Tuesday, March 31, 2015

With the hype around financial inclusion, MTN Uganda CEO, Brian Goulde, hints on joining in to increase financial inclusion across the country. He seeks to work with the regulator - the Central Bank to enable them (Telecom Companies) extend their services to reach the unbanked.

MTN Uganda boosts of about 8 million mobile money subscribers with 3.2million active monthly
Mobile Money has been and still is a a key drive of economy activity in Uganda. Telecoms joining the financial industry could play a fundamental role in increasing financial inclusion, however, it could be wise if they partnered with innovative and progressive financial institutions - not existing banks per say. This would allow the Telecoms to focus on their core business and allow innovation to happen, allowing startups with innovative and create services that reach people at the bottom of the pyramid. This means that Telecoms like MTN should allow these startups easy access to their Mobile Money API, so that innovation can be spurred.

Friday, January 9, 2015

How to become Rich and Stay Rich.

From an interview of 75 successful entrepreneurs, it is vital that for anyone to become and stay rich, they need to build a very strong foundation. Skipping this step is the reason why lottery winners go broke a few years after winning big and keeps so many hard working people from being able to make it big in their lives.

It is important that first and foremost, emphasis is placed in building this very strong foundation, and here are five ways to make this happen as shared by the successful entrepreneurs.

1. Mindset

“Mindset isn’t an important thing. It is the only thing.” - Mark Sieverkropp

The way you think about wealth and success is very key in making you reach for your goals. Thoughts lead to feelings, which lead to actions, which ultimately lead to results. The right mindset consists of confidence, awareness, and an attitude of massive success. The rich think big and view the world as abundant, while the vast majority of us, however, become our own greatest enemy and learn to see the world through a lens of scarcity and impossibility. We hold ourselves back from fulfilling our potential. It is not until we create the right mindset, attitude and beliefs that massive wealth and success will show up in our lives.

2. Network

“Your network; that is the #1 key to your success.” - David Wood

Who you surround yourself with will play a significant role into who you become. To create great success you need people who can support you, challenge you and hold you accountable. You need people that can push you, teach you and inspire you to great heights. Trying to make great wealth on your own is not just going to happen, every successful person you can think of had people around them that were of great support and strength to them. So if you do one thing after reading this post, do this: improve your network, join offline and online groups that can add value to you, find people doing what you want to do, this will help you go further faster.

3. Habits

“Know what you’re doing with your money. If you can’t manage what you’ve got, you can’t manage more. When you get your foundational money habits down, you’ll be able to expand.” –Ann Wilson 

Habits create results! It is important to develop certain habits and routines that will be essential in making you rich and staying that way. Develop financial discipline, understand your productivity times be productive, read and stay ahead of anyone doing what you are doing.

4. Knowledge

“Wealth is something that can’t be taken away. I have a wealth of knowledge, and that is where true power lies.” –John Dumas

Before you earn, you have to learn. Countless experts highlighted in the book (including myself) started off in the corporate world before they eventually ventured off to be their own boss. It’s a great career path for many as you get paid to learn. It’s hard to start something from scratch. What you need are experience and knowledge and then there are thousands of opportunities in front of you. Once you have knowledge and combine that with taking action, that is when you have absolute power. Remember, learning never stops.

5. Finances

“Become the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of your own life.” - J.D. Roth

The last part of having a strong foundation consists of having your finances in order, which include having no debt, the right protection (i.e insurance if necessary), and an emergency fund. Debt is “a parasite to wealth” as Ann Wilson calls it in the book, and it restrains millions from ever getting ahead with their finances. Getting out of debt is the first major step towards being financially free. In addition, the only thing you can expect is for the unexpected to occur. So, you have to be prepared. Insurance, or an emergency fund, are the key ways to be prepared. It is prudent to keep at least $1,000 in cash on you and perhaps 6 months worth of expenses in an easily accessible account in case you lose your job, or other unfortunate things happen. Expect challenges and surprises and be ready for them so they do not deter you from achieving your goals.

Build each of these five aspects of the foundation and you will be able to go further faster in achieving your dreams and becoming rich.

Content Credit: Austin Netxley as shared on under30ceo.com 

Image Credit: shutterstock.com

Saturday, August 16, 2014

East African countries agree on a One-Network telecom area.

Four East African countries of Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan have agreed on a regional telecommunications framework to establish a “One-Network-Area” by 31st December 2014. According to reports, when fully operational, charges on phones calls within the region could drop by up to 60 percent. Subscribers travelling within the region will be charged as local subscribers in the visited country network. The subscriber will only incur prevailing calling rates of the visited network similar to what local subscribers pay. The One-Network-Area is being implemented following a directive of the 5th Heads of State Summit held in Kenya back in May 2014. At another summit in Rwanda on July 03, the leaders expressed satisfaction with progress. Regional line-ministries were directed to ensure the following: Exemption of regional calls from surcharges applied by member states on international incoming calls. No additional charges to subscribers on account of roaming within the region. And no charges for receiving calls while roaming within. Rwanda Minister for Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana said: “Regional telecoms and governments need to work together to achieve seamless roaming in the Northern Corridor which comprises Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan.” Nasasira, Uganda’s Minister of ICT said: “It is important that our regional telecom operators work together to make this communication milestone a reality.” Operators within the region shall be required to re-negotiate their bilateral agreements to ensure the full implementation of the One-Network Area by 1st September 2014 for Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda and 31st December 2014 for South Sudan. Dr. Matiang’i, the Cabinet Secretary, Kenya’s Ministry of ICT said the telecom industry has to come together to establish a permanent platform that allows the sector to grow to benefit consumers. The launch of the One-Network-Area will abolish roaming charges among the four countries. There will also be a significant drop in cost of calls within Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan and Kenya by an average of 60%. Data also shows that border trade and exchanges will boom – with citizens able to use their regular SIM cards for calls while traveling in the corridor. Initially, customers were forced to buy several SIMs to use in different states. Currently, the cost of regional roaming is higher than the cost of calling international destinations like Europe. The article first appeared on IT News Africa -www.itnewsafrica.com.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Uganda now has 17.6 mobile money users - a 46% increase

Uganda has registered a 46% increase in mobile money accounts from the last financial year according to the Charles Abuka, the Director of of Financial Stability Department at Bank of Uganda. "The registered users have have risen 46% from 12.1 million in the financial year that ended June 2013 to 17.6 million in June 2014," He said. Mobile money was introduced in Uganda in 2009 and the service has grown exponentially with active users being more than 4 times the bank account holders. Abuka also said that there were 445.7 million transactions valued at UGX 22.2 trillion (USD 8.8bn).

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Mobile Money without borders!

The East African Community (EAC) is working on creating a platform that will enable her population to send and receive money within and across boarders of the community countries. This was revealed by Godfrey Kyama the e-banking advisor to the Commonwealth, during a presentation at Tech4Africa Conference in Nairobi, Kenya. He said the platform will be ready in about a year's time. This platform will enable easy money transfer and therefore lessen the cost of doing business in the region. People will also be able to pay for goods and services from wherever they are in the region. The central banks will be responsible for approving the exchange rates that will be used. This is good news for developers and financial institutions trying to expand across the region, and definitely a winner for customers who are looking for something that can solve their financial challenges.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

What financial inclusion means

This story of constance gives us a glimpse into what financial inclusion means for her and the 2.5 billion people across the world that are financially excluded. At enjuba Credit, we seek to be part of the solution, providing such services as savings accounts (real savings accounts) through the mobile phone - so the bank is in your hands, credit services, cash when it is needed for both individuals and businesses as well as insurance as buffer in case of uncertainties.

Monday, June 16, 2014

3 key people skills for business and life

Businesses, like everything else in life is about relationships. How you manage those relationship, how likeable and believable you are in that relationship will determine whether it will grow or die. People who like to hang around people they like, and to be liked, it means you have to possess some characteristics, mainly integrity, reliability and empathy. Integrity, means doing what is right, even if it is unpopular or no one is watching. Everyone desires to work with someone who is honest and consistent in what they say and do. It is a rare quality, but it is possible, because you can work on attaining it, by consistently doing what is right in small things whether alone or in public. The second part is reliability; in business, like in other relationships, people deal with those they think to be responsible and dependable. Customers expect to receive the same quality service/product all the time, every time. They like to have a sense of security and certainty that comes from being able to count on someone and they will be willing to pay more for it. It is therefore key to work on building a reputation of reliability and dependability. Under promise and over deliver all the time, and if you can't deliver, communicate in time. This will win you lots of customers. Lastly, empathy; the ability to relate to someone else’s situation. Enduring relationships are always built on this characteristic. It always has to do with listening, putting yourself in the other person's shoes, and sharing a personal story if you relate. Empathy is a life skill that needs practise in reacting less, listening more and considering other people's feelings when making decisions. With these, the chances that you will be more likeable increase much more, and that means, more relationships and more customers and more business.