TradeMark East Africa and Mombasa County Ink $2.7 Million Financing Deal for Critical Kenyan Road

TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) and the Mombasa County Government have inked a $2.7 million financing deal towards construction of the Mbaraki-Nyerere Road.

The amount will cover design, building and supervision consultancy for the project. TMEA will provide US$2.3 million for the project.

The funding is provided through TMEA donors, with the UK Department for International Development (DFID) contributing US$ 1.7 million while Denmark’s development co-operation agency (DANIDA) contributing US$ 0.5 million. The Mombasa County Government will fund the balance amounting to US$ 0.4 million.

The project is expected to unclog the Mbaraki Wharf region and the adjacent Likoni Ferry area, which suffer frequent traffic snarl ups as a result of cargo trucks offloading cargo from oil tankers and clinker ships.

The project scope will entail tarmacking the 1.2 kilometer road, constructing a parking bay for trucks waiting to collect cargo at the oil terminal, paths for non-motorized transport, proper road drainage systems and a road solar lighting component.

The Mbaraki-Nyerere Road Project has been hailed as a ‘Green-Road Project’ by transport experts, due to the significant reduction of the carbon footprint anticipated. Speaking during the deal signing ceremony Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho noted that the project would greatly improve traffic flow in the region.

‘As a government we are committed to improving both the lives and business competitiveness of Mombasa. This project is going to tackle congestion in a short yet extremely critical and busy section of Mombasa. We are grateful for the strong support by TradeMark East Africa and its partners in this project and look forward to the project’s ground-breaking’ said Joho.

On his part, TMEA Country Director Ahmed Farah explained that the project is expected to enhance service delivery to the residents of Mombasa, tourists and most importantly the business community especially while evacuating cargo from the port of Mombasa.

‘By modernizing this road, cargo will leave the port faster, translating into reduced transport costs and ultimately reduced cost of business in one of the leading ports in the region. Further, by providing a safe and adequate parking bay for trucks in the area, we will eliminate roadside parking, which itself contributes to traffic congestion’ noted TMEA Country Director Ahmed Farah.

Head of UKs Department for International Development in Kenya, Julius Court said: “The UK Government is committed to supporting Kenya’s economic growth and this includes good infrastructure which not only provides access to basic services but also creates jobs and boosts business. Our support to this road will complement existing projects that the UK Government is funding through UK Aid and benefiting the population of Mombasa.”

Mette Knudsen, Ambassador of Denmark to Kenya said: “By combining trade facilitation with a reduction of the carbon footprint this ´Green-Road Project’ is both innovative and very important for DANIDA as well as an inspiration for the continued collaboration between Kenya and Denmark.”

Following the financing agreement signing ceremony today, design works are expected to be completed by early 2020, paving way for ground-breaking in March 2020. A construction period of 10 months is envisioned.

Over the next few days there will conclusion of the formation of KPA and Mombasa County joint technical committee to spearhead partnership and collaboration that will pave way for the two entities move this port City to new heights of global competitiveness and make Mombasa a World class Port City it ought to be.


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Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Today Marks The 30 Year Anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s Release

February 11 marks the 30th anniversary of the release of former president Nelson Mandela who was jailed for 27 years following his arrest in 1962. South Africa will mark the anniversary with a string of events commemorating the historic moment when Mandela walked out of Victor Verster prison in the Western Cape.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation will host three events in the province that will highlight the “new prisons of Africa”. On its website, the foundation said the “prisons” ranged from physical prisons that were the site of high levels of incarceration and the failures of restorative justice to the effective prisons that defined people’s lives.

From 08:00 to 10:00, the foundation is expected to host a reunion of the original members who were in the reception committee that facilitated Madiba’s homecoming from Victor Verster, now called Drakenstein Correctional Services. President Cyril Ramaphosa is also expected give an address from Cape Town City Hall’s balcony, where Mandela gave his first speech after his release from prison, between 14:30 and 16:30.

In his Monday morning newsletter, Ramaphosa commemorated the release of the former president and ANC leader. He said while the country’s democracy was “well-entrenched” with robust and durable institutions and the lives of people had improved over the past 25 years since the first democratic elections, more needed to be done.

“Yet, there is so much further we need to travel. Inequality, especially as defined by race and gender, remains among the highest in the world. “Unemployment is deepening and poverty is widespread. Violence, including the violence that men perpetrate against women, continues to ravage our communities. In confronting these challenges, it is vital that we remain united,” Ramaphosa said.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and his wife Leah, who will be commemorating the anniversary on Tuesday, also paid tribute to Madiba, saying while circumstances and priorities changed over time, good values were timeless. “Thirty years ago, Nelson Mandela emerged from prison to dazzle South Africa and the world with his warmth and human values… We miss him,” the Tutus said.

Also commemorating the historic release will be the head of the Mvezo Traditional Council and Mandela’s grandson, Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela, who called on South Africans to remember the leader as well as the vision his grandfather had had for the nation.

“We can make South Africa great again. We can fight the scourge of poverty and corruption. We can overcome all obstacles and achieve the vision of a united, free, non-racial, non-sexist and just South Africa in which all can enjoy prosperity and a better life for all,” he said.

Road Closures

Darling Street and surrounds will have traffic restrictions in place until 10pm on Tuesday, February 11 2020. Darling Street will be closed to traffic between Lower Plein and Buitenkant streets until the conclusion of Tuesday’s events. No parking will be permitted in Corporation and Parade streets. “The city appeals to motorists to seek alternative routes where possible as the restrictions/closures will likely result in some traffic congestion. Staff will be on duty in the area to redirect traffic,” Cape Town traffic service spokesperson Maxine Bezuidenhout said.


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Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

JUA Technologies and BrazAgro to Distribute Solar-drying Tray in East Africa

JUA Technologies International, a Purdue University-affiliated startup developing solar-powered crop-drying devices, is partnering with BrazAgro Ltd., a supplier of Brazilian farm machinery, to distribute its solar-drying tray.

Dehytray is a solar-drying solution for small and mid-size growers and food processors and home gardeners. Its convenient size and ease of use are backed by years of research into drying technology. It is durable, approved for food use, and designed for optimum drying of foods using natural solar energy. It is designed for drying grains, fruit, vegetables, fish, meat and more.

The company was co-founded by the husband-wife team of Klein Ileleji, a professor in agricultural and biological engineering at Purdue, and Reiko Habuto Ileleji, a Purdue alumna who earned her PhD from Purdue’s College of Education.

When they visited Nairobi during the summer to demonstrate the Dehytray at the 6th Agritec Exhibition and Congress, they received immense interest in the product from local farmers and processors, who quickly realized its benefits to the profitability of their operations.

Securing distributors across wide-ranging regions, four continents and counting, is a challenging endeavor. The company implemented this partnership with BrazAgro, which will distribute the trays in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

Throughout East Africa, the Dehytray will be used to dry specialty crops like leafy green vegetables, okra, mango, bananas, guava, tubers such as cassava and sweet potato, coffee, and grains, among other food products. The Dehytray meets a high hygienic standard for sun drying of crops, is quite portable, and can be adapted into a wide range of processing operations for the farm or small to mid-size processor.

The Dehytray was developed at Purdue’s agricultural and biological engineering program. The research was funded partly by USAID and USDA. Field tests on drying specialty (horticultural) crops and grains using the Dehytray have been carried out in the U.S., Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Kenya, South Africa and Peru. The Dehytray has been shipped to customers on four continents since it became available on the market in December 2018.

Some of the technology used by JUA Technologies International is licensed through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. JUA Technologies also received entrepreneurial support from the Purdue Foundry.


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Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], American Public Power Association [2].

Cape Town Back-yarders Urged to Register on Housing Database

An increase in urbanization is the leading factor in Cape Town’s housing crisis.

With only one in three registered on the city of Cape Town’s housing database, the city has encouraged more people in this sector to register.

The city said in a statement recently that almost 70% of informal back-yarders in the metro would not be eligible for a housing opportunity because they were not registered for subsidized housing.

The city says increased urbanization across South Africa over the past decade has resulted in a steady growth of backyard dwellings on publicly- and privately-owned land.

“The great need for affordable housing and services in and near urban centers especially means that we must ensure that we work in a planned, systematic and fair manner.

“It is really important for backyard dwellers to apply to register on the housing database. Back-yarders who are not registered on the database cannot be considered for housing opportunities created for them by the city and Western Cape Government. “

The city said that all qualifying beneficiaries and especially backyard dwellers should ensure that they were registered and that their details were correct and up to date.

“We also continue to focus on enhanced service delivery especially to back-yarders residing on council-owned properties. Cape Town was the first city in South Africa to introduce basic services to back-yarders residing on Council-owned properties.

“The back-yarder program started in 2014 and entails the provision of one-to-one water, refuse and electricity services to back-yarders residing on Council-owned property, such as rental units.

“The Municipal Finance Management Act determines that public money may not be used for enhancing private properties. Therefore, much work still needs to be done to see how back-yarder services will be rolled out to those residing on private properties within the framework of the law.

How to register on the housing database

The city said that urbanization was a challenge that all tiers of government, as well as the private sector and civil society organisations should deal with.

We “must work together and ensure that we are ahead of the curve with our plans to address rapid urbanization. We must bring our communities on board with the alternatives on offer”, the city’s member of the mayoral committee for human settlements, councilor Malusi Booi, said.

He also explained that the service was free and that there was no payment for registration.

Applicants can register on the housing database online, at city housing offices, MyEstate mobile offices that comes to various areas and at the Parow or Wale Street walk-in centers.

Applicants need a certified copy of their IDs and their spouses’ IDs, a completed housing assistance form, copies of their children’s birth certificates, marriage or divorce certificates, details of special needs where applicable, as well as supporting documents such as medical records and proof of address (FICA).


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Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Cheque Limits Reduced to R50,000 in South Africa

Following the recently announced rules from the Payments Association of South Africa (PASA) to reduce the maximum value of cheque limits to R50,000, businesses are urged to adopt electronic banking channels.

The updated rules come into effect in May 2020, with an eight-month grace period to be granted for cheques that are yet to be processed by the due date.

Kenneth Matlhole, FNB Business Spokesperson, said several businesses and public institutions that still have cheques built into their operations will be heavily impacted by the decision. This ranges from schools, churches, scrap metal dealers, agriculture, motor industry, fiduciary services and auctioneers, among others.

Matlhole unpacked important factors for businesses to consider as they reduce their reliance on cheques, prior to the implementation of the new rules:

Act now – depending on the nature of the business or institution, moving away from a traditional payments system may result in cash flow disruptions. Business should allocate enough time for migrating to new payments systems. It is also essential to ensure that staff members are trained accordingly.

Business to business transactions – whether the business is receiving or issuing cheques, it is advisable to communicate and inform business associates and suppliers about the new payment systems/ arrangements and reach a mutual understanding.

Businesses can offer discounts or incentives for suppliers or business associates to adopt electronic banking channels, to help speed up the process.

Moreover, when considering the administration process, storage of physical paper, and the cheques clearance waiting period, migrating to electronic payments which are more efficient will no doubt be an incentive to migrate to electronic payments.

The same guiding principles for alternative payment adoption should be applied to inter-company funds transfer where cheques have been used as a mechanism to allow for money flow between linked franchises and business entities.

Adopt electronic banking channels – once a thorough analysis of how the business uses cheques has been conducted, the next step is to identify the most appropriate and efficient electronic banking channel to use. Furthermore, businesses that are still receiving B2B cheque payments should ensure that their systems are updated and ready to accept electronic payments.

“Given the reduction of cheque limits due to several issues including fraud, it may not be viable for businesses to continue using cheques.

“Regardless of the final decision to be taken by businesses, on thing is clear, the imminent reduction of cheque limits to R50,000, leaves businesses and institutions with no choice but to ultimately reduce their reliance on cheque payments,” Matlhole said.


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Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: Matthew Kwong [1], [2].