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UK Partners With Kenyan Fintech Companies to Increase Financial Inclusion

The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Peter Estlin, has announced £10 million of UK Aid support towards financial technology (fintech) accelerator Catalyst Fund during a visit to Nairobi.

His visit comes ahead of the first UK-Africa Investment Summit next year, which will bring together businesses, governments and international institutions to encourage investment in a range of sectors, including fintech.

The Catalyst Fund supports business development and investor opportunities for early stage fintech companies in emerging markets. With support from the UK Department for International Development, the Catalyst Fund will help connect a further 30 local fintech companies with international investors and mentors, including Kenyan fintech companies.

Speaking during the launch at the Nairobi Garage, the Lord Mayor said, “Today’s announcement highlights the mutual benefits of closer financial co-operation to both the UK and Kenya. By forging partnerships across Africa, the UK’s financial services sector can turbocharge national economies and empower individuals financially, creating thousands of jobs and enriching lives across the continent”.

The Catalyst Fund offering combines bespoke Venture Building support from fintech and emerging markets experts, patient capital in the form of flexible grants, and curated, 1:1 connections with our circles of investors, corporates and universities.

The British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott said: Kenya’s FinTech sector is strong, diverse and growing quickly. The innovators we met today show the future of Kenya’s economic growth and I am proud that the UK is able to support their work, helping create growth, jobs and the achievement of the Global Goals in partnership between our two countries.

Amolo Ng’weno, CEO of BFA Global who manages the Catalyst Fund, added: In Kenya, access to digital financial services is no longer the major issue – today we need to work toward ordinary citizens improving their financial health, gaining new access to opportunity and accessing basic services. At BFA, we see a significant opportunity for inclusive fintech startups to play this role. However, in order to succeed, they require early stage capital, partnerships which can enable pathways for scale, and access to a high potential talent pool. Our mission at the Catalyst Fund is to accelerate these startups and strengthen the inclusive fintech ecosystem, and we look forward to working toward this goal with the support of UK Aid.

The Lord Mayor also announced through the City of London Corporation that five startups under the Catalyst Fund will be selected to attend the Innovate Finance Global Summit, taking place during UK Fintech week in 2020, helping to strengthen the links between UK and African fintech sectors.

 

 

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New Kenyan Retirement Benefit Regulations

This information is courtesy of Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates (IKM).

The Government of Kenya, through the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Planning, published Legal Notice Number 88 of 2019 dated 13th June, 2019 which amended the Retirement Benefits (Occupational Retirement Benefits Schemes) Regulations, 2000 (the “Regulations”). Regulation 19 (5) (a) (ii) was amended to read as follows: “the scheme rules shall provide that: where a member leaves employment after vesting of his benefits but before attaining the specified early retirement age, he may opt for payment of his own contribution where he is a member of a defined contribution scheme.

The effect of this amendment was that where the employment relationship came to an end and the employee had not reached the retirement age provided for in the Trust Deed and/or the Pension/Provident Fund Rules, he/she would no longer be entitled to the employer’s portion of contributions and the investment income gained from the contributions until he attained the retirement age.

The Regulations were, however, challenged on a number of grounds including absence of public participation. The Parliamentary Committee on Delegated Legislations, upon further consideration, proposed through the attached report that the amendments be annulled. The Report was tabled and adopted by Parliament on 2nd October, 2019, thereby annulling the proposed amendments.

Consequently, employees are now entitled to 100% of their contributions and 50% of the employer’s contributions upon termination of employment.

To view the government’s document on the amendment, click here.

 

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

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Kenya announces visa on arrival for all Africans

Nairobi – Kenya’s newly sworn-in president has announced that all Africans will be able to obtain a visa on arrival at a port of entry as he seeks to improve continental ties.

President Uhuru Kenyatta spoke to a cheering crowd of tens of thousands at his inauguration, which ends months of political turmoil that included a nullified election and a repeat vote.

 A growing number of African nations are making moves toward easing travel restrictions for people across the continent.

Kenyatta also is urging Kenya’s people to reject hate and divisiveness after the election unrest that left dozens of people dead.

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Corporate Housing: How Relocation Africa Can Help You

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Kenya to roll out e-Passports in September

The immigration department in Kenya has announced plans to roll out East African e-Passports from 1 September.

Kenya joins over 50 nations worldwide in issuing a new generation travel document with security features such as biometric details, machine readable through an electronic chip.

A message from the Immigration department said: “This is to notify the General Public that the Department of Immigration will start issuing the e-Passport with effect from 1st September 2017. Holders of valid current passports will be allowed to use them for the next 2 years i.e to 31st August 2019 after which they will be rendered invalid. Please note that the department will no longer be issuing the current Ordinary, Diplomatic and East African passports.”

The move is compliant with a regional agreement to harmonise passports across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

“The EAC e–Passport will have Diplomatic, Service and Ordinary categories and is different from the current machine readable passport being issued by the Partner States. It will be valid for up to 10 years while the Diplomatic passport and service passport will be valid according to specific term of the service of the holder,” it added.

According to the Immigration department, new passport applicants can register on the eCitizen portal but will need to visit the department in order to have their biometric details recorded.

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