19 December, 2011

CfC Stanbic Holdings shareholders approve rights issue

Nairobi: December 19th 2011: Shareholders of CfC Stanbic Holdings Limited have approved a  Rights Issue at an Extraordinary General Meeting held in Nairobi on 19th December 2011.  

Shareholders also voted to raise the firm’s authorized share capital from KES 1,368,421,055.00 to KES 2,368,421,055.00.  The authorized share capital of KES. 2,368,421,055.00 is divided into four hundred and seventy three million six hundred and eighty four thousand two hundred and eleven (473,684,211) ordinary shares of Kenya shillings five (KES 5.00) each, by the creation of two hundred  million (200,000,000) new ordinary shares of Kenya Shillings five (KES 5.00) each.

Effectively, the move paves way for the Board to make formal applications to the Capital Markets Authority and the Nairobi Securities Exchange for the Rights Issue which is targeted for the second quarter of 2012.

Confirming shareholders nod to the transaction CfC Stanbic Holdings Chairman Mr. Fred Ojiambo said: “We are very pleased that our shareholders have approved the Rights Issue which can now proceed in accordance with the Capital Markets Authority and the Nairobi Securities Exchange regulations. We regard this resolution as a demonstration of confidence by our shareholders in the strategic course that we set for the Group.”

The Managing Director of CfC Stanbic Holdings, Mr. Kitili Mbathi said the Rights Issue would strengthen the Group’s capital position, and support the continued growth of the business in the future.

“In the past few years we have laid a strong foundation for the Group’s future and as the impressive results as at 30th September demonstrate, we have been successful in implementing our strategy.  We believe that there are great opportunities for growth and it is critical that we have sufficient capital to take advantage of these opportunities” Mr. Mbathi added.

At the Extraordinary General Meeting, shareholders also approved the amendment of the Articles of Association to reflect the new capital structure.

16 December, 2011

Finding a Credible Translation Agency Online

A friend has just inquired on where he could get a suitable translation and interpretation agency.That inquiry has led me to find out that doing so through a search online may not just yield the best results.Well its true that a simple search will yield dozens of results, but the question often is are they credible,will they yield the intended result?and who really has the time to sift through agencies through trial and error?

As a client often we have different needs and technical requirements when it comes to translation or interpretation .It seems easy to just use Google translate but in practice i have found out that different online translation services translate the same literary work differently with ambiguous meaning and obviously there is no proof reading for such web portals so you cannot completely rely on that. I would recommend Rosetta Worldwide translation services .

Although based in London they have a Worlwide appeal due to several reasons.First they cater to clients according to the technical nature of the services required e.g is it medical, legal, financial or some other technical language then they have the necessary expertise to meet up with that requirement.Their proof readers are also aided by the most sophisticated translation memory and data mining tools. Rosetta are prompt with delivery, have textual consistency and are affordable.

For full details you can visit their website and find out if they just suit your bill.

13 December, 2011

Emirates to boost Kenya- France tie

Airline to add five more flights to Paris by end of 2012

Nairobi– 13th December 2011 – Emirates, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, will add an additional five weekly flights to Paris by the end of 2012. The increase in flights is in direct response to strong passenger demand on the route.

Effective 25th March, the current double-daily Charles de Gaulle service will be supplemented by an additional four frequencies, increasing to five extra weekly flights in the winter 2012 schedule.

Making the announcement in Nairobi, Emirates Regional Manager for East Africa Essa Sulaiman Ahmad said:  “Demand to and from France, particularly from business travellers, is such that a third frequency has always been an objective for Emirates. With these additional services, we will help to satisfy that demand, while providing more opportunities for travel between Nairobi and Paris through our Dubai hub.” 

The announcement comes as good news as Kenya seeks to strengthen trade and social ties with France. Kenya is France’s first economic partner in East Africa and trade between the two countries are expected to grow.

According to the Kenya’s Ministry of Trade, trade between Kenya and France reached nearly €240 million during the first three quarters of 2011. According to the Quai d'Orsay, France imported Kenyan products, mainly food, tea, coffee and tropical fruits, to the tune of nearly €70 million and exported to Kenya pharmaceutical formulation products, cables and equipment worth €170 million. 

“The additional flights will also boost our cargo capacity to France and to other countries within the European Union, which is the main export markets for cut flowers from Kenya. France is one of the main European markets in addition to Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Sweden, Italy, and Switzerland,” said Mr Ahmad.

On social front, Kenya has also signed an agreement of co-operation with France where the two countries are expected to promote co-production of films that focus on common interest and favour involvement of individuals and companies whose activities are linked to the film industry. The deal also allows for cross participation of national works in festivals and cinema events organised in both countries and ensure that the parties contribute to the collection of film materials that enhance national film collections of the two countries.

France became part of the Emirates’ route network in 1992 and now two gateways are served; Paris and Nice. The additional five frequencies, taking the total number of Emirates’ weekly flights to Paris to 19, will be operated with a 777-300ER. The aircraft offers eight First Class Private Suites, 42 lie-flat beds in Business Class and a spacious cabin in Economy Class with 310 seats.

The four extra flights from March will operate on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The new EK 071 will depart Dubai at 0355hrs and arrive in the French capital at 0905hrs. The return flight, EK072, leaves Paris at 1110hrs to land in Dubai at 1940hrs. Effective 30 October 2012, EK071 and EK 072 will also operate on a Tuesday.

Throughout all cabin classes, passengers can enjoy the latest version of the airline’s multi award-winning ice entertainment system, which brings over 1,200 channels of movies, TV shows and music, including French language content. 

10 December, 2011

Going For Holiday-Not Mombasa Again !...Discover Egypt

The Holiday season is here! Kenyans are busy planning on where to go for most the options are rather limited -its either upcountry to the Rural Homes or Mombasa! But that can change and it need not be so expensive at it.How about discovering Egypt ...yes and cheaply at it!

Without doubt Egypt and its rich history of being the first ancient civilization and the pharaohs offers tons of sites and interesting places to visit.Now that's Education,Enlightenment and Enjoyment in one package!

Some of the most popular and scenic destinations most frequented in Egypt include:
But the question often is how do you get a reliable travel agent to do the bookings for you and ensure that you not only get value for your money but also trust worthy services? that need not be a bother i have just discovered a website that can assist you do all that online...just go to  http://www.cheapholidays.com/egypt/  and get your Egyptian Adventure of a lifetime on ! Mombasa is just so yesteryear's and the reality is Egypt is affordable.

Cairo in Twilight is so beautiful....thats for sure!

  Challenge yourself this year and go to Egypt....it will be a trip of a lifetime ! Enjoy

09 December, 2011

Kelly Rowland Interview @TW Steel's party at The Box -Soho

Courtesy of Bespoke & Banter: Kelly Rowland and TW Steel unveiled global star, Kelly Rowland, as a worldwide ambassador -- with TW Steel Kelly Rowland Special Edition timepieces to follow in 2012. In this interview Kelly Talks about her time on 2011 XFactor.

A global star since the age of 16, Kelly Rowland -- a stand-out judge on the UK's X-Factor and
Grammy Award winner, grew up in the spotlight as a member of Destiny's Child -- one of the most
successful groups of all time. Her powerful voice a key ingredient in the group's awe-inspiring list
of chart-toppers, which include four No.1 singles in the US and more than 80 million records sold
worldwide -- Kelly has now blossomed into a stunningly unique solo artist.

Here is the video:

19 November, 2011

Nokia's Alexander Oswald -TEDx 2011 Talk on Kenya's Mobile Solutions

The Kenyan Mobile Payment platform M-Pesa  and its derivative mobile payment solutions are educating the Worlds leading technology enthusiasts and service providers on just what the future and payment systems should be.This is according to  Tech Guru and Marketer Alexander Oswald in a speech entitled "Why Kenyans Do It Better " given at TED x Vienna held in Austria on 22 October, 2011.

I have taken the liberty to embed the video in this post ,it highlights how our common everyday transactions and solutions derived from and made possible through the mobile payment solution MPESA are shaping the future of technology both in so called "developed"  and "developing" countries.Enjoy!

16 November, 2011

Fourth African Media Leaders Forum Tunis Declaration 2011

Here is a reprint of the a declaration of intents made by African Media Leaders forum held in Tunis hereinafter dubbed the" Fourth African Media Leaders Forum Tunis Declaration 2011"

 We, the owners of African media organizations met at the Fourth African Media Leaders Forum (AMLF) in Tunis, Tunisia, during November 10-11, 2011, to discuss the state of Africa’s media sector, and work collaboratively to strengthen and develop Africa’s media industries for economic, political, social, and cultural change.
With nearly 350 participants from 48 African countries, the Tunis meeting was a landmark and the largest and only gathering of media owners and operators representing the African continent. Since launching the AMLF in Dakar, Senegal, in 2008, both the AMLF – and its parent body, the African Media Initiative (AMI) – have grown in scope, stature, and expanse of operations, united by the common purpose of creating ethical, sustainable, diverse and pluralistic African media.

Aware that the African continent is at the cusp of a promising economic transformation, and as demonstrated by the Arab Spring that was born in Tunis, media have a profound role to play in social transformation, giving voice to people, and promoting freedom. Taken together, these developments hold out the promise of greater participation by citizens and increased pluralism.

Cognizant of the need for us to work together to strengthen the media sector as a partner in development and viable platform for investment, we therefore commit ourselves to becoming a more integral part of Africa’s development success story by expanding coverage of development topics, placing people at the center of our reporting, and focusing our effort toward changing Africa’s stereotypical narrative of death, disease, disaster and despair into one of hope, innovation, insights and interests, as well as opportunity. As media leaders, our commitment is to the overarching goal of improving access to good information and positive development of the continent.
Responded to these challenges by focusing our discussions in Tunis on key issues impacting Africa’s media sector, namely:
•Role and Relevance of Traditional Media. African media leaders see the rise of social media as an opportunity for traditional media to enable citizens to bring about social change. The media sector in Africa needs to continue its focus on improving the quality of content and timeliness of reporting by harnessing the strengths of new media technologies.
Challenge of Building a Coalition for Media Development in Africa. We recognize our role as purveyors of news, ideas, and innovation, and believe that the cause of the public good is better served by telling the untold success stories of development in Africa. The role of media in nurturing debate is central to the process of sustainable development itself and for improving the lives of ordinary Africans.
Strengthening Role of Media in Consolidating Democracy and Good Governance in Africa. We believe the media sector can play a hugely supportive role in the expansion of democracy through an informed citizenry, and support processes of good governance through exercising the traditional watchdog function. Deficits in democracy and governance are inimical to the growth of Africa’s media sector.

• Expanding Financing Sources for Africa’s Media Sector. Africa’s media sector has been hampered by lack of capital, and adequate financing is critical for advancement. We need to deepen discussions with a broad range of stakeholders – development partners who want to see development returns, financial institutions such as banks and venture capitalists, and mobile operators who want to see financial returns – so that the media sector can begin to attract newer sources and develop innovative models of financing that are critical for it success.
Our meeting in Tunis was successful on several fronts. Following on earlier workshops held in Cameroon, we looked at revenue and business models for media, discussed digital transitions including advertising and strategies for the near to mid-term future, debated improvements in newsroom management, convergence, streamlining, and other issues relating to media development. These discussions helped us to define the next steps for strengthening Africa’s media sector, improving the professional skills of journalists through enhanced training opportunities, and the need for AMI and AMLF to work collaboratively with governments and civil society for expanding access to information. We therefore:

Commend the progress that AMI and AMLF have made in the past four years, and thank the AMI Board for the leadership and guidance it has provided for strengthening Africa’s media sector;
Appreciate the AMI’s pioneering effort to develop the “Leadership and Guiding Principles for African Media Owners and Managers,” and see this as a central pillar of the overall push toward improving the viability and sustainability of Africa’s media industries;
Endorse the creation of national associations of media owners and operators in all African countries so that there is greater engagement and interaction at the national, regional and continental levels. The establishment of AMI’s Office in Kenya is a welcome development, and we look forward to finalization of the AMI’s host country agreement with the Government of Kenya;
Welcome the support received from the African Development Bank and look forward to greater engagement with other multilateral institutions such as the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, the African Capacity Building Foundation, international donors and civil society. We acknowledge and thank the Konrad Adenauer Foundation for its support to AMI, and thank all our donors and partners for their continuing collaboration and assistance. We urge that a technical meeting to discuss innovative financing be held before the 2012 Forum.
Entrust the AMI Secretariat to review the various offers received for hosting AMLF 2012 and inform the membership accordingly.

Issued on November 11, 2011, after the Tunis Forum.

15 November, 2011

Table Mountain is a New 7th Wonder of Nature

November 2011

Table Mountain is a New7Wonder of Nature, following the official announcement on Friday, November 11, 2011.

We are very, very excited about this win! From being awarded the World Design Capital 2014 designation just a few weeks ago to Table Mountain being named one of the New7Wonders of Nature today, Cape Town and South Africa are standing proud! – Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariëtte Du Toit-Helmbold "

Having initially been chosen as one of 440 candidates in 2009, Table Mountain attracted millions of votes from around the world before voting closed on Friday.

The New7Wonders of Nature are the Amazon, Halong Bay, Iguazu Falls, Jeju Island, Komodo, the Puerto Princesa Underground River and Table Mountain.

In Cape Town, a crowd gathered at the V&A Waterfront amphitheatre for the official announcement on Friday night. There were huge celebrations when Sabine Lehmann, CEO of the Table Mountain Cableway, read out the results in alphabetical order.

Table Mountain’s campaign was promoted by various celebrities, including Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Hollywood actor Blair Underwood and the Springbok rugby team.

A survey by respected accounting firm, Grant Thornton, forecasts a R1.4-billion annual boost to the South African economy, as well as the creation of 11 000 jobs in the next 5 years.

Table Mountain, which at about 360-million years old is 1 of the world’s oldest mountains, is an iconic landmark for many reasons. Of all the final 28 contenders for the New7Wonders of Nature, it was the most accessible, just 20 minutes' drive from Cape Town International Airport.

The Table Mountain Cableway, established in 1929, has taken more than 21-million visitors to the top of the mountain, where there are fantastic views of the Cape Town coastline, city centre and suburbs. Hikers can take the Platteklip Gorge route up Table Mountain, and be at the top within an hour.

Table Mountain is home to a wide range or fauna and flora, boasting more species of plants than the entire United Kingdom. Table Mountain forms part of the Cape Floral Region, which is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Said Lehmann: 'I would like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for Table Mountain and the celebrity ambassadors - from Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Springbok Rugby team to all the journalists, musicians, comedians, actors, politicians and sports stars who campaigned on our behalf.'

Table Mountain’s New7Wonders of Nature status follows Cape Town’s recent confirmation as the 2104 World Design Capital.

Said Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariëtte Du Toit-Helmbold after the announcement: 'We are very, very excited about this win! From being awarded the World Design Capital 2014 designation just a few weeks ago to Table Mountain being named one of the New7Wonders of Nature today, Cape Town and South Africa are standing proud!'
For further reference and resources:
Fun Facts about Table Mountain:
Sourced from http://www.tablemountain.net and http://www.capeinfo.com/
Table Mountain is the only terrestrial geographical feature to have a constellation named after it. Visiting the Cape of Good Hope in the mid-18th century, French astronomer Abbé Nicolas Louis de la Caille named a constellation near the Southern Cross Mons Mensa, Latin for Table Mountain.
It is one of the oldest mountains in the world, estimated to be about 260 million years old. It dates back further than the Andes, the Rockies and the Swiss Alps.

One of the first women to record her experience of the mountain was Lady Anne Barnard, who climbed Platteklip Gorge in her husband’s trousers. Barnard’s husband was Andrew, the Colonial Secretary during the first British occupation of the Cape between 1795 and 1803.

The first recorded climb was in May 1503, when Portuguese navigator Admiral Antonio de Saldanha climbed Platteklip Gorge and referred to the mountain as Taboa do Cabo (Table of the Cape).

In 1894, rock climber George Travers-Jackson was accepted into the Mountain Club of South Africa at the age of 14. He took part in 51 first ascents on Table Mountain, one of which was of G-grading, climbed without safety equipment.

The cableway has been in operation since 1929. The first cable car had a tin roof and wooden sides and carried 20 passengers. The cable cars were imported from Switzerland and there are only two other such cable cars in the world, one in Titlis in the Swiss Alps in Switzerland, and one in Palm Springs in America. It has a 100 percent safety record.

The Table Mountain ghost frog (Heleophryne rosei) is a critically endangered species endemic to the eastern and southern slopes.
Table Mountain’s cloudy “tablecloth” is the stuff of legends: one tells of the San Mantis god smothering a blaze with a huge white karos (animal pelt). Another says the cloud comes from a smoking contest between the Devil and a pirate called Van Hunks.

08 November, 2011

Shelter Afrique admits Ghana as 43rd member

…..the US$10 million subscription fee makes Ghana the largest sovereign shareholder
Nairobi, November 8, 2011: Ghana has joined Shelter Afrique as its 43rd member country; following a cash payment of USD 10 million for shares as a Class “A” Shareholder in the Company.

This achievement is in line with the objective of the institution to ensure participation by all African countries in Shelter Afrique.  Shelter Afrique will now work closely with the Government of Ghana and the private sector to improve the provision of mortgage finance to public and private developers with particular emphasis on the housing needs of the middle class.

Speaking about the decision to join Shelter Afrique, Dr. Kwabena Duffour, Hon. Minister Finance and Economic Planning of Ghana said:  “Ghana is committed to improving the supply of affordable houses for its population. The membership in Shelter Afrique is just one of the steps to the global government policy for a better supply of affordable houses.”

Ghana is estimated to have a deficit in excess of 1.5 million houses.

Shelter Afrique Managing Director Alassane BA,  expressed his satisfaction at the conclusion of this process noting that Ghana is joining Shelter Afrique at a most exciting time when the priorities of Africa are focused towards the housing needs of the growing population of the region.

He reiterated the institution’s commitment to work closely with all stakeholders to proactively implement the agenda to provide decent housing especially for the middle class.

“Shelter Afrique is working to strengthen strategic relationships with key players in the mortgage industry in order to improve the financing of the sector and continues to seek out exciting emerging   partnerships and new member countries,” said BA.

Shelter Afrique is a Pan African financial institution dedicated to financing housing and related infrastructure in Africa.  The organization was set up in 1982 with its Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya   where it enjoys full diplomatic immunities and privileges for international organizations. Its membership is comprised by 43 African Countries, the African Development Bank and Africa-Re. Information regarding accessing Shelter Afrique facilities is available at: www.shelterafrique.org

07 November, 2011

Nokia C2-03 Fashionable Dual Sim Phone

For a fashionable,trendy and affordable Dual Sim mobile phone -The Nokia C2-03  does it! I had the opportunity to recently review the phone and liked its visual appeal most but my wife beat me to it.It suited her best and its definitely a ladies appeal phone!

The Nokia C2-03  is a Dual Sim Touch and Type phone that has all the basic facilities for a functionalities including a: 2.6 inch QVGA resistive touchscreen display, GSM / GPRS / EDGE connectivity, Nokia Maps , Nokia Browser, 3.5mm headset jack, stereo FM radio, 2MP camera, and MicroSD card support up to a whooping 32 GB , yet phone remains irresistibly affordable.

The phone will retail locally at between Kshs 8,000-10,000/=

Being a heavy user , i pretty much liked its visual appeal and the fact that you can tuch and type as you go, but i cannot comment much on its browsing experience as  i personally require much computing power and fast response when it comes to any phone, however if you are looking for a phone that is basic and trendy, the C2-03 may just be it at the moment.

For a detailed overview of the phone, its features and specifications, please visit: NOKIA

04 November, 2011

Kenya's War on Al Shabab Goes Social !

The Kenyan military is updating its citizenry and enemy combatants alike using social media outlets such as Twitter. The Kenya Army spokesperson Major Emmanuel Chirchir has set up a Twitter account at Twitter Handle @MajorEChirchir whose timeline has featured tweets requesting Kenyans Dealing in Donkey trade along the Kenya Somalia border not to sale their animals to Al Shabaab.The  Kenyan Military is using the hashtag #operationlindanchi to update its twitter followers.

 His recent post provides a link to video clip featiuring Kenyan Navy sinking an Al Shabab boat near the town of Kismayu on the Indian Ocean. This kind of update is a first in the Country and indicates that the military is not lost behind in the social media trend.

Heres a screen shot of the Army Spokesman Twitter page:

Major EChirchirTwitter Page Screenshot

02 November, 2011

Shimba Technologies Ltd launches MedAfrica App

MedAfrica Mobile App is set to provide about 26 million Kenyans with medical information

Nairobi , Kenya 1st November 2011………Shimba Technologies Ltd in partnership with Nokia has launched MedAfrica – a mobile  app offering a ground-breaking, go-to source of information regarding medical solutions at the touch of a button. The service aims to make healthcare information affordable and accessible to Kenyans.
MedAfrica was born out of the health category of Tuvitu (a mobile content platform by Shimba Technologies). It won the Pivot 25 award - http://pivot25.com/, a regional competition held in April, 2011 in Nairobi. The team got an opportunity to showcase the product at Demo fall, Silicon Valley in July and also emerged as one of the top 10 apps at Demo. 

 “MedAfrica seeks to improve the health of communities and regions in which it operates by increasing access to health care related information and services in Africa. Good health is a universal need that affects the output of communities directly impacting their socioeconomic standing. Shimba Technologies aims to achieve their objective by creating platforms that facilitate dissemination of information and build communities around the different issues and conditions while at the same time converging all stake holders and amplifying their efforts.” said Steve Mutinda, Founder of Shimba Technologies Ltd. The content in the Platform will be provided by the government (Courtesy of Open data), private sector, Academia and the general health practitioners.

Kenya has a population of 40million and 7,000 registered medical practitioners yet it enjoys mobile phone penetration of 26 million. This gives the viability of mobile phones to disseminate the health content in the country. This also applies to other African countries with infrastructural limitations.

Med App Screenshot
“The development demonstrates Nokia’s role in working with local partners to create solutions that are important and relevant to consumers. This app is a truly revolutionary solution to many of consumers who need a one stop access to health services such as symptom checkers, first-aid information, doctor & hospital directories and medical alerts”, said Agatha Gikunda, Head of EDX for Nokia East and Southern Africa

The platform will be accessible via a number of channels – mobile applications (Java, Nokia, and Android), mobile web, Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), web and short message service (SMS). The start-up is seeking out partnerships with government institutions, pharmaceutical companies, medical associations, medical support groups, non-governmental organizations, mobile network operators and general populations in order to amplify their contribution to health-care service delivery.

“Our mission is to Increase access to health related content and services to save lives and build a healthy population, our target being to reach every house hold in Africa. In this case we have a road map in place where we launch the product in Kenya then scale it to other African Countries” said Jackline Cheruiyot, MedAfrica Team Leader.

MedAfrica promise ease of access to a full spectrum of health info and content Services from the comfort of one’s mobile phone for the Millions of Africans.

Being a Start-up project, the partnership with Nokia is very critical and as MedAfrica, we appreciate the support. We also appreciate mLab and iHub community for their continued support in different aspects of the product.’ Cheruiyot added.

Shimba Technologies Ltd has spearheaded the development of solutions such as CDFMonitor, KTraffic, RichMobile, and Sarova. For instance CDFMonitor allows constituents to view information on CDF allocation and use in Kenya. KTraffic shows camera views of Kenyan roads and suggestions of alternate roads thus allowing users to avoid traffic jams. 

Shimba Technologies Ltd plans to release an appeal and donations philanthropic platform called Sponsor Kenya that also got shortlisted by the ICT Board’s Tandaa Grant and the second version of the Tuvitu platform come 2012.

27 October, 2011

Eki Orleans "SS12 'Nature's Serenity' Fashion collection in Johannesburg"

Here are some fashion model photo shoots from the fashion guru/designer, Hazel Aggrey- Orleans the creative force behind Orleans Designs, a new woman's wear and accessory label .Hazel Aggrey -Orleans is of Nigerian and German descent ,she does some mean West African Inspired "Afro Couture".

This particular collection dubbed the "Eki Orleans " SS12 'Nature's Serenity' collection"was recently showcased during the during the African Fashion Week at the Sandton Hotel ,in Johannesburg, South Africa .The collection was very well received and inspired by the turquoise lakes of Abraka combined with the plumaging of peacock feathers. ,

The designer Hazel Aggrey-Orleans has a love for nature, which comes out in the prints she designs.I will upload more photos as they come from the press agency.


Nairobi 27th October 2011:  The Best 100 finalists in the Chase Bank Enablis ILO Business Plan competition are attending a boot camp at the Inoorero University to enhance their entrepreneurial abilities. This is in preparation to the announcement of this year’s business plan competition winners which will be done at a winners’ gala on Friday 28th October at the Sarova Stanley Hotel. Winners in the 7 categories will walk away with a total of Kshs. 3.5 million in prize money as seed capital for their businesses. All the finalists will walk away with Chase Bank accounts and business development support from both Enablis and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The training is focusing on Presentation skills, Financial Management, Marketing, Business Systems, Legal issues of setting up a business, Integrating ICT in Business and  aligning businesses to Vision 2030. The emerging entrepreneurs will also have an opportunity to interact with seasoned entrepreneurs as well as the winners of last year’s competition.
While welcoming the participants to the 5 day training, the Enablis Africa Chief Operations Officer, Mr. Moses Mwaura said “There are many business opportunities that can be started by finding solutions to the emerging challenges that most people face in our country.  Aligning these businesses to Vision 2030 is what will drive change and contribute to economic development of our country as all stakeholders including entrepreneurs contribute to the attainment of Vision 2030” .

“The increase in business plan entries has been exceptionally impressive, indicating that a majority of entrepreneurs continue searching for solutions to the many problems our country, especially addressing chronic food shortages experienced periodically in Kenya”, said Mr. Mwaura. 

This year, the business plan writing contest received a record 405 entries – a significant increase from the 300 entries in 2010. The Best 100 business plans were selected during an initial two-stage evaluation and judging process conducted by judging panels from Inoorero University and Chase Bank.

The competition attracted budding entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 60, with an interest in diverse sectors, including: Agribusiness & Agro Processing (25%); Arts, Sports, Leisure & Recreation (10%); Business and Professional Services (15%); Green and Ecological Business (13%); Information & Communication Technology (18%); Manufacturing and Construction (10%) and; Media, Marketing and Communication (9%).

Prior to submitting entries, 2734 prospective entrants from 20 counties across the country underwent intensive training, facilitated by Inoorero University, to help equip the emerging entrepreneurs with the best entrepreneurial strategies and tips on how to write business plans and approach banks with fundable business plans.

The Vice Chancellor Inoorero University, Professor Henry Thairu commended the efforts of the Enablis Best  100 and congratulated them for being risk takers hence contributing to solving the unemployment problem. Most people are comfortable being in employment and not creating employment as the latter involves a lot of risks and commitment. He reiterated that Inoorero University being the Enterprise University is focused on training their students on how to become job creators.

Of the 100 finalists, 71% are youth between 18-35 years.

Now on its third year, The Chase Bank Enablis ILO Business Launchpad is an initiative of the Enablis Entrepreneurial Network East Africa with support from Chase Bank, International Labour Organization, (ILO) Inoorero University, International Labour Organization (ILO), Safaricom Foundation, The Kenya ICT Board, Rhino Special Products and MobiKash Limited.

26 October, 2011

CfC Stanbic Bank launches First Business Reality TV Show in Kenya

CfC Stanbic Bank to award Ksh1.5 in seed capital to top entrepreneur as it seeks to promote entrepreneurship and innovation within the Small and Medium Enterprise segment in Kenya
Nairobi 26 October 2011: CfC Stanbic Bank has announced its sponsorship of the upcoming television reality show ‘The CfC Stanbic Bank Magnate”, which seeks to find and nurture Kenya’s future entrepreneurs. 

While unveiling the details of the show, CfC Stanbic Bank head of business and personal banking Elly Odhong’ said the business reality TV Show which will air on KBC and KiSS TV aims at providing aspiring entrepreneurs with the opportunity to test their business acumen for a chance to obtain the investment they need to take their business ideas to the next level.

Entrepreneurship is more than just the mere creation of a business – it’s about vision, innovation, hard work and the realization of a dream, which CfC Stanbic Bank Magnate seeks to achieve,” said Mr Odhong.
The 13-episode Business reality TV show has been packaged to be an exciting, informative and above all an educative show. The CfC Stanbic Bank Magnate will identify, evaluate and encourage potential entrepreneurs who not only have the most deserving business ideas, but also possess the critical skills required to execute those ideas successfully.

The bank received 800 applications from which 100 applicants were shortlisted at the subsequent selection stage. A total of 14 applicants have been selected for the 10 week TV show that will be aired every Thursday from 8pm – 9pm on KBC, Kiss TV and Zuku TV starting 27th October, 2011. 

“Out of the 14 candidates by a panel of judges will pick one who presents the best idea that can be actualized. CfC Stanbic bank will then award Ksh1.5 million in start up capital to the candidate with best idea to help him/her translate this idea into reality. Even those who will not be able to win this cash will come out of the house with a lot of experience which will be crucial in growing their businesses,” said Mr Odhong’. 

He continued: “As a bank we seek to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in Kenya in line with our intent to be a key contributor to the economic development of this country. Small and medium-sized businesses are capable of being the 'engine of growth' for the economy.” 

In partnership with SME training firm Investeq Capital, the bank will provide training and mentorship to candidates during the entire period of the show. 

The tasks will test the candidates’ intelligence, business acumen, will to succeed, attitude amongst other important aspects that are key attributes of entrepreneurs. The candidates will also face the challenge of living in close quarters with other candidates that they will only have met and having to always strategize on how to emerge at the top either as part of a team or as an individual.

Accomplished entrepreneurs will be featured regularly during the programme to provide the convergence between business concepts learnt and their applicability in the real business world. 

“CfC Stanbic Bank is committed to the advancement of the Kenyan economy, believing that SMEs are indispensable contributors to the future viability of this country. We are certainly proud to bring together such a diverse group of people to share experiences, visions and advice.” said Mr Odhong.
For more information visit: www.the-magnate.com

25 October, 2011

Tips on How To Survive A Hand Grenade /Bomb Attack

With the ongoing military incursion by Kenyan forces into Somalia after the militant and terrorist outfit group Al Shabaab and following the spate of grenade attacks in the CBD of Nairobi the last two days ,i believe it is important to reprint some of the following tips published by Jim Wagner on how to survive a hand grenade attack.fortunately this tips are doing the rounds in social media and without doubt they are pretty useful and can just mean your life!

Hand Grenade Attack
Although hand grenades fall into the category of a small arms attack, it is a bombing none the less. A hand grenade is a handheld explosive that is activated by a burning fuse or a timed fuse, such as a military hand grenade. Hand grenade attacks are common, because they are light, concealable, and easy to use. Military style grenades can also be placed as a booby trap. Once a trip wire pulls the pin or the grenade is knocked out of place and the safety spoon twirls off, the victim only has five seconds or less to react.
To survive a hand grenade attack you must do the following:
  1. Observe where the grenade lands. Not only should you note where the grenade lands, but where it might roll. Most grenades are round, and can roll quite a ways from where they first hit the ground. If it rolls in your direction your chances of survival diminish.
  2. Dive away, and go face down. Do not run from a grenade, which has just landed, because you don’t know when it will explode. You may be struck with fragments (shrapnel) while trying to flee or get spun in the air by the shock front. Although grenades have timer fuses, there is no telling when it will go off. Some fuses are designed to go off in two seconds, while others go off in four seconds. If the thrower wants to take no chances of someone picking up the grenade to throw it back, or to throw it into a safe area, they do a technique called “cooking.” They pull the pin, let the grenade cook off for a second or two, and then throw it. This technique allows the grenade to burst in the air, or explode upon immediate contact with the ground giving the victims no chance to react.
  3. Point you legs toward the grenade and bring your heels together. Your legs should be like an arrow pointing to the grenade, while your feet are the arrowhead. By playing the souls of your shoes together it acts as a shield between the rest of your body and the device. If shrapnel does come your way, hopefully your shoes, feet, and legs will absorb it before it penetrates vital organs.
  4. Bring your elbows to the side of your rib cage and cover your ears with your hands. By using your arms to cover your torso, and your hands to cover your head, you are using your limbs as a buffer between flying debris and vital areas of your body.
  5. Close your eyes and open your mouth. When a grenade explodes there is a shock front (also known as a shock wave) that expands outward from the center. This sudden high-pressure area moving through the atmosphere can rupture your eardrums and your lungs if you are close enough (it takes only 80 p.s.i. to rupture the lungs). By keeping your mouth open you are attempting to equalize the outside pressure with your internal air cavities to avoid a rupture.
The following tips may also prove useful if you are using public transportation or are in a crowded area:

Here are some common sense Reality-Based pointers whenever you are using a public transportation system:
  • Always look around for backpacks, luggage, or packages that have been left behind before you take your seat. Don’t assume somebody simply “forgot” it. If you find such a container don’t be afraid to get an attendant to check it out and get it off. Be responsible for your own area.
  • Always observe the people who are aboard with you, and how people get on and off. You don’t have to be paranoid or obvious that you are observing people, but a little casual awareness goes a long way. If you see someone, who appears slightly nervous or crafty, and leaves behind something, then you must take some sort of action, even if it means moving further forward or back away from the possible blast zone and notifying the proper authorities. Self preservation is the number one rule.
  • When you use lavatories make it a habit to check behind spaces and inside of openings for any IED that may have been planted. Over the past few years many citizens searching aircraft lavatories have come across conventional weapons such as knives, box cutter, and guns. Such weapons may indicate a pending attack.
  • Most bus and rail explosions occur in the middle of the interior. If it is a suicide bombing where the terrorist fears discovery the explosion will also occur near the entrance. The “safest” place would be to the rear of a train car or a bus. If it is a commuter train that you are taking you may want to sit in the last car. Most people tend to take the first few cars and the middle cars before they would a rear car just because of the inconvenience of longer walk. Terrorist tend to attack “center mass” (the most concentration of people).
  • Try to position yourself near an exit. After an explosion does occur, you may have to escape to avoid smoke inhalation or a rapidly moving fire. For my students I always recommend that they carry an emergency escape hood designed to filter out toxins in the air in the event of a fire or terrorist attack (including chemical attacks).   
  • Try to avoid busy hours. For travel by air it may be safer, and less expensive, to catch a late night or early morning flight where there are less people and passengers. It’s obvious that rail systems, especially subways, are vulnerable targets. By avoiding peak hours you will keep yourself away from a potential attack. A smart terrorist is not likely going to waste his time on a few people. The whole purpose of terrorism is to get media attention. The more casualties, the bigger the media coverage.
  • {This is my own addition and i will put in bold because the vast majority of Kenyans are just senseless when a disaster happens } Do not go to the scene of a terrorist attack to watch. Terrorists like to set off secondary targets to kill as many police and rescue personnel as possible.Furthermore you may hinder or interfere with the rescue efforts or evidence gathering!
Please note that the Kenya Police have already released a public advisory /alert  indicating that members of the public should avoid unless extremely necessary the following areas Corner House ,Burger Dome, Ambassadeur Hotel, Akamba Bus Station,Marble Arch, River Road, Bus Station, Betty's Pub amongst other popular joints in the City Centre.The aim is not to cause massive hstyeria or panic but rather to encourage the public to be especially on the lookout for the terrorist.

Heeding some of this tips may mean your life especially now when the Country is at war with the enemy within! Take care  and be safe,

24 October, 2011

Head of Emirates Group IT Wins CIO of the Decade Award

Patrick Naef scoops CIO of the Decade in the category of International Orientation.

DUBAI, UAE – 24 OCTOBER 2011 – Divisional Senior Vice President IT for The Emirates Group and Head of Mercator, Patrick Naef, has been named Chief Information Officer of the Decade by CIO, Europe’s leading IT magazine for Chief Information Officers and top business executives. Presented at a ceremony held recently in Cologne, Germany, Patrick won in the category of ‘International Orientation’ and was identified as being among the world’s best CIOs by a jury of 70 experts from leading academics and industry practitioners.

As Head of IT for The Emirates Group (comprising Emirates Airline, dnata and more than 50 Group subsidiaries operating across the international aviation, travel, tourism and leisure industries), Patrick Naef is responsible for the team providing business technology solutions and systems which support the daily global operations and future growth plans of  the Emirates Group - an international conglomerate employing more than 57,000 people and generating annual revenues in excess of US$15.6 billion.

Standing alongside other industry greats including  Audi’s CIO Klaus Straub and Guss Deckers CIO for Airbus, the award honours Patrick’s visionary style, solid leadership abilities, and gives recognition to his 2,000-strong Dubai-based IT team. Patrick has exhibited world-class IT leadership at the Emirates Group by simplifying IT platforms, streamlining applications, reducing costs, and delivering world-class services. Headquartered in Dubai, the Group and its subsidiaries are active in many locations worldwide and Emirates flies to more than 100 destinations in over 60 countries.

“This award is testimony to the great achievements of our people, not only in IT but in other departments across the Group. Together our IT team aspires to achieve operational excellence, high performance, and technology value delivery in relentless pursuit of enhanced business results,” commented Mr.Naef. “I feel honoured to be recognised amongst a stellar group of finalists and previous winners who have made a significant impact in their role of Chief Information Officer, in managing their company’s enterprise-wide information systems. These are the born leaders who illustrate the growing significance of the CIO role and the impact it has within their organizations and to the international industry as a whole.”

14 October, 2011

Entries Open for 2011 UNEP Young Environmental Journalist Award

Nairobi, 13 October 2011 - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is pleased to open the 2011 UNEP Young Environmental Journalist Award.

Following the successful launch of the competition last year, African journalists between 21 and 35 years, who are based on the continent and working for local, regional or international media organizations, are once again encouraged to apply.

Journalists entering the award may submit one radio, television, print or online report (in English or French) on an environmental issue.

The prize is an all-expenses-paid study visit to the USA, where the winner will follow a specially designed “green itinerary”, interacting with leading environmental projects, green economy projects, scientists and public figures.

Last year’s UNEP Young Environmental Journalist Award (YEJA) winner, radio journalist Patricia Okoed-Bukumunhe from Uganda, is currently in the United States completing her study tour.

Visiting Washington DC, Seattle and Miami, Patricia will be meeting and working with Voice of America, National Public Radio, National Geographic and a host of other media organisations and environmental groups.  

You can read about her experiences as the 2010 YEJA winner on her US blog, ‘Patricia on the Road’, at www.unep.org/yeja
Applications for the 2011 UNEP Young Environmental Journalist Award can be made online at www.unep.org/yeja until 5pm (Nairobi time) on 16 December 2011.

Written articles must not exceed 3000 words and radio or television reports should be no longer than six minutes. The report must have been published or broadcast between 1 January and 31 December 2011.

Please visit the website for all other terms and conditions.

Over 120 entries from 24 African countries were received for last year’s award. The diverse subject matter covered by journalists included the role of traditional ‘medicine men’ in protecting biodiversity in Kenya, the need for improved sanitation in communities in Nigeria and the impact of climate change on weather patterns in Togo.

Among other criteria, judges for the 2011 UNEP Young Environmental Journalist Award will assess entries on the strength of their environmental component, newsworthiness, originality, scientific accuracy, and relevance to local or regional communities in Africa.

The award is made possible through funding support from the Government of the United States of America.

12 October, 2011

Go Places Privelege Card Enters Marketing Deal with Capital FM

Nairobi October 12, 2011… Go Places Privilege Card, the only discount card of its kind in the region, existing for over 8 years, has today sealed a mutually befitting marketing deal with leading radio station Capital FM that will enable Capital FM listeners enjoy a wide variety of offers and packages courtesy of Capital FM Go Places Privilege Card. 

The official signing held at Capital FM offices marks the launch of the cobranded Capital FM Go Places Privilege Card. Capital Group General Manager Cyrus Kamau and Leisure ; Travel Guides E.A Group Marketing Director Hussein Jiwani signed the partnership agreement. 

With the Capital FM Go Places Privilege card, members enjoy immediate discounts at point of purchase in over 500 preferred partner establishments across East Africa. These partners include Airlines, Hotels, Lodges, Restaurants, Clothing Stores, Gift Shops, Furniture Outlets, Dry Cleaners, Hair & Beauty Salons, Health & Fitness Centers among others.

Through an extensive marketing campaign and using the latest available technology, Go Places through their Customer Care department will offer FREE Restaurant reservations and holiday bookings on behalf of an extensive database of hospitality and dining establishments across Kenya. This information will be accessible through both websites of Capital FM and Go Places Kenya as well as through Social networking sites, Electronic Marketing and WAP application.

The partnership will see new subscribers to the Capital FM Go Places Privilege Card receive a 25% discount on subscription and stand a chance to win a wide range of fabulous prizes including dinner vouchers, shopping vouchers and the grand prize of a Holiday for Two at an exotic destination to be revealed at a later date. Members will be invited to the studio for a live interview to share their experiences and inform listeners how the discount card has affected their lifestyles whilst shopping, dining out or traveling.

Through a dedicated airtime, Capital FM will be showcasing various fine dining experiences with different cuisines and restaurants. Listeners will also be enlightened about various special seasonal offers and benefits from the partner establishments, with the Capital FM Go Places Privilege Card.

10 October, 2011

South African Tourism offers online training to travel trade partners

The tourism marketing agency seeks to leverage on technology to grow the east African market
Nairobi – October 10 2011: South African Tourism is scaling up its online training programme for its travel trade partners in Kenya and the east African region selling South Africa as preferred tourist destination. 
The online training porgramme dubbed ‘Fundi’ is designed to equip travel trade partners from the regional with the right tools to be able to sell South Africa effectively. 

Speaking in Nairobi at the first graduation ceremony of 58 travel agents drawn from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania who successfully completed the Fundi programme South African Tourism Regional Director for Africa/Middle East and Domestic, Phumi Dhlomo, said the Fundi programme seeks to ‘empower trade partners and travel consultants with a diverse knowledge of South Africa, allowing them to better sell destination South Africa.’

“We are grateful that our online training programme for our travel trade partners, Fundi, has been received well by travel agents from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. We believe that having successfully completed our Fundi programme, they are now well equipped with the travel information and knowledge about South Africa that will enable them to various destinations better. The knowledge they have acquired is most certainly a tool that will increase their sales to our country, and improve their businesses too,” said Dhlomo.

He continued: “Fundi has an additional benefit of significantly increasing productivity in servicing clients because time does not need to be spent researching and planning a possible package to South Africa. The Fundi will be well versed and trained in this, allowing them to service more clients.”

Mr Dhlomo disclosed that would be seeking to build on increased tourist arrivals from Kenya and the wider east African markets. According to the 2010 South Africab Tourism’s statistics, Kenya contributed a total of 32,000 arrivals to South Africa.

“We see a greater potential in the wider east African region, which we believe can contribute upto 70000 tourists visiting South Africa annually.  Through such innovative products like Fundi, we are making it easier for our travel trade partners to sell South Africa in the entire region,” he said.  

Fundi can be completed within three months, which completion translates a participating travel agent into a certified South African Travel Expert.  The 58 Fundi graduates were awarded a certificate of completion by South African Tourism.

He confirmed that as part of the Fundi challenge, 10 of the 58 graduates will have the opportunity to win a fully-hosted trip to South Africa, to experience first-hand the many learning’s absorbed over the course. 

More information can be obtained from http://www.southafrica.net/sat/content/en/za/fundi-home-public

06 October, 2011

Apples CEO Steve Jobs Is Dead !

Breaking News 5October 2011 ; Apple's Co-Founder and Chairman Steve Jobs Is Dead .According to the site the reknowned face of Apple -Steve Jobs died yesterday 5 October 2011 after a long illness.The Apple site has the above message in memory of the 56 year old who had only recently announced that he was resigning from the CEO of Apple role in August 2011.

News of Steve Jobs death is quite some sad news ,coming at a time when Apple enthusiasts all over the world are expecting the release of the much hyped I-Phone 5,

According to Wikipedia Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne founded Apple in 1976 .It is not in dispute that Steve Jobs marketing prowess was instrumental in many ways in making Apples products such as the Macintosh,I-Pod I-Pad and I -Phone  a global success.Apple is the most valuable publicly-traded company in the world, surpassing ExxonMobil’s market capitalization in August 2011.

24th February 1955-5th October, 2011
Steve Jobs was truly a gift to the IT World.

Our sincere condolences to the family, colleagues and friends from this blog .

27 September, 2011

Concerted Anti-Counterfeit Efforts Now Bearing Fruit

Anti-counterfeit agency nets over 11,000 Nokia fake items from selling outlets  

Nairobi, Kenya, September 26 2011: Anti-counterfeit efforts aimed at netting fake products from the Kenyan market are bearing fruit, indicating a significant milestone for stakeholders seeking to rid the country of the sub-standard goods.
Some of the fake Nokia products impounded by the Anti-counterfeit Agency, in conjunction with Nokia and Kenya Police, are moved from shops along Luthuli Avenue into a lorry. 
During the last month alone, Nokia, the mobile phones manufacturer and solutions provider, has partnered with the regulatory and enforcement agencies in Kenya to confiscate thousands of mobile phones and accessories from various outlets in Nairobi.
Working in conjunction with the Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA), Kenya Bureau of Standards and Kenya Police the raid at various outlets, mainly in downtown, helped confiscate over 11, 000 Nokia items. They included 2071 counterfeit Nokia handsets (enclosed in boxes complete accessories), 330 separate earpieces and 9084 pieces of batteries. On Friday specifically, raids co-ordinated the ACA netted traders at Sky Building along Luthuli Avenue, Nairobi dealing with fake Nokia products. A Chinese owner was found at his residence where he assembles parts to make fake Nokia products.
Mr. Kenneth Oyolla, General Manager Nokia, East and Southern Africa said the anti-counterfeit campaign which the company kicked off in May this year has helped boost public awareness about fake mobile phones, batteries and accessories and how customers can recognize them.
“By and large, this campaign has started bearing fruit not only for Nokia, as the biggest player in the market, but also for the industry as a whole. More importantly, elimination of counterfeits will help save Kenya billions of shillings lost in in tax revenue. We believe this war against has just started and Kenyans will be the biggest winners if we completely eliminate the problem,” said Mr. Oyolla.
He added: “We have introduced a wide array of mobile phones, including dual SIM models, feature phones and smartphones giving Kenyans broad choices at different and very affordable price points. And our consumers have started to take advantage of these offers indicating that they are also learning that one can have a smart and affordable mobile phone. ”
Mr. Oyolla supported the government’s crackdown on counterfeit goods and adding that Nokia will continue with its collaborative efforts through training of Kenya Revenue Authority and the Kenya Bureau of Standards officials to distinguish the fake from genuine Nokia products. Nokia has also been organizing training for immigration officers at border entry points to arrest the entry of fake handsets.
 “Our advice is that customers should buy Nokia products from authorized distributors and retailers and ensure they get their 12-month warranty for Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. We urge our customers to SMS the IMEI numbers of the phone they want to buy to 8810 and they will get an instant response as to whether the phone is genuine or fake,” said Mr. Oyolla.
According to Mr. Abdulla Hasayen, Nokia’s Brand Protection Manager for Middle East and Africa, counterfeit mobile phones pose a host of risks including dangerous chemicals such as lead and mercury because counterfeiters do not follow safety standards such as radio emissions. They therefore endanger safety of consumers, says Mr. Hasayen.

“Customer care and quality is important to Nokia and our advice is that customers should buy Nokia products from authorized distributors and retailers and ensure they get their 12-month warranty. And if a product is purchased from a location other than an authorized dealer then exercise extreme caution especially when the price is substantially less than being stated by Nokia authorized dealers,” said Mr. Hasayen.

It is estimated that counterfeiting and piracy cost G20 economies US$ 85 billion a year in lost taxes and higher spending on unemployment benefits. The International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC) has estimated that international counterfeit trade is worth $600 billion a year and makes up 5-7% of world trade.

26 September, 2011

Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai Is Dead !

September 26, 2011 Breaking News, World re knowned Environmentalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai Is Dead. According to a family spokesperson Wangari Maathai passed away yesterday 25 September, 2011 at Nairobi Hospital after bravely bearing up and suffering from Cancer! The 71 Year old Wangari Maathai will best be remembered at her gallant efforts at conserving Kenya's forest cover despite intimidation ,harassment and even Government assault .Wangari Maathai was the first African Woman to win the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.

News of her death is being received in shock as she has always been gallant, active and hearty in the public sphere.Our sincere condolences to the family.

Below is the official family spokesperson press statement as covered by a local press channel:

23 September, 2011


Kampala, Uganda 22nd September- Zuku TV, the Wananchi Group flagship brand has announced an ambitious plan to register 100,000 subscribers in Uganda within a two year period. This announcement was made by the Wananchi Group CEO, Richard Bell during the launch of the pay TV service in Uganda on Thursday. The Wananchi Group owns Zuku TV.

Having gone through a successful soft launch and setting in place an elaborate countrywide distribution and customer service network, Zuku Chief Executive Officer Richard Bell announced that the firm was confident that it will attain the subscription goal within the first two years.

“Zuku has been very well received in Uganda so far and considering the pipeline of exciting content that we have lined up to offer, we are confident to reach more than one hundred households within twenty four months,” he said during the official launch.

Zuku TV is ramping up Ugandan distribution by boosting the team of resellers with additional agents that will complement the Simba Telecom outlets. “We successfully completed a training module for 150 agents today who will work closely with our partners Simba Telcom and installation team to deliver the product to your doorstep and provide after sales support,” he explained.

He explained that Zuku was uniquely positioned in this market as a truly dedicated African service made by Africans for Africa. “For the first time in the history of Uganda’s film and television industry, the local producers and creative writers have a platform to showcase their work not just for audiences in Uganda but across ten eastern African countries,” he noted.

Zuku is also set to put significant investment into local content across Uganda and have already kicked off by screening the popular locally produced drama series, ‘Hostel’ in all it’s territories after acquiring the rights to broadcast it. Kenyans will now be able to watch Ugandan content and Ugandans will be able to watch Kenyan content.

He added that Zuku had established that the combination of growing middle-class, burgeoning local film industry, a great thirst for quality local & international entertainment and about 14 million TV households made this a highly attractive market for the affordable quality pay TV service.

“Survey statistics place the total national pay television penetration at less than 5% reflecting the market opportunity is therefore huge and the onus is on all of us to work together with the industry to create and produce great local content. Zuku will provide the platform for showcasing it,” added Bell.

He noted that Zuku had addressed the electrification challenge in the region and taken lack of grid electricity into account by bringing into the market decoders that can be run by a simple used car battery. “This demonstrates that we have a product for everyone whatever their geographical location.”

Following the official launch Zuku TV is set to take Uganda by storm, filling a yawning market gap for affordable quality home entertainment that is suitable for everyone.

The Ugandan launch forms part of a greater plan by the Wananchi Group to roll out in the three East African countries by the end of the year. Zuku was first launched in Kenya, the company’s headquarters and the company now has its sights set on capturing the populous Tanzanian market.

22 September, 2011


Soyinka to facilitate the forum for literature scholars…..
Re-known African literature expert, film writer, poet and play write Professor Wole Soyinka is set to grace this year’s Kenya International Film Festivals that will take place between October 21 -31st 2011.
Prof. Soyinka, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986, has written 21 plays, 2 novels, 5 memoirs, 10 poetry collections, 6 essays and 3 movies. His visit to Kenya has been made possible by the Nigerian Film and Video Censorship Board. The literary giant will also be accompanied by several Nigerian film producers who submitted their films for viewing at the KIFF.
In Keeping with KIFF’s tradition, Prof. Soyinka is expected also facilitate a forum for literature scholars in Nairobi. During the forum film dons, film makers and lecturers will interact and with the insight of Prof. Soyinka forge the way forward on film syllabus and curriculum in Kenyan universities and colleges. 
Festival director Mr. Charles Asiba said: “We are delighted to have a personality of the stature of Prof. Wole Soyinka, who is an authoritative figure in the African film industry to come and grace us with his presence. We are also excited with the fact that KIFF is going to be used as platform for Prof. Soyinka   to educate the young literature scholars in Kenya”.
He also announced the attendance of Idrissa Ouedraogo, a well-known film director from Burkina Faso as jury member at KIFF 2011. Ouedraogo is a graduate of the African Institute for Cinema Studies (Institut Africain d’Etudes Cinématographiques) in Ouagadougou and has directed various short films. Ouédraogo also graduate school at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinématographiques IDHEC in Paris in 1985.
Ouédraogo is also known for winning the Grand Prix for his film Tilaï (The Law) at the 1990l Cannes Film Festival, and the FIPRESCI Award for his 1986 film Yam Daabo (The Choice). His 1993 film Samba Traoré won the Silver Bear at the 43rd Berlin International Film Festival

The film festivals that attracted 530 films from 52 countries will keep in tune with its slogan ' A Film A Day For The Calendar Year'  and will screen 365 films in five towns concurrently. These are Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret. In this regard, KIFF has partnered with Moi University, Egerton University, Masinde Muliro University and Alliance Francaise who will provide their screening halls to be used for the viewing sessions.
Mr. Asiba said the screenings will be at, Alliance Francaise de Nairobi, National Museums of Kenya, Cinemax Prestige on Ngong Road, Fort Jesus in Mombasa, Alliance France in Mombasa, Moi University main Campus, Maseno University town campus, Kisumu Simba Club, Alliance Francaise de Eldoret.
Mr. Asiba said the preparations for the 2011 Festival are at an advanced stage adding that “we are happy by the response of the film makers when we called for entries what we now want from Kenyans to do is to come and watch a movie with us so that the ambition of being the biggest film festival in Africa.”


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