2018 Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) Unites Business Leaders, Industry Experts & Philanthropists

Compiled by Jacquiline WahuThe CBF business magnates panel convened to share their innovations in balancing profits & purpose at business of sport and entertainment round-table chaired by CEO of Sterling Media and CWEIC Advisory Board Member Natasha Mudhar.

The discussion featured a compelling and insightful exchange of ideas and knowledge, as some of the Commonwealth’s most entrepreneurial minds in sport and entertainment deliberated how the commonwealth sport and entertainment industries can take advantage of new revenue streams, channels of communication, distribution, and partnerships, and whether, in an ever-changing volatile climate, the sports and entertainment industries have a moral obligation to be more socially conscious and focused on purpose.

Natasha raised the point that there has been a proliferation of new revenue streams, markets and distribution channels for entertainment and sports, which has helped to enhance the bottom line.
“In recent years, many more businesses are seeking to shift their brand purpose and vision, in response to creating a more authentic, relevant and meaningful conversation with stakeholders, and how the focus is shifting from profit to purpose,” she stated.

She further commented on the power of entertainment and film in creating social change, saying “Entertainment in action tells us that you can inspire and entertain in equal measures.”

Social responsibility was one of the major points discussed and raised at the panel. They reflected on whether the sports and entertainment industries should be socially conscious or if this should be a task for the not for profit sector and governments, and what initiatives, if any, are being undertaken to expand and measure the social footprint of these industries.
Ian Stokes in response highlighted, “It is nice to see how development in the regional level is spilling over into the national level, as demonstrated by India in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Australia.”

Moderated by Dr Kamel Hothi, Non-Executive Director for Sterling Media and Advisor for the Queens Commonwealth Trust, the panelists composed of prominent figures in entertainment and sport like Satish Modi, Chairman, Modi Global Enterprises; Robert Maxfield, CEO, Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA); Paul Smith, Director of City and Spectator Experience, Cricket World Cup 2019 and Hannah Wood, International Campaign Development Manager among others.

Following a dynamic discussion that encompassed a range of ideas including partnerships between education and cinema, and video games and sports, convergence as a driving force behind purpose emerged as the theme of the panel.
Concluding the session, Natasha and Dr Hothi then proposed a code of conduct that all current and upcoming influencers in sport and entertainment should sign to ensure that they practice and demonstrate positive messages. Natasha also stressed the need to turn awareness into action as a result of the panel. Encouraging each participant to become a change-maker.

As a result of the session, Natasha called for the panel to reconvene in the near future to continue the discussion surrounding the business of sport and entertainment in the commonwealth, creating a legacy of collaboration and shared ideas between the two industries.

The CBF is organised biennially by the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC) and took place ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

CBF is an exclusive event that has convened 800 senior business leaders alongside 30 Heads of Government at three iconic Central London venues considering it’s the first time since 1997, to take place in London.


For further insight visit: CWEIC

President Kenyatta in London; to Deliver an Address at Chatham House

By Jacquiline Wahu

Kenyans in UK, come out in numbers to support the President as he delivers an address at Chatham House, the shrine for policy and investment thinkers in London.



TIME: 2.00PM


His speech will dwell on Kenya’s efforts in achieving inclusive growth, the positive role Kenya is playing in supporting regional peace, and its station in a globalising world.

It is essentially a platform for the President to share his view on a range of areas as a Kenyan leader, as a Pan-Africanist, and as one of the people closely involved in seeking and securing peace in our region–in South Sudan, in Somalia, and are also addressing the matter about which he cares deeply such as regional integration.

He will also speak about the Big Four development agenda, which is at the heart of his drive for inclusive growth, as explained by Manoah Esipisu.


Kenyan Youth Yearn for Business Knowledge and Skills

By Jacquiline Wahu

Kenya’s youth in business turned up in great numbers to kick off the month of April with all the motivation they need as they met great personalities in business in a forum organized by The Chambers of Commerce at Metta in Nairobi.

Vimal Shah, the Chairman of Bidco Africa, and well known for the growth of the company was the chief guest at the event while the panelists included Terryanne Chebet who is a Media Personality and a Business woman, Raymond Ochieng C.E.O National Youth Council among others.

Mr. Shah urged the youth to have a positive attitude as he termed them as the drivers of change. According to him, the current generation only needs to work on their attitude as they can learn all the entrepreneurial knowledge and skills they require from the internet.

“Universally change is the only constant, in fact from now going forward things will change much faster than it ever happened”, Mr Shah said as he implored the young entrepreneurs to be flexible and ready embrace change.

He added that the achievement of this nation depends on the youth which is the majority of the nation’s population. Also, the youth were encouraged to stop looking down on farming as it is no longer agriculture but agribusiness.

He termed unemployment of youth in Kenya to be worse than cancer and advised that entrepreneurship has a massive capacity to solve the problem.


Hacks to getting business funds

The government may not have job opportunities for the great numbers of youth joining the job market every year. However, it has put in place platforms through which the youth can acquire funds to start of their businesses.

As stated by Raymond, the youth must learn to approach the government in an organized manner. They must have all the documents required in place.

He told the youth to make use of the platforms that have been availed by the government specially to take up the Youth Enterprise Development Fund as well Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO).

In a rejoinder by Ms Kibet, Board Director at Youth Fund, the youth were assured that the government has enough money to loan out to those who are serious about business and ready to pay back as the money is meant for a revolving fund.

Benefits of Youth Fund

She clarified that not only does the fund avail money for start ups upon approval of their application but also offers training to a group of entrepreneurs from their locality. They only need to apply.

The fund also offers loans to existing business as well as useful network through various forums particularly KNCCI which is the pillar linkage for youth to global platforms.

Counties also Encouraging Youth to Embrace Entrepreneurship

A joint venture by Kiambu County Government and Italian Government dubbed, “Reducing the adverse drivers of migration through local value chain development”, targets to benefit 4,000 youth by equipping them with knowledge and skills on the best farming practices and value addition to create jobs.

The project aims at demystifying the notion that farming is for the old and uneducated but see it as a very productive venture with great profits.

The initiative which was negotiated by former Kiambu Women Representative Ann Nyokabi is expected to benefit from Sh 6 million funding by the Italian Government.

Together with Food and Agriculture Organisation of United Nations (FAO), Kiambu government is implementing the scheme which was launched last month by the Italian Ambassador to Kenya Mauro Massoni, Dr Gabriel Rugalema (FAO) and the county’s Governor Ferdinand Waititu.

“The project will be done in three phases and will give adequate skills in new agricultural ways, entrepreneurship and management skills. The objective is to ensure that there are increased returns in farming through innovations and value addition, which is the only way to lure youth into the venture which locally is perceived as the preserve for the old and uneducated by many youths.”, Mr Massoni said in his remarks.

Kisumu County is also encouraging traders to venture into activities like poultry, cotton, dairy and sorghum farming for Kenya Breweries Limited among others as said by Ms Moraa, the County Executive for Business, Energy and Industry, as she presented cheques worth Sh5.8 million to small scale businesses.


Look out for the continuation…


Garden City Mall to Expand Under UK Based Property Manager


By Jacquiline Wahu

Knight Frank Kenya has won the contract as the new property manager of Garden City Mall after a previous agreement with a South African based Broll came to an end.

The real estate consultancy with its headquarters in London signed a pact to be in charge of the mall effective from March, with Actis the developer.

This Development property which intends to expand by building a business park, is Nairobi’s first fully-fledged mixed-use development with retail, residential and office space, all planned on 47 acres of land adds to 11 other malls being managed by Knight Frank Kenya.

Other malls under their management in Nairobi include; T-Mall, Ridgeways Mall, Capital Centre, The Junction Mall, Rosslyn Riviera Mall, Lunga Lunga Square, Signature Mall and Diamond Plaza II. They also manage other malls in other counties.

“As Kenya’s first mixed-use development, Garden City has premium retail and office space available for lease and residential units for sale or lease, so Knight Frank has just the management and marketing expertise that we are looking for. We are excited to have Knight Frank Kenya coming on board to join the Garden City team and are looking forward to a busy year ahead,” said Garden City Development, Chris Coulson.

The real estate consultancy prides itself in the experience of managing other major shopping joints across the country through leasing and management for the past two decades. Over the period it has brought on board major international retail brands into the Kenyan market, latest being Shoprite which is projected to take up the anchor’s space in the Mall by August 2018.

To express their excitement, the managing director Ben Woodhams said that the deal is a key milestone for Knight Frank Kenya as they celebrate their 20th anniversary. “This It brings our long-standing relationship with Actis full cycle as we were the lead letting agents for the mall and have worked on other developments together since early 2000s.” He added.

Knight Frank is also the letting agent for the business park and sales agent for residential at Garden City.

The first phase of the business park will have 125,000 sq ft—60% of which is already leased, while two subsequent office blocks will deliver a further 125,000 sq ft. Garden City residential currently has 215 units of townhouses and apartments, with a further 400 units planned. Future plans in the development include a hotel, medical facility and other complimentary commercial uses.

Knight Frank LLP is the leading independent global property consultancy. The Group advises clients ranging from individual owners and buyers to major developers, investors and corporate tenants.

Images Source

Source: Knight Frank

Nearly Two Decades Later Air France Returns to Kenya

By Jacquiline Wahu

Air France Boeing 787-9 maiden trip, after 18 years break, to Nairobi’s JKIA on March 26th 2018 marks a memorable day for the Kenyan skies.

The return of the French National Carrier shows the demand of access to Kenya’s Capital from other major cities in the world.

The new operations of Air France will serve three weekly flights to Nairobi from Paris-Charles de Gaulle.

By connecting France to Kenya, the company majorly targets a business clientele in the expanding economy of the Kenyan capital according to Frank Legre, Senior Vice President for Africa at Air France KLM Group.

At a press conference with the Kenyan press during the arrival of the inaugural flight, Frank highlighted that close to 80 French companies are currently based in Nairobi, a figure that is continually rising by the day.

This comes after a signed partnership with two other airlines including KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Kenya Airways. This joint venture will enable travelers reserve flights operated on a code-share basis by one of the three airlines on round-trip services between Paris-Nairobi and Amsterdam-Nairobi offering 24 daily flights on the route.

The KLM General Manager East African, Arthur Dieffenthaler expressed the group’s excitement to be back and promised to offer the best of their products to Kenya and East African region.

Being a founding member of the Skyteam global airline alliance and a subsidiary of the Air France–KLM Group, the French Carrier adds to the key international airlines that have resumed flights to Kenya in the past years indicating increased travelers demand.

Coincidentally, two years ago German’s Lufthansa resumed its direct passenger flights to Nairobi after 18 years.

Last year, TUI Netherlands was yet another airline to make a comeback after 3 years suspension of its operations to Kenya. The Dutch-based Airline returned to book travelers three weekly KLM flights for a tourist’s package.

African Treaty on Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) Launched

By Jacquiline Wahu

African Heads of States have convened in Kigali, Rwanda to sign the treaty on the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), one of Flagship Projects of African Union (AU) which will bring together trading amongst 55 member countries.

Kenya’s President, H.E Uhuru Kenyatta joined other African Leaders today as they deepen the economic integration process which will allow Africans to trade freely across the continent.

Formerly chairing African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), President Uhuru has played a key role in the realization of this agreement.

Additionally, in support of integration, he allowed all Africans to get visa on arrival in Kenya from year 2017, not based on reciprocity, and urged other countries to do the same as he believes that it is the foundation of Pan-Africanism.

The tariff-free-trade targets a market of 1.2 billion people and hoped to increase trade within Africa to foster growth of the economies of member countries.

The Treaty shall not only permit free movement of business persons but also right of residence and establishment in the said countries.

Estimations by UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) shows that the treaty’s enactment could rise intra-African trade by 52%p by 2022, compared with trade levels in 2010.

President Kagame of Rwanda, also current Chairman of AU, clarified that increased internal African trade is not meant to nullify business with the rest of the world.


According to AU, the Agreement aims at creating a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments, therefore paving way for accelerating the establishment of the Continental Customs Union and the African customs union.

By so doing, it will expand the intra African trade through better harmonization and coordination of trade liberalization and facilitation regimes and instruments across Africa in general.

This will help resolve the challenges of multiple and overlapping memberships and expedite the regional and continental integration processes.

Finally, it will enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level through exploiting opportunities for scale production, continental market access and better reallocation of resources.


Even with all the benefits, not all have welcomed the pact  with open arms. Some members seen to be reluctant include Nigeria’s Labour congress who warned their president against the deal, consequently, president Muhammadu Buhari did not attend the Signing event to ‘allow time for further consultations’.

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda was also absent after cancelling his trip the last minute though reasons as to why are unclear.

Other concerns are that the benefits might not be spread out evenly but favour just a few members. This is therefore expected to draw attention of the bigger economies against the smaller ones.

CFTA is expected to come into force after its ratification today.

A second phase of negotiations will be held later to cover investment, competition policy and intellectual property.

CFTA shall be the second largest market after World Trade Organization which was founded in 1995 and currently has 164 member states.

Floods Hit Nairobi Hard

By Jacquiline Wahu

A heavy downpour has left Kenya’s capital in a virtual standstill shaming both county and national governments for not improving the city’s drainage as the situation is not new but happens every other time there are heavy rains.

P.C: Anonymous

Even with an alert from Kenya Meteorological Department, the Central Business District (CBD) was adversely affected with ‘rivers’ running along the avenues, streets and lanes with Haile Selassie and Moi avenues, Ronald Ngala, Tom Mboya and Kimathi Street being barely passable.

Some businesses felt the heavy impact of the floods beginning from the matatu (PSV) industry as they got stuck and handed over passengers to boda boda (motor cycle) riders. The flow of people getting to town was also distressed, rendering business few or no customers compared to normal days.

P.C: Anonymous

City’s workforce was caught up unaware on their way to work where pedestrians had to get to the office in wet shoes and clothes as there were no dry spots along their routes. For some, the roads were blocked by the floods and had to wait by the roadside or bus stop until the waters subside.

Being digital savvy, the dwellers took to social media where they shared amateur photos and short videos of their locality and experience as they headed to their respective occupation.

On their posts, they beseeched the local government to fix the hub’s drainage system.

Nairobians must also play their part by not littering the city as it is the major cause of drainage clogging.

The weatherman had warned the country last week to expect heavy rains that may cause floods in various parts of the country including Kakamega, Nakuru Kericho, Kwale, Migori, Kajiado, Bomet, Kisii, and Narok.

Other parts of the country are experiencing the effects of the heavy rains interrupting normal businesses. For instance the case of Mai Mahiu road that split and left a huge gulley and motorists had to turn back from both sides and look for alternative routes causing a huge snarl up.

UK Bids Farewell to H.E. Lazurus Amayo

By Jacquiline Wahu

The Kenya Society answered an invitation to the House of Commons by Hon. Jeremy Lefroy yesterday in a session that bid farewell to the outgoing Kenyan High Commissioner, H.E Lazarus Amayo.


In his speech, the Chairman of All Party Parliamentary Group on Kenya & the Member of Parliament for Stafford said that Kenya and UK must work together in job a livelihood creation. He added that efforts are underway to ensure job creation around the world which will be the main agenda in Washington conference in April.

Despite acknowledging challenges faced, H.E. Amayo boasted of the infrastructural development projects that the government of Kenya has implemented. He highlighted the construction of Eastern and Southern bypasses that have eased traffic jam, making it faster to get to the airport.

In response to a comment on brain drain, the outgoing envoy clarified that, except for a few Kenyans who get jobs in the UK and probably required by their institutions to remain there, majority of Kenyans after studying abroad go back to Kenya to work.

In other remarks, he will remain in his official capacity and looks forward to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference in April 2018.

H.E. Lazarus Amayo was reassigned to the Permanent Mission of the United Nations in New York earlier this year by the President of the Republic of Kenya.

Photos by: KEN Face of Kenya Connect

Celebrating Women in Business

By Jacquiline Wahu

The International Women’s Day was feted a day earlier in Kenya as women entrepreneurs convened at a conference in Nairobi organized by Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) under its Women in Business sector.


The event was graced by H.E. Governor Ann Waiguru who is not only among the only three women governors elected to the office, but also the first female deputy chairperson of Council of Governors. In her speech, she urged the government and Kenyans at large to support women initiative in business, politics or any other venture they uptake.

Emphasizing on transforming women lives through rural and urban activists, the governor shared her initiatives during the few months in office that have kicked off to support women in her county under the umbrella initiative dubbed Wezesha Mama Program. Through this program, women access procurement opportunities to avail products from their craftsmanship.

While she encouraged business between counties, Ms Waiguru enlightened the women on the importance of properly branding their enterprises to attract in investors. This coincided with the launch of Women in Business Magazine which is a great platform for women to advertise their enterprises to a potential audience as well share their struggles and success stories.

A call to action was made by the Deputy Chair CoG to deliberately bring solutions and fresh ideas that will empower women. Being a champion in fighting for women empowerment, Ann Waiguru is notable for rolling out Huduma Centres in Kenya while she was the Devolution CS which has simplified access to documentation required by entrepreneurs especially while starting a business among other services.

“Let us strive to be the best we can as the world is looking up to us.” She called upon women in her closing remarks.

Devolution Cabinet Secretary, Eugene Wamalwa was among the few supportive men who attended the event. Together with Governor Waiguru, he played a significant role in ensuring 30% of Access to Government Procurement Opportunity was reserved for women.

The CS applauded women for fighting for everything they have got as he acknowledged that they deserve all the opportunities at their disposal and more. He also extended an olive branch to the vice chair CoG to work together in ensuring that women are empowered across the 47 counties.

KNCCI Chairperson, Mary Muthoni confirmed the chambers solidarity with the President of Kenya so that together they can bring out successful sisters in industries like manufacturing, construction, food security among others. She encouraged women to pride in their projects to inspire more women to start their own enterprises.

Women were unanimously encouraged to tap into the manufacturing industry to avail locally made products and even produce enough for export.

The women who had converged to celebrate International Women’s Day own enterprises in various fields including real estates, tours and travel, security, manufacturing, construction, logistics companies and agri-business just to mention a few.