Connect with us


How integration shall boost the youth and creative economy



Africa’s free trade area is expected to be a boon for the creative sector and generate jobs for the youth.

The trade pact, which seeks to create a single market for goods and services. And promote cross-border movement of capital and people. Should boost intra-African trade — currently at only 18 per cent—and regional integration.

Key players in the creative industry were optimistic when they met in Kigali, Rwanda, in 2019, even before the trade area launched.

Creative and cultural industries

“We wanted to deconstruct the AfCFTA,” said Josh Nyapimbi, the executive director of Nhimbe Trust. A pan-African creative civil society organization based in Zimbabwe. Adding that the creative and cultural industries can “leverage the agreement to advance our economies.”

Similarly, Wamkele Mene, the secretary-general of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Has emphasized the need for youth involvement in cross-border trade through the creative industry and technology.


He says that the active participation of young people will boost job creation and catalyze economic development.

Africa’s creative sector is diverse, including visual and performing arts. Crafts, cultural festivals, paintings, sculptures and photography.

Publishing, music, dance, film and radio. Design, fashion, video games and digital animation. Architecture and advertising. According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Africa’s economic growth

The organization notes that the sector is helping fuel Africa’s economic growth.

“The creative economy and its industries are strategic sectors that, if nurtured, can boost competitiveness. Productivity, sustainable growth, employment and exports potential,” says Pamela Coke-Hamilton, UNCTAD’s Executive Director.

A report by the International Trade Centre states that the AfCFTA agreement. Can create more jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Young africans

For young Africans, recommending that ways be established for the youth to benefit from a single market.

Africa is the youngest continent, with a median age of 19.8 years while 65 per cent of its population is under 25 years of age.

A third of all youth globally are expected to live in Africa by 2050. Yet between 7 million and 10 million young Africans look for jobs every day.


Ahunna Eziakonwa, the director of the UN Development Programme’s Regional Bureau for Africa, told Africa Renewal earlier this year. That the AfCFTA “is Africa’s best development accelerator yet”.

In March 2021, Eziakonwa and Mene signed a strategic partnership on behalf of the UNDP and the AfCFTA Secretariat to promote trade in Africa.

Both bodies again released a report in November emphasizing that free trade in Africa could spur about 10 new value chains, many of which will support the creative sector.

These include mobile financial services, and cultural, entertainment and tourism.

Related stories

New money

Creativity is the new money, and it is time for Africa to reap its benefits, says Carlos Lopes, economist and former executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa.

Lopes notes: “While there is clearly no shortage of talent in the continent, Africa has been relatively poor in profiting from [its talents]…

Africa’s presence in global markets for creative goods and services has been stagnated by its limited supply capacity.

Lack of intellectual property knowledge, obsolete policies and regulations, as well as underinvestment in the industry, particularly infrastructure.”

Three solutions

Addressing this situation requires three solutions, according to Eziakonwa – knowing the opportunity. Investing in enabling policy frameworks and removing obstacles to mobility.

Africa must first recognise the economic value of the creative and cultural industry, she argues.

Achieving the goal of one African market requires a targeted incentive scheme that supports learning, talent development, and promotion in Africa.

Visa regimes

In addition to relaxing visa regimes to enable Africans, including those in the creative sector, to travel unhindered across borders, she adds.

Nigeria’s film industry, for instance, contributes 1.42 per cent (or $7.2 billion) to the country’s GDP, employing 300,000 people directly and one million others indirectly.

South Africa’s creative industry accounts for 3.6 per cent of the country’s employment.

One year anniversary

As the AfCFTA one-year anniversary approaches, top industry players are hopeful that the trade pact will tackle several hurdles.

Jacob Maaga is a Kenya-based performing artiste and financial expert who has been working to promote trade in Africa.

He says that “an enabling regulatory framework accompanied by legal protection is essential for youths to reap the benefits of AfCFTA.”

Award winning entrepreneur

In South Africa, award-winning entrepreneur Hannah Lavery says she hopes that the AfCFTA will open communication between businesses across Africa “so that we can start sourcing, manufacturing, and selling across borders.”

These issues and more were discussed last month at the Intra-African Trade Fair in Durban, South Africa.

Where the Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX) Summit was launched, supported by the African Import-Export Bank.

$500 million facility

CANEX aims to support Africa’s creative and cultural industries, and Afreximbank has set up a $500 million facility as seed capital for the initiative.

According to Afreximbank’s president, Prof Benedict Oramah, supporting the creative sector is a good bet.

“At Afreximbank, we fully understand the power of the creative industry to catalyse intra-African trade.

Create millions of jobs for the continent’s young population, and promote the emergence of national and regional value chains,” says Oramah. “We also know the power of creatives to catalyse industrial development because this is a bankable industry.”

Continue Reading


Three Global Firms Signed By Nairobi Financial Hub On Its Launch




Three companies were signed by Nairobi’s international financial centre on the day of its launch. The three include Prudential plc, ARC Ride Kenya and AirCarbon Exchange (ACX).

The Nairobi International Financial Centre (NIFC) is a special economic zone for financial firms.

Prudential, one of the world’s biggest insurers and asset managers, became the first firm to formally join the NIFC.

Singapore-based global carbon exchange ACX came along with Prudential. It seeks to set up a carbon exchange in Kenya.

Check out: Why Buyers Are Now Running Away From Popular Used Toyota Cars

NIFC has also admitted ARC Ride Kenya. It is a new start-up that is going to establish an electric vehicle assembly plant in Nairobi. The plant will produce two and three-wheeled electric bikes and scooters.

Also, the Financial Centre is determined to bolster the manufacturing sector in the country. It has signed an MoU with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), to help increase financing and investment in the sector.

NIFC authority has hinted at being in discussion with other participants seeking to join it and will give official news soon.

“Last year Prudential Plc, one of the world’s biggest insurers and asset managers, made a commitment to relocating their Africa headquarters from London to Nairobi and join the Centre. Today we are proud to announce that Prudential becomes the first firm to formally join the Nairobi International Financial Centre,” Vincent Rague, Chairman NIFC Authority.

After many years of waiting, the hub will eye large foreign firms, boosting capital flows to Kenya and the region.

The authority has singled-out four sectors that it will prioritise for growth: financial technology, green finance, investment funds, and becoming a hub for regional multinationals.

The NIFC general regulations have been enacted, as the initial set of tax incentive proposals have been passed.

Also read: The Ultimate Guide to Digital PR

Certification from the NIFC Authority must be applied by Firms considering conducting business through the NIFC.

A 15% corporate tax will benefit firms operating a carbon market exchange or emission trading system under the NIFC. The 15% advantage will happen for the first 10 years of operation.

Companies certified by the NIFC Authority and have invested a minimum of Sh5 billion will benefit from the certainty that, the Capital Gains Tax applicable at the time they make their investments will remain unchanged during the lifetime of the investments.

Continue Reading


Hackers Make Tactical Change, Now Targeting Small Businesses




Traditionally, cybercriminals have been targeting big companies with aim of demanding ransoms running into millions. Nonetheless, the trend no longer holds, as new studies have shown the shift in hackers’ interest from big companies to small and medium ones.

Studies have shown that hackers are shifting their focus to small online businesses which they believe are more vulnerable.

Experts have warned that these SMEs and payment portals, especially those relying on mobile payment solutions, are now facing high risks of cyber attacks coordinated by these hackers.

Speaking during the inaugural Africa Cybersecurity Congress held in Nairobi, Hadi Maeleb, Agora Group co-founder and CEO said the threats to online businesses were growing at a high rate.

Further, he stated that more than 90% of business owners are unaware that their enterprises are at risk, despite the high growth rate of the attacks.

“Cybercriminals are now targeting small businesses more as they have realized that these enterprises do believe they would be exposed due to their comparatively low turnovers until they lose their data and payments are compromised,” said Mr Maeleb.

With the adoption of e-commerce platforms, State agencies, financial institutions, healthcare, energy and utilities have persistently faced cyber-attacks in the recent past.

According to CAK- Communications Authority of Kenya’s first-quarter data (between January to March 2022), a total of 79.2 million cyber-attacks were reported. This has prompted the government to issue 28,848 advisories in an attempt to fight the rising attacks.

Invest in Cybersecurity

Mr Maeleb noted that business owners should invest in cybersecurity tools as there is no magical solution to cybercrime.

“This ‘democratization’ of cyberattacks is expected to push losses due to business interruption, financial theft, personal data breaches and even ransom payments over the Sh4 trillion mark by end of 2022,” he said.

At the peak of the pandemic, several states adopted tough lockdown measures such as social distancing, working from home, and online learning.

Also read: Why Buyers Are Now Running Away From Popular Used Toyota Cars

Hackers shifting focus to small businesses.

This adoption of digital solutions such as e-commerce, remote working and banking went up as Kenyans turned to online platforms to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“Unfortunately for them, the business of cybercrime has evolved to a point where attacks like ransomware are now sold as a service,” he added.

Even though these measures triggered the adoption of digital platforms, they also increased vulnerability such as ransom, data breaches, harassment, cyberbullying, and data breaches.

Kenya’s ICT Policy which came into effect in 2006, is credited for creating an enabling environment for the growth and usage of technology.

Kenya’s ICT Policy which came into effect in 2006, is credited for creating an enabling environment for the growth and usage of technology.

To achieve Kenya’s Vision 2030 goal of a regional ICT hub, the tech sector was expected to contribute directly and indirectly to an additional 1.5% of Kenya’s GDP by 2017/2018.

Continue Reading


Why Buyers Are Now Running Away From Popular Used Toyota Cars




As it has been noted that Kenyans are now running away from the popular used Toyota car models, contrary to what has been a tradition in the country. The rise in their costs has seen even dealers cut down on imports of these vehicles due to decreased demand.

Traditionally, popular models such as Toyota Premio and RAV4 have been synonymous with middle-income earners over the years. However, this is no longer the trend.

Car dealers say more Kenyans are now going for vehicles such as Nissan Sylphy and Mazda, which cost less compared with popular Toyota models.

Toyota Vs Nisaan and Mazda models

According to Charles Munyori, the secretary-general of Kenya Auto Bazaar Association, Nissan Sylphy and Mazda’s CX5 and Axela, are quickly gaining popularity among Kenyans.

Mr Munyori said the price of a Toyota RAV4 has short up to Sh3 million currently from Sh2.8 million in February while a Premio is going for Sh2.2 million from Sh2 million four months ago.

On the contrary, Mazda Axela is now selling for Sh1.6 million with Nissan Sylphy (Blue Bird) going for at least Sh1.5 million.

Currently, consumers find these brands to be the best alternatives to their preferred models, as they are relatively cheaper and good.

Check out: Stabex, Uganda’s largest Oil Company That has Been Linked To DP Ruto

With the rising household costs, these car prices are making them affordable to most Kenyans as they struggle to balance the high cost of living.

“We are seeing a shift where Kenyans are now moving from the popular brands such as Toyota Premio and RAV4 to other models. This shift has been occasioned by the high cost that these cars are now fetching at the market,” said Mr Munyori.

“In fact, most of the car dealers are hardly bringing in Premio and RAV4 models because they are not moving and they will tie up money that they would need for importation of more vehicles,” he said.

Ex-Japanese vehicles

Ex-Japan vehicles dominate the Kenyan second-hand sector with a more than 80% market share.

Also read:

The buyers in the sector prefer these cars as their spare parts are easier to obtain locally compared to other brands. Additionally, buyers believe that the resale value of Toyota vehicles are higher than that of other brands like mazda or Nissan.

Reasons for risisng vehicle cost

The rising cost of vehicles in the country has been linked to the unavailability of dollars locally, a shortage of electronic chips in Japan, and a weakening shilling against the dollar.

The country is currently experiencing extreme dollar shortage, that one has to wait for at least three days to get $20,000 or $25,000 from the banks.

“We have to wait for like nine days in order to accumulate $80,000, and this has seen car dealers delay in making their orders. We are really feeling the impact of the dollar shortage in the market,” Mr Munyori said.

banks have imposed regulations on dollar purchase. This has forced traders to face difficulty in meeting their obligations.

Industrialists are forced to start seeking dollars in advance. The shortage puts a strain on supplier relations and the ability to negotiate favourable prices in gap markets.

On the other hand, Semiconductors are used in making electronic devices. Their shortage has forced the vehicle manufacturers to scale down the production. The quantity and quality cannot be maintained with decrease in one of the crucial raw material.

Finally, the shilling has persistently remained weak against the dollar. this has made it costly for importers shipping in goods.

The shilling has hit a record low trading at of Sh 117.06 against the dollar. This predicts a continued rise in imported goods, and signifies a further dollar shortage crisis.

The continuous depreciation in shilling stability is attributed to increased demand for dollars from importers. This highly arises on importaion of crude oil and merchandised goods.

It should be noted that most external debt is repaid in the dollar. Therefore, a weakened shilling increases prices of imported goods, and puts pressure on the country’s debt repayment.

Continue Reading