The KEPSA Foundation as part of the Africa Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA) Strategic Advisory Group co-hosted the 1st AVPA Social Investment Conference on 14th March 2018 at Kempinski Hotel, Nairobi.
The conference brought together Foundations, corporations, professional service firms, private investors, trusts, high-net-worth families’ universities and organizations interested and involved in creating and accelerating social impact.
The conference, whose theme was “Transforming the social investment Ecosystem in Africa” was held to discuss the formation of a Pan African Network (AVPA) that will catalyze and facilitate the realization for the full potential for social impact in Africa. The key guest speakers included Alejandro Alvares, the co-founding partner of the International Venture Philanthropy Center and part of the facilitating team spearheading the formation of AVPA; Bianali Suhandani, CEO of the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) India with experience in the not for profit sector; and Dr. Manu Chandaria, OBE, EBS, Chairman of Chandaria Foundation and KEPSA Foundation Trustee.
In his remarks, Alejandro Alvares highlighted the purpose of the AVPA is to build a network that enables individuals and organizations with capital i.e. financial, human and intellectual to realize their own aspirations for social impact in Africa by deploying their capital more effectively and through enhanced collaboration. He also noted the expectation is that the network will increase the amount of social capital deployed in Africa and improve its effectiveness in driving impact and thereby improving lives in Africa.
Binali Suhandani shared with the participants the Asian experience highlighting the formation process, challenges, opportunities and successes that the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) has faced. In sharing the best practices and what has worked for Asia, she said for the Network to work, there is need for a collaborative multi-sectoral forum that brings people together on a neutral platform.
Dr. Manu Chandaria in his remarks urged participants to give back to society as it is the only way a company or organization will be remembered is on how they impacted the community. He noted one can do well but together with other people, one can do better, hence the need for collaboration. In his closing remarks, he reminded all participants present there is a reason to give and a need to give and one should give by involving themselves entirely.
A call to action was made inviting participants to support the formation of AVPA either as Founding Partners who will contribute to the overall strengthening and transforming of the social investment ecosystem across Africa; as sponsors funding specific activities in exchange for special recognition and visibility; or as Friends of AVPA.
It was also highlighted that AVPA will be open for membership upon formal launch with the primary benefits being access to people, tools and knowledge that will enhance members’ ability to achieve the aspired impact.
Other speakers included Mamadou Bitaye from Rockefeller Foundation; Janet Mawiyoo from Kenya Community Development Foundation; Sanda Ojiambo from Safaricom Foundation; Arif Neky from UN; Karim S. Anjarwalla from Anjarwalla & Khanna and Julio Garrido-Mirapeix, KPMG.
The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) hosted a half day stakeholder validation workshop of the SME policy index tool on 15th March, 2018 at the Southern Sun Mayfair Hotel in Nairobi, that brought together different SME sector stakeholders, government representatives, partners and academia to review and make contributions to enrich the draft tool that will be used in assessment of Kenya’s SME Policy & Regulatory Environment.
During the workshop, KEPSA Head of Policy Research and Analysis Department Mr. Victor Ogalo gave a background of the study identifying the gaps in the sector that the Index will help address especially graduation/scale up of SMEs. Compared to developed countries such as Germany, Kenya’s SME contribution to the economy and employment lags behind their true potential due to a myriad of challenges that need policy intervention.
The Management University of Africa (MUA) who are the lead consultants in this project presented the Preliminary findings of the SME regulatory environment and policy index highlighting numerous studies that have been conducted in this sector. It emerged that past government interventions succeeded in creating institutions that have achieved little in addressing the challenges SMEs face. The sector remains uncoordinated and largely fragmented.
The study data collection tool will be mobile based and administered through one on one via the Open Data Kit (ODK) by research assistants. The study aims at a sample size of 1,100 SMEs who will be randomly selected, as per the study population in the three selected counties. The study adopts the definition of MSMEs as per the SME Act 2012.
Being a pilot study, data for the SME policy index will be collected in three earmarked counties namely Nairobi, Kiambu and Machakos.
Some of the suggestions from the participants regarding the tool included the following:
- Simplification of the tool and the language to make it more understandable to SMEs. Kiswahili language could also be considered.
- Clearly define SMEs and address the issue of overlaps in definition using turn-over and number of employees.
- Assess SMEs awareness of the government opportunities, the regulatory institutions and the services they offer. There’s need to create a central knowledge center for SMEs to provide information and assist them take advantage of opportunities meant for them.
- Broaden the scope to include the Micro enterprises and the period SMEs have been in existence.
- Also consider supportive frameworks and services that exist e.g. mentorship, incubation, etc. in addition to regulatory frameworks.
- Explore government incentives to improve access to affordable business spaces for SMEs in major towns.
- Consider other similar studies that have been conducted especially by the KNBS to avoid duplication of results. Also, seek partnership with existing stakeholders such as SESOK who offered to assist.
- Include aspects of SME competitiveness (e.g. cost of production), market linkages and barriers to SME expansion e.g. being sub-contracted or outsourced to produce on behalf of other companies who win tenders.
The draft TORs for the study, the Preliminary findings of the SME regulatory and SME policy index and a copy of the tool are attached for KEPSA members to review. Comments may be forwarded to research@Kepsa.or.ke
The Energy and Extractives sector board presented their memoranda on the Energy Bill, 2017 and the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill, 2017 at Parliament Buildings on 15th March, 2018 to Parliamentary Committee on Energy. Key input submitted from KEPSA included proposals from the Kenya Oil and Gas Association and the Oil and Gas Contractors of Kenya.
The two Bills are critical for the Energy and Petroleum sectors and were reintroduced in Parliament following failure to enact them in the previous Parliament. Hon. Gikaria, the Parliamentary Committee on Energy Chair, said he looked forward to further engagement with the private sector and the proposals submitted would be considered jointly with the Ministry on the way forward.
The Energy Bill, 2017 sought to consolidate the existing laws relating to energy i.e. the Energy Act, 2006, the Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board Order, 2013 and the Geothermal Resources Act. It addressed itself on various sub-sectors namely renewable energy, geothermal energy, midstream and downstream petroleum and coal activities, electrical energy and nuclear power.
The Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill, 2017 provides a framework for the contracting, exploration, development and production of petroleum and for the cessation of upstream petroleum operations.
Members positively noted key proposals the Bill had taken into consideration including the incorporation of national values, separation of downstream and upstream petroleum, clarity on terms and definitions and clarification of responsibilities between institutions. Eng. Mwangi, the sector board chair appreciated the opportunity provided to the private sector to present proposals for consideration and looked forward to offer clarification on any issue moving forward.
Energy and Extractives Sector Board Legislative Strategy, 2017
Geothermal Resources Act. It addressed itself on various sub-sectors namely renewable energy, geothermal energy, midstream and downstream petroleum and coal activities, electricity and nuclear power.
The Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill, 2015 provided a framework for the contracting, exploration, development and production of petroleum and for the cessation of upstream petroleum operations.
KEPSA was actively involved in the consideration of this Bill in all stages.
These Bills were passed by both the National Assembly and the Senate in 2016 and forwarded to the President for assent. The President withheld his assent and returned the Bills to Parliament expressing reservations on some of the clauses.
The President’s reservations were considered and incorporated into the Bill by the National Assembly in November 2016. The National Assembly forwarded the amended version of the Bill to the Senate for its consideration. By the time the term of the 11th Parliament came to an end on 8th August 2017, the Senate had not considered this Bill.
Current Stage of the Bills:
The Bills have been published and await introduction into the National Assembly. KEPSA will forward the memoranda to the relevant committee and request for a meeting with the committee to discuss the memoranda.
Today, 16th March 2018, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group together with Safaricom Limited launched a report on ‘Tackling Childcare: The Business Case for Employer- Supported Childcare’ at Intercontinental Hotel, Nairobi. The report has listed Safaricom among 10 case studies of companies around the world offering various childcare options for the benefit of the employees and employers who stand to benefit from improved recruitment, retention, and productivity of workers.
Speaking during the event, Mr. Steve Chege, Corporate Affairs Director, Safaricom, said Safaricom creates the most mother-friendly working conditions to reduce the disruption and costs associated with replacing women leaving the workforce to raise families. Aside from supporting new mothers, Safaricom also actively identifies female employees with leadership potential and deliberately grow them at every level of the company. Beyond the crèche provision, Safaricom offers additional benefits including maternity leave beyond statutory provision, reduced working hours options for mothers, breastfeeding rooms, an on-site doctor, and medical insurance that also covers children.
Manuel Moses, IFC Country Manager, East Africa highlighted some of the benefits that accrue when companies support childcare such as hiring and retaining talent and eventually boosting profits and productivity. In addition, children who have access to early childhood education and care are more likely to perform well in school, be healthy, as well as become more productive as adults. Childcare hence creates a win-win situation for employees and their children, employers and economies.
The Murang’a Women Representative, Hon. Sabina Chege, spoke about the Mother’s Bill which, she tabled in parliament. The Bill requires employers to provide an onsite child care crèche facilities at the workplace for holistic care and support for the children.
Safaricom is among the lead corporates in Kenya that are adopting and implementing Better Business Practices for Children initiative components. This is also in line with the Health Act, 2017 which mandates employers to provide lactation stations and flexi work arrangement for support to breastfeeding female employees.
Separately, the BBPC project team has been undertaking a process of documenting best practices among the private sector in regard to workplace support for breastfeeding female employees. The vision of this exercise is to come up with a booklet that will have a compilation of best practices and will serve as an advocacy tool among the private sector. During the week, the BBPC team visited various companies such as EKA Hotels, Seven Seas Technologies, Isuzu East Africa, Davis & Shirtliff and Mabati Rolling Mills that are already complying with the guidelines.
The KEPSA Devolution and Planning Sector Board held a meeting on 13th March, 2018 at KEPSA Offices. The meeting focused on reviewing progress on implementation of the devolution process and the emerging issues that are of concern to the private sector.
- Bills and Legislations
The following bills are under consideration by the senate
- Assumption to the Office of the County Governor Bill, 2018. The bill has been reintroduced at the Senate by a private member. It underwent first reading and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Devolved and Intergovernmental Relations. The purpose of the bill is to facilitate the handing over process by the outgoing Governor to the Governor Elect. Of interest to the private sector is a provision for the establishment of the Assumption of the Office of Governor Committee. This Committee will facilitate the handing over process by the outgoing Governor to the Governor elect which includes an effective handing over of a list of pending liabilities to the Governor-elect thereby safeguarding private players with whom the county has pending bills.
- Urban Areas and Cities (Amendment) Bill, 2017. This is due to the committee of the whole state. The amendments are aimed at reviewing the criteria provided for classifying an area as follows: a market (an area with a population of 2000), town (an area with a population of 10,000, municipality (an area with a population of 50,000) and city (an area with a population of 250,000). The Bill has also provided clarity on the qualification for the board members and provides for a member of a private sector association represented at the county to be incorporated.
- County Boundaries Commission Bill 2017 which seeks to define the boundaries of the counties of Kenya, establish independent county boundaries committee and provide for the resolution of county boundary disputes through mediation committee.
- Intergovernmental Alternative Dispute Resolution Regulations (2018) have been developed by the Ministry of Devolution and ASAL to provide for alternative dispute resolution mechanism between county governments and national government. The regulations have undergone public participation across the counties and are due to consideration by the respective national assembly and the senate commitees. This process is of interest to the private sector on alternatives to pursue, should matters such as pending bills remain unresolved.
2.The 5th Annual Devolution Conference Members also discussed about the upcoming 5th Annual Devolution Conference scheduled to take place in Kakamega County at Kakamega High Schools from 23rd to 27th April 2018. The overall theme is “Sustainable, productive, effective and efficient governments’ for results delivery”. The objective of the conference is to safeguard the gains and enhance the understanding and appreciation of devolution. The conference will have four side events whose focus has been aligned to the Big 4 agenda: Food Security; Urban development; Energy and infrastructure; health and; trade and Investment.
County Dialogues: As a build up to the devolution conference, county dialogues are normally held in every county to provide the citizens an opportunity to share the experience on how devolution has transformed lives. The county dialogues will be conducted each county and/or Regional blocs between February 26th and 23rd March 2018. Registration for the participants is open at the Council of Governors Website.
- Next Phase of Devolution and Private Sector
In recognition of the significant role devolution has played in the country for enhancing development, service delivery and transformation of the country, during the 2nd generation of the county governments’, the sector board members have added a voice on the need to devolve the private sector voice to the lowest level where business takes place at the county. They applauded the “KEPSA Simba Era strategy” which will seek to strengthen the devolved system of government and provide framework for the realisation of an economic led transformation of the counties.
Going forward, members will seek to continue engaging with the relevant devolved system platforms including the county assemblies’ forum and the governors’ round table, intergovernmental relations committee (IGRTC), Council of Governors Committee and County Executive Committee Members, in order to ensure that some of the pending policy issues arising from the implementation of devolution that affect private sector are resolved. This includes pending bills, the proposed county own source revenue enhancement policy and the county government revenue raising regulation bill.