Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Investors Cheated into buying Kenya's Safaricom shares in IPO

It is emerging that many local and international investors were cheated into buying shares in the recently concluded East Africa's largest ever Initial Public offering (Safaricom IPO). The company recently issued a revised Safaricom prospectus raising eyebrows as it borders on reneging on a sworn affidavit that's binding. Read More CLICK HERE


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Cheetah Index Interviews the Director of Business Action for Africa

Excerpt from the interview between the Cheetah Index and Zahid Torres-Rahman, Director, Business Action for Africa.

"Below is the interview with Mr. Zahid Torres-Rahman.

Please tells us a little bit about your personal story and how you became involved in this endeavor?

Ever since my time as a teacher in Zimbabwe in the late 80s, I have been passionate about Africa. After a career in the private sector, I joined the UK Government and ultimately joined UK Prime Minister Blair's Commission for Africa to head the work of economic growth and private sector development. 2005 was an exciting time for those of us wanting to support African-led development. But for me there were three things very wrong with the headlines on Africa at the time.

First, the non-government organizations, while very successful in raising Africa high up the policy agenda, were missing a big part of the story. In focusing on aid and debt relief, hardly any attention was being paid to the priorities of Africans themselves: the opportunity to get jobs, grow their businesses and trade in a fair world market.

Second, Africa was being portrayed as if it were one country on the brink of disaster. In fact the Africa that any one who knows Africa will tell you about, is one of huge diversity and immense opportunity, the role of business as the drivers of long-term growth and poverty reduction had been all but written out of the story.

We set up Business Action for Africa ( as an informal network of businesses, business organisations and development partners to take action on these fronts – to provide an alternative voice on the policies needed to make poverty history; to promote a more balanced view of Africa; and to showcase and promote the role of business in delivering positive change for Africa and its people.

So how exactly does doing business in Africa help to improve living conditions on the continent and where does Business Action for Africa fit into this conversation?

Nearly all poor people are in the private sector: as producers or employees - whether this is in small family farms and small businesses or as part of the supply chain of a large multinational. In a survey of 60,000 poor people published back in 2000, the majority saw self-employment, getting a job or starting a business as the best way to escape poverty. That is, poor people themselves see business as integral to their strategies for improving their living conditions.

Business Action for Africa tells this story and calls on governments and international donors to help small businesses grow. We also showcase the role that larger national and international companies can play in fighting poverty through their core business: creating jobs, building opportunities for small businesses as suppliers and distributors, developing products and services that meet the needs of poor people, and paying taxes that then go on to fund social spending.

When did you begin to see the organization's efforts yield fruit both in terms of achieving the main three objectives of Business Action for Africa and with respect to attracting some of the corporate sponsors that you have? Was there ever a time when you felt like this journey would be an uphill battle?

The focus of Business Action for Africa is to catalyze business-led collective action. In addition to our advocacy work and best-practice sharing, we have supported a number of projects on the ground. One of these is called Business Action Against Corruption. BAAC is founded on the view that change requires indigenous and international private sector actors to find practical ways to collaborate with governments to tackle corruption. Led by organizations like Royal Dutch Shell, the Commonwealth Business Council, and Southern Africa Forum Against Corruption, there are now programmes running in Botswana, Cameroon, Malawi, Nigeria and Zambia."

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Africa’s Looming Food Crisis can be Mitigated

Images of rioters in Egypt, Senegal, Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Mozambique (among others) clashing with police in protest against soaring food prices and Kenya’s abandoned internally displaced people all tell a similar story: Africa needs to ...........Click to Read MORE


Monday, April 14, 2008

Profile: Kenya's new PM Raila Odinga

Raila Odinga, the 63-year-old newly appointed Kenyan prime minister, is described by both friends and foes as the engine that drives politics in Kenya.
Odinga was born in January 1945, in Maseno, Nyanza Province of Kenya, the second son of nine children of the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, who was Kenya's vice-president and doyen of opposition.......READ MORE


Thursday, April 03, 2008

HOST Africa: New Hospitality News and Information Magazine born in Africa

HOST Africa is the latest magazine offering a new approach to the hospitality industry news, information and analysis in East Africa. The magazine set to go out in June is already testing its new website VIEW HERE

It is published by All Times Media Kenya, and will be distributed exclusively via suscription to Top industry decision makers in the hospitality industry (Airlines, Hotels, Restaurants, Industry Suppliers, Business Travellers). Copies of the magazine will also retail at major newstands throughout East Africa and parts of South Africa, the US and Europe. you can suscribe to recieve exclusive copies of HOST Africa magazine through this blog CLICK HERE



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