Archive for December, 2006

The Kenya Investment Authority (KIA) now exists to remove the red tape that initially existed (one needed about 21 business licenses to operate a Biz as a foreigner) for those seeking to establish a biz. Their step by step guide is reproduced below:


1. Fill the “One Stop” KIA application Form.
2. Engage legal advice in Kenya.
3. Register Your business
4. Submit KIA form + Certificate of Incorporation + Articles and memorandum of association to KIA
5. Issue of The Investment License

Procedures for establishing a company in Kenya
The principal types of business enterprises in Kenya are:
1. Registered Companies (Private and Public)
2. Branch offices of companies registered outside Kenya
3. Partnerships
4. Sole Proprietorships
5. Co-operatives

Companies are registered as limited liability companies as in 1 and 2 above, and regulated by the Companies Act (Cap 486). Kenya’s legal system is based on English law and practice. A wide range of legal services are locally available.

Company Registration
The initial step in forming a company is to register the proposed company name with the Registrar of Companies at the Attorney General’s Chambers in Nairobi. The Memorandum and Articles of Association should be filed with the Registrar of Companies who, upon satisfaction, issues the Certificate of Incorporation.

Opening a branch office of an overseas company
An overseas company wishing to open a branch office in Kenya should deliver the following to the Registrar of Companies:

• A certified copy of the Charter, Statutes or Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Company, or other instruments defining the constitution of the company;
• A list of the directors and secretary of the company, giving full names, nationality and other directorships of companies in Kenya;
• A statement of all existing charges entered into by the company affecting properties in Kenya;
• Names and postal addresses of one or more persons resident in Kenya authorised to accept, on behalf of the company, service of notices required to be served on the company;
• Full address of the registered or principal office of the company in its home country; and,
• Full address of place of business in Kenya.

Both private and public companies may allot shares for considerations other than cash. Companies should inform the Registrar of Companies of such allotments and submit a written contract constituting the title of the allottee.

Patents and Trade Marks
Patents are regulated by the Industrial Property Act and administered by the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI), while trademarks are regulated by the Trade and Service Marks Act (Cap 506) and administered by the Registrar of Trademarks at KIPI. The duration of trademarks is seven years from the date of filing and renewable every 14 years.

Work permits
The Government allows investors to have key expatriate staff in senior management positions or where locals with specific skills are not available. Work permits for such expatriates are issued by the Immigration Department and are valid for one to two years, renewable on application.

Import and export prcedures
There is no import licensing except for a few items restricted for security, health or environmental reasons detailed in the Imports, Exports and Essential Supplies Act (Cap 502).
During the Budget for Fiscal Year 2001/02 the Minister agreed to waive the 2.75% Import Declaration Form (IDF) fees applicable on imported goods used for manufacturing goods for exports under the Tax Remission for Export Office (TREO) scheme. Manufactures under the TREO will however have to pay Kshs. 5000 which is processing fees.


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Cnn reports that Sen. Barrack Obama might consider defending his inexperience, race and middle name (Hussein) that some feel may remind americans of Saddam Hussein.

Well, i am in no position to advice anyone, leave alone Sen. Obama. But i would change/drop the middle name. Why would a little known middle name stand between you and such an elevated position (whatever position it is going to be)? What is in a name? It reminds Americans of all that they consider bad:

(i)Saddam Hussein

(ii)A muslim/moslem (which is which, does it matter?).

Well, you might say, he was still elacted senator with the name. True, but the stakes are now much higher; why take a chance?

This is no small matter. Politics is all about perceptions and looks and appearances.

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So finally the US will waive the visa issuance fee it charges kenyans?. Good gesture, but what would really be nice is the removal or reduction of the hefty H1 reciprocity fee Kenyans get charged ($340).

But here we need the diplomacy of Hon. Tuju and the economy of Hon. Kimunya to work it out so that we get this fee waived. First step. The cancellation or reduction of the $340 fee the kenya government charges american nationals (they charge them, right?) who get work permits to work in Kenya. The US government will cancel /reduce the $340 reciprocity fee they charge Kenyans who get the work permit (H1B etc) visa (Last time i was at a visa post, imagine my pain when paying $340 for this privelege while my Indian friends paid $50 (now reduced to $0) and Russians [which reminds me, i will write about my enkightened conversation with ’em Russians] paid $60).

But beyond me, why is this good? The math is good. There are more Kenyans working in the US than there are Americans working in Kenya. Say we have 1000 Americans working in kenya. Kenya gets to pocket $340,000. But just 50,000 Kenyans pay uncle Sam a cool $17,000,000! Hon Tuju and Hon. Kimunya, please help your country!

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“Job centres should be set up in Africa with “work mobility” packages for would-be immigrants, the European Commission said yesterday, as it unveiled radical plans to try to manage the flow of inward migration” The independent

Yes, this would work! Lets hope african governments would take this “offer” and run with it. This is basically what the outsourcing in India and all those other places is all about, though i must say, in the current case, the main reason that might be driving this move by the Europeans is fear of “the darkening of Europe”. But who cares what the reason is, if africa can bebefit from that fear, good!

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They say one of the marks of being super-rich in the USA is giving to charitable causes, mostly in Africa.

The africans in diaspora, who are “super-rich”, using the “less than $1 a day” yardstick of the volks in Africa, are also very charitable, giving, in terms of remittances, Billions of dollars (e.g. Kenya officially receives about $1b/year).

So where does the money go? Am i missing something here? Should not Kenyans at least have moved to, say, $10/day since 2002?

Either this money has found its way back from whence it came or the $1/day is not for real but a “pity me”  fund raising figure or a “look at me, i am better than you!” haha.

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American doctors(family practitioners and emergency room physician) and top cancer reseachers are immigrating to switzerland, seeking the more highly paying “botox”-type beauty management profession that swiss women offer. Investment bankers on wall street are taking up jobs as hedge fund managers at top swiss banks. Software millionaires from silicon valley are relocating to Bangalore to start their own software shops that will enable them to become billionaires.

Ok, its not quite that graphic as i have put it, but the Times reported (11.30.2006) on and New York times (requires free registration) made this editorial  on the situation where the desire to be super-rich is in over drive. To quote sample time article:

desperate plight of lawyers, bankers, management consultants and other members of the “merely rich” who are forced to keep up with the new “superrich”–hedge-fund managers, CEOs, YouTube founders and the like.* The gap between a seven-figure income and a nine-figure income is certainly a glaring one, yet society forces such families to share gated communities, country clubs and private-school auctions. What does it profit a man to have a showy house if his neighbor has an even showier one? In a kingdom of billionaires, can a millionaire still land a passable trophy wife and buy her a spot on the board of a prestigious charity?

This is what drives the american version of the brain drain. In fact the new your time editorial concludes thus:

“But the bottom line seems to be that in 21st-century America, more people can’t feel successful unless they’re making a killing.”

You know what this tells me?

(i)Its all about greed.  Is moving from being worth $100m to $1000m a quest for a better life? Blat blah blat about being ambitious, capita;ism,self actualization, etc.  Capitalism is wonderful, but its fuel is greed.

(ii)That based on (i) above, that some the reasons our professionals advance for seeking the western life are not true (except for the money part-which in all  honesty,as the american professional example shows, is all about Greed and not seeking a better life). They say once you make $50,000/year, more money does not make a difference in one’s lifestyle. More toys(quantity) yes, but not quality.

(iii)That based on (i) and (ii) above, our brodas, after “attaining” it, will reach the other end and find that there is still need to have more before you really, really “attain” it.

(iv)That this greed is universal, and as such our african brodas should feel less “guilt” that they abandoned their home where they are most needed and should walk with their heads high on the streets of new york.

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Here are free true value services:

411 calls

If you still do not know it, and your cell phone provider chanrges you for 411 calls, here are ways to get free service:

(i)Jingles Free 411. Just call 1-800-FREE-411

(ii)Google’s free SMS service: SMS Google (46645) with  query in the body of text and they will send a reply with phone number and address. Eg “Lakewood Church, Houston,TX”

Answers,Weather, Stock Quotes

(i)Send Google (46645) Text message with quest in the body of the message: Eg “GOOG” for Google stock quote, “weather Houston, TX”,  “Nogales AZ to 77449”

(ii)call 800-555-TELL for voice version of above. And, the relevant answers are location based!

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