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Kenya’s Export Promotion and Branding Agency Flags Off Goods to Dubai EXPO

United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the main market for Kenya in the greater Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) market that is comprised of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

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By KURIAN MUSA

Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency(KEPROBA) yesterday flagged off goods worth Kenya shillings 63 Million to Dubai in readiness for the upcoming World Expo that kicks off in October.

It is a journey that began in October 2019, when the Agency invited SMEs to express interest to participate in the Expo 2020 Dubai under a Programme called “The World Market Initiative Programme”.

Speaking during the flagging off, KEPROBA Chief Executive Officer Dr Wifred Marube said: “This is simply a Retail Commercial Kiosk at the Expo focused on Promoting Ethical Consumerism for the Expo Visitors to Purchase Unique Products, that are Cultural, High Quality and Ethically Produced.”

He noted the expo aims to promote products that are produced in ways that are not harmful to the environment or society, so at to ensure that producers are paid fairly and provided with suitable and safe working conditions.

“The Exhibits we are flagging off today for showcasing at the Expo 2020 Dubai have gone through a very rigorous vetting exercise to ensure they conform to the requirements and guidelines set by the Expo Organizers,” Dr Marube opined during the flag off ceremony held at the Agency offices.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the main market for Kenya in the greater Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) market that is comprised of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. Also worth noting is the fact that Kenya and United Arab Emirates have a signed a double-taxation avoidance agreement that exempts taxation for national carriers from UAE.

With the proximity to United Arab Emirates and a travel time of approximately 5 hours, Kenyan and UAE business people can use carriers such as Kenya Airways, Emirate Airlines and Etihad Airways all which operate between both countries hence creating a conducive environment for business, technological development and innovation, cultural exchange, tourism and trade, while also acting as a gateway to Kenyan products to the larger Middle East and Asian Market.

Kenyan Exhibitors still have a chance to showcase their products in the additional spaces secured for them and are encouraged to log-on to. https://kenyaexpo2020.co.ke to register to participate.

The Agency will also maximize on the Expo 2020 to link Kenyan exporters to other market regions such as the European Market, American and South American Markets.

Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency flagged off goods worth Kshs. 62,891,433.00 to Dubai as part of preparations for World Expo Dubai 2020 which kicks off in less than 100 days.

This is through the World Market Initiative (WMI), a retail opportunity provided by Expo organizers to participating countries that will enable exhibitors sell their unique and authentic products to Expo visitors during the 6-months period of the Expo.

“It is an initiative giving our visitors an opportunity to experience and purchase the best of Kenya from our Kenya country kiosk during the Expo. It is an opportunity to literally share the warmth of Kenya with the world,” said the Agency’s CEO Dr. Wilfred Marube.

The categories of goods being flagged off include coffee, tea, textiles, furniture, leather footballs, beauty products, coconut products, soap, sanitizers and assorted handicrafts. This exercise is being conducted by the Agency through a logistics firm named Africa Freight Systems Limited that will ensure the country kiosk is well stocked way before kickoff of the Expo that will run from 1st October 2021 to 31st March 2022.

 

Is Kenya Ready?

The export promotion and branding agency have already booked exhibition spaces, presented the overall program to Expo organizers, held various exhibitor briefings all in readiness for the Expo.

“The Road to Dubai is already on,” Dr. Marube added.

Also in place is a multi-Agency Committee in preparation for the Expo. The Committee has membership drawn from both public and private institutions including State Department for Trade, KEPROBA, representatives from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kenya Investment Authority, Kenya Tourism Board, Kenya Private Sector Alliance, Kenya Association of Manufacturers, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, FPEAK, Fresh Produce Consortium, Kenya Flower Council, as well as Tea Board of Kenya.

Recently, Kenya shared a line-up of activities during the International Participants Meeting (IPM) that took place at Dubai Trade Centre from 4th to 6th May 2021 where over 370 delegates representing 173 countries attended.

The presentation which was made by Dr. Marube, who is also the country’s Commissioner General at the Expo highlighted Kenya’s planned activities for the entire 6 months and also dwelled on the planned activities during the KENYA WEEK Activities at the Expo which will run from 14th February 2022 to 18th February 2022.

Kenya Week activities which will be the climax of Kenya’s participation at the Expo include Valentines Day on ground activations with the theme “ From Kenya with Love” where Kenya plans to distribute 1 Million stems of roses and summer flowers to Expo participants; Kenya’s Counties and Economic Regional Blocs Day that will focus on investment opportunities available; Kenya National Day of Honour that will focus on cultural aspects as well as a business forum; Kenya GCC High-Level Trade, Investment and Tourism Forum; Kenya Cultural Day that will showcase Kenya’s cultural aspects.

Additionally, 18 Kenyan startups companies have signed up for the ‘Scale to Dubai’ Initiative, a global entrepreneurship programme which offers start-ups and small businesses, with a proven track record in their countries, an opportunity to scale to Dubai. Kenya’s participation was confirmed in May 2018and the Country’s theme is Feel the Energy. The World Expo Dubai 2020 theme is Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.

Participants will have an opportunity of having 2 years’ free works space, 2 years’ free visa and Business set up.

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Please pay your pending bills, KEMSA Board appeals to County Governments

The KEMSA Board also held a roundtable meeting with officials of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU), Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya, Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (KAPI) Kenya Dental Association and the Kenya Health Care Federation (KHF).

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Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) board has issued a passionate appeal asking several county governments to prioritise settlement of more than Kshs 3.9 Billion pending bills to the Authority.

Speaking when she addressed stakeholders in the Pharmaceutical sector and Medical Associations, KEMSA Chairperson Mary Mwadime said the settlement of the bills would help accelerate reforms at the Authority.

She said some county governments had extended much-needed support to KEMSA by prioritising the settlement of bills to keep the Authority’s cogwheels running as the organisational reforms to address systemic challenges progress.

She said the Board would undertake the reforms in strict compliance to due process and labour laws as the Board is committed to remedying challenges’ currently bedevilling the Authority.

During the latest round of engagements on Monday, the KEMSA Board and the Authority’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Edward Njoroge updated the Senate Committee on Health members led by Senator Michael Mbito. The KEMSA Board also held a roundtable meeting with officials of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU), Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya, Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (KAPI) Kenya Dental Association and the Kenya Health Care Federation (KHF).

Last week, the KEMSA Board paid courtesy calls to the Kisumu, Kisii, Nyamira and Uasin Gishu County Governments. The Board also engaged the National Assembly Committee on Health and the Development Partners for Health in Kenya (DPH-K). The DPH-K comprises stakeholders and representatives from the World Health Organisation, Global Fund, USAID, CDC, UNAIDS, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and World Bank.

At the meetings, Ms Mwadime reiterated that the Authority was complying with a court order and had not declared any roles redundant nor handed over KEMSA’s leadership to external agencies. She added that operations at the Authority are proceeding under a business-as-usual model with a business continuity plan to avoid any disruptions.

“We have assured our stakeholders that our operations are proceeding on as usual and the Board and Core Management remain firmly in place,” She said, adding that, “A dysfunctional KEMSA slows down healthcare delivery goals and is a liability to the envisaged positive national healthcare outcomes and the Board is committed to facilitating reforms to set the Authority on a recovery path. This will include structured engagements with several county governments to settle their outstanding bills amounting to more than Kshs 6 Billion,” she said.

KMPDU Secretary-General Dr Davji Bhimji speaking after the KEMSA engagement, expressed optimism that the Authority will undertake the envisaged reforms lawfully.

He said the Board had assured stakeholders and KPMDU members that due process would be followed and staff members will not be victimised.

“We have been given detailed information on the reforms and have been assured that the role of professional stakeholders in the healthcare value chain will be mainstreamed in the reform agenda. We are ready to engage with KEMSA to ensure efficient supply of drugs and other items from KEMSA stores to health facilities,” Dr Bhimji said.

Last week, KEMSA Board confirmed that operations had been sustained through the core management and staffing team. If necessary, the core KEMSA Management Team will be assisted by a multi-agency team drawn from public sector experts.

The multi-agency officers will be drawn from the Public Service Commission, State Corporations Advisory Committee (SCAC), Ministry of Health, Ministry of Public Service and Gender Affairs, Ministry of Information, Communication, Technology and Youth Affairs, Ministry of Defence, The National Treasury and the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government among others.

The reforms at the Authority are part of the far-reaching recommendations outlined in several KEMSA restructuring reports, including the latest KEMSA Immediate Action Plan and Medium Term Reforms Working Committee (KIAPRWC) report. Commissioned by the Board, the KIAPRWC report revealed challenges in critical functions.

The report confirms that KEMSA is grossly underperforming and largely unable to meet clients’ urgent needs, particularly the delivery of essential Medicines and Products to the Counties, Referral Hospitals and Programs.

The Authority is suffering from below-par productivity, with the order fill rate standing at 18% against a target performance of over 90%. KEMSA’s order turn-around time is an average of 46 days.

KEMSA is also suffering from a developing debtor and creditor crisis and is currently owed Ksh. 6.4 Billion by its clients, who are primarily county governments. The Authority owes its creditors Ksh. 4.5 Billion and is operating at 170% above its approved staff establishment of three hundred and forty-one (341) with an estimated staff complement of 922. Pool

The Board, Ms Mwadime said, is committed to facilitating the necessary reforms to ensure that KEMSA challenges are sufficiently addressed. This commitment includes aligning the organisational structure to industry-accepted standards for a health commodities and technologies procurement organisation. It also calls for the introduction of global best practices, including transparent reporting relationships, an acceptable span of control, and command structures, compounding related functions for strengthened accountability and a re-determination of optimal staffing levels and norms.

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Mwananchi Credit Feted as a TopScore brand

The company was voted as the Most Timely Logbook Loan Provider in Kenya as well as recognized as a TopScore Brand in recognition of the financier’s increasing penetration in the country.

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TopScore Brands awards the certificate Mwananchi’s Head of Customer Service , Ruth Moraa and trophy to HR Manager Collins Okello (Photo: Courtesy)

Mwananchi Credit has been recognized as a TopScore brand during the inaugural gala dinner held at the Hilton Hotel last Friday.

The company was voted as the Most Timely Logbook Loan Provider in Kenya as well as recognized as a TopScore Brand in recognition of the financier’s increasing penetration in the country.

 

The company has had an impressive winning streak this year, landing the Best Land Title based Financier at the 4th Annual Real Estate Excellence Awards as well as the Best Logbook Loan Financer during the Annual Automotive Industry Awards, both held recently.

Commenting after the win, Mwananchi Credit CEO Dennis Mombo was philosophical about it “It is not until you are on top of your game that you begin being recognized. However, as I remind my team every day, getting to the top is the easy part. It is staying on there, that calls for a big challenge. The biggest show of a winning spirit is to fight complacency so that you keep emerging the best in subsequent years. We are excited about being recognized as a Topscore Brand alongside Kenya’s other leading brands. But we are more excited about giving the best service to our clients, who are the reason we are on top!”

Mwananchi Credit is one of the most innovative lenders in the market. They have ensured that they are able to meet borrowers’ needs at various collateral levels while easing the process of access to credit.

By providing Emergency Loans, the company has put in place aggressive customer-centric processes to ensure that the timelines between application and disbursement are narrowed to an absolute minimum. This has been enabled by embracing technology such that the KYC process starts immediately upon online application and the subsequent steps are also automated whenever possible. Logbook Loans are provided within less than six hours of application with a disbursement within this Turn Around Time clocking over 98% of the instances.

Mwananchi Credit is one of the leading logbook loan providers in the country. Its diversified product portfolio includes title deed loans, civil servant salary check-off loans, import financing, and asset financing among others.

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Mwananchi ‘s interest holiday for new applicants to mark Customer Service week

Mwananchi Credit is one of the few Micro Finance companies that has managed to grow tremendously during the last year despite the Covid-19 pandemic and this has been strongly linked to improvement of their customer service desk.

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Clients at Mwananchi Credit tent in a past reach out exercise.

Mwananchi Credit will this year mark the Customer Service Week due on Monday 4th till Friday 8th October, in style.

The firm has announced a gracious interest holiday to all lucky clients who make loan applications in specific class categories for the first 3 months of repayment.

This means if you make your loan application during the Customer Service week, and you are among the lucky chosen clients, your interest repayments shall click in January 2022 with only the principal reflecting in the intervening period.

Further, Mwananchi Credit has also announced a penalty waiver for all customers who come to regularize their loan accounts ( that may have fallen behind) during this week.

Announcing the goodies, Mwananchi Credit’s Marketing Manager Boniface Ndonji added,
“ Our growth over the last couple of years has been phenomenal and in big part, this has been simply due to our loyal clients.”

He noted, “As we seek to grow our Mwananchi client family, we also seek to give them have a soft landing, hence our reason to give incentives of our interest holiday.”

Further, Mr Boniface Ndonji said for their current clients who may be facing repayment difficulties, the penalty waivers will hopefully help them to get up to speed.

Mwananchi Credit is one of the few Micro Finance companies that has managed to grow tremendously during the last year despite the Covid-19 pandemic and this has been strongly linked to improvement of their customer service desk.

As they mark this year’s occasion, the company shall have a lot of other exciting range of activities to celebrate their growth with their customers.

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