Category Archives: obama

Idea Exchange: Anzisha, Obama, Elumelu, HEVA

EDIT The African Banker Awards that will take place during the African Development Bank Annual Meetings on 11th June in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea are now accepting entries for the awards of African Bank of the Year, African Banker of the Year, Investment Bank of the Year, Best Regional Bank in Africa, Best Retail Bank in Africa, Innovation in Banking, Infrastructure Deal of the Year, Deal of the Year (Debt), Deal of the Year (Equity), Award for Financial Inclusion, and Socially Responsible Bank of the Year. All financial institutions (banks, micro-financiers, investment banks, DFIs and others) are invited to compete. Completed entry forms should be submitted by Monday 1st of April.

Edit Africa CEO Forum Awards recognizes outstanding business leaders and this year includes a  “Gender Leader of the Year” prize and “Disrupter of the Year” award to go with other existing awards for CEO of the Year, African Champion of the Year, and International Company. Some nominees include Mohamed El Kettani – Attijariwafa bank and Tewolde Gebremariam – Ethiopian Airlines for “CEO of the year”, Banque Centrale Populaire, Ethiopian Airlines, OCP Group and Royal Air Maroc for “company of the year”, Absa Group, Access Bank, First Bank of Nigeria and Unilever for “gender leader” and Africa’s Talking, Baobab+, InTouch, Jumia and Kobo360 for the “disruptor” award. The awards will be given during the 7th Africa CEO Forum on 25 – 26 March 2019 in Kigali, Rwanda.

Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) will officially open its call for applications starting from the 27th of March 2019. The ANPI is a US$10 million Prize competition for African entrepreneurs, founded by the Jack Ma Foundation, where ten finalists from across the continent will compete for US$1 million in total prize money. Deadline for applications is 30th June 2019

EDIT Class 5 of the Alibaba Global Initiatives eFounders fellowship is open to founders/co-founders of digital ventures from Botswana, Cameroon, Chad, Kenya, Rwanda, or Uganda. It is jointly organized by Alibaba Business School and UNCTAD and the deadline is March 17. Note that the fellowship does not cover air tickets and transportation/pick-up services to and from Hangzhou, China.

The Anzisha Prize is Africa’s biggest award for her youngest entrepreneurs and hands out over USD $100,000 every year in funding to entrepreneurs from all over the continent.  Details here.

EDIT  The British Council Future Leaders Connect, is a global network for emerging policy leaders seeking to connect to a long-term network of emerging leaders from around the globe, who want to change the world through policy making. To take part you must be aged 18-35 and live in one of our participating countries – Canada, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Tunisia, UK and USA. Applications from Egypt and the USA are by invitation only. Applications close on Monday 6 May 2019.

EDIT Cities Alliance a global partnership supporting cities to deliver sustainable development, hosted by the United Nations United Nations Office for Projects Services (UNOPS), is offering grants up to USD 50,000 to people working on innovative and accessible solutions for improving tenure security and land and property rights in any African country. It is open to Innovators, microenterprises, social entrepreneurs, community-based organisations, and national and local NGOs working in African cities.  Deadline to apply for the Cities Alliance is  March 14, 2019.

Edit Coca-Cola Beverages Africa and PETCO have launched an innovation challenge, dubbed the Beyond Baling Innovation Challenge (BBIC), that aims to provide innovative solutions to bale post-consumer PET plastic in order to ease their transportation for recycling and manufacturing.

DRC Innovation for Financial Services 2019:  The Central Bank of Congo, in partnership with FSDA Africa and Elan DRC, has launched Innovation for Financial Services 2019, a competition for businesses and entrepreneurs aimed at promoting the development of innovative and relevant financial services and payment solutions in the DRC. The winner of each category will then have access to FSD Africa’s investment process with the possibility of raising up to US$130,000.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation, the leading African-funded and founded philanthropy committed to empowering African entrepreneurs, has announced its last call for applications into its prestigious 2019 Entrepreneurship Programme. Selected beneficiaries will join 4,470 current alumni and will receive $5,000 seed capital, access to mentors, bespoke training and numerous opportunities to impact policies at the local and global level.

The programs is a 10-year, $100 million commitment to identify, train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs, the Programme’s objective is to generate at least 1,000,000 new jobs and create at least $10 billion in new business revenue across Africa. Applicants can apply on TEFConnect, the largest digital networking platform for African entrepreneurs by March 1.

HEVA Fund: HEVA has launched a Growth Fund in collaboration with Agence Française de Développement (AFD), targeting mature businesses in the creative economy – fashion, apparel and accessories; live cultural events (music, shows, venues, festivals); and digital media content production and distribution. – that have been in operation for at least 5 years, with annual revenues exceeding KES 10 million. The targeted businesses are in the following creative economy value chains:  HEVA will be investing a minimum of KES 5 million and a maximum of KES 10 million in each successful enterprise. Deadline is 13th March 2019. HEVA is also receiving applications for its Cultural Heritage Fund and for a Young Women in Creative Enterprise Fund.

The Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) has launched the IREN Technologies and Innovations Platform 2019 (ITIC 2019) to promote the best mix of technology and innovation to processes along the agribusiness value chains. Innovators are expected to address the region’s challenges in value addition, energy, storage, logistics and marketing. The Lake region is known for fish, grain, vegetable, cash crop, dairy and livestock production. IREN welcomes Institutions and established companies to participate in the final ITIP 2019 Trade Fair to be held later in November 2019.

Edit MEST: Five promising start-ups from across Africa have been chosen as regional winners in MEST Africa’s annual Pan-African pitch competition, moving one step closer to winning $50,000 in equity investment, a place in the MEST Africa incubator of their choice and global mentorship to help their company scale. The winners who were chosen from over 1,000 applicants are AMPZ.TV – a ‘LinkedIn for Sports’ (Nigeria), OZÉ – a financial data insights company (Ghana), Snode – real-time cyber security (South Africa),  WayaWaya – a fintech company (Kenya) and Seekewa – an agricultural financing platform (Cote d’Ivoire).

Obama Founder Leaders Africa Applications are live for the Obama Foundation Leaders Africa Program which aims to identify a group of emerging African leaders from all sectors—government, civil society, and entrepreneurs—who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing the common good. Apply by February 28, 2019.

Edit  Pivot East: East Africa’s premier entrepreneurs’ program is back for its 6th year after a two year break with a call for applications opening on 11th March 2019 and the startups pitching competition and conference event happening on 27th June 2019. Applicants can be in software and hardware in five categories of finance, enterprise, entertainment, social Impact and utilities.

Sanofi, the global pharmaceutical company, extended the registration deadline for entries to this year’s edition of the VivaTech innovation conference. 17 Kenyan start-ups have registered so far and are expected to participate in the conference.

President Donald Trump

Exactly a week ago, Americans went to the polls and elected Donald Trump as their new president. This was a shock result that few experts expected, as most polls expect that he would lose to Hillary Clinton, as his inexperience and comments about groups, like women and Hispanics, would lead them to vote against him in droves. But that did not happen and he will become the 45th president of the USA from January 2017, replacing Barack Obama.

Telegraph election coverage

Telegraph election coverage

My Trump Presidency outlook is here:

Expected Winners: (include) American businesses – building and oil companies, Russia, Israel, US airlines, and the US military. Also Coal, US highways, airports, and infrastructure.

Expected Losers: China, world trade, the Middle East peace process, immigration reform. Also Gulf carriers, donor-aid, Muslims, Africa, Britain, Obama-care, and the Mexican Peso.

Kenya Links

  • Trump was a long campaigner for the birther movement that spun the false story that President Obama was not born in the US, but perhaps in Kenya. He reluctantly apologized for that late in the campaign.
  • During one of the seasons of his Apprentice TV show, Kenyan-American Liza Mucheru came close to winning the Apprentice prize to work at a Trump organization. She was one the 16 contents, picked from several thousand applicants and made it to the final three. She would have gone further but for the sudden decision by Trump to fire her even when her team had won a challenge.
  • Trump has also been linked to one of the many many plans at the Kenya Railways to develop a golf city real estate in Nairobi.

Picture from a UK Telegraph story on the US election.

How is the GOP’s opposition to Obama’s decision affecting USA?

A Guest Post by Jason Holmes

The Grand Old Party or the GOP very commonly known had asked President Obama to fire his entire economic advisors because they had failed to take out recession and job loss problems out of the country. The decisions taken by Barrack Obama are criticized every now and then by the GOP. Take a look at how the compromises are forced in to the decisions of Obama and how it in turn is devastating the country.

Republicans against the financial reform by Obama

Barrack Obama’s decision to sign a bill for financial security in the country is jeopardized by the strong opposition from the GOP. The decision lies in the regulation of derivates which are financial instruments and their value depends on the underlying assets such as mortgages or stocks. But there is also the risk that these assets can sink giving rise to losses and other financial crisis. 41 Republicans are against any bill by the Democrats including this bill. It’s predicted that the regulation of derivates market is quite risky and will badly affect the small businesses as well as community banks. But even if there were some of the well-known financial crises in USA due to the regulation of risky derivates, it can also reduce the loss and produce huge profits if the underlying assets don’t sink.

Obama fears for the failure of bipartisan prospects

In the new reports it has been recorded that Obama is not against a lot of decisions of the Republicans but fears that he won’t be able to take other decisions freely if the GOP runs the House. He wants to make some changes in education and energy-related decisions that have been overlooked. He fears that if GOP comes into power, he won’t be able to make any decisions regarding foreign policies even. His bipartisan cooperation prospects are looking bleak due to the GOP opposition at every step. But if given a chance, Obama’s decision may work for the betterment of the country but due to the problems in the House due to the Republicans, public is showing less interest in any decisions. Since the term of Barrack Obama started in 2008, Republicans have shown very little interest in working with Obama or the Democrats in the whole.

GOP create problems for Obama for building foreign relations

Obama has taken decisions to bring US troops from Afghanistan back to the country by July, 2011. But Republicans oppose this decision and say that it’s arbitrary and that war commanders shouldn’t withdraw forces just like that. Obama’s plan to improve relations with other countries such as Cuba and Iran is also not accepted by the Republicans. They fear that if there is no border control, US may have to face another war since the World War II. But against the Republican concepts, Obama’s decision may mean peace with other countries and no war.

USA and EU relations affected if GOP comes to power

As per the latest reports, it’s foreseen that the relations between America and European countries may come to a halt when the GOP comes into power. Obama’s decision to have good relations with European countries especially Turkey will be highly affected and opposed by the Republicans. If the New Strategic Arms Control Treaty with Russia is signed by Obama and the Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, it may lower limits of both the nations’ nuclear arsenals. But the Republicans are not sure whether or not Russia would be fair in its decisions to be fair.

Whether Barrack Obama or the Republicans take decisions, they should always use a fool proof plan so that it positively affects the country. In their fight to stay in power, both the Democrats and the Republicans are overlooking the public interest. The downfall of the big economic countries led to the financial crisis. They must look for reforms to improve the countries financial status and create more jobs.

About the author: Jason Holmes is a regular writer with debtcc community and is also a contributory writer with other financial sites. His expertise is woven around various aspects of the debt industry and with his e-books he tries to impart to people the different situations and simple solutions to get out of difficult situations. Some of his works include e-books like ‘Credit Score The Quintessential Therapy for a Happy Pocket’, Take Creditors and Collection Agencies to Small Claims Court’ and, My Story- From Depression To a Smile’.

Kutwa Tuesday: Corporate Mysteries

and other Bank Twits

Twitter is a micro-blogging tool that is really nifty for doing mini-posts, forwards and other remarks that (are on any subject) and are maybe not worthy of a full blog post. Here’s a summary of my week on Twitter where there was some interesting discussions, but so far yet to unravel mysteries at Kenya airways, Safaricom and Athi river mining? and some replies

June 15: nairobbery Reading about a Nairobi scam where people actually throw themselves on the windscreens of slow moving cars and later ask for compensation
Kenya central bank study shows popularity of MPesa; users rate it cheap, fast, reliable & accessible

June 16: Media mystery: what happened to the Bamburi vs. Athi story? there were many reporters there but was story buried? replies @nakeel It’s called the power of advertising and who pays your bills..

June 17: Economist says Africa’s next country South Sudan “will fail before it has even been born”
DT Dobie advertising that a Mercedes E200 kompressor is 1796cc and therefore compliant with new Kenya Government rules for Ministers cars
Anti-corruption initiatives falter around Africa
Racial Discrimination at World Bank?
CNBC TV show President Obama killed a fly during an interview. Take it away FOX
Is the Kenya rugby safari sevens tourney over-priced at 1,500 ($19) per season ticket?
Two new independent (non stockbroker) directors at Nairobi Stock Exchange – NSE Board

June18 KPLC is going to increase the birth rate in kenya if they keep failing to supply electricity.

June 19: Kenya and Uganda Catholic churches in a race to hell with simultaneous abuse scandals; media coverage in UG is NSFW
Michela Wrong to visit the World Bank

June 20 Discovering the mysterys of white cap, EABLs no.2 that survives recessions without any advertising
replies @coldtusker I didn’t say it ‘failed’ but IMHO its core consumer base isn’t GenX but my mzee’s generation. What happened to WC lite? White Cap’s demographics are skewed to stable, older, wealthier, ‘old dogs’ market. It has failed among the ‘younger’ drinkers. @Fintradecapital thats really true. Its drinkers r consistent.
I use nivea creams, but all their posters and adverts scream i am soooò not their target customer!
replies @uhusiano is cos they are all jungus? @coldtusker Are you thinking of doing a chaz bono? re: nivea – not their target market… LOL… @devonwhittle I’m also a Nivea customer, but their “skin whitening” products and ads worry me – @karuoro I use Nivea shower gel but prefer Vaseline lotion..find nivea lotions too..sticky (don’t know if that makes sense) @Ethnicsupplies I’ve never liked the smell @Shiko_Msa we the target customers that is. feel welcome. Even though they dont welcome we do.
Stomping through kilelewshwa – many apartment complexes have ‘to let’ signs

june 21 Safaricom selling cheap internet ready phones including nokia 1680 for $38 replies @alykhansatchu I was reading that @ thinking 13m Subs converts to 2m x $1.00 a day internet
@coldtusker also former Kenya Airways director is CEO air uganda. Seems KQ is now finishing school for sub-saharan airline bosses. replies @coldtusker Hugh Fraser (ex-KQ now CEO of Air Uganda) was in the very important Commercial Director post @ coldtusker Neil Canty (former CFO-KQ) went to Gulf Air though he has left them for another gig. Africa again?

R/T @airlineroute KLM to operate MD11s on Nairobi-amsterdam for Kenya Airways from july to september! What will the 777s be doing?

Unexpected dividend cheque from stanbic uganda ~$15 in the mail today #migingo
replies @PinkM How do you cash your Stanbic UG cheques?I haven’t cashed for 2 years now. Thanks.Will try that. I wish it was possible to bank at CFC Stanbic even for CFC a/c holders

Kenya retain rugby revens title, but Is that DJ CK on pitch with team at #safarisevens? He’s kenya’s top gate crasher replies @kenyanpundit hehehe, DJ CK was EVERYWHERE at the WEF in Capetown @kachwanya you just made me remember almost similar incident sometime back during Orange launch..yeah he somehow did that

June 22 Kenya’ anti-aid author envious of @dambisamoyo
replies @kainvestor Many African anti-aid champions see sinister agendas in the success of @dambisamoyo. She wasn’t the 1st to write against aid >>>
Safaricom shares pick up after managers visit Europe & US fund investment firms #safaricom #investorrelations
Family Bank 25th anniversary
President @mwaikibaki encourages banks to use mobile phones to reach beyond the 22% ‘banked’ kenyans
Have more twitter followers than feedburner subsribers; what does that mean?
people who vandalised the Kenya Railways Kibera railway, may also have got paid to fix it after

June 23 Any well wishers to donate a PC or laptop to Mamamikes who were recently robbed?…
59% of small business owners rely on credit cards for working capital! scary

Bank’s Need to Embrace MPesa

banks need to adapt to M-pesa, not fight it

A recent Nairobi Star story links banks to m-pesa probe in an underhand move to stifle the growth of mobile company Safaricom’s money transfer service – M-Pesa.

How much growth? As a recent article put it four million Kenyans can’t be wrong in reference to those who have signed up for the M-pesa and which the company recently stated to be clocking up to 10,000 new registrations per day!

Here’s why:

1. It makes sense and that’s all the law it needs Is it illegal and does it need more legislation? The answers are probably not and yes. Probably Not – because you can’t legislate everything, more so the simple payment of cash from person A to person B – whether a prostitute or a priest. And Yes, M-pesa agents need to beef up security, systems and training of staff as its popularity grows.

But the argument that M-pesa will be used for money laundering or other crimes is laughable – who launders less than $500? (Kshs. 35,000 is the maximum transaction amount on m-pesa) You are more apt to find a transfer of Kshs. 35 million at a bank – and banks were themselves used to prop up the numerous local pyramid schemes before they all imploded.

2. M-Pesa is affordable banking: Is it unfair? What’s to stop a bank from operating branch-less accounts? Several small banks have 1 – 3 branches and can comfortably and profitably serve their customers. Most Kenyan banks still don’t want to serve the unbanked and M-pesa has evolved because banking is still too expensive for the masses. There’s Mzansi in South Africa and in the absence of a similar program, Kenyan masses have created their own Mzansi in M-pesa. It is not Safaricom’s fault that they are so popular – take away m-pesa and people will go back to stuffing cash in tins, rolling them in blankets and mailing them in cartons on buses. They will not go back to open new banks accounts or queue at western union.

3. M-pesa is better than banks in some functions: Two scenarios
– Having a bank account is of no use sometimes, as one executive told me. She may be in Malindi looking to hook up Flavio Briatore or find Obama’s village (Nyangoma – not Kogelo) – her bank account is in Westlands (Nairobi) she has no way of reaching that money (avoid credit cards) – but her bank has no presence in many parts of the country, but from where she can access M-Pesa
– I received a small cheque payment of Kshs. 10,000 shillings ($130) that I deposited in my bank account on 19th December – today it’s 10 days later and the cheque has not cleared – reason is that four working days have not elapsed – (banks don’t count weekend or holidays – thought they work six days a week). What the banks does – transferring money from a creditor to a debtor (me) is no different than what M-pesa is doing. But with access to the same technology and similar resources, M-pesa takes 3 minutes, while the bank system takes 10 days.

4. M-Pesa is going to get more mainstream: More corporations are embracing the cost cutting and simplicity of M-Pesa. You can now pay for satellite TV (GTV), some insurance plans, and mutual funds (Old Mutual) by M-pesa. Next up will probably be two large companies that are in dire need of a cheaper alternative of money transfers
– Safaricom with its 800,000 new shareholders will probably have to pay a dividend next year. The use of text messages/e-mail and M-pesa will save the company millions of shillings that would be spent on printing, postage and cheque processing charges
– Kenya power & lighting company; as KPLC takes electricity to thousands of new customers in rural Kenya and inner cities, it has a dire need for cash collection points. It has used the banking system and the post office (paying an average Kshs. 30/= for each payment), but M-pesa would be a cheaper (for them) and more convenient option (for distant customers) who can also have been alerted by SMS on how much to pay.
– Also microfinance institutions (and shylocks) – who make small loans, for short periods of time. The sooner they can transfer funds, the clock is ticking, and their customer can access funds immediately and pay them back at the last minute without each having to wait for cheques to clear. M-pesa fits into the last minute thinking of many Kenyans – who tend to wait till the last minute to do many things including payment of electricity bills!

Banks need to change and embrace M-Pesa as it is able to do some things they can’t or won’t do. e.g. The lady in scenario one has a relationship officer at her bank, who can move her funds from one account to another – why not also enable her to M-pesa the next Ms. Briatorie her money? This can be an extra service from bank from which they can earn some income, instead of opening a branch in Malindi?

They should take a cue from other players such as

– Pesa point (ATM network) who may be losing some business to M-pesa but have now have embraced and partnered with them so that customers can withdraw cash from M-pesa 24 hours a day at any of their Pesa Point ATM
– Western union whose local money transfer system may have been eroded by M-pesa will now be the international arm for remittances through Safaricom’s M-Pesa
– Banks like Housing Finance and Family Bank already process M-pesa payments for their customers.

1. Are you a heavy M-Pesa user? Did you know you can get a statement of your M-Pesa transactions – a statement of the last three months costs Kshs. 500 from Safaricom, which is about what many banks charge for interim/instant statements
2. Want to become an M-Pesa agent?
3. Other interesting recent posts about M-Pesa.