NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 20 - Jubilee Holdings Company is eyeing rapid expansion of its insurance business in Africa, targeting to move into 15 new markets.
The company, which is listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange, is looking to move into the West, Central and Southern Africa regions within the next five years.
Jubilee Insurance Kenya Chief Executive Patrick Tumbo said on Thursday, the move forms part of the company's strategy to become a Pan-African insurer.
"In Northern Africa we want to go to Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. In the west coast, we are eying Ivory Coast, Mali, Burkina Faso and in the East coast, we are remaining with Malawi and Zambia. We even want to go into Zimbabwe," he said.
Jubilee Holdings is part of the Aga Khan Development Group, which has a 37 percent stake. Regionally, Jubilee Holdings is listed at Uganda Securities Exchange.
He was speaking during the signing of a partnership agreement with Paynet Kenya that will allow Jubilee customers to pay their insurance premiums through PesaPoint ATMs countrywide.
Mr Tumbo said the partnership was aimed at easing premium payments for life insurance policyholders who form a bulk of the company's clients.
He said Jubilee plans to leverage on technology as it seeks to boost its current 10 percent market share.
"We plan to increase insurance penetration which is at 2.83 percent which is still too low by making it more accessible to people," he said.
PesaPoint currently has 46 ATMs across the country and has partnered with 29 financial institution as well as M-PESA and Airtel Money offering policyholders an array of options through which to pay their premiums.
Mr Tumbo said along with the strategic partnership the company had also invested $400,000 (Sh32.4 million) on a new web system that would streamline its revenue collection with benefits such as auto-payment updating, lower reconciliation costs and reduced transaction costs.
"The system will further reduce incidences of fraud and increase convenience for customers, enhancing Jubilee's competitive edge in the market," he said.
Paynet Chief Executive Officer Bernard Mathewman said the company was gearing for a massive expansion program for its ATM network.
"This is the year for PesaPoint where we are really going to be spreading. In the next six months, you will see profound difference in where we are available. Forty six (ATMs) sounds good but we are nowhere near where we want to be," Mr Mathewman said.
Community Malaria Program Set for Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique
Arsenio Manhice from Mozambique reports on a program that will be launched shortly in the northern part of the country …
More than 100,000 people are covered by the Program of Communities against Malaria (PCM) to be launched in Pemba-Metuge in Cabo Delgado Province, northern Mozambique, on Monday, December 20.
The act will be directed by the provincial governor, Elisha Machava and will be attended by the Interim Director of USAID as well as representatives of Mozambique and the Aga Khan Foundation of Advancement Organization supporting the initiative.
Among the population of the nine communities of the province, estimated at about 396 000 people, about 87 000 and 500 children under five and pregnant women and 21 000 and 700 people living with HIV and AIDS will benefit from the program in allusion.
The PCM is a partnership between the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) with Mozambique Aga Khan Foundation (AKF Mozambique), the Progress Organization and the Ministry of Health (MOH). This program will run for three years and will be implemented in nine districts of Cabo Delgado Province.
The districts were selected based on their health indicators, malaria, poverty, lack of community interventions and firm long term commitment, the AKF and Progress, to develop these areas.
The purpose of PCM is to reduce morbidity and mortality caused by malaria in Mozambique, particularly among pregnant women, children under five and other vulnerable groups of population in the districts of Quissanga, Meluco, Ibo, Pemba Metuge, Macomia, Mueda, Nangade, and Muidumbe Ancuabe.
The program was designed in collaboration with all key stakeholders and specifically aims “to broaden the scope and coverage of existing interventions, while making the local capacity for sustained control of malaria” in Mozambique
The total program cost is $ 1,625,997 (one million, six hundred twenty-five thousand, nine hundred ninety-seven U.S. dollars), of which USAID provided $ 1,482,502 (one million four hundred and eighty-two thousand, five hundred and two U.S. dollars), and will be co-financed by U.S. $ 143,495 (one hundred forty-three thousand, four hundred ninety-five U.S. dollars) of nongovernmental funds.
Nation Media Group lists on Dar bourse
22nd February 2011
The Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange has a new member: Kenya’s Nation Media Group, which cross-listed 157 million shares for trading yesterday.
With the development, the publishing firm’s shares are now available in four of the five East African Community partner states – Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. The fifth, Burundi, is yet to set up a capital market.
According to NMG chairman Wilfred Kiboro, the company was founded by His Highness The Aga Khan five decades ago and has been making profits and paying its shareholders dividends for 40 years now.
“The cross-listing exercise is therefore not meant to help us raise money since we are a debt-free company – having made profits during the past 40 years…. We only want to give a chance for Tanzanians to own part of this huge company,” he said, in remarks read on his behalf.
Finance and Economic Affairs deputy minister Gregory Teu, who graced the landmark event, appealed to more companies to list at the 14-year-old bourse and thus give a chance to the Tanzanian public to own shares there.
DSE governing council deputy chairman Pius Maneno noted that NMG was the first media firm to list at the bourse and called on more to do so.
He cited the benefits enjoyed by DSE-listed companies as including zero rate on capital gains tax, lower corporate tax, and zero per cent stamp duty on transactions executed at the bourse.
Dignitaries at the luncheon held at a Dar es Salaam hotel yesterday to mark the cross-listing included members of the diplomatic corps, capital markets experts, NMG business partners and media owners, who were represented by Media Owners Association of Tanzania (MOAT) chairman Reginald Mengi.
Mengi, who is also IPP Executive Chairman, said in brief remarks at the function that NMG’s presence in Tanzania was a healthy development that contributed to the enhancement of professionalism and integrity in the country’s media.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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Jubilee Holdings’ pretax profit grows by an impressive 84 pc
Jubilee Holdings has reported 84 per cent profit before tax in the period ended December 31, 2010.
It also announced plans to open two subsidiaries each year in its efforts to consolidate the African market.
The profits, including that of its two subsidiaries in Uganda and Tanzania, improved to Sh2.05 billion from Sh1.1 billion the previous year.
“Our improvement was driven by the region’s strong economic growth, besides the insurer’s ability to pay claims faster,” said board chairman, Nizar Juma.
During the year under review, the listed company’s assets grew to Sh31.6 billion in 2010, from Sh24.8 billion in 2009.
Total premium increased to Sh11.9 billion during the year under review from Sh9 billion the previous year.
Its underwriting profits rose from Sh367 million in 2009 to Sh523 million in 2010.
Speaking in Nairobi on Friday, Mr Nizar said directors have recommended a total dividend of Sh5.50 per share, a 110 per cent rise from the previous period. Earnings per share will increase from Sh18 to Sh37.
The company declared a bonus share issue in the ratio 1: 10, as part of the celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary, to be held in August this year.
It registered a 33 per cent growth in its general business, 23 per cent in medical business and 43 per cent in life business. Its portfolio increased by 28 per cent during the same year.
Life insurance recorded a growth of 42 per cent while short-term businesses improved by 24 per cent. The two segments contributed 33 per cent growth in the general business of the company.
At the start of 2011, the listed company opened a subsidiary in Burundi and restarted the Mauritius office.
“We intend to consolidate market leadership in Kenya and invest in a new operating system and new customer service capabilities,” he said.
With a subsidiary in Ivory Coast, which is undergoing a political crisis, the insurer will add four markets in West Africa, both in the French and English speaking countries.
Mr Nizar explained: “We want to add between 2 and 3 new subsidiaries each year and hope that by 2014, we will be in 14 African countries."
On the Public Service Vehicle business, the insurer’s chief executive officer, Patrick Tumbo, said they have introduced terms that prospective customers have to abide by.
“We write the cover on our own terms, which spells that the vehicle must be fully compliant with the set out regulations,” Mr Tumbo said.
The company also expects to open eight additional agency offices in the Rift Valley, Western and Central Provinces, while it intends to open six of them in Tanzania.
Devex Top 40 Development Innovators
Aga Khan Development Network: ‘Without Regard to Their Faith, Origin or Gender’
The Aga Khan Development Network was selected as a Devex Top 40 Development Innovator based on a poll of thousands of global development professionals who are part of Devex, the largest network of aid and relief workers in the world.
Announced on April 18, Devex Top 40 Development Innovators is an impressive listing of the world’s leading donor agencies & foundations, development consulting companies, implementing NGOs, and advocacy groups.
We asked each of the Innovators four questions to learn how they stay ahead to the curve and tackle old development challenges in new ways. Here’s how AKDN responded:
‘Improving living conditions and opportunities for the poor, without regard to their faith, origin or gender’
If you had to condense it to just one or two sentences, overall, what is it that makes your organization innovative?
Before beginning work, the agencies of the AKDN ask communities to identifiy their own priorities rather than deciding how the development process should start – in the belief that local people have a better grasp of their own needs than any external organisation. Secondly, AKDN integrates culture with social and economic initiatives, reflecting the idea that culture can play a catalytic role in bringing about broad, positive change.
Can you provide a specific example of something your organization has done that is particularly innovative?
The notion of “cultural fit” is important to AKDN in all of its projects. The Madrassa Early Childhood development program, for example, arose out of a concern expressed by Muslim parents in Mombasa, Kenya, that their children were falling behind. At the parents’ request, the Aga Khan Foundation designed a culturally appropriate and self-sustaining early childhood education model that augmented, rather than supplanted, existing Koranical instruction in poor and remote communities. The programme now operates in over 500 schools in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
Likewise, in the Kyrgyz Republic, a “jailoo” kindergarten program (“jailoo” means summer pasture) allowed semi-nomadic children to keep up with their urban counterparts.
In Madagascar, a successful foundation rice program does not impose particular rice cultivation methods, but offers a range of inputs and techniques which farmers combine with local culture and knowledge to find the best results for their contexts.
Looking ahead 10 years, what are some of the innovations in international development that your organization wants to be a part of?
Future development will have to take regional approaches that do not stop at national borders but tackle development in broad geographic areas that often cross national boundaries. In northern Afghanistan, for example, it is easier to trade with Tajiks across their border than with Afghan towns across several mountain ranges. To this end, AKDN has built three bridges (and is building two more) across the Panj river, has worked on regional health programs and has channeled hydropower from Tajikistan to northern Afghanistan. Similar programs operate in Africa.
Another trend is integrated development. Recognizing that single innovations or single disciplines applied in isolation rarely make a lasting impact on the overall quality of life led AKDN to the conclusion that sustained positive change is the result of a range of integrated efforts in social, economic and cultural development – applied over longer periods than typical funding cycles and coordinated with a broad range of partners, from government to the private sector to civil society.
One factor in driving innovation at any organization is the talent you hire and the partnerships you make. How does your organization take into account innovation when it comes to cultivating talent and partners?
Innovation is important to the development process, but it has to be innovation that leads to results and which is adapted to its context – innovation that has a “cultural fit.” So it is important to approach development with some humility and sensitivity to the local context. Sensitivity of this type can also make the difference between acceptance of new innovations or a rejection.
Check out the full listing of all Devex Top 40 Development Innovators on Facebook.
Mozambique to start exporting textiles to the United States
April 19th, 2011 News
Matola, Mozambique, 19 April – Mozambique’s Moztex factory (formerly Texlom) is et to export, as of next May, clothing items “Made in Mozambique” to the United States, said the ambassador for Mozambique and the Portuguese-speaking countries of the Aga Khan Development Network, Nazim Ahmad, Sunday in Matola.
Speaking to Mozambican news agency AIM, Ahmad said that the deal was in its final stages and that all that was left to do was establish the quantities that would be exported to the US market.
Moztex currently exports exclusively to South Africa which received thousands of items of clothing on a weekly basis with a “Made in Mozambique” label. The raw material for producing the clothing is purchased from China.
If the deal goes ahead, Moztex will have to invest to increase its capacity by installing more machines and hiring more staff, which may imply investment of US$5 million.
According to Ahmad, the Aga Khan Network plans to increase the profitability of the Moztec facilities by introducing other industrial activities, which he did not specify.
According to information gathered by AIM Moztec has exported around 500,000 items of clothing to South Africa since production began at the factory.
In Mozambique, the AKDN has interests in Cabo Delgado and Maputo provinces, where, as well as the Polana Serena hotel and Moztec, it owns the Aga Khan Academy Professional Development Centre. (macauhub)
An average of 70 workers, a total of five hundred workers have missed work daily in Moztex (ex Texlom) - garment manufacturing factory - owned by the Aga Khan Network. The factory in Matola, and has the entrance to the N4 highway linking Mozambique to South Africa;
Maputo (Canalmoz) - An average of 70 workers, a total of five hundred workers have missed work daily in Moztex (ex Texlom) - garment manufacturing factory - owned by the Aga Khan Network for Development in Mozambique and countries Portuguese speaking countries. It is considered that the causes are many and there are several problems at the root of it. Lack of transport is in the role of the causes of absenteeism.
At work Moztex 500 workers, of whom 90% are women.
Ambassador Network Aga Khan, Nazim Ahmad said that the faults are mainly related to lack of transportation, according to the evidence of their own workers. This demonstrates the pernicious effects of the height of the crisis in the transport sector.
Nazim Ahmad also said that the justifications given by those who miss work, plus disease (which were not typed) of the workers themselves or their children and other family members or their direct dependents.
"On average, there are 70 fouls per day and the reasons given are the transportation difficulties, illnesses or their kids," Nazim Ahmed.
To reverse absenteeism, patronage equates open a creche for children of workers in general.
Concerns about shortages of manpower was expressed yesterday by Nazim Ahmad. This spoke to the press after a delegation led by Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Kenneth Marizane have visited that factory making clothing in the province of Maputo, Matola more properly, the N4 road to Ressano Garcia / Komatipoort, in South Africa
The delegation, which was the Labour Inspectorate, and other civil society bodies, climbed the Moztex because of complaints made by industrial workers. They claim they are working in poor conditions, lack of employment contracts and work more than eight hours per day.
The coordinator of Moztex, Alida Amade, denied the occurrence of the problems reported by the mass labor. When the workload, said there was no overtime, except where there is more work, but even so the workers are paid for it.
Alida Amade said that his factory employs 500 workers, of whom 90% are women. The current monthly salary is 2,500 Meticais, including discounts for the Institute of Social Security. The non-contracted, or still in training, receive subsidies ranging from 1000 to 1500 Meticais per month.
Contrary to what the workers reported to the local government, Ambassador Network Aga Khan said there was equipment for protection against accidents that may arise during labor. Moreover, Nazim Ahmad spoke of the existence of an infirmary equipped to administer first aid.
However, Nazim Ahmad admitted that there is lack of fans, although the nature of work requires that they exist.
At the end of the visit, the Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Kenneth Marizane, thought there were severe injuries. In his view, the plant is fully operational. What are the expectations of workers' grievances, something normal for businesses that are starting, justified. (Emildo Sambo)
Kenya's Jubilee to spend $40 mln on expansion
Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:15am GMT
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By Kevin Mwanza
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya's Jubilee Holdings plans to invest $40 million by the end of 2012 to fund an expansion across Africa over the next two years, its Chairman said on Wednesday.
Nizar Juma told Reuters the Nairobi-listed insurance company, which launched operations in Mauritius and Burundi earlier this year, would aim to move into at least two more markets in 2011 and at least another two next year.
Jubilee Holdings already operates in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania but is seeking to tap new markets across the continent.
"We are looking at seven markets actively at the moment. The seven are in east, central and west Africa, but we are also looking at north Africa," Juma said in an interview.
"The capital requirements are between $4-5 million in each new market. That is (approximately) $40 million because it just doesn't finish with the capital requirement."
From motor insurance to health cover, insurance providers and private equity groups see huge potential in the rapidly expanding sector, especially among the continent's fast emerging middle class.
Juma expects the company to recover its new investments within the first two to three years of operation and hopes its links with the Aga Khan Development Network -- a grouping of private development agencies -- to smooth entry.
"Fortunately, as a part of the Aga Khan Development Network there are already other Aga Khan businesses existing in some of these countries. That makes our job easier," said Juma.
Included among the countries Jubilee Holdings is considering are Rwanda, Southern Sudan, Egypt and Ivory Coast.
"We are looking closely at two markets in North Africa and some of the markets in West Africa," said Juma, adding that Jubilee was keen to start companies from scratch rather than acquire existing ones.
Jubilee expects profit to grow by at least 35 percent in 2011 with a focus on the personal insurance market.
"In the last six years we have grown by an average of 35 percent each year. We would certainly not grow less than that this year," said Juma.
"We are always looking at areas which will open mass markets for us."
Juma said the insurance regulator's move to increase the minimum capital base for insurers was a late move and it should consider allowing bank assurance in Kenya, which accounts for 70 percent of Jubilee's revenue.
"It is important that regulators and government agree to bank assurance, because its from this that we will be able to get volume penetration of the market," said Juma.
Maputo — A Mozambican government delegation, headed by the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Kenneth Marizane, on Sunday visited the Moztex clothing factory, in the southern city of Matola, following denunciations by Moztex workers of abuses by the management.
The accusations, made to Maputo Provincial Governor Maria Jonas, include lack of written labour contracts, shifts lasting for more than the eight hours established by law, wage injustice and deplorable working conditions.
In light of the seriousness of the accusations, Marizane's delegation included Labour Ministry inspectors, social welfare officials, and representatives of the trade union movement.
Moztex is owned by the Aga Khan Foundation for Development, and it operates out of the premises of what was once a gigantic textile company, Texlom, which collapsed over a decade ago.
The government team could see that Moztex is taking measures to protect its workforce. The workers have face masks to prevent them from inhaling dust and fibres, and the sewing machines are protected to avoid work accidents.
The factory employs 500 people, 90 per cent of them women. Moztex coordinator Alida Amade said the workers do have written contracts, and their monthly wage is 2,500 meticais (about 82 US dollars). This wage is miserably low, but it is not illegal. Three per cent of the workers' wages is deducted for social security contributions.
But only those who are actually working at the factory receive 2,500 meticais a month. Amade said that those who are still undergoing training merely receive an allowance that ranges between 1,000 and 1,500 meticais a month. She believed that this had not been properly explained to the workers, hence the claim that monthly wages ranged between 1,500 and 2,500 meticais.
"When we recruit workers, they first must go through a six month training period", said Amade. "During this period we pay an allowance which in the first phase is 1,000 meticais a month, and in the second phase 1,500. When these workers move into production, they receive wages just like the others".
Amade said the working day is from 07.00 to 17.00 with an hour's lunch break between 12.00 and 13.00. There is no overtime unless an exceptional volume of work demands it, and she claimed that when that happens, the workers are duly remunerated.
The ambassador for the Aga Khan Development Network in Mozambique, Nazim Ahmad, said that the factory insures its workers against accidents, and is equipping a first aid unit.
He accepted the concerns about working conditions in Moztex, since it becomes stiflingly hot inside the factory. He promised that fans and other air conditioning equipment would soon be installed.
To reduce the high rate of absenteeism among its overwhelmingly female workforce, a creche will be set up, Ahmad promised, so that mothers can bring their children to work.
For their part, the workers told the government they want a wage rise, and better working conditions. This includes the company providing breakfast, since they leave their homes early and make their way to the factory without eating anything.
At the end of his visit, Marizane said that the factory is working correctly. He said that difficulties in meeting expectations were only to be expected at the start of any activity. He called for dialogue between the workers and the company management to solve existing problems and avoid future conflicts.
"One way to solve your problems is to work hard", he said. "If you work, the company will make higher profits and thus will be able to offer better wages and working conditions. You should be committed and stop inventing excuses for not coming to work".
Currently there is no union at Moztex, and Marizane urged the workers to set up a trade union branch which could negotiate on their behalf.
Jessica Gune, general secretary of the National Union of Chemical and Allied Workers, assured him that steps to establish a branch of her union at Moztex are well advanced. She said training activities are being prepared so that the workers will understand their rights and duties under Mozambican labour legislation.
Most of the clothing produced by Moztex is exported to South Africa. From the start of production in September 2009 up to December 2010, the company put about 500,000 items of clothing on the South African market.
Because of the demands made by the South African client, the raw material is imported from China.
A consignment of 30,000 items of clothing should be dispatched to South Africa on Tuesday. It has been rumoured that these clothes bear labels saying "Made in South Africa" or "Made in Kenya", but Marizane could watch as labels stating "Made in Mozambique" were sewn into the clothes.
Moztex hopes to export clothes to the United States under AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) as from May. According to Ahmad, the deal is almost finalized, and the company is now awaiting a firm figure for how much clothing its potential American clients wish to purchase.
"We are finalizing an export agreement for the United States", he said. "Our objective is to reach not just South Africa, but the entire world".
He was optimistic that Moztex could break into the US and the British markets, in which case "we are convinced that we shall triple our exports".
That would require Moztex to increase its capacity by installing more machinery, and hiring extra workers. Ahmad thought this implied investment of a further five million US dollars.
Combining Savings Groups with Agricultural Marketing in Tanzania
This research study is one of a series of studies sponsored by AKF’s Savings Groups Learning Initiative funded by AKFC and The MasterCard Foundation. The Initiative examines how SGs are used as a platform for development activities and how linkages to other services take place and with what benefits to group members. It considers how financial services combined with other development activities add value for individual members of the groups, for the groups as entities in themselves, for the agencies facilitating SG development and offering the linked activities, and for the wider community. The Initiative also explores the sustainability and replicability of SGs, thus examining long-term access to financial services for the poor.
IBLF's The Partnering Initiative programme and the Aga Khan Development Network will co-host the Millennium Development Goals Marketplace in Nairobi on 30 June 2011. Download the flyer for more details and to register.
This informal and vibrant event will provide an interactive space for companies, development agencies and civil society organisations to present their organisations, share their best experience and, most importantly, foster further cooperation with each other based on a 'supply and demand' basis.
The Marketplace will be devoted to the following key themes:
- poverty reduction
- enterprise development
Participating organisations will have a unique opportunity to see where the “supply” offer of one organisation can be matched with the “demand” request of another.Please download the Marketplace flyer with more detailed information about the event. To register your attendance, download and fill in the Marketplace Proforma and specify your “supply” offer and “demand” request. You can then submit the Proforma by email to Grace Isharaza: firstname.lastname@example.org and Victoria Covington: email@example.com
What poor people really need is a safe place to put their money
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jul. 15, 2011 3:50PM EDT
"About 90 per cent of the world's poor lack access to formal financial tools. The World Savings Bank Institute, which represents 112 savings banks, aims to double the number of savings accounts held by poor people by 2014. In places where banks and microfinance institutions are scarce, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, village savings groups – community clubs that pool savings and sometimes lend – are spreading, often with the help of agencies such as Oxfam, the Aga Khan Foundation and CARE. And researchers are ramping up efforts to study how best to deliver affordable savings products to the poor."
Sardinia Region becames Meridiana fly's shareholder
Olbia, Italy - Signed an agreement with Aga Khan
(WAPA) - Today it has been signed an agreement in Sardinia that some call "Historic" between the Region and AKFED (Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development), the development agency that controls the carrier Meridiana fly; the Memorandum of Understanding provides that Sfirs, the Region's finance company, will access to 15% of the shares of the company with an increase capital by up to 20%.
As report by the local newspaper "Nuova Sardegna" the meeting marks the final phase of protracted negotiations that went on in absolute secrecy to make the project a real public-private collaboration for the development of tourism and air transport.
The agreement was signed in person by the Aga Khan and Governor of Sardinia Region Ugo Cappellacci; were present among others Jean-Louis Vinciguerra, executive high of AKFED, Giuseppe Gentile and Marco Rigotti, CEO and president of Meridian fly. (Avionews)
Aga Khan Foundation Learns About the Integration of SRI and SfR in Cambodia from CEDAC
From September 5 to 16, 2011, a team from the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), headquartered in Geneva Switzerland, toured four provinces of Cambodia where CEDAC is working – Kampong Chanang, Takeo, Kampong Speu and Kampot province. The purpose of the visit was to learn from CEDAC’s integration of SRI (System of Rice Intensification) and SfR (Savings for Self-Reliance) in Cambodia. Since its inception, CEDAC’s integrated approach to economic development has supported increased access to financial services in rural villages and increased access to information on agricultural technologies such as SRI and chicken rearing. CEDAC’s approach has enabled many villages to diversify their incomes and become more food secure.
Accompanied by CEDAC staff, the AKF team visited numerous CEDAC beneficiaries, including savings group members, organic rice producers, village farmer association leaders, key farmers and federation (“SOSOR”) representatives. The team also engaged in many discussions with CEDAC staff to better learn how the program has achieved its successes.
AKF expects that the lessons learned from visiting CEDAC programmes will inform the rice extension, marketing and savings group programming that AKF supports in other countries including Tanzania and Madagascar.
AKF, an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), is a private, not-for-profit, nondenominational, international development agency established in 1967 by His Highness the Aga Khan. Working in 19 countries, with special emphasis on the needs of rural communities in mountainous, coastal and other resource-poor areas, AKF seeks to provide sustainable solutions to long-term problems of poverty, hunger, illiteracy and ill health in the poorest parts of South and Central Asia, Eastern and Western Africa, and the Middle East. Its activities are coordinated not only with those of other AKDN agencies but also with local, national and international partners in order to provide a full package of multiple activities that can spark a long-term process of positive change for these poor communities.
The Aga Khan Foundation is supporting the "Global Compact on Learning: Taking Action on Education in Developing Countries". From the event extract: "Children and youth all around the world are facing a serious learning crisis. Beyond the 67 million children who are not attending primary school in low-income countries, there are countless children who are going through five years of education without learning basic reading, writing and math skills. While there has been remarkable progress in getting more children into school during the past decade, much remains to be done to ensure that all children and youth can attain a quality education. Evidence shows that targeted attention to three priorities – early childhood development, literacy and numeracy in lower primary school and relevant learning for youth in post-primary school – could jumpstart global education development so that all children are prepared to lead safe, healthy and productive lives."
Chicago, Illinois, 4 November 2011 - Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois and His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, who is also founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), today signed an historic agreement to expand collaboration in the areas of education, environmental stewardship and management, health sciences, library and information sciences, infrastructure development, agricultural sustainability and culture.
Governor Quinn remarked that the people of Illinois would contribute their “great skills and warm hearts” to fulfilling the mission of the AKDN which includes among other critical areas, early childhood education. He made the remarks during a signing ceremony, attended by representatives of the Government of Illinois, the University of Illinois, University of Chicago and Northwestern University.
"I think, over the years, we’ve seen, in the developing world, government fragility,” said His Highness the Aga Khan. “And where government is fragile, what sustains human development is civil society. In order to develop civil society in the countries in which we work, in Africa and Asia, we have to bring knowledge, because if we don’t bring knowledge to civil society it cannot fulfill its role."
The Aga Khan added, "The agreement we are signing today between the state of Illinois and the Network brings exactly that. It brings access to that knowledge.”
In its preamble, the agreement notes that the State and the Imamat share a commitment to confronting persistent, varied and large scale material poverty, recognizing it alongside education as one of the greatest challenges facing the global community. It further stipulates that Illinois and the AKDN will support partnerships between their respective educational institutions such as the University of Illinois and the Aga Khan University to address these challenges.
In the area of energy and environmental management, the agreement envisions partnerships through sharing in research and innovation in natural resource conservation and renewable and alternative energy initiatives. It also evokes the experience of Illinois and AKDN in the area of promoting agricultural sustainability, stipulating that the two partners will work together to share best practices and raise awareness of export-import opportunities in agribusiness, especially among small- and medium-sized enterprises in Illinois and their counterparts in sub-Saharan Africa and South and Central Asia.
Other areas of cooperation include media and communications and culture and environment. In recent years, Illinois museums and universities have hosted a series of AKDN exhibitions, lectures and concerts. The accord is designed to promote a better understanding and appreciation of Muslim civilisations and their historic, cultural and geographic diversity.
Air Uganda to begin domestic flights
Publish Date: Nov 21, 2011
By Samuel Sanya
Air Uganda plans to start domestic flight services as the carrier marks four years of existence this month. Airline activity is picking up with the arrival of the major global players like Turkish, Delta and Qatar airlines at the Entebbe International Airport.
Kyle Haywood, the Air Uganda boss said plans were underway to acquire a new fleet of planes to explore the regional and national destinations in the next two years. He also revealed that the Aga Khan-owned airline has recorded a 17% increase in passenger traffic since its inception.
Two young women participate in a USAID-supported 2006 Girls Science Camp at the Kitogani School in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Zanzibar’s Ministry of Education and Vocational Training and USAID partner Aga Khan Foundation have partnered to boost student performance in science, math, and English. The effort focused on the students and teachers in the classroom, as well as the tools both groups needed, such as laboratory equipment and text books. Photo Credit: AKDN/Zahur Ramji.
High persistency takes JLI to the top
January 31, 2012 RECORDER REPORT 1 Comments Jubilee Life started operations in Pakistan in June 1996.
Effective 1 January 2003, The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) acquired the majority shares of the company.
Only recently, the company created a new brand identity as part of AKFED's efforts to consolidate its insurance initiatives across the world under a single brand "Jubilee Insurance".
Following is the excerpts of an interview with Javed Ahmed CEO Jubilee Life Insurance.
What more is Jubilee Life offering to differentiate itself from competitors?
Our key offering for individuals is our range of unit-linked products which offer both life insurance coverage and savings.
Jubilee Life at present does not market traditional products which some other companies do.
Compared to conventional products which accumulate bonuses during the policy term, unit-linked products are far more transparent for the customer in terms of benefits, returns and charges.
Under its unit-linked products, Jubilee Life offers a choice of 4 different funds, which function just like mutual funds with daily pricing mechanism.
Policyholders may choose any fund which suits their investment philosophy and needs.
They may even switch or split their funds later on.
In terms of customer services, I can proudly say that Jubilee Life has the best services in the industry.
In life insurance, a benchmark to gauge customer services is renewal persistency; ie if 100 people buy our policies how many of them will continue it in the next year.
In Pakistan the industry average is around 80 percent, our ratio at the moment is close to 90 percent so we are far superior to any other player in the market in that sense.
In unit-linked business, growth in unit prices or the 'return' is of significant importance.
Our funds have performed quite well and our growth rate (returns) over the past three to five years has been better than others.
We all know 2008 was a very difficult year for investment firms, mutual funds and insurance companies and almost all of them suffered losses on investments.
We too had losses but we were the first one to recover.
Generally, the share prices and the mutual fund unit prices went down by 30 percent to 40 percent.
During the same phase unit prices of our funds dropped by just 20 percent which we were able to recover within a few months.
Policyholders who did not panic and stayed with us are still benefiting from our superior returns.
I would add here, that there are companies which have still not recovered fully.
I believe that from customers' perspective, the product itself is nothing; it is actually the service and the value for money that the customers get.
In these two areas Jubilee Life is better than all other insurance companies in Pakistan.
As compared to the persistency of other developing country's what is the persistency of Jubilee Life?
As mentioned earlier, our persistency is now close to 90 percent.
As far as developed countries are concerned, 90 percent is considered a good benchmark.
Most of the industry members in Pakistan believed that such high persistency is not achievable, and these levels of persistency are found only in developed markets like US and UK Through our efforts, our servicing system and sales system, we have been able to achieve excellent persistency levels.
Do you believe that the worsening security situation of our country is the reason behind such high persistency? If this was the case, then the whole industry would have had high persistency; but the gap of 10 percent between Jubilee Life and others is significant.
Can it be due to the fact that State Life has a large share in the life insurance sector? You would be surprised to know that State Life does not have poor persistency.
It has better persistency than some of the private sector insurance companies.
Earlier we heard about crop and terrorism insurance, can you update us on it? Both of these terminologies primarily relate to non-life insurance; however terrorism is covered in life policies.
Life insurance companies do not charge any extra premiums to cover terrorism.
In non-life business, extra premiums are charged to cover terrorism since for them the risk is very significant.
Recently we saw an increase in life insurance sales.
Do you think the worsening security situation (Demand driven) is the main reason or the increase was due to marketing activities (Supply driven)? Traditionally, it is said that life insurance is always sold; it is never bought.
On one hand, security situation is poor and on the other hand public's awareness level for life insurance is also very low.
We hardly ever find a customer who approaches the company to purchase a policy.
In present times, Bancassurance is primary driver of growth in life insurance sales.
Due to a wide network of bank branches, this distribution channel has tremendously increased the reach for insurance companies.
More than 95 percent of population in Pakistan is Muslim.
Considering this and the success of Islamic banks, where do you think Islamic insurance stands? And what Shariah compliant products is Jubilee Life offering? Only a small portion of our population considers religious factors before buying insurance.
Most of the times, potential customers do not question insurance as being Islamic or un-Islamic.
Around four years back, we conducted a survey for micro insurance in a market segment which is generally believed to be more religiously inclined.
In that segment the ratio of people who said that they wouldn't purchase insurance because of religious reasons was only around five percent.
Having said that, it does not mean that there is no scope for Takaful.
Generally if people are getting an alternative which they believe is good then they will definitely be interested in it.
Existing Takaful Operators have had varied degrees of success in taping this segment.
Recently SECP has announced and circulated draft rules which will permit traditional insurance companies to operate Takaful window.
After evaluating various factors in light of the envisaged rules, Jubilee Life may consider engaging in this line of business as well.
Compared to previous year, Jubilee Life's net management expense to net premium ratio has slightly risen? Life insurance business typically has higher acquisition expenses and high volumes of new business usually result in an increased expense ratio.
However, our expenses ratio is very much in line with industry standards.
What is the market share of Jubilee Life right now? Companies' annual accounts for the year 2011 have not been published yet.
However, our performance has been superior and we expect to have registered a much higher increase in our topline compared to other companies.
The increase of Jubilee Life gross premiums is in the range of 40% to 45% compared to industry's expected growth of 25% to 30%.
This will increase Jubilee Life's market share significantly.
Do you think that State Life Insurance enjoys any kind of benefit that private insurance companies do not enjoy? No, I do not think there is any kind of benefit; it is a level playing field.
The share of State Life is high because it is has been working for a long time.
However, in the past few years, private sector companies have shown a steady growth and it is expected that in five years' time, private sector will capture a sizeable share of the market.
Is Jubilee Life coming up with new innovative products like micro insurance? Jubilee Life has been active in the field of micro-insurance for a number of years now and has a number of products which provide both life and health insurance covers.
The concept of micro-insurance is relatively new in Pakistan and has therefore taken us some time to understand the market dynamics.
Jubilee Life being pioneers of micro-insurance in Pakistan is now taking it to the next stage in terms of products offerings.
Micro-insurance serves the under privileged segment, which lacks awareness of insurance products and are difficult to convince on insurance benefits.
We are extending our reach to this segment through collaborations with microfinance banks and other NGOs working in this field.
Like microfinance banks, is the life insurance industry making any bureau through which information can be shared about customers' credit rating, etc? No, right now we do not have any such set-up for micro-insurance because Jubilee Life is the only life insurance company offering life & health insurance products for this segment.
We have an association 'Pakistan Insurance Association' which raises different issues with the concerned authorities and where all companies share their views on different matters.
Do you have any kind of partnership with any micro finance bank? Yes, we do have partnership with many micro finance banks/institutions.
Apart from life insurance benefits, we also offer health insurance to customers of microfinance banks/institutions.
Can you tell us the main growth driver of Jubilee Life? Over the years, Jubilee Life has strengthened its multi-distribution capabilities.
At present, Bancassurance is leading the growth in individual life insurance business.
Major portion of group insurance business is secured through our own sales teams; only a very small portion is secured through banking channel.
The global and local economy is slowly deteriorating, how do you see the coming times? Despite the local and global economic deterioration, I believe that there is immense potential for growth in life insurance business.
Robust growth has been seen in recent years and we expect that this growth momentum will continue in coming years.
The extremely low penetration of life insurance in Pakistan promises a bright future.
Group insurance business has a higher correlation with manufacturing and service segments of the economy and therefore is the most affected segment of our business.
Stagnation in entrepreneurial activity and slowdown of job creation process have dampened the growth of group insurance.
The non-life sector is also going through the exact situation where low economic activity has affected the growth in business.
However, the portion of group insurance business is only 20 percent of our total premium income; hence the effect of slowdown will not be significant.
I’m in rural coastal Kenya with Aga Khan Foundation and their developmental effort called Coastal Rural Support Program (CRSP). I first visited them in 2003 and we’ve been working with them consistently since 2007 to provide clean drinking water. This Aga Khan Foundation’s development effort reaches deep into the rural areas of the Kalifi and Kwale Districts of coastal Kenya not far from Mombasa.
Established in 1989 as a provider of premium quality products, Frigoken Ltd is a member of the Industrial Promotion Services (IPS) group of companies, which is in turn a member of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED). AKFED is an international development agency that promotes private sector entrepreneurship in the developing world, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South-east Asia. AKFED is also affiliated to the Aga Khan Development Network, an organization dedicated to improving human living conditions, strengthening cultural foundations and promoting corporate social responsibility.
Currently Kenya's largest producer of processed vegetables, Frigoken's customers include a broad range of leading European companies, supermarket chains, as well as one of the largest vegetable processors in Europe.
Small Scale production: world-class support
Frigoken is a unique operation, delivering both commercial excellence and community benefit. Our 'out grower' force of 20,000 small-scale Kenyan farmers, cultivates a network of small, individually owned plots, throughout Kenya. They are supported, however, by the world-class infrastructure, technical expertise, global marketing strength and distribution networks of a major internationally focused company. The end result is a high quality, well presented, competitive, premium product...and a better tomorrow for Kenya's farmers.
Hyundai E&C wins US$250 mln power plant order SEOUL, Jan. 11
(Yonhap) -- Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., a South Korean industrial plant builder, said Wednesday it has clinched a US$250 million deal to build a power plant in Cote d'Ivoire.
Under the deal with Azito Energie S.A., Hyundai will build a 139 megawatt electricity power generation unit at an existing plant in the West African country. Construction is expected to be completed in 27 months.
A profile of the Azito Energie project in West Africa: Meeting Côte d'Ivoire's energy needs through private sector investment
The Azito project was AKFED's first investment in the power sector.Because the developing world needs more electricity, telephones, clean water and transport, governments are encouraging the private sector to take a role in providing these basic services. AKFED is responding to the challenge by creating infrastructure projects in telecommunications, water and sewerage and power generation. The Azito project is AKFED's first investment in the power sector. It was followed by various other energy projects in East and West Africa, as well as in Central Asia.
The Largest Private Sector Power Plant in Sub-Saharan Africa
The Azito power facility is the largest private sector power plant in sub-Saharan Africa, developed and operated by the Swiss/Swedish ABB, the French Electricité de France, and AKFED's venture capital arm in West Africa, Industrial Promotion Services. Azito is the largest gas-fired power station in West Africa. The 290 MegaWatt project, developed on a build-own-transfer basis, commenced electricity production in March 1999 and makes use of Côte d'Ivoire's supplies of natural gas.
Jim Wolfensohn, President of The World Bank, and Prince Rahim Aga Khan, Director of AKFED, chatted before the inauguration ceremony of the Azito Energie Project in 1999.The financing of this US$ 225 million private infrastructure project was provided by the shareholders and by way of loans from international and bilateral development agencies including International Finance Corporation (IFC), Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), African Development Bank (ADB), Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO), and the German investment and development company (DEG) and commercial banks. The financing benefited from a Partial Risk Guarantee issued by the International Development Association (IDA) the soft-loan arm of The World Bank, the first guarantee of its kind.
Production contributes to more than 40% of Côte d'Ivoire's Electricity generation
Azito produces more than 40% of the Côte d'Ivoire's electricity generation and its production is principally exported to neighbouring countries. The Azito project is a good example of the relevance of private sector support in economic development, responding to the growing demand in the developing world for improved and reliable infrastructure services.
Air France (AF) has relaunched plans for a partnership in a new airline in the Ivory Coast, which would make it a regional hub.
The carrier, Air Côte d’Ivoire, could begin operations at the end of April with two leased Airbus A319s, La Tribune reported, citing AF CEO Alexandre de Juniac who was in the West African country last week to discuss the venture.
The Ivory Coast government would hold a 51% stake and the AF KLM Group would hold a 35% stake with partner Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development of the Ivory Coast. Local investors would hold the remaining 14% stake.
Presentation in Paris: ‘Liberal Islam’ and Ismaili ethics in the 20th century Of ‘religious and social welfare’ of ‘the Community’ and ‘non-denominational’ development
An ethics of social commitment under the guidance of the Imam had been centrally important to the venture of ‘liberal Islam’ championed by the Ismaili Imamate from the late 19th century onwards and articulated through a wide spectrum of organisations. However, an emphasis on certain wider ‘non-denominational’ outreach critically distinguishes the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) from the early 20th century pre-AKDN organisations, as well as the contemporary community-specific bodies catering to the spiritual and material interests of ‘the (Ismaili) Community’. This presentation sheds light on the evolution of these two lines of religiously inspired social engagement and their wider implications.
Lisbon, Portugal, 9th May 2012 – The Patriarchate of Lisbon and the Aga Khan Foundation today renewed a partnership agreement to improve the quality of life of marginalized groups in Greater Lisbon.
The agreement was signed by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, His Eminence Dom José Policarpo, and Prince Amyn Aga Khan, younger brother of His Highness the Aga Khan, and Director of the Aga Khan Foundation. The agreement will be implemented through the Urban Community Support Programme (UCSP) K’CIDADE, an initiative of the Aga Khan Foundation, Portugal.
“The renewal of this partnership agreement represents yet another milestone in the long-standing relationship that the AKF and Aga Khan Development Network and indeed the Ismaili Imamat have enjoyed with the Patriarchate of Lisbon,” Prince Amyn said. “In determining the best way to alleviate social exclusion, we found that providing training and increasing the beneficiaries’ ability to help themselves is crucial in allowing those on the margins of society to break the vicious circle of poverty.”
The K’CIDADE programme strives to help improve the quality of life of marginalized groups (including cultural and ethnic minorities) in urban environments. Through support from the Ministry of Labor and Social Solidarity, the programme provides training and education for adults in a number of areas including literacy; the recognition, validation and certification of competencies; and community and family finance. In 2011, K’CIDADE benefitted almost 43,000 people.
The renewal of the partnership builds on an agreement between the Catholic Church and the Aga Khan Foundation which currently involves 20 entities that assist people facing serious issues of poverty and exclusion. The present agreement falls under the framework of the Protocol of Cooperation signed between the Government and the Ismaili Imamat in 2005 which established the groundwork for joint efforts to improve the quality of life of vulnerable populations in Portugal and Portuguese-speaking countries of Asia and Africa.
Air Cote d’Ivoire Launching First Flight End Of July
Air Cote d’Ivoire, the airline created by the Cote d’Ivoire government in partnership with Air France, will launch its first flights by the end of July, an official source said Tuesday.
“The first flights will be undertaken by Airbus 352 planes that we will hire from a group recommended to us by Air France,” the head of the piloting committee Abdoulaye Coulibaly said at the sidelines of the signing of an agreement for the company’s creation.
The Cote d’Ivoire government has a majority stake of 51 percent, Air France has 20 percent and the Agha Khan Group 15 percent, with remaining shares distributed to other private partners.
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