For Online E-newspaper
Business Daily : October 9th 2013
8 BUSINESS DAILY | Wednesday October 9, 2013 BY MUGAMBI MUTEGI Mama Ngina Kenyatta and former pow- erful Cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott have made it to the list of Africa’s top billionaires, Nigeria-based Ventures financial magazine says. They are among the 55 Africa’s dol- lar billionaires in a list that includes other two Kenyans, Naushad Merali and Manu Chandaria, whom the magazine tips as the wealthiest in the country and 25th richest on the continent with a for- tune of $1.65 billion (Sh142 billion). Mama Ngina, the mother of Ken- ya’s fourth President, Uhuru Kenyatta, with a net worth of $1 billion (Sh86 bil- lion) spread in real estate, banking and hospitality sectors is among the three women that made it to the Africa’s billionaire club. Ventures magazine, which published the list of rich Afri- cans for the first time, placed the fortunes of Mr Biwott and Mr Merali, who both made their money during the era of President Moi, at about $1 billion (Sh86 billion). President Kenyatta is missing from the list despite being named position 26 by Forbes Africa’s rich list in 2011— a pointer that some of the in- vestments put under his name by the US firm could have been transferred to the family by the Nigerian publication. The 55 billionaires Ventures maga- zine has identified are more than the 16 super rich Africans listed by Forbes last year. It was able to identify dozens more billionaires by using “on-the-ground knowledge” to overcome hurdles that may have “hampered” other research- ers, said Ventures. Of the 55, 20 are Ni- gerian, nine are South African and eight are Egyptian, underlining the power of natural re- sources such as oil and gold in creating wealth on the continent. The other women that join Mama Ngina Keny- atta in roll are a daugh- ter of Angola’s president Isabel Dos Santos and a Nigerian oil tycoon Folorunsho Alakija and fashion designer. In Kenya, the common thread in the billionaires is politics, save for Mr Chandaria, thanks to his holding com- pany — Comcraft Group, a $2 billion industrial behemoth, which produces steel, plastics, and aluminum products in 45 countries. His Kenyan stable in- cludes Mabati Rolling Mills and Kalu- works Ltd. Mr Chandaria, 84, was named the oldest billionaire in Africa. He is also Kenya’s biggest philanthropist with his Chandaria Foundation giving away mil- lions of dollars to causes in education, health and the arts. Mr Biwott and Mr Merali owe the wealth to their close links with former President Moi. Mr Biwott has vast in- vestments abroad and, in Kenya, he is associated with Yaya Centre, an up- market shopping centre, in Hurling- ham, oil marketer KenolKobil as well as land and property valued at billions of shillings. Mr Merali through his Sameer Group has business interests across agriculture, energy and power, finance and telecommunications. He has significant stakes in Equa- torial Bank, Sasini, Eveready East Af- rica, Ryce East Africa, Sameer Industrial Park and a joint venture with Bharti Airtel, a mobile phone services pro- vider in Kenya. Total assets As the matriarch in charge of the Ken- yatta family’s vast business empire, Mama Ngina presides over an en- terprise that is associated with well- known commercial brands and blue chip companies. This includes Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), which is Kenya’s largest non-listed lender with total assets of Sh100 billion that last year posted a net profit of Sh2.6 billion. The bank is ranked Kenya’s ninth largest with a market size index of 4.08 per cent. Others are Brookside Dairy—where the President’s younger brother, Muho- ho, sits as executive chairman, and the upmarket and chic hotel chain, Herit- age Hotels East Africa. The family is also linked to Media Max Company, which owns K24 TV, Kameme Radio and The People news- paper. It also owns thousands of acres of prime land across Kenya that was acquired by the late President Kenyatta in the ‘60s and ‘70s under a settlement transfer fund scheme that allowed gov- ernment officials acquire land from the British cheap prices. But the wealth of Kenya’s billionaires is small compared to that of Africa’s richest man: Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote, with a fortune of $20.2 billion (Sh1.7 tril- lion). The Africa’s list is likely to reignite debate about inequality between the rich and poor. Ventures editor-in-chief Uzo Iweala told the BBC’s Focus on Africa radio pro- gramme that its estimate of 50 billion- aires was probably conservative. “There is this culture of you don’t necessarily want to show your wealth, considering the gap between rich and poor,” he said. email@example.com CORPORATE NEWS NEWS I REVIEWS I ANALYSIS Mama Ngina, Biwott in Af≥ica billionai≥es list RANKING Nigerian magazine tips Manu Chandaria as the wealthiest in Kenya The≥e is this cultu≥e of you don’t want to show you≥ wealth, conside≥ing the gap between ≥ich and poo≥ UZO IWEALA, VENTURES EDITOR MANU CHANDARIA Age: 84 Worth: sh142bn POSITION: 47 POSITION: 48 POSITION: 55 MAMA NGINA KENYATTA Age: 80 Worth: sh86bn NAUSHAD MERALI Age: 63 Worth: sh86bn NICHOLAS BIWOTT Age: 73 Worth: sh86bn POSITION: 25 Safa≥icom hits back at docto≥ ove≥ copy≥ight legal dispute BY GALGALLO FAYO Safaricom has denied claims by a medic that he owns an idea that helped the mobile operator to launch medical services for patients to consult doc- tors through video conferencing. The telco is opposed to the bid by Dedan Warui to stop it from offering the service on allegations that it copied his idea and launched the service dubbed Health Telepresence in partnership with AAR Kenya. Safaricom claims that the concept of telecare has been in the public do- main over the past decade and that it developed its video conferencing prod- uct with AAR and Cisco without refer- ence to Dr Warui’s proposal. The doctor says he presented Safa- ricom with the idea in 2011 and signed 3non-disclosure agreement last year be- fore the operator launched the service in November. The service provides video consul- tation through gadgets like laptops, tablets and mobile phones. “The concept upon which the plain- tiff (Dr Warui) Med-Dispenser is built is not original and the defendant is aware that the concept has been use in India since May 2010,” said Safaricom in court documents. The company acknowledged being in contact with Dr Warui, adding that it opted for a separate proposal that fit- ted with its business strategy. “While the digital inclusion team did give some initial consideration to the plaintiff, the Enterprise Business Unit made a decision to proceed with a separate proposal involving AAR and Cisco,” added Safaricom. The dispute echoes the running copyright infringement row between the telco and Faulu Kenya, which claims that M-Shwari — a mobile phone saving and lending service that the operator launched in partnership with Commer- cial Bank of Africa (CBA) — is its idea. Dr Warui claims the concept belongs to him and he copyrighted the service under the name Med-Dispenser in March 2011, before presenting it to Sa- faricom for commercialisation. He alleges in court documents that Safaricom referred him to a software development company, Bernsoft Inter- active Limited, to assist in the develop- ment of the programme. Safaricom has faced a number of copyright suits including that of the money transfer service M-Pesa. Christopher Ondieki took Safaricom to court in 2008 saying he invented M- Pesa’s upgraded technology that allows users to transfer money in US dollars and in Kenya shillings to and from bank accounts. Musician John Maina sued Safari- com last year for using 10 of his songs as ringtones through its “Skiza” and “Surf 2 Win Promotion” without com- pensating him. Simon Omondi also went to court seeking to stop Safaricom from using a popular service dubbed “Maliza Stori” that allows subscribers to buy more airtime on credit. The Health Telepresence is a tech- nology that uses video conferencing in provision of health services. Dispute A doctor claims Safaricom used his idea to launch a medical service based on video conferencing.
October 14th 2013