The Star (Nairobi)

3 December 2012

Kenya: Guidebook for Investment Groups Launched to Promote Business

THE Kenya Association of Investment Groups has launched a detailed guidebook on investment groups. Titled, the Chama handbook, the book provides a guide to proper information, management and growth of investment groups.

Kenya Association of Investment Groups chairman Patrick Kariuki said investment groups have become bigger and are taking on bigger projects hence the need for a reference manual.

"It is in this premise that the chama handbook has been published to offer chama members the basic but often overlooked information which can make a difference between ultimate success and demise of the group," said Kariuki.

There are currently an estimated 300,000 groups, which collectively hold an asset base of at least Sh300 billion. Some of the challenges that face investment groups that's have been highlighted in the handbook are lack of investing knowledge, differences over investment strategy and risk appetite, lack of managerial skills, and dispute resolution mechanisms.

Popularly known as chamas, investment groups became visible during the 1980s and 1990s when the country's economy was struggling, and were formed for social welfare purposes.

Chamas have matured over the years, with some registering as companies and other investment vehicles. Most of the groups initially invested at the Nairobi Securities Exchange and the real estate sector.

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