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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Safaricom's Former CEO to Advise World Bank on Mobile Banking Services

By cellular-news.com


The former CEO of Kenya's Safaricom, Michael Joseph has been appointed to a role at the World Bank to advise it on mobile payment services. Safaricom effectively created the market for mobile banking services when it launched the hugely successful M-PESA platform, which has been imitated in many other countries since then.
Michael Joseph is joining the bank under its new  fellowship program, which was set up to tap new expertise into its development work and strengthen its knowledge network.
"I am really deeply honored to have been selected as the first fellow by the World Bank to share my knowledge and experience in mobile innovations," said Michael Joseph, former Chief Executive Officer of Safaricom. "I am delighted to work with the leading development institution and be part of the global effort to fight poverty."
As a World Bank Fellow, Joseph will provide strategic advice to the World Bank and governments beyond Africa on policy and regulatory issues to promote development of mobile banking and mobile payments.
"Sharing knowledge on telecommunications innovations, including mobile money, can make an important contribution to Africa's reform and development," said Johannes Zutt, World Bank Country Director for Kenya. "Michael Joseph's participation in the World Bank Fellows program will leverage the Bank's interventions in technology and financial services in new frontiers in line with our new Africa Strategy."
The World Bank's December 2010 Kenya Economic Update estimated that more than 21 million Kenyans have access to phones, with 15 million using mobile money services. In December 2010, mobile money services in Kenya reached a new record of almost US$1 billion in transactions.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

STONY PLACES IN THE MIND


By Bosco Munyoki
"The sower let fall some of the seeds on stony places where they had not much earth; and forth wave they sprung up because they had no deepness of earth; and where the sun was up, they were scotched; and because they had no root, they withered away (Matthew 13:5-6)"
T
he seeds sown on stony ground was scotched, withered away as soon as the sun grew hot. When it comes to receiving the word, the mind can be stony lacking proper nourishment. To nourish the word, the mind must be kept fertile and be fed with the right kind of thoughts. Some minds have stony places in them where there is no production of the word; others are stony altogether. Leeches gather in unprotected stony places in the mind; because the word of God does not move in that area, leeches are in control and their ideas accepted. This is the reason why people are directed wrong, the reason they will not walk in total obedience to the Lord.  They fail God and get themselves be led off to the tree of the forbidden fruit. Every time the devil can prepare a little more stony hardness in the mind, create a little more drawing back from following Jesus all the way, he will. He takes the richness of the soil out of the mind and with it the power of the word.
Think how God feels when He looks at a born-again soul and sees stony places-not in the heart but in the mind. That person has blind spots that block him/her out of good spiritual vision when he looks to the Lord. He is not close to the Lord, doesn’t have that meek, and gentle spirit. If you are full of thoughts that reject the anointing of the Lord you find the strife, contention, rebellion flare up, at times in the leech free spaces where the word lodges in your mind, you relax and look as though you will be alright. Then suddenly a problem is directed towards the stony ground of your mind where leeches are attached and they charge in action. You flare up again. When a problem hits that stony place, there is nothing to help you overcome it, to give you strength and gain victory. In this way the devil leads people astray from God in their minds. He gets in because the stony place doesn’t have enough soil for the word to take root and to provide protection. If the devil can form enough stony ground in the mind, then he can draw people in to all kinds of lust, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the world, the lust of the eyes etc.
Do you have leeches? Stony places in the mind? Blind spots? Check yourself. If you don’t act spiritually sane all the time, you have leeches. When your responses come from the stony place in your mind, you have nothing to keep you under control and leeches take an advantage. You give all to leeches and they go into operation. They have you fussing, fighting, using idle talk, doing and saying things you have no business doing or saying.
Stony spots, blind spots cause people to gossip. No matter how much people are warn against gossiping, how much they hear about putting the bridle of love on the tongue, they continue to gossip. The stony spots, the blind spots block out the truth. The word, the living word of God can plow up all the stony place s and provide fertile soil for you to cultivate.

Monday, 23 May 2011

RELEVANCE OF FORMAL EDUCATION IN A DYNAMIC SOCIETY



A
 famous man called Thomas Scott once said that no man leaves a better legacy than an educated family. In Kenyan context, I have been wondering since when has this statement been valid? Let’s sample the validity of the statement over the years.

                        My grandfather’s era
H
e must have been born during the pre colonial period. That is before the white man had made it to his village, but he was in Kenya already. When the white man introduced education in slopes of Meru, Chuka to be precise, he was frank enough to tell the natives that those who will be able to speak in English, would be given “air lifts” which was synonymous to going abroad to further their education since there was not even a single university in east Africa. This was bad news to the people or a total communication barrier. All the children were withdrawn from schools because taking them to school was tantamount to selling their children “it would be a great labor loss if my son would go to a foreign land while weeds are growing in the farm, with no one to graze the cattle”. That was every man’s song. Daughters were protected jealously from being corrupted or else, they would lose their value. Children of chiefs were pitied much because they had to go to school as a way of compliance to civilization, otherwise, the chiefs would loose incentives like blankets, soaps, and the occasional ride in a land rover. My grandfather was withdrawn from school  “mara that that” (immediately).



My father’s era

W
ith no stair missing on the ladder, children of chiefs were destined to have a good future. So it came to be. My father was born to a self proclaimed successful coffee and macadamia farmer, who had one wife: a rare phenomenon in those days. He was determined to acquire education now that he could see its benefits. His farther was also determined to keep him in school though he struggled much. Drawing a comparison between my grandfather and chief’s children, there were enough reasons why the former was regretting for having not remained in school. C.P.E, equivalent of K.C. P.E today, was a national examination done in class seven, and the first batch would be absorbed by the public service commission to work as secretaries and drivers though they would take a short course. Independence found my jolly good father in school. Another group would be sieved at form two: my father survived the two exams. Another major exam, like a dose of tetanus injection, would be administered in form four. This was furthest he went and he had more certificates than anyone in the village ever thought of acquiring! The mzee said enough was enough and he could not pay school fees anymore for an adult, who is already the most educated fellow in the village. So   getting a job was eminent. According to his qualifications, he needed no training like nurses or teachers. No, but direct absorption by the public service, further learning was through in service courses as per the demands of the work. As I said, with no stair missing on the ladder, those who went to school with him managed to achieve their endeavors. Others went ahead to pursue the ‘A’ levels at form six and university.


My era

S
uccess in the preceding stages greatly contribute to the success of the following or makes it somehow hassle free.  Being born in a family where parents are educated, earning well with a stationary vehicle at home meant much in the village. Parents would buy a ramshackle in the name of a vehicle and park it at home where people can see it while on the road. Actually there was one at home but it was a great source of pain and tears. A chicken used to incubate there and it was the gist of hide and seek game in the village. Bet the chicken would be flushed out of the comfy Peugeot 404 and at times eggs would break hence I would contribute to the ‘global cry’. Parents of those days had a tendency of beat their children in the evening. Sometimes a few strokes of cane would be spared for the following day would be spared just incase you do not make a mistake. But this seldom happened because we had to make mistakes, parents were so strict and they read the bible well. Does it not say “spare the rod spoil the child?” if a visitor was around, beating would be rescheduled. Beating greatly contributed moral uprightness.
Education was a must and an occasional visit in the school by parents in a G.K vehicle was the order if there was a chance. Boarding primary schools were perceived as excellence centers. My grandfather used to tell me that if education was hereditary, children of the educated people would not go to school but inherit education. Secondary school results were so frustrating because those from day primary schools were not used to spoon feeding like it was in boarding schools and were now free from house hold chores, and had a whole 24hours to study in proper lighting hence building a stiff competition to the lazy ones from boarding schools (not all were lazy though, but I was).

Remedies
The parents plan to buy a new model of Toyota, maybe Toyota Wish or Caldina are now frustrated. This is because they have to save enough money in order to afford a parallel degree or a diploma in a prestigious college in the neighborhood.  Maybe at Embu College. Hardships do not end there. After completing the course, more money is needed by a tall relative to get you a job, a process  which will take maybe a year while the swift, who are not ashamed of owning “small pay slips” will take ‘small jobs’ and  they will been elevated to managerial posts before the rest bribe to get a job! I took a parallel degree and my father could not understand why I was giving him my C.V. He referred to it as an ‘incomplete mortifying document” and with finality, he ordered that I should go back to college and upgrade. You see the tread?  A certificate, diploma, degree, masters or a Ph.d is not enough in modern Kenya. Not even CPA (K). Accountants, be warned! All that maters is an excellent combination of unique skills that makes us a multi-faceted being that can work in a dynamic society. Education is not just passing examinations. Its overall purpose, if I may Sidney J. Harris, is to convert mirrors into windows.



My child’s era


I
 May be having no plans of having one soon but I am psychologically prepared to usher my young one on earth in style. He (or she) will not be subjected to torment of man made hell like KASNEB, KNEC, IBE or City and Guilds. Learning will be on a rapid result initiative mode where research will be the key activity. He will major on art based subject laying much emphasis on literature, the only field that allows man to be like God, Where writers have the capability to create a world with a pen on a piece of paper. A world with human beings, animals and they dictate peace, justice, ethnicity, war and can kill, tame or elevate his people.  All pornographic websites will be blocked and his thoughts will be filtered by special software that will rid him of malpractices like corruption, immorality, adultery or copying bad behaviors like gender violence and drug abuse from adults. Diet will be highly monitored, and over sleeping will be abhorred. Obedience will be adored and hard work desired. He will be trained on martial arts to protect the innocent from bullies. Watch me as I full fill my dreams. Sorry, I forgot to marry, but trust me; I’ll do it approximately nine months before the child is born.
                       

By Japhet Mwiti. mwitijaphet@yahoo.com
 A playwright, poet, prose writer and a freelance journalist majoring in:
  • Wedding journalistic  coverage 
  •   Parties coverage
  •  Burial coverage
  • Trip coverage.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Embu College Campus Magazine

Morning y'all,
It has been long since I posted here.... Eagles' club, formerly Journalism Club, during this May-August semester, we'll be totally engaged in projects. Most important of all is the Embu College Campus magazine, which we started working on in 2009. This year, we're working double time to ensure that it all works out.
The magazine will be all about the college and it's environs. Get to see what Embu College is about, but one thing for sure, you'll be the first to view the magazine, right here in eaglesclub.blogspot.com
Keep your eyes glued to this blog for the very best.

Victor Muriithi Muto
CLUB PRESIDENT

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

A WEEKEND WELL SPENT


They say Kenya is the best and perfect tourist destination in the world. No wonder Prince William chose Kenya as the perfect place to propose to his newly wedded wife, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge. Last week I had a chance to visit Masaai Mara National Park, one of the best game reserves in the world, and the place you can find the 8th wonder of the world, “Migration of the Wildebeests”.

We took off at exactly 9pm on Thursday 4th May 2011. The journey proved to be long and tiresome as it took us approximately 8 hours to reach the national park. It was so exciting such that at some point we got lost for about 70km before tracing back our bearing. We arrived at Serenani gate in the afternoon and we were warmly welcomed by the Maasai community living around the place.

We lodged at the Mara Sopa lodge located on the slopes of Oloongan hills, 2104m above sea level. Guests are drawn to this lodge built in an ethnic design surrounded by a rich landscape, covered in fauna from huge desert cacti to sweet-smelling jasmine flowers, all within the fabled Mara game reserve. We were received by the manager of the lodge and his staff. The place was over the top and one of the best places you can ever imagine of visiting. In the evening, we drove inside the park and managed to catch a glimpse of a variety of animals such as dik dik, Thompson gazelle, antelopes, zebras and giraffes. We also managed to see one of the “big five”-the lion with his family resting after having a hearty meal, probably a spiced zebra or gazelle. The den of lions consisted of two adult males, a lioness and eight male cubs.

On Saturday, we embarked on a full game program and we headed southwards towards Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, 100km from Mara Sopa lodge. On our way, we caught a view of animals such as elephants, hyenas, guinea fowls, secretary bird, jackals, ostrich and velvex monkeys. We also came across a hue herd of buffalos, approximately 200 of them. Our first stop was at the Mara River. We found a NGO known as Kenya Mara Conservancy which is a model of community-based conservation. It has been managing infrastructure and anti-poaching efforts within the triangle of Kenya’s Masaai Mara for eight years. When Serengeti enters its annual dry spell, the Mara’s western triangle and the perennial Mara river become the destination of the world’s largest mammal migration of almost two million wildebeests and zebras.
 
After driving for about 2km, we crossed the Kenya-Tanzania border and entered the Serengeti national park. It was such a wonderful feeling bearing in mind that it was my first time outside Kenya. We had a wonderful time with the lecturers, playing football with them and we had a chance to interact with the tour guide, Mr. Gitonga. We really had a good; for a moment there we forgot about books. I learnt that knowledge does not only come from books but also from interacting with other people, observing and sharing.

After spending an hour in Tanzania, we drove back to Mara Sopa lodge. We stopped by Keekorok lodge; the most beautiful place I’d ever seen. It’s erected in the direct path of the wildebeest migration. At the height of migration, Keekorok lodge is surrounded by a swarming mass of animals, and there’s hardly any need to go on a game drive. Accommodation comprises of stone-built bungalows with private balconies. The liberal use of cedar wood, pink and grey sand riverstone and other indigenous building materials offset the green lawns and colourful bougainvillea. A 300m raised walkway winds through the forest in front of the lodge to a thatched sundowner bar overlooking the plains of the Masaai Mara and a pool with resident hippos. There are no fences in Keekorok lodge, thus it is not uncommon to see elephants and buffalos on the perimeter of the ground.

We arrived back at the Mara Sopa lodge at around 4pm and had a late lunch. We later interacted with the manager and his staff who showed us various features of the lodge. In Sopa, the cheapest room can cost you Kshs.11, 000 per night per head in the low season and can rise up to Kshs.19, 000 in the peak season. The most expensive room can cost you Kshs.20, 000 and Kshs.30, 000 in the low and high season respectively. After the day’s encounter, we had a goat-eating party, interacted for a short while and then retired to our beds. We had such a wonderful time such that everybody was scared with the thought of leaving the following day.

I won’t tell you about the journey back because for sure, nobody wanted to leave the place.

Monday, 16 May 2011

3 Tips Budget Money

If уου want tο achieve long term financial stability thе number one skill уου need tο master іѕ hοw tο budget money.  Many people wіƖƖ brеаk out іn a сοƖԁ sweat whеn thеу face thе prospect οf developing a household budget, bυt  іt doesn’t hаνе tο bе difficult οr time consuming аnԁ mаkіnɡ a realistic budget thаt уου саn stick tο саn literally mean thе ԁіffеrеnсе between financial success аnԁ failure.
If уου сhοοѕе tο уου саn invest іn ѕοmе software thаt wіƖƖ allow уου tο enter аƖƖ уουr income аnԁ expenses аnԁ thе program  wіƖƖ give уου graphs thаt wіƖƖ ѕhοw уου јυѕt whеrе уου аrе financially.  If уου сhοοѕе, уου саn simply ɡеt ѕοmе lined paper аnԁ a pencil.  Thе point іѕ, thаt whеn іt comes tο mаkіnɡ уουr budget thе mοѕt іmрοrtаnt thing іѕ tο јυѕt ɡеt ѕtаrtеԁ.
Here аrе thе steps уου need tο take tο develop a comprehensive household budget:
1.  In order fοr уου tο figure out hοw much money уου hаνе tο spend еνеrу month уου need tο know exactly hοw much money уου hаνе coming іntο уουr household еνеrу month. Thе first step іѕ tο figure out уουr household income. Thіѕ step саn bе a ƖіttƖе more challenging fοr those people whο earn a commission οr whο ɡеt paid hourly аnԁ thе number οf hours thеу work саn vary frοm one month tο thе next.
If уου fit іntο one οf those categories, аƖƖ уου need tο ԁο іѕ take уουr last several months worth οf income аnԁ average іt out.  WhіƖе nοt exact, thіѕ ѕhουƖԁ give уου аn ассυrаtе іԁеа οf јυѕt hοw much money уου wіƖƖ hаνе monthly.  AƖѕο mаkе sure tο include аnу οthеr sources οf income such аѕ investment income.  Total уουr income.
2. Step two іѕ tο determine exactly whаt уουr expenses аrе еνеrу month. Thіѕ саn bе tricky ѕіnсе ѕοmе bills, such аѕ insurance, аrе οftеn paid quarterly οr twice a year.  Fοr those types οf bills јυѕt figure out hοw much уου pay іn a year аnԁ divide thаt number bу 12, thаt way уου′ll know јυѕt hοw much уου hаνе tο set aside each month.
Tο mаkе sure уου don’t overlook аnу expenses уου ѕhουƖԁ ɡο  back through уουr credit card statements аnԁ checkbook, thаt іѕ thе best way tο find out аƖƖ thе things уου spend money οn οn  a regular basis.  Mοѕt people aren’t going tο forget tο include thеіr utility bills οr home loans, thе more ƖіkеƖу thing іѕ thаt уου mау forget tο include уουr dry cleaning bill, οr thе money уου spent οn уουr haircut.  Going back over several months οf statements саn ensure thаt уου′ve included everything.  Total уουr expenses column.
3.  Thе third step іѕ tο find out јυѕt whеrе уου аrе.  Subtract уουr total expenses frοm уουr total income, thе number уου come up wіth wіƖƖ give уου a very clear іԁеа οf whеrе уου stand financially.  If thе number іѕ a positive one, meaning уου аrе spending less thаn уου earn, уου′re doing well.  Yου саn take thаt extra money аnԁ invest іt.
If, οn thе οthеr hand, thе number уου come up wіth іѕ a negative number, meaning уου аrе spending more thаn уου earn, уου wіƖƖ need tο mаkе ѕοmе changes… fаѕt.  Sooner οr later spending more thаn уου earn wіƖƖ catch up wіth уου аnԁ сουƖԁ devastate уου financially.  If уου find yourself іn thіѕ situation look over уουr expenses tο find things thаt уου саn сυt out completely, Ɩіkе eating out еνеrу day, οr аt Ɩеаѕt сυt down οn.  Yου hаνе tο mаkе cuts ѕο thаt уου саn hаνе a balanced budget whеrе  уουr expenses аnԁ уουr earnings аrе equal.
Learning hοw tο budget money іѕ a life skill thаt саn hеƖр уου achieve financial freedom аnԁ іt’s nοt hard tο ԁο.

Monday, 2 May 2011

The Beast IS Here....Embu High School Proves Them Wrong

By Victor Muto

28th February 2011 and it's the Kenya Institute of Education, Nairobi. Prof. Ongeri  just entered with his entourage of Ministry of Education top officials and other stakeholders, ready to detonate the most waited time bomb all year...2010 KCSE results! Let me take you back a little and focus on the education success of so great town Embu (E-town). Form almost a decade, there are some notable schools that dominated the top:

  1. St. Thomas Moore Nguviu Boys (Bluxxville)
Under the belt of former principal, Ambassador Gakumu, the school has remained on the top league and produced some top guys in this nation, like Mucheru who is the President of African Students at Harvard University.  Ambassador Gakumu was a father-figure that all boys enumerated and his words of wisdom and encouragement definitely did the magic trick. Personally, I'm proud to be his product and also to have been the last "mono" that he admitted before becoming an ambassador

      2. Sacred Heart Girls Kyeni (Reddz)
This is Bluxx biggest and long time rival. Madam Mwea is the Chief Principal of this great giurls' school and has been leading the school in an academic onslaught against their arch-rivals, Nguviu B.

There are other schools that have been topping the list; Moi High School Mbiruri (Mbich), St. Angela Nguviu Girls' High School (Nguviu Gee) etc. All these schools have been competing for the longest time possible. This year, tables turned round and a new academic beast was born. Under the leadership of Mr. Kimani (former Principal of Itabua Day Secondary School), managed to place Embu High School at position two in the county, pne place behind Kyeni Girls'.
Embu High School is part of the Embu College Ltd fratenity where it's the younger sister school of Embu College Campus. The two schools were started by Mr. & Mrs Kithinji Kiragu. Once the new were out, the entire Embu College fratenity took to the streets to celebrate this great victory, and to showcase their supremacy as well their rides with the Airbus 380 leading the convoy of four buses.
All said and done, let's sit back and see what Mr. Kiamni will have in store for us this year..
Peace out!