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itel Mobile Kenya sponsors tertiary ball games



Itel Mobile, which is rated third as the most sought after smartphone in Africa, also offered giveaways to the winning teams after the competitions.

Twenty-four technical colleges across Kenya battled it out for the best tertiary institution in ball games including football, basketball, and volleyball, at the Meru National Polytechnic last weekend.

The competitions were officially sponsored by itel mobile Kenya and attracted over 2500 sports fanatics from all the Kenyan tertiary institutions. itel sponsored the Meru Polytechnic players with kits for all the games played.

Itel Mobile, which is rated third as the most sought after smartphone in Africa, also offered giveaways to the winning teams after the competitions.

 “It’s great to be able to make the event colorful and support the teams with sports uniforms as a way of supporting our Kenyan talents,” said Bernard Muiru, Digital Marketing Manager, itel Mobile Kenya.

“Through such sponsorship, the players have the ability to grow and turn their talents into careers on the ground which is vital to the Kenya economy. KETISA games are demonstrating the ability to turn extra-curriculum activities into lifetime careers and I’m impressed with the teams I’ve seen play today”.

“The competitions have a great impact on our students, and the talents are amazing – they’re just starting and show a lot of promise,” said Madam Lucy, dean of students at the Meru National Polytechnic.

Business Today is the leading independent online business website in Kenya. Started in 2012 by a veteran business journalist, it has a huge following both in Kenya and abroad. It covers various business and related issues. Email editor at: [email protected]

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Business News

US Green Card applications lost

State Department asks applicants to resubmit entries but experts fear that many entrants may not know to reapply



Kenyans and other foreigners who had submitted entries submitted to the US Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, also known as the Green Card Lottery, between October 3rd and 10th risk losing the opportunity to take up US citizenship after they got lost due to a technical glitch.

Individuals who submitted applications during these dates are directed to reapply. “Entries submitted during October 3-10 are not valid and have been excluded from the system; they will not count as a duplicate entry,” a message on the US State Department’s website said.

Duplicate entries to the program disqualify aspiring immigrants.

“The technical issue has been resolved and a new full entry period will begin at noon, U.S. Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday October 18, 2017 and will run until noon Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday November 22, 2017,” it added, telling applicants to “throw away” any confirmation number or documentation of applications submitted between the 3rd and 10th.

The State Department will be sending automated email notifications to each entrant who applied in early October, instructing them to check the website “for an important announcement”, spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala told Voice of America (VOA) via email.

“We will also work through our embassies and consulates to inform potential entrants of the situation and new registration period using social media and local media outlets,” she wrote.

Though the application period has been extended, experts fear that many entrants may not know to reapply.

“At least, they extended the entry period to make it a full month again. But I have doubt that thousands of applicants from the third world, who don’t check the internet every day, will know that their prior entry is no longer valid,” Kenneth Rinzler, a Washington, DC-based immigration attorney, told VOA.

For would-be Americans who don’t have family in the US, or an employer to sponsor them, or who aren’t refugees, the diversity visa is the only option. It requires a high school degree or a few years of work experience just to qualify.

Related: Trump hails Africa for making his friends rich

If the application is valid, your number is chosen and you pass the other requirements for immigrants, you still need the money to get to the U.S. It’s a small portion of immigration to the U.S. every year, but larger than other cornerstones of the program, like employment-based immigrant visas.

In Fiscal Year 2015, the US issued 48,097 diversity visas out of 531,463 total immigrant visas.

Winners of the current lottery would get their visas during the 2019 fiscal year that runs from October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019.

Natives of all countries qualify except Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, South Korea, the United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. People born in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan are eligible.

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Business News

BAT certified as top employer Africa

This is in addition to being certified as a Top Employer in five countries: Kenya; South Africa; Angola; Mozambique and Nigeria by the Top Employers Institute



The British American Tobacco (BAT) has been ranked as the Top Employer Africa.

This is in addition to being certified as a Top Employer in five countries: Kenya; South Africa; Angola; Mozambique and Nigeria by the Top Employers Institute, an independent organisation studying the employee offerings of major employers around the world and comparing them against the international standard.

The Top Employers certification recognises leading employers around the world, who provide excellent employee conditions, nurture and develop talent throughout all levels of the organisation, and which strive to continuously optimise employment practices.

In a statement, Head of HR for BAT South Africa, Leslie Rance said: “This certification recognizes our efforts in building on our legacy of leaders through putting our employees first and developing our HR practices. Because of this, this year we have regained our continental certification and are incredibly proud of the HR teams in the end markets that have been actively driving these HR processes.”

Related: BAT under probe by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office

Beverley Spencer-Obatoyinbo, Area Director for East and Central Africa said: “This is a very proud moment for BAT Kenya and the East and Central Africa HR team who work tirelessly to facilitate talent development, building a great cultural environment and therefore leaving a legacy of leaders for our business; a key pillar of BATs success. Certification in Kenya and now the African Continent is an achievement we are very excited about and I know the whole team will be too.

Chris McAllister, Area Director for West Africa Area said: “It is fantastic to be recognized for our employee practices on our first application for the Top Employer certification. We continue to appreciate and value all of our employees across all our markets in WAA and are committed to becoming an even better employer.”


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Open-source software to support the unbanked poor unveiled

Mojaloop was created by the Gates Foundation’s Level One Project, which is aimed at leveling the economic playing field by crowding in expertise and resources to build inclusive payment models to benefit the world’s poor



The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have released a new open-source software for creating payment platforms that will help unbanked people around the world access digital financial services. The software is designed to provide a reference model for payment interoperability between banks and other providers across a country’s economy.

It is available now, free-of-cost, for software developers to adapt and banks, financial service providers and companies to implement.

Current data from the World Bank shows that nearly two billion people in developing economies lack bank accounts and miss out on the benefits and security that basic financial services provide. Digital financial services, such as mobile money on cell phones, have rapidly expanded over the last two decades because they are convenient for users and cost-effective for companies aiming to serve new markets.

In Kenya, an estimated 194,000 households have moved out of extreme poverty due in part to their access to M-Pesa, a mobile money platform, and users’ ability to save money more effectively. Digital financial services are now available in nearly 100 countries according to GSMA, an organisation representing mobile network operators. However, global expansion of these services—especially to the world’s poor—has been hampered, in large part, by a lack of interoperability between digital financial services and payment platforms.

The new software, called Mojaloop, establishes a blueprint for connecting today’s financial services sector, and can be used as a solution to barriers that banks and providers seeking interoperability have traditionally faced. Delivering financial services to the poor is prohibitively challenging for many businesses because they struggle to invest adequately in complex technology while maintaining a commitment to low-cost, inclusive services.

This has led to a prevalence of consumer payment options that are out of reach for many people in developing economies, or which limit customers’ ability to transact across products, banks and borders. These and similar challenges have dissuaded many companies from expanding into developing markets altogether.

Digital wallet

Mojaloop can be used by financial institutions and commercial providers, to simplify and reduce the cost of developing inclusive payment platforms. It was designed to serve ultimately as a model for national payment switching systems that, for example, enable an individual’s digital wallet to connect with her employer’s bank account and her children’s school account to complete monthly transactions. The code can also be applied to adapt and improve existing services.

ALSO SEE: Lipa na M-Pesa developer has another smart innovation

“Interoperability of digital payments has been the toughest hurdle for the financial services industry to overcome. With Mojaloop, our technology partners have finally achieved a solution that can apply to any service, and we invite banks and the payments industry to explore and test this tool,” said Kosta Peric, Deputy Director, Financial Services for the Poor, at the Gates Foundation.

“Just as the internet revolutionised digital communication, open-source solutions like Mojaloop can spark innovation and democratise access to digital payments, empowering billions of new customers and driving massive economic growth in developing markets.”

Mojaloop (building off the Swahili word “moja,” which means “one”) was created in partnership with fintech developers Ripple, Dwolla, ModusBox, Crosslake Technologies and Software Group, using cutting-edge technology such as the Interledger Protocol, a solution for settling funds among multiple providers across their individual systems. It joins other promising digital financial software, but is the first model that can help extend interoperability from mobile money providers to any bank, merchant or government institution in a customer’s economy in a way that specifically meets the needs of the poor.

Market maturity

“Interoperability is necessary both for financial inclusion and market maturity, but it is a complex thing to achieve,” said Benno Ndulu, Governor of the Bank of Tanzania, the country’s national bank. “We are excited to explore implementation of this because of how it can simplify that capability for businesses and governments, and speed up access to financial services.”

“As we modernise and develop national and cross-border payments infrastructure in Africa, the only way to sustainably reach and serve the world’s unbanked communities is through new technologies,” said Chris Hamilton, CEO of BankservAfrica.

“Our aim as an organisation is to offer national payments platforms for the next generation of financial innovators and Mojaloop gives us some tantalising new options for doing that in a way that integrates with the entire national economy.”

Developers can access the new software on GitHub, the world’s leading open-source development platform. It includes four components: an interoperability layer, which connects bank accounts, mobile money wallets, and merchants in an open loop; a directory service layer, which navigates the different methods that providers use to identify accounts on each side of a transaction; a transactions settlement layer, which makes payments instant and irrevocable; and, components which protect against fraud. The software will not be owned or implemented by the Gates Foundation. It will be used in the foundation’s ongoing work to promote the development of pro-poor, digital payment platforms.

Related: New banks’ money transfer service hits a milestone

Mojaloop was created by the Gates Foundation’s Level One Project, which is aimed at leveling the economic playing field by crowding in expertise and resources to build inclusive payment models to benefit the world’s poor.

Alongside Mojaloop’s development, the project also brought together four mobile systems companies—Ericsson, Huawei, Telepin, and Mahindra Comviva—to develop an Open API for mobile money interoperability. These APIs will allow mobile money providers to integrate seamlessly with Mojaloop and products built from it.

“In order to achieve the full potential of mobile money, we must evolve today’s complex and often fragmented digital payments ecosystem,” said Mr Shi Yaohong, President of Software Product Line at Huawei. “I look forward to exploring opportunities to leverage Mojaloop to help us achieve our goal of bringing digital financial services to all poor and low-income customers.”

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Business News

Bharti Airtel cliches top branding award



Bharti Airtel  was awarded the best brand award (Telecommunications- Mobile) in the National Award category of the 2017 World Branding Awards held in London. The 2017 awards were the 4th edition of the prestigious awards that seeks to reward companies across the globe on their work and achievements.

The National Award is presented to the very top brands in each participating country at the awards. These are brands that are household names in their home country that have been judged to be truly exceptional.

Bharti Airtel, which is headquartered in New Delhi, is ranked amongst the top 4 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. The company’s product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high speed DSL broadband, IPTV, DTH, enterprise services including national and international long distance services to carriers. Bharti Airtel has over 375 million customers across its operations as at the end of April 2017.

ALSO SEE: Increase in data users pushes up Airtel Africa earnings

The World Branding Awards event is organised by the World Branding Forum, a global non-profit organisation that is devoted to advancing branding standards for the good of the branding community as well as consumers.

The Forum also organises and sponsors a range of educational programed, and has joint collaborations with leading universities and museums.

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