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Kenya’s president, Ruto, eyes tax reforms, wants to tax wealth than commerce

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Kenya’s newly elected president, William Ruto, has continued the public sector reforms he promised the Kenyan populace as he on Thursday announced a plan to reform the country’s tax system.

President Ruto said he is “determined to ensure” that Kenya’s tax system “responds to the needs of the economy” as he intends to make the tax system “fairer” by making the richest people pay more, in his first speech to parliament.

The new tax system “must be fair, efficient” and “the tax burden must reflect the ability to pay” of every taxpayer. “We are taxing commerce too much and wealth too little,” Mr. Ruto said.

The president also on Thursday instructed the finance ministry to cut 300 billion shillings ($2.5 billion) from annual government spending this year.

Ruto earlier this week unveiled his cabinet as he appointed former central bank governor, Njuguna Ndung’u, as finance minister as the East African country battles rising inflation, a heavy debt burden, and drought.

General elections were held in Kenya on 9 August 2022. Voters elected William Ruto as the East African country’s fifth president after a close contest with a veteran contender, Raila Odinga.

The East African giant is currently going through economic stress as inflation has been on an upward trend lately to hit its highest in five years at 8.5% in August, from 8.3% year-on-year in July, up from 7.9%  in June.

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African leaders want more efforts to promote regional industrilisation

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Leaders across the continent of Africa at a recent meeting in Niger’s capital Niamey have called for a doubling of efforts to promote industrialization in the region.

The call came during an Extraordinary Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification in the Central African country.

Some of the leaders present were, Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, and Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The leaders noted sectors critical to industrialisation like agriculture, agro-industry, health, education, infrastructure, and especially energy, and urged increased private sector participation in the space.

The summit later held a discussion on trade with a focus on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Africa is the world’s least industrialized, the continent commemorates Africa Industrialization Day every November.

The African Development Bank Group, in its November 2022 index posits that industrialisation is central to Africa’s development prospects. With its young labour force, abundant natural resources, and fast-growing internal markets. Africa has the potential to become the next global frontier for industrial development.

 

 

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Ivory Coast aims regional shipping hub, completes $953 million container terminal

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West African country, Ivory Coast is making waves at becoming a regional shipping hub as it has completed construction of a second container terminal at its main port in Abidjan.

The project, financed by China’s Eximbank by 85% and 15% by the Ivorian state costs about 596 billion CFA francs ($953 million).

The new container terminal, called Cote d’Ivoire Terminal (CIT), started operations on Nov. 1 but was officially unveiled at a press conference on Friday. It is able to receive large ships from Asia, Europe, and America that previously had to land goods in South Africa, transferring them to smaller ships to reach West Africa.

The technical director of the terminal Andre N’Doli, remarked “we are no longer a second port. We are becoming a hub,”

“In addition to national traffic, we will handle traffic from other ports that cannot accommodate large vessels,” he told reporters.

According to official data, there has been growth in recent years in the country’s maritime sector. Ivory Coast shipped goods worth USD 12,717 million in 2019, an -8.5% dip as compared to the previous year.

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