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Exclusive interview: Dr. Moses Ikiara, PhD, MBS Managing Director KenInvest

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Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) promotes investments in Kenya. It is responsible for facilitating the implementation of new investment projects, providing After Care services for new and existing investments, as well as organizing investment promotion activities both locally and internationally. We speak to its Managing Director Dr. Moses Ikiara.

In 140 characters or less – what is KenInvest?

Kenya’s investment promotion agency – KenInvest – promotes and facilitates local and international investment into Kenya.

What was the driver for creating KenInvest – what gap did it fill?

KenInvest was created through an Act of Parliament (Investment Promotion Act No. 6 of 2004) with the main objective of promoting private investments in Kenya. Previously it had existed as Investment Promotion Centre since 1986.

KenInvest provides investors with pre-and-post investment information and services, assisting in areas such as licensing, tax incentives, advice on the business climate, operating rules, sources of capital, how to navigate government agencies and aftercare support. KenInvest’s primary goal is to act as a bridge between investors and the market, offering continuous liaison and interfacing with investors in their day-to-day operations; ultimately to make it easier to do business in Kenya.

As a result of KenInvest’s efforts and sustained momentum in promoting Kenya’s investment proposition led by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta, The Deputy President, The Cabinet and private sector agencies, FDI into Kenya has doubled year-on-year, rising by 98 percent in 2013 and 92.4 percent in 2014. With major investments being made by international companies in various sectors, including tech giant Google purchasing a stake in Africa’s largest wind project, we are confident this momentum will continue.

Who is it primarily for?

KenInvest is coordinating local and international players engaging in private investment and continues to build a comprehensive and up to date database of investment opportunities in Kenya touching all sectors and counties across the country. Moreover, KenInvest, in conjunction with investment project promoters in the public and private sectors, is profiling investment projects to ease investor decision-making.

What difference does KenInvest want to make?

KenInvest is integral to the country’s development blueprint – Vision 2030, which aims to transform Kenya into a ‘newly industrializing, middle-income country providing a high quality of life to all its citizens by the year 2030.’ Private investment plays a big role in this. KenInvest is therefore promoting and marketing the country as the preferred investment destination in order to attain investment to GDP ratio of at least 32 percent.

KenInvest’s vision is to be a global leader in investment attraction and to position Kenya as a leading FDI destination.

What are the barriers to making that difference? Who’s helping you overcome those barriers?

As part of our remit, we are firmly focused on enhancing ease and cost of doing business in Kenya by urging the relevant institutions to implement reforms required to overcome barriers.

Kenya has made significant strides in improving its regulatory framework; recently enacting a New Companies Act, Insolvency Act and Business Regulation Act; in addition to the PPP Act of 2013 and on-going reforms to its Public Procurement Act.

We are also due to open a one-stop investor shop in Nairobi to provide investors with end-to-end guidance on establishing and growing businesses in Kenya. Investors will be able to visit KenInvest to seek guidance from our experienced consultants on navigating the business landscape in Kenya.

Following on from these reforms, Kenya has been ranked as the third most reformed country in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business 2016 report – an indication of the positive progress made by the country in overcoming barriers to doing business.

Beyond the regulatory sphere, the Government of Kenya has made unprecedented public investments in security, infrastructure, public infrastructure and economic and political governance structures, and continues to invest heavily in human resource development.

Is global action today commensurate with the energy challenges we face?

The Government of Kenya has identified energy as one of the infrastructural enablers of the three pillars of Vision 2030 – Kenya’s development blue print. The country has recognized and planned for an expected surge in energy use within the commercial sector in the coming years.

Kenya’s energy plans encompass renewable energy projects including wind, geothermal and solar energy development programmes on a commercial scale, with the Government of Kenya introducing an attractive feed-in tariff policy to attract private investments.

The country is targeting to generate an additional 5000MW of power in less than three years, and as a result opportunities within the sector are abound for global investors.

How can people – individuals and organizations – find out more about KenInvest?

Local or international investors eager to learn more about doing business in Kenya can visit www.investmentkenya.com or contact us via info@investmentkenya.com with information on their sector focus. A member of our team will then be in touch. We also encourage investors to visit makeitkenya.com for an overview of Kenya’s investment landscape and latest news.

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What Kitchen Suits Your Style? Modern, Classic or Shaker?

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shaker kitchen designs

A kitchen is the centre of the home. Your kitchen ranges between where friends and family gather, talk about their day, cook meals, have drinks, to somewhere you can just enjoy each other’s company. The kitchen is the heart of the home. But, everyone’s lifestyle is different. Everyone’s taste is different. So, you need a kitchen that not only mirrors your lifestyle but matches your taste too. Whilst some prefer a more traditional design, others want a modern feel or flair – and it’s all down to personal taste.

When it comes to redesigning your kitchen, what style would you go for? It’s a difficult one isn’t it. With so many different styles to go for, how can you know exactly what you want until you’ve seen it in action? Leading kitchen designer, Roman Kitchens, based in Essex, have provided three examples of bespoke kitchens and styles they specialise in, accompanied with beautiful images. This design guide will get you one step closer to picking your dream kitchen for your home.

1. Modern

New home in the city centre? Or even a sleek new modern build? You want a trendy and modern kitchen to reflect your city lifestyle. In modern kitchen design, colours are bolder and fresher, with sleek design and utilities that are distinctive and vibrant.

modern kitchen designs

This modern kitchen is sleek and smooth with flawless design and beauty. Minimalism doesn’t stop this kitchen standing out. Featured walls of wood and vibrant mint green draw the eye, whilst the white surfaces reflect the light, illuminating every nook and cranny of this kitchen. This kitchen features products from Rotpunkt, innovators of modern kitchen design. Made with German engineering, a Rotpunkt Kitchen is the ultimate modern addition to your home. Rotpunkt Kitchens have timeless design and amazing functionality, they work for every purpose and are eco-friendly. Sourced from natural materials, a Rotpunkt kitchen uses 37% less timber, conserving natural forests and being more environmentally conscious.

2. Classic

Prefer a homely and traditional feel? Classic kitchens are warm, welcoming and filled with wood. Wood flooring, wood fixtures, wood furniture – you name it! You can bring a rustic feel to your urban home with a classic kitchen. Subtle colours and beautiful finishes, Classic kitchens are for taking it back to the basics with a definitive look and feel.

classic kitchen designs

With stated handles for cupboards, Classic kitchens are effortlessly timeless. They convey an elegant but relaxing nature. Giving off countryside vibes, natural elements convey a British countryside feel. The wood featured in a classic kitchen can range between oaks and walnut, creating a warmth and original feel to your home. Soft English heritage colours add a certain mood to your home, softening the light making it cosier.

3. Shaker

Any kitchen planner will tell you that the meeting point between traditional and modern design, is a Shaker kitchen. They have a distinctive style and innovative feel. Shakers are fresh, mixing different colour tones with stylish wood and vinyl. The most important feature of a Shaker kitchen is functionality – every feature needs to serve a purpose in the kitchen. Paired with stylish and unique furniture, a Shaker kitchen is an ideal addition to any home.

shaker kitchen designs

The ultimate marriage between Classic and Modern kitchens, this Shaker kitchen has deep colour tones with copper emphasis features. All the fittings and fixtures blur the line of modern and tradition, with a Classic look but modern colour vibe. Unique furniture and design make Shaker Kitchens perfect for the middle ground in kitchen design. Minimal but beautifully dressed. Traditional but bold and modern at the same time. Storage solutions are part of the functionality of Shaker kitchens, but don’t detour from conveying yours as a luxury kitchen.

Whatever you choose for your new kitchen, be it Modern, Classic or Shaker – pick whatever suits you. Taste is, and always will be, subjective – it’s down to you.

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Ways Green Preppers Are Trying to Protect their Privacy

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Environmental activists are not given the admiration that they deserve. A recent poll by Gallup found that a whopping 32% of Americans still doubt the existence of global warming. The government’s attitude is even worse.

Many global warming activists and green preppers have raised the alarm bell on climate change over the past few years. Government officials have taken notice and begun tracking their activity online. Even former National Guard officers have admitted that green preppers and climate activists are being targeted for terrorist watchlists.

Of course, the extent of their surveillance depends on the context of activism. People that make benign claims about climate change are unlikely to end up on a watchlist, although it is possible if they make allusions to their disdain of the government. However, even the most pacifistic and well intentioned environmental activists may unwittingly trigger some algorithm and be on the wrong side of a criminal investigation.

How could something like this happen? Here are some possibilities:

  • They could share a post on social media from a climate extremist group or another individual on the climate watchlist.
  • They could overly politicize their social media content, such as being highly critical of the president.
  • They could use figures of speech that may be misinterpreted as threats.
  • They might praise the goals of a climate change extremist organization that as previously resorted to violence, even if they don’t condone the actual means.

Preppers and environmental activists must do everything in their power to protect their privacy. Failing to do so could cost them their reputation, future career opportunities or even their freedom. Here are some ways that they are contacting themselves.

Living Off the Grid and Only Venturing to Civilization for Online Use

The more digital footprints you leave behind, the greater attention you draw. People that hold controversial views on environmentalism or doomsday prepping must minimize their digital paper trail.

Living off the grid is probably the best way to protect your privacy. You can make occasional trips to town to use the Wi-Fi and stock up on supplies.

Know the Surveillance Policies of Public Wi-Fi Providers

Using Wi-Fi away from your home can be a good way to protect your privacy.However, choosing the right public Wi-Fi providers is going to be very important.

Keep in mind that some corporate coffee shops such a Starbucks can store tapes for up to 60 days. Mom and pop businesses don’t have the technology nor the interest to store them that long. They generally store tips for only 24 hours and delete them afterwards. This gives you a good window of opportunity to post your thoughts on climate change without being detected.

Always use a VPN with a No Logging Policy

Using a VPN is one of the best ways to protect your online privacy. However, some of these providers do a much better job than others. What is a VPN and what should you look for when choosing one? Here are some things to look for when making a selection:

  • Make sure they are based in a country that has strict laws on protecting user privacy. VPNs that are based out of Switzerland, Panama for the British Virgin Islands are always good bets.
  • Look for VPN that has a strict no logging policy. Some VPNs will actually track the websites that you visit, which almost entirely defeats the purpose. Most obviously much better than this, but many also track Your connections and logging data. You want to use a VPN that doesn’t keep any logs at all.
  • Try to choose a VPN that has an Internet kill switch. This means that all content will stop serving if your VPN connection drops, which prevents your personal data from leaking out of the VPN tunnel.

You will be much safer if you use a high-quality VPN consistently, especially if you have controversial views on climate related issues or doomsday prepping.

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