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Economy

Kenya: East Africa’s “Rising Star” And Largest Economy

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The Report: Kenya 2016, produced by the Oxford Business Group (OBG), revealed that Kenya’s economic outlook for the years ahead looks robust, despite recent challenges such as a trade deficit and rising debt.

Following 2014’s GDP rebasing, Kenya is now East Africa’s largest economy and boasts a prominent profile in the East African Community (EAC). According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kenya is set to outperform key economic indicators, with GDP growth expected to be around 6.5 to 7 percent in 2015, and continuing at similar levels the coming years. This follows growth of 5.3 percent in 2014 and 5.7 percent in 2013.

Kenya’s growth momentum is a result of reforms to the country’s business environment, recent resource finds, greater regional integration, devolution and the impact of the 2014 rebasing exercise. These developments have also gained recognition by the World Bank, which ranked Kenya as the third most reformed country in its global Ease of Doing Business 2015 report.

Dr. Moses Ikiara, Managing Director of KenInvest, the Kenyan Investment Authority, said: “As a nation, we are focused on evolving our business environment to match the speed and scale of global investor interest, as more firms cast their gaze to Kenya for growth. Kenya’s robust economic fundamentals and the enactment of strategic reforms to facilitate global investment have positioned Kenya on a path to maintaining its lead as a model investment destination, and now, East Africa’s largest economy.”

OBG’s CEO and Editor-in-Chief, Andrew Jeffreys, said that while China’s slowdown, the strengthening of the US economy and low oil prices had combined to make 2015 a difficult year for African markets, Kenya had fared better in a comparative sense than many of its continental counterparts.

“Kenya has certainly not been immune to these troubles. However, investors will note that even allowing for downward revisions of growth to between 5.5 percent and 6 percent in 2015, the country has maintained stable economic expansion since 2011,” Andrew Jeffreys said. “This significant achievement, which has been supported by Kenya’s devolution efforts, improved business climate and its status as an established trade hub, is perhaps one of the strongest arguments in Kenya’s favour.”

Robert Tashima, OBG’s Managing Editor for Africa, added that while the Group’s 2016 report had highlighted across-the-board opportunities for investors, key sectors, such as by financial services, power and agriculture, stood out as ripe for growth on the back of planned projects requiring private sector input.

“It goes without saying that realising the investment opportunities in these fields – and in other promising sectors, like real estate and transport – means grappling with broader structural challenges,” he said. “But Kenya is making a very clear, concerted effort to create a more business-friendly environment and to listen to the needs of the private sector.

In The Report: Kenya 2016, Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta discussed the country’s plans to address infrastructure expansion across the country, especially outside towns and cities. The infrastructure projects are aimed to lower the cost of doing business, and increase economic activity widely across Kenya.

The Report: Kenya 2016 was launched at the Global African Investment Summit, held on 1-2 December 2015 in London – which will attract over 1,000 qualified global investors, including family offices, sovereign wealth funds, international DFIs, ultra high net worth individuals and pension funds. Hon. Lord Maude, Minister of State for Trade and Investment and James Duddridge MP, Minister for Africa at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, also participated in the summit.

 

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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