Nairobi County Government Partners with Industry Giants and UNDP for Data-Driven Transformation

The Nairobi County Government is embarking on a groundbreaking journey towards inclusive digital transformation and sustainable development through a collaborative effort with private sector industry leaders and International Development Partners, spearheaded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

This strategic coalition aims to harness the power of data science to address existing paradoxes and complex challenges that can only be unraveled through scientific data analytics, including Artificial Intelligence. Notable participants in this collective effort include the World Bank, Safaricom Plc., GIZ, Meta, Google, Communications Authority, Ministry of Information and Technology, and other key stakeholders.

Anthony Ngororano, the Resident Representative of UNDP, underscored the significance of utilizing data science and technology to drive progress towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He emphasized that UNDP Kenya is committed to equipping Nairobi with the capacity to effectively utilize alternative data sources for precise development analytics.

Deputy Governor Njoroge Muchiri, speaking on behalf of Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja, expressed gratitude to the UNDP and the consortium of partners for their commitment to transforming Nairobi. He highlighted the shared goal of serving the people of Nairobi while ensuring transparency and accountability.

Njoroge Muchiri also assured the consortium of partners of the County Government’s dedication to harnessing alternative data sources, including the potential of Big Data Analytics. This data-driven approach is poised to foster development in a rapidly evolving urban landscape, promoting order, dignity, hope, and opportunity for all residents.

Kefa Omanga, Director for Donor Coordination and Stakeholder Engagement, elaborated on the diverse opportunities emerging from leveraging alternative data. These opportunities span a spectrum of critical domains, including healthcare, transportation, poverty reduction, environmental sustainability, disaster risk reduction, and education.

Omanga emphasized, “It is time we invested in science to achieve the best returns on emerging opportunities in our city. Nairobi is undisputedly a pace setter nationally and in the region, making it imperative to ensure that it thrives.”

The coalition’s collaborative spirit was evident at the event, with representatives from various stakeholders present, including Anthony Ngororano, the UNDP-Resident Representative, Brian Mulama, County Executive for Mobility and Public Works, Victor Otieno, Chief Officer for Digital Economy and Startups, Diana Sang from the UN Foundation, Benjamin Makai from Safaricom, Dr. Tim Kelly from the World Bank, Winnie Karanu from Microsoft, and other key figures.

This partnership between the Nairobi County Government, private sector giants, and UNDP marks a significant stride towards utilizing data science and technology as catalysts for transformative change in the urban landscape. As the city of Nairobi navigates challenges and opportunities on its path to sustainable development, the convergence of expertise and resources holds the promise of a brighter future for all its residents.

Million-Dollar Handshake: KCB and Sweden’s SIDA Team Up to Boost SMEs

KCB Bank Kenya and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) have joined forces in a jaw-dropping Kshs. 1 Billion guarantee scheme. If that sounds like music to your ears, you’re not alone!

Here in Kenya we’ve come to appreciate the role played by small and medium enterprises who are out there hustling, trying to save the day with their innovative ideas, but sometimes they need a little extra push. That’s where KCB Bank and SIDA are swooping in with their billion-Kshs cape to save the day.

So, what’s this guarantee scheme all about? Well, it’s like a safety net that helps SMEs take those daring leaps without the fear of falling. The 7-year guarantee is like having your very own superhero sidekick that says, “Don’t worry, we’ve got your back!” It’s aimed at giving these small businesses the confidence they need to go after their dreams.

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty. SMEs often face the villain of the story – access to credit. But with this guarantee scheme in place, it’s like they’re getting a VIP pass to the world of financing. KCB Bank’s Acting Director of Retail Banking, Michael Kung’u, can’t contain his excitement. He’s like a kid in a candy store, thrilled about this new instrument that’s going to open doors for SMEs.

Michael in his speech, said “This guarantee is like a magic key that unlocks a treasure trove of financing options for SMEs. With this billion-Kshs support, they can shine in Kenya’s economy and take the lead in driving growth.” It’s like having a golden ticket to the business fairytale they’ve always dreamt of.

This guarantee scheme is like a bridge, connecting SMEs to KCB Bank’s range of financing options. It’s not just about a big pot of money; it’s about empowering these businesses to make a real impact on the economy.

And guess what? It’s not just about boosting businesses; it’s about creating a ripple effect in communities. The Swedish Ambassador to Kenya, Caroline Vicini, adds her two cents, “We’re not just talking about money here. We’re talking about better living conditions, innovative financing, and reaching out to those who need it the most.” It’s like combining business goals with a dash of superhero kindness.

Buckle Up, Kenya! Starlink Is Coming to Town!

Big news! Elon Musk’s Starlink is landing in the heart of Kenya! Prepare yourself for high-speed internet that’s faster than Usain Bolt on caffeine! Get ready to say goodbye to those days of frustratingly slow loading times, because Starlink is about to shoot your internet experience to the moon and back!

Starlink’s Price Tag – Worth the Galactic Investment?

Now, let’s get to the nitty-gritty of it all. How much will this futuristic, space-age internet cost you? Drumroll, please! The upfront cost is Ksh. 74,216 ($599). But wait, that’s not all! This interstellar package includes everything you need to blast off into cyberspace: a satellite dish, mounting tripod, Wi-Fi router, power supply, and cables. It’s like getting a whole satellite constellation thrown in as a bonus!

But, hold your horses, because there’s more to the story. To keep riding the Starlink rocket, you’ll need to pay a monthly subscription fee of Ksh. 14,900 ($110). It’s like having a cosmic subscription to the best internet service in the galaxy!

Shooting for the Stars – Is It Worth It?

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Is Starlink worth the Kenyan shillings I’ll be shelling out?” Well, my friend, that’s a question only you can answer. For many Kenyans, the promise of reliable and supersonic internet might be enough to make their hearts race like a Tesla Roadster on Ludicrous Mode!

Starlink doesn’t care about distance; it’s designed to conquer even the wildest frontiers. So, whether you’re in the bustling city of Nairobi or hanging out with wildlife in the Maasai Mara, Starlink will be right there with you, beaming high-speed internet like a cosmic lighthouse!

The Catch – It’s Not All Rainbows and Shooting Stars

As with any journey to the final frontier, there are some things to consider before strapping yourself into the Starlink rocket. First off, you’ll need a clear view of the sky for this cosmic connection to work its magic. So, if you’re in the concrete jungle surrounded by skyscrapers, you might have to stick to regular old Earth-based internet for now.

And hey, listen up, gamers! Starlink’s got some latency issues that might leave you stranded on Mars while the game’s still back on Earth. So, if you’re an esports superstar, maybe give it a pause before joining the Starlink fleet.

Exploring New Frontiers – The Pros of Starlink

But fear not, brave adventurers! The Starlink universe also has its fair share of benefits! For those living in the internet deserts, where traditional providers fear to tread, Starlink shines like a cosmic oasis. Finally, the web’s wonders will be at your fingertips!

Not only that, but Starlink has big dreams of connecting millions of Kenyans in the future. It’s like building a cyber highway to the stars, where anyone can explore the vast reaches of the internet galaxy!

To Starlink or Not to Starlink – The Final Frontier

In the end, the decision to board the Starlink rocket is yours to make, dear Kenyans. Think of it like choosing between a rocket-powered Ferrari and a good ol’ matatu ride—both have their perks, but only one can take you to the cosmos!

If you’re craving reliable and speedy internet, Starlink might be your ticket to the stars. But remember, there’s a cost to space exploration, so consider your budget and needs before making the leap. And keep an eye on Starlink’s journey; as it matures, it might just become the internet hero Kenya needs!

Inua Jamii Programme: Sh. 8.35 Billion Disbursed to Support Vulnerable Beneficiaries

The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection just released a whopping Sh. 8.35 billion to support the beneficiaries of the Inua Jamii programme. The Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Labour and Social Protection, Florence Bore, spilled the announced about another cash splash. A cool Sh. 11.2 million is on its way for the Nutrition Improvement through Cash and Health Education (NICHE) programme.

So, what’s the deal with the Inua Jamii beneficiaries? Well, they’re in for a treat! Each one of them will receive a sweet Sh. 8,000 for the payment cycle covering March-April and May-June 2023. It’s like a cash infusion to bring a smile to their faces.

And where’s all this money hiding? It’s making its way to Kenya Commercial Bank, National Bank, and Kenya Women Microfinance Bank. They’re like the guardians of these funds, ensuring they reach the right hands.

Now, this is not the first rodeo for the Inua Jamii programme. It’s like a well-oiled machine, promising a second tranche right after the recent November-December 2022 and January-February 2023 payment. Talk about staying true to their word!

So, who’s on the receiving end of this financial goodness? Brace yourselves – it’s a staggering 1,042,854 regular Inua Jamii beneficiaries and an additional 5,607 NICHE beneficiaries. That’s a whole lot of people getting a well-deserved boost!

CS Bore knows the importance of these social protection programmes. They’re like life rafts, rescuing the most vulnerable from the clutches of poverty and deprivation. The government is on a mission to ensure these folks get a chance to improve their livelihoods and leap out of poverty. It’s like giving them wings to soar!

Base Titanium is a big deal, folks. They’re producing ilmenite, rutile, and zircon – critical minerals that pack a punch in the local and national economy. It’s like a goldmine, only with shiny rocks instead of gold!

During the tour, CS Bore witnessed something extraordinary. Base Titanium is going green! They’re partnering with the local community and Kilifi-based Pwani University to grow food in their rehabilitation areas. It’s like a garden of hope, nurturing both the land and the people.

Safety first, my friends! Base Titanium takes workplace safety seriously, like a mama bear protecting her cubs. They train their workers proactively, ensuring accidents take a backseat.

But the fun didn’t stop there – they joined forces to plant a whopping 3,055 trees. Talk about giving back to Mother Nature! It’s all in line with the national government’s ambitious plan to plant 5 billion trees in the next 5 years.

Safaricom’s Out-of-This-World Internet: Get Ready to Go Satellite

Safaricom PLC, the big kahuna of telecommunications in Kenya, is about to take us on a cosmic journey! You heard it right – they’ve got their sights set on launching satellite internet in our beloved country. Buckle up, because this is going to be one stellar ride!

Kenya’s largest mobile service provider has teamed up with AST SpaceMobile, Starlink’s rival, to make this grand plan a reality. It’s like a space race of epic proportions, and we’re here for it! This cosmic collaboration will allow Safaricom to tap into AST SpaceMobile’s top-notch technology and infrastructure, ensuring we get nothing short of reliable, out-of-this-world connectivity.

This satellite internet service is no ordinary upgrade. It’s like giving our current broadband offerings a turbo boost! Picture this – faster Wi-Fi, stronger cellular networks, and supercharged fibre optic cables. It’s like upgrading from a bicycle to a rocket ship!

Now, here’s a fun coincidence! Safaricom’s satellite internet is launching at the same time as SpaceX’s Starlink in Kenya. It’s like two cosmic twins competing in a celestial race!

The journey to this cosmic connection began with the testing of AST SpaceMobile’s prototype satellite, Bluewalker 3. They launched it into space on September 10th, 2022. And guess what? The spacecraft was built with a massive 693 square feet aperture to beam connectivity right to our cell phones using 3GPP-standard frequencies.

But hold onto your seats, my friends, because the real adventure is yet to come. The satellite is gearing up for official trials right here in Kenya later this year. Safaricom and other African operators will join forces to put it to the test. And it doesn’t stop there – this trial is going to span an impressive 49 countries across Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean, with the help of 200 satellites.

And here’s a little sneak peek into the future – AST SpaceMobile has big plans! Once they successfully complete the trial, they’re ready to scale up their satellite deployments in partnership with Vodacom. That’s right, folks, they’re aiming for nothing less than providing ubiquitous communications to 4G devices across Africa and beyond. It’s like turning our entire continent into one giant interconnected galaxy!

AST SpaceMobile, the masterminds behind this cosmic connection, are no small fry. They’re a publicly traded satellite designer and manufacturer, hailing all the way from Midland Texas, United States. Their mission is to build the SpaceMobile satellite constellation – a revolutionary space-based cellular broadband network. What’s unique about it? Well, it will allow our existing smartphones to connect to satellites even in areas with coverage gaps. It’s like waving a magic wand and saying goodbye to those pesky internet dead zones!