot of time and effort on their looks,” Mr Mailhac said in a statement on the launch.

Urban centres have been targeted with Laundromats for what Alliance Laundry Systems terms as having the highest profit potential.

“For the majority of Kenyans living in urban areas, owning a washing machine is a considerable investment. The normal practice is washing by hand, an inefficient and environmentally damaging process. With an emerging market for Laundromats, this task can be easily and efficiently taken over,” Mr Mailhac explained.

Alliance attributes the lack of uptake of Laundromats in the country to the lack of global best practice experience, limited local technical expertise and no specific retail cleaning knowledge with Mr Mailhac adding that:

“These are exactly the reasons why we at Alliance decided to promote the laundromat concept. We will give Kenyan entrepreneurs the opportunity to make an excellent return on investment.”

The Laundromats are expected to offer convenience to their users in the urban centres and cutting the cost of running and owning a washing machine from their budgets.

“A Laundromat can professionally clean and dry laundry, making garments look newer, last longer, feel better, eliminating the need to own an expensive machine. One added advantage is having the flexibility to use the laundromat whenever necessary, due to the close proximity of stores. In the right locations, one store can service a 9km2 area – meaning plentiful opportunities in larger cities,” the Alliance Regional Sales Manager Sub-Saharan Africa pointed out.

To ease their entry into the country, Alliance plans to have a number of demonstration events in Nairobi to explain in detail all benefits their laundromat concept has to offer later in the year.

“We can help entrepreneurs from start to finish. Not only by providing the best-in-class machines, but also by giving them all the valuable input needed to operate a successful and profitable laundromat,” said Mr Mailhac.

Alliance Laundry Systems is present in 140 countries with a team of more than 2,900 employees.

-businesstoday.co.ke

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Business

Your Kenyan passport will be invalid from September 2019

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You will not be able to travel with your passport after October 2019, the Department of Immigration has said.

Dr Dan Opon, the Senior Assistant Director of Immigration said on Monday that the current Kenyan passport will expire on September 1 so Kenyans should acquire e-passports by March next year.

“No country will accept the current passport from September next year,” Dr Opon said when launching a new report on free and safe movement in East Africa.

Dr Opon said the department has started implementing the announcement President Uhuru Kenyatta made last year.

“The government’s efforts to promote regional integration by opening up territorial access to migrants is evidence of our position and commitment. To this end, the Department of Immigration is developing a National Migration Policy framework and has harmonised classification of work permits and encourage free movement of persons within the East African Community,” he said.

The government is also establishing the National Coordination Mechanism on migration. It will serve as a forum for all migration stakeholders, ministries, the academia and the civil society to engage with bilateral and multilateral partners on promoting safe and orderly migration in the region.

The government is also working in partnership with the University of Nairobi to develop a curriculum for a post-graduate diploma that will be launched in November.

Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda developed a coalition of the willing that allows citizens of the three countries to travel using their national identity cards.

Dr Opon noted, however, that a single visa territory within the East African Community remains elusive because the harmonisation of immigration practices and policies is yet to happen.

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Africa

CNN’s Quest ‘more than impressed’ in Nairobi

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Gliding into Nairobi’s airport early on Monday morning, the first thing I noticed was the light. Even over the terminal buildings, it was just gorgeous. I was back in Africa.

Almost immediately, my reasons for coming were further reinforced.

Yes, there were queues at immigration, but no more than one might find during a busy period at JFK or Heathrow.

Perhaps it felt a little chaotic, with some confusion in arrivals about where exactly passengers should go and what was required of them. But overall it worked. The staff was excellent and determined to help.

The building was modern, clean, attractive and made sense. The lines outside for taxis and Ubers were neat and orderly.

Of course, once I began my journey into the city by road, the cliche of traffic-clogged streets revealed itself to be true.

At one point I was able to hop out of the car to stretch and remove my jacket, with no fear whatsoever that my driver would gain more than a few inches of ground on me.

As we reached the city centre, that cliche was overtaken by something else though: a sense that Nairobi’s citizens take pride in their home.

The flowerbeds and neatly trimmed trees, the new roads, the signs, the general respect for other road users. There is something both gentle and genteel about it.

We spent the afternoon in Karura Forest. If you wanted something to underscore this sense of pride you would be hard pushed to find a more pristine example.

Here is a park that rivals New York’s Central Park, London’s Hyde Park, or Sydney’s botanic gardens.

Of course I discovered Karura’s remarkable history, learned about its sometimes checkered, shady past, the land grabbers, and the ultimately successful campaign to save it for the people. But more than that, I saw a place that Kenyans have taken to their hearts. This is a place that is ring-fenced, literally and figuratively, for ordinary Nairobians to enjoy. We saw couples hand in hand, joggers, women walking alone. We also saw wildlife, different species of monkey, all kinds of birds, all around us. It was safe, spotlessly clean, peaceful and completely beautiful. All this, just minutes away from the city centre.

I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting this. Our guide told us that 37,000 people visited Karura last month. I can see why.  I’m more than impressed.

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17 Somalis cause disturbance at JKIA, get repatriated

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Kenya on Sunday repatriated 17 Somali nationals who caused disturbance at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport when they were denied clearance to travel to Uganda.

The passengers, according to Immigration PS Gordon Kihalangwa, landed from Mogadishu but they could not be cleared because of security concerns and anomalies with their documents.

Kenya Revenue Authority, the police, National Intelligence Service, Port Health Service and other agencies have been strict on security as Kenya prepares to launch direct flights to the United States.

The repatriation matter came to the fore when Thika MP Patrick Wainaina said “illegal immigrants” had been casually handled by government officials at the airport.

The MP who had jetted in from the United Arab Emirates around 6am said while queuing at passport control, he saw three young men arguing with an immigration officer.

He added that they wanted the official to stamp their passports.

Mr Wainaina said he sought to find out what was happening and was referred to the officer on duty.

He was told that the three, “who were roaming freely at the airport”, were to be deported.

The lawmaker told the Nation that he discovered the immigrants were not three but 17. He took photos of the three men.

Mr Wainaina said when he demanded to be shown the plane to be used by the group, he was given a passengers manifest but the 17 were not included.

“It is not possible that they could have moved from terminal 1A to T2 within 10 minutes and boarded the plane. Deportees are usually confined and do not have room to persuade officers to allow them into the country,” the MP said, adding that he raised the matter with the National Assembly Security Committee.

However, committee chairman Paul Koinange told the Nation that Mr Wainaina’s account of the events contradicted one given by the JKIA management.

Mr Kihalangwa said the 17 were to be repatriated, not deported. He added that the airline that brought the group was indemnified to return them to Mogadishu

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