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Rwanda Accused For Imposing Trade Embargo On Uganda

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On Wednesday, Uganda barred all its exports of goods to Rwanda after being accused of imposing a trade embargo. In the last month, the two countries have traded barbs and thus has paved way for strained relations and have posed risks for the Great Lake Region’s commerce and security at large. Towards end February, Rwanda is said to have blocked Ugandan cargo trucks from accessing Katuna which is the busiest border crossing. The authorities from Rwanda claimed that there was ongoing construction going on and advised the Ugandan trucks to use an alternative route that was 100km away.

Sam Kutesa the Foreign Minister for Kampala on Wednesday said that all goods from Uganda were at the moment being barred from entering Rwanda and that only goods from Kenya were being granted access. “This is an embargo on bilateral trade with Uganda,” he said in a statement.

Rwanda is upset about the reports making rounds about Uganda offering support to rebel groups opposing President Paul Kagame and his government, including Rwanda National Congress (RNC) and the FDLR. Rwanda which is a landlocked country transports a tangible amount of its imports through a trade route that uses Uganda from Kenya’s port in Mombasa. The same route also serves as a pipeline for Kenya’s exports and facilitates the supply of merchandise to Burundi and some parts of Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Rwanda National Congress is under the leadership of some of Rwanda’s prominent dissidents including Kayumba Nyamwasa who is based in South Africa. According to them RNC is a political party and not a rebel group. The FDLR on the other hand is a rebel group that comprises of partly Rwandese soldiers and Hutu militia. The soldiers and militias fled into Democratic Republic of Congo after massacring around 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus during Rwanda’s 1994 genocide.

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Banks

Sh1,000 Notes Abroad to be Exchanged in the Country, CBK Says

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Patrick Njoroge, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor, has urged those with the old Sh1,000 notes that are out of the country to exchange them in Kenya before the October 1st deadline elapses.

The Governor dismissed permitting conversion of the old currency outside the country, adding that the CBK had alerted all foreign banks to cease recognition of the old notes.

He further said that banks outside the country will not be receiving any new notes to aid in conversion, contending that this would defeat the process of demonetization.

“If you have the Kenyan currency and you happen to be outside the country, there is only one way to get value for it before October 1. You have to take a trip here and go through the procedures outlined in the Gazette notice and subsequent releases,” said Dr. Njoroge when speaking at a press briefing yesterday.

“You cannot convert it to any other currency out there since this would defeat the process of demonetization.”

Earlier this month, notices were issued from the Bank of Tanzania and the Bank of Uganda discontinuing the conversion of the old currency in their banks. In addition, they have directed their countries’ banks to apply more stringent due diligence processes to all currency flows.

The procedures to be followed for currency conversion by locals will also be followed by those coming into the country.

Dr. Njoroge has warned that measures have been put in place to thwart any efforts to clean illicit money in nations involved in significant financial transactions with Kenya.

After the East African Community allowed free movement of goods and people across member states, the Kenyan shilling is frequently used in business transactions in neighbouring countries.

The result is that this money comes back home through those trade routes and official currency repatriation mechanisms between central banks of countries in the Community.

He also said that the deadline will not be extended, arguing that an extension would create a loophole for those seeking to clean their dirty money to do so.

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Safaricom and Equity in Deal to Offer Loans to Contractors

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Safaricom contractors that may find themselves short on cash will now be able to access as much as Sh200 million in unsecured short-term loans following a deal between the telco and Equity Bank. This will help the contractors to maintain cash flow positions before receiving payment for their services.

The firm wrote a letter addressed to its business partners in which it said that the aim of the deal is the creation of a more procurement-ready business. The main beneficiaries will be Safaricom dealers, suppliers, and agents.

In the fiscal year ended March 2019, Safaricom had 440 dealers, 156,000 M-Pesa agents, and 1,164 suppliers.

“We are pleased to inform you of our partnership with Equity Bank which will offer our partners financing solutions linked to purchase orders and invoices,” said Francis Murabula, Safaricom’s head of supply chain management, in the letter.

He is asking the dealers, suppliers, and agents for consent to share their information including contact details, invoice and purchase order information to enable loan processing for potential firms.

Contractors will be able to borrow from Equity before or after they fulfill their contractual obligations with Safaricom.

The terms and amount of the loan applied for will depend on each company’s credit rating.

Therefore, for a contractor to qualify for an unsecured loan of up to Sh200 million, they have to be using unpaid accounts for goods and services that have already been provided to Safaricom as their collateral.

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Reuben Kimani Wins The Africa Business Personality Award 2019

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Reuben Kimani, Username Investment Limited CEO is set to be awarded the 2019 African Business Personality Award at the Voice Achievers Award.

Kimani will be awarded at an Award Gala slated on 16th August 2019 at Sarova Panafric Hotel in Nairobi.

The prestigious award is organised by the Netherlands based Dutch Magazine and is now celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Through the award, the magazine seeks to recognize outstanding men and women who have made substantial contributions towards the advancement of Africa and its people.

The award acknowledges Africans and friends of Africa, who in pursuit of their businesses and services to humanity have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavour across Africa.

Other renowned awardees for the award include; Her Excellency, Mrs. Isaura Nyusi, First Lady of the Republic of Mozambique, Dr. Kizza Besigye, Prof. PLO Lumumba, Hon Ababu-Terrah Namwamba, Hon Esther Passaris, Lady Justice Joyce Aluoch (rtd), Arch Bishop Arthur Kitonga, Dr. Kennedy Waningu, Hon. Patriciah Mutheu Musyimi, Raphael Obonyo among others. The names of the awardees have been published on the Magazine’s website.

While confirming Reuben’s nomination, the Voice African News Magazine noted that; “It was a unanimous choice because of Reuben’s un-paralleled contribution as a businessman of repute, manager of people and giver to worthy causes within Kenya where he has positively impacted the lives of citizenry through creating employment during this scare period of jobs in the country.”

“Your professionalism has rubbed off on your trainees and brought respect and dignity to your profession. Your hard work, integrity, focus and a desire to be the best are the values that drive you and what you do. No surprise your works are recognized within the shores of Kenya and beyond; as CEO, Username Investment Ltd., a leading real estate and investment company in Kenya with a mission of providing the current and upcoming generation with a place they can call home. It is a laudable accomplishment”, read a letter sent to the former.

As the co-founder and CEO of Username Investments, Reuben has led the Company to make a contribution in making properties deliberately affordable with prices ranging between Ksh 199,000 to Ksh 500,000. This has made great contribution in the Affordable Housing Agenda, one of the 4 key pillars of the government development agenda.

Through his leadership, the Company has accomplished over 36 projects, issued over 6,000 title deeds to clients living both in Kenya and the diaspora. Username Investments has also grown from 4 employees to over 50 directly employed and 500 indirectly employed in three offices. Reuben is also a thought leader in the real estate industry where he provides insights by being a panelist in various mainstream media channels and also through his YouTube; Real Estate in Kenya with Reuben Kimani.

His efforts have seen the Company bag accolades across the industry for outstanding performance, as an individual he has bagged 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Business Executive Champion Award, Entrepreneur of the Year by Kenya Professional Realtors Association (KPRA) and JKUAT Alumni Achievement Award for his achievements post-graduation.

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