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South Korean mobile phone manufacturer has unveiled yet another smartphone, Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 to the Kenyan market.

This smartphone has been modified in such a way that it will accommodate the middle and low income individuals who are interested in big screen gadgets.

The dual smartphone is much lighter and thinner with a large 5.25 inch user interface, has multitasking capabilities and can share pictures, music, games and documents.

The smartphone retailing price is Ksh 38,000 and looks similar to Galaxy Note 3 except that it doesn’t come with a gear.

Meanwhile, the company is set to launch Samsung Galaxy S5 Zoom on 29th April 2014 in Kenya though the pending court case with Apple Inc.

Construction of the Nairobi-Mombasa standard gauge railway is set to begin in May after the government completes full payment of loan agreement with China.

The Chinese Government will discharge money needed to start the project after the agreement is signed next month between the Kenyan and Chinese government.

The construction of the standard gauge railway will cost Ksh 425 billion ($5billion) in a deal which President Kenyatta signed during a prior visit by the Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang. Phase 1 of the construction will cost Ksh 327 billion.

The second visit of the Chinese government will be a follow up that will see the two countries change the MOU to a commercial agreement that will allow Kenya to draw funds.

Kenya set aside Sh22 billion in this year’s budget, and introduced a railway development levy of 1.5 per cent on all imports and has so far raised more than Sh15 billion.

Meanwhile, Kenya  had set aside Sh22 billion in this year’s budget, and introduced a railway development levy of 1.5 per cent on all imports and so far it  has  raised more than Sh15 billion.

Extract: Daily Nation

Royal Academy of Engineering in United Kingdom has launched the first ever Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation in efforts to encourage, celebrate and award innovation and entrepreneurship in South Africa  and sub-Saharan African countries.

Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation gives opportunity to ambitious and talented sub-Saharan engineers from all related disciplines to showcase their skills and generate solutions to local challenges while highlighting the significance of engineering in transforming life and source of economic development.

South African judge of the esteemed Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, Liesbeth Botha applauded the academy for launching the new prize.

Botha said “The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation will prove how African Engineers build countries, communities and economies, and emphasis use of education to produce professional engineers into the economy with the right knowledge and skills.”

Application of entries will close on 30th May 2014 and shortlisted innovative applicants will undergo a six month period of training and mentorship. During this period the finalists will get a chance to present at an event held in Africa and the winner will receive £25,000.

Engineer applicants should be associated with a university or research institute that has developed innovations that are currently being used across Africa.
The Africa Prize is supported by The Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund, Consolidated Contractors Company, ConocoPhillips and Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

To download the form visit 


The uptake of Cloud solutions is on the rise with latest research indicating that 70 per cent of organizations in Kenya are utilizing these solutions.

This is according to a study conducted by Microsoft and University of Nairobi on cloud computing in Kenya whose findings were released yesterday.

The results of the study were presented by Prof Timothy Mwololo Waema, a lecturer of Information Systems at the School of Computing and Informatics, University of Nairobi and Tonny Kerage Omwansa who lectures at the School of Computing and Informatics at the same institution.

The aim of the research project was to study and engage stakeholders in Kenya to understand the status of cloud computing and it's supporting technologies with an intention of learning more about the future of the technology in Kenya.

According to the study, Cloud computing is fairly new in Kenya with most organizations still having adopted it in either 2010 or 2011, implying that the impact of technology is limited. More organizations utilize pure private cloud (39%) compared to public cloud (22%), a choice primarily driven by perceived security concerns.

The study was the first done in Kenya on cloud computing. It was carried out in 60 organizations, a total of 54 respondents took part in the survey with 7 taking part in-depth interviews.

Targeting policy makers, opinion leaders and large organizations involved in cloud computing, the research revealed that 75% of the organizations were not aware of any cloud computing standards while another 80% are not aware of policy and legal frameworks. From the study, 90% of the respondents thought the cloud services market was ready but there was a lot of misunderstandings about the technology.

According to Kunle Awosike, country manager, Microsoft Kenya, who was present during the launch of the study said: "An increasing number of companies and government organizations are turning to cloud services to increase the productivity of their workforce. For example, we're seeing widespread adoption of cloud-based email services and productivity tools like Office 365, which enable "always-on" access to emails and files from virtually anywhere. Businesses are also running CRM, HR, accounting and custom enterprise applications in the cloud. Cloud computing can benefit governments in three areas: increasing national competitiveness, enhancing citizen services and driving down costs."

Cloud computing has emerged in recent years as a technology that can help developing countries leap frog in certain areas such as cost cutting and speed processing .

For cloud technologies to be implemented, appropriately and adopted, several critical elements must be in place and governments must put in place supportive legal and regulatory frameworks suppliers must make the technology available, technical people must have the right skills and consumers must have the right knowledge attitude.

Brown Otuya, deputy Principal Secretary, Ministry of ICT, who represented the Principal Secretary said: "The diffusion for mobile phones and apps demonstrate that the future of data will be hosted in cloud thus more need to create awareness on cloud computing through research. However there seems to be low but there is growth in awareness creation."

Taipan Resources Inc. ("Taipan"), through its wholly owned Kenya-based subsidiary Lion Petroleum Corp., has signed a binding farm-out agreement with Tower Resources (Kenya) Limited, a subsidiary of AIM-listed Tower Resources plc ("Tower"), whereby Tower will acquire a 15-per-cent participating interest in Block 2B onshore Kenya.

Taipan will retain a 30-per-cent operated interest in Block 2B.Taipan, is presently preparing to drill the Badada Prospect on Block 2B in Kenya. The Badada prospect has been independently estimated by Sproule International Limited ("Sproule") to have Mean Gross Unrisked Prospective Resources of 251 MMBOE and High (P10) Estimate Gross Unrisked Prospective Resources of 498 MMBOE.

The total estimated Mean Gross Unrisked Prospective Resources on Block 2B is 1,593 MMBOE based on 19 exploration leads (1).

Taipan, through its subsidiary Lion Petroleum will retain operatorship of Block 2B during the exploration phase.

Maxwell Birley, Chief Executive Officer, commented: "We have further de-risked our prospect in Block 2B with this farm out to Tower. The farm out to Tower is being completed at a favorable premium to the farm down to Premier announced in December of last year, and is reflective of the increased sentiment towards the value of our acreage in Block 2B.”

He added “between this farm down and the recent private placement, Taipan is now fully-funded and exposed to the drilling of a well on Block 1 and Block 2B in 2014. We have now set our sights not only on the drilling of these two exciting targets, but also on other sub-Saharan assets which will allow us to expand our portfolio of exploration assets in 2015 and beyond".

Rebuilding of a section of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport that was consumed by a fire in August last year is expected to be completed on schedule after the airport manager received Sh1.47 billion in final compensation from insurers.The payment brings to Sh1.97 billion the money the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has received for the condemned international arrivals terminal whose site preparation started in December. “The full settlement will enable us to restore the facilities at the airport, which is the main gateway into East Africa,” KAA managing director Lucy Mbugua said on day during the cheque presentation by APA Insurance. Swiss Re, Africa Re, Kenya Re, Zep Re and East Africa Re were secondary insurers. Investigators attributed the fire to an electric fault, leading APA to pay Sh500 million in December.@businessdaily

Barely a month after the government through the Energy Ministry halted the licensing of new oil explorers,it now wants to put in place a new law, which is expected to bring in a legal and fiscal framework to commercialize natural gas discoveries.

"The new law is expected to be sent to the Kenyan Parliament for approval by June 2014," the Ministry added.

Joseph Njoroge, energy and petroleum principal secretary, said, “We will offer the new blocks hopefully before the end of the financial year (June) based on the current law. We can’t wait longer.”

"Under the new law, policies for upstream, midstream and downstream sections are expected to be clearly defined in order to avoid overlaps and increase efficiency, government sources said. Guidelines on natural gas exploitation are also expected to be provided in the new law," they added.

Also to be enshrined in the new law is the creation of a sovereign wealth fund for petroleum revenue. The law is expected to also specify how it will be managed and disbursed.

The secretary added that out of 46 blocks in Kenya, 41 had already been licensed to 22 international operators.

Inquiries from companies keen on acquiring exploration blocks have increased following discoveries by Tullow Oil and its partner and Africa Oil Corporation recently in northwestern Kenya.

Read also:

Extracts from Africa Oil

Plans are underway to see to the sale of five government owned sugar millers in the next two years. This is seen as a good way to restore profitability in the companies and enhance competition in the sector.

The ministry will consider various options in the privatization including public-private partnerships, auctions and private treaties.

The sector has suffered continuous fragmentation which has led to the weakening of the sector with some firms closing down and farmers opting for other cash crops rather than sugar cane.

According to the Mumias East Member of Parliament, Benjamin Washaili, there has not been any political will to resolve the issues haunting the industry and that the government has overlooked the situation. He attributes the fragmentation of the sector to the government’s move to license more millers thus creating an unregulated battle for raw materials.

Out of 12 licensed millers in the country, the government owns five of them I.e. Nzoia, Muhoroni, Chemilil, South Naynza( Sony sugar) and the defunct Miwani.

The five mills have debts totaling to over Sh42 billion. They have been unable to compete with private millers due to low production.

From a report released today, electricity generation continues to rise despite a drop in investments. This has been credited by use of renewable energy that accounts for 44% across the world.

According to Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2014 created by the Frankfurt School-UNEP indicated that investment dropped due to uncertainty in policies in many countries, an issue that depressed investment in fossil fuel generation in 2013.

Globally, renewable excluding large hydro accounted for 43.6% of newly installed capacity in 2013 which would have boosted the gap between emissions of about 12% so as to have a view of staying under a two degree centigrade temperature rise.

Energy sector accounts for around two thirds o f total greenhouse gas emissions. Through this ruse of renewable energy has generally risen which is encouraging.

The report also shows that more companies will encourage use of wind and solar energy so as to avoid painful periods of over-capacity and corporate distress.

Finally, Global Trends in Renewable energy Investment has been in the forefront in matters of renewable energy investment figures.

Global investment in renewables fell by 14% during 2013, but the percentage of electricity generated by renewable sources still grew, a report shows. It said investment fell for the second year in a row because of cheaper technology, but also as a result of uncertainty surrounding energy policy. However, falling costs meant renewables accounted for 8.5% of the global electricity mix, up from 7.8% in 2012. @bbc

  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 launch in Kenya

    Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 launch in Kenya

  • Standard Gauge Railway construction commences...

  • First Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

  • Cloud Uptake On the Rise Despite Challenges

  • Explore farms out 15% stake of oil block 2B

  • Engineering items making news Thursday 10

  • Creation of seven new oil blocks to Kenyan...

  • 5 government sugar mills set for auction

  • Renewable energy accounts for 44% across the world

  • Engineering items making news today 8th April

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