Friday, September 27, 2013

Rabies elimination could save the world $124 billion annually

The Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) today marks preparations for the 7th annual World Rabies Day on 28 September by calling for a renewed effort at the global, national and community levels to defeat a disease which wreaks untold suffering on millions of people each year.

Rabies, which remains widespread throughout much of the developing world, kills tens of thousands of people each year and impacts the lives of as many as 5 billion people. Over 95% of human rabies deaths today occur in Africa and Asia as a result of being bitten by an infected dog and up to 60% of all dog bites and rabies deaths occur in children under 15 years of age.The cost of this in terms of global economic output is a staggering $124 billion: this disproportionately hits poorer parts of the world hardest.

Yet while the financial burden of rabies remains so high, the cost of defeating it is much lower. It has been calculated that elimination of canine rabies could be achieved for as little as $6-$8 billion. This suggests that every dollar spent could generate a saving of 15 and 20 dollars annually.

These calculations have been prepared by the economics sub-group of the Partners for Rabies Prevention (PRP), an informal group of stakeholders convened by GARC, which unites the major multilateral agencies involved in rabies control, the private sector, research scientists and the donor community.

The economics sub-group said in a statement,"Canine rabies impacts 5 billion people and kills tens of thousands of people, mainly children, in the poorest parts of the world every year. The estimated global economic costs are $124 billion each year. Our goal is to eliminate this horrific disease for the global public good. If we could act together now, this could be achieved within our lifetime for between $6 and $8 billion."

Most of the financial cost of rabies comes from the loss of human life, including the downstream economic impacts of the loss of victims’ future earnings. The direct and indirect cost of vaccination is the next highest figure. The figures, based on published data, show that rabies has a huge financial impact alongside the well-known physical, social and psychological costs of the disease. Crucially, the economic impact affects not just the victims and those who require vaccination but the community as a whole.

According to Professor Debbie Briggs, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Rabies Control: “The technology to eliminate human deaths from canine rabies already exists and has been proven effective in many parts of the world. What is needed to free the global community from this disease is political and financial commitment to increase capacity for such control measures. World Rabies Day gives people all over the world an opportunity to highlight these issues to decision makers and push for rabies elimination measures in their countries.”

Day of action across the globe
Across the world on September 28, events are being organized to raise awareness of rabies prevention and mobilize support to defeat the disease. Here are just a few:
  • Hama, Syria: With the civil war in the country having led to the collapse of the country’s animal health programme, the Faculty of Animal Health at Al Baath University has organized a day of workshops offering advice on animal health and rabies prevention
  • Zamboanga City, Philippines: A mass dog walk, starting at the city’s Dog Pound
  • Abuja, Nigeria; will host a Dog Show Against Rabies
  • London, United Kingdom: The University of London will host an exhibition and talk with leading rabies researchers 
  • Annecy, France: Fondation Merieux and Institut Pasteur host an event to discuss new concepts in rabies vaccines and vaccinology
  • USA: Free rabies vaccination clinics for dogs and cats across the country.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Forbes launches Africa women's business magazine

This new monthly magazine is a pan-African publication that will navigate the world of business for women, with features on the latest trends in the corporate sector and how its architecture speaks to women. The magazine will profile the trailblazers, game changers and pioneers among the women involved in business, the economy of Africa and the world. In line with this, the magazine will also feature the wealthy, powerful and influential women in business whose impact is felt long after they have come and gone.

“Forbes Woman Africa follows the success of Forbes Africa,” says Founder and Vice Chairman of the ABN Group, Rakesh Wahi. “There are so many stories of success on the African continent that we will never be able to do justice to all the woman making a difference in the corporate world, which is the principal reason why I took the decision to have a separate magazine for women. We are looking forward to making this the most sought after business magazine for women on the continent,” says Wahi.

“We are excited about this new magazine which will provide a platform for amazing women in Africa doing extraordinary work, be it in the economy, business, politics, art and culture.  Forbes Woman Africa is a niche product sorely needed in the African market,” says Editor of Forbes Woman Africa, Karima Brown.

Forbes Women Africa will position itself as the business magazine of choice for leading women entrepreneurs and those who aspire to break through the proverbial glass ceiling. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Willem Alexander Hondius appointed to head low cost Jambo Jet

The Board of Kenya Airways has appointed Willem Alexander Hondius as Chief Executive Officer of Jambo Jet Limited, the airline’s new low-cost carrier subsidiary.

Announcing the appointment, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Titus Naikuni, said:
“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Willem Hondius as Chief Executive Officer of Jambo Jet Ltd, reporting into the Jambo Jet Board which is chaired by Mr. Ayisi Makatiani. Willem brings to the airline a wealth of experience in the aviation industry especially in the low-cost airline area and will be instrumental in steering the operations of the new carrier.”
Kenya Airways has been in the process of establishing the low-cost carrier subsidiary and the appointment of the CEO moves the airline closer to the realization of its goal in this respect.
“There is still a lot of work to be done before operations start and this appointment is a major milestone in that process,” added Dr. Naikuni.
Before his appointment, Hondius was general manager for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines for Eastern Africa based in Nairobi since 2012 as well as project manager for Jambo Jet Limited. Between 2005 and 2012, he was executive vice-president and chief commercial officer of Transavia Airlines a wholly-owned subsidiary of KLM.  He has also served on various boards.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

3 Kenya Airways Boeing 777-300ER with 400 capacity start arriving October 2013

Kenya Airways is set to receive the first of three Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in October this year to commence revenue service in November.

The new state-of-the-art aircraft B777-300ER will be the largest in the airline’s fleet to date. With a seating capacity of 400 (28 - Premier World and 372 Economy) and long-range flying capability, this new addition will also offer excellent passenger experience. 

“This will be the largest aircraft in our fleet. Our current B777-200ER aircraft has a seating capacity of 322 passengers while this one has 400 seats. It  will give our business a major lift due to its enhanced product quality, excellent range and impressive cargo capacity ( more than 7,000 cubic feet of cargo volume; over 20 metric tons),” says Dr. Titus Naikuni, Kenya Airways Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.

“The Boeing 777-300ER aircraft is a perfect fit for our network expansion plans as it will enable us serve our existing markets much more effectively and facilitate the opening of new long-haul routes in the near future,” Dr Naikuni added. 

The aircraft has been designed with our guests in mind and will come with exciting features to delight existing passengers and attract new ones. Our Premier World business-class features full flat-bed seats with leather foot-rests, laptop stowage and armrests that also act as privacy dividers. Our guests will now also enjoy high quality in-flight entertainment; each seat has a 15.4 inch touch screen monitor, power socket and USB  port, and an in-flight entertainment handset. 

The Economy class seats are also a cut above the rest, with articulating seat bottoms for better legroom, four-way adjustable headrests, in-flight handset seatback and large 10.6 inch touch screen monitors. Each seat also has a USB port, with power sockets strategically installed throughout the cabin.

Our guests will also experience our all-new industry-leading in-flight entertainment system with an smart user interface, with full audio and video on demand and games. Guests will also have access to interactive moving maps and information on connecting gates. 

This acquisition is part of Kenya Airways 10-year strategic plan dubbed ‘Project Mawingu’ in which the airline targets to increase its fleet size from the current 44 to 107 aircrafts by 2021 and    destinations from the current  62  to 115.

The new Boeing 777-300ER will commence direct flights from Nairobi to Guangzhou from November this year.

The Boeing 777-300ER will be the fourth aircraft that Kenya Airways will receive this year, after three Embraer 190 jets delivered in January, February and August, respectively. Two more B777-300ER aircraft are expected to be delivered in mid-2014.

The airline has a fleet mix of wide body  (twin aisle) and narrow body (single-aisle) aircraft   comprising  four Boeing 777-200ER wide body jets, six Boeing 767-300ER wide body jets, fourteen Boeing 737 narrow body jets (Boeing 737-800, Boeing 737-700 and Boeing 737-300), eighteen Embraer regional jets (E170 and E190) and two dedicated 737-300 freighters (converted from passenger aircraft).

The airline has also ordered nine Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircrafts, the first of which is to be delivered in early 2014.

CMC Holdings attracts KSh7.5 billion takeover offer from Dubai's Al-Futtaim

Dubai-headquartered Al-Futtaim group, a leading diversified conglomerate operating through 100 companies across 20 markets, has made public its intention to make a cash offer for the purchase of 100 per cent of issued share capital of the Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed CMC Holdings Limited at Sh13 per share. EFG-Hermes is acting as financial advisor to Al-Futtaim on the transaction.

The takeover proposal has received overwhelming endorsement from 50.6 per cent of CMC’s shareholders, including most of the company’s top shareholders who have undertaken to sell their shares when the offer is made. This will help the Nairobi-based automotive group to introduce more brands beyond its current stable of Volkswagen, Ford, Mazda, Suzuki, Case New Holland, MAN, UD, Maruti and Case Construction.

“With more than 40,000 employees Al-Futtaim group has significantly expanded its business operations in recent years through a strategic acquisition plan and has entered a number of new territories, increasing its footprint beyond the Gulf Cooperation Council states (GCC) and the greater Middle East to encompass South East Asia and Africa,” said Marwan Shehadeh, Group Director Corporate Development, Al-Futtaim group.

Once made, the offer would represent a big vote of confidence in the prospects of one of Kenya’s oldest and leading vehicle dealers. Standing at KSh7.5 billion, the deal also represents one of the biggest foreign direct investment inflows into the Kenyan economy in recent times and is expected to highlight the appeal of Kenyan blue chip companies as global firms seek a foothold in the booming African economy.

“We believe in CMC Group, our first sub-Saharan target, the great brands it sells and the employees behind its success over the years. We also respect the heritage of the company and its 65 year-old history in fostering economic development in Kenya,” added Shehadeh. “We are continuing our expansion drive across Africa and we hope that CMC will be the jewel in the crown of our inroads into this great continent.”

Al-Futtaim group, through its subsidiary Al-Futtaim Auto & Machinery Company (FAMCO), has served a notice of intention to make the takeover to the board of CMC Holdings, which is expected to sit and evaluate the offer. The offer will be subject to all requisite regulatory approvals and certain transactional conditions.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Old Mutual acquires Ghana’s Provident Life Assurance Company

Old Mutual today announces that its acquisition of a majority stake in Ghana’s Provident Life
Assurance Company has become unconditional.

The deal has been approved by the Financial Services Board (FSB) o
f South Africa and the National
Insurance Commission (NIC) of Ghana.

Ralph Mupita, CEO of Old Mutual Emerging Markets, commented: “With distribution in four cities in
Ghana – Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi and Tema – Provident Life Assurance Company provides excellent
opportunities for Old Mutual, giving impetus to our expansion strategy in West Africa.”