Nairobi, 16th May 2019: Liquid Telecom Kenya, part of the leading pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom, has today launched a Microsoft Cloud service in East Africa that offers a step-change in cybersecurity for the region’s most sensitive databases.
The new Azure Stack service will allow companies to run a private Microsoft cloud within East Africa, rather than at one of Microsoft’s 54 public data centres located outside the region. This means users benefit from the cutting-edge security protocols developed and run by Microsoft on its cloud platforms, while holding their data locally, which makes data uploading faster for databases that can be as large as one terabyte or more.

 

The service will be available from today across East Africa, hosted in private cloud nodes in Kenya and Tanzania, which makes it possible to replicate databases at different locations to increase reliability and flexibility.

 

“The data transmission time to Europe is around 200 milliseconds, and for the closest Microsoft cloud server, in South Africa, 55 milliseconds. But the new Azure Stacks in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam will mean data transfer speeds of less than 20 milliseconds for all users within East Africa,” said Winston Ritson, Group Head of Cloud Services for the Liquid Telecom Group.

 

This increase in speeds will transform back-ups and uploads from previously lengthy processes to swift data exchanges. Globally, companies have reported that this has transformed their operations, with one logistics company in California achieving a 50% improvement in service delivery on increased data speeds.

 

Using Azure Stack also opens the way to a level of cybersecurity that few organisations have the capacity to develop.“Microsoft spends some $1bn a year on ensuring the security of its Azure platforms. This is a scale of spend and professional attention that companies cannot match or surpass in securing their data,” said Winston.

 

This comes as East Africa’s data security continues to deteriorate. In 2017, Kenya lost over Sh21bn to cybercrime. But the nation’s losses are forecast to rise further on new cyber threats, including attacks on built-in Windows IT admin tools, Powershell files and Windows Scripting executables.

 

“Developing the Azure Stack in East Africa has required intensive development and co-operation between Liquid Telecom and Microsoft,” said Adil El Youssefi, CEO East Africa, Liquid Telecom. “However, we believe that in offering a now unequalled level of cybersecurity, it has delivered yet another vital pillar to the economic development of Kenya and East Africa.”

 

About Liquid Telecom

 

Liquid Telecom is a leading communications solutions provider across 13 countries primarily in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa that serves mobile operators, carriers, enterprise, media and content companies and retail customers with high-speed, reliable connectivity, hosting and co-location and digital services.

 

It has built Africa’s largest independent fibre network, approaching 70,000km, and operates state-of-the-art data centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Nairobi, with a combined potential 19,000 square metres of rack space and 80 MW of power.

 

This is in addition to offering leading cloud-based services, such as Microsoft Office365, Microsoft Azure and innovative digital content provision including Netflix and Kwesé TV across our fibre footprint. Through this combined offering Liquid Telecom is enhancing customers experience on their digital journey. www.liquidtelecom.com
Kenya Airways Delta Airlines Codeshare

Kenya Airways and Delta Airlines have signed a code partnership to offer enhanced connections to North America  to 11 United States of America and 4 Canadian cities.

The arrangement is an opportunity for travelers to connect from New York,using the  direct  flight  from  Nairobi,  to  their  cities opening many more opportunities at more competitive fares.

Besides the new codeshare services and more convenient flight connections, guests will have the opportunity to earn and redeem miles on the entire network operated by both airlines.

Beginning June, Kenya Airways is expected to increase its frequency to New York from 5 days a week to 7 days a week.

United States of America

Chicago O’Hare
Illinois
Houston
Texas
Denver
Colorado
Orlando
Florida
Miami
Florida
Raleigh Durham
North Carolina
Phoenix
Arizona
Columbus, Ohio
Kansas City
Missouri
Charlotte
North Carolina
Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania

Canada

Toronto
Ontario
Montreal
Quebec
Ottawa
Ontario
Alberta
Edmonton

How to Buy Kenya Power (KPLC) Prepaid Tokens via M-PESA

Kenya Power (KPLC) M-Pesa paybill number for Postpaid bill payments is 888880

Kenya Power owns and operates most of the electricity transmission and distribution system in Kenya and sells electricity to over 6,761,090 million by end of June 2018.

The Procedure for buying your KPLC tokens via M-Pesa are as follows -:

  1. Go to Safaricom SIM Tool Kit, select M-PESA menu, select “Lipa na M-PESA
  2. Select “Pay Bill
  3. Select “Enter Business no.“, Enter KPLC’s Lipa na M-PESA PayBill Number 888880 and press “OK”
  4. Select “Enter Account no.“, Enter your KPLC Prepaid Meter Number (e.g. 0100 xxxx xxxx x) press “OK”
  5. Enter Amount“, between KSh100 and 35,000 and press “OK”
  6. Enter your M-PESA PIN and press “OK”
  7. Confirm all the details are correct and press “OK”
  8. M-PESA HAKIKISHA, You will get a notification with the intended recipient’s name e.g. “Pay Kenya Power KSh1,000.00 for Account 0100 xxxx xxxx x Press 1 within 20 seconds to STOP this transaction.” To stop a wrong transaction, Enter “1” and press Send within 20 seconds. Pressing “Cancel” will complete the transaction.
  9. You will receive a confirmation SMS from M-PESA.
  10. KPLC will then generate prepaid token valid for your meter and send via SMS.

Call the Contact Centre hotline numbers 95551 or 0703070707 or 0732170170 for service-related enquiries.

Paying your Postpaid Electricity Bill with M-Pesa (Safaricom)

Kenya Power (KPLC) M-Pesa paybill number for Postpaid bill payments is 888888

Kenya Power owns and operates most of the electricity transmission and distribution system in Kenya and sells electricity to over 6,761,090 million by end of June 2018.

The Procedure for paying your KPLC postpaid bill via M-Pesa are as follows -:

  1. Select “Pay Bill” from the M-Pesa menu.
  2. Enter the Kenya Power business number 888 888.
  3. Enter your new Kenya Power account number e.g. 123456.
  4. Enter the amount you wish to pay which should be between Shs. 100 and  Shs.35,000.
  5. Enter your M-Pesa PIN.
  6. Confirm that all details are correct.
  7. You will receive a confirmation of the transaction via SMS.

Call the Contact Centre hotline numbers 95551 or 0703070707 or 0732170170 for service-related enquiries.

Western Bypass Road Construction begins Gitaru to Ruaka
Kenya National Highways Authority has embarked on the construction of the Nairobi Western Bypass that starts from Gitaru connecting to the Southern Bypass and terminates at the Ruaka connecting to the Northern Bypass.
The 16.79Km project is being undertaken by the China Road and Bridge Corporation at a cost of 17 Billion. The project is the fourth and final ring of the Nairobi Ring Roads. This project is located in Kiambu County.
Some of the activities to be undertaken during the construction include:
  • A four (4) lane Expressway with a total length of 16.79Km, 25Km service roads
  • 7 interchanges located at Gitaru, Lower Kabete, Wangige, Kihara, Ndenderu, Rumingi and Ruaka
  • Noise control barriers in all human settlement area as an enhanced environmentally- compatible modern highway.
  • Paved deviations along the construction route aimed at ensuring smooth traffic flow, reducing environmental hazards such as dust. These deviation routes shall be retained for future use by residents along this corridor.
  • Eleven (11) traffic bridges and pedestrian underpasses on the entire length
  • A steel pedestrian barrier, running at the media of the entire project length to ensure that no pedestrian crossings occur at the non-authorised areas, apart from the provided for facilities such as footpaths and underpasses.
  • A bus park at Wangige to enhance public transport efficiency and to ensure that traffic congestion and interruptions occasioned by public transport vehicles is reduced. Provision of adequate bus bays at all the major existing commercial centres and settlement areas is also provided.
  • Separate footpaths and cycle tracks as an enhanced safety feature to ensure no direct conflict between motorized traffic and road users.
In summary, the project will have a total of 126 lane kilometres which will include a dual carriageway and 7 interchanges.

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Upon completion, the road is expected to;
  • Ease traffic congestion around Nairobi City
  • Ensure rapid economic growth around the areas near the road
  • Improve safety for pedestrians and other non-motorised road users  and
  • Ensure a smooth flow of traffic
The construction and supervision of the project will take a period of 39 months connecting other bypasses i.e Nairobi Southern Bypass, Nairobi Northern Bypass and Nairobi Eastern Bypass.

Multinationals are fast recognizing the opportunities in the East Africa region given strong growth indicators that see Ethiopia’s developing infrastructure, and investors whetting their appetites in Uganda and Tanzania due to growing economies and stable political environments.  According to Kenneth Oigo, Associate Director of Profica East Africa, a leading property and construction solutions company that has been operating in Africa for over a decade, it is Kenya, however, that presents robust potential for investors, given its prime position in the region.

Profica has built up a strong track record in Kenya and Rwanda as well as fast-growing portfolios of work in Uganda and Tanzania.  Oigo says, “The activity that we are seeing in Kenya suggests that it is the steppingstone to the rest of the region.  Air France has resumed direct flights to Nairobi as of March 2018 after 18 years highlighting the growth of Kenya as an East African node. Various international airlines have set up transit in Kenya, and for some years now, large international agencies, such as the United Nations, have used Kenya as a hub from which they could reach conflict areas in the region.”

Oigo says that now that the East African region has stabilised there is huge development potential.  “Multinationals are embedding themselves more firmly in Nairobi, given its infrastructure, thus enabling them to use Kenya as their head quarters from which to oversee their East African operations.”

Smaller multinationals such as global IT outfits, says Oigo, previously took a cautious approach when developing their presence in the area.  They were less focused on injecting capital into developing local offices, and generally opted for serviced office spaces.  Oigo suggests that these companies now recognise the need for a formal set up according to their particular specifications due to growth in the region and the need to better establish teams permanently in the region.

“At Profica, we have a number of multinational clients that are intent on developing their own niche spaces, and this is where, in particular, our turnkey Design & Build services are being utilised.”

Design & Build entails developing an existing space according to the client’s specific requirements, taking cognisance of their workplace functionality needs and developing an optimal, specific solution.

Oigo says that Profica has developed relationships with multinationals such as Booking.com:   “Profica is currently continuing into a second phase of the company’s office expansion in Nairobi where we are appointed as the full turnkey Design & Build managers on the project, following completion of the first phase last year.”

Another successful project that has been recently completely is a superb office fit out for Google; a relationship previously established during the company’s South African office fit out, continued with two phases in Kampala, Uganda, and now completion of the third phase in Nairobi.

Oigo says, “Profica’s Design & Build capabilities have developed into a strongly coordinated service due to our ability to deliver through a streamlined, multidisciplinary and professional approach.  This service diversification adds to our on-the-ground presence in the region and specialist project management capabilities that span multiple sectors such as healthcare, mixed-use development, commercial, logistics, industrial, retail and housing.”

Profica, long-committed to the East Africa region, is one of the sponsors of the East Africa Property Investment Summit (EAPI), which will be focusing this year on driving investment in the region.  Oigo will be speaking at the event, which will be held on 24 and 25 April at the Radisson Blu in Nairobi.

2018 PAYE Income Tax Band in Kenya

The Finance Act 2017 amended the Third Schedule to the Income Tax Act by introducing revised individual tax rates. The revised rates have, when compared to the 2017 rates, brought about an expansion of approximately 10% in the tax bands and increased relief from KES 15,360 per annum to KES 16,896 per annum.

The 2018 rates are effective starting 1st January 2018. It is expected that the expansion of the tax bands coupled with the increase in relief will have an effect of lowering the tax burden for employees therefore increasing the net pay

​Taxable IncomeTax Rate
KSh0 – KSh147,58010%
KSh147,581 – KSh286,62315%
KSh286,624 – KSh425,66620%
KSh425,667 – KSh564,70925%
KSh564,710 and Above30%
How to use PayPal Mobile Money Service with M-PESA

The new service will allow Kenyans to sell and buy globally by linking their PayPal and M-PESA accounts

Safaricom (NSE: SCOM), PayPal and TransferTo have today announced a collaboration on a new service that will allow movement of funds between M-PESA and PayPal accounts, a huge boost to international eCommerce.

Qualifying M-PESA customers in Kenya can link their PayPal accounts to their M-PESA wallets, enabling them to easily and securely buy goods and services from merchants around the globe.

In addition, M-PESA customers can still receive and withdraw money from more than 140,000 agents across the country.

Similarly, the new service will give Kenyan merchants the opportunity to boost their reach and grow their business internationally.

“M-PESA’s collaboration with PayPal will open up global market places and the global economy to millions of Kenyans and Kenyan-based businesses. Beyond money transfers, this development ushers in a new era of speed and convenience beyond borders, as we work towards innovating robust platforms through which more entrepreneurs and consumers can benefit from the growing eCommerce industry”, said Joseph Ogutu, Director – Strategy, Safaricom.

To make online purchases, customers will be required to set up PayPal accounts, which they can top up in real-time using their M-PESA balances. Customers can then withdraw funds within a timespan of few hours to three days, depending on the transaction amount.

In addition to linking Kenyan businesses and shoppers to more than 18 million merchants around the world through PayPal, the new service will also allow local businesses to sell their goods and services to more than 210 million active PayPal users across the globe in up to 25 international currencies.

“PayPal’s collaboration with M-PESA is part of the company’s long-term strategy to enable e-commerce and democratise financial services on the African continent,” says Efi Dahan, PayPal General Manager for the Middle East, Africa, and Russia.

“We are excıted to brıng the M-PESA mobile wallet and PayPal joint services to the Kenyan market, which makes it more convenient and secure to withdraw and add money to their accounts while participating in the global digital economy,” said Dahan.

“We are proud to have been chosen by these two world-class payments providers to bridge the gap between the services offered in developed countries with those available in emerging markets – which is the cornerstone of TransferTo’s mission,” said Peter De Caluwe, CEO at TransferTo.

“This service is a major milestone in the evolution of cross-border mobile payments, in that TransferTo’s technology is creating a fundamental link between M-PESA users in Kenya and PayPal’s global network, and seamlessly connecting Kenyan shoppers and businesses to the global eCommerce world,” said De Caluwe.

To qualify your accounts and transact between the two services, please visit the M-PESA PayPal portal on www.paypal-mobilemoney.com/m-pesa.

List of accredited Universities in Kenya for engineering courses

Engineering students in Kenya have recently had a tough time after the Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK) disowned degrees from some universities. The body has now published a list of universities recognised for engineering courses.

  1. University of Nairobi (UoN)
  2. Moi University
  3. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT)
  4. Egerton University
  5. Dedan Kimathi University of Technology
  6. Kenyatta University (KU)
  7. Technical University of Mombasa
  8. Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology
  9. Multimedia University of Kenya

Visit the EBK website for more updates ebk.or.ke.

UberSELECT: A choice for special occasions

Uber has introduced a premium car option in Nairobi that will offer those in need of high end rides for special occasions an option to ride in style without breaking the bank.

UberSELECT will provide an option for a safe, comfortable and reliable ride – for all special occasions. The cars will be driven by experienced and highly-rated driver-partners to ensure that riders always get an unforgettable trip experience

The new offering will exist alongside uberX, which remains available for everyday trips and errands.

UberSELECT  & UberX Pricing Compared

  uberX UberSELECT
Base Fare KES 80 KES 100
Per Kilometer KES 33.60 KES 43
Per Minute KES 2.40 KES 4
Minimum Fare KES 200 KES 300
Cancellation Fee KES 200 KES 200

What can you expect from UberSELECT?

  • Newer, comfortable car models including 7 seater sedans
  • Highly-rated driver-partners

How to request UberSELECT?

  • Open the Uber app and enter your destination
  • Tap the UberSELECT option
  • Confirm your choice