Liquid Telecom has put WiFi into banking halls at 10 of Barclays Bank of Kenya’s flagship branches in Nairobi, as well as its head office in Bishop’s Gate, Ngong Road, in a Sh7.6m project that makes Barclays the first bank in Kenya to offer its customers free Internet access in its branches.
The project is aimed at enabling Barclays’ customers to access Internet banking services and other online content for free via WiFi through a secure network that is fully independent from the bank’s fibre connection, at speeds of 2Mbps.
Liquid Telecom has provided connectivity for Barclays Bank of Kenya for 9 years, with the latest extension in the partnership coming as part of Barclays’ investment in value addition services for its customers to increase their exposure to its online banking optionsand improve the overall customer experience.
Barclays is keen to encourage its customers to use its digital platforms to do their banking, and is rolling out the free WiFi to help clients to explore its online facilities at the same time as they attend to banking needs in physical branches.
The bank’s Internet banking platform enables customers to open bank accounts, view and print out their bank account status, transfer cash, pay bills, utilities and school fees, contact customer care and carry out foreign exchange transactions, from any location, at any time, 24/7, as long as they have Internet access.
“With the WiFi project, we’re helping Barclays differentiate the customer experience by being the first bank in the country to offer free access to the Internet via a free connection in its halls, something it views as really important for its customers,” said Ben Roberts, CEO, Liquid Telecom Kenya.
The connections come at a time when 99 per cent of Internet connections in Kenya are made through mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets and laptops, according to MobiForge.
But while there is notable uptake of WiFi for banking halls globally, the innovation has been relatively slow to come to Kenya, as banks have been concerned about cyber-attacks and the security threat it posed to their banking systems, at a time when banks and financial institutions remain prime targets, according to Serianu Limited, an IT security consulting firm.
“In allaying the security concern that has long worried banks over free WiFi in their premises, we have set up a WiFi network that is totally independent from the Internet connection the bank uses to undertake its core business,” said Ben Roberts.
Among the Barclays branches in Nairobi that have been connected in the first phase of connections are Moi Avenue, Queensway, Hurlingham, Westlands, Sarit Centre, Village Market, Yaya Centre, Barclays Plaza and Muthaiga.
The second phase of the project will see more Barclays’ branches in Nairobi and across Kenya connected to WiFi.
Liquid Telecom currently has 80 per cent of Kenyan banks on its fibre optic network. The data and IP services provider is expected to rollout free WiFi for more banks in coming months, with orders placed for more than 60 further banking hall free WiFi connections.
Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi official carrier has introduced flexible rickets where passengers can choose what they want and pay for only that.
“When it comes to booking a flight, not everyone has the same needs. Some guests like to travel light and on a budget, whilst others may want to make last-minute travel decisions, or carry extra baggage. ” Etihad Airways while introducing their new offering said.
From 14 September they will introduce Fare Choices, offering passengers the option to choose your ticket flexibility, baggage allowance, and many other benefits.
Passengers can select a fare with the relevant services, giving them the power to pay for what they really need.
The East African Chamber of Commerce (EACC), a USA registered nonprofit that organizes annual trade conferences in an efforts to promote trade, entrepreneurship and investment opportunities between the East African region and the Diaspora in the U.S.A.
With a goal of repeating successes from prior years and expanding in areas that had great benefit to attendees last year, this year’s conference will include targeted business field trips from Thursday, October the 15th and will conclude with investor presentations and a capstone dinner on Saturday, October the 17th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in North Dallas, Texas.
The 2015 conference slogan is ““Powering America-East Africa Collaborations”.”. The organization has been successful in attracting impactful investors and government leaders over the years, and they plan to continue this theme by identifying opportunities and implementation strategies that are mutually beneficial to participants.
The 2015 conference will continue to attract guests ranging from business, investment and other key decision makers in public service. The program will include targeted field trips as well as investor and subject matter expert presentations. A dedicated web page with more conference details, registration links, invited guests; sponsorship levels, program and logistical information is available on the chamber’s conference page below — http://www.eachamber.com/eacc-annual-conference/
In addition to the annual conference that has attracted as many as 2000 people, the chamber hosts a wide range of guests for business and official visits. Last year the EA Chamber hosted H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya during his visit to Dallas, Texas. Member registration is $100 and non members is $150. Venue — The event will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel North Dallas, Texas — Address: 701 E Campbell Rd, Richardson, TX 7508 Phone:(972) 619-1234.
Kenya has joined the rest of the world in marking World Breastfeeding Week, which is held every year from 1st to 7th August to advocate for exclusive breastfeeding of infants. This year’s theme – “Breastfeeding and Work, Let’s Make it Work!” – calls for concerted global action to enable women to combine breastfeeding and work in the workplace.
Speaking when he presided over the launch of the awareness campaign at Safaricom’s Michael Joseph Centre, Hon. James W. Macharia, Cabinet Secretary for Health, urged employers to establish breastfeeding-friendly workplaces.
“Breastfeeding is vital to the growth and health of our babies and is thereby the very foundation of a healthy and productive Kenya and key to achieving our Vision 2030,” declared the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Health. “The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that children feed exclusively on breast milk for the first six months of their lives, so whether a woman is working in the formal, non-formal or home setting, it is necessary that she is empowered to claim her and her baby’s right to breastfeed.”
The Ministry of Health has partnered with several organisations to lead the campaign, including UNICEF, WHO, Safaricom, Kenya Women Finance Trust, National Bank, International Medical Corps and Kenya Red Cross among others
“Combining breastfeeding and work is possible. It is the responsibility of all of us to make this happen everywhere. Today, the Government joins hands with businesses and organizations, big and small, to call for dedicated time, space and support to be provided within all workplaces for breastfeeding women,” stated Mrs. Gladys Mugambi, Head of the Nutrition and Dietetics Unit, Ministry of Health ahead of the launch.
Efforts to promote exclusive breastfeeding for children younger than six months of age have resulted in remarkable gains in infant nutrition, with the number of women feeding their infants exclusively on breast milk rising from 32% in 2008 to 61% in 2014, according to the latest Kenya Demographic and Health Survey.
This year the Ministry of Health, together with partners, is working towards securing multi-dimensional support from all sectors to enable women everywhere to combine work and breastfeeding.
“Under-nutrition in children under the age of five years is a health, social and development problem that needs to be addressed through collaboration and revision of policies guiding breastfeeding in the workplace,” said Bob Collymore Safaricom CEO during the event, adding: “Safaricom has taken steps to ensure that the needs of new mothers in the workplace are met. From increasing maternity leave from the standard three months to four months, to providing facilities and benefits that allow women who return to work after their maternity leave to continue to breastfeed exclusively and thrive in the workplace.”
During World Breastfeeding Week the Ministry of Health will be raising public awareness on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding, as well as launching guidelines to help employers, families and communities to support mothers to breastfeed.
Tilisi Developments Limited has opened sales for land parcels with ready-made infrastructure and paperwork for buyers to put up warehousing facilities, as studies show warehousing in such short supply in Kenya that the gap is curbing GDP growth, seeing as much as a third of agricultural output wasted, hurting the health system, and curbing the development of the country’s retail and manufacturing
Tilisi is one of the first developers to move to offer such a product in the country, setting aside 86 acres of its 400-acre master-planned development for warehousing and repackaging facilities and providing all the supporting infrastructure for the site along the Nairobi- Nakuru highway and less than 10 minutes away from both the Northern and Southern bypasses.
The estate is providing access roads, water and electricity supplies, ICT connections, sewage connections, matatu stops, street lighting, solid waste transfer stations, and parks and eating facilities for the warehouse staff, meaning investors only purchase the land and erect the warehousing sheds, a process the World Bank estimates can be done within months.
The move to open the way to a rapid increase in easily accessible warehousing facilities comes at a time when the National Cereals and Produce Board is able to handle less than 10 per cent of the maize produced in the country, due to a shortfall in storage capacity, according to the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Kosgey. As a result, Kenya loses up to 30 per cent of its maize harvest a year and suffers repeated maize shortages. The dairy industry is likewise prone to wastage in times of milk gluts, due to inadequate storage facilities, as is almost the entire agricultural sector, which loses:
– About 35 per cent of fish catch due to poor storage, according to Kiplagat, J, Wang R and Li,T, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Review 15, 2960-2973
– $100m a year to ruined flowers due to poor storage, according to Lennane A, 2013, Loadstar, 2013
– 30 per cent of harvested mangoes on inadequate storage, according to ACET, in Pathways to Transformation, African Centre for Economic Transformation, 2012
– Two thirds of potential earnings from avocados, according to WEForum, Enabling Trade Forum Valuation to Action, 2014
The lack of sufficient,quality storage space has also had an impact on the pharmaceuticals industry, with the shortage of quality storage causing unsafe materials to be distributed, according to the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency.
“The increased growth in various sectors of Kenya’s economy and in the country’s population has not been met by a growth in the availability of quality warehousing to support and sustain them. What we are currently experiencing is demand vastly outstripping supply,” said Kavit Shah, co-CEO of Tilisi Developments Limited.
The Kenyan manufacturing industry is also poised for forth generating expanded warehousing needs, with a growth rate of 6 per cent in 2015, 6.6 per cent in 2016 and 7 per cent in 2017, forecast by the World Bank. This is expected to put further strain on existing storage facility and increase demand for quality warehousing units to adapt to market needs, with warehousing a critical element in supply chain management.
Currently, despite being a leading investment destination in Africa, Kenya trails Mauritius, Namibia and South Africa in the availability of in-demand cold storage facility, according to the most recent annual Global Cold Storage report.
In bridging the gap between supply and demand in terms of numbers and quality warehousing units, Tilisi is providing best in class infrastructure, providing an alternative to the limited supply of traditional storage spaces in the increasingly congested Nairobi.
“Many companies have no business without achieving storage space in Nairobi, but are constrained by the options available in the city, many of which do not meet their specifications. Because we understand the vital role that logistics play in development and GDP growth, we are modeling our development to facilitate their operations,” said RaneeNanji, co-CEO of Tilisi.
Strategically located in Limuru, Tilisi is investing amounts that go into the billions to support infrastructure for its master planned development, 30 minutes from Nairobi’s Central Business District.
“Our clients and potential customers recognize that the warehousing and storage market is lacking quality and number of units across many industries in Kenya. They have identified that storage facilities and being located within efficient logistics parks are now key to our national economic takeoff” said Ranee Nanji.
Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) has partnered with Google to launch a mobile application that offers motorists access accurate and real-time traffic information, based on crowd-sourced data from other road users.
Waze, is a free GPS-based mobile application that has already been used in other countries as a traffic information tool. It collates information generated by other users on the same route, to share information on accidents, impassable sections of the road route, traffic jam, and advices on alternative routes.
“Mobile technology has evolved from being just a tool that enables interpersonal communication. With this partnership, we are furthering our mission to transform lives by enabling our customers get to their destinations faster, having offered them vital information to enable them plan their journeys better.” said Sylvia Mulinge, General Manager- Consumer Business at Safaricom.
She said, “The use technology enables us all generate some data, which when harnessed and processed provides us with useful information that aids in decision making that helps customers save time that would have otherwise been wasted on the roads.”
The partnership comes on the back of the announcement that Safaricom is planning to extend its 4G network to 15 major towns, and increase its 3G coverage countrywide. The partnership is also leveraged on the fact that there are more than 4.4 million 3G and 4G enabled devices used on the Safaricom network.
“Partnering with like-minded organizations adds more value to our ambition; to make people’s lives simpler. Traffic information on Waze, which is updated in real time, will save people the hassle of enormous amounts of time spent in traffic by offering alternative routes,” said, Charles Murito, Country Manager, Google Kenya.
He said, “Waze will be the ultimate driving companion as it will track your progress in traffic jams. Using a traffic bar, the application will calculate the amount of time spent in the jam and update your progress as you move along. At the same time you will also receive information generated by other motorists.”
Waze is available on the Android or iOS App Stores. Upon downloading and activating it, customers will only be required to enter details of their destination to access traffic information and passively contribute similar information for other road users.
Acquired by Google in 2013, Waze is already used by 4.4 million motorists in 200 countries.
Launched by President Obama in 2009, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) brings together entrepreneurs and investors from across Africa and around the world annually to showcase innovative projects, exchange new ideas, and help spur economic opportunity. The 2015 GES agenda will focus on generating new investments for entrepreneurs, with a particular focus on women and youth. The selection of Nairobi as host city for the 2015 GES underscores how Africa — notably Kenya — has become a center for innovation and entrepreneurship. Kenya is a world leader in mobile money systems, like m-pesa, and a driver of innovation through technology research and incubation labs like “iHub.” and Nairobi Garage.
Since 2009, GES has emerged as a global platform connecting emerging entrepreneurs with leaders from business, international organizations, and governments looking to support them. This is the first time GES will take place in sub-Saharan Africa.
Before the official start of the sixth annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), nearly 300 young and women entrepreneurs came together today to learn, to get practical advice, to make the connections that will take their enterprises to the next level, and to hear stories and receive guidance from top American and global innovators.
As part of a day-long event, focused exclusively on the challenges and opportunities faced by youth and women, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker – a business leader in her own right and the Obama Administration’s point-person on entrepreneurship – moderated a panel discussion on “Becoming Investor Ready,” featuring Chef Jose Andres, a culinary innovator and owner of ThinkFood Group; Julie Hanna, Chair of the Board of Kiva, the world’s first and largest crowd lending marketplace for global entrepreneurs; and Daymond John, Founder of FUBU and CEO of Shark Branding.
These iconic U.S.-based entrepreneurs and investors talked about how they raised funds, overcame challenges, and created successful businesses. They encouraged the audience of entrepreneurs to be willing to take risks, and to surround themselves with people who add new ideas and skills to their enterprise. They spoke about how fostering entrepreneurship can spur the development of new products and services, create jobs for workers, and anchor communities and families worldwide.