20 December, 2016

Jumia Travel Launches “Travel Wednesday"

This comes as a successor to the recently celebrated Black Friday, seeking to extend travel bargains throughout the season.

Nairobi, 20th December, 2016 – Following the successful 2016 Black Friday campaign, Jumia Travel has launched a campaign dubbed “Travel Wednesday” running every Wednesday to Friday on the company’s official website. The campaign’s main objective is to carry on readily negotiated rates referred to as “Dream Deals” with the aim of encouraging and facilitating travel through the year.

With 2017 having been designated as the “Year of Sustainable Travel” at the United Nations 70th General Assembly, one of the major goals for industry players will be to draw policies that contribute to inclusive and sustainable economic growth throughout the seasons in the tourism circuit.

While initially a maximum of 8 hotel deals will run during the promotion, they will in the coming days be increased to a total of 12 deals running until every Wednesday and Friday. “This is designed to meet our customers’ demand to have access to affordable travel options through Jumia Travel. Following the impressive public response on Black Friday, we want to create a new appointment for all travellers, an opportunity to get more deals that we have negotiated with thousands of hotels across Africa,” noted Paul Midy, CEO of Jumia Travel.

The deals have been launched in African countries where the company has been on the forefront in providing accommodation and travel packages within the means of most travelers. They include Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Senegal, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Algeria.

As in the case of Black Friday, the Dream Deals will also be co-marketed across all Jumia ecosystem in the countries they operate in. “More than 25% of our Black Friday bookings came from the Jumia ecosystem. Thus, it is vital to continue working closely with our sister companies to increase the traffic of the customer, as this was the main objective of the rebranding” added Midy.

Other channels through which the Dream Deals will be run include Jumia Travel’s social media pages, newsletters, and SMSs among others 

04 November, 2016

Ways Technology-inspired Trends Have Shaped the Travel Sector

Different sectors have experienced the reign of technological innovations in different ways, but perhaps it’s the travel sector that has gained more than any other. From search, to bookings, transport, payment, in-room entertainment and even itineraries; the sector continues to enjoy fresh discoveries that would have been passed as wishes not so long ago. Here are five of the current tech-inspired trends taking over the travel and tourism sector.

Rise of the DIY Traveler
The do-it-yourself customer is definitely on the rise. This trend is catapulted by technology, and a tech-savvy Millennial community that seem to prefer clicking to speaking. Travelers are becoming more and more independent, aided by technology that virtually covers all aspects of travel. It’s however important for travel companies to be careful not to lose their human touch, which possibly will be the only thing separating them from a myriad others offering similar service.

Multi-device operations
Cross-device use during the search and booking process has become the norm more than the exception. Travelers now rely on desktop, tablets, and smartphones to aid in their decision making process. For instance, a study by travel.jumia.com on internal booking trends reveals that, while short stay customers will have no qualms going through the whole process of pre-search and actual booking on a mobile devise, long stay customers are more likely to take their research on a desktop device (bigger screen), while completing their payments via mobile option. The use of cross-device while booking is also supported by the rise in smartphone penetration, mobile payment options and the characteristic convenience book-as-you-go.

Wearable Technology
Wearable technology is basically pieces of hi-tec solutions that you literally wear around your sleeve, neck, wrist, eyes and the like. The most common of this is perhaps the smartwatch and Google Glass. This advancement in technology allows travelers to perform digital tasks without reaching for their smartphones therefore enriching the whole experience and adventure. It’s now common to spot wrist bands that double up as storage gadgets, bracelets that can monitor heart rate and body activity as well as the futuristic forecast of smart shoes supposed to guide travelers in new cities.

Trending: The Sharing economy
The emergence of ride sharing services, accommodation and even workspace is a high impact trend in the travel sector. Travelers now have the option of booking a hotel, or lodging up with locals who give up some of their extra space to accommodate a ‘stranger’ at an agreed fee. The idea of airbnb.com, couchsurfing.com, Uber ride share and such are great examples of this rapidly rising trend. Travelers also find it useful to pop into shared workspaces that allow per day usage fee if they want to work while on the road. Away from that, it’s now common to find online travel communities formed by members looking to cut on costs by traveling together or taking advantage of group fees.

The Mobile-first Market
Mobile has become the first point of online contact for the larger fraction of the traveling population. It’s convenience also gives a boost to the rising prevalence of mobile bookings. Therefore, adoption of mobile apps by travel companies is vital for both marketing and positioning purposes. Booking apps should be designed with an impressive user experience to enable a hassle-free process when accessing and navigating a company’s website.

31 October, 2016

I&M Bank Allocates Sh300m for Social Investment This Year

October 31, 2016: I&M Bank has set aside Sh300 million for investment in project that empower members of the community in which it operates, the Bank’s Executive Director Mr. Sarit S. Raja Shah has said. 
Sarit Shah -Executive Director I&M Bank

Speaking during the launch of a two day free medical camp at St Martins Kibagare Primary School in Loresho, over the weekend, Mr. Shah said the Bank was reaching out to the under-privileged population in three social pillars of health, education and environment.

“Each year, I&M Bank sets aside 2% of its pre-tax profits which is kept under a fund to support various social initiatives in the areas of health, education and environment,” Mr. Shah said.
Mr. Shah noted that, in addition to the health initiative, the bank was constructing St. Ann’s Suresh Raja Shah Girls Secondary School, Kairi, at a cost of Sh200 million which is expected to be completed next year.  The bank also set aside Sh4.5 million and Sh3.5 for environment and health initiatives respectively.

“We have broken ground for the school project and the construction is going on,” Mr. Shah said. “We are also actively involved in the conservation of Karura Forest where our staff plant trees and clean Karura River every year.”

The bank has recorded growth in pre-tax profits over the past four years.  In 2015, the Group’s profit before tax reached Sh8.6 billion, Sh7, 480,487 in the years 2014, Sh5, 987,131 in the year 2013, and Sh5, 301,608 in the year 2012.

19 October, 2016

Ringier to Partner with Ghafla

As part of its continued expansion, Ringier Africa Digital Publishing (RADP), Ringier Africa’s publishing company, will work with Kenya’s top entertainment website ‘Ghafla’ . The partnership sees Kenya’s leading entertainment platform relaunch and enhance its editorial output, by diversifying Ghafla’s content to include current affairs, news and analysis.

With this partnership and relaunch, Ghafla will now also become a regional publisher aimed at providing innovative, insightful and entertaining content targeting the wider East African market, and will have footprints in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia.

Since it first launched in 2009, Ghafla has led the way in publishing up to the minute, youth-oriented entertainment news for East Africa, known for breaking top stories and building an active community of mobile-savvy followers across the continent. The partnership with Ringier  and relaunch consolidates Ghafla’s position as Kenya’s top entertainment news brand, as well as signals a new strategic direction in terms of expanding the editorial scope to include more politics, current affairs and international news stories, to further increase the popular platform’s followership. The redeveloped platform will also look to significantly increase its video and new media content, across all content sections and channels.

Ringier Africa & Asia CEO, Robin Lingg said Ringier is constantly reaching for new opportunities to strengthen its position as an innovative and leading publisher; “We are excited to welcome Ghafla as a new partner of our business in East Africa, seeing a lot of great potential in the product and its further growth opportunities.The inclusion of Ghafla into the Ringier family comes at an exciting time for our publishing company, as we continue to invest in building out a fast-moving, pioneering, credible and truly pan-African publishing network.”

Ringier Africa GM, Leonard Stiegeler said that Ghafla’s partnership with Ringier’s publishing arm also fits well into Ringier Africa’s overall strategy to build out leading digital businesses throughout the continent in four key verticals: content, classifieds, e-commerce and digital marketing; “Ghafla will benefit from being part of a leading pan-African digital media group and able to tap into connections from across the continent.”

Ghafla is also expected to benefit from Ringier’s 180+ years of experience and knowledge in the media industry, to become a leading East African online news platform and media publisher as well as to bring new exciting products and offerings to its existing and new advertising clients.  

Tim Kollmann, Ringier’s Managing Director of RADP adds, “Working with the Ghafla team, we will be settting new standards in the regional media space, offering up-to-date information at any time of the day, directly to East Africa’s media consumtion tool of choice; the mobile phone.”

Commenting on the partnership, Ghafla’s founder, Samuel Majani, who will continue as Co-CEO of Ghafla, notes that his mission from day one was to get news to Kenyans online. He adds, "I am very proud that Ghafla, which started in a Kenyan bedroom seven years ago, is now partnering with one of the largest African media enterprises. This partnership will give us access to international know-how and will ensure that we can learn from and apply the global expertise that the Ringier team brings with it".

Lake Turkana Wind Turbine Farm-Loiyangalani

Green Energy, Clean energy is no longer an alternative but a choice. I was pleased to recently visit Loiyangilani District in South Hor ,Turkana /Marsabit County and witness the  single largest private investment in Kenya’s history, The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project( LTWP)  a wind power harnessing project using large turbines  in  a stretch estimated to cover 162 square kilometers.

The wind farm is expected to  provide 310MW  low cost wind power to Kenya’s national grid, equivalent to approximately 18 per cent of the country’s current installed electricity generating capacity. The project will comprise 365 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 850 kW .

Most important though is the socioeconomic and environmental impact to the communities living along this arid/semi-arid region.for one, due to the project previously impassable ,rough terrain dirt roads have now been leveled and  murram added making the almost 200 km drive from Laisamis to the interior somewhat tolerable.

Communication infrastructure is slowly improving due to the contractors on site necessitating the installment of cell phone masts.It is obvious that this is changing the fortunes of the communities that were previously neglected.

What was perhaps disconcerting is that cattle rustling is still carried out between the Samburu and Turkana communities. But with this infrastructure projects coming up,economic growth and the exposure that results it is hoped that  such things will soon be history as community efforts are directed to other activities.It is also important to note, that cattle rustling or insecurity is not the main story of this region.The communities have existed and flourished in peace for many decades, unfortunately its selective media that only highlights the troubles of the region and forgets the good. Indeed if it bleeds it leads mantra has created a negative connotation for many regions and as Africans we know how unjust that can be.

With roads, infrastructure, electricity and supporting businesses  , this is the area to watch. Much of its potential is still untapped. Just driving up the road we were able to see a lot of wildlife for free...Ostriches,Giraffes,Gazelles,Antelopes, Oryx, Hyena's...etc.As the photos show Turkana is a beautiful place with beautiful people and it is projects such as the above that will expose this beauty to the outside world.

23 May, 2016

GTBank becomes the first bank to launch fingerprint recognition on its upgraded Mobile App

The version 3.6 App also features card services where customers can manage their GTBank credit and debit cards

Nairobi: May 23, 2016: Guaranty Trust Bank Kenya has launched an upgraded version of the Bank’s mobile App introducing fingerprint recognition, a first in the market. With this new capability, customers will be able to log onto their accounts by identifying their individual fingerprints through the Touch ID on iOS devices. 

The introduction of the fingerprint recognition brings added security on the mobile banking platform. The enhanced security measure comes at a time when more people are choosing to bank on their mobile phones and security of the platforms is critical. 

Commenting on this innovation, GTBank Managing Director Ibukun Odegbaike said “At Guaranty Trust Bank, we are driven by the desire to continue enhancing our customer experience at every touch point. Security in the era of mobile and digital banking is absolutely critical. The fingerprint recognition on the new GTBank mobile App gives our customers the control and confidence to transact securely on the platform.”

At the same time, the Bank has introduced card services on the upgraded App. Customers will now be able to access all card services including check card balances, pay and top-up cards,  stop card payments and generate card statements. These services are applicable to both credit and debit cards.

“Our investments in a state-of-the-art banking platform one year ago enabled us to roll out our cards business in partnership with MasterCard. We have taken this a notch higher and added card management capability on our upgraded mobile App. This will enable our customers to check card balances, top up, generate statements and stop card payments real time when they need to,” said Ibukun.


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