The Energy Management Awards (EMA), a project by Kenya Association of Manufactures (KAM), to celebrate the great milestones that Kenya has taken to develop Clean Sustainable Energy has introduced a Student category. The 2017 version of the annual awards and expo were hosted by KAM and the Ministry of Energy at Safari park hotel in the last week of March.
The student’s category is mainly attributed to the efforts by Linking Industry with Academia (LIWA), an organization that seeks to promote research and skill development among students while linking them to the demands in the industry.
This category introduced by LIWA targets Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions, Universities and Government agencies in the education. The students’ competition was initiated through a call for applications that was opened from 6th -20th March 2017. A total of 15 complete applications were received from the TVETs and universities.
The applications were then sent to the judges for perusal before meeting the innovators. The judges comprised of experts who were identified by their immense experience in the industry and their involvement in the energy sector. They included; Dr. Kevit Desai the Chairman LIWA, Dr. Jeremiah Kiplagat the Director of Kenya Power International Ltd, R. Sathyamoorthy the Former CEO Tononoka Steels and Eng. Kelvin Kavita a Technical Manager at Centurion Systems Ltd.
After fully assessing the applicants based on their presentation skills, innovations, unique characteristics and gaps identified, the judges selected the 10 most innovative projects. The top 3 of these innovative projects were invited to the EMA Awards 2017 at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi on 31st March 2017. The first was Timothy Ndaa and Michael Ondoro with a Poseidon Pump System scoring 63.75 percent. The second was Theodore Kamau Mwangi and Cleopas Barwareng with Stacked Indoor LED Farming project scoring 49 percent. The third and final group that got an award had Vincent Wesonga and Caroline Wambui with a PLC Controlled Energy Saver for Commercial Buildings attaining a total score of 46.25 percent.
From this inaugural experience by LIWA, they noted that for better participation in future competitions calls for entries in the EMA Students Category should be extended for a longer period in order to obtain more applications. Also, the time between applications and final judgment should be extended to allow for a tiered assessment process that involves mentoring. What is the next step after competitions? How are the winners benefiting from the competition? There are some issues that need to be addressed in future competitions involving students.
Kenya Association of Manufacturers has signed into a multimillion shillings project with French Development Agency (AFD) in an effort to increase production of renewable energy in Kenya.
The energy project is set to cost Ksh 239 million is under Regional Technical Assistance Programme (RTAP). This project will relieve off Kenyans from frequent energy shortages.
The project will support Government policies in increasing power generation and the share of renewable energy and improve energy efficiency by financing selected investments in renewable energy.
The fund will be distributed through the private sector to assist in boosting energy capacity in the country.
The funding of Phase 2 is as a result of completion and implementation of Phase 1 that sought to recognize projects and provide various support to different stakeholders, sponsors and commercial banks.
Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), in partnership with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives and United Nations Industrial Organization (UNIDO) today launched the 2nd Kenya Manufacturing Summit and Expo that is set to run till 25th November. The Manufacturing Expo provides a great platform not only to showcase what Kenya currently produces but also explore new possibilities.
Business leaders have urged policy makers to embrace a predictable tax regime in national budgeting, enabling the business community to make sustainable plans to fuel Kenya’s economy in future.
A cross-section of stakeholders representing various sectors petitioned policy makers to consider international best practices in countries with fiscal policies that support sustainable long-term growth or risk losing local and foreign direct investments and, in turn, jobs.
Speakers at a Tax Predictability public forum hosted at the Strathmore Business School, implored on Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and The Treasury to fast-track efforts geared at stabilizing the local tax regime.
The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) CEO Ms. Phyllis Wakiaga regretted that local manufacturers are fast losing their competitive edge to other regional firms due to the unpredictable nature of the local tax regime. To foster national growth, Wakiaga noted that taxation policies will need to be aligned to long-term national development plans such as Vision 2030.
“The ongoing culture of tax regimes that are far removed from the national development agenda is regrettable. Taxation should be predictable and broad-based, enabling economic agents to plan accordingly, therefore securing a strong future of both our businesses and the economy at large,” said Ms. Wakiaga.
The public session was held ahead of the Budget Statement reading for the financial year 2017/2018 slated next Thursday and included KAM representatives, tax experts, distributors and farmers passionately outlined the benefits of a predictable tax environment.
Phillip Muema, a local tax with Nexus Business Advisory said tax predictability is critical for business growth as it provides a solid base for long term business planning. Such efforts he said can potentially accelerate tax collections by 30% through facilitation of tax administration procedures by boosting compliance.
“A sound tax system ensures that the government is able to raise revenue internally. That is why a robust tax system should be informed by progressive tax reforms necessary to ensure that the business community, farmers among other economic actors continue to enjoy an enabling environment to flourish,” Muema said.
Speaking at the same forum, Strathmore University don, James McFie stressed that integrity in the management of public funds was critical adding that public finance mismanagement was cause unnecessary burden on the taxpayers.
“Unpredictable tax regimes founded on short-term plans end up providing a fertile breeding ground for trade in contraband among other economic ills,” he noted.
Christine Kanana and Flora Ikabu from Tharaka Nithi recounted the devastating experience of a negative tax in sorghum farming saying regretting erratic remission rates has denied over 30,000 small-scale farmers guarantee from East African Breweries Limited (EABL). The company is the largest commercial buyer of the crop, used to make Senator, a value beer aimed for price-sensitive, lower end of the market.
“We started off as a group of farmers seeking a better source of income from sorghum farming but our efforts have continued to suffer unnecessary disruptions’ due to falling market prices,” Ms Ikabu explained.
Even for small-holder farmers seeking to diversify their incomes, Ms Ikabu said the stability of the tax regime would continue fostering the adoption of such non-traditional cash crops such as sorghum, sunflower and stevia. The global tax agenda is increasingly moving towards an environment that facilitates a conducive, coherent and predictable tax regime.
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