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UN Appoints Uganda’s Winnie Byanyima as UNAids Executive Director

News Team

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The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, has appointed Oxfam International executive director Winnie Byanyima as the UNAIDS Executive Director and United Nations Under-Secretary-General. Her appoinmtment follows a comprehensive selection process that involved a search committee constituted by members of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board. The UNAIDS Committee of Cosponsoring Organizations made the final recommendation on the appointment to the Secretary-General.

Ms Byanyima has been the Oxfam executive director for six years since her appointment in January 2013. She takes over the UNAids roles from Malian Michel Sidibé who stepped down in May, following accusations of serious mismanagement. Mr Sidibé was also accused of creating “a patriarchal culture tolerating harassment and abuse of authority.”

In her acceptance, Ms Byanyima, 60, said she was “honoured” to be joining UNAids “at such a critical time in the response to HIV.”

“I am honoured to be joining UNAIDS as the Executive Director at such a critical time in the response to HIV,” said Ms Byanyima. “The end of AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 is a goal that is within the world’s reach, but I do not underestimate the scale of the challenge ahead. Working with all its partners, UNAIDS must continue to speak up for the people left behind and champion human rights as the only way to end the epidemic.”

Ms Byanyima began her career as a champion of marginalized communities and women 30 years ago as a member of parliament in the National Assembly of Uganda. In 2004, she became the Director of Women and Development at the African Union Commission, working on the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, an international human rights instrument that became an important tool for reducing the disproportionate effect of HIV on the lives of women in Africa.

She holds an advanced degree in mechanical engineering (in energy conservation and the environment) from the Cranfield Institute of Technology and an undergraduate degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Manchester.

Source: UNAIDS

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Kenya Today

Fuel Price Soar in the Latest EPRA Review

Kevins Jerameel

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Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) has hiked the fuel prices for one month of November through December. In a statement signed by EPRA Director General Pavel Oimoke on Thursday, a litre of petrol in Nairobi will now cost Sh 110.59 an increase if SG 2.54 while a litre of diesel has risen by Sh 2.65 to retail at Sh 104.61.

Households using kerosene are the hardest hit, in the latest review, kerosene consumers part with Sh 2.98 more for a liter that will cost Sh 104.06.

Kenya’s inflation increased to 5.7% in the month of September from 4.04% the previous month due to increased taxes on petroleum products.

The rate is the highest in 12 months, an indication that the impact of VAT on fuel is sieving into the economy. The price increase which took effect from Thursday night will remain in force till the midnight of December 14.

The rise in fuel proves is attributed to an increase in the landing cost for super petrol by 0.86% from Sh 4,593 per cubic meter last September to Sh 4632 per cubic meter last month while that of diesel increased by 2.08% from Sh 4919 per cubic meter to Sh 4999 cubic meter.

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Markets

Auctions Jump as Mortgage Defaults Hits sh38 Billion

Georgina Korir

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Default on mortgages jumped 41 percent to Sh38 billion, pointing to widespread distress in the real estate as it is experiencing a slump growth and property auctions pick up.

Latest real estate data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows that mortgages shows the industry experienced the biggest hike in non-performing loans (NPLs). Unpaid mortgages increased by Ksh11.2 billion or 41.1 percent, manufacturing by 19 percent, traders by four per cent and personal loans by six percent.

According to the report, 16.9 percent of the Ksh224.8 billion gross loans extended as mortgages were not being serviced at the end of December 2018, up from 12.2 percent in 2017.

“The ratios were above the industry gross NPLs to gross loans ratio of 12.7 percent in December 2018. Deterioration in asset quality was mainly attributed to among other factors; subdued business activities, delayed payments from public and private entities and low uptake of housing and commercial units,” CBK noted.

The real estate industry was dotted with auctions, as the most people who had taken loans on the strength of their pay slips to buy property failed to service them in 2018 and 2019, following the NPLs.

Attributing to a dying economy, which has seen several companies shut, there have been a lot of job cuts in Kenya.

At least 78,400 new formal jobs were created in the economy in 2018 compared to 114,400 in 2017 this, According to the Economic Survey 2019.

Following the interest rate cap which was repealed last week, the banks have also been reluctant to offer loans to individuals and SMEs who are first time borrowers.

As a result, compared with a growth of 23.9 percent in 2015, there was minimal growth in mortgage growth of 0.7 percent last year.

CBK said, “This could be attributed to banks’ review of mortgage terms to offer mortgage loans on increasing credit risk in the real estate sector,”

It is reported that more auctions linked to mortgage defaults were conducted in 2018 compared to 2017.

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Features

Understanding Art Piece Collection Value In The Market

Dennis Kamau

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You probably have had a trigger of suspense when art is mentioned either in the movies and you wonder how to value them? Well there are a number of factors to consider when valuing an art piece.

Unknown to individuals when it comes to art, is the value that art piece carries on matters concerning the monetary value. The most important factor when valuing an art piece is the artist of the work.

A piece of work that has been produced frequently by an artist will have a high monetary value than an art piece done by a new artist. Also, works that was produced as old art collections have a quite good impression as they tell a story of occurrence of that season and whether it represents their work.

Subject of work may narrow or broaden the market of buyers as more private buyers are purchasing art directly from the artist (primary market). Certain subjects always attract more clientele than others. Like an art piece of a beautiful lady will sell better or the big five animals than a portrait of an old man.

Subjectivity of work is not a factor that is independent but depends on the drive of demand of buyers. If the demand is high the prices increases. The commercial value of art piece depends on collective intentionality similar to currency.

On a different scale, sizes matter where even though the artist may feel that a small size is efficient the buyer perception is different.  Art piece with big size are expensive in the market like a wonderful sculpt that can sit at the backyard of an individual or next to the welcoming door of the house.

The type of materials used in an art piece can greatly increase the price, Leonard Davinci Mona Lisa painting holds the highest value insurance for a paint, its custodian is the museum. Art is being redefined from the beginnings of illusionist painting to complex photography with binary digits and also, sculpture designs. We humans tend to try and tell a story of what the impression an artist had when coming up with an art design.

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