Top job sites in Kenya and the Greater East Africa

Today, many people understand that a job search is never complete without an online effort. Conventional newspapers value is gradually declining in this area as more people take to searching jobs online. This is not only convenient but also comes at a negligible cost especially when browsing using hand-held devices. In Kenya , just like in many other countries, there are hundreds of job sites each claiming to offer the best in terms of new vacancies ,scope and completeness. Some of these job sites also have an online application provision where an applicant can by a single-click electronically apply for a job. Most of these sites simply copy-paste jobs advertised in local dailies and may be as good as buying a newspaper. Given that job search keywords feature significantly on key searches we thought it necessary to give you an overview of popular and importantly, credible sites you can choose to begin from. This list is by no means exhaustive.
Brightermonday.com: This is one of the oldest job sites in East Africa. It claims to list jobs in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. The sites also boost an application engine that enables the said one-click application for registered users who have already uploaded their CV. It normally lists hundreds of jobs and it is advisable to use its search feature to cut time you many spend clicking individual links.
Kenyanjobs.blogspot.com: This is another site whose popularity is growing each passing day perhaps do to the shutdown of another similar site ,myafricancareers.com (since re-christened myafricancareer.net) that had the same look and sub-domain. I like this site as it list jobs chronologically by date as opposed to others where they have been categorized.
n-soko jobs. This site is a division of the n-soko portal owned by Nation Media Group. It lists jobs in all the countries of East Africa and even the Horn of Africa. Job-seekers can register and fill forms in the system to create an online CV which enables them to directly apply for a job on the site. However, I find the navigation of this site difficult especially for new visitors. To get to relevant jobs, you have to narrow your search to a specific country and other categories such as relevance, latest etc. If you have not mastered this you will get a lot of outdated jobs. Also note that for understandable reasons the sites does not list current jobs listed in its Daily Nation paper. Other notables sites are kenyajoblink.com and bestjobskenya.com.
Remember, you do not need to hop from one job site to another among the countless ones available. Just a few credible ones are adequate. Do not agree to pay any cash for interview or to secure a job. Such are only the works of cons. Many people have fallen in their traps. In addition, in my opinion do not rely on these sites so much as to completely drop newspapers from your job hunting itinerary. A worthy daily effort would involve checking all the three above (or your favourite ones) and augmented with a perusal of local dailies. Daily nation (Friday and Wednesday) can be very helpful. Another advice is that choose to send your application the old way-via post rather than by online application. The tens of online application I have made have never yielded any feedback. What is your favourite job site? Please list it by commenting below.

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Top job sites in Kenya and the Greater East Africa

M-KAZI

M Kazi is a USSD mobile application designed for employers and jobseekers.
Through the service registered users are able to make job applications via mobile phones and receive job application alerts.Jobseekers can register for free through their website or by dialing *838# . After registration the basic content of CV are uploaded by filling typical web forms . Successful registration enables one make online application for their job of choice through a single click. The system also aids the applicants in drawing a cover letter as well as provide job and career advices.mkazi logo
In contrast to many poorly designed and dubious local job sites, M-Kazi is a credible service. It has featured in top international news groups such as BBC and Africa Business Review. Also, its job category section is un crowded and during a preview, featured jobs from recognizable companies such as Startimes, Tile and Carpet Centre as well as Prime Personnel Africa. However I could not find a Contact Us link to get its creators’ input for this post.
M-Kazi is one service any serious job seeker should give a try and its creators should consider up scaling its marketing campaign so as to reach a wider audience of potential users.

M-KAZI

M-SHWARI mobile banking from Safaricom

In collaboration with Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), Safaricom has launched a new mobile banking service. It is called M-SHWARI.
M-SHWARI enables you save and transact money in similar fashion to conventional banking (i.e. deposit, withdraw and apply loan via a phone). The operations are much like the ones for M-PESA and many M-PESA users will find it easy transacting in this new service.
Here we have gathered what we think are enough facts about M-SHWARI to get you started:

How to access M-shwari
• To start using M-SHWARI you have to update you M-PESA menu. In your phone Go to M-PESA , Myaccount, Update menu, and enter PIN. You will get an SMS informing whether your update was successful or unsuccessful. If it is unsuccessful (like it was for me), go to the nearest Safaricom outlet for a SIM upgrade
• Updating you menu will add an M-SHWARI option in your normal M-PESA menu. Accept the terms of service to activate your account.

Applicable fees
• Fees: According safaricom.co.ke, there are “no ledger fees, no limit on the frequency of withdrawal, no fee on deposits and no minimum balance.” But wait, a loan application fee of Ksh. 150 applies for any successful loan application.

How to send cash to or withdraw from M-shwari account
• To send and withdraw money from the account, first deposit cash to your MPESA account the normal way, then access you M-SHWARI menu from the M-PESA menu. Next select “send to bank” or “with draw from bank”. Enter amount and PIN and send the request.

Loan application and Repayment
• You need to know that: sending money from your MPESA to your M-SHWARI account and vice-versa is free. However, for any loan you borrow will be required to repay it , with an additional 7.5% of the initial amount, within 30 days. The interest you will earn on your M-SHWARI account savings translates as:
Ksh. 200 (After 3 months) from an initial saving of 10,001
Ksh. 2500 (After 3 months) from an initial saving of 50,001
Ksh. 800 (After 3 months) from an initial saving of 20,001
• Loans: You can qualify for a higher loan than what you have saved in your M-SHWARI account depending on the loan amount limit, previous loan repayment, and usage of Safaricom services (voice, data, MPESA etc.) You must repay the loan within 30 days. If you fail to repay within this period, you will be penalized with an additional 7.5% of your total unpaid loan balance.
• Others: At the moment you cannot access M-SHWARI through your normal bank account or send money from M-SHWARI to your conventional bank account. There are limits on how much you can transfer to your M-SHWARI account. These are similar to those of MPESA. MSHWARI transactions do not earn you Bonga points. What do you feel about M-shwari.Please comment below.

M-SHWARI mobile banking from Safaricom

Safari’con’ Bonga Points

Bonga Points is a reward scheme conceived by Safaricom mobile phone company for users of its voice and data services. However a close scrutiny of this scheme reveals more than meets the eye. The Bonga points tied to the phone rewards are to say the least unrealistic  to current and new subscribers. Consider one of their offers analyzed below.

To be eligible to lay hands on the Blackberry 9700 bold(2) you need 120,000 points which means that you ought to have spent a mind boggling Ksh1.2 million. This translates to an average of Ksh 3,288 worth of airtime per day per year or send 1.2 million SMS. If you spend 100/= a day you will need to be patient for 32.9 years-against a life expectancy of 45 year!. If you are well of and spend 500 a day you will have to wait for 6.6 years. Now a 500 worth of airtime translates to 167 minutes (2.8 hrs) of talking. You may argue that 2.8 hrs is plausible enough but am sure for  persons spending that much, they do not need, may never care or even desire the rewards of Bonga Points. As you may have noticed when you accumulate Bonga Points over 700 you start to persistently get ‘redeem -reminder’ SMS enticing you to free airtime or a number of SMS. This obviously is to tempt and ‘mix you up’ when they consider you have ‘Bonga Pointed’ too much.

The whole scheme even gets more unlikely and  when you consider the plummetting rates of voice calls and SMS in Kenya. Safaricom ,as you may agree, should lower the Bonga Points for this rewards or scrap this service altogether and stop peddling false hopes in the name of marketing.

Safari’con’ Bonga Points

Safaricom quietly discontinues Bamba Unlimited

Lead telcom firm, Safaricom has quietly discontinued, in my view, the best internet product so far. Bamba unlimited ,which allowed you to browse a whole month at a flat rate has been replaced by a new offer whereby you get only 600MB worth of data.  But what is annoying is that they did not even inform customers about this change.

This moves makes orange internet bundles more sensible as only Ksh 850 guarantees  you 1GB of data. Such however is not helpful to ‘serial downloaders’. I wish all the major telcoms would consider coming up with a product which is billed monthly other that these costly bundles.

Safaricom quietly discontinues Bamba Unlimited

How to Send free SMS from your Gmail email account

Recently Google unveiled the ability to send SMS from Gmail email account. Basically you log in with your gmail account and input the phone number to send the sms to and press enter on the keyboard. You will then be required to save the number you have just entered together with a name. After you have clicked SAVE  a small box similar to a chat box appear on the lower part of your browser. You will then enter you message. On finishing press ENTER key to send.

Aside from its ease of use, I was also thrilled by its perpetuity. From the start you are eligible for a quota of 50 sms that reduce as you send. However you can ‘buy’ and increase the sms balance in the following ways:

1. You can send an SMS  to your phone and reply it. This will be directly sent to you gmail inbox. This reply although charged by the service will add an extra 5 sms to your balance of free SMS.

2. You will also get the same increment when the SMS you send from you gmail account are replied. The reply however should be to your email address and not your usual phone number.

This service is will will certainly save you some cash and I urge you to try it. Currently this service is only available Safaricom Subscribers.

In case you encounter any problem using it send me a post for help.Once again I apologies for the tastless look of this site but its just a matter of time.Thanks

How to Send free SMS from your Gmail email account