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Kenya mobile money industry boosts employment

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The mobile money sector is playing an increasingly important role in boosting employment in Kenya.

At least 200,000 people are currently employed in the sector, latest data from the Communication Authority of Kenya and the Central Bank of Kenya showed Saturday.

The number has risen from less than 300 in March 2007 when the service was introduced in the East African nation.

The bulk of those employed in the sector are agents spread across the East African nation to offer withdrawal and deposit services. They are located in shopping centers, villages, retail outlets and markets.

Susan Musembi is one of the mobile money agents in Nairobi. The sociology graduate started the business after failing to get a job in her line of training two years after graduation.

She has two mobile money outlets, one located in the estate where she lives and another at a shopping Centre.

“I run the one at the Centre because it has huge traffic and transactions are bigger,” she said.

Her day starts at 8 am and sometimes she transacts business late into the night, especially end month.

To start the business, Musembi paid 700 U.S. dollars deposit to the telecommunication firm offering the service and she pays a monthly rent of 100 dollar for her shop.

“I am happy with the business because the commission I get at the end is not bad,” said the 29-year-old.

For 49-year-old Samson Mukadi, mobile money agency offered him a new lease of life after losing his job.

Mukadi was retired from his accountancy job at a private company in Nairobi following a staff rationalization program. He ploughed part of the 5,000 dollars he was paid for dismissal into the business.

Four years later, he does not regret as he has opened two more outlets in Busia, on the border of Kenya and Uganda, his rural home where he relocated to from the capital Nairobi after losing his job.

“I run the shops alongside my accounting consultancy firm. I can say I am a happy man. I have been able to educate my four children, one who is now in university without any hitches,” he said.

Bernard Mwaso, a consultant with Edell IT Solutions in Nairobi, noted the sector is offering jobs due to increased demand for the service.

“Kenyans cannot do without mobile money. So pervasive is the service in their lives that transactions and number of subscribers have been rising in the last decade,” he said.

Transactions stood at 36 billion dollars in 2017 and a high of 3.3 billion dollars a month in July, according to the Central Bank.



Kenyan money market recording improved liquidity

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan money market recorded improved liquidity in the week ending October 3, pushing down the rate at which banks borrow from each other.

The high liquidity was due to increased government payments that boosted circulation of cash in the economy, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) said in its weekly brief on Friday.

As a result, the average interbank rate declined steadily to 4.2 percent on from a high of 6 percent at the start of the week, said the apex bank.

The CBK noted that liquidity conditions had been tight at the beginning of the week on account of tax remittances by banks before improving to push the rate down.

The interbank volumes traded consequently decreased from 20.2 billion Kenyan shillings (about 202 million U.S.dollars) on Sept. 27 to 10.7 billion on Oct. 3.


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