Nairobi: Online Platform Pilot Launched for Some Immigration Applications

Guide - Kenya CoverThe Department of Immigration in Kenya has launched a new online platform – called the Electronic Foreign Nationals Service (eFNS) – for work, family and student immigration applications. The eFNS will be rolled out on a pilot basis for some services and is likely to be mandatory for all immigration applications in the near future.

The new platform follows the recent introduction of the eVisa system, which has streamlined visa processing and in part replaced the visa-on-arrival system.

Online Application Process

Individual and corporate applicants can follow the below steps to use the eFNS:

• Create an eFNS account to access the system;
• Choose an immigration service;
• Fill out and print an online application form;
• Pay the government fee by credit card, cash or banker’s check; and
• Submit the form and supporting documents online for processing.

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Welcome to Lego land, Africa’s biggest solar farm in De Aar

legolandCape Town – An Irishman’s passion for job creation and solving South Africa’s energy restrictions with green technology resulted in the development of the largest solar farm in Africa. It launches this month.

Phelan Energy Group’s Pascal Phelan told Fin24 how he decided to transform his game farm near Kimberley into a solar farm to generate 175MW electricity. It will light up 175 000 households.

“I call the solar photovoltaic business Lego land,” he said. “If you can work out how to make a megawatt, you simply plug another set of metawatts together and the sky is the limit in terms of volume.”

Phelan has invested R4bn into the project near the small town of De Aar in the Northern Cape, creating 2 000 jobs during the construction phase and 50 full time employees to run the solar farm.

Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson singled out the project in her debate on the state of the nation this year, where she will open it officially on 17 March in De Aar.

This forms part of her successful independent power producers programme, which has seen R194bn invested in South Africa.

“The big, old electrical utilities have all failed at it (keeping up with energy sector) because they’re not nimble enough,” said Phelan. “It’s an entrepreneurs business and you have to be quick and fast on your feet, focus on low costs, focus on efficiency and don’t spend so much time thinking about it.

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Kampala is at position 169, followed by Nairobi (184), Kigali (191) while Dar es Salam managed 198.

kampala1456729336539400According to the latest Quality of Life Survey, Kampala is ranked the best East African capital city to live, in a study by Mercer which surveyed 230 cities in the world.

Kampala is at position 169, followed by Nairobi (184), Kigali (191) while Dar es Salam managed 198.

This year’s study is the 18th annual quality of living ranking done by the New York-based consultation.

The firm ranked Vienna in Austria as the world’s best city to live and Baghdad, Iraq the worst.
Only two African cities made it in top 100

According to the report, top hundred cities were dominated by Europe, North America and East Asia.

However, only two African cities; Cape Town (92) and Johannesburg (95) made it to top 100.

For people who have travelled to Kigali and Nairobi, Kampala might appear at the bottom of the table because the former cities are far well planned compared to the latter.

However, Mercer’s study examines social and economic conditions, terrorism threats, education, health, housing and the environment in making the conclusions.

Additionally, personal safety in each of the countries was the first priority when ranking the capitals as it is considered a top issues for multinational companies sending employees abroad.

Why Kampala?

Speaking to the New Vision, Simon Kaheeru, a communication specialist at Ssiyaya Tours affirmed the claims by the report adding that “a city is about people, it is more than just infrastructure.”

He noted that Ugandans are always fantastic, polite and hospitable, making it the best city to live in.

“You can party in a club from morning to morning with people who you do not even know. You cannot move from place to place at night in other countries because of insecurity, not even in New York,” Kaheeru says adding that, unlike in most cities, in Kampala one does not have to worry about being shot by random gunmen.

A businessman and chairperson of Kampala City Traders’ Association (KACITA), Everest Kayondo, also agreed that Kampala remains the best city to live in, New Vision reported. According to Kayondo, living in Kampala is cheaper compared to other cities in East Africa due to the cheap prices of food, shelter, electricity, and other basic commodities.

“Most of Uganda’s population practices agriculture, therefore food prices are low, but also one can easily change diet at a cheap price, unlike some east African cities where people live on a specific menu,” he says, adding that the business community is hospitable and favorable for all.

Kampire Bahana argues in her blog that Kampala is home to more than 40 ethnic groups as well as a host of citizens of every nation bearing different titles; expatriate, refugee or immigrant. These diverse cultures have enabled Kampala to adopt to a variety of foods proffered in the multi-cultural city.

Big companies use the study to assess where they should locate and how much they should pay staff. In a statement, Mercer said that their “authoritative survey is one of the world’s most comprehensive, and is conducted annually to enable multinational companies and other employers to compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments. Employee incentives include a quality-of-living allowance and a mobility premium. Mercer’s Quality of Living surveys provide valuable data as well as hardship premium recommendations for over 440 cities throughout the world; this year’s ranking includes 230 of these cities.”

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9 South African State-Owned Companies That Could Be Privatized

Several South African state-owned companies are currently experiencing tough financial times. On several occasions the government has been forced to dip into its coffers for bailouts to keep afloat. Corruption and poor management have also been blamed for the billion of rands in losses these companies have recorded in recent years.
In 2015, the South African government spent nearly 10 percent of its total annual budget in servicing debts and paying money to help these companies.
Here are nine state-owned companies that could be privatized to lighten the burden of running inefficient state companies;

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East Africa: New EAC e-Passport to Be Used From January 2017

eac-passport1455632522124400East African will begin using new EAC electronic passports from January next year after Heads of State from the member countries launched the international travel document at a Summit held in Arusha, Tanzania, yesterday.

Each member nation will have up to December 2018, to phase out their national passports.

This latest development is further demonstration of progress for the ongoing integration agenda.

The EAC is made up of six member countries. Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and South Sudan which officially joined the bloc yesterday.

” The Heads of State further directed partner states to undertake awareness creation programmes and other continuous outreach programmes on the new international ea e- passport,” reads part of the Communiqué that was issued after the Summit.

The bloc’s new electronic is said to be highly secure and difficult to duplicate when compared to the existing passports.

Electronic passports provide travellers with benefits such as use of automated border clearance or “E-gates”, automated issuance of boarding passes, and faster travel arrangements with airlines.

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