Nairobi, Kenya, Jan 29-Huawei officially launched its 5G multi-mode chipset Balong 5000– along with the first commercial 5G device powered by it, the Huawei 5G CPE Pro.
Together, these two new products provide the world’s fastest wireless connections for your smartphone, your home, the office, and on the go.
Balong 5000 officially unlocks the 5G era. The chipset supports a broad range of 5G products in addition to smartphones, including home broadband devices, vehicle-mounted devices, and 5G modules.
It will provide consumers with a brand new 5G experience across multiple scenarios.
“The Balong 5000 will open up a whole new world to consumers,” said the CEO of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group, Richard Yu. “It will enable everything to sense, and will provide the high-speed connections needed for pervasive intelligence.
Powered by the Balong 5000, the Huawei 5G CPE Pro enables consumers to access networks more freely and enjoy an incredibly fast connected experience. Huawei has an integrated set of capabilities across chips, devices, cloud services, and networks. Building on these strengths, as the leader of the 5G era, we will bring an inspired, intelligent experience to global consumers in every aspect of their lives.”
With a small form factor and high degree of integration, Balong 5000 supports 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G on a single chip. It effectively reduces latency and power consumption when exchanging data between different modes, and will significantly enhance user experience in the early stages of commercial 5G deployment. Balong 5000 marks a significant step forward for the Balong series of chipsets.
Balong 5000 is the first chipset to perform to industry benchmarks for peak 5G download speeds. At Sub-6 GHz (low-frequency bands, the main spectrum used for 5G), Balong 5000 can achieve download speeds up to 4.6 Gbps. On mmWave spectrum (high-frequency bands used as extended spectrum for 5G), Balong 5000 can achieve download speeds up to 6.5 Gbps – 10 times faster than top 4G LTE speeds on the market today.
Balong 5000 is also the world’s first chipset that supports both standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) network architectures for 5G. With non-standalone, 5G network architecture is built on top of legacy 4G LTE networks, whereas standalone 5G, as the name implies, will have its own independent architecture. Balong 5000 can flexibly meet different user and carrier requirements for connecting devices throughout different stages of 5G development.
Balong 5000 is the world’s first multi-mode chipset that supports Vehicle to Everything (V2X) communications, providing low-latency and highly reliable solutions for connected vehicles. Huawei’s 5G smartphones powered by Balong 5000 will be released at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
As a 5G pioneer, Huawei began research and development in 5G as early as 2009, and is currently the industry’s only vendor that can provide end-to-end 5G systems. Huawei has more than 5,700 engineers dedicated to 5G R&D, including over 500 5G experts. In total, Huawei has established 11 joint innovation centers for 5G solutions worldwide.
South Africa’s fashion brand, Mr. Price, is set to take full ownership of its outlets in Kenya after buying out Deacons franchise operations in East Africa that started in 2007.
Deacons were previously the exclusive local franchise holder of the Mr. Price clothes brand and Mr. Price Home.
Mr. Price is now set to take full control of the subsidiary, setting the stage for complete autonomy from Deacons.
“We had a franchise agreement that has worked extremely well over the years. Going forward, Mr. Price will now be an independent brand run by MRP in Kenya,” said Deacons Chief Executive, Muchiri Wahome.
Deacons will be compensated for ceding control of the franchise. Proceeds from the sale will go towards funding ongoing operation, launching an e-commerce platform, launch of a Deacons house brand and store expansion of the other international brands in its portfolio.
Mr. Price’s plans for Kenya’s fashion market are not immediately clear, but the multinational is now expected to develop and run its own local retail outlets.
“The future is positive for Deacons as we will continue to bring relevant brands to market. The Directors have also decided to relaunch the Deacons label in order to have more control in its supply chain and focus on penetrating lower segments of the market. This coupled with an imminent launch of an e-commerce platform will ensure sustainable growth for the group,” Mr. Muchiri added.
While Mr. Price has focused on selling its line of clothes and home products in Kenya, taking full ownership of the local subsidiary might see it expand its product range. For Deacons, the sale of its franchise rights ends its distributorship of Mr. Price products, which served the middle class.
After ceding Mr. Price, Deacons will concentrate on its other international brands, which include F&F, Adidas, Deacons Kids, Bossini, 4U2, Truworths, and LifeFitness. These brands have received good uptake by the East African consumer as they offer good value-for-money lifestyle solutions and customer service.
Deacon’s remains committed to growing its customer base by offering lifestyle solutions to East Africa through its 30-store footprint. In Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.
By Bernard Gitonga
Kiambu Road Investment Limited has today held an official groundbreaking ceremony to kick-start the construction of its first hospital in the country to be completed in 20 months.
The investment is aimed at meeting the ever-rising healthcare demands from the Kenyan public and will comprise of 115 beds, 4 operating theatres and 11 dialysis stations. It will provide a wide range of general and specialist healthcare services including paediatrics, gynaecology, obstetrics, orthopaedics and a full suite of radiology services.
Speaking when he met the foreign and local investors at the groundbreaking event, Investment Fund for Africa (IFHA) Managing Partner, Mr. Max Coppoolse said the hospital is designed to deliver world-class medical, surgical and diagnostics services to meet the growing needs of patients and the medical community.
“The fast-paced growth of the Kenyan economy together with the commitment of the Kenyan Government to expand access to expand healthcare throughout the country makes Kenya the ideal location to establish this world-class hospital.” He said.
The groundbreaking event was overseen by AAR Kenya Chairman Dr. Frank Njenga who noted that the provider has evolved over the years from providing healthcare to only AAR insured patients to serving all Kenyans including those without insurance covers.
“This hospital represents an important landmark for AAR’s continual growth into a fully-fledged health ecosystem. Once the hospital is operational, the patients, medical community and all our stakeholders can expect the same level of high quality, patient-centric services and infrastructure they have been accustomed to receiving at the AAR clinics,” he said.
AAR is one of the key investors in the project.
The KCB Foundation has launched recruitment of beneficiaries for 2jiajiri programme. 2Jiajiri is a flagship programme of the KCB Foundation that seeks to create jobs and wealth through targeted skills development in the informal sector.
This year, the Foundation and various partners seek to recruit 10,000 beneficiaries in agribusiness, automotive engineering, beauty and personal care, building and construction and domestic services at various technical training institutions in Nairobi, Machakos, Kilifi, Nakuru, Nyeri, Uasin Gishu, Kisumu and Mombasa counties.
The recruitment is open for scholarships under 2Jiajiri and the Skills and Enterprise Development project implemented in partnership with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).
Interviews will be conducted across the country from 5th to 10th March after which the successful applicants will commence studies for a period of up to six months at the respective institutions from 19th March 2018.
“Through this programme we seek to develop a new cadre of youthful entrepreneurs in the informal sector to ease the country’s unemployment crisis and to provide a bridge to the unemployment gap that exists among the youth,” said KCB Foundation Executive Director Jane Mwangi.
Application forms are available at selected KCB branches, participating training institutions or can be downloaded from the KCB Foundation website www.kcbgroup.com/foundation
Interviews shall be conducted at the respective technical training institutions where the beneficiaries would wish to undertake their studies.
Since its launch in 2016 the programme has skilled over 12,255 youth beneficiaries on technical skills and financial literacy across the country.
By Jane Mwangi
The beauty and personal care industry is fast becoming Kenya’s new investment hub, attracting massive foreign investment by renowned global brands like Yves Saint Laurent, Black Opal and Oriflame among others. It is also one of the fastest growing industries in Kenya having grown by 400 percent in four years from Ksh 26 billion in 2011 to over Ksh 100 billion in 2015, according to KPMG estimates.
The growth in beauty products and services can be attributed to increased discretionary spending and urbanisation. Market growth is also fueled by a large demand of millennials who want to try new looks – for the perfect selfie shot. This is coming against the backdrop of a handful giant cosmetic manufacturers gradually coming back after keeping away from Kenya out of lack of skilled manpower, the belief that there was low demand for their products and assumption of the country being a low spending power region.
However, in spite of the huge strides, the beauty and personal care industry in Kenya is yet to fully maximise on its potential both from demand and supply side. Kenya’s population of about 45 million is an adequately ready market for cosmetics and beauty products but also a ready workforce for the industry. However, the contribution to the economy is still minimal.
Lack of skilled workforce remains the biggest obstacle to unlocking the beauty market potential. Other market attributes that hinder the growth of this industry are: financial illiteracy and high cost of salon equipment.
I believe that, through concerted efforts, the youth can be involved in the beauty industry by assisting them to gain skills. This can also be an incentive for international investors keen on setting up shop in Kenya.
To attain this, a critical mass of young people need to be trained, given the necessary infrastructure as well as financial access and business advisory support. Moreover, strategic partnerships can be created with established salons to absorb budding salon entrepreneurs who cannot open their own. This would enable them to gain wide experience and in-depth understanding of the industry.
Furthermore, the industry can be promoted through innovative mechanisms such as adoption of the ‘franchise container’ model where students trained in beauty can own franchises of popular local and international brands across the country. The successful Brazil beauty industry for instance has largely been supported by franchising, guided by stringent legislations that guard the interests of both parties.
The ‘Salon Suites’ concept also known as booth rentals, brings a different approach to the industry. It offers beauty professionals an opportunity to own their own business without the large upfront costs and risks associated with building or renting and running a salon, the potential is untold.
KCB Foundation is piloting this revolutionary approach to business premises hosting for the beauty and personal care professionals through a franchise container model. Modified shipping containers are retrofitted to host the salon. The container acts as an incubation hub for students who have completed hair and beauty courses where they can perfect their professional skills even as they prepare to start their own businesses.
The joint venture model takes into account the graduates’ capital inadequacy to assist them meet the operational cost of running the salon. This business model has a co-working style and provides a platform to incubate hair and beauty beneficiaries until they are ready to take up their own containers. The beauty of the concept is that it takes into account issues of space as well as mobility as the container can be moved from place to place depending on business performance and owner preferences. Additionally, the fittings are never disentangled when forklifting the container, hence guaranteeing their safety. Owners of the containers can assist their tenants to place them at vantage points like public and private parking areas, church compounds or at market centres.
KCB Foundation is implementing this through 2Jiajiri, a transformative skill development and wealth creation programme, established in 2016, that seeks to develop a new cadre of youthful entrepreneurs within the informal sector to ease the country’s burgeoning unemployment crisis.
The Foundation will provide business development services to upskill the 2Jiajiri beneficiaries into developing thriving enterprises. So far, over 880 beneficiaries out of the 12,000 recipients have been sponsored to the programme across the country and in various sectors. Upon graduation, the beneficiaries join the KCB Foundation incubation process as they walk through the journey of establishing their businesses. The KCB Foundation has partnered with leading beauty colleges and salons in the country to empower and equip unemployed and out-of-school youth to grow micro enterprises in the beauty industry by providing them with technical skills and access to seed capital. This will enable them to tap opportunities from this growing multi-million-dollar industry. The Foundation has partnered with Ashleys Hair and Beauty Academy, Azizi Hair and Beauty College and Amadiva Beauty and Hair Salon among others.
Measures such as these will see Kenya boost its earnings from the beauty industry as it seeks to match the pace of other leading global players such as Brazil.
Jane Mwangi is the Executive Director of KCB Foundation. firstname.lastname@example.org
By David Mwangi
- Leave Naked Women Alone:
Yes, those women who dress like they are in the process of undressing but they have not finished. Leave them alone. Most of them are up to no good and will only cost you a whole fortune in one weekend. Instead, get yourself a real woman: There is strength in a real woman.. Not these tuma chics that my colleague Mwaba Mutale calls ‘Bandits’. Get a woman who will not only support your vision but will also push you to achieve more. A woman who will inspire you to work hard and not a woman who just makes you hard. He who finds a real woman finds a good thing and obtains favour and power to create wealth.
- Minimise drinking. Just do it socially and at the right time.
- Stop being Lazy: “Man ooh Man, why art thou Lazy?” You are too lazy for your own good. You sleep the whole day and blame the govt for your poverty. “A Little Sleep, a Little Slumber, poverty shall overtake you like a political cadre in overalls”. A lot of men are just lazy when it comes to making money. They have enough energy to give a woman five orgasms, but have no energy to start one organization…. that’s why it is so easy for men to manufacturer children than it is to make even pegs for putting children’s clothes on the line..
- Know and engage in Productive Things:
You know too much about the, UEFA, EPL and LaLiga than you know about the Nairobi Securities Exchange and Wall Street… If you keep too much junk in your head, you get a junk life. I know a lot of men who are so sharp when you are talking about girls, about soccer and about street politics, but bring a topic about investment, innovation and business, they start looking at their phone, yawning or saying bye.. Useless things, videos and memes go viral fast than constructive things.. A man must know how to do at least one productive thing (have one skill) even without having gone to college..
- Get Connected to Big Men:
A lot of men are failing because they are not mentored. They don’t have anyone to whom they can sit down and listen, with obedience. In the old days, old men would sit young men down and show them how to hunt and kill animals… and no man was considered a man enough until he has personally killed an animal… now these men of nowadays are not mentored and can’t even kill a bird.. There are men out there who have made it in life, find a way to get mentored by big men who are making waves..
The KCB Foundation through its flagship program 2jiajiri has graduated 367 beneficiaries at the Miramar International College (MIC).
The students who have been undergoing training in hydroponic techniques of producing vegetables, tomatoes, strawberries and livestock fodder included 63 special young men and women who were under 18 years old, some of whom undergoing juvenile rehabilitation.
The Government of Kenya recognized the vulnerability of these young people and admitted them to receive support under the ‘Inua Jamii’ programme.
The KCB Foundation complemented the efforts of government to transform their fortunes and enrolled them for technical, vocational and life-skills training under the 2jiajiri program.
Also graduating at this ceremony were another 146 youth who hail from needy families. There was a complement of 158 youth who has successfully applied to the KCB Foundation to join the mainstream 2jiairi program.
“This program is a shining example to the private sector of the significant role it has to play in building the resilience of vulnerable groups especially through support for the entrepreneurial acumen of Kenya’s youth,” said Ministry of Labour Principal Secretary Susan Mochache in a speech read on her behalf by Justus Muthoka, the senior assistant director at the Ministry. “The partnership between government and the KCB Foundation has transformed them into some of the finest agribusiness entrepreneurs our country is likely to see”.
Inua Jamii has so far benefited over 600,000 Kenyans. KCB has been instrumental in facilitating the government to disburse over Kshs.32 Billion to poor and vulnerable households under this programme. “The beneficiaries were now part of an elite group of pioneers that would popularize hydroponic crop and fodder production within communities and improve social welfare through improved food security” said KCB Director Corporate Banking Moezz Mir. “2jiajiri program placed them in a position of significant advantage; they were on the cutting edge of an innovative mode of agricultural production that is increasingly gaining currency not only in Kenya but also the region,” he added.
Jane Mwangi, the Executive Director of the KCB Foundation said the 367 young entrepreneurs in 2jiajiri were poised to earn a collective monthly income of Kshs 6.8 Million if they leafy vegetables exclusively and Kshs. 12.5 Million if they were to concentrate on Tomato production. Such is the power of hydroponic production that each of the beneficiaries would potentially earn between 18 and 34 thousand shillings every month.
Hydroponic farming is a soil-less method of farming and a subset of hydroculture, where plants are grown using only a mineral nutrient solution in a water solvent. Hydroponic production is also not land intensive.
Prof. Dominic Mwenja, the Principal of Miramar International College demonstrated that the crop yields associated with the earnings that the project beneficiaries are poised to gain is done in sheds measuring 12 Metres by 20 Metres or one-twentieth of an acre. Students stacked production trays to maximize on space meaning a typical production shed yielded 3,440 batches of leafy vegetables or 4,080 Kg of Tomatoes in any given harvest cycle.
Telkom has appointed Catherine Olaka as its Chief Human Resources Officer.
Ms. Olaka has a wealth of valuable and demonstrable regional (Sub Saharan Africa) and industry experience within the ICT and Financial Service sectors. Prior to joining Telkom, she was the Chief Talent Officer at Tigo Tanzania, responsible for leading the firm’s HR function.
She also spearheaded the HR integration of Uganda Commercial Bank, after its acquisition by Standard Bank of South Africa, thereby harmonising the terms and conditions of service of over 1,400 employees across the bank’s 59 branches. Catherine was also responsible for rolling out the Balanced Scorecard, as a tool for managing performance, across the branch network at Standard Chartered Bank.
In a previous position as Hub HR Director at Ericsson Kenya Limited, she successfully transferred 600 employees across 6 countries within the region, following the award of a managed services deal to Ericsson by Airtel.
A Certified Executive Coach from the Association of Executive Coaches of the UK, Catherine holds a Masters in Business Administration from Maastricht School of Management in The Netherlands, as well as a post graduate Diploma in HR, awarded by the Kenya National Examinations Council, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts, majoring in Sociology, from the University of Nairobi.
She began her professional career with the then Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (KPTC) and later joined Telkom Kenya after the split of KPTC, serving the company then for seven years.