10 November, 2015

Chinabuy brings biggest Chinese Shopping Holiday to Kenya

Singles Day to be marked with drastically reduced prices for 24 hours

Nairobi, Kenya 10 November 2015........Leading international e-commerce group Chinabuy, which was recently launched in Kenya, is introducing Singles Day, the largest Chinese shopping festival, to the Kenyan market this year.
During Singles Day, which is marked on November 11 (tomorrow), drastically reduced prices will be on offer for hundreds of items for just twenty four hours.
Celebrated in China, Singles Day is a day dedicated to singles in the country.  This initiative, which began in the nineties in universities in China has become, over time, a perfect opportunity for shopping.  Consequently, on this special day, virtual stores in China and worldwide offer a range of products with special discounts and attractive promotions.
According to Joe Zoe Zhang, Chinabuy Group CEO: “Kenyans are similar to the Chinese as they are very clever customers who know how to get the best out of a sale day.  We have spread our discount offering thought out that day, when the biggest allocation is at the beginning of the day, just after midnight in the night between the 10th and 11th of November.  It is important to note that the discounts are limited and will be offered based on the principle of first come first serve,”
The Chinabuy Group, which did not have a site for the Kenyan market last year, sold 300 times more than what it sells on a regular day.  Having launched sites in different countries since then, Chinabuy Group estimates that this year the figure will also doubled.
For 2015 Singles Day, the Chinabuy Group through it site in Kenya Chinabuy.co.ke will offer discount on many items on the site.  The sale will start at 12:00 between Tuesday and Wednesday for 24 hours.  Clients who register to the site will enjoy a list of limited coupon codes up to 50% off the regular price and will be able to use it on all items based on the principle first come first serve.
In addition, Chinabuy.co.ke will designate the most attractive products for Kenya which will be displayed on a unique web page and will be sold throughout that day at ridicules low prices.
Chinabuy.co.ke has a 24/7 localised online customer support which is available in both English and Kiswahili and a 365 return day policy for any unused purchased from the site.  The site offers different delivery methods from free shipping to express door to door shipping at a minimal cost.

05 November, 2015

Jovago Now in Somalia; Industry Finally Taps into the Online Market

: NAIROBI, 2015-4-11 Jovago.com has signed up the first of Somali hotels to Africa’s leading online booking platform. This milestone comes at a time when the global hospitality industry is shifting gear in response to the e-Commerce wave sweeping through the sector.

Commenting on the new entry, Estelle Verdier, Managing Director for Jovago.com East and Southern Africa expressed her optimism in the country’s rebirth process  quoting that, “Jovago transcends every border, as being in Somalia means being everywhere in Africa. She went on to note that, “the country has attracted new attention from Africa and beyond owing to the many aspects put in place for its reconstruction. Jovago therefore is seeking to align Somalia’s hotel sector proportionately with the new age customer trends and purchasing decisions” Analysis by market leaders such as World Travel Market and Euromonitor indicate ever increasing numbers with a market moving 96% of primary travel searches taking place online.

The threat of piracy and Al-Shabab attacks in Somalia’s waters for a long time consequently restricted the country’s internet connection to satellites and Dial up services. This was until late in 2013, when Liquid Telecom introduced the country’s first fiber optic broadband link in capital Mogadishu; finally marking the first phase of opening up Somali to the world of opportunities on the World Wide Web.
Part of this, as Shiraar Hared Rage the CEO for Idman Ocean View Camp in Mogadishu cites is ensuring that Somalia’s hotel sector also benefits from this new culture. His hotel, which has been operational since 2004 has embraced social media as part of its strategy to remain visible in the market. According to the entrepreneur, internet marketing not only paves way for building relations with previous and potential customers, but also helps businesses in cutting costs incurred through communication.
Mogadishu, has seen a new awakening and rise from years of anarchy with long closed embassies re-opening and hitherto abandoned government offices springing back to life. It’s also home to diplomatic organizations as well as institutions of higher learning with a tech-hungry youth population that will benefit majorly from reliable internet connection.
Owing to the recent progress in fighting the Islamist militias and the establishment of the African Union, United Nations and US backed Federal Government, Somalia may finally be on her way to leaping benefits from a well-established telecoms industry. According  to BuddeComm, a global independent telecommunications research and consultancy company, the country is on to a better connected future with a 58% penetration in mobile and 2.1% internet penetration rate forecasted by the end of 2015. Security remains the key to the country’s stability that will pave way for infrastructure and development. As for now, the population will have to trust in the country’s rebirth process.

10 September, 2015

Facebook Mobile Use Statistics in Africa(Nigeria Leads in Number of Users)

Millions in Nigeria and Kenya Embrace Facebook on Mobile to Share and Connect with Others

Facebook’s mobile momentum grows in Africa
Facebook has shared new statistics revealing that 2.2 million Kenyans use Facebook every day and 4.5 million each month, while 7.1 million Nigerians use Facebook daily and 15 million are active every month.  Almost all these people are coming to Facebook on a mobile device: 100% of Nigerian monthly users are active on mobile as are 95% of Kenya’s monthly users.

This follows the recent announcement that Facebook’s active user population in Africa has grown 20% to 120 million in June 2015 from 100 million in September 2014. More than 80% of these people access Facebook from their mobile phones. Now, 60% of all Internet users in Africa are active on Facebook.

Nunu Ntshingila, newly appointed Head of Africa at Facebook, said: “At Facebook, we have a saying that we’re only 1% done, and this couldn’t be truer for Facebook in Africa. I’m only beginning this journey, and I’m already incredibly inspired by the power of connection - from the smallest moments to fostering global conversations. Everyone on Facebook has a story, and I can’t wait to hear the stories from Kenya and Nigeria firsthand.”

Ntshingila continued: “Mobile is not a trend; it’s the fastest adoption of disruptive technology in history of communication. It’s also an incredibly personal device regardless of where a person lives or how they connect, and businesses need to reach people where they are, not where they were, in an authentic, personal and relevant way. I look forward to spending time with businesses across Africa to understand how we can work together.”

Facebook recently opened its first office in Africa to further the company’s commitment to help businesses connect with people and grow locally and regionally. The new office is the next step in furthering Facebook’s investment in Africa and its people. The team in Africa will focus initially on Kenya (East Africa), Nigeria (West Africa), and South Africa (Southern Africa).

Ari Kesisoglu, Facebook’s Regional Director for MEA, said: “We are committed to creating solutions tailored to people and businesses in Africa. We continue to spend time with businesses to learn about how we can work together to create better, more flexible and less fragmented ways for businesses to reach people in Africa.”


Global: Q2 2015

Facebook’s usage and engagement continues to grow:
•          Daily active users (DAUs) – DAUs were 968 million on average for June 2015, an increase of 17% year-over-year. Now 65% of monthly active users are also daily active users.
•          Mobile DAUs – Mobile DAUs were 844 million on average for June 2015, an increase of 29% year-over-year.
•          Monthly active users (MAUs) – MAUs were 1.49 billion as of June 30, 2015, an increase of 13% year-over-year. (This is half of the world's internet population of 3B)
•          Mobile MAUs – Mobile MAUs were 1.31 billion as of June 30, 2015, an increase of 23% year- over-year.
•          Time spent: Across Facebook, Messenger and Instagram, people are now spending more than 46 minutes per day on average.
•          65% of people who use Facebook come back every day.

Kenya: Q2 2015

•          2.2 million total daily active users (DAUs)
•          2.1  million mobile DAU
•          4.5 million total monthly active users (MAUs)
•          4.3 million mobile MAU (95% of MAUs)

Nigeria: Q2 2015

•          7.1 million total daily active users (DAUs)
•          6.9 million mobile DAU
•          15 million total monthly active users (MAUs)
•          15 million mobile MAU (100% of MAUs)

South Africa: Q2 2015

•          7.3 million total daily active users (DAUs)
•          7 million mobile DAU
•          12 million total monthly active users (MAUs)
•          12 million mobile MAU (100% of MAUs)

23 July, 2015

GE Announces New $14.7 million Commitments to Build Healthcare Skills and Capacity in East Africa

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 23, 2015/ -- Today, ahead of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit(#GES2015Kenya) in Nairobi, GE (NYSE: GE) announced a series of new commitments aimed at addressing some of the most critical health challenges in East Africa through a sustained focus on skills development and capacity building. Among the investments, GE announced:

1.         The establishment of the GE Healthcare Skills and Training Institute in Kenya, GE’s first-ever dedicated healthcare skills advancement center in Africa;
2.         A $1.7M GE Foundation grant for Biomedical Equipment Training and Safe Surgery programs in Ethiopia.

As outlined in the GE Africa Future of Work White Paper, launched today, entitled, Building Strong Workforces to Power Africa’s Growth, Sub-Saharan Africa will need to create an average of 15-20 million new jobs per year over the next three decades to meet the current growth, presenting a considerable challenge to the labor market given the low rates of formal employment.(1)

Sub-Saharan Africa will need to create an average of 15-20 million new jobs per year over the next three decades to meet the current growth - GE Africa Future of Work White Paper 

Moreover, the global health sector, especially in developing markets, is facing critical workforce shortages,(2) with Africa ranking the lowest in the availability of health personnel.(3) With 12% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s burden of diseases, Sub-Saharan Africa has only 3% of the world’s health workforce.(4) According to the White Paper, the African urbanization story underscores the need for Governments and their partners to invest aggressively in enhancing skills.(5)

Farid Fezoua, President & CEO of GE Healthcare Africa said, “Investing in the training and education of healthcare professionals to strengthen capability building is one of the greatest enablers for sustainable healthcare development. GE Healthcare’s education strategy integrates technology and localization in the design and deployment of tailored education solutions including the establishment of new healthcare training centers, locally configured curricula and a range of education partnerships with leading regional academic institutions and global partners. As a major force for change, we aim to increase access to localized education, training and skills development programs for more healthcare workers across Africa.”

1.         GE Healthcare Skills and Training Institute, Kenya

Selected in February 2015 as a key technology and solutions partner by the Kenyan Ministry of Health (MoH) as part of its ~USD 420 million healthcare transformation plan, GE is committed to supporting knowledge-sharing and capacity building in Kenya and across East Africa. As a cornerstone of the mega-modernization program, GE will launch the new GE Healthcare Skills and Training Institute in Kenya, representing a long-term investment of at least $13 million over the next 10 years.

With specialised GE Healthcare training facilities across the globe, the centre is set to become GE’s first dedicated skills development facility in Africa when inaugurated in Nairobi later in Q4 2015 that will serve Kenya and the wider East Africa.

The GE Healthcare Skills and Training Institute will initially offer biomedical and clinical applications training courses and over the longer-term will be expanded to offer leadership, technical and clinical education courses, working with the MoH, private healthcare providers and other educational partners, with the goal to train over 1,000 healthcare professionals over the next 3 years.

In East Africa, where there is a significant shortage of qualified healthcare professionals, the localization of vocational and leadership training courses aims to support the development of a pipeline of future biomedical engineers, radiologists and technicians, helping to reduce the skills gap, improve job prospects and build a solid national healthcare system and private healthcare sector.

The Kenya training center is part of GE Healthcare’s global commitment to invest over $1 billion in the development and delivery of localized offerings for the healthcare sector, including a new class of technology-enabled training solutions by 2020. Moreover, as part of this commitment, GE Healthcare aims to deliver enhanced training for over two million health professionals globally that is expected to help healthcare systems drive better patient outcomes and benefit more than 350 million patients worldwide by 2020.

2.         Ethiopia Biomedical Equipment Training (BMET) Center of Excellence

GE Foundation’s first Biomedical Equipment Training (BMET) program in Ethiopia responds to the shortage of skilled healthcare workers and functional medical equipment. The BMET Center of Excellence (COE) builds on the success of prior BMET programming in Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Honduras and Cambodia and expands the commitment by creating a COE within a hospital setting to translate learning to actual work processes. 

The COE “workshop” will set a benchmark for hands-on training and process replication, further strengthening healthcare systems. Training participants will benefit from a well-rounded curriculum including professional management and customer service skills, in-hospital clinical application, asset management and financial reporting skills and professional development.   

This three-year program grant will help fund the development of the training to educate biomedical technicians in Ethiopia to respond to the shortage of functional medical equipment, by focusing on repairing – not replacing – equipment using available resources. Programs such as these can help local hospitals increase availability of medical equipment – such as incubators for infants – by up to 43% in some cases.

3.         Safe Surgery Program in Ethiopia

With a significant training component, the GE Foundation commitment to improving safe surgery in Ethiopia will be delivered through a new partnership with Lifebox, a non-governmental organization focused on implementation of the WHO Safe Surgical Checklist. This program aims to standardize safe surgery by increasing access to and quality of surgery, reducing surgical complications, and preventing patient deaths in the region.

In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the program will help develop a surgical operating standards program to serve as a pilot for a country-wide intervention, with local champions from surgical, anesthesia, and nursing backgrounds serving as program leaders. The program will also provide guidance, and help coordinate the implementation of safe surgical standards with a focus on localization. The ultimate goal of the partnership is to expand country-wide through collaboration with local partners including ministries, NGOs, professional societies, teaching institutions, and peer-to-peer networks.

“Safe Surgery has long been a neglected area of global health, and universal access to an essential set of surgical procedures would prevent 1.5 million deaths around the world every year,” said Dr. David Barash, Executive Director, Global Health Portfolio, and Chief Medical Officer, GE Foundation. “It’s tragic that millions of people are dying from common, easily treated conditions like appendicitis, fractures or obstructed labor because they do not have access to proper surgical care. We are especially pleased to launch this partnership focused on access to safe surgery with Lifebox, given their success implementing the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist, leading to a nearly 60% reduction in the total number of perioperative complications in low-resource settings.”

This program grant will be delivered over 18 months, focusing on a Center of Excellence for health worker training, leadership development, improvement in Safe Surgery Standards compliance, and create guidelines for measuring surgical site infections, postoperative mortality, and other complications.

Earlier this year, the GE Foundation participated in the launch of a major new Commission on safe surgery published in The Lancet. The Commission notes that five billion people worldwide do not have access to safe and affordable surgery and anesthesia when they need it, and access is worst in low- and lower-middle income countries, where as many as nine out of ten people cannot access basic surgical care. The GE Foundation Biomedical Equipment Technician (BMET) training program was highlighted in the Commission as a “best in class” model for sustainable training.

09 June, 2015

SimbaPay launches world’s first international access to M-Pesa PayBill

The first product in the world that allows Kenyans living abroad to make M-Pesa PayBill payments

 SimbaPay – a leading digital money transfer provider – today announced the launch of the first product in the world that allows Kenyans living abroad to make M-Pesa PayBill payments. This is a new addition to the existing SimbaPay platform.

 M-Pesa PayBill is an M-Pesa service that has previously only been available to Safaricom M-Pesa subscribers in Kenya and allows the subscribers to pay hunderds of vendors via M-Pesa. By SimbaPay granting PayBill access to its customers, Kenyans abroad can now also pay hundreds of vendors and utility companies in Kenya directly via M-Pesa PayBill.

Nyasinga Onyancha, CEO for SimbaPay noted that “Our customers want to pay vendors in Kenya faster and without having to go through friends and family”.  “This new product allows them to do just that, especially for time sensitive payments such as those to hospitals, stock brokers and the like”.

SimbaPay customers will not require a Safaricom phone number or M-Pesa registration to pay vendors via PayBill as is currently the case for M-Pesa subscribers living in Kenya. SimbaPay charges zero fees for its instant money transfers to M-Pesa PayBill numbers.

Kenyans living in the UK with a bank account, debit card or credit card will be able to use the SimbaPay app to make M-Pesa PayBill payments from any mobile phone, tablet or computer. Transfers made using SimbaPay to M-Pesa PayBill numbers are credited instantly. The service has already been rolled out to Kenyans living in the UK with other EU countries slated in the near future.

For ease of use, the majority of M-Pesa PayBill numbers and vendors have also been pre-loaded on to the SimbaPay platform which eliminates the need for customers having to remember a vendor’s PayBill number. At the time of making an M-Pesa Paybill transfer using SimbaPay, customers will be required to select the vendor to be paid and then enter their account number with the vendor. For example if paying a hospital bill, the patient number will be required.

SimbaPay launched free, instant transfers to Nigeria  in May 2015 and continues to disrupt the cross-border remittance industry with its focus on speed and convenience.

The SimbaPay app can be downloaded for free from the Apple or Android app stores.

19 May, 2015

Kenyans Peculiar Travel Habits

The following info-graphics from a report published by Jovago Kenya's premier online booking website is quite telling. Question-Do you agree with it?

Kenyan Travel Habits: Info graphics

Travel and tourism is the major source of foreign exchange in Kenya, as well as a major contributor to the national GDP. Although hampered by numerous challenges, tourism still remains at the forefront of the economy. With such an important role on the national plate, it’s only prudent for both government and private stakeholders to keep abreast with global developments in the industry. One of the major fronts include tapping into e-tourism, moving away from the traditional tourism trends to the steadily rising world of savvy travelers. Local companies like Jovago.com are actively re-joining this call through ensuring that even the most remotely located hotel can be accessed online, therefore boosting its global presence and leveraging on online marketing. Here is an info graphic indicating Kenyan online travel habits based on bookings made on www.jovago.com

Across the country and the continent as well, costs of hotels vary depending on the type of rooms and services that accompany them. The survey carried through January to April reveals the most expensive room booked within this period at $328,850 while the least expensive went at $9 only!

Room Rates

Across the country and the continent as well, costs of hotels vary depending on the type of rooms and services that accompany them. The survey carried through January to April reveals the most expensive room booked within this period at $328,850 while the least expensive went at $9 only!

Preferred Payment Methods

The advent and globally-enviable growth of mobile payments in Kenya is well illustrated in the payment trends of guests who book accommodation via www.jovago.com. Data recorded shows that 60% of guests prefer to wrap up the transaction via mobile or card payments, while the remaining 40% opt to pay on arrival. 

Length of Stay
The average guest will usually take two days/nights in a hotel; this in most cases are either on business trips or a quick-fix long weekend for most working middle class. We however notice that the trend greatly changes with the purpose of travel. Vacations are generally longer, with the longest stay going for 30 days.

Preferred Booking Durations

With an emerging middle class popular for hitting the ground running, it’s no mean task to have a 63% of our traveler’s population booking consistently booking in advance of about seven days to check in date. However, the spontaneous streak is still very live, with a notable 27% placing bookings just hours to check in. A small but extremely cautious fraction of guests (6%) do book more

Room Type Preference

Most guests prefer booking into a double room, which will mostly accommodate couples. Solo travelers on the other side will prefer single rooms-with most guests likely to be on business trips. Most of the other rooms (4%) are favorable for family stays as, upon requests may even have space for extra beds or cots. The biggest room occupancy on www.jovago.com hotels is 8 people.


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