Addis Ababa First on The List.

IMG_7395
The “Red Terror” Martyrs’ Memorial Museum in Addis Ababa was established in 2010 as a memorial to those who died during the Red Terror under the Derg government. 

It is my first time in Addis Ababa, and my first day on our (my wife and I) trip in Ethiopia. When I arrived, I was eight years back in time, I left Nairobi on 3rd of August 2018 and here I was 27th November 2010. I felt young, I felt God has been gracious to me with time. In November 2010 I was planning fo my first trip to South Africa which I took in January 2011…..and here I was again…..November 2010

“If I was stranded on a desert island & could only bring one thing. I would bring Dora, that b*tch has everything in her backpack”.

If you are a backpacker, you have probably came across this quote. I don’t think I can call myself a backpacker, but am willing to learn, so together with my wife and our backpacks we will be travelling to some of the most remote locations in Ethiopia.

Float on the blue nile in Bahir Dar, rule from the castle of Gondar and worship at the new Jerusalem in Lalibela. We will travel on budget, avoid luxury of star hotels, eat street food and try to meet fellow backpackers and make friends. After all this, we intend to come back home tired but alive and full of memories that will encourage us to plan our next trip.

Addis Ababa is an interesting city, its a combination of the old and the new. Tall skyscrapers live harmoniously with traditional mud houses. Traditional food like Injera as it found out can be served at the same place Pizza is being served. The Metro…just like a Cobra snake runs along the road populated by the blue Mini bus called Taxi.

Sometimes it is raining and sometimes it is sunny…..and thats just how Addis is. I asked a friend who has been here for a few months if she has adjusted, she said NO, you don’t adjust in Addis, you come stay and leave Addis the way it is.

Old cars run a longside the new. Its common to see the VW Beatle, well maintained without modification. The Beatle is a historic car for Ethiopia. In 2nd February 1974 (not Ethiopian Calendar) Addis streets were filled Beatles of Taxis drivers striking the high price of fuel. The last Emperor Heile Selassie was hustled away to a military barracks in a blue VW Beatle.

The Beatle might have died where it was born but here in Addis, its alive and kicking a**.

All instructions in the university are in English, but the language that rules here is Amharic. Its difficult to get your way around, but if you are a backpacker…..you always find a way.

Twice somebody has attempted to pick pocket me around Stadium, the first time shouting at the top of my voice I threw him a jab, the second time my wife lifted the tennis racket she was carrying…..the guy retreated really fast.

People love Ethiopia for the food, boy they can make some really nice food. You would believe from the way they make their pizza that they invented it. When it arrives its half chicken and half beef……just the way you ordered, with chilly at the centre. Interestingly, they love to eat Injera with their hands but when it comes to pizza…its folk and knife business.

Coffee is a big thing here and it comes in all form and choice. Whether you are having it in an uptown restaurant in Bole or a roadside makeshift spot in Yeka. You got to respect the coffee and the coffee tradition.

Enough with the food and culture, the sight seeing……

The first thing on my list was Lion of Judah Monument. Nobody new where it was and nobody was caring. We went to Addis Abeba Museum instead, it turned out to be great to learn the history on Addis once called Addis Abeba.

IMG_7376

We have tried to learn as much history of this country that was never colonised as we possibly can, we have also made friends. Angel from Bulgaria whom together with his backpacking friend Liu from China are touring eight countries. A Chinese cyclist who has cycled from China and he is headed to South Africa.

A young guy from Senegal playing professional football here and a Kenyan working with the department of gender at the African Union….and yes, we have seen that building present the Chinese government gave Africa.

The Metro is a game changer for this city. It moves people in four different directions with two connections. Trust me, there are countries in Africa who will not have this in 2050, whether it is Ethiopian year or European year.

IMG_7372

Technologically, Ethiopia is still in Kenya’s 2010, when we had only one mobile telco, with an option of 2G or 3G network and internet that was slower than the tortoise race. I am trying to make sure I publish this article today, tomorrow we are off to Bahir Dar and I am not sure what is ahead.

I have a lot to share, but this time I am running out of time. I have missed one cup of coffee already. I am not sure how long the internet is here for, we had a disconnection in the morning and when I asked at the reception what was the problem…..the lady answering in borrowed English just said “company problems”

My wife needs to edit this post before I publish and I am being reminded by yours truly…I need to set the alarm for tomorrow. Our bus is for 4:30am International time.

I will see you the other-side of Bahir Dar.

 

How We Killed the Pioneer Car.

If you are fortunate, like me, maybe privileged and one day you arrive in Italy. It’s the beginning of winter but still that doesn’t break your spirit, you went ahead and toured Italy, walked the streets, eat the food and most importantly admired the cars, I mean the Fiat.

The Birth of FIAT

But the real history of Italian cars begins after Italy unified into a nation when? on July 11, 1899, F.I.A.T. (Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino) was founded as a company, after acquiring other major Italian brands.

The first model produced by Fiat was the Fiat 3 ½ HP. Built in 1899 by design engineer Aristide Faccioli from an inspiration he received from his previous drawing of the Welleyes, the 3 ½ HP had a maximum power output of just 3.5 hp and 400 rpm. Fiat produced just eight copies of the automobile, a far reach from what modern automotive assembly lines can churn out, but at the end of 19th Century, the car was not a common good, but a luxury that only a wealthy few could afford. The 3 ½ HP was not equipped with a reverse gear and its frame was made of wood.

A few years later Fiat achieved the first of many victories in car racing with the help of Vincenzo Lancia, winning the Torino Sassi-Superga in 1902. In subsequent years, Vincenzo Lancia was to create his own car company.

Today, the streets of Italy are filled with Fiats, something to really admire. Italians have gone ahead to develop worlds best sports cars racing in different grand pix all over the world.

Pioneer Car

Many of you might not know or remember the Nyayo Car. The Pioneer was to be Africa’s first independently developed car, and the project was started with this amazing quote from Kenya’s then president: he asked for the development of a car, “no matter how ugly or slow it may be.” This must be borrowed from many quotes, The need for a people’s car – VW Beatle or a cheap car for everyone as long as it came in one colour – Ford. Elon Mask said “when Henry Ford made cheap and reliable cars people said, nah! whats wrong with the horse? That was a huge bet he made and it worked”

There’s something really refreshing about hearing this sort of brutal honesty when it comes to cars. Everything that any car company says about their cars or the origin of their company is almost invariably a string of overwrought hyperbole that proclaims their cars to be the finest, noblest, wheeled saviours of humanity. So hearing one exasperated leader plead with a university to develop any ugly, slow car they could be remarkable.

One of the remaining of the Pioneer car rests at Numerical Machining Complex at the Railway Godown in Industrial area. It’s been almost 40 years since the Pioneer car and just last week I managed to see it with my eye.

The University managed, after four years and a bunch of money, to develop five prototypes: a five-door sedan, a sedan with a trunk, a pickup, a sports coupe, and even a rally version. The cars look pretty conventional for the time, and seem to be transverse, FWD cars in keeping with many economy cars of the era.

They used a 1200cc engine designed locally and the Pioneer could make about 75 MPH with it, with the state of roads we had then remember. So, not really all that slow, and it wasn’t even particularly ugly, either.

The start of the Nyayo car might have not been good, Only two of the five cars that were displayed at the Kararani Sports Complex could start, and when the President jumped in one of them he could not manage more than 400 mitres.

The Nyayo Pioneer was an engineering disaster, many people said. The headlights, bumpers and boot did not come together neatly, and the car lacked the finesse you would expect from a consumer product.

Eventually, the factory built for the cars was sold to another firm, and in some ways that did become successful, becoming one of Africa’s first and comparatively few plants capable of producing automotive and locomotive parts, lathe equipment, and other machinery.

IMG_6677

In this country, people will kill something and they will surely make sure that its dead. I agree that this was a disaster, but at least it was the start. I have travelled a little and I can tell you that I have come across a lot of automotive disasters, AMC Gremlin – 1970 Ford Pinto on the same year, Fiat Maltipla – 1998, Ford Explorer – 1995, Lamborghini LM002 (1986).

When Kenya was making their First automobile disaster, Lamborghini too were making theirs. The difference between Lambo and Kenya is that they learnt from their mistakes, WE DID NOT.

Today Lamborghini is the fastest car, if not one of the fastest cars, made in Italy and sold all over the world, the FIAT, rules the streets of Italy, while in Kenya we still import cars from Japan.

Linkedin Goes Wakanda.

“Talent is evenly distributed but not opportunity”.

This week Nairobi hosted a Linkedin chat forum at Villa Rosa Kempinksi Hotel. This event centred on a video fireside chat by Linkedin Co-Lead Allen Blue and the Vice President of Nigaria Pro Yemi Osinbajo, at Silicon Valley. This event dabbed “connecting the dots” was attended by mostly Africans if not African Americans.

It was amazing to note how well Africa can be represented at the bay area…….the heart of innovation in the world. Moderating the event was Thogori Karago, Linkedin head of R&D Africa.

The conversation at the bay area today towards Africa is changing. Our population keeps growing day in day out or I should say night in and night out. We have the largest number of young people, and so this brings the increase in talent. Nigeria for example, will be the third most populous nation by 2050. This is getting Silicon Valley really excited and Pro Yemi’s message was that “Africa is Open for Business”

He however reasons that Africa needs to strategize itself for this future, coming up with the best practice to train young people to prepare them for a technological future. Leverage on Ideas aimed at reducing poverty and making home environment more lucrative for investment.

download

Broadband connectivity He said remains an obstacle to success in Nigeria and there is need to keep deepening it, funding and regulations were also mentioned as great hindrance to a technological future.

Pro Yemi also mentioned some of the things Nigeria is doing to improve this, among them was training the right people, attracting and retaining talent, as we have all witnessed in the bay area and all over the world; Talent always follows the money. Nigeria is making content downloading faster and cheap, movies are now available online and everywhere.

So while bracing for a technological future, Africa needs to plan for the youth population, in leadership ,commerce and mainly technology. Labour in Africa remains lower than China and African governments need to take advantage of that, and last but not least solving the skills gap. Talent is evenly distributed but not opportunity.

Linkedin For Good

Linkedin for good has been connecting underserved communities to economic opportunity. They have signed a 10 year agreement with World Bank to advice government and institutions on the relevant areas to train to make sure that the young people when they graduate, they don’t enter the job market with skills that were relevant 10 years back.

LinkedInforGoodLogo

The Linkedin African Team is now focusing on putting Africa on the map, on talent and technological advancement. The event at Silicon Valley was a global event focusing on Africa, to help African business, and to push the massege that Africa is Open For Business.

Linkedin African Team will in the future host different events aimed at boosting business growth, helping recruiters in taping on talent. Lookout for the Linkedin Learning.

 

 

Get Certified at JoomlaDay Kenya.

Screen Shot 2018-07-08 at 12.25.13

For the first time we will be hosting a Joomla Certification Exam during our JoomlaDay event which will take place on the 14th of Sept 2018. When I took my exams in Rome Italy, the last thing I was worried a bout was time, having 90 minutes at my disposal was more than enough. Shock on me, in the middle of my exam, I was pressed for time, and I was rushing to finish, That was followed but a not very good outcome.

My Experience.

Yes, the exam is not easy. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking, “I have been working with Joomla! for over 10 years, so passing a Joomla! exam will be a breeze”. Only the top 10-15% taking the exam actually pass it the first time. Out of eleven exam takers, maybe two will pass. The odds are tough, however, if you really want to pass, you can take what you learned, develop a strategy for studying, and take the exam again at the next Joomla Event.

Topics Covered in the Exam.

According to the official Joomla! site, here are the objectives to know for the exam:

  • Joomla! Architecture
  • Preparing and installing Joomla!
  • Website Structure
  • Managing and Editing Articles
  • Managing Users and Access (ACL)
  • Managing Menus
  • Security and Maintenance
  • Upgrading the System
  • Managing Extensions
  • Multilingual Sites

certified-user-directory-facebook.jpg

There are no exam books available yet for exam prep. They are in the works, but not yet developed. Materials are mainly links to articles. I suggest if an article is unclear, check out OSTraining’s videos on the subject. They are the most updated information available. Note also, questions come directly from experience working in the product. Many answers will be clear if you have hands-on experience.

Why Spend money and time?

First, getting certified in any product is generally a good idea. After all, it tests your knowledge in a product, and forces you to remain current – you owe it to your clients and students who benefit from your knowledge to stay current.

Second, certifications are great for your resume, they can be the difference between you and your competitor getting the job.

Third, certifications prove that the product you work in has a solid reputation. Offering a certification in a product reveals it is worthy of certification. Deciding to take the exam shows your support for the product as well.

One last thing.

Study the articles related to the exam articles, read the Joomla documentation, watch OSTraining videos, and practice tasks in a sandbox environment. Take the exam, and if you don’t pass, TAKE IT AGAIN.

Support the volunteers who made it possible for you to prove your skills. Remember, they don’t get paid for their labor of love. Give constructive criticism to the exam prep team so they can make the exam better in the future. And, good luck!

We welcome you to take this exam during our JoomlaDay event, we hope to see you there.

 

Deploying Big Data for Security.

Screen Shot 2018-07-01 at 12.04.48

Many organisations today are revolving and relaying on information technology, to many of those and to myself, I like to say that we are in the United Nations of information Technology.

With that, every minute we face new threats, the banks are hacked, there is fake news and even a presidential election is compromised. In the world of Data, we are reminded Data drives decisions, but decisions now write world history.

Stolen or manipulated Data can be used to assassinate character or disrupt democracy. Thats the real problem, cybersecurity threats is making it difficult to make good decisions. Data is more, its becoming the bedrock of our economies.

And Data plays a big role in  our decision making and we have to make sure that its being protected. If Data is manipulated it can be turned to a weapon and that weapon used against us.

Many businesses already use Big Data for marketing and research, yet may not have the fundamentals right – particularly from a security perspective. As with all new technologies, security seems to be an afterthought at best.

Big Data breaches will be big too, with the potential for even more serious reputational damage and legal repercussions than at present.

A growing number of companies are using the technology to store and analyse petabytes of data including web logs, click stream data and social media content to gain better insights about their customers and their business.

As a result, information classification becomes even more critical; and information ownership must be addressed to facilitate any reasonable classification.

Most organisations already struggle with implementing these concepts, making this a significant challenge. We will need to identify owners for the outputs of Big Data processes, as well as the raw data.

Thus data ownership will be distinct from information ownership – perhaps with IT owning the raw data and business units taking responsibility for the outputs.

In the run-up to Africa Cybersecurity Summit on 27th and 28th of September, I will be doing articles on a wide range of topics that we will cover during the summit. This mainly for drumming up support for the summit. For more information about the summit please visit www.acssummit.org 

Big Data is good, but big Data with an insertion of bad Data is big problem for everyone.

Cici Has Four Puppies.

1047203d-30ba-4c8e-96a1-b9738697a138

A pregnant dog’s instincts will help her respond and get through birthing puppies. The owner should be aware of how to help the dog to make sure that the mother dog and puppies are healthy and safe.

This was not the case when Cici gave birth the first time. It was a wet month in Nairobi, and she choose the worst location to deliver her puppies. With my sisters we tried to relocate her and the kids, we didn’t succeed the first time, the second time and the third. I was wondering what I would do, so we let it go for a few days and when she had finally had enough, she agreed to be moved but it was too late, we lost one puppy and one was very weak to survive.

Sadly we later leant that even the two puppies had died after we moved Cici, so we moved on and so did Cici. Bando, the male dog was still around and I think he did not waste time and Cici was expecting again a few months later. This February Cici gave birth again to four puppies.

I thought of doing an article on this event in Cici’s life, but I was scared what would happen, if it will be like the last time where we loose everything. My first step of faith was to move Bando upcountry, just to create more room for the kids to grow. My sister moved the puppies to the living room, so they enjoyed the light and i am sure they watched the television when they wanted to.

They roamed around the house as they wished, during the day we put them outside for the sun and they would feed while at it. My sisters put up with a lot of their troubles, sometimes I wonder if I would have managed it by myself. My mother dewormed them after six weeks and the whole house was in a mess. Its been four months now, the puppies are doing great.

I am sorry i am not the person to tell you how to care for an expecting dog and the puppies when they arrive, I had very little to do with that, but this experience has been my teacher too, just from a distance. But this few things I have for you:

Monitor the nursing puppies. Make sure the puppies are nursing every few hours during the first few weeks. They should eat every 2-4 hours at minimum. Happy puppies are sleeping puppies; if they are crying a lot, they may not be getting enough nutrition. Check for fat little bellies and clean coats to signal that they are well cared for.

  • Try weighing the puppies on a digital scale to make sure that they are gaining weight every day. Puppies should double their weight in the first week.
  • Do not disregard a puppy looking skinnier or less active than the other puppies. Just find ways of making sure that you give more care to them. You can give supplements.

Handle the puppies to socialize them. Puppies need healthy socialization to their new world, including introductions to people. Hold each puppy several times per day. Get the puppies accustomed to being touched everywhere on their bodies so that it will not seem strange when they are older.

Wait until your puppies are 8 weeks old before giving them away.  Our puppies are more that 8 weeks old now and we haven’t given them away. If you are selling or giving away the puppies, wait until they are 8 weeks old before handing them over to the new owners.

  • Puppies should be fully weaned and eating dog food on their own before they leave for a new home.
  • Starting a deworming and vaccination program is often recommended before the pup leaves.

I have said I may not be the expert for this, this I have observed from my little time with the puppies. There is a lot you can learn from just caring for this lovely creation, and with the caring, comes a lot of joy.

 

The Spirit of Travel on Madaraka Express.

How-to-Book-SGR-Madaraka-Express-Train-Seat-using-Safaricom-Code-639

The Madaraka express leaves Nairobi terminus at 2:30pm, we are on schedule. It is a beautiful day to fly but the train will do the work just fine. It will be 5 hours or 7:20pm local time is when we arrive in Mombasa terminus. Gone are the days, gone are the days…..I say to my self.

My first travel to Mombasa I had just finished high school, I was looking forward to something great, something of the future. Apart from me finishing school, something else had happened, that thing, that threatened to get me in a police cell was the reason my mother put me in a Mombasa bound bus. But I tell you, this is a story for another day.

A while back it took many hours to travel to this coastal town, to a common man whom flying was unthinkable luxury, they had to put in the time. Today things are different, thanks to the debt hole we as a country dug for ourselves. Its a fact that for at $5.6m per kilometre for the track alone, Kenya’s railway line cost close to three times the international standard and four times the original estimate.

So it is perhaps not surprising that Kenyans have been asking why they seem to have paid so much. But that is a story for another day, today I just want to have a feel of this mega expensive project. Luckily the damage for me is kshs2.1 per kilometre and I want to see if every shilling counts. Its a slow start from Nairobi, suddenly the Athi River station is behind us, we head to Emali. This is an express train so we are not stopping at the small stations.

The guys hawking the snacks are live, in-fact my feeling is that food is the business not travel. At this point I don’t like my  aisle seat, with my wife seated on the opposite row its difficult to be affectionate when people are busy on the move. The seats are not very comfortable but never mind if you booked on second class, first class would be better. But the people making the seats should have done better I think.

By the time we arrive in Emali i am already on my feet. My wife is even making fun of me, my body has had enough already. I am also wondering if the train can be faster, maybe maintain 114km per hour for at-least two hours. But never mind me, I am not a train captain and I even don’t know how it works.

At some point we meet with the train that left Mombasa at 3:30pm, then the train slows down as we approach Tsavo, and at this point we are able to spot some elephants and other wild animals from a distance.

saltlick4

The train keeps rolling and sunset engulf us, and I know we should be approaching Mariakani then Mombasa our last station.  Our speed reduces to 34 KM an hour as we pass Mariakani station, headed to our last Station. We arrive Mombasa terminus 7:20pm, I am still standing. I have been standing better part of the way.

A sea of humanity pour out of the train to the empty station, the smell of Mombasa, the heat welcomes us with a smile. The weather app said there will be rain, it lied. Finding ourselves to our respective mode of transportation to the city, I think about how things have changed for the traveller.

One of my seat mate on the train is a frequent traveller between Nairobi and Mombasa, and he finds the train really useful. This means that when the government does things that improve the life and work of its citizen, they thrive. I agree with many that the government should have done more, done better, but for now “it is what it is”

The Horseshoe on the Car.

“Because horseshoes are tools designed to protect the horse’s fragile hooves from the harsh paved roads – so they protect everything they touch”.

horseshoe

My fast car had it and now my second car has it, Its in my house and I have given it to my sister and it hugs in her kitchen. My wife and my friend don’t understand whats up with the horseshoe, she expressed her shock when she saw it on the car.

Many believe the origin of the lucky horseshoe can be traced back to an old legend about Saint Dunstan.

Saint Dunstan (924-988) is the patron saint of blacksmiths, goldsmiths, jewellers, locksmiths, musicians and the blind. He was a reformer, statesman, abbot, and archbishop of the tenth century in England. The feast day of Saint Dunstan is May 19th.

There are several very old legends about Saint Dunstan and the Devil. Most stories tell the tale of how Saint Dunstan constantly was tempted to do wrong by the Devil disguised as a beautiful woman.

Saint Dunstan was a brilliant blacksmith. One story refers to his exceptional talent as a blacksmith. The Devil was hard at work trying to win Saint Dunstan over. On one occasion the Devil corned Saint Dunstan and made him promise to nail a horseshoe on the Devil’s horse.

Saint Dunstan pretended to agree on taking on this task. The devil stood close by to make sure Saint Dunstan was true to his word. Saint Dunstan then suddenly grabbed hold of the Devil’s foot and with strong determination nailed the horseshoe on the foot of the Devil instead of his horse.

The devil screamed as the pain was horrific. The Devil in extreme agony begged Saint Dunstan to remove the horseshoe.

Saint Dunstan agreed to remove the horseshoe from the Devil’s foot under one condition; the devil was to swear never to enter any house that had a horseshoe hanging by the door. The Devil agreed instantly.

Where I come from people have different beliefs but horseshoes is not one of them, but on the other side we are integrated by the Asian community, very open, very different, very horseshoes believers.

A brand new shoe hasn’t protected anything yet, while an old worn out one has done its job and can move on to spreading luck somewhere else. We’ve had people knock on our door asking if we had an old horseshoe to put on their new cars!

IMG_4577

But there are other more convoluted “rules” to make sure the horseshoe is as lucky as possible:

  • It must be have been worn by a horse previously, as I said already, and the longer the better. You can tell a shoe that stayed on for a long time from one that was lost soon after applying because it will have nearly paper thin areas, ragged edges, scrapes, bumps and a good deal of rust on only one side (the one NOT touching the ground). Grungy is lucky!
  • The shoe must be nailed with the open side up (like the letter “U”) otherwise the “luck will fall off” and be wasted. Best if nailed above a door or in the front bumper of a vehicle; something about the shoe being the first thing one sees when getting home and the first part the vehicle that arrives anywhere.
  • The luckiest of all lucky horseshoes come from the LEFT HIND foot of a GREY MARE (female horse). Don’t ask me where that one comes from, it’s just tradition.

That is why the horseshoe forever more will keep evil out of the home, according to this old legend. No matter what the reasons may be there is no doubt that the horseshoe remains an everlasting symbol of good luck.

Do you have your own good luck horseshoe?

Is Working at Home the Future?

working-from-home

In recent days Nairobi has found itself in a wet weather situation, and when it rains, it pours. There is something I have never understood about this city, things almost get to a stand still when it rains. We have seen crazy traffic in the morning and evenings, some commuters getting home in the. Middle of the night.

Last Thursday I called a friend of mine at 10am, she answered the phone in bed. She stretched and from a distance I had the bed crack, (I know she needs a new bed) but that is besides the point. We talked for a few seconds, and suddenly she was confirming what we were talking about on google.

If you are like me you know how cold or how warm a bed can be, it all depends with your investment. Today it poured the whole night and morning. Truth be told, the best time to have people work from their houses, just like my friend.

I have researched on a few organizations who have invested in systems that will make it easy for their employees to work remotely but still operate on a colonial mindset. Even though they have paid top dollar for the system, they imagine that you struggling to wake up in a cold wet morning, driving through a river like road and getting to work three hours later in part of your job description.

Why then would they care to have all this if its not put to work, even the United Nations still want to bus thousands of employees to Gigiri and still have programmes on reducing carbon emission.

I hope in the coming week some of you will visit the European Union office in Nairobi, which encourages people to work remotely. The boss says “don’t come to work if you don’t have shit to do” but still pays your salary at the end of the month.

But I will not end without saying this, if your work is cutting Kidero grass on Uhuru highways….and I say this with a lot of love, you gotta get to that shit. But if you are they guy posting how grass is being cut on Uhuru highway on the Governor’s FB page, that shit you can do it without leaving your bed. If you think people can not work while in bed, ask my friend, stretching in bed at 10am on a Thursday, she picked my call, she checked it on google and we were in business.

Before she hang-up she said she will mpesa 6 grants, am still waiting.

But there are a whole host of other benefits to home working, particularly from a health and wellbeing perspective. Below, we look at the seven reasons why home working is the future.

1. Reduction in commuting time

Not only is commuting often stressful and unpleasant, it also take up time that could otherwise be spent working or doing something else productive.

Employees who can work from home will also spend less money on petrol or train fares, which may give them less of an incentive to ask for a salary boost to cover travel expenses.

2. More productivity

Many people who work from home claim to be more productive because they’re not in a loud environment or distracted by co-workers.

In fact, according to a Canada Life survey, homeworkers rank their productivity as 7.7/10, compared with 6.5/10 for office workers.

A spokesperson for employment agency Reed said: “There are some obvious advantages of working from home that you’ve probably heard before – avoid the nightmare commute, work in your PJs – but the benefits go beyond that.

“Working from home can really help to increase your productivity, as the absence of office distractions makes it easier to keep your head down and actually get your work done.”

3. Fewer sick days

The survey also found, unsurprisingly, that home workers took fewer days off sick than those based in the office.

Employees working in an office took on average 3.1 days of sick leave last year, whilst homeworkers only took 1.8 sick days, Canada Life found.

That’s because employees who have a cold or are mildly sick can still get work done at home, while office workers are more inclined to take the entire day off to avoid leaving the comfort of their home.

In addition, the better work-life balance means workers are less likely to get ill in the first place because their stress levels are typically lower.

While the benefits of working at home are endless, I have only picked a few, am sure out there depending on what you do, you will find it beneficial working at home or if you are an employer, or if you are an employee.

Loosening Visa Restrictions in Africa Will Promote Trade and Integration.

Screen Shot 2018-04-22 at 18.48.48

One World. What does that mean? To many this is just another phrase, to other countries they have seen the reality of it and are ripping the benefits big time while dealing with its consequences.

Open borders are expected to yield a number of global benefits. The majority of the benefits accrue to the migrants themselves, while some accrue to immigrant-receiving countries and immigrant-sending countries. But there are also other benefits of a more diffuse nature that are experienced throughout the world.

  • Double world GDP:World GDP will experience a one-time boost of about 50-150%
  • End of poverty: The GDP gains will be felt most by the world’s poorest, and absolute poverty will reduce dramatically. This will benefit the whole world, even those not living in poor countries, as there will, for instance, be fewer dangers of communicable diseases originating in these countries.
  • One world: As kinship and friendship networks spread across the world, this helps strengthen the ties between countries, leading to more trade and mutual gain, with less war and hostility. Cutting-edge ideas developed in one part of the world spread rapidly to others.
  • Innovation case for open borders: When people are free to move across borders, human capital can be allocated to more efficient uses, leading to greater innovation, much of which benefits the whole world due to the fundamentally non-rival nature of knowledge and ideas.
  • Peace case for open borders: Building upon the one world theme, more open borders would lead to more peace as people with friends and kins in and from specific other countries would be less likely to support wars against those countries.

I have always wondered why I need a visa to Visit Mozambique for example, with my Kenyan passport. In recent years, African countries have loosened visa restrictions on their neighbors in order to facilitate the free movement of people and goods, thus, regional integration has become a priority.

The continent is seeing a shift towards more free movement of people: In 2016, Africans did not need visas to travel to 22 percent of other African countries, compared to 20 percent in 2015. The small increase may indicate that the way forward will yield more visa openness, with African countries being more open to host African citizens from other countries.

foresight_2018_1-3a
This map shows East African countries are relatively more visa open than their African peers. Uganda grants visa on arrival to most African citizens and the remaining ones do not require a visa to enter the country caption

In early 2017, the African Development Bank, in collaboration with the African Union and the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Africa published the Africa Visa Openness Index Report, which ranks African countries based on their visa requirements regarding their fellow African countries. The score looks at whether a country requires visas from African citizens, may it be on arrival or otherwise. The larger the score, the more visa open the country is.

Visa requirements for Kenyan citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Kenya. As of February 2018, Kenyan citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 72 countries and territories, ranking the Kenyan passport 67th in terms of travel freedom (tied with Omani passport) according to the Henley Passport Index.

There are three different classifications concerning visa requirement. Visa required means a visa has to be obtained before departure. Visa on arrival means a visa has to be obtained upon arrival in the country. This includes filling out any visa application forms, paying the visa fee if applicable, and receiving a visa in a travel document. No visa required means that there is no visa needed either before departure or on arrival, with no entry authorization required to enter freely into the country. Entry procedures—such as filling out entry forms and receiving an entry stamp—are still mandatory.

Regional economic community (REC) scores are averages of country scores and reflect the individual openness of countries in the REC toward their fellow African countries. As a group, ECOWAS is more visa open than its fellow regional economic communities.

foresight_2018_1-3b

After the January 2017 publication of the Visa Openness Index, a list of countries and regional economic communities loosened their visa requirements. For instance, in November 2017, Kenya and Namibia announced that they would be issuing visas on arrival to all African citizens and the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) lifted visa requirements for citizens traveling within the regional block.

I recently learnt while planning for a business trip to Mozambique that I will have to pay for visa and visa processing fee. In 2017, Mozambique Government Announced 30-day Tourist Visas now Available at Borders for all Visitors. All visitors to Mozambique are now eligible for visas at borders equipped with the equipment necessary to issue biometric visas according to Mozambique government. 26 border posts have been issuing these visas since 2005. The big trouble here is that there has been considerable confusion regarding which country’s nationals were eligible with many Mozambican Embassies telling travellers that they must get them before travelling to Mozambique.

The information on the website is contrary to all the above, in fact the information on the website say that all Kenyan passport holders wishing to travel to Mozambique must get visas before departing Nairobi.

Screen Shot 2018-04-20 at 09.08.36

As a Kenyan citizen wishing to take advantage of free movement within Africa, I feel that African governments need to do more to promote trade and integration within the region. May times I have heard statements like African problems need African solutions, but Africa has closed herself within herself, meaning, she cannot access solutions that are within her.