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Zamara Launches New Online Aggregator Portal to Increase Insurance Uptake

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Pension fund administrator Zamara Group has unveiled an online portal that will allow customers to buy insurance policies and investment plans “Dubbed e-Zamara”

The platform will allow customers to compare products from different insurers in one place. They will also be able to and create and manage their insurance policies online.

Zamara Group has also announced plans to invest Ksh. 100 million to upgrade its digital capabilities and customer service. The company said the program includes upgrades in its operations and technology, including launching a new online aggregator platform dubbed eZamara, that will have a full range of insurance and investment products.

“The digital transformation of the insurance industry will require a considerable amount of capital to invest. However, investing in digital technology will be necessary if insurers are to stay relevant to consumers, “said Zamara Group CEO Sundeep Raichura.

Zamara Group CEO, Sundeep Raichura, said the company was committed to providing its customers with the best possible experience and that the investment in digital would enable it to do so. “We are constantly evolving our business to meet the needs of our customers and this investment will enable us to provide a more convenient and efficient service,” he said.

“Over the years, we have seen a spike in insurance sales growth via the internet and other digital channels. As Zamara, we are committed to accelerating and enabling digital and financial inclusion in Kenya by providing easy access to financial solutions like pensions and insurance at scale.

To boost its digital strength, the firm announced that it will invest about 100 million over the next three years in technology as per its 2022-2025 strategic plan.

Zamara is a diversified financial services group offering pensions, medical, insurance and actuarial services with a presence in six countries in Africa.

CIC Group launches medical cover for cooperatives

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CIC Group has today launched a medical product tailormade for cooperatives named CoopCare.

The cover will cater to cooperative members and their affiliates with a minimum membership of 10 principal members with the maximum joining age being 70 years. The product will cover inpatient, outpatient, maternity, dental, optical, and last expense for cooperative members within Kenya.

CIC Group Chief Executive Officer Mr. Patrick Nyaga said that in an ecosystem that is highly dependent on cooperatives, it is prudent to provide solutions that extend financial protection to members by reducing their exposure to risk in different facets, including healthcare.

“Cooperatives are a huge enabler of financial inclusion and hold over 14 million members. Used as a tool for savings and investments, cooperatives not only increase financial access, but also provide a platform for communal growth. The CoopCare cover has been designed to reduce or eliminate member risk exposure through an affordable, accessible medical insurance product.’’

Commenting during the launch, Fred Ruoro, Managing Director, General Insurance said, “Out of pocket health and last expense expenditure can place a huge financial burden on the patient as well as their family and friends. Sometimes this can erode prior savings and lead to accumulation of debt to pay medical bills. Having a medical cover therefore becomes an essential part of financial protection, which is also aligned to cooperative goals which includes enhancing members’ socioeconomic health. With CoopCare, we hope to see more cooperative members get access to quality healthcare services at low costs. While access to healthcare is a right, sometimes it can lead to high accumulated costs which presents a financial burden. CoopCare has been built to ease this burden.”

CoopCare will cover inpatient, outpatient, maternity, dental, optical and last expense benefits, with beneficiaries getting the option to purchase inpatient only or both inpatient and outpatient benefits. The cover includes benefits of up to KShs 300,000 in inpatient, KShs 50,000 in outpatient, KShs 25,000 in maternity KShs 7,500 for dental and optical and KShs 50,000 for last expense.

The product has been designed to be affordable and has a carefully selected low-cost provider panel mainly encompassing mission hospitals and low-cost private hospitals. Members can take up the product as a family package allowing up to six dependants (M+6) or as a Member only (M+0). Any family beyond the member and six dependants category will attract a minimal additional premium to cover the extra dependants. Premium rates range from KShs 2,500 to KShs 36,000 per year depending on the package.

Safaricom Investment Co-operative held its groundbreaking for The Miran Residence, a  450 units of low-cost houses in Ruaka, Kiambu.

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The Miran Residence is a three-acre development that consists of studio apartments, studio lofts, and one, two and three-bedroom apartments that incorporate modern architecture and new consumer trends to promote a wholistic lifestyle in a secure and serene environment.

The apartment whose construction will cost Sh750 million comprises studio apartments selling at Sh2.75 million and studio lofts at Sh3.9 million.

It also has one-bedroom units selling at Sh4.45 million and two-bedroom apartments selling at Sh5.9 million.

“The Miran Residence offers an all-inclusive lifestyle to all. The architectural design promotes a healthy lifestyle with the green space allocation within the development to cater for social functions, meditation and play areas, jogging track and sports courtyards that can be used for basketball, tennis or football. We also understand the needs of the markets such that a one-bedroom user may not have the same needs as that of the family in the 3 bedrooms. As a result, we have different living arrangements with the isolation of single living units from the family ones,” said Safaricom Investment Co-operative Chief Executive Officer Sarah Wahogo.

Korogocho Residents Benefit from Senator Consumer Campaign

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Francis Muigai and Florence Nyangweso of Korogocho Slum are the beneficiaries of two new homes courtesy of Kenya Breweries through the Shikisha na Senator Community Projects Initiative.

The two residents of Ruaraka Consistency are beneficiaries of a housing upgrading project spearheaded by Restoring Dignity, a community-based organization in the Korogocho area housing support. 

The two were selected from the latter phase of the Senator Campaign that included five countrywide community projects worth Kshs 5 million.

Speaking at the handover ceremony held at Korogocho, EABL Commercial Director Joel Kamau expressed his delight at seeing the impact of the projects and committed to continue working together with more non-profit organizations to positively impact the communities. 

“Our primary aim for EABL and brand Senator is to enrich lives everyday everywhere. Today we are proud of the work that has gone into achieving this purpose through the provision of these new homes for Mr. Francis Muigai and Florence Nyangweso and their families,’’ said Kamau.

He added “As a company, our Sustainability agenda is a critical part of who we are, an important consumer engagement touchpoint. Through such partnerships with groups like Restoring Dignity in Korogocho, we are able to promote equality, improve living standards and ensure families and the communities around us have the necessary tools to have good, healthy and safe livelihoods”

Currently in the second edition of the Senator Consumer Promotion over 500 customers benefited directly in phase through a KSh.76 million investment in the consumer campaign further supporting Kenya Breweries Limited’s efforts towards enhancing the lives of their customers and various communities.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mrs. Nyangweso was extremely excited to move into her new home. “I am so happy to receive a new house for me and my family. We could barely stand in the other house so this is a welcome surprise. I can now host guests and walk freely in my home and I thank Restoring dignity & EABL for making this possible”

Commenting at occasion, Restoring Dignity Community Based Organization, Coordinator Fred Ogolla echoed the impact of the completed project. “Our dream is have an established village with good housing for the community of Korogocho, through partners like Kenya Breweries we believe this dream will become a reality and the residents here will live dignified lives in now in and the future” said Ogolla

The company has teamed up several non-for-profit organizations to oversee the building and construction of the these nominated projects which are currently ongoing across the country.

Senator Keg Lager was among the fastest-growing brands in Africa’s top 150 most valuable brands in a 2020 study by London-based business Brand Finance, leveraging a 10-million-man pool of drinkers and expanding by 88 per cent to a brand worth of Sh14.4 billion ($132 million). It has achieved this status as a result of high demand from price-conscious consumers who have switched from home-brewed brews, some of which are illegal, to branded beer.

International Peace Day

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A section of Migori residents led by County Commissioner Mwangi Meru have undertaken a peaceful procession to champion for peace during International Peace Day.

While commissioning the event, Commissioner Mwangi said the walk was to demonstrate the peaceful milestone achieved by Migori residents during, before and after the general elections regardless of the results, adding that it was also an opportunity for them to show their solidarity.

The participants walked for more than six kilometers from Migori commissioner’s offices to Florence hotel while another group walked from Namba junction to Sagero primary school (more than 10 kilometers) in the outskirts of the town.

Mwangi noted that this year’s theme of “End Racism. Build Peace” engages people of all ages, youths and the older generation.

PeaceNet Kenya Migori coordinator Castro Baraza said through the engagement of both generations, they will share ideas and learn from each other adding that Migori moved from violence red alert rating even before the election following the peaceful coexistence among locals.

UWIANO Communication Expert John Ndeta while speaking in Sagero pointed out that they have always involved the youths to champion for development agendas and be agents of change at the community level.

Ndeta commended the youths for maintaining peace during and after the general elections saying people anticipated chaos at that time but the youths were patient enough to maintain peace all through thanking them for showing the rest of the world that elections can be done peacefully.

Tusker OktobaFest Returns; Bigger and Better for 2022

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Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) has released the dates for the highly-anticipated 2022 Tusker Oktobafest which is set to take place throughout the month of October at various locations around the Country.

Dubbed the Ultimate Beer Festival, the annual Tusker event is scheduled to take place in Tamasha, Eldoret (October 8th-9th), Jamii Executive Gardens, Mwea (October 15th – 16th), and finale event at the Ngong’ Racecourse, Nairobi (October 28th – 30th) offering festival-goers from across these regions a chance to celebrate Kenyan authenticity at a festival that brings Kenyan culture  to life through beer, entertainment, food, and music.The events will feature live entertainment stages, gaming centres, sports contests, above and the beyond the unique beer experiences. The 2022 Tusker OktobaFest will be headlined by the celebrated Tusker brand, but will feature all the beers from across KBL’s portfolio.

As has now become OktobaFest tradition, the event will feature an all-Kenyan artist and DJ lineup. Among the artists on show at the events will include; Khaligraph Jones, Mejja, Nadia Mukami and many more. The events will also be graced by the next generation of Kenyan musicians, the Tusker Nexters Music competition finalists who will have an opportunity to showcase their talents on a national platform.

The media launch event was held at the Ngong Racecourse which will also be the venue of the Nairobi leg of the festival. Said EABL Marketing & Innovation Director, Anne-Joy Michira, at the launch event:

“The Tusker brand has been a national brand for a century, loved by Kenyans for that period and beyond, and therefore it should be celebrated as such. This year, the Tusker OktobaFest festival will without a doubt build upon its reputation as the biggest nationwide celebration of beer that Kenya has ever seen. This year we are expecting the Tusker OktobaFest to attract over 30,000 people to celebrate our diversity and culture with great food and music to give our consumers a one-of-a-kind experience. Through these events in October, we will also be seeking to celebrate our great Kenyan vibe, energy and sound and as well promoting our local artists, DJs, and MCs. We, therefore, invite all our consumers to get ready to enjoy the greatest beer celebration in Kenya.”

This year’s edition OktobaFest will take it back to the highly-acclaimed 2019 event. It will, however, take the best of the 2021 OktobaFest, which was dubbed ‘a Festival Deconstructed’ due to the new normal conditions that it was forced to be held in. Restrictions in 2021 limited the number of people that could gather in one place, which saw the OktobaFest come to fans in over 100 bars, restaurants and activities countrywide. Following clamour by fans to have the festival go back to its 2019 format, Tusker is doing just that.

The selection of the three venues spread out across the country for this year’s edition will spread out the celebrations and make them much bigger and better for attendees.

Also on show this year will be the seven Tusker Nexters Music finalists. These are talented upcoming musicians that are part of a talent competition introduced to celebrate Tusker’s 100-year anniversary by identifying and rewarding the next generation of musical talent. The young talents were selected from across the 5 regions of Kenya after successfully auditioning for the chance to stake their claim as Kenya’s next music star.

To be part of the events, consumers stand the chance to win tickets by purchasing KBL beers from The Bar.com, ChupaChap, Jumia Party, Oaks & Corks, Carrefour, Quickmart, Naivas or Chandarana from 20th September 2022. In addition, tickets will go on sale at the beginning of October on  TicketSasa.

Bar Owners On KRA Increased Excise Duty

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KRA is in the process of collecting public views on the proposed implementation of the Inflation Adjustment of the specific rates of excise duty by 6.3 percent, which represents the average inflation rate recorded in the last 2021/2022 financial year to cushion the government’s revenues from being eroded by imported inflation.

KRA seeks to increase the rate of Excise Duty by 6.3 percent which represents the average inflation rate recorded in the last 2021/2022 financial year to cushion the government’s revenues from being eroded by imported inflation. Some of the products that are targeted for price increases include beer, bottled water, cider, fruit juices, berry and other fermented drinks.

Our considered opinion is that this is a move in the wrong direction because when the Finance Act 2022 was passed in July 2022, it contained an increase in the excise rates for beer and spirits by 10% and 20% respectively. At the same time, the KRA Commissioner General is required to adjust annually the specific rates of Excise Duty taking into account the rate of inflation. We find this to be an excessive over-taxation to the ordinary mwananchi who is looking at the government to cushion it from such vagaries.

Following the 10% and 20% excise increase on beer and spirits effected through the Finance Act 2022 in July 2022, alcohol consumption has declined in favor of illicit. We have observed a decline of 21% and 32% in barley and sorghum-based beers respectively, the global fuel prices and the war in Ukraine continue to put pressure on households that are already grappling with high commodity prices and cost of living.

Locally manufactured finished goods distribution and retail alcohol trade (which is dominated by Micro and Small Enterprises-MSMEs) is expected to lose KES 4.2Bn in reduction of raw material use, KES 15.7Bn in employment income loss, and 35,364 jobs will be lost. Increase in tax rates on alcohol also has an adverse effect on other sectors of the economy and indeed tax revenues from those sectors. The industry supports other sectors such as the tourism sector and the entertainment sector which play a big role in the economy in terms of employment and revenue generation.

BAHLITA, calls upon the new President of the Republic of Kenya, H.E Dr. William Samoei Ruto to intervene in this matter and allow for further stakeholder engagement in line with his campaign promises that were premised on lowering the cost of living and securing jobs for the ordinary Kenyans.

Shelter Afrique Extends USD 18.5 million Corporate Loan to MSD for Housing Projects in DRC.

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Pan-African housing development financier Shelter Afrique Board has approved a USD18.5 million commercial loan to Katanga-based real estate development company, Maison Super Development (MSD).

The 5-year facility guaranteed by A-ONE BUILDERS, will be used to finance three on-going projects in the cities of Lubumbashi and Kolwezi in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The projects earmarked for the facility include Jumbo Office Building in Kolwezi; Alilac Office Building project in Lubumbashi; and Munua Housing project in Lubumbashi, expected to be completed in the year 2022, 2023 and 2024 respectively.  

The three projects are expected to contribute considerably to the commercial and residential real estate in the areas.

“The facility is part of shelter Afrique financial solutions targeted at Urban Regeneration.  Lubumbashi and Kolwezi are two cities gradually being transformed into major cities in the DRC and Shelter Afrique is happy to support the process by ensuring we provide financial solution that makes it easy to create a mix where both affordable housing would exist with commercial spaces to spur business activities and employment,” Shelter Afrique Ag. Managing Director Kingsley Muwowo said.

Commenting on the deal, MSD Managing Director Mr. Dharmendra Kumar lauded the partnership between MSD and Shelter Afrique and the latter’s efforts in developing housing infrastructure in the DRC.

“This is the third time Shelter Afrique has extended a line of credit to MSD since 2016, in addition to several other projects it has co-financed. We are grateful for the partnership which will enabled us change the face of Lubumbashi and Kolwezi one housing unit at a time,” Mr. Kumar said.

Limuru’s Gitonga Claims Division One Win at NCBA Golf Series

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Limuru Country Club’s Wambui Gitonga carded a round of 40 points on the thirteenth event of the 2022 NCBA Golf Series at her home club on Saturday to claim the win in division one category. 

Playing off handicap 18, Wambui’s effort was enough to fend off the challenge by club captain Gitau Ngaruiya, who closed his round with 39 points, playing off handicap 13.

In the second division, Gitiria Kamau, playing off handicap 36, carded a round of 43 points to top the division ahead of Dr. Gachuno, playing off handicap 26, who ended his round with a haul of 37 points. 

In the third division, Maria Maali, playing off handicap 40, carded a total of 38 points to seal the win ahead of James Kabiru, who managed 37 points playing off handicap 39. 

Among the lady golfers, 12-year-old junior Mumbi Gatu, playing off handicap 31, carded a round of 35 points to fend off his challengers to emerge as lady winner. 

At the same time, Victory Waiyaki has crowned the winner in the junior golfers’ category, having carded 36 points.

Meanwhile, Mark Wambugu and Julius Wokabi took top honors in the first and second nine with 22 and 25 points in the first and second nine respectively.

In the longest drive contest, Kevin Wangong’u and Stella Gathigia were the day’s winners in the men’s and ladies’ categories, while Jeniffer Ngure won the nearest to the pin contest.

James Mugo emerged the winner in the Staff contest having carded a round of 44 points playing off handicap 25.

The Limuru leg was the thirteenth in the 2022 edition of the NCBA Golf Series which will culminate in a grand finale tournament where the top four winners will enjoy a fully sponsored golf tour at The Fan Court Golf Estate in South Africa.

Commenting on the Series, NCBA Group Property Finance Manager, Stella Mutai, said: 

“Today’s golf was one of the best in the series so far. With over 200 golfers having registered for the event, it just shows the level of acceptance that the series has had so far. As a bank that is interested in the sport, we are proud to see how far the sport of golf has come in this country, and we look forward to seeing even more development in this space in future years. The journey to making the sport of golf great is just beginning. We need to continue to work together in order to make it even better,” said Mutai.

The Series now moves to the Mombasa Golf Club on October 8th for the fourteenth leg.

MALKIA STRIKERS EASING OFF TO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 

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The National Olympic Committee of Kenya has funded the Kenya National Women’s Volleyball Team – Malkia Strikers with support in excess of Kshs 6 million. NOCK has funded the Travel Tickets of the strong 18 pax headed to the World Championships as well as the allowances for the team while in Serbia and Netherlands.  

 As part of the funding, the team is currently participating in a warm up tournament in Serbia to measure their level of preparedness after a 2-month intense training camp in Brazil. NOCK had provided allowances to the team while in Brazil while Mozzart bet had paid for their air tickets.

NOC-K Secretary General Mr. Francis Mutuku while confirming this support noted that the model used for preparing Malkia Strikers is the optimal sports transformation model where teams participate and get exposure to major world events before participating in World Championships, Olympic Games or qualifiers and continental sports events.

 Mutuku noted that, “in deed sports federations should adopt and emulate this model where Kenyan teams don’t just participate in world and continental games, but get exposure in preparation tournaments and warm up competitions before any major games.”

“We also should emulate the funding partnerships the Malkia strikers have gotten where the International Federation, FIVB catered for their accommodation and training Expenses in Brazil, Mozartbet paid for the Travel tickets to Brazil and accommodation costs in Serbia and NOCK supported the Tickets from Brazil to Serbia, Netherlands and Back to Kenya and also catered for allowances for the team.” Mr Mutuku noted.

The Secretary General further noted that NOCK has put the Malkia Strikers in an accelerated training program under the Olympic Solidarity to prepare and qualify for the Paris 2024. The Malkia strikers have been drafted into the Team Support Grant Program under Olympic Solidarity.

“We are happy to support all teams currently preparing for Paris 2024. International exposure will build our teams to the level we aim to be. We are way past the mark where teams are getting to global stages without exposure.” He said.

“The most important element in any sport is preparation, if we get that right then we are a step ahead. The three months in Brazil have clearly changed the team and upped their performance, this will be evident come next week at the championships.”

In Brazil, the nine-time African champions were handled by four Brazilian top coaches led by Luizomar de Moura, who have been seconded to Kenya by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) as part of the Volleyball Empowerment Programme.

The 2019 Africa Games Gold medalists landed in Belgrade from Brazil for their final leg of preparations ahead of the Women’s World Championships set for 23 September to 15 October in Netherlands and is top of their game having won yesterday winning straight-sets (25-18,25-20,25-11) victory over Serbian national team B.

Kenya travel to Netherlands for the World Championships on Tuesday and begin their Pool A campaign against the hosts on Friday.

Head Coach Paul Bitok who’s closely working with the Brazilian technical bench named a mix of young and senior players in the team, including five debutants.

Veronica Adhiambo, Veronica Kilabat, Emmaculate Nekesa, Magdalene Sande and Belinda Barasa.

“The team’s minimum target will be to get to the second round, and this will mean they have to win at least two matches to stand a realistic chance.” Says Coach Bitok.

Fiery Puncher Sharon Chepchumba who recently signed a professional deal with Greek side Aris Thessalonik and Captain Mercy Moim are also in the team

Within the last one month, NOC-K has also supported three different teams in the Paris 2024 Olympic qualification Pathway; The Netball women to the Africa Cup 2022 Cape town, (World Cup 2023 Qualifiers) , 3×3 U23 FIBA Nations League in Romania and Boxing National team to the Africa Boxing Championship 2022, who jet into the country this evening with 3 silver medals worth Ksh. 1.5 million and a bronze medal with a Ksh. 250,000

Malkia Strikers World Championships roster

LEFT

1.Mercy Moim

2.       Noel Murambi

3.       Meldinah Sande

4.       Veronica Adhiambo

MIDDLE BLOCKERS

1.       Edith Mukuvilani

2.       Gladys Ekaru

3.       Lorine Chebet

4.       Belinda Barasa

SETTERS

1.       Emmaculate Nekesa

2.       Veronica Kilabat

OPPOSITE ATTACKERS

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1.       Sharon Chepchumba

2.       Everline Makuto

LIBERO

1.       Agripina Kundu

2.       Yvonne Wavinya

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