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Kenyans abroad sent home Sh67.16 billion in the first three months of 2019

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Kenyans living and working abroad sent home Sh67.16 billion in the first three months of the year, underlining the dependability of the inflows and importance to the economy.

The inflows rose 11.4 per cent to $221 million (Sh22.32 billion) in March from $199 million (Sh20.11 billion) in February, helping to propel first quarter remittances above Sh64.79 billion that was sent during the first quarter of last year.

Data by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows that the 12-month cumulative inflows increased to Sh274.84 billion in March this year from Sh217.7 billion in March last year, reflecting a 26 percent growth.

“North America remained the main source region for the remittances, accounting for 53 percent of the total in March,” CBK noted. Strong remittances position has helped keep the shilling relatively stronger. CBK’s usable foreign exchange reserves were $8.254 billion (Sh833.16 billion) in March, translating to 5.31 months import cover.

The shilling closed March averaging 100.86 units against the dollar. It has remained relatively stable, exchanging at 101.39 at the close of last week.

Last year, current account deficit narrowed to stand at Sh441.8 billion in 2018 compared to Sh503.4 billion the previous year, partly supported by strong diaspora remittances.

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“The secondary income account posted a surplus of Sh507 billion in 2018 from a surplus of Sh460.5 billion in 2017, mainly supported by remittances from the diaspora,” Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) said.

KNBS adds the shilling exchange rate against major trading currencies is expected to remain stable supported by diaspora remittances and a significant level of reserves.

The first quarter performance sets stage for the country to surpass the Sh272.44 billion that was sent last year. The 2018 remittances smashed CBK’s target of Sh259.3 billion.

Remittances have remained strong in the recent past, hitting monthly high of Sh26.88 billion in June last year.

source:nation.co.ke

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Business

Kenyans lose millions as Suraya housing project collapses

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A number of Kenyans have found themselves counting losses in millions of shillings after the Suraya projects failed.

This despite the off-plan investment gaining popularity in the country.

Lynx -Royal Estate, a development under the Suraya Properties Limited, is a real estate developer that has now earned itself a bad record.

According to Wairimu Thimba, an investor, the said property was to be completed in 2014, with the payment plan being in instalments.

The final instalment being after the keys were handed over to the investors.

“We have tried reaching out and they can’t answer… I go there and they do not do anything,” said Wairimu.

It was after a series of unanswered emails that forced her together with the other aggrieved investors to visit the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) on Thursday to record their statements as well as pay a visit to the Suraya properties offices to at least have the matter sorted. But all that was in vain.

Skyrocketing housing prices and unpredictable rent regimes have witnessed emergence of ‘smart’ investors in Nairobi who buy apartments off-plan at discounted prices, where one gets to investment or buys the property before it is completed.

It is a risk which despite offering flexible mode of payments, and an opportunity for an investor to own property at an affordable rate.

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Sometimes the developer might halt the project which according to Beatrice Wachuka, research analyst at the Cytonn Investments, should be a cause for alarm for any investor.

“You have to keep on visiting the sites to know, most times when it stops it is because, there is disagreement between contractors, or lack of capital,” said Wachuka.

“I feel they started these projects and then another without channeling our money where it was meant to build, it was just greed,” lamented Wairimu.

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Business

Kenya Airways CEO resigns

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Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer Sebastian Mikosz has resigned on “personal grounds”, effective December 31.

In an internal memo to staff, Mr Mikosz said he had decided to shorten his contract.

“It is my personal decision and I have obviously discussed it with the board as well as my family,” he said.

He noted that he had informed the Capital Markets Authority and the Nairobi Securities Exchange of his decision, in line with regulations since KQ is a listed company.

Mikosz, who speaks fluent French, English and Russian in addition to his native Polish, was appointed in 2017 and was seen as the fresh hire who would stop the airline’s loss-making.

This was due to his experience turning around LOT Polish Airlines, the flag carrier of Poland.

The CEO noted that he remains “fully determined” to the plans for the national carrier’s turnaround that were rolled out three years ago.

“I believe this is the ideal timing to begin a transition process to find someone who will continue with the turnaround initiatives,” he said.

Mr Mikosz noted that the efforts have seen the company decrease its losses from Sh25 billion in 2014 to Sh7.5 million currently.

“I am convinced that KQ is on a good path for a full recovery,” he stated.

READ ALSO:   Over 66pc of diaspora cash targets mothers back home

The CEO also informed staff that he would be travelling to China to work on the launch of directs flights to Beijing.

He will also attend the International Air Transport Association General Assembly and carry out a business review in Bangkok.

Mr Mikosz has been pushing the Kenyan government to take decisive actions – to either nationalise the airline or change its mandate in a way that would remove the dividend-paying requirement from its shoulders, given its main competitors are State-backed.

“We must be given a different mandate,” he said when he visited Nation Centre this week.

The CEO and group managing director has argued that the ground for Kenya Airways is uneven owing to the shareholding structure of its rivals.

Its main competitors – Ethiopian, RwandAir and the three Gulf carriers – are all 100 per cent State-owned.

This means that to compete with them, Kenya’s national carrier needs the kind of muscle that only the government can offer.

Mr Mikosz’s biggest blow came recently when the government appeared to have had a change of heart on its planned merger with Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), which it was hoping to use to turn around its fortunes.

Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) did not help as it questioned the financial viability of the deal given KQ was the one in problems.

READ ALSO:   #DIASPORASTORIES: I was making a lot of money and just got tired of living abroad

Unions have never been on its side – they have been demanding the removal of Mr Mikosz as well as the management team.

Instead of focusing on the turnaround strategy, the chief executive has found himself having to explain just how much he and his expats earn.

Mr Mikosz flew in with a team of polish expats, described by insiders as his ‘kitchen cabinet’ that were initially thought to have been needed for just six months.

Their skills have remained wanted at the airline almost two years later, to the chagrin of union officials.

Mr Mikosz defended his strategy, which he maintains is working, but it has not worked at the pace he needs to fly KQ out of the loss-making territory.

His quick wins include finalising the deal that saw banks convert their debt into equity, lifting a repayment burden that was choking its cash flows.

He also counts the direct flights to the US as another feather in his cap.

source:nation.co.ke

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Africa

DID YOU KNOW? Safaricom’s Bob Collymore has no University degree but still turned out fine

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  • Robert ‘Bob’ Collymore has been Safaricom CEO since November 1, 2010.
  • Collymore did not go to university. He was offered a place at Warwick University but turned it down because he was not eligible for funding
  • A wealth declaration form uploaded on the Safaricom website in 2015 revealed that he earns Sh10 million per month

Robert ‘Bob’ Collymore may not have a college education but he is at the helm of Safaricom, a company that is arguably one of Africa’s finest and a trend setter in the world of communications.

1. University education isn’t everything

There tends to be a lot of reliance on paper qualification. We stuff ourselves into universities, then we come out and there is very little difference between us and all the other people who also did the same.

In this industry and many others, if you are not a learning treadmill, you will be left behind very rapidly. The advances that we are seeing in technology such as in artificial intelligence, robotics – I do not have to go to school to learn about it.

I can learn about it because the resources are there. I can buy a book on Amazon in two clicks.

So get into continuous learning instead of relying on the old things you learnt in university – things have moved on.

2. Be adaptable

I have done many different types of jobs but I never anticipated that I would become the CEO of a mobile phone company in Africa.

Just because you went to university and studied law doesn’t mean you become a lawyer.

 

You need to go into the world knowing that what you learnt in the university was how to learn. You must be adaptive.

3. There is no shortcut

Millennials believe that once you get employed, it will take you a matter of weeks before you get the corner office and get the land cruiser.

We forget that in all ages, especially in this one, everything takes time. Whether you want to become a basketball player or a CEO, you have to put the hours in.

You do not become a good photographer if you do not do 20,000 hours behind that camera. Shortcuts tend to lead people to a lot of problems, often legal problems.

My earnings are not a secret to Kenyans, but you can see that I am not hugely wealthy, compared to other people.

But do I consider myself a failure? Of course not. I do not want to find a shortcut to riches because they are not the goal. Unfortunately, a lot of people think there is a shortcut to it. You have to work hard.

Bob Collymore.

4. Be hungry

Grab opportunities. Opportunities sometimes present themselves only once and you have to grab them.

Because at later stages, what you regret is not the things you did, but the things you did not do. All my regrets are of things I did not do.

Luck also has a big role to play, so again, don’t sniff at luck. When luck presents itself, just take it. When you get a good fortune, just take it.

5. Learn the art of gratitude

We tend not to be grateful these days. Be grateful for what you have. If you wrote down the things that you are grateful for, you would be amazed.

Grateful people are much more agreeable than people who grow up thinking about how they did not get a break.

If I look at my own background, coming from a broken family, a single mother, being the only black kid in the school that I went to in the UK, not going to university – there is a whole lot of things that I can stack up and say are all the reasons I should not be doing the job I am today.

If I had let them hold me back, I would still be working in a shop like I used to.

6. Lose the sense of entitlement

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I never had the sense that I could not work in the shops because I had completed my A-levels. I was a delivery chap delivering furniture, I used to stack shelves – I never imagined I was too good for any job.

I did a lot of things and I said, “It’s a job. I will do it and I will take my lessons from each and every one of those jobs.”

If you look at how I engage with people working in shops when I go shopping, my interaction with them is shaped by that experience because I walked in those shoes. I worked behind that checkout. I know how dehumanising people can treat you sometimes.

I hold those people with huge admiration and respect. Don’t have a sense of entitlement. You are never too good for anything.

 

You are never too good to sweep floors and all. That is the thing about opportunities. They may not present themselves as you expect them to.

7. Move with the times

We are in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution, where we are looking at the internet for everything. The fourth industrial revolution plays to older people because it makes things easier for us.

However, it does not play to young people because it will definitely take away jobs. In Africa, we need to create about a million jobs every month, which is about 10 to 15 million jobs every year.

That is a huge number. Even here in Kenya, I estimate that we need to create about 3,000 jobs a day.

That’s a scary thought and it is because that’s how fast the population is growing.

Foxconn, the people who make the iPhone, reduced their workforce by half because of robotics.

In Africa, we have a narrow opportunity to take some of the manufacturing from China, but that opportunity is not going to be there for long. We should be grabbing those opportunities now.

What we are seeing is that the people grabbing those opportunities are from places like Vietnam, so if we do not grab them now, by the time we come around we will be out of the game.

8. Are your skills important in today’s world?

Get to the front of the curve. Read. I always tell my team, “I mustn’t know more about stuff than you. You have to be smarter than me.

If you aren’t smarter than me, then why would I need to hire you?” You need to stay ahead of the curve and there is no excuse for not doing it because everything is online these days. You need to ensure that you are skilled to do the jobs that exist today.

Bob Collymore.

If you ask how many people getting out of the university today are familiar with things like artificial intelligence and data analytical skills, they are very few. Many of them write letters to me asking me to give them a job since they have a Bachelor’s Degree in communication. I do not need that.

However, if you have data analytical skills, I will hire you today. Young people, therefore, need to move away from the trend of wanting to have a BCom degree or becoming a lawyer. With the 4th industrial revolution, it is not just blue collar jobs that will disappear. Many white collar jobs will also disappear.

You are not going to need lawyers to do everything they do today. A lot of it is very laborious and you can get a machine to do it. The same goes for investment analysts. You will get a machine that can trade much faster than human beings can trade. A machine can trade 24 hours a day and can trade by the second.

9. Study what the market needs

Young people need to become familiar with the challenges that the world is facing and the opportunities that are there.

The biggest mistake we make is that we have what I call the ‘Kiosk Mentality’. So if I am a hawker and I am selling oranges and the neighbouring hawker is selling bananas and she sells more bananas today, guess what I am going to do tomorrow?

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I will sell bananas! You see that mentality even in the construction of shopping malls. I have been here for about seven years and suddenly there is a shopping mall everywhere, but now there are empty shopping malls everywhere.

Go and create your own space. Don’t just copy what someone else does. Study what the market needs.

10. Fix the problem

I spend a lot of time with young investors. Sometimes I will be in London or New York and someone stops me and tells me about their start up in Kenya. What is disappointing is that these people often come from San Fransisco and Silicon Valley.

They came to Kenya, looked at the problem and thought of a way to solve it. The biggest example is probably M-Kopa. It was started by a Canadian, Jesse Moore, and Nick Hughes, a Briton.

They looked at simple problems, sat in my office one day years ago and said that the problem was that people do not have access to grid electricity and they thought they could fix that problem. So they did, by making M-Kopa solar.

Young people need to be doing that. Don’t go and make another M-Kopa solar, because it has already been made. It’s like Jack Ma says – China is not going to have another Jack Ma because they already have one.

Bob Collymore.

They don’t need anymore. Go redefine the market and fix those problems. It’s not about being smart – it’s about being relevant. Go fix the problem. Problems are everywhere. Look at them and think, “How do I tackle that problem?” not “How do I copy what he did?”

11. You aren’t perfect

If you are 100 per cent perfect, then you are not trying hard enough. You are not doing enough things.

My predecessor, Michael Joseph, once said to me, “Look, just make decisions. If 60 percent of your decisions are right, then you will probably be doing better than me.” And he was right.

We make a lot of wrong decisions, but it means we are trying. A little under 1 out of 2 of your decisions will be wrong and that is OK because it means you are trying new things.

12. Read and read some more

This speaks to continuously learning. I probably get through two or three books in a month, to try and keep myself ahead of the curve. If I am not travelling a lot, then I read more.

I tend to read two or three books at the same time so that if I get bored with one, I can pick up the other.

However, if I could recommend books it would be Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari and Reclaiming Conversation by Sherry Turkle.

 Biography

Robert William Collymore aka Bob Collymore was born in 1958 in Guyana. He lived with his grandmother while his mother lived in the UK.

At age 12 he realized he had an interest in the arts where and started making art pieces using plasticine sent to him by his mother from the UK. He sold them and made good money. That’s where his business acumen was mooted.

At age 16, he landed his first job in a departmental store in the UK where he worked from as early as 6 AM until the store was closed when he would sweep it clean.

 Education

Bob  started schooling in Guyana while still living with his grandmother until age 16 when he moved to the UK to join his mother in 1974.

He joined Selhurst High School for Boys in London where he completed his formal education. Here, he is said to have experienced some form of racial discrimination since he was the only black child in his class.

READ ALSO:   Over 66pc of diaspora cash targets mothers back home

 Career

He is the Chief Executive officer of Mobile operator Safaricom Limited Kenya since October 2010. He also serves as a Governance director for Africa at Vodafone.

Prior to that, he served as a Chief Officer of Corporate affairs at Vodacom Group Limited. He also served as a purchasing director for UK Business of Vodafone.

He also served as Purchasing Director for Dixons Stores Group, The Largest Electrical retailer in the UK between 1994-1998.

He served as the Global Handset Purchasing Director of Vodafone since 2000 and responsible for its handset business across 26 countries and in 2003 he moved to Japan in the commercial role of Consumer Marketing Director for Asia.

He became a non-Executive Director of Safaricom Limited on September 5, 2006, until he finally became the Safaricom CEO in 2010, replacing the outgoing CEO Mr. Michael Joseph who had held that position since Safaricom’s nativity in 1998.

 Hobbies

Bob Likes flying helicopters. He also likes reading a lot. His love for art and music also led him to meet his wife Wambui Kamiru who was an artist at Kuona Trust.

Bob Collymore marries Wambui Kamiru

Bob Collymore met his sweetheart Wambui Kamiru in Nairobi during a fundraiser for survivors of the Loreto Convent Msongari school bus crash that occurred in July 2011. Wambui was at the event in her capacity as an alumnus and Bob was there representing Safaricom Foundation in the fundraising. The two met and they were cupid struck.

After dating for three years, on Saturday 2nd April 2016 Safaricom CEO Mr. Collymore finally said YES I DO  in a colorful ceremony  held at Kitisuru.

The two had dated for three years and their flashy wedding ceremony saw top corporate CEOs in attendance.

 Family

The details known about Bob Collymore family is that of his mother and grandmother. Nonetheless, he now has a wife and two daughters that his wife got from her first marriage with a man called Joseph Kinyua.

Wambui Kamiru had been married to Joseph Kinyua in 2007 and blessed with two twin daughters.

Wambui Kamiru Divorce with Joseph Kinyua

Wambui abandoned her husband and then filed for divorce accusing her husband of domestic violence through her veteran family lawyer Judy Thongori.

In a quick rejoinder, her husband also filed another divorce suit accusing her of infidelity. Bob Collymore was named as a respondent in the divorce case but he claimed through his lawyer that he met Wambui when she was already divorced.

The divorce case proceedings were never made public by the mainstream media but it seems the case was amicably settled because now Wambui Wamae Kamiru and Bob Collymore are happily married.

Bob Collymore Wealth

Bob Collymore has revealed that Safaricom pays him a total amount of ksh 10million ($100,000) per month. He has properties worth ksh277 million ($2.7 million).

Bob states that he accumulates Ksh. 109.5 million in one year including interests and dividends.

According to a declaration of wealth he posted, he has a net worth of Sh277.3 million in cash, properties, and shares.

Collymore owns a kSh54 million residential house in London, cash balances in local banks worth USD203,000 (about Ksh20,300,000) and has Sh18.4 million worth of shares in Safaricom and Vodafone PLC shares worth USD871,000 (about Ksh88,000,000) and his financial balances have a sum of Ksh95.4 million in real money

Bob Collymore Citizenship

Bob Collymore is both British and Kenyan, the latter being by virtue of being married to a Kenyan woman,

Bob Collymore Photos

Bob Collymore - Biography, Marriage, Wambui Kamiru, Divorce, Joseph Kinyua, Photos, Family, children, Safaricom, Working Career, Citizenship, Wealth

Bob Collymore - Biography, Marriage, Wambui Kamiru, Divorce, Joseph Kinyua, Photos, Family, children, Safaricom, Working Career, Citizenship, Wealth

Bob Collymore - Biography, Marriage, Wambui Kamiru, Divorce, Joseph Kinyua, Photos, Family, children, Safaricom, Working Career, Citizenship, Wealth

Bob Collymore - Biography, Marriage, Wambui Kamiru, Divorce, Joseph Kinyua, Photos, Family, children, Safaricom, Working Career, Citizenship, Wealth

Bob Collymore - Biography, Marriage, Wambui Kamiru, Divorce, Joseph Kinyua, Photos, Family, children, Safaricom, Working Career, Citizenship, Wealth

Bob Collymore - Biography, Marriage, Wambui Kamiru, Divorce, Joseph Kinyua, Photos, Family, children, Safaricom, Working Career, Citizenship, Wealth

Bob Collymore - Biography, Marriage, Wambui Kamiru, Divorce, Joseph Kinyua, Photos, Family, children, Safaricom, Working Career, Citizenship, Wealth

Bob Collymore - Biography, Marriage, Wambui Kamiru, Divorce, Joseph Kinyua, Photos, Family, children, Safaricom, Working Career, Citizenship, Wealth

Bob Collymore - Biography, Marriage, Wambui Kamiru, Divorce, Joseph Kinyua, Photos, Family, children, Safaricom, Working Career, Citizenship, Wealth

Bob Collymore - Biography, Marriage, Wambui Kamiru, Divorce, Joseph Kinyua, Photos, Family, children, Safaricom, Working Career, Citizenship, Wealth

 

 

Bob Collymore Health

While being interviewed by Jeff Koinange a few months ago, Collymore revealed that he had been battling with cancer. He had to seek treatment in the UK where he stayed for at least 9 moths before returning to Kenya.

VIDEO: Bob Collymore opens up about his health

 

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