Tuesday, March 15, 2005

How will you and I hustle and achieve our fullest potential when our 'leaders' have so much power which they use to cripple our efforts at everyturn?

Less than a decade ago there were only 300,000 phone
lines in Kenya (mostly in the hundreds of government corporations). This is
a
country of 30 Million people, all needing telecommunication
services
for
their business in farming, fishing,
transportation, schools,
hospitals, etc etc but who had no
access to this vital tool
because by
law, the cost of telecommunications
was kept so high
since only one company
was allowed to provide this
service to Kenyans.
The law has since changed, but
the struggle
to
get the government out of
the way of affordable telephony
for small
businesses and individuals,
continues...



By Noel Wandera

Mobile service provider Celtel Kenya yesterday blamed the Kenya Government for the prevailing high mobile telephone charges in East Africa.
The company’s CEO Gerhard May said although Celtel was ready to offer cheaper regional tariffs it had been prevented from doing so by the failure of Kenyan authorities to grant it a regional gateway licence.
"I have a very nice surprise in my pocket for our clients and I hope that the Government will move with speed and grant us the licence," May said. He was speaking during the launch of Celtel’s new top up facility –open voucher.
He said Kenya was undermining efforts being made by service providers to enable East Africa’s mobile phone users to communicate at cheaper rates.
"Our sister companies in Uganda and Tanzania are ready. Everybody is waiting for us," he said.
"Technically, I can do it even in two days" he continued, even as he expressed frustration at making several trips between his office and that of the licensing authorities.
International mobile calls from Kenya are still being routed by Telkom Kenya despite an announcement by the Director-General of the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), Mr Sammy Kirui ,that mobile phone service providers would then be allowed to operate own international gateways.
Yesterday, May dampened the prospects of mobile phone users calling across the networks at cheaper rates, saying it would not become a reality until the gateway obstacle is removed.
The newly launched open voucher facility widens Celtel’s airtime value. Clients can top up their airtime accounts for any value ranging from Sh50 to Sh10,000.
The company first launched virtual top up services two months ago with Sh75 and Sh150 airtime values. Celtel’s Chief Marketing Officer Gilles Atayi said the move had added between 150,000 and 200,000 subscribers to the company’s client base.
"Research has shown that low denominations increased usage by customers," said May.
He announced that Celtel had upgraded its system to accommodate the extra demand.

Copyright- The Standard Group

1 comment:

Akinyi J. Arunga said...

BY John Oyuke


Cotu has supported a recent Government move to increase duty on used clothes, commonly referred to as mitumba.

The Central Organisation of Trade Unions also accused dealers in the imported used clothes of trying to force the Government to reduce tax on the goods.

The union’s Secretary-General, Mr Francis Atwoli, asked the Government not to reverse the decision and urged higher duty on all imported products that could be manufactured locally, including shoes.

"The Government stand is justified and will be beneficial to the economy of this country in the long-term," he said.

He noted that local textile industry had collapsed due to mitumba

Atwoli said yesterday that factories, which provided a living to many people such as Kicomi, Rivatex, Raymonds, KenKnit and Kenya Textile Mills (KTM), were subjected to unfair competition from mitumba until they collapsed for lack of protection.

"Cotu supports the Government on this matter. Not that the people who depend on mitumba are not important but because the textile industry will bring more economic value to this country in terms of development," he said.

He said the revival of the textile industry would result in more jobs, both directly and indirectly and give cotton farmers an opportunity to earn a living.

The new tariffs, imposed over a week ago, require traders to pay Sh60 for a kilogramme of clothes, up from Sh20. It will see traders paying Sh2 million in duty for a container of 550 bales weighing 24,750 kilogrammes — up from about Sh560,000 to Sh800,000.

The increase sparked angry demonstrations by traders in Nairobi and Mombasa.