24 December, 2010

2010 holiday HIATUS

Dear Blog readers,

Thanks for keeping it locked to this blog in 2010.I highly appreciate your readership and support which has made this site a premier blog in Africa.Fortunately enough i have come to know a few of the readers in person and appreciate the friendships made.Thanks to the blog i made value partners and was recently approved to be a Global Voices Africa -Kenya Author. Im sure next year has big things in store. For now the blog will go an a brief hiatus until  January 2011.

Enjoy your end year holidays and keep safe.

Looking foward to another great  year 2011.


17 December, 2010

Hill & Knowlton East Africa appoints new MD

Press Release

Nairobi, 16 December 2010 - Hill & Knowlton has announced the appointment of Alexander Döll as Managing Director of Hill & Knowlton (H&K) East Africa. Previously, Mr Döll was Group Manager in charge of Corporate Communications for Hill & Knowlton Netherlands. He has been with Hill & Knowlton since 2007.

Mr. Döll is an all-round communications professional with broad experience in corporate, internal, and change communication, including media training. He has specific expertise in communication prior to and during organizational restructuring, crisis communications and in the area of corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Dave Robinson, CEO for Hill & Knowlton Middle East, Turkey & Africa said: “We’re very excited at Alexander Döll’s appointment as MD of H&K East Africa. Alexander takes over the business at an exciting time in its development with strong prospects for growth in one of Africa’s most dynamic and promising regions. This appointment also emphasizes Hill & Knowlton’s commitment to the African marketplace through transferring one of our leading professionals from The Netherlands to run this operation.”
Bharat Thakrar, CEO of Scangroup added:  “Hill & Knowlton is committed to improving the level of communications offering in its East African clients and that is why we are happy to welcome to East Africa,  Alexander who will bring to the market significant experience and talent from the complex European market.”
Alexander said: “I am very excited to be working with the talented and ambitious team already in place. The pioneering days are over in East Africa, the competition for both our local and international clients is getting stronger every day which makes East Africa an even more challenging and exciting place to be in at the moment. The communication challenges facing brands in East Africa are the same be it in Europe or America and therefore we are under no illusion of the significant work that needs to be done to ensure brands are communicating effectively with their customers.”

Alexander Döll speaks Dutch, English and German and holds a bachelor degree in Mass Communication and a Masters Degree in Corporate Communication. Prior to joining Hill & Knowlton, Alexander worked as Manager Communications for airport operator Schiphol Group who is active in Europe, the United States and Australia.(END)


Hill & Knowlton have been a worthy partner for this blog therefore congratulations are in order for Mr Alexander Mr Doll.I wish him the best and prosperous times in his new capacity.

10 December, 2010

Adsense for Mobile Content !

Mobile computing is rapidly replacing the traditional desktop computer/laptops and note books. It therefore comes as a surprise that Google is sleeping on the potential of mobile advertisements.It is true that Google has partnered with AdMob to tap on this ready resource as more and more users use their mobile handsets to browse the web.However Google seems to be slow in allowing publishers ,application developers and coders to incorporate their Adsense revenue sharing  platform to generate ads in response to this development. I just found out that Google Adsense for  mobile content is only available to the following limited Countries :

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • China
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
 As such Google Mobile Ads seems severely limited in Africa whereas more and developers are targeting the mobile handset platform.The Search Engine and Internet Advertisement giant seems to be more concerned fighting its upcoming Nemesis Facebook and Twitter rather than capitalizing on new opportunities

Monitoring Social Media For Brand Perception

Monitoring social media has become not only necessary- but vital for modern day businesses in order to gauge brand perception and awareness.A few years back blog posts and its other social media variants (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter a form of micro blogging)were  considered simply as  merely online quips or  random rants of no persuasive value.Social media was more or less 'social play' that had little value for any business save for entertainment purposes or communication between employees.

But much has changed in the last few years. As we move to 2011 we now expect more businesses and organizations to shade off the " cautious engagement "mode of  engaging social media and move to "full deployment".International companies such as Shell & BP learnt that Social media can have tremendous influence over brand perception influencing sales even on an international level. BP 's Gulf of Mexico Oil spill crisis received massive social media backlash last year (consider the following articles on Globe&Mail  and Urlesque websites) the effect of which cannot be ignored. Hence other international brands are taking cue to monitor and respond effectively to brand perception online.

Dell Technologies Social Media Listening Command Centre:

Case in point is Dell Technologies which has established the first of its kind 'A Social Media Listening Command Centre'.According to Mashable Dell's aim is to ensure that they tracking the largest number of possible conversations across the web and making sure that they ‘internalize’ the feedback — both good and bad…

In fact according to this emarketer article  in 2011 , 4 in every 5   American businesses with atleast 5 employees will not only monitor social media but actively engage social media by marketing their products on online social platforms.This is an anticipated 42 % rise from previous years.In fact social media is the new adlib in the marketing mix.


A question may arise what about local businesses? The local arm of  the communication group Young and Rubicam (see this News item on The Standard Newspaper ,Kenya) recently commisioned a research study that indicates some of the largest Brands are still slow in engaging Africans online especially on social media.But it is anticipated that this will change as market perception morphs.

It goes without say that Safaricom ,Orange and Airtel -the communication giants in Kenya have embraced impressive social media strategies to engage their users on the various social platforms. For example Safaricom has moved from the traditional aspect of having a facebook page to engaging the followers sometimes by carrying out random questionnaires whereby followers stand an opportunity to win airtime. I believe that is a first having monitored social media in Kenya for the last 7 years or so.However i hope that the brands will show more ingenuity in this arena.

How to approach and engage social media seems to be perhaps the enigma of local Businesses. There has been a recent upsurge to utilize PR firms to engage bloggers and social media 'thespians'.In fact most of the Press Releases in Kenya are now being done via Social Media as this is timely ,prompt and cost effective(atleast for the moment).It is suffice to note however that social media may not be as cheap as it seems. In the Western World businesses are having to review their budget as to what sums to deploy when dealing with social media next year .To paraphrase an article on Adage.Com.

Social media is free, right? In some business sectors, the thinking still holds that social media is free, or nearly free. Although earned media -- the value that companies get when their marketing messages spread virally -- is indeed free publicity, there is almost always a cost associated with it, whether it be staffing, creative development or monitoring the results.

The good news is most marketers say they are increasing social-media spending next year. But the actual dollar amounts are all over the map.

PR 2.0 is morphing and it seems to be the dominant propelling factor of Social Media-Business relationships in Kenya.Where it will take us, we adopt a wait and see attitude but notably "Brand Perception online" is the 'In Thing' in successful business marketing now!

09 December, 2010

Kenya WikiLeaks Cables...!!!

 The American Diplomatic cables emanating from the Kenyan US embassy as leaked on Wikileaks  will have a tremendous albeit damaging impact both in terms of foreign relations and domestic politics(what could not be revealed in parliament despite heavy posturing by MP's has found its way to the internet for all eyes to see)

You can now keep updated on the Kenyan Wikileaks Cables(Including a dossier on the drug barons and Ukranian Tanks headed to the Government of Southern Sudan) on  the internet at the following Link:KENYA CABLES(THAT'S BEFORE THE WEBSITE IS SHUTDOWN-TRUST ME IT WILL BE DONE)

For one Wikileaks lend true to the adage "What is done in the dark will be revealed in the light" and "There is no secret where two or more people are involved".The recent arrest of Wiki Leaks founder Julian Assange  further compounds the situation on a global scene as first and foremost it shows that America is not what people perceive it to be:a Country where Justice and Freedom reigns supreme. The " Change You can Believe in " was just a stunt!in reality a change in regime but not the nature of the American Government or its covert policies. America remains the America that it has always been - traditionally "CIA  America" poking its nose into everybody's business.

The  belated arrest infact lends credence to the truthfulness of conspiracy theories that all this is an attempt to shut him up. Julian Assange is being charged  with - "one count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation and one count of rape," preferred against him in Sweden last August! Being the public profile he is , i highly doubt he would have been the most difficult person to arrest at the might of Interpol.The arrest comes  after his  releasing over a thousand leaked diplomatic cables in late November.So far Wiki leaks has released 1,193 out of 251,287 cables and the World is already steaming hot from its contents.

I pity the American Government for they cannot simply sweep this under the Government nor will the millions perhaps billions of Internet users allow them to do so,As the cables are released ,the content is spiraling at a viral frequency as more websites prop up with the content ashaming Governments and highly influential individuals. Now this is the "Power of Social Media "it can change perceptions and damage not only brands but Governments, superpowers....best beware!

Interestingly what might follow and i am sure is a  Hollywood movie!I bet the Hollywood  movie producers must now be on its tail as perhaps the biggest movie this decade is "The Wiki Leaks Cables heist" .Aside for its entertainment and informative value what this whole fiasco demonstrates is the folly of human rulership ,   modern technology and its inherent deficiencies .

08 December, 2010

Nestlé launches a new affordable Nescafé ready mix

Press Release: Nairobi - 08 December 2010: Nestlé, the world's leading nutrition, health and wellness company, has launched its new affordable ready mix coffee into the Kenyan market. The introduction of Nescafé 3in1 coffee makes it the first affordable ready coffee mix solution in Equatorial Africa. 
 The new Nescafé is a fresh, ready mix of coffee, sugar and creamer, packed in sachets and retailing at an affordable price of Ksh10. 

 Speaking at the launch of the new product in Nairobi, Head of Nestlé Equatorial African Region Pierre Trouilhat said the introduction of Nescafé 3in1 is a direct result of the series of capital investments announced by the company early July following the visit to the region by Nestlé Chief Executive Officer Paul Bulcke.
 Mr Trouilhat further elaborated, “Our CHF 30 million (Ksh2.37 billion) investment in the Nairobi factory has allowed us to introduce new production lines and strengthen our production capacity thus enabling us to increase our affordable product range and thereby giving more options to the consumers. We are introducing Nescafé 3in1 first into the Kenyan market. Many countries in the Nestlé Equatorial African Region will be supplied from our Nairobi plant,” Mr. Trouilhat said. 

 A firm leader with the region’s instant coffee drinkers, Nescafé has continuously performed well since its introduction in Kenya over 40 years ago. 

Head of Nestlé Equatorial African Region Pierre Trouilhat (centre) flanked by Nestlé Kenya Managing Director Cihat Kurt (right) and Business Executive Manager for Coffee and Beverages for Nestlé Equatorial African Region Guenter Spiess at the launch of the new Nescafé 3- in -1. The new Nescafé is a fresh, ready mix of coffee, sugar and creamer, packed in sachets and retailing at an affordable price of Ksh10.Add caption
Cihat Kurt, Nestlé Kenya Managing Director, commented: “As the leading instant coffee brand, we are proud to launch our ready mix variant of Nescafé and we hope our consumers across the region will enjoy the smooth taste of our new product. We have put emphasis on taste, convenience and affordability to ensure that we bring a new coffee drinking culture in the region. Nescafé 3in1 is a drink for anyone and at this attractive pricing we hope that every Kenyan is able to enjoy it.” 

 Nestlé has been promoting the consumption of coffee in the region since the 1950s. Today, Nescafé soluble coffee is indeed becoming a hot beverage of choice for many people. With the new product Nestlé has set up product sampling points at various supermarkets and high population areas across the country.
“Coffee drinking as a culture is getting established in Kenya and in the region. With Nescafé, every cup is the result of the understanding of consumer beverage habits and trends. Our global network of R&D specialists constantly improves taste and aroma delivery and creates new ways to enjoy coffee,” he concluded.

About Nescafé

Nestlé introduced Nescafé, which is 100 per cent pure coffee, in Switzerland, in 1938 for the first time; after almost 7 years of research. Since then innovative, state of the art technologies used in its production have helped to introduce new varieties of the drink. The Nescafé 3-in-1 is a ready mix variant of Nescafé which has been launched in Kenya.

About Nestlé EAR
Nestlé EAR is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nestlé S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland — the world’s largest nutrition, health and Wellness Company— with sales of more than US$100 billion. Nestlé EAR was set up in April 2008 and oversees the Nestlé operations in 20 countries: Kenya, Angola, Burundi, Comoros, DRC, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Malawi, RC, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

05 December, 2010

Davis Ntare Wins Tusker Project Fame 4

Breaking News yet once again Uganda carries the trophy!Davis Hillary Ntare of Uganda has emerged the winner of the reality tv music competition Tusker Project Fame 4! Davis win was well deserved as comparably the second runners up Tanzanian Msechu's style of singing closely resembled a Kidum the musician clone .It is however notable that his final lackluster performance of the renowned Michael Jackson's hit song "Billy Jean" was bellow par however it is his consistency in the Tusker Project Fame  Music academy that perhaps beguiled the viewers to vote for him.

This was the second time that Davis was having a go at the academy and he clearly demonstrated that the Judges should have considered him a worthy candidate the first time.

 The teary David who was emotionally overwhelmed at the feat walks away with a prize money of Kenya Shillings Five Million and a recording contract with Gallo records. The question however remains, unlike past winners will Davis Ntare leave a mark/illustrious career after the win or fade back in the background as has been the case of past winners in this reality TV talent search music show?Time will tell.

04 December, 2010

Nairobian Perspective Blog- Now On Ovi Stores !

To all esteemed readers of the Nairobian Perspective blog. I am pleased to to inform you that you can now find this blog as an Application on Ovi stores.Be updated on the go via your mobile or smart phone. Go to Ovi stores Now ! and download the application ,we will keep you updated on  the latest  African content as it happens.

We optimize  your social media experience !

03 December, 2010

Chimamanda Adichie -Celebrating Great African Literary Writers !

I celebrate and salute Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, for one she captures the un told or rather rarely told sentiments of many Africans.

The video below of her presentation at TED Global 2009 entitled " The Danger of A Single Story" illustrates why i have reasonably arrived at the foregoing conclusion.I suggest that you listen to it before reading the addendum to the video.

So who is Chimamanda Adichie? for now i have not had the opportunity to interview her, but from the little i have gathered from her bibliography at her official website :

  • She was born on 15 September 1977 in Enugu, Nigeria, the fifth of six children to Igbo parents, Grace Ifeoma and James Nwoye Adichie. While the family's ancestral hometown is Abba in Anambra State, Chimamanda grew up in Nsukka, in the house formerly occupied by Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe.
  • She completed her elementary Education in Nigeria and at the age of 19 she left to pursue higher education in the USA .She graduated Summa Cum Laude  with a major in communication and  a minor political science at Eastern Connecticut State University.Thereafter she pursued a master's degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. She also holds an MA in African Studies from Yale University.
  • Her literary works include  the Purple Hibiscus won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book (2005) and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. It was also short-listed for the Orange Prize and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and long-listed for the Booker Prize. Her short fiction has appeared in Granta, Prospect, and The Iowa Review among other literary journals, and she received an O. Henry Prize in 2003. She was a 2005-2006 Hodder Fellow at Princeton, where she taught Introductory Fiction. 
 Her academic credentials illustrate a gifted and brilliant intellectual .But more than that her ability to communicate clearly and succinctly in a unique African prose is perhaps what impresses more! 

In brief, i cannot credit Adichie for capturing the Creative African Story(she only tries to explain her feelings on it though i applaud her)...not her, not Chinua Achebe, not Ngugi Wa Thiongo, Professor Ali Mazrui , Armah, Ayi Kwei ,Wole Sonyika, Okot Pbitek or any other famous African Literary write that has come up in the last century .Because the African story can only be retold- it was long told and written  by our forefather ,evidence of which is captured on wall paintings, shields ,carvings ,artifacts...etc  found in the Ancient ruins of the Burial places of the Pharoahs-the pyramids ,the ruins of Kingdoms such as Mwene wa Mutapa ,the Songhai Empire and others .Africans are a great people yes we were ravished by slave trade, colonialism, disease, wars and death but truly speaking which culture of the human race hasn't.Perhaps we were the latter in time to experience such thus our story is muddled by the hard times we have recently been through. But the greatness of us as a people is being retold, there is a Renaissance in the making.The likes of Chimamanda Adichie are telling it .

We have always had a story worth telling ,in fact the story of humanity cannot be fully told without the African element and yet many look at us with disdain,its their right eschewed as it may be but for certain things are bound to change.

Our literature and our books have hardly generated the recognition that they deserve,but the last decade or so there's been growing evidence of change-change you can believe in.The young skinny Kid(to borrow his words) President Barrack Obama whose father was from Kogelo,Siaya Kenya  recently told his side of the African story but in the American context;of great  people,aspirations,resilience, achievers who can inspire change-the story was so appealing that despite decades of the African American populace fighting for political power and recognition; in two or less years -his story became a favourite American story and it resounded across the seven continents around the world.

His story tells much of the African story...it is powerful,it is appealing ,it can change perceptions.Chimamanda Adichie and other great African writes ,those who have gone before and those emerging ,thanks for re-telling your side of the African story !

02 December, 2010

Family Bank Pesa Pap Product Campaign Drives Growth

The impressive growth witnessed by Family Bank in its third quarter without doubt must be attributed to among other factors its innovative 'Pesa Pap' Product.So popular was this  Campaign Drives that an un witty popular viral video about a media personnel in one of the local media houses was dubbed "patwa pap!'.In essence this demonstrated that the Banks Product had become popular at least in recognition amongst the common populace.Hence the below press release does not come as a suprise:

…. Impressive results attributed to growth in business 

 Nairobi  November 30, 2010…………….Family Bank, one of Kenya’s fastest growing banks, has reported a 117 percent profits growth in third quarter.
The bank’s profits before tax grew to Ksh 484.6 Million in September 2010 from Ksh 223.8 Million in September 2009. 

Releasing the results, the bank managing director Peter Kinyanjui attributed the phenomenal growth to a strong loan book which grew by 29 percent from Ksh 7.3 Billion in September 2009 to Ksh 9.4Billion in September 2010. 

“Interest income over the period grew by 35.3 percent from Ksh 967.6 million to Ksh 1.3 billion while non interest income grew from Ksh 746.9 million to Ksh 1.1 billion over the same period,” Kinyanjui said.  
At the same time the bank’s balance sheet expanded drastically with assets jumping 52 percent from Ksh 12.3 Billion in September 2009 to Ksh18.6 Billion in September 2010 while deposits grew by 49 percent from Ksh 9.6 Billion in September 2009 to Ksh14.3 Billion in September 2010.
During the period under review, the bank’s capital shot after AfricInvest, a private equity firm acquired 24.99 percent stake pushing up total shareholders’ funds by 97 percent from Ksh 1.6 billion in September 2009 to Ksh 3.1 billion in September 2010. 

AfricInvest Group of the leading private equity firms in North and sub-Saharan Africa with over $550 million (Ksh 44 billion) of assets under management across 10 Private Equity funds. 
“In the period under review our customer base has grown to  800,000 while subscribers to our revolutionary and popular mobile banking platform Pesa Pap hit 140, 000,” Kinyanjui added.  

Recently the bank re-launched its brand identity. The new brand identity combines the bank’s purpose of enabling people to create and sustain wealth through access to flexible, affordable financial services and its strategic thrust to become the premier lending bank. 

Under the new brand identity, the bank will position itself as a financial institution where customers feel valued, understood, supported and respected like in a family. The brand position is captured by the bank’s new tagline “With you, for life.”

Zuku's Announces New Tariffs

I missed the Launch of the Zuku Triple Play new price offers yesterday at the Grand Regency Hotel however the highlights of the event are captured in the press release below and the image below indicating how Wananchi Group is ambitiously changing the information and entertainment industry(infotainment).With Kenya Migrating to the Digital broadcasting channel in 2012 and this ambitious new cable/online products, i bet this is the field to watch as fuel for economic growth in the near future.


Wananchi’s new fibre network to link to 1,000,000 homes in East Africa by 2015

Wananchi Group under its flagship brand Zuku has announced an ambitious business strategy for the East African region which will see it focus its products to the mass market and the small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Wananchi is the first TRIPLE PLAY operator in Kenya and on the African continent, offering video (cable TV), data (broadband Internet) and voice (telephony)

This business strategy will see the enhancement of existing Wananchi services and products which include its Cable TV operation (ex-Mitsuminet Cablevision) in Nairobi and Mombasa, providing up to 100 TV channels to about 12,000 customers. Wimax broadband Internet operation, providing 3 packages (256 KBps, 512 KBps and 1 MBps) to about 9,000 customers in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Nyeri and Eldoret and all existing and new operations under the commercial brand name ‘Zuku’

“The explosive pace of cable, wireless and broadband growth in East Africa offers tremendous opportunities for investors in the telecom and tech sectors. There is also phenomenon growth of Pay TV in emerging and mature markets despite the advent of “new media” on the Internet.  Far from slowing the growth of Pay TV, new media has now been shown to have a substantial impact on boosting Pay TV.  Global Pay TV penetrations range between 20% up to 80%, while in Africa the penetration is still less than 0.1%.   This disconnect is where we see a great opportunity.” said Peter Reinartz, the Managing Director of Wananchi (Kenya) ltd.

Wananchi has invested over USD 100 million in its operations and infrastructure which will see its network design offering 100 MBps services to customers using the newest Cisco equipment and technologies. This also includes an IP head end with HD (High Definition) channels capable to serve the entire East African region via fibre links, FTTC (Fiber To The Curb) architecture, bringing signals via fibre to every street level, 1 GHz system providing plenty of bandwidth, future proof technology roadmap which will allow roll out of new and innovative services, e.g. Video on Demand (VoD), videoconferencing, amongst others.

According to Reinartz, Zuku will now offer unmatched speeds from 1 MBps up to 8 MBps for residential customers and from 8 MBps up to 20 MBps for business customers. “Our customers will now enjoy unmatched upload speeds and download speeds with unlimited use at fixed tariffs per month with guaranteed speeds and superb quality due to fixed network technology not influenced by weather or other conditions”

Wananchi has also invested in Zuku channels which include Zuku Sports and Zuku Sports HD, the first HD sport channel developed for the region, eight movie channels, including Zuku Movies Max and Zuku Movies Max HD, the first HD movie channel developed for the region (Zuku Movies Action, Zuku Movies Comedy, Zuku Movies Family and +1 versions of Max, Max HD and Action). Also in the channels stable are Zuku Afrika, a general entertainment channel focusing on African content from the continent and the world and Zuku Life, the first mainstream, general interest documentary channel originated in Africa. “To boost these offerings we have signed on third party channels focusing on  General Entertainment, Movies, Sports, Music, Documentary, Kids, News and Business”, added Reinartz.

All broadband customers will receive voice handset with competitive tariffs which include free Zuku-to-Zuku calls, domestic calls at market rates and international calls at special rates. The Zuku voice offering will focus on delivering quality to international standards. 

As part of Wananchi’s ambitious network plan to pass 1,000,000 homes in East Africa by 2015, phase one of this project, Kileleshwa, Kilimani, Lavington, and Hurligham is complete. The next phase which will focus on South B and South C, Westlands and Parklands will be completed by first half of 2011. The rest of Nairobi and Mombasa are scheduled to be completed by second half of 2011.

Included in the various packages are the following channels


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