Monday, 20 May 2013

LG & Hotpoint donate Ksh1.3 million to boost cornea transplants

Gesture aimed at alleviating the plight of patients suffering from corneal impairment

LG Electronics, in partnership with Hotpoint Appliances (LG Distributor), has boosted Lions SightFirst Eye Hospital’s efforts to eliminate preventable and treatable blindness with a Kshs 1.3 million donation.

The cash will be used to assist patients undergoing corneal grafting to restore their sight. Corneal grafting is an operation whereby the healthy cornea of a deceased person is used to replace the impaired cornea of the blind or visually handicapped patient.

Speaking shortly after presenting the donation, LG East Africa Managing Director, Mr Josep Kim, said the gesture was inspired by the fact that sight is a precious gift of life.“Sight is the most important asset for every human being. It is the most precious gift that you can give anyone and that is why as an organization, we have taken up this noble course to help patients have their sight restored,” said Mr Kim.

Mr Josep Kim, the Managing Director of LG East Africa (centre) speaks with young patients set to receive surgery after having donated a cheque worth Ksh1.3 million towards corneal transplant surgeries on behalf of LG and Hotpoint Appliances at the Lions SightFirst Eye Hospital in Loresho. Looking on is Dr S.P. Amin (left).
As well, Hotpoint Appliances Managing Director, Mr. Shailesh Kanani, mentioned in his speech “We congratulate the medical team at this hospital for performing this miracle in giving sight to the blind. We wanted to be parts of making this happen. We would also like to thank all our valued customers who purchased over 3,000 TVs to make this contribution possible. You have all contributed to this valuable course.”

Corneal blindness is attributable to many factors. These includes hereditary problems such as thinning and steepening of the cornea; scarring of cornea after trauma; ulceration or infection; surgery, ageing process or corneal disease. Corneal transplants rely solely on cornea donations. Corneas can be harvested from deceased persons with the consent of their families within six hours of death. However, they need to be screened for transmittable infections such as HIV and Hepatitis

Hotpoint Appliances has a long standing partnership with Lions Sight First Hospital supporting them in numerous courses.” Said Mr Shailesh.

“We hope that through the media, there will be high awareness of the importance to donate cornea, since donation level is low as of now. We are urging Kenyan to pledge donating their cornea “said Mr Kim

LG Electronics will partner with Hotpoint to support to donate for the cause every year. LG Electronics will support other Eye hospitals in East Africa with its partners in several countries in the region.

LG Electronics has also recently made donations in Rwanda to an association of widows of the 1994 genocide. They donated televisions and food to cater for 150 orphans for the rest of the year. LG representatives visited the orphans and shared a meal with them. 

Samsung sponsors the second mobile garage

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, in conjunction with iHub will for the second year sponsor the Mobile Garage Students Exhibition; Hackathon for 200 programmers, computer scientists, software engineers, and web developers drawn from universities and colleges across the country. The winner of the Hackathon will win the best mobile app prize, from Samsung Kenya.

This year’s hackathon will run under the theme "Solutions for the Next Billion mobile users" and is organised by Akirachix’, a women group that undertakes technology training. This event will provide a platform for networking opportunities, coding practice, and competition for young upcoming techies at the iHub Nairobi; an incubation space for tech entrepreneurs.

“Apart from the hackathon, this will be a brilliant learning opportunity for the participants, since it will incorporate a panel of re-known entrepreneurs who will talk of their failure stories and lessons learnt. This is a platform where the students can hear of the reality of entrepreneurship and the challenges in the journey. They will have an opportunity to ask the entrepreneurs how they overcame their challenges,” Said Samsung Electronics East Africa HHP Business Leader, Manoj Changarampatt.

And added: At Samsung Electronics, we maintain a policy geared at promoting mutual growth with our stakeholders through our corporate vision of “Leading Digital Convergence Innovation”. This policy particularly highlights the need to collaborate with progressive organisations to promote mutual interests. Samsung will consider the winning Apps for listing on the Samsung Apps store. However, such Apps would need to meet a global audience threshold.This is the essence of our support to the annual Hackathon”.

Since its founding in 2010, Akirachix has sought to bring women into technology by collaborating with Nairobi high schools. They also teach courses in computers, web design, programming, and entrepreneurship to girls from Kibera. Some of the programme's graduates now work at tech start-ups and major mobile accounting firm.

A 2010 Intermedia survey found that Kenyan women own and use mobile phones much less than men, and have significantly less Internet access. Furthermore, few women attend Hackathons or enrol in university tech programmes.

The collaboration between Samsung and the industry stakeholders is, geared at boosting local technology entrepreneurship prospects. Samsung Electronics East Africa will continue providing support to local developers to enable them commercially deploys their applications on the popular Android platform.

Our support will involve hosting commercially viable applications covering a wide range of categories on the Samsung Apps Store, which comes as a standard feature on all Samsung Smartphones. Apps offered for sale at the Samsung Apps store are priced in the local currency concluded Ngeru
The Samsung App store, is accessed by millions of mobile phone subscribers’ globally seeking to download quality android applications in diverse categories such as Entertainment, Education, Games, Lifestyle, Travel and Productivity among others. Kenyan Application developers on the Android platform therefore, have equal access to other global developers to showcase their solutions on the Samsung Apps store which is a gateway to global tech-preneurship

Friday, 17 May 2013

I’ve got 99 problems and Zuku pricing is one

Pay TV subscriber now reeling under the weight of inflated monthly subscription fees as Wananchi Group slaps Zuku subscribers with a 25% price hike.    

Zuku increases subscription prices by 25%
If you thought Wananchi group, the owners of Zuku pay TV, had crossed the Rubicon in pricing when they slapped their subscribers with 10% price increase on their Zuku Triple-Play Services (TV, Internet, Phone) and introduced  a levy of 499 as a reconnection charges packages last year, then you’re dead wrong.

The pay TV provider has just hiked its monthly subscription prices by about 25% percent, further testing the elasticity limit of its subscribers’ wallets.  This dashes any hopes of Zuku igniting a price war with MultiChoice, the providers of DStv.

Multichoice had a first mover advantage, akin to that of Safaricom, as they ventured into the Kenyan TV market at a time when only KBC and KTN reined the airwaves. Wananchi Group, the owner of Zuku, cited increased quantity of programming for the price hike saying they have added more channels to the packages to compensate for the price jump.

Subscribers on Premium bouquet will pay Sh2, 399 up from Sh1, 999, representing a 20 per cent rise. Those on the mid-tier Zuku Classic will pay Sh1, 199 up from Sh999. Probably in an effort to appease customers who may not afford the rising subscription prices; the company introduced a low-end product dubbed Zuku Poa, which is heavy on news and sports, at Sh799 monthly.

Though the new package, Zuku Poa, perhaps shows Wananchi Group is intent on wooing the price-sensitive lower end of the market, it’s seemingly an effort in futility since the Chinese through StarTimes have bagged the low-end market lock stock and barrel with monthly subscription rates of as low as Ksh500.  

However, the two new entrants Zuku and StarTimes have been unable to dislodge DStv’s dominance which remains a favourite especially among the middle class that MultiChoice serves with exclusive family and sports content.