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Ajira Digital: What You Need to Know

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With the advent of technology and the internet, there has been an increasing utilization of online digital platforms to sell their goods and services. In line with this, the Government of Kenya, under the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology launched Ajira Digital on the 24th of November 2016.

About Ajira Digital

The main aim of the initiative is to empower over one million young people to access digital job opportunities. It also seeks to bridge the gap between skills demand and the lack of jobs among the youth.

The program seeks to position Kenya as a choice labor destination for multinational companies as well as encourage local companies and the public sector to create digital work. The government digitization projects already create lots of viable micro work that can be completed by digital workers.

The main objectives of the program are:

  • To raise the profile of digital work among all Kenyans
  • Promote a mentorship and collaborative learning approach to finding digital work
  • Provide Kenyans with access to digital work
  • Promote Kenya as a destination for online workers

The guiding principles of the Ajira Digital Program are:

  • Private sector first – value generation through the private sector
  • Sustainability – orchestrate the ecosystem to self-regulate and grow organically
  • Eliminate brokers – generating more value to the youth
  • Promote the domestic economy – the realization of a knowledge economy

The components of the Ajira digital program have been designed to address the main challenges that hinder the youth from benefiting from digital job opportunities. They are:

  • Access to dignified work – growing the local demand, Government becoming an anchor client and positioning Kenya as a choice labor destination for multinationals globally
  • Education and skills for the dynamic, always changing online jobs
  • Access to infrastructure – Innovation Hubs, Kazi Connect Centers, Studio Mashinani, Y254 TV Channel
  • Awareness – Building trust and confidence

Key Project Interventions

  1. Training

The project targets to train youth (inexperienced (new) online workers) through a one-week residential training. The training aims to equip the youth with basic soft skills and introduction to online work skills, digital marketing, and basic financial management skills across five implementation locations in Kenya namely: Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Meru, and Nakuru.

In addition, the project targets to train experienced online work freelancers through a 2-day training with the aim of equipping the selected online work freelancers with skills to scale up and develop their businesses into agencies and source for more work to share with new online workers. The experienced freelancers are ultimately expected to handhold the new online workers through one-month mentorship.

  1. Mentorship

Upon successful completion of the training, the participants are transitioned to one-month mentorship through handholding by the experienced freelancers. The mentorship is aimed at enhancing the trained youth’s skills on online work thereby increasing their access to online jobs.

How to Join Ajira Digital Kenya for Training

Ajira Kenya carries out ongoing training and mentorship and offers guidance on how to work online in Kenya. Spaces are limited so you have to book early. Training is offered on a first come, first served basis.

To Register for Ajira training, visit official Ajira Digital website and enroll. You will then receive an email with your booking information. Print the details as you will need to present them in order to be allowed to attend any training sessions. After registration, you will be notified via email when Ajira training sessions are available in your County.

The training, which is free of charge, lasts one week after which one is given a certificate. The requirements are simple; a personal computer, internet connection, and basic computer skills.

Pros of Ajira Digital

  • Increased awareness of online jobs in Kenya
  • Training and mentorship are offered free of charge, helping those who would otherwise have been unable to pay.
  • Possible provision of tools of trade such as easy access to computers and the internet for the disadvantaged.
  • The admin keeps editing the site regularly since its creation to weed out possible bugs.
  • Thought leaders and entrepreneurs may come up with splendid online solutions due to the fact that it will give rise to increased competition.

Cons of Ajira Digital

  • It may lead to a decline in the price of doing business and possibly mess up existing struggling online workers as there will be many workers but few or no jobs.
  • The site only provides links to a few sites that existing online workers already know, which is nothing new.
  • Their current model makes the goal of creating one million jobs is unrealistic. This is because the 1 million people targeted will need access to computers and the internet, which are still very expensive to low-income earners. Some parts of Kenya are also not connected to electricity, let alone high-speed internet connectivity. They will also need daily jobs to sustain themselves.
  • Creation of jobs does not happen on the site. People are simply directed to sites that may or may not give the perceived results.
  • The possibility of Ajira Digital becoming obsolete and forgotten after many young Kenyans join all these sites and don’t get the intended results leading to high chances that they will quit online work.

Available jobs

Ajira digital online offers different type of jobs for different professions including:

  • Transcription
  • Writing
  • Sales and marketing
  • Software development/programming
  • Data science and analytics
  • Engineering and architecture
  • Support and customer service
  • Web design/graphics and creative design

Ajira digital ensures that they provide genuine and trusted websites that are currently looking for online workers. They, however, advise workers to do thorough research on the available websites to avoid unscrupulous websites on the internet.

Ajira digital program contacts and office locations

Physical location

Ajira Digital Offices: 10th floor, Teleposta Towers, 29 Kenyatta Ave, Nairobi

Mobile contacts: +254 20 4920000/1

Email: ajira@ict.go.ke

Twitter: @AjiraDigital

Facebook: Ajira Digital

Website: Ajiradigital

Conclusion

Ajira Digital is a good initiative from the government. However, the government needs to improve it and find ways to link young people using the platform directly to jobs. Entrepreneurs creating online businesses would also be of great benefit to the program. They would create the jobs needed to sustain these youths as they look for work online.

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Business

5 Tips to Make A Great Impression At A Networking Event

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Whether you are just starting a new business or building an existing one, it is important to have the right professional contacts that will help you on your journey. One of the best ways to facilitate these contacts is through the attendance of networking events. Here are some tips to help you build mutually beneficial business connections at these events or any other place you are aiming to meet potential business partners or cultivate new opportunities.

  1. Conduct extensive research

Gather as much information as you can about the attendees of the event. Pay closer attention to the specific people that you intend to be your target audience. This will give you a rough idea of how you can appeal to them. You should also prepare questions that will help you learn about others and hold mutually intriguing conversations that will make it easy for you to share about yourself and your business. Be sure to carry your business cards, they are the fastest way to share information and a good source of contact information.

  1. Be confident

Go up to people whether you know they can be of help to you or not. This will help you gain valuable information on others’ experiences as business owners. It is also a good way to get excellent feedback on your business model and product. Be straightforward about your inexperience and your desire to get help. Honesty will inspire people to engage with you and share advice. Take every opportunity possible to meet new people and attend as many business events as you can.

  1. Listen

When you join a conversation, take a few minutes to pay attention. An effective way to make a good impression is to make a key point that adds to the conversation rather than focusing on yourself and your business. While it may be tempting to get as many words in as possible, it is better to focus on quality than quantity.

  1. Build genuine personal connections

Begin conversations with non-business related topics. This will help you connect with people on a deeper level than simply business. Be willing to share what you are passionate about even when you are at a business event. Once the common ground has been established, then it is possible to build a strong network of friends and experts from different fields that will be happy to give advice whenever asked.

  1. Follow up

It is crucial to do this within a short amount of time; preferably within 48 hours. Should you meet a person that you would like to connect with at a later date, schedule an email that asks how they are doing and offer to schedule another meeting. This is a good way to ensure you keep in touch within the 2-day timeframe without forgetting.

“All in all, networking is about building trust, and giving as much as receiving.”  – Rune Sovndahl, co-founder and CEO of Fantastic Services.

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Understanding Social Media Influencer Marketing

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With the rise of social media sites and apps, more people are looking to their favorite YouTube stars, Instagram personalities and Twitter personalities for their input on different subjects including products to purchase. This has brought about the trending change in consumer trust, where they rely more on the opinions of social media influencers on brands than traditional advertisements.

What is digital influence?

Digital influence is defined by Technopedia as the ability to create an effect, change opinions and behaviors, and drive measurable outcomes online.

Digital influence is the result of three conceptual cornerstones:

  • Reach: How far information will travel across the social continuum.
  • Relevance: Alignment to interests of the moment.
  • Resonance: The ripple effect of information.

Who is an influencer?

The everyday Internet user is subject to a barrage of noise and content. As a result, individual judgment has given way to group judgment, or at least judgment that’s assisted by others online. When an individual contemplates a new purchase such as a cellphone, he or she will often revert to digital sources for recommendations to arrive at a decision.

Therefore, a social media influencer is a user who has demonstrated credibility in a specific industry, has gained the following of a large number of people and has the ability to convince others to act on their recommendations. They are considered to be an authentic and trusted source of advice on purchasing decisions. So much so that marketers and brands are paying attention.

Digital influencers include:

  • Vloggers
  • Bloggers
  • Celebrities
  • Media personalities
  • Socialites
  • Industry experts

Influencer marketing statistics

With interest in influencer marketing increasing every day, a lot of research has been carried out that has produced mind-blowing results. Here are some of them as sourced from digitalmarketinginstitute.com:

  • 86% of women use social media for purchasing advice
  • 70% of teens trust influencers more than traditional celebrities
  • 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations
  • Influencer marketing campaigns earn $6.50 for every dollar spent
  • 57% of fashion and beauty companies engage in influencer marketing
  • Influencer marketing is the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition method
  • 67% of marketers promote content with the help of influencers
  • Influencer marketing has surpassed print marketing
  • 60% of consumers have been influenced by social media or blog while shopping at a store
  • 67% of marketers promote content with the help of influencers

Why should you consider using influencers to promote your business?

As social media platforms focus more on user interaction and engagement, content that generates the most comments, shares and stimulates more conversations online does better online. Therefore, as a brand, it is important to come up with ways to encourage people to talk about your product. One way to achieve this is by engaging social media influencers to promote your product or service.

They exert a great influence over online users that should not be underestimated. Whatever they endorse often automatically becomes a trend. Since they come across as being more relatable than most conventional celebrities, they tend to build a sense of credibility and authenticity online. This is automatically transferred to a brand that they choose to partner with.

Using social media influencers is also a great way to reach the younger demographic that tends to mistrust traditional advertising. Research has proven that influencers are helpful when a brand seeks to form meaningful relationships with consumers.

How to do it

The first step when planning a campaign is to conduct extensive research on the influencers that would be most suited to your brand in terms of their target audience and follower profiles. Find out other relevant data about their audience such as age, geography, watch time, gender, etc.

If their audience and content match the message that you want to promote or that you already stand for, then they are a solid marketing tool to consider.

Make sure they fit naturally with your brand and that they would normally use your product. Remember, online users expect authenticity from the influencers.

Check the feedback they get from their followers. Do they ask for more information on what the influencer has posted, only like posts or even post any negative feedback?

Ensure you customize your content to suit each platform you intend to use. For example, Instagram posts should be easily digested; modern and chic. Plan to give the campaign time as you measure its performance and engagement to improve your next one.

Best social media platforms for influencer marketing

  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Conclusion

It is never too late to develop an effective influencer marketing campaign for your brand. The best place to start would be to reach out to the top influencers in your industry and share your product or service. Understanding the proper utilization of influencer marketing will go a long way to increase brand awareness, revenue, and leads.

Should you choose to partner with an influencer to promote your brand, make a wise decision informed by extensive and go from there.

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Buying Gold? Here’s What You Need to Know

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Recent news reports have brought to light the prevalence of gold scam syndicates that are defrauding Kenyans of millions of shillings. They are taking advantage of the unsuspecting buyers’ ignorance of the precious metals business and their preference for underhand dealings to avoid taxation. Therefore, it is imperative that every Kenyan know the important facts that go into gold acquisition.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes gold as a yellow malleable ductile metallic element that occurs chiefly free or in a few minerals and is used especially in coins, jewelry, and dentures. From recorded history, we see gold being used as a symbol of wealth all around the world.

Ancient civilizations considered it a manifestation of their power and status due to its beauty and scarcity. Some products crafted from gold included jewelry, ornaments and early forms of money.

Over the years, the same fascination with gold has remained strong. Despite monetary systems no longer being tied to the precious metal, it is still viewed as a “safe haven” investment, an excellent hedge against inflation and an ideal investment option.

As an investment option, it has specific and useful qualities that contribute to its value during uncertain economic times and profitability during robust economic times. They include:

  • Production expense. Extraction and development is hard, costly and risky. Therefore, it is difficult to find and dig up. This leads to high demand against its short supply.
  • Rarity. Data from the commodities industry shows that gold comprises only five parts per billion of the earth’s crust. This makes hard to locate and extract.
  • Numerous uses. It can be smelted and then turned into different items including coins, bracelets, rings, and other valuable products.
  • Hard to diminish. It retains its quality and is resistant to decay.

Buying Gold Directly

The first step is knowing the right time to strike. It would be better to exercise patience while keeping a close eye on the markets. Similar to the stocks and funds, its value is derived from buying low and selling high. Generally, gold prices are lower when the stock market is high and economic indicators are pointing north.

This is due to its lower demand when both the economy and stock market are performing at peak condition. Gold tends to be a “go to” commodity when things start going south economically, so it is important to buy immediately the stock market starts declining – not later.

It is also important to know how it is priced before a direct purchase.

With gold being a volatile commodity, prices bounce up and down regularly. Make sure you check the “spot price”, which is a reflection of the average bid price on gold, as cited on global gold exchanges.

It can change substantially with the occurrence of global events such as military conflicts, recessions, economic forecasts, good or bad.

Tips for Buying Gold

Buying the precious metal is not always easy and therefore it is important to do extensive research in order to get the best possible deal. Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Look around for a good price

The first step before a purchase is knowing the current price per gram. You can do this on by casting a wide net on multiple trustworthy websites to be aware of the price comparisons. A good place to start is visiting dealer websites as well as gold exchanges, which are also found online.

  1. Purity levels

Gold comes in different levels of purity which can affect its price. For instance, the purest form is 24K (or 100%) gold. However, the price of gold also varies depending on the alloy it is mixed with. For example, 22K gold is 91.6% gold as it consists of 22 parts gold and 2 parts alloy. It is important to determine the type of gold you want and the different rates available on the basis of purity levels.

  1. Credible dealers

It is very important to find a licensed gold dealer. Whether you are buying gold for personal use or investments purposes, make sure you buy only after confirming the credibility of the dealer. Avoid dealers offering huge discounts and ask to see the whole consignment you want to buy before purchase.

  1. Genuine certification

Buy gold that has a certificate indicating that it has been tested. The best way to do this is to get the test done in the presence of the seller before buying.

Conclusion

As stated above, there are various ways to purchase gold. However, just as with any investment, diligence and preparation are important things to take into account before putting your money on the line. With its availability from numerous sources, it is best to ensure you buy from a credible source, to make sure it is a genuine product.

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