30 June, 2013

Nokia announces availability of Asha 210 in East Africa

A fast and responsive QWERTY phone - the most social Asha yet

Nokia today announced local availability of the Nokia Asha 210 across East Africa, bringing consumers more social experiences at an affordable price. The Nokia Asha 210, available in both single and easy swap dual-SIM variants, features a distinctly Nokia design, smart imaging and Wi-Fi to help people enjoy more of the Internet for less.

Available in yellow, cyan and black at a recommended retail price of:

Kenya:          KES 6,499
Uganda:       UGX 225,000
Tanzania:     TZs 140,000

Your social life at your fingertips
The Nokia Asha 210 has a QWERTY keyboard and a dedicated Facebook button for fast access to social networking. It also supports WhatsApp, Twitter and popular email accounts such as Gmail, to ensure that people are never more than a few clicks away from their friends and family.

Capture and share great images every time
The Nokia Asha 210 comes with a 2MP camera that can be accessed through a dedicated hardkey even when the keypad is locked. The smart camera also offers a choice of image capture, editing and sharing options, including: 
·         Self-portrait – for perfectly centred “selfies”, even without a front-facing camera. The built-in voice guides the user to ensure they are in the frame, before taking the shot.
  • Fast editing of images directly from the camera app and easy sharing of images to social networks

People can also share photos and other content quickly by using Nokia’s innovative Slam feature, which comes built-into the Nokia Asha 210. It works by enabling the transfer of content such as images or videos to another Bluetooth-enabled phone without the need to pair devices.

The new device also takes full advantage of the Nokia Xpress Browser which uses Nokia's cloud technology to reduce data consumption by up to 90 percent, helping people enjoy more affordable Internet access. The Nokia Asha 210 also features Nokia Nearby, a web app that lets people discover points of interest such as restaurants, shopping and ATM machines close to their location.

“The Nokia Asha range has already gained popularity in East Africa, especially amongst the youth,” says Bruce Howe, general manager Nokia East Africa. “Consumers love the freedom of choice that Asha offers. The new Asha 210 expands the family and brings a fresh design and great features for those that value being socially connected.”

Other key features for Nokia Asha 210 include:
·         Social phonebook integration
·         Preloaded YouTube launcher for direct video streaming
·         Chat screen notifications that keep users up-to-date on new conversations
·         WiFi On/Off control button
·         Long battery life: up to 46 days with Single-SIM and up to 24 days with Dual-SIM

28 June, 2013

How To Succesfully Add Facebook Comment Box/Plugin To Your Blog !

Successfully adding a Facebook comment Box has been a hard nut to crack for many bloggers who lack the technical know how.This is especially so if you are using the new interface blogger template. The code provided at the Facebook Developers page hardly renders thereby proving frustrating to a blogger who desires to incorporate the same into his or her blog. A search online on how to incorporate the code often times yields false starts,queer pages and your just too complicated instructions.

However thanks to the blog: blogofblogger one can get simple but detailed step by step instructions on how to install the Facebook Comment Box Plugin.It goes without say that Facebook is the most popular social network and if people are able to share or comment on your blog post ,then the bloggers article is rapidly spread over a massive friends network.The benefits of having a Facebook Comment Plugin is actually immeasurable and for serious bloggers a must have.Its true that Google wants to compete with their Google Plus (G+) comments initiative but they pale severely in comparison to Facebook.

Social networks have basically pushed traditional blogging to a backseat therefore an intelligent blogger appreciates the need to re invent his blogging by adopting a cross platform blogging technique and that is made easy by Facebook comments.Hence if you are blogging and are hardly on Facebook consider  reinventing your blog ,the benefits are immense

27 June, 2013

Lets Culinate People !

Lets Culinate People ! That has been a tagline especially on my Facebook profile after cooking a sumptuous meal, sometimes using your not so familiar ingredients or perhaps a french cookery term.I'm a foodie a great foodie at that! I try many things in the kitchen ,Im meticulous in my approach, widely self read from Julia Childs 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' to the Latest Edition of Wayne Gisslen -'Professional Cooking'  and for the Modern gastronome enthusiasts-yes i have all the six volumes of Nathan Myhrvold,Chris Young and Maxime Billet's -'The Art & Science of Cooking '.

I watch popular food shows- yes the new brand of celebrity chefs with almost a religious zeal .In a word im a foodie and a great foodie at that! My great interest in food-good food has made me ponder on the questions;Why is it that African cuisine with all its greatness and variety has little impact on the world at large,furthermore why is it that locally here in Kenya little is being done to put to task the restaurants to live up to their mandate to provide high quality food and service .Ive been to many high profile hotels only to be dismayed at chefs providing lackluster service,making all manner and kinds of short cuts and sometimes being extremely dishonest in describing the food items on their menu .

Perhaps you are beginning to develop an interest in cooking, baking etc where locally can you find vanilla pods ,or vanilla extract and by that i don't mean that substandard product you get in all the supermarkets by description vanilla essence(there's a huge world of difference between the aforesaid three items)know where to buy a rubber spatula, get a digital cooking thermometer or a pasta making machine?Where can i get absolutely nice cutlery without paying a bomb for it?Is there a Michelin star chef/hotel in Kenya(don't you just laugh when each and every new hotel describes itself as a five star hotel-who gave them the stars) or rather what is a Michelin star?where can i get a good cook book or which cookery app is out there that can serve me best with my limited budget?

With so many questions and so scanty resources out here; Enter the blog LetsCulinate .Its a revamp of my 2008 blog entitled Swahili Cuisines but this time the blog has more to offer ,great authorship from guest writers and chefs.It will feature popular and useful resources for wining and dining and cooking great food.Television show and cook book reviews ...etc etc.And you can get it right on your social networks especially on Google Plus.

For example consider this tip: Did you Know that you can order online from your favorite restaurant e.g China Plate,Mr Wok, Osteria, Southern Fried,Pizza World, Tin Tin Restaurant etc and have food delivered to your door step via the website:  www.hellofood.co.ke ,whether its Pizza, Italian,African,Indian or Chinese you can get your food ASAP thanks to modern technology plus there is a mobile app(IOS and Android) .Its that kind of information that many of us need.Therefore begin following the new blog LetsCulinate and grow your knowledge of food after all "There is no Love Sincerer than the Love of Food!

26 June, 2013

Application Now Open For GrowthHub 2nd Accelarator 2013

 (Must Read for Techies Needing Seed Funding) GrowthHub is seeking Motivated early stage entrepreneurs in the social enterprise space who are looking to build successful businesses. They support a variety of sectors, particularly: energy / environmental sustainability, mobile and IT, ago-processing, financial services and essential services (health, education, water & sanitation). Their programmes provide:
  • Access to seed funding (up to $100,000)
  • One on one mentorship and networking through a diverse network of thought leaders, experienced entrepreneurs, and investors
  •  Collaborative working space in the heart of Nairobi’s business district
  • Intensive series of workshops
  • Access to investors through pitch showcases

The GrowthHub is an impact incubator and accelerator that supports early stage entrepreneurs and start-ups in the social enterprise space in Africa who are solving today’s most pressing societal and environmental
problems. They provide them with mentorship, networking, access to seed funding, access to a collaborative
working space, and peer support from our space here in Nairobi, Kenya.

(a)Idea-to-Innovation ProgramWho May Apply?
Early-stage entrepreneurs with a mature idea.
We have a bias towards the following sectors:
  • Affordable basic services for the BoP,
  •  agriculture and agriculture technology with a high level of social or environmental impact,
  • education,
  •  energy/environmental sustainability (e.g. green technology, clean technology, sustainable materials),
  •  financial services for low income populations, 
  • water & sanitation, health care, urban challenges and mobile/ICT.
What  Is It About ?The Programme is tailored for entrepreneurs and their start-ups who have already come up with an idea, have validated this idea, and want to take it to the next level by developing a product / service and running a
pilot/test with the target market. The first round, 6-8 weeks, will involve 10-12 start-ups working with
facilitators, mentors, and entrepreneurs in residence. The second round will select 4-6 start–ups and provide
them with enough resources to execute their pilot/test over an additional period of 10 weeks

Why Apply ?
  • Accelerate your business idea, 
  • gain access to one on one mentorship and networking, 
  • win funding and in order  to execute your pilot in the market
Key Dates: Applications due by July 15
Information Sessions on July 1 and July 11
Programme Start: August 1

(b) Innovation-to-Impact Who May Apply?
Mature start-ups who have achieved customer validation (post-revenue preferred).

We have a bias towards the following sectors:
Affordable basic services for the BoP, agriculture and agriculture technology with a high level
of social or environmental impact, education, energy/environmental sustainability (e.g. green technology, clean
technology, sustainable materials), financial services for low income populations, water & sanitation, health
care, urban challenges and mobile/ICT.

What Is It About?
13 week accelerator programme, in partnership with Village Capital, that will take participants through 5 2-day workshops and other activities that provide an opportunity for them to sharpen their skills and more rapidlgrow their enterprises.

It is designed to help entrepreneurs who have achieved product / service validation to
build a sustainable business model. The program will culminate in December with 2 companies receiving a total investment of $75,000 from our fund

Why Apply?Accelerate your business, gain access to one on one mentorship and networking, pitch your plan to investors,and win funding (up to $75,000) from GrowthAfrica and Village Capital

Key Dates: Applications due by August 19
Information Sessions on August 1 and August 8
Programme Start: September 13


June 25, 2013... Leading integrated communications service provider Safaricom has in partnership with Green Dreams Limited officially launched iCow, an SMS based mobile application aimed at promoting smart dairy farming.

By subscribing to the short code, *285#, Kenya's 5 million dairy farmers can now access tips on better farming methods which will help them improve their dairy output and subsequently, their revenues for Kshs. 3 per message.

"iCow survey data shows farmers who have been on iCow for 7 months begin to realize an increase of milk of between 2-3 litres per animal per day. This is an increase of about 610-930 litres a year which translates into an average increased income of 25-30k per animal per year. iCow data shows farmers have reduced cow and calf mortality thus enabling farmers grow their greatest asset base," Su Kahumbu, Green Dreams Limited.

iCow, has three main features namely: Kalenda, Mashauri and Vet. Kalenda offers farmers nutritional and vaccination tips for their cows during the gestational period up to and birth.  Mashauri on the other hand is a service that sends farmers three SMS tips every week on dairy farming while the Vet and Artificial Insemination service links farmers with professional veterinarians within their respective geographical areas on demand.

"iCow is an easy to use, affordable and convenient mobile phone application which will empower Kenya's dairy farmers with global best practices. iCow is a clear demonstration of how technology is positively impacting key spheres of our economy," said Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore who spoke as he launched the service during this year's Brookside Breeders' Show.

Speaking during the launch, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Felix Koskei commended Safaricom for the innovative approach towards addressing farmers concerns.
He said, "ICT has over the years given the Agriculture Sector a wide berth. As a result farmers' yields have been on the decline and this has gradually seen the country lose its competitive edge to other countries."
"As a government, we believe that Kenya has the potential to provide agricultural produce to meet the country's need and even have enough for exports. We will therefore be looking for other innovators who will provide solutions to boost efficiency in our crop and animal rearing management, to help achieve this objective", he noted.

25 June, 2013

"MPigs" Exacerbate Teachers Strike and More To Follow

Tuesday, 25 June 2013,Kenyan parents ,public school students and teachers have a legitimate need to be concerned .The strike declared by the Kenya National Union of Teachers( KNUT) and Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers(KUPPET) is an ominous sign of further looming strikes exacerbated by the recent unrelentless push by Members of Parliament to increase their salaries despite resistance from the Constitutional Salaries and Remuneration Commission,the President himself ,Civil Society and other quarters.What that means is dialogue may take a back seat in negotiations and brain and muscle ala push and shove becomes the new norm of getting what one wants.

Simple logic is that Citizens tend to mimic or emulate their leadership hence the selfish push by the MP's in more than one way informed the masses of the need to resiliently press for better emoluments and salaries with little or no regard to the resources at hand.

Whereas i am not a politician nor do entertain any particular political ideals it is common sense that the MP's move was ill informed and the country should expect ripples and repercussions as more and more public and private workers employ a policy of no retreat no surrender when bargaining for better working conditions or terms for engagement.No matter what rationalization the elected members of parliament may have had ,they seem to have forgot that anyone may come up with any excuse or cogent reason for salary increase especially in this day and age where uncertainty in the economy, high inflation and interest rates coupled with unemployment and insecurity lay supreme.

All said and done, i believe that the teachers will have their way ,either now or in the long run to the detriment of the students and the parents and after the teachers watch the space for upheaval and strikes from other sectors.Thats the bare hard truth and bitter pill that Leaders have to swallow.They set the pattern!

I&M Bank Lists New Shares at the Bourse

Nairobi: June 25th 2013: I&M Holdings has officially listed its new shares at the Nairobi Securities Exchange after a successful conclusion of the merger deal between I&M Bank with investment company, City Trust through a share swap.

The ceremony was presided over by Central Bank of Kenya Deputy Governor Dr. Haron.

Speaking at the ceremony to mark the commencement of the trading, the Company Chairman Daniel Ndonye said the merger process now opens up to the Group a myriad of opportunities as it beats a new growth path.

“The success of I&M Bank’s merger with City Trust has opened a new chapter in the growth and expansion of our business in the region which comes as good news to our shareholders. It is now much easier for the shareholders of I&M Bank to trade in their shares at the Nairobi Securities Exchange and at the same time unlock the value of shares held by City Trust investors thus boosting the liquidity of these shares,” said Mr. Ndonye.

“The listing of the Bank also makes it easier for Kenyans to invest in this home-grown institution and share in its success,” he added.

The merger which concluded early June resulted in set up of a holding company, I&M Holdings Limited, in a transaction that enabled I&M Bank’s shareholders to exchange their shares for those of City Trust in a reverse takeover.

“We are excited about this transaction which has enabled the shareholders of the Bank to list on the NSE thus providing liquidity for our institutional, corporate and individual shareholders. The listing also provides us with the platform to raise additional capital in the future to facilitate the achievement of our long term growth and expansion strategy and to improve on our capacities to successfully manage the growth we have achieved in the last few years,” said I&M Bank’s Executive Director Sarit Raja-shah

Dr. Sirima noted that the I&M Bank transaction had been a learning curve for the regulator, who is in the process of undertaking changes in law to allow for the set-up of non-operating holding companies for banks.

“The new law is still in draft form, so this transaction has given the Central Bank of Kenya a good opportunity to test the law and note what may need to be changed and/or enhanced,” said Dr. Sirima.

Originally, City Trust Limited was listed on the alternative investment market segment of the NSE. Mr. Eddy Njoroge the Chairman of Nairobi Securities Exchange noted that,” This is truly a monumental occasion as it is the first reverse takeover that has been witnessed in our capital markets, where a private company’s shareholders exchange their shares for those of a public company , making the non-listed company a publicly-traded one. It is also a unique listing as I&M Holdings has used the reverse takeover of City Trust which was listed on AIMS to migrate the new firm to MIMS. The NSE emphatically congratulates I&M Holdings for successfully listing through this avenue and urges other organizations to take up this opportunity to list on the bourse as it is a cost effective avenue for listed and non-listed entities to raise funds.”

Mr Mathur, the Chief Executive said that the bank’s main focus is now turned on customer service and product innovation to enhance on it’s competitive edge. 

“The new growth path we have taken will give our network capacity to offer quality and efficient service to our customers as well as providing more innovative technology-driven products to our clients,” said Mr. Mathur.

As the new shares begin trading, the bank is making progress in its efforts to expand into the regional markets.

Central Bank of Kenya Deputy Governor Dr. Haron Sirima rings the bill to mark the beginning of trading in I&M Holding share after a successful conclusion of the merger deal between I&M Bank with investment company, City Trust  Limited through a share swap. Looking on is I&M Holdings Limited Group Chairman Daniel Ndonye  (immediate left), NSE Chief Executive officer, Peter Mwangi (second left), NSE Chairman Eddy Njoroge (immediate right), Dyer & Blair Chairman Jimna Mbaru (second right) and I&M Bank Chief Executive Office Arun Mathur  (far right), among other Directors of the Bank.  
“Our regional expansion drive remains a key focus for us for the better part of the remainder of 2013 and 2014 with feasibility studies going on for possible acquisitions or fresh licenses in Uganda, South Sudan and Zambia. In our recent visits to Tanzania and Rwanda we have witnessed growing enthusiasm towards I&M Bank’s regional platform renewing our belief that our regional agenda will meet our objectives and drive the development of the financial system in the region,” said Mr. Mathur.  

New Directors

The listing will see the reconstitution of the Board of Directors and a new shareholding structure of I&M Holdings. The new board led by Mr Daniel Ndonye as Chairman will include Mr. SBR Shah, Mr. Michael Karanja, Mr. Sarit Raja Shah, Mr. Madabhushi Soundararajan, Ms. Christian Gabener and Mr. Guedi Ainache.

Ziyungi Limited becomes the largest shareholder with 18.74% followed by Minard Holdings Limited with 17.27% and Tecoma Limited with 16.66%. Others include Biashara Securities (13.92%), DEG (6.25%), Proparco (4.43%), Prime Securities (3.65%), Bhagwanji Raja Foundation (2.41%), I&M ESOP Trust (0.35%), and the Public (16.32%). 

For avid Kenyan investors please take note that the shares started trading on the Nairobi stock exchange at the value of Kenya Shillings 90 and are currently trading at Kshs 103 as at writing of this post.Now that's a hot cake!!!!!

24 June, 2013

Back from A Blogging Hiatus-With a "Casual Courier" Tip !

Yes i am back...blogging again.The Hiatus is over, it actually needed to be. Interestingly this blog has its fair share of loyal readers for whom i am indebted and yes i promise to keep them regularly updated with whats up in the social sphere.

For some time now i was realigning my career goals with what would truly satisfy and make me happy inward and outward and that was an interesting period.I experienced a lot of learning had to make a lot of sacrifices and now i am starting to experience the dividends.For the time i have not been blogging i have brushed up on my french,taken my culinary skills and knowledge to a new height and given my family my all- that is so satisfying!

In fact i am out to launch a new blog that would take the term "food critic" to a new height within the African context.So catering establishments, the myriads of food shows sprouting up on local television shows better up their games.Use of french culinary terms does not impress me unless they are coupled with the requisite technique and skill.

Back to my blog , i was unpleasantly surprised that 'thanks to webring.com' this site was being automatically redirected to their home page.Now that's the kind of behavior that i do not tolerate nor allow for a third party website plugin .Consequently i have had to remove the link.

Speaking of interesting things on the web; i just read an interesting article on the British News site "The Telegraph " on how this reputable UK courier services company are paying ordinary citizen van owners to become "casual couriers" by transporting small parcels and packages along their travel route-now that's an interesting concept!Though it comes with its own intrinsic challenges but what an easy way of using technology in making money(see Wikipedia article ),however that's not the only ingenious courier product that the British Company Anyvan Ltd has come up with a visit to the site reveals interesting concepts on courier delivery.

Its such interesting concepts and actions on the Internet that keep me blogging .Therefore continue reading this blog for interesting tips ,techniques and advice who knows your light bulb may just light up!


Related Posts with Thumbnails