Language version

Tech

Cost Of Living In Kenya Shoots Up

Advertisement

Published

on

The cost of living in Kenya has gone up for the seventh consecutive month as prices of essential commodities rose at a time when most consumers are struggling.

According to local media reports, Year-on-year inflation or the overall rise in the prices of goods and services reached 5.78% last month compared to 5.69% in January.

Non-food and non-fuel inflation, remained largely in check, an indication that the increase in the prices of products has not been informed by increased demand but low supply of food and fuel.

The acceleration in the overall prices of goods and services was driven largely by cooking oil, sukuma wiki, cabbages, and mangoes, whose unit prices increased by 17.8%, 13.3 %, 9.1%and 8.69%respectively.

As a result, said the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), which compiled the report said the month-to-month food and non-alcoholic drinks’ index increased by 1.01% between January 2021 and February 2021.

“The food inflation was mainly attributed to an increase in prices of some food items which outweighed the decrease in prices of other foodstuffs,” said KNBS in a statement on Saturday.

Cooking oil registered the highest jump with a kilo retailing at Sh236.45 last month, compared to Sh200.7 in February 2020.

Beginning early last year, bad weather, low use of fertiliser and shortage of manpower triggered by social distance measures imposed by countries during the pandemic, depressed the production of palm oil in Asia, leading to the surge in prices of cooking oil in Kenya.

Crude palm oil is the main ingredient used in the manufacture of cooking oil in Kenya.

The scarcity in some of the items was compounded by a decrease in disposable income for Kenyans following the adverse effects of Covid-19, which saw them lose jobs.

Moreover, the tax relief measures that the government had given to Kenyans to cushion them against the negative effects of the pandemic have since been rolled back, making some of the products expensive for Kenyans.

However, during this period, prices of tomatoes decreased by an average of 24.1% with a kilo retailing at Sh97.40, down from Sh128.40 in February last year.

“Prices of lemons, mangoes and maize grain decreased by 5.64, 0.33 and 0.18%, respectively,” said KNBS.

Retail prices of kerosene and diesel also declined by 9.9% and 2.4% respectively.

“The housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels’ index, increased by 0.43% between January and February 2021. This was mainly attributed to an increase in the price of kerosene by 6.02% between January 2021 and February 2021.”

The cost of electricity, on the other hand, went down by 2.8%.

standard

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tech

Rwanda Receives US$100M From World Bank For Broadband Connectivity

Published

on

The World Bank Group has approved US$100 million in financing under the International Development Association’s (IDA) Scale Up Window to help the Government of Rwanda increase access to broadband and selected digital public services, and strengthen the digital innovation ecosystem in Rwanda.

The new Digital Acceleration Project will support the government to expand digital access and adoption by spearheading a series of innovative digital access and inclusion initiatives, including supporting 250,000 households with financing to help acquire smart devices as well as training three million people in basic digital literacy (with targets for girls and women).

The project will also enhance the government’s digital service capabilities by equipping it with the ability to harness the power of big data and develop at least 30 new or upgraded digital services through large-scale investments in shared digital standards, platforms, and infrastructure.

These will enable the government to safely scale more fully transactional and remote service delivery, including enrolling and issuing new digital ID credentials to 75 percent of the population.

Finally, the project will increase Rwanda’s capacity to support digitally enabled innovation by strengthening the local entrepreneurship ecosystem, developing Rwanda’s digital talent base and helping tech firms to move from startup to growth. At least 300 digital start-ups will be directly supported by the project, with a focus on those that are female-owned.

“Expanding digital access and adoption, enhancing digital public service delivery and promoting digitally enabled innovation are essential for Rwanda’s digital transformation which can in turn help drive a robust post-COVID-19 recovery,” said Rolande Pryce, World Bank Country Manager for Rwanda.

“The Rwanda Digital Acceleration Project encompasses all these elements and will contribute to Rwanda’s vision to become a knowledge-based economy and upper middle-income country by 2035, by leveraging digital technologies to accelerate growth and poverty reduction.”

The project will also support Rwanda’s efforts to crowd in private sector investment in digital inclusion initiatives, digital infrastructure and through support for digital innovation and entrepreneurship – with the goal of preparing the country for a data-driven and e-service based economy capable of supporting sustainable recovery in a post-COVID-19 context.

“For Rwanda to leverage digital transformation as a driver of growth, job creation and greater service delivery, digital adoption needs to markedly improve.

This project will help Rwanda tackle the affordability of digital devices and services, but also bridge lingering basic digital literacy gaps, to increase local demand for digitally-enabled services and platforms,” said Isabella Hayward, World Bank Digital Development Specialist, and Task Team Leader of the project.

“The project will also support the GoR’s aspirations of providing 24-hour, cashless, paperless and fully transactional Government-to-Government, Government-to-Business, and Government-to-Person e-services both at the central government and sectoral levels.”

The project will be co-financed in the amount of US$100 million by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), of which Rwanda is a non-regional member. This will be the AIIB’s second investment in Rwanda, and the first digital project investment financing to be co-financed with the AIIB.

Continue Reading

Tech

Rwanda’s Digital Payment Apps Expand Financial Access, Inclusivity

Published

on

Mukamusoni Gertrude in 2016 relocated to the United States on a green Card regime and has been working there since. Her ultimate goal is to support her family back home in rural Gatsibo district, Rwanda.

She has been sending money via Worldremit to her parents that have so far bought extra farm land, built a descent family house, acquired cattle and also pays tuition for her siblings in school.

In Rwanda, like in other East African countries such as Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda mobile transfers are an important part of the low-income and rural population lives.

Apart from Worldremit there are dozens of digital payment apps embraced by Rwandans and this has been boosted by a new policy crafted during the covid-19 lockdowns.

Last year on March 19, the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) instituted a set of rapid economic policy changes to support both businesses and individuals during the lockdown, and to further the national digitisation agenda which leads to the increase to person to person transfers, with less to zero fees.

This change has had a big impact on the value of funds that were transferred last year between the diaspora and the people back home, but also, it made mobile transfer become the new normal to all type of people.

For example, MTN’s mobile payment solutions, MomoPay, has revealed a huge difference since 2019, helping people around the country to easily get access to cash money through their mobile phone.

Rwandans can access their bank accounts by linking them to their mobile phones. This reduced the long queues at banks and ATM booths.

Mobile applications no longer empower just individual users, they also help them improve and enrich their entourage livelihoods, lifestyles and boost the local economy.

For example money received through money transfer contributes in many ways to the growth and independence of most youth in Rwanda. While receiving money from abroad, they can invest on their education, investments, economic plans, and many other areas important to the evolution of the country.

The digitization process has been made possible through an expanded mobile penetration.

A recent survey by statista.com compiled in a report (Number of mobile subscriptions worldwide 1993-2020) shows that, nowadays, there are more than 8 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide.

With a penetration rate growing steadily since 1993, in all areas, especially as Africa, where you can now find 95.1 mobile subscriptions per 100 residents as of 2020. There were 9.37 million mobile connections in Rwanda in January 2020. Rwanda has a population of 12 million people.

With now around three-quarters of the world’s inhabitants having access to a mobile phone, the landscape in Africa has been changing for the past years. Particularly with Mobile Money and branchless banking.

According to this report , growth around the utilization of mobile banking has created a key ecosystem based on applications in health, financial services, agriculture, and many other types of domains.

This evolution is no longer about the mobile phone itself but the applications, the content and the users help boost the economy of countries such as Rwanda.

Continue Reading

Tech

Africa Data Centres Unveils New 10MW Data Centre In Nigeria

Published

on

Africa Data Centres the largest network of interconnected, carrier- and cloud-neutral data centre facilities on the continent, is pleased to announce that it has officially opened its new 10MW data centre facility in Lagos, Nigeria.

The new facility, the company says, will pave the way for Africa Data Centres hyperscale customers to deploy digitisation solutions to West Africa.

CEO of Africa Data Centres, Stephane Duproz, describes Nigeria as one of the company’s key markets as there is a rapidly-growing demand for data centres in the region, which is hungry for digitisation, as organisations of every type and size in Africa accelerate their digital transformation journeys.

He says as part of the recently launched Cassava Technologies group, Africa Data Centres plays a critical role when it comes to providing this very digital infrastructure that is needed to support the mass adoption of digital services for consumers and businesses in the region.

Duproz also announced that the new facility is the first of four faculties being earmarked for Nigeria, adding that the company has plans to also build an additional facility in Lagos at a separate location to ensure full disaster backup, whilst Abuja, and Port Harcourt will also get their own facilities.

With this in mind, Duproz describes the Lagos operations as a significant milestone for Africa Data Centres, as it shines the spotlight on the tremendous growth opportunity the company sees not only for its business in the region but for Africa as a whole.

“Africa Data Centre is witnessing an unprecedented demand for fintech services, apps, broadband, cloud technologies, and more, all of which are seeing data demand skyrocket.”

This latest announcement follows hard on the heels of Africa Data Centres recently announced, major data centre expansion plans that will see the company building hyperscale data centres throughout Africa.

“These plans are the greatest Africa has ever seen. They will see us build some ten interconnected, cloud- and carrier-neutral data centres across the length and breadth of the continent, in an unmatched $500m investment in Africa’ digital transformation, which will double our already significant investment in the continent,” adds Duproz.

The 10MW facility in Lagos is a key part of this expansion as Nigeria is a critical African market in terms of leading the charge for hyperscale customers to deploy digitisation solutions to West Africa.

The new facility in Lagos marks a significant step forward in Africa Data Centres’ ambitious long-term plans to close the digital divide in Africa and digitise the continent by bringing these services to businesses and citizens alike, he adds.

The Lagos facility will be the de facto hub for Africa Data Centres in West African, says Duproz. “We built this facility in response to the massive demand from hyperscalers, key cloud operators and multi-national enterprises that already use our facilities and have expressed interest in being a part of bringing digitisation at scale to West Africa. As the unquestioned leaders in data centre operations in Africa, we were the clear choice as partners in their expansion strategies.”

Duproz said the Nigerian data centers were part of a Continental network of data centers being rolled out in all the key cities of Africa.

However, Duproz stresses that there will be no question of sacrificing the environment to carry out the company’s ambitious digitisation plans. “This is a trade-off Africa Data Centres is simply not even prepared to entertain. Our strategy is all about empowering and uplifting Africa’s citizens, protecting the environment, and uplifting the economy.”

In closing, Duproz says this latest Nigerian facility will boost the economy through job creation, as digitisation is known to create job opportunities across a slew of industries.

Continue Reading

Trending