Narrowing the Information Gap

Published on 18th September 2007

CNBC Africa, a business channel headquartered in South Africa with affiliates in Kenya, Nigeria, New York, Washington, London and Kuwait is seeking to form a team that will help it relay the African story by Africans.

In a meeting held at their Nairobi office on 20th August 2007 hosted by Head of Programming, Mr. Gary Alfonso, participating stockbrokers and stock agents from Kenya sought to know how their companies would benefit by providing analysis about the Nairobi stock exchange and the economic outlook of Kenya through this media station.

CNBC Africa conducts two live interviews in Kenya everyday to get information about the performance of various companies listed at the Nairobi Stock Exchange. This information is availed by analysts from various stock brokerage firms as well as stock agents. The interviews are aired live on CNBC Africa at 12 noon and 5pm daily. CNBC is also in partnership with Kenya Broadcasting Corporation TV where some of its programs are aired every weekday at 9am.

This gives an option to business lovers in the country to assess the markets on various leading stock exchanges in Africa and the world. The official launch of CNBC in Kenya is expected to be sometime in October this year. CNBC is also seeking partnerships with business leaders in various sectors, especially banks, to have their programs aired on TVs in banking halls to keep Kenyans informed about world business trends consequently giving them a competitive edge. 

African investors are highly disadvantaged in making informed investment decisions especially in the stock exchange. This is not only due to lack of adequate information but also problems in interpretation of the information received. At the Nairobi stock exchange for example, foreign investors have often shied away from investing at the bourse mainly due to what they consider a hostile investment environment occasioned by limited information available about listed companies as well as the general economic and political outlook in the country.  It’s due to these factors that over the last three years there has been an upsurge by several organizations to collect and package this information either for sale or for free targeting different interested parties.

CNBC’s move will open up the bourse to the world by giving information regarding the performance of the stock exchange as a way of encouraging investors into the country and also keeping existing investors informed about the happenings in the Kenyan stock market.  

However, this comes with limitations as the penetration of the news channel may be hampered by the fact that only a handful of Kenyans and Africans indeed are subscribed to DSTV, the media used by CNBC Africa for transmission of its programs through out Africa.

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