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Vodacom, Mondia Launch Maternal Health Service In DRC

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Leading pan-African communications company Vodacom DRC (Vodacom.com), and Mondia (Mondia.com), a private mobile technology company driven by innovation, have rolled out the Mum & Baby maternal health service across the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Mum & Baby is a free-of-charge mobile health intervention service that provides Vodacom DRC subscribers with maternal, neonatal, and child health information designed to encourage good health practices amongst pregnant women, mothers, partners, and caregivers. Mondia creates Mum & Baby’s tailored content in the local language and includes expert articles, videos, and information-sharing SMS messages. 

Mum & Baby’s future enhancements in the DRC will provide interactive tools including a due-date calculator, an immunisation calendar, medication reminder, medication safety information, and other health tools and services. The service is available in French.

The Mum & Baby service provides positive socio-economic benefits in the geographies in which it operates. In a recent KPMG survey conducted to understand the impact of the Mum & Baby service:

  • Over 95% of respondents reported that they found the SMS messages received useful or very useful for learning new information about their own and their child/children’s health and wellbeing;
  • 98% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they had taken actions to improve their child’s health as a result of the information provided through the Mum & Baby service; and
  • 98% of pregnant women and mothers surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that they had taken actions to improve their own health as a result of the information provided through the Mum & Baby service.

Dr. Amadeo Rahmann, Mondia’s Group CEO, said of the partnership, that  “accessing healthcare services in Africa can be challenging, and Mum & Baby provides a free and convenient way of accessing instant expert advice where it is most needed. The Mum & Baby service leverages Mondia’s extensive networks and expertise in content production and curation, and we expect it to continue to deliver positive social impact wherever it is rolled out.”

“Ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing for all ages is one of the United Nations (UN)17 Sustainable Development Goals, with the attainment of this goal, especially as it relates to infant health, having been threatened by the burden of COVID-19 on African healthcare systems. According to the World Health Organization, each year around 300 000 African babies die on the day of their birth, most often as a result of inadequate educational maternal and neonatal care.

Initiatives that put the power of good health directly in people’s hands are more important than ever”, Dr. Rahmann concluded.

“Mum & Baby has become our flagship health and wellness brand focusing on motherhood. We are proud of the way in which it contributes to our vision of building communities, bringing health solutions to more lives, and promoting good health outcomes” said Vodacom DRC’s spokesperson.           

Launched in South Africa in 2017, the Mum & Baby service had 1.2 million registered subscribers as of August 2018. The next rollout of the service will take place across Lesotho later this month.

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Hundreds Of Passengers Miss Flight In Uganda Due To Delayed COVID-19 Tests

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Hundreds of Ugandans have been left stranded at Entebbe International Airport by the Emirates Airways after the laboratory where they had taken their Covid-19 results delayed to return them on time.

In a Snapchat post by Ugandan socialite Sheila Gashumba, she ranted, ‘’When I tell Ugandans that Covid in Uganda is a business they say I have ‘kajanja’.

Now all Emirates passengers have missed their flights because Safari Lab sent Covid results at 2:45pm and Emirates closed its gate at 3pm.

The hospital said it couldn’t work on everyone in the short time.

Around 300 passengers missed their flight yet Safari Lab had made a total of UgSh75m since everyone had paid UGX 250,000 for the test.

In the video where all passengers were visibly angry and frustrated, they can be heard asking for what the solution is and who is going to pay for the tickets again now that those that they had paid for can no longer be used anymore.

Passengers expressed their frustration at the rot in the service.

“I experienced such thing in March as the officers in charge claimed that the gates were close at 1pm as the flight was at 3pm,” one twitter user said.

Some made jokes out of it and asked, if this was because of the US$10 tax that is in the process of being introduced and will be paid by anyone that leaves the country using the Entebbe International Airport.

Another twitter user @kasoxialex2000 asked, ‘’@UgandaCAA (Uganda Civil Aviation Authority), but seriously you guys when you move to some airports don’t you copy something? Why are we ever backwards??? Stop embarrassing us. Who will save Uganda’’
By press time there was no official communication from the Civil Aviation Authority, Safari Lab nor Emirates Airways.

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Kagame Tells Bankers, Banking Can’t Just Be “Service For Elites”

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Banking can’t just be a service for elites, President Paul Kagame has said.  He made the remarks while speaking at the 14th Annual Banking and Finance Conference in Nigeria that he attended virtually.

Running under the theme, ‘’Economic Recovery, Inclusion and Transformation: The Role of Banking and Finance’’, the two-day conference will aim at the need to reposition the Finance and Banking sector as a catalyst for Economic recovery, transformation and inclusive growth.

In his remarks, he noted how the Covid pandemic has affected every aspect of Africa’s economies but at the same time also presents an opportunity for African banks to play a leading role in making societies more resilient and more responsive to the needs of Africans.

‘’Whatever affects business, affects banking. Financial services are the engine of private sector development. Banks are crucial for allocating capital wisely and productively,’’ he further added.

President Kagame noted that, in order to stay competitive, there is need to keep integrating new technology into banking to increase financial inclusion and access as banking can’t just be a service of elites.

He also went ahead to reemphasize what he has always said when it comes to African states always depending on the West and other countries for support. ‘’Indeed, Africa has the resources to fund its own economic growth and reduce dependence on external resources,’’ he said.

Kagame also noted that the African Continental Free Trade Area is creating new opportunities for Pan African Trade and investment. ‘’Banks with continental reach, like several of the institutions represented here can lead the way in cementing economic integration.’’

As he concluded, he stated how the banking sector, more than any other, understands the importance of integrity and good customer service. ‘’Banking is ultimately about trust. We look to you to set the pace in this regard. Our role as governments is to maintain good enabling environments, protecting both shareholders and customers while allowing for innovation. We expect you to keep challenging us on this,’’ he said.

In attendance at the same conference was the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Edwin Emefiele who made a huge announcement.  He said, ‘’Central Bank, will, in the next twelve months be establishing the Nigerian International Financial Centre (NIFC). The NIFC will act as an international gateway for capital and investments, driven by technology and payment system infrastructure.’’

In Rwanda, current statistics show that even though there are still various challenges that continue to put women behind men when it comes to financial inclusion, the number of women who are currently banked have risen from 24% in 2016 to 34% in 2021.

This is according to a FinScope 2020 Gender thematic report on the state of women financial inclusion in Rwanda that was supported by Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR).

In one of the Focus Notes from Access to Finance Rwanda, farmers reported that women and men enjoy equal rights and treatment at specified two Financial institutions in the Focus note and therefore no special gender based treatment yet the outcomes of each groups are not equal.

At both Financial Institutions, women and youths are more likely to use loans to hire land farm as they lack access to land and they have been assisted by addressing some of the barriers that women and youth face in accessing loans.

The conference will therefore focus on how banking can be a service enjoyed by all Africans regardless of their financial strengths through making access to finance for development is an easy and smooth process.

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400K Coffee Farmers To Adopt Cashless System

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About 400,000 coffee farmers in Rwanda are being targeted to embrace a cashless payment system facilitated by Bank of Kigali.

On Friday, Bank of Kigali through IKOFI integration with Smart Kungahara System (SKS) said it expected to serve more than 300 coffee washing stations, with a target market size of more than 400,000 coffee farmers.

“Through our partnership with RWACOF, we enabled coffee farmers to embrace cashless means of payment. We believe in digital transformation for everybody including farmers. These telephones will significantly help famers to adopt a more digital lifestyle,”said ⁦⁦Diane Karusisi the CEO Bank of Kigali.

According to BK, currently, 1,767 agro dealers and 263,691 farmers are active IKOFI wallet users benefiting from the service by digitally paying for their agro-inputs through mobile phones, conveniently paying for other services such as Irembo, RRA, WASAC, all done through *334*2#.

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