Hopes of building a modern railway line in East Africa rose yesterday after Kenya and China signed a financial agreement committing the two countries to the Sh327 billion mega project. President Uhuru Kenyatta and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang led regional heads of states including presidents Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Paul Kagame (Rwanda) and Salva Kiir (South Sudan) in witnessing the signing ceremony at State House, Nairobi. The contract was signed by National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and the Chinese minister of Commerce, Mr Gao Hucheng. @nation

 

Kenya loses more than Sh131 billion in tax revenue every year through dubious practices perpetrated by importers and exporters, according to a report released last night. The report by the US-based international financial watchdog, Global Financial Integrity, said Kenya lost more than Sh1.1 trillion ($13 billion) through trade misinvoicing between 2002 and 2011. @nation

The government’s failure to modernise electricity infrastructure in western Kenya has kept the cost of electricity high, with a negative impact on consumers. This is despite a campaign to lower the average cost of electricity to boost economic growth by accelerating the performance of the manufacturing sector @nation

The future of the Kenya sugar industry has been cast in further doubt after both the Kenya Revenue Authority and the Police Service admitted that they were unable to crack down on illegal importation of the commodity.Appearing before a parliamentary committee separately, the two institutions showed that lack of coordination and capacity could be the reason contraband sugar imports continue to flood the country.@nation

Communications regulator has given a one-month window for filing objections to the impending renewal of Safaricom’s operating licences, indicating that the process is in the home stretch.

Safaricom has applied for renewal of its two licences from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) after expiry of its current permits. One of the licences is called the Network Facilities Provider Tier 1, which runs for 15 years and allows the provider to offer communication services based on satellite, terrestrial, mobile and fixed infrastructure. The other one is the International Gateway Licence, which allows it to offer global connectivity. @businessdaily 

Red Rock Resources, a UK mining firm prospecting for gold in Migori County, has raised sterling pounds 500,000 (Sh73.6 million) through a convertible bond. The firm raised the money through the sale of one-year convertible notes that will pay investors a 10 per cent coupon. Red Rock said that it will use the money to improve on its working capital and to retire more expensive debt. @Business daily

A Kitengela-based quarry operator has revealed plans to build a Sh428 million mini cement plant in Athi River, adding competition pressures in an industry whose prices have remained flat for about a decade. Karsan Ramji & Sons says it will begin construction of a small-scale cement grinding plant with a production capacity of 700 tonnes per day by the end of the year. @business daily

Governors are top on the list of real estate investors that are turning to cheaper and alternative building material from the National Housing Corporation (NHC) to build homes and offices. Nyeri County leads the pack in using Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) technology which uses soft board panels and wire mesh to construct walls, floor and slabs of buildings instead of stones and timber. Kitui and Lamu counties plan to set up administration offices and residential units using the panels, which the housing corporation says could save them up to 30 per cent in building costs and halve time taken. @business daily

Some 25 institutions generating power from renewable sources are to benefit from grants to be awarded by an American firm. General Electric, through its subsidiary GE Africa, and the US African Development Foundation will award $100,000 (about Sh8.5 million) to each winner in the second round of the Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge. Participants will be drawn from Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, and Nigeria. @nation media

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